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Biography for William Orr and family who lived in Washington County PA at one time but who moved to Jackson Township, Mahoning County, Ohio

Searched and typed by Judith Florian

Background of migration into Ohio via The Connecticut Land Company 


Note:  If you download the entire biography of either volume, the book page numbers do not match the PDF page numbers, but the webmaster gives both numbers on each biography.


The first pioneers were nearly all of the Scotch-Irish race, and moved to the township from Pennsylvania.   Samuel Calhoun was the first actual settler....[rest of his paragraph omitted because it did not specify "Washington county, Pennsylvania"].

William ORR, from Washington county, Pennsylvania, settled in 1803 or 1804 upon the farm which remained in possession of the ORR family many years. He built a frame house at an early date, which was probably the first in the township. It was a story and a half in height, perhaps twenty-four feet wide, and somewhat longer. There was a stone chimney in the middle of the house; it was both large and wide, and took up a considerable amount of room.*   William ORR died in 1815, in his sixtieth year. His wife Mary died in 1849, in her ninetieth year. Their family consisted of eleven children, viz: James, Margaret, John, Humphrey, William, Thomas, Russel, Anna, Abraham, Isaac, and Mary. John, Humphrey, William, and Russel settled in Milton and died there. Thomas lived in Jackson for a time, then returned to Pennsylvania. James moved to some distant part [e.g. place]. Abraham and Isaac are the only survivors of the family. The former lives in Trumbull county and the latter in Illinois. Anna was the wife of John Johnston. Margaret married John Ewing. 

WILLIAMS, p. 146-147 [PDF 233-234]

SETTLEMENT (continued)

[To complete the ORR family, above...]

John EWING, and his brother Archibald EWING, natives of Ireland, came with their mother and sister in 1803 or 1804. They first settled in Austintown, and Archibald took up and lived upon the old EWING farm in that township.  The first night after their arrival the family passed beneath the shelter of a walnut tree. The sister mentioned became Mrs. Robert KIRKPATRICK. John EWING located in Jackson upon the farm now owned by Mr. KIMMEL. He married Margaret ORR, and reared a large family. A sketch is given elsewhere.

[ No other bios mention Washington county, Pennsylvania. One of the other bios on this page says states: "From 1810 to 1820 there were scarcely any permanent settlements made in the township [Jackson Twp.]. Quite a number came and remained a short time, but a few years' experience with the swamps and the bad roads disgusted them, and they either returned to civilization or pressed on toward the newer settlements, declaring that such a country wasn't "fit for a white man to live in."

WILLIAMS, p. 148 [PDF 235]


SETTLEMENT [continued]

Andrew GAULT, born in 1804, was the first white male child born in the township, and James Van EMMON the second [child].  Mary EWING (Mrs. Andrew GAULT) was born in 1807, and is said to have been the first female child.

Probably the first marriage was that of John EWING and Margaret ORR, which took place in 1805 in a little log-cabin on the ORR place, now known as the GOLDNER farm. The ceremony was performed by Squire CHIDESTER, of Canfield.

The first death was that of Mary [ORR], daughter of William [ORR] and Mary ORR, who died February 18, 1805, in the fourteenth year of her age. Her grave is in the old burying ground adjoining the Covenanter church.

WILLIAMS, p. 150 [PDF 237]


[ Included because it is about the EWING and ORR family.]
John EWING was a native of county Donegal, Irelan, and when about seventeen years of age his mother (his father having previously died) with two sons and two daughters emigrated to America. They first settled in Penn's valley [sic], Pennsylvania, where for seven years he worked aa farm on shares. In 1803 John EWING came to Jackson township, now Mahoning county, where he bought a piece of land and erected the second house in the township. His older brother, Archibald, came out at the same time and settled in Austintown. The county was then almost a complete wilderness, with few neighbors (if settlers living miles apart and separated by dense woods can be called neighbors), the nearest mill being near Darlington, Pennsylvania; it was with these surroundings and under these circumstances that the subject of this biography began to build up a home. But his industry and energy brought prosperity. and he added to his original tract from time to time until he had a large property. When he 
commenced farming labor was worth only $4 per month. He married Margaret ORR, daughter of William ORR, then of Jackson but a native of Pennsylvania. They had a family of twelve children, as follows: Mary, Eleanor, Ann, Margaret, Alexander, Margery, Sarah, Gibson, Catharine, Martha J., John, and Rebecca, all of whom lived to adult age. Margaret, Sarah, Catharine, and Rebecca are now deceased. The father died July 13, 1842, aged seventy-one years. His wife survived him. He was drafted in the War of 1812 and started for the field, but the news from Hull's army caused him with others to return to their homes. He was an honest, upright man, and a good citizen, warmly attached to his adopted country, but owing to some peculiarity of his disposition never became naturalized. He and his wife were members of the Reformed church.

