Hugh McWhorter of New
Castle co., DE
McWhorter [db#1] of Pencader Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware may not have been
the first McWh*rter to come to North America, but he is the earliest whose appearance is
presently supported by records. He was born, probably in Ireland, cir1690, became a linen
merchant in County Armagh, Ireland and came to the colonies about 1730.
settled on farmland in Pencader Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware where he resided
until his death. He came to Delaware with his wife Jean/Jane [db#2] and at least
three children, Agnes [db# 4], Jane [db# 694] and John [db# 5]. An
older son, Alexander [db# 693] is reported to have trained for the ministry at the
University of Edinburgh, remained overseas and died about 1734.
In 1734 a
third son was born, also named Alexander [db#3] in remembrance of his deceased
brother. This second Alexander is the first documented McWh*rter born in North America and
the first McWh*rter to gain a degree of fame in the new world. Alexander, son of Hugh,
became an outspoken supporter of the patriot cause during the Revolution.
of a strong religious persuasion as evidenced by his role as elder in the church of which
the Rev. Rogers was the pastor. It is reported that "The first time that Mr.
Rogers...assembled the children...to catechise them, it was at the house of Hugh
Macwhorter, a wealthy and respectable farmer in his neighborhood." [see reference
in February or March 1749/50 as his will was written in Pencader Hundred 17-Feb-1749/50
and proved in New Castle County, Delaware on 6-Mar-1749/50. Although Hughs wife is
most often referred to as Jane, her name in both the handwritten and typed copy of
Hughs will is spelled "Jean". Jeans maiden surname is unknown
although the noted McWh*rter researcher, Davis L. McWhorter [db# 6234] thought that
she was likely a Gillespie.
Hughs handwritten will the surname is spelled McWhirter, but in the typed copy and
the later inventory of the estate the surname is spelled McWhorter. Hugh is said to have
had eleven children , but only five are certain from the records and only four, Agnes,
John, Jane and Alexander, are mentioned in his will.
is likely that Hugh was closely related to one or more of the McWh*rters who were
early settlers near Octoraro Creek in Lancaster county, PA. Octoraro Creek, a tributary of
the Susquehanna River, lies a mere 17 miles north of Pencader Hundred, DE. Among the early
settlers there was Hugh E. McWhorter [db#6859], also referred to as
"Hughey" who in 1740 removed from "middle octorara", Lancaster co., PA
and purchased land in Delaware from a James Kerr. At least one McWh*rter publication [see
reference #5] alleges that Hugh E. made an agreement in 1749 to purchase the farm of Hugh
of Pencader Hundred and that this was confirmed by Hughs wife Jean after Hughs
actual relationship of Hugh of Pencader Hundred to Hugh E. or other Lancaster co.
McWh*rters such as Moses McWhorter [db#3677] who located at Colerain Township on
Octararo Creek between 1750 and 1752 is not known.
Jean are reported to have had eleven children, but the five listed below are the only ones
presently identified by the evidence:
perhaps the eldest child, never came to North America. It is reported that he was educated
for the Presbyterian ministry, spending two years at the University of Edinburgh. At least
one McWh*rter resource [see reference #4] has suggested that it was at the
"solicitation" of Alexander that Hugh came to North America. It is said that he
died just prior to the birth of his younger brother in 1734 and that this brother was
named Alexander in his memory.
b. abt1713, probably in Ireland, m. cir1740 Alexander Osborn [db#6]. They removed
to Anson co., NC by 1749 where Alexander was a Justice of the Peace. That part of Anson
co., became Rowan co. in 1752 and he was appointed an Indian Commissioner to the Catabaws
there in 1754. Their home called "Belmont" was on the headwaters of Rocky River
about a mile south of the home of her sister, Jane, and brother-in-law, John Brevard.
Belmont was a home for early traveling missionaries to the south. Both Agnes and her
husband, Alexander, are buried at Centre Presbyterian Church in what is now Iredell co.,
NC. Her gravestone reads "...here lies the body of Agnes Osborn, who deceased July 9,
1776, aged 63 years...".
b. cir1725, probably in Ireland, removed to Rowan co., NC by 1752 as in that year he was
granted 615 acres adjoining the the lands of his brothers-in-law Alexander Osborn and John
Brevard. In 1759 he served as a Lieutenant in a militia company whose Captain was
Alexander Osborn. On 2-Jun-1761 John and his wife Mary [db#32] conveyed to "Hans"
(probably Hance) McWhorter [db#476] a tract of 300 acres adjoining the
lands of Alexander Osborn and John Brevard. (The relationship of Hans to John and Mary is
still unclear.) John, son of Hugh, is probably the John McWhorter listed as head of
household in the 1790 census, Salisbury District, Iredell co., NC.
or "Jean", b. abt1725, probably in Ireland, m. 1740 John Brevard [db#695].
