Ewings in Perry County Pennsylvania

"A Working DRAFT" - Comments, suggestions and input appreciated


  • Our interest in Perry County Ewing members arises from family legend that David Mark Ewing of Huntingdon and David Lloyd Ewing of McVeytown were cousins. Their fathers, David P Ewing And Bejamin Ewing were neighbors and young men in McVeytown in 1870 at the age of ca 22 years before their children were born. While most of Benjamin's brothers were millers and born in Perry County, records of David P. Ewing to include death, obituary and census do not indicate ancestors or origins with the exception of Pennsylvania and an occupation of 'railroad worker'. Benjamin's father, Joseph and brothers are in Perry County in 1840 and before but moved to Juniata by 1850 following the death of their father, William ca 1841 Port Royal Times and further west (eg. Mifflin and Huntingdon, Iowa to name a few) in later years. Shortly after 1870, David P Ewing was married and moved approx. 25 miles to Huntingdon, not to distant from McVeytown but far enough to restrict visitation of casual acquaintenances. David Mark Ewing was born 12 years later in Huntingdon and about 23 years following the split of Ben and David P. from McVeytown, David Mark Ewing had moved to Pittsburg with other siblings as a young man. He came back frequently to visit his Catholic family in Huntingdon between ca 1899-1903 where he either maintained or reestablished contact with David Lloyd Ewing, son of Ben in McVeytown who married Gertrude Hoover in 1903. Nearly 35 years following the McVeytown connection, David M. Ewing married Gertrude's sister, Romaine in 1905 and lived with David Lloyd Ewing in Butler, Pa thru 1910. A more than casual acquaintence relationship among the families of Ben and David P. is our contention.

    1. Perry Co PA census 1830
    2. Perry Co PA census 1840
  • A trip to the Perry County Courthouse in New Bloomfield on 15 Apr 2005 to search wills, deeds and orphan's court records resulted in no obvious connections to the immediate family of Joseph, Daniel, Anthony, David, James and William Ewing. An objective of the trip was an attempt to locate some document/ transaction of William (d. 1841) and Jane Wesley/Westley (ca 1790-1858) Ewing, parents of the aforementioned. The absence of records (deeds, wills and orphan's court) might not be surprising as most of the children left Perry for Juniata by 1850 or shortly thereafter following their father's death. The exception is William (b. 1809) who perhaps was the last to move and was enumerated in the 1850 census. Further, the majority of this branch of Ewings is not known to have owned land or their homes and resided on farms of others Port Royal Times. The trend may have been reversed in subsequent generations as is the case with Joseph's son William who purchased a home in McVeytown in 1895 Mifflin Co Deed Bk H Vol 3 p. 138 just ten years before his death in Mar 1915 Civil war pension records.

    1. Memoriam to William Ewing (b. 1809)in Port Royal Times courtesy of David P. Ewing, NE.
  • Between about 1800-1830 there may have been two William and Jane Ewings in Cumberland/early Perry County. One in Tobonyne twp b. ca 17801810-1840 census that married Jane Wesley Runk, J.M. 1897 p. 142/Westley(?) nearly 30 years younger than the one a short distance away in Dickinson b. ca 1750 1800-1830 that married Jane McBride:

      The family of William (jul 1748-sep 1831) in Dickinson is reported in the four censuses from 1800-1830 with the 1830 census reporting his wife, Mrs Ewing as head presumably because he was too ill as he died in 1931 Carson & Wooley. This William is further listed at Big Spring Presbyterien church G.E.Swope in Yellow Britches District of Jacksonville (now Walnut Bottom, PA) near Newville PA with his three brothers, Thomas, John and James and respective families. As this location is not far from what became Perry Co. with an apparent access to the southern valley around Blue Mountain to Tobonyne and Jackson Twp(s), William patented a tract (about 156 Acres) in 1812 which he transfered to sons, Ralph of Jackson and James of New Germantown on 2 May 1822 Deed and a Sebastian Kingsley and wife Catherine possibly another daughter on 24 Apr 1817 Deed 1855 Indenture. We presume this tract to be in Jackson Twp, Perry Co where and when Ralph was living on 25 Mar 1852 and sold it to Hugh Boyd. Jackson twp is where Blaine is situated USGS Twp map . Note: Ralph and Ann Ewing with their children are listed in the 1850 census of Jackson twp, Perry Co where they sold their land prior to relocating to Il where he died in 1866 Carson & Wooley.

