Jackson Family

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Probably no one family have been more prominently identified with the settlement and material prosperity of Kiskiminetas township than the Jackson family. The family is of Irish extraction, and we learn that James Jackson came from Ireland with his parents when a lad about seven or eight years of age. The family first settled in Westchester, Chester county, Pennsylvania, but soon moved to Hannahstown, in Westmoreland county, and were among the first settlers of that locality, of which they were residents when the embryo village was destroyed by the Indians. From this place they soon removed to what is now Kiskiminetas township, and were among the first, if not the first, to make improvements north of the river. Here James Jackson attained manhood, married, and died at the advanced age of eighty-four years. The death of his wife, Jane, occurred at a ripe old age some ten years prior to her husband's. They were blessed with five children, four boys and one girl, who attained manhood and womanhood. Their eldest son, John, was born October 12, 1797, in Kiskiminetas township, and it continued to be his home until his death, which occurred January 8, 1853. Reared, as he was, in a pioneer's home, sharing the toils and privations incident to a residence in the wilderness, he was specially prepared to cope with nature in its wildest aspect of unleveled forest and uncultivated fields, and well did he fulfill his arduous portion in life and assist in laying the foundations for the manifold blessings we now enjoy. Starting without assistance in life, the farm owned by his father having passed from their possession, he first purchased seventy-five acres of uncultivated land, now possessed by his sons, S.M. and J.Y. Jackson, and boldly began the arduous task of carrying out for himself a home in the wilderness under the many discouraging surroundings of the pioneer, but being possessed of indomitable pluck and energy, he became one of the most successful farmers of this section, and his small farm of seventy-five acres was gradually increased until he became the possessor, at one time, of between 600 and 800 acres. Mr. Jackson took an active part in educational affairs and was for many years a member of the district school board. Politically he affiliated with the Whig party, then in a minority in the county. Although wedded to his chosen avocation, he took deep interest in public affairs and was one of a company that built the first bridge across the Kiskiminetas, at Apollo.

Mr. Jackson was very esteemed by his associates and was selected near and far to act as arbitrator in disputes between neighbors, and he was always just and equitable in the decisions. Although not a member of any church, he attended the United Presbyterian church, of which he was a liberal supporter.

October 5, 1826, he married Elizabeth McCartney, of Scotch parentage, who was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, October 10, 1805, and died August 9, 1880. She was a most estimable Christian lady, being a member of the United Presbyterian church, and well fulfilled her mission in life both as a companion for her husband and a mother to her children, to whom she was devotedly attached, and her affection for them was warmly reciprocated.

They became the parents of ten children, viz: Nancy Jane (Coleman), Sarah T (Martin), James Y., Samuel M., John T., William T., (deceased) Mary E. (Owens), Martha M. (Cochran), Joseph B., and Winfield S. (deceased).

Source: Page(s) 232-246, History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania by Robert Walker Smith, Esq. Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883.
December 1998 by Rodney G. Rosborough for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Rodney G. Rosborough for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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