Searching Ashley’s ancestors – part 1

Searching Ashley’s ancestors – part 1

I perfectly remember my husband told me his ancestors were Presbyterian Scots and his middle name is McDonald.
Reverend Ashley McDonald Buchanan.

Marie Loves Her Knight Ashley (that’s written with my ID at 360)

Marie Buchanan <> wrote: Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 14:03:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Marie Buchanan <>
Subject: Searching Ashley’s ancestors

Allison-Antrim Museum

Greencastle, PA

Who were the Scot-Irish?
Rev 10-26-2001, 11-11-2003

Scot-Irish settled Greencastle-Antrim, as well as the rest of the
Cumberland Valley. Who were the Scot-Irish? They were protestant
Presbyterian, Lowland Scots. The Scot-Irish were not
Irish and were not Catholics. The term Scot-Irish is strictly an
American nomenclature. In England and Ireland the same people are
called Ulster Scots, which is much less confusing.
the early seventeenth century when James I ascended to the English
throne in 1603, one of his main objectives was to civilize the
uncontrolable, autonomous Irish – the majority of whom were Catholic.
I’s chosen action plan to accomplish this objective was to begin an
extensive colonization plan which emigrated English protestants,
Presbyterian Scots, and even French and German protestants from their
homelands into Ireland during the early 1600’s. He especially
concentrated on the Ulster region which, at that time, included the
nine present-day counties of Donegal, Fermanagh, Cavan, Monaghan,
Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Coleraine (later Londonderry), and Antrim. The
Ulster region is located in the northeastern part of the island of
Ireland and lies closest, geographically, to England and Scotland
compared to the rest of Ireland. Archie Reid, president of the
Ballyclare Historical Society in County Antrim, Northern Ireland wrote
the following about County Donegal. "When partition was set up, Donegal
was not included in the new Northern Ireland. We still feel an affinity
and my Historical Society has close links with the Donegal one and we
exchange visits."
lands that were confiscated had belonged to Irish Earls who had left
Ireland seeking help from Spain and Rome to fight the English crown.
The Irish Earls never again returned to their homeland. The land was
first given to the new immigrants and then to servitors of the King.
The native Irish were the last to receive any leftover land. In the
process of settling the Ulster Plantation, the English displaced masses
of Irish peasants, often refusing them the right to settle on certain
this time of colonization, the Scot-Irish built towns and villages,
commerce and industry increased, and new farming methods were
introduced. More importantly, the Presbyterian Church was established
in a country very strongly rooted in the Catholic faith which caused
great religious turmoil and conflict. This conflict was exacerbated
when, through the years, the English monarchs wavered back and forth on
their religious policies.
Presbyterian Scots lived in Northern Ireland for a little over a
century before immigrating to the American colonies. The English
landlords found the Scot settlers too similar to the Irish natives and
resented them. The immigration was precipitated by the English Monarchy
who tried to exert its own political and religious authority over the
citizens of Ireland, including the Presbyterian Scots, causing constant
struggles for religious tolerance, civil liberties, and political
rights such as holding office or having representation in government.
Economic factors also affected their decisions to immigrate to the
colonies. Anglican ministers made the majority of their income by
imposing tithes on the Irish – Catholic and Presbyterian alike. The
Irish tenants were charged high rents for their land adding additional
economic burdens on their families. Consecutive potato crop failures in
1724 1725, and 1726 compounded all the preceding problems and forced
many Ulster Scots to seek a new life in America.
mass immigration of the Scot-Irish took place over a 58-year span
between 1717 and 1775. This time period is known as the "Great
Migration" and occurred in five "waves". The immigrants from the first
three waves established the major settlements of the Scot-Irish in the
immigrants from the first and second waves landed in Philadelphia and
the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. The third wave of immigrants moved
beyond Pennsylvania into Virginia and beyond.
From Historical Sketch of Franklin County,
"They brought with them a hatred of oppression, and love of freedom in
its fullest measure… The Scotch-Irish, in the struggle for national
independence, were ever to be found on the side of the colonies."
Scot-Irish did not, unfortunately, avoid political strife in
Pennsylvania with the Quakers and the German settlers in the early part
of the 18th century. The Quakers did not appreciate their
interference in politics and were especially unhappy with them when the
Scot-Irish gained control of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1756. It is
to the credit of the many Scot-Irish who settled within its borders
early on that Pennsylvania is what it is today. The Scot-Irish were
military leaders and prominent lawmakers from the beginning of the
colony’s history through all dangers (including Indians) and especially
during our fight for freedom and human rights. They helped write the
constitutions and frame our fundamental laws. Fourteen United States
presidents were descendents from the small northern corner of the
island of Ireland. More than seven Pennsylvania governors were
descendents of the Scot-Irish as well as many U.S. senators,
congressmen, judges, and other prominent people from all walks of life.
Davy Crocket, Mark Twain, Andy Jackson, and Sam Houston were all of
Scot-Irish descent. Some familiar local Scot-Irish surnames are
Allison, Irwin, Craig, McLaughlin, McLanahan, McDonald, McDowell,
McCrae, Alexander, Chambers, and Davison.
Germans considered themselves to be orderly, industrious, and frugal
and thought the Scot-Irish were impetuous, reckless, and
quick-tempered. Because of this, the Germans and the Scot-Irish often
maintained settlements away from each other and avoided social contact
in much the same manner as the Scots did with the Irish people while
living in Northern Ireland.
Scot-Irish who settled in America were descendants of the Lowland Scots
who were robust, adventurous, and rebellious. There is no architectural
style or type of furniture attributed to them so, in turn, there are no
known artifacts surviving that are specific to the Scot-Irish. But the
legacy they did leave behind for future generations is their religion.
In each settlement they built a church in which to practice their
Presbyterian faith. In the early 1700’s, the Greencastle settlement was
known as the East Conococheague Settlement. The first church, known as
the Red Church, was built at Moss Spring.
Scot-Irish were nomadic. Those who settled Greencastle had made their
way westward from Philadelphia and then south into Antrim Township and
then again continued west and over the Tuscarora Mountains. Along their
route they left settlements about eight to ten miles apart. These
settlements were quite often near springs or waterways.
adopted the Scandinavian housing of log cabins. They didn’t have many
culinary skills and ate mostly mutton, lamb, and oats. Their music,
unlike the Highlanders with their bagpipes, was played on fiddles and
in 1682, there were only three counties – Chester, Philadelphia, and
Bucks – that were established by William Penn. Chester included all of
the land southwest of the Skuykill River to the extreme western and
northern limits of the state.
  • On May 10, 1729, Lancaster County was established from Chester County land.
  • At the May 1741 quarter sessions court of Lancaster County, Antrim
    Township was established. At that time Antrim Township included all of
    present day Franklin County except Warren, Fannett and Metal Townships.

