James Durham1

M, (1746 - 24 January 1813)
Father-Biological*John Durham1 b. 1716, d. 1788
Family Lines
Myers Line
Last Edited=13 May 2023
Gravestone of James and Margaret Durham
     James Durham was born in 1746.2 He was the son of John Durham.1

James Durham married Margaret McClintock, daughter of John McClintock and Mary Weir, in 1774.1,3
From the History of Lee County: Her grandmother, Margaret Durham , was the wife of James Durham . Long years ago, when the great west , where we now live , was the hunting ground of the savages, and the middle states, some yet unsettled, were on the border, the Indians made an irruption into Pennsylvania . The Durhams were living at the forks of the Susquehanna when the settlement was invaded . As soon as the news of danger reached the people they hurried off to the fort, the women being sent in advance , and Mrs. Durham with a babe in her arms, while the men delayed a little to look after matters. The latter , when moving toward the same place, were attracted by the frantic demon strations of the house -dog, and on going to the spot indicated by his intelligent manner they found Mrs. Durham lying in a shocking condition , scalped and tomahawked , apparently beyond all possible hope of recovery, though lingering signs of life might still be discovered. At length , to their surprise she called for water ; this was brought in a hat, and from this moment she clung to the last chance for life with such restoring tenacity that her recovery was finally accomplished. To add to her grief, her husband was taken prisoner by the Indians. A silver plate mended her fractured skull, and she lived to become the mother of six children .4

From the History of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna: Sometime in the autumn of this year (1778) Mrs. McKnight and Mrs. Margaret Durham, with infants in their arms, started on horseback from Fort Freeland to go to Northumberland. Mrs. Durham's husband and several other men accompanied them on foot. They met with no interruption until they reached a point a short distance below the mouth of Warrior Run, when they were unexpectedly fired upon by a party of Indians lying in concealment. On the discharge of the guns Mrs. McKnight's horse quickly wheeled and galloped back. She came very near losing her child, but caught it by the foot as it was falling and held it firmly dangling by her side until the frightened horse brought her safely back to the fort.

Mrs. Durham was not so fortunate. Her infant was shot dead in her arms and she fell from her horse. An Indian sprang upon her, tore the scalp from her head and left her for dead lying in the road.

Two young men, sons of Mrs. McKnight, ran when the guns were discharged and tried to secrete themselves under the river bank. They were discovered by the enemy, seized and carried into captivity. James Durham, husband of Margaret Durham, was also taken prisoner at the same time and carried to Canada. He was absent until 1783, when he regained his liberty and returned home.

The Indians, according to their habit, quickly fled with their prisoners and scalps. Soon after the firing Alexander Guffy * and a companion named Williams came upon the ground. On approaching Mrs. Durham, whom they supposed dead, they were greatly surprised to see her rise up and piteously call for water. With the loss of her scalp she presented a horrible appearance. Guffy at once ran to the river and brought enough water in his hat to quench her burning thirst. They bound up her head as best they could, and as she had received no other injuries, started with her for Sunbury. They reached that place in safety, when Dr. Plunkett dressed her head. It was a long time before her wound healed, but she finally recovered and lived to a ripe age.

Mrs. Durham's maiden name was Wilson, and she was married to James

James served in Capitan John Long's 5th Battalion of the Northampton County Militia as a priave. He enlisted on 1 December 1781.5 James, appeared on the US Census of 1790 at Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. The enumeration reads:

2 - Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over
1 - Free White Persons - Males - Under 16
3 - Free White Persons - Females
1 - Number of All Other Free Persons
7 - Number of Household Members.6

James, appeared on the US Census of 1810 at Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. The enumeration reads:

2 - Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25
1 - Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over
1 - Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15
1 - Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25
1 - Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over
1 - Number of Household Members Under 16
2 - Number of Household Members Over 25
6 - Number of Household Members.7

He died on 24 January 1813.2 His estate was probated on 13 February 1813 at Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.8 He was buried at Warrior Run Church Cemetery, Delaware Run, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in plot 2, section A, grave 16. James's epitaph reads:

Jan. 24, 1813
in the 67th year
of his age

Consort of
James Durham
Sept. 4, 1829
in the 74th year
of her life.2,5

Children of James Durham and Margaret McClintock


  1. Ancestry.com. Ancestry Member Trees - Use with Caution. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations.
  2. Find-a-Grave. Online https://www.findagrave.com/
  3. Meginness, John Franklin. Otzinachson: A History of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna. Williamsport, Pennsyvania: Gazette and Bulletin Printing House, 1889.
  4. Hill, H. H. History of Lee County. Chicago: H. H. Hill and Cmpany, Publishers, 1881.
  5. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, U.S., Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012. Provoi, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, 2010.
  6. Census Bureau. 1790 U.S. Federal Census. Provoi, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, 2010.
  7. Census Bureau. 1810 U.S. Federal Census. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, 2010.
  8. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, 2015.