      1. Ralph Ewing; 1830 census; Toboyne Twp, Perry Co. PA, page 248

      James released his rights of the tract to his brother Ralph, wife Ann and heirs on 26 Mar 1828. He made his will in Jackson twp. on 14 Jun 1845, listing a wife, Ruth and referring to children. "I will and direct that all my children be put out to such persons and places as my executor shall think best for them so that they may be instructed in labor and education Except my son David, who I will that he may be sent to the orphan asylum at Harrisburg as soon as convenient after my decease" Will of James Ewing. The significance of the exception noted might be that David was an infant (b. ca 1844/45) with James wanting to insure his survival. Birthdates of our David P Ewing are varied with dates ranging from ca 1845-1855. Carson and Wooley state James died on 24 jun 1849 and he apparently married 1st to a Margaret Hasty possibly Hastings in 1820. Margaret may have died to which he married 2nd Ruth by 1845. Hain reports James was one of the first store owners in New Germantown, Tobonyne in ca 1830 H.H. Hain, 1922. In his will, James directs his burial at the "Upper Presbyterian Churchyard in said county".

      William of Toboyne may have led a quiet life in early Perry Co and possibly escaped the enumeration in the 1800 census or perhaps recently arrived (age about 20) from Scotland as told by grandson, James [son of Anthony] recorded in JM Runk 1897. He apparently was not ambitious in early commerce and escaped being annotated in numerous other Perry/ Cumberland county records. His children appear to have followed similar suit making the tracking of this lineage very difficult. William (d. ca 1841) & Jane Wesley/Westley Ewing are apparently listed in Tobonyne twp of Perry in 1830 and 1840 prior to his demise ca 1841 D P Ewing data. William is listed as a "Ewen" in 1820 and Ewing in 1810 in Tobonyne, Cumberland county before Perry was formed. Their children and families, Joseph, James, David and William are also apparently also listed in Tobonyne twp of Perry in 1840. The following map illustrates the migration patterns of the children from Perry Co thru Juniata and into Mifflin Co. according to the censuses (primarily) of 1830-1870 and other records.

      1. William Ewen; 1820 census, Toboyne Twp, Perry Co., PA page 327. 1 male and 1 female age 26-45, 1 male age 18-26, 1 male age 16-18, 2 males age 10-16 and 3 males under 10 years of age
      2. William Ewing; 1830 census, Toboyne Twp, Perry Co. PA, page 252.
      3. James Ewing; 1830 census; Toboyne Twp, Perry Co. PA, page 245

      We are still searching for possible children of another James Ewing, brother of Joseph, Anthony, and William who died in McCulloch Mills Juniata Co Port Royal PA memoriam, David P Ewing data about the time James son of William and Jane above died in Perry but was about 20 years younger born ca 1810-1820. At least two distinct pieces of evidences exists suggesting he died ca 1849 during a small pox epidemic in Juniata Co. One is a diary of events and vital statistic information collected by William Van Sweringen for the period 1843-1885 in Juniata County William Van Sweringen Diary. The other is a genforum post dated March 11, 2000 by Alice Gless which amazingly cooberates the diary information stating James and wife Agnes Harper died in a smallpox epidemic with a son or other sibling with surviving orphans living with a William and Hannah Beal. Hannah is known to be a sister of the mysterious James and Joseph, Anthony, William and David Port Royal Times.

      1. Ralph & Ann Ewing of Jackson Twp Grantors to Hugh Boyd 25 Mar 1852 ; Deed Bk P Vol 1 p. 487 Recorded 1855; Inst # 487635
      2. Cumberland Co Patent dated 12(?) sep 1812 [Bk H No. 8 p. 272 (1812)] referenced in preceeding indenture taken by "William Ewing and his wife Jane" and further conveyed to Ralph and James on 24 Apr 1817
      3. H. H. Hain; "History of Perry County, Pennsylvania"; Harrisburg; 1922
      4. J. M. Runk & Co.; "Commemorative Biographical Encyclopedia of the Juniata Valley, Comprising the Counties of Huntingdon, Mifflin, Juniata and Perry, Pennsylvania", Chambersburg, Pa.: 1897. F157.J7C65 1897 2 Volumes & Index
      5. G.E.Swope; "History of Big Spring Church Newville PA 1737-1898"; 1898; 229 pp.
      6. Will of James Ewing dated 14 Jun 1845; Perry Co. E-6, inst # 13275;
      7. Betty Carson and Doris Wooley; "Our Ewing Heritage".
  • All individuals recorded in the 1840 census of Perry Co appear to be accounted for as members of one of the two William & Jane Ewing Families described herein with the exception of Clark Ewing residing in Madison twp on p. 329 b. ca 1800-1810 with a young family 1 one son and two daughters all less than 5 years old. Clark is of age to be an unreported child of William and Jane Wesley of Tobonyne but he appears to be associated with papers filed under Margaret Ewing (dec. ca 1833) of Tobonyne Perry Co. perhaps signing her inventory ca 1833/1839 suggesting him as a possible son. Further filed under Margaret's papers E31, a petition (orphan's court) by Daniel Gutshall, "step-father of David Ewing" dated Apr 1839 for David Ewing (b. ca 1826). He refers to David Ewing under the age of fourteen having interest to an estate under the will of Abraham Bower. In his will of 1836 in Tobonyne twp, Perry Co., Abraham bequeath's to his grandson, DAVID EWING when he reaches the age of 21 Will of Abraham Bower. This might suggest Margaret was a Bower, married to a Ewing and David's mother. Being under 21 in 1836 and under 14 in 1839, David was born ca 1826-1830. Interestingly yet likely coincidental, Daniel Gutshall was residing in Tobonyne in in 1840 next to James Ewing, brother of Joseph, Anthony, etc perry County Ewings.

