Revolutionary War Patriot – William Faries (Faris)…Northern Ireland to South Carolina to Indiana to Cutler, Illinois
In the 1600’s British King James, as part of his attempt to put down the rebellious Irish, provided land in Northern Ireland to wealthy Scottish landowners. They in turn, imported Scots to work the land. William Faries was one of these people. These Scottish people came to be known as the Scotch-Irish (some now call them Scot-Irish). These Scottish people were predominately Presbyterians. Many of these were called Covenanters. Covenanters were Scottish reformers who pledged themselves to the “true faith” and renounced the tenants of the Catholic Church by signing documents called covenants. Because England was Anglican and Ireland was Catholic, the Scottish Presbyterians were persecuted because they would not bend to either religion.
In 1772, William Faries (Faris) came to America with his wife Agnes. They arrived in Charleston, SC having left Ulster (Northern Ireland), Antrim County.
America offered religious freedom and land. To encourage emigration, the British Crown offered free land in the new world. William Faries received a British royal grant of 200 acres in the southeastern portion of Chester County, South Carolina.
As the American Revolution progressed, William served several times in the South Carolina militia. In Book 1 of Stub Entries to Indents Issued in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution, one payment stub states that William Faries was paid fifteen pounds, thirteen shillings and eleven pence for 135 days of militia duty. Family records state that his home was vandalized three times by the British Loyalists militia.
William Faries died May 30, 1805. It is believed that he was buried on his farm in
Turkey Creek, York County, SC, though no record of a tombstone can be found.
In 1815, widowed Agnes Faries sold their land and using ox-carts and pack horses, moved to Indiana which at that time was considered part of the North West Territory. Several married children had already moved to this area. Covenanters found themselves increasingly unwilling to live in a slave owning state.
Eventually all her children but one, settled on Walnut Ridge, in Washington and Lawrence Counties in Indiana. The entire Covenanter congregations in South Carolina began to emigrate in groups to this area.
Agnes Faris (by now the family had changed the spelling of their name) died on June 21, 1822 aged 83 years at New Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana and is buried in Jolly Cemetery. In 2003, my family found her hand carved tombstone and it was still very easy to read.
Joshua, son of William and Agnes married Mary Preston. They resided in Washington County, IN near his mother according to the 1820 Washington County Census. They had seven children together. Joshua Faris died September 3, 1830 aged 43 years and is buried in Rice Cemetery, Jefferson Township, Washington County, IN.
Cutler, Perry County, Illinois
His widow and all their children moved to Perry County, Illinois later in 1830. The reason for this is not known. There were numerous Scotch-Irish covenanters living in this area. Mary died on September 15, 1845 and is buried in Hopewell Cemetery, Perry County, IL with no marker.
Martha Loudon Faris, daughter of Joshua and Mary married Henry Ervin (there is a street in Cutler that is named Ervin Street) and had 10 children. Martha died August 10, 1884 and both are buried in Cutler Cemetery, Perry County, IL
Margaret Mary Ervin, daughter of Martha and Henry, was married to Robert James Cleland by Presbyterian minister. W.J. Smiley in 1874. To this union were born eleven children. Margaret died September 29, 1924 and both are buried in Cutler Cemetery, Perry County, IL
Charles Ervin Cleland, son of Margaret and Robert married Mabel Grace Robb at the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Coulterville, IL. Charles was a veteran of World War I and died November 10, 1973 and both are buried in Coulterville Cemetery, Randolph County, IL
Robert James Cleland, son of Charles and Mabel, married Dorothy Schlueter and they had five children together. These five children were all baptized at the Presbyterian Church in Coulterville. Robert died November 1, 2012 and both are buried in Paradise Cemetery, Randolph County, IL
Author of this article is Lori Cleland Hill, daughter of Robert and Dorothy.
Her daughter is Lauren Chadderton Hinnerichs and her daughter is Hazel Hinnerichs.
Eight generations from this loyal patriot!