James Widney (1753)

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James Widney
Born February 10, 1753(1753-02-10)[1]
Armagh or Tyrone, Ireland[2]
Died March 19, 1835 (aged 82)[3]
Resting place Concord Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery, Concord, Franklin County, Pennsylvania[4]
Spouse Ann Erwin (m. 1775–1806) «Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.–Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.»"Marriage: Ann Erwin to James Widney (1753)" Location: (linkback:http://jimlindstrom.com/mediawiki/index.php/James_Widney_(1753))
Ann Wilds
Parents James Widney (1728)
Mary Wilson[5]
Relatives Sarah Widney (1757; Sister)
Margaret Widney (1758)
Charles Widney (1763[6]
See map of James Widney (1753)'s descendents and ancestors
James Widney (1st) was awarded a large estate in County Tyrone, in recognition of Col. Widney's war efforts. James Widney (2d) inherited the estate by primogeniture, then sold the entire estate and moved his family, with the exception of his sister Sarah Widney (who immigrated with Hugh Linn), to Concord, Pennsylvania. In honor of Col. John Widney, each of the children of James and Mary Widney named their first child "John."[7][8]

James was appointed leader of a newly-formed a Methodist society in Concord. Another Widney (William?) donated land upon which the first Methodist Church was a log church built in 1803. This land later became the Methodist Cemetery, lying south of Concord on the road to Doylesburg [Source: Samuel WILLIAM 's autobiography, "Leaves from an Autobiography", published in The Ladies Repository in 1851.] ["Methodist Circuits in Central Penn. bef. 1812", Bell & Berkheimer, Williamsport, PA] ["History of Concord Circuit", by Bertha Jones][9]


[edit] Excerpt From "History of Franklin County, Pennsylvania"

Concord, situated in the upper end of Fannett Township, was laid out by James Widney, and lots offered for sale about 1791. It took its name from Concord, Mass., the scene of the first engagement in the Revolutionary war. The first settlers in the region were the Widneys, the Erwins, the Kyles, McMullins, Linns, McIlhenies, Doyles, Hockenberrys and others. The village has a public school, and three churchest: Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant and United Presbyterian, and the usual line of business. Population, 150.

Episcopal Methodism was introduced into Path Valley, in or about the year 1790, by James Widney, a native of County Armagh, Ireland, who immigrated to the United States soon after the close of the Revolutionary War, and settled in the northern part of Path Valley, at what is now known as Concord. Mr. Widney's father was educated in the mother country for the ministry of the Established Church, but refused to take orders, and his son James espoused the cause of the Methodists in the mother country, and threw his lot in with and identified himself with the Wesleyan Methodists. On arriving at their new home in the Western wilds of the New World, they were very destitute of the Word of God. This state of affairs reached the ears of Bishop Asbury of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he started out to hunt up the few familes of Methodists living in the upper end of Path Valley. This was the first Methodist preaching ever held in this part of the country. After this they were, at great intervals, visited by Revs. Jonathan Forest and Nelson Read. In the year 1800 Mr. Widney persuaded Rev. Alexander McCaine to make an appointment at Concord for preaching, and, this being done and filled, after the sermon McCaine read the general rules of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and at the same time gave a brief account of its ecclesiastical polity and its distinguishing features. At this meeting the formation of a society was proposed, and eleven persons present united together as a society, and Widney was appointed as their leader. This was, at that time, on Huntingdon Circuit, which embraced considerable portions of Huntingdon, Franklin, Fulton, Perry, and Cumberland Counties.

