William Petticrew

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William Petticrew

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: East Hanover Township,, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: between circa 1830 and circa 1840 (56-82)
probably, Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James Petticrew and Jean or Jane Petticrew
Husband of Isabella Petticrew
Father of James Petticrew; Jane Parsons; Robert Petticrew and George Washington Pettigrew, Sr.
Brother of John Pettigrew; Robert Petticrew; James Petticrew; Samuel Petticrew and Elizabeth Petticrew

Managed by: Hatte Blejer
Last Updated:

About William Petticrew

William Petticrew-3 (James Petticrew-2, David Petticrew-1). He was born Abt. Jun 1765 in Hanover Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

from cousin Bev Kline, a Petticrew descendant:

"William did not d. 1851 in Dauphin Co. PA (which is what the family history site given below says) because he lived in VA from 1793 through at least 1830. Where and when he died is still unknown, as no death record or burial place is found. The same goes for his wife Isabella. However, they are not seen after the 1830 census so I expect they died in the 1830s. Some Petticrew researchers claim William got to OH by then, but I am not so sure that he did."

"By immigrant James' will, we know that William had a sister Elizabeth but she did not marry James Kent. I doubt she ever married, and I don't know anything about her."


That William is the father of James is a hypothesis. My understanding is that James and Jane are accepted as offspring of William and that John and Matthew are more controversial.

When did William and Isabella move to Rockbridge County, Virginia?

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

James is the oldest son of William (oldest son of Immigrant James) and Isabel Petticrew [James married Sarah Kinney in 1817 in Botetourt County, VA, died in Montgomery County, OH in 1840, and is buried in Dayton's Woodland Cemetery]

From census records, 1790 on, it is clear that William and John, sons of immigrant James, were the only two of his sons old enough to have children in the 1790s. The first John, who married Betsy, was older still, born in 1758.

William shows up in Rockbridge County in tax records no earlier than 1793, and bought land there in Mar 1795.

Earliest record: William Petticrew first shows up in personal property tax list in Rkbg Co in March 13, 1793 with 2 white males over 16.


From my cousin Bev Kline:

Algernon's grandfather William, of Rockbridge Co. -- You should be able to pull up the digitized case records through the links:

  1. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=163-1808-008
  2. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=163-1826-008

The first link is for this case: Locality Index Number Original Case Number ROCKBRIDGE CO 1808-008 Plaintiff(s) Defendant(s) WILLIAM PETTIGREW JOHN MCCONKEY

The case record showed that William was a carpenter and house-joiner. He did some work for McConkey at various times, but also borrowed from McConkey repeatedly. William seemed to always end up in greater debt to McConkey than McConkey owed him.

Perhaps debt was William's perpetual state. In his father James' will all William got was forgiveness of a debt. William also sold his 64 acres in Rockbridge Co. in 1806, and I never found where he bought any more. Perhaps he never had funds to do so again. Maybe he had to sell the land to pay debts to McConkey and others.

I've never found a will for William, and I am thinking now that William never had a will, because he never had anything to pass along when he died. No will means we can't know exactly who William's kids were. The only documented ones are our James and a daughter Jane who married David Parsons.

McConkey had purchased land adjoining William's farm, in 1796, then platted the land into 36 lots that became the town of Springfield, just two miles north of the border with Botetourt Co. There's nothing left of Springfield but High Bridge Presbyterian Church and cemetery.

There was also a John McConkey in Dauphin Co. PA when the Pettycrews were there, so that might be the same man.

The second link is for this case: Locality Index Number Original Case Number ROCKBRIDGE CO 1826-008 Plaintiff(s) Defendant(s) THOMAS NEWILL ALEXANDER JOHNSTON

William was a witness in this case, and the record includes his deposition. It shows that sometime around 1820 he was a sawyer in the sawmill of Thomas Newell on Newell's plantation in Botetourt Co.

This is great info. William had appeared in Rockbridge Co. for the 1810 and 1830 censuses, but in the 1820 census he was listed in Botetourt Co. This always puzzled me. This case shows that he was working for Newell in Botetourt at the time of the census.

William's 1821 and 1822 depositions were taken in Pattonsburg. This town was across the James River from Buchanan, and lost its name when Buchanan annexed the town. A land record showed that Newell had land on the "Great Road" between Pattonsburg (Botetourt Co.) and Lexington (Rockbridge Co.). This was on the north side of the river.

Perhaps it was because William lived and worked in Botetourt for some time that our James was able to meet his bride-to-be Sarah Kenny.

It is also interesting to see that William was working as a sawyer at that time. Algernon's work life centered around sawmills and sawmill equipment, and he had patents on sawmill improvements. His brother was listed as a sawyer in the census. Perhaps their father James did this type of work, also.

One other important point. In both case records, William's signature appears. It is always spelled Pettycrew. I think this was the spelling they consistently used in Dauphin Co. PA and in VA.

These records offer a wealth of detail that help to fill in the life stories of ancestors. If you want to explore more try the search feature here:


Petticrew, Pettycrew, Pettigrew, and Kenny appear in many records.

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William Petticrew's Timeline

June 1765
East Hanover Township,, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA
April 15, 1792
Age 26
East Hanover Township, Dauphin, Pennsylvania, United States
November 2, 1801
Age 36
Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
Age 64
Rockbridge County, Virginia, USA