Letterkenney Walkers

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Person:Robert Walker (53)
Timeline. Letterkenny Walkers


Sometime before 1734 five brothers, sons of person:James Walker (160) and his wife Elizabeth, and grandsons of Robert Walker (52), immigrated from Letterkenney, Ireland, to Pennsylvania with their parents Source:Egle's Notes and Queries. The earliest records for these Letterkenny Walkers date from 1734. Some authors give an immigration date of before 1715, others indicate that they landed in Baltimore Maryland in 1725. Supporting original source documentation has not been found for any of these views. It is of some interest that YDNA evidence supports the view that descendants of the Letterkenney Walkers are closely related to descendants who trace their heiritage to the Wigton Walkers. IN this regard it is interesting to note that the later line is identified in Source:White, 1902 as having settled in what is now Cecil County Maryland, about the same time as the Letterkeeny Walkers are said by some to have settled in Maryland. While we have some original source documentation that tends to confirm the Wigton Walker presence in Cecil County Maryland circa 1734, we have no documentation as yet for their presence in the area in the 1726 time frame. Nor do we have original source documentation for the Letterkenney Walkers in Baltimore about the same time. Additional research is needed on these points.

Two of the six brothers, (James, and Henry), and perhaps their father James, settled east of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, in what is now Dauphin, and Lebanon County, near the modern town of Hershey. Two others (William and Robert) settled to the west of the Susquehanna in Cumberland County. We have little or no information about where the other two brothers (Samuel and Andrew) settled.

Land Records

Notebook:Walker Land Records in Lancaster County summarizes the data for Walker warrants and patents issued for locations in the Cumberland Valley early in the settlement period. Most of this area was in Lancaster County at the time the first Walkers arrived here, but the area was later divided into Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Franklin, and other counties. The distinction between a warrant and a patent has significance in interpreting these records. There is a brief discussion about using warrant and patent records at Pennsylvania Land Records.

A dozen or so warrants for land in the Cumberland Valley were issued to Walkers between 1735 and 1753. However, only three of these were issued prior to 1740:

Warantee [1]LocationDate of WarrantDate of PatentPatenteeSurvey Book
William WalkerE. Pennsboro, Cumberland County
in an ox bow of Conedagwanet Creek adjacent James Law. See Notebook:Walker Land Records in Cumberland County[2]
1735[3] 17 Oct 1744 William Walker C224 143
James Walker
Person:James Walker (161)
Derry Twnshp
Upper Swatera Creek
Dauphin County
See Walkers on the Swartara
10 Aug 1737 4 January 1738 James Walker C 224 80
Henry Walker Derry Twnship, Dauphin County 12 Oct 1737--related to surveys C220, 260

C220 250
C220 259

After 1740 a number of other warrants were issued to Walkers in the Cumberland Valley:

James 1744
David 1747
Andrew 1753
Henry 1771
John 1749

In addition a survey record for 1766 shows an "Archibald Walker" as a neighboring land owner (Lancaster Survey C36-47). Neither a warrant or patent record for an Archibald Walker has been identified to date, but he is clearly shown on the adjacent landowners survey record, and so must have been prsent in the area prior to 1766 when the survey was performed.

The following diagram depicts the location of these known landholdings:

Image:Walker Land Holdings in the Cumberland Valley circa 1735-17555.jpg Key: Red Circles: Approximate Location of warrants prior to 1740

Green Circles:Approximate Location of warrants/land holdings 1740-1771

The above discussed land holdings can be examined in terms of family relationships and history. A version of the Egles descendancy is shown below for discussion purposes:

image:Egles Descendancy and Land Warrants.jpg


The three red circles in the warrants diagram represent early land warrants, and probably reflect the three immigrant ancestors: William, James, and Henry, as presented in the Egles descendancy. Another immigrant ancestor, Andrew, may represented by the Green Circle toward the center of the map, though its appearance here is almost 20 years after the initial settlement of William James, and Henry. It seems more likely that the warrant issued to Andrew Walker in 1753 was to Andrew, son of Andrew, rather than to the immigrant ancestor. If so, this leaves us with a question "where was the immigrant Andrew living during these 20 years? Presumably he's in the area, but where exactly?

Most of the other Green circles are probably related to the children of Henry and James Walker the immigrants. Here it is interesting to note that the children of Henry seem to have settled closest to the fathers original land holding; in fact its obvious from the individual surveys and warrants that Henry eventually left his property to two of his sons, and a third, John, settled adjacent to them. Two of James son's, Archibald and David, settled some distance away.

William, the other immigrant ancestor represented here, settled on the west side of the Susquehanna. He's actually the first to take out a warrant, which places the family in the area by 1735. We do not see any of his children represented in these warrants, yet from the tax records, we know they were in the area until at least 1751, primarily, we think, in West Pennsboro of Cumberland County.

