My West Virginia
The Early Renick Family in America
You can download a free version of the booklet Renick Pioneers in America which includes photos of some of the ancestors.
Henry and Martha Wilson Renick Family
The following information is research by Glenn Gealy. Please do not copy without permission.
Henry (1725-1771) Renick and Martha Wilson (abt. 1725- bef. 1769) m. 1750
Summarized below is information we have on the family of Mary Renick (of Henry, of William, of George), wife of John Gealey, and mother of James the Tanner Gealy. (John Gealey and Mary Renick are the great grandparents of my great grandfather, Asa Gealy.) A large portion of the material came from Rod Renick, Lois Renick, Dorothy Luttrell, and Mary Justmann.
According to Rod Renick, who has done extensive research in The Old Country, the Renick family can be traced to the Lowlands of Scotland in the 1300s. He says they were not German, as one family tradition (descendants of Robert, d. 1757) suggests.
According to Tom and Betty Renick in The Renick Family History, “Family tradition which was recorded by William Renick (born 1804) in his Memoirs, Correspondence and Reminiscences of William Renick (Circleville, Ohio, 1880) reveals … that the Renicks migrated from Germany to Scotland to escape religious persecution and that the name changed from Rinewicke to Renwick. [See Rod Renick’s comment about the Renicks having been in Scotland in the 1300s.] Part of the family moved from Scotland to Colerain [Londonderry] County, Ireland. At that time there was a father and three brothers; one brother was created a peer of the realm and agreed to purchase the land of the other two.” These Renicks also write, “The RENICK name -- which has been spelled as Renwick, Rennick, Rennock, Rennicks, Renix and Reynick -- comes most recently from a location in the Cumberland County area in England near the Scotland border called Renwick. Around the mid-to-southern part of Scotland or the "lowlands," many towns bear the suffix of "wick" such as Berwick, Ainwick and Harwick. It appears fairly certain that the Renwicks were living in the lowlands of Scotland, at least 400 to 500 years ago.
As mentioned by several ancestors, word-of-mouth has suggested the Renicks were once the Wicks of Germany and that when they moved to the Rhine River area, they became the Reinwicks. They later migrated to England or Scotland because of religious persecution. This German ancestry suggestion seems fairly consistent among many Renicks. One relative mentioned that there is a Rennick castle on the Rhine River in Germany today.” I have no idea of the accuracy of the German connection here, but Rod Renick was pretty thorough. I likewise have no idea of the accuracy of the statement about the “father and three brothers; one of whom was created a peer,” which I would take with heavy dose of skepticism.
Tom Renick has noted that the German ancestry apparently came about because Renicks in Ohio lived amongst a number of very fine German farmers. Not being as proud of their Scots-Irish heritage as we are J, they simply cooked up the German ancestry story because the Germans were higher up the social ladder.
From The History of Hardy County, we have: “Family tradition related that two brothers came from Londonderry in the North of Ireland with their aged father, suffering various adventures when the emigrant ship was boarded by pirates. The Renick name was more common in County Fermanagh than in County Londonderry in the eighteenth century, but it is still found in Northern Ireland”. It briefly discusses the Paxtang Twp. Renicks. The pirate story likely came from William Renick’s Memoirs, Correspondence and Reminiscences of William Renick, Circleville OH 1880, which has a very vivid and colorful account of the pirate attack. It refers to a pirate pushing a candle into old Mr. Renick’s mouth and telling him to be quiet. Stories that are this colorful were probably not made up – truth being stranger than fiction – but the stories were just as likely allocated to “the wrong set of ancestors” by someone who heard the story as a youngster and then recounted it many years later. On the other hand, far be if from me to say they were not boarded by pirates.
Ed Sweeney notes, “We have always been told that [William] came from Ireland with six of his brothers. We have no idea if this is fact or fiction.” Yea, verily. A handwritten note from the early 1900s that I saw at the 2007 Renick reunion spoke of five brothers. I claim to not know.
Sandy Stark has found evidence of the family in Enniskillen, Ulster as far back as 1630. A William Rennick was on the militia Muster Rolls for a Malcom Hamilton, whose castle Monea was located about six miles from Enniskillen. Rev. Hamilton built the castle in 1618. Though now in ruins, it is still the best-preserved castle of the area.
Our history of the family starts with George the Immigrant. To the best of our understanding, he came to PA from Iniskillen, Ulster, about 1719 or 1720 with sons William (m. Mary Dugan, as per Mr. Rod Renick and other sources, though there is no hard evidence), Thomas (m. Mary Ann?), and Robert (m. Elizabeth “Betsy” Archer) and daughter Elizabeth (m. Robert Polke or Poage). George apparently did not have a brother named Thomas, as some researchers (probably initially stated by Egle) suggest.
Based on church records, George’s family apparently lived in the Philadelphia area, possibly Montgomery Co, until the late 1720s, after which time we find them in Paxtang Twp, Lancaster Co.
A George Renick, along with wife Margaret and a Sara are listed in the Abington Twp. Presbyterian Church records of 1714. Some researchers have speculated that this George was an older brother of Wm, Thos, and Robert who came earlier, but we have no concrete information either way. Elizabeth and Robert Polke were married in the Abington Church in 1723 or 1724. A Martha Renick married a John Wilson who was born in 1717 (Egle's N&Q). Was she the youngest sister? None of the Renick family records include her in George's family. Dorothy Renick Luttrell believes the George of the 1714 Abingdon Presbyterian Church records (Montgomery Co. PA) was an older brother of William, Thomas, Robert, and Elizabeth. If this is true, then the older George probably did not arrive before 1719. Was Abingdon George the man who drowned in the ferry accident? If so, there are no court records.
From Egle's N&Q, Historical and Genealogical, p. 83, we have this article: "An Early Settler on the Susquehanna: Whereas George Renick, late of Iniskillen, having about eleven years since arrived in the province with the first settlers of Donegal , yet has never obtained leave to settle on any of the proprietor's lands, without which leave he never would presume to attempt it, and being now desirous that himself and three sons, William, Thomas, and Robert and his son-in-law, Robert Polke, might be allowed to settle down on some tract together in one neighbourhood, I therefore think it advisable that pursuant to his request he and his said sons and son-in-law be suffered to enter on the quantity of one thousand acres , near Susquehanna, between Sohataroe and Pextan, and that the same may be marked out to him and his said sons in a regular tract by the surveyor of Lancaster county or his order at the said George's charge, upon this express condition, that he and his said sons and son-in-law shall comply with such terms as shall be proposed by the proprietors or their agents, when lands in those parts shall be granted, or other wise shall quietly quitt the same. Dated at Stenton, the 25th day of January, 1730-1. 
Lett him begin on Susquehanna at least two miles above Soharatoe, running a proper distance back, and he may take in any settlement that is only begun and not actually inhabited. J.L."
 Renicks were active in the Abington Presbyterian Church near Philadelphia through the 1720s. The reference to them having “arrived in the province with the first settlers of Donegal” may be poetic license.
 William’s original grant appears to have contained about 1000 acres.
 In those days the new-year began in March, so 25 Jan 1730 was in 1731 by our calendar. This means they arrived ca 1720.
James Logan was the governor of PA. The article was probably from the PA Colonial Records, but I don't have any reference other than Egle. George apparently did not warrant any property, but his three sons did. Robert and Elizabeth Polke (Poage) apparently moved to VA without having taken any property in PA. The records (courtesy of Lois Renick) are:
Robert Renick: Warrant No. 65, 27 Mar. 1738, 250 A, Paxtang Twp, Lancaster Co. Survey: 21 Mar. 1738-39, returned 30 May 1743, 244 A.
Survey Book A, Vol. 49, p. 99
Patent Book A, Vol. 12, p. 62, 11 Nov. 1743 to Rebecca Edgell.
Robert did not live up to the conditions of the warrant. It was adjacent to William’s
warrant and did not front on the river. It straddled the line between Swatara and Lower
William Renick: Warrant No. 67, 27 Mar. 1738, 500 A, Paxtang Twp, Lancaster Co.
Survey: 21 March 1738-39, returned for 631 A.
Survey Book A, Vol. 44, p. 159 (Property adjoined James Crawford)
As nearly as I can tell, this property originally comprised about 1,000 a. and fronted on the Susquehanna River. Mary sold 250 a. on the river to Hugh Davey in the 1740s. The warrantee map shows the remaining warrant contained 730 a. The difference between 631 a. and 730 a. may have been due to “allowances”. From old maps it appears that the town of Highspire was later contained within the riverfront portion of this property. Most of the warrant was in Lower Swatara Twp, with a small portion in Swatara Twp.
Thomas Renick: Warrant No. 68, 27 Mar. 1738, 400 A, Paxtang Twp (now Harrisburg)
Survey 20 Mar. 1738-39, returned for 354 A, 5 Nov. 1739
Survey Book A, Vol. 86, p. 227
Patent Book A, Vol. 14, p. 89, 19 Mar. 1747 to Richard Peters, sold to Peters 1744, Vol.
1, p. 15, Deed Book B, p. 258
This property was on the river in Swatara Twp, perhaps two miles upstream of William and Robert, and may have been where they had the ferry because of the nearby island.
All of these holdings were in modern day Dauphin Co, in Swatara or Lower Swatara Twps, near High Spire, Steeltown, and the Harrisburg Airport. (When working with land warrants, you must keep in mind that the original number of acres was only an estimate. The actual number of acres was determined by the survey. Furthermore, the actual number of acres recorded was oftentimes reduced by “allowances for roads”. Simply put, the number of acres can vary significantly, even though the property was the same.) I have the warrantee maps. Thomas’ warrant was in Swatara Twp; Robert and William’s warrants straddled the Twp. line. A note in N&Q, ser. 3, Vol. 1, p. 200, suggests the property included a 28 a. island, possibly Suckers Island in 1880, in the Susquehanna River. We know this to be the case from later deeds. The 354 a. is the sum of 326 a. and 28 a. According to the PA Archives Division of Land Records in Harrisburg, the warrant applications of Robt, Wm, and Thos have not survived. I have the warrants and surveys.
Of George the Immigrant: George and his family probably arrived from Ulster in 1719 or 1720 and first located in the Philadelphia area, now Montgomery County, although there are no property records of him there. They probably arrived in Paxtang Twp. in the late 1720s. George’s wife may have been Margaret because all the children named a daughter Margaret. This is a chronology of records we have of George. All the pre-1730 records and many of the later records are thanks to Rod Renick.
1719 George and his family probably arrived in PA this year or possibly 1720 [Logan petition above].
1723 Elizabeth Renick, daughter of George, married Robert Poage on 02 Jan 1723 at the Abington Presbyterian Church, now Montgomery County PA. [Brittingham, Early Marriages 1708-1800 of Abingdon Presbyterian Church; Genealogical Society of PA – Vol. 229, Records of the Abington, PA Presbyterian Church; Hinke, Church Records, pp. 130-131; Harlow, Renicks of Greenbrier, pp. 2-3 and Appendix B, pp. 4-5; PA Archives, 2nd Series, Vol. IX, p. 195]
1727 Rev. Malachi Jones, Abington Presbyterian Church, brought charges against George Runick and Henry Jamison on 07 March for behavior that had been going on for two years. [Genealogical Society of PA – Vol. 229, Records of the Abington, PA Presbyterian Church, pp. 90-91; Baggs, History of Abington Presbyterian Church, p. 27; OYRHS Bulletin, Vol. LII 1992 pp. 27-46 and Vol. II 1938 p. 17; The Jenkins Town Lyceum – Abington Presbyterian Church, pp. 50-57]
1728 George Renock and his wife, son-in-law Robert Polke, son William and wife, and Henry Jamison were excommunicated by Rev. Malachi Jones. [Records of the Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Board of Publications, pp. 89-90; Records of the Presbyterian Church in the USA 1706-1788, Book II, Minutes of the Synod (1727-1743), pp. 98-99; Klett, Minutes of the Presbyterian Church, p. 29]
1729 George Rennicks was mentioned as an elder, Synod of Philadelphia minutes, 17 Sep 1729. [Synod of Philadelphia, Minutes; Records of the Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Board of Publications, pp. 90-91; Webster, History of the Presbyterian Church in America, p. 346, Klett, Minutes of the Presbyterian Church in America 1706-1788, pp. 92-96] It would appear they were not yet in Paxtang Twp.
1730 George probably moved to Paxtang about this year.
1731 Petition for land in Paxtang Twp, 25 January [Logan petition]
1732 George signed a petition to call Rev. Bertram from Scotland to serve Paxtang and Derry churches. [Egle, N & Q Series 3, Vol. 1, p. 47 and 324] George was one of four men who served on the original Session of the Paxton Church. [letter from Morton Glise, Minister, Paxtang Presbyterian Church, 15 Oct 1971]
1733 George Renick, elder of the Paxton church, attended Donegal Presbytery, 19 Sep 1733. [N&Q, Second Series, Vol. 1, p. 82; Records of the Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Board of Publications, p. 101; Presbytery of Donegal, minutes pp. 17-18]
1733 Lawsuit against Patrick Martin because Martin did not “fulfill his contract to saw a thousand feet of plank for Mr. Bertram’s house” [Historic Paxton, Her Days and Her Ways 1722-1913, Helen Wallace, Harrisburg, 1913, p. 100-103; Klett, Presbyterians in Colonial PA, p. 170-171]
1733 Mardicai Boyd vs. George Rennick, August 1733, Court of Common Pleas docket.
1733 George Reinock, grand jury inquest member [Hawbaker, Lancaster Co. PA Sessions Abstracts 1729-1742, Book I]
1734 George Renick was encouraged by the Paxtang congregation on 02 April to defend action by Patrick Martin. [Notingham, Presbytery of Donegal; Downey, History of Paxton Church, p. 12]
1734 Final decision on Renick/Martin matter, 28 Aug [Presbytery of Donegal – minutes, p. 58-66]
1737 George Renick died intestate. [Fulton, Will Books, p. 95]
1737/8 Inventory and appraisal of George Renick by Hugh Torrance and James Crawford, 25 Jan.
1737/8 Administrative bond of George Renick signed 06 Feb by sons Robert and William and John Black. This is the first record we have of Robert.
1738 “This is all in the one original survey in Lansdown, Lancaster County PA, and bears all the earmarks of being the original tract of land entered by the aforesaid George Renick.” [Renick, The Renick Family of Virginia, Appendix C, p. 5] This needs additional research. It is believed George did not obtain any property himself.
Did George Renick have a brother, and who was he? As noted above, “Family tradition related that two brothers came from Londonderry in the North of Ireland with their aged father, suffering various adventures…” It turns out there may have been a Robert Renick who signed, in 1720, a marriage bond for Jane ___ (relationship unknown) and James Frame in Lancaster Co. James and Jane Frame eventually ended up in Augusta Co. VA, and a Robert Renick (possibly the man from 1720 but more likely the son of George) witnessed Frame’s will in 1754. Jane ___ and James Frame are said to have married in Chester County, and as having lived in Laycock or Leacock Twp, near Lancaster, in Lancaster County.
It seems reasonable that this Robert Renick of 1720, if he was a real person, was our George’s brother. I need to do more research. It is surprising that Rod Renick would have missed this type of information, as thorough as he was.
The identity of Jane is uncertain. Some researchers assume she was Jane Renick, but this was likely based on the Robert Renick signature on the marriage bond – indeed, if there was such a marriage bond! There is a Frame account that, more or less, “James left Ireland with a servant girl – ‘ran away is the written phrase’ – named Renick, Rennick, or Renwick. There is a connection between Fram [sic] and Renwick [sic] in that both were on a prison ship (Covenantors) that wrecked between Scotland and Ireland. A John Frame survived…. The James Frame who left Ulster with his wife Jane (immigration and passenger lists) was most likely the James who started this line…” A well-known Frame researcher, whose name escapes me right now, seems to have disdain for this record of a 1720 Frame-Renick marriage. There is a suggestion that the 1720 record was in reality the 1754 Augusta Co. record.
My general feeling is that we should completely discount this 1720 record, at least for the time being.
Of George’s son George: I am keeping him as a placeholder. In the Renick folder in Volume III there is a file entitled “Justman-1973”, which is a letter by Mary Justmann, written 1973. She notes that Chalkey’s Chronicles gives a list of delinquents in the tax levies for Augusta Co. VA, dated 1748: “George Renix, gone to Carolina.” She speculates he was the George of the 1714 Abington Church record. But it is pretty certain he is not the George who had the daughter baptized by Rev. ___ in 1749. Based on the information from _____ Renick noted above and the Justmann letter, I have at least some confidence J there was indeed a brother George, though we should not immediately jump to conclusions that George of Augusta Co. VA was our George. L The fact that George the elder did not mention this George in his 1730/31 petition to Gov. Logan suggests that he had already left the state by then. There really isn’t any logic in any of this.
Of George’s daughter Martha: I am keeping her as a placeholder only. A Martha married John Wilson (b. 1717) of Lancaster Co. (Egle, Notes and Queries, Historical and Genealogical, p. 210)
Of George's son William: William was probably born around 1704 and is believed to have married Mary Dugan. He died in 1741, possibly in a ferry accident, though this is pure conjecture. The reference quoted for the Dugan marriage is Kentucky Society of the DAR 1973 Report, p. 150-152. We also have circumstantial evidence, based on the close proximity of a Thomas Dugan to our Renicks from 1739 to 1763, Thomas Dugan’s signature on Mary Renick’s 1747 settlement papers, and the naming of Thomas Dugan and our Henry Renick as co-guardians of William and Mary’s younger children. Indeed, this circumstantial evidence may be the source of the DAR claim. Egle does not name William’s wife, but he likewise missed William’s death in 1741 and a number of later documents naming her as Mary. Mary Dugan (assuming the Dugan is correct) was possibly the daughter of a Thomas Dugan (though not the Thomas Dugan of Paxtang, for reasons discussed below) because she named her second son Thomas. This is a chronology of records we have of William.
