James Ross A101
Male, Bornin on ?/?/?
Died3/10/1813 (Sussex Co., NJ)


Neither Parent is Charted


No Charted Siblings

Spouses / Children

James Ross served in the Revolutionary War for the State of NJ in a Company of Light Horse Militia under the command of Captain Samuel Meeker. (Rev. War Petition #R9018 submitted by his son James 2nd and rejected).

From the "History of Luzerne Co., PA" by Bradsby, I learned that James Ross had crossed over the mountains from NJ into PA in a covered wagon with Hannah and five of his children (two more were to be born later in PA). They probably made this rather arduous journey about 1804, locating first in Hanover township and about 1808 moving on to Dallas township in Luzerne Co. As I understand it James chose to move from Hanover to Dallas "because the hunting and fishing were better." This would seem to indicate that James was not a dedicated farmer. In fact, my brother has viewed this property in PA and stated that it really was not what might be called prime farmland. I do not know under what circumstances James acquired the land - possibly it was some sort of "bounty" for having served in the Revolutionary War.

We know very little of the character of James and Hannah except that it certainly would have required a great deal of courage and determination to endure the hardships and dangers of settling and building a home in what was then a wilderness of wild animals and virgin land. At least they did not have to contend with the marauding Indian raids endured by the earlier settlers during the Wyoming Massacre as General Sullivan's march had cleared the area of that threat.

We have been unable to determine exactly when or where James was born and can only surmise that it was probably in the state of NJ. The petition for Rev. War pension submitted by his son James II states "after about 40 years time" he married Hannah which we interpret to mean "when he was 40 years old". No record of their supposed marriage in Hardwick, NJ has been found although, judging from the birth of their first-born, Elizabeth, in 1787, we can presume the marriage took place perhaps in 1785 or 1786. This calculation would make him born about 1740 or 1745. Hannah was not born until 1762 so she was about 20 years younger than James. With such a wide difference in their ages, we cannot rule out the possibility that James might have been married before.

At this point, I would like to make mention of another mysterious person who claimed to be a "half-sister" to our James. A Margaret Griffin appears as a witness on the Rev. War petition (1845), testifying that she was a half-sister to James, that she was 15 or 16 years old when she assisted Hannah with the birth of John. Margaret was 69 years old in 1846, making her born about 1776 or 1777, considerably younger than James. Further research regarding Margaret, indicated that her husband was a Joshua Griffin and that in 1850 she was living in Franklin Township, PA with a John Moore and his family. (I am presuming that Joshua was dead at that time.) I found an obituary for her which stated that her parents were -- Swartz(?), that she was born in Wantage Township, Hunterdon Co., NJ, on 5/4/1776, died 1/11/1854 in Franklin Township and is buried in the Franklin Burying Grounds. Her surviving children were: Elizabeth, William, John R, Anna Moore, Isaac W., Constant R, and Searle. Since the definition of family relationships in those days varied widely, I wonder if she might have been a "sister-in-law" instead of a "half-sister". I had hoped Margaret would be my breakthrough in discovering James' parentage, but I have hit a brick wall at this point.

Additional info on Margaret Griffin: Margaret was first married to a William Searles as his second wife. I'm not certain how many of the children were from the first marriage and how many were Margaret's. (To add to the confusion, both wives were named Margaret.) William died and Margaret married (a marriage of "convenience") Joshua Griffin. Since they were both elderly, no children were born to them. I have been unable to find a Margaret Swartz (according to the obituary, that would have been her maiden name and I wonder if the writers might have confused the Swartz with Searles). Since she seemed to have a close relationship with Hannah and with the Moore family, I have the suspicion she might have been a Moore.

For some reason, James was in Sussex Co., NJ when he reportedly died on March 10, 1813 - this according to government statement in the pension request. We can therefore conclude that James 1st was about sixty years old when he died. I came across an old newspaper clipping from "The Susquehanna Democrat" dated June 4, 1813, stating that a James Ross had died recently "of the fever" along with several others. This may be our James Ross.

As for Hannah, she died in Dallas on February 2, 1845, making her 83 years old at the time of her death. I have not as yet, determined just who her parents were. An analysis of birth dates entered in the Bible gave me the names of their children.

© MCMXCIII  Hank Ross