Person:William Patterson (61)

William Patterson, the Pennsylvania Patriarch
b.abt. 1675
  • HWilliam Patterson, the Pennsylvania Patriarchabt 1675 -
  • WJanet Erwin1680 -
m. abt. 1697
  1. James PattersonABT 1697 - 1779-1780
  2. Robert Patterson, of Cathey's River1700 - 1774
  3. John Patterson, Of Beverley's ManorABT 1702 - 1770
  4. Nathaniel PattersonABT 1705 - 1752
  5. Erwin Pattersonabt 1710 - Bet 1761
  6. Edward PattersonABT 1715 - 1761
  7. Jane Patterson1720 - 1800
  8. William Patterson, of South RiverABT 1720 - AFT 1785
Facts and Events
Name William Patterson, the Pennsylvania Patriarch
Gender Male
Birth? abt. 1675
Alt Birth? ABT 1680
Marriage abt. 1697 Scotland or Irelandto Janet Erwin
William Patterson (61) is commonly believed to be the Patriarch of a major line of Pattersons in Old Augusta


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William Patterson Records in Chalkley's Chronicles


This article is for the William Patterson who married Jannet Erwin (Irwin, Irving, etc). He is commonly believed to be the ancestor of numerous lines of Pattersons present at an early date in Old Augusta Virginia, as shown in the following descendancy chart:

Person:William Patterson (61)=Person:Janet Erwin (1)
James (69) Robert (39) John (61) Nathaniel (5) Erwin (1) Edward (4) William (60)
No Reliable
Child List



Mary Martha?




The identity of the sons of William in the above descendancy is based on a summarization of information contained in Ancestry Public Family Trees, [2] but cannot be indepedently confirmed with original source documentation. No information seems to be available to show how various genealogists concluded that one or the other of these individuals were in fact the sons of William.

William himself is commonly said to have been born in "Craigie Parish, Wigtown, Ayershire, Scotland". This is presumably based on some original source documentation, but supporting evidence for this has not been found. More over, while there is a "Wigtown" in Scotland, it is not located in Ayershire, but in what was once Wigtonshire, and now included within the boundaries of Dumfries-Galloway. Craigie Parish, on the otherhand is found in the northeastern portion of Ayershire. The combination of "Craigie Parish, Wigtown, Ayershire, Scotland" may reflect a conflation of information on two different William Pattersons.

WIlliam is commonly said to have died in Old Chester on 1 October 1745. A will for a William Patterson dated 1 October 1745 is found in Chester County records (Source:Martin, 1993:126, but it gives only the name of the administrator, William Mason. MOre specifically, it identifies neither wife, children or other kinsmen. There seems to be no basis on which it can be linked to the Patterson line in Old Augusta.

There are other lines of evidence of a similar nature that suggest such a conflation. In particular, most of the Ancestry Family trees that describe this particular William Patterson and his line, identify him not as "WIlliam Patterson", but as the trinomial "John William Patterson". With a DOB of about 1685 it is extremely unlikely that his full name was a trinomial [3] What this may indicate is that information about a "John Patterson" has been combined with information about a "William Patterson".

Another indication of conflation is the fact that while "Jane Patterson" is commonly identified as a daughter of William (61), about half of the lineages making this connection show her marrying a Samuel Carson, and dying in Pennsylvania, while the other half show her marrying Samuel Walker in Old Augusta, and dying in Tennessee.

This latter marriage may point toward a possible explanation of the cause of these potential confusions. The Samuel Walker who is said to have married Jane Patterson is in the Wigton Walker lineage as described by Source:White 1902. Traditionally, this line is said to have come from Wigton, Wigtonshire. Whether that is true or not has not been determined, but there is no question that many genealogists have used that information to establish a Wigtonshire connection, both for their Walker lines, and for other lines that they think are allied to the "Wigton Walkers". WHile this is speculative, it may be that the idea that WIlliam (61) came from Wigton, Ayershire, is based an attempt to combine the Wigton Walker famoily tradition with that of another lineage.


Records of Dauphin County

Patterson, William of Paxtang, d. October, 1745, leaving children: Samuel, Francis, Anna, Catrine, Jean, and Mary. Executors were Robert Taylor and Robert Baker.
Patterson, Samuel, d. November, 1772, leaving a wife Mary, and children: James, Martha, Mary, Elizabeth and Isabella. Executors were wife, Mary and William Patterson.

Known Williams


William (61) is sometimes equated with a William Patterson who died in Paxton Township, PA, between 23 September, 1745 and October 22 1745. The wife of that William, is not identified in the will extract (further below), implying that she predeased him, while the wife of WIlliam (61) is shown to have survived her husband. In addition the child list for William of Paaxton Township does not match that of William 61.