1724 Egle, Notes and Queries, Ser. 1 & 2, Vol I, reports that William in 1724 was a viewer of a road laid out from Chamber’s mill on the Susquehanna, at Kihtotening Hill, to Pine Ford on the Swatara, to Lancaster. Pine Ford was at or near the present town of Middletown, which is southeast of the Renick property. This is a very early Paxtang Twp date for our family and it precedes all the other Renick records except the 1714 church record and 1720 marriage bond, which we can’t absolutely connect to our family. The 1724 record may be my error, but if it is indeed correct, it would explain William’s marriage to Mary Dugan in Paxtang while George was still in the Philadelphia area. On the other hand, we do find William and his unnamed wife in the Abington church in the late 1720s. We need to verify this year.
1728 William Renock and his wife, brother-in-law Robert Polke, father George and wife, and Henry Jamison were all excommunicated from the Abingdon Church by Rev. Malachi Jones. [see reference for George above]
1732 William and Thomas Renick witnessed the transfer of Paxtang Twp. property from John Lepeper to Morgan Layton, 03 Jun [Rod Renick]
1730s Hawbaker, Lancaster PA Quarter Session Abstracts, Book 1, 1727-1742, shows George, William, and Thomas named many times from 1732 to 1735. Many of the entries are for Grand Juries.
1730s The Draper Manuscripts, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, notes there “were three or four brothers who became owners of a ferryboat, in which occupation they were engaged until one of them was drowned, afterwards they divided…[the property].” Perhaps William drowned in 1741, which is about the time Thomas and Robert began pulling up stakes.
1736 According to Rupp’s History of Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, etc, p. 357, William and others were ordered by the court to inspect the route for a road on the west side of the Susquehanna River in 1736. They were ordered to “make such alterations in said road as may seem to them necessary for the public good.” They reported it to be inadequate and recommended changes, although little change was made. From the History of Dauphin County PA we know that the road was begun in 1735, to go from “Harris’ Ferry towards Potomac”. It ordained as a lawful road in 1744. The road from Harrisburg to Chambersburg is now known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
1736 William was cited as an elder of the Paxton church on 03 Feb when a committee was appointed to review the Paxton church refusal of Rev. Craighead. [Downey, History of the Paxton Church, p. 18]
1737 William was "recommended by several of the Magistry to be a Justice for Soatara & neighborhood" at the Council meeting in Philadelphia, 8 Feb 1736-7. Justices were needed prior to publication of the new "commission of the peace" subsequent to the Higginbotham Indian Uprising [PA Colonial Record Series, Vol. 4, p. 154].
1737 William signed the estate inventory of George, 04 Jan.
1737 William Renick was a grand inquest jury member, 01 Feb. [Hawbaker, p. 57-58]
1737 William Renick signed administrative bond for dec. father George.
1737 William Renick became an elder in Paxton Presbyterian Church. [Rod Renick]
1737 William accepted reprimand of Rev. Elder, on behalf of George (dec.) for George’s use of bad language in the Martin matter. [Rod Renick]
1738 Land warrant # 67 for 500 acres. See above.
1739 The PA Gazette of October 4, 1739, reports that Wm was an assessor for Lancaster Co.
1739 A road from Harris’ Ferry to Lancaster passed William Renwick’s Run, five miles from Swatara Creek. [Papers of the Lancaster Co. Historical Society, Vol. 26, p. 54]
1740 William, of Donegal, was a member or delegate to Donegal Presbytery in 1740 and 1741. [N&Q, 2nd Series, Vol. 1, p. 82]
1741 William died in 1741. [Fulton, Will Book, p. 95 (William Renich)]. Mary did not sign.
1744 Mary sold 250 a. on the river to Hugh Davey and 262 a. to Andrew Stain (?); there was only one piece of property here. [Lancaster Co. Deed Book L, p. 262; Mayhill, Deed Abstracts, p. 144]
1745 William’s bills were paid by his widow Mary. [Accounts Papers, basement of Lancaster Co. courthouse] I assume Mary paid the bills from the sale of property in 1744.
1747 Mary died in 1747. Thomas Dougan and Henry Renick signed papers. [Fulton, Will Book, p. 95]
1763 Transfer of William Renick's property to oldest son, Henry, Jan. 1763 [Lancaster Co. Deed Abstracts 1729 - 1770 by Mayhill L-27]:
William Renick died in testate
Adjacent neighbors are Montgomery, Thos. Dugan, Geo. Fleming
Two tracts of land in Paxton Twp.
Henry - eldest son receives property
Thomas - Paxtang
Margaret, Alexander, Samuel - Cumberland Co.
William - Frederick Co. MD
James - Trentontown, West Jersey
Witnessed by (19 Dec. 1764)
Children of William and Mary Dugan Renick were, Egle [Notes & Queries, Historical and Genealogical, p. 469], were:
Henry of Paxtang [m. Martha Wilson ca 1750 and Catherine ___ bef. 1758]
James of Trententown, West Jersey [m. Mary Chambers]
Alexander of Cumberland Co. [m. Esther McKamie]
Thomas of Paxtang [m. Jean/Jane Clark]
William of Frederick Co, MD [The PA Archives (5/1/101) shows that a William Renox
entered service as one of the "Battoe Men hired into service of the Province of Pa" on 10 June 1757. This is the only possible candidate; not necessarily our uncle.] [m. Sarah Archer, Malone, or Wright; I found a note on the www to the effect that William married Sarah Archer on 07 Jan 1769, at Frederick MD]
Samuel of Cumberland Co. [m. Nancy Ann ____]
Margaret of Cumberland Co. [no record after ~1763]
Of George's son Robert: Robert was married to Elizabeth (Betsy) Archer. As compared to his brothers William and Thomas, Robert left very few footprints in Paxtang Twp. The first record we have of him is his signature on George’s estate papers in 1737 or 1738. This family moved to Augusta Co. VA, in the vicinity of Natural Bridge, probably about 1740, where Robert was killed by Indians on 25 July 1757. His entire family was captured. After their release and return (ca. 1765) some of the family settled in now-Greenbriar Co. WV, in the vicinity of Renick and Lewisburg WV. It isn’t clear what became of the Augusta Co. VA property; it may simply have gone for taxes whilst the family was in captivity. This family is written-up extensively in Harlow's Renicks of Greenbriar. The Paxtang Twp. tax rolls of 1758 include a Robert Renick; I have no idea who he may be. Children of Robert and Betsy were (from Lois Renick):
Nancy 1744 m. __ Vincent
William 1745-1815 m. Sarah Hamilton. Sarah or Sarah Ann was the
daughter of Andrew Hamilton and Martha Kincaid of Augusta Co. VA. These parents are sometimes allocated to the ethereal (?) Ann Hamilton who married the ethereal (?) William Renick (b. 1714).
Joshua 1746-1784 or 1810 He married into an Indian family and became a
a chief of the Ohios. He lived with Tecumseh and the Prophet for a time.
