Thursday, August 30, 2012

Article - Centre Democrat, Bellefonte, PA on July 20, 1938

Fleming Clan Dates to 1124

At the Fleming reunion held recently at Edgewood Park, Miss Harriet Strauser, historian, gave an interesting talk on the history of the Fleming family, Tracing it back to 1124, and up to, and including, 1863.
From the latter date to 1938 she has little information and Miss Strauser is endeavouring to have it looked up in Harrisburg so that the family history will be completed to date for the next reunion in 1939.
The history of the family as told by Miss Strauser, is as follows:
Elizabeth Fleming, wife of John McCormick, was the daughter of John Fleming, who descended from the Earl of Wigtown. Descendants of John Fleming still use and prize his coat of arms. Mr. Fleming was among the early settlers of West Branch Valley. The surname of the Fleming family, according to the sentiments of the most approved historians and antiquarians, was at first assumed from a person of distinction who, in the days of King David, 1124, a Fleming by patron moved himself into Scotland and took the surname Flandrensis or LeFleming from the county of his origin. Robert LeFleming, the direct and immediate ancestor of the Earls of Wigtown, was one of the great barons of Scotland under King Edward of England, 1272-1309.
In Furness Abby, England, an ancient burial place of the Fleming family, may be seen the statue of an armed knight which represents the Fleming family. Robert C. Fleming was succeeded by his son Sir Malcolm Fleming, Lord of Fulword, also in great favor with the King who made him a large grant of land in Wigtonshire and also Governor of Dunbarton Castle and Sheriff of the County. He was succeeded by his son of the same name as Governor, and during a battle had the honor of shielding  Robert, Lord High Stewart of Scotland, who afterward became King. When he died he left his estates and titles to his grandson, Thomas Fleming, second Earl of Wigtown. He was slain in service of his country at the battle of Pinksy, September 10, 1545. Before his death, he married Janet, daughter of King James VI and by her had a son, James Fleming who, being a nobleman of fine and polite parts, was by special favor  of Mary, Queen of Scots, made chancellor. He accompanied Mary to Scotland and died in Paris.
Sir Thomas Fleming, son of the Earl of Wigtown, came to Virginia in 1616 and later many of the family followed him, one of whom was Col. William Fleming and another the father of James Fleming who was born in Iredell County, N. C., in 1762. He served in the Revolutionary War and afterwards was sent to Ohio, where he died in 1832. He was the great grandfather of Hon. Josiah Mitchell Fleming of Denver, Colo. Another descendant of these Wigtownshire  Flemings was Col. John Fleming, who migrated from Virginia to Kentucky in 1790.  He was the grandfather of Hon. John David Fleming, late District Attorney for Colo. A grandson of Sir Thomas Fleming moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania, and located upon which is known as London Cross Roads. Here his son John married and a son was born and named John Fleming. This young man visited this valley and purchased a piece of land and erected his home. He died in his home leaving to survive six sons and three daughters and by a provision in his will the tract of land was given to Dr. Francis Allison who divided it into nine equal shares for the children. Lock Haven is now built on lots 4 and 5.
This was as much information available about the family and if efforts prove successful, the family tree will then be traced to 1938.

Fact Check: Dr. Francis Allison sold the land to John Fleming, there is no provision in his will as mentioned. According to the other information I received it was William Fleming who lived in Chester County PA at London Cross Roads. His son was Squire John, not his grandson. Squire John's will mentions eight children, not nine, however, it was common to lose children at early ages for various reasons such as disease, infection, etc. 
Lastly, the Fleming who came by patron was likely sponsored by William the Conqueror when he became King of England. Previously he had been ruling in Normandy which is located close to Belgium, which is the "location" mentioned above. Also, the Robert mentioned, is Robert the Bruce.

No comments: