Most references state that Thomas
Ewing Sr., the son of Captain Findley Ewing and Jane Porter, was born
in Londonderry, Ireland 6 October 1695. However, baptism records at the Burt
Congregation just outside of Londonderry indicate he was baptized
on 10 October 1690.
This conflict has recently been discussed by
Mrs. Margaret Ewing Fife on page 34 of her book, Ewing in America, 1995.
"One controversy that needs to be
pointed up is the birth date of Thomas Ewing, "son of Finley and Jane Porter
Ewing." Ewing Families by Rev. Joseph L. Ewing on page 13 states
Thomas "was born in Londonderry Ireland in 1695." The tombstone of Thomas
and Mary Maskell is 24 inches tall and was erected after she died 17 December 1784 at age
84. It says...Thomas died 28 February 1747/8 age 52 years. The stone was cut
almost 100 years after Thomas was born and had been there over 100 years when Rev. Joseph
L. Ewing saw it."
Mrs. Fife believes that Thomas Ewing was born
in 1690 and that he was about 58 years old when he died. An examination of the
script of that day shows that the figure "8" and the figure "2" are
exceedingly alike! Because the 1690 birth date agrees with the baptism date found in
the Burt Congregation records, it is most likely that the 1690 date is correct.
By 1714, the Irish people were brought to a state of
degrading subjection to England; being precluded by restricting laws from the
privileges of competition in trade and oppressed by
exorbitant taxes and rents. They were wretchedly
poor. There seemed to be no way out than to flee the country for America. An emigration
from the North of Ireland to America commenced shortly after the Battle of the Boyne and
continued for several years. In this stream of emigration, came the Ewings. Thomas
Ewing Sr. is thought to be the first of the American Ewing immigrants.
Thomas may have come to America with his brother Findley but this has never been proven.
Thomas first came to Long Island and in a short time found a permanent home at Greenwich,
New Jersey. He soon found employment in a mill which stood over the "Meeting
House" run. One day a friend observed to him that there was a pretty girl on
horseback watering her horse at the run. After going to the window to see her, Thomas
said, "I shall marry that girl." The pretty girl on horseback was Mary Maskell,
the nineteen year old daughter of Thomas and Mercy Maskell. They were married in 1720. Her
father gave her as a marriage gift, one hundred acres of land upon which she and her
Thomas was a Deacon in the Presbyterian Church in
Greenwich where he and his family were very active in church life. He and his wife
Mary are both buried in the Presbyterian Churchyard in Greenwich. An ancient family
manuscript speaks of Thomas Ewing as "A man highly respected and esteemed by all who
For information on the descendants of Thomas Ewing Sr.,
please go to Descendant Names.