First Scotch-Irish Families in Worcester 1718

Here are our notes so far on the families who arrived in Worcester in 1718.  We know very little about most of them, just a first and last name and — for some of them — we’re not even sure about the correct spelling of those names.  Perhaps any of you who stop to read this might know a bit more and will send us an email?  We would also welcome any corrections to information you know is not accurate.  The names and spellings we are using here are from Caleb Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester.  The quoted material is from several different sources (Charles Nutt, A. L. Perry, Caleb Wall); where available, links to online digital versions of these sources are provided in-text, but if you require further details please contact us by email at library@worcesterhistory.net

  1. Robert Barbour

“Barbour, Robert, of Weston and Worcester, Mass; from Ireland in 1718; b. Parish of Koppro, Co. Tyrone, Ireland; m. in Weston, Feb 26, 1725-6, Sarah Gray of Worcester; she b. 1704, Co. Tyrone; d. June -, 1790; Children: James, Elizabeth, Sarah, John, Matthew; d. Sept. 27, 1769, at Worcester, aged 68; a clothier; Robert is said to have had a brother Hezekiah of Westfield. -Lincoln’s Worcester, p. 49, E. D. Barbour’s notes.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. John Batley

Could this be the same person as the man who A. L. Perry — in his  Scotch-Irish in New England  — calls John Battay and describes him as the local “tithing man”?

“Batley, John, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ireland, in 1718; there was a Nathaniel, of Dedham, in 1730 -Lincoln’s Worcester, p.49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. Abraham Blair

We find him described as one of the “survivors of the heroic defense of Londonderry” 1689.  He was thereafter exempt from taxation and occupied what was called an “exempt farm” because of his war service to England.

“At least two of the Scotch-Irish pioneers here were exempted from taxation under the British act granting freedom of taxation to the defenders of Londonderry, Ireland, during the siege of 1689.  They were Abraham Blair and William Caldwell. “

“Blair, Abraham, of Worchester, Mass; and Londonderry, N..; from Aghadowey, Ireland in 1718: children: David, Hannah, Sarah, Lydia, Jennet, Mary; in defense of Londonderry 1689; he was an uncle of Robert Blair of Worcester. -Lincoln’s Worcester, p. 49, Leavitt’s Blair Family. p. 147.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. William Caldwell

One source says he died in Barre in 1783.  Nutt’s book also contains information about where his land was and when he bought it.

A. L. Perry calls him one of the “survivors of the heroic defense of Londonderry” in 1689. He was thereafter exempt from taxation and occupied what was called an “exempt farm” because of his war service to England.

In the Early Records of the Town of Worcester we read that William Caldwell receives payment for work in killing rattlesnakes in Worcester.

From Caleb Wall’s writings on Eastern Worcester:

“Moses Leonard, in 1726, then of Worcester, for £360 conveyed to William Caldwell, one of the Scotch Irish Presbyterian emigrants of 1718, 30 acres of his land, upland and swamp, on the road from Quinsigamond pond to the house of Jonas Rice.  This included land on both sides of Plantation Street… William Caldwell appears to be the first settler on this estate… When William Caldwell went to Barre in 1742 he sold for £670 this estate.”

William Caldwell was 34 years old when he came to this country in the spring of 1718.

He was accompanied by his wife, Sarah Morrison, and sons James and John, and perhaps other children.  He brought with him a certificate of good character for his household, for admission to church privileges here, signed by James Woodside, Jr., minister, and dated April 9, 1718, at Dunboe parish, in the barony of Coleraine, county of Londonderry, in the north of Ireland.

The first William Caldwell died in Barre in 1783, aged 99 years, and his son John lived to be a century old.  William Caldwell, sheriff of this county from 1793 till his death in 1805, was grandson of the first William.

“Caldwell, William of Worcester, Mass; from Ireland in 1718; in defense of Londonderry 1689; church member in Worcester 1733. -Lincoln’s Worcester p49; Per’s Scotch-Irish p14 Callwell, Alexander, Portsmouth N.H. from Clough, County Antrim, b/4 1741; m. Margaret McGregor of Londonderry, N.H. at Portsmouth Nov 4 1741. -N.E. Hist. Gen Reg. Vol 27.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. John Clark

Charles Nutt tells us the following:

“John Clark, from Ireland, came here with the first Scotch-Irish in 1718-1719 and remained.”

On October 10, 1728, he bought land in Worcester from Judge William Jennison.

He bought land in Worcester from Moses Leonard on Dec. 30 1725.

“Clark, John of Worcester and Colrain, Mass; from Ireland 1718 or 1719; m. Agnes Adams; Children: Jane, Matthew, Thomas, John, James, William, Samuel, Elizabeth, George; will probated 1750; d. in South Hadley, Mass. -McClellan’s Colrain p66; Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p 128.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. Robert Crawford

“Crawford, Robert, of Worcester and Royalston, Mass; from Ireland in 1718; m. Elizabeth Leitch of Lunenburg, Jan 13 1763; warned from Boston, 1724; Children: Elizabeth, William, James, Reuben, John Green, Joseph Warren, Manasses, Robert; d. betw. June and Oct 1785; [will]. -Lincoln’s Worcester, p49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. John Duncan

“Duncan, John, of Worcester, Mass (also called Dunkin); from Ireland in 1718; Children: Simeon, John, Samuel, Daniel, a daughter; son-in-law James Hawes, weaver; will probated Feb 5 1739/40.-Worcester Probate Records.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. Andrew Farrand

This might well be the person named in A. L. Perry; he calls him Andrew Farren and describes him as “fence viewer” for the town.

“Farrand, Andrew, of Palmer, Mass; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; settled in Palmer about 1720; brother of Thomas Farrand, Jr. (?); m. 1 –; Child: john, k 1736 aet 16; m. 2 . Sarah –; ; Children: Mary, Jane, Barnard, Sarah, Margaret, Ann, William, Susannah, John; he and Robert Farrell built the grist mill. –Lincoln’s Worcester p 49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. James Forbush

“Forbush, James, Worcester, Mass; from Londonderry, Ireland, 1718; Child: James; d. b/4 1762 (will). -Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester p 128.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. 10. James Furgerson

Charles Nutt tells us he had brothers in Grafton.  He or his son James bought land here, June 9 1730, of Richard Wheeler, housewright.  He went to Pelham, was a soldier in French & Indian War and Revolution; town officer, moved to Coleraine? ; married to Esther Thompson, Dec. 14 1746.  A detailed history of the Furgerson family is posted separately at our blog.

” Fergerson, James of Worcester, Mass; from Londonderry, Ireland in 1718-Lincoln’s Worcester, p 47.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. James Glasford

“Glasford, James of Worcester, Mass; from Ireland in 1718; m. Jennet —; d 1757 [will] ;Children: James, John, Mary, Miriam, Annie, Paul; grandson, Nathaniel Carroll, of Miriam Clogstone. -Worcester Probate, A 23891.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. Duncan Graham

“Graham, Duncan of Rutland, Mass; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; m. Katherine –, d. March 19 1781, aged 91 y. 9 mo. ; Children: Alexander, also perhaps William, John, Mary; d. at Rutland April 10 1768. -Lincoln’s Worcester p 49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. GRAY family – general notes:

These early Gray families who came to Worcester at the beginning of the town, were among the emigrants of 140 families who came from the north of Ireland to Boston in the early part of the year 1718, and settled in Worcester the same year, or soon after.

Most of the Grays, except Robert, Matthew, and James, left Worcester about 1740, and settled in Pelham, where they had purchased and organized a township.  The contract for the purchase was made September 26, 1738, after which arrangements were immediately made to organize the proprietors, most of whom, comprising about thirty-eight families, were from Worcester.  The deed was given January 1, 1739, to them, naming each person or head of a family, and the proportion of land each should hold.

The first meeting of the proprietors was held February 26, 1739, at the hotel of Daniel Heywood, which stood where the Bay State House now is, when a committee, consisting of Robert Peebles… and James Thornton… were chosen to survey the territory and lay out the lots for the settlers, which each one drew.  All subsequent meetings of the proprietors were held in Worcester til August 6, 1740, when a meeting was held at the house of John Ferguson, in the new township, named by the proprietors “Lisbon,” or “New Lisbourne.”  By this name, with its variations and various spelling, it was known until the incorporation of the town, January 15, 1743, with its present name Pelham.

(inhabitants of Worcester had) so persecuted them as to lead to the tearing down of the house of worship which they were building for themselves to meet in, after being denied the use of the one on the Common, alternately with, or when not occupied by the regular church.

Matthew Gray

A. L. Perry calls him a “sealer of leather” and a “hog reeve.”

Matthew Gray settled as early as 1729, on the estate south of the Harrington and west of the original Benjamin Flagg estate… on a Court now called Woodland place, leading east from Grafton street.

This estate of 55 acres, Matthew Gray purchased in 1729 of the original proprietor Jonathan Moore.

This estate Matthew Gray deeded in 1735 to his son, Matthew Gray, Jr.

“P. 76 Gray, Matthew, Worcester Mass; from Ireland, before 1717; b. 1710, probably son of John; m. Margaret –; m. 2, Jean –, b. 1716, d. Dec 20 1764 set. 48; Children: Sarah, Jean, Elizabeth, Mary, Matthew, John, Moses, Aaron, Reuben, Esther, Isaac, Jacob, Robert, Joseph, Susanna, Jemima, Sarah, Sarah,; d. Feb 16 1783, aet 73. -Wall’s Reminiscences pp 128.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

Robert Gray

Robert Gray was the first settler on the estate of Hadwen Lane, afterwards owned and occupied by his (son, Robert, Jr., and the latter’s son, Thomas Gray… )

“Gray, Robert, of Hadwen Lane, Worcester Mass; from Ireland, 1718; probably son of John Gray; b. 1697; m. Sarah Wiley, who came in the same ship in 1718; Children: Molly, [wife of Andrew Boyd], Sarah [Gray], Moses Willey, Samuel, Experience [wife of Thomas Cowdin], Robert, Joseph, John, Thomas; d. January 16 1766 [will]. Lincoln’s Worcester p 49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

William Gray

A. L. Perry says he was a “fence viewer.”

William Gray and his son William lived on what is now Lincoln Street… and William Gray, senior, settled his son, Hugh Gray, on the east part of his original estate.

“Gray, William of Lincoln Street, Worcester and Pelham, Mass; from Aghadowey, Ireland, in 1718; [his sister Mary m. William Blair from Aghadowey, John and Robert Gray, in 1724, sureties]; Children: William, Hugh, Ann Eliot, Eliot m. Jean –, Ester, Johnathan, Lydia, Mary, Sarah. -Lincoln’s Worcester p 49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

John Gray

He is mentioned in A. L. Perry, described as one of the first selectmen and as “sealer of leather.”

Find A Grave says John Gray “came with his father to Boston in 1718.”

 “John Gray first settled southerly or rather south-westerly of Adams Square, on an estate that he sold to his son John.  John Gray, senior, after selling that estate to his son John, Jr., settled on the estate west of Lake Quinsigamond, which he purchased of Isaac Leonard and John Kellogg, and which he afterwards, in 1730, sold to his son Samuel Gray.”

John Gray had sons, Samuel, John, Jr., and Matthew, who went with the father to Pelham.

“Gray, John, Worcester and Pelham, Mass; from Ireland, 1718; b. bir 1707; son of John Gray (above); m. Isabel –, d. 1799 aet 92; Children: Daniel, Isaac. John. Elizabeth and perhaps Ebenezer; d. 1782, aet 82. -Worcester Vital Records pp 115.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. James Hambleton

Ulster Heritage has this spelled Hamilton.

A.L. Perry calls him a surveyor.

From descendant Emily Peters (fall 2018) :

“My 7 great grandfather James Hamilton came over in 1718 and settled in Worcester. His will dated April-May 1735, mentions his wife Rebekah, his sons Thomas, Mickle and John, his daughter Francis and his brother John. I am descended from Michael’s son James. I would love to keep up with what you’re doing and attend any functions you might have regarding our Scots Irish ancestors. I’m willing to share whatever I have and would love to find out whatever other information you might have on this family.”     

“Hamilton, James of Worcester, Mass; from Ireland in 1718 (Miss Patten says 1716) ;m. 1, Margaret –; d. Feb 1761 aet 35; Children: Thomas, Michael, John, Frances; m. 2, Rebecca —; brother of John Hamilton, and “cuzen” of Samuel Calhoun; d. before May 1735 in Pelham (will). -Lincoln’s Worcester p 49.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. Hugh Kelso

We have not yet found further information on this man.

  1. Robert Lorthog

Could this be the same person as A. L. Perry’s Robert Lethbridge “surveyor of highways”?

“Lortheridge, Robert, of Worcester, Mass; from Ireland, in 1718.-Lincoln’s Worcester p 49, Parmenter’s Pelham, p.17.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. James McClellan

A. L. Perry says he was a constable.

“McClellan, James of Worcester, Mass., From Ireland, in 1718; m. Margaret ___ (“alias Thorne”); Children: William, James; d. Oct>, 1729. -Lincoln’s Worcester, p 49, Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p 127, Perry’s Scotch Irish, p 17 […] McClellan, James, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ireland, in 1718; son Of James and Margaret McClellan; m. Elizabeth Hall, of Sutton, Dec. 26 1722, the daughter of Percival Hall; Children: John, James , Moses, David, Rebekah, Mary; will probated March 12 1736. -Worcester Probate Records, Series A39770, Benedicts’s Sutton, P 693.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1. John McClentick

This is spelled McClintock by Ulster Heritage .
“McClintock, John, of Worcester, Mass; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; laborer; d. insolvent and intestate, 1746.-Lincoln’s Worcester, p 49, Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p 128.” (County Tyrone Community Website )

  1.  Andrew McFarland

This family built the house that still stands at 830 Pleasant Street on the west side of town.  Find out more here.

