Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

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Our McFarland History From Scotland to Texas

Chapter Two:

Our McFarlands in America:

Pennsylvania and Virginia

By Mary Helen Haines © 2011, updated 2023

 Genealogist for the Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.


Now to the more recent history of our direct family line:

Our family line can be traced back to Robert McFarland who came to America around 1718-19 from northern Ireland. His ancestors probably settled there a century earlier as part of the Ulster Plantation mentioned in the previous chapter. Judging from the small amount of territory that belonged to the MacFarlane clan in Scotland, it is easy to imagine why they chose to better their circumstances by moving to Ireland. Exactly where our Robert lived in Ireland is not known. The two possibilities are county Tyrone and county Donegal.

The place naming in Pennsylvania of Donegal township and Rapho township, where our McFarlands settled, might indicate their emigration from county Donegal. The village of Mountjoy (Mount Joy today), just one mile north of Robert’s Pennysylvania home, exists in Ulster just east of the River Foyle in County Tyrone. Either way, all these places in northern Ireland are within 20 miles of each other. The town of Mount Joy, PA has an historical marker that says the town’s name is in honor of the ship Mountjoy that broke through the besieged town of Londonderry in 1689 to bring food and supplies to the Protestants who were siding with the Protestant King William III, who had been installed by Parliament. (see notes)

Raymond Campbell Paterson relates the story of the movement of Scots to Ireland and then America in his article “The Scots-Irish: The Thirteenth Tribe.” The land of northern Ireland had been devastated and wasted by the wars with England in the 1500s; therefore, the English landlords were eager to put in Scottish settlers that they considered more ‘civilized’ than the Irish (after all they were Protestant), and offered cheap rents with long leases to encourage this immigration. However, 100 years later, the original leases for the Ulster plantation were ending and the absentee English and Scottish landowners would only renew with greatly increased rents.

Thus began the first wave of mass migration of people that became known in America as the Scots-Irish (Scotch-Irish). The term Scots-Irish is unknown in England; it was an American designation, made by the settlers to distinguish them from the Irish, which earlier English colonists looked down on even more than they did the Scots. In 1718-19 our family of Robert McFarland, wife Jennet, and five children arrived in America at the colonial land grant of Pennsylvania; this began the pattern that was repeated over and over again during the next century until our branch of the McFarland family finally settled in Texas in the 1830’s.

1st Generation:

Robert McFarland: born ca. 1680 in Ireland (County Tyrone or Donegal). Married ca. 1705 to Jennet and came to America around 1718/19.


John McFarland (1): born ca. 1706/08 in Ireland-married Mary Montgomery.

James: 1710 in Ireland-married Margaret Greer in 1730. Died 1752 without children.

Rachel: 1713 in Ireland-married 1. John Wilkins (1734), 2. John Ramsey (1742), 3. Gordon Howard (1751). Died in Pittsburg, Allegheny Co. 1797.

Joseph: 1715 in Ireland-married Jean, died in 1759 in Bucks Co. PA.

Robert: 1717 in Ireland-married Esther Dunn in 1748 in Earltown, PA-moves to Peters twn. Cumberland Co. PA in 1753, died 1797 in Rockbridge Co. VA

Rebecca: April 14, 1720 in America, recorded in the First Presbyterian church in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co. Pennsylvania, married 1. Andrew Mayes 1735, 2. Samuel McElhenny in 1755. Died bet. 1800 and 1810 in Newville, Cumberland Co. PA

The McFarland family settled about 70 miles west of Philadelphia in what was the Conestoga township (named after the peaceful, and now extinct Conestoga Indian tribe) of Chester County, Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River. Pennsylvania had been established first by the Dutch in 1609 when Henry Hudson landed in Delaware Bay. The British won it from the Dutch in 1664 and in 1681 King Charles II granted it to William Penn to pay a debt owed his father Admiral Sir William Penn. The colony became a refuge for Quakers and other non-Conformists, which certainly would have included Scots-Irish Presbyterians like our McFarlands.

According to early histories of Lancaster County, Robert McFarland settled on land on the right side of Little Chiques (Chickies) Creek around 1720. This land was at the very edge of European settled territory, and many of the men listed in the tax rolls were Indian traders. Robert’s name does not appear in the 1718 list of inhabitants of Conestoga township, but was certainly there by 1722. As the frontier began filling up with freshly arrived immigrants, the need to establish more townships was apparent. Conestoga was divided in 1720 and the part where Robert settled was named West Conestoga.

It is possible that our Robert came to America with father Robert and brother James, because they were listed as inhabitants of this area when the Donegal Presbyterian Church was organized in 1721. (Evans, p. 29) The church was built by the spring that flowed into the Little Chiques creek, and is still a functioning church today; its meeting house dating back to 1740.

In 1722, West Conestoga township’s name was changed to Donegal by its Scots-Irish population. On the tax lists in 1722 for Donegal township only one Robert McFarland is listed. It is not known what happened to Robert Sr. or brother James. It has been speculated that the James McFarland who moved to Cumberland County in 1726 might be related, and although they are distantly related, they are not the same lineage and that James seems to have arrived separately and a few years after our Robert.

Robert continued to appear on the tax lists in 1724, 1725 and 26. In 1726, the citizens of Donegal petitioned the Bench of Chester County to allow John Galbreath to build a tavern, with the right to “brew and sell beer and ale” and Robert’s signature appears along with his neighbors Joseph Worke, Hugh Whoit (White), and Gordon Howard. (Ellis and Evans, p. 767)

Robert McFarlan acquired legal title to 286 acres in Donegal township in 1739 after he had been living there for close to twenty years. His survey is found in patent Book A9, p. 110; the acreage is described as being along the Schickaselungo Creek (Chiques Creek today). The name is derived from the Lanape indian word "chiquesalunga," meaning "place of crayfish." The Chiques Creek flows into the Susquehanna River at Marietta in Lancaster County. (See Notes section for the plat map.)

The section of Chester County they lived in became Lancaster County in 1729, after Robert and his eldest son John, along with his neighbors petitioned for its creation. Having a new county created meant more representation in the colonial government. The Charter of Privileges, drawn up by William Penn in 1701, allowed each county to elect 4 members annually to the colonial legislative body.

Robert’s name can also be found in the Quarter Sessions when he was sworn in for grand juries for Lancaster County on May 1, 1733 (as Robert Mcffairlamb), May 6, 1735 (as Robert Mcfarlan), and August 2, 1737 (as Robert Mcffarlam).

His children grew up and married in Lancaster County presumably, although no marriage records have been found so far. His eldest son, John, surveyed acreage, but then decided to move the newly opened territory in Virginia in 1747 and did not patent the land. Younger son Robert did establish another patent next to his father, which he sold in 1752 when he left the area.

Robert, married to Jennet, died in 1751. In June 17, 1751 arrangements were made by all the children to transfer his title to his son James, which indicates Robert died before that date. (Lancaster Co. Deed Book, C, p. 95) His burial site is unknown, he could have been buried on his property, or in the Donegal Church Cemetery; however, he is not listed officially in their records. (I did find a listing of Robert B. McFarland, 1680-1751 at the Find-a-Grave web-site, showing him in the Donegal Cemetery, but that is not official and I don’t know where the B. came from.) Because all his heirs eventually left the area, there would be no one to maintain the gravesites, so they are lost to us today.

The tax list for 1751 shows that Robert Jr. and James McFarland, the two sons, were still in the area. Also present were Rebecca Mayes, wife of neighbor Andrew Mayes, and Rachel Howard, wife of Gordon Howard. Son James died in January, 1752 before he and his wife had any children. (Will Book I, Vol. 1, p. 336) His widow Margaret inherited part of father-in-law Robert’s original patent, and part went to his namesake nephew James (son of John), living in Virginia. Margaret soon married Thomas Clingan, who ultimately purchased the rest of the grant after young James (son of John) died in 1755 in Virginia during an Indian attack. Robert Jr. and his wife Esther sold his 206 acres to Ludwick Lyndemote in 1752 (Deed Book D, vol. 1, pp. 130-131), and moved to Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Exactly when Jennet died is not known either, but by the 1757 tax list, Thomas Clingan was living next to Ludwick Lyndemote and no McFarlands were present.

Robert Sr. died before June 17, 1751 and his will was probated March 25, 1752 in the Rapho township. (Will Book 1, Vol. 1, p. 340)


2nd Generation:


John McFarland (1): born 1706-1708 in Ireland. Married ca. 1728 in Lancaster Co. Penn. to Mary Montgomery (by tradition, no record known). Mary was born in 1712, daughter of John Montgomery (tradition). They moved to Virginia around 1747 to Augusta County to land on Reed Creek which is now near present-day Wytheville. Later moved to Bedford Co. Virginia.


Robert: 1730 in Donegal, Lancaster Co. Penn.-married Margaret Jane___? Named a Lieutenant in the Augusta Co. militia in Virginia. Known children: Robert b. 1759 who served in the Revolutionary War, died in 1837 and was buried in the McFarland Cemetery in Hamblen Co. Tennessee; Benjamin b. 1769. There are probably others such as a James McFarland who appears in Montgomery records, and a Mary McFarland who married Samuel Montgomery. DNA indicates that two more sons, John and William are from this line.

Nancy: 1731 in Donegal, Lancaster Co., Penn.-married Andrew Evans

James: 1733 in Donegal, Lancaster Co., Penn.-never married, died in 1755 in New River, Augusta Co. VA. fighting Indians.

Rachel: 1737 in Donegal, Lancaster Co., Penn.-married John Hunter

John (2): 1739 in Lancaster Co. Penn. Married Mary Kinder

Arthur: Jan. 19 1741 in Lancaster Co., Penn. Died as infant.

Mary: Feb. 11, 1743 in Lancaster Co.-married James Hunter, moved to Rockingham Co. N.C.

Joseph: March 30, 1745 in PA or VA. Married a sister of Duncan Gullion and lived in Montgomery Co. VA. Died ca. 1795. DNA indicates the McFarlands of Fentress Co. TN, as well as Knox Co. and Whitley Co. Kentucky are from Joseph.

Benjamin Anderson: April 16, 1747 in VA. Married Mary Blackburn. Fought in Rev. War 1777-1779. Died in 1823 in Dandridge, Jefferson Co. Tennessee


Around 1747, itchy feet and a promotion to settle new territory, led our forefather John (1706/08), who from now on I will refer to as John 1, to pack up his family with Mary and move south to the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 300 miles south of Donegal. This is the John McFarland that is sometimes erroneously referred to as “Scotland John.” Travel would have been through the famed Shenandoah Valley following the former Great Warrior’s Path, soon known as the “Great Wagon Road” taking new settlers deeper into the newly opened Virginia territory. One path to wealth in America was settling in newly opened territory, surveying and building roads connecting your property to others, then selling it with any improvements made to the land. On today’s map the first Virginia land they (John 1 and son Robert) surveyed is near Wytheville; over 2000 acres on Black Buffalo Lick and the Reed Creek area. (See Notes section for deeds and map.) It is obvious they were never planning on farming all this land, but using it as a foundation for the future. Records in Augusta County show John and Robert being assigned to survey and build roads (1749), and also to protect the inhabitants by serving in the local militia. John qualified as an Ensign in 1752, and his son Robert was a Lieutenant for the Virginia Militia. (Chalkey, Vol. 1, Order Book II, p. 371, 321) 

This land was virgin land for European settlers and the Native Americans were probably not very happy to have these settlers move in, even though a treaty had been signed between the Six Nations and the Colonies of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania in 1744. Conflicts between the Indians and the settlers led to numerous deaths, one of those being James, son of John 1, in 1755 at age 22. France and England were also at odds over colonial issues and began fighting each other in the Seven Years War (1756 to 1763). French and Indians attacked the frontier settlements at Reed Creek, New River, and the Roanoke River (all around John McFarland’s land). The British and local militias were not able to protect these outlying places, so John McFarland’s family, along with many others, abandoned their homes and moved to the safer, more settled areas to the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mts. in Bedford County. John and Robert both appear in court documents in Bedford County in 1756.

In 1763, John purchased 100 acres of land on the Otter River, and in 1764 purchased 212 acres more. He began selling his land in present-day Wythe County as he decided to make Bedford County his final home. John was active in the Peaks of Otter Presbyterian Church, signing his name to a colonial petition in 1774, asking the government to pass a law which would allow the Elders of the church to fund the minister’s salary with the proceeds from land and slaves which they would purchase. Tax lists and deeds from the time also show that John owned 5 slaves when he deeded them to his youngest son Benjamin along with the 100 acre plot in 1777. (Deed Bk. 5, p. 516) The older sons, John, Robert, and Joseph sold their lands in Bedford and returned to the Reed Creek area around present day Wytheville around 1771.

When the Revolutionary War began, John, who was now about 70 years old, and his son Benjamin took oaths of allegiance to the new country, and also furnished food for the Continental Army. The records are in Bedford County. This allowed John Sr. to be classified as a “Patriot” by the D.A.R. (Ancestor # A076825)

Mary died in 1782 in Bedford Co., Virginia, and in 1785 John and son Benjamin signed deeds selling their land in Bedford and moved to the area around the Nolichucky and Broad Rivers near present day Dandridge, Tennessee where older brothers Robert, and John had relocated after the Revolutionary War. 

It is not known exactly when or where John Sr. died. There is a history of the Indian wars in 1793, where a division of men are led by Col. Robert McFarland, son of Robert and Martha Jane (therefore a grandson of John Sr.) Included in the story is a John McFarland, noted as being very old, who is assigned to reload the guns at Fort White (present day Knoxville).

3rd Generation:

John McFarland (2): born 1739 in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. Came with his father to Virginia around 1747 at age eight. He married Mary Kinder (Gunter) around 1763 and had 13 children. The family moved to the State of Franklin between 1784 and 86, to land on the Nolichucky River. This area became Greene Co., then Jefferson Co., then Hamblen, and now today is Cocke Co. Tennessee. The family moved again around 1797 to North Carolina, Buncombe Co. In 1809, Buncombe Co. became Haywood Co.


John (3): Feb. 28, 1764 in Bedford Co.,VA. Married Rebecca Bell.

Mary: Feb. 28, 1764 (twin of John)-(called Polly), married Alexander Ward

Rachel: 1766 in Bedford Co., VA. Married John Ward

Benjamin: 1767 in Bedford Co., VA. Married Ruth Buchanan Jack-moved to Adair Co. Kentucky. Died      1859 in Russell Co. Kentucky

George: 1769 in Bedford Co., VA. Married Sally Jack, and moved to Missouri where he died before 1830. (There is another George McFarland/McFarlin who moved to KY where he married Nancy Golden and died in 1837 in Knox Co. Kentucky. DNA shows him to be descended from Joseph (b. 1745)

Jacob: 1772, Feb. 21. in Montgomery Co., VA. Married (1) Elizabeth Webb, 2. Nancy Cathey. Children born in Buncombe Co. Died in 1846 in Cooper Co., Missouri.

James Ray: 1773, Dec. 20. in Montgomery Co. Va. Married Frances Webb in 1793. Died 1839 in Morgan Co. MO. Eleven children born in Buncombe Co. (One of those, Benjamin Franklin, b. March 5, 1807 in Buncombe, died March 20, 1885 in Grayson, Co. Texas.)

William: 1775 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Susannah George in 1798. Had 9 children-half in Buncombe Co., half in Missouri. Died in 1834 in Cole Co., Missouri

Reuben A.: 1778 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Martha Campbell. Child Reuben b. 1810 marries Mary Catherine Pettit. Died in 1867 in St. Francois, Missouri

David: 1780 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Margaret McDowell. Died Oct. 1835 in Cooper Co., MO. One known son, Reuben A., moved to Oregon.

Catherine: 1782 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married a Cain, no more is known.

Jesse: 1784 in Montgomery Co., VA. Married Isabella Henry Boyd. Died 1826 in St. Francois Co., Missouri.

Anna: 1786 in State of Franklin (Greene Co., later Jefferson Co., Tennessee). Married George Cathey. Died in Bates Co. Missouri

I have not found any marriage documentation for Mary Kinder and John McFarland, so the search for Mary Kinder's parents is also incomplete. Other researchers have stated that the marriage took place in Bedford County because that is where John McFarland was living, but there is no documentation found so far showing the Kinders living there. I think Mary is the daughter of either Gasper Kinder, below, or George Kinder. The Kinders lived just south of the McFarlands in Montgomery County, and although the McFarland family had moved to Bedford Co. in the late 1750s, they retained ownership of their land until the 80s. The names of the Kinders in Montgomery County, George and Jacob, are reflected in two names of John and Mary's children. The Kinders were German, and originally Gunder, or Günter. Land changed hands between the two families, and as neighbors, it seems likely that they intermarried.

John 2 with Mary and children moved back to the Reed Creek area (then Fincastle Co., today Wythe Co.) around 1771 once another treaty had been signed with the Indian tribes, and white settlers felt safe enough to return. John moved to the 367 acre survey on Meadow Run, which he formally purchased from his father in 1778.

Fincastle (Montgomery) County tax lists show the McFarland sons, Robert and John back in the area and paying taxes in 1772. Captain Doacks and Walter Crockett's list of tax payers include “McFarland, John, and Mackfarland, Robert and his son James” in 1772, and then in Captain Crockett's list in 1773, again “John McFarland, and Robert McFarland and his son James”. (Kegley, Tithables, pp. 14, 15)

Almost as a prelude to the Revolutionary War, the local men of Virginia were called to duty by Governor Lord Dunmore in 1774, to rendezvous at Point Pleasant and put an end to Indian depredations. As militias were formed, the McFarlands joined and served. Captain Walter Crockat’s company served 108 days, and Robert and James McFarland served with him. In Captain Robert Doak’s company, one John McFarland served 3 days, and another John McFarland served 6 days. Included in Doak’s company were the Gullions and the Kinders, obviously neighbors. (Kegley, Soldiers, pp. 30, 31, 47, 48) I am not sure who the second John McFarland is in this company. He could possibly be a son of Robert (b. 1730).

When Virginia joined the other colonies to declare a new nation, John took an oath of allegiance in 1777. In fact, there is a John McFarland, and a John McFarlan taking the oath, one day apart. (Crush, p. 49) Again, here is the mystery man who also served in Dunmore’s War. John did serve in the Montgomery Co. militia under William Doaks in 1780, and under Capt. James Finley in the 1780s. In fact, in that list, there is a John (2) McF. Senior, and a John McFarland, who now could be his eldest son (or the other unidentified man, a possible son of Robert b. 1730). John Sr. would have been around 40 years old, and John Jr. about 16 to 18. (Kegley, Militia, p. 13, 15) Because of his service, this John McFarland (husband of Mary Kinder), is also a qualifying Ancestor for the D.A.R. (Ancestor #A070328) He qualifies as a Private in the Montgomery Co. militia, and as a Patriot for signing the Oath of Allegience.

John 2’s youngest brother, Benjamin Anderson McFarland, was a Private in the 3rd VA Regiment serving from Sept. 1777 to Dec. 1779, and Robert McFarland (John 2’s nephew, son of brother Robert and Martha), was a Lieutenant and Captain in the militia raised by Captain William Russell in present-day Wytheville. His pension statement filed in Tennessee in 1832 details his service.

Not every McFarland was happy to be a part of the war. John 2’s brother Joseph (born 1745) seems to have favored the British, or at least not favored going to war, because he refused to sign the oath of allegiance and was called to court for this in 1779. Also brought to court were the Gullions and the Kinders. It seems that many of the settlers who lived furthest from the settled areas did not want to stir up more trouble with the Indians, so sided with the British during the rebellion. Joseph made bail however and was released for good behavior. However, his brother-in-law, Duncan Gullion was found guilty of treason, and sentenced to jail in Williamsburg. He escaped on the way to jail, had his estate confiscated, but after the war, all seemed forgiven and he continued to live in the area. (Kegley, Early Adventurers, Vol. V, pp. 137-139, 561)

The last records we have for our McFarlands in Virginia are the 1782 tax lists taken for Montgomery County and Washington County. In Montgomery County, Joseph McFareland “did not give up his property” to the tax collector (obviously still unhappy with the government), while John McFarelane did. Also living in Montgomery County were William McFarelane, and Alexander McFareland, the sons of Duncan McFarland of the area that becomes Bath County. We know from Robert McFarland’s Revolutionary War Pension statements that after he married in 1780, he moved to Washington County where he was named a Lieutenant in the militia. In the 1782 tax list he is in Col. Arthur Campbell’s district there with two adult males, James McFarlane next to him. I feel sure this is Robert McFarland, Sr., son of John and Mary Montgomery, and his other son Robert, with son James next door. By 1782, however, the green pastures over the mountains were beckoning.  


