Thomas Perrin of Town Creek

John and Joseph Perrin, mentioned above, took up choice tracts of land and conveyed them to other parties at a very early day viz. "Sink Hole Bottom" to Robert Twigg in 1760. "Two Springs" to Cornelius Willison in 1775, "Mountain Tract" surveyed for John Perrin in 1762, and conveyed to George Robinette on N. [Nathan?] in 1778. These two brothers eventually drifted over into Pennsylvania and settled down in Black Valley on land now owned by the William Dicken Heirs and Wesley Bennett. John Perrin was one of the first tax payers in Bedford County, and was assessed with one hundred and seventy-six (176) acres of land as early as 1772.

Thomas Perrin, said to be a brother of John and Joseph, lived on Town Creek, just below the Denton Bucy farm.

Hilary Willison, 1908 .

Until now the American portion of this genealogy has chiefly dealt with members of the Perrin family who lived on the frontier. It is now time to leave the generations of these patriarchs and start to understand the lives of those who had settled. During the period of time discussed in this section we will see a radical change in the inter-mountain region of Maryland and Pennsylvania, as the meaning of survival shifted to a nineteenth century agrarian culture of sorts, one which should prove recognizable to us.

Now I will resume tracing the course of my Perrin ancestors through John, Jr.'s son Thomas through the years 1790 to 1830. My documentation may prove less than optimal. While I have facts from the land records and the infrequent wills of the era, there are also legends to contend with. Hilary Willison's Flintstone memoirs quoted above is a good example; he managed to collapse two generations of John and Joseph Perrins into one. On the one hand there were John Perrin and Joseph Perrin, sons of John Perrin, Sr. who had sold land and (in the case of John) settled in Bedford County. On the other hand, there were John Perrin and Joseph Perrin, sons of John Perrin Jr. who were probably present in or near Allegany County, Maryland at the same time as Thomas Perrin and were indeed his brothers. For the tax assessments of Allegany County, Maryland in the years 1798 through 1803 confirm that a John Perrin, the son of John Perrin, Jr., was in Allegany County before he disappeared to Ohio. And while Joseph Perrin, son of John Perrin, Jr., may have lived in Allegany County, Maryland at some point, he did drift back to Pennsylvania where he patented land in 1814. So any confusion of these two sets of brothers by Hillary Willison in 1908 is not surprising.

Background: Early Settlement of Town Creek

So far in this genealogy the Perrin family involvement south of present day Flintstone ended with the sale of John Perrin, Sr's land in Murleys Branch. The next three sections will focus on a portion of the Town Creek valley south of Flintstone and north of Old Town. Some geography and history will prove helpful, if only to introduce some of the families who get more description later.

Lower Town Creek

Lower Town Creek valley with selected early land tracts
Roads shown probably existed in some form by 1820

The map above shows the middle of lower Town Creek, a region equidistant from Flintstone to the north and Oldtown to the south. The creek dissects between two ridges, Warrior Mountain and Green Ridge. Polish Mountain, which is east of Town Creek north of Flintstone, is no longer much of a feature here. This map does not do justice to the fact that the only flat land to be found in this region is in the creek valley proper. That largely explains why the original land patents in this region were tracts of creek bottom land.

The first surveys I have found in Town Creek valley were for Joseph Flint. Morgan's Chance and Morris's Choice (Chase)  were surveyed for him in 1751, and Grassey Bottom  in 1752. As the surveys for these tracts coincide with the shape of the valley for Town Creek, they are easily placed. Parenthetically, it is worth noting that Flint did not patent any land close to present day Flintstone, which argues that Flint did not have a presence at that location. Morgan's Chance and Morris's Choice were sold by Joseph and Charity Flint to Richard Morris in 1759 ; he is presumed to be Flint's son-in-law . In 1766 Morris patented Morris's Luck  just downstream from Morris's Choice, and in the next year Morris sold Morgan's Chance back to Joseph Flint .

Slightly later, in 1752 Crabtree Folly, 200 acres, was surveyed for Thomas Cresap . Cresap sold the northern two thirds of this tract to James Crabtree in 1761 . A subsequent deed in 1769 included a new survey, with the land area increased to 310 acres . A small portion of the southern third of Crabtree Folly was initially sold to Nathan Friggs (or Freaks) by Thomas Cresap in 1769 . Nathan had patented Hay Bottom in 1762 , but there is no evidence he lived there. In 1776 Nathan Freaks sold both Hay Bottom and his portion of Crabtree Folly to James Crabtree . The deeds referred to Nathan as "late of Frederick County", but as he signed both with his mark, he must have moved west, not passed away.

While there is no evidence that Joseph Flint ever lived in any of his Town Creek properties, both Morris and Crabtree were present early on. James Crabtree was constable for the newly formed Old Town Hundred in Frederick County in 1763  and was succeeded in this office by Richard Morris in 1764 .

Two other early properties worth noting in the valley include Richards First Choice, surveyed in 1762  and Walnut Level, surveyed in 1767 . Both of these tracts went through several sales in the years before 1790.

Historical Record

Land Purchases

The Perrin name first appeared in the Town Creek region in August, 1789, when John Perrin of Washington County, Maryland had surveyed a 40 acre tract named Perrins Luck, using a warrant from Peter Crabtree. But John did not patent the land. To quote from Thomas Perrin's subsequent application for the land :

By virtue of a Special Warrant on the Procamation bearing date the 19 day of October 1789 granted out of the land office for the Western Shore of this State unto Thomas Perrin of Washington County to resurvey a Tract of land lying and being in the County aforesaid Called Perrins Luck containing 40 Acres of Land Originally on the 14th day of August 1789 Survey'd and laid out for a Certain John Perrin by on Virtue of a Special Warrant for 7 Acres assigned to him by Peter Crabtree Obtained by the Said Peter the 9th day of October 1788 as Appears by the Certificate thereof, and the said John Perrin Omitted paying for the quantity included in the Said Survey over and above the Warrant aforesaid and likewise for Some Improvements on the Said land and the time limitted by Act of Assembly for So doing being expired the said Thomas Perrin conceived that said Land had become Subject and liable to the benefit of the first Discover and he being the first discoverer thereof and desirous to purchase the Same acquired a Special Warrant to resuvey and affect the Said Land with liberty of Adding thereto any Contiguous Vacancy &c

Thomas named his survey Ingenuity. The surveyor noted that this tract began at the same tree as Perrins Luck, namely

at a bounded Hickory and Ash standing about fifty perches South West from Town Creek and near the end of the south eight degrees East two hundred and fourteen perches line of a Tract of land called the Resurvey on Crabtree folly.

The surveyor also noted that there was already improvement on the land of "1000 rails", presumably a fence.

It seems likely that the John Perrin referred to here was the son of John Perrin, Jr., whose presence in present day Allegany County between 1790 and 1800 was discussed previously. I can only imagine the wrangling that went on between brothers John and Thomas concerning this property.

Then in October, 1790 John Perrin of Bedford County, Pennsylvania purchased 110 acres of Crabtree Folly from William Crabtree and his wife Ann . The deed to John Perrin provides survey details that coincide with the northern third of this 310 acre tract. Furthermore the survey description of Perrins Luck above shows the connection of that tract to the northern third of Crabtree Folly. Identifying the exact location of this portion of Crabtree Folly is rendered quite easy because the property line separating it from the rest of the tract is still observable on satellite imaging.

Satellite map

Modern satellite image of Town Creek
Note survey lines have been preserved by hedgerows

Finally, in April, 1803 John Perrin of Bedford County deeded to Thomas Perrin the 110 acre Crabtree Folly tract, which (if I read the language correctly) was purchased partly by cash, and partly in mortgage . The presence of the mortgage notes from Thomas Perrin in the inventory of John Perrin Jr.'s estate was noted previously.

Pine Orchard was surveyed for Thomas Perrin on July 7, 1795, but patented much later . This land lies to the east of Town Creek. Wheat Hill was surveyed for Thomas Perrin on July 6, 1795 . This tract included the unpatented Ingenuity. It is shown in the map below inside an even later survey named Buck's Lodge.

Perrin Tracts

Perrin Land Tracts around Crabtree Folly

Modern maps now identify the north end of Crabtree Folly as Pumpkin Center. Photographs of this region can be seen in two personal history sections, the first from 2007 when I didn't know what I was looking for, and then in 2009, when I had learned what I now know.

The tracts named Buck's Lodge (126 acres) and Plenty of Timber (20 acres) were surveyed for Thomas in 1815 , and 1825 , respectively. Buck's Lodge is shown on the map above; Plenty of Timber is further west. The surveyor noted that for the latter property the lines were:

Beginning at a bounded white oak standing on the south side of a ridge on Crabtree Run A Draught of Town Creek about half way between Town Creek and the Warrior Mountain and shown by Thomas Perrin to be the beginning tree of "Scarce of Timber"...

As Scarce of Timber was surveyed for Moses Robinett in 1790, the old man was able to teach the surveyor a thing or two.

Tax Assessments

Thomas Perrin was listed in the tax assessments of Allegany County, Maryland in 1798 through 1803 for three tracts: Crabtree Folly (110 acres), Pine Orchard (41 acres) and Wheat Hill (32 acres) . The 1803 assessment noted that Thomas had 5 horses and 12 black cattle.


Early census data are particularly helpful for two reasons. First, the census was recorded in a somewhat geographical manner, so it shows Thomas' neighbors as a result. But more important to me is the agreement between the census data and the anonymous family tree for Thomas that will appear below.

There was no census recorded for the Town Creek area in 1790, the year that Allegany County was formed from Washington County by Maryland. I have reproduced portions of the census forms for 1800 and 1810 below. In both instances the rows gave the name of the head of household, then listed the number of persons by age and sex. The first five columns are males aged

  1. under ten
  2. 10 - 15
  3. 16 - 25
  4. 26 - 44
  5. over 45

The next five columns are similarly aged groups for females. (I will get to the last two columns shortly).

1800 census excerpt

The 1800 census showed Thomas Perrin in the Shipton district (i.e., associated with Old Town), married, with two sons and three daughters under ten.

1810 census excerpt

By 1810 there were 4 sons and 5 daughters. Between the two censuses one can calculate that there were

The 1820 and 1830 censuses show there were another two sons and one daughter. From the 1800 and 1810 census, Thomas' birth year can be estimated as being between 1755 and 1765. With the addition of the 1830 and 1840 census his birth can be refined to between 1760 and 1765. Pooling all of the census information from 1800 to 1830 gives his wife a birth date between 1770 and 1775.


