John Walker II (c1682-1734)

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John Walker II was born circa 1682 in Wigtown, Scotland, United Kingdom to John Walker I (c1660-) and Jane McKnight (c1660-) and died 1734 in Rising Sun, Cecil County, Maryland, United States of unspecified causes.


The first data we have of John Walker II is the statement by White, 1902:3 that he married Katherine Rutherford In Wigton, Scotland, in March of 1702. Both John and Katherine's parents are believed to have been Presbyterian Covenanter's. Though good, solid evidence is lacking, there is speculation that both families fled Scotland to escape persecution, settling temporarily in the Netherlands with other Scot Presbyterian Covenanters. This would explain their absence in the 1685 Parish rolls of Wigtonshire. The presumption here is that the families returned to Wigtonshire during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Whether they knew each other is uncertain, as the only direct evidence we have of a connection between them is the marriage of John and Katherine in 1702.

Sometime after their marriage John and Katherine moved to Newry, Ireland (White, 1902:3. The exact timing of this move is not known. (White, 1902:32 does not mention the places of birth of most of their children, and for most of them, statements seen in many genealogies that they were born in Wigton, or in Ireland, are based purely on guess work. However, she does give the place of birth of their daughter Jane in 1712 as "Down County, Ireland". Taking that at face value, this implies that that the move to Ireland was prior to this date. Whether it was immediately after their marriage or a few years later, we do not know. The first of John and Katherine's children would have begun to reach marriagable age in the early 1720's. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married in, Ireland, but White's discussion of this is amgbiruous (see Extended note 3, under Children). Their second eldest child is believed to be John Walker III (c1705-c1776) who White 1902:6 tells us married in America in1734.

The family came to America in 1726 White 1902:3 settleing in what is now Cecil County Maryland, near the town of Rising Sun, on the Nottingham Lots. (See FAQ's). At different locaitons in her work White indicates different arrival dates for the family, some as late as [need to track down the variations here.]


DOB: Entry<---> c. 1682 Cmnt<--->White 1902:2 indicates that he was born in Wigton, but does not give a date. From his DOM of 1702, we would guess that he was born c. 1682, or perhaps a bit earlier.
POB: Entry<--->Wigton, Scotland Note: The name of the modern town is spelled "Wigtown". See explanation in FAQ's
DOD: Entry<--->September 1734 Cmnt<--->White 1902:2; See Extended Comments
POD: Entry<--->Rising Sun, Cecil Co, MD Cmnt<--->Based on place of burial. See Extended Comments Below
Burial: Entry<--->Presbyt. Nottingham MH, in [Portal:Wigton Walker/Rising Sun|Rising Sun, Cecil Co, MD Cmnt<--->See FAQ concerning the location of this cemetery
Spouse: Entry<--->Katherine Rutherford (c1682-1738) White 1902 identifies Katherine as the wife of John Walker II. No confirming evidence of that statement has been identified.
DOM: Entry<--->7 January 1702 to Cmnt<---> (White 1902:2)
POM: Entry<--->Wigton Scotland Cmnt<--->(White 1902:2)
Father: Entry<--->John Walker I (?-?)
Mother: Entry<--->Jane McKnight (?-?)
Extended comments

The death of John II seems rather sudden, coming as it does just after he has returned from Virginia, getting ready to relocate his family. This does not sound like the circumstances of a man who knows he's nearing the end of his life. Rather, it sounds like a sudden illness, or perhaps an accident resulted in his death. We will probably never know the cause of death, especially if its accidental, but one possibility that comes to mind is that he died in an epidemic. Perhaps he contracted something while at home in Old Chester Co, or perhaps it was something contracted during his travels to Virginia. Linda Parsons (September 11, 2006) has drawn our attention to the fact that an epidmeic of yellow fever ravaged Virginia in 1734. It is possible that John II was one of its victims. Further research as to where this epidemic struck may be helpful.

White 1902 tells us that John and Katherine were buried in the cemetery of the the Nottingham Meeting House in Chester Co, Pennsylvania. The exact location of the cemetery has been confused by the border dispute between Pennsylvania and Maryland. At the time the family came to America the Nottingham MH was within the area claimed by Pennsylvania. When the boundary dispute was finally resolved (need date, and Wikipedia reference to Mason Dixon line) the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland was a few miles further north of the MH. Examination of the records of the Presybterian Hiostorical Society in Philadelphia has led to the conclusion that MH the Walkers attended was that in Rising Sun. See discussion in FAQ's


John II is identified as the son of John Walker I = Jane McKnight, of Wigton, Scotland (White 1902:2). White based her early family history on a document commonly referred to as the "Joel Walker Record". White 1902(2) states:

  • "Joel Walker, of Ohio...kept a record of the Walker family, and from this Andrew Walker of McDonough Co, Ill, made a copy in 1856. This record covered a period of one hundred and fifty years, and furnished the foundation for the present work. The Joel Walker record states that "in the Walker ancestry the name extend back only three generations, when it looses itself in the Rutherford family then farther back than we have any authentic inforamtion of the Rutherfords in the line of ancestry are the Alleines."


Offspring of John Walker II and Katherine Rutherford (c1682-1738)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Walker (1703-1787)
John Walker III (c1705-c1776) March 1705 Wigton, Scotland, United Kingdom 1776 Ann Houston (c1705-c1765)

James Walker (1707-)
Thomas Walker (c1708-)
William Walker (c1710-)
Jane Walker (1712-1793)
Samuel Walker (1714-1793)
Alexander Walker (1716-c1786)
Joseph Walker (1722-1806)
Mary Walker (c1723-)
Children of Katherine Rutherford (c1682-1738) by John Walker II (c1682-1734) Edit This List
Elizabeth Walker (1703-1787) John Campbell (?-?) County Down, Ireland see Extended Note 3 for discussion of POM
John Walker III (c1705-c1776) Ann Houston (c1705-c1765)
James Walker (1707-?) Mary Guffy
Thomas Walker (died young)
William Walker (died young)
Jane Walker (1712-1793) May 1712 (1) County Down, Ireland (1) Jan 7, 1793 (1) James Moore (1711-1791) (1) April 1734 (1) (1) White 1902:32
Samuel Walker (1714-1793) 25 Dec 1714 (2) Newry, County Down, Ireland (2) Jane Patterson (?-?) (2) 5 Dec 1740 (2) VA (2) (2) White 1902:176
Alexander Walker (1716-c1786) Jane Hammer (?-?) See Extended Note 1.
Joseph Walker (1722-1806) July 15, 1722 (3) Londonderry, Ireland (3) = 1) Nancy McLung () (2) White 1902:492. See Extended Note 2).
= 2) Grizelda McCrosky ( )(2) (2)
Mary Walker ( )
Extended Notes1. Commonly known among Wigton Walkers as "the Hammerite". An alternative spelling (Jeannette Hummer) of Alexander's wife has been provided by an anonymous editor. Phil Rhoton observes on the discussion page that in his 1784 will, Alexander refers to his wife as Janet (Rockbridge Co., VA, Will Book 1, p. 214). She signs her name as "Jennet Walker" on the 22 Jul 1793 consent for their daughter Jean to marry Andrew McMahon (Rockbridge County, Virginia, Marrriage Bonds &c.). She again signs her name as Jennet Walker when she and her son Joseph and daughter-in-law sell the "home place" on 7 Jul 1795 (Rockbridge County, VA Deed Book C, p. 178). The only source for the first name of 'Jane' is White and that is not born out by the documents. "Jean", "Janet", and "Jennet" are commonly accepted as 18th century spelling variants for "Jane". There does not, howver, appear to be a basis for extending that acceptance to "Jeanette", and in any case, there seems to be no basis in primary sources for that usage. See discussion page. Bill 01:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)]]
2) This seems discrepant with White's information that the family a) settled in Newry, and b) sailed from Ireland to America from Strangford Bay. While it is possible that the family moved from Newry to Londonderry, someone living near Londonderry and sailing for America would probably have sailed from Londonderry itself, or a nearby location, not from Strangford Bay on the southern side of northern Ireland. A departure from Strangford Bay for someone living in Newry is reasonable, given the fact that the harbor at Newry was not readily accessible for seagoing ships c.1726.
3) White 1902:3 says that "Elizabeth Walker...married John Campbell of Kirnan in Ireland." This statement can be interpreted several ways. According to some White meant that John Campbell was living in Kirnan, Ireland, and that this is where the marriage occurred. Another interpretation is that he was from Kirnan, Scotland and that the couple married in Ireland. There is a Kirnan township somewhat north of Newry in County Armagh; there is also a Kirnan area designation for an area around Lake Kirnan in County Down. It is possible that John Campbell came from one of these areas. However, there is also a Kirnan in Argyll, Scotland, which serves as the seat of the one branch of the Campbell Clan, and it is possible that John Campbell came from this area.

At this time there is no resolution of where John Campbell came from, or whether the marriage took place in "Kirnan, Ireland", or just in "Ireland".

Family History

John Walker II of the Wigton Walker lines probably born about 1682, in Wigton, Scotland. The c1682 DOB is based on the assumption that he was about 20 years of age when he married Katherine Rutherford (?-?) in 1702. We no direct evidence for John's presence in Scotland, other than the information provide in White, 1902 based on family tradition collected by Joel Walker (?-?) during the first part of the 19th century. In 1688 a Church of England parish census was conducted in Scotland; its purpose seems to have been to help identify opposition to the James II. John II's parents were Presbyterian's, and would likely have been numbered among the opposition. As such, they might have avoided being ennumerated. Some have suggested that the family had fled to the Netherlands, only to return during the "Glorious Revolution of 1688". with William of Orange and wife Mary II, daughter of James II Evidence for this is slim, but the idea is at least consistent with John II's marriage to Katherine Rutherford, whose family is also thought to have been in the Netherlands. Direct evidence for any of this is limited, but it is a reasonable idea, and would explain the absence of the family in the 1688 parish rolls.

White's history of the family states that John Walker "moved his family [from Wigton] and settled near the town of Newry, Ireland. The presumption is that they secured land in Ireland in reward for service to William and Mary in the Willamite Wars. Direct evidence for this is lacking, but Katherine's family is frequently identified as having received land for such service. If John II's parents had indeed returned to Scotland during the "Glorious" of 1688, as some have suggested, then it is not at all unreasonable for them to have received Irish land at the end of the [Williamite War in Ireland|Willamite War]]. The date for the move to Ireland is not clear. If the move occurred in response to land availability following the Willamite Wars, then we would expect the move to have occurred shortly after their marriage. However, based on the POB given by White for John and Katherine's children, we would expect the move to have occurred prior to 1712.

According to White 1902: John Walker

  • and family with three of his brother Alexander's children left Strangford bay in May, 1726...on board a vessel commanded by Richard Walker, and landed in Maryland August 2. He transported his family and settled in Chester Co., PA, where he died in September 1734. His wife died in 1738. Both are buried at Nottingham Meeting House in Chester Co, PA.

    Location of Rising Sun, Cecil Co, MD

Most of the family left Pennsylvania and settled in Rockbridge and adjoining counties in Virginia. John Walker [II] contemplated such a move and had been to Virginia a short time previous to his death and selected a farm upon which he erected a small building."
Map of Virginia highlighting Rockbridge County

Rockbridge Co. VA

Our understanding of this family is based almost entirely upon the information contained in White 1902, who in turn based her information on the early history of the Wigton Walker family on the Joel Walker Record (JWR). Joel is identified as the son of Samuel Walker (1714-1793), and grandson of John II. White does not tell us specifically what information in her family history came from the JWR. No copy of this document has been located as far as is known. Little information on the family prior to their appearance on Borden's Grant in Virginia, has been confirmed independently of White 1902.

There are a number of specific facts given by White 1902. The following lists key data for the family of John II and Katherine Rutherford for which independent confirmation is needed. Also shown is what is known to support (or refute) information in White 1902.

  • Marriage of John II to Katherine Rutherford in Wigton 7 January of 1702.
    • Marriage records for this period either do not survive, or do not include a marriage between John Walker II and Katherine Rutherford. In part, this may be because the Walkers and Rutherfords were Presbyterians, and did not conform to the State approved Church of England. Several researchers have reported having searched records in Wigtonshire, and have not reported finding any record related to this marriage, or the children of John II and Katherine.
    • Records have been located that may relate to the marriage(s) of John II's brother Alexander, and the birth of some of his children (see Alexander I (c1682- ?). These data are accepted by some researchers as confirmation of some of the information in White, but other researchers do not consider the information defiitive.
  • Relocation of the family from Wigton, Scotland to Newry, Ireland sometime after 1705.
    • Irish records have been searched a limited extent by various Walker researchers. Definitive data on the family in Newry has not be identified. [Need summary of what has been found.]
    • Some idea of the date of the relocation from Wigton to Newry can be obtained by looking at the pattern of DOB/POB records in White 1902 for the children of John II and Katherine, as well as his nephews and niece who came to America with him
      • Elizabeth Walker b. 1703
      • John Walker III b 1705
      • James Walker b 1707
      • Thomas Walker (died young)
      • William Walker (died young)
      • Jane Walker b. 1712 County Down, Ireland]].
      • Samuel Walker b. 1714
      • Alexander Walker b. 1716
      • Esther Walker (died young)
      • Joseph b. 1722 near Londonderry, Ireland
      • Mary Walker (died young?)
  • Emigration from Ireland to America in May 1726, departing from Stranford Bay on a ship "commanded by Richard Walker".
    • Samuel Walker b. 1714, came with father from Newry about 1734

Children of Alexander 1

      • Alexander
      • John
      • Eleanor
  • Arrival of the family in Maryland on 2 August, 1726.
  • Settlement in Chester County, Pennsylvania
  • Establsihment of a farm in Virginia in 1734
  • Death of John II in September 1734, and burial in the graveyard of the Nottingham Meetng House in Chester Co. MD.
  • Death of Katherine Rutherford in 1738, and burial in the graveyard of the Nottingham Meetng House in Chester Co. MD.

Working back 150 years from the date of the Andrew Walker copy of the JWR, takes us to the early 1700's, consistent with the marriage of John II in 1702, and the birth of John III in 1705. It is likely that these events, the identity of John II's parents, and the identity of his wife, were preserved in the JWR. No information has been recovered that confirms most of what is in White 1902 regarding this family.


No records have been identified that relate to John Walker II or his wife Katherine Rutherford


1. White, Emma Siggins, 1902. Genealogy of the descendants of John Walker of Wigton, Scotland, with records of a few allied families : also war records and some fragmentary notes pertaining to the history of Virginia, 1600-1902

Research Needs

There is another possibility for John Walker III. This man was b. bef. 1716 and d. 1776. A 1749 deed shows him as a resident of Augusta, buying land in Culpepper Co, Va. He may be the John Walker on militia rolls in Augusta in 1742 and the man who had 213 acres recorded adjacent to James Walker in 1743.

John Walker remained in the Culpeper/Orange Co. area until his death. yDNA "appears" to show two descendants who match descendants of George Walker m. Barclay. John Walker was married to Isabel from 1760 until his death but may have had other wives.

Page Needs


Sources and notes


  WMWillis, Duwilly, Robin Patterson

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