Our Patriot Ancestors
     . . . Biographical Sketches

Hugh Skelly

  William Skelly, the father of Hugh and Philip (and a third son, Michael), was an immigrant from County Antrim, Ireland. His ship is believed to have landed in 1729 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After several years in the city of Philadelphia, and his marriage to Mary Ann Lunsford, William moved his family into Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Family tradition states that the family moved into the Woodcock Valley ~ settling near Elk Gap ~ in 1758. That tradition is probably off by just a couple years since there were very few, if any, settlers other than traders and fur trappers in this region prior to the Forbes Expedition in 1758.

  Despite the fact that no family by the name of Skelly appeared as residents in any tax assessment return for the region prior to or during the Revolutionary War, Hugh Skelly owned land in Hopewell Township in 1776 as a 'non-resident.' That meant that he did not reside on the property at the time, but may have been preparing it and perhaps building a house.

  Hugh Skelly was born in the year 1745. Hugh was six years younger than his brother Philip Peter and possibly a twin to the third brother, Michael. He would have been thirty-five years of age at the time of the massacre.

  Hugh Skelly was married, but the name of his wife is not known at this time. The couple had at least two children, a daughter, Mary and a son, Hugh Jr. (whose name was recorded on the 1779 and 1780 Hopewell Township tax assessment returns along with his father). Hugh's widow, upon his death, married Richard Clark and left Pennsylvania. It was for the reason that she was left on her own that the daughter, Mary filed for a pension. At the time she was noted as a minor child, which meant that she was younger than eighteen years of age.