Amos Perrin and Deborah Perrin Stewart

This short section allows me to discuss in some detail Thomas Perrin's oldest son Amos and oldest daughter Deborah. Both of them initially settled near their parents and both of them ultimately moved west. In the process, I will be able to mention the oldest son of Amos, Lenox, whose family is responsible for many of the Perrins still living in Allegany County, Maryland and Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The discussion of these two families here is far from complete.


Biographical History

The easiest way to begin is with a biographical history from Joshua, the youngest son of Amos: :

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The history of Mr. Perrin is one of more than ordinary interest, he being the offspring of an excellent old family who have been represented in the Keystone State for three generations, and who trace their ancestry to Germany. Amos and Elizabeth (Bennett) Perrin, the parents of our subject, were natives respectively of Alleghany County, Md., and Bedford County, Pa. The paternal great-grand-father was Thomas Perrin, who, upon emigrating from the Fatherland, settled near Old town, Md., and subsequently served in the French and Indian Wars, being in the Federal service under Gen. Washington and witnessing Braddock's defeat. Later, his son Thomas, the grandfather of our subject, carried a musket in the Revolutionary War.

After the marriage the parents of our subject located on a farm in Bedford County, Pa., where the father carried on agriculture successfully, and accumulated a fine property, which, however, he lost, being the victim of misplaced confidence in becoming a bondsman for some of his friends. In 1847, hoping to mend his broken fortune, he left Pennsylvania, with his wife and three children, our subject being the youngest, and crossed the Alleghanies into West Virginia, settling about twelve miles from the city of Wheeling. There he remained about one year, then removed to Wood County, and commenced farming near Parkersburg. On the 15th of July, 1850, he was seized with cholera, and in the space of nine hours had breathed his last, at the age of fifty-three years. The mother succeeded in keeping her children together, and our subject remained with her until his marriage.

A brief editorial comment. When I first started working on this family history, I thought that this description of Thomas Perrin's ancestry was quite odd. Even allowing for exaggeration (there is no evidence that a Perrin served in Braddock's army, only the Maryland militia), I could not understand the reference to Germany. But given the analysis of John Perrin, Sr. in a a href="../../Narrative/Sect8Indianwar/indianwar.html#germany">previous section, I think it possible to consider this a reference to the Netherlands. For if Joshua's family told the biographer that their ancestor was "Dutch", it is reasonable for that persdon to think the family actually meant "German", just as in the Pennsylvania Dutch. And if I assume several generations of Perrins are compressed into a single individual by this story, the fit is even better.

The above account implies that Amos was born in 1797. I am told this biography and this date of Amos' birth are from wife Elizabeth's notes . While it disagrees with the date of 1790 I gave in the last section, the census numbers from 1820 through 1840 are most consistent with 1790 as a birth year (in 1830 he reported an age between 40 and 50), as is the birth date of 1814 for his son Lenox.

Wife Elizabeth Bennett

Amos married Elizabeth Bennett, born August 16, 1792, died March 6, 1881. Elizabeth's gravestone in Roca Cemetery, Lancaster County, Nebraska states that she was the wife of Amos .

The Bennett and Perrin families probably had known each other for some time. Elizabeth's grandfather Joseph Bennett, may have originally lived in Frederick County, Maryland; he served there in Moses Chapline's militia in 1757 . Jospeh's son Robert was born in Virginia in 1769, according to his death certificate . By 1772 Joseph had moved to Southampton Township, Bedford County where he was assessed for 30 acres . In 1794 and 1795 Joseph surveyed two tracts of land located two miles south of Black Valley Gap and John Perrin, Jr . They are shown just below.

Loacation of original Bennet lands

Location of Bennett and Stewart lands in Southampton Township and adjacent Maryland

Hillary Willison provided a story about Perrin and Bennett :

John Perrin, like many of the first settlers was a great hunter, and on account of love for the chase, on one occaision nearly lost his life from hunger and exposure. According to a story handed down by the "old foks", John Perrin and Joseph Bennett, the later being the pioneer settler of the Bennett family, were encamped in the woods, and while in pursuit of game a long way from camp, a great snow fell, cutting them off from provisions and shelter. For many days they were snow bound, but finally made some snow shoes, and walked home on top of the snow, very much exhausted. They would never tell how they kept from starving, but Perrin hinted something about stroking a wild colt, and it was believed by their friends that they killed and ate some of the wild colt, and thus saved themselves from untimely death.

