From History of Perry County Pennsylvania
By H. H. Hain
Harrisburg, Pa
Page 699
General Frederick Watts

About 1760 Frederick Watts came to America with his family and settled upon a tract of 331 acres, now in Wheatfield Township, Perry County, which he warranted June 4, 1762. He was a Welshman, and was born June 1, 1719, and about 1749 took in wedlock Jane Murray, a niece of David Murray, who was Marquis of Tullibardine, a partisan of Charles Edward, the pretender, who after the Battle of Culloden fled to France.

The oncoming Revolution in America found him a patriot of the most advanced type, and as the Perry County territory was then a part of Cumberland, he was chosen as one of the eight men sent to Philadelphia, in June, 1776, to a convention, which was the first of a series of conferences which resulted in the Declaration of Independence. He was interested in the organization of the county's battalion and was made lieutenant colonel of the First Battalion, representing the same at the military convention held July 4, 1776 at Lancaster.

At the surrender of Fort Washington, November 16, 1776, he was in command of the "Flying Camp" of the First Battalion, and was captured, but soon after exchanged. April 1, 1778, he was commissioned as a justice of the peace of Cumberland Count. In 1779 he was chosen as one of its representatives in the General Assembly. Following this he was appointed a sublieutenant of Cumberland County, April 18, 1780; brigadier general of Pennsylvania Militia, May 27, 1782; served as a member of the Supreme Executive Council of the Colony from October 20, 1787 until its abolition by the Constitution of 1790, which was the real governing body of the colonies during that trying period, being at the same time a member of the Board of Property.

Seven children blessed the Watts family, and on account of some of them becoming connected with the county's life and attaining more or less prominence, even in later generations, they are here mentioned. They were Margery, Catharine, Margaret, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, and David. Of these Elizabeth married thomas Hulings, a son of Marcus Hulings, the pioneer, and became the mother of David W. Hulings, for a long time a prominent attorney of Lewistowsn, Pennsylvania, and Rebecca Hulings Duncan whose husband was Robt. C. Duncan, a son of Supreme Court Justice Thomas Duncan. Mrs. Duncan was the grandmother of P. F. Duncan, cashier of the Duncannon National Bank. Margaret was wed to George Smiley of Shermansdale, thus bringing together the3 strains of two famous families. David Watts, the youngest and the only boy, studied law at Carlisle, married Juliana, a daughter of General Robert Miller, and became one of the leading attorneys of the state. He was interested in the early furnace industry of Perry County with William Power. His son Judge Frederick Watts, of Carlisle, was of the third generation to attain prominence.

 Return to History Contents

 Return to Home Page