the PENNSYLVANIA DILEMMA                                

These web pages are replete with circumstantial evidence that gggGrandfather David Lindsay of Harrison County, Kentucky migrated from Bullskin TWP, Fayette County Pennsylvania in 1787.

There are the Pennsylvania neighbors:

Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Moore lived across the Yohogania River to the south and Moore also had property in Bullskin TWP, the same as David. In Harrison County, David purchased property from Moore in 1787 and there is evidence they are both buried in the same Lindsay Cemetery on the old homestead. Benjamin Harrison was the first sheriff of Bourbon County before the county was divided. They are found together on the same court filings. David's farm is just north of the town of Cynthiana, the name derived from the combination for the first names of Robert Harrison's daughters, Cynthia and Ann.

There is Jeremiah Nesbitt, kin to early Kentucky explorers, who was in David's Pennsylvania "Company of Rangers", who together signed the "Ruddles Mill" Petition of 1788 along with William and Nathan Nesbit. Also signing this petition were other Pennsylvania  neighbors: James Alexander; John McDowell; John Johnson; John Gregg; Wm. Caldwell; John Williams and Lawrence Harrison Jr.;

Jeremiah was a resident of Rostraver TWP of adjacent Westmoreland County where the Applegates, Newell's, Lantermans, and Littles resided. A daughter of Peter Lanterman, Sophia, married ggGrandfather John Lindsay in Fleming County , Kentucky. Hugh Newell's son William married David's daughter Isabel Lindsay in Harrison County, and Sam Little went to Sangamon County, Illinois with the families of Peter Lanterman and John and Sophia Lindsay.

This research maintained that David Lindsay was the owner of the "Mud Island" property (according to the scarce ownership records of Fayette County). This same land is now seen as 'downtown' Connellsville, Pennsylvania, founded by Zachariah Connell post 1787 when David removed to Kentucky. The same David Lindsay/Lindsey is listed in county tax assessments and census records from 1772 to 1787. He is the same Lt. David Lindsay of the Third Battalion, Westmoreland County and the one identified in civil records as 'overseer of the poor" and "supervisor of roads".

In addition to the accumulated evidence above, there is collaborating information from an entirely separate source, the 1876 publication by author John Carol Powers entitled "History of the early settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois". Here ggGrandfather John Lindsay is reported to have been "born in 1773 at Ft. Pitt, now Pittsburgh ,Penn." Further, it is reported that "He was taken by his parents to Fleming County, Kentucky."

Published years after the death of John Lindsay, the information could not have possibly come from any source other than personal family knowledge!

Yet there was a SINGLE piece of information that critics used to deny it all! It is the David Lindsay/Lindsey signature on the "McClure Petition" which not at all resembled the later signatures of him found on marriage bond documents of Harrison County, Kentucky. As a matter of fact, the McClure Petition signature did not match any Lindsay signature in all of southwest Pennsylvania! (There were no other signatures . . not one!) Yet because the petition was signed Christmas day 1772 at 'Stewarts Crossing' (the ford across the Yohogania River at Connellsville), this David Lindsay/Lindsey had to be someone who coincidently disappeared (from the records in 1787) to unknown regions the same year that another David Lindsay arrived in Bourbon County (later Harrison County) Kentucky. Further, it was insisted that this signature on the McClure petition was unquestionably spelled with an "e", as in Lindsey.

So years of fruitful but laborious research was deemed useless because of a single signature! No rationalization sufficed for alternative explanations to the dilemma. Namely that it was someone else's hand writing representing David Lindsay or, perhaps David signed 'in the saddle' or, perhaps signed on the 'backside' of a mule! Noooo, it was THE exact David Lindsey found in all the local records and the David Lindsay now of Kentucky was some pioneer sojourner who may have passed through but never left his mark in this portion of Pennsylvania!


1772 McClure Petition at Stewarts Crossing



1796 Marriage Bond of David Lindsay to Nancy McNay



There were other signatures of David Lindsay if they could be found; he witnessed the will of Ezekiel Hickman but the original document apparently is lost to history. He apparently signed Revolutionary War pay vouchers but the Pennsylvania Archives have nothing. Only one known document remained which would provide substance to the discrepancy . . . the sale in 1787 of land owned by David Lindsay, Blacksmith, to Zachariah Connell.

All the research suggested this (property sale) had to be the "Mud Island" property of "Stewarts Crossing" and now, precisely downtown Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Inquiries were made seeking the papers of Zachariah Connell. The Connellsville Historical Society reportedly (via Susan Grabek) retained some of these papers but they were by email or by telephone unresponsive.

So Ted Lindsay, on his own mission of research to the land of his fathers, went to Connellsville.  Confronting a "CLOSED" sign, but not discouraged, he knocked on the upstairs door of the Connellsville Historical Society. There he was invited into the presence of two volunteers. The kind that endures long, lonely and un-rewarded service to their towns; to history; and to the weary genealogist! And when he left, in his possession was the "Rosetta Stone" of my endeavor . . . a copy of the original executed document concerning the "Bill of Sale" of David Lindsay to Zachariah Connell for the lands of "Mud Island" (and another tract). A dilemma solved and a piece of the puzzle put in it's proper place.

So thanks Ted, you did good!


1787 Bill of Sale; David Lindsay to Zachariah Connell





So we learn gggGrandfather David did indeed live in Bullskin TWP from whence he came to Kentucky! We learn that 'facts' are not always what  they seem to be! That a 'body of evidence", if sufficient, becomes the "weight of evidence" and reasonable conclusions can be derived thereof! RGL July, 2012