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Lieutenant William Stewart

Male 1738 - 1811  (73 years)


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The Search for William Stewart II.

The Search for William Stewart II, son of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.


My Mother’s personal papers included a copy of the family tree of her Stewart forebears that was prepared in the mid 1960’s by her 3rd cousin, Heber Ivo Rankin. It showed that Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, married to Mary Gass, had 11 children, including William Stewart, my 3rd great-grandfather, born August 21, 1779.

In the years following, as I began to document the Stewart family tree and Rankin’s work, I became aware of numerous references, including many in the Lineage Reports of The Daughters of the American Revolution that listed William, the son of Lieutenant William, as being married to a Jane Quigley or to an Eleanor Knox.

Dr. Robert F. Miller, in his book, A Family of Millers and Stewarts, published August 1909, considered by many to be an authoritative source on the descendants of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, states, that Lieutenant William Stewart’s son, William Stewart, born August 21, 1779, among other things, (1) married Eleanor Knox of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2) settled on property on the Susquehanna River, which property was given to him by his father Lieutenant William Stewart (3) subsequently moved to Wayne County, Ohio, and (4) was the grandfather of J. H. Stewart. While Rankin had copied Miller’s lineage chart, he chose to ignore the incorrect reference to William Stewart II that appeared in the detailed commentary in Miller’s work.

An H. E. Keep (Helen Elizabeth Keep) of Detroit, Michigan, in “Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s, annual Volume 1898, XXXI, page 185 states “William Stewart married Mary Knox, of Harrisburg, and removed to Bridgeport, Ohio.” On page 186, she states that, “William Stewart married Eleanor Knox and lists their six children, the youngest of which is named William. Whether Miller copied Keep’s work, which was written some 10 years earlier, without attribution, I do not know. See additional comments on Keep below.

The purpose of this memorandum, which is ongoing, is to refute the above assertions and to correct a number of other errors by Miller and Keep with respect to Lieutenant William Stewart. The memorandum notes a number of incorrect references by descendants of Lieutenant William Stewart, who in applying for membership in The Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, relied erroneously on Miller’s and Keep’s work.

Miller does not show a Charles or a Robert as brothers of Lieutenant William Stewart. Rankin’s work, as well as that of a number of other researchers on the Stewart line list a Charles and a Robert as brothers of Lieutenant William.


On the basis of the work that I have done, I am of the firm opinion that William Stewart II, married first to Sarah McKibben, my 3rd great-grandmother, and second to Polly Parker, is the son of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County and Mary Gass.

The most compelling evidence is a letter dated August 20th, 1825, Mercer County, Pennsylvania from Robert Stewart to his brother Galbraith, sons of Lieutenant William Stewart, in which Robert tells of the death of their brother, William. “… the Rev. Robert McGonaugh who was his Preacher wrote me a few lines dated the 10 day of this Aust which he states was the day of our Brother’s funeral he did not write any particulars he said that William and his Wife had started to go to her Fathers on the ninth Aust they had got about two miles from home when he took ill and died about two hours after short warning…”

A photocopy of this letter is shown in Frontier Families of Toby Township, Clarion Co., Pennsylvania by Heber Rankin, Janice Yingling, editor, Pittsburgh, Pa., May, 1995, Stewart - 7a. I have carefully reviewed the photocopy and cannot determine whether the name is McGonaugh or perhaps McGarrough. A typewritten version is shown on Stewart, pages 7 and 8, contains the name McGonaugh and is the reference I used in the preceding paragraph in deference to the author. As we shall see later, an examination of the original letter or a better photocopy might clarify this critical distinction.

The above reference to William Sewart’s death is consistent with a reference by Revered Peter Snyder in “History of William Stewart (1770-1825) and His Descendants, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, about 1910, in which he states, “I have heard the story of Mr. Stewart’s death but cannot verify it. The story goes that he and Mrs. Stewart were making a trip on horseback, when not far from home he was taken so ill that they stopped and dismounted where he died under a tree somewhere near the top of Gates Hill.” Reverend Synder also states that he “… was directed to correspond with Dr. R. F. Miller of St. Louis. Dr. Miller is a descendant of Galbraith Stewart, the fourth child of William, the original settler at Carlisle, Pennsylvania and a brother to William Stewart who settled in this section. Dr. Miller knew but little about our branch of the family and was particularly concerned about getting the history of his own ancestors. To him we are indebted for much of the history of the pioneer emigrants to this country.” It is unclear as to what date Snyder wrote to Miller and what information, if any, Snyder may have given to him. The fact that Synder says that we are indebted to Miller for much of the history, suggests that he wrote to Miller after Miller’s book was published. Presumably, Snyder was not aware of the Jane Quigley/Eleanor Knox reference and, if he was, he chose to ignore it.

