Maria Wills Boyle (1801-1864) was the daughter of Hugh Boyle and Eleanor Gillespie of
Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Eleanor's parents were from County Donagal, Ireland, the
same County that Hugh Boyle came from. She and Hugh set out for Ohio in 1798 on trails
rather than roads. There were streams to cross and often no bridges, and hills up which
the horses had to tug and pull at their loads. Eleanor and Hugh sometimes walked in order
to lighten the burden for the horses. The inns were crowded and usually dirty, and it
always felt good to get out of doors again and start their journey in the fresh morning
When Maria's parents settled in Lancaster, Ohio, they were
very happy. Eleanor's sister, Susan also came to Lancaster where she married Philemon
Beecher. In 1805, when Maria was just four years old, Eleanor became very ill after the
birth of her daughter Susan. She became very weak and died. From that time forward, her
children were raised by their aunt Susan and Uncle Philemon Beecher. It was in their
home that she eventually met Hon. Thomas Ewing, who came to do a law
internship with Judge Beecher.
Maria Boyle married Thomas Ewing on 17 Jan 1819 at the
Philemon Beecher home in Lancaster, Ohio. It is with Maria Boyle that the Roman Catholic division of the Ewing family had its
beginning. Maria was a staunch Catholic. Through her lofty Christian example and teaching,
she brought her husband, the Honorable Thomas Ewing, into the Catholic church, and
carefully reared her large family in like Christian faith.
For more information about the family of Maria Boyle, go
to Descendant Names.