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(The following fragment is from a Lowry family genealogy found in the library of the Kittochtinny Historical Society located in Chambersburg, PA.)


Lowry Family Background


Our branch of the Lowrys is a fairly typical Franklin County, Pennsylvania family.  We are of Scotch-Irish and German descent as are many Franklin Countians.  Some early members of the family were farmers, as were many early residents of the county.  In recent years Lowry descendants and their neighbors throughout the county have gone into other professions and trades as business and industry grew in area towns.  Some till their native soil.  Others have moved to distant parts of our nation.

Time has brought changes to our family.  It has dimmed our memories.  This is an attempt to go beyond faded memories and tie the forgotten past to present.  This is our link with the Lowry Beginnings in Franklin County.  We want to share it with you.

Persons with the surname Lowry came to Pennsylvania from Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster.

King James I of England (reign 1603-1625) seized the lands of the Irish earls Tyrone and Tyconnell.  Both had conspired against the English and were forced to flee.  Following later conflicts, more Irish lands were seized.  Scotch Presbyterian and English settlers were brought to populate these seized Irish Lands.

Thousands from Scotland moved into the Irish counties of Antrim, Armagh, Caven, Donegal, Fernmanagh, Londonderry, Monaghan and Tyrone.  Among these were Lowrys.  The muster roll of the Barony of Raphoe in County Donegal for 1630 lists several men with the surname “Lowrye.”  A hearth or chimney tax was imposed on residents of the region.  On the hearth or chimney tax list for the Parish of Raphoe, County Donegal, in 1665 were several taxpayers with the surname “Lawry.”  A Lowry appears on the 1681 and 1688 rent rolls of an estate in Northern Lowry.

One book on the Scottish families in Northern Ireland states that the Lowrys are primarily in County Antrim and County Down.  The book also mentions a Lowry family in Bally McCasham (probably a town or a district.)  Another book mentions that Lowrys are listed frequently in vestry records of the Church of St. John Parish of Aghalow, Caledon, County Tyrone.  One reference source lists a “Lawrie” in Ballee?, County Down, in 1714 and a “Lawry” in Donagheady, County Tyrone,  in 1708.

Being stoutly Presbyterian, the Scottish settlers came into conflict with their Irish Catholic neighbors.  Also, they resented the tithes they were required to pay to the English Anglican Church.  Rents were oppressive and so were the methods of collecting them.  The English Parliament passed laws in the late 1600’s preventing Irish farm products from being imported into England.  Another law passed in the early 1700’s excluded Presbyterians from holding civil and military offices and forbad Presbyterian ministers to perform marriages.  These troubles caused many of the Scotch in Northern Ireland to seek homes in the New World.  The name “Scotch-Irish” was applied to these immigrants in America.

Pennsylvania was the destination for may Scotch-Irish.  From 1717 and 1718 until the American Revolution they cam by the thousands to Penn’s colony.  Colonial records and history show that Lowrys came to Pennsylvania from Northern Ireland.  Some settled in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

The first Lowry ancestor that we know of is a John Lowry, (born 1796) who moved to Franklin County about 1803 or 1804.  One source says that he immigrated from England.  The source does not mention where he was born.  This opens more questions than it answers.

There were other Lowry families in what is now Franklin County (established 1784) before our first known ancestor.  A Lowry is mentioned as a neighbor to the purchaser on a 1743 land draught in what is now Hamilton Township (established 1752.)  There is a “Lowrie” on the 1751-52 Lurgan Township tax list and another “Lowrie” on the 1751-52 Peters Township, a “Loughery” in Letterkenny Township and a Lowry in Montgomery Township.  We have found no evidence to indicate that these Lowrys are related to our family.

We have learned of the first two generations of our family in Franklin County from papers in a Wilkison family Bible, Lowry biographies in a Franklin County history book and tombstone inscriptions in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery in Guilford Township.  From people we have known within out lifetimes, we learned of the third and following generations.


                                                                                                                RALPH F. DICE, JR.





John Lowry, No. 1


John Lowry, born 1769 – died 1846


His wife


Elizabeth (Hullinger) Lowry, born 1778 – died 1850




Franklin County








John Lowry                                                           John Lowry, born 1796, died 1846

wife                                                                         Elizabeth (Hullinger) Lowry, his

Elizabeth Hullinger                                              wife, born 1778, died 1850.


Their children:


1.        Polly

2.        Elizabeth

3.        George, born 1802, died 1875

4.        Hannah

5.        Caroline

6.        John, born 1806

7.        Curtis, born 1809, died 1864

8.        Lucy A.

9.        Jacob, born 1820, died 1857; buried in Grindstone Hill Cemetery


This John Lowry emigrated from England.  He was of German-Irish ancestry.  He settled first in York or Lancaster County.  He must have gone from there to Berks County, for in 1803 or 1804 he came from Berks County to Franklin County where he was a prosperous man and well known.

He died at the age of seventy-seven years.  He and his wife Elizabeth were laid to rest in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery, along Route 316 between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.





