BLACK, James, of Somerset Co PA

James Black was born in 1743 in Adams Co PA. He died 28 Oct 1803 in Somerset Co PA and was buried in the Black Family Burial Ground in that county. His parents were Robert Black and Ann ____. A different Robert McCall was married in 1755 in Philadelphia to Ann McCall, too late and too far away to be this lady, although many online trees call my James’s mother Ann McCall.

James Black was married in Adams Co PA, in 1771, to Jane McDonough. She was born in 1756 at Marsh Creek, Adams Co PA, the daughter of Henry and Margaret (McClellan) McDonough. Jane died 4 Dec 1881 in Somerset Co PA and was also buried in the Black Family Burial Ground.

James Black served in the Revolutionary War as a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Quemahoning Co under Capt. James Wells, as a “court martial man,” and as a member of Col. William Parker’s Bedford Co PA Militia.

From this it appears that James Black and his family moved to Bedford Co PA during the war, before 1777. His 1790 census is from Bedford Co PA, p 254: 2/5/4. In 1800 he was in Somerset Co PA, Londonderry Twp, p 506: 22201/21011/00. He also appears on Somerset Co tax lists in 1788 and 1796.

An extract of James Black’s will reads as follows: “Will dated: Oct 28, 1803, Probated Nov 7, 1803. Residence: Stonycreek Twp. Names heirs: Jane, his widow and the following children: Polly Dorsey, William, David, John, Henry, Matthew, Margaret, Catherine & Jennie. Total for distribution: $1217.79 1/2.”

The children of James and Jane (McDonough) Black were:

1. Mary BLACK. Born in 1779. Mary died in Somerset Co PA, on 31 Aug 1840. About 1800 when Mary was 21, she married William Cumming DORSEY, son of Edward DORSEY V & Sarah CUMMING, in Somerset Co PA. Born in 1776 in MD. William Cumming died in Somerset Co PA, on 23 Apr 1830. They had the following children:

i.            James Black (1800-1865)

ii.            David (1800-1880)

iii.            Elizabeth (ca1800-)

iv.            Edward (ca1803-1872)

v.            William Cumming Jr (1804-1886)

vi.            Jane (1808-1878)

vii.            Henry (ca1810-ca1875)

viii.            Cordelia (ca1817-1852)

ix.            Lloyd (1813-1873)

x.            Sarah (1814-1845)

xi.            Lewis (1816-)

xii.            (infant son) (1800-)

2. John BLACK. Born in 1781 in Stony Creek Twp, Somerset Co PA. He married Mary Margaret Smith. He was in Allegheny Twp, Somerset Co PA in 1850, 68 PA, with Elizabeth Black, 63 PA, Rufus Frazier, 22, Margaret Frazier, 40; next door to Joshua Black 50, and on the same page as Lloyd Dorsey and Isaac and Elizabeth Coughenour (the last two were in two households, probably mother and son). Rufus Frazier was a son of William and Jane (–?–) Frazier.

3. Henry BLACK. Born on 25 Feb 1783. Henry was a Member of the US House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He died in Stony Creek Twp, Somerset Co PA, on 28 Nov 1841. Henry married Mary SULLIVAN. Born in say 1785. Mary died on 21 Oct 1852. They had one child known to this writer:

i.            Jeremiah Sullivan (1810-1883), Attorney General of the United States

4. Matthew BLACK. Born in 1785.

5. Margaret BLACK. Born in 1787 in Stony Creek Twp, Somerset Co PA. She married William Reed, and second Richard Dennison.

6. James BLACK. Born in 1789 in Somerset Co PA. James died in Somerset Co PA, on 12 May 1852. About 1823, he married Catherine JOHNSON in Somerset Co  PA. Born ca 1800 in Somerset Co PA. Catherine died in Somerset Co PA, on 30 Nov 1865. They had the following children:

i.            George Johnson (1828-)

ii.            Albert Gallatin (ca1830-)

iii.            Newton Herbart (ca1832-)

iv.            James Stewart (ca1834-)

v.            Milton Collins (ca1836-)

vi.            Eleanor (ca1838-)

vii.            Charlotte (ca1840-)

viii.            Harriet (ca1842-)

ix.            Jane (ca1844-)

x.            Susan (ca1846-)

7. Catherine BLACK. Born in 1791 in Stony Creek Twp, Somerset Co PA. She married Hugh Reed.

8. Jane BLACK. Born in 1793 in Stony Creek Twp, Somerset Co PA. She married Joseph Reed.

9. William BLACK. Born in 1795.

10. David BLACK. Born in 1797.

© 2009, Kathy Alvis Patterson

“Black Notes,” from Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset Co PA.Letter from Kim Carles-Hammer (10491 SR 37, Findlay OH 45840) to Kathy Patterson, 26 Mar 1996. This letter included several wills and Family Group Sheets. Also, James and Jane Black tombstones, Black Cemetery, Somerset Co PA, copies and photographs Jun 1991.

Tombstone Inscriptions of Cemeteries Somerset County PA, Volume I, 85.

“Jeremiah S Black as Attorney-General in Pres. Buchanan’s Cabinet,” by Alton Gordon Field, Somerset (PA) Daily Herald, Dec 5 1931, gives the following family data: His [Jeremiah S Black, a nephew of our Mary (Black) Dorsey] great-grandfather, John Black, accompanied by two brothers came from Ireland and landed at Philadelphia about 1730. Two of the brothers crossed the Susquehanna and settled on Marsh Creek, in what is now Adams County. Here his grandfather [James] married Jane McDonough of good old Irish stock. In 1770 they pushed farther west and settled in Somerset County. “In this frontier community, James Black prospered and became a man of importance. He was elected justice of the peace. He died in 1803…” This article was re-typed for Genealogy and History of These Families: William Cumming, Dorsey, Black, Weisel by Edith L Burrell, Findlay OH.

Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography adds to this the fact that Jeremiah S Black’s ancestors came to America from the North of Ireland.

“Family Connections” at cites “Felix Family Records” and LDS records for this date and place.

Tombstone, op cit.

Supplemental DAR #247303, Dec 20 1948. DAR Lineage Book, Vol 76, p 271. Copy of a letter from Gertrude MacKinney, Director of State Library (Pennsylvania?), Sep 21 1933, printed in Genealogy and History of These Families: William Cumming, Dorsey, Black, Weisel by Edith L Burrell, Findlay OH: “The James Black who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War is undoubtedly the James Black who was a resident in Quemahoning Township, Bedford County in 1776. He served in the company known as the Quemahoning Company, or the 5th company of Bedford County militia, James Wells, Captain, 1777. “Several ladies have entered the DAR upon this record, stating James Black was born 1743 in Adams Co; died in 1803 in Bedford County in the part that was later Somerset County; married Jane McDonough, born 1756; died 1811; had a son James who married Catherine Johnson.” A second letter, copied in the same book, from Miss Grace Bareis, Sep 22 1936 has a list of the children of James and Jane (McDonough) Black, with some of their spouses. She had seen James’s will in the Somerset Co courthouse and wrote the following about James Black’s war service: “James Black was Court Martial man of the 5th company, 1st Battalion, (Quemahoning Township) Bedford County Militia…” Her references included PA Archives, Vol 14, p 660, 2nd series; PA Archives, Vol 5, p 66, fifth series; Somerset Co PA Will Book Vol 1, p 205; Tombstone records she copied herself; and DAR record of Miss Mary Black, #98400. NSDAR Patriot #A010640, PA Archives 5th Series, 5: 66; 2nd Series, 14: 646.

The Laurel Messenger, May 1975.

After the birth of his son Augustus by Sarah Moser, Lloyd Dorsey married (second?) Margaret Frashure (1821-1907), and Sarah’s brother Reuben Moser married Mary Ann Frazer (1822-1881). Neither of their families has been identified.

Published on March 1, 2009 at 4:12 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am on this line….my gt grandmother was Mary Black Stone Michener…married to Marcena Michener in Greene county in husband was Eli Stone..of Greensboro..Her brother was a judge in this region..cant find her grave……need to know about rest of the family.also.I believed they were from Somerst /Adams county area….any one has information on this line please contact me at…..think Robert and Ann McCall are gtgrandparents also..thnaks hope to hear from someone..Char

    I have all the line of Mitcheners up to Marcenas Mom and Dad. Do you know anything about them?

  3. Jerry, Are these guys buried in Somerset…..stoney creek twnshp….You know what town is it close too. Like to go there and find the graves….thanks Charlotte

  4. Found my Aunt and Uncle…on route 31East, near Shanksville. Took pics of all the graves and momument of Jeremiah ……Need to find my ancesters Mary Black Stone Michener Dad……maybe he is buried where Sam or Jane is buried. Thought sam was a judge around hetre in Greene County. Out to go make trip out east to find rest of graves…..Share any information let me know…thanks Charlotte

  5. I believe I am decended of Matthew black 1785 married to Amelia and had three daughters. Moved to Mill Creek, Williams County, Ohio. I am trying to find out more about him.

    • Hi, Tammy. I am a gg grandson of James Black Jr. (b. 1788), a brother of Matthew. I have a ‘pedigree’ for him as well as a bit of info on Matthew+Amelia. What is your apparent lineage from Matthew?

      Tom Black, San Dimas, CA

      • James to Mary (Black) Dorsey to Lloyd Dorsey to Augustus Dorsey to Mary Ellen (Dorsey) Light to Ethel Marguerite (Light) Armstrong to Evelynne Maurine (Armstrong) Alvis to me. I have a DAR Supplemental for James Black, which means my lineage stands up to quite a bit of scrutiny.
        PS. My name is Kathy.

  6. Hi, Kathy.

    My reply was to Tammy McNeill, who posted an inquiry on 4/24/16 regarding Matthew Black. Can you e-mail to me a direct e-mail address for Tammy?


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