Thomas 1748-1779 m. Phoebe ___
Margaret (Peggy) 1751 m. George Kincaid
Robert I 1754-1757
Robert II 1757-1835 m. Letitia Wells Dalton
Betsy 1757-1754 died in captivity
Of George's son Thomas: Thomas was married to Mary Ann or Katherine ____. This family initially lived in Paxtang but eventually moved to what is now Hardy Co, West VA. Egle’s N&Q, Ser. 3, Vol. 2, p. 229, refers to a road near the Harris and Renick ferries and notes that Harris and Thomas were “good friends and near kinsmen” (Feb 1745). Perhaps Mary Ann was a Harris, though this is not noted in any of the Harris family history I have seen. N&Q, Ser. 1&2, Vol. 2, p. 197, notes that Thomas was a leading elder in Rev. Elder’s church. His farm adjoined Mr. Harris’ plantation. Harris and Thomas were playing a game of “Long Bullets”, which involved heaving 2-inch balls of iron, apparently on the Sabbath. For this they were scolded by Rev. Elder. [The Egle records may refer to Thomas (b. 1730), son of William.] Thomas is named in the 1744 Frederick Co. VA (later Hardy Co.) fee book of Col. Jas. Wood. Note that he sold his warrant to Peters in 1744. He died in testate 16 May 1751. From The History of Hardy County we have: “Family tradition related that Felix Seymour, who had known Thomas Renick in Ireland, came to America with his nine-year-old son in 1736. When the father returned for the rest of the family, they were lost at sea. The Renicks raised Felix Seymour, Jr. In 1753 he married Margaret Renick, George Renick’s sister [daughter of Thomas – see below]. The Seymours evidently lived on the manor… Mary Welton, who obtained title to 406 acres on the drains of Lunice Creek in her own name in 1754, later married George Renick. In 1766 and 1771 George and Mary Renick sold this property to Felix Seymour [Hampshire Co. Deed Book 1 p. 30 and p. 35]. George Renick was the eldest son and heir of Thomas Renick, to whom Fairfax granted 270 acres on the bend of the South Branch just above Milleson’s Mill in present Hampshire County in 1748.” This connection of Thomas Renick and Felix Seymour refutes the claim in Virkus that Felix was the son-in-law of William Renick. That is, the Mr. Renick with whom Felix moved to VA was Thomas Renick, not William Renick. Children of Thomas and Mary Ann or Katherine were (from Lois Renick):
Margaret 1734-1778 m. Felix Seymour
George 1736-1778 m. Mary Jane Welton
Catherine (Katy) 1738-1791 m. Abel Randall
Thomas ~1740-1782 m. Elizabeth ___
Mary Ann 1742-1780 m. Thomas Parsons
William 1746-1807 m. Ann Rachel Heath
James 1747-1779/82 m. Elizabeth Yokem
Jonathan (John) 1750-1814 m. Mary Heath
All of the children except John stayed in VA or WV. John went to OH. These children are also allocated to William Renick and Ann Hamilton, who may not have existed. See below. This is a brief chronology of Thomas:
1731 Thomas Renick, legal deposition: Whilst at Philadelphia in 1732 (18 Jan 1731), Thomas heard Jamison and Warren declare that “when they left Alleganey some French people from Canada were building a Fort with logs at or near the said River Ohio, and that the English Traders in those parts seemed under great apprehensions on this account.” [PA Archives 1664-1747, pp. 309-310; The Renick Family of Virginia, p. 222; Appendix A, p. 1; The Renicks of Greenbriar, Appendix A]
1733 Grand inquest jury member, 01 May [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1734 Grand inquest jury member, 06 Aug [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1734 Grand inquest jury member, 05 Nov; William Allison and Margaret Baskin found guilty of forn___ [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1735 Recognizances: Thomas Renick for Samuel Maynes, May [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1736 Grand inquest jury member, 03 Feb [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1738 Administrative bond, George Renick, deceased, 06 Feb
1737 Grand inquest jury member, 02 Aug [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1738 Estate inventory, George Renick, dec, 25 Jan
1738 Land warrant #68, 400 a. – see above
1738 Joseph Park vs. Thomas Renick, 02 May, for taking six hogs; case discharged after fees paid [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1738 Grand inquest jury member, 01 Aug [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1738 Thomas mentioned as a leading elder of Rev. Elder’s church [Kelker, History of Dauphin Co, p. 21; Morgan, Annals of Harrisburg, p. 356-57; Egle’s N&Q 1st and 2nd Series, Vol II, p. 197-198; Wallace, Historic Paxtang, p. 76]
1739 Samuel Maynes and Andrew Maynes appear 05 Feb and give evidence against Thos Renick; William Renick also mentioned [Court of Quarter Sessions, Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1739 Survey for warrant #68, 354 a, 20 March
1739 Thomas Renick petition of 07 Aug “to be Recommended to the Governor as Suitable persons to keep a publick house. Allowed.” [Lancaster Co. Abstracts, Hawbaker]
1739 Survey for warrant # 68 returned 05 Nov for 326 a. and 28 1/2 a. island in the Susquehanna River [Lancaster Co. Survey Book A, Vol. 86, p. 227]
1740 Thomas Renick was “allowed to be recommended to the Governour as Suitable Persons to keep public Houses in the County the Ensuing year”, 05 Aug [Hawbaker, Lancaster Co. Abstracts]
1741 Administrative bond, William Renick, dec; widow Mary, James Crawford, Samuel Montgomery, executors; Thos Renick (signature) and Gordon Howard witnesses, 31 July
1741 Thomas Renick allowed to keep “publick houses in the County for the Ensuing year”, 04 Aug [Hawbaker, Lancaster Co. Abstracts]
1741 Thomas Renick and Joshua Low elected coroners, 08 Oct [Scott, Abstracts PA Gazette, p. 333]
1741 Reference to Thomas Renick as resident of Lancaster Co in 1741, and still lived there in 1744; moved to Augusta Co. VA prior to 1748 [Lancaster Co. Historical Society Vol. XXV No. 10, pp. 152-53] It isn’t clear from this when Thomas moved to VA - sometime between 1741 and 1744.
1743 Lawsuit of Daniel Harrison vs. Thomas Rennox, Orange Co. VA, 03 Jul; Settlers by the Long Grey Trail [Orange Co. Court Order Book 1741-43, pp. 506 and 529, Book 1743-46, pp. 3 and 75] The wording apparently refers to an attachment “against ye estate of Thomas Renix” and goes on to say “Robert Renick was doubtless a kinsman of Thomas to whom Daniel Harrison made the loan…” The researcher assumes that the term “estate of Thomas Renix” means that Thomas had died. I plead ignorance and will let you decide for yourself.
1744 Thomas Renick to Richard Peters, 354 a, including island, deed signed by Thomas Renick and witnessed by Edward Shippen and John Callahan, 24 Jul
1744 In the 21 March 1744 edition of the PA Gazette, the Shippen family offered to “sell lots on Society Hill in Front St. and Second St….. 8 miles from John Wrights ferry, 395 a. on the same side where [Eastland lived] and fronting on the rivere where Thomas Rennix lately kept a ferry.”
1745 Advertisement offering to sell various parcels of land, including “250 acres at Pextan, fronting the river where Thomas Rennix lately kept a ferry” [Scott, Abstracts PA Gazette, p. 440]
1748 Thomas Renick purchased 270 a. in Frederick Co. VA, #42, upon the Wappacomo or Great Southern Branch of Potomack River [Book G, p. 129]
1751 Administrative bond, Thomas Renick, dec. [Frederick Co. Willbook I, p. 458]
Of George's daughter Elizabeth and Robert Polk (Poage): Moved to VA, as noted above. Their children were (from Lois Renick):
§ Sarah 1723 m. Thomas Gordon
§ John 1726-1789 m. Mary Blair or Crawford
§ Martha ~1728-1818 m. Andrew Woods
§ Mary 1732-1757 m. Robert Breckenridge
§ Elizabeth 1733-1791 m. George Crawford
§ George 1734-1787 m. Rachel Stevenson
§ William 1735-1778 m. Mrs. Ann (Kennedy) Wilson
§ Margaret 1737 m. Col. James Robertson
§ Thomas 1739-1803 m. Mary (Polly) McClanahan
§ Robert 1730 m. Jean Wallace
Of Henry, son of William and grandson of George: The most detailed information we have on the family of Henry and Martha Wilson Renick comes from Egle (N&Q, H. and G, p. 469).
Henry (b. 2 Dec. 1725) m. Martha Wilson in 1750 [Bausman say 25 Dec.]
[He was later married to a Catherine who must have outlived him because Henry
is buried with Martha. Martha died before 1758. Henry died 4 Dec 1771.] Their children were:
William (b. Monday, Oct. 6, 1749, d. March [??] 1776)
[Was William born before they were married? Bausman says 16 Oct.]
Sarah (b. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1751 or '53, d. Mar. 12, 1823) [1751, as per Bausman]
m. John Willson (1750 - Nov. 11, 1800) in or before 1771
Mary (b. Saturday, Aug. 24, 1754, d. 1828)
[m. John Gealey (1750 - 1840)]
Martha (b. Saturday, Nov. 30, 1755), m. Wm Swan [19 Dec 1775]
Esther (b. Aug. 31, 1758) m. Dec. 14, 1784, Robert Foster (b. 1758, d. Jan. 20, 1834, in
Buffalo Valley) [Esther died 3 Nov. 1807; apparently the dau of Catherine]
Margaret (b. Sept. 12, 1760, d. s. p.) [apparently the dau of Catherine]
My comments are in . The Bausman Collection at the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania has a Renick folder with the Renick family Bible, apparently acquired in 1769, which was kept by the Foster family. The Bible has the early Renick birth records, which were obviously recorded many, many years after the fact.
Of Martha Wilson: We know nothing of her family, and Wilson was a very common name. I believe her father was John Wilson, based on an early militia record. Her mother was Sarah, based on naming convention, because her third daughter was Sarah. They may have been from Union County because a Henry Renick's marriage in Union Co. in 1750 to Martha Wilson is mentioned in the Lowry Research. Rod Renick notes Lycoming PA for their marriage. Neither Union nor Lycoming Counties were formed until long after Martha was born. Her brother may have been a John Wilson because Martha and Henry are buried with John and Eleanor Wilson in the old Paxtang Church Cemetery. One researcher believes Eleanor and John Wilson were Martha’s parents, but this would seem to be incorrect given that Eleanor died in 1801. See stone inscription below. Martha must have died before 1758 because Catherine is named with Henry in a 1758 court document. In Rev. Roan's church there were ten James Wilson's alone, so the likelihood, without incredible luck, of sorting out Martha's ancestry is miniscule.
