McBride - Bumpus Genealogy
Grave location & Information
The History of David Armstrong and Sarah Harris
David Armstrong was born in Ireland in 1746, came to America with his parents, Thomas and Isavella in
1764. He was married in 1779 to Sarah Harris, born in 1760, a daughter of Roland Harris, who resided at
what is now Fort Loudon on Lincoln Highway, at the foot of Path Valley.
( See Harris History )
He purchased 156 acres of land from his father on October 21, 1789. The deed, witnessed by James and John
Armstrong, was recorded in Chambersburg on June 17, 1790 David and Sarah sold this land on April 6, 1794.
Their address was given as Fannett township. In 1790 they, with their 5 children, George, Rebecca, Archibald
Thomas and Roland, migrated to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and located near the present site of
Greensburg, where they remained until 1796. Their sixth child, Mary, was born there.
In 1795 the father & the two older
children, George, age 15, and Rebecca,
age 13, left the home east of the Allegheny
River and crossed the country westward
through the dense forests, where only at
long distances a settler's cabin could be
seen. They finally reached a point 3 miles
west of the present town of Slippery Rock,
Butler County , Pennsylvania , at the juntion of Wolf Creek & Slippery Rock Creek, where they commenced the settlement of a 400
acre tract of land.
NOTE: Grave location with information is added only IF it can be found.
The forest was full of small game. One writer tells of a neighbor, Peggy Walker, being chased one evening riding home from a visit at the Armstrongs; she was startled by the terrific scream of a panther which sprang from the bushes close to the path. Her horse was frightened and ran, the panther following but
was unable to overtake the horse which was the swifter. She reached home in safety but was nearly overcome by fright.
We can scarcely visualize the primitive conditions surrounding our ancestors. They lacked nearly all the ordinary comforts of a home; they were without schools and churches; the roads were only trails through the forest, there were no bridges over the streams; the nearest store where they could procure
necessary supplies was Pittsburgh, fifty or more miles away. From tradition we learn the children met in some of the homes for private instruction. The first religious service was held under the trees near the
the present Presbyterian Church at Plain Grove early in July, 1799, by Rev. Elisha McCurdy, a missionary. At a second meeting, probably in September, a movement was made to found a church and select a site for a building which was of logs and about 20 x 30 feet in size with no floor, puncheon seats and windows of oiled linen or of paper. The church was heated by a large open fireplace; the pulpit was in one corner on a raised platform on puncheon and was also a split log.
We should ascribe highest praise to our ancestors for their courage in establishing a civilzation under such unfavorable conditions for the record reveals that David Armstrong had a prominent place in the organizing and building of the first church in the community.
David Armstrong was a soldier in the Revolutionary War , having
enlisted in the Cumberland County in 1777 under the command of Col.
James Dunlap in Capt. Noah Abraham's company. His record may be
found in Pennsylvania Archives Vol.6, Page 86. He died March 20,
1811 ; Sarah, his wife, died February 3, 1816. They are buried in the
Presbyterian Church cemetery, Plain Grove, Lawrence Co., Pa. Their
family consisted of six sons and four daughters, all married, the
following outline shows name, date of birth, death and marriage.
*** Somewhere on this list you will find your Ancestor. ***
Grave location & Information
During the summer they erected a log cabin, where, in the fall, the two children were left when the father returned to Westmoreland County. The long winter nights must have been lonesome for these two children, as there were no near neighbors, and the forests in those days were full of wild animals. Tradition says
" the wolves came around the cabin & made the nights hideous with their angry howling." Early in the
spring of 1796 the remainder of the family came to the new home and succeeded in holding the 400 acres. Here the four younger children were born. The family remained together 'till, the course of events ; they
were removed, the children by marriage and the parents by death. The new home was founded in an unbroken forest and was located on what had been an Indian Camping ground; in fact the Indians were
quite numerous and were on friendly terms with the new settler's; they were frequent visitors in the home,
one writer has stated " the boys of the family particularly George mingled with the Indinas and became much attached to their customs and manner of life, and frequently joined in the chase with them."
Family of David Armstrong and Sarah Harris
Names Born Died
George Armstrong 11 - 02 - 1780 08 - 28 - 1830
m. ** - ** - 1807 Elizabeth McCune 03 - 24 - 1776 08 - 04 - 1848
Rebecca Armstrong 05 - 17 - 1782 01 - 04 - 1854
m. 03 - 10 - 1806 Capt. James McCune 05 - 07 - 1771 04 - 06 - 1825
Archibald Armstrong 03 - 06 - 1785 06 - 18 - 1869
m. 10 - 08 - 1869 Elizabeth Wallace 10 - 08 - 1788 12 - 12 - 1888
Thomas Armstrong 08 - 27 - 1787 04 - 03 - 1860
m. 12 -18 - 1824 Frances Drake 03 - 22 - 1800 10 - 03 - 1875
Roland Armstrong 02 - 23 - 1790 05 - 07 - 1864
m. 06 - 16 - 1816 Jane Donnel * * - ** - 1794 04 - 27 - 1843
Mary Armstrong 06 - 15 - 1795 04 - 21 - 1847
m. 05 - 25 - 1820 Alexander McBride 12 - 20 - 1795 10 - 14 - 1878
Note: 2nd marr for ( Alexander ) :
* Nancy Reynolds McCaslin 04 - 26 - 1804 07 - 25- 1885
David Armstrong 03 - 26 - 1798 12 - 31 - 1840
m. 01 - 11 - 1821 Jane Jack 05 - 23 - 1800 07 - 04 - 1842
Ann Armstrong 08 - 10 - 1800 08 - 19 - 1848
m. Samuel Jack 02 - 26 - 1798 04 - 09 - 1845
Samuel Armstrong 01 - 28 - 1803 02 - 20 - 1853
m. 06 - 01 - 1843 Nancy Robb Loveland 06 - 01 - 1803
2m. / 11 - 10 - 1826 : Jane Irwin 01 - 13 - 1801 04 - 01 - 1840
Elizabeth Armstrong 01 - 06 - 1807 04 - 07 - 1888
m. 12 - 31 - 1829 - William McNees - 01 - 11 - 1807 04 - 12 - 1856
Nancy R. McCaslin
The History of
David Armstrong & Sarah Harris
Nancy R. Loveland