The first Methodist Church was built on the land of Mr. Widney, in what is now the Methodist cemetery, lying south of Concord, on the road to Doylesburg.[10]

[edit] Photos

James widney headstone.jpeg

[edit] Historical Records

  • On Mar 6, 1784, James Widney transferred 39 acres of property in Killmurry (Errigle Parish, Barony of Trough), County Monaghan to John Sparrow and William Armstrong[11]
  • James emigrated to the US on Sept 17, 1784 with his immediate family plus two brothers and three sisters (two of the latter married). Landing at Philadelphia, they proceeded westward into the interior of the state, where they purchased land and settled in the upper end of Path Valley at the northerly corner of Franklin County. Note: They sailed from Londonderry on the U.S. Ship of War "Congress" under Captain Knox. 15 Sept 1784 Wednesday. Arrival of Ship "Congress", Capt. Knox, from Londonderry[12]
    • User:Jim.lindstrom: I found the article in the Gazette which references this ship; however, it makes no specific mention of the Widneys: "PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15. Monday arrived the ship Commerce, Capt. Truxtun, in 8 weeks from London. [...] Same day arrived here, the ships Congress, Capt. Knox, from Londonderry; Three Brothers, Gillis, from Belfast; and Favorite John. Hughes, from Dublin. These vessels have brought near one thousand passengers. The Favorite John had 13 weeks passage." (Pennsylvania Gazette, 9/14/1784, pg 3.)
    • There is also a record in this database referencing the departing of the ship from Londonderry: "For NEWCASTLE and PHILADELPHIA, THE remarkable fine SHIP CONGRESS, Burthen, about 600 Tons, FRANCIS KNOX, Master, Will be clear to sail from this Port the 1st of June next. - Passengers, Redemptioners, and Servants, who wish to embrace this favourable Opportunity of sailing in the finest ship that ever carried Passengers to the Land of Liberty, will meet with proper Encouragement by applying to Wm. [William?] Moore, Merchant, who will be particular in laying in plenty of the best provisions and Water, so as to make the Passage comfortable and pleasant. Capt. Knox, is a Derry man, and served his Apprenticeship in the City in the Passenger Trade. He will be found on board the Ship, and will treat with Passengers on the most moderate terms. Any persons about Nn: Limavady [Newtownlimavady?] or Coleraine who wish to go in said Ship, will receive the necessary information from Wm. [William?] Ross, Esqs, or Mr. Tho [Thomas?] Taylor of Magilligan. - L/Derry [Londonderry?], 1st May, 1784."
  • James is listed in the 1786 census for Fannett, Franklin, PA.
  • James is listed on an 1786 List of Taxables for Fannett Township, Pennsylvania[13]
  • James purchased 271 acres from Enos McMullan on Feb 23, 1787, in Fannett, Franklin, PA. Paid 325 pounds of gold and silver. Adjacent to lands of John Coulter, Richard Coulters. Mention is made to survey on Oct 26, 1767, #4520. Mention is made to conveyance dated Apr 27, 1779 and Nov 29, 1786.[14]
  • The 1790 Pennsylvania Census for Fannet Township, Franklin County includes a "James Woodney" (James Widney?) with 1 white male over 16 years old (himself), 1 white males under 16 (his son?), and 3 white females.
  • James Woodney warranted 100 acres in Franklin County, Pennsylvania on April 19, 1793
  • James is listed in the 1800 census for Fannett, Franklin, PA.
  • The 1800 Pennsylvania Census for Fannet Township, Franklin County includes James Widney
  • The 1807 Franklin County Census lists numerous Widneys in Fannett Township, including a James Widney, described as a Miller.
  • James lived in Fannett, Franklin, PA in the 1810 Federal Census, in a household of 6 people.
  • James witnessed a will for Peter Hockenberry in 1810[15]
  • James is listed as a miller in Fannett, Franklin, PA in the 1814 Census
  • On Jan 9, 1815, James conveyed to trustees, including the names of his brothers John and Charles, a lot of land containing 29 perches with house thereon erected as a place of worship for the Methodist Congregation in America. This was the first Methodist Church built in Concord, and was situated in what is now the Methodist Cemetery lying south of Concord on the road to Doylesburg</ref>Ancestry user screenshot of unknown origin</ref>
  • James Widney warranted 271 acres on September 17, 1816 in Franklin County.
  • James lived in Metal, Franklin, PA in the 1820 Federal Census, in a household of 5 people.
  • James is listed in Fannett, Franklin, PA in the Pennsylvania, Septennial Census (1821)

[edit] Notes

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