Samuel English and his wife Elizabeth McClain were born in the town of Keady, County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1825 they arrived at the port of Baltimore, Maryland with eight of their nine children. Their eldest daughter Elizabeth had left Ireland ahead of the rest and settled in Canada, married a McTavish. Some of their descendents lived in Toronto.
The English family first settled in Philadelphia, and later moved to Evergreen in Allegheny County, PA. In 1841, Samuel and his family moved to Pine Township, where he had purchased, cleared, and improved a farm.
Samuel English was a man of means, and educated. He was also fond of travel, because during his life in the U.S.A., he revisited Europe on three occasions. On one of his trips, he landed at Philadelphia and walked to Pittsburgh. When he returned from his last trip, he landed in Canada and, for pure pleasure, made the trip overland, walking most of the way.