The History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania, by A. J. Davis, Published 1887 states, “The first Presbyterian Churches in Clarion County, Pennsylvania were in Licking and New Rehoboth; the former is in Monroe Township, and the latter in Clarion Township. Both churches are said to have been organized in 1802. The first pastor was the Reverend Robert McGarrough, having been sent as a licentiate of Redstone Presbytery in the spring of 1804. He began his labors in these churches in June of the same year, but was not ordained and installed until 1807. ... During this period Mr. McGarrough organized Concord Church in Perry Township in 1807. …. He continued his labors at Concord and Callensburg until 1839, shortly before his death.”

Robert Stewart’s letter refers to Rev. Robert McGonaugh, perhaps McGarrough, while the reference by Davis is to Reverend Robert McGarrough. While (1) we have not been able to conclusively interpret the name in Robert Stewart’s letter and (2) given the possible differences in pronunciation and spelling among those early settlers, it is more likely than not that McGonaugh and McGarrough are in fact the same person.

As further evidence of the common problem of differences in spelling and recollection in those days, Judge Peter Clover in writing in Caldwell’s Illustrated Historical Combination Atlas of Clarion County, Pennsylvania, Published by J. A. Cadwell, 1877, states “The first church that was organized was the Presbyterian. Its first pastor, the Reverend Robert McGarrah…. Reverend McGarrah officiated also at Licking Church and occasionally at a church called Concord, in Perry Township”.

William Stewart was a member of Concord Presbyterian Church. A review of extracts of the cemetery records of the Concord Presbyterian Church, Perry Township, Clarion County (obtained from the Clarion County Historical Society) show a Sarah Stewart, W/o William Stewart, d/o Thomas McKibben, as having died 1918 (apparently a transposition – should be 1819) but no lot number (page 20). Page 21 shows a William Stewart H/o Sarah McKibben Stewart, with the same birth and death date that is shown in J. P. Rhein’s Family Tree Maker File, Family Page, but again no lot number. On August 21, 1999, I visited the Concord Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Perry Township and viewed the tombstone of William Stewart and Sarah McKibben, located in the old part of the cemetery below the highway on which the present Church and newer part of the cemetery now stand. The Reverend Robert McGarrough’s tombstone is directly behind that of William and Sarah.

The 1790 Pennsylvania Federal Census lists a William Stewart in Washington County, Pennsylvania. An analysis of the categories and number of dependents indicates that it is the family of Lieutenant William Stewart. The category of ‘Free white males under 16 years’ shows 3 individuals. This would have been sons, William (who would have been 11 years of age), Robert and George. Also listed in Washington County in the 1790 Census is a Thomas McKibben and an analysis of those categories indicates that this is the Thomas McKibben, father of Sarah, the first wife of William.

The 1800 Pennsylvania Federal Census shows that William was living with his father in Hopewell Township, Washington County. He would have been about 21 years of age and was not married at that time. His older brothers Benjamin, Galbraith, and John II are separately listed in Hopewell Township with their families.

William and Sarah McKibben were married on October 18, 1802 in Buffalo, Washington County. William and Sarah probably moved to Armstrong County (became Clarion County in 1839) sometime after April 6, 1806 as the Sexton, John Anderson of their church in Buffalo, gave a certificate that date stating “…they were free from Church censure and were members in full communion”. Other research places their arrival in Armstrong County between 1805 and 1808.

William Stewart, married to Sarah McKibben, was a blacksmith as was his father and brothers Benjamin and Galbraith.

Finally, I believe that Miller made a fundamental error in his reliance on the several letters he received from J. H. Stewart as shown on page 20 of A Family of Millers and Stewarts as commented on in the following paragraph. Miller’s error was compounded throughout the remainder of his analysis with respect to William Stewart II, as explained in further detail below.

A grandson of Lieutenant William Stewart?

Was there a William who was the son of one of Lieutenant William’s brothers? I have an extensive database that lists all of the descendants in the third generation. There is a William, son of Galbraith Stewart I, born September 12, 1800, who married Mary Cummings. Their granddaughter, Harriet Eirene Red, born October 28, 1861 is a member of the DAR #75522. Her brother is Dr. William Stewart Red, born February 12, 1857, who wrote the letter to Miller, dated March 31, 1909 from Glasgow which is set forth on page 24. The name is shown as WM. STUART RED. Harriet Eirene’s cousin, Mary Jamison is also a member of the DAR #40009. Both of these show their lineage through Galbraith. This William Stewart is the grandfather of Miller.

The second and last William in this generation is William Stewart, my 2nd great-grandfather, born November 22, 1812 in Toby Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Elizabeth McCall. He is the son of William born 1779, married to Sarah McKibben.

Another Lieutenant William Stewart from Pennsylvania?

Was there another Lieutenant William Stewart from Pennsylvania who fought in the American Revolution? There was a William Stewart from Pennsylvania (see below) who served as a Lieutenant with the Second Canadian Regiment of the Continental Army. He joined his regiment in New York. He was an officer of the Continental Army. He served under Moses Hazen who was a Lieutenant in the British Army, on half pay, when appointed Colonel, Second Canadian Regiment, on January 22, 1776; Brevet Brigadier-General, June 29, 1781, retired June 1783. He died February 3rd, 1803. (Source – Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution.)

