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Reverend William Ewing, the Soldier/Preacher from Scotland

Louis Lehmann (+1 253.472.2556, LouLehmann at comcast dot net)

I have long been studying William Ewing, a Scottish soldier who was said to have been with Braddock at Fort Duquesne before becoming an itinerant Baptist minister. Little has been written about him. Now thanks to a great deal of help from many people – who are identified and thanked at the end of this article – I have discovered much more about his fascinating and tragic life.

Growing Up in Kilmarnock, Scotland

William Ewing was born about 1724/25 in the unimposing Ayrshire town of Kilmarnock noted for crooked, narrow streets and houses that were "low and poorly lighted ... two storeys high with attached outside stairs." Baptized March 19, 1727, he was the fifth of nine children born to James and Helen (Gebbie) Ewing, apparently named after an earlier deceased William. The eldest child was Margaret, baptized November 11, 1716. Second was John, baptized July 8, 1719. Third was James, baptized November 26, 1721. The fourth was the first child named William. This William was baptized January 17, 1725, and died before the birth of the fifth child, the William treated in this article. The sixth child, Alexander, was baptized January 29, 1729. Seventh was Barbara, baptized November 28, 1731. Hugh was the eighth child, born September 2, 1734, and baptized September 15, 1734. The youngest was Janet, baptized August 4, 1737. William’s two younger sisters died young: Janet died in 1739. Barbara died in 1740 which was known as the 'year of the hard winter' resulting in many deaths. If an old Kilmarnock custom was practiced during those years, William would have heard a person going through the streets ringing a small hand bell (the 'passing bell') and announcing the name of the deceased and the day and hour scheduled for interment .

Young William would have been well aware of other Kilmarnock customs. Most likely, he was excited by the fairs that came to Kilmarnock. There he would have seen the tinkers, listened to the pipers and the ballad singers, and watched the "wheel-of-fortune men offering to make all rich in a jiffy." He may have gaped at the "slight-of-hand performers swallowing burning flax or knives." But he was not apt to be one of the community's many youngsters who amused themselves during the evening of the town's celebration of the King's birthday by "kindling bonfires on the streets with coals supplied by the town, and sometimes with casks, crates, &c., the property of private individuals, stolen by the boys for the purpose of prolonging their noisy and enthusiastic manifestations of loyalty." He must have been of a more serious nature since he was said to be a follower of George Whitefield, a Methodist evangelist, a fact which was reportedly offensive to his relatives.[1]

Regardless of how serious he was, William must have been impressed by Kilmarnock's Procession of the Trades, especially the display of St Crispin's Society, in which:

A king, who was chosen from their own number, and who was usually an individual of a somewhat dignified deportment, walked majestically in front, arrayed in regal robes, with a dazzling crown on his head, and several smart little pages bearing up his train. Though holding the lofty position only for the moment, he was always an object of great attraction, and was sure to be honoured with the name of king during the remainder of his life. A Lord Mayor, an Alderman, an Indian King, and a Champion, encased in a coat of mail, were also distinguished personages in the parade.

Another special day for William would have been Pastern's E'en (Shrove Tuesday) when town officers marched through the streets holding up a halberd[2] from which were suspended a leather pouch, leather breeches, a pair of shoes and a broad blue bonnet:

After going their rounds the officers halted at the Town-house, where the bailies and councillors formed into procession in front of the crowd, and all marched off at the sound of the drum and the fife to the race-ground, which was usually a field in the vicinity of Kilmarnock House. Two or three races were run; and, as the competitors were generally from the moorland districts and swift of foot, remarkable feats of running were often displayed.

Like other young men of Kilmarnock, William may have liked 'bowl-playing' (bowling), 'throwing the stone', and wrestling. Maybe he also enjoyed curling but it is hard to imagine a young Whitefield follower indulging in the aftermath celebration in this description:

The curlers of one quarter of the town would frequently challenge those of another, and persons of all ranks, young and old, would join in. ... The scenes of their contests were usually the mill-dams in the vicinity, where, with the best of feeling, they strove with each other for the palm of victory; and, when their "roaring play," as Burns terms it, was over, it was not uncommon for them to meet together ... "where they would regale themselves with" ... home-brewed ale, the favourite beverage of the time, and spend the evening in mirth and harmony.

When he was about ten years old, he might have witnessed the fire that destroyed Dean Castle in 1735. If not, he was probably very aware of it, perhaps knowing that the ancient Castle of Dean had been the residence of William Boyd, the fourth Earl of Kilmarnock. But William evidently was not in the area ten years later when the unfortunate Lord Kilmarnock was executed because of his misguided support of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the disastrous 1745 rebellion. By then William and his older brother, John, were out of Scotland as soldiers in the British army.

Military Service in Germany

It is unclear just when William and John entered the British army, but William would have been a very young soldier (sixteen-to-eighteen years old) if they joined about 1742/43. Although William was baptized in 1727, his 1811 obituary said he was eighty-six years old when he died. In a letter which their nephew, James Ewing, wrote to "Brother and Sister," it is reported that William said he and John were in the wars in Germany. Britain was involved in the War of Austrian Succession from 1743 to 1748.[3]

If the two brothers entered the army at the beginning of the war, they may have been at the Battle of Dettingen in Bavaria on June 27, 1743, when 50,000 British and allied troops defeated 70,000 French despite the fact that few of the British officers or soldiers had much combat experience because the British Army had not been in a major continental war for twenty-five years. If William and John were there, they may have seen King George II arrive with "an enormous column of carriages and some 600 horses that paralyzed the local roads for days." This was the one major battle during the War of the Austrian Succession in which the British fought on German soil, and it is remembered as the only one in modern history when a reigning monarch personally led his army into battle.[4] And if William and John were part of the Royal Scottish Fusiliers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Agnew, they may have heard him warn the soldiers not to fire until they could "see the white's of their e'en" – many years before similar words were spoken at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Wherever and whenever they were in Germany, John Ewing became ill, was discharged, and returned to Scotland. In his Letter to Brother and Sister, James Ewing said:

They were in the wars in Germany where our Uncle John, if I remember right, fell dangerously sick in some place, when they were under a necessity of leaving him, which they did and his discharge along with him, so they parted. Uncle John recovered, returned home and Uncle William remained still in the Army.

If this account was indeed connected with the Battle of Dettingen, John would have returned to Scotland in 1743, perhaps still affected by the illness or injury suffered in Germany. Such circumstances would fit the possibility that he might be the John Ewing who died in January 1745 and was described as a "sometimes gunner" at the Castle of Dumbarton. Of course it is entirely possible that this John Ewing is unrelated and that William and John's service in Germany could have been at a different time and place between 1743 and 1748.

Preaching and Marriage in Ireland

William Ewing may have been among the vast majority of British soldiers called home in 1745 because of the Jacobite rebellion, but it appears that he went to Ireland rather than back to Scotland. The letter by James Ewing to his brother and sister indicates that William was stationed in Ireland where his enthusiasm for George Whitefield was apparently renewed, leading to a quarrel with his relatives who then cut off communication before his regiment was dispatched to America:

Upon the conclusion of that war when the army returned home Uncle William's lot was to be stationed in Ireland where he met with many of Mr. [Whitefield's] followers with whom he joined himself and after sometime and after being sometime among them he began to preach, this comeing to the knowledge of our relations they wrote him in a very sharp manner and their disagreements went so far as to break off all correspondance! However he soon after dropped preaching and the French and Indian war comeing on in America his regiment was sent hither.

The letter also states that William was married in Ireland. A variety of sources indicate that his wife was Eleanor Sullivan and that two sons were born to them in Ireland: James, about 1754, and Alexander, about 1755, shortly before the 44th Regiment of Foot and the 48th Regiment of Foot – the two regiments (including William Ewing) which were sent with General Braddock to America – embarked from Cove near Cork. Francis Parkman[5] described the embarkation:

Two regiments, each of five hundred men, had already been ordered to sail for Virginia, where their numbers were to be raised by enlistment to seven hundred. Major General Braddock, a man after the Duke of Cumberland's own heart, was appointed to the chief command. The two regiments - the forty-fourth and the forty-eighth - embarked at Cork in the middle of January. The soldiers detested the service and many had deserted. More would have done so had they foreseen what awaited them.

It is not clear just when Eleanor, James and Alexander came to America, but it was sometime before November 2, 1759, when William and Eleanor's daughter, Elinor, was born at Wilmington (probably in Delaware).

With Braddock at Fort Duquesne

The 44th Regiment of Foot and the 48th Regiment of Foot disembarked at Hampton, Virginia, on March 10, 1755, and quickly went on to Alexandria where they camped. Maybe William Ewing caught a glimpse of Colonel George Washington, who was assisting Braddock, or Benjamin Franklin who visited the camp to help Braddock procure more wagons for the expedition. By May 10, 1755, Braddock's entire force of some 2,200 men had moved on and was gathered at Fort Cumberland, including the two regiments from Ireland as well as additional regulars, provincials and sailors.

It was another month before William and his fellow soldiers were on the march toward Fort Duquesne. Francis Parkman[6] describes the journey:

It was the tenth of June before the army was well on its march. Three hundred axmen led the way to cut and clear the road, and the long train of pack horses, wagons and cannon toiled on behind, over the stumps, roots and stones of the narrow track, the regulars and provincials marching in the forest close on either side. Squads of men were thrown out on the flanks and scouts ranged the woods to guard against surprise, for with all his scorn of Indians and Canadians. ... The road was but twelve feet wide and the line of march often extended four miles, trailing slowly through the depth of leaves, creeping round inaccessible heights, crawling over ridges, moving always in dampness and shadow, by rivulets and waterfalls, crags and chasms, gorges and shaggy steeps. ... A few French and Indians hovered about them, now and then scalping a straggler or inscribing filthy insults on trees. ... It was the eighteenth of June before the army reached a place called the Little Meadows, less then thirty miles from Fort Cumberland. Fever and dysentery among the men and the weakness and worthlessness of many of the horses, joined to the extreme difficulty of the road, so retarded them that they could move scarcely more than three miles a day.

There is no record of what William Ewing thought of this situation, but he could hardly have been more discouraged than George Washington who wrote to his brother about how his hopes had been dashed when he found out that the British army:

... instead of pushing on with vigor without regarding a little rough road, they were altering to level every mole-hill and to erect bridges over every rook, by which means we were four days in getting twelve miles.

