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View Tree for William EwingWilliam Ewing (b. 1630, d. 1717)

William Ewing was born 1630 in Stirling Castle, Scotland, and died 1717 in Londonderry, Ireland, Derry Cathedral Register. He married Elizabeth Milford.

 Includes NotesNotes for William Ewing:
He was from the Stirling Castle area in the lowlands of Scotland. The lowlands held many people of the Ewing surname, in all the variant spellings such as MacEwen, Ewan, Ewin, Yeowen, and the predominant Ewing, and the choice of given names seems to have been narrow. Although it is tempting to go back farther in time than 1600 and William, there are simply too many of Clan Ewing named Robert, William, Charles, James, and Alexander to be certain of any accuracy. So for the time of this writing we start the Clan Ewing at William I. William and his wife Eliza were among the multitude of Protestant Scots who emigrated to Ireland to escape religous persecution. William settled his wife and sons in Ulster, Ireland.

The Ewings are of Scottish descent, originally from the West of Scotland, near Glasgow. They were located on the River Forth, near Stirling Castle, in the vicinity of Loch Lomond. Their religion was Presbyterian. The reproduction of the coat of arms, above, was recognized by the Hon. Thomas Ewing family as coming from Scottish ancestors. Near the lower middle of the drawing is "Mask Ewing," short for Maskell Ewing.

During the mid-1600's, there was great religious persecution of the Protestants in Scotland. According to the tradition of the Ewing clan, the Ewings of America trace their origin to six stalwart brothers of a Highland clan, who, with their chieftain, engaged in insurrection in 1685, in which they were defeated, their chieftain captured and executed and themselves outlawed. It is told that our Ewing ancestors first went from their seat on the River Forth to the Isle of Bute, in Scotland, and then settled at or near Coleraine, County Londonderry, of Ulster, in Northern Ireland. On July 12, 1690, members of the Ewing Clan took part in the Battle of the Boyne, fought on the river of that name in Eastern Ireland. In this battle, King James II was opposed by William of Orange who was fighting for the Irish Protestants. The result of this battle was the complete overthrow of James, thus forcing his abdication of the throne and establishing the rule of William and Mary. The anniversary of this battle is still celebrated by the Orangemen, or Irish Protestants.

Who were these six stalwart Ewing brothers? Much research still needs to be done but at this point in time, the brothers might have included: John Ewing of Carnshanagh; Robert Ewing, father of Alexander; Findley (Finley) Ewing, father of Thomas; James Ewing of Inch Island; William Ewing, father of Nathaniel; and possibly an Alexander Ewing.

The old pre-reformation churches, i.e. Roman Catholic, were taken over by the Established Church (the Church of Ireland or Anglican Church). All denominations could be buried in the graveyards and although each church was episcopal, the very numbers of the Scottish Presbyterians and ministers meant many services were virtually Presbyterian. Penal laws at the time were against Presbyterian and Roman Catholic, though not all were applied. Interestingly, while Roman Catholic’s could be married by a priest, Presbyterian marriages were often more difficult and had to take place in a Church of Ireland church, or the marriage was illegal, until 1845. There were also conversions on both sides.

In 1641, the Roman Catholic church was the mainstay of organizing a rebellion which was meant to drive out or kill the English, but allow the Scots to remain. However, religious influence was strong and a massacre of thousands of Protestants, both English and Scots was the result. The Scottish army sent over to quell the rebellion actually started the first regular Presbytery and meeting. Unfortunately, although your areas of interest have very early Presbyterian congregations, no records were kept at first and many have been destroyed since. However, for centuries afterwards, it was still advantageous for Presbyterians to be baptised into the Established Church and married there, to maintain rights of inheritance. And often this is the only place we find them recorded. Presbyterians were, at a latter period sometimes baptised at home, but where they were following Established Church rules, as here, it would have been in the church. In this period of time, baptism would have been quite soon after birth, due to high rates of infant mortality.”(Deirdre Speer, “Report Ewing”, Part 1, p. 3)

In a number of cases, we have found information that say four, five, or six Ewing boys are brothers. And, that might be the case but no additional information was given. In the records of the family organization Clan Ewing in America, a number of Ewings that immigrated to America before 1740 have been identified. And, it appears that some additional people will be added to that list. No doubt, in Ireland and/or Scotland there was a family that had four, five, or six brothers and with some luck and additional finds of information, we will be able to establish the relationship of more families in America.

From the Hearth Money Rolls 1665, County Donegal. (Ibid., Appendix10, Part 2, p. 17.)
Name Townland Parish Barony No.
Finlay Ewing Ardraman Fahan Innishowen 1
William Ewing Carignie Templemore Innishowen 1
Humphrey Ewing Ballinakilly Templemore Innishowen 1
Robert Ewing Grean Templemore Innishowen 1
Thomas Ewing Balmoney Templemore Innishowen 1
Alexander Ewing Letterkenny Conwal Kilmacreenan 2
Robert Ewing Letterkenny Conwal Kilmacreenan 1
Robert Ewing Carnemoghan Conwal Kilmacreenan 1
William Ewing Balleyrehan Conwal Kilmacreenan 1
Humphrey Ewing Creighaduff Taghboine Raphoe 1(1663)
John Ewing Gortree Taghboine Raphoe 1(1663)
Alexander Ewing Culmcatryan Taghboine Raphoe 1(1663)

In America, it appears, that we generally think of the immigrant being born in Scotland and then moving to Ireland before going to America. As pointed out by the researcher in Ireland and implied by Elbert W. R. Ewing in his book, a family may have been in Ireland for two or three generations before emigrating to America. From research, we know that a Ewing family was in Ireland by early 17th century and America by 1709, “John Ewings, Baltimore County, Maryland”. (Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume 3 - 1703-1713, p. 145.)

We are much interested next to get a glance at the conditions which surround those of our ancestors who for a generation or more lived in Ireland. (Elbert William R. Ewing, Clan Ewing of Scotland, (Ballston, Virginia: Cobden Publishing Co., 1922), p. 123.)

As civilians and in the military ranks several of the ancestors of the American Ewings participated in this defense of Londonderry. . . Tradition, however, is corroborated by an old poem written shortly after that battle by a native of Ireland in which we find this stanza:

Hindman fired on Antrim’s men,

When they with wild Maguire,
Took flight and off thro’ Dermott’s glen
Thought proper to retire;
Dalton, Baker’s right-hand man,
With Evans, Mills and Ewing,
And Bacon of Magilligan,
The foe were off pursuing.

“In Douglas’s Derriana, or Hampton’s Siege of Londonderry is yet older poem, “Londeriadoes,” section five of which has the following lines:
James Roe Cunningham and Master Brooks
Gave great supplies, as are seen by their books.
Ewin and Wilson, merchants, gave the same,
And forty merchants which I cannot name.
Horace Kennedy went into Scotland,
And moved the Council some relief to send.

Londonderry was but the beginning of the war, short but sharp and bloody, which terminated in the triumph of the Protestant cause at the battle of the Boyne on July 1, 1690. . . A conspicuous instance was Finlay Ewing, closely related to the ancestor of the Virginia and Maryland families. Finlay was presented with a sword for his distinguished bravery in that epochal battle. It is said that he was an officer of artillery. There are creditable traditions that others of the family were by his side. This Finlay, it is said, was a son of James Ewing, who was born in Glasgow about 1650, and who is said to have married a Jane Porter.” (Ibid., pp. 129-130.)

Children of William Ewing and Elizabeth Milford are:
  1. +Robert Ewing, b. Abt. 1650, Stirling Castle, Scotland, d. date unknown, Londondery Ireland.
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