From Rootsweb

  • 23 September 1745, Robert Baker exec. of will of William Patterson, Paxton Township (now Dauphin County), see R. Thomas Maybill. The will of William Patterson "of Paxton Township" in Lancaster County is located in Will Book A, Vol. 1, pg. 104


September 23, 1745 October 22, 1745
Children: Samuel, Francis, Anna, Caytron, Jayn and Mary.
Ex.: Robert Taylor and Robert Baker.


  • PATTERSON, GEORGE. Twp. omitted. March 26, 1748.
    PATTERSON, JAMES. Twp. omitted. March 14, 1734.
    PATTERSON, JAMES. Hempfield Twp. November 11, 1735.
    PATTERSON, JAMES. Drumore Twp. December 3, 1785.
    PATTERSON, JAMES. Rapho Twp. June 6, 1789.
    PATTERSON, JAMES. Little Brittain Twp. December 30, 1791.
    PATTERSON, MARY. Sadsbury Twp. December 5, 1809.
    PATTERSON, PETER. Drumore Twp. August 29, 1786.
    PATTERSON, REBECCA. Rapho Twp. August 5, 1805.
    PATTERSON, ROBERT. Lancaster Borough. March 13, 1747.
    PATTERSON, SAMUEL. Twp. omitted. December 8, 1772.
    PATTERSON, SAMUEL. Sadsbury Twp. June 16, 1777.
    PATTERSON, WILLIAM. Paxton Twp. October 22, 1745.
    PATTERSON, WILLIAM. Rapho Twp. December 10, 1781.

    From the above it is seen that there are MANY Pattersons in Lancaster County. Their relationship, if any, to William (61) supposed patriarch of the line of William Patterson and Janet Ervin, is not obvious. In anycase, there are only two "William Patterson's who appear in this list of wills: William who died 1745 in Paxton Twp, and WIlliam who died 1781 in Rapho Twp. The former can not be William the Patriarch, as discussed above. The latter can not be WIlliam the Patriarch as he died much too late to be William the Patriarch. It may be that Wm. the Patriarch died intestate, or perhaps did not live in Lancaster County, as most genealogists seem to assume.


    The idea that this family came from Wigtown Scotland, is interesting, but I've not found confirmation of this. Note that those who state this (e.g., common in Ancestry Family Trees) place Wigtown in Ayre, Scotland. This is factually incorrect. Wigtown (modern spelling) is presently within Dumfries-Galloway, but was historically within Wigtonshire. Ayreshire lies north of what was once called Wigtonshire. The fact that this error (saying that Wigtown is within Ayre) is being made suggests that those giving Williams POB as "Wigtown County Ayre) do not have original source documentation to support either Wigtown or Ayershire as his POB. It may be that the Wigtown POB has been inferred by those making a connection to the Wigton Walkers, also said to originate in Wigton, and for which there were numerous intermarriages with the Patterson familly of Old Augusta. Alternatively, it may that he came from Ayreshire, and that the Wigtown POB is inferred based on an attempt to connect the family to the Wigton Walkers.

    From: Mad Gemealogists (Originally captured by DeliJim in 2010, no longer available WMW May 2013)

    Perhaps the largest Patterson family in Augusta Co. was that of WILLIAM PATTERSON and wife JANET ERWIN/IRVINE. William was b. ca 1680, Craighie Par., Wigtown, Ayre, Scotland; and d. 1745 in Londonderry, Chester Co., PA. JANET was b. ca 1684 in Wigtown, Ayre, Scotland; and her death is unknown. Seven children are known, all settling in Augusta Co., VA some of whom subsequently moved to Tryon Co., NC, which became Lincoln Co.; and some onto Abbeville Dist., SC. Probably WILLIAM and JANET had daughters as well, but I have no information on them. If WILLIAM Sr. left a will in Pennsylvania, I'm not aware of it.

    Their sons were:

    1. JAMES PATTERSON, b. ca 1697, Chester Co., PA, settled in Tryon Co., NC, by 1769; d. 1779-80, Lincoln Co., NC; left will; md. (1) SARAH IRVINE; (2) SARAH FLEMING, 1767 in Rowan Co., NC; (3) JEAN _____. He bought in Tryon Co., NC, in Nov 1769 a tract of land from SARAH ERWIN, widow of HUGH ERWIN, no doubt a kinsman. I haven't determined whether he was one of the JAMES PATTERSONS with transactions in Augusta Co., before going on to NC.
    2. ROBERT PATTERSON, b. 28 May 1700, d. Oct-Nov 1774, Augusta Co., VA; md. wife FRANCES _____ in Ireland; witnessed a deed in Spotsylvania Co., VA, in 1733; and on 22 May 1740, applied to the Orange Co., VA, court for a land patent, stating that he came from Ireland through Philadelphia at his own expense, transporting himself, his wife FRANCES, son THOMAS, daughters MARY and ELIZABETH. In Virginia, their daughter ABIGAIL, son JOHN, and daughter ISABEL were born:
    THOMAS md. MARY CHRISTIAN; he d. in Augusta Co. bef 22 Jul 1794. THOMAS appears well educated, for he was often named as Executor of estates or appointed 1760-1793 by the Court to appraise estates. He and MARY had 10 children, according to descendant Wesley Patterson, who gave me the names of five:
    ELIZABETH, probably died young; not in father's will.
    ABIGAIL was baptized by Rev. John Craig; probably died young, not in father's will.
    JOHN married MARGARET BASKIN, had a large family; and they followed her Baskin family to Tryon Co., NC, which became Lincoln Co., NC; and on to Abbeville Dist., SC, where JOHN died in 1808, leaving a will.
    ISABEL was baptized 2 Aug 1741 by Rev. John Craig in Augusta Co., VA; probably died young; not in father's will.
    On 16 Aug 1756, ROBERT PATTERSON (son of WILLIAM PATTERSON and JANET ERWIN) received a Patent in Augusta Co., VA for 193 1/2 acres on both sides the South River of Shanando, which he and 2nd wife ANN deeded to son-in-law ALEXANDER STEWART for £40 on 18 Aug 1767, after STEWART sued because he didn't receive the same share of ROBERT's estate ~ ROBERT having given his sons THOMAS and JOHN PATTERSON similar (gift) deeds in 1761 for 167 acres and 331 acres for £10 each. Probably ROBERT's 1st wife FRANCES had died, as she didn't sign the 1761 deeds; but ANN signed the 1767 deed:
    3. JOHN PATTERSON, SR., b. ca 1702? d. Mar 1770, Augusta Co., VA; md. JANE _____ probably in Chester Co., PA. He bought land 1748 on the Beverly Patent, Augusta Co. He left a will in Augusta Co., and so did his widow JANE, both naming children and grandchildren. Of nine known children, two sons and a daughter were dumb or deaf and dumb, and one daughter an "idiot"; their siblings became guardians after the widow JANE died within two years.
    4. NATHANIEL PATTERSON, b. ca 1705, d. 1752, Augusta Co., VA; left will; md. ISABELLA ERWIN. He was a vestryman when the church wardens and vestrymen were deeded the church glebe of 200 acres in Beverly Manor in 1749. NATHANIEL and ISABELLA had children ROBERT, JOHN, MATHEW, MARY, MARTHA, SARAH, ISABELLA, JAMES. One of ROBERT's sons was a Patriot in the Revolutionary War, William Patterson, b. 1753 in Augusta Co., served while living in the part of North Carolina which became Tennessee, drew a Revolutionary pension, and d. 1841 in Anderson Co., TN.
    5. ERWIN PATTERSON, b. ca 1710? d. Jan-May 1761, Lunenberg Co., VA; md. ELEANOR ERWIN ca 1729 in Newry, Co. Down, Ireland. He bought land on the Beverly Patent in 1740.
    6. EDWARD PATTERSON, probable son (mentioned with ERWIN PATTERSON in records), b. ca 1715? He and ERWIN were on a road repair crew together in Nov 1753; and he was plaintiff in a lawsuit in Augusta Co. records 25 Nov 1755 ~ the last mention I found.
    7. WILLIAM PATTERSON, II, b. ca 1720? obtained a deed from Robert Beverly on the South River, 28 Feb 1749; served 1752 in the Augusta Co. militia in the French & Indian War; was exempted from Augusta Co. levies 1785; so he d. aft 18 Apr 1785, probably in Augusta Co. He md. (1) MARY WALKER, and four of their children were baptized by Rev. John Craig; and (2) MARY McDONALD from Cumberland Co., PA.
    1. Williams DOD is commonly given as 1 Oct 1745 bsed on an Old Chester will [Martin, 1993:126). That will, as transcribed in Martin, makes no mention of wife or children. As a result, it can not be tied to any of the Old Chester Pattersons.
    2. There are also two daughter lines that are sometimes given as well, thhose of Jane and Elizabeth Patterson. Jane is variously said to have married a Samuel Walker in Old Agusta, or a Samuel Carson in Pennsylvania. Elizabeth, when identified (which is rare), is shown with various husbands, including Thomas Elder, Mathew Erwin, and Jeremiah Henderson.
    3. Trinomials did not come into common use among the Scots Irish until about 1760.