William Ewing, Sr.

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William Ewing, Sr.

Birthplace: Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, UK
Death: February 18, 1718 (92)
Londonderry, County Derry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Donegal, Ireland, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Baron William James Ewing, II and Ester Ewing
Husband of Elizabeth (Eliza) Ewing
Father of Thomas Ewing, of Inch Island; John Ewing, of Carnashannagh; Findley Ewing; Frances Ewing; Robert Ewing of Inch Island and 9 others
Brother of Findley Ewing, Sr.
Half brother of Nathaniel Ewing and George? Ewing

Label: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LZVZ-1CR
Managed by: Tobias Rachor (C)
Last Updated:

About William Ewing, Sr.

Battle of the Boyne

Six Ewing brothers fought valiantly in the Battle of the Boyne, on July 1, 1690, and at least one was recognized for his valor by the gift of a silver sword. We know that at least some of these brothers lived on or near Inch Island, County Donegal at the time; it makes sense then that we might be able to identify them all by virtue of where they lived.

Using records from Clan Ewing Association, it has been possible to enumerate the male Ewings born between about 1646 and 1666 who lived on Inch Island at the time. Coincidentally, these do add up to six Ewings:

Naming conventions at the time indicate that their father was likely named William, and indications are that he came from Stirlingshire.


All Ewing genealogy preceding 1750 is conjectural. William Ewing was reported to be half-brother of Nathaniel Ewing.

The Ewings are of Scottish descent, originally from the West of Scotland, near Glasgow. They were located on the River Forth, near Stirling Castle, in the vicinity of Loch Lomond. Their religion was Presbyterian. The reproduction of the coat of arms, above, was recognized by the Hon. Thomas Ewing family as coming from Scottish ancestors. Near the lower middle of the drawing is "Mask Ewing," short for Maskell Ewing.

During the mid-1600's, there was great religious persecution of the Protestants in Scotland. According to the tradition of the Ewing clan, the Ewings of America trace their origin to six stalwart brothers of a Highland clan, who, with their chieftain, engaged in insurrection in 1685, in which they were defeated, their chieftain captured and executed and themselves outlawed. It is told that our Ewing ancestors first went from their seat on the River Forth to the Isle of Bute, in Scotland, and then settled at or near Coleraine, County Londonderry, of Ulster, in Northern Ireland. On July 12, 1690, members of the Ewing Clan took part in the Battle of the Boyne, fought on the river of that name in Eastern Ireland. In this battle, King James II was opposed by William of Orange who was fighting for the Irish Protestants. The result of this battle was the complete overthrow of James, thus forcing his abdication of the throne and establishing the rule of William and Mary. The anniversary of this battle is still celebrated by the Orangemen, or Irish Protestants.

Who were these six stalwart Ewing brothers? Much research still needs to be done but at this point in time, the brothers might have included: John Ewing of Carnshanagh; Robert Ewing, father of Alexander; Findley (Finley) Ewing, father of Thomas; James Ewing of Inch Island; William Ewing, father of Nathaniel; and possibly an Alexander Ewing

Alternative summary

William Ewing (b. Abt. 1630) born in Scotland,

Children of William Ewing are:

  1. James Ewing, b. Bet. 1650 - 1665, in Scotland or Ireland.
  2. Robert Ewing, b. 1654.
  3. William Ewing, b. Bet. 1665 - 1670.

Another alternative summary

ANOTHER (LONGER) LIST OF HIS CHILDREN said to be born in Scotland:

William Ewing (b. Abt. 1625, d. Bet. Feb 1717 - 1718) He died Bet. Feb 1717 - 1718 in Ulster,(Londonderry-Derry Cathedral Register) Ireland.

He married Elizabeth (Eliza) Milford on Abt. 1642 in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.

Children of William Ewing and Elizabeth (Eliza) Milford are:

  1. John Ewing, b. Abt. 1648, Carnshanagh, Parish of Fahan City, Northern Ireland, d. 23 Sep 1745, Stevens City, Frederick City, VA.
  2. Findley (Captain) Ewing, b. Abt. 1652, Dumbarton, Scotland
  3. Robert Ewing, b. 1654
  4. James Ewing, b. 1658 in Scotland
  5. Margaret Milford Ewing, b. 1660
  6. Alexander Ewing, b. 1662.
  7. William Ewing II, b. 1665

Life and history

William was born on the lands of Tillichewan Castle, two miles from Loch Lomond and ten miles from Glasgow. The old castle yet stands, it is said, and is on the estate of the present distinguished Orr-Ewing house, lineal descendants of the ancient Loch Lomond family, within the larger jurisdiction of Stirling Castle.

However, the Ewing clan who came to America is not a noble line.

British Barons were extremely well-documented over the centuries, and there is no record found of a baron Ewing ancestor for the American or Scots-Irish Ewings. The first Ewing name ever registered for arms with the Court of Lyon was was not until 1869. The only known Ewing peerage member was the short line of Alexander of Balloch (b. 1630) which occurred after the Ewing family had moved to Ireland. The first Ewing ownership of an estate, Bernice in Argyll, was a matter of public record in 1704, again this occurred after the Ewing line had moved to Ireland, and then to America.

Irish Ewings

The Ewings who moved to Ireland were Covenanter Presbyterians.

There was an irreconcilable quarrel between the Presbyterians and the Catholics during the era in which the Ewings left Scotland for Ireland with the opportunity to set-up or work plantations and participate in other opportunities for prosperous works.

The Scots Protestants (Covenanters) were sent to Uster by the British, to set-up plantations in relatively unpopulated ares, toward the purpose of England claiming Ireland as its own by developing and settling it with Protestant peoples. The Scots were deemed best able to successfully populate Northern Ireland with Protestants. The Scots Protestants were successful and enterprising, but the Irish Catholics resented the invasion of Protestants. (They still do, to this very day.) However, over time, Northern Ireland became mostly Protestant from settlement by Scots-Irish (Scots living in Ireland) from Scotland. While the south of Ireland remained Irish Catholic.

It appears that the Ewing clan originated in the Glasgow area, perhaps in the jurisdiction of Stirling Castle, which was the seat of power for the Catholic Stewart dynasty of Scottish kings.

The Ewings who traveled to Ireland, and then America; were Protestant Presbyterian Covenanters, who did not support the Catholic royal Stewart crown.

At first, when Henry VIII proclaimed England as Protestant, the Catholics and monasteries were stripped of all property, which spawned the wars of the Reformation followed by the English Civil war. The people then went to war against the crown, executing Catholic Charles I. Then the crown was restored back to the Catholics. The Ewings were motivated to travel to Ireland and then America for economic opportunity and because they had supported the Protestants against the Catholic Crown during this period of turmoil. Eventually, long after the Ewings had left Scotland, Catholic Bonnie Prince Charlie (Stuart) was defeated at the Battle of Culloden; and 50 years later the United Kingdom became peacefully Protestant when Catholicism was outlawed.

According to one family story, William Ewing "fought at the siege of Londonderry, Ireland, 1689."

DNA links Ewing descendants with some modern Scandinavians. This begs the question of whether Ewings had children in Scandinavia that went on to leave descendants there. I have thus looked up Ewings in the St. Andrews database of Scots who served in Scandinavia. The database at St. Andrews lists only one Ewing, Thomas Ewing, who was in charge of a regiment there between 1599 and 1617. He would thus have had to be born at about the time the Protestant Reformation came to Scotland, and the Ewings were grant arms under Mary Queen of Scots.

General references

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William Ewing, Sr.'s Timeline

July 1, 1625
Stirling, Stirlingshire, Scotland, UK
Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom
Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland
September 7, 1648
Stirlingshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
September 7, 1650
Glasgow, Glasgow City, Scotland, United Kingdom
December 1, 1653
Templemore, Londonderry/Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Scotland, United Kingdom
August 12, 1654
Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom
May 27, 1655
Castle, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom