This is a look at the Johnson / Heffley Family history. I hope that this web page can become a collection of information and a resource for family and friends. I plan to update, and/or, correct this page as new information is discovered. Thanks for your help.

Web site manager: Eugene (Gene) D. Johnson, son of Ellsworth and Rowena Heffly Johnson. Grandson of Adam LeRoy (Roy) and Wilhelmien (Minnie) Blum Heffley, g.grandson of George and Elizabeth Gillespie Heffley, g.g.grandson of George Henry and Lucy Gordon Heffley, g.g.g.grandson of William and Mary Cain Gordon.
This page was last updated June 12, 2004

Donald Gordon (1877) was the son of Rev. Marquis Lafayette Gordon (1848 - 1900), the grandson of Captain John Adam Gordon, g.grandson of Mark Gordon, g.g.grandson of John Adam Gordon, and g.g.g.grandson of John Gordon (1739 - 1816). He has provided us with two documents on the Gordon Family History. The first is a transcript of the Gordon Family history he prepared for the first Gordon Family Reunion August 14, 1915. The second is the manuscript refered to as, "The Gordons of Greene County", compiled in 1926. Both of these documents are included below.

for more information on the Gordon Family refer to the following web pages:

John Gordon Family (Mary Duke)

Sheriff George Gordon of Frederick County (Miss. Forbes)

The life and Times of George Gordon

The following is a listing for Donald Gordon published in, "The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy".

The following transcript of the Gordon Family History was prepared for the first Gordon Family Reunion August 14, 1915, Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, by Donald Gordon a g.g.g.grandson of John Gordon.


In a small family burying ground in the edge of Whitely Township, this County, on the farm now owned by Frank Shriver, and comprising apart of the old “Gordon Homestead”. Stands a tombstone on which is the following inscription:

“John Gordon, ancestor of the Gordon family of Green County, born in Scotland in 1739, removed to Germany, and thence immigrated to America”.

Further examination discloses the fact that John Gordon, here mentioned, as having been the original ancestor of the “Gordon” family in Green County, died on March 29, 1816, aged 77 years.

Unfortunately there seems not to be a very complete historical record of his family. There is a sort of tradition that a family of “Gordons” of Highland Scotch origin, and of which there were four sons, sometime about the middle of the Eighteenth Century, fled to Holland or Germany in order to escape political and religious persecutions being waged throughout England and Scotland during that period, and tht after some time the four sons immigrated to America where they shortly separated, one locating in what is now the State of Georgia, one in the State of Maryland, one near the present town of Canonsburg, in Washington County, and one at Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Another tradition has it that one of the sons later returned from the continent to the old home in Scotland, and the other three came to this country , locating in Georgia, Maryland, and Washington County, Pennsylvania. In some respects the latter seems more probably correct for the reason that it is believed that the children of the brother settling at Canonsburg, this State, appear to have separated and some of them gone to the State of Ohio at a very early date.

It might be well to remark in passing that Alexander Gordon, a son of the one above referred to, who first settled in Washington County, later took up a large claim, some four hundred acres of land just west of the present town of Washington, in what is now known as the “Gordon Valley”, along a branch of Catfish Creek, and on which is located a part of the present town of West Washington, and several large mills, and on which farm was also made the first oil strike in Washington County, the pay being found in what was then a new sand, and which was named “Gordon Sand”. A descendant of Alexander Gordon, Rev. A. G. Eagleson, of Lore City, Ohio, writing of him says: “He was a man of decided opinions of his own, which he held with great firmness. He thought for himself”. A trait which seems to be characteristic of the Gordons.

At the time of the making of these settlements, the country was a virgin forest, filled with wild beasts and roving bands of Indians, ostensibly hunters, but seldom or never too busily engaged in the chase to stop for a massacre of the hardy settlers. The fact that this territory south of the Ohio and West of the Monongahela rivers was set apart as hunting ground, by virtue of treaties among the various Indian tribes living in the adjacent territory rendered dealings with the Indians highly unsatisfactory. There being no tribe with a permanent habitat here made it especially difficult to negotiate treaties with them. No tribe felt bound by any treaty which its neighbors had made with the settlers, and any wandering hunter felt free to wreak vengeance for some fancied reason on the unsuspecting settlers of this neutral ground. There things may account for the fact that so many apparently un-provoked attacks were made by the Indians upon the settlers in this locality, (Godfrey Guseman and Mark Gordon for supplies at Winchester).

The first tradition also has it that the two brothers who settled in Georgia and in Maryland had light hair, and that during the Revolutionary War they were Tories, remained loyal to England, and both returned to the mother country during that war, but the other brother, or brothers, had dark hair, remained loyal to the Colonies, and took part in the struggle for Independence. I have not been able to verify these facts, except in part, but give them for what they may be worth.

John Gordon, the ancestor of the Green County Gordons, did, it seems, settle in the state of Maryland, for some considerable period of time, and there has always been a well understood tradition in the family that he did return to the mother country for several years at about this time. He was twice married, the maiden name of his first wife being Mary Duke. I have not been able to determine weather she was a native of Maryland or, as some think, of Scotland, but it seems that she died at the point of their settlement in the State of Maryland, and her body is said to have been buried at a point near the head of Chesapeake Bay, in Frederick County, Maryland, on a farm belonging to one Simon Grossman; and I am told that the county records in Frederick County, Maryland show a farm in this locality to have been owned by one Simon Grossman at about this period. To this union were born six sons whose names were:
John Adam,
and Philip Duke.

Some time later he emigrated to a point in the state of Virginia, now West Virginia, not far from the present town of Morgantown, but shortly thereafter, in 1795, came to Greene County and tomahawked a claim on the head waters of Dyers Fork of Whiteley Creek. There were doubtless no improvements whatever on this land at the time of his settlement there, and it meant the carving out of a home from the midst of the virgin forest, a task which would have daunted any but the hardy settlers of that time. He was probably accompanied by all of his sons above named, at least, by William, George, John, Or Johnnie, and John Adam. The claim which he blazed was located in what afterward came to be familiarly known as the “Rich Hills”, an unusually fertile section of the country, covered with fine timber, and having a soil of deep, dark loam. The claim contained something over 200 acres. The land was never patented by him, nor did he take out even a warrant of survey, but shortly after his death a warrant of survey was procured from the State by his sons, William and John Adam, in the year 1816, and the same year a patent was issued to them by the Commonwealth for their tract of land, containing, by survey, acres and allowances.

In those early days the tournament spirit of the knights of old prevailed to a greater or lesser degree, and many interesting stories are told of the courage and physical prowess of these men, particularly of George and John. They were said to have been tall, broad of back, deep of chest and possessed of unusual physical strength.

Some time after his location in this county, John Gordon married Sibley Main, to which union were born two children, Mary, who married Lewis Snell, a German, and Elizabeth, who married Godfrey Guseman, and later James Wells.

William Gordon, one of the sons, married Mary Carrell, some reports say “Carl”, but it seems not unlikely that she may have been a daughter of George Carrell, who settled on an adjoining tract of land, and took out a patent naming the tract “Carroll-town”.

George Gordon married Eleanor White, who survived him, and John married Nancy Rinehart, a daughter of Simon Rinehart, who had made a settlement on lands now owned by George W. and J. Brice Gordon, along the ridge to the eastward of the “John Gordon Farm”.

John Adam married Cassandra Holland, a daughter of Capel Holland, and Mary Leek his wife, who resided in Monongalia County, West Virginia, some few miles south of Morgantown. Her brothers and sisters were:
Jacob Holland, who married Mary Gordon, daughter of John Gordon;
Reason Holland, whose wife, Hannah is said to have lived to a very old age, dying within the memory of Mrs. Catharine Gordon Porter, who lives near Waynesburg;
Brice Holland, whose wife’s name is Ary, or Ara, both names which are very common in the Gordon family, who were descendents of Cassandra Holland, which name is also very common, and as an interesting coincidence, I note that John Brice Holland, probably a descendent, was a few days ago elected mayor of the city of Austin, Texas;
Elizabeth Holland, who married one John Howell;
Masey Holland, who married --- Brown;
Eli Holland, who seems to have had some interest in some property in Greene County, Pennsylvania, but who died some time prior to 1824. Such interest as he had was doubtless in a tomahawked or blazed claim, which had never been properly proven under the land laws of this state, and doubtless included some lands subsequently patented by Mark Gordon.

At about the time John Gordon settled in this county, which must have been shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, John Shriver, who is said to have been of Irish, or Scotch Irish extraction, came across the Allegheny Mountains from somewhere to the eastward, and settled further down the creek on the farm now owned by William I. Orndoff. When the family first came to this location there were, of course on improvements and no buildings of any kind on the property. It is said that they erected a camp under the large oak tree which stood until quite recently on a small flat, but a few hundred feet distance from the frame house on this farm, staying there until they should have sufficient time to build a house. A log cabin was erected as speedily as possible, and is still standing. It was occupied by Mr. Orndoff as a residence until quite recently when he built a handsome new brick house above the road near by. The logs were, of course, hewn, but show great skill and excellent workmanship. This John Shriver was the father of Susannah Shriver, who afterwards married Mark Gordon, one of the sons of John Adam Gordon, above noted.

A short distance down the creek and early settlement was made at about this time by one John Lemley, who located a claim on farms now owned by Adam Gordon, Brazil Stephens, and others. The log house which he erected is still standing, being used at present as a sheep barn, and like the Shriver house, the logs show evidence of great skill on the part of the builders in hewing and preparing them for the building. An interesting story is told to the effect that a large hollow sycamore, which is still standing along the bank of Whiteley Creek, about 300 yards from this house, was utilized by John Lemley as a hiding place for harnesses, etc., in order to prevent the Indians from steeling; and John Adam Gordon, who, at present, lives on the adjoining farm, states that he has often seen nails and pegs driven on the inside of this tree which are said to have been placed there for that purpose.

It is also related that the Gordons were originally Catholics, though they gradually grew away from the Catholic Church, and embraced the Protestant faith. William Gordon, one of the sons of John Gordon Sr., is said to have been a staunch Catholic during the early part of the last century, and it is related tin the log barn which is still standing on the William B. Wood farm, originally owned by William Gordon, and which has always been known as the “Uncle Billy Farm”. The barn to the present day being always designated as the “Billy Barn”. Finally, when a church was built by the Catholic denomination on the present location in Waynesburg, it is said that William Gordon cut on his farm most of the trees which were needed for the building of this structure, hauled them to a rude saw mill, which was located on Smith Creek, where they were prepared for the building and then hauled them on to the site where he helped to erect the building.

Subsequently, however, the settlers in this locality became affiliated with the Methodist Church, and the famous old stone school house was built on land now owned by James Zimmerman, but then by Enoch Hamilton, who donated the site. it was a stone building intended as a church and school house, and stood until a few years ago when it was replaced by a more modern school building, but is still known as the “Stone School”.

It is also worthy of note in passing that on the ridge, near the present residence of George W. Gordon there was, in the early days, located an Indian Village, and for a long time two large adjoining ranges on the ridge, now owned by George and Brice Gordon, constituted one range, and was always known as the “Town Field”. This is the heart of the Simon Rinehart settlement, spoken of above. As late as the boyhood days of Mark Gordon, who was a grandson of John Gordon Sr., deer were very numerous in the woods round about, and a small conical knoll just above the present house of Frank Shriver, is said to have been a sort of play ground for the deer. Mark Gordon has often related to those still living instances of his having seen as many as a dozen young deer playing about on this open knoll, which seems to have been practically clear at that time.

He and his brother, John Brice Gordon, the father of John Brice Gordon, now living, frequently related an experience they had when sent down the hollow below the present residence of Frank Shriver, which was the old John Adam Gordon homestead, to search for some pigs, which had strayed in the woods, and of suddenly coming upon a bear which was making a meal of the pigs where it had caught them lying in the shelter of a tree top.

In those early days this locality was dotted over with numerous distilleries, and it is said that our ancestors were more or less concerned in the Whiskey Rebellion of which this District was something of a hotbed. Almost within the memory of those living, one of those early distilleries was still in operation on the farm of J. Brice Gordon, near the tenant house on his farm, and within the memory of Mrs. Porter, her father, Mark Gordon, converted a fine old copper still, which he had in his possession, into a boiler for cooking food for stock.

Philip Duke Gordon, who is a son of John Gordon Sr., is described as having been of a rather reckless, daring disposition, somewhat inclined to military affairs, and to have participated in the War of 1812. The powder horn and knapsack which he carried are still in the possession of George W. Gordon. He, it seems, never settled in Pennsylvania, but remained in the state of Virginia. He died shortly after the Presidential Campaign in which Andrew Jackson was elected President. He was an ardent Democrat and when taken seriously ill, sometime before the election, while visiting his nephew, Mark Gordon, is said to have remarked that his one desire was that he might live long enough to vote the democratic ticket once again for President, that if he could cast his vote for Jackson he would be willing to go. His wish was granted to him, but he died suddenly within a few days after he had cast his vote for General Jackson.

But I am assigned the duty of dealing more directly with the descendants of John Adam Gordon, who married Casandra Holland, a native of the present State of West Virginia, who was born in 1761. To this union were born the following children:

I. Delilah Gordon, who was born June 20, 1790, and married Adam Shriver. They removed to the State of Ohio, and, so far as I am able to learn, had four sons and one daughter, whose descendents are living in and about Callbridge, Byers, and Kernzie, Ohio.

II. One son, Adam Shriver, was a union solder, and was killed in the fight at Atlanta, Georgia.

III. A second daughter, Lucy, was born February 9, 1792. She married John Shriver, and they settled near the present town of Burton, West Virginia, but I have not been able to trace their descendents, several of whom live in that locality still.

IV. The third daughter, Ara Gordon, born July 1, 1796, died June 10, 1884, she was thrice married, first to Dennis Cain. To this union were born four children:
1. Mary Cain, who married Morgan Smith;
2. Casandra, who died May 14, 1851;
3. and Solomon, who died July 19, 1852.
For her second husband she married James Clark, and for her third husband, Rev. Barnet Whitlatch. No children were born to either of these.

V. A fourth daughter, Elizabeth, married Isaac Shriver, born December 10, 1803, and died in 1874, who settled above Blacksville, West Virginia. To this union were born:
1. Solomon Shriver, who married Lucretia Garrison;
2. Bazel G. Shriver, whose wife’s maiden name was Wise, who settled on Pawpaw Creek, but later removed to the West;
3. Elsie, or Alice, Shriver, who married Peter Chalfant, who also settled on Pawpaw Creek, near West Warren, West Virginia;
4. Lucy Shriver, who married Andrew Jackson Santee, settled in this same locality;
5. Casandra Shriver first married James White, of near Jollytown, and subsequently, Mr. Hennen, of the same locality.

VI. Solomon Gordon, a son, born April 2, 1801, died March 14, 1890, married Sarah Inghram, who was born September 22, 1805. To this union were born seven children:
1. Elizabeth Jane, born August 3, 1826, who married Rinehart Huss;
2. William I., who was born February 28, 1828, and who lived on a farm of some 230 acres on a branch of Laurel Run, in Franklin Township;
3. Adam S. Gordon to whom there were born four sons;
4. John B. Gordon, who was a union soldier and was killed in battler during the Civil War;

5. Casandra I. Gordon, who married Rev. Taggert, to whom was born one daughter, Sarah, since intermarried with Jackson Waychoff; 6. and James Madison Gordon, who married a Miss Adamson, and to whom were born ten children. This family resides near Claysville, Washington County.

VII. John Brice Gordon, born December 4, 1798, died December 28, 1876, married July 12, 1847, Delilah Inghram, who was born April 3, 1821, being a daughter of Arthur and Elizabeth Rinehart Inghram. To them were born five children:
1. Carrie L.,
2. Lizzie I., 3. Lucy E., wife of Dr. R. E. Brock,
4. John Brice, married Amanda Crowell,
5. George W., who married Helen Scott, to whom were born two daughters:
Carrie, wife of Herman J. Murdock, and, Lucy, wife of Harry D. Freeland, present County Superintendent of Schools.

John Brice Gordon, Sr., in his early days, took a great interest in military affairs, and served for some time as a Major in the Forty-sixth regiment of Militia. He also served two terms as County Commissioner of the County, was a member of the House of Representatives in the years 1847 and 1848.

VIII. Last is Mark Gordon, who was born January 22, 1794, and died on his ninety-second birthday, in the year 1886. He married Susannah Shriver, who was a daughter of John Shriver, one of the early settlers on Whiteley Township, this County. To this union were born ten children:

1. Elizabeth Gordon, who makes her home with Rebecca Gordon West and husband, near the John Gordon Homestead in Whiteley Township;

2. Catharine, married Thomas Porter, and who at present lives at the Porter Homestead in Franklin Township, with her daughter, Emma, who married Frank Lapping. A son, William G. Porter, died some years ago.

3. Bazel Gordon, who married Maria Inghram, daughter of Arthur Inghram. To this union were born five children:
3.1. John Adam, who married Maria Bell,
3.2. Susan, who married James Hatfield,
3.3. Virginia E., who married Thomas H. Montgomery,
3.4. Josiah I., who married Emma Cox,
3.5. Alice, who married William B. Wood. He was a prominent member of the M.P. Church, and also served as Associate Judge of Greene County for one term.

4. Godfrey Gordon, who married Elizabeth Crayne, unto whom were born four children:
4.1. Jerome B., who married Julia Cosgray,
4.2. Lucy, who married Dr. John Ely,
4.3. Robert J., deceased,
4.4. Josephine, who married C.E. Bower, both deceased.

5. Alice, who married Uriah Inghram, to whom were born nine children:
5.1. Joseph A., who married ? and who has one daughter, Mary Duke Inghram, being named for the first wife of John Gordon, Sr.,
5.2. W.L. Inghram,
5.3. Thomas G. Inghram,
5.4. Delilah, who married Abner Hoge,
5.5 Rebecca, who married Frank Inghram,
5.6. Catharine,
5.7. Emma,
5.8. Francis, who married Dr. C.W. Spragg,
5.9. Sudie, who married Thomas Hook, one of whose daughters, Jane Holland Hook, bears the family name of her great great grandmother, Casandra Holland.

