Helen (Eleanor) Rusk & Thomas McCarrel

Thomas McCarrell born 1741; died 1836. 
Eleanor Rush, wife of Thomas McCarrell, b. 1751; d. 1846.

Thomas [McCarrell] was born in County Armagh in 1741. He learned the trade of a weaver, and later came to America in 1777, in a merchant ship commanded by his uncle. The blockading of the ports prevented his immediate return home. Soon he had no desire to return: his heart was so stirred by what he had seen and heard of the struggles of the Colonies that he became a soldier of the Revolution about October, 1777. He was with George Washington in the camp at Valley Forge the following winter. He had with him his Bible and his Confession of Faith, which are treasured today by his descendants.* It is a tradition among these descendants that he was once struck in the breast by a bullet, but that the Bible saved his life.

During the first years after the close of the war the young Scotch-Irishman lived in Virginia. In 1789, with his wife and three children, he took the hard journey across the mountains to Washington County, Pennsylvania. Two of the children were carried in the ends of a pack thrown across the back of a horse; the third was held by his mother as she sat on her horse. In 1811 Mr. McCarrell bought the farm “Pleasant Hill,” near Eldersville, which is still in the possession of the family. He was a Ruling Elder in the “Seceder” Church now known as the Cross Creek United Presbyterian Church. The members of this godly household frequently made the trip of sixteen miles to Canonsburg to attend service. He died March 29, 1836, at the age of ninety five. His wife, Eleanor Rusk McCarrell, died at the same age, on September 19, 1846. Surviving them were five children – three daughters and two sons. Four of these married and founded Christian homes, in which the family altar was always maintained. From two of these homes and the homes that succeeded them came seven ministers of the gospel, whose combined service has been more than two hundred and fifty years.


Mary McCarrell, b. November 21, 1782. She married Robert Creswell.
Margaret McCarrell, born 1790; d. died 1875
Thomas McCarroll, b. Aug. 3, 1795.

Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Chicago: The Genealogical Publishing Co., 1905, pages 711-712

Thomas McCarrell was a Belfast weaver, was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1741, and in 1758 emigrated to America. He listened to the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776, and served throughout the Revolutionary war, witnessing the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. In 1793 he migrated to Washington county, Pa., where he died at the advanced age of ninety-five. He was an elder of the Seceder (Tent) Church, now Cross Creek U. P. Church, and was a courageous, consistent Christian.


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