Prior to 1752 she and her husband settled about two miles from "Centre Church"
in what is now Iredell co., NC. Her husband was born presumably at the Brevard family
plantation called "Charles Camp" on the Elk River in Cecil co., MD less than a
mile from Pencader Hundred, DE. Her husband was an avowed Whig during the Revolution and
their family home was burned to the ground by the soldiers of Lord Cornwallis. Jane
"attempted to rescue some of the furniture from the flames - but the soldiers would
throw it back as fast as she could take it out. Everything was lost". At the time no
less than eight of Janes sons were in the "Rebel Army".
b. 15-Jul-1734 in Pencader Hundred, New Castle co., DE, removed to North Carolina with his
mother after his fathers death in 1750. He returned for schooling in both Newark, DE
and West Nottingham, PA before entering the College of New Jersey (now Princeton
University) from where he graduated in the fall of 1757. He was ordained a Presbyterian
minister and became the pastor of the church in Newark, NJ. He married Mary Cumming [db#9]
in 1759. He was an outspoken patriot of the revolution. In 1775 he was sent by the
Continental Congress to North Carolina to try and win over the loyalists. In November of
1776 when the British invaded Newark he was forced to flee and the British ransacked the
parsonage. When George Washington was encamped opposite Trenton Alexander "advised
with him" concerning the safety of New Jersey and was present at the counsel which
recommended the crossing of the Delaware. In 1778 he served as Chaplain of General
Knoxs Brigade. In 1779 he accepted a call to pastor the church in Charlotte, NC and
became the President of Charlotte Academy, but Cornwallis entered the town shortly after
his arrival and chased Alexander from his home for the second time in the war. In 1781 he
resumed his pastorate in Newark. From 1772 until his death in 1807, Alexander served as a
trustee of what is now Princeton University. His portrait, painted by John Copley, hangs
in the gallery of Yale University.
Modified Register Report which follows relates information currently in the MCWH*RTER
Anyone with additional information to offer or who believes that a correction to some
of the information is justified should feel free
to offer their assistance.
1. Hugh McWhorter #1 born bef1690, prob. Ireland, married Jean (or Jane) ?
#2, born cir1690, prob. Ireland, died abt1757, prob Rowan co., NC. Hugh died
abtFeb1749/50, prob. New Castle co., DE.
..........2. i Alexander McWhorter #693 born bef1715, pos Ireland, died abt1734.
.......+ 3. ii Agnes McWhorter #4 born abt1713.
.......+ 4. iii John McWhorter #5 born cir1725.
.......+ 5. iv Jane "Jean" McWhorter #694 born abt1725.
..........6. v ? McWhorter #1580 born 17??.
..........7. vi ? McWhorter #1581 born 17??.
..........8. vii ? McWhorter #1582 born 17??.
..........9. viii ? McWhorter #1583 born 17??.
..........10. ix ? McWhorter #1584 born 17??.
..........11. x ? McWhorter #1585 born 17??.
.......+ 12. xi Alexander McWhorter #3 born 15-Jul-1734.
3. Agnes McWhorter #4 born abt1713, Ireland, married cir1740, Alexander Osborn
#6, born 1709, New Jersey, died 11-Jul-1776, Belmont, NC, buried: Centre Church. Agnes
died 9-Jul-1776, Rowan co., NC, buried: Centre Presbyterian Church, NC.
..........13. i Jean Osborn #1665 born abt1742, married 1760, Moses Winslow
#1667, born 1733, died 1-Oct-1815, buried: Centre Churchyard, Iredell co., NC. Jean died
16-Mar-1795, Iredell co., NC, buried: Centre Churchyard, Iredell co., NC.
