The Widney Family
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 Widney Family
Between the years 1784 and 1788, two related families came from Ulster, Ireland to Franklin County, Pennsylvania. They were the family of James Widney and Ann Erwin and the family of Sarah Widney and Hugh Linn. James and Sarah were brother and sister. In about 1860, the story of these two families was dictated to Dr. George Wilds Linn by his grandfather Hugh Linn II (who was three years old when the families emigrated); his grandmother Ann Widney, granddaughter of James and Ann and wife of Hugh Linn II; and his aunt Jane Widney, daughter of James and Ann. The origin of the Widneys in Ireland was described by Dr. Linn as follows:
The Widneys were descended from a Colonel Widney, an officer in the army of William the Prince of Orange of Holland. He accompanied the Prince to England in the year 1688, and in the following year was with the army under the Duke of Schomberg in the campaign against King James II. He was at the battle of the Boyne, July 11th, 1690, and subsequently received from the crown for his services a considerable estate in County Tyrone, which was handed down to his descendants.
Descendants of the Linn and Widney families are far more fortunate than many in search of their ancestral origins. It is rare to have someone so close to an immigrant ancestor who was interested and diligent enough to preserve for posterity the knowledge and recollections of their antecedents. For that, we owe a large debt of gratitude to Dr. Linn. However, while Dr. Linn's assumption of a Dutch origin for the Widneys is understandable, the historical record proves instead origins in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Following is the URL for a discussion of the records establishing this connection: 
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- Widney, James (1728 - 1770)