Samuel Scott and Dorothy Ferguson

Samuel Scott and Dorothy Ferguson came from the county of Londonderry, in the north of Ireland, near the town of Newtown Limavady, where records about them are found in two adjoining parishes: Aghanloo and Drumachose. Londonderry was confiscated from the O’Nials in 1607 along with the rest of Ulster. “In 1608, under James I what became known as the Plantation of Ulster began. This period saw the arrival of settlers from England and the building of walled towns designed in orderly patterns, unlike the clusters of huts that the Gaelic Irish lived in.”1 Because of the Plantation, the county was a mix of Gaelic Irish and settlers from England and Scotland, many of whom later immigrated to America.2

Samuel and Dorothea Scott had five sons—Ezekiel, James, Samuel, Joseph, and Alexander. Two of the sons, Samuel and Joseph, were baptized at the Presbyterian Church in Carbullion, a townland in the civil parish of Aghanloo.3 Either the other sons were not baptized there, or their records were missing. Presbyterianism came to Ulster from Scotland. It was illegal for many years because the Church of Ireland was the state church. By the 1830s there were several Presbyterian churches north of Newtown Limavady.4

Samuel may have been the son of Ezekiel Scott, found in the 1831 census in the townland of Ballyclose in the parish of Drumachose.5 Ezekiel Scott was also named in the 1825 tithe book of Carbullion, as well as in Artikelly, both in Aghanloo parish.6 It is noteworthy that Samuel named his oldest son Ezekiel. There are also three entries for Samuel Scott in the tithe books for the parish of Aghanloo: one in Maghryskeagh, one in Carbullion, and one in Tullyarmon.7 In Griffith’s Valuation, published from 1847 to 1864, taken as a basis for taxation, Samuel Scott appears in the landholding of Glenkeen (Drumachose parish), in a house assessed at 5s which he was renting from James McFarland.8 These records may not refer to the same Samuel Scott.

By 1851 Samuel and Dorothy had five known children, all sons. By then the worst of the Great Famine was over. It had affected Ulster as well as Ireland, but the southern part of Ulster more heavily than the north. In any case, Samuel and Dorothy decided to leave in early 1851. They packed up a few belongings and traveled 20 miles around the southern end of the Foyle estuary to Londonderry, a port where they could get a transatlantic steamer. They either walked or took a horse-drawn carriage, if they could borrow one.9 The Bianconi coaching service, a great service for travelers in the south of Ireland, did not reach Ulster until 1852.10 Once they reached Londonderry the Scotts boarded the steamship Superior, operated by the J. & J. Cooke Company. It was a relatively new ship, and considered well-run, clean, and well-provisioned.11 They were in steerage, not in cabins, and survived there for several weeks while the ship crossed the Atlantic.12 In all there were 217 passengers on the ship, all Irish, and mostly farmers and laborers.13 Finally on May 5, they arrived at the port of Philadelphia.

There were seven in the family: Samuel and Dorothea Scott with their five sons. Samuel was 51; Dorothea was 35; Ezekiel was 12; James 10; Samuel 8; Joseph 6, and Alex was nine months old.14 Since there are no further records of Alexander, he may have died young. They settled in Philadelphia, where the family scattered.15 Ezekiel and Joseph were living in the 4th ward, where Ezekiel worked as an ostler, caring for horses. James and Samuel were living in the “eating house” of John Gallagher in the 5th ward, working as express men, perhaps for a delivery service.16 By 1870 three of the sons—Ezekiel, James, and Joseph—were married. They were all working as drivers or expressmen and by 1874 they had formed their own delivery business, Scott Brothers. It operated for years, even into the next generation. The business, variously described in city directories as express, teams, carmen, and livery, was a horse-drawn delivery service. It operated out of South Street, probably at number 146, Ezekiel’s house for years until he retired.

There are no records of Samuel or Dorothy in Philadelphia after they arrived. They probably died before the 1860 census was taken.

Children of Samuel and Dorothea:

Ezekiel was born in 1838. He married a woman named Ellen.17 They lived in Philadelphia for years, and Ezekiel ran the family delivery business with his brothers James and Samuel.18 About 1885 Ezekiel and Ellen moved to a farm in Washington Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey, where he died in 1888. After his death Ellen stayed on the farm, living with her son Samuel and his family.19 She died in 1917 and was buried at Williamstown Presbyterian Church Cemetery with Ezekiel.20 Children of Ezekiel and Ellen (some of whom died young): Samuel, Elizabeth, Ezekiel, Ellen, Vera, Dora, Annie.21

James F. was born on July 25, 1840. He lived at first in the 5th ward, later moved up to north Philadelphia. For over 30 years he was part of the Scott Brothers delivery service. He married three times. His first wife Jennie died in 1875, leaving him with a daughter Elizabeth, about eight years old. James then married Mary J. Maxwell, born in New York, probably from Bath, Steuben County, raising a question of how they met. Mary and James had a daughter Fannie before Mary died in 1885. James and his third wife Martha (probably a younger sister of Mary) had a daughter Cora. James died in 1916. He had outlived three of his brothers, two wives, and four of his children. Children of James: Elizabeth (with Jennie); Sarah and Fannie (with Mary); James and Cora (with Martha).

