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Bio: James, John, Wm & Rebecca English of Lycoming/ Tioga Co., PA
Family History by Rhoda English Ladd
Notes for siblings James, John, William & sister Rebecca English:
The first settler after the Revolutionary War in the territory now embraced by the township of Cummings, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania was John English. He was of Irish parentage (actually, he was of Scotch-Irish parentage) and he and his brother James enlisted in 1778 and served faithfully until the end of the war. On returning from the army he located on the larges of a cluster of Islands in Pine Creek about twelve miles from its mouth. This was in 1784. The previous year, in 1783, his brother James had explored Pine Creek from the mouth up. At this time they lived in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania along with brother William who came and settled near Renova, Pennsylvania. A sister, Rebecca who married Daniel Callahan, another Revolutionary Soldier who came and settle a little south of what is known as English Center on the road going to Waterville in Cummings Township. The parents of James, John, William and Rebecca are unknown. We think they lived in Berks County, Pennsylvania before coming to Northumberland County. English Island, home of John English is at Waterville. John English married Fannie Boatman, a daughter of Claudius Boatman and his first wife, Marie. John's brother, James, married Jane Boatman, a sister of Fannie, and settled in Bluestone.

John English located in 1784 in English Island at Waterville.
James English located at Bluestone.
William English located near Renova.
Rebecca English located near English Center in Pine Twp.

Notes for James English, Sr.

The Revolutionary War Closed in 1783 and the same year John English, brothers James and William, sister Rebecca, came to Pine Creek Valley from Silver Island, in the Susquehanna River near Sunbury.

They enlisted in the Revolutionary War from Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. (note: One record says James and John enlisted from Northumberland Co., PA; another record says they enlisted from Berks Co., PA)
They are listed in the 1790 Census from Mifflin Township.

The first inquiry I made about the History of James English was to Miss M. Elizabeth Ramsey of Ramseyville, Lycoming Co., PA in 1967 who sent me the following - "James English with his two brothers, John and William, and a sister, Rebecca, served in the Revolutionary War. The brothers as soldiers, and their sister as a tailor and a cook for her brothers. They came into Lycoming county from Sunbury, Pennsylvania soon after the Revolutionary War and then moved to English Island from Bailey's Island; English Island was also known as Bennett Island or Sugar Island; John English lived on English Island at Waterville; James English settled on the Shaw Farm near the mouth of Big Pine Creek and later moved to Truman's Run now called Bluestone. Rebecca English married Daniel Callahan and settled near Waterville, later on moved close to English Center, Pine Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. William English lived on Great Island this side of Lock Haven, then bought an Island twenty one miles up the River near Renova.
[Note: M. Elizabeth Ramsey was a descendant of Thomas Ramsey, a Revolutionary Soldier and Sarah a daughter of John English, a Revolutionary Soldier. Thomas Ramsey & John English along with Claudius Boatman are buried on English Island at Waterville, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.]

Note: Lycoming County, PA was formed April 13th, 1795 from Northumberland County, PA.
Northumberland County was formed March 21st, 1772 from Cumberland, Berks, Bedford, and Northampton Counties.
The County of Northumberland was wholly within the confines of Northumberland County in 1785. Northumberland has been called the "mother of all Counties". Lycoming township was one of twenty-one townships in Northumberland County in 1786.

The first generation we have record of is James English, Sr., born 1745, one source says born in New Jersey; one source says born in Massachusetts; one source says Pennsylvania; however, since this is not documented we will deal with what we do know. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War from Berks County, Pennsylvania and is entered on the payroll 13th October 1776 and served in the Twelfth Pennsylvania Regiment of The Continental Line under Capt. John Brady. The largest portion of this Regiment was recruited along the West Branch of The Susquehanna and he eventually transferred to the Third and then to The First Pennsylvania Regiment. He was discharged 13th August 1783.

James English is listed in the 1790 Census in Mifflin Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania with one male over 16 yrs of age, one male under 16 yrs of age, and 3 females. He explored Pine Creek in 1783. Married Jane Boatman in 1784 (She the daughter of Claudius Boatman and his first wife, Marie.) James English did 15 Jun 1823 at Blue Stone and is buried in Blue Stone Cemetery, his grave was marked by The Fort Antes Chapter DAR.

You need to be aware that living in Pennsylvania at the same time out Englishes were here, that there was a Revolutionary Soldier, John English of Philadelphia and a James Robinson English in Northumberland County. James Robinson English was from the English Family who lived in Englishtown, New Jersey. Descendants of our Family have tried to prove lines to them. James Robinson English was a Sargent in The Revolutionary War.

Notes for Rebecca English:

Rebecca had married first James Campbell, who died. She married second, Daniel Callahan and they settled near English Center in Pine Township.
All settled in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

See History and Settlements in The Pine Creek Valley by "NEMO" in Wednesday's paper dated July 2nd, 1924. This appeared in either the Williamsport paper or The Lock Haven Express:

A Rebecca English, sister of James, John and William figures in the early settlement of the Valley. As she was with her brothers in the war it is only natural that she would come into the valley with them or about the same time her brothers did. The commissionary department of the army of the Revolutionary War was then different from any other war. One of the most perplexing questions was how to feed the soldiers. Rebecca was a caretaker, tailor and a cook for her brothers. She was born about 1762 so was twenty-three years old when peace was declared.
Rebecca married first a man named James Campbell and they had two daughters. Since James was in the Revolutionary War a line has been proved for the SAR. Rebecca married secondly, Daniel Callahan…"

Notes for John English:
The Fort Antes Chapter DAR placed a memorial marker for John English. It was placed on English Island at Waterville, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
The following was read at the memorial Services.

**"Daughters of the American Revolution, Ladies and Gentlemen: Asking your indulgence for a moment I wish to discharge a somewhat belated obligation. Ten or twelve years ago the DAR placed a memorial at the grave of great grandfather, James English, who lived and is buried at Blue Stone, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and now, another her today for his brother, John English.

For, and in behalf, of the clan English I sincerely thank you, one and all, for the honor you bestow on our soldier dead, and assure you it will not be forgotten.

What has this man, John English, done, that after all these long years we gather about his eternal resting place, and put up this bit of marter and marble to act as a minature lighthouse as it were, to send out a beacon ray through the coming years to point to future generations as they come and go, to the inestimable value of his services to our country and us?

He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, enlisting during the least promising days of the struggle, and true to his Scotch-Irish fighting ancestry satisfying until the matters in dispute were settled as the Colonists wanted them.

Originally John English or his forefathers came from some Protestant section of Ireland to America, and John himself enlisted from Berks County, Pennsylvania as a Private in The First Pennsylvania Continental Line. This is all we have from the scant military records on file… But beyond this we have a further and fuller record that comes to us as "Fireside History"… his History. This legendary record is substantiated by the old members of the different branches of the family. It is all we have and we will use it here.

This fireside record says, he was a trusted scout and messenger, a member of Washington's Body Guard, his Aide De Camp, and that he witnessed the death of Major Andre.

Soon after peace was declared, in the company of his two bothers, James and William, he came into this section from Silver Island in The Susquehanna River near Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. He first settled on Bailey's Island in the River opposite Jersey Shore, married Fanny Boatman, a French girl, the daughter of Claudius Boatman.

The next year (1784) John English came up here to this island 9now, known as Sugar Island). By the stretch of the imagination you can see him poling his loaded boat through the quiet stretches, and with a rope over his shoulder towing it up the many riffles between Jersey Shore and Here (Waterville). He was unafraid of men or beast, yet once when he was warned of danger by the Indians by Shawnee John, he hurriedly left, but returned a year later, and spent the remainder of his days.

His family consisted of eight children, four boys and four girls. Claudius, the eldest born 1785 was named for Claudius Boatman, the pioneer of Little Pine Creek. William, who married Margaret Morrison, settled on the opposite bank, just above English Center, where in later years he was known as "Uncle Billy" to everybody and father to seventeen boys and girls. A deed is on record signed by John English on account of his care and love for said John English. A daughter, Sarah married Thomas Ramsey first, the man who sleeps by his side. John English lived with his daughter, Sarah and while on a visit to Uncle Billy was taken ill and died and was buried there. Another son, James married Ann Young, took part in the Blockhouse Settlement project, moved to Cherry Flats, but finally, settled at English Mills. He was the father of Stephen English. Of another son, Thomas, I have no record. Margaret, his daughter, married Abe (Abraham) Harris. Polly (Mary) married George Bonnell. And, Lizzie (Elizabeth) married Abbis Conner.

All about us up stream and down live the descendants of this man even to the fifth and sixth generations…

Here lies the man who knew the secrets of the wild and loved forests and streams. He was a successful hunter, a kind obliging neighbor, a just father, a fearless soldier, a law abiding God fearing upright loyal American Soldier…

John English it was claimed was born in 1751".
**Spoken at the unveiling of the Memorial to John English, by Fort Antes Chapter, Daughters of The American Revolution 20th October 1923 by J. M. English.

page created: 07 Jan 2003 / updated: 17 Mar 2010
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