Extracts from the History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania, Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co. 1884:
p 594-5 Fulton Co, "Events
of Colonial Days"
"On Monday, the 28th of May," says Mr. Peters, in his report to Gov. HAMILTON, "we were met at Shippensburg by Samuel SMITH, William MAXWELL, George CROGHAN, Benjamin CHAMBERS, Robert CHAMBERS, William ALLISON, William TRENT, John FINLEY, John MILLER, Hermanus ALRICKS and John GALBREATH, esquires, justices of Cumberland County, who informing us that the people of Tuscarora Path, in Big cove and Aughwick would submit, Mr. WEISER earnestly pressed that he might be excused from any further attendance," on account of necessary business at home, and the request was reluctantly granted.
On Wednesday, May 30, (1750 penciled in) the magistrates and company proceeded into Path valley, convicted the trespassers, compelled them to give bonds for immediate removal with their families and effects, and also for appearance at the next term of court, and burned eleven log houses. They next visited, the Aughwick settlement, then turned their attention to the people of the Big cove.
We give the words of Secretary PETERS: "The
like proceedings at Big Cove against Andrew DONALDSON, John
McCLELLAND, Charles STEWART, James DOWNY, John MacMEAN, Robert KENDELL,
Samuel BROWN, William SHEPPERD, Roger MURPHY, Robert SMITH, William DICKEY,
William MILLICAN, William MacCONNELL, Alexander
MacCONNELL, James Campbell, William CARRELL, John MARTIN, John JAMISON,
Hans PATTER, John MacCOLLIN, James WILSON and John WILSON, who, coming
before the magistrates, were convicted on their own confession of the like
trespasses as in former cases, and were all bound over in like recognizances,
and executed the like bond to the proprietaries. Three waste cabins
of no value were burnt at the north end of the cove by the persons that
claimed a right to them. The Little cove [in Franklin county] and
the Big and Little Conolloways being the only places remaining to be visited,
as this was on the borders of Maryland, the magistrates declined going
there, and departed for their homes."
The William McConnell fits in with our William, brother to our ancestor Robert McConnell, who we have born as about 1733. The Alexander McConnell is kind of perplexing. Is he the Alexander, father of Adam, grandfather of our Robert? If so, this would indicate he did immigrate and he most likely is our immigrant ancestor. Or, is this yet another brother of our Robert (and William and Daniel), or even a brother to our Adam??
Daniel and William McCONNELL first settled where the town now stands. The land was granted to them by a warrant dated 1762. They were the sons of Adam McCONNELL, a Scotchman, who, according to tradition, owned some of the best lands in the cove. William McCONNELL was a justice of the peace at the time Bedford county was formed. He sold out to his brother, Daniel, and moved west some time in the last century. Daniel McCONNELL, Sr., according to the testimony of his grandson,* kept tavern, and had a large custom of wagoners and packers long before the town was laid out. He died in McConnellsburg about 1802. His first wife was a Miss GRIFFITH, a Welsh lady. For his second wife he married the widow BECKWITH, to whom he left one hundred acres of his estate, which in turn was inherited by her children, the BECKWITHs. Daniel McCONNELL, Jr., who was born and reared on the homestead, inherited the farm out of which the town plot was made. He built a brick house in the western part of the town about 1790. This house (now owned by Alfred GREATHEAD) was situated north of the turnpike, between it and the old tavern stand of the McCONNELLs. While it was building, the family lived in the old blockhouse. Mr. McCONNELL thinks that the building was begun in 1788. Daniel McCONNELL, Jr., gave lots to the town for church and school buildings and a graveyard. He removed to Indian county with his family in the spring of 1813, and died in 1820. He also married a Miss GRIFFITH, his cousin.
This information is gathered from a letter written by Adam McCONNELL, then of Rural Valley, Armstrong county, to James POTT in 1876. The author of the letter was born in McConnellsburg, November 15, 1798, in the brick house built by his father and mentioned further on. He died in Armstrong county in 1882. He was the son of Daniel McCONNELL, Jr., whose father Daniel, Sr., laid out the town.
In later years the qualifying adjective "Great" was dropped, and this valley was known for years as "McCONNELL's Cove," by reason of the prominence of the McCONNELL families, who were of the earliest settlers. More recently, however, and at the present time, the name universally employed is "Big Cove."-snip-
The restless spirit of adventure induced William to sell out to Daniel, at an early day, and "go west." Daniel became the founder of the town, died there and was buried in the old burial ground on the farm of Jacob HYKES. The writer of this sketch had some interesting correspondence in 1876 with Adam McCONNELL, a grandson of the founder of McConnellsburg, and then residing in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania. These letters were handed to the general historian and their substance embodied in the chapter devoted to McConnellsburg.
It is pertinent here to say, parenthetically, that the proprietary government did not issue any warrants or other rights for land west of the Kittatinny (now known as North) mountain prior to 1765, as the Indian title to these lands was not extinguished until July 6 of that year, but that much of the land in the Great Cove was occupied and held on claims long before that date has already been shown and is evidenced by the fact that in 1750 the settlers on these Indian lands had become so numerous as to excite the jealousy of the Indians, upon whose complaint the proprietary authorities drove these intruders out, or so many of them as could be found. But most of them speedily returned and other pioneers rapidly followed. -snip- Where persons were able to pay they preferred taking land on warrant, and there are some of these titles that date back farther than the application titles; notably that of David SCOTT, warranted in 1749, surveyed 1760, lying south of McConnellsburg and "calls" to adjoin William and Daniel McCONNELL's land, which was warranted and surveyed only in 1762, showing that the McCONNELLs were in possession of and used that tract of land long before they obtained title for the proprietaries. The evidence of this is that the McCONNELLs were among the settlers expelled from the Great Cove in 1750.