:Name: Andrew Gillespie Sex: M Birth: 1820 in Belfast, Ireland Death: 29 OCT 1850 in New Castle, Lawrence county, Pennsylvania Note: 1
History tells us that the Gillespies were part of the MacPhearson clan and lived in the highlands of Scotland in the 16th century. In the mid 1700's a group of Gillespies left Scotland, due to the wars that were raging with the Stuarts of England, and settled in County Down Ireland near Belfast.
Andrew Gillespie was born in 1820 in Belfast, Ireland. On a cold winter day in 1846 (February 12th) he married Jane Reid who was then 17 years old.
One hundred and forty-nine years ago Andrew and Jane Gillespie set off for America with their three children, Robert, Jane, and Tom. During the voyage, their second son Robert, aged one year and 9 months, died at sea. Their only daughter Jane died on October 21st of that same year in America, two days after her first birthday in New Castle, Pa.. Andrew, our forefather, died a week later on October 29th 1850 at age 30. So, in a period of 4 months the young father and two children died.
We can probably assume that they left Ireland in June of 1850 and arrived in the States sometime in August and then made their way across Pennsylvania to New Castle, Pa where father and daughter died.
Whatever disease plagued them clearly moved rapidly, like an influenza. It fortunately spared Thomas J. Gillespie who was 3 years old when he arrived in this country. His mother Jane, who was then 21 had to be very hearty soul for she survived the trip, the disease, the loss of two children and her husband and lived to be 70, dying at her son Tom's home on Westminster Street in Pittsburgh in 1899, surrounded by her many grandchildren.
Andrew had the foresight and remarkable ability to conceive his fourth child and second daughter two weeks before he died, again suggesting a influenza attack. Jennie was born 8 months and 15 days later on July 11th, 1851 in New Castle, Pa. Jennie later married a George Crawford when she was 21 years old but she died four years later delivering her first child.
Tom J. Gillespie made up for the sad loss of his siblings by producing 9 children over a period of 24 years with two wives. In fact, he was 52 years ago when John Porter Gillespie was born in 1899. His mother was still alive at that time and must have had a fine time helping to raise such a large brood.
Tom's first wife, Jennie Hastings was also born in Ireland, in her case the Southern part of Ireland in Tyrone County. She was the daughter of James and Eleanor Hastings and was born on July 29th in 1846. Jennie was 29 years old when she and Tom were married on March 30th, 1875 in Pennsylvania. Tom was then 30. Undoubtedly the Hastings came to American about the same time as the Gillespies since it is unlikely that Jane arrived in this country alone.
Between 1875 and 1889, a 14 year period, Jennie produced 8 children. Clara, the last one was delivered when she was 42 years old. She died 5 years later in 1875 at Westminster Street.
Two of Tom and Jenny's children died soon after they were born, Jennie the first born died when she was three and Agnes died shortly after birth.
Mary Hannah Gillespie was born in 1882 and married John Scully in 1908. They proved to be very productive pair siring over a period of 12 years 6 children who in turn filled the Apple Valley of Virginia with an endless numbers of Scullys. Jane Hastings Scully, John Sullivan Scully, Thomas Gillespie Scully , Stephen Scully (he died at birth) , Eleanor Scully and Mary Scully were the children of Mary and John. Jane then had 3 children, John had 4, Eleanor had 6, Tom 4, and Mary 5 for a total of 19 grandchildren and they too proved to be prolific. There was no way that the Gillespies could compete with that kind of production.
I find it curious that Mary Gillespie middle name is Hannah, the married name of Tom's second wife. Perhaps the Hannahs were friends before Jennie died or related in some way.
It is now 179 years since Andrew was born in Ireland and next year will be the 150th anniversary of his arrival in this country. At this point we do not know of his ancestry although I have in our library a book signed by David Gillespie in Belfast in 1810. The inscription seems to be that of an adult. Perhaps David was the father of Andrew and gave him the book as part of the few possessions that he was able to bring with them to America.
We will try to learn more about these hearty and productive souls. My emphasis will be on the family in Ireland, what actually happened in New Castle, Pa and a more detailed history of Thomas J. Gillespie from 1850 to 1934. I welcome any information or suggestions that you might have.
Change Date:23 APR 2000