I should point out that Egle (N&Q, H. and G, p. 210) shows a John Wilson (b. 1717) married to a Martha Renick. It is feasible, I guess, that this woman was a sister of William, but this is only a guess. If you haven't caught on by now, Wilson was the most common name in PA at the time. In the section, Other Pennsylvania Families in Vol. I, you will notice the 1801 will of John Wilson (m. Jean) naming nieces Mary and Sarah Galey. These names appear to correlate with names in Benjamin Galey's 1777 will. My guess is that this is all coincidence, but there could be some family connection.
Of Catherine ___: Henry apparently married Catherine ____ before 1758, because in mid-1758 they were named in a court document of Esther and Ann Cowan of Chester Co. It is feasible Catherine was born Catherine Cowan. Information obtained from the web shows our Henry married to Catherine Dickey, a daughter of Wm Dickey Sr. Henry’s daughter, Esther, is also shown. This information could be correct. J
Of son William: We believe he died in March 1776 in the Revolution. Durant's book on Lawrence County has him dying in the War of 1812, but that simply doesn't make any sense because of his age, and we don’t find him in any intervening census records. It is indeed curious that he is shown as having been born before his parents were married. Maybe Henry had a wife who died when William was born, or Martha had a husband who died in 1749. More discussion and records are provided below. There is a reference in Henry’s orphans court records to William as “eldest son”, but it means “eldest child”.
Of daughter Sarah and John Willson: Egle (N&Q, H. and G, p. 211) shows John to be the son of Joseph and Mary Ann ___ Wilson. John had siblings Robert, Alexander, Joseph, and Sarah, m. Isler. They had married in 1771 or earlier because they are both noted in the Orphans Court document of 4 Dec. 1771, upon Henry's death. (Orphans Court Document 1772-1776, p. 245.) Sarah and John are buried in the Paxton Presbyterian Church cemetery, near Harrisburg PA. Their flat stone (near the corner nearest the church) reads:
In memory of
Son of Joseph Wilson
Who departed this life Nov. 11, 1800
In the 50th year of his age.
He was a valuable member of Society,
from his youth pious, and a living
example of the resolution –
“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”
Wife of John Wilson
Who died March 12, 1823
Aged about 70 years.
Of daughter Mary: She married John Gealey; they are our ancestors. How they may have met is unclear, and we don't have any marriage records. She is the only one of the four married sisters for whom we do not have some marriage records, although we know she was single in Dec. 1771 as per Henry’s Orphan's Court document. They named their second son Henry, which would have been for her father assuming they followed Scots-Irish tradition, and named the fourth and fifth sons William and Renwick, respectively, probably for her brother William. I would guess that Mary and John Gealey married in 1775 because John was taxed as a freeman in 1775 (for a Nov. 1774 assessment).
Of daughter Martha and William Swan: They were married by Rev. Elder 19 Dec. 1775 (Cumberland County Pennsylvania Marriages, 1761-1800), and had children Mary, Moses, William and Sarah, m. William Rutherford. I believe Martha and Wm are buried at the Paxtang Presbyterian Church.
Rutherford was a long-time Paxtang Twp. family. Col. William Rutherford was born 04 Aug 1776 and died 17 Jan 1850. He married Sarah Swan on 17 Mar 1801. She was born 01 Jan 1779 and died 17 Jun 1852. They are both buried in the Paxtang Church graveyard. He served as a member of the PA House of Representatives, Dauphin Co, from 1819 to 1821 and again from 1829 to 1831. Their known children were John Parke, Martha, William Wilson, Margaret, Samuel, Sarah, Abner, Hiram, Mary, and Cyrus Green. [History of Rutherford Pennsylvania, Ronald DiNinni, 1979]
Of daughter Esther and Robert Foster: They were married by Rev. Elder 14 Dec. 1784, as per Dauphin County Marriages, 1744-1854 and N&Q, and lived in Buffalo Valley, PA. Esther died in 1807 and Robert in 1834. Her cousin, John Renick, named her in his 18 April 1784 will as “Esther Renick, daughter of my uncle Henery Renick.” From the Bausman Collection we have these descendants of Esther Renick and Robert Foster:
§ Margaret (11 Sept 1785)
§ John (14 Dec 1786)
§ William (5 April 1787 or 5 Aug 1789) m. 21 Oct 1819 to Jan Van Valzah (6 Jun 1797-20 Sept 1868)
o Elizabeth (1820-1829)
o Robert (1822)
o Esther E. (1825-1841)
o Mary Wilson (1827) [suggests Esther Renick’s mother was not Catherine?]
o Amelia Sarah (1829)
o Hannah Van Valzah (1832)
o Wm Renick (1834)
o John B. (1838-1841)
o Albert (1841)
§ Sarah (11 June 1791)
§ Thomas (12 Oct ??)
§ Esther (18 June 1802)
§ Andrew (11 Nov 1803)
Of daughter Margaret: She did not marry. We have no information beyond the will above. The fact that her sister Esther was named in cousin John’s 1784 will, while she was not named, suggests she died before 1784.
Dugan/Dougan Family of Paxtang
Records we have of a Thomas Dugan or Dougan in Paxtang Twp. include:
1739 Jury duty [Hawbaker, Lancaster Co. Qtr Session Abstracts 1729-42]
1747 Signed Mary Renick’s 1747 estate document
1754 Church rolls, Paxtang Twp. [Egle, Notes and Queries, Ser. 1 & 2, Vol I] Signed a letter to Rev. John Elder.
1754 225 a. warrant [#220], Paxtang Twp, adjacent William Renick’s old warrant
1754 Signed petition, with Henry Renick, for protection from Indian attacks, 22 July.
1755 Named as a co-guardian, with Henry Renick, of William and Mary Renick’s younger children.
1760 Church elder, Paxtang [Egle, Notes and Queries, Ser. 1 & 2, Vol I]
1761 Church elder, Carlisle [Egle, Notes and Queries, Ser. 1 & 2, Vol I]
1763 Mentioned as a neighbor to the William Renick property being transferred to Henry
1763 Moved to Randolph Co. NC [family records]
1801 Mentioned in John Mummarr patent [Book P 47-13, Survey Book A 45-48], referring to warrant # 220 for 225 a.
1811 Mentioned in John McClurg patent [Book H 5-734, warrant # 258, Survey Book A 52-294]
Kay Park notes that a Thomas Dougan Sr. and his family settled in the Paxtang Twp. area, probably between 1720 and 1731. It is said the family was in St. Christopher in the Caribbean before coming to Paxtang Twp and that Thomas’ sister Catherine died in St. Christopher in 1728. (Another researcher cannot verify the St. Christopher connection.)
Leonora Besancenez, in a www posting, says that “it appears Thomas Dougan and his children came to Pennsylvania between 1728 and 1731.” I think this is based on the fact that Thomas Dougan apparently obtained the family Bible from Catherine, and he assumedly would not have taken it from her before she died. Note that 1728 is too late for our Mary Dugan Renick to have arrived, so if this year is correct, it strongly mitigates against our Mary having been tied to this family.
Thomas Sr. apparently brought four children to PA: Susannah, Robert, Mary, and Thomas Jr.
§ Susannah (~1707 - 09 Sep 1781) married James Collier (~1703 - 31 Mar 1788) on 28 Dec 1731. A Collier website says Susannah was born in County Donegal, Ireland. James and Susannah are buried in a cemetery adjoining the Paxtang Presbyterian Church. Their son James married Margaret or Martha Rutherford in 1787 in Dauphin Co. He was likely Capt. James Collier of the Lancaster Co. militia. (John Renick, son of Thomas (1730) and Jean, was in Capt. Collier’s company.) Another son was Col. John Collier (1732-1823) of Randolph Co. NC. He moved to NC from Paxtang Twp. in 1772, following his uncle Thomas Dugan. In a letter to his parents dated 07 April 1782 he tells of the Tories having attacked his house on 9 or 10 March: “[A]bout thirty [Tories] marched forty or fifty miles through our country: came to my house in the dark. I had sentries posted about forty yards from my house… [They] fired in the sentry: and the sentry fired on them. I immediately found by the Tories’s fire that were we were too weak to stand our ground. We made our escape [from the house] to the woods… They kept constant firing on my house for two or three minutes, filling my doors with bullet holes. My wife called out to cease their firing and she would open the door and let them in, for there was no person there but women and children. They rushed into the house, Set fire to it, and burned to ashes… This was the fourth time that the Tories have robbed and plundered me and my small family… They went to Aunt Mary Doughan’s: burned the house and barn… Every day they are murdering, burning and plundering the good citizens of the state… If [the Tories] would have got me they would not have burned my house, but they would have instantly put me to death [because] I have put several of their leader to death for this year past…. I have not slept in my house this five months without a guard. I have my family in a little guard-house that I build last year… I have been in the army for the most part, ever since Gate’s defeat [13 Aug 1780]. I am getting old , and the features of the Army in our state are most disagreeable… [The Tories] are no more than an nuisance to civil society… Remember me to the Rev. John Elder and family and take my excuse and I had to send and borrow this sheet to write these few imperfect lines on it. Remember me to all inquiring friends without exception, which is all from your loving son and daughter. [signed] John and Margaret Collier… Bro’James: You would oblige me much to send, the first opportunity, a good hat: as I am in necessity for one.” See also History of Randolph County.