    Other Ewings in Perry Co

  • The Perry County index list a David B Ewing (DB EWING)E-43 late of the burough of Bloomfield and an inventory dated Jan 1851 with no heirs mentioned and presumably unmarried. The 'B' here may well refer to Bower (above). The Bower family was prominent in the early 1800's of at least Tyrone twp, Perry Co where Wm & Mary Bower lived adjacent to Jesse Ewing [below]. John M Ewing, son of Anthony [above] married a Mary Jane Bower both from Perrysville [now Port Royal], Juniata Co. in 1868 Ewing marriages.
    1. Margaret Ewing Papers E-31; Perry County Inst #13396
    2. E-43; DB Ewing; Inst #13504
  • In Tyrone twp, the family of the very prosperous Jesse(d. 1831) and Barbara Ewing (will date Jan 1844) resided. They were in the same generation as the two William & Jane Ewings. He purchased property in 1822, 1823 Deed Bk A Vol 1 p. 341-343 and 1825 deed Bk B Vol 1 p. 137 by deed and used the names Ewen, Ewin and Ewing interchangeably. Jesse died on 28 Jul 1831 at the age of 49 centre prebyterian cemetery. Barbara of Tyrone left a will dated Jan 1844. She refers to sons, William (b. ca 1817) and Jesse (b. ca 1821 1850 census)and a Mary Ann Smith whom she raised. When Jess sr. died, son William was of full age but Jesse jr. was a minor and was assigned Thomas Welsh as a guardian. Jesse Sr's land tract was appraised and divided to his heirs after 9 Apr 1842 petition of Wm & Jesse and laid out according to the survey dated 29 & 30 Apr 1842 survey. The tract in Tyrone was adjacent to land of William and Mary Bower, the Schaeffers among other.

    1. Jessie Ewing; 1830 census; Tyrone Twp, Perry co, page 270
    2. Centre Presbyterian Cemetery; Madison twp, Perry County
    3. E-12, Will of Barbara Ewing, Widow of Jesse dated 20 Jan 1844 inst #13286
    4. Petition of William and Jesse, dated 9 Apr 1842, E-32, Inst #13399, p 49
    5. Land tract survey map, Tyrone twp Perry Co., dated 29 & 30 Apr 1842, E-32 Inst #13399 p. 42
    6. Pettition of Wm & Jesse Ewing and James Welsh E32 p 32
    7. deed Bk A Vol 1 p. 341, 1823
    8. deed Bk A Vol 1 p. 342, 1823
    9. deed Bk B Vol 1 p. 137, 1825
    Jesse Ewing, Jr. married a Catherine Peck and produced a Sarah Jane, WILLIAM H, Mary Catherine, Elizabeth and Jesse 1850 census. When Jesse died ca 1860, mary Catherine was a minor and was granted guardianship under a WILLIAM L. BEAL and William H Ewing's referred SISTER, Jane deed 1-v p. 12. Note the WILLIAM LEMMON BEALE in David Ewing's descendant list where Hannah Jane Ewing, sister to Joseph and Anthony married FIRST to in 1845. Is he the same and were they divorced?
    1. Perry E-51 Deed Bk V Vol 1 p.12, dated 21 Apr 1863, Inst#490019
    2. deed Bk N Vol 1 p.299, 1850
    3. deed Bk U Vol 1 p436, 1863
    4. deed Bk U Vol 1 p437, 1863


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