Person:William Armstrong (69)

Watchers
  • HWilliam ArmstrongAft 1765 - Bef 1830
  • WElizabeth - 1820
m. Abt 1780
  1. Isabel ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1800 -
  2. Elizabeth ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1800 -
  3. George ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1810 -
  4. Archibald ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1810 -
  5. Simon ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1810 -
  6. Margaret ArmstrongBet 1784 & 1800 -
  7. Andrew ArmstrongAbt 1800 - 1831
  8. William ArmstrongEst 1800 - 1867
  9. Thomas ArmstrongBet 1804 & 1810 -
Facts and Events
Name William Armstrong
Gender Male
Birth? Aft 1765 Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Marriage Abt 1780 NJ or Falkirk, Scotland
to Elizabeth
Census[1] 1820 Genesee, New York, United StatesCaledonia Township (later in Livingston County)
Death[2] Bef 1830 Livingston, New York, United States
Religion? Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
References
  1. Genesee, New York, United States. 1820 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

    1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 105: William Armstrong, 010201/00201/4

  2. Family notes per User:Alvispat.

    From “Earliest Armstrong Ancestors” by Kathy Alvis Patterson: A Scottish Armstrong Family
    In the mid-1980s, we found pieces of the Armstrong puzzle that made it appear our John Armstrong was a son of William Armstrong, both of whom were in Caledonia Twp, Genesee [later Livingston] Co NY in 1820.
    In 1820 John was on the same page of the census with a William Armstrong:
    1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, page 105: John Armstrong, 100010/101000/1 [i.e., b 1775-1795]
    1820, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 105: William Armstrong, 010201/00201/4

    In 1830, John was still in Livingston County, but William had apparently died. Later I found evidence showed this to be true.

    In 1810, William had a male living in this household who was the right age to be our John:
    1810, Genesee Co NY, Caledonia Twp, p 113: William Armstrong 32210/02010

    We also had a notation of a land record seemed to complete the picture nicely. It stated that William Barron and William Armstrong both deeded land in Caledonia Twp to John Armstrong in the 1820s, but when I wrote the county in 2004, their answer was that the only deed was from William Barron, none at all from William Armstrong. So this was a copier’s mistake, a false connection; the only real evidence was the census.

    William and his family were Presbyterians, as seen in James H. Smith. History of Livingston Co NY, Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. 1881, p 449: Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
    William Armstrong along with John McVean and Peter Farquherson were elected elders of this church in 1810.

    Livingston County histories state that William came directly from Scotland to that area, ca 1804.

    History of Livingston Co NY, by Edward E Doty, 1876, p 511, adds:
    “William Armstrong was one of the most influential of the early settlers. He was a native of Falkirk, and came here, it is believed, in 1807. Being a Lowlander he was regarded by his clannish Highland neighbors as a speckled bird, and they were not disposed to respect him much at first. By his generous liberality, however, to all who were straitened, his strong common sense, and especially by his deep and consistent piety, he won very soon a position of great esteem and influence among them. He died in 1829, after a lingering and painful illness. His loss was very greatly felt in the settlement.”

    The will of William Armstrong was probated in 1830:
    William Armstrong, Book A, p. 709; dated May 10, 1828; probated Jan. 7, 1830;
    mentions wife Betsey, Andrew, Simon, George, Thomas Armstrong, Betsey Watson, Isabel McNeel, Margaret Campbell; sons William & Archibald;
    Executors sons; Witnesses Donald McPherson, James Rutherford.

    Previous to finding this will, I believed the sons of William Armstrong included Andrew, who died in 1831, Thomas and William. Thomas may have moved to Niagara Co by the 1840 census. Only William was still in Livingston Co NY after 1840.

    Margaret Rutherford Davis wrote, “My ggggreat aunt Elizabeth Rutherford m William Armstrong. I think he was from Wheatland, Monroe Co (which is the next town a few miles away). They had several children Mary, John, Isabell, Margaret, James, Catherine, and maybe Archibald. I have only just started working on the Armstrongs, because I wanted to know what happened to Elizabeth's children. I do know she was born in Caledonia 1812, m before 1837 and died 1 Apr 1850 (buried in Mumford Rural Ceme, her name listed on Wm's gravestone, also on a stone at Caledonia Un Presb Church). Also, her sister Mary moved in with the family after Eliz. died so she could care for the children. Mary died at the home of her nephew, Archibald Armstrong (d 1894).”

    Copied from the Armstrong Clan website:
    Amongst the Border clans the Armstrongs were one of the most numerous as well as one of the most powerful and feared. They possessed the greater part of Liddesdale and later spread into Eskdale and Annandale and by 1528 were reputed to be able to put 3000 horsemen in the field. Their constant forays into England to raid and plunder kept the Borders in turmoil. Traditionally the Armstrongs claim descent from Fairbairn, the armour bearer to a Scottish king, who rescued his monarch in the midst of battle when his horse had been killed under him. From this deed the family came to be known as "Armstrong" and received a gift of lands in Liddesdale. The first chief was Alexander Armstrand, Laird of Mangerton in the late 13th century. Gilbert Armstrong, Steward of the Household to King David II was Scotland's ambassador to England. Their lawlessness led James V to hang John Nie Armstrong of Gilnockie and his followers in 1529. He was considered one of the most notorious of the "Border reivers" and inspired the most famous of all Border ballads "Johnnie Armstrong." However, the hostile and turbulent spirit of the Armstrongs was not suppressed until the reign of James VI when their leaders were executed in 1610 and the Armstrong lands passed into the possession of the Scotts, another powerful Border family. The Armstrongs never recovered and the clan scattered. On the 21st July 1969, Neil Armstrong, an American descendant, became the first man to walk on the moon and he carried with him a fragment of the Armstrong tartan.

    Conjecture surrounds who really begat the name but there is little doubt that the family first held lands in Cumberland from where, about 1376, many moved to Liddesdale in Roxburghshire where they settled on the lands of Mangerton. Such remained the seat of the chief, and so prolific were the Armstrongs that soon they held, by 'right and might', the greater part of Liddesdale and had spread into Eskdale and Annandale. By the beginning of the 16th century they had gained a fearsome reputation as a rebellious brood, their lawlessness keeping the Borders in constant turmoil. In 1526 they seized a large part of the Debatable Land and two years later, the English attacked and burned Hollows Tower, so recently built by John Armstrong of Gilnockie, brother to the Laird of Mangerton. The family retaliated by burning Netherby in Cumberland, and James V, determined to end the violence, invited Armstrong of Gilnockie to meet him near Hawick. Believing a promise of safe conduct, he found instead that he was to be hanged, along with some fifty of his men. Before he died Armstrong is said to have remarked to the King the now famous phrase "I am but a fool to seek grace at a graceless face." They were buried in Caerlanrig Churchyard. In 1596, William Armstrong of Kinmont, "Kinmont Willie" - a descendant of Gilnockie, was held prisoner at Carlisle and when Scott of Buccleuch, the Scottish Warden, was refused his release, he made a suprise attack on that Castle and rescued its prisoner. The Armstrongs held Mangerton until Archibald, the last Laird, was 'put to the horn' as a rebel at the beginning of the 17th century. Soon after 1610 most of the Armstrong lands passed from their hands and the chiefship has since remained in doubt.

    There were a James, Thomas and Andrew Armstrong near each other with an older man in Middlebury Twp, Genesee Co NY in 1830. They are from a Connecticut family.