Missing Walkers

Missing from this discussion is information on two of the immigrant brothers, Samuel and Robert. Where were they at this time? Egles says that Andrew was in Cumberland County with his brother William, but if so, there's no evidence of this in the land warrants. Still, a Robert Walker does show up in 1751 tax records, and he may be the immigrant Robert. Since Robert's line is the one through which YDNA data has been developed, its particularly important to know more about his history. Samuel may well be the Samuel Walker of the Orphan line who appears somewhat later in the Carolina Cradle, along with a number of folks who match the YDNA of the Cumberland Valley Walkers lines described by Egles.

Another "elephant in the tent" is the non-mention of John Walker of the Wigton Walker lineage, whose descendants share a YDNA signature with the "Path Walkers". John is known to have been present in Chester/Cecil County in/near the Nottingham Lots about this same time. Since he shares the same YDNA signature as the Path Walkers, we have to assume that he's closely related to them. While his history is well known, and he is not "missing" in the same sense that Samuel Andrew and Robert are "missing", we don't know how he connects to the Path Walkers. Since he shows up in the Carolina Cradle very close to members of the Path Walkers who immigrated there around 1756, we think his relation to the Path Walkers must have been very close.

There is also the Joseph Walker of the Blunston licenses who secured a license for land on Conedogwainett Creek, where William of the Path Walkers also settled. We suspect he too is a "Path Walker", but we know nothing more of him. Where did he go, and how is he related?

1751 Tax Records

The following set of diagrams show the names of Walkers present in the various townships that comprise these counties about 1751. (The townships boundaries are approximations of their 1751 boundaries. The starting point for this were the township boundaries depicted on Wikipedia, working backwards to account for township subdivision after 1751. The goal is to attempt to show the township boundaries as they were about 1751 shown within the framework of the modern county boundaries. The most noteworthy feature of these diagrams is the fact that the distribution of Walkers is strongly councentrated along the southern townships in these counties. The distribution of Walkers, as far as it can be seen from township based mappings, does not suggest a random settlement. The fact that the settlement pattern of these Walkers is highly ordered suggests a family relationship between them.

Dauphin and Lebanon Counties

The following map shows the location of various townships of Dauphin County about 1757.[4] Tax lists for these townships have been examined for about 1751 for the presence of persons bearing the Walker surname. Walkers were found only in lists for "East Derry" and "West Derry", and Londonderry. None of the tax lists examined for the remaining townships showed the presence of Walkers. Note that in this map the heavy blue line along the western border represents the Susquehanna River.

image:Walkers in Dauphin-Lebanon Counties.jpg

Cumberland County

The following map shows the location of the original townships of Cumberland County. Not shown are the western and southwestern portions of Cumberland which were cut off from the county at a later date, but which areas were largely unoccupied in 1750. Tax lists for three of the four townships making up Cumberland County circa 1750 have been examined to determine which Walkers were present in each area. (Middletown Township has not yet been examined.)

Walkers present in Cumberland Townships 1750-1751 tax lists
Walkers present in Cumberland Townships 1750-1751 tax lists
See Image:Male Lines for Cumberland County Walkers.jpg for a concensus view of family relations

Franklin County

Franklin County split off from Cumberland County in 1751. In that year there were five townships that comprised the new county: Lurgan, Antrim, and Hamilton, Peters, and Guilford. The only Walker who appears in the tax lists for these townships is an Alexander Walker of Lurgan Township.

Franklin County Townships about 1751. [5]


  1. First link is to Warrant Register, second link, if any, is to most likely person article.
  2. The survey map for this property shows it bounded by a distinctive ox-bow in Conedagwanet Creek. While there are several oxbows in this stream, all are located near the lower end of the creek in what was then E. Pennsboro township. The shape of the in the survey diagram matches a specific oxbow in the SW corner of the intersection of US 81 and US 581, and a mile west of Hogestown, and immediately south of Good Hope Mill
  3. the survey record shows this property was based on a warrant dated "___ of ___ 1735" and sureyed "December the 4th 1735". However, at the foot of the survey record is the notation "warrant to accept this dated 17 Oct 1744." This may indicate a defect in the original warrant of 1735, but the documentation still places the original survey was conducted in 1735.
  4. these locations are approximations based on the location of modern townships in the affected area, plus mappings provided in Mayhill's 1973 "Deeds and oaths" of Lancaster County
  5. Boundaries are approximate, based on the modern boundaries of descendant townships. Dates show township formation. Different authors give a formation date of 1751 or 1752 for Hamilton township, but a transcription of a 1751 tax assessment exists for this township. Grey shaded areas represent townships later annexed from adjacent counties; tax assessments for 1751 would not be expected to include persons from these areas.