Thursday, June 30, 2011

Colonel William Gregg of Londonderry

William Gregg was the son of Captain John Gregg, and grandson of Captain James Gregg, who both emigrated from Northern Ireland to Londonderry, New Hampshire. He was born here in Londonderry on 23 October 1730.
The Bennington Monument
Before the American Revolution, William Gregg was the head of the local Londonderry militia. Upon the Lexington alarm in 1775, he went to Boston until he was called to muster a regiment from New Hampshire for the Continental Army in New York. In 1777 he went to Baltimore to bring back money to help New England fight the war, and then later that year to the Battle of Bennington with General Stark, who was also from Londonderry.

After the war Colonel William Gregg retired back home to Londonderry, where he died on 16 September 1815.

Londonderry and Derry have produced many famous officers of the American Revolution, including General John Stark, Colonel George Reid, and Colonel William Gregg. Also, six early governors were from Londonderry, including Dr. Matthew Thornton, who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Robert Rogers of the Rogers' Rangers regiment spent much time in Londonderry among the Scots Irish settlers, and his father, James Rogers is buried in Derry's Forest Hill Cemetery.

In Parker’s history of the town of Londonderry, he waxed eloquently about the fighting spirit of the Scots Irish warriors, who fought first at the siege of Londonderry in Northern Ireland and then here in the New World. Some of what he writes is highly racist and stereotypical of the Scots Irish.   However, it is very interesting to note that such a tiny township produced so many officers and soldiers for our War of Independence. It is probably due to the rigors of living on the frontier (Londonderry was the frontier between English territory and French territory in the 1700s), more than their being from Ireland and Scotland.

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For more information see:

Rev. Edward L. Parker’s History of Londonderry, pages 220-1.

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Gregg Family Lineage:

Gen. 1. Captain James Gregg, born about 1670, and emigrated from Ayr, Scotland to Northern Ireland in 1690, and was an original grantee of Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1719, died in January 1762 at Peterborough, New Hampshire; married Janet Cargill, born in Illa Scotland, the daughter of Captain David Cargill. James Gregg received a captain’s commission and commanded the first militia recruited in Londonderry. He also built the first grist mill.

Gen. 2. Captain John Gregg, born about 1702 in Ireland, left at age 16 with his parents for Boston; married 1 March 1724 in Londonderry, New Hampshire to Agnes Rankin, daughter of Hugh Rankin.

Gen. 3. Colonel William Gregg, born in Londonderry on 21 November 1730, died on 16 September 1815 in Londonderry. He married three times, first Barbara Aiken, second to Agnes McClure and third to the widow Abbott. Five children.

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Another Gregg Family Lineage (this Gregg family lived in Nutfield (later Windham) but they were Irish in ancestry, not Scots-Irish like the other Gregg’s):

Gen. 1. John Gregg, son of David Gregg, born at Ballarynet near Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He was killed with his parents during a raid on his homestead in April 1689, but his wife and children were safe inside the walled city of Londonderry.

Gen. 2. John Gregg, born about 1680, merchant in Londonderry, Ireland; married to Mary Guage.

Gen. 3. Children of John Gregg include:

     1. Samuel, b. about 1682, immigrated to Boston, had descendants in Windham, New Hampshire

     2. David, b. 1684 near Londonderry, Ireland. He settled first in Watertown, Massachusetts and then in the part of Londonderry, New Hampshire that is now known as the town of Windham. He married in Ireland to Mary Nevins.

     3. Rachel, b. about 1686; m. in Ireland to Solomon Walker, settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

     4. Andrew, b. about 1688, also settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

     5. Jacob, b. about 1710, removed to Groton, Massachusetts

     6. William, b. about 1715, removed to Pennsylvania

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Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Allison Knight-KhanJuly 4, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Thank you for the lovely summary of Col. William Gregg's family. I am a descendant of his. It is nice to receive good research. It is a gift.

    ReplyDelete