6. William Gordon, now deceased, who married Margaret Witlatch, to whom were born six children:
6.1. Haddie, who married George B. Orndoff,
6.2. Lucinda, who married John Meighen,
6.3. Kate, who married Jones P. Sammons,
6.4. Mary, who married Newton Brown,
6.5. Elizabeth, who married William Elms,
6.6. Margaret who married ? Jones.

7. John B. Gordon, married ?, to whom were born ten children:
7.1. J.L.,
7.2. Mark,
7.3. Ellen G.,
7.4. Kate G.,
7.5. R.D.,
7.6. Sue,
7.7. Jennie,
7.8. Margaret M.,
7.9. Delilah.
This family is scattered through the states of Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Connecticut.

8. Cassandra, who married Hamilton Mapel, to whom were born nine children:
8.1. John Adam,
8.2. Elva D.,
8.3. Bazel,
8.4. Lafayette,
8.5. Sidney,
8.6. Sadie,
8.7. Ida B.,
8.8. Susan E.,
8.9. W.J.

9. Delilah, who married John I. Worley, who died June 15, 1906, without issue, she having formerly married Mr. Higgins.

10. The last is Captain John Adam Gordon, who in 1842, married Rebecca, daughter of John Crawford, a descendant of one of the very early settlers in the Carmichaels neighborhood. To them were born five children:
10.1. Rebecca, who married George West,
10.2. M. Lafayette, whose life was devoted with signal success to missionary work in Japan,
10.3. B. Jennings died in infancy,
10.4. John Crawford who became a prominent physician,
10.5. William Linn, who was prominent in educational affairs and at the time of his death, in 1886, was President of a College located at Austin, Texas.

Captain Gordon’s second wife was Margaret, a daughter of Ephraim Crawford, a resident of Washington County, from near Brownsville. To them were born five sons:
10.6. Thomas J.,
10.7. Solomon,
10.8. Robert, who died in infancy,
10.9. Edgar C.,
10.10. James Rea.

He has the distinction of having been the first Superintendent of County Schools in the County of Greene, to which position he was elected in 1856, and again re-elected in 1860, when, however, the War of the Rebellion broke out he resigned his position as County Superintendent, assisted in raising a Company of Volunteers, which became Company G of the Eighty-fifth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, one of the 27 different regiments recruited in part from this county. He was selected First Lieutenant of this Company, and upon the promotion of his Captain, I. N. Abraham, he was commissioned Captain of his Company, and rendered distinguished service.

Hon. Mark Gordon, the father of this family of children, was prominent in public and private life, and, at one time, served as Sheriff of Greene County. His father, John Adam Gordon, was also one of the three men appointed to decide upon a location for the county seat, Waynesburg being chosen over Rogersville because more accessible, though less centrally located.

By the roadside in front of the present home of Frank Shriver, stands a large Sycamore tree, said to have sprung from a switch stuck in the ground by Mark Gordon when a boy.

We are justified in saying, and not boastfully, that the records show the descendants of John Gordon to have been generally public spirited and upright men and women. They were quiet and unassuming, but ever ready to do well their part, whenever this lot might be cast. They have rendered particularly valuable service in the conduct of church and of local municipal affairs. Their record for good citizenship is one in which we may well feel a pardonable pride, and is a strong incentive to us who follow.

Waynesburg, Pa., August 14, 1915

The following manuscript of the Gordon Family History called, "The Gordons of Greene County", was written in 1926 by Donald Gordon a g.g.g.grandson of John Gordon.


John Gordon, generally regarded as the founder of our branch of the Gordon family in America and commonly known as “The Patriarch”, was born about 1739 (1). In so far as there are any traditions at all on the subject, it seems to be agreed that he either spoke a foreign language or at all events talked with an unusually strongly marked accent, but as to his nationally a striking difference of opinion has existed.

The Gordon’s of Green County, Pennsylvania,(2) have strongly maintained that he was a German; the Gordon’s of Ohio, (3) with two exceptions, have been equally insistent that he was Scotch.

The Green County tradition in chiefly based on the testimony of Judge Mark Gordon (son of John Adam Gordon I, and grandson of the Patriarch),(4) a most intelligent man, who lived on the same farm as his grandfather, and was over twenty-two years old when the latter died, in 1816. “I have heard him say,” wrote Rebecca (Gordon) West,(5) “that John Gordon spoke the Dutch language (“Pennsylvania Dutch”). He thought that John Gordon was from Germany. (6)

The Ohio tradition rests upon the testimony of John Duke Gordon (son of Basel Gordon, and grandson of the Patriarch) (7). He also was a man of unusual intelligence and until he was nearly forty-seven years of age, was intimately associated with his father, who died in 1853. About the year 1889 he wrote to his son, Judge William Henry Gordon: (8) “My Grand Father (John Gordon) came from near Glasgow, Scotland, and settled with-in five miles of Baltimore, Maryland…”. (9)

The Green County Gordons have no more to say on the subject, but the Ohio Gordons have some further details to offer. Judge William Henry Gordon, in several letters, has furnished the following statement of them:” My great-grandfather (John Gordon) was a Scotchman, and for some political offense against England was forced to leave Scotland, leaving property and everything behind. (10) He made his way to France and from there to the United States…(11) When a boy I have heard Grandfather (Basel Gordon) tell about my great-grandfather, how he escaped from Scotland… but I was too young to remember all the details…(12) I have always supposed our family was connected with the Highlanders… My grandfather, when I was a little boy seven or eight years old, would tell me stories of the Scotch Highlanders - their dress – and how they kept their swords by having them so sharp that by drawing them across the bare thigh their own weight would draw the blood, - and such stories about his father. This one made a lasting impression upon my young mind…(13) I certainly never heard… that he was a German… The only manner that I can account for it is by the marriage of the Gordon’s to the Pennsylvania Dutch. My grandmother was Pennsylvania Dutch, and my mother was also…”.(14)

Whatever the Patriarch’s youthful history may have been, all the traditions declare that he was living in Maryland at the time of his marriage to Mary Duke, about the year 1760. (15) The older representatives of the Green County Gordons thought that this was on the “Eastern Shore,” but there is good reason to doubt their accuracy in the use of that term. (16) The Ohio Gordons, in the person of John Duke Gordon, said that he settled with-in five miles of Baltimore and married there Polly Duke, sister of Dr. Duke, (17) and that their son Bazel was born “July 13, in 1770…with-in five miles of Baltimore. (18) Judge William Henry Gordon added: “I have often heard Grandfather Bazel Gordon speak of being born on the Monocracy Creek, four or five miles from Baltimore.” (19) The Monocracy River is, as a mater of fact, almost exactly forty-five miles from Baltimore. A possible explanation of this discrepancy is that Bazel Gordon (whose statement was undoubtedly oral) actually said “forty-five,”(20) and that his son and grandson understood him to say “four to five.” Mahala (Curtis) Corns stated “that her grandmother, Eleanor (Gordon) Karns was born in Maryland, October 22, 1765 (21); that she had heard her speak of Baltimore and talk of being there; that she thought she had relatives that lived there; and that she had also heard her speak of the Monocracy River.” (22) This statement, while confirmatory of the general locality, does not make it more specific. One thing we know beyond any question – that the Patriarch and his family were living near the Monocracy River in Frederick County, Maryland, as early as July 3, 1777; (23) and the truth may well be that they had been settled there for a considerable time before that date.

John Gordon and Mary Duke were the parents of the following children:
I. Elizabeth, born about 1761; (24)
II. John Adam I, born November 3, 1762; (25)
III. Mary, born in 1764; (26)
IV. Eleanor, born October 22, 1765; (27)
V. Philip Duke, born about 1767; (28)
VI. Bazel, born July 13, 1770; (29)
VII. William, born November 5, 1772; (30)
VIII. George, born about 1774; (31)
IX. John, born about 1775. (32)

Not later than 1789 (33) the mother died and was “buried in Maryland, on the farm of Simon Grossman.” (34)

In the records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick City there are a few references to the Gordon family in Frederick County, Maryland, at the time of the Revolutionary War. (35) On July 3, 1777, the eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was married to Christopher “Gusmann,” her father, John “Guordan” being one of the witnesses. (36) Elizabeth and her husband, “Grussman,” had a son “Gotfried,” born November 17, 1779, and baptized September 23, 1781. (37) The third daughter, Eleanor, who had married “Ludwig Kern” (Lewis Karns (38)) about 1783, had a son “Henreich,” who was born on May 24 (39) and baptized on September 16, 1784 – one of the sponsors being his uncle (John) Adam Gordon I. (40)