But it was not just the soldiers who faced these obstacles and dangers. An unknown number of women accompanied the expedition. They were "mainly wives of the soldiers, or washer women and hospital attendents employed at sixpence a day and keep." It is highly unlikely that William Ewing's wife would have been on this journey since she probably then had two small children. And extracts from The Journal of Captain Cholmley's Batman[7],[8] suggest that some of the women were not exactly respectable:

Satterday May the 3d. We marched to Widow Billingers about 19 miles and Rec'd two days Provisions and drumed a woman out of the Camp. ... Tuesday May the 20th. It being the gen Orders that six Wimen a Company should march up the Cuntry with the men, therefore he Ordared the Doctors to search and see who was Clean and proper. ... Fryday May the 23. This day all the Wimen that goes up the Cuntry was taken to the Doctors to see if they was Clean and Ready to march.

The morale of the British soldiers, already low from the time they left Ireland, suffered much more as the expedition proceeded with frequent scarcities of food, illness, and an increasing fear of the Indians. William and his comrades probably listened to horror stories from the Americans about how the Indians scalped[9] and tortured their victims, including burning them at the stake. Entries from The Journal of Captain Cholmley's Batman reflect the extent of their fears:

Fryday May the 23 ... men fired [at] our Indiens thinking it was the French that had Ingaged us. They Ran Immediatly where they hard the fireing with all their Articals of War along with them. ... Fryday June the I3th. We Expect the French Indiens to attack us Every 'day. ... Wedensday June the 25th. We being Alarmd at four in the Morning by some Indiens fireing at our Wagonars fetching in their horses and wounded two in three places, and Scalped one man ... a Servt to Major Halket. This day we marched Eight miles. This day we killed a French Indien. ... Sunday July the 6th. A Bout Eleven in the Morning the French Indiens Attacked our Baggage on the March in the Rear and Scalped a Soldier and a woman. They wounded one man in the Shouldear and Began to Scalp a Nother Soldier but had not got it of[f] before our Rear guard Came to his Relief. About one in the After Known we Start[l]ed a Parcel of the French Indiens. Our Soldiers Immediately Began to fire after them. Our Indiens Comming to our Asisitance, our men taking them to be a Nother party of the French Indiens began to fire upon [them] Immediately. Altho they grounded their Arms and Ran up to them According to Orders, [the soldiers] kiled one of our Own Indiens and wounded two.

Such low morale led to many problems among the soldiers including drinking, stealing and desertion. The Journal of Captain Cholmley's Batman describes many severe punishments of British soldiers for getting drunk, stealing, etc. Soldiers were lashed, sometimes with the Cat of Nine Tails, lashes ranging from two hundred to a thousand. They were drummed through lines with halters around their necks. Sometime soldiers were put in the stocks. Desertion was punishable by death.

Satterday April the 19th. We Rested in Camp and Rec'd two days provisions and forige and Whiped 4 men, one for Diserfing, the Other[s] for getting Drunk which they Rec'd two hundred lashes apiece. ... Munday April the 2ist. The general ariv'd here [from Alexandria] after being Expected three days. This day we put a Soldier in Stocks for getting drunk to try what it would do, for Whipping would not serve him.[10] ... Tuesday April ye 22. This night the Captain of the Provoost padroled Round the town and Brought in Several drunken Soldiers to guard. ... Thursday April the 24th. Several Prisonars Punished this Evening for being drunk, but one for not learning his Exercise. ... Fryday April the 25th. This night we whiped several men for drinking. ... Wedensday May the I4th. We had a Genii Coart Marshall - One Soldier was tryed for Disartion and sentenced to Suffer death. Three more was tried for Stealing a Barrel of Beer in the Cuntiy and Was Odered three hundred lashes a man with the Cat of Nine tails. ... Munday May the 26th. This day we had a genii Coart Mar tial to try a Lieutenant of the Train and some Diserters. ... Tuesday May the 27th. This day there was two men of Sir Peeter Halkets Regt that Rece'd a thousand lashes a piece for Stealing some Money and Diserting. They where drum'd through the line with halters about their knecks. ... Satterday June the 7th. Five men of the Carralina Companies Intended to departe after Recieving provisions but was Apprehended by one of them who Informd on the rest. ... Sunday June the 8th. The 4 men that was for Departing last Night was Punished to day. One Rec'd a thousand lashes, one Nine Hundred and the Other two, five hundred a piece. Its thought if they had got away they would have gone to the French, which might have Been of great Service to them, for they would In form them our Numbers and where they lay.

Halkett's Orderly Book details further punishments:

If any non Commissioned Officer or Soldier belonging to the Army is found Gaming he shall Immediatly Receive 300 lashes without being brought to a Court martial And all Standers by or lookers on shall be Deemed Principles And punished as such.[11] ... John Nugent of the 44th Regt having been Tryd for Theft And found Guilty of the Crime kid to his Charge As An Accomplice in receiving share of the money that was Stole is Adjudged to receive One Thousand Lashes And be drumd out of The Regt. with a halter about his Neck Samuel Dranan of the 44th Regt. & Geo. Desby of Capt Demmeres Compy having been Tryd for Desertion Are Adjudged to Receive Each of Them Two Hundred lasshes. ... If Any Soldier is found Drunk in Camp he is to be sent to the Qr Guard of his Own Regt. And the Next day he is to Receive Two Hundred Lasshes with out a Court Martial.[12] ... Any Soldier Suttler or Woman or Any person what ever belonging to the Army who shall be Detected in Stealing plundering or Wasting any of the Provisions shall suffer Death.

Despite all of the problems encountered during the journey, the expedition was just a few miles from Fort Duquesne when Braddock's advance column, led by General Gage, was attacked. Many accounts of this disastrous battle have been written. Parkman[13] relates the horrifying scenes which William Ewing must have witnessed.

[T]he savage warriors, screeching their war cries, swarmed through the forest along both flanks of the English, hid behind trees, bushes and fallen trunks, or crouched in gullies and ravines and opened a deadly fire of the helpless soldiery, who, themselves completely visible, could see no enemy and wasted volley after volley on the impassive trees. ... The troops broke their ranks and huddled together in a bewildered mass, shrinking from the bullets that cut them down by scores. When Braddock heard the firing in the front, he pushed forward with the main body in support of Gage, leaving four hundred men in the rear, under Sir Peter Halket, to guard the baggage. At the moment of his arrival, Gage's soldiers had abandoned their two cannon and were falling back to escape the concentrated fire of the Indians. Meeting the advancing troops, they tried to find cover behind them. This threw the whole into confusion. The men of the two regiments became mixed together and in a short time the entire force, except the Virginians and the troops left with Halket, were massed in several dense bodies within a small space of ground, facing some one way and some another, and all alike exposed without shelter to the bullets that pelted them like hail.

Presumably the "two regiments" were the two regiments from Ireland, one of which included William Ewing who may well have been one of the terrified soldiers described by Parkman:[14]

The mob of soldiers having been three hours under fire and having spent their ammunition, broke away in a blind frenzy, rushed back toward the ford, "and when," says Washington, "we endeavored to rally them, it was with as much success as if we had attempted to stop the wild bears of the mountains." They dashed across, helter-skelter, plunging through the water to the farther bank, leaving wounded comrades, cannon, baggage, the military chest and the general's papers a prey to the Indians. ... The field, abandoned to the savages, was a pandemonium of pillage and murder.

It is unclear just how long William Ewing remained with his regiment (the 44th or the 48th) after the 1755 defeat of General Braddock. Parkman[15] describes a discussion at William Shirley's council of war at the end of 1755. It included plans for attacks upon the forts of Lake Ontario (Niagara, Frontenac, and Toronto), Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Fort Duquesne. The forces intended to attack the forts of Lake Ontario included the "two shattered battalions brought over by Braddock." [16] As commander-in-chief, Shirley was eventually replaced by Lord Loudon who turned the whole force toward the attack on Ticonderoga. On August 12th, Loudon sent Colonel Daniel Webb with the forty-fourth regiment to reinforce Oswego. Was William Ewing part of the forty-fourth regiment? If so, how might he have felt when they failed to reach Oswego in time to prevent its August 14th surrender to Montcalm? Was William ashamed of how military confusion and Webb's dawdling had led to the failure? Or could he have been relieved that he did not have to once again face combat?

Commission in a Provincial Regiment

Neither the 44th Regiment of Foot nor the 48th Regiment of Foot was part of General John Forbes' 1758 expedition to Fort Duquesne in November 1758. But those forces did include three battalions of the Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment, commanded by James Burd and Hugh Mercer. In June 1759, Mercer was the Colonel Commandant of the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment in which William Ewing was then listed as a lieutenant in John Bull's Company No. 4 and also as adjutant in a list of battalion staff officers. William was commissioned for both positions on May 1, 1759. Whether or not William Ewing might have been part of the 1758 Forbes expedition is unknown. The dates when he left his British Regiment and entered and left the Pennsylvania Regiment are also unknown, although it might be argued that he was most likely to have left his British regiment in order to accept the commissions as lieutenant and adjutant on May 1, 1759.

William's wife, Eleanor, was apparently pregnant at this time as their daughter, Elinor, was born six months later. Thanks to research by Constance Lancaster, genealogical curator for the Halifax Historical Society, we know that Elinor's future husband, Stephen Wilcox, at some time entered his family's birth records into the Halifax town records including this portion:

Mr Stephen Wilcox was born in the Colony of Rhode Island April 5th 1752 - wife Elinor Ewing was born in Wilmington in the State of Pennsylvania, November 2nd, 1759.

Although the record does not name Elinor's parents, Elinor Ewing and William Ewing are the only Ewing names yet found in Halifax records indicating that Elinor is almost certainly the daughter of William.[17]

I have not found any record of any Wilmington in Pennsylvania at that time, and I suspect that in 1759 Eleanor was living in Wilmington, Delaware, which was probably a supply base for the Pennsylvania Regiment in which William was then serving. Border disputes involving Delaware and Pennsylvania were not settled until 1760, and Delaware was actually considered part of Pennsylvania up until the Revolutionary War. It is possible that the information that Stephen Wilcox was entered into the Halifax records because of an earlier understanding of Wilmington as being part of Pennsylvania instead of Delaware. This is only a theory. If records can be found locating a Wilmington, Pennsylvania, in 1759 then the matter should be re-evaluated.

Where was William Ewing from 1760 until 1765?

Because no sources have yet emerged to show where William Ewing was from 1760 to 1765, we can only speculate. Could he have ever lived in New York or in New Jersey? In his Biographical Dictionary,[18] John A. Schutz stated that William Ewing received his religious calling in New Jersey, a statement made earlier by Isaac Backus.[19] And in his 1790 Letter to Brother and Sister, William's nephew James Ewing relates that in 1780:

When in New York I heard of a William Ewing who had preached there but as I could not describe his person, haveing never seen him, the matter rested here till I came to this place where the people told me more about him. As opportunity soon after offering I sent a letter to him at a venture informing him of what family I was and my grounds for supposing him as my Uncle to which I received no answer till about a year when he came all the way with a design to see me and spend a few days with me and indeed they were agreeable ones to me.

So apparently somebody in New York and somebody in Hopewell, New Jersey, knew enough about William Ewing to talk with James about William sometime during the 1780s. And apparently somebody knew enough to provide James with William's address. Other items in the Letter to Brother and Sister indicate that James arrived at Hopewell sometime between 1782 and 1784. According to Margaret Ewing Fife,[20] the earliest records of any Ewings in Hopewell are in 1722 and there are no Ewing records in Hunterdon county from 1735 to 1785. Yet James Ewing journeyed from New York to Hopewell for some reason. Could he have heard stories of that earlier Ewing settlement there? And could he and William have had some distant familial connection to someone in that older settlement?

Exploring William's possible whereabouts in New York, Fife notes that a William Ewing was a property owner in Schenectady in 1765 and also refers to records of "William Ewing in Capt John Duncan's Company, 2nd Battalion of Militia for the county of Albany, Schenectady 5/11/1767." [21] However the following item from the New York Mercury, December 21, 1767, suggests that this William was deceased before the end of 1767 and hence could not be the Soldier/Preacher:

Notice to creditors of William Ewing to show cause why an assignment of the Estate of the said William Ewing should not be made to John Duncan and William Hanna of the Town of Schenectady. Dated at Albany, the 7th December, 1767.[22]

Could William have lived in Philadelphia? In another part of his Letter to Brother and Sister, James says that some time after William received his commissions (May 1, 1759) he was in Philadelphia upon some army business:

... when the people upon the frontiers sent there 2 or 3 mangled bodies of men and women whom the Indians had scalped, tomahawked and killed in order to arouse the spirits of the Philadelphians to assist them. Next morning the High Sheriff of the county sent a message to our Uncle expressing a desire to see him. He attended and the Sheriff begged of him to go to the statehouse where the dead bodies were and deliver to the multitudes who were there viewing them a discourse suited to the [occasion]. Our Uncle used all his endeavors to plead his excuse but he would take none. He went to the place and after a psalm and a prayer, spoke from Amos 2d and 6th to such acceptance that committees from various churches and congregations waited upon him to request him to preach for them which he did.

But of course, this only indicates that William was in Philadelphia for some undetermined time and does not indicate that he actually lived there.

Were any more children born to William and Eleanor Ewing from 1760 to 1765? Despite the absence of birth records, circumstantial evidence points to Joshua Ewing as a 'probable' son born about 1760/62 and to William Ewing as a 'possible' son born about 1763.[23]

Absalom Gardner[24] says that Joshua Ewing was an inhabitant of Wales (formerly South Brimfield), Massachusetts, in 1779 when he married Lovinia Durkee.[25] His birth year is estimated to be 1760/62 since his Revolutionary War record states that he was a drummer after enlisting in Capt. Daniel Winchester's Company, Colonel Ruggles Woodbridge's Regiment, on August 17, 1777. Such drummers were usually less than eighteen years old. Gardner also notes that William Ewing served as pastor of the Wales church from 1770 to 1772. Joshua's record also documents more than seven months service (from June 23, 1778 to Jan 31, 1779) at North River, New York.[26] The North River flows through Halifax, Vermont, where William Ewing lived on June 9, 1778, according to his land-dispute petition to the Governor, the Honorable Council and the House of Representatives of Vermont. In this petition, William Ewing identifies himself as a resident of Halifax and cites a purchase of land at Halifax in November 1774. Further circumstantial evidence pointing to Joshua as a son of William and Eleanor (Sullivan) Ewing emerges from naming patterns. Joshua and Lovinia's second son was named John Sullivan Ewing. Their eldest daughter, Lovinia, married Jacob Nichols. They named their eldest son William Sullivan Nichols.

The possibility that William Ewing may have had a son named William, born about 1763/64, who served in the Revolutionary War is suggested by the following Revolutionary War extract:

Ewing, William, Shutesbury. Descriptive list of 9 months men raised in Hampshire Co., agreeable to resolve of June 9, 1779, as returned by Noah Goodman, Superintendent for said county; Capt. Dickenson's co., Col. Porter's regt.; age, 16 yrs.; stature, 5 ft.; hair, black; engaged for town of Amherst; also, Private, Capt. Seth Pierce's co., Col. Seth Murray's regt.; descriptive list dated Warwick, Aug. 4, 1780, of men detached from 6th Hampshire Co. regt. to serve for the term of 3 months from the time of their arrival at Claverack, agreeable to order of Court of June 22, 1780, and mustered by Lieut. Col. Samuel Williams and Maj. Whitmore; age, 16 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 2 in.; complexion, dark; residence, Shutesbury; mustered July 18 [1780]; also, Private, Capt. Seth Pierce's co., Col. Seth Murray's (Hampshire Co.) regt.; enlisted July 15, 1780; discharged Oct. 10, 1780; service, 3 mos. 6 days, travel included; company raised to reinforce Continental Army for 3 months; roll dated Leverett; also, descriptive list of men raised in Hampshire Co. to serve in the Continental Army, as returned by Noah Goodman, Superintendent for said county; age, 17 yrs.; stature, 5 ft. 7 in.; complexion, light; hair, light; occupation, farmer; engaged June 29, 1781; engaged for town of Hadley; term, 6 months; also, Private, Col. Benjamin Tupper's (10th) regt.; service from June 29, 1781, 6 mos. 2 days.

Note that this sixteen-year old William Ewing is "of Shutesbury" in 1779, one of the years in which Soldier/Preacher Rev. William Ewing is recorded as having preached at Shutesbury.[27] His residence is again listed as Shutesbury in 1780. If this sixteen-year old is the Soldier/Preacher's son, he would have been born about 1763/64, but the birth location is unknown.

William Ewing in Massachusetts – 1765-1772

Wales (originally South Brimfield) and Sturbridge information about William Ewing's whereabouts between 1765 and 1770 is almost as sparse as that between 1760 and 1765. The earliest mention of William Ewing in Massachusetts is a vague comment that he preached occasionally at Wales between 1765 and 1771. However, he appears to have first preached on a more regular basis at Sturbridge where he was ordained on September 27, 1768, as an itinerant minister, preaching to a church formed by dissidents breaking away that year from the Sturbridge Baptist Church because of a conflict regarding communion. The dissidents believed that the laying on of hands was necessary for a person to receive communion. The established church did not object to this practice, but they opposed making it a requirement. It is in Sturbridge that we find the only primary evidence for the birth of a child. The record for the birth of John Ewing at Sturbridge on April 5, 1769,[28] specifies that his parents are William and Eleanor Ewing, thus also providing the only primary evidence identifying the given name of William's wife.

Absalom Gardner[29] relates that Rev. William Ewing came to Wales from Sturbridge in 1770 and stayed two years. However, a list of pastors in the Wales Baptist Church Records[30] says that "Elder Ewin" officiated from 1771 to 1773. Those records also relate that the church met at William Ewing's house on April 7, 1772, and chose him as the moderator to receive a complaint by Elnathan Munger charging fellow member, Humphrey Needham, with cheating him out of a sum of money. Under William Ewing's influence as moderator, Needham was acquitted but the irony of the situation is the fact that Munger himself had previously been severely punished for passing counterfeit money as reported by the Boston Evening-Post, October 12, 1767:[31]

At the superior Court of Assize and General Goal Delivery, lately held at Springfield, one Elnathan Munger, of South Brimfield, was found guilty of passing counterfeit Dollars, and sentenced to be set in the Pillory of one Hour, to have one Ear cut off, and to pay Costs.

Despite the absence of a birth record, it appears that Hannah Ewing, a 'probable' daughter of William and Eleanor Ewing, was born about 1771, presumably at Wales (South Brimfield). An inscription from the Sheddsville Cemetery, West Windsor, Vermont, reads "Hannah wife Levi Bishop d 1814 age 43." [32] Hannah Ewing, the 'probable' daughter of William, married, first, Enoch Train and, second, Levi Bishop at Weston, Massachusetts, before moving to Windsor, Vermont.

William Ewing's First Residence in Vermont – 1773-1778

Constance Lancaster is the author of some extremely important portions of Born in Controversy: History of Halifax, Vermont[33] which includes a great deal of significant information about the life of William Ewing. In this book, she calls attention to her discovery of a very rare November 11, 1773, Petition of the People of Halifax urging the building of a meeting house and the settlement of a minister. "Rev. William Ewing" is among the names of town and church officers appearing on the petition. Citing "a handwritten history of the Halifax Baptist Church archived at University of Vermont," Ms. Lancaster refers to material quoting Benjamin Wilcox as stating that "Rev. Ewing was probably the first minister of any denomination that preached in this town." She notes that Benjamin Wilcox also reportedly described how "Elder Ewins" held some meetings in the frame of the meeting house which was never completed.