WILLIAMS, p. 157 [PDF 246]

Alexander E. EWING, oldest son and fifth child of John EWING, of the preceding sketch, was born in Jackson township, Mahoning county, October 2, 1814. He remained with his father on the farm until he was twenty-seven, when, in 1842, he moved on [to] the farm where he now lives which was then covered by forest. On May 19, 1842, he married Mary Ann COOK, daughter of James COOK, of Lawrence county, Pennsylvania. She was born March 14, 1821. They had five children: Margaret J., born March 24, 1843, died June 7, 1860; William J., born May 11, 1845; James C., born May 7, 1847; Gibson C., born February 24, 1851; and Mary Ellen Tirzah, born August 17, 1859. Mr. and Mrs. EWING are members of the Reformed Presbyterian church. Mr. EWING is the oldest resident of this township who was born into it.

Gibson EWING, second son and eighth child of John EWING, was born in Jackson township, Mahoning county, July 23, 1818. He attended the common schools of his boyhood days a short time during the winter months, but he acquired learning easily and made such progress that for five successive winters after his nineteenth year he taught school. He remained at home until he was nearly twenty-five engaged at farming, when not teaching, and on May 19, 1842, married Margaret RIDDLE, who was born in Jackson township, September 18, 1823. This union resulted in eleven children, five dying in infancy. The following lived to maturity, viz: Samuel J., born July 17, 1844; Martha, born August 7, 1846; James R., born October 4, 1852; Rutherford B., born October 9, 1858 (died January 23, 1881); Mary A., born May 
18, 1861; Sarah M., born November 3, 1863. Samuel was in the army in the war of the Rebellion in company F, Forty-first regiment, and was shot at the battle of Murfreesboro, on Stone river. Mrs. EWING died January 10, 1872. She was a member of the Reformed presbyterian church. Mr. EWING is now connected with the United presbyterian church of Youngstown.

WILLIAMS, p. 159 [PDF 248]


* Regarding the William ORR biography:  The description of the house as 1&1/2 stories with a large fireplace placed centrally, taking up most of the first floor (which was only one room), was common architecture in many early cabins built in pre-1830 Washington County, PA.  My ancestor, Rev. Daniel Lane, built about 1830 his home in Straban (later South Strabane Twp.), Washington Co., PA, much the same as this description.  Fireplaces were often double-hearth; one side was used exclusively for cooking.  In Rev. Lane's home the fireplace had become, by the mid-1900s, a nest for hundreds of black snakes so the fireplace was torn down.

Source for Background: Tract No. 96 Annual Report of The Western Reserve Historical Society (Inc. 1867).  "The Connecticut Land Company and Accompanying Papers". October, 1916.  Parts I and II. Published Cleveland, Ohio: 1916   Sub-section:  Land Papers   Sub-section:  The Connecticut Land Company: A Study in the Beginnings of Colonization of the Western Reserve by Claude L. Shepard.

Sources for biographies: (book) History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties: with illustrations and biographical sketches, Volume 1 (Google eBook; History Category) H.Z. Williams & Bros.  H. Z. Williams, 1882.

(book) History of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties: with illustrations and biographical sketches, Volume 2 (Google eBook; History Category ).  H. Z. Williams & Bros.  H.  Z. Williams, 1882.

If you are researching these families, please submit any other data you have or missing names and dates.  I will add your data as "additional information".  Please include your full name, and / or your email address (if you want others to be able to contact you).  This table will also be used on the Migration Chart at 

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This page last updated Thursday, February 04, 2016