Joseph Bennett died around 1815 . Son Robert had surveyed land to the east and west of Joseph in 1802 and 1819, respectively . Robert also surveyed a tract along Town Creek north of Black Valley Gap; it surrounded the land previously claimed by Thomas Johnson . Elizabeth and Amos are said to have lived on the Town Creek tract . Amos and family were in Southampton Township by the 1820 census. In the 1830 census, which was recorded in good geographical order, Amos Perrin lived next to Hugh Iames; his land is also shown on the map below. However, Amos never bought or sold any land in Bedford County.

Loacation of Bennet lands

Location of Bennett and Chaney lands in Southampton Township


I know of eight children for Amos and Elizabeth Perrin:


Lenox Perrin. Born May 12,1815, died July 4, 1890. More about him below.

Robert B.

Robert B. Perrin, born April 30, 1817. Married Juda Snyder in Pennsylvania . Died November 4, 1903 in Wirt County, West Virginia . Buried at the Perrin Cemetery, Wirt County .

Robert B Perrin gravestone, Perrin Cemetery, Wirt Co. WV
© 2013


Thomas Perrin, born July 17, 1820, was indentured to Lenox Perrin, 1838 - 1841 . He married Louisa Fetters, daughter of David Fetters . Given that David Fetters had married Nancy Perrin, daughter of John Perrin, Jr., I reckon she was his half first cousin once removed. Thomas died February 6, 1899, buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery, Southampton Township . His son Isaiah eventually settled in Blues Gap, east of Town Creek.


Abraham Perrin, born October 27, 1822, indentured to Lenox Perrin 1838 - 1843 . Married Ann Songster in 1848 and died in Bedford, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1858 .

Elizabeth Ann

Elizabeth Ann Perrin. Born 1830. Married first to Benjamin Snyder, second to John Lewis Williams, March 13, 1856 in Wirt County, West Virginia . Died January 11, 1900, buried at Roca Cemetery .


Anna Perrin. Born 1831 .

Rachel M.

Rachel M. Perrin. Born August, 1832, according to the 1900 census. Married first to James James in Wirt County, West Virginia, 1858 , then to Lorenzo Dequasie . Died after 1900.


Joshua Perrin, born June 30, 1835. Married Lucinda Deem in Wirt County, 1851 , and Sarah Leach, 1863 . Died 1916 in Lancaster County, Nebraska, buried at the Roca Cemetery .

Examination of the census records from 1820 through 1840 indicates there were more children. There is a boy born between 1825 and 1830 who did not survive until 1840, and one girl born at the same time who did. More interesting is a female born between 1810 and 1815 who is present in both the 1820 and 1830 censuses. She probably married between 1830 and 1840. I have one source which suggested she may have been named Sarah and was married to George Snyder, Jr. in 1836 .


One child of Amos Perrin worth more discussion is Lenox. I assume he was named after Lenox Martin who was discussed earlier. According to the census, he was already out of the Amos Perrin household in 1830. In 1831, at the age of 16, he was indentured to John Broadmartel, blacksmith of Flintstone, Allegany County, Maryland, for 3 years, according to the Allegany County records ; this record specifically states that the father of Lenox was Amos Perrin. This fact is confirmed in a book "The Laws of Maryland" which belonged to Lenox, where he wrote that the Joshua Perrin noted above was his brother .

Location of Lenox Perrin's blacksmith house and properties

According to an old record book discovered in a chicken coop, Lenox began work at a blacksmith shop on the National Road about 2 miles west of Flintstone on August 30, 1837 . There, along with two others paid thirty dollars monthly each for a six-day work week (including Christmas!), he primarily serviced stages from the National Road. The property, and probably also the business, was owned by the Cumberland Turnpike Road Company . In 1838 his brothers Thomas and Abraham were indentured to him to learn the blacksmith trade; they also worked at that site while attending school half time.

