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James Ewing's Ancestry

Harold F. 'Hal' Ewing Jr. (+1.770.241.8532, MonaEwing at aol dot com) and William L. 'Bill' Ewing (bewing1981 at comcast dot net)

We Harold 'Hal' and William 'Bill' Ewing have been tracking our James Ewing ancestry from Scotland and Ireland to New England (Massachusetts and Vermont), then to Ontario, Canada, and then to Michigan.

We have developed a fairly solid genealogy based on:

First Generation

James Ewing: born 1689, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland; died May 3, 1761, weaver, Crookedholm, Scotland; married 1715/16 Helen Gebbie who was born March 19, 1693. James and Helen had nine children.

Birth/baptismal records from Kilmarnock Parish Registers and Kilmarnock Mortality Schedule, given in Chapter IX of Fife's Ewing in Early America, Chapter IX, indicate the parents of James to be Robert (born 1665 in Scotland and married November 24, 1681, in Kilwinning, Scotland) and Barbara Smith.

James and Helen's son William is our ancestor; his siblings are listed on page 45 of Fife's Ewing in Early America.

Second Generation

William Ewing: born May 5, 1727, in the Kilmarnock area; died in 1790 (possibly), in Halifax, Vermont (possibly); married 1749 in Ireland to an Eleanor.

His possible siblings are Hugh, John and Alexander. He was known as the 'Soldier-Preacher' serving as an officer under General William Braddock in the French and Indian War, including the battle called Braddock's Fight at Fort Duquesne. After leaving the Army, he remained in the New England area as a Baptist minister serving a number of churches in: Schenectady, New York; Greenwich (now Greenfield), Massachusetts; Wales, Massachusetts; Shutesbury, Massachusetts; Weston, Massachusetts; Rowley, Massachusetts; and Halifax, Vermont. He was sent to the Constitutional Convention for Massachusetts. William is believed to be the first minister of the Halifax Baptist Church in Halifax, Vermont. We have documented three children: James (born 1754 in Cork, Ireland); John (born April 5, 1769); and Alexander, a doctor.

James is our ancestor.

Third Generation

James Ewing: born 1754 in Cork, Ireland; died September 4, 1828; buried in Fairview Cemetery, Grafton, Ontario, Canada; married October 3, 1775, in Greenwich (now Greenfield), Massachusetts, to Naomi Cooley. Naomi died May 22, 1841, and was buried[7] in Fairview Cemetery, Grafton, Ontario, Canada.

James and Naomi settled in Pittsfield, Vermont, in 1777 with two children, Benjamin and Polly. His brother, Dr. Alexander Ewing, also settled there with a family of seven children. According to History of Town of Pittsford, Vermont,[8] James' brother-in-laws, Gideon and Benjamin Cooley, settled in Pittsford in 1769. James and the Cooley's fought in the Revolutionary War, and there is a monument in Pittsford honoring the Green Mountain Boys and Captain James Ewing.

Naomi applied for a Revolutionary War Pension in 1837. James owned a tavern in Pittsford; it has been restored and remains today. He was a constable from 1784 to 1785 and Justice of Peace in 1791. James and his family moved to Ontario, Canada, in the early 1800s. His brother Alexander and family left Vermont in May 1805 and also relocated to Canada. James and Naomi had nine children: Benjamin, Polly, Naomi, Daniel Sullivan, Hannah, Clarissa, Belinda and Maria Margaret.

Benjamin is our ancestor.

Fourth Generation

Benjamin James Ewing: born May 1776 in Greenwich (probably now Greenfield), Massachusetts; died October 31, 1852; buried[9] Fairview Cemetery, Grafton, Ontario, Canada; married 1797-99 to Eunice Doolittle. Eunice was born February 12, 1775.

Benjamin and his family were, in 1803, one of the earliest settlers of Haldimand Township just east of Grafton, Ontario. Eunice was the daughter of Moses Doolittle who also settled in the area, coming from Vermont. Benjamin was a farmer and very active in local government; he was the first Postmaster of Grafton from 1832 to 1833. They had several children. Their known children are Henry ('Harry'), Celina, Milton and others.