While in Maryland the family seemed to have made a living by farming, but were very poor. This may have been due to inaptitude: they preferred to charge it to the soil. William Gordon, one of the sons, put their case tersely in his old age by saying that, as a boy, when working in the cornfield with his hoe, “every time he missed a stone he struck a dollar!”. (41) Another one the sons, Phillip Duke, was in later years a “Wheel Wright and very good mechanic.” (42) It is interesting to note that Jocob “Carn,” who was a neighbor (43) and very possibly a relative of the Patriarch’s son-in-law, Lewis Karns, is described in 1773 as a “Wheel Wright.” (44) It may well be that Philip Duke through his trade became the mainstay of the family. So far as is known he was its most prosperous member, and the first one to own a piece of land. (45) In any event it was not long before the family conceived the idea of a journey westward as a means of bettering their circumstances. They resolved when they left the sands of Maryland that they would never again cultivate poor land. (46) It is related that Phillip Duke and Bazel went on ahead “to spy the land”. (47) However this may have been – not earlier than 1784, and certainly not later than 1789, the entire family were living near Morgantown, in Monongalia County, West Virginia. (48)

Of the details of their journey over the mountains we know nothing. Very likely it was a struggle they were glad to forget. (49) It is practically certain that their route through the Alleghenies was by Braddock’s Road, upon which the famous National Road was afterwards substantially located. (50) A pilgrim to Ohio, who followed this rout with his family in 1796, reported that “land cariag… from Alexandria to Morgantown was thirty two shillings and six pence for each hundred weight of women & goods.” It took this family nineteen days to make the journey. “I walked the hole distance,” wrote the pilgrim, “it being almost three hundred miles, and we found the rode to be pretty good until we came to the Mountaing.” (51)

It was a very primitive community in which the family found itself. (52) “The settlers usually came bringing all their worldly store – consisting of the bare necessities of life – on pack horses…After arriving… the first thing…was the selection of a cabin-site. This was always determined by a good spring of water; and hence the cabin was almost always found in a hollow. Now trees were felled and cut into logs… This done, a day was set for the “raising,” and everyone within five or six miles was notified. The neighbors turned out… and the round logs… were rapidly placed in position… At a convenient height in the side of the cabin an aperture was made by leaving out part of a log, and this space was filled with… paper greased with hog’s lard… to let in the light, while here and there a loop-hole was made so that the cabin might be converted into a fort in case of attacks by Indians… The cracks between the logs were closed with mud.

The building was generally completed without the use of a single nail. The cabin up and floored, the crowd at a “raising” would assemble before the door and whiled away the time till supper by… foot races, trials of skill withy the rifle, lifting at a great rock, friendly wrestles, etc…

“The furnishing of the cabin was quickly accomplished. Blocks with legs inserted answered for stools and chairs; and for wash-tubs, soap-barrels and the like, troughs were used…A single room generally served the purpose of kitchen, dining-room,… bed-room and parlor. In most families, there were from six to ten children who, with their parents, were crowded into this one room. Often in the winter would they awake to find their beds covered with snow.

“These settlers were a hardy, fearless folk, Jealous of their honor and proud of their word, he who impugned the one or doubted the other, had to answer for his temerity at the point of blows. A fight was the arbitrage of any trouble.

“During this early period, the settlers had nothing but furs with which to buy iron and salt. Leaving home with a pack-horse heavily laden, they crossed the mountains by bridle-paths to the South Branch of the Potomac and Winchester, Virginia. It took several days to perform the journey there and back. They encamped at night in the mountains withy their pack-saddles for pillows, and sank to sleep amid the howling of wolves and the scream of the panther. (53)

The above quotation contains hardly a statement which is not duplicated in personal tradition among the Gordons. With such surroundings it is not strange that the original family was of the strenuous type. Opportunities for education were of course, slight; and it is a fact that none of them, with the exception of Philip Duke, could write his own name. (54) They have been described as “stout, active and healthy… a little rough, (55) above the average size, (56) and with dark hair and completions. (57) It is also known that at least some of them were of the Catholic faith.” (58)

“Old Uncle Billy’s wife (Mary Cain, second wife of the Patriarch’s son, William Gordon) was very strong in that faith, but he was a man who seldom went to extremes in anything. Once when she reproved him for eating meat on Friday, he replied, “Well, if eating meat would take a man to Hell – here goes!” (59)

Backwoods fighting was a chief accomplishment of the family, though it is not recorded that they joined with the Psalmist in glorifying their Creator for the art. Even Judge Mark Gordon, a grandson of the {Patriarch, was a notable fighter in his youth; and in his old age could always be angered by reference to a lump on his heel – the relic of some primitive encounter. George Gordon, one of the Patriarch’s sons, was not merely notable, but notorious – “a great fighter,’ so the older generation used to boast. To show the limits to which the family “roughness” sometimes carried its members, a striking instance of frank brutality on his part must be recorded. Once, when riding a young, half-broken cold, he came to a stream which the nervous animal refused. After a fruitless half hour of wheeling and spurring, not to be outdone, he whipped out his knife, cut the colt’s throat, shouldered the saddle, and went on his way triumphant! (60)

The records of Monongalia County, West Virginia, were destroyed by fire in 1796; (61) consequently it is impossible to learn how much land the family acquired there. The survey for “Philip Gordon” of 130 acres of land adjoining lands of James Cobun & Robert Brownfield on waters of Booths Creek, dated September 1, 1793, has already been referred to. (62) Quite possibly no other member of the family became a landholder in this locality.

For some reason the hopes of the family for prosperity in West Virginia were now fully realized, and once more they preferred to move. They soon fell out with the rocks and glades at the foot of the mountains and came to Green County, Pennsylvania. They never to my knowledge told of any accidents, or of wagons upsetting or sticking in the mud, but they got there all the same, and all got farms side by side and the richest land in the County. (63) This was in 1795 or 1796. (64) On the journey the Patriarch came the whole distance on horseback. He lost his hat soon after he started, and had to come the rest of the way with a handkerchief tied over his head. (65)

Having reached Greene County, John Adam Gordon I and his brother, William Gordon, bought out the patent to a considerable tract of land and settled on what has ever since been known as the “Gordon Homestead”. (66) The purchase price was not a very large one, but it crippled them financially to such an extent that the whole family had to begin farming with only a single horse among them. (67) They also had a few sheep, which they had to guard carefully from wolves. (68) But neither poverty nor hardship could discourage them. With great energy and a strong clannish spirit they set to work, and gradually established themselves as one of the strongest and most respected families of the region. (69)

William Gordon seems to have been the family leader. He was a man of fine character, keen humor, and the soundest common sense. (70) Though having nineteen children of his own, he fathered nearly as many more among his nephews and nieces. When the children of this brother, John Adam Gordon I, were cut off in their maternal grandfather’s will, it was “old Uncle Billy” who must post off to Morgantown and see that justice was done. (71) As illustrating his humor, one of his sons, George Gordon, of Arcola, Illinois, wrote: “There is a little story of Father and Uncle Snell (72) that I have often heard. They were crossing a stream with a sled. Father was riding the horse, Uncle on the sled. When midway the steam the linch-pin came out. Uncle had to get down in the water and find it. Father (Billy) stood and laughed and laughed at him, and Uncle said, You dammed Gordons would laugh at a hanging! (73) William Gordon built the “old Billy barn” – still a landmark on the “Gordon Homestead:. (74)

The Patriarch lived in a little cabin near where the Billie barn stands, beside a cattle trough and an old apple tree that has lately blown down. (75) In spite of both age and poverty he nw took it unto himself another wife – Sibbly Main, a widow with four daughters. (76) Of her an amusing story is told. One day she was out washing and near her was a clucking hen, surrounded by a brood of chicks. Suddenly a hawk swooped down and seized one of them. The hen flew to its rescue and at once a fierce conflict ensued. Sibbly, wash-beetle in hand, girded up her loins and joined in the fray; nor was she satisfied until the hawk lay prone at her feet, done to death by her swift falling blows. (77) But not even such Homeric prowess served to endear her to her husband’s kin; witness the statement of John Adam Gordon II: “John Gordon had a tough bargain of it… Neither she nor her children were ever recognized by the rest of the family”. (78)

The Patriarch died on March 29, 1816, of “Cold Plague” (79) and was buried in the old family burying-ground on the Gordon Homestead. (80) His grave was marked by a common stone which finally moldered away. (81) Later this was replaced by a rough slab on which was cut the date of his death and his approximate age. (82) Recently there has been erected to his memory a granite shaft with the following inscription:


Ancestor of the
Of Greene Co.
In Scotland A.D. 1739
Removed to Germany
& thence emigrated
to America
March 29, 1816
Aged 77 Years



I. Elizabeth Gordon was born about 1761 (83) presumably in Maryland and very likely in Frederick County. (84) It was in that county that she married Christopher Guseman on July 3, 1777. (85) They had a son, Godfrey, born November 17, 1779, and baptized September 23, 1781, (86) and also a daughter, Elizabeth. (87) It seems likely that Christopher Guseman died before the migration of the Gordon family to Monongalia County, West Virginia, which was between 1784 and 1789. (88) At all events his wife was left a widow before long, and “married a Frenchman named Lewis Snell”. (89) George Gordon, of Arcola, Illinois, wrote:” Before my father (William Gordon, brother of Elizabeth) came to Ohio (about 1830), she lived in Greene County, Pa…” (90) after telling the story of the linch-pin in the stream, (91) he continued: “Then another time someone visited Uncle (Snell’s) smoke-house and helped himself to some of his meat. Father asked who he thought it was. He said, ‘Well Mr. Gordon, I do not know, -- but that Abe Devour is a sorra fellow!’”. (92) It is believed that Elizabeth Gordon died about 1834. (93)

Godfrey Guseman was Lieutenant of Captain Samuel Wilson’s company of Virginia militia in the War of 1812. (94) His uncle, Philip Duke Gordon, and John, Joseph, and Isaac Guseman (doubtless sons of Abraham, who had adopted him), were in the same company. (95) Their service appears to have been at Fort Meigs, in the Northwest, under General Harrison. (96) Godfrey is said to have married Margaret (Carroll or Gordon), (97) but if he left descendents, no trace of them has been found. Nothing of any consequence is known about his sister Elizabeth. Rebecca (Gordon) West wrote, March 30, 1908: “I remember seeing a daughter of Elizabeth Gordon Guseman. She was very deaf and talked very loud in order to hear her self”.


