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William Downard (1686 - 1762)

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William Downard
Born in Loughall, Armagh, Irelandmap
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1715 in Pennsylvaniamap
Descendants descendants
Died in London, Chester, Pennsylvaniamap
Profile last modified 28 Feb 2019 | Created 18 Jun 2014
This page has been accessed 470 times.
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William Downard migrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania, United States.
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Occupation: Weaver

Research Notes

William Downard first appears 1729 in New Garden Township, Chester County (Chester County Tax Index as a landholder p. 15; again ditto in 1730; in London Grove1732, 1734-38 and 1740. James Downard is a freeman in New London Township 1737/38. Tuck Forsythe notes from History of London Grove Township. While away from home 16 Nov 1736 his wife and children were involved in a riot (see below). Don't know his source for Jean Downard being age 15 at the time. Davis, History of Pennsylvania vol. 1: London Grove states that Starr (aged about 50) and Downard were weavers, not Quakers.

"The Weaver's Craft: Cloth, Commerce and Industry in Early Pennsylvania" by Adrienne D. Hood. note 52 to pages 103-106 "See, for example, CCWI (Chester County Will Index) #1958, William Downard (d. 1761 at about age seventy), who was called a "yeoman" in his bond of administration, but in 1736 when he was about forty-five years old he was called 'weaver,' Pennsylvania Archives, ser. 1, vol. 1, 512. The text to which this note refers: "Having responsibility for land, whether as owner or tenant, usually occurred later in life, and the attendant duties kept most weavers from devoting the majority of time to their craft. Frequently, a change in nomenclature in legal documents signified a different stage in a cloth maker's life; many of the same men taxed as weavers or who were called weavers on a property deed and in court depositions were designated at "yeoman" or "farmer" in probate when they died (note 52). This suggests both that their status rose as they acquired and worked more land and that as they aged they spent less time at their craft (note 53).

Tuck Forsythe has James Downard b. 1716 as a probable son of William, and Jean Downard b. about 1721 probably in London Grove. He does not have a son named WIlliam but an unknown DOWNERD b. about 1720 with later connections to Guernsey County, Ohio.

Bond for administration for William Downard, Deceased, of New London, Chester Co., Pa., June 13, 1761. Anne Downard, Thomas Charleton and James Downard are held & firmly bound, sum of two hundred pounds. William died intestate. Posted by Janice Malcolm to the Downard message board 14 Nov 2003.

p. 48, History of Chester Co., PA, by Futhey and Gilbert Cope: " a representation of the troubles between the two provinces of the King. The examination of Sarah Southby upon her oath saith that upon the 14th day of this instant [1736] ... at the house of William Downard, the high sheriff of Chester County John Owen (who was there) she heard to take Charles Hickinbottom---Sarah saw John Star take down a gun but saw him do no more. And she saw John Henthorn knock down a man so that the blood ran out of his head. And she saw James Henthorn and Mary Henthorn attack with sticks and saw Jean Downard throw scalding broth and a stone at the sheriff---which hit his shoulder. (and Daniel Oncall [possibly this name is O'Neill?] attacked the Sheriff and then called to the Henthorns who knew nothing of Danl's attack before)." in Tuck Forsythe 11/94 letter. This is an account of a riot in Chester Co., PA during the PA/MD boundary dispute of 1736. William thought to be born in England or County Armagh, Ireland. He d. probably before 13 Jun 1761, probably in Chester Co., PA.

Charges Brought Against John Henthorn James and Mary Henthorn(e) Nov 1736

Court of Quarter Sessions November Term 1736 Assault and Battery on John Owen (Constable)

Chester County fs.

The Grand Inquest for the County of Chester - upon their ... affirmation do present That John Starr late of the County ... Labourer, James Starr late of the same County Labourer, Daniel O'Neal late of the same County Weaver, John Henthorn late of same county Labourer, James Henthorne late of the same county Labourer, Anne Downard Wife of William Downard late of the same county Labourer, Jane Downard late of the same county Spinster, & Mary Henthorne wife of James Henthorne late of the same county Labourer, together with divers other malefactors and of the Peace of our Sovereign ... the King who now is, Disturbers, the fifteenth Day of November in the tenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France & Ireland King. Defender of the faith ... ... at the Township of London Grove in the County of Chester within the jurisdiction of this Court themselves so disturb the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King riotously ... & unlawfully did assemble and gather together & so between themselves assembled & gathered together being upon John Owen, Esq; then High Sheriff of the County being & then and there in the Peace of God and of our Sovereign Lord the King being then and there the force and arms so ... ... .... ... ... and unlawfully an assault did make and him the ... John Owen then and there did beat wound and ill-entreat So that of his Life it was greatly despaired and other Harms to him the ... John Owen then and there did to the grievous Damage of the ... John Owen in high Violation of the Laws to the most evil and pernicious Example of Others in the like Case Delinquents And against the Peace of our Lord the King who now is his Crown and ....

J.S. Growdon & Sna Rege.

John Starr, James Starr, James Henthorn & Ann Downard being called appeared & the said John Starr pleaded Guilty & said James Starr pleaded Guilty and Ann Downard pleaded Guilty & said James Henthorn pleaded Guilty ---- posted by "Mr Dickie" to the Henthorn Blogspot News on

An inventory of the Real and personal Estates of William Downard deceased which is as followeth: One hundred acres of land

Rick L. Clark: Descendants of William DOWNARD Generation No. 1 1. WILLIAM1 DOWNARD was born Abt. 1705. He married ANNE CHARLETON Abt. 1730. Notes for WILLIAM DOWNARD: SOURCE Notes for WILLIAM DOWNARD from W.L. "Tuck" Forsythe: OTHER: PA Archives Vol 22 Ser 3 p.4 and p.42 lists Wm and Jacob sons of Wm Downard Sr., living 1773 Springhill Twp (now Fayette Co PA); First land record is in George Twp in 1771 surveyed, patented 1793 as Wm. Downard's "Chestnut Hill" ; ESTATE: According to [Stewart] Baldwin, William Downard's estate in 1761 Chester Co PA mentions James Frame, and Baldwin says that's a major reason why we think James' wife was a Downard; 1765 Chester Co PA tax list: no Downards, no Downhards etc; 1773 tax Springhill Twp, Westmoreland Co, PA: Jacob and William Downhard; along with in same Co, maybe same Twp are James Fraim, John Thompson, Wm Thompson (inmate); 1790 census of PA lists only 4 Downards, all in Georges Twp, Fayette Co, PA: James (2,1,0), Thomas (1,0,0), Jacob (3,0,1), William (2,6,5); Will records and Hopwood Cem records: James d. 21 Jan 1830 @78 years, Jacob d. 7 Apr 1820 @ 72 years (Jacob in Old Meth. Epis Cem in Uniontown), Thos died early 1825; MY INFERENCE from above entry: These 3 boys are all too young to have been from same mother as Susannah and Anne Downard. They could be sons of "Jno. Downard" or could be from Wm Downards second wife Anne (estate listed below) Therefore Jacob should probably be removed as a full brother of Susannah etc Downard but for now I leave the children suggested from my 1991 communication with Mary Ann Thomas (below);

Thomas Charleton is on a list of witnesses to the marriage of John Littler and Mary Ross at Nottingham Monthly Meeting 5 June 1728. Evidence that said Thomas Charleton was a Quaker? Same as the Thomas Charleton who entered into bond for administration of William Downard's estate 1761?


"A Dispute on the West Bank: The Chester County Claimants," by Margaret Robe Summitt, "The Sounder" (research journal of the Sno-Isle Genealogical Society,), vol. 28, Issue 1 (2014).

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William 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 William:

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Comments: 2

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Downard-89 and Downard-27 appear to represent the same person because: Same William.
posted by Sandi Wiggins
Downard-75 and Downard-27 appear to represent the same person because: Same person, need merged
posted by Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy

William is 21 degrees from Danielle Liard, 16 degrees from Jack London and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Chester County, Pennsylvania