Ayr Township, Bedford County

WHEN BEDFORD County was erected in 1771, what had been known as Ayr Township, Cumberland County, as previously described, was included therein. After the purchase of 1754, the Provincial Authorities granted proprietary titles to the land in gradually increasing numbers; and, generally speaking, in the following order: The Scotch-Irish came earliest, and settled on the choicest limestone valley land. A close second to these were their Irish kin. The settlers on Licking Creek and Tonolloways, French and English, settled on the less desirable red shale lands, entering from the south, form the third group. Scattered among these one finds an occasional German name, but the greater number of these are to titles to land lying higher between those of the Scotch-Irish and the base of the Tuscarora Mountain to the eastward or beyond Scrub Ridge to the westward at Dutch Corner, implying that the German settlers were latest to arrive. Down through nearly two centuries, only descendants of this early American stock are found, only thirty-six foreign-born being listed in the 1920 population of Fulton County.

While a few warrants for land had been granted to settlers while Ayr Township was part of Cumberland County, the greater number of grants were while it was part of Bedford County. The taking up of land by settlers and the construction of the Chambersburg-Bedford turnpike, are the only developments of that period. A settler made application to the Provincial Authorities for a certain amount of land and a warrant indicating the claim was issued to him. Upon payment of the amount asked by the Authorities, a patent was issued, the land not belonging to the individual, or those who followed him upon the land, until payment in full had been made. The number ofyears elapsing between the issuing of warrant and patent indicate that many of the settlers were long in paying for the land. Also there were squatters on the 1and who ignored the formality of application, warrant, and patent. In many cases the matter of payment had been ignored entirely. A recent bulletin (1936) issued in Harrisburg showed that Fulton County has 223 tracts of land, containing 23,500 acres with defective titles.

Some of the early warrants and patents in the Great Cove were as follows: (Where but one date is given, cannot say whether warrant or patent is indicated)

Jacob Alexander

Wt. July 5, 1762

Pat. Feb. 12, 1786

To Jacob Alexander

John Rannells

Wt. June 9, 1763

Pat. Jan. 22, 1774

To John Rannells

John &. Bryan Coyle


(The John Kendall Farm

William Kendall)

Robert Hammell

Surveyed by order

dated Feb. 4, 1767

Pat. Dec. 21, 1774

To Robert Hammell

Charles Taggart

Wt. Mar. 26, 1767

Pat. Apr. 26, 1813

To Charles Taggart and heirs

William Beatty

Surveyed by order

dated Apr. 16, 1767

Pat. Aug. 11, 1806

To Daniel Jacobs

David Scott

Wt. June 17, 1767

Pat. Nov., 1774

To David Scott

David Scott

Wt. June 20, 1767

Pat. Nov. 24, 1774

To David Scott

Martha Hunter alias

Swan alias Scott

Wt. Nov. 22, 1768

Pat. Nov. 24, 1771

To Martha Scott

James Wilson

Wt. June 15, 1767

Pat. Aug. 24, 1774

To Jacob Cafsner

Robert Hammell

Wt. Dec. 22, 1774

Pat. Dec. 10, 1791.

To Robert Hammell

John Harper

Oct. 25, 1784

Wendell Ott

Feb. 17, 1785

Abraham Lowrey

Wt. Feb. 25, 1785

Pat. Oct. 29, 1789

To Abraham Lowrey

Alexander Scott Lowrey

Wt. Feb. 25, 1785

Pat. Oct. 30, 1785

To Alex. Scott Lowrey

Abednego Stevens

?? Wt: Mar., 1785

Pat. Mar. 17, 1815

To Abednego Stevens

Richard Pittman

Wt. May 11, 1785 Pat. Mar. 17, 1815

To Richard Pittman

William Gibson

Wt. June 18, 1785

Pat. Nov. 4, 1790

To Mary Gibson

Frederick Humburgh

and Lawrence Bulgar

Wt. June 18, 1785

Pat. Apr. 13, 1813

To Warrantee

John McClellan

Wt. May 11, 1785

Pat. June 22, 1785

To John McClellan

William Alexander

Wt. Feb. 6, 1786

Pat. Feb. 6, 1786

To William Alexander

Charles Taggart

Wt. Feb. 6, 1786

Pat. Oct. 1, 1844

To Charles Taggart

James Gibson

Feb. 28, 1786

(James Kendall Farm)

John McKinley

Wt. Mar. 7, 1786

Pat. Dec. 13, 1813

To John McKinley

Henry Downes

Wt. Mar. 6, 1786

Pat. Dec. 13, 1813

To Hugh Armstrong

Robert Taggart

Wt. Oct. 28, 1786

Pat. Apr. 10, 1801

To Robert Taggart

Warrants and Patents for Mountain Land of the Great Cove

John Godfrey

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John Godfrey

William Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John Godfrey

Martha Godfrey

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Joseph Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

John Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

John Kelso

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Jesse Brooks

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Jesse Evans

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Edward Price

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

Joseph Roberts

Wt. Mar.18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

Sarah Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Mary Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Rebecca Lane

Wt.? Mar. 21, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

and Heirs

Sarah Lane

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Peter Smith

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Rebecca Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Susanna Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Joseph Taylor

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey

Robert Thomas

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 21, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

John Maybin

Wt. Mar. I8, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Adam Mindenhall

Wt. Mar. I8, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs

Paul Custer

Wt. Mar. 18, 1794

Pat. Dec. 23, 1796

To John W. Godfrey and Heirs


WELLS - Alexander Alexander was the earliest settler in Wells Valley, coming in 1772. Being people of great personal courage, reso1ution, and ingenuity, they gradually strengthened their hold, though, because of a band of foraging Indians they deemed it wiser to spend the winter of 1777-17178 in the settlements of the Great Cove. Much of their furniture and improvements were fashioned by their own hands, the clothing being made by the women. The Alexanders took their wheat and corn to Fort Lyttleton to have it ground. They went to Fort Loudon and Carlisle to shop. They were Presbyterians.

BRUSH CREEK - Shortly after the French and Indian War a settler named Whipkey came into Brush Creek. He is known to have been the very first settler in the valley, though records are not available as to the time he lived there. He seems to have moved on when other settlers came, but his name still lingers in Whips Cove. Adam Smith obtained a warrant for a tract of land in Brush Creek in 1774. Hannah Martin in 1784 obtained a grant of 483 acres east of Crystal Spring Camp Ground. In 1785 George Ensley secured a tract of 498 acres east and south of Rhoms Gap. In 1794 George Barton came from New Jersey and to Brush Creek. The Bartons seem to have been a race ofphysicians and teachers. This is especially true of those of New Jersey and near Philadelphia, from which the Fulton County branch came; these carrying forward the tradition of teaching. In 1803 five families from Landon County, Virginia, came into Brush Creek. They were William Hanks, cousin of Nancy Hanks, mother of Lincoln, James James, Jacob Lodge, Ephriam and Robert Akers, and Samuel Jackson. Most of these names are familiar today in Brush Creek Township.

CLEAR RIDGE-In 1794, Charles Lowell and James Justice settled in the vicinity of Clear Ridge. John Hollan, William Henry, Thomas Stinson and Nathan Baker were among the early settlers.


The first Methodist organization of which there is any record is 1791. This congregation was at a place called Laverings, at the base of Sideling Hill, midway between the turnpike and Warfordsburg. There were several families of Methodists in Wells Valley as early as 1790. In 1800 a regular class was organized, which held services in private homes until 1818, when a log cabin was. erected near where the Valley Methodist now stands. This was torn down in 1828 when under the leadership of Joseph Woodcock a more serviceable building was erected. At Hustontown the first Methodist church was built, near the southeast corner of the present cemetery. It was named Hartman Chapel, the same as present structure, the first minister being Daniel Hartman. Mr. Hartman was one of the early circuit riders, so-called from the fact that they rode horseback on their rounds, their circuit being about the same as the McConnellsburg and Hustontown circuit. At the close of his life, Mr. Hartman was brought back and buried at the scene of his early 1abors. Bishop Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who had received his appointment from John Wesley, preached one sermon at Fort Lyttleton in 1810. At present (1936) there are about a dozen small Methodist Churches located in various parts of the County, usually three or four supplied by one minister.

April 8, 1834, a call for ministerial services of Rev. Nathan G. White, who had just been received as a licentiate from the Presbytery of Newcastle, was laid before the Carlisle Presbytery, from the Church of Great Cove, Pa., including the inhabitants of Wells Valley and Licking Creek. The call was accepted by Mr. White. On the 12th of September, 1835, the Green Hill Presbyterian Church was organized--the Licking Creek Church. Mr. White and later ministers gave alternate Sundays to the church at McConnellsburg, and one Sunday each month to each of the other two churches.

There are Christian, Brethren, Baptist and United Brethren Churches also in the county, but no available records. For so small a territory, the County seems over-churched. The maintenance of so many churches in the day of annihilated distances is a problem needing attention.


In Ayr Township, about four miles south of McConnellsburg, there was a school at Big Springs on Benjamin Stevens' land as early as 1777, the only school at that time in the Big Cove. A man named Boyd was the teacher. Another school was opened in 1780 about a half mile south of McConnellsburg.

Wells Township had one school prior to 1790. 1n 1803 another school was started. By 1809 there were three schools in Wells.

The first schools in what is now Licking Creek Township were German schools, taught by John and Jacob Eller, between 1790 and 1800. Henry Strait afterward taught an English school several miles from the Eller school. Within five years from the enactment of the free school law its provisions went into effect in every township now comprising Fulton County.

The only very progressive County Superintendent Fulton County has known was Mr. Horace M. Griffith. During his regime four of the townships of the County erected consolidated schools. Belfast at Needmore, Bethel at Warfordsburg, Dublin at Fort Littleton, Licking Creek at Saluvia. These did away with the ineffective one-room schools and provided training for the children through the twelve grades under thoroughly-prepared teachers. Taylor built a high school at Hustontown but did not consolidate the grades. The other six townships are still satisfied with the one-room schools, though the teachers in recent years have been much better qualified than formerly.

Militia serving in the Revolution from that part of Bedford County which is now Fulton:

Ambrozier, Matthias

Applegate, James

Alexander, Alexander

Alexander, Hugh

Alexander, Robert

Alexander, William

Arthurs, John

Barnett, Thomas

Barrott, Thomas

Bell, Joseph

Bishop, George

Boorman, Jacob

Brown, John

Coleman, Philip

Collens, James

Colwel, Mathhias

Conner, Edward

Conner, William

Coul, Jacob

Covalt, Bethnel

Covalt, Timothy

Cunningham, William

Darby, John

Davice, Joshua

Davie, Philip.

Dishan, Matthias

Dison, William

Dogart, Jacob

Dole, James

Down, Henry

Feren, Thomas

Fisher, John

Gatrel, John

George, Robert

George, Paul

Gibson, Robert

Golloway, George

Graham, James

Graham, John

Grahom, Andrew

Grahom, Edward

Harbison, Hugh

Head, Edward

Heart, Jacob

Hill, John

Hlll, Robert

Hohman, John

Homble, Nathaniel

Hull, Solomon

Humburd, Frederick

Hunter, David

Hunter, John

Hunter, William

Kar, Samuel

Keay, Francis

Kenard, John

Kimble, Peter

Kindel, Robert

Lance, John

Lidy, David

Limon, Thomas

Linn, Adam

Linn, John

Longstreach, James

Longstreach, John

Longstreach, Martin

Long-street, Philip

Lowery, Alex. Scott

McClain, Jacob

McClain John

McClemon, James

McCray, Thomas

McDonel, James

McFaden, John

McGaughey, Joseph

McKindley, Joseph

Mallott, Jacob

Mau, Barnet

Melot, Dory

Melot, John

Melot, Obediah

Milburn, John

Miller, George

Morton, Richard

Morton, Thomas

Morton, William

Murry, James

Murry, John

Murph, Patrick

Myers, Gasper

Nelson, James

Nicholas, John

Novels, Joseph

Ott, Wendell

Paton, James

Paxton, John

Patterson, William

Pesk, Benjamin

Pittman, Richard

Pittman, William

Renkins, James

Renkins, John

Roharty, Bartholomew

Rondels, Francis

Rush, Henry (Capt.)

Rush, Peter

Sead, William

Scott, James

Shingledaker, George

Shingledaker, Jacob

Shingledaker, Michael

Shock, Jacob

Sipes, Henry

Slaughter, John

Smith, Henry

Smith, John

Sloan, William

Sousley, Henry

Staul, Michael

Stephens, Amos

Stephens, Benjamin

Swartwoler, Peter

Taggart, Charles (Capt.)

Troax, John

Troax, Samuel

Wallace, Ephriam

Walker, George

Wason, William

Watson, William

Welsh, Francis

Westcarver, George

Wienter, Stephen

Wilkins, Robert

Wilkins, William

Williams, John

Wilson, Charles

Wilson, George

Wilson, John

Wilson, Robert

Wilson, Thomas

Wilson, William

Work, Jacob

(Source: The History of Fulton County Pennsylvania, Elsie S. Greathead, 1936, pp. 10-21)

Contributed for use by the Bedford County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/~bedford/)

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