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William Black     Father: unknown
Mother: unknown

b. 11 January 1800 
d. 11 August 1857 

Scotland (?Glasgow area)
McKeesport, Allegheny Cty, PA, USA
(buried in Greenock Cemetery)
(This web site features a photograph of William's tombstone.)


Isabella Neilson
(m. 24 June 1820
Gorbals [Glasgow], Lanarkshire, SCT)


John Black (29 April 1821 - ?) (5)
Robert Black (13 April 1823 - ?) (5)
James Black (16 May 1824 - ?) (5)
Mary Black [Wilson] (3 September 1826 - ?) (5)
Thomas Neilson* Black (19 October 1828 - ?) (5)
Annie Black [Cowan Raine] (10 November 1831 (note) - 11 December 1913) (2)
Jane Black (3)
Francis Black (8 February 1835 - 2 July 1857) (5)
Jeanet Black [Owens] (~1839 - ?) (3, 5)


Isabela Black (1846 - 1912) (3, 6) (parents unknown) (note)

  1. Thomas Neilson Black may have had a daughter named Flora. The Alma (KS) Enterprise published a note in the 18 July 1902 issue: "Miss Flora Black, of Glen Ebon, Ohio, visited relatives in West Kaw last week." The "relatives" would be Annie Black Cowan Raine and her family.

Source Documents
  1. Manifest for ship Affghan, Glasgow to Boston, arrived 10 August 1847. William and his family are listed as passengers 2 through 10.
  2. Cushing, Thomas, ed. A Genealogical and Biographical History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975. LC#F157.A4H62 1975
  3. Between Two Rivers: A History of Elizabeth Township, published by the Elizabeth Township Historical Society in 1976.
  4. Obituary of Annie Black Cowan Raine
  5. Census, 26 Sep 1850, Elizabeth Twp, Allegheny Cty, PA,  dwelling/family 759
  6. Christening records from Hutchesontown Relief Church, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
  7. Will of William Black

Last Will and Testament of William Black

In the Name of God Amen. I William Black of the Village of Greenock in the Township of Elizabeth, County of Allegheny and state of Pennsylvania. Considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound and disposing mind and memory, thanks to Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my last will and testament revoking all other at any other time made by me. First I give my soul to God who gave it and my body to the dust in the hope of a glorious resurrection at the last day. Second I order and direct that all my just debts and Funeral expenses and whatever costs for Probating my Will be paid. Third, to my remaining worldly effects I dispose as follows, to my beloved Wife Isabella Black I will and bequeath all my personal property that I may have or be possessed of at my decease, and also the use of my dwelling house and my share of the lot of ground now owned by me and my Son Thomas Nelson Black said share being the South side half of said lot. Said House and lot with appurtenances to be Hers for and during her natural life and at her decease I will and bequeath the said house and share of lot with the appurtenances to my Son Francis Black. Fourth, I will and bequeath to my son Thomas N. Black and my daughters Mary Wilson, Ann Cowan, and Jeanet Owens or to their legal representatives each of them Ten dollars $10.00 to be paid to them by my son Francis Black twelve months after his mother's decease. Fifth, to my daughter Jane Black and to my Grand-daughter Isabella Black or their legal representative each of them I will and bequeath fifty dollars $50.00 to be paid to them by my son Francis Black six months after his mother's decease. Sixth, In the event of my beloved Wife surviving my son Francis Black it is my Will at her decease that the property that she is left during her natural life being the real estate with the appurtenances shall be sold as soon as it can be conveniently done without sacrificing the same and the proceeds after paying the several money legacies herein before mentioned to each individual specified shall be equally divided amongst my children, Thomas N. Black, Mary Wilson, Ann Cowan, Jeanet Owens, Jane Black and my Grand-daughter Isabella Black or their legal representative and should my son Francis Black have any legal issue they are to have the one-seventh part of this last divide making them equal to my other children excepting the first mentioned money legacies. I make and appoint Thomas Rankin my Executor of this my last Will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixteenth day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and fifty seven.

William Black

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named William Black to be his last will and testament in the presence of us who at his request and in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto.

John K Graham
Alexander Rankin

Allegheny County Be it known that on the 24th day of Sept 1857 personally came before me I. H. Robb Reg in and for said County John K Graham & Alex Rankin the two subscribing witnesses to the foregoing instrument of writing who being by me duly sworn did depose & say that they saw and heard the testator sign publish and declare it as and for his last will and testament, that at the time of so doing he was of sound mind and disposing memory, that in his presence and at his request they signed the same as witnesses. Given under my hand the date above written.

I. H. Robb Reg.

Between Two Rivers: A History of Elizabeth Township
(page 47)

Greenock was laid out by J. K. Graham, with the town being named by William Black. (History of Allegheny County)

William and Isabella Black sailed from Greenoch [Greenock], Scotland in 1840a. They found their way to this area and built their home on the banks of the Youghiogheny River where the home of Mrs Violet Clark now stands on the Twele Road. They named the town Greenock for the last town they had seen in Scotland. Some of the original timbers from the Black house were used in the Clark home. Mrs. Black came from the town of Eilnar Islandb in Scotland. She was born on March 9, 1799 and died in Greenock on July 1, 1869. She was buried in Greenock Cemetery. Mr. Black was born in Scotland on January 21, 1800, died August 11, 1857 and was buried in the old Greenock Cemetery. His grave is surrounded with an iron fence and is closed [close?] to the County Road which passes the Cemetery.

Descendents [sic] of the William and Isabella Black family are represented in this area by the Garley, Pierce and Waltower families.


  1. His daughter Annie's obituary states that her family immigrated from Scotland “in her 16th year,” or around 1847-48. The manifest of the Affghan, cited above, shows that the family immigrated in 1847.

  2. Actually the Isle of Islay; “Eilnar” may be an error for Eilean Mor.

This page is a part of the ever-expanding Eclectic Synapse, copyright 1999–2000 by M. E. Cowan. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to link to this page or to reproduce the contents if (and only if) proper credit is given to the author.