Ch. Two: Pennsylvania and Virginia


Concerning the naming of Mountjoy Pennsylvania:


In 1685, James II (Stewart) became King of England. He was a devout Catholic and began replacing Protestant administrators with Catholic. Lord Mountjoy, William Stewart, was in charge of the Protestant soldiers garrisoned in Londonderry, Ireland. He was ordered to be transferred to Dublin, to be replaced by Lord Antrim with his Catholic soldiers. This is late 1688, and Mountjoy left, but before Antrim arrived, the townspeople closed the gates of the city against him. In England, Parliament had voted to recognize Protestant William of Orange as King instead of James II, and the Protestant citizens of Londonderry decided to hold on to their city to turn over to forces loyal to William, rather than the troops loyal to James. Protestants from the countryside crowded into the city, which swelled in size from 2000 to 30,000 people and Catholics who had lived in Londonderry were expelled. The Jacobite forces of Lord Antrim started bombarding the city in April, 1689 and a wooden boom was built across the River Foyle to keep William’s ships out. It was not until the end of July that two ships, the Mountjoy and the Phoenix, broke through the boom and rescued the starving city. Our Robert would have been a young boy at this time, and it is possible that he and his family were part of the besieged.

Greg McFarland, my cousin, took this picture of the town plaque commemorating the naming of the village and township in Pennsylvania.

Ch. 2 Notes 1 2


In Pennsylvania, the land the McFarlands warranted are shown in this section of the Plat map from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Notice the different spelling used for the same family. Robert McFarlan is the father, who warranted the land in 1739, although he had been living there since 1720. His son John McFarlin has a warrant listed in 1761 on this plat map, but we know he was long gone by then, in fact all the male McFarlands were gone. Second son Robert McFerland has a warrant for 1747, and received his patent in 1748.

Ch. 2 Notes 2 Robert McFarlan patent


Three sources stand out for this chapter. The manuscript Stitches in Time: The Myth of Sir John Macfarlane by Oklahoma relative James A. McFarland is highly recommended for making the connection between Pennsylvania and Virginia and then the briefly existing State of Franklin.

Also used is information that came from Gary Morris’ on-line genealogy of the McFarland family in America prior to 1800. The research done by Mary B. Kegley is extremely thorough concerning the land and military records of the inhabitants of the Reed Creek area of western Virginia, in what today is Wythe County. The Kegleys inherited and owned land in the Black Lick area, on property that was first surveyed for John McFarland. She has published numerous books of records from this area, and her latest work, Vol. V of the Early Adventurers On The Western Water, pulls all that information together in a most coherent way. The map below is based on current maps of the area as well as Ms. Kegley’s work.

Ch. 2  2Wythe area 

When discussing the Reed Creek area, it is necessary to be aware of all the changes that took place in county administrations. In 1769 Botetourt County was formed from Augusta County. Therefore some records might be recorded there. Then Fincastle County was created in 1772 and encompassed this same area. In 1777, Montgomery County was formed. So, sometimes records originated in Fincastle, but were transferred to Montgomery County when it was formed. After our McFarlands left the area, Wythe County was formed in 1790, and that is still today the Reed Creek area where our John McFarland family first made their Virginia settlement, and and John and Mary Kinder lived until around 1784.

Land Acquisitions and Sales in the Reed Creek area of Virginia

1. 1747 Survey to John and Robert McFarland, 1020 acres lying on the waters of Woods (New) River at a place called Black Buffalo Lick, granted in Patent Book 31 Augusta Co., p. 248 on Oct. 31, 1752. Sold to David Doak in 1768 by John and Mary McFarland in Bedford Co. VA, and Robert and Martha McFarland in Orange Co., NC.

2. 1747 Survey to John McFarland, 106 acres on Reed Creek, granted in Augusta Co. Patent Book 30, p. 30 on Oct. 30, 1752. Sold to Hugh Montgomery in 1763. (Augusta Co. Deed Book 11, pp. 328, 329)

3. 1749 Survey to John McFarland, 327 acres on Sally Run, a branch of Reed Creek. Patent issued as 327 acres in Augusta Co. Patent Book 32, p. 167 on June 20, 1753. Sold 327 acres to John Finley in Nov. 1773. (Montgomery Co. Order Book 1, p. 142)

4. 1749 Survey to John McFarland, 367 acres on Meadow Run, a branch of Reed Creek, granted in Augusta Co. Patent Book 32, p. 149 on June 20, 1753. Sold to John McFareland, Jr. for 55 pounds lawful money in 1778 from John McFareland, Sr. of Russell Parish, Bedford Co. (Montgomery Co. Will Book A, p. 234) Sold in 1786 to Jacob Bruner (Pruner) from John McFarland, Jr. of County Casewell, State of Franklan (Montgomery Co. Deed Book A, p. 478).