Several of the descendants of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in their application for membership to the Daughters of the American Revolution, have incorrectly referred to this William Stewart and to the donation land awarded to him. For example, see Daughters of The American Revolution Lineage Book, Volume 26, page 273.

Richard A. Stewart of Broadway, Virginia advised me that the Lieutenant William Stewart who served under Moses Hazen was awarded Donation land lot #595 in present day Mercer County, Pennsylvania for his service. He never occupied lot #595 and it was sold for taxes in 1820, never having been “seated”. Miller and or Keep may have been mislead by a Pennsylvania official into thinking that Lieutenant William Stewart was given lot #595. Alternatively, Miller may have relied on earlier work done by Helen E. Keep of Detroit Michigan, see comments following. Our Lieutenant William Stewart bought lot #578 from a Private William Liggins of the Pennsylvania Line. Militia veterans did not qualify to be given donation land. Lot #578 was then bequeathed to sons, Robert and George when Lieutenant William Stewart died, establishing the Stewart line permanently in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

There was also another William Stewart, a Captain in the New York Militia from 1775 to 1176, who was a Lieutenant and Regimental Adjutant in the Second Canadian (Hazen’s) Regiment. He served from November 1776 to June 1783 and died February 5, 1831. This may be the source for the incorrect reference by H. E. Keep (see below) in referring to Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County being an Adjutant with the Second Canadian Regiment. It also explains some of the incorrect references in citations in The Daughter’s of the American Revolution, in which Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County is listed as being an Adjutant with the Second Canadian Regiment.

Another William Stewart?

Additionally, The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Original 50 Volumes, page 224, lists a William Stewart (1740-1784) who served as a second lieutenant in the Cumberland County Militia. He was born in Ireland; died in Cumberland County. He married an Elizabeth nee(?) in 1765. His descendant is Mrs. May Wells Creasy, DAR #51514, born in Muncy, Pennsylvania.

I have carefully reviewed the files of the Muster Rolls Relating to the Associators and Militia of the County of Cumberland and could not find a reference to the above individual. This has been confirmed by Richard A. Stewart, who has done research on the Cumberland County Militia in Harrisburg and could find not such a Lieutenant William Stewart. It would appear that this citation is in error.

Further, the “geneaolgylibrary” web site on Family Tree Maker contains the following information. “William Stewart was born about 1739, and emigrated from Derryaghy, near Belfast, Ireland, in the early 1770’s, and settled in the Cumberland Valley, which lies between the North and South Mountains of the Alleghenies in south central Pennsylvania. He purchased a 143 acre farm in what is now Franklin County in 1777, and on March 7, 1779 married Elizabeth Leeper (1754-1828), a daughter of a neighbor, John Leeper, who came to America from County Donegal, Ireland about 1740. William Stewart joined the Cumberland County Militia under the command of another neighbor, Captain Jack Patrick, to defend the countryside during 1777-1782. The original Stewart home, seven miles southwest of Chambersburg is still standing as part of another home, and on the grounds is a marker commemorating his Revolutionary War service.” It may be that this is the William Stewart that Mrs. Creasy meant to reference in her application to the DAR.

Another One of Our Ancestors from Fort
Stewart or Green Hill who immigrated to America?

Was there another descendant or a William Stewart from Fort Stewart or Green Hill who may have immigrated to America? Our ancestor Sir William Stewart, born about 1582 in Wigtownshire, Scotland, married to Frances Newcomen about 1610, emigrated to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the reign of King James VI. He was a prominent man in Ireland: knighted in 1613, erected a Baronet of Ireland on May 2, 1623, was a member of Privy Council of King James VI and of King Charles I. He successfully led the Ulster forces during the Irish Rebellion of 1641. In the following three generations I show two sons, two grandsons and nine great-grandsons, one of whom is Alexander Stewart, born about 1703, father of Lieutenant William Stewart. Some were knighted, some were viscounts, baronets, one a brigadier general, two were colonels, and two were ministers of the church. I am not aware of any of them immigrating to America, particularly given their rich heritage.

This raises the interesting question as to what motivated Rebecca Galbraith to leave that environment and immigrate with her small children to America. Her father and her uncle, Robert, and their families were in America. Her sister Elinor met and married Benjamin Gass in Pennsylvania.

As far as I can determine the only male Stewarts in America, from the lineage of Sir William Stewart above, are the descendants of the sons of Alexander Stewart I; Lieutenant William and Charles and Robert.


In an article in Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, Annual Volume 1898, XXXI, pages 185-186, an H. E. Keep from Detroit, Michigan states that Lieutenant William Stewart married to Mary Gass, was an adjutant in Hazen’s Regiment, called Congress Own, in the Revolutionary War. She also states that William Stewart married Mary Knox, of Harrisburg, and removed to Bridgeport, Ohio. She later gives the children of that union, but uses the name Eleanor instead of Mary as the wife of Lieutenant William. She also mentions that William Jr. and his son became importers of stock from Ireland and Scotland and renewed their acquaintance with the family in Ireland and finally that some of these relatives came to Ohio to visit this branch of the family. As Miller's’ book was not published until 1909, did he have access to Keep’s letter and other material and simply included it in his book. Perhaps he had access to this material and did some further research, which in any case proved to be incorrect.

