Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A great Ulster-Scots soldier from Brookeborough

John Armstrong (1717-1795) was born in the village of Brookeborough,  three hundred years ago, on 13 October 1717.

His parents were James Armstrong (1680-1745) and Jane Campbell (1688-1775), who were married in 1704.  He had Scottish ancestry on both sides of his family.

He married Rebecca Lyon (1719-1797) and they emigrated from Ulster to Pennsylvania around 1740, along with her brother John Lyon.

There he was a surveyor to the Penn family, the proprietary owners of the colony.

He laid out the first plan for the town of Carlisle in Pennsylvania and was one of the first settlers.

Armstrong was also a militia commander in the Seven Years War and a good friend of George Washington.

Battle of Germantown
In the early stages of the Revolutionary War, John Armstrong was a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania militia and was then appointed to the same rank in the Continental Army.  He fought at the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown and after the war he returned to Carlisle.

Rev George Duffield
John Armstrong was appointed to the Continental Congress as a delegate from Pennsylvania from 1779 to 1780 and he died in Carlisle on 9 March 1795.  

His sister Margaret Armstrong (1737-1817) married Rev George Duffield (1732-1790), the Presbyterian minister in Carlisle, and John Armstrong was an elder in the congregation.  

The Duffields were an Ulster-Scots family and George Duffield's father had emigrated from Ballymena to America.

A later Rev George Duffield (1818-1888), a direct descendant of the first Rev George Duffield, was the author of the well-known hymn Stand up, stand up for Jesus.

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