The National Road deserves a brief aside at this point.

By now you may have noticed that I have a fascination with maps. While they are not considered fine art, maps and art do have common characteristics. They attempt to express reality in a symbolic way. They do not necessarily conform to reality, but show the creator's individual interpretation of reality, as well as a cultural impression of that reality. So just as a painting of an object and that object's photograph may have differences, so also will a map from, say, a satellite image.

1822 map of maryland

Portion of a Map of Maryland, 1822

The above map shows three roads leading west from Hancock. The northernmost one heads to Bedford, and is probably the same road as the one commissioned in 1772, with John Perrin, Jr. one of its planners. The southernmost one heads to Oldtown; it was the original road west from Hancock, built in 1758. But it is the central road which matters here. Note that it is stippled, unlike the other two. This is the eastern extension of the National Pike. While this portion of the road does not technically qualify as the "National Road" as enacted by Congress and opened from Cumberland to Wheeling in 1816, it was as of 1822 part of the Road in the country's consciousness.

The consequences of the Road were enormous. Locally it allowed for the growth of a town named Flintstone, with its number one industry tourism. But the road also brought exotic persons and ideas to the inhabitants of eastern Allegany County. From that point until the mid 1840s Flintstone was a stopping point on the major east-west highway of the United States. Accounts from that time describe a constant traffic of people and goods along the road, there being on the road through Flintstone up to 12 stage coaches in a row traveling at a given time. Famous people, such as Zachary Taylor, Henry Clay, and the Marquis de La Fayette passed through town. Henry Clay carved his initials in the furniture in the inn at Flintstone. The degree of exposure to the outside world for this hamlet would never again be as great as in this 25 year period. For better descriptions of the Road I would refer you to a nostalgic article from Harper's Weekly (dated 1879) for a general description.

The location of Lenox's blacksmith shop was shrewd. It stood at the foot of Martin's Mountain, a major climb for the stages on their journey from Flintstone west to Cumberland. Michael Perrin has estimated that ninety percent of the business done at this site was contract to the the owners of that particular portion of road.

a postcard of the east side of Martins Mountain

A postcard of the east side of Martins Mountain
looking towards Flintstone

By 1840 Lenox was already married to Mary Chaney   and had one child, according to the census. From then until 1880 the census records Lenox in Flintstone (probably recorded as Simon Perrin in 1860). He was named the supervisor of Berry's school house, in district #9, Allegany County, in 1847 . He continued to operate as a blacksmith at least until 1867 . Later, perhaps starting in the 1870's, he served many years as Justice of the Peace for that district.

Hilary Willison, who was a neighbor and a relative, noted his ability to tell stories .

Nathan Robinette in his day was the owner of a large tract of land in Fairview vicinity. His home farm was what is now the William Perrin farm.His wife, Nancy was the daughter of Jeremiah Willison of old Fort Cumberland. They entertained with old time hospitalities and the old folks said that strangers and visitors coming into the neighborhood, always inquired for Nathan Robinette... After the death of Nathan Robinette, the old homestead passed into the hands of Lenox Perrin, who still maintains its reputation for the warm Hospitality...

The "Squire" who lived and died on this old farm, July 4, 1890, aged seventy five years, was a fine clever neighbor, and would discommode himself anytime to accomodate a neighbor. His son, the late Murrey B. Perrin, who also lived and died on this old homestead, was quiet, peaceable, accomodating.

Lenox acquired several tracts of land shown on the map above. In 1844, Lenox purchased 156 acres from the estate of Nathan Robinett; because of legal technicalities this deed was not recorded until 1873 . This land was west and north of Flintstone and included a portion of the tract I Am Lost. In 1865 he bought an additional 167 acres east of his first tract . Lenox also obtained other land in Southampton Township from Charles Willison in 1848 ,which he patented in 1870 . Only 20 acres of the tract were cleared as of 1880 agricultural census . Finally, in 1880, Lenox purchased a one-half acre plot from the Cumberland Turnpike Road Corporation ; this may have been the site of his blacksmith shop.