I was finally able to locate a Helen Elizabeth Keep, the daughter of William John Keep and Frances Sarah Henderson, the granddaughter of Dr. William Gate Henderson and Hannah Isabella Stewart, and the great-granddaughter of Robert Stewart, born September 17, 1718 (son of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County) and Mary Young, born April 23, 1786. Helen Elizabeth Keep is the 3rd cousin of Dr. Robert F. Miller.

A search of the Lineage Books of the Daughters of the American Revolution did not disclose a listing for a Helen Elizabeth Keep as a descendant of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County. She is, however, listed as a descendant of Samuel Keep, 1739-1823, who served as a sergeant at the Lexington alarm. (DAR ID Number 30711, Mrs. Elizabeth Keep Clark, Born in Hartford, Ohio, wife of George Mark Clark) Mrs. Elizabeth Keep Clark is the aunt of Helen Elizabeth Keep.

In an earlier article in Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, Annual Volume 1898, XI, pages 70 and 71, an “F.S.K.” of Detroit, Michigan makes the reference to Hazen’s regiment, lists the children of Lieutenant William Stewart from the old family bible, but does not give the names of the spouses except for Galbraith, married to Elizabeth Scott, Robert married to Mary Young and George married to Jane Nelson. I believe that “F.S.K.” refers to Frances Sarah Keep who is the mother of Helen Elizabeth Keep.

There is a another article by Helen E. Keep, Annual Volume 1898, XIV, page 85, in which she lists the descendants of the John Young - Elizabeth Elder marriage. Their daughter Mary married Robert Stewart, son of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County. She also states that Mary’s sister, Elizabeth, born 1795, married a Charles Stewart of Hubbard, Ohio and that this Charles was not a relative of Robert.

It would appear that the Keeps had this information some few years before Miller. Did Miller rely on it and erroneously conclude that John Charles Stewart was the grandson of William Stewart, born 1779?


In Tome F of The Stewart Clan Magazine, the editor, George Thomas Edson, states that the above William Stewart, “…bought November 15, 1794, of William Cook. Esq. of Point Township 200 acres of land on Larry’s creek, on the northeast side of the West branch of the Susquehanna River, opposite lands of Charles Stewart and adjoining the lands of George Nelson, Peter Duffy and others in Lycoming County (set off from Northumberland County in 1796). The Charles Stewart whose land was on the opposite side of Larry’s Creek was undoubtedly the Lieutenant Charles Stewart from Paxtang who married Elizabeth Hunter about 1767. He was not the father of William. … “This William Stewart married about 1796 Jane Quigley and we shall guess that some of the children of William and Jane were (a) William Quigley Stewart, born 1797 in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, married January 17, 1829, Phoebe Lawrence, Wayne County, Ohio (b) Alexander married Eunice Ward (c) Samuel, died in 1835 (d) David, died in 1838 and (e) James Charles Stewart, married August 30, 1832, Harriet Patience Mason.”

As Edson states above that “…we shall guess that some of the children…”, it is possible that James Charles Stewart, may not be a son of William Stewart of Lycoming Township, Northumberland County.

James Charles Stewart is the father of J. H. Stewart. His comments about his father being born on the silvery Susquehanna are probable correct based on the above paragraph.

This William Stewart of Lycoming Township, Northumberland County is not the son of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County.

As pointed out in Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome G, November 1953, “In his book Mr. Miller inserted some records given him by J. H. Stewart which tend to support the statement that James Charles Stewart of Wayne County, Ohio had Irish connections, although we cannot see what they have to do with Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.”

On page 19 Miller states “It must also be remembered that Sir Augustus Abraham James Stewart, the Ninth Baron of Fort Stewart, uncle of the present Baron, and a crusty old bachelor, who died in 1889, and his third cousin Sir James Annesley his predecessor, after holding the title for many years, during some of the visits which the family of Mr. J. H. Stewart exchanged with their cousins, the bachelor, Alexander, and his maiden sisters, Martha and Elizabeth….”. I show a Sir James Annesley Stewart; Eighth Baronet who is the 1st cousin twice removed of Lieutenant William Stewart and a Sir Augustus Abraham James Stewart, Ninth Baronet, 1st cousin 3 times removed. This information is also in Frontier Families and The Irish Times, November 10, 1940. At this point we have established that J. H. Stewart did in fact visit with both Sir Augustus Abraham James Stewart, the Ninth Baronet and Sir James Annesley Stewart, the Eighth Baronet. Sir Augustus Abraham James Stewart’s 2nd great-grandfather was Reverend Robert Stewart a brother of Alexander Stewart, father of Lieutenant William Stewart. Sir James Annesley Stewart’s great-grandfather was Ezekiel Stewart, also a brother of Alexander Stewart. Miller also states this on page 19.

As Edson pointed out on page 18 of Tome G, Volume 31, November 1953, “J. H. went to Ireland one time to find his ancestors. He succeeded in locating a small place named Green Hill, in County Donegal. He found a gentleman in that neighborhood who said he was Sir John James Stewart. When the American stated his mission the Irish gentleman spoke so gruffly and so rather arrogantly that the interview lasted hardly three minutes, and J. H. started for home, convinced, however, that he now had his genealogy sewed up. He really and truly was descended from the Stewarts of Fort Stewart, Donegal, Lords Mountjoy, and before them the noble house of Darnley and so to the first, or the brusque Sir John James would have denied it.”


When I first started to document my search for the forebears of J. H. Stewart, I was of the view that he may have been a descendant of either Charles or Robert Stewart, brothers of Lieutenant William Stewart of Cumberland County. Nowhere in any of the Keep material is there a reference to a Jane Quigley, only Eleanor Knox. Edson in Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome G, November 1953, Number 5, states, “We found no proof that William Stewart and Eleanor Knox ever lived in Wayne County. An Eleanor Stewart died April 24, 1859, aged 71 years and was buried in the city cemetery at Wooster.” While Galbraith Stewart, son of Lieutenant William and brother of William bought government land in Sugar Creek Township in 1819; there is no indication that he had any connection to the Stewarts in Wayne County.

It may be that the William who married an Eleanor Knox is a descendant of either Charles or Robert, brothers of Lieutenant William Stewart? My work continues to focus on a search for (a) William Stewart who married an Eleanor Knox (b) Charles Stewart and (c) Robert Stewart.

It appears that Alexander Stewart, married to Rebecca Galbraith, had four sons Alexander II, Charles, Robert and Lieutenant William and three daughters, Elizabeth, Frances and Margaret. My assumption is that all of the children, except Alexander II, came to America in 1745 with their mother, Rebecca Galbraith Stewart. Rebaka Stuart’s will (Rebecca Stewart), dated December 28, 1748, the original of which I examined in the archives of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Courthouse provides, among other things, as follows: “Imprimis, viz, I give & bequeath to my son Charles Stuart the I know onley it is to be valued by tow inderrent men when the preches if first lad off then one third is for Charity, & the other tow parts is to be equally divid between Robert and William Stuart my tow sons.” After bequeaths to Frances and Margaret, the will provides “I alow to be equal to my three sons after all debts is discharged.” I assume the reason that Elizabeth is not mentioned in the will is that she was married to James Karr, (James Kerr) one of the two executors and/or that she received her inheritance in Ireland from her father, Alexander.

“Imprimis” means in the first place, before the rest. My interpretation is that she is giving land to Charles, as he is the oldest son. The land is to be valued by two independent men. I am not sure about the word “preches”. Does she mean perches which is a unit of linear measure, 5½ yards or 16½ feet; a unit of square measure, 30¼ square yards and, that certain of the land is to be given to charity and the remainder divided equally to Robert and William. As she does not specify any quantity of land, it is hard to make the case that either Robert or William is receiving land. Does she mean peaches and that after the peaches are picked, then one-third of the peach proceeds goes to charity and the balance is shared equally between Robert and William. After bequests to the daughters, Robert and William share the remaining estate. At this point it would appear that Charles received land.

Neither Charles or Robert is mentioned by Miller in the printed text and neither is referred in the letters or references to Alexander II’s bible by J. H. Stewart. See comments below on a Charles who is mentioned in a penciled-in footnote at the bottom of page 24.

I had earlier thought that either Charles or Robert may have had a son named William who was estranged from Lieutenant William’s family and this is what J. H. Stewart was referring to in his letter of July 23, 1898, when he states “… when his family were grown, there was a disagreement, and my grandfather William Stewart II, moved to Ohio…”.

Finally, in the letter of July 23, 1898, J. H. Stewart states that “… my great-grandfather came to America after his older brother Alexander, succeeded to the family estate …”. I believe that J. H. Stewart may have obtained this information from the Keeps, see “Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s, Annual Volume 1898, XXXI, Page 185”, which information was furnished by H. E. Keep of Detroit, Michigan.

Miller’s and Keep’s error with respect to William II was not picked up by descendants applying for membership in The Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Descendants of Lieutenant William, other than William II, probably accepted Miller’s and Keep’s version as the facts in their respective situations were generally correct and they had no reason to seriously question his work. Descendants of John Charles Stewart, the son of William II, also had no reason to question Miller’s work.

Other than Heber Rankin, Richard A. Stewart of Broadway, Virginia and myself, I am not aware of any of the descendants of William Stewart, married to Sarah McKibben, who seriously questioned this and who has done any significant research in this area. Further, I am not aware of any descendants of that marriage applying for and being accepted into membership in the DAR other than Margaret Rankin Lamond, daughter of Heber Rankin. Additionally, I can only find two male descendants of the marriage of William Stewart and Sarah McKibben who are members of The Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Heber Rankin and my first cousin Clayton LaJoie Vogel. There simply was no compelling reason for any of those descendants to seriously question this and I doubt that but a few of them were aware of Miller’s work.


