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The Ewings are of Scottish descent, originally from the West of Scotland, near Glasgow. They were located on the River Forth, near Stirling Castle, in the vicinity of Loch Lomond. Their religion was Presbyterian. The reproduction of the coat of arms, above, was recognized by the Hon. Thomas Ewing family as coming from Scottish ancestors.  Near the lower middle of the drawing is "Mask Ewing," short for Maskell Ewing.

During the mid-1600's, there was great religious persecution of the Protestants in Scotland. According to the tradition of the Ewing clan, the Ewings of America trace their origin to six stalwart brothers of a Highland clan, who, with their chieftain, engaged in insurrection in 1685, in which they were defeated, their chieftain captured and executed and themselves outlawed. It is told that our Ewing ancestors first went from their seat on the River Forth to the Isle of Bute, in Scotland, and then settled at or near Coleraine, County Londonderry, of Ulster, in Northern Ireland. On July 12, 1690, members of the Ewing Clan took part in the Battle of the Boyne, fought on the river of that name in Eastern Ireland. In this battle, King James II was opposed by William of Orange who was fighting for the Irish Protestants. The result of this battle was the complete overthrow of James, thus forcing his abdication of the throne and establishing the rule of William and Mary. The anniversary of this battle is still celebrated by the Orangemen, or Irish Protestants.

Who were these six stalwart Ewing brothers?  Much research still needs to be done but at this point in time, the brothers might have included:  John Ewing of Carnshanagh; Robert Ewing, father of Alexander; Findley (Finley) Ewing, father of Thomas; James Ewing of Inch Island; William Ewing, father of Nathaniel; and possibly an Alexander Ewing.

It is reported that three Ewing men lost their lives in the Battle of the Boyne. Captain Findley( Finley/ Ffinlay) Ewing, (born about 1650) father of Thomas Ewing Sr. was awarded a silver sword by his sovereign King William in recognition of his bravery during the battle. It is not known what act of valor for which he was honored. But the sword presented was silver-handled and was in possession of the family in New Jersey when it was stolen by a slave and the handle was melted for its metal. Before its theft, it was worn during the American Revolution by Dr. Thomas Ewing, an army surgeon and great grandson of its original owner.  Findley Ewing was a staunch Presbyterian and an ardent advocate of liberty. He married Jane Porter in Londonderry, Ireland in 1694. Recent research leads us to believe that their son, Thomas Ewing Sr. may have been born in 1690 in Londonderry rather than 1695 as has been thought for many years. (See quote from Margaret Ewing Fife's book on Thomas Ewing Sr. page.)   He became the first American immigrant of this Ewing line.  There are several references to Captain Findley Ewing's father as being James Ewing of Glasgow, Scotland, born about 1630; however, the proof of this fact remains to be found.

Mrs. Margaret Fife has spent twenty or more years researching the early Ewing Families in America.  In 1995, she published 200 copies of a book, Ewing in Early America.  In her book she lists the children of Findley (Finley/Ffinlay) and Jane Porter based on baptism records for the Burt Congregation just outside of Londonderry. These baptismal records were first obtained by Elbert William R. Ewing and published in his book Clan Ewing of Scotland in 1922.  A short time after he obtained the records from Ireland, a lot of Irish records were lost in a fire.  The possible children were identified as:

   Ffinley, Jr., Jean, William, James, Thomas, Robert, and Mary Ewing

From the Burt Congregation records, we also learn that Findley first lived in Inch Island in Lough Swilley, then moved to Fahan on the east coast of Lough Swilley.  Four of his children were baptized on the 10th of the month -- reflecting the many superstitions of the time.  The siege of Londonderry played a part in the movement of some people during this time.  When looking at the American records in New Jersey, they indicate that besides Thomas Ewing coming to America, his three brothers, William, James, and Robert were also immigrants to America. 

The Naming of Children

You will find, as you look through many Ewing lines, that the same first names were used over and over again!  We don't know if our ancestors consistently followed this system, but here are some helpful guidelines for how children were named:

The first son was named after the father's father. (the paternal grandfather)
The second son was named after the mother's father. (the maternal grandfather)
The third son was named after the father.
The fourth son was named after the father's oldest brother (and continued after other brothers)

The first daughter was named after the mother's mother. (the maternal grandmother)
The second daughter was named after the father's mother. (the paternal grandmother)
The third daughter was named after the mother.
The fourth daughter was named after the mother's oldest sister (and continued after other sisters)


Other Ewing History

Recent research has shed some light on the ships that were used to transport the Ewings from Northern Ireland to America.  The ship, Eagle Wing started transporting people to America as early as 1636.  It was built to carry 140 passengers.  The trip across the ocean would take six weeks or longer to complete.  The fact that the different Ewing families were able to purchase land a short time after their arrival tells us a little bit about their status.  Apparently they were able to pay their own transportation cost to America since we do not find any of them identified as indentured servants.  When you research a number of deeds, you nearly always find that the Ewing men could sign their name.  And, most often, the wife would sign her name with a mark.  This one example appears to indicate the importance placed on the men being schooled and the women not being schooled.

For a thorough narrative on Ewing origins, I suggest you read James McMichael's papers, located at Clan Ewing of America.






Copyright 1998-2006 Marilyn Price-Mitchell.  Permission to copy all or part of this page granted for non-commercial use only.  Send mail to ewingfamily(at)sandcastles.net.  Instead of (at), use the @ symbol normally found in an email address. Last modified: September 16, 2006