5. 1751 Survey to John McFarland, 98 acres on a branch of Reed Creek between the land he lives on and the Cove, granted in Augusta Co. Patent Book 32, p. 166 on June 20, 1753. Sold to James Hollis in 1767 by John and Mary McFarland in Bedford Co.

6. 1749 Survey to Robert McFarlane, 248 acres on Stony Fork, Laurel Run, granted in Augusta Co. Patent Book 32, p. 168 on June 20, 1753. (Sold to John Downing in 1754, Augusta Co. Will Book, p. 442)

7. 1772, Robert McFarland received 85 acres on Cedar Run of Reed Creek from the will of Samuel Crockett (Will Book B, p. 3). This was never formally recorded in a deed book, and was where Robert was living in 1776. This became the town of Evansham (Wytheville).

Concerning “Scotland John”

So many people refer to our John 1 as “Scotland John” that I tried to find the source for that name. It seems to first appear in George Cleek’s book, Early Western Augusta Pioneers, published in 1957. He is discussing the McFarland family that owned land his forefather Jacob Cleek purchased in 1792. However, Cleek mistakenly lumped John and Robert McFarland into the same family as Duncan below, which we now know is incorrect. Since we do know that John is the son of Robert, who emigrated from Ireland in 1718, the likelihood of John being born in Scotland is remote. The whole legend of John being the last chief of the MacFarlane clan, escaping to America after the defeat of the Jacobites at Culloden in 1745, has been thoroughly proven to be just that, a legend. (See Ch. 1) There was a John S. McFarlane who lived in the Washington County after the Revolution, in what latter became Lee County. He was born in Scotland and married Elizabeth Campbell. 

Concerning Duncan McFarland:

There are still some unknowns, and possible mistakes in relationships of the various McFarland families that were all living in this same area at this same time. There are descendants of Duncan McFarland (sons Robert, Alexander and William) who lived in the area of Augusta Co., Montgomery Co., Wythe Co. and what becomes Russell Co., VA contemporary with our line from Robert. It seems that they also held land in Greene Co. TN in the early years as well, and it is possible that some of the descendants’ records have been mixed together. Duncan, born around 1700 in Ireland, came to America in 1718 it seems, and moved to the Jackson River area in present Bath Co. Virginia in the 1750s, just like our John McFarland's move to present Wythe Co. DNA testing on McFarland descendants now shows us that these two lines are not related, and the Duncan line is a completely different haplogroup.

Concerning the Kinder family:

There was a Gasper Kinder who settled on land at Great Spring on Reed Creek, surveyed for Loyal Company 1753. This land comes into Robert McFarland's possession in 1762 in the Augusta Co. records. Early Adventures on the Western Waters, Wythe County, Volume II. p. 119.

From Early Adventurers On The Western Waters Volume V, Mary B. Kegley, 2004: pp. 315-18

The Wythe Co. Kinders were around from the signing of the petition for a new county in 1768/9 and included Gasper Gender, George Gender, and Jacob. The name in German is Gunder or Gunter, but appears as Kinder in the first tithables in 1771. "It is believed that Gasper (also Casper) and Peter (and Margaret) Kinder lived in the vicinity of Staley's Crossroads. Gasper's land came as an assignment of Robert Mcfarlin and at some unknown time Kinder assigned his claim to William Boyd. Gasper may have been living on Reed Creek as early as 1766 as he was in company with Robert McFarland and Josiah Ramsey and paid McFarland (or McFarlin) for a tract of land on the north side of Pine Ridge at that time. This fact is recorded in an unusual document filed in 1785 in the will book of Montgomery County (Will Book B, p. 78)..... Gasper also appeared on the list of Fincastle County soldiers in 1774. In that same year a fort was erected at Gasper's house and ammunition was requested for the war effort by Captain Robert Doak. (Papers of William Preston, 3QQ61, p. 79)...Cameron suggests the possibility that Casper was the same as Johann Gasper Kinder born November 30, 1712 in Neunkirchen, in what is now Germany, but was unable to locate the necessary proof. The last time Casper (or Gasper) can be found in the records of the western part of Wythe County is 1793 when he took the Lord's Supper at Kinberling Lutheran Church. There is no record of his wife's name or the names of any children except his son Jacob (Cameron, Early Settlers, p. 161.)"

George and Michael Kinder appear in the Augusta Co. Deed Book 11, p. 37 in Nov. 16, 1762, when they purchase 34 acres of land from Henry Maese and wife Ann on a branch of Broad Run near Linvell's Creek, part of 400 acres surveyed to Thomas Beal. So, not all of the inhabitants of the area left for Bedford County as the result of the Indian raids of the late 50s and 60s.

Robert McFarland’s Revolutionary War Pension: S2004

This is a transcription made by Mary Helen Haines from the hand-written document. I put question marks by words not sure of, and dates and spellings in orange are my additions.

Robert McFarland Sr. of Jefferson Co. in State of E. Ten who was a Lieut.___(?) in the Company commanded by Captain Russell of the Regiment commanded by Col. Hill in the N.C. line for

6 mo. Lieut,

2 mo. Ensign,

16 mo. Private

Virginia Line Records corrected. Included in theRoll of East Tennessee at the rate of 153 dollars 33 cents per annum to commence on the 4th day of March 1831.

State of Tennessee

Jefferson County

August 25, 1832

On this twenty fifth day of August personally appeared before me Alexander McDonald, one of the justices of the peace for the county of Jefferson and State of Tennessee, Colonel Robert McFarland Senior, a resident of said County and State, aged seventy-three, who being first duly sworn according to law doth, on his oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress, passed June 7th 1832.

That the Deponent Colonel Robert McFarland Senior was born on the fifteenth day of March, seventeen hundred and fifty nine in Orange County North Carolina. At eight years of age he removed with his father to Bedford County, State of Virginia. (1867) Four years thereafter he removed to Boutetourt. Remained ten years in Boutetourt (1871-1881), when he married and moved with his wife to Washington where he remained till the close of the war of the Revolution. He then moved into what was then called Greene County (1783) —now Jefferson County State of Tennessee and has lived in Jefferson ever since. This deponent served about four months under Captain William Russell, afterwards General Russell. Two of the Lieutenants of Captain R’s company came to his father’s house near Reed Creek, where Wythe Court House now stands, and this deponent agreed with them to join the company in November 1776. William Bowen was another Lieutenant and James Kagon (?) the Ensign of this Company. This company was raised to guard the Frontier Garrisons. Captain Russell marched with his company from Reed Creek to Ramsay’s Fort five miles above Long island. (Kingsport, TN. today) Remained in the Fort until the latter part of February 1777 when discharged. The Company got no written discharge, but received certificates of service, upon which they got their pay which was forty shillings per month. In the following March 1777 Captain John Mongomery came to Deponents’ Father’s home and got Deponent to join his company. Michael Dougherty Lieutenant John Simpson Ensign. Marched from Reed Creek to Blackamond’s Station on Clinch River—rangn? to Houston’s Station on Moccasin Creek—Bledsoe’s Station and Shelby’s Station—returned to Long Island in the first of October, There joined General William Christian’s army consisting of upwards of two thousand men. Captain Mongomery’s (Montgomery) company was annexed to Major Evan Shelby’s Batallion. Colonel Hill and Major Winston of North Carolina was on this expedition. This deponent served throughout this expedition against the Cherokee Indians. Marched through Greene County, east Tennessee by the Bend of the Chucky—along the Indian War-path to the Tennessee River, crossed said River at the Town of Tomatlaw (Tomotley) —thence to Isand Town below the mouth of Tilico—four miles—which town was burnt—thence through Toco, Chota, and Citico (Sittiquo) (beloved town of the Indians and our commander Gen’l Christian would not permit the men to burn them) to Tuskega (Tuskegee), where a young white man had been burned by the Indians. We burned Tuskega—The Indians fled before our Army and deserted their towns—so that we had no fighting on this expedition. Returned in the month of December with our respective Captains to our homes—Our company got no written discharge. Our Captain returned a pay Roll and the men must have received their pay upon that evidence. This Deponent was but eighteen years and nine months old at this time, and his father may have received his pay, thought this Deponent does not know—He did not received it himself but thinks his father did, Though even then it had begun to be worth much less that the first year of the war. In the following September 1778 volunteered under Captain James Mongomery at Wythe Court House. Wm Doke Lieutenant—Robert Davis Ensign—Marched to the head of the Clinch. Maxwell’s fort was detached as one of a guard for Major Robertson to Alpo? Valley on Blew Stone Creek—again as a spy down the Tug fork of Sandy River on to the Levil (?) Country, to ascertain whether the Indians were disturbing or about to disturb the border settlement—Returned to Maxwell’s Fort the first of December after having ascertained that the Indians were quiet on Sandy and beyond that war? From Maxwell’s fort Captain Mongomerys Company returned home in the month of December 1778. Received no written discharge. In 1779 removed with his wife to Washington County Virginia Shortly after that was appointed as Ensign in Captain John Campbell’s company (recommended on Nov. 23, 1780) —received no commission but was appointed by Colonel Arthur Campbell the commander of our regiment. Arthur Bowin Lieutenant. In 1779 this Deponent volunteered and marched in the expediton under Col Arthur Campbell against Col Roberts of North Carolina, who had come over into Virginia to plunder the Whigs and recruit Tories. This deponent acted as the Ensign under Captain William Edmonson, Robin Edmonson and David Beattie Lieutenant, Col Campbell and Col Crocket and Major Edmonson—with 500 men started on this expedition—Rendevous at the head of Cripple Creek—thence through Elk Creek Settlement, up to Baker’s settlement—there learned that Roberts had recrossed the mountain and been defeated at Ram-Sower’s Mill The main body of the men turned back. Captain Edmonson and his company, of which this deponent was Ensign was ordered to the three forks of New River into Perkins Settlement to quell the Tories in that section—took two tories gave them up to Colonel Cleveland(?) and returned in the latter part of July after an absence of two months. This deponent was prevented from marching with his company to the Battle of King’s Mountain by receiving orders from Col. Arthur Campbell to return and collect a force to march against the Tories at New River. He was with his Company at the Rendevous, James Thompson’s Ebbing Spring—whence the troops marched to King’s Mountain—Then this deponent received orders to return and at the same time was promoted to a Lieutenancy. This Deponent returned, collected some men, was joined by Lieutenant Davis at the Blue Springs, and marched to Elk Creek. At Clem Lea’s took sixteen of the tories and sent them to the lead mines, there to be guarded and kept from mischief—pursued the Tories into the edge of North Carolina returned home in ten or twelve days. In two or three days started again with 30 men—passed over the mountain, higher up--Punished severely the Tories that had been destroying and carrying off the property of our citizens—and returned in three weeks, the same day the men returned from King’s Mountain. On Saturday after our return, the first or second Saturday in December 1780 mustered at Captain Bowen’s home and there received orders that every man who had not been wounded at the battle of King’s Mountain should be ready on Monday to start on an Indian expedition under Col. Arthur Campbell. Captain Bowen (who had now become Captain of the Company in place of Captain Campbell resigned) remained at home and this Deponent with part of Bowen’s company, joined Captain Crabtree of Washington, who had not a full company—George Finly Ensign. The Rendevous was at Honeycutt’s 3 miles west of Rogersville—300 men rendevous at Honeycutt’s Col. A Campbell of Washington—Commander—Col. Clark of Sullivan Commander and the regiment from that Section. Marched from Honeycutt’s by the bend of Chucky—thence down to Tennessee River—crossed said River at the Virginia Ford; to Chota—burned it—to Chilhowah burned part of it—But Captain Clark retreating through a panic (hearing that some Indians were on the Heights above the town) left Crabtree with only 30 men. The Indians retreated after loosing three men—and Crabtree retired to the main body at Chota—Returned to Chilhowah the next day—burned it—back to Chota—thence to little Tilico—burnt it—Lost Captain Ellit at Tillico—Captain Ellit was in front crossing Tillico River—as he rose? The opposite bank, one of the Indians who lay concealed shot Captain Ellit who fell from his horse—The Indian seized Ellit’s gun (?) immediately snapped (?) at the next man who ascended the Bank. The Indian fell dead before he could snapp (?) a second time. After a little firing the Indians retreated—burnt Tillico. The troops now divided—part went to old Hywassee the balance to Big Tillico—From Old Hywassee went to Chistiwah burnt it—marched back to Tillico—After return to Tilllico made preparations for home—We killed forty or fifty Indians in this expedition and cost but one man Capt. Ellit—a brave and gallant officer. Returned to our homes about the first of March. This deponent served four months under Captain Russell from the first of November 1776 to the latter part of February 1777, nine months under Capt. John Mongomery from March 1777 to December 1777, three months under Captain James Mongomery from September 1778 to December 1778; This deponent served as and Ensign in expeditions against the Tories two months in 1779—as a Lieutenant he was in constant service from just before the battle of King’s Mountain until the first of March following, about six months. The is Deponent after passing the meridian of his life in prosperity and enjoying the confidence of his fellow citizens in various public trusts and honourable employments has been reduced by misfortunes to a want of many of those comforts with which he had hoped the industry and exertions of earlier years would have crowned the evening of his days. The last act of Congress fro the relief of soldiers and officers of the revolution he hopes will b efound to reach his care and he places the facts of his service before the Honorable Secretary at War in the confident hope that they will be comprehended within the meaning and intention of that act. The Deponent has no documentary evidence in regard to his service nor does he know of any person living from when he could procur the testimony as to his service. He was very young, when he entered the service, and there were none younger thatn himself in his company—he believes there are very few survivors of the services in which he was engaged. This Deponent hereby relinquishes any claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that this name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any State.