Although William Ewing was clearly in Halifax prior to November 11, 1773, the people of Halifax never chose him to be their first appointed minister but chose instead Rev. David Goodall, a Congregational minister, as described in Vermont Historical Gazetteer:

In the original grant of the town, a lot of 360 acres was appropriated for the first settled orthodox minister in the town. This fell to Mr. Goodall. The claim was disputed by Elder Eweings, a Baptist minister, who had resided in the town a few years previous to Mr. Goodall's settlement. The matter was adjusted by Mr. Goodall's quit-claiming to Elder Eweings 100 acres. This arrangement was entered into previous to Mr. Goodall's settlement.[34]

William Ewing was in Vermont on June 9, 1778, when he petitioned Vermont authorities regarding a land dispute, citing his November 1774 purchase of land in Vermont:

To his Excellency, the Governor, the Honorable Council, and House of Representatives of the State of Vermont. The petition of William Ewing of the Town of Halifax and County of Cumberland clerk, most humbly sheweth. Whereas your petitioner did in November 1774 purchase of Michael Wentworth the land belonging to the late Governor Benning Wentworth in Halifax consisting of the Lots 36 and 44 his reserve and the Lot Number 10 which is son, John Wentworth Esq; who died without heirs in his youth. The agreement was as follows: that after six months [illegible] pay the money and receive a deed. Whereupon [illegible] be a man of honor, I took the land into my possession and made a settlement upon it. But when I went to pay the money and receive a deed I found the gentleman had fled his country and was gone to England and next fall I was informed by Luke Knowlton Esq that in the intrim the land was sold to one John Taylor of North Bairough in the Bay government and that he, the said Luke Knowlton was his partner and had a deed of the one half of said lands. But afterwards Taylor was confined for being an Enemy to his Country and all his estate seized for the use of the state. Knolton then gave a deed of the land to Joseph Baker Esq of Westborrough to have [illegible] publick use which deed [illegible] but I never saw any original nor do I know that [illegible] any. However I have still the lands in my possession and pray that your Excellency of Honour in your [illegible] will give such directions as may be for the public good and my safty - And your petitioner as in duty bound shall always pray. ... William Ewing, Halifax June the 9th, 1778. [35]

The Luke Knowlton referred to by William Ewing in his petition was a respected judge and politician in Vermont despite the fact that George Washington had once issued the following order for his arrest upon suspicion of treason:

Authorization and Instructions to William Shattuck - Head Quarters, March 11, 1783. Whereas Congress by their Resolutions, have especially authorized and requested me, to take such measures as I shall think proper to apprehend and secure Luke Knowlton and Samuel Welles, two persons supposed to be within the Territory called Vermont, and who are charged with high Crimes and misdemeanours against the United States of America. ... You are therefore hereby authorized and impowered, to use your diligent Endeavours, in such way as shall be thought proper to secure and apprehend the said Knowlton and Welles, [or either of them] and him safely keep, that they may be conveyed to Congress.[36]

On March 22, 1778, William Ewing sold one hundred acres of land in Halifax to Joseph Tucker for three hundred pounds.[37] Constance Lancaster has noted that this Joseph Tucker "hosted Halifax town meetings at his tavern and favored the Congregational denomination," suggesting that Tucker may also have favored David Goodall over William Ewing to be Halifax's first appointed minister.[38]

William Ewing in Shutesbury, Massachusetts – 1779-1784

On January 20, 1779, William Ewing identified himself as a resident of Shutesbury selling one hundred acres of Halifax land (part of Lot No. 37) for 300 pounds to David Dickinson of Deerfield., Massachusetts. William signed the transaction in Hampshire County in the presence of Eliphalet Dickinson and Consider Dickinson.

During at least part of his residence in Shutesbury, William apparently preached for some time to a Baptist church which was a branch of a church in nearby New Salem. This tiny church was known as the Anti-Pedo-Baptist Church and had about five members. But most of William's activities were in Shutesbury where the church for many years had been Congregational. William apparently was able to preach there as he arrived at the tail end of a bitter dispute between Shutesbury and its former Congregational minister, Abram Hill. Rev. Hill had preached there from 1742 until 1775 when the town discovered that he was an ardent Tory and asked him to resign which he refused to do. Trying to prevent Hill from preaching and/or leaving town, the town shut up the meeting house and confined him for a time in the public pound where he was "forced to live on herrings thrown to him over the fence." In 1778, an ecclesiastical council of pastors from neighboring churches declared that Hill's relations with the church of Shutesbury should be forfeited. He then:

... removed to Brookfield, and carried away the church records and Bible, which, although importuned to do so, he refused to return, and for this reason the early church records are unobtainable. For three years previous to his removal the town had withheld his salary, and for this he brought suit in 1778 and gained it.

Isaac Backus was appalled at the fact that the courts forced Shutesbury to pay Hill his back salary. Backus said that this "caused ministerial tyranny to appear so odious" that no minister of that order (Congregational) was received in that town for a long time.[39]

After being rejected in Halifax in favor of a Congregational minister, William Ewing was now accepted by Shutesbury which had just rejected their Congregational minister. In this ironic context he quickly became a highly respected citizen of the predominantly Congregational town of Shutesbury. On August 6, 1779, Shutesbury chose him to be their delegate at the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in Cambridge, instructing him as follows:

You will at the utmost of your power, see -

That the rights and libertys to which we are entitled as a free & independent people are fully Declared and sett fourth in the plainest and strongest terms.

That those rights & privileges be strongly guarded in the Constitution to be formed in the most explicit manner.

That there always be a full & free election & Representation of the people of this state and that the representatives shall receive their pay from the public Treasury

That the Tryal by Jury and every mans having a right to liberty to answer for himself and of being judged by his peers of the vicinity to which he belongs shall be ever established & secured

That the Governour, Lewt. Governour and principle officers of this state be annually chosen by the suffrage of the people and that their [illegible] be rather places of Trust than profit.

That the granting of money shall be only & forever by the legal representation of the people in General Court assembled.

That all officers Civil & Military shall be annually Chose ... that belong to a county by the county and the officers of every town by the inhabitants and them of the militia, Captains and Subalterns by the men of their respective Companies [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] officers by the officers of the Regiment who are the [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] when properly recommenced and general officers only [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] by the Governour & Council and that no man shall be [illegible]" [The rest of this page and the top of next page are illegible.]

"That the Town Clerks shall be authorized to record Deeds in their town books and qualify town officers and others where there is [illegible] [illegible]

That there shall be Certain persons Chosen by the people every [illegible] [illegible] whose business it shall be to see that the laws are faithfully observed and that the Constitution is Strictly adhered to and that the public money is properly applied.

That all writs or Warrants or papers of authority that shall be [illegible] [illegible] by any Court of record or otherways Shall be in the name and by the authority of the people

That all public officers such as Sherrifs and Constables Shall be [illegible] only reasonable fees and that there shall be no attourneys allowed but one to a county.

Commenting about the above articles, Holland[40] noted that they were:

... drawn up with great care, and exhibiting a remarkable knowledge of popular rights and the genius of a democratic government. [The town records] prove that Shutesbury, according to its ability, was one of the most patriotic of the towns in this section of the State.

Despite these laudable instructions, the only record of what William Ewing did at the 1779 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention is that he "earnestly opposed the continuance of the Congregational establishment," perhaps reflecting Shutesbury's disenchantment with their previous Congregational minister as well as a wider concern among Massachusetts Baptists about the political power of the Congregationalists.

The following minutes from a Shutesbury town meeting on October 12, 1780, suggests that William Ewing attended more than one convention as a delegate from Shutesbury:

Voted to Raise twenty-four Pounds, five shillings, the debt for the payment of the Rev Mr. William Ewing for his attendance at the Conventions held at Cambridge & Boston.

On December 4, 1780, the town:

... [v]oted that the assessors by Directed to assess the 24 pounds granted to a William Ewing at a former meeting at the Rate of Eight-five [illegible] [illegible]

On November 14, 1780, William Ewing "of Shutesbury" sold another 100 acres of Halifax land (Lot 36) to David Dickinson of Deerfield for 75 pounds. He signed this transaction in Hampshire county in the presence of Consider Dickinson and Prudence Dickinson. But, despite this land sale and his rejection by Halifax in 1778, he apparently wanted to return to Vermont because six months later he was one of the seventy-five "inhabitants of the CommonWealth of Massachusetts" who gathered at Greenwich to sign a petition on May 2, 1781:

... [t]o His Exellency the Governor and the Hon Council and House of Representatives of the State of Vermont [requesting] A Charter of a Township of Lands in Some Convenient Place for Settlement within the above State of Vermont.[41]

On January 10, 1782, the Greenwich group chose William to be their agent and directed him to present the petition before the last day of January.

William's desire to join the Greenwich group in relocating to Vermont was perhaps influenced by his son James who had married Naomi Cooley on October 3, 1775, in Greenwich where at least two of their children were born: Benjamin in May 1776 and Polly on March 19, 1778. Sometime after that date they removed to Pittsford, Vermont, where their next son, James, was born in May 1780. William's daughter, Elinor: had married Stephen Wilcox about 1778; had two children, William and Joshua; and was settled with her family in Halifax, Vermont. William's son, Joshua, had married Lovinia Durkee at Brimfield about 1780[42] but then soon removed to Somers, Connecticut.

The Greenwich petition apparently came to nothing as William Ewing was still in Shutesbury as late as March 22, 1784, when the town "voted to adjourn the meeting for one hour and then to meet at the House of Mr. William Ewing, near to the meeting." There is no record of what was discussed at William's house, but a week later:

March 29, 1784 - At a legal meeting of inhabitants at Meeting house - Voted to give up to Mr Wm Ewing the receipts that he gave to Capt Seth Pierce to the amount of seventy-eight pounds paper currency in the year 1779.

I have found no record of that earlier transaction, nor do I have any information as to why this matter was important to William Ewing.

Apparently the wounds of Shutesbury's past conflicts with Abram Hill were healing because at that same March 29th meeting it was voted that Capt. Seth Pierce be employed for and in behalf of the town to make a balance with "Mr. Abr Will" respecting the late lawsuits. And on June 22, 1784, the town voted to once again have a Congregational minister. Once again, it was time for William Ewing to move on.

William Ewing in Rowley, Massachusetts – 1785-1789

Very little information has emerged about William Ewing in Rowley. In 1781, a group of dissidents withdrew from the second church of Rowley, eventually agreeing to become a branch of the Baptist church at Haverhill, whose meeting house was rebuilt in Rowley where the branch, in 1785, became a distinct Baptist church with thirty-six members. On May 21, 1785, Elder William Ewing agreed to be their pastor having been dismissed from his church at Shutesbury. He was received in Rowley on May 28, 1785. Some difficulty arose between him and another member of the church, leading to his dismissal in March, 1789.[43]

William Ewing in Weston, Massachusetts – 1789-1793

Several months after his dismissal from the Rowley church, William Ewing was part of an ecclesiastical council which met in Weston on July 14, 1789, for the purpose of recognizing a new Baptist church. This new Baptist church was composed of sixteen members from the Baptist Church in Medfield. The group included Oliver Hastings, who would emerge as the leader of the church, and Samuel Train, whose brother Enoch would later marry William Ewing's daughter Hannah. Oliver Hastings was selected to be Deacon and William was chosen to be the church's Clerk although he never actually became a member of this church.

William must have been excited a few months later when George Washington visited Weston during a journey through New England.[44] Washington traveled in his own carriage, drawn by four horses, and was accompanied by aides, secretaries, and six servants on horseback. He stayed overnight in Weston on October 23, 1789. The next day he was welcomed by the people of Weston. Leading citizens were presented to him including officers who had served with him in the Continental army. William probably did not meet Washington on this occasion, but he may very well have been among those welcoming him. And he may have entertained family and friends with tales about how he and Washington were both with Braddock at the disastrous events at Fort Duquesne in 1755.

But William's involvement with the Weston church was destined to be problematic. The first hint of difficulty appeared on March 11, 1791, when the church "voted to take the records of the church into [the] hands of the church." And two years later serious troubles between William Ewing and Deacon Oliver Hastings surfaced as shown by these excerpts from the church records:

February 15, 1793 Inquired into the difficulty existing between Elder Ewing and br. Oliver [Hastings]. From the testimony of br. Train and the acknoledgement of [Elder Ewing] had charged br. Hastings with lying. The one affirms and the other denies the justice of the charge. Voted to suspend br. Hastings from church privileges until the matter can be investigated. ... February 21, 1793 Chose br Samuel Train clerk for the present meeting. Then Elder Ewing entered a protest against the proceedings of the church to the investigation of this difficulty on account of his not being a member of the church in Weston and on account of the weakness, the small number in the church. But he produced no evidence though requested, in proof of the charge he brought against br. Hastings. The church took into consideration the protest of Elder Ewing and voted [not to regard it]. Voted to restore br Hastings to the fellowship and privileges of the church. Voted that the clerk transcribe the above procedings relative to the difficulty between Elder Ewing and Dean Hastings and forward them to the Baptist Church in New Rowley of which it is supposed Elder Ewing is a member.

The wording of the February 21, 1793, record suggests that William Ewing may very well have discontinued his association with the Weston church following its rejection of his complaints against Oliver Hastings. In that context it is not surprising that he would want to leave the area.

But William was probably not interested in joining his son Joshua in Connecticut, especially if he was aware of how Joshua had disgraced the family name. Joshua's wife Lovinia had divorced him at Somers on February 28, 1792, on the grounds that Joshua had committed fornication and adultery and had inflicted "violent cruelty" when Lovinia was pregnant with her sixth child.[45]

So William and Eleanor decided to return to Vermont, presumably to be closer to his other children. His son, Dr. Alexander Ewing, who reportedly had received his medical education in Massachusetts, had moved in 1792 to Pittsford where his brother James was raising a large family with his wife Naomi. And over in Halifax, William's daughter, Elinor and her husband Stephen Wilcox were doing the same.

It is not clear just when William and Eleanor moved, yet again, to Vermont. Perhaps they stayed in the Weston area for a time while their daughter, Hannah, married Enoch Train on May 7, 1791, and had four children between 1793 and 1800. Two of these died young: Harriet (1793-97) and Enoch (1795-96). William and Eleanor may have remained for the births of Hannah's next two children: Elmira in 1798 and Enoch in 1800. In any event, the citation "Rev. William Ewing, Weston" is included in the List of Letters Remaining in the September 12, 1794, edition of the Massachusetts Mercury.[46]

Final years in Vermont – 1800-1811

Sometime between February 21, 1793, and 1800, William Ewing moved once again to Vermont. But he did not settle with any of his children in either Pittsford or Halifax. Apparently responding to an opportunity, he became the pastor for the Baptist church in Windsor where he served from 1800 to 1803.[47] He evidently planned to stay as he purchased 44Ύ acres of land on September 29, 1801.[48] It is not clear just where he preached at the beginning of his ministry at Windsor because:

... [a]bout 1802 a meeting house was built but never finished inside, about four miles west of Windsor East Parish, about the same time a church was constituted in West Parish.

For William, the unfinished meeting house must have brought back distressing memories of his rejection at Halifax almost thirty years earlier.

The year 1803 was an exceptionally painful one for William. Sometime during that year his pastorate at the Windsor Baptist church ended and on June 14th his wife, Eleanor, died:[49]

Windsor, Vermont: DIED - In this town, Mrs. Ewen, consort of Elder Ewen.

And his pain would have been compounded when he learned what had happened to his daughter Hannah back in Weston. The Weston church records states that on "August 29, 1803 Voted that the wife of Enoch Train shall be cut off from all the privileges of church on account of misconduct." [50] Whatever the nature of this misconduct, it must have been embarrassing for the church as well as for William and Hannah, since Enoch's brother, Samuel, was a charter member of the church.

Life was probably better the following year when William married a widow, Eunice Lamphere, at Windsor on July 1, 1804:[51]

Husband - [Ewing], William E. Elder. Wife - Lamphere, Eunice Widow. 1 July 1804 Both of Windsor, by William Hunter Justice.

And 1805 seems to have been uneventful, although William may well have been distressed by news of the death of Hannah's husband, Enoch Train, back in Weston. But 1806 was William's very worst year in Windsor as Eunice was accused of being an accessory to her son's murder of his wife. Both were jailed, as reported in this item from the November 17, 1806, edition of The Weekly Wanderer:[52]

Vermont Windsor, Nov. 11. For the week past the authority of this town have been employed in a very singular and melancholy business; we shall not pretend to relate the circumstances exact, but believe the following to be in substance, nearly correct. ... On Monday the 3rd inst. Mrs. Lamphere, wife of George L. was interred in the West Parish of this town; [she died on Sunday and] she had been under the care of a Physician several days, and a part of the time was supposed delirious. Her complaints were so singular, that she was suspected to have died by poison or violence; her body, by the permission of her relations, was on Tuesday taken from the grave and examined by nine Doctors, who gave it as their opinion, ... "that she came to her death through the means of injuries received on the side and across the loins." ... The authority then summoned jury of inquest, which brought in ... "that she came to her death by blows received on her left side and across her back, and that those blows were probably given by George Lamphere, and that his mother was accessary thereto." ... Upon which they were to be committed to Woodstock Jail, and receive their trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court.

An item in the September 7, 1807, edition of the Green Mountain Palladium named George Lamphere's mother as "Mrs Ewen" and announced that both had been found not guilty after a four-day trial which began on August 26, 1807. The newspaper accounts do not specify the exact date when Eunice and her son were jailed, but it appears that it would have been sometime in November 1806. Presumably Eunice Ewing and her son, George Lamphere, were then incarcerated until their release at the end of August 1807.[53]

Did William Ewing consider moving elsewhere during the humiliation of his wife's nine-month imprisonment? On March 17, 1807, not knowing whether Eunice would be convicted or acquitted, he sold all the land at Windsor that he had purchased in 1801 to his grandson, John Sullivan Ewing, one of Joshua Ewing's sons.[54] What he did next is not known, but it is possible that he may have learned that his daughter Hannah was once again in trouble back in Weston. Town records of Weston show that Hannah re-married on June 7, 1807, in Weston to Capt Levi Bishop:

Marriage: Capt. Levi Bishop of Windsor, Vermont & [the widow] Hannah Train of Weston married June 7 1807. [55]

However, this may not have been a joyous occasion as Hannah was five months pregnant at the time. The newlyweds quickly removed to Windsor where Charles Bishop was born on November 1, 1807.

Hannah's marriage to Levi Bishop raises a host of questions which may never be answered. The only record of Levi's presence in Weston at any time is the marriage record which specifies that he was then "of Windsor." Levi had been widowed since the death of his wife, Elizabeth (Grandy) Bishop in 1799. In the 1800 census, his household includes two males under ten, one male ten-to-sixteen, one male sixteen-to-twenty-five, one male twenty-six-to-forty-five,[56] two males forty-five-plus, two females under ten, and one female ten-to-sixteen. The four children under ten may have been cared for by an older sister, probably the female ten-to-sixteen. But by 1807 that older female may have been out of the household, and one or more of the four children may still have been young enough to need such care, putting Levi Bishop in the market for another wife.

William Ewing is reported to have been pastor of the Baptist church in Windsor from 1800 to 1803 but is not listed in Windsor on the 1800 census. Could he have been one of the two forty-five-plus males in Levi Bishop's household? Neither of them could have been Levi's father, Jeremiah, who had moved to Scipio, New York, where he died in 1799. Nor could either be Robert Grandy, Elizabeth's father, as he is listed as head of a Windsor household in 1800. Could William have known Levi well enough to steer him to Weston, matchmaking for his widowed daughter, Hannah? If so, just when did he do this? Charles Bishop was born November 1, 1807, in Windsor, five months after his mother married Levi in Weston. Assuming that Levi is indeed the father of Charles, he and Hannah must have been together, presumably in Weston, about February 1807.

Whatever the relationship between Levi Bishop and William Ewing, Levi probably took his pregnant wife back to Windsor as soon as possible after the wedding. If William was not in Levi's household, he may have been living nearby in late August 1807 when his wife Eunice was acquitted as reported in the September 7th edition of the Green Mountain Palladium:

On the 26th ult. before the Supreme Court of Woodstock, came on the trial of Mrs. Ewen and George Lanphear, of Windsor, on an indictment for Murder committed on the body of Mrs. Lanphear [wife of the latter] and after an impartial trial, which continued four days, the charge was give to the Jury by his Honor Judge Tyler. After a consultation of three hours, the Jury returned a verdict NOT GUILTY.

No further information about William Ewing or his wife Eunice appears until William's death at Windsor on August 1, 1811. At that time, The Washingtonian reported these details:

Obituary. DIED - In this town Elder William Ewing (a native of Scotland) aged 86, who had officiated in this Country, in the gospel ministry upwards of 50 years. He was a worthy and respectable man and has left a numerous and respectable family, settled in different parts of New-England.[57]

Epilogue – William Ewing's Children

James Ewing, a highly respected citizen of Pittsford, Vermont, removed to Haldimand township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada. Elizabeth Ewing Fox, a descendant who has diligently researched the life of James and his family, has shared very valuable information about James and his descendants including his life in Pittsford, his removal to Canada where he appears on an 1809 township census for Haldimand township, and his death there on September 4, 1828. She has also provided important corrections to some of the material in Margaret Ewing Fife's discussion of William Ewing, finding that Fife erred in saying that the Revolutionary War record of James is summarized in the Widow's pension application as it does not mention his participation at Fort Vengeance and does not say that he died at age seventy-eight making his birth year 1750. She has also appropriately pointed out the following problems in Fife's discussion of the children of William Ewing: on page 51 of Ewing in Early America: 1) Benjamin is erroneously listed as a son of William and Eleanor Ewing when in fact he is the first-born child of James and Naomi (Cooley) Ewing; 2) Benjamin's birth year is wrongly listed as about 1760. He was born March 12, 1776, to James and Naomi; 3) Alexander Ewing is listed as a son of James and Naomi but is actually the younger brother of James; and 4) This Alexander is said by Fife to be born about 1776 and married about 1790, when he would have been fourteen years old, to a twenty-year old woman – a highly improbable situation.

In his History of the Town of Pittsford, Vermont,[58] Caverly notes that: James Ewing was a Revolutionary War soldier, serving in Captain Cooley's Company of Colonel Warren's Regiment of militia in November 1778 and, again with Captain Cooley, in Colonel Ebenezer Allen's Regiment of Militia in October 1780; that he was chosen by Pittsford proprietors in 1783 to be Clerk; and that he was a deputy sheriff in 1785. Hal Ewing notes that he was also a Justice of the Peace in 1791.[59]

Dr. Alexander Ewing came to Pittsford in 1792 and removed to Canada in 1805. Elizabeth Ewing Fox has viewed his children's gravestones in Pittsford.

Except for his birth record, no other information about John Ewing has surfaced. It is not known if he died young or if information about his life is yet to be found.

Elinor and her husband Stephen Wilcox remained in Halifax where they appear in the 1810 census. Stephen was still there in 1820 but his household then did not include any female over twenty-six, suggesting that Elinor may have died. After 1820, Stephen may have been taken into the household of his son-in-law, Joseph Nye (who married Harriet Wilcox on November 8, 1818, in Halifax) whose family appears in the census returns for Ellington, New York, in 1830 and 1840. Stephen Wilcox died on August 4, 1844, and is buried in the Joseph Nye family lot at the Pioneer Cemetery in Ellington.

As a merchant in Somers, Connecticut, Joshua Ewing experienced many financial difficulties before and after his shameful 1792 divorce from Lovinia. In August 1785, he advertised a multitude of items for sale including many dry goods and:

... a valuable parcel of Lands for sale, in the State of Vermont; likewise a good and well situated Farm in South Brimfield, Massachusetts; likewise a small Farm in Somers.

The unhappiness in Hannah (Ewing Train) Bishop's life continued shortly before her father's death in 1811 and continued thereafter for the remainder of her life. Hannah reportedly had a second child with Levi, Francis Dana Bishop, who is said to have been born July 7, 1810, and died Feb 11, 1811. Her family life was further saddened in December 1812 when three of Levi's sons (Jesse, John, and Ira) all died from a spotted-fever[60] epidemic that raged throughout New England from 1812 to 1814. A few months later Hannah and Levi separated on May 7, 1813.[61] Hannah died the following year, on January 26, 1814, perhaps a victim of the spotted-fever epidemic .

Research Notes

Growing Up in Kilmarnock, Scotland

According to Parish Records of Kilmarnock,[62] William Ewing was baptized March 19, 1727. However, an obituary in Spooner's Vermont Journal[63] for August 12, 1811, says he died at age eighty-six, suggesting a birth year about 1725.

The descriptions and quotations regarding Kilmarnock and its customs are from Archibald McKay's History of Kilmarnock.[64]

Accounts of Lord Kilmarnock's support of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his subsequent execution have appeared in many publications including John Malkin's Pictorial History of Kilmarnock.[65] On page 20 of this book there is also a description of the 1735 fire which destroyed Dean Castle.

Vital records information about William and his family are from Parish Registers, Kilmarnock, Scotland. 1640-1854 Baptisms;[66] Parish Records of Kilmarnock, Scotland, Marriages 1687-1769;[67] and the Mortality Index at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.[68]

Military Service in Germany

Much of this information comes from the already cited Letter to Brother and Sister composed by James Ewing. In that letter, James says that "Uncle William" told him that he and "Uncle John" went into the army when their brother, Hugh Ewing, "was about twelve years old" and "were in the wars in Germany." However, this is unlikely since Hugh would have been twelve in 1746, well after King George II withdrew his armies from the continent. It is more probable that William and John entered in the army no later than 1743.

Information about The Battle of Dettingen is from British Battles - The Battle of Dettingen.[69]

An August 10, 1761, testament in the Glasgow Commissary Court[70] notes the death in January 1745 of a John Ewing, "sometimes gunner in the Castle of Dumbarton," who may or may not be "Uncle John." The document is signed by Alexander Ewing and Margaret Ewing and names Margaret and Susanna as John's daughters. (William Ewing had two other siblings: Alexander Ewing and Margaret Ewing.) There is a marriage record for a John Ewing and Margaret Mitchel dated July 24, 1739, at Bonhill in Dunbarton.[71]

Preaching and Marriage in Ireland

The first suggestion that William Ewing married Eleanor Sullivan in Ireland appears in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register: [72]

Ewing–Sullivan - Rev Wm. Ewing, born about 1735; married Eleanor Sullivan; were in Philadelphia after removing to Somers, Ct. He was a graduate of Edinburgh. His wife born in Dublin. Son Joshua married Lavinia (daughter of Robert) Durkee of Canterbury. Who were their parents? [Query from: F. L. Hamilton of Meriden, Ct.]

The query does have some errors as William's birth year is clearly wrong and it is highly unlikely that he was a graduate of Edinburgh. Further, no records have yet emerged to prove that Eleanor was born in Dublin. But the 1769 birth record of their son John at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, confirms that her given name was Eleanor. Finally, the name Sullivan appears frequently as a middle name among the descendants of William's sons, James Ewing and Joshua Ewing.

Although no records prove that William's son James was born in Ireland, this claim is stated in Caverly's History of the Town of Pittsford, VT[73] and is suggested by Fife in her book Ewing in Early America.[74]

The embarkation from Ireland is described by Parkman.[75]

With Braddock at Fort Duquesne

Material about Braddock and his army before, during and after Fort Duquesne is largely from two sources: 1) Francis Parkman's The Battle for North America;[76] and 2) The Journal of Captain Robert Cholmley's Batman[77] which contains Halkett's Orderly Book. Cholmley says that Braddock's two regiments embarked from Ireland on January 8, 1755.

Commission in a Provincial Regiment

William Ewing's presence in the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment is discussed by Fife in her book Ewing in Early America.[78]

The commission of William Ewing's company captain, John Bull, in the Third Battalion, dated April 29, 1759, was recently sold as an extremely rare collector's item:[79]

1759 - RARE FRENCH & INDIAN WAR CAPTAIN'S COMMISSION. ... And the Counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware ... To John Bull Esquire, Greeting ... Reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your Loyalty, Courage and Conduct, I do by virtue of the Powers and Authorities unto me given Nominate and Appoint you to be Captain of a Company in the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot in the Pay of this Province, to be rais'd for the ensuing Campaign. You are therefore to take said Company into your Charge and Care as their Captain and duly to exercise as well the Officers as Soldiers thereof in Arms, and to use your best Endeavours to keep them in good Order and Discipline. And I hereby command them to obey You as their Captain. And You are to observe and follow such Orders and Directions from Time to Time as you shall receive from me or any other your superior Officer, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in Pursuance of the Trust hereby reposed in you ... Given under my Hand and Seal at Arms, at Philadelphia, the twenty ninth Day of April in the Thirty Third Year of His Majesty's Reign Anno Domini, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Nine.

Signed William Denny

By his Honours Command Richard Peters, Secretary

Where was William Ewing from 1760 until 1765?

References to comments by Isaac Backus[80] about William Ewing getting his religious calling in New Jersey, his move to Sturbridge in 1768 before going to Shutesbury where he was a delegate to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, and then to Weston are from Chapter 3 - The Legislator posted on the New England Ancestors web site.[81]

Additional information comes from Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780.[82]

According to History of the Baptist Churches Comprising the Sturbridge Association,[83] William Ewing preached occasionally in South Brimfield from 1765 to 1772 and preached at Sturbridge to breakaway dissidents from 1768 to 1775.

The only complete birth record found for any of William's children is for the birth of his son, John, on April 5, 1769, in Sturbridge as cited in Vital records [Sturbridge, Massachusetts], 1723-1797.[84]

Absalom Gardner's information about Joshua Ewing and William Ewing is found in the Corbin Manuscript Collection, Roll 31, Hampden County.[85]

Joshua Ewing's military record shows that he: was a drummer in Capt. Daniel Winchester's Company, Col. Ruggles Woodbridge's Regiment.; enlisted August 17, 1777; and was discharged November 29, 1777. Since drummers were likely to be younger than eighteen, Joshua may have been born 1760/1763. The record also documents service as a sergeant from June 23, 1778, to January 31, 1779, in Capt. John Carpenter's company, Col. Ezra Wood's regiment:

[A]rrived at camp June 23, 1778; discharged Jan. 31, 1779; service, 7 mos. 24 days, at North river, N. Y., including travel to and from camp; enlistment, 8 months; also, Private, same co. and regt.; pay roll for part of May and the month of June, 1778; said Ewing allowed service for 19 days; 8 days in camp, 8 days travel, 3 days preceding march; also, Sergeant, same co. and regt.; pay rolls for Aug.-Oct., 1778; also, same co. and regt.; pay roll for Dec., 1778; reported not joined.[86]

Joshua's service at North River, New York, would have been very close to Halifax, Vermont, where William Ewing was involved with land transactions from 1774 to 1778.

The military record of the younger William Ewing may be found in Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution.[87]

William Ewing in Massachusetts – 1765-1772

According to the History of the Baptist Churches Comprising the Sturbridge Association,[88] William Ewing preached occasionally in South Brimfield between 1765 and 1772 and at Sturbridge, to the breakaway dissidents, from 1768 to 1775.