George Lowry                                           George Lowry, son of John and

wife                                                             Elizabeth (Hullinger) Lowry, born

Catherine Morter                                   1802, died 1875; married Catherine

                                                                    Morter, born 1811, died 1884.


Their children:


1.        Elizabeth

2.        John, born 1831, died 1868

3.        Curtis

4.        David M., born 1837, died 1927

5.        Catherine

6.        Jacob

7.        Tema?

8.        Hannah, born 1847, died 1875

9.        Judith

10.     Daniel G., born 1853


This George Lowry was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, a son of John Lowry, of German-Irish ancestry.  George’s wife, Catherine Morter, was born August 3, 1811 and died June 14, 1884.  She was the daughter of David and Christiana Morter, both supposed to have been of German descent.  George Lowry came to this county from Berks County, Pennsylvania about 1803 or 1804 with his father and located in this township, where he died May 11, 1875.

George Lowry carried on merchandising in Mount Alto and located on the farm where he died.  This farm was taken up by George Adam Cook in 1753 and was bought from Cook in 1818.

George and his wife Catharine Lowry were buried in Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.





David M. Lowry, son of George and                         David M. Lowry

Catharine (Mortor) Lowry, born                                           wife

1837, died 1927; married Mary                                    Mary Ann Small

Ann Small, born 1841, died 1907.


Their children:

1.        Emma, married Daniel Brown

2.        Jessee

3.        Elizabeth

4.        David A.


David M. Lowry remained at home until after he attained his majority and engaged in farming until 1866.  In 1873 he took charge of the old Small’s Mill and after 1873 gave his entire attention to milling.  He bought the mill in 1880.  He also owned the homestead of 152 acres.  In 1860 he married Mary Ann, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Small.  The family were members of the Lutheran Church.

Mr. Lowry was a Democrat.  He served from 1882 to 1885 as a jury commissioner.

David M. and Mary Ann Lowry were buried in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.





Hannah Lowry                                      Hannah Lowry, daughter of George

husband                                                 and Catharine (Mortor) Lowry,

Michael Gsell                                       born 1847, dies 1875; married

                                                                Michael Gsell, born 1841, died ?


Michael and Hannah (Lowry) Gsell were buried in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.





Daniel G Lowry                                                    Daniel G. Lowry, son of George

wife                                                                         and Catherine (Mortor) Lowry,

Maggie Rohan                                                      born September 15, 1853; married

                                                                                Maggie Rohan


Their children:

1.        Nelsie

2.        Anna

3.        Blanche

Daniel and Magie Lowry were married in Ohio, where they lived for two years.  Maggie was the daughter of William Rohan.  Daniel G. Lowry was born and reared on the old Lowry homestead in Quincu Township, Franklin County, where he farmed until coming to Fayetteville, Pennsylvania; there he opened a store and also handled the McCormick reaper and binder.





John Lowry                                                           John Lowry, son of John and Elizabeth

wife                                                                         (Hullinger) Lowry, born 1806,

Rachel Lowry                                                       died 1855; his wife Rachel was

                                                                                Born in 1812 and died in 1893.


Their children:

1.        Aaron, born 1835, died 1900; married Amanda Benedict, born 1838, died 1915.

2.        John, bprn 1839, died 1886; married Charlotte Keller, born 1840, died 1890.

3.        Rebecca, born 1845, died 1916; married Leander Wilkison, born 1836, died 1912.

4.        Kate, born 1846, died 1916; married Amos Knepper, born 1840, died 1925.

5.        Amanda, born 1849, died 1863.

This John Lowry and his wife Rachel lived in the Guilford Township area.  While helping to build a barn he slipped from one of the logs one morning after there had been a light snow, he fell to the ground and died.

John and Rachel Lowry were members of the Lutheran Church at Grindstone Hill.  They were laid to rest in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.





Curtis Lowry, son of John and                      Curtis Lowry

Elizabeth (Hullinger) Lowry, born                          wife

November 14, 1809, died October                  Elizabeth Lowry

28, 1864; his wife Elizabeth was born

September 22, 1816 and died November

18, 1866.


Curtis and Elizabeth Lowry were buried in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Waynesboro and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.





Aaron Lowry, son of John and                 Aaron Lowry

Rachel Lowry, born 1835, died                     wife

1900; married Amanda Benedict,              Amanda Benedict

born 1838, died 1915.


Their son:

                John B. Lowry, born 1860, died 1945.


Aaron and Amanda Lowry owned and operated a farm near Altenwald, Quincy Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania.  After retiring they lived in a house nearby.  AS far as we know they were members of the Lutheran Church.

Aaron and Amanda Lowry were buried in the Grindstone Hill Church Cemetery along Route 316 between Waynesboro and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.





John B. Lowry                                                      John B. Lowry, only child of Aaron

Wife                                                                       and Amanda (Benedict) Lowry,

Alice Lowry                                                          born 1860, died 1945; his wife

                                                                                Alice Lowry was born in 1865 and

                                                                                Died in 1954.


John and Alice Lowry had no children.  They lived in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.  John worked at Frick Company in Waynesboro.  They were buried in the Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesboro.