Notes on this transcription


In transcribing this book into a computer document, I have made every attempt to accurately reproduce the text as it appears—with a few exceptions noted here. I have not tried to reproduce every aspect of the appearance of the original, such as font styles, spacing, indentation, etc. (except for the cover). Three corrections noted as errata at the end of the book have been made directly in the text. One or two obvious typographical errors were corrected, and a few questionable errors are quoted as found, with the notation “[sic].” Otherwise, I have not taken it upon myself to change or correct any perceived errors in spelling, punctuation, etc., except in the case of Rev. Johns’ peculiar habit throughout the book of placing a space before a colon or semicolon. I have retained his use of hyphens in two-word place names such as “East-Nottingham” and “New-Castle,” as well as his use of abbreviations and capitalization (or lack thereof). In a few cases, a brief comment or additional information for clarification is added in italics and square brackets, or as a footnote identified by my initials. The lists that appear in Appendices C, D, and E have been put into alphabetical order by surnames. (D and E were mostly in alphabetical order; I have made some corrections in the order.) I take full responsibility for any errors that I might have committed in copying.


A table of contents and an index, the latter consisting primarily of names of individuals and churches mentioned in the book, have been added for the convenience of readers. The index does not include the names in Appendices C, D, and E.



Stanley W. Cowan





SUPPLIES, 1720-24. 8

THE FIRST PASTORATE, 1724-1739. 10

THE SCHISM, 1741-61. 11















D. PERSONS BURIED IN THE STONE GRAVEYARD, lewisville, chester co., pa. 32

E. PERSONS BURIED IN SHARP’S GRAVEYARD, fair hill, cecil co., md. 35

Index   42


















Rock Presbyterian Church
































Lewisville, Sept. 4th, 1872

Rev. J. H. Johns,

Dear SirThe undersigned Committee appointed by the Trustees of the Rock Presbyterian Church, respectfully request for publication your discourse delivered at the re-dedication of the church, on the 4th of July last.


C. C. Brokaw,

Charles Ramsay,

S. W. Morrison.








Zion, Sept. 6th, 1872

C. C. Brokaw, Charles Ramsay, S. W. Morrison,

Gentlemen—In compliance with your request, I herewith submit for your disposal the historical discourse referred to in your letter of the 4th instant.


J. H. Johns








History embalms the past, it collects the prominent events, customs, characters and valuable experience of its times, carefully wraps them in suitable drapery and lays them away in the archives of the nation for preservation. Ancient Egypt excelled in the art of embalming, and shrunk from no toil or expense deemed necessary to preserve the memory of its national glory. It carved deep in durable rocks, it built the most substantial monuments, it embalmed the bodies of its dead in the most imperishable method, and it collected the grandest library of ancient times. The Alexandrian library numbered seven hundred thousand volumes, embracing among other treasures the riches of Grecian and Roman literature. War and fanaticism destroyed it. The loss was irreparable, and has ever since been deplored by the civilized world. There is nothing in ancient Egypt that we admire more than her skill and success in embalming the past. Would that her spirit had ever been more prevalent. It is the duty of every people to preserve for the benefit and satisfaction of unborn generations the history of their times. A little care in recording facts and providing for the safety of records would invest the story of the past with much more interest, and greatly facilitate the labors and enhance the pleasure of historians. The early history of many of our Presbyterian churches is sadly defective, because of the scarcity of records. There seems to have been a prejudice against church records, and hence for the greater part of a century we have but few facts furnished on which to base reliable histories. We are gratified to find the spirit of historical research awakening, and hope that ere long every possible effort will be made to wrest from oblivion what little information remains respecting the origin and work of our early churches. It is with this object in view that we have for some years, and from every available source, been collecting the material for an historical sketch of the Rock Church. This church is entitled to a history, for it is a century and a half old,—has accomplished a noble work for a noble cause, and has lived a greatly diversified life. My hearers, such a history should possess a peculiar interest for many of you. This is the church of your ancestors,—the religious home of your forefathers, where they, as a faithful children, assembled weekly to pay their homage to their Heavenly Father. This is the spiritual fountain of living waters, where their souls, thirsting for righteousness, drank to thirst no more. This institution was in faith and prayer founded by them in the hope that it would bless, as the Gospel alone can bless, their descendants “until time shall be no longer.” The original settlers of this region were Scotch Presbyterians who had been driven by persecution and oppression from Scotland to Ireland, and from Ireland to America. They commenced migrating to this country about the beginning of the eighteenth century. The chief landing places were Philadelphia and New-Castle; and from these centres they scattered throughout Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and as far south as North Carolina. They were a resolute, determined people, who had principles and dared maintain them, who had a religious faith, and for it would endure any suffering and incur any sacrifice. In this wild wilderness of America, they sought religious freedom and found it. Though widely scattered from each other, we soon hear of them erecting meeting-houses, and travelling many miles for the purpose of worshipping the living God.






In the spring of 1720 we find no Presbyterian church in Cecil Co., Md., nearer than Bohemia Manor, none in Delaware nearer than White-Clay-Creek, and none in Chester Co., Penna., nearer than the Great Valley. The scattered people had been occasionally visited by ministers of the Gospel, but they yearned and longed to have “the Gospel settled among them.” Preachers were scarce and the people poor, and it was both difficult to secure and to support a minister. But at a meeting of New-Castle Presbytery, May 18th, 1720, we find the following record: “A certain number of people lately come from Ireland, having settled about the branches of Elk river, have by Thos. Reed and Thos. Caldwell their commissioners supplicated this Presbytery, that, at what time this Presbytery think convenient, they would appoint one of their number to come and preach among them, and then to take such notice of their circumstances and necessities, as, by his report made to this Presbytery at their next session, the Presbytery may the more clearly know how to countenance their design of having the Gospel settled among them. The said commissioners having subjected themselves to the care of this Presbytery, the Presbytery took the affair into consideration, and in compliance with the above-said supplication, the Presbytery do appoint Mr. Samuel Young to preach one day among said people, between this and the first day of July next, and to take cognizance of their circumstances, and to make report thereof to our next session.” At the next meeting of the Presbytery, June 28th, 1720, Mr. Young reported: “That he had fulfilled the appointment of our last Presbytery with respect to the people of Elk river, and after a serious inspection and inquiry into that affair, he judged that said people will in a short time, be capable to maintain a minister of the Gospel among them. Whereupon appeared here from the above-said Elk-river people two commissioners, name of James Smith and Thomas Sharp, with a letter of thanks to the Presbytery, and a petition wherein they supplicate to be formed into a congregation, and to have supplies of preaching from the Presbytery. Presbytery having deliberately considered said petition, it was put to the vote whether or not they should be erected into a congregation, and it was carried in the affirmative.” From the tenor of these records we should judge the society when organized to have been a very feeble affair. At the birth of the feeble child, who thought that it would live for 152 years?


SUPPLIES, 1720-24


The first supplies to the church appointed by Presbytery were Robert Cross, of New-Castle, and George Gillespie, of White-Clay-Creek.


Robert Cross was born in Ireland, 1689, came to this country a Probationer, and was settled pastor of New-Castle, September 19th, 1719. He did not receive a sufficient support from that people, and after four years was called to Jamaica, Long Island. He was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia for more than twenty years. He died in 1766.


George Gillespie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to America a Probationer. He was ordained and installed pastor of White-Clay-Creek May 28th, 1713; preached a great deal in neighboring churches, especially at Elk-river. He organized the congregation at the Head of Christiana, and served it until his death, January 2d, 1760, aged 77 years. He was an active Presbyter, a godly man, and his ministry was both long and fruitful. His descendants are numerous throughout this region.





The Rev. Samuel Young is the first preacher mentioned in connection with this congregation. He was from Donaghmore, County Down, Ireland, and a member of the Presbytery of Armagh. He was received into the Synod of Philadelphia, September 23d, 1718, and was appointed by New-Castle Presbytery to supply Drawyer’s Church, Del. The Elk-river people gave him a call, Sept. 27, 1720, which he declined to accept. He preached at Drawyer’s, and died before June 6th, 1721. He left a widow.


Rev. Daniel McGill was called to Elk-river in 1721, and preached here for nearly two years without accepting the call. He was a native of Scotland, joined the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1713, and became pastor of Upper-Marlborough, on the Patuxent river, western shore of Maryland. He left Marlborough 1720, and in 1721 we find him preaching in this locality. The great difficulty in the way of his settlement here was the inability of the people to pay the salary they promised. The Rev. Robert Cross was sent here by Presbytery to stir up the people on this question, and the salary was paid up. Mr. McGill again considered the call, but after a time, the salary not being paid, he declined its acceptance, and acted as a supply to many of the vacant churches. he died February 10th, 1724, at his home in London-Tract, Del. He was a learned man, a valuable member of Synod, and much admired as a preacher. He was austere in his manner and sulky in his disposition. While preaching here, the following advertisement appeared:


“1722. Ran away from the Rev. D. McGill, a servant clothed with damask breeches and black broadcloth vest, broadcloth coat of copper color, lined and trimmed with black, and wearing black stockings.”


The Rev. Thomas Craighead received the next call. He was born in Ireland. After preaching ten or twelve years in Ireland he came to New-England, and labored at Freetown, Mass., near Fall river, from 1715 to 1723. He joined New-Castle Presbytery January 28th, 1724, and was called to Elk-river in May of the same year, but declined. He went to White-Clay-Creek. In 1723 he went to Pequea, Lancaster Co., Pa.; September 7th, 1726, he went to Hopewell, and in 1738, after preaching a sermon and pronouncing the benediction, he dropped dead in the pulpit. These four years must have been full of disappointment and discouragement to the infant church. Three ministers have been called and all have declined.


The Rev. Alexander Hutcheson, a Probationer from Ireland, became pastor of Bohemia Church in 1723. That church was feeble, and he spent much time preaching to other congregations. He was one of the chief supplies of Elk-river until they obtained a pastor, and was a valuable minister of the Gospel. He died in October 1766. The church is four years old and still without a pastor, but it perseveres in its efforts to secure one, and is at length rewarded with success.





Joseph Houston came from Ireland to New-England a probationer, preached a few months at Freetown, Mass., was received by Presbytery of New-Castle July 29th, 1724, and appointed to supply the Elk-river church. September 14th, Robert Linton and Andrew Steel, commissioners for the congregation, presented him a call. This he considered until Presbytery met at Christiana, October 6th, when he accepted it. The commissioners, Robert Finney, Roger Lawson and Andrew Steel, requested that his ordination might be hastened, showing their eagerness to have a pastor. Hence October 15, 1724, he was ordained and installed. The records of Presbytery relating to that event are interesting, and we shall present them. “A proclamation being made three times at the door of the meeting-house by Mr. Alexander Hutcheson, that if any person had anything to object against the ordination of Mr. Joseph Houston, they should make it known to the Presbytery now sitting; and no objection being made, they proceeded towards his ordination, and accordingly he was solemnly set apart to the work of the ministry, with fasting, prayer, and imposition of the hands of the Presbytery. Mr. Thomas Craighead preached the sermon and presided.” Thus began the first pastorate in this church, which continued for fifteen years. It must have been successful, although we know it was at times very discordant. In 1726 there was a violent strife among the members about seats. The matter was at last referred to Presbytery for settlement, and the following action was taken: “The Presbytery, hearing the mind of the major part of the congregation, Ordered that the minister’s seat be next on the right hand of the pulpit; Ordered, that Robert Finney have the seat before William Hoge’s, paying said William Hoge for his expense in building and dividing it; or the next to the minister’s, laid out for Andrew Steel, as Robert Finney shall please to make choice, and in case he choose the last, then Andrew Steel may have the first. Ordered, that Abraham Emmet, Sr., and Roger Lawson exchange seats, and if any difficulty be in the value of the seats, that they accommodate the same in a friendly and christian manner.” We hear no more of this trouble, but the same year another arose of still greater magnitude and violence, respecting the organization of the present New London congregation. Robert Finney, with many others, lived many miles from the Elk-river church, and were anxious to have a church organized nearer them, in the neighborhood of New London.


Mr. Houston and the Maryland part of his congregation stoutly opposed this movement, because another church so near would weaken their own, and because some of those belonging to the new enterprise had refused to pay off their arrears of salary. This war between the two congregations was waged in Presbytery and Synod for four years. However, the persistent New London people received a separate organization, May 26th, 1728. Mr. Houston assisted in supplying many of the churches of Presbytery. His name appears in the earliest records we have of Lower-West-Nottingham: “March 23d, 1725, Ordered that Mr. Houston supply the people at the mouth of the Octoraro the fifth Sabbath of May and Mr. Thomas Evans the third Sabbath of April.” The original name of that congregation was Mouth of Octoraro. Mr. Houston was moderator of the Synod of Philadelphia, September 19th, 1733, and for a long time stated clerk of Presbytery. He seems to have been a most active, faithful worker for the cause of souls. In 1739 he left this church for some unknown reason, and was installed pastor of the Goodwill Presbyterian Church of Orange county, New York, before May 1740. He died in October 1740, aged 48 years. His descendants are still found in Orange county, N. Y. He died poor, judging from the fact that his bond was remitted by Synod, in 1740, in favor of his widow and family.




THE SCHISM, 1741-61


After Mr. Houston left, the church was dependent on supplies for four more years. During this time it became divided into two distinct congregations, called the Old-Side and the New-Side. In 1741 there was a great schism in the Presbyterian church throughout this country, the result of the revival of religion that attended the labors of [Rev. George] Whitefield. The excitement ran high, and many unwise things were said and done by all parties. Criminations and recriminations brought about a most serious and uncalled-for division, that lasted for seventeen years. Many of our already feeble churches were divided. A portion of the Elk-river people went off with the New-Side, and formed a separate organization.


Old-Side Congregation.—This church, in 1743, having been four years without a pastor, and two years rent asunder, did not present a very inviting field of labor to any minister. It was a period of darkness and deep anxiety to its friends. But God sent them that very year one of his most valuable servants, the Rev. Alexander McDowel[1], who became their second pastor. The McDowel family came from Ireland, and settled on the Burden Tract, Va., 1737. Mr. McDowell [sic] appeared in Donegal Presbytery, Sept. 4th, 1730, and was licensed by it July 30th, 1740, and sent to supply several congregations in Virginia and Maryland. He was ordained, October 29th, 1741, to go as an evangelist to Virginia, and in the Fall was directed to itinerate in New-Castle Presbytery. Several churches asked for his services, and among them the Elk-river. He was a supply, or pastor, of West-Nottingham in 1742, and in 1743 he took charge of Elk-river—the Old-Side congregation. For seventeen years he faithfully performed the duties of pastor to this people. He was a man of more than ordinary mental abilities, an excellent scholar, and a laborious educator. He took a conspicuous part in the actions of both Presbytery and Synod. In 1747 he was the moderator of the Synod. While the Synods of New York and Philadelphia were deliberating the question of reunion, in Philadelphia, 1758, Mr. McDowel was the bearer of a message from his synod to that of New York. He was an active member of the association founded in Synod for raising funds for the support of ministers’ widows. For many years he had charge of an academy, and both taught and preached. He resigned his charge of this congregation in 1760, asked for his dismission from New-Castle Presbytery, and it was granted.  Whether he ever united with any other Presbytery we do not know, as he rejoined New-Castle Presbytery during the meeting of Synod, May 1761. He never again became a settled pastor, but continued to supply many of the vacancies in the Presbytery. He left this locality for Newark, Del., in 1767, and for several years was Principal of Newark Academy.[2] He died January 12th, 1782, and was most probably buried in the stone graveyard, Lewisville, Chester Co., Pa., where repose the remains of his wife and son. The following epitaph is from a slab covering their tomb: “Here rests what was mortal of Mrs. Anne, the wife of the Rev. Alexander McDowel,




eminent for her early piety, native modesty, sweetness of temper and suitable conduct in every situation. Who was born July 14th, 1725, and interred July 14th, 1751. And of Thomas their son, who was interred December 20th, 1750, aged 5 years.”


The New-Side Congregation, organized 1741, seems to have had no regular pastor for eleven years, but only occasional supplies. In 1752, the Rev. James Finley was ordained and installed their pastor. They were unable to give a minister a competent support, but, under Mr. Finley, they became united with the Head of Elk, as the church at Elkton was then called. The Records furnish the following actions of Presbytery in reference to this union:


October 15th, 1760. Ordered, that the congregation of East Nottingham previously take means to satisfy the Presbytery whether they are able to support Mr. Finley, independent of the Head of Elk; and that they be then brought in.” “Dec. 18th, 1760. Judge, that the union between the congregation of the Head of Elk and East Nottingham be dissolved and consequently that the Head of Elk is to be looked upon as a vacancy.”


In 1761, Elk-river and East-Nottingham congregations, after nearly twenty years separation, became one again, under the pastoral care of Mr. Finley. They did not unite as readily as some of the divided churches, and, judging from the delay, there must have been considerable opposition to the reunion. But, through the influence and persuasion of Mr. McDowel, and the force of poverty, they at length reunited, without any formal action.




The Rev. James Finley was born in County Armagh, Province of Ulster, Ireland, February 1725, and was of Scotch parentage. When nine years old, he landed with his parents at Philadelphia, September 28th, 1734. He was educated at Fagg’s Manor school, under the care of the Rev. Samuel Blair, and afterwards of the Rev. Mr. Smith. In early life he was the subject of Divine grace, was at Fagg’s Manor during the great revival of 1740, and travelled hundreds of miles with Whitefield for the benefit of his society, and most probably studied theology with his brother, Rev. Samuel Finley, of West Nottingham. He was settled over the New-Side party of this congregation in 1752, and for nine years the two brothers were pastors of these contiguous charges. Mr. Finley’s ministry was successful. He labored diligently to build up the church; was a conscientious, firm, fearless man, eminent in piety, and a devoted, excellent pastor. He spent much time going from house to house, teaching and catechising the young and old. His people were strongly attached to him, and did not permit him to leave in 1783, until they had done everything in their power to retain him. As early as 1765, he and Philip Tanner, one of his elders, went west to “see the lands.” A few years after, the Synod of Philadelphia sent him into Western Pennsylvania, to missionate for at least two months. He had a family of six boys, and wished to settle them in that new country. He bought a farm in Fayette Co., Pa., and in 1772 placed his son Ebenezer, then a youth of fourteen years, in charge of it. Some four years afterwards this son was hotly pursued by some Indians, and with great difficulty escaped death at their hands. Mr. Finley was at home, 300 miles east of the scene, and said that he was strangely impressed one day that his son’s life was in




great danger. He knelt down and prayed and prayed, and after a time arose, feeling that the danger was over. Ebenezer soon came East, and he and his father, by comparing notes, found that while the son was being pursued by the Indians, his father was on his knees praying for him! Mr. Finley applied for a dismission from Presbytery in 1777, in order to go West with his family; but his congregation and Presbytery positively refusing to let him go, he consented to stay. Still there was a field of usefulness for him in that country, and he longed to be with them. In 1782 he again applies for his dismission, and still his people protested, and Presbytery refused to grant it. As the records relating to this matter are of so much interest, we shall present them in full.


Mr. Finley’s Request.—“Finding his congregation weak, and looking on this as an additional call to provide for himself and family elsewhere, had, some years ago, procured land to the westward on easy terms—that several of his children had removed thither, and others were inclinable to follow, and that he thought it his duty to endeavor to be near them, and that though he is sorry to leave a people he has long lived in harmony with, yet thinks it will be his duty, if not removed now, to give up with his charge in a few years; but when it must be much more inconvenient, if not an insurmountable task to remove. That he thinks there is a more rational prospect of his being more useful elsewhere than here, and that the ministers where he proposes to remove are such as that he can with singular satisfaction join with in laboring to promote the kingdom of Christ; for which reasons he begged to be released from his present charge.


P.S. That when he accepted a call from part of the present united congregation of Elk, he made it a condition that his acceptance should not be considered as a bar in the way of removing to the Westward afterwards, if he should choose to do so.


Mr. Thomas Sharp and Samuel Moffat, commissioners from the congregation under Mr. Finley’s care, earnestly prayed that Mr. Finley may not be dismissed, for the following reasons:


To the Rev. Presbytery of New-Castle, sitting at Elk Meeting-house, the 23d and 24th days of April 1782.


Rev. Fathers—As our dearly beloved Rev. Pastor, Mr. James Finley, hath applied to you for a dismission from his congregation, and offered his reasons for his request, which he has favored us with a copy of; we, his auditory, constituents of said congregation do, in the most humble manner, lay before you our objections and reasons against his obtaining an absolute dismission, viz:


1st. Because we are both able and willing to give him a competent and comfortable support, and earnestly desire to render his life as happy as we can; and because it appears evident to us that the provision he has made, together with that he may make, under his present circumstances, for himself and family, by the blessing of God, sufficient. His lands to the Westward were procured on easy terms, and there are few families in these parts so well provided for; and besides there is a prospect of a further enlargement to this congregation, provided he continues in it.




2d. We readily grant that natural affection is an incumbent duty on all parents toward their children, and doubt not that such affection leads him to be near his children, who have removed to the Westward; but we think that those his affections as a parent can by no means stand in competition with his ministerial charge over, and care of, the souls in this congregation, as a pastor.


3d. Although he may fail, and in a few years be unfit to undergo all the fatigues of his ministerial labors, yet, notwithstanding, we are willing still to adhere to, and abide by, him as our pastor, without diminishing aught of his ordinary provision. Judging it right to participate and bear with his age and infirmities, seeing we have enjoyed the benefit of his youth and vigor; nor is there any just ground for him to dread being involved in any insurmountable difficulties arising from his continuance here, for we will succor him during his life, and finally bury his remains carefully in the silent dust.


4th. As to the probability of his being more useful elsewhere, this we conceive ought to be weighed with the great desolations and darkness that will as probably take place amongst us in consequence of this removal. This is more than probable, for it seems evident to us; and such an evil ought not to be promoted here that a probable good may be effected elsewhere. Who knows how soon the showers of grace may descend on this, indeed, almost barren vineyard, and his labors with blessings, even here in this parched soil. Alas! the laborers in God’s vineyard in this part of the country are few. In twenty miles around there are only two pastors to administer sealing ordinances, and where are the candidates?


5th. We are glad that our pastor is so well pleased with those ministers to the Westward, because he can the more cheerfully commit the spiritual concerns of his children there to their care, and as to their temporal concerns, he can as readily commit that to the Divine Providence. These considerations may afford him sufficient satisfaction and content of mind in their absence. And we rejoice to hear that the wild world inclines to reform, and are blessed with faithful watchmen; but it would still be an additional joy and comfort to us if Mr. Finley could obtain such singular satisfaction in union with the ministers here as he expects to enjoy with those to the Westward, in the government of Christ’s kingdom; the which we believe he does not,—the cause of which is known to this Rev. Presbytery, as we suppose, and the remedy in their power to apply.


6th and lastly. Mr. Finley mentions a condition made when he accepted a call from part of this congregation, viz: that his acceptance should not be considered as a bar in the way of his removing to the Westward afterwards, if he should choose to do so.  As to this, we observe: that it is customary and necessary, in the very nature of contracts, that each party contracting hear and understand all the terms and conditions on which they agree. But this congregation of Elk have not heard of that condition mentioned by Mr. Finley, until the time he applied for a dismission. Ergo, &c. There was no intimation of it at the time he was ordained to this congregation, nor did the Rev. Presbytery loose Mr. Finley from his first charge, and install him to the congregation again, when it was enlarged by the union of another part; nay, they countenanced the union, and looked upon the people who came in, as being under the same obligations to Mr. Finley as his first people, and he under the same to them; and to




suppose Mr. Finley engaged to one part, and at liberty to desert from the other part at any time he chose, does not to us seem very consistent; and the one part coming in and taking him for their pastor also, could not weaken nor alter his first engagements. If Mr. Finley proposed this condition to the Rev. Presbytery, and if it was accepted of by them their minutes will show;—but how the Rev. Presbytery could dispense with such a condition, or pass the same without the approbation of, or even without any intimation thereof being given to, this congregation, we must leave to the Rev. Presbytery themselves to demonstrate. And may the Eternal Spirit of Truth lead you into all Truth, and out of all error, that ye may all speak the same thing, and be of the same mind, and of the same judgment. Amen.”


