Summary of Painter Fullerton Kilgore May 16-20, 2009 Geneological Research
On thinking of how much I have both studied and dreamed of Finley and Wallace ancestors in connection with the farm, I realized I had not understood much about Painter side of our family, or the Fullerton and Kilgore families, which explain how grandmother and grandfather’s ancestors may have been connected in Western Pennsylvania to a much greater extent that I realized.
- In a newspaper article on a Wallace return to our farm, I recall Thurman being quoted as having the Finley’s as distant relatives. I assumed that would have been through Miriam. But on looking through work Jane and her friends have done, it is possible that Thurman has a more direct ancestral line to Finley’s. If so, it would most likely be through Colonel David Kilgore, who was born in Newville, Cumberland County in 1745 and moved to Westmoreland before Revolutionary War. He recruited and helped finance a company which included Andrew Finley as well as a John Finley, who may have been Andrew’s brother and another son of John Finley, who was first white to descend Ohio to Kentucky and returned to Westmoreland as part of Washington’s unit in Braddock campaign. It was during campfires at that time that the father John Finley captivated a young Daniel Boone’s interest in Warrior’s Trace, which his son John led Boone through in 1769 as the Cumberland Gap. During Revolutionary War Kilgore and Finley Company were part of 8 th Pennsylvania Regiment. Initially they assembled at Kittanning to defend that fort as well as Presque Isle and LeBoeuf. After Washington lost New York, they were ordered to join him in New Jersey, where they participated in every major battle from Brandywine to Yorktown as well as the winter at Valley Forge.
- David Kilgore’s mother was Betsy Jack, daughter of James Jack who had emigrated from Scotland and Ireland to Green Spring, Newville. Betsy’s brother may have been John Jack, and he may have moved with David to Westmoreland. John Jack received a 328 acre tract Nov. 20, 1785, a few days before the 87 acre Finley Fancy tract was granted to Andrew Finley, Miriam’s ancestor, on Dec. 21, 1785. The Jack farm is just beyond the east end of Sherbondy Rd. Andrew’s wife Jane Jack was probably the daughter of John Jack. This is supported by the transfer of the Jack property in 1813 to Andrew Finley. From our perspective, it is not only Miriam who returned to her ancestral homeland through her great great grandfather Andrew Finley, but also Thurman, whose ancestors include Betsy Jack and David Kilgore. Jane was probably Betsy’s granddaughter, David Kilgore’s niece and John Jack’s daughter.
- All these as well as others mentioned below are on the Detailed South Huntingdon township tract maps and property ownership and transfer records I copied from Jane documents and are now on flash drive with other pictures and documents. They indicate that James Finley had a riverfront tract from 1814 between Reduction and Fitzhenry. He probably was the James. B. son of Andrew and Jane born about 1790. Joseph Finley had a 160 acre tract called Finleysburgh from May 31, 1785, indicated as next tract north and west of acres Jack and Scott now have.
- John Wallace, who walked across Pennsylvania after emigrating from Ireland in 1823 to work for Andrew Finley, also is listed as having a small tract between Andrew and Joseph Finley. This is only an aside to John Wallace taking over the Finley Fancy tract, which was then 160 acres and building the farmhouse in 1848, which Scott recently renovated. Andrew’s daughter married Randall Ross and moved to his farm which, as Jack confirmed, is the Blackburn farm just below the Mill Grove cemetery. John Wallace married their daughter Martha in 1835. Wallace’s biographer Russell Lord continues with “Most of the younger Rosses and Finleys had departed for newer farmland or older towns. Thus a tract of some one hundred and fifty acres with thirteen corners, roughly conforming to the original lines of claim for `Finley's Fancy,' came under the care of John Wallace and his wife; and this farm of moderate size became the seedbed of an American family as remarkable in its own way and manner as the urbane Adamses of Massachusetts were."