II. John Adam Gordon I, eldest son of John Gordon and Mary Duke, (226) was born November 3, 1762. (227) It seems probable that his birthplace was Frederick County, Maryland; at all events, much of his early life was spent there. (228) He was brought up as a farmer. (229) Manifestly he received no schooling, for, as a man, he was unable even to write his own name. (230) It is possible that towards the close of the Revolutionary War he served for a short time in the Continental Army, but of this there is neither definite tradition nor unequivocal documentary evidence. (231) On September 16, 1784, he was a sponsor at the baptism of his nephew, Henry Karns, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frederick City, Maryland. (232) Within a few years from this date he took part in the family emigration to Monongalia County, West Virginia, (233) and there as early as September, 1789, (234) he married Cassandra (235) Holland, daughter of Capel Holland (236) and Mary Leeke. (237)

However pleasing this marriage may have been to the contracting parties, it was far from satisfactory to the Holland family. Capel Holland was a well to do farmer, wrote John Adam Gordon II, (238) not rich by any means but he owned a few slaves and that, at that day, gave the family standing with that class of people. As I understand it the family thought it presumption in the young Marylander to aspire to a connection with the family by marriage; (239) but nothing daunted he persevered and won, and a very good woman she proved to be. I however imagine I see her family pride cropping out in her endeavor to get out of the Gordon rut as to names. Her first son was called Mark (240) for Gen. Lafayette. The second was called John Brice, after her brother, John Brice Holland. Her third son was Solomon. This was also a new name. I am at a loss to account for it. Solomon was not in either family so far as I know. Grandfather (John Adam Gordon I) had a neighbor in Greene County) Solomon Eagan. A very good man of some standing. He lived on the road between Grandfather’s and Waynesburg, where John Lapping lived when you were here (1887). This may account for the name Solomon… I should have said that Grandmother’s (Cassandra Holland’s) girls names showed evidence of her family pride, -- Airie, Delihah, Lucy and Elizabeth – they are mainly if not entirely Holland names. (241)

Of these children three were born in Monongalia County, West Virginia;
Delilah, June 20, 1790;
Lucy, February 9, 1792;
Mark, January 22, 1794. (242)

William Holland Gordon said that his father, Judge Mark Gordon, once pointed out to him the little stone cabin in which he had been born, and there is some grounds for believing that John Adam Gordon I not only married Cassandra Holland in the face of violent opposition by her family, but that he actually built this cabin and started in farming on the land of his unappreciative father-in-law. (243)

About 1795 (244) the family moved to Greene County, Pa. there the remaining children wer born:
Airy, July 1, 1796;
John Brice, December 4, 1798;
Solomon, April 2, 1801;
Elizabeth, December 10, 1803. (245)

The little that is known of the families early years in Pa. has been previously recorded. (246) Cassandra Holland, the wife and mother, died on December 2, 1805. (247) She seems to have been a rare woman, of not only gentleness and refinement, but of executive ability as well. Her good looks are a tradition in the family, and it is said that she had hair that would hang to her knees. (248) Her children (though the eldest was but fifteen at the time of her death) never spoke of her with out emotion…Grandfather (Judge Mark Gordon often told) how she used to gather her little ones about her for evening prayer. She held to the Catholic faith. Grandfather never liked to hear anything said against the Catholics, although he did not believe in Catholicism himself…He used to describe her gowns and the manner of wearing her hair. He said that the first change made in women’s dress in this part of the country was the introduction of a suit known as the petticoat and short-gown being something like the dressing sacque of today. His descriptive powers in the line of women’s dress were not extra (ordinary), but he evidently thought her very beautiful in her new style of dress…I have heard Grandfather say that he thought his mother was the best woman in the world…(249) he use to say that she was the tidiest housekeeper and the best manager he ever saw. I think her children were like her in this respect. (250)

John Adam Gordon II wrote: by the way, it is evident that the infusion of Holland blood wrought a great improvement in the Gordons… (251) I have heard that up to this time the Gordons were a black-eyed, dark-complicated people. The Holland’s were fair and had blue eyes and flaxen hair. There were seven children in all (but) two of whom were dark (Uncle Brice and Aunt Betty). (252)

After his wife’s death John Adam Gordon I was again married – this time to a woman named Sally Johnson. His second choice was as ill-starred as that of his father. Just what the trouble was is not known. It may have been her superior education, for she signed herself primly “Sarah Gordon”, while he could only make his mark. (253) At any rate, after several intolerable years they separated. His was an easy going nature for when she left him she literally “cleaned him out of pots, pans and kettles”. (254)

The year 1816 was an eventful one in the family. Three generations were stricken by “Cold Plague”. (255) John Adam Gordon I died the 29th of January, (256) the “Patriarch” followed him two months later, (257) and Judge Mark Gordon (so he believed) lived to tell the tale simply because he adopted the most heroic treatment -– rising from the sick bed and jumping into a horse-trough. (258)


III. Mary Gordon was born in 1764, (98) probably in Frederick County, Maryland. (99) She went with her family to Monongalia County, West Virginia, between 1784 and 1789. (100) Here she married Jacob Holland, (101) who was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, about 1764. (102) They had a daughter, who married Nehemiah Powers. (103)

In 1823, Jacob Holland and his wife, with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, emigrated to Indiana, stopping over a night at their Uncle William Gordon’s in Greene County, Pennsylvania. (104) They settled in Henry County, 12 miles from Muncie. Mary (Gordon) Holland died September 13, 1845 and her husband November 4, 1848. (105)

Nehemiah Powers and his wife had at least five sons and a daughter. (106) Among them were Brice Pettijohn and Reason, who were twins, born January 13, 1815, (107) and who both, lived to be over ninety years old. “Brice and Reason Powers were born… in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Their father, Nehemiah Powers, first saw the light of day in a Virginia fort, erected to protect the settlement from incursions of the Indians. Brice Powers was but a lad of eight when his father moved to Wayne County in 1823 and settled at Centerville. After farming some in Wayne County, he (Brice Powers) finally moved to Delaware County in 1852, and has since resided here. (108) His early education was acquired from the Centerville, Ind., schools, and he was first employed in a tan yard. (109)

Relative to the twin brothers, John L. Powers wrote as follows: “Father (Brice Pettijohn Powers) has a twin brother whose twinly affinity shows itself in queer and amusing ways. Besides a close resemblance in all physical respects, they are twins in their actions, in their tastes, in their likes and dislikes, in their religion and politics, and even in their afflictions, wherein- strange to say – the amusing part comes in. Each one is troubled slightly with catarrh in the head; each one has rheumatism some in the left shoulder. A few years ago Father fell and broke the ball in the socket in his left hip from the femur bone. The doctor pronounced such a fracture in a man of his age practically incurable – in not one of a thousand of such cases does the bone knit. In a few short weeks Father was walking about as usual. In a short time his twin brother, not to be out done, was hit on the left leg by a reaper tongue, causing a fracture very similar to that sustained by Father. His doctor thought the fracture would not knit, but he had reckoned without his patient. To carry the similitude into romance, my Mother has a twin sister whose hand was sued for in the days of their courtship by Father’s twin brother, but alas, the pretty little maid had given her heart already to another! All four of these twins still live (January 22, 1902), my Mother and her sister being in their eightieth year”. (110)

Brice Pettijohn Powers died February 2, 1905, just over ninety years of age. (111) In 1844 he was married to Miss. Hannah I. Lewis, who survives. In his religious life he was a member of the ‘Old School’ Baptist Church’. Besides his wife, two sons, John L. Powers and Nathan B. Powers, three grandsons, C. M., Mark P. and Arthur Helm, one grand-daughter, Miss. Mary Powers…survive…burial was made in Beech Grove. (112)


IV. Eleanor Gordon was born October 22, 1765, (113) presumably in Frederick County, Maryland. (114) She married Lewis Karns, who was born in August, 1761, (115) and their eldest child, Henry, was born in that locality, May 24, 1784. (116) They were also the parents of nine – or possibly twelve – other children, (117) among them a daughter, Abigail, (118) and a son, Stephen Duke Karns, who was the youngest. (119) They apparently came with the Gordon family to Monongalia County, West Virginia, between 1784 and 1789, (120) and to Greene County, Pennsylvania, in 1795 or 1796. (121)

Lewis Karns and his wife, with all their family, came from Pennsylvania to Muskingun County, Ohio, in the year 1807, and settled on the N.E. Qtr. Of Sec. 1, Tp. 12, R. 13. My grandmother (Eleanor Gordon Karns) died here on this farm, and of the same sec… When my grandfather came to Ohio, he and one son and one daughter came in the spring on horseback and returned and brought the family on a raft – down the Ohio and up the Muskingum. (122) As to exact date of death of Eleanor Gordon Karns I can find no record. It probably occurred in 1853 or 54. (123)

Abigail Karns married Enoch Curtis, and died about 1834, leaving at least two children: Mahala, born about 1829, and Enoch. Mahala married Grafton Corns, about 1846, and in 1908 was living in the suburbs of Caldwell, Ohio. At that time she made the statements on which the two preceding sentences are based, and further said: That she lived with her grandparents, Lewis and Eleanor Karns, in Muskingum County, Ohio, about five miles from Zanesville, from the time she was five until she was seventeen; that her grandmother was a Protestant and belonged to the Methodist Church; that the Dukes were some relation, and that her grandmother’s youngest son was named Stephen Duke Karns; that when she was a little girl she heard her grandparents talk of Scotland, but did not know whether they had ever lived there; that she thought they were Dutch, and that anyhow they were form the Old Country, as she had heard them speak of Germany and of coming across the water; that she had heard her grandmother speak of the ‘low Dutch’ and of the ‘high Dutch’; that she thought her old Uncle William Gordon, who was a brother to Eleanor Gordon Karns, was of Dutch descent and that he lived in Pennsylvania and used to come to her grandmother’s once in a while; that she had heard it said that her grandmother was a hundred years old when she died; that her grandmother was then living with her youngest son Stephen Duke Karns, and died one morning at the breakfast table; and that Enoch Curtis, her own younger brother, was living (1908) at Nashport, Ohio. (124) He was in possession of the old Family Bible already referred to, (125) but correspondence with him elicited no information of any consequence.

Another daughter of Lewis and Eleanor Gordon Karns married a man named Joseph. This daughter had a son, Christian Joseph, aged eighty years, living (1908) out on the Marietta road, about three miles from Zanesville. (126) He mad no reply to a letter addressed to him at that time.

Stephen Duke Karns, youngest child of Lewis and Eleanor Gordon Karns, left at least one daughter, Mary, who married Jacob D. Mercer, (127) and lived at Carlwick, Muskingum County, Ohio. She referred to Enoch Curtis, of Nashport, as a relative, and she wrote, June 27, 1904: I am trying to find out if there may be any of them (descendants of her uncle Henry Karns) living near Frazeysburg in this County, but was apparently unable to ascertain, as no further letter has been received from her.


V. Philip Duke Gordon was born about 1767, (128) probably in Frederick County, Maryland. (129) He is said to have come to Monongalia County, West Virginia, with the rest of the family between 1784 and 1789. (130) On September 1, 1793, a survey was made for him of one hundred thirty acres of land adjoining lands of James Cobun and Robert Brownfield on waters of Booths Creek. (131)

When the rest came to Greene County in 1795 or 1796… (132) Philip went West – about the time Cincinnati was settled. (133) Philip was a wheelwright and a very good mechanic. (134) He made spinning wheels in Cincinnati for some time and bought several lots in what proved to be important locations. He was doing very well – every family had to have a spinning wheel – but he came back for the girl he left behind, and did not return to Cincinnati for twenty-five years. When he went back he found that his lots had been sold for taxes, and the laws gave the purchasers a good title. Uncle Philip could not get a cent.

Philip Duke served as a private in the War of 1812, in Captain Samuel Wilson’s company of Virginia militia, of which Godfrey Guseman was lieutenant. This service seems to have been in the Northwest at Fort Meigs, under General Harrison. (136) George W. Gordon wrote: When he came home he brought with him the powder-horn, shot-pouch, charger, and bullet-molds which he carried in the war. My father, John Brice Gordon, got them from him and I have them now. They are worn but show that they were very fine for that day. The horn is very large and good yet --- it will hold I guess one quart. The pouch is leather back, with front of skin tanned with fur on. (137) Some time previous to September 20, 1815, he married Judith Crull, only child of Henry Crull. This fact appears in a deed from him and his wife to Frederick Switzer of two hundred acres of land, on the water of Aron creek and the head of a drain that falls into Deckers Creek, which land she had inherited from her father. (138) Philip Duke signed his name, but his wife made her mark. They are both said to have been among the first members of the Methodist Protestant Church in Clinton District about 1844. (139) Brice Pettijohn Powers wrote, February 18, 1902: Uncle Philip Gordon, I think belonged to the New Light Church. (140)

Philip Duke had no son, (141) but he left two daughters: Mary and Cassandra. Mary married James Austin, and Cassandra (142) married James Steele. (143) A nephew of James Steele, the Rev. M.H. Steele, of Morgantown, West Virginia, wrote in 1909: I have often heard older people speak of Philip Gordon as being a very eccentric man. I recall some very amusing stories that I have heard related, illustrating his eccentricities. William Holland Gordon made the following statement in April, 1901: Uncle Philip was a great reader. I remember one Sunday he was sitting out under a cherry tree, beyond where the old graveyard is, reading. I was a very small boy then and was sent to call him. Just as I got there I saw him staggering, and a great gush of blood was spurting out on his mouth like a fountain. I was terribly frightened and ran to the house, and the people went down and got him. He didn’t live long after that. He was a small man – the only one of his family who was – and his temper was waspish. Philip Duke’s death is said to have been about 1845.

Thomas S. Steele, of Fairmont, West Virginia, the last surviving child of James and Cassandra Gordon Steele, wrote in 1909: My grandfather, Duke Gordon, as he was called, died in Monongalia County, West Virginia. I do not know about his birth place. I can’t tell you what nationality he was. He did not have any brogue. He also mentioned Omer Johnson, of Clinton Furnace, West Virginia, as another descendant, but the latter made no reply to a letter than addressed to him.


VI. Bazel Gordon was born “on the Monocaracy Creek”,(144) in Frederick County, Maryland, July 13, 1770. (145) With the rest of the family he emigrated to Monongalia County, West Virginia, between 1784 and 1789. (146) Not later than 1794 (147) he married Elizabeth Dillinger, of Greene County, Pennsylvania, daughter of David and Barbara Dillinger. She was born April 13, 1776, in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. About the time of his marriage, (148) Bazel Gordon settled in Greene County where the following children were born to him:
1. David, July 22, 1795;
2. Sarah, October 16, 1796;
3 Barbara, August 4, 1798;
4. Nancy, June 29, 1800;
5. Elizabeth, February 14, 1802;
6. John Duke, August 12, 1806;
7. Mary, March 23, 1807;
8. and Rebecca, November 23, 1809. (149)

In the last-named year, 1809, (150) the entire family emigrated to the neighborhood of West Union, Adams County, Ohio. The mother died March 4, 1851, and the father April 16, 1853. They were buried in a cemetery near West Union. (151)

1. David Gordon, born July 22, 1795, married Chistena Washburn, and emigrated to Missouri, where he died in April, 1851, (152) leaving at least two sons: James, born about 1837, and David. James Gordon was living in 1907 near Seneca, Nemaha County, Kansas. (153) Judge William Henry Gordon wrote of the other son, February 7, 1902: I have talked with my cousin, David Gordon, who is much older than myself, who had a memory that would retain almost everything… but he is getting old and … has forgotten many things…

2. Sarah Gordon, born October 16, 1796, married Joseph Sanlee, and lived in Noble County, Ohio. (154)

3. Barbara Gordon, born August 4, 1798, married George Jameson, lived in Brown County, Ohio and died in 1871. (155)

4. Nancy Gordon, born June 29, 1800, married Abraham Middleswort (sic), lived in Brown County, Ohio and died in 1872. (156)

5. Elizabeth Gordon, born February 14, 1802 married James Jameson. (157)

6. John Duke Gordon, born August 12, 1806 (158) married Ann Maria Riffle, who was born December 5, 1812 and was of German descent. (159) He died about 1895. (160) They were the parents of the following children:
6.1. Judge William Henry, born November 27, 1843;
6.2. George WW. Born December 1, 1844, who served in the 34th Ohio Infantry (Civil War), and while so serving was drowned in the Kanawha River December 4, 1861;
6.3. Francis M. born August 26, 1846, who lived in Adams County, Ohio and died November 3, 1870;
6.4. Catharine Jane, born March 15, 1848, who died March 27, 1849;
6.5. John A. born October 23, 1849, who married on September 9, 1875, Laura Music, lived in Adams County, Ohio and died March 24, 1876;
6.6. Mary E. born December 6, 1851 who married John W. Campbell, lived in Adams County, Ohio and died March 12, 1873;
6.7. Aris C. born June 12, 1853 who married on November 19, 1871, George W. Weeks, and lives (1910) in Adams County, Ohio;
6.8. Martha E. Born August 2, 1855, who married on December 24, 1864 (1874?), A.H. Mahaffey and lives at Hills Fork, Adams County, Ohio; (161)
6.9. and David Franklin born December 22, 1857.

Judge William Henry Gordon born November 27, 1843, served four years in Company I of the 39th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, went to Page County, Iowa; in the spring of 1866 and on April 14, 1869, married Lucinda Ward of Nebraska. He went thence to Rockport, Missouri, about 1884, where he was judge of probate for three terms, and finally moved to Caldwell, Idaho, in 1907, where he has a ranch and is still living (1910). (163)

7. Mary Gordon born March 23, 1807, married Jacob Washburn.

8. Rebecca Gordon born November 23, 1809, married Zacharia B. Washburn. (162)


VII. William Gordon was born in Maryland (164) – very probably in Frederick County (165) – November 5, 1772 (166). He presumably went with the rest of the Gordons to Monongalia County, West Virginia, not later than 1789.(167) In 1793, (168) or shortly before, he married Mary Carroll, who was born August 29, 1773. (169) She was the daughter of Anthony Carroll who served in the English Navy and came at an early day close to Morgantown. He (Anthony Carroll) married a Miss. Dunaway. (170)

About 1795 (171) William Gordon and his wife moved with the other Gordons to Greene County, Pa. William and his brother John Adam I took up a good-sized tract of land in partnership, (172) which tract they afterwards divided. (173) The “old Billy barn” built by him is still a landmark on the Gordon Homestead. William and his wife were the parents of the following children:
1. James, born March 20, 1794;
2. Sarah, born October 10, 1795;
3. Bazel, born January 12, 1797;
4. John, born May 27, 1798;
5. Margaret, born October 19, 1799;
6. Elizabeth, born November 9, 1801;
7. Mary, born august 31, 1803;
8. Eleanor, born February 26, 1805;
9. Nancy, born November 3, 1806;
10. Anthony, born august 27, 1807;
11. Adam, born august 27, 1810. (174)

Mary Carroll Gordon died in 1814, (175) and her husband married Mary Cain, who was born October 3, 1788. (176)

By her he had the following children:
12. William, born January 20, 1817;
13. Jane, born October 16, 1818;
14. Catherine, born March 15, 1820; (177)
15. Susannah, born March 6, 1823;
16. Casandrew (sic), born January 7, 1825;
17. Lucy, born February 6, 1827;
18. Mark, born April 6, 1829;
19. George, born April 1, 1832. (178)

William Gordon was affectionately remembered by the Gordons of Greene County. He acted as a father to some of them, (179) and was generally recognized as the head of the clan.

About 1830, (180) with all of his family except his daughter Nancy, (181) he emigrated to Perry County, Ohio, where he acquired land and where he died November 5, 1849. The “Somerset Post” of Thursday, November 8, 1849, contained this notice: “Died – at his residence in Reading township, Perry County, on Sunday the 5th inst., William Gordon, at the advanced age of 77 years. Like the Patriarchs of old he has descended to the tomb, full of years and full of hope, surrounded by a large number of relatives and an extensive circle of friends beloved and respected by all; and no man was more deserving of friendship, for he was a good husband, a good father, a good counselor, a good instructor for he taught by example as well as by precept, a good neighbor, a good citizen, and. We trust, a good Christian. May he rest in peace.” (182)

His second wife (Mary Cain Gordon) died August 13, 1868. (183)

Mary Hewitt Kuster wrote, may 27, 1901: I had heard…that grandfather William Gordon could not write, but I knew that there were no opportunities in those days, and I knew also that when he came out to Ohio… he was referee and judge by public consent in all maters needing counsel and judgment in all his part of the country.

1.James Gordon, born march 20, 1794, married Sarah Rinehart, who was born January 1, 1795. He died November 4, 1844, and she April 29, 1877. (184) Their oldest child was named Basel. He was born near Waynesburg, Pa., in 1818, went to Perry County, Ohio, with his parents and died in February, 1889. Basil had twelve children, ten of whom were living in 1908, among them P.A. Gordon of 836 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. (185)

James Gordon and his wife had twelve children besides Basil, only two of whom were living in 1908, viz., Elizabeth Gordon McGreery, born June 30, 1826, and Thomas R. Gordon, born May 28, 1837, both of Junction City, Ohio.(186)

2. Sarah Gordon born October 10, 1795, married Jacob Johnson of Greene County, Pa. He died may 1, 1832, and she April 1, 1872, leaving at least two sons, William and Jacob.

3. Bazel Gordon born January 12, 1797, married Sarah Shriver (187) and died in 1826. They had a daughter, Maria, born in Franklin Township, Greene County, Pa., January 6, 1824, who married December 21, 1843, John Ingraham Worley. (188) These latter were the parents of the following children:
3.1. Sarah Ann, wife of Robert W. Dougan, of Waynesburg, Pa.;
3.2. William Gordon, of whom see infra;
3.3. David Robert of Kansas City;
3.4. Dr. Jesse Lee of Washington Court House, Ohio;
3.5. Alpheus Brown of Blacksville, West Virginia;
3.6. Elizabeth Dora, wife of Rev. James E. Mercer, of Clifton, Illinois.

Maria Gordon Worley was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church and died February 7, 1877. (189) William Gordon Worley was born august 1, 1846, in Greene County, pa., graduated at Waynesburg College in 1872, taught school, read law with Berkshire and Sturgiss, of Morgantown and was admitted to the bar of Preston County September 7, 1874, and was elected prosecuting attorney in 1876. (190) He was living in Kingwood in 1908.

4. John Gordon born march 27, 1798, died young.

5. Margaret Gordon born October 19, 1799, married John S. Hay, and lived in Perry County, Ohio. He died November 10, 1874, and she November 10, 1875.

6. Elizabeth Gordon born November 9, 1801, married John Wiseman, and lived in Perry County, Ohio, where he died November 23, 1870. She had no family. (191)

7. Mary Gordon born august 31, 1803, married James Clark and had at least one daughter, Elizabeth, born about 1828, who married McClain, and was living in southern Perry County in 1908. (192)

8. Eleanor Gordon born February 26, 1805;

9. Nancy Gordon born November 3, 1806, married David Spragg, who was born may 2, 1806. They were the parents of the following children:

9.1.Mary born in 1827 who married Hon. Jesse Phillips in 1845, and died September 29, 1872, leaving the following family:

9.1.1. William D.,
9.1.2. Richard,
9.1.3. Caleb,
9.1.4. Levi,
9.1.5. Adam F.,
9.1.6. Thomas E.,
9.1.7. Jesse L.,
9.1.8. Deborah F.,
9.1.9. James L.,
9.1.10. John W.,
9.1.11. Otho,
9.1.12. Nancy E.

9.2.Caleb A., born December 18, 1829, who married on November 6, 1851, Sarah Johnson. She died December 21, 1882 leaving five children:

9.2.1. Dr. Sylvanus L., of Waynesburg;
9.2.2. Francis M. of Harrison County, Missouri;
9.2.3. David G. of Harrison County, Missouri;
9.2.4. William E.,proprietor of the marble works in Waynesburg;
9.2.5. Clara N., wife of Corbly K. Spragg.

Caleb A. Spragg then married april 6, 1884, Matilda Porter, and had one other child, Porter M.

9.3. William born November 14, 1832, married Sarah A. Brock in October, 1859, had six children and died October 10, 1872.

9.4. Adam married Lydia Pettit December 3, 1858, had four children and died September 10, 1872.

9.5. Debbie born may 14, 1839, married Joel Strawn in 1858, and had six children. Joel Strawn died in 1871 and his widow married her brother-in-law, Hon. Jesse Phillips. They had three children: George, Daniel and Clemmie. Nancy Gordon Spragg died in March 1886. She was ‘of a kind disposition, and their home was one of the most attractive in the neighborhood (Wayne Township). He (David Spragg) and his wife lived a long and happy life together and were known to everyone in that neighborhood as ‘Uncle Dave and Aunt Nancy’. (193)

10. Anthony Gordon born august 27, 1807, died young.

11. Adam Gordon born august 27, 1810, married Eleanor Shriver, lived in Perry County and died October 1, 1833, leaving an only child, Jacob James, born 1884. The latter became a physician and settled as a very young man at Cairo, Illinois. He held an honorable place in the town and community and for a radius of at least a hundred miles he was called upon (professionally). In 1876, when yellow fever devastated the South… he battled nobly and the town presented him with a gold medal. He died in 1893. He left two children: a son, Dr. Joseph Johnson Gordon, who is a physician in Detroit (1914); and a daughter, Adella born in 1863, who married Dr. S.W. Bower, head of the World’s Medical Dispensary at Buffalo (1914). Dr. Joseph Johnson Gordon has a son named Hugh, and Adella Gordon Bower has two children: a daughter, Ruth, born in 1892, and a son, Gordon, born in 1897. (194)

12. William Gordon, born January 20, 1817, married Liddy Miller, lived in Perry County and died January 6, 1840.

13. Jane Gordon born October 16, 1818 married William Guyton, and lived in Hardin County, Ohio, where he died December 1, 1859.