Thomas had an account at the general store that started in 1820 at Flintstone . He was mentioned in the accounts for the James M. Cresap estate, having delivered four bushels of March wheat to be milled by him in 1823 . In July 19, 1828, a meeting of the "voters of the Seventh Election District friendly to the re-election of John Quincy Adams to the presidency of the United States" was held at the house of William Riley, in Old Town. They formed a committee of vigilance for this district, which included Thomas Perrin and Thomas Perrin, Jr, as well as Lenox Martin .

Town Creek neighbors

There is not a lot of other information about the Thomas Perrin family before 1830. But I believe some things can be learned about the life of Thomas from records concerning his neighbors.

The Johnson boys

I already mentioned Ben and John Johnson, the husbands of Drusilla and Elizabeth Perrin, respectively, in the section concerning John Perrin, Jr.. A little more about the Johnsons in Maryland is appropriate here. Any general information about the Johnson family comes from their published genealogy .

Ben and John were sons of Griffin (Griffith) Johnson. He was thought to be from Virginia, and first appeared in the historical record as a deserter from the British troops after Braddock's defeat in the Indian War in 1755 . His place of enlistment was "South Branch", which would refer to the South Branch of the Potomac River, across from Old Town. In May, 1767 a Griffith Johnston applied for 100 acres of land in Pennsylvania "on Town Creek including said Johnstons Improvement known by the name of the Boyling Spring" . But he did not formally obtain land in Pennsylvania, and ultimately purchased Morgan's Chance from Joseph Flint in 1774 .

Son Ben Johnson probably lived in Murley Branch in 1783, perhaps on land owned by his first in laws the Wilsons, when he was assessed for land in that Hundred . But he was also assessed for land in Upper Old Town Hundred in 1783, probably Darkey's Fancy, which had been surveyed in that year and was patented by him in 1785 . This land is located on a map below, and probably is the place where Ben lived at the time of the 1800 census above. (Incidentally, the name probably refers to Ben's first son Dorcas, whose nickname was "Darkey".) Ben Johnson also surveyed Prospect in 1791  and Pine Grove  in 1795. These three tracts, largely hill land but some creek bottom, totaled 75 acres. All three of these tracts were sold to James Martin in 1805 , presumably the same year that Ben and Drusilla moved to Ohio.

John Johnson surveyed Bachelor's Folly, 73 acres, in 1787 . This land is easily placed on the map, as the beginning of its survey is the same as that for Crabtree Folly. John and Elizabeth sold this land to John's brother Griffin Johnson, Jr. in 1795 . Presumably the couple left the region shortly thereafter, as Griffith Johnson, Jr. was listed on the 1800 census shown above.

One more brother, Daniel Johnson, patented land named New Garden in 1802 . I have had some trouble fitting the metes and bounds for this tract to the other lands in the region, but its survey states it

Beginning at a Bounded Sugar Tree standing at the foot of a hill by the head of a Pond of Water on the West side of Town Creek within about half a mile of William Crabtrees Dwelling House and as far from Charles Perils, about six perches from said Creek and Running thence...

which places it probably where I have located it on the map, upstream from Crabtree Folly. The Jeremiah Johnson household in the 1810 census shown above may be from his family.

Perril tracts and New Garden

Perril land and New Garden

I should mention one other story about the Johnson family. James Johnson, brother of Griffin Johnson, Sr., moved west beyond the Ohio river very early, and two of his children were kidnapped by Indians in 1788. The episode is well documented, and I include here the version given by the younger of the two boys circa 1850 :

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Two Johnson boys were the heroes of a daring adventure in Jefferson county. The younger, Henry, late a resident (he may be living still) of Monroe, and a fine specimen of the original backwoods pioneers, has furnished the facts for a personal narrative, as follows:

Charles Perrill

Charles Perrill purchased Morris's Choice and the adjacent Morris's Luck from Richard Morris (by then living in Monongahela County, Virginia) in 1779 ; in 1790 he combined the two tracts in a resurvey, naming the combination Perrills Delight .

Two things are of interest with this man. First, he was the grandson of a slave . This explains part of the 1800 census entry for Charles Perrill. In that census, as in 1810, the right hand columns refer to the number of free colored, and slaves, respectively in the household. In 1800 five persons in the household were deemed free colored, and five slaves. I have heard that it was common for people of color, when free, to purchase slaves with the intent of freeing them; this may have been the case here. By 1810, when the Charles Perrill in the census was in fact Charles Perrill, Jr. (the elder Charles having died by 1809 ), the remaining family no longer declared themselves of color, and only one slave remained.

The other fact of interest comes from a survey conducted for Charles Perrill in 1793 for an unpatented tract named Locust Ridge . It describes the survey as

beginning at a bounded pine on a spur of the Warrior Mountain and about 100 yards on the west side of the path leading from Griffen Johnsons to Charles Twiggs and 50 yards on the north side of a run known by the name of the School house run and runing thence

That a stream would be labeled "School House Run" implies to me that somewhere there was a schoolhouse. Identifying the stream in question is easy; I have labeled it on the map above. What I don't know is whether the schoolhouse was on the road along Warrior Ridge, or down in the Town Creek Valley. In any case, such an institution in those times would have been purely the work of the local residents, and indicates a higher level of civilization than I had previously considered for those parts.

Richard Davis

Richard was probably the son of Thomas Davis in Southampton Township, John Perrin Jr.'s son-in-law and executor of his will. The census data between 1800 and 1830 are not entirely in agreement concerning his age, but in combination I reckon a date of birth between 1760 and 1765. Similarly, his wife's ages in the census yield a birth date between 1765 and 1770. There were as many as three sons and three daughters potentially recorded by the census.

An aside: Richard may alternatively be related to the Revolutionary War patriot of the same name from Washington County, Maryland. He, along with Thomas Cresap and Moses Rawlings, was a member of the Committee of Observation formed for Skipton Hundred in 1775 in preparation for the Revolution . He served as a lieutenant in a rifle company formed by Michael Cresap that same year and was taken prisoner by the British in 1776. An interesting story from 1780 which I believe concerns Richard Davis was recorded in the Maryland Archives :

[John Schly to His Excellency and the Honble Gentlemen of the Council]

I have lived in Charlestown South Carolina almost 9 years and belong to the Company of German Fuziliers one of the 13 Companics of the Towns Militia composed of all ranks of People by Trade or rather Art, high Varnishers of Coaches Charriots and all sorts of mahogany furniture in Gentlemens houses where I was employ'd until the last and this summer in which opacc of time His Excell: John Rutledge Governor of the State of South Carolina which His Excelly Thomas Bee, Lieutd Governor of the said State well knows emploied me for the use of the Public to examine in the interior parts of the States of South and North Carolinas different sorts of Ores as Lead, Copper, Silver &c in which I was very successfull in finding two very rich Silver mines besides Lead and Copper Mines containing a good portion of Gold and Silver, And as my Pass was no further limited than the aforesaid States dated the 27th of Febry 1780 at Charlestown the same day I left it and went up into the back woods of North Carolina where I was near 2 months and was Returning home to give His Excell: an account of my Success I was credibly informed at a 770 miles distance from Town that the Enemies took possession of it, and that His Excell: was at Campden so I was resolved to follow Him but could not overtake him, where I was informed he left the place 12 days ago, in this extremity I was resolved to follow to Philadelphia as I was not willing to join the Enemies in Charlestown having taken the oath of Allegiance and Fidelity in the year 1778 the 15 of April then proceeded through Virginia till I came to Oldtown in Washington County still in searching of mines where I was taken up by James Praetor brother to Charles Prastor a Justice as a Spy for no other reason than the writing I had about me which are the Mens names in different place that knows of mines which I could not possibly retain in my memory those they were pleas'd to call Torys Capt Richard Davis son To Colonel Davis without the least provocation knocked two of my Teeth out after I was a prisoner, handcuffed me and took down to Hagerstown where I was threatned to be hang'd or put in Goal and other threatning speeches, if I do not inlist during War and so was compell'd against Law to submit, being a stranger and a man of 57 years of age dim sighted that can not properly distinguish an object at a distance of 60 or 70 yards and received no more than £300 I humbly pray Your Excellency and the Honble Gentlemen of the Council to take my cause into consideration to grant me a Discharge or a Furlow to go to Philadelphia where I must give an account to Their Excellencys the Delegates for the State of South Carolina or His Excells Lieutt Governor Bee of my success

I am with the utmost respect Your Excellencies and the Hon'ble Gentlemen of the council and devoted servant.

This Richard Davis died in 1801, aged 53 years, in Hagerstown . For him to be the father of the Richard Davis in question here, the census information for his putative son must be incorrect.

Richard Davis was certainly in the Town Creek region as early as 1791, when he witnessed the transfer of a land warrant from John Martin to John Johnson; Thomas Perrin was the other witness. The signatures from that document appear to be original:

signatures of Davis and Perrin

Signatures for Richard Davis and Thomas Perrin, 1791

Lower Town Creek tracts

Lower Town Creek tracts

Davis took out warrants for a number of properties, including Davis Sugar Camp , Davises Luck , and Richards Fortune , between 1789 and 1793. Sugar Camp can be found on the map above; the other properties were adjacent to it. None of these tracts were patented. He also purchased a portion of Walnut Level in 1802 , and portions of Walnut Level, Richards First Choice and Buck Ridge in 1808

Following 1820, when his children had moved on, life became hard. A sheriff's sale of Davis' land in 1830, performed to satisfy debts from an 1821 case, mentioned Richard Davis as "Late of Allegany County, Yeoman". Ultimately his land would come into the possession of William McLaughlin; that transfer was confirmed by a deed signed by Richard Davis in 1832  where Davis provided McLaughlin with his warrant rights "for a consideration". I reckon the consideration was the right to continue to live on this land until his death; he was already 70 years old according to the 1830 census. Richard died in 1835, according to documents in Bedford County, Pennsylvania .

Lewis Crabtree and George French

James Crabtree had died in 1784, with his property apparently willed to his children . James' son William sold a third of Crabtree Folly to John Perrin in 1790, as noted above. A second son James sold the middle third of Crabtree Folly, 91 acres, to George French in 1795 . The remaining third of Crabtree Folly remained in the possession of Lewis Crabtree, a third son of James. Lewis subsequently patented several other tracts of surrounding land shown on on a later map.

The origin of George French (to me at least) is not entirely clear. He probably was from Maryland; there were a number of people named George French in Frederick and Washington counties who are candidates. According to the 1830 census his birth date was between 1730 and 1740, making him over fifty years old when he settled in Allegany County. He had two wives, according to his will . His first wife died by 1813, at which time he married Jane Crabtree, daughter of Lewis  and perhaps forty years his junior. Both George's will and deeds  make it clear that Laney French, George's daughter by his first wife, married William McLaughlin.

location of Johnson and MdLaughlin land

French and McLaughlin land

William McLaughlin

The McLaughlin Genealogy states that William was the son of Daniel McLaughlin, Jr., born in Hampshire County, (West) Virginia in 1774, perhaps ten miles south of Old Town . He married Laney French in 1799. Daniel McLaughlin, Jr., born 1755, was the son of Daniel and Ann; she was born Ann Disberry and was the widow of a man named Johnson. William Gilbert Lafayette McLaughlin stated all of this in a narrative he wrote in 1909, and he included a story from the Johnson family :

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Daniel McLauglin the first, settled on the South Branch of the Potomac river in what is now Hampshire County, West Virginia, quite a large tract of land, a portion of which is a bottom land which is very fertile, the remainder in Mountains and not very valuable. The South and North Branches of the Potomac are only a few miles apart at this point, Greenspring, a small village situated on the Baltimore and Ohio R.R. near the the North Branch of the Potomac. There is a road running from Greenspring, South and passes through the McLaughlin's Ford and on up to Romney, the County Seat of Hampshire County.

I will here state that Daniel the first married a widow Johnson, who had several children by Johnson. After her marriage to Daniel the First, only one child was born, a boy named Daniel, after his father. I will state that the Mrs. Johnson's maiden name was Anner Disberry. Brother Gabrael Disberry McLaughlin of Scott County, Illinois was named partly for her (that is the D part of his name). I will tell you of the capture of 2 of the Johnson Boys by 2 Indians.

The careful reader may notice that the story about the Johnson boys told by W.G.L Mclaughlin is the same as told by the Johnson family earlier in this section. Confirming that these families are related is the name Disberry. In the James Johnson family there is a son named Griffin, born 1778, whose first son, born 1799 was named Disbury Johnson . The marriage between Berriman McLaughlin and a Perrin reported by W.G.L. McLaughlin was discussed in a previous section.

William probably lived on George French's land in Town Creek. He formally received the portion of the second part of Crabtree Folly that was located east of Town Creek from George French in 1828 . The survey in that deed refers to William's "dwelling house, at the foot of the hill" at the start of the survey metes and bounds. Other land owned by William included Bachelor's Folly, 73 acres, which he received through a sheriff's sale of property defaulted by Griffin Johnson, Jr., in 1811 .

William organized a company of militia in 1814 and went off to Baltimore to defend it from the British in the War of 1812 . Included in this company was a Joseph Perrin. A letter quoted in the McLaughlin Genealogy from William to his wife, dated Baltimore, September 2, 1814 says :

The forces are coming in daily. We have several thousand men at this place now. The English have sent word that they will breakfast in Baltimore next Sunday, but if they do they must be very strong. But I think it will be a very late breakfast!

Lenox Martin

And finally there is Lenox Martin. His wife was Elizabeth Cresap, daughter of Michael Cresap (whose Revolutionary War company was just mentioned above) and granddaughter of Thomas Cresap . His brother Luther Martin was quite famous; he defended Aaron Burr in his treason trial in 1803 and served as Attorney General for the state of Maryland for many years . The little information I have about Lenox is intriguing. Before settling in Town Creek he, like his brother, was a lawyer, and prosecuted cases in Washington County, Maryland in the 1790s .

Lenox owned land both in Old Town and several miles north. None of this land was close enough to Town Creek to explain why Lenox should show up in the 1810 census they way he does. The only explanation I have involves the tract Darkey's Fancy. James Martin, who had bought this tract in 1805, died in 1810. Before its later sale in 1816 a number of title issues had to be reconciled, and testifying to the matter was Luther Martin himself, who deposed that James Martin had died in 1810 and was his older brother . So it becomes possible that as of the summer of 1810, Lenox and some family were staying at his late brother's land.

In Allegany County, Lenox served as Orphan's Court Judge from 1812 until 1817, and as Justice of the Peace from 1829 until 1840 . As a result his name shows up frequently on deeds and other documents. He was active in the introduction of the Methodist Church, first in conveying land for it in Frederick in 1792 , and later in Allegany County, as outlined later. A portion of the diary of the evangelist Francis Asbury mentioned him, dated June, 1808 :

Sabbath, 19. I preached on Rom. i, 16. Henry Boehm spoke in the afternoon and at night. Death without; but there are some lively souls in the society. I feel the effect of riding in the heat; but I have great peace. On Monday I preached at St. Leger Neale's and on Tuesday at Prather's. The heat and rough roads have brought on a bilious headache. I begin to fail. Wednesday evening brought us to Richard Dowler's, at the mouth of Licking. I preached at Hancock on Thursday: -- the people were very attentive. Alas! no man careth for these people. We were driven by a storm into Squire Yates's; I talked, prayed, dined, and left a book: -- Lord, give us this family! At Clark's tavern, on Friday, where I gave a book and prayed, I did not know that my host was a Romanist -- it was all one to me. We lodged with Lenox Martin. On Saturday we came to J. Jacob's. Ah ! because he saith the old wine is better. King James used to call for his old shoes -- they fit me best.

Sabbath, 26. We had about four hundred souls at chapel in Old Town. I spoke on Romans xii, 1,2: brother Boehm concluded and met the society -- it was an open season: hot as it was, we sung and prayed away the day. On our way to Aquila Brown's, Evitt's Creek, on Monday, we were glad now and then, to stop and shelter ourselves under the trees from the extreme heat. I have advice for the body and soul of the wife of my kind host. At the Luthern church, Cumberland, on Tuesday, we had a full house; my subject was 2 Pet. iii, 17, 18. I was very pointed on sinners and backslidden souls. I was expected to dine at only three several houses. Only let me declare myself, and work is soon found for me; a serious adult of forty years, and three children to baptize -- one for Bell, one for Scott, and one for Brown. Brown was a Deist; he is now a brother: many think Bishop Whatcoat's prayers were heard for him. We have Georgia heat. I preached in the chapel at Cresaps-Town on Wednesday. We breakfasted at four o'clock on Thursday, that we might climbe the Alleghany.

The census showed that Lenox was a substantial slaveowner. In 1810 he possessed six slaves, as the census entry displayed earlier in this section attests. Unlike the Perrill family, here I must presume that this number of slaves in the household represents a working plantation-like enterprise. There were five slaves present in his household in the 1820 census. The 1830 census entry, the last time Lenox would be living outside of Old Town proper, there were four slaves, one adult man and woman plus two children under ten. But there was an entry immediately below Lenox for a Samuel Martin, whose household was entirely a free colored family of two adults plus six children. It would appear that Lenox had freed some of his slaves by 1830; there is insufficient evidence to say if the same happened for the others.

I will leave to the reader any attempts to understand how a man could keep other humans as property and still write the closing of this letter sent to his cousin Robert in 1838 . My only caveat: our behavior now will look contradictory to our own descendants in 200 years.

And now, Dear Robert, before I close my Letter permit me to say a little on the subject of Religion- This is the most important of all subjects, and should never be out of our minds- I would, thus, kindly enquire how it stands between God and your precious soul? Have you recovered your loss? Have you once more obtained the witness of your acceptance with God thro' Jesus Christ? Does the Spirit of God bear Witness with your Spirit, that you are a Child of God? Have you constant peace in your Lord and Do you rejoice with Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory? Nothing less than the above blessed attainments and Enjoyments, will fit you to die, or make you reconciled to Death when your Departure is about to take place- Good desires, and a formal round of Duties, with a Degree of moral conduct, may in some measure content us in a dying hour- I fear we have in the Methodist Church thousands of luke warm formal professors, neither hot nor cold, who are a burden to the Church, and a stumbling block to the wicked- This is one main cause why the work of God does not prosper and revive every where, and continue and increase- Every true Convert is the Salt that is to season others with their Savour, a Light to lighten all around- And if such continue faithful, full of zeal, Life & Love, they will preach Christ wherever they go, they cannot be silent, Love and pity for poor sinners will constrain them to speak, to plead, to beg sinners to come to the blessed Savior, who is waiting to receive them with open arms of Love- and more and more, will believe the Report, and come to the Friend of sinners, and find mercy, and then, they will also go on to tell what a blessed Saviour they have found, this will alarm other sinners & they will seek, and find mercy too, and thus the glorious work will spread, and run like wild fire in a dry stubble till all the Earth will be filled with the glorious manifestations of God's grace & Mercy to a guilty world-

I must now bid you farewell, wishing we may all meet with Joy, around the Throne above-


Thomas Perrin moved to Town Creek at a time when his in-laws Ben and John Johnson and Richard Davis were living there as well. With time the Johnson families left and were replaced by George French and William McLaughlin.The image below, showing the signatures of the witnesses to Bartholomew Jadwin's will in October, 1819, sums up the neighborhood well :

Signatures of Thomas Perrin, et al., 1819

Note that the "T" in this signature is the same as that seen in the 1791 signature above; while the "P" is different, at least it contains the same strokes as before. But most interesting to me is the appending of the final "s" to his surname. You may recall seeing that occur with John Perrin, Sr., and Edward Perrin his son. Thomas would sign his surname with the final "s" once more in 1839 .

Wives and Children

When I started working on this Perrin genealogy in 2007, I discovered a detailed entry in an anonymous genealogy in . I imagine it came from the descendants of Deborah Perrin, who along with her husband Mark Stewart stayed in the region until at least December, 1846 , and perhaps recorded what they knew in a family Bible. The data have since migrated to the One World Tree (which I assume indicates that their source stopped paying membership fees to aAncestry):

If it weren't for the fact that large amounts of these data can be confirmed, I would not accept it en masse like this. The numbers and ages of the children are in perfect agreement with the 1800 and 1810 census shown above. The birth dates for Lua, Leaney and James K. are confirmed precisely on their respective tombstones. The only known error in this family tree is the husband for Deborah Perrin; it should be Mark, not Thomas. Thomas K. Stewart was Deborah's son, not husband, as discussed in the next section. But this may be an addition to this genealogy by a later reader; after all, Thomas K.'s date of death is the only date in this list which included only the year and no month or date.

