USA: Maryland

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Earliest Gillespie record is a marriage in 1743.

Early History

 A History of the Rock Presbyterian Church in Cecil County, Maryland (in which Gillespies were involved) by Rev J. H Johns (1872)….read accompanying notes below a brief history of the earliest Gillespies in Maryland, which are strongly linked to Pennsylvania and Virginia

Maryland GenWeb – resources

House of Delegates, General Assembly, Maryland Government 1838George Gillespie, Cecil County

Family History of George Gillespie Sr

GEORGE GILLESPIE b about 1700 purchased property of 600 acres known as “Green’s Delight” on Octora Creek on the east side of  Susquehanna River, in Cecil County, Maryland in 1734.  George Gillespie  married Ann Ewing (b 1707/8) about 1724  d/o Mary Ewing (who was a tavern owner in Little Britain, Lancaster Co, PA.) 

The children of George Gillespie and his wife Ann of Cecil Co, Maryland are included as follows:

  1. George Gillespie Jr b ca 1725. Married Martha Cooper in Lancaster Co, PA 1759.  He also married a second time in Lancaster Co to Elizabeth DeNormandy 1775. He is buried in Bristol, Bucks Co, PA. He was a Doctor  of Physic. The children of this couple included: DeNormandie Gillespie; James Gillespie; George Gillespie.
  2. Samuel Gillespie, b 1727, a planter, who with his widowed mother paid tax on the land and sold it to his brother.  Married Mary “Polly” Ewing, the eldest daughter of Dr John Ewing, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. Their children: George b 1782 married Sally Hall; Hannah b 1875; Samuel born 1787, just 3 months after his father Samuel died.

3.  Robert Gillespie in PA married Jane Bone 1753 in Lancaster, and they had children: Robert Gillespie born 1755. Lydia Gillespie born 1756, and William Bone Gillespie born 1759.  Robert Sr died in1875. He is on the tax records for Little Britain Twp, Lancaster, PA

4. William Gillespie was born about 1736 .  He married Eleanor. He purchased land called the Levell and Ochocas Hundred in Maryland. His father, George Gillespie Sr had planted a hickory tree on this farm, talked about his son William, so we know George came to America in person. That hickory tree was removed  many years later but not before George died. 

William and Eleanor  were dismissed from Nottingham Presbyterian Church March 28, 1766 and transferred to Big Spring Presbyterian Church in Newville, Pennsylvania. William’s wife approved the sale of more land in Maryland in 1768.

William Gillespie was known as “of Cecil Co, Maryland”, and Lancaster Co of Pennsylvania. William and his family settled in West Pennsboro Twp, Cumberland Co, PA, then moved to Octoraro, West Pennsboro, PA, where he later died in 1802 . He also had other land transactions during his lifetime.

William’s children included:

  • George  1773-1819, who married Mary “Polly” McClennan 1805;
  • Samuel b 1775. Died 1809;
  • Temperance 1779-died prior to 1809;
  • William 1789 in Maryland Died 1864.
  • Eleanor;
  • Robert;
  • Stephen;
  • Nathaniel b 1839 paid tax on Mt Gillespie in 1793;
  • Eleanor b 1745 who married James Ewing 1776;
  • Ann Gillespie, 16 years  old at her father’s death she said she still remembered him. (born 1748) She married James Simms 1790 but died prior to 1792 so he remarried Mary Ewing Gillespie, widow of Samuel Gillespie

A son in law John Thompson was identified.

A James Gillespie b 1736/7 paid tax on part of Holland (in North Susuehanna). His parents are unclear.

A Patrick Gillespie of Amelia Co, VA was appointed as William’s attorney to sell some land in Charlestown, Maryland.  He owned property in Charlestown, Maryland, but he and his wife, Isabella bought property in Virginia (Amelia Co). Patrick was witness to the will of Mary Ewing, the tavern owner. Her son in law, Robert Gillespie, was the executor, which was proved in 1741.

Indenture Between James Ewing and George Gillespie (1750) Cecil Co, Maryland

This endenture, made the 7th March 1750, between James Ewing of the County of Cecil in the Province of Maryland, planter, of one part, and George Gillespie of the same place, planter of the other part.

