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The Witherow Family Genealogy

B. F. M. MacPherson
Frederick County Backgrounds

Originally published in 1969 in the Emmitsburg Chronicle

The historical and genealogical data, pertaining to the Witherow clan of both Maryland and Pennsylvania, is continued at this time.

In the first row of graves in the Witherow family burial plot is a rather large marker — the most outstanding one erected to that family. On one side is the following inscription:

  • "William Witherow/ died February 3, 1814/ aged 38 years".
  • "Sarah Witherow/ died Nov. 8, 1836/ aged 68 years.
  • "John Witherow/ died March 5, 1888/ aged 82 years, 2 months/ and 6 days.
  • "Margaret Witherow/ died Apr. 4, 1881/ aged 73 years".

It will be remembered that William Witherow, son of Johnand Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, married Sarah Cooper. They were the parents of three children—two of whom died unmarried—namely John and Margaret Witherow. This stone was obviously erected to the memory of this branch of the family. The actual graves do not have individual markers but it is safe to assume that they are located near the family monument.

John Witherow, another son of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, married Jane Ross and a record of that marriage is to be found in the records of the Rev. David McConaughty, minister of the Upper Marsh Creek and Great Conewago Presbyterian Churches.

"Married, Dec. 28, 1810, John Witherow of Frederick County, Md., to Jane Ross, daughter of Mr. David Ross of Strabane Twp., Adams County, Pa."

John and Jane (Ross) Witherow were the parents of six children — two sons and four daughters, as follows:

  • Jane Eleanor Witherow, died unmarried — buried in the family plot at Tom's Creek church-yard. The inscription from the marker at her grave is as follows:

"In memory of Jane Eleanor Witherow, died June 3, 1889, aged 76 years, 8 months and 2 days."

  • Margaret Barbour Witherow — married first to Sheler Stewart and after his death be-came the third wife of the Rev. Robert Smith Grier.
  • Margaret BarbourWitherow-Stewart-Grier is buried in the Stewart family plot and the inscription from the marker at her grave reads:

"In memory of Mrs. Margaret B. Stewart, wife of Rev. Robert S. Grier. Born June 26, 1818, died March 8, 1902."

  • Elizabeth Witherow — died unmarried. Buried in the family plot in Tom's Cheek church-yard. "In memory of Elizabeth Witherow, died July 18, 1844, in her 30th year."
  • John Ross Witherow married Mary Hoy. Note: There is a John Ross F. Witherow buried in the family plot at Tom's Creek and it is possible that this is the grave of the first son of John and Jane Ross Witherow.

The inscription follows: "John Ross F. Witherow, (lied April 6, 1856, aged 34 years."

  • T. Scott Witherow—married Lavinia Jett, died young and is buried in the family plot at Tom's Creek. Note: The marker at the grave of T. Scott Withrow is badly worn and is impossible at this late date, to decipher the inscription.
  • Sarah L. Witherow — married James T. Hayes.

Immediately adjoining the Witherow family plot, on the north, are the graves of James Thomas and Sarah L. (Witherow) Hayes, as well as that of their infant son. The inscriptions follow:

"In memory of James Thomas Hayes, born March 31, 1833, died March 16, 1912.

"Sarah Ann Witherow, wife of James T. Hayes, born January 22, 1832. Died April 1, 1912."

"Sacred to the memory of John Witherow Hayes, son of J. T. and S. A. Hayes. Born March 18, 1963, died April 25, 1866."

David Witherow, son of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, married Nancy Walker. Seven children were born to them as follows:

  • Joseph W. Witherow — no further information.
  • E. Harriet Newell Witherow. Died unmarried, buried in the family plot at Tom's Creek. "In memory of Harriet Newell Witherow, daughter of David and Nancy Witherow. Born May 8, 1826, died Feb. 7, 1868.
  • Elizabeth J. Witherow--no additional data.

  • John Stewart Witherow — no further information.
  • Washington W. Witherow married Mary R. Crooks.

Washington W. Witherow was a miller and owned the mill at Witherow's Dam, on Marsh. Washington Witherow. and his wife reared a large family and one of their daughters became the wife of the Rev. Father Thurlow W. Null.

In the Witherow family plot at Tom's Creek are the graves of Washington and Mary R. (Crooks) Witherow.

"W. W. Witherow, born February 23, 1833, died Feb. 27, 1872. Member of Co. B, 21st. Pennsylsylvania Vol. Cavalry."

"In memory of Mary R. Crooks, wife of Washington W. Witherow, born May 23, 18 36. Died March 17, 1911."

  • Sarah M. Witherow — no further information.
  • Margaret Witherow — no additional information.

Both David (2) and his wife, Nancy (Walker) Witherow, are interred in the family plot at Tom's Creek.

In memory of David Witherow, died Feb. 14, 1847, aged 62 years."

"In memory of Nancy Withrow, wife of David Witherow, died March 19, 1873, aged 76 yrs.. 5 months and 19 days."

The Witherow family was, and is, a far reaching one — they intermarried with many of the other so-called Scotch-Irish—therefore their genealogy has a number of facets.

Jane Witherow, the daughter of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, was first married to Robert Cooper. Presumably Robert Cooper "died young" and it is reasonable to assume that he was buried in Tom's Creek churchyard. If so, the grave was never marked, or the tomb-stone has long since disappeared.

After the death of her first husband Jane Witherow-Cooper was married, for the second time, to Henry Williams, member of a pioneer family in Tom's Creek Hundred. The Williams' plot in the old Presbyterian churchyard is enclosed by an iron fence of intricate design. The two tomb-stones within the enclosure are what is known as "altar tombs." The inscriptions follow:

"In memory of my parents, Henry Williams and Jane Williams. The former was born in 1743, and died in 1820. The latter was born in 1779 and died in 1854."

 "Washington Williams, son Williams Henry and Jane 1817, died 1822."

In his will John Witherow mentions four daughters, namely, Elizabeth, Jane, Margaret and Sara Witherow. Of these Sarah Witherow, the fourth daughter, had apparently, displeased her father in some way or another, for he left her only $25. Her sisters were to receive "each one hundred pounds lawful money."

Sarah Witherow was twice married. Her first venture into matrimony was to James Marshall. The Marshalls lived in Carroll's Tract and were members of the Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian Church and they buried in the Lower Marsh Creek graveyard. It is quite likely that the husband of Sarah Witherow is interred with his people at Marsh Creek although no marker can be found for him.

Two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth Marshall were born to Sarah and James Marshall.

After the death of her first hu sband Sarah Witherow-Marshall was married to Alexander Horner. Four children were born to them—namely, George Washington Horner, Mary Jane Horner. David W. Horner, and Alexander Love Horner.

Sarah Witherow-Marshall-Horner is buried in the family plot in Tom's Creek churchyard. The inscription from the marker at her grave reads:

"In memory of Sarah Horner, wife of 'Alexander Horner, born Aug. 27, 1774, died Dec. 26, 1825, aged 51."

While on the subject of the Horner family, it is interesting to note that Alexander Horner, husband of Sarah Witherow-Marshall, was a much-married man. After the death of his first wife he was twice "consoled." The stones in the Horner family burial plot at Tom's Creek church-yard tell the story.

"Sacred to the memory of Louisa Horner, wife of Alexander Horner, died Dec. 14, 1858, aged 33 years, 6 months and 6 days."

"In memory of Alexander Horner, born May 25, 1817, died March 8, 1887."

"Sacred to the memory of Tomsey P. Robertson, wife of Alexander Horner. Born Feb. 28, 1828, died March 11, 1901."

To further complicate the Withrow-Horner genealogy, Margaret Marshall, the daughter of Sarah Witherow and James Marshall, married Andrew Horner. They too, are interred in Tom's Creek Presbyterian graveyard. The inscriptions follow:

"In memory of Andrew Horner, died June 29, 1838, aged 63 years."

"In memory of Margaret Marshall, wife of Andrew Horner, died Dec. 23, 1876, aged 78 years, 7 months and 20 days."

Elizabeth Witherow, another daughter of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, married John Harper and they were the parents of five children, namely, John , James , Samuel , William , and Margaret Harper.

Nothing more is known pertaining to this branch of the Witherow-Harper family.

Margaret Witherow, the last daughter of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, died unmarried and is buried in the family plot at Tom's Creek. The inscription:

"Sacred to the memory of Margaret Witherow, died Sept. 1, 1846, in the 58th year of her age."

David Witherow, the third son of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, was lived on, or near, the original Witherow plantation in Frederick County, Md., for some years—or until 1818. At that, time David and his younger brother, Samuel Withrow, bought a mill property on Marsh Creek, in what is now Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pa., in the old Manor of the Masque. After two years at the mill David Witherow bought his brother's interest. This was known for many years as "Witherow's Mill" and was located near Fairfield, just "over the line" in Adams County, Pa.

Samuel Witherow, youngest son of John and Margaret (Barbour) Witherow, came with his brother, David , into Adams County, Pa. It is Samuel's branch of the Witherow family who is buried in the Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian churchyard. He was known as Major Samuel Witherow and the files of the Adams Sentinel give some very pertinent facts pertaining to this particular "branch of the family tree."

"Married, Thursday, March 14, 1821, by the Rev. John Knox, Mr. Samuel Knox to Miss Margaret Witherow, the daughter of Samuel Witherow, Esq., both of Adams County, Pa."

Note: The daughter of Major Samuel and Rachel Witherow and a granddaughter of John Witherow, the pioneer.

Both Samuel Knox and his wife, Margaret Witherow, are buried in Lower Marsh Creek church_ yard. The tomb inscription:

"In memory of Samuel Knox, son of Dr. Samuel and R. Knox, died May 26, 1845, aged 50 years."

"In memory of Margaret Knox, consort and relict, Samuel Knox, died Oct. 19, 1847, aged 44 years."

If you have any additional information on the Witherow family,
our another family that once called Emmitsburg home,
please e-mail it to us at history@emmitsburg.net