Gordon Howard, Indian Trader
Facts and Events
Gordon Howard was an early and prominent Trader in Donegal from about 1722. In June, 1720, he applied to the Board of Property for 200 acres of land in Nottingham Township, Chester County; and in May, 1722, for 200 acres more, two miles north of Galbraith's Mills, and four miles east of the Susquehanna. Here he settled and lived, his post being about two miles west of what is now Mount Joy village. His sister, Susanna, married first, James Patterson, Sr., the Trader; second, Thomas Ewing; third, John Connolly; and became the mother of Dr. John Connolly the Loyalist.
From a Donegal Notebook, by Clyde L. Groff p. 54, found in Lancaster County Connections, Aug-Oct. 1984, R929.37481 L245 1984-84 V. 1. Dallas Public Library"Gordon Howard--English, had the farm two miles west of Mount Joy, now owned by Mr. Hershey. One of the earliest and most prominent Indian traders"
From East Donegal Township, p. 767 History of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Ellis and Evans, 1883, Philadelphia: "Gordon Howard was one of the pioneer Indian traders, and settled about one mile and a half northeast of Donegal meeting-house, where he took up six hundred acres of land. His trading-post and mansion stood upon the land of Mr. J. Hershey, and about fifty yards south of his present dwelling. He was married two or three times, the last time on April 16, 1751, to Rachel, the widow of James Ramsey. He was related by marriage to James Patterson, the old Indian trader. He was elected county commissioner for the years 1735-37. He died in 1754, and left the following family, viz: Joseph, Susannah, John, Thomas, William, Robert, Martha, and Rebecca."
- Egle, William Henry. Egle's notes and queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s. (c1900).
From "Notes and Queries Relating to Pennsylvania" by William Henry
Egle, 35th Series, vol. 2, Baltimore, 1970.
"It is believed Gordon Howard settled in Donegal in 1720, the year his sister, Susanna married James Patterson, an Indian trader. Gordon Howard was a large landowner in Donegal Twp., Lancaster Co. residing on a farm about 2 miles northeast of the Donegal Meeting House. In 1751, he, too, was an Indian trader and a "prominent person" when he married Rachel McFarland. Her first husband, John Wilkins, had also been an Indian trader. By 1751 his children from a previous marriage were married and had their own families.
Rachel McFarland's father, Robert, settled 1 mile south of Mt. Joy,
Lancaster Co. in 1720. The McFarlands of Cumberland, Centre and Mifflin counties in Pennsylvania doubtless belong to the families who settled along Chickies Creek [Lancaster Co.] They intermarried with the Howards also. I hope to hear from that branch of the family who settled in Bedford County, VA. The McFarlands and Howards left Donegal prior to the Revolution. .. Samuel Evans",
Gordon Howard received a patent from John, Thomas and Richard Penn for 570 acres in Donegal Twp. in June 1737. Bk A, Vol. 18, p. 399. His first wife's name does not appear in the material in the Howard family file folder at the Lancaster Co. Historical Society nor in Egle's publication. His family, all born in Donegal Twp., Lancaster Co, PA was:
1. Thomas Howard m Elizabeth Lytle - Thomas owned a farm adjoining Donegal Meeting House
1-1. James Howard b before 1769
2. Joseph Howard m Rebecca Lytle - Daughter of Nathaniel & Mrs. Janet Wilkins Lytle. He died 1777
3. John Howard m Anna Hays. He died 1778 [He names all but Mary in his will]: Lancaster Co. Will Bk. C, Vol. 1, p. 512
3-2. Joseph m Mary Watt dau. of James Watt, Hempfield Twp. Lanc. Co.
3-4. David [not 21 on 1 May 1777]
4. Susannah Howard m Charles McClean Moved to Mecklenburg, NC prior to 1766. In Egle, this name is McClure but other more recent papers in the file indicate the accurate name is McClean.
5. Rebecca Howard m James Allison, She died 1764, He died 1762
5-2. Ann m a Defrance
5-3. Jane m William Watt
5-4. Margaret m a Bowman
6. [A daughter] Howard m Samuel Allison
7. William Howard b abt. 1737 d 6 June 1765
8. Robert Howard m 12 October 1763 Sarah Strain Robert sold his land in 1763 to John Eby
9. Martha Howard m George Irwin He was a shopkeeper in York Co, PA
b abt. 1741
b abt. 1739
- ↑ Fulton, Eleanore Jane, and Barbara K. (Barbara Kendig) Mylin. An index to the will books and intestate records of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1729-1850: with an historical sketch and classified bibliography. (Baltimore [Maryland]: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1974), pg. 23.
Howard, Gordon, 1754 [Year], Will Book "B", Vol. 1, Page 41.
- Hanna, Charles Augustus. The Wilderness Trail, or, The ventures and adventures of the Pennsylvania traders on the Allegheny Path: with some new annals of the Old West, and the records of some strong men and some bad ones. (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Wennawoods Publishing, c1995), Page 84.
It has sometimes been stated that George Croghan and William Trent were brothers-in-law. How they became so is not clear. William Trent's only sister, Mary, married Nathaniel French, of Philadelphia. Trent himself married Sarah Wilkins, possibly a daughter of one of the Indian Traders of that name. Croghan 's nephew, it will be remembered, was Doctor John Connelly, the Loyalist. Connolly was the son of John Connelly, Sr., a native of Ireland, and of Susanna Howard, sister of Gordon Howard, one of the early Indian Traders of Lancaster County. She first married James Patterson, the Trader, and after his death. Dr. Thomas Ewing, of Lancaster. John Connolly, Sr., was her third husband. Doctor Connolly, their son, married Susanna Semple, daughter of Samuel Semple, the innkeeper of Fort Pitt, who furnished Washington such good entertainment in 1770. If Croghan's wife was a Wilkins, and sister to William Trent's wife, it is possible she also may have been a sister to Samuel Semple's wife, the mother of Susanna Connolly; and this would have made Connolly Croghan's nephew, by marriage. The name of Croghan's own daughter, as shown by his will, was Susanna; which was also the Christian name of Connolly's mother, as well as that of his wife. But it is difficult to see how Croghan could have been a brother-in-law to Trent, who married Sarah Wilkins, and also to John Connolly, Sr., who married Susanna Howard, the widow of Doctor Ewing, unless, indeed, Sarah Wilkins and Susanna Howard may have been half-sisters, and one of them Croghan's wife's sister.