Isaac Pennington, my paternal 4th Great Grandfather, was born on May 17, 1715, in Albemarle County, Virginia. He was the oldest of four children born to Abraham Pennington (1694-1756) and Catherine Weister (1695-1744). On December 8. 1733, he married Mary Williams (1721-1762) and they had 9 children, 7 daughters, and 2 sons. They all grew to adulthood and married well.
In 1742, Isaac was named as a Captain in the Orange County, Virginia Militia. There were 4 wars that went on in and around the colonies during this time, and they were known as the Colonial Wars. In late 1742, Spain attacked Virginia and Georgia. Although outnumbered more than four to one, the militia displayed military capabilities conducting a defense and forced the Spanish to withdraw. The war along the southern frontier then became little more than a series of minor clashes. Isaac was involved in this short but vital conflict.
In 1747, Isaac and his family had an encounter with a 17-year-old surveyor by the name of George Washington. The following are a couple of passages from a diary that the young Washington kept of his adventures while surveying.
“A Journal of My Journey over the Mountains” beginning March 11, 1747
By George Washington (1732-1799)
Washington’s surveying expedition for Lord Thomas Fairfax when he was just seventeen years old enters today’s Jefferson County across the Shenandoah River to the extreme southeast. He surveys east-to-west across the southern portion of the county, in the process discovering what would be his first land purchase, called Rock Hall plantation. He goes north and along the Potomac until he reaches Old Town, Maryland then goes on to Warm Springs, Virginia at what is today’s Berkeley Springs. His group turns south through what is today Hedgesville and on to today’s Winchester then home to the east.
“Monday 14th. We sent our Baggage to Capt. Hites (near Frederick Town) went ourselves down the River about 16 Miles to Capt. Isaac Penningtons (the Land exceeding Rich & Fertile all the way produces abundance of Grain Hemp Tobacco) in order to Lay of some Lands on Cates Marsh & Long Marsh.
“Tuesday 15th. We set out early with Intent to Run round the said Land but being taken in a Rain & it Increasing very fast obliged us to return. It clearing about one o’Clock & our time being too Precious to Loose we a second time ventured out & Worked hard till Night & then returnd to Penningtons we got our Suppers & was Lighted in to a Room & I not being so good a Woodsman as the rest of my Company striped my self very orderly & went in to the Bed.”
I am sure his children were surprised when this young man became the very first President of our Country, and I am sure they had some tales to tell.
In 1753, Isaac, his wife and 9 children including his 2 married daughters and their spouses, his father Abraham, and his siblings moved to Berkeley County, South Carolina. Here he bought 500 acres of land and continued to farm.
Isaac died on September 17, 1760, in Enoree, Berkeley County, South Carolina at the age of 45.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing I Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.