James Armstrong (1707 - 1758)

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Birthplace: Paxtang, Dauphine, PA
Death: Died in Paxtang, Dauphine, PA
Managed by: James Hutchison
Last Updated:

About James Armstrong

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Joseph was the cousin of Major General John Armstrong, who was the son of James of Brooksboro. John left Brooksboro, near Enniskillen, about 1736 and settled in PA. John's brothers William and George went with him or followed soon after. Edward was in PA in 1744. George and John were land surveyors and settled in Carlisle, PA. George was a Captain in the French and Indian War, commissioned May 22, 1756. John was a Colonel and later Major-General on his expedition to the Kittanning. (This information found in Armstrongs of the 18th Century.)

The immigrant ancestors of the following American Armstrong line were Joseph Armstrong Sr. and Jennet Stewart. Joseph Armstrong Sr. was born 1700/11 Fivemiletown, County Tyrone, Ireland, was christened 20 July 1711 at Saint Colomb Cathedral, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, died January 1761 Hamilton Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He married about 1726 in Ireland to Jennet Stewart. From Ireland they migrated to the extreme western settlement of Pennsylvania about 1731. In 1755 he organized a company of sixty-eight rangers for the protection of the frontier against the incursions of the American Indians. On 8 September 1756 he commanded his company of militia at the destruction of the Indian town of Kittanning. This group of soldiers were said to be the "flower of the Valley, brave, hardy, and resolute Presbyterians, nearly all members of the old Rocky Spring church." Three of his sons, John, Thomas, and Joseph, also served in his company. His fortified home was identified as Armstrong's Fort, where two log blockhouses were built. An officer and fifteen men were stationed there. He was the paymaster of the Colony in the construction of the great road from Fort Loudon to Pittsburg. Additionally, all five of his sons served in the American Revolution as officers in various Pennsylvania and North Carolina regiments. Joseph resided in the neighborhood of Chambersburg, near Edenville. Joseph was a member of the Pennsylvania Colonial General Assembly for six years. He owned large tracts of land both in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, evidenced by bequests to each son. Abstracts Will Book A, page 79-80: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Armstrong, Joseph, Hamilton. September 3, 1760, 25 January 1761. Wife Jennet. Eldest son John Armstrong, plantation in Orange Co., North Carolina. Son Thomas Armstrong, land between Robert Elliot's and Wilm. Rankin's. Sons Joseph and James Armstrong, land purchased from Chapman. Son William Armstrong, land purchased from James Veley. Dau. Katharine Armstrong, otherwise Kathrine Correy. Dau. Margret, if she contracts marriage with consent of executors, she is to receive 50 lbs. Exs: sons John, Thomas and Joseph. Wit: Robert Elliott, John Stewart, Nathl. Willson.

From 'The Last Leaf' by LtCol George Edward Armstrong, USA (ret.): (http://www.geocities.com/mp_cemetery/arm_genealogy.html)

The First Generation...... Joseph & Jennet of Pennsylvania Joseph Armstrong was born about 1711 in North Ireland. In 1731, he emigrated from Fivemiletown, County Fermanagh (now known as Fermanagh District, Northern Ireland), about five miles from Brookeborough, settling in the Cumberland Valley, at that time in Franklin County, PA. He purchased his land from the Penn Properties. The earliest date which shows positive possession of land is 1737 but his first warrant, numbered 9, was dated August 26, 1751 and can be found in Survey Book A66, page 255, Pennsylvania Land Office, Harrisburg. This warrant antedated the town of Chambersburg, or Falling Spring, which was laid out in June 1764. He acquired other land in the vicinity as well, eventually owning over a thousand acres. That land is now part of St. Thomas Township, Franklin County and lies along the south slope of North Mountain near the present town of Edenville. It is well located, slightly rolling, very fertile soil watered by a spring fed stream then called Armstrong's Run (now known as Wilson's Run). That part which extended up the mountain was heavily wooded and was termed "mountain land". The Joseph Armstrong farm is well-marked with a roadside plaque placed by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, just east of Edenville on the Chambersburg-Edenville road.

Joseph was active on the frontiers in the French and Indian Wars and was a captain in the Provincial forces, serving almost continuously from 1755 to 1758. He was with his relative Colonel (General?) John Armstrong of Carlisle, PA at the destruction of Kittaning, was Provincial agent at the building of the Great Road from Ft Loudon to Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh), and represented Cumberland County in the Assembly from 1756 to 1758.

He also acquired a large plantation in Orange County, North Carolina (Chapel Hill is the largest city in Orange County and thus may be the county seat.). From this fact it appears that he may have been at sometime in NC where a great many Armstrongs settled and to which many of them removed from PA.

Joseph's wife was Jennet Stewart. They had five sons, John, Thomas, Joseph, James and William and two daughters, Catherine and Margaret.

[Jennet Armstong has long been said to have been a Stewart but as far as I know no documentation of her maiden name has been found. Jennet, or Jinnet, is a variation of Jane.]

John, Thomas and Joseph were with their father, Captain Joseph, at the destruction of Kittaning in 1756. Kittaning today is a city of over 5,000 in population. It is in Armstrong County, PA, on the Allegheny River, about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. In 1756, it was probably a French fort. John later removed to NC where he rose to Lt. Col. in the Continental Line of NC. William may have accompanied John because he became a Capt. in the same organization. Son Joseph became a Col (?) in the PA Forces during the Revolutionary War. (The PA militia under Col. John Armstrong? The PA Continentals under "Mad" Anthony Wayne?). Son James was killed in that war. Thomas did not fight in the Revolutionary War but remained at home.

[The statement that James was killed in the Revolutionary War appears to be incorrect. He was wounded at the Battle of Stono Ferry (South Carolina) in June of 1779. In 1783 he was granted 7,200 acres of land "within the limits of the lands allotted the officers and soldiers of the Continental Line, by Law, 1783, Oct. 14: Oct. 22." for his 84 months of service.]

Son Joseph is buried in the cemetery at Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church just outside the boundary fence of Letterkenny Army Depot, north of Chambersburg. That church, built about 1732 or 1733, has been preserved by the DAR and Joseph's grave has a DAR flag holder beside it. The church, as of 1978, still held religious services once a year - not really for religious reasons, but to preserve its tax free status as a church rather than as a historical site.

Joseph Sr. died at his residence in January, 1767.

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James Armstrong's Timeline

1707
1707
Paxtang, Dauphine, PA
1733
1733
Age 26
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1735
1735
Age 28
Augusta, VA, USA
1737
1737
Age 30
USA
1737
Age 30
Ticking Springs, Augusta Va
1739
February 2, 1739
Age 32
1741
December 19, 1741
Age 34
Augusta Co Va
1745
April 7, 1745
Age 38
USA
1747
August 9, 1747
Age 40
USA
August 9, 1747
Age 40
USA