§ Robert married Margaret Parke, widow of Samuel Parke, and moved his family to Newberry Co. SC or Randolph Co. NC in 1663. Two of their sons, Robert Jr. and James, were killed during the Revolution.
§ Mary married John Johnston bef. 1740 and moved to Newberry Co. SC. Their daughter Margaret (13 Mar 1740/41) married William Murray on 31 Oct 1761 and moved to Newberry District SC about 1763. Margaret Johnston Murry died 13 May 1816 in Mills River, Henderson Co, NC.
§ Thomas Jr. (1719) married Mary Kerr (ca. 1726) and moved to NC in 1763. Their son was Major Thomas Dugan. I assume she was the “Aunt Mary” whose house and barn were burned.
The 1754 Paxtang church rolls, which show Thomas Dugan, Henry Renick, and Thomas Renick, also show John Johnson (not Johnston), James Collier, William and Joseph Kerr, and Elizabeth Park. This suggests we have located Thomas Sr’s family to Swatara or Lower Swatara (Paxtang) Twp. Based on Susannah and Thomas’ births in 1707 and 1719, respectively, and Mary’s marriage before 1740, it appears Thomas Sr. was in the generation of George Renick (d. 1737) and his children were in the generation of William, Robert, Thomas, and Margaret. It seems unlikely that Thomas Sr. would have been the man who was named as a co-guardian, with Henry Renick, of some of William and Mary’s children in the 1750s. Therefore, it seems likely Thomas Jr. was the man of the later records shown above. (The post-1800 records probably refer only to the property.)
Is it possible our Mary Dugan Renick was part of Thomas Sr’s family? Thomas Sr’s daughter Mary married John Johnston. The only reasonable way for our Mary to have been part of this family is for her to have been the niece or much younger sister of Thomas Sr. It is feasible there are some Lancaster Co. orphans court records for the Dugans, though it is hard to believe they haven’t already been checked. If the 1724 record of William in Paxtang Twp. is correct, then Mary Dugan could have been William’s first wife. Without this 1724 record it is difficult, though not impossible, to get Mary and William together until ca 1730, when the Renicks apparently moved to Paxtang Twp. Mary could have been William’s second wife, in which case we do not need to get them together until after 1730. This would be consistent with the Dougan’s not having arrived in Paxtang until 1728.
Who were Mary Dugan’s parents? The most likely name for her father is Thomas, based on her second son having been Thomas. If she were the niece of Thomas Sr, her father would not have been Thomas. This suggests she was Thomas Sr’s sister, not his niece; but the family records name Catherine as a sister of Thomas, and as far as I know, Mary is not named as a sister.
All this having been said, is believed by some Dougan researchers that the father of Thomas Sr, and also the father of our Mary Renick, if she was indeed a sister of Thomas Sr, was another Thomas. So now we are back to the situation where our Mary Renick named her second son Thomas for her father Thomas.
Beyond this I don’t care to conjecture.
Records for Henry Renick
1748 Ensign (along with a John Wilson, probably his future father-in-law) in the Associated Militia Regiment of the West End of Lancaster Co. on the Susquehanna, 1747-1748. Capt. Robert Baker's Company, Col. Crookston's Battalion. [PA Colonial Records Series, vol. 5, p. 247 and PA Archives 5/1/24 and 2/2/437, Papers of the Lancaster Co. Historical Society, Vol. 22, p. 26]
1750 Henry Renick married Martha Wilson. [Biographical Encyclopedia, p. 138; DAR Kentucky Society, p. 150; Egle, N&Q, 3rd Series, Vol II, pp. 469-70]
1751 Applied for warrants [#310, Book A-44-144] on 56 acres in now-Swatara Twp. on 11 June 1751 (adjacent to and north of William’s original warrant). The property was eventually patented to Christian Good in May of 1831 [two parcels: 36 a. and 6 a, surveyed 1801, Survey Book A 44, p. 143, 145, 152, Patent Book H-30, p. 416]
1751 On Thursday, 14 Feb 1751 a Nanticoke Indian named John Toby was accused of rape by the young Ann Hunter of Paxton. On 17 Feb John Toby and John King were invited to the home Henry Rennox, near the Nanticoke cabins, for the Sunday meal. Toby was disarmed before being confronted. He answered that he had been so drunk he could not remember what happened. He was taken to jail without resistance and later acquitted. [Louis M. Waddell, Justice for Native Americans: Rape, Murder, and Theft in Late Colonial Northeastern Pennsylvania, 69th Annual Meeting of the PA Historical Association, October 20, 2000]
1751 Henry Renix and Thomas Dugan were appointed guardians over William’s other minor children – William, James, and Samuel. [Lancaster Co. Orphans Court Book 1742-1760 – 1750/51 Docket, pp. 18-19; The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine Vol XXIV, No. 2, 1965-66, p. 124 – William Rennox Estate]
1751 Hendrey Ranix, tax rolls, south end of Paxton Twp. [Biographical Encyclopedia (Henry Renick), p. 11]
1751 “When Wm Renick died his widow sold a portion of the 1737 warrant to Hugh Davey of Philadelphia. In 1751 Thomas and Henry occupied the unsold portion.” [Old Rights 8, 591, Lancaster Deedbook L, 262 and M 473]
1753 PA Gazette, 22 Nov. 1753, mentions a letter for Henry left at the post office [Scott, Buried Genealogical Data, p. 186]
1754 On 22 July 1754, signed a petition to the PA Governor for protection of frontier against the French and Indians who were moving up and down the Susquehanna River. [Morgan, Settlement, Formation, and Progress of Dauphin County, PA, from 1785-1876 and Rupp, p. 69; Kelker, History of Dauphin Co, pp. 131-132]
1754 On 26 Sept. 1754, with Thomas, signed a letter to Rev. Elder requesting a minister for the Paxtang Presbyterian Church [McAlarney's book, History of Paxtang Church, p. 67]. See History of Sesquicentennial of Paxtang Church and Churches of Roan and Lind, Historical Reg. I 131. The church split into New Side and Old Side in 1754; Roan was New Side in Derry, and Elder was Old Side in Paxtang. Two of Henry's daughters were married by Rev. Elder.
1755 Was appointed guardian of his brother Alexander after father William died. [OC Book 1742-1760, p. 18-19]
1755 Petitioned the court on behalf of his younger brother James in a dispute with John Allison, clothier, to whom James had been apprenticed.
1756 Henry Renick, Paxtang tax rolls [Biographical Encyclopedia, p. 12]
1758 Paxtang tax rolls: "Renix", on microfilm at Archives in Harrisburg. Thomas Renix, probably his brother, is also there.
1758 Henry and Catherine were named on adm. of Esther and Ann Cowan, 30 May. [Folder #1722 and #1723, West Chester PA] Henry’s daughter Esther was born 31 August 1758. Therefore, Catherine must have been Esther’s mother, and Martha must have died by 1757.
1760 Paxtang tax rolls: "Renicks”, on microfilm at Archives in Harrisburg. Thomas is also there.
1761 Henry signed an affidavit relative to currency lost by Wm. Cowden in Mrs. Dickey’s house fire, Lancaster Co. [Bausman]
1763 Received family property in 1763 and made payments to siblings. See abstract above. [Lancaster Co. Book L, p. 27; Mayhill, Deed Abstracts, p. 135/L 27] Prior to this it was apparently shared by Henry and Thomas.
1764 Deed attested to by Henry Renick, 18 Sept. [Deed Book M, p. 395; Kelker, p. 240]
1765 Applied for warrants [#1148, East Side Applications; Survey Book C-204-105] on 200 acres in now-Lower Swatara Twp. on 28 Oct. 1765. The property was on the river, perhaps half a mile downstream from the other property. The description is “including his Improvement joining Joseph Cook, John Steel, Sarah Clinton, and River Susquehanna in Paxtang Twp, Lr. Co.” It was eventually patented to Mary Stoner, Exrs, in 1816. [Patent Book H-13-202] This property was midway between Highspire and Middletown. There is a small Stoner cemetery on the east, or northeast, side of Rt. 230, a short distance south of Highspire. I suspect this was originally the Henry Renick property.
1766 Along with Thomas Rutherford and others, signed an inventory of Moses Dickey's Paxtang Twp. estate on 10 June 1766. [Bausman]
1766 In the Journals of Charles Beatty 1762-1769, by G.S. Klett, 1962, The Pennsylvania State University Press, it is noted: “August 14, Thursday. Set of from Lancaster; breakfasted at Mr. Moores Tavern 9 [miles]; Dined at the green tree Ruynoxs [Renicks] 20 [miles]; lodged at Capt Calenders on the west side of Susquahanna 13 [miles].” By 1766 Thomas Renick, Henry’s uncle, had been long gone from Paxtang Twp, so “Ruynox” refers to either Henry or his brother Thomas. On the other hand, we know that Thomas, Henry’s uncle, had a “publik house” in Paxtang Twp. and also had the ferry, so the “green tree” could have been the “publik house” which was known as “Ruynoxs” even though Thomas had sold it and moved to VA.
