Our Patriot Ancestors
     . . . Biographical Sketches

Philip Peter Skelly

  Philip Skelly, son of William and brother of Hugh, was born in the year 1739 at Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He would have been forty-one years of age in 1780. Philip was married to Mary Ann Hastings. The couple bore five sons: Philip Jr., John, Patrick, William and George Alexander.

  To differentiate the son from his father, Philip Jr., was called Felix. In fact, he was variously known as Felix O'Skally. Felix Skelly married Margaret McAfee in 1794 and they gave birth to three sons and six daughters: Daniel, Hugh, Michael, Margaret, Eleanor, Catherine, Mary Ann, Elizabeth and Ann. The couple moved from their home in Woodcock Valley, along with a number of neighbors to Cambria County. The group included Daniel Diamond, Michael McAfee, Luke McGuire, Michael McGuire, Richard Plummer and various others. A genealogical sketch provided by Michael H. Kennedy in the 1930s noted that 'brothers' of Felix went with the group, but who those brothers were was not noted.

  Felix and Margaret Skelly established a farm of three hundred acres near the present-day village of Wilmore, in Summerhill Township. It was there that Felix died in 1835 and Margaret in 1851.

  Felix had his own experience with the Indians, but unlike his father's, Felix's adventure did not end with his death. During the latter part of 1777 or early part of 1778, Felix was taken captive along with a cousin, known only as Mrs. Elder. While they were being marched toward Detroit, Felix made his escape. The Indians and their captives had stopped enroute and spent a night sleeping on the second floor of a grist mill. Felix took advantage of the opportunity, when they were all asleep, to escape. He did so by jumping from the window of the mill into the milldam below. For a day he stayed in the water, hiding under an overhanging bank. The next night he was able to leave the water and make his way back home.

  John Skelly, the second eldest son of Philip Skelly, married Catherine Whitestone. The couple gave birth to: Daniel, Margery, Patrick, Elizabeth, John Jr., Michael, Mary Ann, Catherine, Sarah E. and Susannah.

  Patrick Skelly, the third son of Philip, served in the Continental Line and was at the Siege of Yorktown. He died during that siege on 19 October 1781.

  Philip's next son, William Skelly married Mary Elizabeth Byerly. William and Mary gave birth to three daughters and six sons: Mollie, David, George, James, Samuel, Rachel, William Jr., Gaston and Jane.

  George Alexander Skelly married Rebecca McMullin. The couple gave birth to: George, William, Rebecca Jane, Johnston Hastings, and Mary. The family resided in Franklin County.