I have placed some pictures (scans of prints from scans of the originals from descendant Michael Perrin; these had spots and scratches, necessitating some retouching) on a small . A biographical sketch is available for his grandson, James, in the History of Allegany County (1923). Beware; it is not entirely accurate regarding his uncles. :

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JAMES E. PERRIN has acquired a patronage in the real estate and insurance business in Cumberland which leaves no room for doubt as to the confidence he enjoys for ability and trustworthiness in the handling of such transactions. That he is now a leading representative in his line is, moreover, due solely to his own efforts, for his reputation has been gained by an unbroken record of honorable dealing in his home community, and his present substantial position, both as a business man and in his personal relations, is the logical result of a well-chosen course in life.

Mr. Perrin bears a name long associated with worthy character in Allegany county, Maryland, being a grandson of Squire Lenox Perrin, an honored resident of Flintstone district, of which he was one of the oldest citizens at the time of his death, when he was eighty-one years of age. He had the following children: Henry, who is now eighty-one years old; Jerrous, a farmer in the Flintstone district; Murray, deceased; Dennis A., deceased; and Mary, deceased.

Dennis A. Perrin, son of Lenox Perrin, was educated in the State Normal School and followed farming in his early life; later he taught school for a time and then learned the trade of wheelwright. He went west and spent some years at Hot Springs, Arkansas. He returned to Allegany county, and thereafter was engaged in the grocery business in Cumberland until the time of his death on October 2, 1908. Of the children born to his marriage with Hulda Wilson is James E. Perrin. Dennis A. Perrin married, second, Louisa Fisher and by this marriage had one daughter, Marie, of Cumberland.

Lenox is buried with his wife Mary in the IOOF Cemetery at Flintstone

Lenox Perin grave

Stone for Lenox and Mary Perrin, Flintstone, Maryland

Lenox's descendants still live north and west of Flintstone in Allegany County. Of Amos' children, two others, Abraham and Thomas, remained in Bedford County. A partial listing of Amos' descendants may be found in the genealogy data section.

Perrin Lane, Flintstone

Perrin Lane, west and north of Flintstone, Maryland. Photograph by John Day


Deborah Perrin, born 1795, married Mark Stewart in 1817 . Mark Stewart was the son of Thomas Stewart of Southampton Township, Bedford County . Earlier history of the Stewart family was discussed previously. Thomas' brother Robert had married Elizabeth Dicken, the daughter of Amos Dicken, another neighbor of John Perrin, Jr. . In 1824 - 1825 Mark, in a deal with Philip and Mary Fletcher of Bedford County, agreed to swap his portion of the Thomas Stewart estate in Bedford County for the tract Resurvey of New Garden  . Incidentally Philip Fletcher was either the brother or father of the Mary Fletcher who married John Perrin, Jr.'s son Joseph. New Garden consisted of 54 acres in its original survey  which was

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 Crabtree's Dwelling House and as far from Charles Perils about six perches from said Creek

Having found Charles Perrill's land as well as Crabtree Folly to the south, I can say without difficulty that there is no easy place to put this tract along Town Creek, particularly if its survey must begin on the west side of the Creek. My best guess is shown on the map in the previous section. But the Stewart family lived just upstream from Thomas Perrin in 1830 and 1840, according to the census, and probably remained in Maryland until 1847. Then a second resurvey increased the property to a total of 278 3/4 acres of land, apparently by adding much of the hillside east of the creek. This survey shared lines with the Perrin tract Pine Orchard . At that time they sold Resurvey of New Garden Amended to Nathan Ruby . There is no further mention of this family in Maryland.

The Stewart family then resurfaced in California. Deborah Stewart is in the 1860 census in Sacramento, California, along with sons Thomas and Amos P., and daughter Anne M.

1860 census, sacramento

1860 Census entry for Deborah Stewart

Husband Mark Stewart had already died in 1857 , but is referenced in a quotation from an early Sacramento history

The first attempt to establish a civil government under American ideas of government was made on April 30, 1849, when a mass meeting of the then residents of Sacramento City and other portions of Sacramento District was held at the Embarcadero to devise a means for the government of the city and district. At this meeting Henry A. Schoolcraft presided, Peter Slater was Vice President and James King of William and E. J. Brooks, Secretaries. Samuel Brannan explained the object of the meeting, and it was resolved that a Legislature of eleven members should be elected, 'with full powers to enact laws for the government of the city and district.' It was also determined to hold the election forthwith, and Henry Bates, M.D., M. T. McClellan, Mark Stewart, Ed. H. Von Pfister and Eugene F. Gillespie were appointed judges. The vote resulted in the election of John McDougall, Peter Slater, Barton Lee, John S. Fowler, J. S. Robb, Wm. Pettit, Wm. M. Carpenter, M. D., Chas. G. Southard, M. M. McCarver, James King of William and Samuel Brannan, but upon the announcement of the result Robb declined to accept, and Henry Cheever was chosen to fill the vacancy. The eleven were immediately sworn in, and some time afterward adopted a code that no laws were wanted and all the officers necessary for 'the District of Sacramento, bounded on the north and west by the Sacramento River, on the east by the Sierra Nevadas, and on the south by the Cosumnes River, were one alcalde and one sheriff. They then submitted the code to the people for adoption or rejection, and asked them at the same time to vote for officers. The code was adopted.

Nothing further toward forming a local government was attempted until after the proclamation of General Riley (the military Governor) was issued at Monterey on June 3. In fact nothing seemed necessary, if theft was, by common consent, punished, as the Times says, 'by giving the offender thirty or forty rawhide lashes, and then ordering him off, not to return under penalty of death.'

I realize that the above quotation was a bit long for the subject matter, but I had to get the last paragraph about the "wild West" in here somehow.

1850 Sacramento

The Sacramento Embarcadero, 1850 (California Sate Library)

The best description of the timing of this family's migration comes from an obituary written fifty years later concerning daughter Sarah :


Mrs. Sarah Cooper, who died in this city last Friday, was one of the oldest pioneer women in this city, having settled here in October, 1848. With her father and mother, she left Maryland in 1847. The family wintered in Missouri and reached here in 1848. The father purchased a farm from General Sutter at Twenty-ninth and B Streets. Upon this property some member of the family has resided continually ever since.

Her husband, who has been dead for some twenty years, was also a pioneer, coming in 1849.

She leaves a brother, Amos P. Stewart, of Truckee, and two sisters, Mrs. G.O. Higgins of Oregon and Mrs. L. Churchman of Fruitvale. She was 74 years of age.

Members of this family are described in two family trees posted at I have already referred to one, which provided a complete picture of Thomas Perrin's family . While highly accurate for Deborah's siblings, it is not for the Stewarts. It lists as Deborah's husband one Thomas K. Stewart; he was actully one of her sons. For Deborah's children it lists only one child, an Anne McGlothlin Stewart, who married George Oscar Higgins.

The second family tree (the Quick genealogy) is more inclusive; it comes from the descendants of Deborah's daughter Deborah, who married Morgan Warren Quick . More detail regarding this family can be found in the genealogy database; all of the information posted at in the Quick genealogy is in agreement with the census and burial information which I can access from the web 2000 miles away from California. Indeed Allan Quick, who posted the second tree mentioned here, provides on an image of the marriage certificate between Deborah and Morgan from 1854.

While I shall not include an exhaustive description here, it is clear from the recorded census and marriage information that, along with Mark and Deborah Stewart, at least seven of their ten known children made the transcontinental trek. The daughters married farmers and ranchers, while the sons lived more scattered lives. For example, the Quick genealogy states the oldest son was Upton. Upton Stewart in the 1850 census resided in Fremont Township, Yolo County, California in the heart of the Gold Rush territory. The fact that the daughters married well does not surprise me at all; young women were at a premium in California at that point.

Finally, I must try to clarify some information regarding Anna M. Stewart. Her death certificate , posted on the web by the Pioneer Cemetery in Salem, Oregon, reports that her mother's (Deborah) maiden name was "McGorthlin". This death certificate also reports that Anna's father was Amos P. Stewart; he was actually her brother. In addition, it gives a birth year for Anna M. of 1843, which does not correspond to other information provided by the Pioneer Cemetery. I can assume that the informant, son George, did not have his facts straight; I believe that George mistook Anna's middle name for her mother's last name.