From the action of Presbytery he appealed to Synod, and had it set aside. He took his family West in the Spring of 1783, but New-Castle Presbytery never dismissed him until 1785, when, June 1st, he was received by Old-Redstone Presbytery. He became pastor of Rehoboth and Round-Hill congregations, which he had organized during his previous visits to Western Pennsylvania. These two churches still exist, are nine miles apart, and in a prosperous condition. He continued their pastor for twelve years, until his decease, January 6th, 1795, aged 70 years. His last words were an exhortation to his children to attend above all to the interests of their souls, that were of infinite worth. It is said he was the first minister of the Gospel, except army chaplains, that ever set foot on Western soil. He was a short, fat man, with a ruddy countenance, and nervous, rapid movements. A small bequest was left by him to Jefferson College, to aid in educating pious young men for the ministry. He married a Miss Hannah Evans, daughter of Robert Evans, and sister of Captain John Evans, who owned the rolling-mill property east of Cherry-Hill. Mr. Finley owned and resided on the White-Hall property, near Andora. He was one of seven sons, and the father of seven sons. His son James Finley, Jr., was interred at Sharp’s graveyard, 1722, aged 5 years, over whose grave still stands a small tombstone. Another son, John Evans Finley, became a preacher of the Gospel. A grandson, the Rev. Robert M. Finley, still lives in Wooster, Ohio. We have been thus minute respecting Mr. Finley, feeling it due to the memory of such a godly, useful man, who for more than 30 years faithfully preached the Word in this community.




Mr. Finley left about the close of the Revolution. The people were impoverished and demoralized, and the national currency depreciated by the protracted struggle. The land was poor and unproductive, and the new lands in the West became about this time a great attraction. Multitudes went West. For these and other reasons, the churches were in great straits, and unable to secure or support pastors. This church had its full share of the trials of the times. Mr. Finley was popular, and when he went West many of his people followed him. Presbytery still continued to send supplies. Often they had no preaching for months at a time, and in 1795 we have no record of any supply to this pulpit. Still the organization lived, and made repeated efforts to secure a pastor.


The Rev. John Burton, a licentiate from Scotland, was taken under the care of New-Castle Presbytery, June 14th, 1785, and appointed a stated supply to this church, and in October was called to become its pastor. The following note was his response to that call: “My grateful acknowledgments are due to




this congregation for their favorable opinion of me, and the unanimity they have showed in giving me a call to be their pastor. My wish is, that they and I be further acquainted. I declare my willingness to labor statedly among them till your next meeting of Presbytery, in April and go through the congregation in a course of visitation and examination. And that they have their choice to give, a call to me then, and I my choice to accept or refuse; that this call be lodged with the Trustees of the congregation till that time, and that they will pay according to their subscriptions, for the time intervening.” Having preached for them nearly a year, he declined their call, and accepted one to St. George’s, Del. After laboring there more than eight years, without ever being installed, he returned that call to Presbytery, October 8th, 1794. The next spring he went to Lewes Presbytery, and was called to Lewes, December 11th, 1797. We do not know that he was ever installed over that charge. In 1805 he returned to New-Castle Presbytery, and continued to supply various churches. He died in Wilmington, 1825, and was buried at St. George’s, Del. He was an excellent linguist and theologian, was frank and outspoken, and noted for his eccentricities. Mr. Burton had a little farm advertised for sale. A certain party went to buy it, when he told them, “It was a wet, sorry soil, and they would starve on it.” He was so absent-minded as to often drive home other people’s conveyances, so that his parishoners had to see him safely away from church.


The Rev. Francis Hindman received a call from this congregation and that of New-London, in 1790, but Presbytery refused to place the call in his hands until the difficulty with the Lewes Presbytery about his licensure was adjusted. A decided opposition to his installation, by a part of the congregation, prevented him from ever becoming its pastor, although he supplied the pulpit for about a year.


The Rev. John E. Latta was the next to receive a united call, in April 1800, from this church and that of New-London. About the same time he received and accepted a call to New-Castle, Del., where he was a faithful pastor until his death, in 1824. He was the father-in-law of the Rev. R. P. DuBois.


The Rev. Samuel Leacock acted as stated supply to this people for four years. He was received by Presbytery of Philadelphia, October 22d, 1794, as a foreign minister, from the Lancashire Association of Independent Ministers of Great Britain. On Nov. 13th he was appointed to supply the Pittsgrove church, Pa., to which congregation he was called, April 22d, and installed pastor Aug. 12th, 1795. After three years a difficulty arose in his church, and the pastoral relation was dissolved. Sept. 24th, 1799, he sits as corresponding member of New-Castle Presbytery, and, April 2d, 1800, presents his certificate from Presbytery of Philadelphia. In the fall of that year he became stated supply to this church, and continued with it in that capacity until 1804. While here he resided at Spring-Lawn Mills. Sept. 25th, 1804, he was dismissed to Oneida Presbytery, Central New York.


The Rev. John Waugh was the chief supply from 1804 to 1806. During 1805, he gave one-half his time to this people, and the other half to White-Clay-Creek. He was licensed Sept. 30, 1801, and ordained April 2d, 1806, at a meeting of Presbytery in this church. He married Miss Mary Platt, the daughter of Dr. Platt, of Newark, Del. His chief work was teaching, and for a number of years he was the Principal of Newark Academy. He died Dec. 15th, 1806.






The Rev. Robert Graham came from Western Pennsylvania, a licentiate of Carlisle Presbytery, and accepted a call to the New-London and Rock congregations, Sept. 28th, 1808. He was ordained and installed pastor, Dec. 13th, 1809. The Rock only received one-third of his time. Mr. Graham was a medium-sized man, black hair, blind of one eye; agreeable in address, and had many warm friends. He was a fair preacher, a faithful pastor, an active temperance advocate, and a friend of progress. The church was greatly benefitted by his labors. About a year before his death he was thrown out of his carriage, and received an injury from which he never recovered. He died at his residence, two miles northwest of New-London, Nov. 5th, 1835, and left a large, but short-lived, family, that now sleep with him the sleep of death, at New-London.


New-London declining to unite again in the support of a pastor, the Rock found it difficult to obtain a preacher, and for six years was chiefly dependent on supplies from Presbytery.

The Rev. Andrew Jardine was born Feb. 25th, 1785, in Parish of South Dean, Scotland. His parents were Thomas Jardine and Janet Oliver, both pious members of the Established Kirk. When a child he was struck by lightning, and his eyes were severely injured for some years. He early desired to preach the Gospel, but his parents were too poor to educate him. He spent half a lifetime farming, tending sheep, and teaching school, in his efforts to acquire an education. While in Edinburg University, he taught a classical school, and was secretary of the Scottish Bible Society. Having been licensed in 1832 by Presbytery of New-Castle in England, he was supply for six months at Felton, England. In 1834, a Dr. Rose gathered a colony in Jedburgh, Scotland, for America, and invited Mr. Jardine to become its pastor. He was ordained in England, Aug. 5th, 1834, and with the colony settled at Silver Lake, Penn. The colonists were dissatisfied, and soon scattered. Mr. Jardine left and joined Presbytery of Philadelphia, April 1836. The next year he came to this locality, and was for nearly three years stated supply of the Rock church. From this place he went for a short time to Durham church, Bucks county Penn., and then for eighteen months to Port Carbon, and finally became pastor of Middle Tuscarora, Juniata county, Pa., where he remained for sixteen years. In the early part of that pastorate his labors were wonderfully blessed. The people were from Scotland, and he was adapted to the field. The church at one time had five hundred members. Old age, and a severe attack of fever impaired his powers; the old people died, the young were dissatisfied with him, and the church asked Presbytery for a dissolution of the pastoral relation, which was granted. He afterwards supplied Mr. Pleasant, Clearfield co., Pa., for a few months, and in 1858, went to East Maine, Brown county, NY, and there lived with his cousin, Wm. Hogg, until his death from old age, June 17th, 1868. He never married. Mr. Jardine was an excellent scholar, a good pastor, a solid but dry, tedious preacher; was neither a bright nor great, but a good man. He was not suited to this field, and the church declined under his ministry.

Rev. Abraham DeWitt was born Dec. 2d, 1798, in Warren co., N. J., educated at Easton, Pa., Bloomfield, N. J., and Princeton Seminary, was licensed Oct. 6th, 1831, ordained as an evangelist Oct. 30th, 1832, and sent as a Domestic Missionary, for one year, to Great Bend, Penn. Nov. 14th,



1834, he was installed pastor of Lewes, Coolspring and Indian-River churches, of Delaware, where he remained until Nov. 22d, 1838. After teaching some time at Princeton, N. J., he began preaching to this people, Sept. 20th, 1840, and became their pastor Sep. 13th, 1841, and continued in that relation until April 10th, 1855. He married, Sep. 27th, 1832, Miss Anna, daughter of Abraham Terhune, Princeton, N. J. He and his wife still reside in this congregation, respected and beloved by the people with whom they have mingled for the last thirty years.

Rev. George Marshal was ordained and installed pastor of this church, May 13th, 1856. He was born in Ireland about 1831, but received his education in this country, graduating at Union College, N. Y., and Princeton Seminary, N. J. Mr. Marshall possessed fine natural powers, had a generous, unselfish heart, a child-like trust in God, and an ardent love for the Master’s work. Under many difficulties and discouragements, he labored faithfully to build up the interests of this church. He died Feb. 27th, 1861. He married Miss Bella Campbell, of Ireland, who died in 1864. His body, with those of his wife and two children, lies in Sharp’s graveyard; and his two daughters, Lizzie and Carrie, reside with his brother, William Marshall, in Missouri.

The present pastor was born in Baltimore, Maryland, graduated at Princeton College and Seminary; was licensed by New-Castle Presbytery, April 10th, 1861, and ordained and installed in this charge, May 6th, 1862. Since its organization in 1720, this church has had seven pastors, and during forty years it has been dependent on supplies.


Few churches have had such a variety of names. It was at first called the New-Erection, on the branches of Elk-river, then Elk-river, Great Elk, Upper Elk, and Elk. During the schism from 1741 to 1761, the Old-Side congregation was called Elk, and the New-Side East-Nottingham; and after the reunion in 1761, it is occasionally called Elk, but generally East-Nottingham. The first time that the name Rock appears on the records is Oct., 1787; then we see no more of Rock until 1793, from which time to the present this has been the only name. By an act of the General Assembly of Maryland, in 1801, it was incorporated as “The Rock Presbyterian Church, in North Milford Hundred, Cecil county, State of Maryland.”


The first building was located at the Stone-Graveyard, Lewisville, Chester co., and was probably a small log house, with no floor, no fireplace, and a few small windows. In those days the people provided their benches or pews according to their own taste and means, and there was no doubt a variety of the “high and low seats in the synagogue.” In this house occurred the strife about seats, which was settled by Presbytery in 1725, as we have already stated.

The second building was erected by the New-Side about 1741, at Sharp’s Graveyard. It was a frame, covered with clap-boards, and was a decided advance on the original house. When the Old and New sides united under



Mr. Finley, in 1761, they worshipped for a short time at Sharp’s Graveyard. We know not what became of this house; tradition says it was removed to the present Cleaver property, and converted into a barn.

The third building was erected in 1761, by the united congregations under Mr. Finley. It was built of stone, and its dimensions precisely the same as those of the present house. It had three doors—one in each end, about ten feet from the east side, and one midway in the west side. Between the end doors was a wide aisle, running the entire length of the church, in which were the long benches or tables used at the communions. About the middle of the east side stood the massive, elaborately-carved blue pulpit, perched high up against the wall, with an immense sounding-board projecting overhead along the ceiling. A rounding stairway of ten or twelve steps ran up the pulpit on the south side, while beneath the pulpit, in front, was a boxed-up space for the choir, which in those days consisted of one man, “the clark.” From the pulpit to the door, in the west side, was a medium sized aisle, and some eight or ten feet from each end of the church, and running from the long aisle toward the west side, were two narrow aisles. The pews rose in amphitheatre style as they approached the walls. The back pews along the two ends, also those along the west side, were high boxes, with small blue balustrades in the front. The pews had doors, and were without paint. The floor was made of plaster. The two large posts that supported the ceiling, as well as the doors, and the window frames were, like the pulpit, painted blue. The architecture of that church was very common in those days. In 1805 the building received a new roof, and at different times was repaired, but in 1844 it was thoroughly remodeled and modernized.

