James Petticrew

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James Petticrew

Also Known As: "Petticrue"
Birthdate: (48)
Birthplace: East Hanover Township, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: November 15, 1840 (44-52)
Dayton, Montgomery, OH, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of William Petticrew and Isabella Petticrew
Husband of Sarah Petticrew
Father of Isabella Petticrew; John Duncan Campbell Petticrew; Mary Jane Petticrew; Algernon Sidney Petticrew and William Petticrew
Brother of Jane Parsons; Robert Petticrew and George Washington Pettigrew, Sr.

Managed by: Hatte Blejer
Last Updated:

About James Petticrew

Records of the old Hanover Presbyterian Church in Hanover Twp., Lancaster (now Dauphin) County, PA. The register of births and baptisms show the following: (extracted)

  • James to William and _____ Petticrue bap. April 15, 1792

There's been back and forth about James Petticrew who married Sarah Kenney or Kinney of Botetourt, Rockbridge, Virginia. He clearly married her in 1817 in Virginia and they moved to Montgomery County, Ohio. The question was, how was he related to the branch of the Petticrew family that was in Ohio and how did he end up in Virginia? According to Gary Petticrew, November 2011, quoted at this site:

... David's brother James Sr. [father of this James] left Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in the 1790 time frame and settled in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He died in 1798. He also had a son he named James Jr. who married a Sarah Kinney. This James Jr. also settled in Montgomery County, Ohio, in the early 1800s. His descendants include John Duncan Campbell, Algernon Sidney, Isabella, and Mary Jane Petticrew.

Actually, the James Petticrew who left Dauphin County, PA for Rockbridge County, Virginia had a son William who was the father of this James Petticrew of Rockbridge County who married Sarah Kenney (Kinney is another spelling) in Botetourt County, Virginia.

One site gives his birth as Nov 1791 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. From the above, we know he was baptized April 15, 1792. James' cousin, James. the son of John Finley Petticrew, was baptized 6 months after his birth, so our James may have been born in 1791.

James Petticrew and Sarah Kinney were married in the High Bridge Presbyterian Church by Reverend Samuel Houston on February 12, 1817. (Rockbridge County Marriage Records, Page 587).

This Petticrew family lived in PA and then moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia and then to Dayton, Ohio. There is/was a large Pettigrew with a "G" family in Virginia which is said to have first settled in Pennsylvania and from there moved to Virginia. (See links below.)

There are several versions of the ancestry of James Petticrew. His granddaughter said that the family was Huguenot, who had fled to Scotland and from there to Virginia.

According to his granddaughter, Mary Petticrew Johnson, her father, Algernon Sidney Petticrew (Sidney) said that James Louis Petigru, a famous Petigru born at Abbeville, South Carolina may 10, 1789, died March 9, 1863, was a cousin of his. He wrote a book called "The Life and Letters, also Speeches of James Louis Pettigrew". So this is the family that should be researched with respect to our James Petticrew.

James Louis Petigru (the author) was son of James Pettigrew of Scotland.

Kenny (Sarah Kenny, wife of James Petticrew - this profile) was originally de Kyner and had a coat of arms also. Petigrew had a coat or arms and crest.

"My father Algernon Sidney married my mother Martha A. Mints at home of my Aunt Sarah Bennett Conover Franklin 20 miles south of Dayton a picturesque town with a main street running half way between Miami River and a canal running between Dayton and Cincinnati."

Origins of the Petticrew Family

The Petticrews were likely "Scotch-Irish" meaning that they were recent settlers in Ulster in Northern Ireland who emigrated with a large group - 200,000 - of other Scotch-Irish to America in the late 1700s settling in Pennsylvania and moving down to Virginia and then up to Ohio and Appalachia. See background on Pettigrew surname and Wikipedia article on the Scotch-Irish in America and their history. The Ulster Scots were Border Scots, French Huguenots and others. Our Petticrew may either have been Normans who settled in Scotland early or French Huguenot origin. Both settled in the northern counties of Ulster in the 1600s.

