upload image

Who was Nancy Gillespie

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: York Clearfield Pennsylvaniamap
Surnames/tags: Gillespie-Owens Gillespie-559
Profile manager: Amanda Torrey private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 107 times.

I am showing how Nancy Gillespie, (wife of John Owen one of the original settlers of Clearfield County, PA) was 1/2 Sasquehannock 1/2 Scot.


Family legends are fun to pass on at fireside reunions, but challenging to keep afloat in these times of technical advancements while scrutinizing facts. I had one weekend with my uncle from Pennsylvania who sat and told me some family stories, understanding the chances were we'd never see each other again. According to Uncle Clark we were descended from an American Indian. Some family members have dark pigments around our eyes that dramatically deepen when tired. This physical enigma startled my older half sister when I was little. Also, my husband affectionately calls me Panda Bear as a playful literative of my first name Amanda which reflects my shadowy eyelids. I've always hoped there'd be some American Indian in me but never dreamed I'd actually find one...until now.


Both Nancy and her husband John Owen were born in 1760 in York Pennsylvania. She married an important frontiersmen who eventually made their permanent home north on the Susquehanna River becoming one of the original settlers in what is now Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.


Her last name is Gillespie (through the DAR) She is often attached to William Gillespie [gillespie-399] who came with his family from Scotland through New York West Virginia with his father James. James [gillespi-5591] who was Scots-Irish man granted a couple of hundred acres in the Shenendoah Valley west of the Blue Ridge Mountains by the British King. In ten years he added another 400 Acres! OMG

William was the oldest of 4 and married a girl who was already in West Virginia. Her name was Mary Yeoman [yeomans-552]. There are a lot of people that want to identify her with an amazing woman named Margarate Clendennin, the sole survivor of a horrible indian raid. I don't believe that's the same person attached to Mary Yeoman, but frankly that's not my problem.

According to records, Nancy was born 4 months after her sister Elizabeth. that's impossible.

I think its a far reach to believe there's a reason for Mary Yeoman to travel from Southwestern West Virginia to go to York to have her baby, leaving a large family back home.

That's just plain silly.

The alternative is that William Gillespie had an affair with a girl in York and gave the baby his name. I also think that's far fetched. The diversity and business of pre-revolution York is simply too different from the savagery of the Shenendoah Valley. and would Mary really simply leave that baby in York? Otherwise how would Nancy have had the opportunity to even meet another person from York to marry? We can't simply throw culture away. The whole thing simply doesn't make sense.

Knowing the atmosphere of mid 18th century York, I'd say Nancy Gillespie has a number of possibilities. I've not abandoned her. She is a personal beacon for me. I have added hundreds of files here, but she's my - what would you call it? my anchor? Nancy is deeply deeply personal to me.

In the mid 18th century, the years leading up to the war, York was a major thoroughfare for indians, settlers, frontiersmen - all sorts of people. Gillespie is a common name and Conestoga, a Sasquehannock town, is right there. Because of misinformation, a band of scots-irishmen with blood lust went into Conastoga and massacred everybody. men, women, children. everybody in 1763 - 3 years after Nancy was born. For me, its far more possible that a Gillespie came through lancaster county on his way who knows where...and fell in love enough to leave his name. Her mother may have died with all traces of her obliterated. I'm still working out what Nancy was doing then...I'll find it. I swear I will. I think John Owens family had something to do with it. I mean they were born months apart and he died months after she did. Seriously those two were soulmates par excellence.

I have William's story stored in a free space. All their ids are still there. I think that story is inspiring, but I have to see this one through.

John and Nancy were one of the original settlers of Clearfield County Pennsylvania and their impact is still felt there today.

Nancy's daughter Anna married a Lansberry who was probably a Quaker which I'm presently running down. This is a distinct possibility as Quakers were 1/4 of York's population before the Revolution. [2]

If I'm right, then Anna Owens Lansberry was 1/4 Sasquehanna. If you go up the Sasquehanna river just a few miles, you'd reach their old settlement on the left branch. In passing, I read on an academic website that even now, there are a large percentage of accents there that are still Sasquehannock. Nancy would have felt at home. Gillespie being scots-irish, maybe from Falkirk Scotland and Owens being Welsh shows support. And Anna marrying a Quaker? that just makes so much sense. They are the worlds most amazing egletarians.

[1] As simplistic recap of this article is that it talks about the violent nature of the Susquehannock and that it wasn't so long before the settlers that they were cannibals. But it turns out they were converted by Quaker missionaries. and it just so happens that the families surrounding Nancy Gillespie are Quakers!

Interesting discussion about [2] [3]


Memories: 1
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
See [Gillespie-559]

Nancy Gillepie on Genie: https://www.geni.com/people/Nancy-Owens/6000000012198888341?through=6000000012621954264

Father: William Gillespie: Found by The DAR of Indiana and a professional genealogist

posted 21 Jul 2019 by Amanda (Moyer) Torrey   [thank Amanda]
Login to add a memory.
  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.