..........14. ii Adlai Osborn #1560 born 4-Jun-1744, prob. Lancaster co., PA,
married 30-Jan-1771, Margaret Lloyd #1668, born 1755, died 23-Sep-1830, buried:
Centre Churchyard, Iredell co., NC. Adlai died 16-Dec-1814, buried: Centre Churchyard,
Iredell co., NC.
..........15. iii Mary Osborn #7 born 1746(7), married cir1765, in NC, John
Nisbet #8, born 1738, PA/NJ, (son of John Nisbet #560 and Sarah ? #561)
died 18-May-1817, Statesville, NC, buried: 4th Creek Burying Ground, Statesville, NC. Mary
died 10-Feb-1788, NC, buried: 4th Creek Burying Ground, Statesville, NC.
.........16. iv Rebecca Osborn #876 born cir1747, married Nathaniel Ewing
#877, died NC, buried: 4th Creek Burying Ground, Statesville, NC. Rebecca died NC, buried:
4th Creek Burying Ground, Statesville, NC.
..........17. v Margaret Osborn #1666 born 17??, married 1774, in Rowan co., NC,
Richard Armstrong #1669, born 17??.
..........18. vi Agnes Osborn #6854 born 17??, died aft1776.
4. John McWhorter #5 born cir1725, married Mary ? #32, born cir1730, died
aft -Jun-1761. John died 1795.
..........19. i Moses McWhorter #6855 born 17??, died abt1819, Logan co., KY.
..........20. ii James McWhorter #6856 born 1750, Rowan co., NC, died aft1819.
..........21. iii Jean McWhorter #6857 born 17??, married Henry Dobson
#13067, born 17??, died aft1819. Jean died aft1819.
..........22. iv Alexander McWhorter #6858 born 17??, died bef1819.
..........23. v John McWhorter #21 born 1759, prob. NC, married Margaret
"Peggy" Potts #22, born 17??, (daughter of Stephen Potts #5063) died
1837. John died 16-May-1827, GA.
5. Jane "Jean" McWhorter #694 born abt1725, prob. Ireland, married 1740,
John Brevard #695, born 1714, pos. Cecil co., MD, (son of John Brevard #1561
and Katherine McKnitt #1562) died 13-Sep-1790, Iredell co., NC, buried: Centre
Church. Jane died 25-Mar-1800, buried: Centre Church.
..........24. i Ephraim Brevard #1564 born 1744, Cecil co., MD, married 1772, Margaret
(or Martha) Polk #8558, born 1744, NC, (daughter of Thomas Polk #8557) died
1780, Charlotte, NC. Ephraim died -Jul-1781, Charlotte, NC, buried: Charlotte, NC.
..........25. ii Mary Elizabeth Brevard #1563 born 16-Jun-1746, Iredell co., NC,
married (1) 10-Dec-1767, William Lee Davidson #1575, born 1-Feb-1746, Lancaster
co., PA, died 1-Feb-1781, Cowan's Ford on the Catawba River., married (2) Robert Harris
#12813, born 1742. Mary died -Jan-1824, Logan co., KY.
..........26. iii Nancy Brevard #1571 born 1746, Iredell co., NC, married
27-Nov-1779, John D. Davidson #1577, born 17??, died 1782, killed by indians on the
Catawba River. Nancy died 1781, killed by indians on the Catawba River.
..........27. iv Hugh Brevard #1566 born 1748, Iredell co., NC, married 1768,
Jane Young #12814, born 17??, died 1790. Hugh died 30-Jun-1781, Lincoln co., NC.
..........28. v John Brevard #1565 born 18-Feb-1751, Iredell co., NC, married
22-Dec-1783, in Rowan co., NC, Hannah Thompson #12815, born 23-Aug-1765, died
-Jun-1833, Smith co., TN. John died 9-Nov-1826, Smith co., TN.
..........29. vi Adam Brevard #1567 born -Mar-1753, Iredell co., NC, married (1)
Sally Harper #12816, born 17??, married (2) 4-Jan-1780, Sarah Maria (aka Mary)
Winslow #12817, born 11-Aug-1758, died 19-Oct-1822, Charlotte, NC. Adam died
2-Oct-1829, Charlotte, NC.
..........30. vii Alexander Brevard #1568 born -Apr-1755, Rowan (now Iredell)
co., NC, married 27-Apr-1784, Rebecca Davidson #1576, born 20-Mar-1762, Mecklenburg
co., NC, died 24-Nov-1824, Lincoln co., NC. Alexander died 1-Nov-1829, Lincoln co., NC,
buried: Lincoln co., NC.
