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Home: Surnames: Petticrew Family Genealogy Forum

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Caution re James and David Petticrew, Dauphin Co. PA, 1700's.
Posted by: B. Kline (ID *****3222) Date: March 15, 2008 at 13:37:07
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I recommend caution regarding the origins of James and David Petticrew of 1700s PA.

For many years now an error has spread unchecked, about these Petticrew immigrants who settled in Hanover Twp., Dauphin Co. PA. This error appears on Worldconnect, Familysearch, personal genealogy webpages, Petticrew/grew genealogy forums, and sundry other repositories of Petticrew family history. I recently saw this error incorporated in the report of a professional accredited genealogist to his client. For me, that was the last straw.

The error is as follows: That James Petticrew, immigrant to America, was born 1723 in Scotland. That David Petticrew, immigrant to America, was born 1726, also in Scotland. That they were sons of David Petticrue and Janet Markam/Marklam/Maiklam of Cordoan, Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

We have two records that dispute this.
(1) Immigrant David is buried in old Hanover Presbyterian Churchyard, Dauphin County, PA. His headstone states he died 1784, aged 71 years. This makes his birthyear 1713. See the headstone at, for David PETTECREW.
(2) The IGI extracted marriage record for David Pettegrew and Jenet Maiklam of Scotland states they married in 1717, four years after immigrant David was born. IGI batch #M116229. The extracted records are the most reliable. It is worthwhile noting that in any EXTRACTED records for this family the spelling is PetteGrew, not with a "c"; this includes the marriage record and the christening records for their children. Any entries for James and David using the "c" spelling are records submitted by members of the LDS Church, and their sources are unknown and unreliable.

It is time to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and start looking for the round peg. We should look elsewhere for the origins of immigrants James and David PettiCrew.

Some clues about the immigrants' origins:
(1) In his Rev. War pension application John Finley Petticrew, son of David, stated that he was born 1758 in Ireland.
(2) In two county histories, grandchildren of the immigrants are said to be of Irish descent. No record or history I have seen claims the immigrants originally came from Scotland.

I have found mention of Petticrews in northern Ireland as early as 1646. The surname appears liberally in the Belfast Newsletter Index, throughout the 1700s, as Petticrew, Pettecrew, Pettycrew, Peticrew, Pettigrew, Petigrew, Pettegrew, Pettegrue, Pettygrew, Pittigrew.

It is apparent that more research into Irish records needs to be done, before we dismiss Ireland as the origin of our Petticrew immigrants.

Are you a descendant of James or David? And, do you have any family lore about the origins of your ancestor? If so, please post your bit of history here. Thanks.

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