March ye 19th, 1758
There is a much discussed letter from a David Lindsey living in Ireland written to the Fleming Family in "PENNSILLVENA" which still intrigues me. Charles L. Makemson in his 1950 manuscript refers to the letter and attributes it to my gggGrandfather David Lindsay of Harrison County, KY.
The Makemson's lived adjacent to David on Mill Creek and three Makemson's married Lindsay sisters, daughters of David Lindsay.
Charles Makemson states that "the letter is known to have been sent from the home of Andrew and William Fleming which was in Tyrone County, Northern Ireland." (How he knew this is unexplained!)
It was discovered in the Lawson Genealogy by Helen b. Lindsey of Newport, KY. The following is the Lawson rendition of the letter:
This Fleming person found this letter and it is printed here in it's entirety along with their determination of it's provenance.
LARGS, the town in Scotland from which this Fleming family are therein said to have moved to Moneymore, five miles from Cookstown in County Derry, is a seaport town in Scotland, in the county of Ayr, beautifully situated on the Bay of Ayr, 20 miles southwest of Glasgow. It has a population now of 4,000. It is very close to the County of Wigton the ancient possessions of the Malcolm Fleming, Earl of Wigton. In the neglected pile of musty records recovered by Elisha M. Fleming, was an ancient letter, brown with age, which in some mysterious manner crossed the ocean and reached its proper destination under the address of "MR. THOMAS FLEMING or ANDREW FLEMING, PENNSILLVENA", neither of whom were in the wide wilderness of that mountain girt domain. We copy it here as an important document in the family story:
(David Lindsey, somewhere in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, 1758)
March ye 19th, 1758.
I had upertunity of reding your letter that was sent to your father in laws, which gave me great satisfaction to here you were all in good helth and fortuned so will as to be possessed in SO GOOD A BARGAIN OF LANDS. We are all in good helth at present. I bless God for all his mercies and yr uncle David is helthy and harty and do all join in our love and complements to you and all your families and Enquiring friends. I expected acount oftener from you, only times Being trublesome in that country with wars that we were assured that you were ALL DED OR KILLED. The good Bargains of your lands in that country Doe greatly encorage me to pluck up my spirits and make Redie for the Jarney, for we are now oppresed with our lands set at 8 s. per acer and other emprovements, cutting our lands into two acre parts and Quicking and only two year time for doing all this, ye we cannot stand any more. I expected a letter from you much oftener or that Cusen Wm. Fleming would come over before this time, but these things dos not Discurage me to goe only we Depend on ye Derections in the goods fiting to take to that place. I had disapointment of 20c S. worth of Lining Cloth ye I sold and had James Hoskins bond for the money. The merchant ran away and I had great truble in getting my money so that was delivered. Brother JOHN FLEMING is dead, and Bro. James Lindsey is married again to one Hoskin, and his son Robert has service to his Uncle James Martin, and desires to know if he will redeem him if he goes over there. He is a good wavour [weaver] and is willing to work for his passage till its paid. Your Cusen in Desert martin is all in health. Cusen Mary to let ye know that all my fathers family is in helth and joins in ye love to ye. My father is ver far spent and I expect to see him buried before I leave the place. Your father and my uncle Andrew is but tender in helth. Sarah Rickets desires to be remembered in her love to her sister Nelly and other friends. Our living is dear in this place.
I conclude with my love to you and all friends there. I am your till death.
(Interpretation of the expressions
use here are offered by the publisher.)
I have preserved the quaint old spelling of this letter. It was written on legal paper, and folded and sealed with red sealing wax, and had no envelope or stamp. The town from which it is posted is not given. It seems that rumors of the French and Indian war which lasted from 1754 to 1769 and ended by the English conquering New France, now Canada, had reached Ulster Province for he says in the letter he supposed his American friends were all "ded and killed."
BETHLEHEM FLEMINGS, NEW JERSEY.
