Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Charles Ewing

Male Abt 1715 - 1770  (~ 55 years)

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  • Name Charles Ewing  [1, 2
    Birth Abt 1715  Ulster, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Death Between 31 May 1770 and 24 Jul 1770  Bedford County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5, 6
    Person ID I9387  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of PNH
    Last Modified 1 Jan 2022 

    Family Martha Baker   d. Aft 24 Jul 1770 
    Marriage Abt 1744  [3
    • According to Alicia Towster (citation details below), they were probably married in Amelia County, Virginia.
     1. William Ewing,   b. Between 1745 and 1749   d. Apr 1810 (Age ~ 65 years)
    +2. Caleb Ewing,   b. Between 1747 and 1753   d. Abt 1780 (Age ~ 33 years)
     3. Mary Ewing,   b. Abt 1750   d. Aft 1790 (Age ~ 41 years)
    +4. Charles Ewing,   b. Between 1750 and 1753   d. Aft 3 Feb 1808 (Age ~ 58 years)
     5. Robert Ewing,   b. Abt 1753   d. Bef 1810 (Age ~ 56 years)
     6. Samuel Ewing,   b. Bef 1755 and 1760   d. Bef 1792 (Age ~ 37 years)
    +7. George Ewing,   b. Between 1765 and 1769   d. 31 Dec 1838 (Age ~ 73 years)
     8. David Ewing,   b. Between 1765 and 1769   d. Between 1811 and 1820 (Age ~ 46 years)
     9. Martha "Patsy" Ewing,   b. Abt 1766   d. Aft 1810 (Age ~ 45 years)
    Family ID F12080  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 2 Jan 2022 

  • Notes 
    • He is said to have been born in Coleraine, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He was related in some way to Robert Ewing (~1718-1787), with whom he came to Virginia. Charles and Robert are recorded as having called one another "brother", which has led many to believe that they shared the same parents, but in fact what we actually know is that they were brothers-in-law, their wives (Robert's wife Mary Baker and Charles's wife Martha Baker) being sisters to one another. The earliest written account of their coming to America (set down shortly before his death by Nathaniel Ewing, 1772-1846, of Mount Clair, Knox, Indiana, and first published in the Louisville Courier-Journal on 28 Feb 1897) calls them only "two young men, cousins of my grandfather, Nathaniel Ewing"; had they been actual brothers, one would think this account would have said so.

      Charles Ewing and Martha Baker were GX5-grandparents of the American aviation pioneer, movie director, billionaire, and lunatic Howard Hughes, making Hughes and PNH sixth cousins once removed:

      Charles Ewing (~1715-1770) = Martha Baker
      Caleb Ewing (d. ~1780)
      Elizabeth Ewing (1779-1812) = Richard Montgomery Gano (1775-1815)
      John Allen Gano (1805-1887) = Mary Conn (b. 1807)
      Richard Montgomery Gano (1830-1913) = Martha Jane Welch (1832-1895)
      William Beriah Gano (1854-1913) = Jeanette de Lafayette Grissom (1857-1905)
      Allene Stone Gano (1883-1922) = Howard Robard Hughes, Sr. (1869-1924)
      Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. (1905-1976)

      (As a side note, the elder of the two men named Richard Montgomery Gano in the above was a son of John Gano (1727-1804), a Baptist minister and Revolutionary War chaplain who is widely, and almost certainly falsely, claimed to have baptized George Washington. The younger Richard Montgomery Gano (1830-1913) was a Confederate general from Texas in the Civil War.)

      From Clan Ewing of Scotland by Elbert William R. Ewing (citation details below):

      By no means least of the noted and splendidly influential families of our name were those founded by two brothers, Robert and Charles Ewing. All the evidence indicates and nothing disputes that they were close cousins of the other immigrants of our family. One tradition has it that they were born in Coleraine, Ireland; while another says they were born near Stirling Castle, Scotland, within the old clan bounds. Whichever be correct, it is certain they were near relatives to those who came from at least not far from Londonderry. A tradition, given me by Rowland D. Buford, of Bedford City, an aged man (in his eighty-sixth year at the time of his letter to me) who knew and respected their descendants, insists that they fled from Scotland because of some political difficulty, being staunch Covenanters who, no doubt, warmly espoused the cause of the Protestant claimants to the English throne. However, I am satisfied that they came, whether from Scotland or Ireland, because of the general unrest which prevailed in both countries, and which I have briefly narrated.

      An undisputed tradition says that on reaching America they visited their relations in Cecil County, Maryland, for a short time, and then pushed on for the new lands and broader opportunities in that section shortly to become Bedford County, Virginia, near where Samuel Ewing, James Ewing and other cousins then lived.

      The sketch of the Ewings left by Nathaniel Ewing of Mount Clair, Knox County, Indiana, and published in the Courier-Journal, February 28, 1897, after what I have elsewhere quoted continues: "Some time about the year 1735 or 1740 two young men, cousins of my grandfather, Nathaniel Ewing (the only son by the first wife of William Ewing, born in Scotland), came to America. Their names were Charles and Robert Ewing. Having gotten into an affray at a fair in Ireland they were so unfortunate as to kill a man, for which they were obliged to fly the country and came to my grandfather's, where they concealed themselves for a length of time until one of my grandfather's half brothers came from Virginia on a visit to his relations in Maryland. On his return they were put over the Susquehanna in the night and went with him to Virginia. It being a place less frequented by emigrants from Ireland than Maryland, and a proclamation having arrived offering a reward for their apprehension, their longer stay became dangerous.

      "Some time after their arrival in Prince Edward County a new settlement was founded further back, in what is now called Bedford County, near the Peaks of Otter. They joined the adventurers and finally settled there and married sisters, daughters of Mr. Baker, a Presbyterian minister, and lived there until death. They both left large families, who are now settled in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, some of whom I have seen, viz.: Baker Ewing, Young Ewing, Samuel Ewing and Finis Ewing. The last is a Presbyterian clergyman and resides in Missouri. I mention the family on account of their having become so numerous in the western country and to show the connection between them and my family."

      Exhaustive investigation leads me to the most decided opinion that the "affray at a fair" and its result is an error. Mr. Buford, who never heard of this fair story, was quite confident that the "trouble," whatever it may have been, was nothing other than a mere "political matter" which resulted in no physical encounter. He lived in the county where both Robert and Charles spent the most of their distinguished lives; and so had a better opportunity to know their pre-American history than had Nathaniel Ewing whose article was published in the Courier Journal. All the facts, aside from Nathaniel's statement, indicate that at that day Robert and Charles could have been as readily located where they settled in Virginia as had they re mained in Cecil County.

      That they had committed no grave crime in early life, even in the heat of an unpremeditated encounter, the prominence of their later lives attests. [...]

      Charles Ewing, whose will is dated May 31, 1770, and which was probated in Bedford County, Virginia, July 24, 1770, was the same splendid type of citizen as his brother, Robert. This is not mere theory. Nor is it simply family tradition. The positions these two brothers filled as well as those held by their children after them and the testimony of such men as R. D. Buford, who knew their neighbors and who spent years studying the family records of his county, furnish us undisputed proof.

      This Charles, the immigrant, and his son, Charles, were the only Ewings of that Christian name in all that part of Virginia in their day, so far as I can learn. So it is the more easy to identify them.

  • Sources 
    1. [S3490] Will of Martha Brooks, transcribed by Travis Wagner on

    2. [S3491] Joseph D. Eggleston, "The Buffaloe Settlement and Its Makers." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 49:311, Oct 1941.

    3. [S6184] Alicia (Ewing) Towster, "Charles and Robert Ewing: Part II -- Charles Ewing." Ewing Family Journal 20:20, Nov 2014.

    4. [S3488] Clan Ewing of Scotland by Elbert William R. Ewing. Ballston, Virginia: Cobden Publishing Company, 1922.

    5. [S3489] The Ewing Genealogy with Cognate Branches: A Survey of the Ewings and Their Kin in America by Presley Kittredge Ewing and Mary Ellen (Williams) Ewing. 1919., year and place only.

    6. [S6184] Alicia (Ewing) Towster, "Charles and Robert Ewing: Part II -- Charles Ewing." Ewing Family Journal 20:20, Nov 2014., year only.