Let us now examine further some aspects of Miller’s work. While considered by many as an authoritative work, and I believe, generally reliable, it is not well documented and in many instances relies on recollections of the descendants, particularly with respect to William II.

On page 19 Miller states “… that Lieut. Wm. Stewart was of noble birth, but disagreeing with his family, left Green Hill…he resented his older brother’s inheritance of the estate of Carnemauga..” Lieutenant Stewart was seven years of age in 1745 when he left for America with his mother and other siblings. We have no exact date as to the birth of Alexander, his older brother, who inherited the estate. As Alexander’s and Rebecca’s marriage date is listed, as about 1732, then Alexander would have been not more than 13 years of age. Again, it appears that Miller may have reached an incorrect conclusion. As noted above, I have no information as to why Rebecca came to America other than her father, her sister and her uncles and their families were in Lancaster County. My work on the Galbraith family indicates that they were successful and well established in Lancaster County at that time. Also Rebecca’s sister, Elinor, was married to Benjamin Gass and they appear to be equally successful and established.

On page 19, Miller states “The name John, as the father of Rebecca, is assumed …” Well documented research on the Galbraith line shows that Rebecca’s father was James Galbraith, born about 1666 in Ireland who emigrated to America with his brother and their families in 1718. Some sources state that Rebecca was born about 1698 while other sources show the date as about 1703. I assume that the earlier date is correct, as she would have been about 20 years of age, probably married, when her father and family left for America.

Miller does not make any reference to the fact that Lieutenant William Stewart and Mary Gass were first cousins. Did he not know this or was he reluctant to publish it. Dr. Henry Egle’s work, with respect to the Galbraith family in Pennsylvania Genealogies, has proven somewhat unreliable. Researchers publishing well-documented articles in the Red Tower magazine, issued by Clan Galbraith have cited numerous errors in his work, but do agree that Rebecca Galbraith was the wife of an Alexander Stewart.

On page 27, Miller states “… William and Mary ...were busy acquiring property, and we know that he was early taxable in West Pennsboro and Middleton Township. This latter land he probably afterwards gave to his son William, for the latter received 100 acres on the ‘Silvery Susquehanna’ River.” According to my analysis both Middleton and West Pennsboro Townships were in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; however, I am uncertain as to whether any portion was adjacent to the Susquehanna River. A part of Dauphin County, which was formed in 1795 from Lancaster County, is on the Susquehanna River.

On page 28 Miller states “Later evidence gives some indication that they (Lieutenant William and Mary Gass) gave the lands near Carlisle and Harrisburg to their son William, and after some years near Chambersburg, followed several of their children to the newer districts of Washington County, and that Lieut. William was Justice of the Peace in Mt. Hope, Hopewell Township, 1783-90.” This is confusing as the son William was born in 1779 and would have been about four years old when they moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania and it is clear that he was raised in Washington County and was still living with his father in the year 1800 when he was about 21 years of age. When did he visit the Harrisburg area, how did he meet Eleanor Knox of Harrisburg, what is the date that he received the land on the Susquehanna River?

On page 42 Miller lists the children of William and Eleanor Knox. He lists a daughter, Phoebe, who is not mentioned in J. H. Stewart’s letters on page 20. Miller lists a number of descendants, again no documentation. While correspondence with their descendants might be interesting, I believe that they have relied on Miller’s (and Keep’s) erroneous conclusion. While I have not made a rigorous search for any of these descendants, a general search of the voluminous files of “Family Tree Maker” software did not turn up anything, except family tree numbers 4055 and 4061 in Volume 7. Both trees appear to be the work of a descendant of Galbraith Stewart. In both trees the reference to William Stewart and Eleanor Knox, is not documented. Both show a son, Robert Stewart married first to Mary Young and second to Sarah Shipler which is incorrect as this Robert Stewart is, in fact, a son of Lieutenant William Stewart. These two trees also show the same children as Miller except they do not include Phoebe, Galbraith and surprisingly James Charles Stewart, but do include a Hannah Stewart, further confusing the situation. There are no descendants listed for these children. Given the erroneous listings and lack of documentation, I have not pursued this further as I suspect the reference to William and Eleanor Knox was extracted from Miller’s work. The submitter of these two family trees is Norris Schiewe, 432 Harrison Street, Port Clinton, OH .

Letters of J. H. Stewart

We only have his recollections and as we shall see there are some inconsistencies in the several letters. In none of these does he mention the name of his great-grandfather or his great-grandfather wife or the wife of his grandfather. I wonder whether he was aware of their names.

