Individual Record 629

Name}   Williams, Matthew Family History} Hancock              
  Title} Reverend Race} White Sex} Male
Birth:   Date} Exa 17 Jul 1768 Place} Ballymena, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Marr.: Date} Cir              1807 Place} ,   , Pennsylvania     (Link)
Death: Date} Exa 11 Sep 1828 Place} Pine Creek, Butler, Pennsylvania
Burial: Date} Cir  13 Sep 1828 Place} Pine Creek Cem., Allison Park, Allegheny, Pennsylvania
  Grave Marker} Yes
Source 1} 101 = Geog history
Source 2} 186 = Land deed
Source 3} 187 = Land deed
Source 4} 188 = Land deed
Source 5} 189 = 1826 Will
Source 6} 192 = Church hist
Source 7} 630 = Geog history
Source 8} 631 = Map/Atlas
Source 9} 635 = Geog history
Source 10}787 = Letter
Source 11}674 = Cemetery rec
Source 12}1536=Cemetery rec
Parents: } Pending input
   Relationship No.} PEN
1st Household No.} 110 = West Deer, Allegheny, Penns.
      Occupation 1} Clergyman
       Occupation 2}  
  Religion/Church} Reformed Presbyterian
Spouses:   Prime} Parkhill, Elizabeth
 Total Number of} 1
Notes:  Matthew Williams was born in Ireland on 17 Jul 1768.  His parents were zealous adherents to the Seceder Church, and were most exemplary in their Christian character.  At an early age he was sent to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he received a liberal classical education.

He came with his parents to America in 1794, and settled in the Ligonier Valley, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, uniting with the Associate Reformed Church.  He resumed his studies, and graduated from Jefferson Academy in 1801, just before the organization of Jefferson College.  The following year he met the Rev. Dr. John Black, and, after hearing him preach, became convinced of the truth of the principles of the Covenanter Church, and united with the Miller's Run congregation.  He studied theology under the Rev. Dr. John Black, of Pittsburgh, and was licensed by the Reformed Presbytery, on 20 Sep 1804.

In 1805 he settled on the banks on the Conoconessing Creek, near Zenienople, Butler County, Pennsylvania, and labored as a Home Missionary for two years.  His field of labor at that time was a part of the charge usually visited by the Rev. John Black, and included all the societies north of Pittsburgh.  The country was an unbroken forest and the wild beasts were often his companions.  He rode on horseback almost incessantly, and was often away from his family for many weeks at a time.  He was ordained by the Middle Committee of the Reformed Presbytery, and installed pastor of the united societies of Pine Creek, Old Union, and Deer Creek, principally in Butler County, Pennsylvania, on 18 May 1807.

He married Miss Elizabeth Parkhill, of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, in 1807.  He was a man of medium stature, and his bearing was solemn and dignified.  He was well versed in theology, a fair speaker of simple and choice language, and told no anecdotes in the pulpit.  He was a creditable musician, a social and generous host, and his home was one of hospitable entertainment.

From 1807 he was pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of the Brown-Douthett neighborhood of Forward Township, which was near the village of Brownsdale, on Straight run.  For 14 years meetings were held in the groves nears near Browndale or, in case of severe weather, within a tent.  In 1820 the tent was moved south to the site of the Union church in Adams Township, and meetings were henceforth held there.  In 1824 the society purchased two acres and in 1825 erected a log building in which Matthew preached until 1826.

He moved to Pine Creek in 1815, and that was his principal charge and home for the rest of his life.  However, he purchased 206 acres and 58 perches of land in West Deer Township, Allegheny County, on 25 Apr 1825.  He also purchased lots 37, 38, and 39 in the village of Bakerstown, now within Richland Township.  Elizabeth and Matthew had 11 children between 1807 and 1824.

He wrote his Last Will and Testament on 1 Sep 1826.  Literally worn out with the fatigue of travel, which brought on an incurable malady, he died at his home at Pine Creek on 11 Sep 1828.  In the old burying ground at that historic spot, may be seen upon a broad, moss-covered stone, the following brief tribute to his memory: He was a humble Christian, and a faithful minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He lived and died in the faith of that gospel which he had long preached.  He left no monument of literature, but his record as a faithful ambassador for Christ is on high.

Note:  Matthew died long before photographs were invented.  The image below could be an old photograph, taken in the late 19th or early 20th century, of an oil painting of the Rev. Matthew Williams painted circa 1820.  However, this is not proven!  Also see the similar photograph and the Note in Source 1195.
Time of Birth}   Time of Death}   Fraternal/Social}  
Baptism Date}     Rev. Matthew Williams
Confirm. Date}   Painting} See above Note!
Immigr'n Date} 1794 Port}  
Education: Place} Edinburgh, Scotland; Jefferson Academy, PA, 1801
Military: Service}                for the State of}  
Health Condition}  
 Cause of Death}  
Last Updated
by} Dan Hancock
Date Updated}  7 Jun  2015
Date Created}   3 Mar 1996
Copyright © 2003, 2006, 2009 - 2010, 2014 - 2015 by Daniel W. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.

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