John EWART, who was born in Armagh county, Ireland about 1750
came to America as a young man, crossing the ocean in serveral weeks.
He was in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, probably near the
present area of Sudbury, as early as 1773, where his son Samuel was born.
John is listed as a Ranger in the Northumberland County Militia during the American
Revolution in 1777 and after. Sometime between 1792 and 1794 he removed
from Pennsylvania to Geneseo, making the journey in wagons.
Here he settled in the eastern part of the town with his
and David's three brothers, James, Joseph and Jonathan Haynes
who had also come from Northumberland county.
At this time Geneseo was a wilderness with only a few white settlers,
one of which being General Wadsworth.
John Ewart selected a tract of land near the village known as Lakeville, and
assisted in organizing the First Presbyterian church in the town of Geneseo,
of which he was appointed one of the Elders. He resided near Lakeville but
a few years, then sold his land and bought for four dollars a tract of one hundred
acres in the southern part of the town of Geneseo, near Groveland.
A hewed log house and a few acres of cleared land constitued his available
estate. Here he resided till his death in about 1812. He had five
children- Margaret (wife of David Haynes), Nancy, Mary, Samuel, and one other daughter,
whose name is unknown, as she went to Ohio instead of New York with her parents.
John Ewart is buried next to his son, Samuel, in the Temple Hill Cemetery
in the Village of Geneseo.
Shortly before John's death his brother George EWART
also made the journey
across the ocean. Bringing with him his wife, Sarah Smith, and seven children.
They crossed the ocean, landing in Philadelphia, proceeded
to Harrisburg,PA, and from there to Geneseo. After remaining in that town for
one year he removed to Groveland, purchasing a tract of land upon which was a log
house and a few farming utensils. With these, which constituted his only possesions
in life, he began his career as an American farmer.
At this time there were no railrods or canals, and farmers
were obligated to take their surplus produce by team to Rochester for a market.
George made steady improvements in spite of many hardships of pioneering, and became a successful
farmer. He died at Groveland at the age of eighty-four years. His wife, Sarah, was
also a native of the same county as George and John Ewart; and she died at the age of eighty-one,
after having reared ten children, whose names were as followed: Nancy, Sally, Mary, Maria,
Harvey, Samuel, William, James, Jane, and John. George Ewart and his wife members of the Presbyterian
church, of which he was an Elder for many years.
When George Ewart came to Geneseo about the year 1807, it had been more than
thirty years that John had made that same journey and came to a colony,
now a new country. One must wonder if John Ewart encouraged his brother
to leave his home and bring his family across an ocean to
the Genesee Valley. About this time the Genesee Valley was just starting to
come alive and the excitement was most likely felt an ocean away.
Contributed by: Andrew Burdett