In the letter dated July 23, 1898 he states “… when his family was grown, there was a disagreement … and in many instances family troubles were never settled.” The letter from Robert Stewart, the youngest son, to his brother Galbraith telling of the death of their brother William does not indicate any long-standing family problems. As a matter of fact Robert, who lived on the inherited property at Indian Run, approximately ten miles south of the town of Mercer, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, and speaking fondly of his brother William, states that he plans “… to go next Monday to see the Widow and Fatherless Children…” At that time William was living in Dutch Hill, east of the Allegheny River, about 18 miles southwest of where the town of Clarion now stands. I would estimate the distance between Indian Run and Dutch Hill at about 33 miles, consistent with Robert’s comment about visiting the widow and fatherless children. If Robert were going to Bridgeport in Wayne County, Ohio, and at least 150 to 175 miles from Indian Run, I would have thought the tone of the letter to be different.

In the letter dated April 21, 1909, J. H. Stewart states “… I will say that I have not a great fund of knowledge relative to the Stewart family, other than tradition and our family Bible ...”. Is this the bible that Helen E. Keep was referring to in her letter to Egle?

In the letter dated May 9, 1909, J. H. Stewart refers to “… Galbraith (who died young and was named for my grandfather’s brother, your ancestor) ...” Again, I believe the parenthesis was supplied by Miller who continued with his erroneous assumption. In my view, J. H. was not attributing Galbraith’s name to his grandfather brother, it was Miller. The names Elinor and Ann, were common Christian names in the Stewart line and Elinor was a sister of Rebecca Galbraith Stewart.

In the letter dated May 11th he states that Alexander and Elizabeth died in Ohio and willed the property to his father and that his grandfather William II was alive at the time. Elizabeth died March 14, 1876 and Alexander died January 21, 1877. If William were alive in 1877 when Alexander died he would have been 98 years of age. (Our William Stewart died August 9, 1825) The Anne Stewart, born 1805, died 1862, that he cites as a daughter of William II and sister of his father, James Charles Stewart, is shown as the grandmother of Mrs. Noel Morehouse Hainer, DAR # 89958. On her DAR listing Mrs. Hainer also lists a Bennet Scott Thrapp (1810-1898) as the husband of Ann Stewart. Further, Mrs. Hainer lists William II’s date of death as 1839, well before the death of Elizabeth and Alexander but well after the date of death mentioned in Robert’s letter to Galbraith above. Mrs. Hainer additionally states that William II was born 1779 and that he married Jane Quigley (born 1783, died 1823) in 1800. Representatives at the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia and the Genealogy Section of the Philadelphia Free Library advised me that the Lineage Books of the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution contain many erroneously listings. I searched the somewhat voluminous books listing corrections but could not find any reference to a correction on Jane Quigley. Obviously William II’s date of birth as 1779, agrees with my own analysis.

The Thrapps

In references to William II on page 42, Miller states that Ann married a Methodist minister name Thrapp, which is the Thrapp referred to in the preceding paragraph. Miller does not mention Jane Quigley as a wife of William II but states that William II married Eleanor Knox of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Ann is listed as a daughter of Eleanor Knox which is in conflict with the DAR citation in the preceding paragraph. Some researchers on the Stewart line have speculated that William married first Jane Quigley and second Eleanor Knox, but are unable to cite any marriage references. Where did Miller get the reference to Eleanor Knox? I have been unable to find any, other than the reference by Keep.

Eleanor Knox

Mrs. Coral Chaffin Waterbury, born in Benton County, Iowa, DAR # 87645, is a daughter of Emma Stewart, listed on page 42 of A Family of Millers and Stewarts. The DAR reference lists her mother as Emma Steuart and her grandfather as James Charles Steuart. Her great-grandfather is shown as William Steuart, Jr. (b.1779), m 2nd Eleanor Knox. Her reference is to William Steuart (1738-1831) and that he was married in 1760 to Mary Lass. She also states that he received a grant of land and that he died in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. I suspect that this is where some of the Stewart researchers arrived at the conclusion that William II was married twice.

What is interesting about her listing is the spelling of Stewart. She also cites two additional ancestors who served in the American Revolution, a Francis Chaffin and a Jesse Walcott, both from Massachusetts.

Penciled-in Footnote on Page 24

In the printed text on page 24 Miller states, “In the meanwhile Lieut. William’s brother Alexander had inherited the possession of his father, Alexander at Carnemauga, and Lieut. William had left Ulster rebelling against the British law of primogeniture.” Following the word Alexander there is added a penciled-in asterisk.

My copy of A Family of Millers and Stewarts, which I obtained from The Library of Congress contains a penciled-in footnote at the bottom of page 24, referenced to this asterisk, presumably in Miller’s handwriting as follows, “* This was the Rev. Alexander Stewart of St. Thomas Church Bath Farm, N. Carolina. He came to America in 1754 or earlier. He left sons Alexander and Charles in Ireland. See letter of 1760. His oldest son Lieut. Wm. Stewart was in Penna. in 1754. Lieut. Wm. was not mentioned in father’s will but went to N. Carolina in 1792 was awarded part of fathers estate and record of sale is now in my hands. His brother Alexander did not come to America but Charles did.”

It would appear that Miller became aware of this following publication of his book in 1909.