  • Lurgan Township was established from the northern part of Antrim Township in 1743.
  • On August 9, 1749, York County was established west of Lancaster from Lancaster County land.
  • On January 27, 1750, Cumberland County was established from Lancaster County land.
  • Greencastle was founded in 1782 by John Allison and was situated in the southern portion of Cumberland County.
  • On
    September 9, 1784, Franklin County was established from the southwest
    part of Cumberland County. Any local research for tax records, deeds,
    or genealogy dating before September 9, 1784 must be done in Carlisle,
    the County seat of Cumberland County. All surviving records after that
    date can be researched in the Franklin County administrative offices in
    Chambersburg, Pa.
first white man to settle in what we know today as Franklin County was
Benjamin Chambers, a Scot-Irishman. He was from County Antrim in
Northern Ireland and along with his brothers James, Robert, and Joseph
immigrated to the Province of Pennsylvania some time between 1726 and
1730. With permission from the Indians, Chambers was allowed to settle
on the land of his choice. This was about 1730. On March 30, 1734, the
agent for the proprietors gave him a license "to take and settle and
improve four hundred acres of land at the Falling Spring’s mouth, and
on both sides of the Conococheague Creek, for the convenience of a
grist mill and plantation." This place became Chambersburg.
Township, established in 1741, is named after County Antrim in the very
northeast corner of Northern Ireland from where many of this area’s
first settlers came. There is also a town by the name of Antrim located
in County Antrim
land that Greencastle now sits upon was first deeded to Samuel Smith by
a land warrant in 1750. It was then transferred to John Smith, then
John Davison, and finally to William Allison, Sr. in 1763. In 1769,
William, Sr. transferred a portion of the land – 300 acres – to his
son, John. If Greencastle was named for a place in the north of
Ireland, there is no doubt the gently rolling landscape of this area
reminded them of their homes in Ireland.
Allison was a colonel in the Revolutionary War and served three terms
in the Pennsylvania Assembly. In 1787 he was a delegate from Franklin
County to the Pennsylvania Convention called to ratify the new Federal
founded Greencastle in 1782. Allison, along with the help of James
Crawford, laid out the town in 246 numbered lots of equal size (30′ x
250′) and sold them through a lottery at $8 each. Allison owned and ran
a tavern in town. In 1785 he contracted with William Rankin who owned
Moss Spring to provide a fresh supply of water via a wooden trunk line
into town for daily uses and fire protection.

Allison-Antrim Museum is continuing its research into how Greencastle
got its name. There are conflicting references in William P. Conrad’s
books and news articles and other history book references. Some
indicate that the immigrants left from the Greencastle on the border of
County Antrim and the city of Belfast. Other references are made to the
Greencastle in County Donegal. A third twist is the fact that there
were two large houses in Elizabethan times in County Antrim – one was
called The White House and the other ‘Greencastle’. Although the house
Greencastle was not actually a castle it was quite large in comparison
to the cottages dotted about it, and according to Archie Reid, to the
people who lived in its proximity it probably seemed like a castle. Or,
could our town have been named after General Green of the Revolutionary
War? The museum will continue investigating the Allison family’s
heritage through connections in Northern Ireland and will keep this
information updated as facts are received.
Compiled by Bonnie A. Shockey
Bibliography Sources:
History of Franklin County 1887, Warner, Beers, & Co, 1887
Historical Sketch of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, I. H. McCauley, Publisher – John M. Pomeroy, 1878
Conococheague – A History of the Greencastle-Antrim Community 1736-1971, William P. Conrad, 1971
Shelter for His Excellency, Le Roy Greene, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, 1951
A History of Pennsylvania, Klein and Hoogenboom, Penn State University, 1980
Archie Reid, President of Ballyclare Historical Society, County Antrim, Northern Ireland,
· Various newspaper articles
More information on Greencastle-Antrim and John Allison can be found under History on the Web site.
More information click on Greencastle-Antrim and John Allison

Marie M. Buchanan, M.Ps.
Researcher, Pastor-Assistant, Writer


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s