Witness that the said James Ewing for and in consideration of the sum of 241 pounds, 10 shillings, lawful money of the Province of Pennsylvania, the said James Ewing in hand paid by the said George Gillespie, the receipt where of the said James Ewing doth hereby acknowledge having given granted bargained sold…..and confirmed and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell….confirm unto the said George Gillespie, his heirs,  and assigns forever a certain piece or parcel of land being part of the tract of land which Alexander Ewing, father of the said James Ewing purchased from a certain William Vestal, the same place also being part of a tract of land called the Levell, lying in the said County of Cecil on the east side of Susquehana River, beginning on the east and by north line of the said tract called the Levell, at the end of 340 perches, and running from thence north, north west 125 perches then north 65 degrees east 136 perches thence south south east 155 perches thence west and by south 136 perches to the place of beginning contained 145 acres of land more or less only it is herby excepted the quanity of 7 acres more of less lying within the limits aforsaid which said James Ewing sold to a certain William Husbands, lying in the South West corner of the said granted premises anything therein mentioned to the contrary. Notwithstanding to have and to hold the said granted premises except as before excepted with all the buildings, improvements, and appurtenances whatsoever to the same belonging with the reversions remainders  yearly rents and profits of the premises unto the said George Gillespie.

In witness whereof the parties to these presents have interchangeably set their hand & seals the day and year first above written…..

A List of Taxables in Octorara Hundred in Aug 5, 1766, Cecil Co, Maryland

  • Samuel Gillespie
  • Robert Gillespie
  • Stephen Gillespie & 3 negros
  • William Gillespie
  • Samuel Gillespie, Jr & 1 negro
  • Natt Gillespie

A History of Cecil Co, Maryland

“The original settlers of this region were Scotch Presbyterians who had been driven by presecution and oppression from Scotland to Ireland, and from Ireland to America.  They commenced migrating to this country about the beginning of the 18th 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, with a religious faith. In this wild wilderness of America they sought religious freedom and found it. They erected meeting houses for the purpose of worshiping God.

In the spring of 1720 there was no Presbyterian Church in Cecil Co, Maryland. The nearest one was in Bohemia Manor, none in Delaware nearer than White Clay Creek, and none in Chester Co, PA nearer than the Great Valley.  In May 18, 1720, we find the following record: “A certain number of people lately come from Ireland, having settled about the branches of the Elk River, have decided to appoint one of their number to come and preach among them. ….hence the Presbytery do appoint Mr Samuel Young to preach one day among said people, between this and the first day of July next, to make a report…..they should be erected into a congregation… and it was carried with affirmative. (Who would have thought it could live for the next 152 years as Rock Church).

The first supplies of this new church (1720-24) were of ….. and George Gillespie of White-Clay-Creek.

George Gillespie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to America a Probationer. He was ordained and installed as pastor of White-Clay-Creek May 28th, 1713. He preached a great deal in neighbouring churches, especially at Elk River.  He organized the congregation at the Head of Christians, and served it until his….(?death)

Thomas Gillespie, Cecil Co,  from 1858 Map

Also 1858  Mrs R Gillespie; Samuel Gillespie; M Gillespie; William Gillespie; Eliha Gillespie; George W Gillespie


1860 Census, Baltimore, Maryland, Ward 1 & 2

House No 557

Anthony Gillespie, age 45, laborer, born Ireland, Catharine, age 40,  Michael age 10 b Maryland, James 8,  Thomas 6,  Eliza, 3 years.

House No 3091

Daniel Gillespie, 40, laborer, b Ireland, James 12, Stephen 7, Mary U, 4 .  (This family living 2 houses away from Patrick Gillespie and his family)

House #3089

Patrick Gillespie age 50, born Ireland, Mary 50, Thomas 22, porter, Maria, 21

House # 3098

Thomas Gillespie 40 laborer, b Ireland, Barbary 50 (f), Bridget 22, Patrick 20, farmer, Catharine, 11 b Maryland.

Total Records:  57

Sources:  New York Library; Maryland State Archives