14. Catharine Gordon born March 15, 1820, died young.

15. Susannah Gordon born march 6, 1823, married David Hewitt, and lived in Perry County. She died March 8, 1901, leaving at least one daughter, Mary Hewitt, who married John A. Kuster, of Columbus, Ohio. They have one daughter, Ruthmary, born in 1889. (195)

16. Cassandra Gordon born January 7, 1825, married Peter Cochran (sic), and lived in Perry County.

17. Lucy Gordon born February 6, 1827, married George Heffley. (196)

18. Mark Gordon born April 6, 1829, in Greene County, married on May 20, 1851, Mary Ann Ryan, daughter of Roddy and Mary Donley Ryan. She was born November 23, 1834. They lived at Somerset, Perry County, and were the parents of the following children:
18.1. Lucy born may 23, 1852, who died March 16, 1863;
18.2. Mary Ellen born April 8, 1856, who died June 16, 1863;
18.3. William Edward born December 9, 1859, who died June 7, 1863;
18.4. Sarah Jane born April 29, 1862;
18.5. Elizabeth Ann born April 20, 1865;
18.6. Thomas Roddy born June 15, 1868;
18.7. George Albert born March 21, 1871. (197)

Mark Gordon the father died at Somerset, Perry County about 1906. (198)

19. George Gordon born April 1, 1832, married Sarah Ryan born in 1840, (199) and was living as late as 1909 at Arcola, Illinois.

In general reference to the descendants of William Gordon, John A. Kuster of Columbus, Ohio wrote, May 18, 1901: Our home Gordons are not wellsprings of information…as I discovered…when I met the clans in Perry County. The oldest living descendants of William Gordon are William and Jacob Johnson, brothers and both octogenarians (sons of Sarah Gordon Johnson). William had no recollection of his grandfather or of any incident in his life… the Ohio Gordons are a sturdy race and have all the characteristics of a fine lineage. While some have risen to local distinction, they are generally a simple hearted, kind people, to whom virtue is of vastly more importance that anything the world has to offer. Mary Hewitt Kuster, wife of John A. Kuster also referred (1908) to a Mrs. Manrice Donahue of New Lexington whose husband was a judge, and whose grandmother was one of the William Gordon’s older daughters, and also to some Gordons living at Mt. Gilead (1902) and at Newark (1908), who she thought were relatives. These localities are all in Ohio.


VIII. George Gordon was born about 1774 (200) In Frederic County, Maryland. (201) He came to Monongalia County, West Virginia with his father and other members of the family, not later than 1789 (202) and to Greene County about 1795. (203) In Pennsylvania he married Ellen White, daughter of Israel White, a neighbor, (204) and his wife Sarah. They were the parents of the following children:
1. Mary, born in 1808, who married John Munyon, born in Pa.;
2. Rachel, born in 1810, who married Pheix (sic) Bell, and lived in West Virginia;
3. William David, born December 3, 1812, of whom see infra;
4. Sarah, born in 1814, who married Thomas Munyon, born in Pa., and lived in Wisconsin;
5. John, born in 181?, who married Eliza Ann Cease ?, born in Pa., and lived in Kankakee, Illinois;
6. James, born in 1818, who married Jane Saffel, born in Perry County, and lived in Missouri where he died about 1879;
7. Israel, born September 10, 1820, of whom see infra;
8. Bazel, born in 1822, who married Ellin (sic) Wells, born in Greene County and lived and died in Perry County, where he left at least two sons: John J. Gordon, a store-keeper and a Doctor Gordon both of Junction City; (205)
9. Ellen, born April 7, 1824, who married Alexander Evans, born May 26, 1820, and lived in Ohio where she died march 7, 1882;
10. George, born in 1826 who married Sarah Drumm (?);
11. Masa (sic), born in 1828 who died in may, 1833;
12. Isaac Brice, born in 1832 who married Elizabeth Evans born December 1, 1837 and lived in Kansas where his wife died May 14, 1878. (206)

George Gordon, the father, died September 24, 1831, and was buried in the old family burying-ground on the Gordon Homestead. (207) His widow died September 3, 1854. Some of George Gordon’s children went to Ohio but not so early as his brother William’s family (i.e., 1830). (208)

3. William David Gordon born December 3, 1812, married in April, 1832, Catherine Keenan, daughter of Patrick and Mary McNamee Keenan, who was born august 24, 1813. He died at Lancaster, Ohio, (209) December 22, 1874, and his wife March 27, 1877. They left the following children:
3.1. George P. Gordon born June 24, 1833, of whom see infra;
3.2. John J. born November 5, 1834, who married in November, 1856, Mary Ann Conley (?) and lived at Lancaster, Ohio;
3.3 Mary born June 28, 1836, who died April 3, 1868;
3.4. Ellen born March 21, 1838 who married Thomas G. Bates;
3.5. Catherine born February 15, 1840;
3.6. Margaret Jane born November 24, 1841 who married Thomas Malone and died in 1876;
3.7. Patrick A., born January 9, 1844;
3.8. Rachel born March 8, 1846 who died July 23, 1862;
3.9. Sarah born December 26, 1848 (1847?) who died March 3, 1863;
3.10. Julia Ann born august 13, 1849 who married on October 11, 1870, Cornelius Connedy (sic);
3.11. Elizabeth Cecelia born July 4, 1851 who married on September 19, 1876, George W. Mirgon (sic) and died April 29, 1880;
3.12. Mary Camilla born April 23, 1854 who married in April, 1877, Mack Davis. (210)

3.1. George P. Gordon born June 24, 1833, married on June 28, 1857, in Madison, Wisconsin, (211) Catherine Ring daughter of Matthew and Mary (McMullion?) Ring, who was born September 28, 1834. he died at Fort Wayne, Indiana, January 29, 1905. (212) The following were his children:
3.1.1. Rose E born June 24, 1858;
3.1.2. William David born February 13, 1861, who is living (1910) at 610 Bradley Ave., Peoria, Illinois;
3.1.3. John J. born December 18, 1862;
3.1.4. Matthew C. born January 16, 1865, who died February 4, 1865;
3.1.5. Daniel born March 12, 1866;
3.1.6. Mary Elizabeth born January 1, 1868; Joseph George born July 26, 1870;
3.1.7. Charles born November 21, 1872, who died December 17, 1872;
3.1.8. James Francis born December 1, 1873;
3.1.9. Charles Edward born December 8, 1877. (213)

7. Israel Gordon was born in Greene County September 10, 1820. (214) Not earlier that 1831 (215) he moved to Perry County where on February 13, 1843, he married Susan Irvin, daughter of Andrew and Margaret Irving. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 23, 1823. They later lived at Cardington, Morrow County, Ohio. Israel Gordon used to keep a pack of hounds and occasionally came to Greene County. (216) He and his wife were the parents of the following children:
7.1 George Washington born March 29, 1845, who married on April 4, 1869, Minerva McDonald born may 30, 1848, and lived at Cardington;
7.2. Margaret born July 25, 1846, who married on July 18, 1869, James Turner and lived at Chesterville, Ohio; (217)
7.3. Andrew Jackson born November 26, 1848, who married on November 14, 1869, Rachel Larew born October 4, 1847 and lived at Mt. Gilead, Ohio;
7.4. Harriet born January 12, 1849 (1850?) who died August 22, 1863;
7.5. Thomas Francis born June 8, 1852, who lived at Chesterville, Ohio;
7.6. Robert Samuel born January 14, 1855, who married on February 13, 1878, Mary Evans born April 29, 1860, and lived at Chesterville, Ohio;
7.7. Charles Wilson born March 12, 1859, who lived at Chesterville, Ohio.


IX. John Gordon was born about 1775, (218) in Frederick County, Maryland. (219) He went with the other members of his family to Monongalia County, West Virginia, not later than 1789, (220) and to Greene County, Pa., about 1795. (221) There he married Nancy Rinehart, a sister of the second sheriff of the county. (222) His wife died in May, 1820, and he in 1830 or 1831. (223) The following were their children:
1. Sarah born in September, 1794, who married Samule Seals and died in November, 1881, leaving a son, John Seals, her husband having died in January, 1859;
2. Nancy born in January, 1796, who married in November, 1821, Arthur McCartney born march 8, 1792, lived in Perry County and died in December, 1869;
3. Mary who married William Orndoff and died in 1880;
4. Charlotte who married Peter Strochnider (Strosnider?);
5. William and Patty, twins, the latter of whom married Mr. Smith, and lived in Greene County;
6. Basil who died in March 1862;
7. John;
8. Elly who married George Hay and lived in Iowa, where she died in April, 1841;
9. Samuel who married Dolly wells and lived in Perry County;
10. Bernard;
11. Zedediah who lived in Greene County. (224)

Some of these children were taken to Perry County by their Uncle William to be educated. (225)