..........31. viii Robert Brevard #1569 born 1759, Iredell co., NC.
..........32. ix Benjamin Brevard #1570 born 1761, Iredell co., NC, married
1790, Mary Winslow #12818, born 17??. Benjamin died 183?, Hunphries co., TN.
..........33. x Rebecca Brevard #1574 born 1763, Iredell co., NC, married
John Jones #1579, born 20-Oct-1760, died 1823, TN. Rebecca died 1833, TN, buried: Hopewell cemetery, Giles co., TN.
..........34. xi Jane Brevard #1573 born 22-Jul-1765, Iredell co., NC, married
4-Nov-1791, Ephraim Davidson #1578, born 17-Jan-1762, Iredell co., NC, died
22-Sep-1814, Iredell co., NC. Jane died 28-Sep-1833, Iredell co., NC,
buried: Centre Church, Mooresville, NC.
..........35. xii Joseph Brevard #1572 born 19-Jul-1766, Iredell co., NC,
married 17-Mar-1793, Rebecca Kershaw #8559, born 1775, died 1802. Joseph died
11-Oct-1821, Camden, SC, buried: Quaker cemetery, Camden, SC.
12. Alexander McWhorter #3 born 15-Jul-1734, New Castle, co.. DE, married
-Oct-1759, Mary Cumming #9, born cir1735, (daughter of Robert Cumming #547)
died 2-Apr-1807, prob. Newark, NJ. Alexander died 20-Jul-1807, Newark, NJ, buried: 1st
Presbyterian Church, Newark, NJ.
.........36. i Mary McWhorter #10 born 1759, married 1782, Samuel Beebee
#13, born 1757, died 1812. Mary died 1797.
..........37. ii Ann McWhorter #11 born cir1765, married aft -Mar-1781,
George Ogilvie #16, born 16-Oct-1758, New York City, NY, (son of John Ogilvie
#1418 and Catherine Sims #1419) died 3-Apr-1797, Rye, NY.
..........38. iii Alexander Cumming McWhorter #12 born 1771, Newark, NJ, married
7-May-1792, in Newark, NJ, Phoebe (or Phebe) Bruen #17, born 24-Dec-1771, Newark,
NJ, (daughter of Caleb Bruen #540 and Anna Wheeler #13062) died 9-Aug-1834,
Newark, NJ. Alexander died 8-Oct-1808, Newark, NJ.
..........39. iv John C. McWhorter #696 born 17??, married Martha Dwight
#697, born 17??. John died 1807, Essex co., NJ.
..........40. v Hugh Robert McWhorter #1505 born 17??, died yng.
References for Researchers of Hugh McWhorter
of New Castle co., DE
Historical Discourses Relating to the
First Presbyterian Church in Newark, by Jonathan F. Stearns, D.D., printed at the
Daily Advertiser Office, Newark, NJ 1853, p. 216 etc.
The Abridged Compendium of American
Genealogy, Vol. 7, p. 512.
Dictionary of American Biography, published
1933, p. 175.
The Border Settlers of Northwestern
Virginia, by L. V. McWhorter, orig. published Hamilton, OH 1915, reprinted for the
Clearfield Co. by The Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, MD 1991, p. 274, 275.
Descendants of Moses McWhorter and
Related Families, compiled by Anna Harman Bowman, All Printing Co., Oklahoma City, OK
1987 p. 155-160.
Hines and Allied Families, by
Benjamin McFarland Hines, Dorrance & Co., Ardmore, PA 1981, p. 129-132.
Those Members of the Brevard Family Who
Descended from John/Jean Brevard of France, Ireland and Maryland, by Robert Stephens
Hand, 1990, p. 9.
Historical Sketches of North Carolina, by
John H. Wheeler, Vol. I, Lippencott, Grambo & Co., Philadelphia, PA 1851, p. 216,
A History of Rowan County, North
Carolina, by Rev. Jethro Rumple 1881.
Descendants of Helena Ligon and Hugh
McWhorter, prepared by Virginia McWhorter Freeman, Decatur, GA, 1991, p. ii, iii.
New Jersey Historical Society
Proceedings, series 1, Vol. X, 1865, p. 52-54.
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