Wallace Clan of York County, Pennsylvania




Alexander Wallace emigrated to Pennsylvania around 1734 from Ayrshire, Scotland.  He came across with his wife, Agnes, and six children.  (We believe his last two children were born in Penn.)  He may have come across the Atlantic with John Gemmill, the man who would farm next door to him for many years and whose family would intermarry with his many times over.  The Gemmills and Wallaces were both from the same part of Scotland historically known as the home of famed William Wallace, which is near present-day Kilmarnock, in the vicinity of Fenwick, in southwest Scotland. 

Alexander probably arrived in America at New Castle, Delaware and traveled northwest, crossing the Susquehanna River into the frontier and becoming one of the first white settlers on the western side of the river.  He built his farm in "the barrens," on the banks of Muddy Creek, in what is now York County. 

Alexander founded the Guinston Presbyterian Church, the first Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, out of his log home.  The church his family helped build in 1773 still stands today in Brogue, PA on land deeded to the church by Alexander's son, James.  Alexander's daughter Agnes' home still stands today in the area as does the 1826 Wallace-Cross Mill, which is on the National Historic Register and was built by Alexander Wallace, James' grandson.

The original Wallace farm is located in Laurel, PA and many Wallaces are buried on a small plot in a grove of trees on the farm of Luther Shaull.  

To get an idea of why Alexander may have left Scotland, you might read the following:  the first link is about the Jacobites and "the 15;" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1715_rising.  Besides war and poverty and mass emigration to Northern Ireland, there was also religious persecution.  This second link is about the Covenanters, of whom Alexander was most probably a disciple;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenanter.

For some great books on this time in Scotland, I definitely recommend checking out Sir Walter Scott.  Books like Rob Roy, Waverley, Redgauntlet and Guy Mannering are all set in this time period

Thank you for visiting the site and please contact me with any questions or with any additional information you might have.  This site is dedicated to Aunt Jean and Aunt Jane, who did 99% of the research I've put into this site.  Thanks to them for giving us all this gift. 

Sean Wallace

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