1767 Signed petition by inhabitants of Lower Paxtang for division line between Upper Paxtang in 1767 [Egle, N & Q, ser. 3, vol. 2].
1767 Along with wife Catherine, posted a bond or mortgage to Michael Gross for 300 Pounds, in 1767. This was probably related to the 1765 warrant because it refers to ~190 a. [Lancaster Deed Book M, p. 273, 20 Nov. 1767]
1768 Letter by Rev. Elder to the governor, July 1768, relative to the Paxtang Rangers
1770 Henry, Thomas, and James Renick, Paxtang Twp. assessment [Kelker, p. 150; Egle, 1st and 2nd, Vol I, pp. 179-181.
1771 Shown in Hawbaker's Index to what is apparently the only complete year of tax records that survive.
1771 Henry died 01 Feb 1771. His will was probated 04 Dec 1771.
1773 Henry’s land sold to Jas Crouch for 750 pounds by Wm Dickey and John Willson, Administrators, 08 April 1773 [Misc. Dockets, Lancaster Co, 1772-1796, p. 107].
1774 On 07 Dec. 1774 Dickey and Willson distributed 259.9.8 pounds from Henry’s estate to “widow”, 5.3.2 yearly, William, “oldest son”, 57.4.4, Sarah and Jno Willson 28.13.2, Mary “Renicks”, 28.13.2, Esther, 28.13.2. (Note that Mary was not yet married.) [Misc. Dockets, Lancaster Co. 1772-1796, p. 245]
1780 Marker at the Old Paxtang Presbyterian Church Cemetery (near the corner nearest the church) reads [Egle, N&Q, Vol. 1, Ser. 3, p. 341]:
Sacred to the memory of
John Wilson and Eleanor
his wife, the former of
whom died July 11, 1780
and the last April 8, 1801.
Under this stone are also interred
the remains of Henry and Martha Renick.
And since it's so that all must die
and death no one doth spare,
So let us all to Jesus fly,
And seek for refuge there.
I assume they buried Martha in the Wilson family plot when she died, then later put Henry there, then finally John and Eleanor Wilson. John Wilson and Eleanor were born about 1734 and 1735, respectively, according to some notes I have. I assume John was a brother of Martha.
Records for William, son of Henry and Martha
1771 With Henry's widow, Catherine, signed a court document upon Henry's death in 1771. See images in Vol. III.
1774 With Catherine, sisters, and brother-in-law John Willson, was named as a recipient of Henry's estate (Orphans Court records) that was to be liquidated as per the law. See Vol. III.
1776 Was appointed Corporal, 25 Jan. 1776, in Capt. Robert Adams' Co. of Col. Irvine's 6th Battalion, PA Line (PA Archives 5/2/227 and Linn & Egle, PA in the War of the Revolution, Battalions and Line, Vol. I, p.188). The 6th Battalion met with disaster - 78 men killed or taken prisoner - at the Battle of Three Rivers, just north of Montreal, in June 1776 (J.B.B. Trussell's book, The PA Line). Adams was later killed by Indians nearby. This company was raised in Cumberland Co, not Lancaster Co, which is where I would have assumed Henry's son to have been living. Remember, however, that Henry's (very limited) assets were divided six or seven ways after he died, so William was left with very little. Further, the final settlement appears no to have been made until 1774, during which time the estate must have been in limbo. Maybe he went to Cumberland Co. to live with or near one of his uncles, Samuel or Alexander, or his aunt, Margaret, and he thought the opportunity to join Capt. Adams' Co. of the 6th Battalion sounded like something to do. Note that Egle says William died in March 1776, which was before the 6th went into any action. The fact that birth dates and days of the week are given for four of Henry's children would seem to be an indication that a family Bible was available when Egle did his thing in the late 1800s. Maybe it still exists and that is how Rod is able to verify the death. The Battalions and Line records specifically show that Adams died, as did some privates. William is not so-mentioned; but if he died before they ever went into action, that death probably would not even have been mentioned, because none of the survivors even knew of his existence in the first place. What I am attempting to say is that Egle's N&Q, the PA Archives (5/2/227), and Battalions and Line are consistent with each other. What would be inconsistent is if N&Q were to give, say, a summer death month, and Battalions and Line didn't mention it, while still noting Adams' and the other deaths. As a final note, Battalions and Line does make mention that "one corporal was missing" after the October 1777 (i.e. much later) fighting by the 6th. But for now, I am sticking with the March 1776 death date.
1776 Was, according to Rod Renick, a "Sergeant in the Colonial Militia" and did indeed die in 1776, but Rod does not give any month. I have scoured the PA Archives pretty well, and cannot find any Revolutionary-era reference to a William R. in the militia. William had two William first cousins, but they would have been too young to be militiamen. (Recall that Henry was the oldest son, and William his oldest child.) Note: It is feasible that William was a Lancaster Co. militiaman and died before his tour ended. Since rolls were typically made up at the end of the tour, he would not have been counted. But if this were the case, who was the 6th Battalion man?
1812 Served, according to Durant's book on Lawrence County, in the War of 1812 and died at Black Rock, near Buffalo NY. This information came to Durant from William Gealey, son of John and Mary Renick Gealey, about 1875, when he was about 80 years old. I assert this information to be in error, but have no absolute proof. As noted above, we don’t find any census records for Wm.
1812 Served, according to the Lowry Research, in the War of 1812 and died at Rock Island. The Lowry's even muse that Uncle William was living with John and Mary Gealey in Peters Twp, Washington Co, in 1790. I can't tell where the Lowrys got this information, and assert it to be in error. It is my opinion that the second older male in that household was either James the Immigrant or James the Tanner (at wrong age), those these options likewise have their problems. I simply don't believe the War of 1812 death, because our William would have been in his 60s at the time. There was a William Rennick in McCobb's Regiment of US Volunteers in the War of 1812 (microfilm at US Archives in Washington, D.C.). Further, Rod notes that there were half a dozen Williams who could have been in that war. Indeed, there was a terrible typhoid epidemic among the US soldiers at Black Rock the winter of 1812 or 1813, and 300 men died. Maybe one of those who died was a cousin of Mary Renick, and that was confused with her brother in the Revolution.
There were at least three Williams (Henry's son, b. 1749; brother, b. abt. 1737; and cousin, b. 1746) who were old enough to have served in the Revolution, but as nearly as I can tell, only the son was living in PA in 1776. The others had all moved out of state, to either MD or VA, I believe. I am reasonably certain that the Revolution is the correct war, and 1776 is probably the correct year. What remains to be determined with certainty is William's service: 6th Battalion, PA Line; or the (Lancaster?) militia. One small thing to keep in mind -- there is a Rockland County in southeastern NY, west of the Hudson. There was campaigning in the Jerseys through 1776, and it feasible, but unlikely, that William died in Rockland County.
As a final note of caution, I have been told there were indeed 60 year-olds from Mercer Co. who served at Erie in the War of 1812.
A word to the wise: Rod points out that Egle was notoriously inaccurate, so one must be careful in blindly using N&Q as a reference. Maybe I have done too much of that already, but I feel reasonably confident about the records of Henry and Martha's children because of the Bible-like entries. The main error with regard to the Renick family is that Egle lists William as the only son of George, and he shows Thomas, who we believe to be William's younger brother, as a brother of George, rather than a son. Thus while there was in reality only one Renick family in Paxtang, Egle shows there having been two. This error also shows up in Harlow's book, Renicks of Greenbriar, which can be found at the State Library in Harrisburg.
Other Children of William and Mary Dugan Renick
Of Thomas, son of William and grandson of George: Thomas was born about 1730, probably in Paxtang Twp. He married Jane or Jean Clark, daughter of Robert Clark (d. 1771) and Jean ___. The other Clark children were Elanor, John Elizabeth (m. John Means), and Mary (m. William Wallis). (Egle, N&Q, Ser. 3, Vol. 2, p. 462) Thomas witnessed his brother Alexander's will on 29 January 1777, which means he did not die in captivity after most likely having been captured when Ft. Washington fell in Nov. of 1776. We believe he died between Feb and April 1777. Their children were:
§ John ( -1785) did not marry. When he died his executors sold his property to John Harris (Deed Book A-1, p. 110). His will (Will Book E, Vol. 1, p. 39, 18 April 1784) names his sisters (Mary, Jean, Margaret, and Ann), mother, and cousin “Esther Renick, daughter of my uncle Henery Renick.” See Military Records section for his extensive militia record. John’s militia company (Capt. Samuel Cochran) was not present at the Brandywine battle (11 Sep 1777) because they “stood at Middletown, August 12, 1777, in its march to Philadelphia.” (DiNinni) Even had he been at Brandywine, he would not have been engaged: “Down on the Brandywine on the 12th, most of the Pennsylvania militia, having been posted at places well removed from the actual scene of the battle, had no opportunity of engaging." (Roach) The PA Archives, Vol. XXIV, Series 3, Cumberland Co. Land Warrants, names John Rennox, 09 Feb 1775 [warrant # 149, 71.119 (sic) a, E. Pennsboro Twp; patent to Robert Ramsey, recorded AA-15 p. 266, survey recorded C163 p. 273]. I assume this John is the son of Thomas and Jean.