Daniel McFarland –

“McFarland, Daniel, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ulster, Ireland, 1718, husbandman; arrived in Boston, August 4; he and Andrew, laborers of Marblehead, buy 185 acres in south part of Worcester near Prospect Meadow, 26 Oct. 1727; will probated May 12, 1738 ‘being very aged and infirm in body;” children:  James of Brunswick, Me., Margery McKolney of South Carolina, Margaret Campbell of Tyrone, Ireland, Andrew, Daniel and John of Worcester, Elinour Gray of Worcester, Patience, Elizabeth Samuel; (Andrew McFarland & Matthew Gray exrs.).”

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

  1. James Mc Gregoire

Ulster Heritage spells this McGregor.

“MacGregor, Rev. James, of Londonderry, N.H.; “Gent.”; from Agadowey, Ireland, 1718; admitted student of theology, Jan. 18, 1697, at the University of Glasgow; m. Marion (Maryann) Cargil, Aug. 29, 1706; Children:  Robert, Daniel, David, Jane, Alexander, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, John, James, Susannah; first minister of Londonderry; d. March 5, 1729, aged 52.”

Two of the sources noted for this information are Lincoln’s Worcester pp.49, 201, Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p.128.

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

  1. William McHan

“McHan, William, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ireland, in 1718” (source noted is Lincoln’s Worcester, p.49)

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

  1. Alexander McKonkey / John McKonkey

“McConkey, Alexander, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ireland in 1718; in Dec. 1722 bought 57 acres; m. Margaret  —-; Children:  Alexander, William.”

sources noted:  Parmenter’s Pelham p.17 and Worcester Vital Records, p.172

John McKonkey

“McConkey, John, of Worcester, Mass.; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; m. Mary —–; Children:  Alexander, William.”

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

  1. John Peables / Patrick Peables / Robert Peables

A. L. Perry calls Robert Peables a “hog reeve” and “fence viewer” in early Worcester.

Ulster Heritage speaks of Robert Peebles, a settler of Pelham 30 miles to the west.

Robert Peables, whose estate the first Elisha Smith purchased and resided on, west of North Pond, was assigned a set in this first meeting house “in ye second section in ye body.”

John Peables

“Peables, John, of Worcester, Mass.; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; m. Dorothy, dau. Rev. John Harvey, Nov. 7, 1740; Children:  John Harvey, Jean.”

Patrick Peables

“Peables, Patrick, of Worcester, Mass.; from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1718; son of Robert Peables; m. Frances Hamilton; Child:  Robert, of New Salem, N.H. and a daughter.”

among the sources for this:  Parmenter’s Pelham, p.17 and Pelham Vital Records, p.64

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

Robert Peables

“Peables, Robert, of Worcester, Mass.; from Ireland in 1718, with wife and two children in ship “William”‘ m. Sarah; Child:  Patrick, Sarah, Mary Ann; in 1726 purchased 80 acres in Worcester with highway through.”

sources notes:  Lincoln’s Worcester, p.49, Parmenter’s Pelham, p.17, Court of Sessions of the Peace, Transcript, March 20 1907, Worcester Vital Records, p.206

  1. James Thornington

… could this be the same as this James Thornton who is in Charles Nutt’s book?  if so, he tells us that James Thornton came with the first Scotch-Irish in 1718; may have gone first to Wiscasset, Me., but soon settled here in Tatnuck.  He deeded land here Feb. 14, 1739, the deed being signed by wife Ketira.  He lived in Pelham until 1748, afterwards in Londonderry, N.H., until he d. Nov. 7, 1754.”

“James Thornton, it is said, was born in 1685 and remembered the siege of Londonderry.  The home of the family was at Carn Hill, a mile from the city of Londonderry. “

“Thornton or Thornington, James, of Worcester, Mass.; from Londonderry, 1718; spent winter in Casco Bay; b. 1714; Child:  Matthew (signer of the Declaration of Independence). ”

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

sources noted:  Lincoln’s Worcester, p.49, Parmenter’s Pelham, p.17, Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p.128, Londonderry Vital Records, p.11John Young / William Young

  1. John Young/William Young 

John Young, mentioned in A. L. Perry.  He was the very old man who made the trip across the Atlantic.  buried in the common in Worcester.

“Young, John, of Worcester, Mass.; b. Isle of Bert, Londonderry, Ireland 1718; Child:  David; d. June 30, 1730, aet 107 or 93.”

from Ethel Bolton’s Immigrants to New England, 1700-1775

sources noted:  Perry’s Scotch-Irish, p.11, Worcester Inscriptions, p.67, Wall’s Reminiscences of Worcester, p.128.

William Young

We have not yet found further information on William Young.  Ethel Bolton’s book cites Lincoln’s Worcester on page 49 as evidence of his arrival in 1718.

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