|Submitted by Bob Steinbach, written for him by his great-aunt,
Martha May McDowell. Note: Auntie May's penmanship was
notoriously poor. In this transcription from the original,
question marks (?) indicate places were the writing was hard to
read. Names are highlighted.
Aunt May’s Narrative
and Adam Thompson left Scotland for County Antrim Ireland and learned
the weavers trade, but decided on going to America. They landed in
Philadelphia in 1799 and on learning the revolutionary war soldiers
were disposing of land given them for pay for service came west to
Mercer County and purchased 400 acres of land. Later, Adam took
over some land in Salem Twp. and moved to that location.
settled on the 400 acres in Sandy Creek Twp. and married Martha Furley
(?) who was a dark eyed young woman of 16 years. They had 16
children. Fifteen grew to adult life. Third son David died
in childhood and a younger son was named David and lived on the old
homestead at the time of his father's death.
I do not know the
life story of the older children, but Robert Thompson was given a farm
in Deer Creek Twp. adjoining Sandy Creek Twp. when he married Jane
Montgomery. Moses was given a tract of timber and had a sawmill
and later the village hotel. David remained on the old homestead.
married a cabinetmaker and lived in Greenville. Cynthia married a
Mr. Hill and also lived in Greenville. Jane, the youngest
daughter married Archibald Montgomery, a brother and Moses married Sara
Montgomery a sister of Jane and Archibald. These children lived
in Mercer County during their lifetime and a goodly number of
grandchildren and great-grandchildren are still there.
Montgomery family also were of Scotch Irish origin and came to Juniata
County, Pennsylvania and after the death of my great grandfather the
four elder sons came to New Vernon Twp. in Mercer County and built a
cabin. The mother and three younger children came. They had
very little resources but the mother was a weaver and felt she would
get work which was the case.
One of the sons, James, fought in
the war of 1812 and was a captain. Charles became a miller and earned
much of the food for the family grinding grain for others. He
also learned the blacksmith trade and did much toward support of his
mother and sister. Charles married a girl who was an only child
named Betsy Custard. I believe of Dutch decent. They had 12
children. The four eldest came west at time of gold rush.
Two went northern route and two the southern route and were lost in
Death Valley. Others in the northern group who returned said they
reached California but did not find gold. They did not
communicate with the family.
Jane Montgomery and Robert
Thompson were married in 1838. Moses and Sara a short time after
that and still later Archibald Montgomery lost his first wife and
married Robert Thompson's youngest sister Cynthia. All lived in
western Pennsylvania and greater number in Mercer County.
and Jane Thompson had 12 children but lost the first six in infancy and
childhood including their three sons. Later had six daughters
Emmaline, Mary Ann, Martha, Sara (my mother), Maria who died at twenty
of diphtheria and Rhoda.
Emmaline had 4 daughters but only one grandchild. She has two great-grandchildren living in Florida.
Ann had two sons, both of which are dead. Edwin had two sons and
five grandchildren. Robert had two daughters and two grandsons
and one granddaughter.
Martha remained unmarried.
Sara, my mother, had your grandfather and me.
had four daughters, one died at 8 years of age and there are seven
grandchildren. Gertrude and Myrtlee (?) are still living.
James McDowell was born in Kentucky but lived his adult life in West
Virginia. I do not know grandmother’s maiden name but she was a
large woman six feet tall and stout. She died in her sleep at
54. It may have been heart or cerebral hemorrhage. There
were three sons and 4 daughters: William, Thomas, and Edwin; Sara,
Bella, Annie and Bertha. I never knew any of father’s
people. He came west in 1885 and just disappeared. We never
heard after 1888. He had a violent temper and may have met with tragic