William Ewing's presence in Wales (originally South Brimfield), Massachusetts, is cited in Absalom Gardner's Address delivered in Wales, October 5, 1862, the Family History of Wales, and the Wales Baptist Church Records, all in the Corbin Manuscript collection.[89]

Comments by Isaac Backus about William being ordained at Sturbridge as an itinerant minister, preaching there and at South Brimfield, are from Isaac Backus' History of New England with Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists.[90]

William Ewing's First Residence in Vermont – 1773-1778

Constance Lancaster wrote the portions about William Ewing and the history of the Wilcox family in Born in Controversy: History of Halifax, Vermont.[91] For the accounts by Benjamin Wilcox as related in 1841 by Luther Edwards, she cites information from UVM Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, specifically: Vermont Baptist Historical Society Records, carton 2, folder 15, Halifax.

William Ewing in Shutesbury, Massachusetts – 1779-1784

Halifax land records for November 10 and November 15, 1781, document William Ewing's two land sales to David Dickinson.

Information about William Ewing preaching to Baptists from New Salem is in History of Western Massachusetts: The Counties of Hampden, Hampshire by Josiah Gilbert Holland.[92]

Shutesbury town records concerning William Ewing as a convention delegate in 1779 and records about his presence at Shutesbury during 1784 are from Public Records of the Town of Shutesbury, Massachusetts.[93] These records also discuss the town's settlement by Abram Hill.

The history of Abram Hill's conflict with Shutesbury is discussed in History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts.[94] The history is also discussed in Holland's History of Western Massachusetts[95] which also includes the comments about the instructions to William Ewing regarding the convention. His opposition there to the Congregational establishment is noted in History of New England by Isaac Backus.[96] In this book, Backus also describes the "odious ... ministerial tyranny" in Shutesbury.

Information about Reuben and Naomi Cooley is from The Cooley Genealogy published by Dean Cooley in 1941.[97]

Shutesbury's 1784 vote to have a Congregational minister is in Public Records of the Town of Shutesbury, Massachusetts.[98]

William Ewing in Weston, Massachusetts – 1789-1793

Information about William Ewing at the formation of the Weston Baptist Church comes from the History of the First Baptist Church of Weston.[99]

Sources for information about William Ewing's and Hannah (Ewing) Train's involvement with the church at Weston are: 1) Train and Ewing Families; Weston, Massachusetts: 1705‑1814. Prepared by Madeline W. Mullin, Local History Librarian, Weston Public Library,[100] Weston, Massachusetts, citing Jones, Edward A., History of the First Baptist Church in Weston, Mass., Boston, 1890, page 5.[101] (Material EMailed to Louis Lehmann, July 9, 2009); 2) Records of the Baptist Church of Christ in Weston, Mass, constituted 1789 - Jan 1st 1838, Revised and copied from the old book of records or notes;[102] and 3) Records of the Important Transactions of the Baptist Church in Weston from the First Baptist Church, Weston, Massachusetts.[103]

Vital records of Hannah (Ewing) Train 's children may be found in Town of Weston: Births, deaths and marriages, ....[104]

Information about the family of James and Naomi Ewing was provided in 2009 by Elizabeth Ewing Fox, a descendant.

Information about the family of Stephen and Elinor Wilcox comes from Osborne's Wilcox/Wilcoxson Families of New England and their Descendants.[105]

Information about Dr. Alexander Ewing's move to Pittsford in 1792 is in Caverly's History of Town of Pittsford.[106]

Epilogue – William Ewing's Children

Information about James Ewing was provided via numerous EMails from Elizabeth Ewing Fox between 2006 and 2009. Additional information is in Caverly's History of the Town of Pittsford,[107] and Harold F. and William L. Ewing's article in a previous issue of the Ewing Family Journal.[108]

Information about Dr. Alexander Ewing was provided by Elizabeth Ewing Fox and found in Caverly.[109]

Constance Lancaster, Genealogical Curator of the Halifax Historical Society, provided much information about Elinor Ewing and the Wilcox family, as well as material about William Ewing in Halifax.

Joshua Ewing's 1785 advertisement appeared in the Connecticut Courant on August 22, 1785, and also in the American Mercury, Hartford, Connecticut, on August 29, 1785.[110] In an advertisement on February 12, 1787, Joshua Ewing, in Somers, announced that he had sold all of his goods to Mr. William Ewing and Dr. Samuel Barnes, raising the possibility that this William Ewing might be yet another son of the Soldier/Preacher. At the time of writing this article, however, there has not yet been sufficient data to include him as such. A legal notice regarding creditors' claims against Joshua Ewing appeared in the Connecticut Courant on August 16, 1809.[111] Another notice was Joshua's petition of insolvency on April 1, 1809, to the General Assembly of Connecticut, including a statement that some of his creditors lived outside the state. An family tree[112] asserts that Joshua Ewing died at Brimfield, Massachusetts, on October 25, 1811, but I have not yet been able to verify this.

The birth and death of Hannah's child, Francis Dana Bishop, is asserted in Descendants of Thomas Bishop.[113] A report about the death of Jesse, John and Ira Bishop from spotted fever is in Spooner's Vermont Journal. Information about the spotted fever epidemic in New England, in general, is from Spotted Fever Epidemic In New England In 1812.[114]


I am most grateful to Elizabeth Ewing Fox who has provided a great deal of information as well many invaluable additions and corrections over the past three years. She has extensively researched Ewing genealogy in New England.

In addition, I am very thankful for the contributions by Constance Lancaster, Genealogical Curator at the Halifax Historical Society.[115] She has provided very important information about William Ewing's earliest presence in Vermont and the family history of one of his daughters.

I am also indebted to many others who have provided valuable information including: Margaret Ewing Fife (now deceased); Hal Ewing; Karen Avery; Tom Dilts and Madeline W. Mullin at the Weston, Massachusetts, Public Library;[116] and the First Baptist Church in Weston.[117]

Finally a very special thanks to my wife Margie, who has not only been incredibly patient about the hours I have spent on this project but has also provided much encouragement and helpful review of the manuscript.


Editor's Note:  Short Citations are used in later footnotes to refer back to the full

citations given in the footnotes where the Short Citations are defined.

[1] Letter to Brother and Sister, dated March, 1790, written in Scotland by William's nephew James Ewing (son of Hugh and Margaret Ewing) and copied by Louis Lehmann November 13, 1946. [Short Citation: Letter to Brother and Sister]

[2] A medieval pole weapon with an axe head and hook near its point.

[3] Letter to Brother and Sister

[4] Two famous British officers were also in this battle: Lieutenant James Wolfe, who was appointed in 1759 as Major General in Canada, and Lieutenant Jeffrey Amherst, appointed in 1759 to command in America and capture French Canada.

[5] Parkman, Francis (ed. John Trebbel). The Battle for North America. Originally published in seven volumes between 1865 and 1882 as France and England in North America. A paperback edition was published in 2001 by Phoenix Press, London. Reviews and further information may be found at and [Short Citation: Parkman - Battle for North America]

[6] Ibid, p. 513.

[7] 'Batman' means 'Servant'

[8] Hamilton, Charles. Braddock's Defeat: The Journal of Captain Robert Cholmley's Batman: The Journal of a British Officer, Halkett's Orderly Cookbook, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, 1959. Available online. [Short Citation: Hamilton - Braddock's Defeat]

[9] Scalping a woman was considered to be a courageous feat by most. To slay and count coup on a squaw or child generally indicated entering the very heart of hostile country, often the center of a closely guarded enemy camp, and thus exposing one's self to great danger.

[10] Hamilton - Braddock's Defeat, pp. 9-11

[11] Ibid., p. 92

[12] Ibid., p. 94.

[13] Parkman - Battle for North America

[14] Ibid, p. 520.

[15] Ibid, pp. 567-568.

[16] This appears to be an erroneous substitution of 'battalions' for 'regiments' since Braddock brought over two regiments from Ireland: the 44th Regiment of Foot and the 48th Regiment of Foot.

[17] More of Constance Lancaster's research is presented later in the subsection about the life of William Ewing in Halifax, Vermont.

[18] Schutz, John A. Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780: A Biographical Dictionary, Northeastern University Press, 1997. This book has been made available online by the Google Books Project. Go to Google Books and search for 'Schutz Legislators'.

[19] Backus, Isaac. History of New England with particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians Called Baptists. (Second Edition with notes by David Weston), Backus Historical Society, Newton, Massachusetts, 1871. This book has been made available online by the Google Books Project. Go to Google Books and search for 'Backus History New England'. [Short Citation: Backus - History of New England]

[20] Fife, Margaret Ewing (ed. James R. McMichael). Ewing in Early America, Family History Publishers, Bountiful, Utah, 84101, pp. 31-38. Available from Higginson Books and online at the Ewing Family Association's web site. [Short Citation: Fife - Ewing in America]

[21] Ibid, p. 46.

[22] Available from America's Historical Newspapers. Online access to America's Historical Newspapers requires a fee. Access may often be made at public libraries. [Short Citation: Historical Newspapers]

[23] For a discussion of classifications of William's children as 'probable', 'possible', etc. see Lehmann, Louis. William Ewing, Soldier/Preacher – And His Certain, Almost Certain, Probable and Possible Children, Ewing Family J., Vol. 15, No. 4 (November 2009), pp. 41-55. This article is available at the Ewing Family Association's web site.

[24] Gardner, Absalom. Family History of Wales, Roll 31, Corbin Manuscript Collection. The Corbin Manuscript Collection is available online. The Collection, its contents and its availability are discussed in an article posted by the New England Historic Genealogy Society. [Short Citation: Gardner - Wales]

[25] Knox, Grace Louise and Barbara B. Ferris. Connecticut Divorces: Superior Court Records for the Counties of New London, Tolland, and Windham (1719-1910). Heritage Books, Inc., 1987. This source is not available online. cites it at this page, but indicates that its availability is limited. [Short Citation: Knox - Connecticut Divorces]

[26] The North River runs through Halifax, Massachusetts. At the time of the Revolution, Halifax was considered a part of Cumberland County, New York, and under its jurisdiction.

[27] Backus - History of New England

[28] Vital records [Sturbridge, Massachusetts], 1723-1797 (FHL Film 863529). These microfilm records may be found at Family History Centers established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). To locate a center near you go to: LDS List of Centers. The records are also available for free download from Internet Archives. [Short Citation: Sturbridge Records]

[29] Gardner - Wales

[30] Corbin Manuscript Collection, Roll 31, Hampden County. The Corbin Manuscript Collection is available online. The Collection, its contents and its availability are discussed in an article posted by the New England Historic Genealogy Society. [Short Citation: Corbin Manuscript]

[31] Online access to material from this newspaper is available via the Library of Congress' Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.