Wife or wives ?

Otherwise, the only improbability I have with the anonymous Perrin data set is the birth date for Sally. I calculate she would have been ten years old when son Amos was born.

I mentioned earlier that with the census data from 1800 through 1830, a rough estimate of 1770 - 1775 can be made for the birth year of Thomas' wife. Nycum and Ben Johnson have reported that Thomas Perrin married a McLaughlin . Such an event does not fit into the McLaughlin Genealogy at all, as William reportedly had no married sisters . This conclusion, however, was based on the will made by William's father Daniel, written in 1829. It is certainly possible that any McLaughlin who might have married Thomas would have not been mentioned in her father's will, her support being already certain. There may be other reasons as well, but there is space in the McLaughlin family tree between 1776 and 1783 for another child.

But I am prone to accept what is probably family Bible evidence over the census. Then it becomes necessary to explain the early children. On the basis of no evidence, I would propose that Amos and John are the progeny of Thomas' first wife and that Sarah McLaughlin was Thomas' second wife. The biggest argument I can muster is the given name of Thomas' first son. Typically his name would be the same as his mother's father. Persons named Amos are scarce in the mountains, but there is one good candidate, Amos Dicken of Southampton Township, Bedford County. He certainly was acquainted with the Perrin families. While there is no mention of Thomas Perrin in Amos' will, it was written in 1812 . Thomas would therefore have remarried before then; I believe a marriage to Sarah McLaughlin would probably be around 1795.

Stray pieces of information support the idea that Sally (or Sarah) McLaughlin was Thomas Perrins wife.  In the 1880 census, James K. Perrin, Louisa Yinger and Lena Yinger all stated that their mother was born in Virginia. Thomas' daughter Deborah Stewart probably named her daughter, born in 1843 in Maryland, Anne McGlothlin Stewart . Aunt Anna reported that James K. Perrin named his first son Upton Gladden M. Perrin; what that second middle initial stood for (and what Gladden means) is anyone's guess.


What follows is a list of what I know regarding each of the children.


Amos' life and descendants are the subject of the next section.


Most of what I know about John is inferred from the census. The only record I have for him from Town Creek is a signature, when he witnessed a transfer of a warrant from George French to William McLaughlin in 1818 . John's wife was named Elsie, whose birth place was stated later in the census as Virginia. They moved west, first to Pennsylvania. He was in West Bethlehem Township, Washington County, in 1830. Later censuses show they moved again between 1834 and 1840. By the 1850 census, he was in Pleasant Township, Knox County, Ohio, where he lived past the age of 70; his wife lived past the age of 80. Elsie was mentioned as living in the city of Mt. Vernon in 1881 .


Deborah will also be examined in the next section.


Lua is probably the same person as Sue Perrin who married John Yinger in Allegany County in 1820 . John was also in West Bethlehem Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania in the 1830 census. In the 1850 census, Louisa Yinger, born Maryland in 1796, could be found in Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio. Their children's data suggest they arrived there around 1840. She remained in that location through the 1870 census, listed as Louisa. In the 1880 census, living with her daughter Harriet Triddle in Turtle Creek Township, Shelby County, Ohio, she was named Luza and had stated that her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother in Virginia. She was buried in Graceland Cemetery, Sidney, Ohio as Lueza Yinger; the stone gives her age at death, with a calculated birth date of October 26, 1796. This date agrees precisely with the records cited above.

Lueza Yinger grave stone, © 2011 Matthew Patterson


Leaney would be the Mottlena Perrin who married David Yeenger in Allegany County in 1823 . She was listed in the 1860 and 1880 census as Leany and Lena Yinger, respectively, living in Franklin township, Shelby County, Ohio. As of 1860 her husband had died. Her son Dennis, born in 1830, gave his birth place as Ohio. The 1880 census stated that she was born in Maryland, her father in Pennsylvania and her mother in Virginia. Leany was also buried in Shelby County at Graceland Cemetery. Her stone also gives her age at death, with a calculated birth date of June 13, 1798; this also is in perfect agreement with the records cited above.

Laney Yinger grave stone, © 2011 Matthew Patterson


Elizabeth married George Athey in 1833 , dying 12 years later in 1845. The Atheys lived in Green Ridge, just east of Town Creek. The genealogy of this family is well described and published . More about them in a later section.


Thomas Perrin, Jr. was born in 1802 according to the anonymous genealogy. There are only two records for him in Maryland. The 1830 census reported that Thomas, Jr. resided next door to his father; he was married and had one son and two daughters, all of whom were under five years old. Thomas, Jr. was also mentioned as an attendee of an 1828 meeting in Old Town supporting the re-election of John Quincy Adams as president; other members of this meeting included his father and Lenox Martin . Here I can present a tentative narrative for Thomas, Jr. and his family after 1830 based on circumstantial evidence along with genetic confirmation. It makes sense to present information about Thomas, Jr.’s likely children in order of genealogical certainty.

John Wesley Perrin

John W Perran, age 23, first appeared in the 1850 census in Greene County, Indiana. He had just married Rhoda Messenger in April of that year ; he gave his occupation as blacksmith, his place of birth as Maryland. In the 1860 census he was enumerated with Rhoda and 3 children in McCameron Township, Martin County, Indiana where he provided the same demographic information. When he enlisted in Company C, 147th Indiana Infantry in January, 1865, he stated he was born in Allegany County, Maryland , making it extremely likely that John came from some part of Thomas Perrin’s family. John and family were back in Center Township, Greene County for the 1870 census; in the 1880 census John was in Union Township, Ripley County, Missouri with Rhoda and the younger children. Each time he stated that he was born in Maryland, and in 1880 he further stated that his father was born in England and his mother was born in Pennsyvania.

My brother has a 14 centiMorgan DNA match with a person who descends from John William Wesley Perrin. He and that person share DNA matches with others who descend from Thomas Perrin, Sr.

Thomas J Perrin

As with John W Perrin, Thomas J Perrin first appeared in western Indiana as an adult. He was first recorded in the 1860 census in Clay Township, Owen County married and working as a blacksmith. By 1863 he had moved 10 miles south to Center Township, Greene County, where he registered for the civil war draft . In both cases he stated he was born in Maryland either in 1834 or 1835. From 1870 on he lived in Jackson Township, Greene County with consistent demographic information, stating in 1880 that his parents were both born in Maryland.

Thomas J Perrin died January 4, 1917. His death certificate stated that he was born October 1, 1834 in Maryland, his father was Thomas Perrin and mother Mary Roland, both born in Maryland.

Henrietta Maria Perrin Karn

The Carroll County, Ohio marriage records show that Henrietta M. Perrin married Adam Karn on September 23, 1847 . In the 1850 census of Union Township, Carroll County H M Karn, born about 1827 in Maryland, was living with Adam Karn along with son David L. age 2. From the 1860 census on Henrietta went by Maria; so the 1860 census in Mount Erie Township, Wayne County, Illinois recorded Maria Karn, born 1827 in Maryland along with David L. Karn, age 11. She and David were still there in 1870, although in this and subsequent census records she reported that she was born in Ohio. In 1880 she lived with her brother Edward Karn in Moores Prairie Township, Jefferson County, Illinois.

Adam Karn's father was probably David Karn, born in 1785 and in Carroll County by 1833. In that year he was assessed for 160 acres of land, namely the northwest quarter of section 26, 5 range, 15 township . That plot is identified on the map below. Of interest is that the northern border of the land lies contiguous to present day Perron Road.

portions of Union and Perry Townships, Carroll County, showing Karn and McAllister land and Parron Road

My brother has a 13 centiMorgan DNA match with a descendant of Henrietta. They share matches as well with known descendants of Thomas Perrin, Sr.

S. A. Parren and Mary Perrin McAllister

Included in the 1850 household for Adam and H M Karn was a S A Paren, female, age 20, born in Maryland. Some folks on the web have identified her as Sary Ann Paren. No further information is known about her.

More is known about Mary Perrin. On November 29, 1838 she married George A. McAllister in Carroll County . The 1850 census for Perry Township, Carroll County shows two George McAllisters. George A., born 1793 was married to M. McAllister born 1802; and George W., born 1824, was with wife Mary born 1829 in Ohio. It would seem that the marriage of Mary Perrin must be with George W. McAllister. While this implies that George W. married a nine year old girl, I can't dismiss that possibility, as one must consider a final record. Mary, wife of George W. McCallister was buried in the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Perry Tonship in October, 1854, age 25 .

Gravestone for Mary wife of George W. McAllister
© 2006 Ed Burton

George A. McCallister can also be found on the tax roles in Perry Township  and the location of his property is shown above.


The records cited above account for two daughters and one son of Thomas Perrin, Jr. born before 1830. There may be at least two other children in this family. It seems close to certain that Thomas Perrin, Jr.'s family moved west from Maryland after 1834 and probably before James K. and Upton Perrin bought the Thomas Perrin, Sr. land in 1836. The marriage of Mary Perrin in 1838 puts Thomas, Jr. in Carroll County, Ohio by 1838. He avoided the 1840 census and may have died before 1850, leaving at least one unmarried daughter living with in-laws. Two sons subsequently moved west and surfaced in Indiana.


Sally probably was the Sarah Perrin who married Henry Steed, Jr. in 1830 in Allegany County . They subsequently moved to Guernsey County, Ohio and then to Wood County, West Virginia. The 1850 census from Wood County stated Sarah Steed was born in Maryland in 1804, the correct date for the above listing.

James K.

His life is the subject of a later section.


Upton is also the subject of a later section.


I have no further information regarding this daughter.

Finally, in the section regarding James K. Perrin, I will include what is known of Thomas Perrin's later years, and the ultimate sale of the Town Creek property.

Revolutionary War Speculation

In 1888 Thomas' grandson Joshua Perrin offered in his historical biography the following statement :

Later, his son Thomas, the grandfather of our subject, carried a musket in the Revolutionary War

There is a record for Thomas Perrin in Maryland during the Revolution. Thomas Parran or Parren enlisted in the 7th Maryland Regiment in April, 1777 as a surgical mate. In August, 1778 he transferred to the 6th Regiment as surgeon. He was discharged in 1780 . His payment record noted he was a member of Sarer's Company from Washington County .

Given Thomas' reported birth date of December, 1763, it is quite difficult to believe this Thomas Parren is the same person. On the other hand, recruitment for the 7th Regiment took place in the western Maryland counties. It is not impossible to imagine a person of that age engaging in a noncombat role during that conflict.