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James Petticrew

Birthplace: probably, Ulster, Ireland
Death: February 1798 (74)
Rockbridge, VA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of David Petticrew and Janet Petticrew
Husband of Jean or Jane Petticrew
Father of John Pettigrew; William Petticrew; Robert Petticrew; James Petticrew; Samuel Petticrew and 1 other
Brother of David Petticrew, Jr. 1726

Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:

About James Petticrew

James Petticrew. He was born on 05 Oct 1723 in Cordoan Barony, Lanark Scotland (according to one researcher, but it's more likely that he was from County Ulster, Ireland). He married Jane Ainsworth. They were married on 06 Sep 1762 in Hanover Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Will on 05 Sep 1798 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He died Feb 1799 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

(Source: Gary Petticrew manuscript on the Descendants of David Petticrew 1689)

David's brother James Sr. left Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in the 1790 time frame and settled in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He died in 1798.

Source: Gary Petticrew, November 2011 on

From cousin Bev Kline:

James' will lists his 5 sons, but is a bit confusing. The birth order was William, John, Robert, James Jr., Samuel. By 1798 William and John had their own families, and the three younger sons had not yet married.

James Sr. did have a "plantation" of 150 acres in Rockbridge, but sectioned off 38 acres for second son John. The remaining 112 acres went to middle son Robert at James' 1799 death. Son William had a separate 64 acres but sold this in 1806, and I have not seen where he bought land again in Rockbridge or Botetourt Cos. I therefore think the claim that William or his son James had a VA plantation was wishful thinking. Sarah Kenny's father John did own property in Botetourt Co., but I can't right now say how much. My sense is that he was definitely prosperous, compared to our William.

James Sr. was in PA for about 40 years, and then moved to VA about 1794. Probably the time-honored reason was cheaper land for his sons. That story repeats itself time and again in the history of western migration. He sold 100 acres of PA land for 500 pounds and bought 150 acres of VA land for 140 pounds. I think some of his PA neighbors moved also. A prominent name I've identified is Ambrose Crain. The John McConkey of Springfield, VA was also likely a PA neighbor.

That part of VA was known as the "Irish tract" because so many Scots-Irish settled there. So it was well-known, and along the "Great Road" that led directly from Philadelphia through Lancaster Co. and down the Shenandoah Valley. Emigrants went where the roads led.

Likewise, the emigration to Ohio. Settlement there picked up around 1800. Immigrant James had a relation, immigrant David, whose son James went from Dauphin Co. PA to Montgomery Co. OH before 1800. His brother John Finley Petticrew went instead with our James Sr. in the 1794 move to VA, but then emigrated to Montgomery Co. in 1806. Other of the VA Petticrews followed to the same OH area over the years, including Algernon's parents soon after their 1817 marriage.

Were our Petticrews Huguenots? That is an open question. I found a 1722 reference to a Petticrew (no first name) in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, IR, which was a Huguenot linen center. But I still don't know our roots in Ireland, so can't say if our line connects to the Huguenots. I only know our James Sr. was a weaver in PA. Yes, the legends swirl that some Petticrews/grews were Huguenots, but I have yet to see real names connected to the legends.

1798 will of James Pettycrew, the immigrant

"In the name of God Amen I James Pettycrew of Rockbridge county and state of Virginia am weak in body but of perfect mind and memory blessed be God for his mercys I make and allow this to stand as my last will & testament I recommend my body to ground to be buried in a decent Christianable manner and my soul to God who give it also I allow all mydebts to be paid and the remainder of my wordly estate to be as follows Viz ~ In the first place I do allow this part of the plantation I now live on to be valued & to be divided as follows ?? the sum of the valuation I allow to be divided into four equal shares of which I allow my son Robert two of the shares the other two shares I allow to be divided in 3 equal parts of which I allow my beloved wife Jane one share also I allow my son James one share and Samuel my son I allow one share that part of my plantation which my son John has in hisxxx possession present I do allow to be valued and he is to have his share out of the same equal to share of one of my two youngest sons and if the land be more than his part the remainder is to be divided amongst my wife and three youngest sons -- and as for my moveable estate that is on this plantation I do allow to be kept together for the use of the family until all the debts is paid. I do allow my beloved wife to have one good cow and her choice of the beds then when the debts is paid I do allow the remainder of my moveable estate to be divided amongst my beloved wife & three youngest sons equally after the debts is paid my son Robert is to have the first offer of the place at the valuation so as he pays the shares aforesaid to my wife and two youngest sons but if he chooses not to take it it must be sold to pay them ~ I also allow my son William ten pounds which said money he has now in possession. I do also allow my daughter Elizabeth one twenty pound bond on George Sheaffer due in year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & five. I also nominate my wife Jane and my son Robert as executors to my estate Given under my hand seal this twenty fifth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & ninety eight.

James (his mark) Pettycrew

Signed & sealed in presents of Wm Taylor, Thomas Otty, John Taylor

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James Petticrew's Timeline

October 5, 1723
Ulster, Ireland
June 1763
East Hanover Township, Dauphin, PA, United States
Dauphin, PA, United States
June 1765
East Hanover Township,, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States
Dauphin, Dauphin County, PA, United States
East Hanover Township, Dauphin, PA, United States
February 1798
Age 74
Rockbridge, VA, United States