Clifford Family

CLIFFORD FAMILY. Four families named, respectively, Prichett, Meharg, Parks and Clifford, came to Ligonier valley in one delegation, before the revolution. They all came from the one section in New Jersey, and the Cliffords prior to that came from England. Charles Clifford was the head of the family in Westmoreland county, and took up about four hundred acres of land on which he lived as a farmer during the remainder of his life. This land was on Mill Creek, about two and a half miles northeast of the present borough of Ligonier. The story of his capture by the Indians and also of the shooting of an Indian by his son. James, has been told among the Indian tales in the first volume of this series. Charles was a soldier in the war of the revolution, his name being found on a miscellaneous list of soldiers of that war, called the "Original Depreciation Pay List,' on file among the public records at Harrisburg. After securing his release from the Indians, he returned to his family and remained there until his death in 1815. His remains were interred hi Fort Palmer cemetery. In Ligonier valley Charles Clifford married a woman named Gordon, and their children were: Jane, married John 1`Ienoher ; Sarah. married Robert Reed; Edward; Charles, married Miss Lytle, from whom is descended the Lockport Cliffords. Mary, married Joseph Whitesides: James, married Mary Rogers. It was he who shot the Indian near Fort Ligonier. He and his wife are buried in Fort Palmer cemetery; Joseph, of whom later: Thomas, married Catherine Lawson, and from them is descended Colonel John Clifford, who built Oak Grove Furnace, and was elsewhere engaged in the iron industry in Ligonier valley.

Joseph Clifford, son of Charles Clifford, was born in New Jersey, May 15, 1764, died in the Ligonier valley, Pennsylvania, June 9, 1841, aged seventy-seven years and twenty-five days. He was but a lad when brought by his father to the Ligonier valley, and he spent his life on the farm which has been in the possession of the family since April 22, 1772. The house which he built, with some improvements, is yet standing, and is now the residence of his grandson, Abram B. Clifford. About 1792 he married Isabella Prichett, born December 31, 1772, died June 23, 1855. She was a daughter of one of the four families referred to above. They had become tired of their home in Ligonier, valley, presumably because of the Indian incursions, and had concluded to move back to New Jersey and take their daughter Isabella with them. On the night before they were to start, Joseph Clifford took Isabella across the hills to Squire James Pollock's place, at present the Stark place, where they were married and Isabella remained a citizen of the valley until her death. Their children were: i. Mary, born February 17, 1793; married (first) Samuel Riddle, and after his death (second) John Taylor. She died December 11. 1875. 2. Charles, born April 5, 1795. died April 19, 1833, unmarried. 3. Sarah, born February 17, 1797, married Charles Menoher, died December 4, 1850. 4. William, born September 19, 1799. died unmarried, August 12, 1855. 5.  Jane. born May 4. 1802. died unmarried, October 4, 1835. 6. Rachel. horn December 15. 1804, married Thomas L. Beam, and is the mother of Dr. L. T. Beam, who perished in the Johnstown flood. She died February 14, 1836. 7. Edward, born July 27, 1807. died June 2. 1886. See below. 8. Rebecca, born January 17, 1810, married William McDowell, and died May 14. 1859. 9. Ann, born April 7, 1813, married James Menoher, and died February 8, 1899.

Edward Clifford, son of Joseph and Isabella (Prichett) Clifford, was born on. the Clifford homestead now occupied by his son, Abram B. Clifford, July 27. 1807, died June 2, 1886, and was buried at Fort Palmer. Throughout his life he was a farmer and stock dealer, was a man of more than ordinary powers, and became one of the wealthiest men of the valley in his day. In politics he was a staunch Democrat, and was twice chosen to fill the office of tax collector. He married, March 24, 1831, Catharine -Myers, born March 29, i8o8, died June 8, 187r, daughter of Christopher and Barbara Myers, and their children were: Joseph, mentioned hereafter. Christopher Myers, born June 24, 1834, died April 8, 1900. Charles H., born September 17. 1836, residing in Ligonier, a farmer. Benjamin Franklin, born June 24, 1839. died November 2, 1870. Abram B., mentioned hereafter. George E., born December 5, 1843, died unmarried, February 28, 1886.

Joseph Clifford, eldest son of Edward and Catharine (Myers) Clifford, was born in Ligonier township, Pennsylvania, January 29, 1832. In his early days he was a teacher in Ligonier township, and then became a merchant in Ligonier in partnership with N. M. Marker. After that he became a stock dealer, and after the custom of that day took large droves of cattle by way of the Pittsburg and Philadelphia pike to the eastern market. Still later he shipped stock from western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Chicago, and the west to Philadelphia and New York. He was afterwards engaged in the mercantile business in New Florence. and in the hotel business in Latrobe. After retiring from business, on account of his health, he resided in Greensburg. He was a man of large build and fine personal appearance. He was a Presbyterian in religion, and was a member of Kedron Chapter and K. T., of Greensburg. He married, June 29, 1858, Ellen Blythe Bean, and their children were: Catharine Ellen, Mary Blanch, died in infancy: Lawrence B., and Josephine. Joseph Clifford died at his home in Greensburg. Pennsylvania, December 29. 1892, and was buried in the Valley cemetery at Ligonier. His family now reside in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Abram B. Clifford, fifth son of Edward and Catharine (Myers) Clifford, was born October 7, 1841. on the same farm which had been the birthplace of his father. He received-his education in the public schools, and has always remained on the homestead, cultivating his ancestral acres and engaging in stock raising. Like his father he has always been a Democrat in politics. He married, October 27, 1868, Margaret C. Best, of Ligonier valley, daughter of William and Catherine (Campbell) Best, and their children were: 1. Edward B., married -Mary Isabelle Blyth, of Wellsville, Ohio. They reside at Homestead, Pennsylvania. 2. Mary, widow of F. S. Kleindienst. 3. Nancy Maud, wife of Denny C. Marker, of Ligonier. 4. Hargnett F., of Ligonier. married Nettie McIntyre, of Wichita, Kansas. 5. Willie May, resides in Wilkensburg, Pennsylvania. 6. Simon Y., a resident of Wilkensburg. 7. Margie June, wife of Charles Robb, of Ligonier valley. 8. Paul E., resides at home. 9. Mertha, died August i8, 1888, aged four years, four months and nine days. There was also and son who died in childhood. The mother of these children. Margaret Best Clifford, died November 24, 1889. and was buried in Valley cemetery at Ligonier, Pennsylvania.  

Source: Page(s) 245-246, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed August 2008 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

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