Thursday, September 27, 2012

Port Norris, Ireland...Could It Be?

County Armagh, Northern Ireland

Let's take a break in posting about Red Lion Sam, and go back to our Rebecca's father, Samuel Bradford, as we are still trying to pinpoint the exact place in Northern Ireland that he came from. Below is the Will of Samuel McDowell of a Cecil Co., MD. A Samuel Bradford witnessed the will on July 1, 1775. This is our Rebecca's father, Samuel Bradford. 

The Bradford's and the McDowell's were connected for many years, including an in-law connection (see post entitled "Where In Ireland?"). It is even thought that they might have left Ireland and come to America at the same time.

In the will below, there is mention of a John Gask "of Port Norris in the Kingdom of Ireland." I can't find a current place by this name on a very quick Google Maps search, however the following link indicates that this might have actually been Mount Norris in County Armagh, Northern Ireland - see

If John Gask is related to the McDowell's, and if the McDowell's came from this area, then perhaps this is a clue to where Samuel Bradford and his family came from. Only time and more research will tell, but at this point we will take any clue we can get!

Here is the aforementioned will of Samuel McDowell (spellings remain as it was sent to me; emphasis added):

In the name of God, amen. I Samuel McDowell of Cecil County province of Maryland being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God for his mercies do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament and first of all I recommend my soul into the hands Almighty God who givith and my body to the earth from whence it was taken to be disposed in decent funeral according to the discretion of my Executors and [unknown word] such worldly Estate when with it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give and dispose of in the manner following -- I give and bequeath One Hundred pounds to the Apostate Congregation of Pencader to be paid to Mr. Henderson and his Session and by whom to be put to in trust for the support of the Gospel in that Congregation and if that Congregation should fail from the being of a Congregation that Money to be giving into the hands of the members of the apostate Presbytery in Pennsylvania to be disposed for what religious use they so cause, I like wise bequeath to my Friend James Wallace's two sons Adam and James the sum of Sixty five pounds Thirteen Shillings and four Pence to be equally divided between the two, Also I bequeath to my Cousin John McDowell in Cumberland County and Province of Pennsylvania the Sum of five pounds and the Bed that stands up stairs;to his son Samuel McDowell the sum of thirty pounds, and to his daughter Rachel the Sum of ten pounds, and to my Cousin William McDowell, James McDowell and Thomas McDowell the sum of eight pounds each, likewise I give and bequeath unto James Gask of Port Norris in the Kingdom of Ireland Son of John Gask deceased the sum of thirty pounds and a Red and white coverlid and a pair of sheets together with what lining cloath is in the house not made up; Also I give to J. Sable Emmet the sum of five pounds, likewise I give and bequeath to Ann Ralsone and Joan Beaty the Sum of one pound each; also I bequeath twelve pounds to be given to help to bring in a minister from Scotland for the Relief of the back settlement and this to be giving in to the hands of Mr. Henderson to be paid for that use; and I give to Matthew Henderson son of M.B. Henderson the sum of five pounds, also I give to the trustees of Oxford Congregation to help in repairing the old Meeting House or in building a new one the sum of ten pounds.   Likewise I bequeath to John Murphy's Wife (falber thr) a pounds worth of cloaths and to Rachal McDowell daughter of John McDowell a green and white coverlid and a pair of sheets, also one stuf Coate to Hugh Wallace.  Also I give to Ann Crage Servant to James Wallace the sum of four pounds with a pair of sheets, and all the remainder of my household furniture such as Bed and Bed Cloths Clock Table, chests, Chairs Pewter and all other articles not named I bequeath to Adam Wallace and James Wallace, and for the Remainder of my Estate if any there be after all my lawful Debts and funeral Charges are paid I order it to be equally divided between William McDowell and Samuel McDowell, son of John McDowell and I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend James Wallace and Samuel Hutchison whole and sole Executors of this my last will and testaments by me made or done as Witness my hand and seal this eighth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousandSeven and Seventy five. 1775.  I Likewise will that all the Bequeaths be paid in Pennsylvania Currency

[his seal]
Samuel McDowell
Signed sealed published and pronounced as the last will and testament of Samuel
McDowell in the presents of his witness. Samuel Bradford, Robert McAndles Richard Kirland Cecil County S C on the first day of January 1776 Then came Samuel Bradford and Richard Kirkland two of the subscribing evidence to the within last will and Testament of Samuel McDowell late of Cecil County deceased and made oath on the holy Evangels of Almighty God that they did so the Testator therein names sign and seal this will and that they heard him publish pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament; that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and disposing mind memory and understand; and that they and Robert McAndles respectively subscribed their names a witness to this will in the presence and at the request of the Testator and in the presence of each other, Certified by Baruch Williams Dep. Comsy Cecil County.


  1. Re Andrew Miller 1st page of deed you posted yesterday. As he is probably my ancestor, am so happy to see this deed. From the name you put on jpg image, looks like from vol 14, p. 289, but appears to be p. 209 on top of page? Do you have 2nd page of deed? Sure would like to see if a wife appears on p. 2, as Andrew is the grantor, hope his wife's name on deed. As Andrew got this prop. from Abraham in 1761 that would mean that Andrew was probably an adult by then. My Elizabeth, his probable daughter, was born in 1772, so the ages work.
    I am going to SLC next week, and will look for the Cecil County deeds of Andrew - or have you all already? Did you find this deed on FHL film? Diane McGowan Tichenor

  2. Hi Diane - the deeds were sent to me in an email with no other information, so I hope they are of some help to you. Happy ancestor hunting in Salt Lake! - donna


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