§ Mary ( - ) married Hugh Miller.
§ Jane/Jean ( - ) married Thos Brunson or Brinson.
§ Margaret ( - ) married Calderwood.
§ Ann ( - ) married Boyd.
These marriages are recorded in Early Marriage Evidence from Court Records of Dauphin Co. PA, 1785-1810. Summarized below is a chronology of Thomas.
1756 Thomas Renick (smith), Paxtang tax rolls.
1764 On 03 May 1764 William Brown sold property with a mill to Thomas Rennicks. [Mayhill, Lancaster County Deed Abstracts, p. 104 / H 237)]
1764 Re-survey of 122 a. that Thomas would eventually patent as “Rennicksburg.”
1768 Application #3354, 01 Jun, for 150 a. on Mahatango Creek west of land surveyed to John Clark in Lancaster Co [Survey Book C, Vol. 204, p. 136]
1769 Thomas purchased property from Samuel Harris on 1 Oct 1769. [Dauphin Co. Deed Book A-1 p. 124]
1770 Thomas purchased property from John Harris on 13 Feb 1770. [Dauphin Co. Deed Book A-1 p. 124]
1771 Warrant #230 returned for 122 a, 02 April, patented to Thomas Renick [Survey Book C 36-58, Patent Book AA 13-84]
1771 Thomas Renick to Joseph Chambers, 122 a, 31 Oct [Patent Book AA Vol. 13, p. 84]
1771 Thomas purchased property from Wm Plunket on 13 Dec. 1771 [Dauphin Co. Deed Book A-1, p. 126].
1772 Land patent recorded as Rennicksburg [Patent Book AA-13, p. 84, recorded 31 Oct 1771]
1776 Thomas was captured when Ft. Washington fell in Nov. He was apparently released. See Revolutionary War records for more information.
1777 Witnessed Alexander’s will, 29 Jan 1777.
1777 Thomas’ will dated 01 Feb. 1777 [Lancaster Co. Willbook C, vol. 1, p. 460] The will names children Mary, Jean, John, Margaret, and Ann. Probated 22 April 1777.
1777 Claim for rifle lost when Ft. Washington fell [Kelker, History of Dauphin County, p. 881-882; also PA Archives]
Lancaster Co. Wills
RENICK, JEAN. Paxton Twp. May 28, 1782
RENICK, JOHN. Paxton Twp. May 21, 1784 (named his sisters and cousin Esther)
RENNICK, THOMAS. Paxton Twp. April 22, 1777
Of Margaret, daughter of William and granddaughter of George: She was unmarried, living in Cumberland Co. in 1762. She is sometimes confused with Thomas’ daughter Margaret (a first cousin) who married Felix Seymour.
Of Alexander, son of William and grandson of George: He was born ca 1736 and married Esther McKamie. She is said to have come from one of the famous early Presbyterian families. His will of 29 Jan. 1777 is recorded in Cumberland Co. (later Franklin Co.), Letterkenny Twp. He is said to have died of "camp fever" whilst serving in the militia in the Revolution. See Revolutionary War section. Their children, all mentioned as minors in his will, were:
§ John (ca 1767-1814) married Mary Heuston in Franklin Co. KY in 1790. He died at Frankfort KY.
§ Mary (ca 1765-1859) eloped at age 18 and married Robert Hamilton in Washington Co. MD. She was married three times and had ten children.
§ William (ca 1770- ) possibly married Isabel Roberts 12 Dec. 1798 in Franklin Co. KY.
§ Robert (25 May 1772- )
§ Alexander (29 March 1776- ) was an infant when his father died.
Esther remarried to Jas Murdoch Clark, who was probably 20 years older than she. He sold his Cumberland Co. farm when they married and moved to about two miles from Mercersburg, Franklin Co, PA, around 1789. This was probably Alexander's place. Clark died in 1821, aged 104 years. He is buried in the Slate Hill Cemetery, about a mile and half from Mercersburg. Esther may also be buried there. Alexander, Wm, and John all appear on the Franklin Co. KY tax rolls in 1800. Alexander was in Woodford Co. KY in 1810.
Of Samuel, son of William and grandson of George: He was born 6 Nov. 1739. He married Nancy Ann ____ and died in Barren Co. KY in 1802. Barren Co. was Warren Co. before 1799. Samuel was named as guardian of his brother Alexander’s youngest children. In 1775 Samuel witnessed the will of John Cowden in Cumberland Co. PA. [Bausman]
Of William, son of William and grandson of George: He was born ca 1740. He married Sarah Archer on 07 Jan 1769 in Frederick Co. MD. They lived for a time in Frederick Co. MD where their six children were born. He was in KY by 1785 and died in Warren Co, later Barren Co, in 1798.
Of James, son of William and grandson of George: He was probably born after his father died. In 1762 he was living in “Trentown NJ" (William Renick estate settlement) but returned to Lancaster Co. PA where he was living in 1770. It is believed he went to KY with his brothers Samuel and William where he died in Woodford Co. on 10 Aug 1812. His will was dated 03 Jan 1807 and probated 01 Oct 1812 [Will Book D, p. 4 & 5]. James is named in the NJ DAR Patriot Index, #113499, Book 114, p. 165-66. He was a private in the VA militia for three years. In the 1810 census he was recorded in Woodford Co. KY, living near Versailles, with eight in the family and two slaves. Alexander Renick, son of Alexander and Esther McKamie Renick, was also living in Woodford Co. James married Mary Chambers in 1771, daughter of Joseph Chambers of Paxtang Twp, a neighbor of Henry and Thomas Renick. Their children were:
· Lydia: did not marry; shown in 1820, Woodford Co, census as Rennex, 45, head of household; died 04 Oct 1831
· Mary: married Zachariah “Uriah” Jones; their children were
· Mary “Polly”: b. 1796, Woodford Co. KY, married William Martin bef. 1820
· America Margaret: b. 27 Oct 1798 at Woodford Co. KY, d. 31 Mar 1872 at Callaway Co, MO; m. Sherwood Maddox II on 15 Feb 1820 at Woodford Co. KY; their children were
Elizabeth b. 06 Oct 1802 at Woodford Co. KY, M. Henry Holman Jr.
Joseph b. abt. 1801, Woodford Co. KY
· Margaret: communicant of Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Woodford Co. KY, 1808
· Sarah: married Jonas Sutton
Will the Real William Renick Please Stand Up?
The questions and answers below address our William Renick of Paxtang, father of Henry (1725-1771), based on all of the material above.
§ Was our William Renick the son of George (d. 1737) who arrived in PA ca 1719, or the son of George’s brother Thomas, who supposedly arrived 1733 and for whom “not as much is knows about [his] descendants”? Rod Renick, who was a very careful researcher, says (a) our William was the son of George and (b) George did not have a brother Thomas. If our Henry (1725-1771) and several of his siblings were indeed born in Ulster, it certainly complicates the timing. We also have Tom and Betty’s record that “In 1738 the original land tract… was divided among Thomas, Robert, and Thomas”. They also note that Thomas could have been incorrectly substituted for William. We know that Egle said William was the son of Thomas, but one must be very careful with the Egle material. My guess is that Egle’s record of the birth of Henry et al in Ulster is based on the incorrect belief that they were the children of a Thomas who came over in 1733.
§ When did our William Renick die? We have a 1741 document, accompanied by a 1751 Orphan’s Court record. Therefore, it is impossible for him to have died in 1762 – this was probably based on the 1763 will probate. As discussed above, the 1741 YOD is attributed to a “third brother” of George (d. 1737) and Thomas, but it seems more likely this was our William Renick.
§ Did our William Renick marry Mary Dugan or Ann Hamilton? There is said to have been another William Renick (1714-1805) married to an Ann Hamilton, who left Paxtang ca 1741 for Virginia. But he was not our William. Lois Renick says the Ann Hamilton marriage was made up by Virkus. Our William Renick most likely married Mary Dugan. It is been conjectured that Mary Ann Dugan was the married name of Ann Hamilton, and she was widowed when she married William. I think this is a tremendous stretch. In any case Wm Renick and Ann Hamilton are said to have married ca. 1733.
§ Was William Renick (1714-1805) a real person at all? He may have been, but if so, he was not in our family. If he was real, his inclusion in our family is based on a composite of brothers William (d. 1741) and Thomas (d. 1751).
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