Samuel Joseph was born in December 1842. He immigrated in 1851 with his parents and arrived in Philadelphia as an 8-year old. By 1860 he was living with his brother James, probably as boarders in the “eating house” of John and Sarah Gallagher.22 In 1870 he was still living with the Gallaghers, including their daughter Sallie, age 11, who would later become Samuel’s wife.23 By 1880 Samuel, now married to Sallie, was still living with John and Sarah Gallagher, now at 418 German Street.24 By 1900 Samuel was finally the head of his household, widowed, a contractor, living with his mother-in-law Sarah Gallagher and two of her unmarried children, Charles and Elizabeth. In addition three of Samuel’s sons were there: Samuel J, Paul, and Joseph.25 Sallie died in 1896 and was buried at Old Cathedral.26 She left Samuel with some very young children. He died in 1905 at the age of 62 and was buried at Old Cathedral with Sallie. He had become a Catholic, probably at the time of the marriage with Sallie, and a Mass was said for him.27 Children of Samuel and Sallie: Mary F, Samuel Joseph, Regina, Dorothea, Paul, Joseph, Sallie, Mary, James Francis, Mary Agnes. All but Samuel, Paul and Joseph died young.

Joseph was born in December 1844 and immigrated with his parents and brothers in 1851. At first he lived with his brother Ezekiel in 1860, then married Mary White in 1866 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.28 In the 1880 census Joseph Scott was keeping a livery stable, continuing in the family trade. His household included Mary, his mother-in-law Ann White, and four children: Clarence, Walter, Anna Mabel, and Mary Viola. The son Clarence later appears in the listing for Scott Brothers in 1902. In 1900 Joseph and Mary were living at 2313 Catherine Street with Anna and Mary.29 Joseph died in October 1920, age 75, living on 2313 Catherine Street.30 Children: Clarence, Walter, Anna Mabel, Mary Viola.31

Alexander, b. 1850, no further record.


  1. History of Limavady, on, accessed March 2019.
  2. County Derry, on
  3. Records of baptisms on This church is not shown on the map of Presbyterian churches in Londonderry, online at Also see the Irish Townlands website, at, accessed March 2019. Aghanloo parish was north of Drumachose parish, which included the town of Newtown Limavady.
  4. “Presbyterianism came to Ulster from Scotland in the 17th century but its freedom was severely curtailed by penal enactments to the extent that it was illegal until 1782 for Presbyterian ministers to perform marriages even of Presbyterians … Religious and civil persecution resulting from the Penal Laws meant that many Presbyterian baptisms, marriages and burials are to be found in the registers of the Church of Ireland, albeit sporadic, until well into the 18th century. Burial registers for Presbyterian churches are uncommon as there were few Presbyterian burial grounds.” (
  5. 1831 census on the website of Bill Macafee, available on his page of sources for research in Limavady, online at, accessed March 2019. The only other Scott in that census in the area surrounding Limavady is Betty Scott. Ezekiel was on p. 8.
  6. The tithe books are available through a search for census substitutes, on the search page of They were compiled between 1823 and 1837 as a basis for the tithe owed to the Church of Ireland, the state church until 1871. The books show who owned land in each townland and how much land they owed. ( The pages on RootsIreland act only as an index and do not include the amount of land held. Although Ancestry is supposed to have the tithe books for Northern Ireland, a search for Ezekiel Scott does not return any hits, even in
  7. Tithe books on These are all townlands (landholdings) in the civil parish of Aghanloo. Aghanloo was about 15 square miles, lay north and east of Limavady, and contained 31 townlands. ( Wikipedia has a list of the townlands, with meanings of their names. ( Are these separate men with the same name or did Samuel own three properties? Could the Samuel born around 1799 be old enough to pay tithes in 1825?
  8. At A discussion on the John Grenham website of Irish resources pointed out that the Valuation would have “little genealogical significance” if the 1851 census had not been lost in the 1922 burning of the Public Records Office in Dublin.
  9. Deirdre M. Mageean, “Emigration from Irish Ports”, Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 13(1), p. 24, online on JSTOR. With a baby in arms, one hopes that they did not have to walk.
  10. William McCutcheon, The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland, 1980, p. 20.
  11. Mageean, p. 21. Mortality was relatively low on ships of the Cooke company.
  12. A record has not been found of how long the voyage took, but it would have been a matter of weeks rather than months.
  13. Ancestry, PA Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962, M425, image 423.
  14. He was one of the relatively few infants on the ship (under a year old).
  15. Samuel and Dorothy do not appear in the 1860 census records, suggesting that they died by then. There are three entries in McElroy’s Philadelphia City Directory of 1852 for a Samuel Scott, but no way to connect them to this Samuel. (p. 391) There was a Samuel Scott who died in 1861, buried at Mt. Moriah, but his burial was in the records of an Episcopal church, St. John the Evangelist, and Samuel was probably Presbyterian. (Ancestry, PA & NJ Church & Town Rec, Episcopal, Church of St John the Evangelist, image 122)
  16. Alexander does not appear in the 1860 census.
  17. A marriage record has not been found for them.
  18. In the 1860 census, Ward 4, East Division, image 48-49, he was unmarried, living with his brother Joseph. By 1870 he was married to Ellen and had two children, 1870 census, 4th ward, 11th district, Image 96. In 1880 they were living on South Street with four children. (indexed as Zekiel Scoot, district 71, image 8).
  19. 1895 NJ state census, Washington Twp., Gloucester County, image 8; 1910 federal census, Gloucester County, Washington Twp., district 136, image 11.
  20. Ellen’s funeral notice was in the Philadelphia Inquirer from September 26 through the 28th, on
  21. Census records, 1870-1910. The son Ezekiel died of cholera at age one (Philadelphia death certificate). Elizabeth died at age two. Dora was probably named for her grandmother Dorothy Scott. Three of the children, Elizabeth, Samuel and Ezekiel, were baptized at the Mariners Bethel M. E. Church, suggesting that Ellen was a Methodist. (Ancestry, PA & NJ Church and Town Records, Philadelphia, Methodist, image 151, image 156.)
  22. 1860 census, Philadelphia, 5th ward South, image 35. The ages of the Gallaghers and the Scotts seem to be completely wrong in this record. James was listed as 30 (instead of 20), Samuel was 40 (instead of 18). This is probably not their father Samuel, who would have been 60 years old if he were still alive. Sallie Gallagher, presumably the daughter of John and Sarah, was age 12. Could this be an error for 12 months? If she were really 12 years old, there would be contradictions with other records including the 1870 and 1880 census.
  23. 1870 census, 5th Ward, Dist. 14 2nd enumeration, image 29-30. John Gallagher was 55, his wife Sarah was 43. Their children were Charles 17, Lizzie 13, Sally 11, George 9, John 7, Mary 5, Katie 3, and James 2 months.
  24. 1880 census, Dist. 60. The households included John Gallagher, age 53, Sarah Gallagher, age 45, Samuel Scott, son-in-law age 36, Sallie Scott daughter age 21, and six other Gallagher children. Between 1874 and 1881 Samuel moved around, as shown in the Philadelphia City Directories, from 144 South Street to 342 Catherine Street, to 418 German Street. By 1889 he and Sallie were living at 760 South 4th Street.
  25. 1900 census, Phila. ward 1, district 2, image 5 (South Front Street).
  26. Philadelphia Times, 13 March 1896, p. 5; Old Cathedral burial records on She was buried in Chapel bor. (border?), section 24, in the same location as at least three of her children, and, some years later, her husband Samuel.
  27. Philadelphia Death Certificate Index; Philadelphia Inquirer 26 Aug 1905.
  28. Ancestry, PA & NJ Church and Town Records, Philadelphia, Episcopal, St. Paul’s Church, image 391.
  29. 1900 census, Philadelphia, ward 30, district 767, image 7. Anna M. was a saleslady; Mary V. did house work.
  30. Pennsylvania state death certificate. It listed his father as James (error for Samuel) and his mother as Dorothy Ferguson (probably right). It gave his birth as June 1845. He was buried at Fernwood Cemetery, Delaware County, with the clergyman as Rev. Dickerson of Bethany Church. (Burial records at Ancestry, PA & NJ Church and Town Records 1669-2013, Delaware County, Yeadon, Fernwood Cemetery, image 721 and Oliver Blair Funeral Director, image 1055.)
  31. An Ancestry tree adds a daughter Olive, not found in the census records.

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