JAMES McCORMICK NEILL, who now occupies the old homestead of the American branch of the family, was the first of the family born therein, although it has been the property of his ancestors for about a century.
Reynolds Christy Neill was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1774, where the Reynolds and Neill families were as old as the Pillar Towers. He emigrated to America when a young man, and located at Canonsburg, Penn. Soon afterward he married Sarah Bowlen, and engaged in the mercantile business, riding to Philadelphia on horseback to order his goods, after which they were hauled over the mountains to Canonsburg. He was engaged in the mercantile business for many years. Reynolds C. Neill was the father of four children, namely: Samuel, Reynolds Christy, James and Nancy. He purchased a farm in North Strabane township in 1810, one mile south of Canonsburg, which still remains in the name. He died April 14, 1842, his wife June 3, 1859, in the eighty-sixth year of her age, and both are interred in Oak Spring cemetery. Samuel received an education at Jefferson College, after which he went West, locating at Shelbyville, Ill. James married and raised a family. He died on his farm in Ohio. Nancy died in the thirty-eighth year of her age.
Reynolds Christy Neill learned the shoemaker's trade in his boyhood days at Canonsburg. He was married August 7, 1827, to Miss Flora McCormick, who was born in Mifflin county, Penn., removing with her parents to Ohio in early childhood. In 1831 they returned to Washington county, and in 1838 located on the old farm, one mile south of Canonsburg, where they resided the rest of their lives. He died May 21, 1877, being in the eighty-third year of his age. His wife died April 24, 1887, in the ninetieth year of her age, and both are interred in Oak Spring cemetery. Their family consisted of six children, namely: Thomas, Samuel, Sarah Ann, Nancy Jane, James McCormick and Reynolds C. Thomas Neill was born September 30, 1829, and was married twice, his first wife being Jane Weaver, to whom two children were born, namely: Flora Jane and Thomas Reynolds. They reside on part of the old farm. His second wife was Miss Kate Kerr.
Samuel Neill, second son of Reynolds Christy, was born May 4, 1833, and was married to Miss Lizzie Berry, of Dunningsville, Penn., January 20, 1859. He is a farmer and stock-raiser, and during his stay in this county raised fine Merino sheep. On February 22, 1882, he left Washington county and located in Humeston, Wayne county, Iowa, where he purchased a farm and now resides. His family consists of five children, namely: Anna M., born May 21, 1861; Flora E., born June 5, 1863; John Christy, born April 29, 1870; Lizzie E., born July 14, 1874, and William M., born February 15, 1877. Anna and Flora are married, and live in Humeston. John attended College, and Lizzie attended the High School at Humeston. Samuel is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Humeston. James McCormick, born in 1838, is noticed at the close of this sketch. Reynolds C., the youngest son, was born October 15, 1840. He married Miss Mattie Wilson, May 14, 1885, and is the father of two children, Clark and Eva. He now resides on Greenside avenue, Canonsburg.
Sarah Ann and Nancy Jane reside on Central avenue, Canonsburg, on the lot where their grandfather used to keep his store, 100 years ago.
James McCormick Neill was born October 15, 1838, he being the first member of his family born on the farm which has been so long in the name. He was married March 5, 1873, to Miss Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Thos. D. and Eliza Caldwell Weaver. Settled near Clinton, Allegheny county, and then near Candor, Washington county; returned to the old homestead in 1890. To them were born six children, namely: James Weaver, Flora Annetta, Mary, Dora Bell, Elizabeth and Edna, all of whom are at home. It has been the custom of the family while living on the homestead to attend the Chartiers Presbyterian Church, the oldest church in the community.
Text taken from page 1005 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published March 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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