This is consistent with a reference to Robert Finney Miller, which appears on page 341 of “Builders of Our Nation - Men of 1913” in which Miller, with an impressive curriculum vitae, lists his 3rd great-grandfather as Rev. Alexander Stewart, Member of N.C. Assembly 1769 and his 2nd great-grandfather as Lieut. William Stewart of Pennsylvania. There is no mention of Rebecca Galbraith Stewart.

I have no explanation for any of this and it further complicates an already confusing picture painted by Miller. Obviously this needs to be cleared up, particularly the reference to and the contents of the letter dated 1760. G. T. Edson, Stewart Clan Magazine, Tome G, November 1953, page 17 states, “In a penned annotation he (Miller) identified this Rev Alexander Stewart as the Reverend Alexander Stewart of Bathtown, North Carolina. This is entirely out of kilter with The Stewarts of Forthergill 1879, the author of which had documents, letters and first hand information. It was Rev. Alexander’s father, Colonel Charles Stewart, who married Rose Hall about 1718, and they did not live in Donegal but in Antrim.”

* * * * * *

On the basis of the work I have done to date, I remain of the firm opinion that William Stewart, born 1779, married first to Sarah McKibben and second to Mary Parker, is the son of Lieutenant William Stewart.

Joseph Philip Rhein
4th great-grandson of
Lieutenant William Stewart

3010 Dick Wilson Drive
Sarasota, FL 34240

Revised through March 31, 1999

* * * * *

Addendum dated March 14, 2012 - E-Mail from Dave Battey
At the request of Dave, I have included it here for descendants of that line who may wish to contact Dave.

Good morning Joe,

My first-cousin Roger Swenson found your discussion of the ancestors and descendants of Lt. William Stewart on the internet and I see that you and I have the same concerns about 'A Family of Millers and Stewarts.' Unfortunately, I believe that if you now go to the Library of Congress you will find that the copy annotated by Miller was re-bound and 'trimmed' thus cutting off portions of his annotations.......

James Hudson (J. H.) Stewart was our great-grandfather and he died in the Snoqualmie Fall Washington hospital in 1928. We own the family farm some 3/4 of a mile from the hospital site. The town is now 'gone' and I am the unofficial historian. Actually, I was recently appointed official historian of Snoqualmie and North Bend, Washington but know more about the old mill town of Snoqualmie Falls than I do of the 'bigger' cities. It is interesting to note that neither my mother nor any of her six siblings had ever seen or even heard of 'A Family of Millers and Stewarts.' I interviewed my mother's oldest brother, who had a strong interest in family history and he never had even heard that J. H. had been to Ireland. I found the Miller book by blindly reading through Stewart Clan Magazine looking for the unique name Quigley that I knew had shown up as a name for one of James Hudson Stewart's brothers. This was many years before SCM was indexed.

In 2003, in our quest for Stewart data, using 'Stewart Clan Magazine' as a base, cousin Roger and I found the Fred Stewart who owns the William Stewart/Jane Quigley family Bible. He is mentioned in one of the Tomes (I think the entire wonderful works are now indexed on the internet) as the owner of the family Bible. It is traditionally passed from second son to second son. Fred had never seen a scanner and jumped at the chance for us to scan the family records from the Bible and provide him with a CD for each of his two sons. Elinor Shore of Union Iowa was the family historian for this branch of Stewarts. She had recently passed away when we visited, but a cousin pointed us to Fred, also living in a small Iowa town. We also scanned many of her records as she had made certain her cousins had photocopies of her research. I just found Fred's address and phone number. We do know that his wife (Donna) passed away several years ago because one of our alert family historians found
her obit.

Fred Stewart (Born in 1926)
210 W. South Street
Marshalltown, IA.

So we have a scanned copy of the family information from the Bible and would be happy to share it with you if it would be of interest. James Charles Stewart's death entry in the Bible has a side note saying it was entered by Frances, the oldest child of James Charles Stewart and Harriet Patience Mason, who was a Civil War physician and the namesake for Stewart Memorial Hospital in Lake City Iowa and J. H.'s brother. The Thrapp family is mentioned, and we know that when our grandparents came west from South Dakota in 1912 that they stayed with a Thrapp family at Longbranch Washington for less than a year before settling near Seattle. They moved to the family farm near Snoqualmie in 1920.

I also know that when the internet first became available I checked out William and Jane online and found that several people had radically different ideas about who he was married to. The Bible record leads me to believe that he had only one wife and that was Jane Quigley.

We deeply appreciate your professional approach to the Lt. William Stewart issues. Folks don't like to hear that the ancestors they thought were important might be mythological and being related to Lt. William and (by marriage to) Patrick Gass of the Lewis and Clark expedition is quite fun. But it has been our opinion now for many years, that Lt. William was not a direct ancestor.

Bottom line is, if you would like me to email you the scanned Bible records, just let me know.

David Stewart Battey
8031 Douglas Avenue SE
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Owner/SourceJoe Rhein
Linked toAlexander Stewart; Lieutenant William Stewart; William Stewart, II

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