Analysis:Immigrant Walkers in the Path Valley, PA

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Analysis:Immigrant Walkers
Cumberland County, PA


Walker Tapestry
YDNA. Walker

……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky



Sometime before 1735 a number of sons of a James Walker are believed to have emigrated from the Londonderry area (specifically, Letterkenny) Ireland, to Pennsylvania. A concensus view (based on a reading of current (2009) entries for this family on Ancestry, is that the sons included William, Robert, Samuel, James, Henry and Andrew. The family lineage, as recognized by descendants in the area about 1900, was recorded by William Egle in his "Notes and Queries" column of the Harrisburg Times. Egle's Descendancy is undoubtedly the basis for most of genalogical lineages published on Ancestry for this family. The following diagram shows what is known about these immigrants, based on Egle's discussion of the family. Color coding shows where Egle indicates specific individuals settled (box color). The color of a box outline indicates where the persons were presumably born.

Image:Egle's Descendancy for Cumberland County Walkers.jpg

Grey type face indicates information added based on "concensus" of Ancestry family trees.

The Immigrants

These Walkers are believed to have settled in the Cumberland Valley (aka "Path Valley") in central Pennsylvania. The following is an accounting of these six Walkers:

William. Early land warrants place William west of the Susquehanna river on am oxbow of Conewago Creek. This is near the future location of the the Silver Springs Meetinghouse, in what is today East Pennsboro Township.
Henry and James. Other land warrants place brothers Henry and James on the east side of the Susquehanna on an oxbow bend of Swartero Creek, just north of modern Hershey, PA.
Samuel. Egle notes that he has no further information about Samuel. No data has been identified in the area that would specifically point to Samuel, and it is assumed that he settled elsewhere other than the path Valley. Some researching this line believe him to be the Samuel Walker who settled in the Carolina Cradle, and whose descendants bear the same YDNA signature as those of the Path Valley Walkers.
Andrew. An Andrew Walker appears as a squatter who settled in the Manor of Maske in 1741, along with an Alexander Walker. An Andrew Walker later appears (1753) on Beaver Creek, immediately west of the Swartaro Creek where Henry and James settled. It is conceivable that this Andrew is the brother of Henry and James, and perhaps the same person who squatted on the Manor of Maske in 1741. It is also possible that the Alexander Walker who also squatted with him is the Alexander who appears at a later date in the Carolina Cradle, and whose descendants bear the same YDNA signature as the Path Valley Walkers.
Robert. Robert is said by Egle to have settled west of the Susquehanna in Cumberland County. No land records have been identified in that (or any other area in the Path Valley) for a Robert Walker. However, the 1751 tax lists for the area reveal the presence of a Robert in East Pennsboro Township, who is presumably William's brother. His appearance on the tax list probably indicates that he did own land in the area, though a) non-land owners were (rarely) listed as freemen, and b) neither a warrant or patent showing land ownership for a Robert Walker has been found so far. [1]

Other Early Walkers

Several other Walkers appear in the Warrants and Patents for this area and time, and are believed to be the sons and or grandsons of the foregoing immigrant Walkers:

Archibald. Property records (see survey XXXXX) for the area show an Archibald Walker owning land well south of Hershey PA about 1766. Presumably this Archibald is the son of James the immigrant, as described by Egle. Tax records for 1751 show two "Archibald Walkers" in the area. One is presumably the son of Henry who is known to have had a son by that name. The identify of the second Archibald is unknown. Egles descendancy does include a great grandson of Henry by this name, but he is not likely to have been an adult in 1766. More exploration on this question is needed.
David . A land warrant for David Walker shows him living in an area south of the "Furnace Tract". The term "Furnace Tract" refers to land held in association with Cornwall Iron Furnace which was established about 1742 near Cornwall in Lancaster County. This David is presumably the grandson of James the immigrant, as depicted in the Egle Descendancy. Alternatively, he may be unrelated to the Path Valley Walkers.
John. Survey records for the Swatera Creek area north of Hershey show the presence of a John Walker just south of the land owned by Henry Walker, and east of the land owned by James Walker. Both Henry and James had sons named John, per the Egle descendancy. While his property abuts that of Henry Walker, the property owned by James is close by, and it is not possible to tell which of these two John's was the owner of the property in question. The probate record for Henry Walker identifies a "John Walker junr as the Eldest Son of Henry Walker late of Derry Township in the County of Lancaster" as one of the executors of the estate. The fact that he is identified as a "junior" suggests that there is also a John Walker "senior" in the area who needed to be distinguished from the son of Henry. perhaps "John senior" is the son of James.


The following figure shows the location of various early members of the Path Valley Walker line, whose location has been determined by on warrant, survey, and patent records.

Image:Walker Land Holdings in the Cumberland Valley circa 1735-17555.jpg


  1. This may indicate that he aquired property by purchase from a land owner who had already secured a patent. In that case, he would have appeared in neither the warrant or patent indexes. More work on this is needed.