Henry is our ancestor.

Fifth Generation

Henry 'Harry' Ewing: born (possibly) in 1798 in Pittsford, Vermont; died July 14, 1841, when he, according the Church Newsletter, drowned in Lake Scugog; married Hannah Irish in Ontario, Canada.

Henry was one of the first surveyors in Ontario. The following appeared in a letter of recommendation from a Major Rogers to Thomas Ridout, Surveyor General, dated October 17, 1829:

[He] is just out of the woods [of Cobourgh area] like other children here.[10]

Henry Ewing acted as an early Justice of the Peace for he possessed a talent that was rather unusual in the early days of Eldon, namely the ability to read and write. He had several children before his death: Robert Edwin, Benjamin, Henry, Charles Eldon and others.

We have viewed Charles Eldon's headstone at the Fairview Cemetery in Grafton, Ontario, Canada. It says that be was born April 13, 1830, and died December 11, 1896. Charles Eldon served thirty-three years in H. M. Customs Service and was the inventor of Ewing's Improved Combined Lubricator and Axel Box Fastener which was patented in 1872.

Robert Edwin is our great-grandfather.

Sixth Generation

Robert Edwin Ewing: born February 17, 1820, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada; died June 24, 1900, in Montcalm County, Michigan; married January 24, 1848, in Mariposa, Ontario, Canada, to Ann Shewfelt. Ann was born October 31, 1830, in Ontario and died December 13, 1905, in Montcalm County, Michigan.

Robert and his family lived in Kincardine and Brant County, Ontario, Canada, for a number of years and he is believed to have been a farmer/carpenter. Thirteen children were born to Robert and Ann. They moved to Mecosta County, Michigan north of Grand Rapids where several of their children had moved to. A family farm owned by Ewing descendants still exists outside of Morley, Michigan.

Our grandfather William Francis was one of the thirteen children.

Seventh Generation

William Francis Ewing: Born September 8, 1861, in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada; died August 16, 1938, in Detroit, Michigan; married Elizabeth Carter. Elizabeth was born March 7, 1878, in New Baltimore, Michigan, and died June 15, 1953, in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

William Francis moved from Kincardine first to Brant County, Ontario, Canada, then to Mecosta County, Michigan, and then to Detroit, Michigan. He was a builder with his brother Benjamin in the Detroit area.

William and Elizabeth had one child, Harold Francis Ewing Sr., our father.

Eighth Generation

Harold Francis Ewing Sr. : born February 25, 1917, in Detroit, Michigan; died December 20, 1973, in Mt. Clemens, Michigan; married Juanita Klingensmith on March 24, 1949, in Detroit, Michigan. Juanita was born December 10, 1924, in Greenville, Pennsylvania.

He served in the Detroit Police Department for twenty-five years and at his death was a court officer in Romeo, Michigan.

Harold and Juanita had four sons: Harold Jr., Michael, William and Patrick.

Further information may be requested from William L. 'Bill' Ewing at bewing1981 at comcast dot net.

Harold F. 'Hal' Ewing Jr. is retired from the U.S. Secret Service after twenty-four years and currently works in retail as a Director of Corporate Security for The Home Depot.

William L. 'Bill' Ewing is a retail manufacturers' representative for Master Brands in cabinetry in southeast Michigan and conducted most of the research for this article.  He is a participant WL in the Ewing Surname Y-DNA Project.


[1] Fife, Margaret Ewing (ed. James R. McMichael). Ewing in Early America, Family History Publishers, Bountiful, Utah, 84101. Available from and online at





[6] Copies are available from alibris (,%20Watson)

[7] Verified by cemetery records.

[8] Caverly, A.M. History of the Town of Pittsford, Vt., with Biographical Sketches and Family Records (Bicentennial Edition). Rutland, VT: Tuttle & Co., 1872.

[9] Verified by cemetery records and headstone observation.

[10] From the book Eldon Connections by Rae Flemming.