The fourth building. After twenty-seven years, the floor, the roof, and the inside generally, needed repairing. The congregation began the work, and kept on repairing, until to-day we enter a virtually new house. What a contrast between the fourth building and the first big house, the second clap-boarded frame one, and the antiquated third!


For nearly one hundred years, this church was the only place where the people of this entire community, for miles around, assembled to pay their homage to the living God. For the want of records, we know not how many have had their names on its roll of membership; but we do know that a great multitude of such as we are already saved and crowned in glory, here learned the way of Eternal Life. During Mr. Graham’s ministry, we hear of two revivals—one in 1822, when eleven were received as members, and in 1832, when over thirty professed their faith. While Mr. DeWitt was pastor, eight united at one time, seven at another, and in 1844, twenty came out on the Lord’s side. Mr. Marshall’s heart was made glad in 1858, when twenty-three stood up for Jesus. During the present pastorate, this church has been blessed with three precious ingatherings: in 1865, twelve; in 1867, twenty-four, and in 1870, twenty-seven. Besides these special out-pourings, God’s Spirit has been ever descending upon the church like the gentle dew, refreshing its members, and adding to it daily of such as are saved. The work of no church can be fully estimated, because so much of its influence is silent and unseen; its very presence restraining from evil, and awakening thoughts of God and eternity. For one hundred and fifty-two years this church has strengthened the weak, led the blind and given the oil of joy for mourning in multitudes of souls. If your slumbering ancestors could to-day rise from their graves, O, how they would bless this dear old church, for what their ears have heard and their hearts here felt!



The Rev. Mr. Graham, about 1819, organized a Sabbath school in this church. Hitherto the religious instruction of the young had been confined to the families, but now the church, for the first time, enters upon this new and most important feature of its work. It would be exceedingly interesting to know who were the teachers and what was the order of exercises in that school. How far—far has the Sabbath-school work grown beyond the expectations of its friends! This church has done a work for education that should be placed on record. In its early days, schools and school teachers were scarce, and many of the ministers not only preached but taught. The Rev. Alexander McDowell [sic] was a great teacher. When Dr. Allison [sic (Alison)][3] went to Philadelphia, Mr. McDowell took charge of the Synod’s school that was at New-London, and established it on his farm, a mile west of Brick-Hill, in this county, where it remained from 1752 to 1767. In 1754, the Rev. Matthew Wilson was associated with Mr. McDowell in this school, the former teaching the classics and the latter mathematics and philosophy. In 1767, Mr. McDowell removed the school to Newark, Del., where it still flourishes. The Rev. James Finley was also interested in the work of education, for we read that the Rev. James Dunlap, after graduating at Princeton College, studied theology under Mr. Finley.[4] The Rev. Francis Hindman, for some years, taught a classical school in the large stone house that still stands on the old Sharpe property.

Sons of this Church.  This church has been singularly blessed in raising up young men for the ministry. The original Latta family, that afterwards became so noted for its learned and eloquent preachers, came from Ireland to this country, about 1739, and settled near Elkton. Its heads were no doubt members of this church. Their son said they were buried in the Stone Graveyard.

The Rev. James Latta was born in Ireland in 1732, and came to America with his parents. He studied under Dr. Allison [sic], at New-London, and most probably under Mr. McDowell, after the removal of the Synod’s school to this locality. He finally graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, and was licensed in 1758, by Presbytery of Philadelphia. He preached the Gospel for forty-three years, and thirty of those years he was pastor of the Chestnut-Level congregation. He was a fine scholar, eminent preacher and successful teacher. His four sons, Francis Allison, William, John Ewing, and James, were all distinguished ministers of the Gospel.



The Rev. James Dunlap was born in Chester co., Penn., in 1744, of pious parents. From the fact that the Dunlap family lived in East-Nottingham, and that James Dunlap, after he had graduated at Princeton College, studied divinity with the Rev. James Finley while pastor of this church, we lay claim to this most distinguished scholar and divine, as a son of the Rock. He was ordained by Presbytery of New-Castle, in 1781, and went to Western Pennsylvania with Mr. Finley, where he spent forty-three years teaching and preaching. For nine years he was president of Jefferson College. In 1816, he went to reside with his son, the Rev. William Dunlap, pastor of Abington Presbyterian Church, where he died in 1818.

The Rev. Joseph Alexander was the son of Theophilus Alexander, an elder of this church, who lived in Cecil co., on the road running from Cowantown to Kimbleville, just north of where it crosses the telegraph road to Newark. After graduating at Princeton College, and being licensed by New-Castle Presbytery, July 31st 1766, he was ordained by Hanover Presbytery, March 4th, 1768, at Buffalo, Guilford co., North Carolina. He spent the greater part of his exceedingly useful life teaching and preaching at Bullock’s Creek, York District, South Carolina. He was a man of commanding talents, fine education, a very animated, popular preacher, and renowned as a teacher of youth. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the College of South Carolina, in 1807. During the Revolution he was a fearless patriot, and often preached while the men of his church, armed to the teeth, guarded his life. He married a daughter of President Davies, of Princeton College; was said to be quite small in stature, and lame. He died July 30th, 1809.

The Rev. John Finley was the oldest son of the Rev. James Finley. He also graduated at Princeton College; most probably studied theology with his father, and was ordained at Fagg’s Manor, Aug. 21st, 1781. After serving Fagg’s Manor for twelve years, the pastoral relation was dissolved, Oct. 15th, 1783, when he went to Bracken, Mason co., Ky. He seems to have been a man after his father’s heart, full of devotion to the cause.

Rev. Francis Hindman belonged to an Irish family that lived, during his boyhood, one mile and a half south-west of Carter’s Mills. His mother was a member of this church.

The Rev. William Maffit was a son of Samuel Maffit, an elder of this church. Having been licensed October 9th, 1794, by New-Castle Presbytery, he went, April 1st, 1795, to Alexandria, Va., in Baltimore Presbytery. He had delicate health, and was pastor there for only a brief period, when he went to Salina, six miles from Washington, and there became principal of a school, which he continued to teach for many years. He married twice, each time to a widow Lee, of the noted Lee family of Virginia. He died in 1828.

The Rev. Thomas Miller was born in 1770. His mother was an earnest christian member of this church. At an early age he became an active member himself, but was never an elder. About 1808, he joined the M. E. church, and in 1809 entered the ministry of that denomination, and for nearly forty years labored most efficiently in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland, for the extension of his Master’s kingdom. He died in 1848, and was buried at the Union M. E. Church. he left a large family, that have been active supporters of that society for many years. The Rev. T. B. Miller, of Philadelphia Conference, is a grandson.



The Rev. Isaac Hall, son of Isaac and Mary Hall, was born July 11th, 1805. He labored on the farm until he was 18, and then learned the carpenter’s trade. He joined this church Nov. 3d, 1827, and in 1830 entered upon his studies for the ministry, in the Manual Labor School of the Rev. George Junkin, D. D., at Germantown, Pa. When Dr. Junkin, in 1832, went to Easton and founded La Fayette College, Mr. Hall, with sixteen other students, followed their beloved teacher. He entered Princeton Seminary in 1836, was licensed by Newton Presbytery April 24th, 1839, and dismissed to Baltimore Presbytery, October 4th, 1842, where he preached for seven years to Franklinville and other churches. In 1849 he moved to Piqua, Ohio, where he has ever since resided, preaching in various churches as health and opportunity have permitted. He married, April 29th, 1844, Mrs. Ella M. Meng, of Prince Williams co., Va. Mr. Hall is an earnest christian brother, who, amid great physicial [sic] difficulties, has striven faithfully to glorify his Master’s name.

The Rev. James Beverlin Ramsey, D.D., son of James and Sarah Ramsey,was born at Cherry Hill, Cecil co., May 20th, 1814. His father died in August 1820, and soon after his mother moved to the stone house across the creek from this church. Her son went to the school taught by Master Henry, near Fair Hill. In 1826, his mother went to Philadelphia, and for four years her son was a clerk in a lumber yard. At the age of fourteen he united with the church, and began the study of the classics under his pastor. He was two years at Germantown Academy, and four years at Easton, graduating, 1836, in the first class ever sent out by La Fayette College. That class only had three members, and they were all natives of Cecil co., Md., viz.: James B. Ramsey, George Kidd, and a Mr. Smithers. He was four years at Princeton Seminary. The Presbytery of Newton received him under its care Oct. 1837, licensed him April 1840, and dismissed him to Second Presbytery of New York, Nov., 1840. On Feb. 14th, 1841, he was ordained and installed at West Farms, New York; in 1846 he became a missionary to the Choctaw Indians, and principal of Spencer Academy; in 1849 he returned to the States, and for five years was unable to do much preaching. July 23d, 1854, he was installed pastor of New Monmouth, Va. In Oct., 1858, he was installed pastor of a church in Lynchburg, Va., where he labored with great success until April 1870. He died at Lynchburg, July 23d, 1871, leaving a widow and one child. Dr. Ramsey was a great man, possessing a vigorous analytical mind, that was ever thirsting for knowledge and truth. He became a most profound scholar. No one stood higher in the Synod of Virginia as a thinker and a preacher. Much of his laborious life was devoted to teaching, as well as preaching. His writings are valuable. His published works are a sermon on the Ruling Elder, a discourse on the Deaconship, Questions on Bible Doctrine, and Lectures on Revelation. He was a good man. Although fourteen years of age when he joined the church, his mother believed that he was born of the Spirit when only six years old. His confidence in God was implicit and abiding, his love for the church most ardent, and his spirit as a christian most humble and child-like. His mother was a devoted christian. She gave her son to the Gospel ministry when a child; and her lovely spirit attended him wherever he went, almost to the close of his life, for she died as late as Dec., 1866, aged 92 years. His parents were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, and attended this church. Tradition says that his father was accidentally killed. His grandfather, William Wilson, graduated at some college in Europe, and was a fine classical scholar. After coming to this country he engaged in teaching, and was widely known as Old Master Wilson. He was one of the assistant surveyors employed in running Mason and Dixon’s Line. The remains of



both the father and the grandfather Wilson repose in the New-Leeds burying-ground. Dr. Ramsey, in 1867, with great pleasure to himself, visited in Cecil co. the old tramping grounds of his boyhood.

The Rev. Samuel J. Donnelly was born was born Sept. 23d, 1829, near Mount Rocky M. E. Church, Chester co., Pa.; was educated at New-London Academy, Delaware College, Bangor and Princeton Seminaries, graduating at the last institution, April 1863. He united with the Rock, on examination, Dec. 5th, 1858, and was ordained as an Evangelist by New-Castle Presbytery, in April 1863, and in May he began laboring as stated supply in Hancock, Md. While at Hancock, he preached twelve miles north, in Buck Valley, Fulton co., Pa., where he succeeded in building a neat little frame church. He was faithful and beloved as a pastor, and instructive as a preacher. His health failed and he had to resign his work, 1865. He died of consumption, in Washington City, Nov. 15th, 1868, and was buried at Havre-de-Grace, Md. His last words were, “I’ll trust Him as I go.”

The present pastor came to this locality when six years old; spent his boyhood one mile west of Lewisville, Chester co., Pa; attended Sabbath school and religious services of this house; joined this church Oct. 27th, 1849; was never a member of any other church, and has been preaching here since the first Sabbath of Nov., 1861.

Colonies.—Through Mr. Finley’s influence, many of the early citizens of this region, as well as members of the church, settled in Western Pennsylvania. In about twenty years, thirty-four families, chiefly young married persons connected with this congregation, migrated to that locality. They being neighbors, and closely related, sought settlements near each other, but were unable to do so, and had to scatter over a district forty miles long. Thus scattered, they united with different churches, and became the very pillars of many struggling congregations. They were most efficient men, and, by their piety, generous efforts and gifts, did a great work in sustaining the first ministers of Western Pa. Out of the thirty-four families, twenty-two of their heads became elders, among whom were Judge Allison, Judge McDowell, James Bradford, Henry Graham, Robert Barr, James and Samuel Fleming, John Wright, Robert Moore, John Powers, John Allen, and Samuel, Ebenezer, Joseph, Michael and William Finley, all sons of the Rev. James Finley. About the same time this colony went West, many families went to North Carolina, among them were four sons of Thomas Sharpe, and a number of the Alexander family, through the influence of the Rev. Joseph Alexander.


The people were widely scattered, and preachers scarce; and the amount of preaching at any one place, in the year, even though favored with a pastor, was small. When they did come together it was important to hear as much as possible; hence the sermons were long, usually over an hour, and there were always two of them in a day, with an hour or half hour interval. “Taking the Sacrament” was a great event, the preparation and attendance alike large. The Thursday previous was observed as a fast day, with preaching on Friday and Saturday, as well as on the Monday following. The communicants had to provide themselves with small leaden “Tokens,” with the letter M (member) or initials of the church on them. They gathered around the long bench-like tables that stood in the aisle, and gave in their tokens. The minister then “fenced the table,” by delivering a most solemn charge to those about to partake of the emblems. While the tables were changing, one of the elders lined out the Psalm for singing. The salary each one paid was called



“stipends,” was expected to be in amount according to the pecuniary circumstances, and was paid on the Monday after communion. The Presbyterian churches of this country for many years sang the Psalms of David, as translated by Frances Rouse, of England. The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts were introduced between 1780 and 1790, and as our ancestors disliked new measures, this great change in the psalmody of the church must have awakened much feeling and discussion. The singing was congregational, with a “precentor, or clerk,” standing in front of the pulpit to lead. “Lining out the hymns” was a general practice. The people, in going to church, either rode on horseback or walked. It was nothing unusual to walk eight or ten miles to church. The ladies rode on horseback, holding the rod and reins in one hand, and a large fan, instead of a parasol, in the other. The funerals differed very materially from our modern burials. The hearse had only two wheels, with slats nailed across the shafts, on which rested a large coffin shaped box, which received the coffin containing the corpse. The coffin was often tied on the naked slats. The undertaker either walked or rode one horse and led the horse in the shafts. A disgraceful custom was very common at those old-time funerals, of treating the people assembled to cakes and liquors. They were arranged in a row, and the liquors passed along. Often those in front, after the cup had passed them, would, for the sake of another cup, slip around and take their station in the rear. The last cup taken just before the procession moved off was called the “stirrup-cup,” because almost everybody rode on horseback in those days. The custom of drinking was at that time not only very common, but rather respectable, and yet getting drunk was very censurable. Drunkards were numerous, and drunkenness a great disturber of the peace of God’s house. On the question of temperance, the church has made great progress in the last half century.


Abraham Emmet, Sr., lived near the Delaware line, active in organizing the church, died 1730.

Robert Finney lived in Penna., elder until the organization of New London.

Andrew Steele, on of the first elders, probably lived in Penna.

Robert Linton, commissioner Sept. 14th, 1724, and became elder.

John Hogg lived near Blue-Ball, was commissioner, and may have been an elder.

Thomas Sharp, Sr., lived near Centre school house, was commissioner June 28th, 1720, became elder, and died 1749.

Roger Lawson came from Ireland in 1723, lived at Fair-Hill, died 1733.

John Thompson lived in South-Milford, died 1742.

Rowland Chambers, one of the early elders.

Robert Mackey lived near the church, appears as elder 1745 and 1769.



Robert Rowland lived at Brick-Hill, elder forty years, died 1780.

Theophilus Alexander lived in New-Munster, remarkable for good sense, died 1768.

Amos Alexander, brother of Theophilus, lived in New-Munster, died 1780.

Matthew Taylor, died 1784.

Thomas Sharp, Jr., lived near Centre school house, elder over thirty years, died 1785.

Philip Tanner owned fulling mill where the road from Rock church to Hickory Hill crosses little Elk, elder nearly 40 years, daughter married Rev. James Power, died 1795.

Samuel Whan bought White-Hall farm, in 1787, of Rev. James Finley, elder as late as 1792.

George Lawson, grandson of Roger, lived at Fair-Hill, died 1791.

John Lawson, brother of George, lived at Lewisville, Penn.

David Wherry lived near Hickory Hill, Penn., elder many years.

Samuel McKeown lived near North-East, died 1804.

William Mackey lived near the church, was elder in 1792.

James Mackey, cousin of William, and elder about the same time.

Samuel Maffit lived near Union M. E. Church; earnest christian, elder nearly forty years, died 1815.

Thomas Maffit, brother of Samuel, lived in North-East, wise, prudent and very pious, elder many years, died 1815.

Samuel Beatty lived in Penn., was “clerk,” went west about 1809.

Andrew Mearns, lived near Zion, elder about fifteen years, died 1824.

James Kilgore lived above Lord’s factory, died 1834.

James Steele lived near Blue Ball, died 1838.

Joseph Steele, son of James.

William Cochran lived near Kansas school house, fine scholar, died 1839.

William Boone lived where the road from Rock church to Hickory Hill crosses Mason and Dixon’s line; moved to Christiana, Penn.

Robert Christie lived near Centre school house, died 1841.



William Mackey, nephew of William the elder, lived near the church, died 1845.

William Wherry, son of David the elder [he was son of David Jr.—SWC], lived near Hickory Hill, died 1854.

Abraham D. Mitchell lived at Fair-Hill, died 1841.

John Mearns lived near North-East, died 1869,and buried at North-East. The three last named elders were ordained Oct. 6th, 1837.

Matthew Gallagher lived near Providence paper-mill, ordained July 9th, 1843, died 1862.

C. C. Brokaw, Walter Armstrong and James Mackey, ordained Nov. 9th, 1851. The last named lived near the church on road to Fair-Hill, died 1868, buried at Kimbleville, Penn.

Robert Hodgson, ordained Nov. 6th, 1870.

John T. DeWitt, ordained Nov. 6th, 1870.

The elders are selected from families that are usually active in the church, and it would be interesting had we the facts and the space, to record more of their history. How very few of those names once so prominent in this church, and familiar in this community, are known here to-day? The Lawsons, the Sharps, the Whans, the Alexanders, the Tanners, the Maffits, the Halls, and the Mitchells were large families and extensive land-holders, and for many years the chief supporters of this church, but they have left us and to most of us their very names are strange sounds. How soon they that know us shall know us no more forever! The mortal remains of many of those fathers and mothers in Israel, repose in the Stone and Sharp’s graveyards, but the precise time of their decease, as well as the location of their graves, are unknown. “They rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.”


It was rededicated July 4th. Rev. R. H. Allen, D.D., of Philadelphia, preached at 11 o’clock A.M., from Deut. xxxii 31: “For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” In the dedication, Rev. J. H. Johns made the address, and Rev. A. DeWitt the prayer. At 2 o’clock P.M., addresses were delivered by Rev. R. P. DuBois, on “The Old Churches of New-Castle Presbytery;” by Rev. A. DeWitt, on “Recollections of My Rock Pastorate;” by Rev. J. D. Rigg, of M. E. Church, on “Christian Union;” and by Rev. J. G. Porter, on “Church Building.” At 7:30 P.M., this Historical Discourse was delivered.

The present church is a gothic stone building; has pews of grained ash, with walnut trimmings, a walnut pulpit, three chandeliers, and stained glass windows; a most comfortable session house, a very neat yard of walls and fences, and seventeen horse sheds.

It has 60 families, 130 members and 100 sabbath-school scholars. The salary and current expenses are raised by the Envelope System, which was introduced October 1st, and promises success. This congregation was never large, nor the mass of its members wealthy; but it has had among its members many devoted christians. The Rock has, in its history, had some severe trials, when its friends feared that it would never weather the



storms or survive the spiritual famine; but it can truly say: “I have been young and now am old, yet have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

A son of Thomas Sharp, sr., was a member of the Continental Congress.

In the latter part of the last century, Abraham Mitchell came from Lancaster co., Pa., located at Fair Hill, and practiced medicine many years. Abraham D. Mitchell, the elder, was his son. His son George E. Mitchell was a colonel in the war of 1812, and eminent physician, and practised in this community. He was popular as a politician, was sent to Congress, died in Washington 1833, and was buried in the Congressional Cemetery. Arthur W. and Dr. H. H. Mitchell, of Elkton, are his sons. Captain John Evans, son of Robert Evans, and brother-in-law of Rev. James Finley, was a very active and influential citizen, a member of this church, lived at the rolling-mill east of Cherry Hill, and died March 3d 1823. His son, Amos Evans, practiced medicine in Elkton, and the Hon. Alexander Evans is a grandson.

The tall bony frame of Richard Brookens, M.D., was a familiar form in the families of this vicinity for years. He died January 9th, 1852, aged 45 years,and was buried at North-East, Md.

William Mackey, the elder, who died in 1845, was a general in the militia of 1812.

Old Master Henry and Master James Patton were thorough teachers, and made lasting impressions on their numerous pupils. Of these persons, and many others, we might write with interest; but our aim has been to record a history of the Rock Church, and to confine ourselves to the influences acting upon, and exerted by, this religious society. We have striven to embalm the memory of the saints of other days, and to exhibit the life and labors of this church in its past history, with the fond hope that these things may strengthen the faith and fire the zeal of God’s people in the ages to come.

[Rock Church is still an active congregation. According to the web site of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, it had a membership of 132 in 2001. SWC]








Rock Presbyterian Church, in North Milford Hundred,
September 5th, 1803

In pursuance of an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Maryland, for incorporating certain persons in every Christian church or congregation, passed November session, 1802, and after public notice given in said congregation, the heads of families met at their church, the Rev. Samuel Leacock, Moderator, and Samuel Maffit, Clerk, constituted with prayer. They having read, considered and approved the law, agreed to carry it into effect; and adopted the following rules as the Constitution of their corporation:

First. That in all gifts, conveyances, or other instruments of writing belonging to, and for the benefit of said congregation, it shall be known and denominated and distinguished by the Rock Presbyterian Church in North Milford Hundred, Cecil county, State of Maryland.

Secondly. That for the better management of the temporalities of the said Rock Presbyterian Church, there shall be a corporation, or body politic, vested in a number of trustees, not exceeding nine. That three of said nine trustees first named shall go out of office annually, by rotation, and shall be replaced by three persons, to be chosen by the congregation at their annual meeting for that purpose.

Thirdly. That whereas, by the said General Act of Incorporation, the qualifications of persons to be elected trustees, and to be particularly known and described, and whereas, the duties of the deacons mentioned in the Directory, or Constitution, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, are transferred to the trustees of this corporation; Resolved, therefore, that the said trustees shall possess the same qualifications, and be received into their office on the same conditions as formerly were the deacons.

Fourthly. Resolved, that all free white male inhabitants being members of said church, and twenty-one years of age, contributing to the support of the Gospel in said congregation, shall vote for, and may be voted in as, trustees; and that the said free male white inhabitants of the Rock Presbyterian Church shall meet on the fifteenth day of this inst., in said church, and then and there elect, by ballot, nine of the most sober, sensible and discreet members of said church; which nine persons of said church shall be styled Trustees of the Rock Presbyterian Church; and that the said trustees, or a majority of them, shall be a board to transact all business relative to said corporation; and that in case of death, removal or resignation of any of the trustees, so that the number be reduced under the number of five, then, and in that case, after public notice being given in said church, the



members of said church may meet, as aforesaid, and elect other Trustees to fill the vacancy that may hereafter happen in said congregation.

Fifthly. We resolve, that a registry shall be made of all the present members of our church and congregation, and also of their children who are twenty-one years old, and of all other professing christians who may hereafter be admitted members of this church by its elders; and that in the said registry there shall be a true record made of all baptisms and of all marriages happening in the bounds of this congregation. Said registry shall be kept by the Clerk for the time being, of the said corporation.

Sixthly. Resolved, that in the first week of September 1904, and in the first week in September annually forever, public notice being first given, the members of said church shall there meet, and there elect by ballot, three of the most sensible, wise and discreet members of said church, according to rule the second.

Concluded with prayer.


Rock Presbyterian Church, in North Milford Hundred,
September 15th, 1803

The heads of families of said church met according to public notice given; constituted with prayer; Rev. Samuel Leacock, Moderator, Samuel Maffit Clerk; when it appeared, a fair vote being first taken by ballot, that James Mackey, Esq., Samuel Maffit, Esq., Robert Cochran, Thomas Maffit, Esq., James Mackey, jr., Ebenezer Wherry, Andrew Marns, John McCrery and Hugh Guy were elected as trustees of the Rock Presbyterian Church in North Milford.

Concluded with prayer.


State of Maryland, Cecil County, ss.

Be it remembered, that on the first day of December 1803, came before us Tobs. Rudolph and John Evans, two of the Justices of the Peace for said county, Samuel Maffit, Robert Cochran, Thomas Maffit, James Mackey, jr., Andrew Marns and John McCrery, trustees, or members of the Corporation of the congregation of the Rock Presbyterian Church in North Milford Hundred, in the county of Cecil aforesaid, and did jointly acknowledge the aforegoing plan, agreement or regulations, to be those adopted by the said church, pursuant to the Act of Assembly for incorporating certain persons in every christian church or congregation in the State of Maryland, passed in the session of 1802.

                                                                                                            Tobs. Rudolph,
                                                                                                            John Evans




Rev. J. Henry Johns.


ruling elders

C. C. Brokaw

Walter Armstrong

Robert H. Hodgson

John DeWitt



John McCrery,  President

C. C. Brokaw, Secretary

Dr. S. W. Morrison, Treasurer

Walter Armstrong

Thomas Strahorn

James A. Mackey

John B. Mackey

John T. DeWitt

Robert H. Hodgson



Jonathan Lewis





NOTE: Throughout this transcription I have endeavored to reproduce as accurately as possible the exact text as found. I have departed from that practice here. In the original, the names were listed in an apparently random order (possibly in the order of union with the church).  For the convenience of the reader, I have listed them alphabetically by surname, then by first name. [SWC]

Caroline Alexander

William C. Alexander

Amelia E. Armstrong

Emma Armstrong

James C. Armstrong

Mary J. Armstrong

Walter Armstrong

William Armstrong

Rebecca L. Blair

C. C. Brokaw

Emma L. Brokaw

Margaret J. Brokaw

Phebe Brokaw

William H. Brokaw

Mary E. Brown

Susan J. Bye

James Campbell

Martha M. Campbell

Maria A. Clemson

M. Ella Cole

Anna M. DeWitt

Anna T. DeWitt

John T. DeWitt

Mary D. S. DeWitt

Elizabeth Duckett

Rebecca Fulton

Margaret Gallagher

E. A. Garver

John  Garver

Sarah  Gary

Elizabeth Gatchell

Henry Gatchell

Margaret A. Gibson

Alethe Green

Grace Green

Harriet Green

Joshua Green

Esther E. Hall

John Halliday

Maria E. Hess

James Hodgson

Margaret A. Hodgson

R. H. Hodgson

Martha R. Holland

James C. Hume

Samuel Hume

Sarah A. Hume

Walter A. Huston

Catharine Janes

Joseph R. Jefferis

Mary A. D. Jefferis

Ellen Johnson

Elvina Johnson

Marion Kershaw

John H. Kimble

Mary Kimble

Victoria Kirk

Anna M. Levis

Eliza Levis

Harriet S. Levis

Joseph K. Levis

Mary Levis

Sarah Levis

Catharine Mackey

Charlotte P. Mackey

Deborah A. Mackey

Elizabeth L. Mackey

James A. Mackey

Jane Mackey

John B. Mackey

Martha E. Mackey

Mary T. Mackey

Rebecca Mackey

Ella Mackie

Mary R. Mackie

Anna M. McCauley

Elizabeth McCleary

Jacob D. McConnell

Mary McConnell

Maria L. McCrea

Albert T. McCrery

Harriett McCrery

James McCrery

John McCrery

Joseph McCullough

Annie McDowell

Jesse McFadien

Rachel J. McVey

Samuel Mearns

Elizabeth Morrison

S. Wilmer Morrison

Sadie H. Morrison

Margaret A. Moss

Eliza Mullein

Salina A. Peterson

Elizabeth G. Pierce

Emeline Quin [7]

Mary E. Quin [7]

Charles Ramsey

Rachel A. Ramsey

Adrianna Reynolds

E. Genetta Reynolds

Harriet Reynolds

Mary A. Reynolds

Rachel E. Reynolds

T. Taylor Reynolds

Andrew M. Russell

Mary Scarborough

H. Amelia Scott

Lavina S. Scott

M. Helen Scott

Sophia Simpson

Elizabeth Steele

M. Rebecca Steele

Sarah Steele

Sarah B. Steele

Gertrude Strahorn

Thomas Strahorn

Ellen Thomas

P. Jane Thompson

Lydia Tyson

Sarah M. Warren

Ruth Woollens

T. T. Woollens

Elizabeth M. Yerkes

Ida Yerkes



lewisville, chester co., pa.

[The names in this list and the next are alphabetical by surname; they are mostly as found, with some corrections in the order of surnames.—SWC]


                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Charlotte Alexander,                                               April 1843,          60 y.

Samuel Alexander,                                September 20th, 1826,          66 y.

Jane Alexander,                                           March 11th, 1819,          56 y.

Jane Alexander,                                             March 5th, 1815,                 

John Alexander,                                                         July 1817                 

Susanna Armstrong,                                 February 19th, 1818,          64 y.

James Armstrong,                                       October 4th, 1823,          55 y.

William Armstrong,                                     January 20th, 1826,          72 y.

William Armstrong,                                         April 24th, 1826,          21 y.

John K. Armstrong,                                        April 20th, 1827,                                        23 d.

Susan J. Armstrong,                                        April 22d, 1828,          14 y.        1 m.       25 d.

Amelia Armstrong,                                       March 24th, 1831,            6 y.        5 m.       20 d.

William Armstrong,                                         June 29th, 1837,          46 y.                        7 d.

Hannah Armstrong,                                   October 29th, 1846,                 

M. Adelaide Armstrong,                                   April 4th, 1853,            1 y.      10 m.       11 d.

John Armstrong,                                             August 31, 1851,          32 y.        6 m.       12 d.

Carrie M. Armstrong,                                   August 23d, 1858,                          9 m.       15 d.

Agnes Armstrong,                                             May 9th, 1861,                                        11 d.

Mary Armstrong,                                          January 1st, 1871,          95 y.

Anna D. Armstrong,                                         April 5th, 1872,          81 y.        1 m.       14 d.


Alexander Black,                                   December 26th, 1750,          28 y.


Richard Cross,                                          October 25th, 1796,          29 y.

Samuel Cummings,                                  September 1st, 1829,

John Cummings,                                        December 2d, 1818,          33 y.


William Ewing,                                                   February 1837          75 y.


Andrew Hall,                                              January 31st, 1846,          78 y.

Margaret Hall,                                           October 28th, 1853,          70 y.

Jane Halhoyne,                                       December 15th, 1743,          14 y.

John Hewey,                                                     May 6th, 1747,          18 y.

James Hill,                                                   March 20th, 1746,          99 y.

Sarah Hill,                                                                       1775,          46 y.

Jane Hill,                                                 September 4th, 1831,          83 y.

James Hill,                                                October 12th, 1833,          79 y.




           NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Samuel Hill,                                                   March 7th, 1815,          82 y.

Mary Hill,                                                       April 25th, 1842,          58 y.


Rachel Kennedy,                                            April 30th, 1844,          59 y.        4 m.       25 d.

James Kennedy,                                     December 20th, 1848,          64 y.        1 m.       12 d.


Roger Lawson,                                                                1733,

George Lawson,                                                              1791,

Jane Lawson,                                            October 24th, 1754,          46 y.

Samuel Lowrey,                                                              1820,            6 y.

Thomas Lowrey,                                                             1828,          25 y.

William Lowrey,                                                              1829,          24 y.

James Lowrey,                                                                1850,          76 y.

Mary Lowrey,                                                                 1858,          77 y.


James Mackey,                                               June 24th, 1834,          70 y.

Sarah Mackey,                                       November 23d, 1836,          65 y.

James Mackey,                                                 June 5th, 1847,          58 y.

Ann Mackey,                                            October 25th, 1824,          30 y.

William Mackey,                                              April 7th, 1845,          58 y.        3 m.         4 d.

Jane Mackey,                                             January 13th, 1828,          34 y.

Catharine J. Mackey,                                  August 20th, 1824,                        10 m.

David E. Mackey,                                        March 18th, 1825,            8 y.

James Alfred Mackey,                                 October 1st, 1837,          18 y.        6 m.         9 d.

Rachel J. Mackey,                                         March 7th, 1865,          65 y.        3 m.       14 d.

James Maffit,                                                                   1806,          32 y.

Mary Maffit,                                                   June 30th, 1806,          59 y.        5 m.

Samuel Maffit,                                                 May 31st, 1815,          73 y.

Thomas Maffit,                                           January 25th, 1815,          76 y.

Ann Maffit,                                                     April 29th, 1823,          77 y.

Sarah Maffit,                                            February 20th, 1849,          67 y.

Mary Maffit,                                            February 14th, 1857,          81 y.

John S. Maffit,                                                April 29th, 1851,          79 y.

Anna M. Maffit,                                           March 29th, 1858,          57 y.

Margaret E. Maffit,                                         May 31st, 1871,          64 y.

Hugh Mahaffey,                                     November 18th, 1749,          26 y.

Joseph Mahaffey,

Mary Mahaffey,

M. Fulton McConnell,                                 August 19th, 1845,          31 y.

Jane McCracken,                                           March 2d, 1857,          76 y.

James McCracken,                                        March 4th, 1859,          79 y.

Mary McCracken,                                   February 16th, 1865,          82 y.

Emma McCreary,                                        August 30th, 1849,            6 y.

James Meadian,                                                               1748,          37 y.

Andrew Mearns,                                       October 31st, 1824,          68 y.




                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Jane Maffit Mearns,                                 September 3d, 1836,          31 y.

Samuel Moore,                                           August 12th, 1857,          67 y.        4 m.       16 d.

Agnes Moore,                                                 June 23d, 1857,          73 y.        2 m.       13 d.

Esler Moore,                                                           April 1823,          19 y.        6 m.         5 d.

Rebecca Moore,                                                      June 1830,            2 y.        1 m.         5 d.


John Null,                                                                        1828,            3 y.


------- Oglesbeys,                                                           1757,          57 y.

------- Oglesbeys,                                                           1728,            2 y.


Mary Rankin,                                            February 23d, 1851,          36 y.

Wallace Riney,                                              August 7th, 1750,            7 y.


Jane Sherer,                                                                    1849,          45 y.

Martha M. Sherer,                                           April 7th, 1861,          63 y.

Mary Speak,                                                                   1837,          70 y.

Archibald Steele,                                             June 20th, 1745,          28 y.

James Steele,                                         November 30th, 1838,          95 y.        9 m.         6 d.

Elizabeth Steele,                                           August 22d, 1837,          82 y.        9 m.         5 d.

Joseph Steele,                                                 May 16th, 1840,                                          2 d.

Samuel Steele,                                            January 29th, 1842,

Alexander Steele, jr.,                                  February 7th, 1849,          20 y.        2 m.         8 d.

Rachel A. Steele,                                        January 24th, 1855,          14 y.        1 m.

David Steele,                                                 September 1838,          65 y.

Jane Steele,                                                       October 1854,          70 y.


Anna Tanner,                                                    June 6th, 1759,          15 y.

Mary Tanner,                                               March 17th, 1761,          64 y.

Philip Tanner, jr.,                                         August 13th, 1781,          28 y.

Elizabeth Tanner,                                         August 25th, 1781,          30 y.

Philip Tanner, sr.,                                              May 1st, 1795,          78 y.

Elizabeth Tanner,                                     November 8th, 1797,          81 y.

Hugh Tanner,                                           December 9th, 1797,          41 y.

Margaret Tyson,                                               June 8th, 1859,          62 y.

Nathan Tyson,                                                June 13th, 1871,          79 y.


Jane Wilson,                                            February 26th, 1747,          38 y.

Ann Wilson,                                                    May 11th, 1828,          30 y.

John F. Wilson,                                          January 31st, 1842,          48 y.

John Wilson,                                                    July 26th, 1844,          82 y.

Matthew Wilson,                                        January 10th, 1838,          75 y.

David Wayye [sic];[5]                                                       1743,          73 y.




fair hill, cecil co., md.

                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Martha Abernatha,                                            July 23d, 1815,          11 y.

Esther Abernatha,                                  November 21st, 1815,            5 y.

James Abernatha,                                     February 23d, 1860,          81 y.

Elizabeth Abernatha,                                    March 25th, 1862,          76 y.

Elizabeth Alexander,                                         May 4th, 1859,          50 y.

Sarah Alexander,                                            April 17th, 1842,            4 y.

W. A. Alexander,                                           May 17th, 1841,            2 y.

Catherine Alexander,                                      May 20th, 1814,          78 y.

Andrew Alexander,                               November 26th, 1840,          73 y.

Joseph Alexander,                                            July 10th, 1860,          84 y.

Amos P. Alexander,                                    October 6th, 1835,            4 y.

Walker J. Alexander,                                October 19th, 1851,            2 y.

Eliza Alexander,                                         February 6th, 1851,          47 y.        9 m.       22 d.

Thomas Alexander,                                          July 18th, 1864,          69 y.        1 m.       11 d.

John T. Alexander,                                          May 23d, 1853,          25 y.        3 m.         1 d.

Samuel C. Alexander,                                 February 1st, 1858,          23 y.        2 m.       13 d.

Wilmer A. Alexander,                            December 26th, 1864,                          6 m.           16

John T. Aoexander,                                    February 25, 1866,           4 m.       20 d.

Margaret A. Alexander,                              January 23d, 1866,          15 y.        1 m.             9


Elizabeth H. Blackburn,                               August 31st, 1847,          48 y.

Mary Blackburn,                                       October 18th, 1847,          85 y.

Jane Blackburn,                                        February 22d, 1859,          63 y.

Julia L. T. Brokaw,                                  September 9th, 1855,          22 y.        6 m.


John B. Campbell,                                       August 18th, 1852,            5 y.

David L. Campbell,                                          July 21st, 1847,            2 y.

Mary Chapman,                                        October 15th, 1861,          29 y.

Robert Christy,                                      November 30th, 1841,          75 y.

Elizabeth Christy,                                           March 9th, 1849,          84 y.

Robert Christy, jr.                                           May 20th, 1856,          51 y.

Thomas Cochran,                                      October 14th, 1833,                 

William Cochran,                                            April 28th, 1839,

Robert Cochran,                                                                                 80 y.

Elizabeth Cochran,                                                                              80 y.

Joseph Cochran,                                                                                 25 y.

Sarah Cochran,                                                                                   20 y.

Ann R. Collom,                                                               1827,            4 y.






                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


James Cowan,                                                 July 20th, 1824,            8 y.

Joseph Cowan,                                           August 15th, 1825,          25 y.

David Cowan,                                                      August 1826,          18 y.

David Cowan,                                                   October 1826,          80 y.

John Cowan, sr.,                                         October 4th, 1833,          65 y.

Martha Cowan,                                      December 10th, 1846,          77 y.

William B. Cowan,                                      August 10th, 1849,          38 y.        7 m.         9 d.

John Cowan,                                            December 12, 1850,          45 y.

Mary Cowan,                                        September 16th, 1861,          75 y.


Mary A. DeWitt,                                        January 29th, 1851,            8 y.

Sarah A. Dixon,                                     November 21st, 1835,            1 y.        3 m.

John Duncan,                                                           June 1854,          70 y.


Albert Ewing,                                                    February 1828,            1 y.

Ann Ewing,                                                                      1832,          42 y.


Lydia S. Ferguson,                                     January 29th, 1866,          36 y.

James Finley, jr.,                                    November 17th, 1772,            4 y.

George A. Fulton,                                            July 26th, 1858,          67 y.

Andrew J. Fulton,                                       January 19th, 1844,          15 y.


William H. Gallagher,                                     September 1846,          11 y.        6 m.

Matthew Gallagher,                                        April 15th, 1862,          65 y.

Letitia Gallagher,                                          January 8th, 1866,          67 y.

William Geery,                                      September 19th, 1824,          28 y.

Ann Geery,                                                January 10th, 1841,          67 y.

Hugh Geery,                                                  March 7th, 1841,          72 y.

Andrew Gibson,                                               July 29th, 1860,          75 y.

Mary A. Gibson,                                     November 9th, 1857,          58 y.

Sarah A. Gibson,                                               May 2d, 1851,          21 y.

Andrew A. Gibson,                                     August 11th, 1864,          25 y.

William Gibson,                                     September 16th, 1851,          61 y.

Catharine Gibson,                                            June 22d, 1858,          61 y.        7 m.       29 d.

John Gibson,                                               August 13th, 1843,          23 y.        2 m.       19 d.

William Gibson,                                           March 11th, 1858,          31 y.      10 m.         8 d.

John Gibson,                                               February 2d, 1871,          70 y.

Lydia Gibson,                                                August 4th, 1871,          24 y.      10 m.

Anna M. Green,                                     December 24th, 1846,                                          3 d.

Harriet Green,                                        December 17th, 1847,            6 y.

Harriet Green,                                                 June 12th, 1864,          54 y.

W. Price Green,                                              December 1865,          29 y.


Mary A. Harper,                                                July 5th, 1863,          21 y.

Elizabeth R. Hall,                                                 January 1866,          70 y.




                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Ann Hall,                                                        November 1855,

Mary A. Hill,                                              February 4th, 1846,          58 y.

Robert Hodgson,                                          January 3d, 1845,          79 y.

Sarah Hodgson,                                        October 28th, 1827,          59 y.

James Hodgson,                                              June 10th, 1837,          67 y.

Margaret Hodgson,                                    October 22d, 1821,          46 y.

James B. Hodgson,                                           June 7th, 1833,          33 y.

Elizabeth G. Hodgson,                                    April 18th, 1845,          48 y.

Mary E. Hodgson,                                           September 10th,          22 y.

George G. Hodgson,                                          October 1855,          21 y.

Robert J. Hughes,                                          September 1842,            1 y.

Martha J. Hughes,                                    February 17th, 1851,          37 y.

Rebecca E. Hughes,                                        June 20th, 1854,          18 y.

Frank Hughes,                                       November 12th, 1855,            3 y.

Elizabeth Hughes,                                  September 12th, 1857,            2 y.

William C. Hughes,                                                          1859,            1 y.

Carrie V. Hughes,                                        October 2d, 1863,            2 y.

Robert Hughes,                                           January 22d, 1850,          79 y.        8 m.       22 d.

Martha Hughes,                                       February 19th, 1855,          82 y.        3 m.       14 d.

Margaret J. Hughes,                                    February 3d, 1850,          41 y.        5 m.       21 d.

James Hunter,                                                 May 26th, 1846,          62 y.

Esther D. Hunter,                                          January 2d, 1855,          70 y.


John Johnson,                                              March 25th, 1851,          88 y.

Lewis J. Jones,                                                  June 9th, 1855,          50 y.

Rachel Jones,                                                    June 5th, 1866,          62 y.


Sarah Karr,                                           September 13th, 1802,            6 y.

William Karr,                                              January 31st, 1817,          25 y.

Ann Karr,                                                      April 11th, 1822,          27 y.

Robert Karr,                                              January 11th, 1842,          82 y.

Catharine Karr,                                              March 1st, 1844,          84 y.

Eleanor Kimble,                                     December 14th, 1849,          25 y.        6 m.


John La Tourrette,                                          August 3d, 1860,          91 y.

Walter A. Levis,                                        October 12th, 1866,            2 y.

Amanda Levis,                                      September 30th, 1872,          23 y.


David Mackey,                                              March 1st, 1851,            1 y.

David Mackey,                                         October 29th, 1863,          53 y.

Emeline Mackey,                                   December 25th, 1843,          29 y.

Wallace Mackey,                                            December 1861,          74 y.      11 m.

John Maffit,                                                      May 7th, 1825,          55 y.

John H. Maffit,                                        September 1st, 1833,          24 y.

Anna Maffit,                                               January 19th, 1872,          87 y.        6 m.         9 d.




                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Rev. George Marshall,                             February 27th, 1861,          30 y.

Isabella Marshall,                                             April 8th, 1864,          29 y.

William Marshall,                                        January 29th, 1860,                          2 m.

Georgiana L. Marshall,                             February 20th, 1862,                          6 m.

William McCauley,                                September 26th, 1852,          24 y.

Hannah M. McCauley,                                 March 31st, 1859,            5 y.        1 m.       25 d.

James T. McCauley,                                   January 25th, 1868,            9 y.        4 m.       24 d.

John McCleary,                                           August 16th, 1835,          60 y.

Ann McCleary,                                      December 21st, 1863,          76 y.

Jacob P. McCleary,                              September 30th, 1847,            1 y.        4 m.

Ann J. McCleary,                                           April 20th, 1842,            2 y.

Sophia McCrery,                                         March 30th, 1855,          48 y.

Sarah J. McCrery,                                   February 26th, 1864,          25 y.

Ann McCullough,                                  September 15th, 1855,          80 y.

Andrew H. Mearns,                                        June 25th, 1822,            1 y.        4 m.         5 d.

John M. Mearns,                                      September 2d, 1849,          26 y.        8 m.         5 d.

Hugh T. Mearns,                                            April 13th, 1850,          31 y.        2 m.       19 d.

Hugh Mearns,                                         September 6th, 1862,          65 y.

Nancy Mearns,                                          January 14th, 1859,          65 y.

Sarah Mearns,                                                May 12th, 1864,          69 y.        9 m.         4 d.

George B. Miller,                                             June 23d, 1864,          57 y.        7 m.         2 d.

William Milligan,                                              June 20th, 1858,          57 y.

Margaret Milligan,                                            July 19th, 1871,          74 y.

Margaret E. Milligan,                                        April 4th, 1841,            5 y.

Abraham D. Mitchell,                               December 6th, 1841,          55 y.

Jane T. Mitchell,                                              June 21st, 1851,          51 y.

Ephraim T. Mitchell,                                        May 11th, 1864,          45 y.

A. David Mitchell,                                     October 30th, 1864,          31 y.

Martha Moore,                                            January 5th, 1853,          69 y.

George Mullein,                                         February 4th, 1867,          68 y.


William G. Neals,                                   December 27th, 1868,          22 y.        8 m.         7 d.


Mary J. Perry,                                                                 1817,            4 y.

Matthew Perry,                                                               1819,          70 y.

Susan Perry,                                                                    1834,          43 y.

William Perry,                                                April 13th, 1831,

Mary Perry,                                                     April 9th, 1838,          56 y.

James Perry,                                               October 6th, 1810,            8 y.

John Perry,                                                 January 20th, 1849,          41 y.

Sarah Perry,                                                     July 16th, 1842,          24 y.      11 m.

Martha Pierce,                                               April 16th, 1854,          43 y.

Ann Peterson,                                        December 27th, 1859,          78 y.

Tobias Peterson,                                            March 5th, 1867,          83 y.




                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


John Phillips,                                                                    1824,          24 y.

Robert H. Powel,                                                January 1753,          64 y.


Lillie W. Quinn,                                     September 15th, 1870,            6 y. [6]


Rebecca Ramsey,                                      February 5th, 1841,          24 y.        5 m.         2 d.

Rebecca Ramsey,                                  December 16th, 1842,          52 y.        3 m.       18 d.

Mary Ramsey,                                                   June 17, 1843,          32 y.        7 m.         1 d.

Thomas Ramsey,                                            May 17th, 1849,          61 y.

Martha Ramsey,                                          August 18th, 1851,          30 y.        8 m.         2 d.

Margaret A. Ramsey,                               November 10, 1852,          20 y.        2 m.       28 d.

James S. Ramsey,                                      January 25th, 1866,          82 y.        2 m.       28 d.

Catharine Ramsey,                                    October 18th, 1867,          70 y.        4 m.       25 d.

Sarah Ramsey,                                            December 6, 1869,          84 y.

William Robinson,                                                            1824,          70 y.

Margaret Robinson,                                                         1844,          90 y.

Isabella Rowland,                                   December 22d, 1779,          73 y.

Robert Rowland,                                    September 22d, 1780,          85 y.


Mary A. Scarborough,                                    April 23d, 1863,          32 y.      10 m.         9 d.

Sarah Ann Scott,                                                 January 1837,                 

Mary Ellen Scott,                                                             1838,          30 y.

Philip Scott,                                                        January 1856,          48 y.

Emeline Scott,                                          February 20th, 1860,          22 y.

W. Thompson Scott,                                December 8th, 1865,          33 y.

Richard E. Scott,                                              July 21st, 1865,                          6 m.

Joseph Sentman,                                               April 1st, 1842,          52 y.

Joseph Sentman, jr.,                                 February 25th, 1858,          32 y.

Jesse C. Sentman,                                     October 28th, 1854,          28 y.

Mary S. Sentman,                                        March 12th, 1855,                          1 m.

Sarah A. Sentman,                                   February 16th, 1858,            3 y.

Johnston P. Sentman,                              September 7th, 1864,          15 y.

Mary Sentman,                                            August 31st, 1865,          78 y.

Thomas Sharpe, jr.,                               November 11th, 1785,          67 y.

Martha Sherer,                                                 July 17th, 1864,          63 y.

John V. M. Staats,                                      August 26th, 1852,            5 y.

Mary Ann Steele,                                   December 28th, 1849,            5 y.

Mary R. Steele,                                                  July 5th, 1872,                          5 m.       28 d.

John Strawbridge,                                            July 31st, 1768,                 

Jane Strawbridge,                                             April 7th, 1799,

George P. Sutton,                                  September 23d, 1847,                                          8 d.

Thomas P. Sutton,                                           June 15th, 1855,          52 y.

Elizabeth Sutton,                                          August 13th, 1858,          55 y.




                  NAME                                                                DATE OF DEATH              AGE


Matthew Taylor,                                         February 1st, 1784,          77 y.

Hannah Thompson,                                 September 4th, 1847,          61 y.        1 m.       27 d.

John Thompson,                                       February 14th, 1857,          86 y.        2 m.       18 d.

George Thompson,                                     January 25th, 1867,          55 y.        7 m.       16 d.


William Vinsinger,                                  December 26th, 1863,          53 y.

Ruth A. Vinsinger,                                             May 4th, 1870,          32 y.


David Wherry,                                                   July 7th, 1800,          83 y.

Margaret Wherry,                                        January 5th, 1807,

Isabella Wherry,                                              May 23d, 1760,          32 y.

Ebenezer Wherry,                                             May 8th, 1829,          61 y.

Mary Wherry,                                          November 2d, 1843,          67 y.

Margaret M. Wherry,                                     May 29th, 1843,          34 y.

Hannah J. Wherry,                                            May 6th, 1850,          35 y.

Henrietta M. Wherry,                                      May 27th, 1851,

Ann E. Wherry,                                              May 27th, 1851,            9 y.

William Wherry,                                         February 7th, 1854,          84 y.

Sarah A. Wherry,                                  November 28th, 1848,          39 y.         8 m       18 d.

Margaret A. Wherry,                                      April 22d, 1857,          40 y.

William C. Wherry,                                  February 15th, 1857,          17 y.

Lydia Wherry,                                             March 13th, 1862,          87 y.        8 m.       13 d.




Alexander, Amos, 25

Alexander, Rev. Joseph, 21, 23

Alexander, Theophilus, 21, 25

Allen, John, 23

Allen, Rev. R. H., 26

Allison, Judge, 23

Armstrong, Walter, 26, 30

Barr, Robert, 23

Beatty, Samuel, 25

Blair, Rev. Samuel, 12

Boone. William, 25

Bradford, James, 23

Brokaw, C. C., 26, 30

Brookens, Richard, M.D., 27

Burton, Rev. John, 15

Caldwell, Thomas, 8

Chambers, Rowland, 24

Christie, Robert, 25

Cochran, Robert, 29

Cochran, William, 25

Communion, early practice, 23

Craighead, Rev. Thomas, 9

Craighead, Thomas, 10

Cross, Robert, 8

Davies (Pres. of Princeton), 21

DeWitt, John, 30

DeWitt, John T., 26

DeWitt, Rev. A., 26

DeWitt, Rev. Abraham, 17, 19

Donnelly, Rev. Samuel J., 23

DuBois, Rev. R. P., 16, 26

Dunlap, Rev. James, 20, 21

Dunlap, Rev. William, 21

Emmet, Abraham Sr., 10, 24

Evans, Alexander, 27

Evans, Amos, 27

Evans, Capt. John, 27

Evans, John, 15

Evans, Robert, 15, 27

Evans, Thomas, 10

Finley, Ebenezer, 12, 23

Finley, Hannah (Evans), 15

Finley, James Jr., 15

Finley, John Evans, 15

Finley, Joseph, 23

Finley, Michael, 23

Finley, Rev. James, 12, 20, 21, 23, 27

Finley, Rev. John Evans, 21

Finley, Rev. Robert, 15

Finley, Rev. Samuel, 12

Finley, Samuel, 23

Finley, William, 23

Finney, Robert, 10, 24

Fleming, James, 23

Fleming, Samuel, 23

Funerals, 24

Gallagher, Matthew, 26

Gillespie, George, 8

Graham, Henry, 23

Graham, Rev. Robert, 17, 19

Guy, Hugh, 29

Hall, Rev. Isaac, 22

Head of Elk Church, 12

Henry, master, 22

Hindman, Rev. Francis, 16, 20, 21

Hodgson, Robert, 26

Hodgson, Robert H., 30

Hoge, William, 10

Hogg, John, 24

Houston, Rev. Joseph, 10

Hutcheson, Alexander, 10

Hutcheson, Rev. Alexander, 9

Hymn-singing, 24

Jardine, Rev. Andrew, 17

Johns, Rev. J. H., 30

Johns, Rev. J. H. (present pastor), 18, 23, 26

Junkin, Rev. George, 22

Kidd, George, 22

Kilgore, James, 25

Latta, Francis Allison, 20

Latta, James, 20

Latta, John Ewing, 20

Latta, Rev. James, 20

Latta, Rev. John E., 16

Latta, William, 20

Lawson, George, 25

Lawson, John, 25

Lawson, Roger, 10, 24

Leacock, Rev. Samuel, 16, 28, 29

Lewis, Jonathan, 30

Linton, Robert, 10, 24

Mackey, 26

Mackey, James, 25, 26

Mackey, James, 29

Mackey, James A., 30

Mackey, James Jr., 29

Mackey, John B., 30

Mackey, Robert, 24

Mackey, William, 25, 26, 27

Maffit, Rev. William, 21

Maffit, Samuel, 21, 25, 28, 29

Maffit, Thomas, 25, 29

Marns, Andrew, 29

Marshal, Rev. George, 18

Marshall, Rev. George, 19

McCrery, John, 29, 30

McDowel, Rev. Alexander, 11, 20

McDowell, Judge, 23

McGill, Rev. Daniel, 9

McKeown, Samuel, 25

Mearns, Andrew, 25

Mearns, John, 26

Miller, Rev. T. B., 21

Miller, Rev. Thomas, 21

Mitchell, Abraham, 27

Mitchell, Abraham D., 26, 27

Mitchell, Arthur W., 27

Mitchell, Dr. H. H., 27

Mitchell, George E., 27

Moffat, Samuel, 13

Moore, Robert, 23

Morrison, Dr. S. W., 30

Mouth of Octoraro Church, 10

New London Church, 10

New-Side Congregation, 11, 12

Old-Side Congregation, 11

Patton, Henry, 27

Patton, James, 27

Platt, Dr., 16

Porter, Rev. J. G., 26

Power, Rev. James, 25

Powers, John, 23

Ramsey, James, 22

Ramsey, Rev. James Beverlin, 22

Reed, Thomas, 8

Rehoboth Church, 15

Rigg, Rev. J. D., 26

Round-Hill Church, 15

Rouse, Francis, 24

Rowland, Robert, 25

Sharp, Thomas, 8, 13, 27

Sharp, Thomas Jr., 25

Sharp, Thomas Sr., 24

Sharpe, Thomas, 23

Smith, James, 8

Smith, Rev.Mr., 12

Smithers, 22

Steel, Andrew, 10

Steele, 25

Steele, Andrew, 24

Steele, James, 25

Steele, Joseph, 25

Strahorn, Thomas, 30

Tanner, Philip, 12, 25

Taylor, Matthew, 25

Thompson, John, 24

Watts, Isaac, 24

Waugh, Mary (Platt), 16

Waugh, Rev. John, 16

West Nottingham Church, 12

Whan, Samuel, 25

Wherry, David, 25

Wherry, Ebenezer, 29

Wherry, William, 26

Whitefield, Rev. George, 11

Wilson, Rev. Matthew, 20

Wilson, William, 22

Wright, John, 23

Young, Rev. Samuel, 9

Young, Samuel, 8


[1] Rev. Johns in writing this book spelled the name “McDowel” in most cases, but in a few cases he spelled it “McDowell.”. [SWC]

[2] The Newark Academy was started in New London in 1741 by the Rev. Francis Allison. In 1745 it moved to Elkton, Maryland, and then, in 1769, to Newark, Delaware. This was the beginning of the University of Delaware.  [SWC]

[3] Dr. Francis Alison founded the New London Academy, which later moved to Newark, DE, and became the University of Delaware. Later, at the invitation of Benjamin Franklin, he established the Philadelphia Academy which became the University of Pennsylvania.

[4] Although he was not associated with Rock Church, it might be noted here that Mr. Finley’s brother, the Rev. Samuel Finley, founded a school in neighboring West Nottingham, MD, known as Finley’s School, later as the West Nottingham Academy, for the purpose of educating men for the ministry. The school, which is still in operation, is the oldest preparatory school for boys in America, and is the oldest existing Presbyterian educational institution of any kind in the New World. Among the students at Dr. Finley’s school were two signers of the Declaration of Independence, six members of the Continental Congress (one of whom was also a signer of the U. S. Constitution), two governors, the founder of the first medical school in America (University of Pennsylvania), and several others who became well-known ministers, jurists, physicians and educators of their day.  Dr. Finley later became president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. [SWC]


[5] David Wherry; appears on his gravestone as Warrey.—SWC

[6] The following is submitted by Jim Turner [jht456@hotmail.com]

The Rev. J. H. Johns 'History of the Rock Presbyterian Church' pg. #34 (persons buried in Sharp's Graveyard) incorrectly lists one 'Lillie W. Quinn' (pg. #38). This individual is in fact Lillie W. QUEIN*, my g.g. aunt. This error has been perpetuated in the records of the Hist. Soc. of Cecil Co. at Elkton. The following is a list individuals buried in Sharp's Cemetery surnamed QUEIN:

  1. Robert Quein 1820-1904

  2. Emeline Morrison Quein 1821-1876 (daug. of David Morrison 3 of New London, Pa. and Elizabeth Morrison 1799-1891 buried Cherry Hill Methodist, maiden name unk. b. Md.

  3. Lillie W. Quein 1865-1870

  4. Effie Quein infant

  5. John Wanamaker Quein 1847-1930

  6. Sarah E. Murphy Quein 1855-1937 daug. of Wm. J. Murphy and Mahalah C. Wooden. both of Md.

  7. George Algernon Quein 1873-1922 (my maternal grandfather)

  8. Claudia E. Quein 1918-1918

The surname Quein, is an alternate spelling of (M') Queen. Scots-Irish.

[7] The following is submitted by Jim Turner [jht456@hotmail.com]

The Mary E. 'Quin', mentioned is in fact Mary E. Quein Stewart 12/13/1850-10/20/1888. 
Emeline 'Quin' is Emeline Morrison Quein, her mother.