The Bailey's of Pennsylvania
The following transcribed letters were submitted by Virginia
Lance of Carrollton, MO for inclusion at the Genealogy
in Washington Co., PA web site in October 1997. The letters written
by W. G. Bailey to Norwista Morrison 1897/1898. Both transcirptions are
copyright © 1990-1997 Virginia Lance.
Miss Norwista Morrison:
You will find here an outline of the history of Alexander Bailey. He was
your father's and my great-grandfather. He was born on the highlands of
Scotland at the Bailey Castle about 14 miles north of Inverness. Being an
ardent Presbyterian, he found it advisable to leave, not only for his own
safety, but to enjoy religious liberty. He emigrated to Ireland and there
married Jane Brown. They came to America in 1752 and settled in the
eastern part of Pennsylvania handy to Emmittsburg, Md. Their family was:
Matthew, William, Ann, Mary, Jan, Alexander, James, and John. (John was
grandfather). The first two were born in Ireland. Matthew was the first
one to come to the western part of Pennsylvania, now Robinson Township,
Washington County, in about 1782 and helped to fight the Indians. His
father and mother and rest of the family came over about two years later.
1. Matthew never married.
2. William was taken by the Indians, but excaped. He was married to Nancy
Walker. Their family-Alex., who married Betsy Gilkison; Margaret who
married John Russel; Joseph who married Mary Ackelson; and Jane who married
Duncan McGeehan. (There are some of each of these families and descendants
in this section and in Ohio).
3. Ann married Gilbert McAdams and their family was David, William, James,
Mary, Ann, Jane, John. The descendants of this family are in this state
4. Mary married David McAdams. Their family-Alex., James, Jane. Their
Descendants in PA.
5. Jane married Robert Boland.
6. Alex married Ann Wilson. No family
7. James married Isabel Carlisle and moved to Ohio previous to 1820. We
have no trace of this family.
8. Eighth and last was Johnyour father's grandfather, who married Margaret
Gailey. There were ten children.
a) Jennie, the oldest, is 97 years old. She was married to William
Galbraith and they had one boy who is married.
b) Matthew married Ann Smiley-eight of a family, all married but one girl.
c) Nancy married George Morrison.
d) Alex. and Margaret died young.
e) James married Elizabeth McKee. I suppose you know the history of this
family of which the writer is one.
f) Mary married Silas Ewing. 2 girls living-in Burgettstown, PA.
g) John married Margaret Stewart. 2 girls, Cora Lee and Harrietta Brown.
h) Ann & William -not married.
(Signed) W. G. Bailey
Following story written by W. G. Bailey, Jan. 1898, to Norwista B. Morrison.
THE CAPTURE OF WILLIAM BAILEY BY THE INDIANS
The capture and rescue of William Bailey and the killing of 5 men2 Shearers,
2 McCandless' and 1 McNealywhile in the harvest field reaping wheat, was
listened to often times by many of those who were born in the early part
of the present century, but there are few of them now (1898) who are left
to repeat these incidents of trials and narrow escapes from the Indians
by the early settlers of that part of the County. I deem it expedient as
a point in history of the early settlers, to here relate it, as nearly
as possible after the elapse of a century, that those who come after the
present generation may be reminded of those times, and be assured that
they are not mere traditions.
While a party of six neighbors, consisting of William Bailey, 2 Shearers,
2 McCandless, and McNealy, in the summer of 1780 (it being not only the
custom of those days but for protection against the Indians) were in the
harvest field together reaping wheat, located on the Shearer farm, their
attention was called from their labor by the howling of the dogs (which
they did when the Indians were about) and being aware of the fact that
the Indians had been in the neighborhood, they went and got their guns
a short distance form themit being the custom to keep the guns with them
in the field. They went to the fence and some of them got up on it, when
one of the party remarked they would be good shots for the Indians. At
that moment four of them fell dead. The remaining twoWilliam Bailey and
McNealyran. Bailey ran down and McNealy ran up the ravine. The latter
was overtaken and tomahawked after a fierce struggle, from the indications
of where he was found. He had vowed many times he would not be taken by
the red skins. He was killed a few hundred yards south of where the Midway
and Clinton road crosses the old Scrubenvill & Pittsburg Pike, this
point being a few rods west of the North-Star. William Bailey, being an
expert runner, was not overtaken for a considerable distance. On his way
he had to cross a wide ditch and when he jumped he lit on the other bank
but it was undermined by the water and it gave away. When he looked around
there was a large Indian a few paces away. He turned around and gave himself
up. He was taken by the Indians and they said he would make a good Indian,
being tall and straight and a good runner as they discovered before they
captured him. The Indians encamped that night a short distance from where
the big R. Creek empties into the Ohio River and there he saw them cleaning
the scalps of those they had killed. Seeing only four scalps he concluded
that McNealy had got away, but after the fight they had not taken it. He
also saw them cutting out with their tomahawks pure lead out of a mine
and running bullets. He afterward went back to hunt for the lead mine but
could not find it. The whites, after finding out what had happened, gathered
up and followed the Indians. On coming to the Ohio River they found the
canoes but without disturbing them, crossed to the other side and laid
in ambush for the Indians. When the Indians came and got their canoes and
were about halfway across, one of the party of whites, who had boasted
what he would do, started to run. This gave the alarm to the Indians and
they turned their canoes down the river. The whites fired on them killing
several of their number. The big Indian who was in the canoe with Bailey
was killed. When he fell out he capsized the canoe, taking Bailey to the
bottom. When he was taken down the second time he got his hands loose (which
had been tied). He thought himself loose but found when he came up that
he was tied around the neck to the canoe. He then started to swim with
it. The whites, coming close to Bailey's head; but finding he was coming
toward them, two of them swam in and one of them cut him loose. After getting
to a sand bar one of them wanted Bailey to get on his back and he would
take him to shore, but Bailey, being a splendid swimmer, insisted they
let him rest awhile and then he could swim ashore. So after a bit he turned
on his back and swam to shore, stating that it rested him. Thus ends an
exciting incident, and one ever remembered by the old settlers of Robinson
Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. These men who were killed were
the first to be interred in what is now the Candor Church yard. Yours truly,
(Signed) W. G. Bailey. Jan. 1898.