"One of the main planters who brought Scottish settlers to county Down in Ireland in the early 1600's was James Hamilton of Ayrshire. He acquired land at Killyleagh where several families of Pettigrews later settled. Gavin Pettigrew and Rachel McCormick were married there in 1706 and had thirteen children between 1707 and 1732. There were also Pettigrews in Cumber parish, a few miles south of Belfast, from Daniel Pettigrew in the early 1600's. The spelling in county Down was sometimes Petticrew or Pettycrew."

"The Huguenot Pettigrews in Ireland were originally Petigrus. Fleeing religious persecution in France, it is thought that they had first come to Scotland. James Pettigrew - as he then styled himself - was an officer who fought for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. In recompense he was granted land in county Tyrone where he built his family home, the Crilly House. This large stone and slate house was to stay with successive generations of Pettigrews until 1945."

Anne Dick, granddaughter of Mary Petticrew Johnson writes: "My Grammary's story was that they were Huguenots. She never mentioned Scotland or Ireland. Of course the Irish were disdained in those days, "shanty irish" so if she knew they had gone to Ireland she wouldn't have mentioned it. Another story of hers was that her family came over with Lord Baltimore. Another went back to the French kings. A member of her family was a courier for the king."

About Rockbridge County, Virginia

Rockbridge County was settled mainly by Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. Those rugged frontiersmen came here in droves, establishing churches soon after their arrival. In 1720, there was the first mass migration from Ireland into America. A second wave of migration began about 1760 and lasted until the outbreak of the American Revolution. Other Scotch-Irish immigrants trickled into Colonial ports at various times. In the 1730's many Scotch-Irish families migrated down the "Great Road" from eastern Pennsylvania into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. By 1737, calls for ministers were being sent to Presbytery by the people of Beverly Manor. "Presbyterianism was strict in many ways, but it also stressed freedom of religious thoughts. Conceived as a religion for the common people, it promoted no iron handed and self-serving ruling establishment." The Presbyterians believed human eyes were so clouded with sin that divine revelation could only be found in the Bible. They believed it was the duty of all Christians to study the Bible and the need for literacy was stressed. Along with the establishment of churches, we also find they soon established schools in the communities where they settled. In the 1500's many clan wars had taken place in Ireland. Eventually the English crown seized the Ulster lands. In 1602, King James I decided to re-populate these lands with English settlers as the lands had become partially de-populated. This left the native Irish to inhabit the bogs and forests, turning over the choice lands to Protestants, both English and Scottish. Needless to say the native Irish Catholics did not take well to this plan. Thus began the Ulster scrapings which soon turned into religious wars with the Presbyterians becoming the persecuted. From 1608-1697, 200,000 Presbyterians left Lowland Scotland crossing the North Channel to Northern Ireland. Here they took up the productive farm land offered by King James I, and soon developed a flourishing textile industry. The native Irish Catholics soon became hostile. The Ulster Scots and the English settlers teamed up together. Cities soon became fortresses. In 1618, Londonderry was encircled with a twenty-four foot high, six foot thick wall of lime and stone. The Ulster Presbyterians considered themselves superior to their Catholic neighbors. In 1632, Charles I demanded the Presbyterians join the Church of England. All those who disagreed with his demands were called "Dissenters." This policy met with such resistance that an army was raised to force Scots out of Ulster. Some emigrated to America; others went home to Scotland. Those who remained faced imprisonment. The Church of Ireland (same as the Church of England, except in name), laid a heavy hand on the Dissenters as well as the Catholics. Presbyterian ministers could only preach within certain limits, and were liable to be fined, deported, or imprisoned. They could not legally unite a couple in marriage, and at times could only preach at night and in a barn. The "Black Oath" of 1639 required all Protestants of Ulster above the age of 16 to bind themselves to an implicit obedience to all royal commands whatsoever. In 1641, the Catholic clergy decided to wage an all out religious war against the Scotch-Irish. Catholic priests declared Protestants to be devils and deemed it to be a mortal sin for a Catholic to protect a Protestant. The Pope even supported the plan to destroy the Scotch-Irish. On 23 October 1641, Catholic peasants undertook a four month campaign to wipe out Ulster homesteaders. Less than two months later the Scots sent a desparate letter to the English Parliament asking for help. They stated they were in a miserable condition, and the rebels increased in men and munitions daily. All manner of cruelties and torment were brought upon the Protestants. "Cutting off their ears, fingers, and hands, boiling the hands of little children before their mother's faces, stripping women naked, and ripping them up."2 Eventually the Catholic uprising was quelled and bloody reprisals commenced. Some priests claimed as many as 200,000 Irish Catholics were killed. The property of every Catholic landowner became subject to confiscation. Those who were accused of plotting against the English crown were executed; other participants were banished. More conflict arose when King Charles tried to force the Protestants to use the prayer book of the Church of England. In 1638, hostilities broke out. King Charles also enraged English Puritans, who defeated his troops in the first English Civil Wars (1642-45 and 1648-49). In 1649, King Charles was executed and the Puritan general Oliver Cromwell was named as chairman of a ruling Council of State. (He was later called "Lord High Protector"). Scotland tried to break free of English control. Cromwell marched into Scotland, defeating the enemy twice, in 1650 and in 1651. In 1660 Charles II, son of Charles I, was restored to the English throne. Little changed for the persecuted Presbyterians. In the 1680's Charles II dispersed their congregations and invalidated their marriages. Married couples were dragged before ecclesiatical courts and charged with fornication; their children were declared illegitimate. The Presbyterians lost all their property to the Church of England. Ulster Scots again began to emigrate. In 1685 Charles II died, James II, a Catholic, then became King. James II tried to turn Great Britain into a religious state in which only Catholicism could be practiced. He was deposed in 1688, and fled to southern France. In 1689 he tried to re-capture the throne by marching an army of Catholics into Ulster. They laid seige to the fortress city of Londonderry. Protestants were shot in their homes, women were tied to stakes at low tide, so they might drown when the ocean waves came back. The army which beseiged Londonderry was fought off with a desperation. The Ulstermen had no trained army officers, were without sufficient food or ammunition, and faced deadly fevers, yet the invaders were beaten off. James' bid for the throne failed and he was succeeded by William of Orange. Ulster became safe for Protestants. James' downfall became known as the "Glorious Revolution," as it spared Presbyterians almost certain massacre. However, persecution continued. Presbyterians were not allowed to sell religious books, teach anything above primary school, and in 1704, Presbyterians were barred from holding major civil and military offices. Presbyterian minister, William Holmes, returned from America with encouraging news that the New England colonies offered refuge to Presbyterians. In 1718, Governor Samuel Shute of Massachusetts encouraged the Scotch-Irish families to scrape together their savings and head for the New World. Meanwhile the Church of England, which now owned all the lands, continued to pile indignites upon the Scotch-Irish. Presbyterian farmers paid excessive rents and then had to use their profits for tithes (donations to the church). The reasons to emigrate from the Ulster region multiplied. Crop failures in the 1720's, famine in 1741, farm rents soared in the 1770's, and the Ulster linen industry collapsed in 1772. A sermon delivered on the eve of a departing ship stated the Ulsterman's reasons for leaving Ireland: "To avoid oppression and cruel bondage; to shun persecution and designed ruin; to withdraw from the communion of idolators; to have opportunity to worship God according to the dicates of conscience and the rules of his word."3 Emigration continued at such a rate that the British government interceded. In 1803 the British Passenger Act limited the number of passengers which British vessels could carry and greatly increased the minimum supplies of food and water required. These new regulations improved conditions on board ships, but increased passenger fares beyond the reach of many potential passengers. Some ships broke the restriction by secretly stowing away passengers after clearing customs, but the number of emigrants dropped by eighty percent. Upon arriving in the New World, most of the immigrants from Ulster faced economic hardship and intolerance in the colonies established by earlier settlers, many proceeded on to the desolate wilderness frontiers. By 1725, most of the ships carrying Ulster immigrants bound for America had steered from Puritan New England to the more tolerant parts of William Penn's Quaker colonies. The Delaware Shores and particularly the harbor of Philadelphia took immigrants by the thousands. Pennsylvania became the center of Scotch-Irish settlements in the New World and the starting point for the massive immigrant flow to the south and west. In 1728, 5,605 of 6,208 new immigrants to Pennsylvania were Scotch-Irish. Most of the ships left the Port of Londonderry, Ireland and docked at Philadelphia. Many of these immigrants pushed to the frontiers. Many stopped a while in Lancaster and the Cumberland region of Pennsylvania. In 1730, their flow of migration was deflected temporarily by the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains, and their migration took a southwesterly course into western Maryland, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the back country of the Carolinas. Independent communities of Scotch-Irish were in existence in Virginia and North Carolina by 1730. These were tight knit settlements, and generally remained separate from other denominations. Rockbridge County soon became the home of many of these Ulstermen, nearly all of our early churches were Presbyterian. Although the colonies were ruled by England, and the Church of England remained as the state Church, the Presbyterians found the frontiers allowed them to worship more freely. All dissenting ministers were compelled to be licensed and their places of worship registered, but as long as they caused no trouble they were tolerated. John Lewis and his family were the first settlers in Augusta County, settling near Staunton in 1732. They had come from the Ulster region of Ireland, spent a few years in Pennsylvania, then moved on to the frontiers of Virginia. The McDowell family came from Ulster in the "George and Ann" landing in Philadelphia, 4 September 1729, a 118 day voyage.4 They stopped for a while in Pennsylvania then headed for Lewis' settlement in Virginia. Along the way they met up with Benjamin Borden, who offered 1,000 acres to the man who could help locate his large land grant of nearly 100,000 acres. John McDowell agreed to locate Borden’s Grant, the date of their agreement was September 1737. Immigration began to flock into the Rockbridge area in the fall of 1737. By 1740, the Scotch-Irish foothold was well established in Rockbridge (then Orange County). The erection and establishment of Presbyterian churches was well underway, and calls were being placed for ministers. The Ulstermen had found a new home on the frontier of Virginia. Although religion was not completely free in Virginia, the Presbyterians found themselves virtually unmolested by the planters of eastern Virginia. Upon arriving on the frontier, the Ulstermen erected crude dwellings with dirt floors as temporary shelters to house their families while they cleared the land and planted the crops. Once the lands were cleared and the crops were in the ground, they undertook the erection of more permanent homes. Roads were soon laid out, mills erected, meadows irrigated, and the settlement began to grow. There was little social intercourse, except within the churchyard. The only newspaper in the colony until 1775 was the "Virginia Gazette" started in 1736 in Williamsburg. The Ulster people founded this county and their influence remains strong today.


See http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jreed&id=I1167 for references to vital records from US Census and Ohio for James Petticrew.

See http://www.johncroom.com/croopa28.htm which may or may not be this family and needs to be researched.

See http://www.concentric.net/~pvb/GEN/wpe.html for the genealogy of the Scottish Pettigrew family related to James Louis Petigru of Abbeville, South Carolina.

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James Petticrew's Timeline

April 15, 1792
East Hanover Township, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, United States
April 15, 1792
East Hanover Township, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 25
February 3, 1821
Age 28
Dayton, Montgomery, OH, USA
Age 32
Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, United States
October 1, 1826
Age 34
Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, United States
November 15, 1840
Age 48
Dayton, Montgomery, OH, USA