[32] 1973-74 Data Taken from Sheddsville Cemetery, West Windsor, VT by Mildred M. Xittredge and Beatrice Dana in Branches & Twigs Newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Vermont, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Winter 1973-74).

[33] Born in Controversy: History of Halifax, Vermont, Researched, written, and compiled by the History Committee for the Halifax Historical Society, Inc., 2008. This publication is not available online. Contact the author at the Society to obtain a copy. But note that the first printing is sold out and availability awaits a second printing. In the interim, it may be available from some libraries via interlibrary loan. For example, the Brooks Memorial Library at Brattleboro, Vermont, might have a circulating copy available for interlibrary loan. [Short Citation: Born in Controversy]

[34] Vermont Historical Gazetteer, The Towns of Windham County, Collated by Abby Maria Hemenway, Publ. by Mrs. Carrie E. H. Page, Brandon, VT. 1891, Written by Rev. H. Eastman, Vol. V, pp. 408 - 422. Some volumes of the Vermont Historical Gazetteer have been posted online. Copies of all volumes are available in the library at the Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Vermont.

[35] Index to Manuscript Vermont State Papers (MsVtSP), Vol. 21, p. 8. Better known as the Nye Index, MsVtSP was originally created by Mary Greene Nye, the Editor of State Papers from 1927 until 1950 as a personal name card file. The card file is open to the public and located in the Reference Room at the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration Office in Montpelier, Vermont. The index may be searched online by clicking here. [Short Citation: MsVtSp]

[36] The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745 - 1799. Prepared under the direction of the United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission and published by authority of Congress, John C. Fitzpatrick , Editor, Volume 26, January 1, 1783 - June 10, 1783, United States Government Printing Office. .

[37] LDS Microfilm: Deeds - Halifax, VT, Book 1, page 51 (FHL Film 28361) and Deeds, Town & Vital Records (FHL 28362)

[38] Born in Controversy, pg 280.

[39] Backus - History of New England, pp. 467-471.

[40] Holland, Josiah Gilbert. History of Western Massachusetts. The Counties of Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire, Samuel Bowles and Company, 1855. This book has been made available online by the Google Books Project. Go to Google Books and search for ' Holland History Massachusetts'. [Short Citation: Holland - History of Western Massachusetts]

[41] MsVtSp, Vol. 21, p. 256.

[42] Knox - Connecticut Divorces

[43] Information about William Ewing in Rowley comes from Gage, Thomas. The History of Rowley: Anciently Including Bradford, Boxford, and Georgetown, from the Year 1639 to the Present Time, Cambridge University, 1840, pp. 39, 103. This book has been made available online by the Google Books Project. Go to Google Books and search for 'Gage Rowley'.

[44] Lamson, Daniel S. History of the Town of Weston, Massachusetts, 1630-1890, Press of Geo. H. Ellis Co., Boston, 1913, pp. 113-117. Available for free download from Internet Archive.

[45] Knox - Connecticut Divorces

[46] Historical Newspapers

[47] Crocker, Henry. History of the Baptists in Vermont, P. H. Gobie Press, Bellows Falls, Vermont, 1913, p. 244. Online access to this book is provided by the Google Books Project; go to Google Books and search for 'Baptists Crocker'. Also available for free download from Internet Archive.

[48] Windsor Land Records, Vol. 7, p 161. Windsor, Vermont, land records may be searched online. [Short Citation: Windsor Land Records]

[49] Spooner's Vermont Journal, June 14, 1803, Vol. XX, Issue 1038, p. 3. Available on microfilm (#3959) at Emory Libraries.

[50] The entry in Weston church records about Hannah (Ewing) Train's misconduct is noted in Train and Ewing Families; Weston, Massachusetts: 1705‑1814, Prepared by Madeline W. Mullin, Local History Librarian, Weston Public Library, Weston, Massachusetts, citing The Weston Baptists and Their Church, 1789-1939, a typescript, as well as in a copy of the August 29, 1803, entry supplied by the Weston Baptist Church.

[51] Some Early Marriage Records of Windsor, Vermont in Branches & Twigs Newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Vermont, Vol. 24, p. 49.

[52] The Weekly Wanderer, Vol VII, Issue 1, page 3, Randolph, Vermont.

[53] Historical Newspapers. News items about the accusations, jailing and acquittal regarding Eunice Lamphere and her son, George, appeared in: the November 17, 1806, edition of the The Weekly Wanderer, Randolph, Vermont, Vol. VII, Issue 1, p. 3; the December 9, 1806, edition of the Norfolk Repository, Vol. 11, Issue 5, p. 39; and the September 7, 1807, edition of the Green Mountain Palladium, Chester, Vermont, Vol. I, Issue 12, p. 3.

[54] Windsor Land Records, Vol. 9, p 186.

[55] Pierce, Mary Frances. Town of Weston. Births, deaths and marriages, 1707-1850. 1703-Gravestones-1900, McIndoe Bros., Boston, 1901. This book has been made available online by the Google Books Project. Go to Google Books and search for 'Weston Gravestones'. Also available for free download from Internet Archive. [Short Citation: Pierce - Town of Weston]

[56] This must be Levi.

[57] The Washingtonian, Windsor, Vermont, August 12, 1811.

[58] Caverly, A.M. History of the Town of Pittsford, Vt.: with biographical sketches and family records, Pittsford Historical Society, Pittsford, Vt.., 1976. Available on by clicking here. Also available for free download. [Short Citation: Caverly - Town of Pittsford]

[59] Ewing, Harold F. 'Hal' Jr. and William L. 'Bill' Ewing. James Ewing's Ancestry, Ewing Family J., Vol. 15, No. 1 (February 2009), pp. 9-12. Available online at the Ewing Family Association's web site. [Short Citation: Ewing, Harold and William - James Ewing's Ancestry]

[60] This may actually have been a form of cerebral spinal meningitis.

[61] The Years 1811-1818, Spooner's Vermont Journal, Published by Alden Spooner.

[62] LDS Microfilm, FHL Film #1041386.

[63] A Look at the Years 1807-1810, Spooner's Vermont Journal, Published by Alden Spooner.

[64] McKay, Archibald. The History of Kilmarnock, 4th Edition, 1909, pp. 10, 107, 112, 121-136. Neither printed or online versions of this book can be found on the Internet.

[65] Malkin, John. Pictorial History of Kilmarnock, Alloway Publishing, 1989, p. 14. Printed and online versions of this book appear not to be available.

[66] LDS Microfilm, FHL Film # 1041385.

[67] Ibid., FHL Film #1041386.

[68] Dick Institute

[69] Battle of Dettingen

[70] Scotland's People

[71] LDS Microfilm, FHL Film # 1041982.

[72] New England Historical and Genealogical Register [NEHGR], Jan. 1898, Vol. 52, p. 82. NEHGR may be searched via an online service – available at New England Ancestors - Services – provided by the New England Historic Genealogy Society.

[73] Caverly - Town of Pittsford

[74] Fife - Ewing in America

[75] Parkman - Battle for North America, pg 507.

[76] Ibid

[77] Hamilton - Braddock's Defeat

[78] Fife - Ewing in America, pp. 44-50.

[79] Berry Hill Sturgeon

[80] Backus - History of New England

[81] New England Ancestors

[82] This database may be searched by going to

[83] History of the Baptist Churches Comprising the Sturbridge Association, Publish by J. R. Bigelow, N. Y., 1844. pp. 14-15, 20. [Short Citation: Sturbridge Association Baptist Churches]

[84] Sturbridge Records

[85] Corbin Manuscript

[86] Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Vol. 5, p. 442. An online version, broken down by volume, is provided at the web site for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; search for 'Massachusetts Soldiers Sailors'. This record, which comprises seventeen volumes, may be searched via A PDF version may be downloaded, for free, from the Internet Archive.

[87] Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 442.

[88] Sturbridge Association Baptist Churches, pp. 14-15, 20.

[89] Corbin Manuscript

[90] Backus - History of New England

[91] Born in Controversy, pp. 16-124, 279-280.

[92] Holland - History of Western Massachusetts

[93] LDS Microfilm, FHL Film 886456.

[94] Everts, L. H. & Co. History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, Louis H. Everts, Philadelphia, 1879, pp. 761-2. Available for free download from Internet Archive.

[95] Holland - History of Western Massachusetts

[96] Backus - History of New England, pp. 467-471.

[97] Information from this book, and information about the Cooley family in general, may be found by clicking here.

[98] LDS Microfilm, FHL Film 886456.

[99] History of the First Baptist Church of Weston, Mass., July 14, 1889, Boston, 1890, pp. 5-6. This manuscript is not available online, but a synopsis of the church's history may be found by clicking here.

[100] Weston Public Library, Weston, Massachusetts.

[101] Can not be found on the Internet.

[102] ditto

[103] ditto

[104] Pierce - Town of Weston, p. 177.

[105] Osborne, Martha Scott. Wilcox/Wilcoxson Families of New England and their Descendants: A Genealogical Dictionary, Heritage Books, 1993.

[106] Caverly - Town of Pittsford

[107] Caverly - Town of Pittsford, pp. 133, 164, 239-245.

[108] Ewing, Harold and William - James Ewing's Ancestry

[109] Caverly - Town of Pittsford, pp. 272, 593.

[110] Historical Newspapers

[111] Ibid.

[112] provides some incredible services. But they make it very hard to get to a genealogy database, such as the 'Griffiths Master Dec 2008' database cited here. One can search for an individual, for example 'Joshua Ewing', but this often receives hundreds of hits. One cannot search Ancestry's web site – as near as I can tell – for a specific database. After playing around, I've found that there are two ways to get to the information about Joshua Ewing. The first is to go to Trees at and search for a Joshua Ewing who was born in 1760. The second is to directly go to this at Joshua Ewing's record.

[113] Bishop, Robert C. Descendants of Thomas Bishop. A copy may be purchased from the lulu self-publishing web site (lulu self-publishing web site).

[114] Spotted Fever Epidemic

[115] Halifax Historical Society, West Halifax, Vermont.

[116] Weston Public Library, Weston, Massachusetts.

[117] First Baptist Church, Weston, Massachusetts.