I think now there is no doubt that four brothers came to America from Cookstown, sons of Malcolm Fleming. They were William, Thomas, Andrew and Samuel. The date of their coming is not known. It is supposed they came to better their condition because of the extraordinary position which England then as ever has assumed toward Ireland. The embargo on export of linen and woolen fabrics applied as well to Ulster, her own colonists, as to the native Irish people. There was in the middle of the eighteenth century a great depression in trade and wide spread poverty in all of Ireland. As one historian describes it: "The tyranny and political dishonesty which stalked in high place, the degradation and steadily increasing misery in which the mass of the people sunk." George Second was King of England and Walpole had been minister. The church letters of Thomas show that both William and Thomas were still at Cookstown in May 1751. It is natural to conclude that the letters were asked for, because Thomas was about to go away to America. From receipts and documents found with the effects of his father and still in possession of Elisha M. Fleming, Belvidere, it seems that Thomas of the three brothers of Cookstown was a resident near the Bethlehem church, in township of that name in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, from 1755 to 1783, when he removed to Vienna, in Town Independence in Sussex County, (now in Warren County), New Jersey.
In 1767 there is a receipt among the same papers signed by William Fleming given to Thomas for money paid for the salary of Rev. John Hanna, Pastor of the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, and it is endorsed, "with a present from Andrew Fleming." On this receipt appear the names of all three brothers who came from Cookstown to the town of Bethlehem. This is the first date I find for Andrew of the three brothers; and he bought 223 acres in township Independence, County Sussex [8.7 mi from Andover (Furnace], since set off and now in Warren County (then Sussex County), on Nov. 8th 1768, when it is presumed he moved on to his new purchase, perhaps the next spring. The first item we have of William Fleming of Cookstown is the receipt mentioned above as given to Thomas Fleming in 1767, April 17th, and he paid pew rent in the same Bethlehem Church, March 29th, 1791. This William Fleming's will was dated at Bethlehem township (Hunterdon County) [16.9 mi from Independence Township], June 16th, 1792, probated Feb. 4, 1795. All this evidence goes to show that William Fleming of Cookstown, son of Malcolm resided at Bethlehem from 1767 to the time of his death between 1792 and 1795. It is fair to presume that all three brothers came at one time in the summer of 1751, and with their party were a number of relatives and friends as mentioned in the letter above given from Lindsey.
Thomas Fleming of Cookstown was in Bethlehem township as early as 1755, and we suppose they all lived there together, until Andrew moved away to Independence in 1768 or 1769 and Thomas moved to Vienna in 1783. A careful examination of the records of Hunterdon and of the township of Bethlehem, Union, Alexandria and Independence would perhaps discover the complete story. This has not been done by anyone as yet. We wonder if any of the three brothers wrote home from "Pensillvena" as would seem probable from the letter of David Lindsey (1758) given above, being addressed simply, "Mr. Thomas Fleming or Andrew Fleming, Pensillvenia."
The Oxford Press in it's book "IRISH IMMIGRANTS" Publishes the letter and offers comments regarding it's source and attributes the author as David Lindsey.
|Louella Rosselott, in a posting on Lindsay-RootsWeb, offers additional information about the letter where she proposes identification of the family members referred to in the correspondence. Louella also produces a second letter from a H. B. Wilson, Presbyterian minister of Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland, where he reports on his knowledge of the Fleming Family. See Second Letter She furnishes no source information.|
See Geography and Chronology NEXT
**Forrest Wood inquired of this letter, the reply of which was never received or is unknown.
|Geography & Chronology||David Lindsey of Cumberland County & Carlisle, PA|
|Animap New Jersey||David Lindsay of Harrison County, Kentucky|
|David Lindsey of New Jersey|
The Applegate's and Wall's were the pioneer settlers.
Lanterman's nearby residences.( Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; residence of David Lindsay)
(The same time David Lindsay arrived in now Harrison County.)
About Hunterdon County and "PENNSILLVENA"!
Hunterdon County: Hunterdon County records span from 1790 to 1895. Formed in 1714 from Burlington County, Hunterdon County borders Pennsylvania in western New Jersey. Some areas of northern Bucks County, Pennsylvania were part of Hunterdon County prior to 1775.