Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Allen line: Adam Armstrong 1685-1749 Immigrant

Adam Armstrong would be a fascinating man to talk with.  He was born in Cumbria, England in 1685, the descendant of Armstrong families who had fought in the border wars with Scotland for hundreds of years.  The fact that he was born in England indicates that his side of the family had reconciled to English rule, since for three generations back his family had been born in England, but possibly heir heart was still in Scotland.  From what I've read about the Border Wars, it would take make than a generation to win a family's loyalty.  So at the very least, he would have had a lot of family stories to tell, and they alone would have made him a very interesting character.

He was a son of Adam Armstrong and Jane Graham, and had a brother, Francis.  Little is known of their upbringing.  Some sources say the family went to Ireland but since the family was English that seems at first glance to be unlikely.  However, if the family adhered to the Scottish church (akin to Presbyterian) then perhaps they did emigrate.  I've not found proof of that yet.  At any rate Adam married Mary Forster in 1705 and they had at least four children: Margaret, William, Adam Abraham and John.

The next fact I can find about Adam is that he died in Cumberland Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania in 1749, according to Find A Grave. .  It is believed that the family came to America in the 1730s (one source thinks it was as early as 1729).  What interests me immensely is this "fill in the blanks" time between arrival here and how/why he arrived in Greene County, Pa. Or is Howard Leckley correct, in saying that the family settled near Chambersburg, which is far to the east and still was described as frontier during the French and Indian War?  I found mention of Adam (Adam Abraham), father of Hannah, in Peters Township, Bedford County in 1751, which would be between the two locations.so I'm leaning towards the Chambersburg location at present.  Whichever location is correct, the family would have been one of the many thousands who came to Pennsylvania and made something out of nothing, basically. (We do know that Adam's granddaughter, Hannah, who married Dr. John Moore, was in the Greene County area but that was some years later, so again makes me think that the first Adam didn't make it as far as some think.)

I'd be thrilled to hear from someone who knows more about this Adam and his wife Mary.  What did he do for a living?  Were they troubled by native Americans, wherever it was they lived? And was it near Chambersburg, or was it in Bedford County, or was it in what became Greene County?  We need to know more about this family! 

The line of descent is:

Adam Armstrong-Mary Forster
Adam Abraham Armstrong-Elizabeth Olifer
Hannah Armstrong-Dr. John Moore
Catherine Moore-Alexis Jackson
Eleanor Jackson-Vincent McCoy
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants