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John Cessna (1692 - 1796)

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John Cessna
Born in Irelandmap
Husband of — married about [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 27 Jun 2014
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4.COLONEL JOHN2 CESSNA (JEAN1DE CESSNA) was born 1692 in Ireland, and died 30 Sep 1796 in Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania.He married AGNES 1725 in Pennsylvania6.She was born 1704, and died Bet. 1768 - 1793 in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Notes for COLONEL JOHN CESSNA: Notes for JOHN CESSNA: Residence:Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylania. History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, page 260: Settlements were made at a very early day southeast of Shippensburg. John Dunlap, John Cessna, et al., owned large tracts of land.East of the tract of land now owned by Ira L. Long (1903) is where John Cessna was captured. The land remained in possession of the descendants of John Cessna until 1827. Participated in the French and Indian War by providing pack horses to British General Gage in Western Pennsylvania (is this referring to John b. 1692 or son b 1726?) John was commissioned a coroner on the frontier in 1723. He signed a petition for a new road to Lancaster from Harris' Ferry (now Harrisburg) in 1744.

  • Event: July 18, 1757 Captured by Indians on July 18th, 1757. Pennsylvania Archives Volume iii. page 219

[1] [2] His will is written in 1793 and proved in 1796 (see below.)

Notes pertaining to birth and death. John Cessna from old family bible records which can be found on pages 65 - 67 of"House of Cessna, Second Series", 1935 by Howard Cessna. An old bible owned by Gwen Cessna Price in 1931 has the following: "John Cesna was born in the year sixteen hundred and ninety two, and died about the year seventeen hundred ninety-eight. This John was born in Ireland and the first that came to America. His father was a Frenchman. John Cesna bible bought seventeen hundred and ninety-one." -Birth information for his children from p 10, vol. 1 "House of Cessna" and the transcript of his will.


In the name of God Amen! I John Cessna of Shippensburg in the county of Cumberland, and state of Pennsylvania being weak in body, but of sound and perfect mind and memory through God's blessing, and calling to mind, that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and publish this as my last will and testament, in manner and form following that is to say- First I give my soul to God who gave it to me, and my body to the dust to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my Executors, and I order that all my just debts and personal charges to be paid as soon as may be out of my estate. Imprimis, I give and bequeath unto my eldest son John Cessna, my sons Charles Cessna, Joseph Cessna, Jonathan Cessna, deceased, Evan Cessna, William Cessna and my eldest daughter Mary Neale, deceased, my other daughters Elizabeth Jones and Margaret Hall, deceased, the sum of five shillings each which said sum of five shillings is to be paid within one year after my decease, each of the above named my sons and daughters, unto each of their heirs if demanded legally, that is the heirs of either of the above named my sons and daughters who are or may be dead before said legacy of five shillings be paid to them, shall jointly receive the said sum, divided amongst them, which said sum of five shillings, together with what they have already received in land or cash, to be in full for their several shares, out of my estate, any particular law or usage to the contrary not-withstanding, they having heretofore received their and each of their full share, from me or what I allowed to be as such and to my youngest son Theophelus Cessna, I give the sum of five shillings to be paid in one year after my decease, which with what I have already give to be in full for his share out of my estate or estates. Item- I give and bequeath unto my son James Cessna, all my house and lots in Shippensburg, with all my rights and titles to each of them, also a tract of land in Southampton township, bounded as described in a conveyance from William Campbell with all the appurtenances belonging to the said tract of land. Also a tract of land warranted and surveyed lying on Juniata Creek or river, above Jack's Narrows now supposed to be in Huntingdon County, also my right in and to a five shilling warrant taken out of the late Proprietaries Office for an island in Juniata river, and another having an older right for it, the said warrant was renewed and laid on the land adjoining the river and including the land where Prigmore's mill is now built. Also all my right of a grant of land I got from Mr. Blunston's lying near Susquehanna river, on the west side in York County, near Conewago Creek, an adjoining the same as may appear by said grant to have and to hold the above mentioned lots tracts of land, warrants with all my interest of, in, or therein, and each of them mentioned or intended to be mentioned to the said James Cessna, his heirs and assigns forever, subject nevertheless to the payment of the several legacies herein mentioned before and after this clause. Also I give and bequeath unto the said James Cessna, all my right and title, in and to a certain quantity of back land taken up and surveyed in partnership with Messeurs Hutton (?) and Wallace, with all my accounts against said partnerships to be held by my said son James, my full moiety or share that may fall to me on a division, and by his heirs and assigns forever as fully as I could have held the same. Item- I give and bequeath unto my grand daughter Elizabeth Cessna, daughter to William Cessna, all my right, of, in, or to, that piece of land warranted and surveyed adjoining the place formerly Robert Gabney's on the south and lands of Samuel Culbertson's it being a piece of land that I bought of Nathaniel Wilson deceased, but I order and it is my will that my son James Cessna, if he thinks it best shall have full power and authority to sell and convey said tract of land to the best advantage and place the money out at interest for said Elizabeth Cessna until she shall arrive at the age of twenty one years but if it should not be sold before she arrives at the age of twenty one years then it shall be held by Elizabeth Cessna her heirs and assigns forever. And I do further order and direct, that after my said son James Cessna has paid the before mentioned legacies that, then the remainder and reversions of all and singular, my estates, real and personal, shall be and I do hereby bequeath and devise all lands, back accounts, warrants for land, or lands, not before mentioned in whatever place situate, that may appear to be my right unto my said son James Cessna, as fully as if they had been mentioned to him his heirs and assigns forever. Hereby constituting and appointing him my sole Executor to this my last will and testament and also give my said Executors, all my whole power toward Executing or assuring any other conveyance or conveyances, that may be wanting to confirm my tract of land heretofore granted or conveyed by me as also my whole power to act or to sign, seal, convey or make complete anything that I am bound to do by any article or covenant and not already done as full as I could have done in my life time. Hereunto revoking and disannulling all other wills and testaments by me made ordaining this or other to be my last will and testament as witness my hand and seal this twenty fourth day of October in the year of our Lord, seventeen ninety-three. Note: Be it remembered that if the above mentioned Elizabeth Cessna should die without issue before she arrives at the age of twenty one years that the above legacy shall go to her brother John Cessna. Signed, sealed, published and pronounced by the testator as his last will and testament in presence of us who also signed the same as witness at the request of and in the presence of the testator and of each other, Matthew Scott, John Henry, John Scott. -John Cessna The will was proved October 13, 1796.* It is to be noted some researchers say that John was captured by the Indians in 1757 and thus give him the date of death as 1757. This is not correct as the will that is written in 1793 is clearly his as it lists all of his children.The will is was proved in the court in October 1796 so it can be assumed that he died with in a month of that date. Some sources state that he was buried in Bedford, location of grave unknown but it is probably near Shippensburg, PA.

Abstracts of Cumberland Co Wills, 1785 - 1825 Will of John Cessna, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, dated October 24, 1793. Proved, October 13, 1796, names his sons, John, Charles, Joseph, Jonathan, deceased,Evan and William Cessna; eldest daughter Mary Neale, deceased, daughters, Elizabeth Jones and Margaret Hall, Deceased; youngest son Theophilus Cessna., son James.


September 8, 1755 John Sisney acquired 25 acres in Cumberland County. December 16, 1755 John Sisney acquired 100 acres. June 3, 1762 John Chisney acquired 150 acres in Cumberland County. In 1768 one John and Agnes Cessna to R. Urie for land in Pennsboro Township: source, Cumberland County Historical Society, Spring 2000. Land acquired in 1755 by John Cessna Sr. of Shippensburg was 100 acres in Letterkenny and given to William and Margaret in 1790. John Cessna Sr to Theophilius, 100 acres at Shippensburg. Mentions land in Southampton Twp. conveyed from William Campbell; land on Juniata River, above Jack's Narrows.; Island in Juniata River;land where Prigmore's Mill now is(1935);land from Mr. Blunston in York County; land taken up with Messrs. Fulton and Wallace; land adjoining place formerly owned by Robert Gabey and Samuel Culbertson. Bequeaths to Elizabeth, minor, daughter of William Cessna. Executor.:Son James Cessna. Witnessed.:Matthew Scott, John Henry, John Scott.

Will Book F. pages 40-42.Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Cumberland County, Will Abstracts. Master Copy in possession of Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. House of Cessna, 1935 page 56 – 57. Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin,19, No. 2, Summer 1978, page 150 Colonel John Cessna, father of Major John Cessna, was an officer in the French and Indiana Wars. He was born in Ireland, (probably 1692) and came to Pennsylvania in 1715 with his parents.he and his two sons were captured by Indians near Shippensburgh and taken to the Northwest territory.His wife was named Elizabeth. He died July 18, 1757 and is buried in Bedford Co., PA.

Note: the information found in the Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin,19, No. 2, Summer 1978, page 150 is not accurate as to the date of death due to the will written in 1793, proved 1796.

Source notes for JOHN CESNA obtained from: 1. House of Cessna, vol. 1 and 2 2. Larry Cisney's sources (information taken from LDS film): 3. Descendants of John Cessna by Krista Cessna 4. Pennsylvania Archives.

More About COLONEL JOHN CESSNA: Fact: 1747, Colonial Service7 Fact2: 18 Jul 1757, Captured by Indians on Farm in Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania8

Land Warranties: 1755, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania9 Will: 30 Sep 1796, Shippensburg, Cumberland Co, Pennsylvania.10,11 More About JOHN CESSNA and AGNES: Marriage: 1725, Pennsylvania12

Children of JOHN CESSNA and AGNES are:

i. MAJOR JOHN3 CESSNA, b. 26 Jan 1726, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 31 Mar 1802, Friends Cove, Colerain Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

ii. CAPTAIN EVAN CESSNA, b. Abt. 1725, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. Unknown. Notes for CAPTAIN EVAN CESSNA: Shown as Captain., Company 3, 1st Batalion, Bedford County Militia in 1781 per "Bedford County in the American Revolution" by Whisker, from original source 2nd Pennsylvania Archive, vol 14, pg. 658, 667 More About CAPTAIN EVAN CESSNA: Military service: American Revolution Tax Record: 1772, Cumberland Valley, Bedford, Pennsylvania13

iii. MARY CESSNA, b. Abt. 1727, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. Bef. 1793; m. UNKNOWN NEALE; d. Unknown. Notes for MARY CESSNA: [3]

iv. LIEUTENANT WILLIAM CESSNA, b. Abt. 1728, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 1801, Muhlenberg, Kentucky.

v. ELIZABETH CESSNA, b. Abt. 1730, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. Aft. 1793; m. UNKNOWN JONES; d. Unknown.

Notes for ELIZABETH CESSNA: In Allegheny County, Pennsylvania there are several lawsuits between Stephen Cessna (wife Margaret) and Ebenezer Fenimore in the 1790's.And a lawsuit between Ebenezer Fenimore and Elizabeth Jones. (I believe that Elizabeth was the daughter of John Cessna).And several deeds between Ebenezer and Stephen.Stephen Cessna instructed that Ebenezer Fenimore to buy his property in Pittsburgh when he died in 1796 in Fayette County, Kentucky: source, Zack D. Bennett, San Francisco, California, 14 Nov 1996 in a letter to York County Historical Society. Elizabeth was alive when her father, John Cessna wrote his will in 1793. Source:Krista Cessna, 2008.

vi. MARGARET CESSNA, b. Abt. 1732, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. Bef. 1793; m. UNKNOWN HALL; d. Unknown. Notes for MARGARET CESSNA: Is this Indian Eve? "Indian Eve & her Descendants" ----It is a detailed diary written in 1911 by the great-granddaughter (or something) of Margaret (Peggy) Cessna Elder about her capture by Native Americans during the Revolutionary War.

vii. STEPHEN CISSNA, b. 20 Jul 1737, Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania; d. 14 Aug 1823, Chillicothe, Ross, Ohio.

viii. COLONEL CHARLES CESSNA, b. 02 Mar 1744, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 30 Jul 1837.

ix. JOSEPH CISSNA, b. Abt. 1747, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 1803, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.

x. JAMES CESSNA, b. Apr 1751, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 05 Jul 1833, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

xi. JONATHAN CESSNA, b. 1752, Shippensburg, Cumberland, Pennsylvania; d. 1779, Phillips Fort, Louisville, Kentucky.

xii. THEOPHILUS CISNEY, b. Abt. 1753, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; d. 20 Mar 1867, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.


Name: John /Cessna/[4][5]


Place: Newberry Township, York, Pennsylvania[6]


Type: Custom
Date: 05 AUG 1751[7]


"House of Cessna, Second Series", 1935 by Howard Cessna

Genealogy Report: Descendants of Jean De Cessna by Diane Sutor Greenwood Click here: [1]

  1. The Capture of John Cessna, II., by the Indians (Pennsylvania Archives Volume iii. page 219) A List of those Killed & Missing at John Cisney's Field, 1757 A list of those killed and missing at John Cisney's field, about 7 miles from Shippensburg, on July 18th, 1757. Killed.John Kirkpatrick and Dennis O'Neidon. Missing.John Cisney & three small boys, two sons of Cisney, and one son of John Kirkpatrick. These People refused to Join with their neighbours who had a Guard appointed them, because they couldn't have their Fields reaped the first.
  2. The History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, page 251, subtitled Indian Murders, contains the following: "On July 18, 1757, a band of savages surprised a party who were harvesting in a field belonging to John Cessna, about a mile east of Shippensburg. The Indians approached the field from the east through the woods which bounded it on that side and when within a short range fired, killing Kirkpatrick and O'Neidon; then, rushing forward they captured Mr. Cessna, his two grandsons and a son of Kirkpatrick and made their escape with their prisoners." Source: House of Cessna, pg. 8. (As you can see from the official state archives there are some errors in the what was recorded in the House of Cessna page 8.) (Email from Krista Cessna Jan 2008 There are accounts of the kidnapping in the Archives and in Cumberland County histories.The accounts confuse the place as one mile southeast of Shippensburg or 7 miles west (these are some very huge errors!).Some accounts say “grandfather and grandsons”.Some say “father and sons”.One curious thing that I noticed is that the number ones were written very much like a seven.This would explain the confusion over the mileage.Even more interesting to think about….consider this… The kidnapping was July 18, 1757.John of Newberry was “very sick and weak of body” on August 6, 1751 and died by Sep 30 1751.I sometimes wonder that John of Newberry was the one that was kidnapped, was beaten and left for dead or he escaped only to die of his injuries in a couple weeks.(This again could be explained by transcription errors with the sevens and ones.)Alas, we will never know for sure.) Note:John Cessna must have escaped the capture from the Indians, as whether it was the father or the son, both lived after the time of the capture.If it were John of Newberry, York, PA it was for only a short period of time.If the Indian story is indeed about John b. 1692 then he goes on to live for many years after the event as he does not die until 1798. Though many family trees list his date of death as the date of capture.
  3. Son is not a proven descendant.Though Michael connects his family through Col Charles Cessna, I think more probable that he is connected through Mary Cessna Neale and he is closely connected with Charles and his family.Just a thought. Email from Michael Puckett 22 Jan 2008 Diana, In reply to your question about my connection to the Cessna Family: Unfortunately, I am one of those who cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am a Cessna descendant. My prior knowledge of the Cessna Family was based solely on data I received back in 2002 via the kindness of Mr. George Shirley. I asked George what he knows about the NEEL Family and allied lines.Subsequently, George sent several packets of photocopied documents. However, the exact source of all documents was not given - probably written on the backside, which was not photocopied. We believe that the wife of my ancestor, Aaron NEEL, was a CESSNA or CULBERTSON. Though her name has not been found in any document we believe that she probably was the daughter of Charles Cessna. Aaron Neel moved with the Cessna Family from Greene Co., GA to Muhlenberg Co., KY and on to Jefferson Co., MS - there was a close relationship between Aaron Neel and Charles Cessna at each of those locations.Aaron Neel's son, Robert C. Neel, moved to Arkansas before 1840.Robert named one of his sons Charles C. Neel.Also, Robert C. Neel's son, William A. Neel, named his only son Charles C. Neel (we can't prove that the initial "C" stands for Cessna, though). William A. Neel's daughter, Susan Ellen, married a Mr. Powell and did name her son William "Cessna" Powell. Yet, all of the forgoing is only circumstantial evidence. I am a descendant of William A. Neel through another daughter, Narcissus Elizabeth (Neel) WOODELL - to my knowledge the name Cessna was not given to any of Narcissus' descendants. I have been doing research since 1984, but what little I know about the Cessna Family is not the product of my own research.So, I sincerely appreciate those of you who share so much so the rest of us may benefit.Frankly, I believe that Mr. Sisney enjoys the tease.He has been making posts to the Cessna board for about a year.Surely, by now he could have quoted the exact source of every significant document he has seen, if that was his intention.He will miss this foray on the Cessna Family when it's over. Perhaps a Cessna DNA Project would be helpful. If I find anything of interest I will pass it on for your review.Thanks so much for your posts. Michael
  4. Source: #S302
  5. Source: #S80 Page: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots; Volume: 1
  6. Source: #S302
  7. Source: #S302
  • Source: S302 Author: Lineages, Inc., comp. Title: York County, Pennsylvania Wills, 1749-1819 Publication: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2000; Repository: #R2
  • Repository: R2 Name: Address: E-Mail Address: Phone Number:
  • Source: S80 Author: Hatcher, Patricia Law Title: Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots Publication: Name: Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 1999; Repository: #R2

Comment: Several online trees state that John Cessna was married first to a Miss Rose, some say a Mary Rose others state Sarah Rose. And then C.W. Cissna in his book Bury My Children In A Strange Land, suggests that her name was Rachel. Whatever her name was given the dates of birth of the 11 children there must have been two wives. So given that Gerald Smith suggested she was Sarah Rose, there she is the first wife and mother of the first five children.

Source for marriage to Agnes Unknown: John married Agnes on 4 Apr 1740 in , Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Source: James Sjolander, sjolander

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

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