William Gregg II was born circa 1642 in Glenarm Barony, County Antrim, Province of Ulster, Ireland. His parents were Presbyterian "dissenters" from Glen Orchy, Argyll, Scotland. They had been moved and given new lands as Protestant colonists in Northern Ireland in the 1620s. His parents were William and Mary Grace Gregg. In May1653, during England's civil war, the family was forced to give up their Glenarm lands and, with other Ulster Scots, were transported some 200 miles south to County Waterford in Munster Province, Ireland. They were resettled near the town of Ardmore. This was a policy of the English government to eliminate too-great concentrations of originally-Scottish landed gentry in Ulster.
William Gregg II married about 1666, in Ardmore, County Waterford, Ireland, Ann Wilkinson (1644-1692); he died 1 September 1687, in Strand Millas, near today's Centerville, Christiana Hundred, New Castle, Delaware. According to Hazel Kendal in Quaker Greggs, he and his family were converted to the Society of Friends (Quakers) after the visit to Waterford by William Penn in 1678.
William & Anne Gregg had the following children, all in Ireland:
According to the "Immigration of Irish Quakers," William Gregg, (1642-1687) and his wife Ann came to America with the Dixon, Hollingsworth and Sharpley families of northern Ireland. They all immigrated to America in 1682, most-likely aboard the ship "Caledonia," which left County Antrim, Southern Ireland, in October 1682. It landed at Upland (now Chester PA) on the Delaware river. The Gregg family moved south from Upland to new lands in what were called "the three lower counties" of Pennsylvania. They later became the state of Delaware.
In 1682, William Gregg II received a grant of 200 acres in the upper part of the Christiana Hundred from "Rockland Manor," (a large estate belonging to William Penn). In January 1684, he received a warrant for an additional 400 acres, on which he built a log cabin at a site he called "Strand Millas," after a landmark near his former home in Ulster, Ireland. His land was on the West side of Brandywine Creek near the New Castle county border (later, the state of Delaware border) between the modern towns of Centerville and Montchanin. In the book "Ancestors of Gregg Livingston Neel", the author states that "Strand Millas lay on what is now the Montchanin Road, Delaware. This is in the vicinity of the upper reaches of Winterthur estate and Center Meeting Road. William Gregg lived on "Strand Millas" between 1683 and 1687.
In her book, "Quaker Greggs," Hazel Kendal states that at first, the William Gregg family, all devout Quakers, were part of the Newark Quaker Meeting, held once a month on the property of Valentine Hollingsworth, East of Brandywine Creek. However, in early 1687, Gregg and his neighbors (Matthias Defosse, Henry & Thomas Hollingsworth, Thomas Woolasten, George Hogg, William Hoge, John Hussy and William Dixon) were given permission to start their own meeting, named the Centre Monthly Meeting, on the West side "by reason of the dangerousness of ye ford."
William Gregg did not enjoy having the meeting moved to his locality very long. Although still quite young (45) he died on September 1, 1687, and was buried on his plantation of Strand Millas. His wife Anne died in January 1692 and was buried nearby. On her death, the property was divided between their two surviving sons: John and Richard Gregg. The Gregg family's descendants owned the property for the next two centuries. Today, the Strand Millas House (1701) & adjacent Rock Spring are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Thank you to Michael Lechner and Sharon Moffitt Cowen, for editing this profile on Aug. 18, 2012. (Following is some information that I accidently deleted in February 2014. See this Changes page for additional deleted information.)
Thank you to Chet Snow for rewriting the biography of his 8th great grandfather, William Gregg II, "The Friend," on February 7, 2015.
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On 3 Sep 2012 at 22:40 GMT Rob Warthen wrote:
William is 16 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 21 degrees from Robynne Lozier, 12 degrees from Pocahontas Rolfe and 16 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.