Elizabeth Witherspoon

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Elizabeth Witherspoon (Montgomery)

Birthdate: (67)
Birthplace: The Cook School Scotland, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: October 1, 1789 (67)
Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, United States
Place of Burial: Princeton Cemetery Princeton Mercer County New Jersey, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Robert Montgomery and Janet Cossar
Wife of Rev. John Knox Witherspoon, Signer of the "Declaration of Independence"
Mother of Anne Witherspoon Smith; Christian Witherspoon; James Witherspoon; Robert Witherspoon; Barbara Witherspoon and 6 others

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About Elizabeth Witherspoon

Elizabeth Montgomery Witherspoon


Wife of John Witherspoon

Rev. John Witherspoon, D.D.,* who became President of Princeton College and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was married to Elizabeth Montgomery in Scotland, shortly after completing his education in Edinburgh University, in 1743. His biographers say of her: "She was a Scotch woman of little education, but whose piety, benevolence, and graciousness made her beloved by all who knew her. Dr. Witherspoon (sometimes spelled Wotherspoon) was the son of a minister descended from John Knox, the great Covenanter, and as a young man, had established a wide reputation for learning and other sterling qualities. He was offered the presidency of Princeton in 1766 but declined became of financial embarrassments and the opposition of his wife who did not wish to leave her family and friends and journey into a strange land. In 1768 Richard Stockton, then traveling in Scotland, visited Dr. Witherspoon and, acting for the trustees, again urged his acceptance. His arguments prevailed and Dr. Witherspoon and his family arrived in Princeton, in August 1768. The Witherspoons had ten children, five of whom died before they left Scotland; three sons and two daughters accompanied their parents to America. James, the eldest, a young man of great promise graduated from Princeton in 1770, and joined the American army as an aide to General Nash, with the rank of major. He was killed at the battle of Germantown, Oct. 4, 1777. John, the second son, graduated from Princeton in 1774, practiced medicine in South Carolina, and was lost at sea in 1795. David, the youngest son, graduated the same year as his brother, married the widow of General Nash, and practiced law in New Berne, N. C. Anna, the eldest daughter, married Rev. Samuel Smith, D.D., who succeeded Dr. Witherspoon as President of Princeton. Frances, the youngest daughter, married Dr. David Ramsey, the historian of South Carolina. Elizabeth Montgomery Witherspoon died in 1789. Eighteen months later, Dr. Witherspoon married the young widow of Dr. Dill of Philadelphia, aged twenty-three. Their daughter married Rev. James S. Woods of Pennsylvania. Source: Wives of the Signers: The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence, by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilder Press, 1997). Orignaly Published in 1912 as volume 3 of The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons). Pages 139-141. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)

  • [From pg. 151] Brigadier-General W. W. Wotherspoon, President of the Government's War College, and one of the greatest military authorities in the country, and who is a direct descendant of the "signer," spells his name "Wotherspoon," but the sturdy old President of Princeton College, who signed the Declaration, wrote it with an "i."



Birth: May 29, 1722 Drakemyre, Scotland Death: 1789 Mercer County New Jersey, USA

Wife of John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Family links:

 John Witherspoon (1723 - 1794)

 Anne Witherspoon Smith (1749 - 1817)*
 James Witherspoon (1751 - 1777)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Princeton Cemetery Princeton Mercer County New Jersey, USA

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Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Aug 09, 2000 Find A Grave Memorial# 11604 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11604

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Elizabeth Witherspoon's Timeline

May 29, 1722
Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland
July 23, 1749
Age 27
August 14, 1750
Age 28
November 17, 1751
Age 29
Age 30
February 19, 1756
Age 33
Paisley, Scotland
July 29, 1757
Age 35
Paisley, Scotland
August 16, 1759
Age 37
Paisley, Scotland
January 22, 1760
Age 37
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland