Chapter 1
The William Reed Family Line

       Chapter 1 is about William Reed and his wife, Jane Mitchell, and their descendants. William was the younger son of Thomas and Dolly Letson Read/Reed. To the best of our knowledge, William was born about 1730 in Donegal County, Ireland, and came to Delaware with his mother, his older brother, John Read (the great grandfather of Thomas, Jr.) and three sisters about 1737. William was about seven and John was probably about seventeen. The ages of the daughters are unknown.

       Dolly Letson is an enigma. She is said by some to have been born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, about 1690 but no solid evidence is available. Some have even claimed she married there but again no solid evidence. Whatever the truth, she appears to have been in Ireland and came to America from there. Dolly is said to have bought a farm in Delaware. That, and the fact her children married well and their children had good educations for the times, indicates she was a widow of some means when she came to America. Thomas, the father, is believed to have died in Ireland. What happened to Dolly later is unknown. She may have remarried and got lost that way. She may have remarried before she came to America but nothing has ever been mentioned to indicate that. She may have come to America with friends and/or family but no evidence is available to indicate that. If she had been born in Havre de Grace, then she may have had relatives in the area which would make more sense than her coming as a widow with five children and no American connections. These are questions that will probably never be answered at this late date.

       The text of Chapter 1 is all in Adobe PDF format. For easier retrieval, the chapter has been broken into three parts and four appendices as given below.

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CLICK on the pages of Interest:

Chapter 1 - pages 1 - 10

Chapter 1 - pages 11 - 28

Chapter 1 - page 29

Appendix A to Chapter 1 - A Short History of Ireland

Appendix B to Chapter 1 - Jennie Reed - Frontier Girl

Appendix C to Chapter 1 - excerpts from Samuel McMahan's "History of the McMahan Family"

Appendix D to Chapter 1 - excerpts from "Historical View of Clinton County, Pennsylvania"