- As we know, Uncle Henry Wallace, who wrote a book about our farm, left farm before Civil War, after finishing at same college from which Thurman graduated. His parents followed Henry after the Civil War and sold the farm to the Pore’s, who owned the farm on left of Fitzhenry Rd. from Smithton before turning north on Painter Rd, probably just opposite the one room Port Royal schoolhouse my mother and her siblings attended.
- Meanwhile Andrew Finley’s Revolutionary War colleague David Kilgore had a granddaughter who married Samuel Fullerton. Their son John married in 1860 and had 8 children. The 5 th child Albert married Bessie Blackburn and 6 th child Martha married James Blackburn of the Randall Ross farm below Millgrove cemetery. That is where Andrew Finley’s daughter Martha would have lived when she married Randall Ross and raised their daughter Martha, who married John Wallace and moved back to Finley’s Fancy. It would have likely been through the two children of John Fullerton marrying Blackburns that Fullerton came to own the Blackburn farm. It is just over hill to east from his main farm, which both my mother and I remember, lived on by John Fullerton’s youngest daughter Clara and then her son Horace.
- Around 1900 John Fullerton would have acquired the third of what we know as the three Fullerton farms. That would have come from the purchase of Finley’s Fancy from Pore. It is that farm to which both of grandparents returned after their marriage and lived the rest of their lives. It likely is the ancestral home of both, Miriam via Andrew Finley and Thurman via Andrew’s wife, Jane Jack. It would be good to know more of John Fullerton and how he acquired the three farms, as they moved from Miriam’s to Thurman’s family properties. Jane doesn’t even recall seeing a picture of any Fullerton other than John’s youngest daughter Clara, who terrified my mother when she had to stay at Fullerton farm as a child. All we know is John’s grandfather William lived and died in Antrim Ireland, where John’s father Samuel was born to Elizabeth, who was born in 1753, 40 years before William. She accompanied Samuel to Westmoreland after William’s death, where she died in 1833, seven years after John’s birth to her son Samuel and Mary Kilgore.
- The Painter name is added to this very rich mélange of Finley, Bell, Keefer, and Moore families on Miriam’s side and the Kilgore’s and Fullerton’s of Thurman’s side, when George Painter married John Fullerton’s daughter Margaret in 1887. However, the Painters had been prominent since Jacob emigrated from Mecklenburg Germany with his wife about 1760. His son Jacob settled on a farm a few miles south of Greensburg. He was an energetic businessman adding a grist mill to his farm and serving as a legislator, judge and justice of peace for many years. A Whig party candidate for U.S. Congress, he lost by 17 votes to William Finley.
- Jacob, the son of the immigrant Jacob had six children by a 1 st wife and another 10 with his second wife Catherine Lobingier, from Mecklenburg whose family fled France as Huguenots. Her grandfather was a member of the 1 st US Congress in 1791-93. One of his sons was Thurman’s great grandfather and another was the most prominent Painter of all, Col. Israel Painter. He not only was a Civil War officer, but started in business building and owning several salt works, which he held to his death. He managed extensive livestock dealings through several states, was a friend of Lincoln and supplier of livestock in Civil War. With his brother he was active in cotton trade through New Orleans, bought and sold over 100 farms in Western Pennsylvania and died still owning 32 farms. He purchased, built and invested in coal mines, coking properties and railroads throughout area before dying of cut from glass factory. His home on Willow Tree Farm is still in family, but picture we have of Iz Painter is of a nephew or son of the entrepreneurial and industrial giant Colonel Israel Painter.
- Jack’s comment about George Washington owning much of Perryopolis and wanting to make it capital of the US is something I only partially confirmed. Washington did own about 1600 acres, covering most of today’s Perryopolis, from 1770, probably in connection with his surveying the area. He recorded that it was “as fine a land as I have ever seen, a great deal of rich meadow; it is well watered and has a valuable mill seat.” He built the gristmill in 1776 and it still stands, refurbished in recent years. However, there is no record of his view that it should be US capital. That would have been quite a visionary reach, given the US population west of Alleghenies in Washington’s lifetime.