- Last Updated on Saturday, 24 September 2011 18:34
Bridge to the West
Eleventh Gathering of the Ewing Family Association
Summit Inn, Uniontown, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
23-26 September 2010
Where and When?
The Eleventh Gathering of the Ewing Family Association will be held in the Pittsburgh area at the elegant, historic Summit Inn in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 23-26 September 2010.
What? - The Gathering's Theme
The Pittsburgh area was the target for many Ewings migrating to the frontier starting in the 1760s, as well as a doorway for many Ewings who later used their Pittsburgh-area relatives as stepping-stones to the Ohio Valley and farther west. Pittsburgh itself - lying at the confluence of three rivers: the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio - is popularly known as the City of Bridges, leading to the gathering's Ewing-migration theme: Bridge to the West.
Why? - Relevance to Ewing Genealogy
The earliest migrants to the area, starting around 1730, were trappers and traders who traveled back and forth to the area when the French claimed sovereignty. There is only anecdotal evidence that Ewings were among them. As a result of the February 10, 1763, Treaty of Paris ending the French and Indian War, the British were awarded the land west of the Allegheny Mountains. American Indians resisted this change from one relatively friendly foreign-nation conqueror to another they felt were oppressive, leading to Pontiac's Rebellion starting in May 1763.
With the end of Pontiac's Rebellion about nine months later, two things were true: For one, settlement was a bit safer. For two, the British decided that, nonetheless, settlement was still so dangerous that they could not - because the French and Indian War had depleted their resources - assure safety for the settlers and declared that settlement was prohibited in the 'Indian Land' west of the Alleghenies. It was not until 1769 that this land was officially opened for settlement.
Many of the Scots-Irish in the Upper Chesapeake Bay area - Ewings among them - were of a somewhat different mind. They had supported the British in the French and Indian War, they had received little (often no) compensation for their support, and they had, in their mind, won the western areas as the spoils of war. Net sum: they felt they had the right to settle this area. As a result, Ewings and other Scots-Irish settled the Redstone and Uniontown areas in current-day Fayette County, southeast of Pittsburgh, in the mid-to-late-1760s. Soon afterward, several descendants of James Ewing of Inch settled the current-day Robinson and Collier Township areas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, starting in 1770. [For additional information about these Ewing settlers, see the articles discussing them and the area's settlement which may be viewed via the links on this page.]
Many cousins, nephews, and other relatives followed the early settlers. Some remained in the area. Others stayed a while and then moved on further west, often accompanied by early-settler descendants who found the opportunities in the area to be limited and went farther west to find land and better their lives. The early settlers and their follow-on relatives left many genealogical records in the area's copious Ewing-related Census, Will, Guardianship, Land, Church, etc. records.