Sworn to and subscribed before me.

Alexander McDonald Justice of Peace



Ch. 2: Pennsylvania and Virginia


Abercrombie, Janice L., Virginia Publick Claims, Bedford County, Iberian Publishing  Co., Athens Georgia, 1991.


Bolton, Charles Knowles, Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1967.

Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt, Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1998.

Chalkey, Lyman, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Vol. I, II & III, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1998.

Clark, Murtie June, Colonial Soldiers of the South, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1983.


Crush, Judge C.W., Montgomery County Virginia, The First 100 Years, 1982.


Ellis and Evans, History of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1883. Chapter 47, East Donegal Township

Evans, Samuel. “The Scotch-Irish Settlement of Donegal, Lancaster County” 1896, reprinted in the series Lancaster Legacy, Vol. III, No. 1, June 1985.

Kegley, Mary B., Early Adventurers On The Western Waters. Vol. V., Kegley Books, Wytheville, 2004.

Kegley, Mary B., Militia of Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1790, 1990.

Kegley, Mary B., New River Tithables, 1972.

Kegley, Mary B., Soldiers of Fincastle County, Virginia 1774, 1974


McFarland, James A., Stitches in Time: The Myth of Sir John MacFarlane. Double Creek Production, Inc. Tulsa, Oklahoma. 2001.

Morris, Gary. McFarland Genealogy Home Page:

Rouse Jr., Parke, The Great Wagon Road, Dietz Press, Richmond, Virginia. 2008.