Pedigree of:
John Verner

= ___?
= Samuel

= David


Notes and Links

John Verner*, b. c1725, in Lancaster County PA, probably near Pequea; d. 1798/9, Pendleton (now Anderson) SC. See the Will of John Verner, Sr.

Brief Biography:

John Verner* (c1725-1798/9) is thought to have been born in Lancaster County, PA. Previously, he had been thought to have been born in Tyrone, Ireland, in about 1725 according to many family traditions and some genealogies. These sources, however, may have intertwined John Verner's family history with that of his wife, who was Mary Cochran Pettigrew. These family traditions suppose that he emigrated to America, arriving at New Castle DE in about November 1741 at about the age of 15 or 16 with the Pettigrew family. It is now considered much more likely that John Verner was born in Lancaster County, PA.

John Verner married Mary Cochran Pettigrew*, who was a daughter of James and Mary Pettigrew.

Conflicting information from various genealogies has cast much doubt upon where John Verner* was born, and whether or not he was born in America or emigrated to America. The current and prevailing belief is that he was born in America, or emigrated soon after he was born in Ireland in about 1725 to a settlement in what is now Lancaster County, PA. John Verner is most likely of Scots-Irish or Anglo-Irish descent, although there is a small possibility that he was descended from ancestors who may have been Quakers or Amish/Mennonites were were booted out or shunned from those sects. There is also a small possibility that he was descended from a colonial Virginia family.

There is also uncertainty as to who John's parents were, however, circumstantial evidence points to the probability that he was the only son of David Verner and his wife Sarah ___? of Lancaster County PA. David Verner is known to be a son of Samuel Verner who emigrated to the Pequea area of Chester County (now in Lancaster County) PA in about 1722.

Since John Verner's parents and place of birth are not proven, and are subject to inconsistent reports, a separate web page has been devoted to the on-going research and speculations concerning his origins. In particular, a time-line of more factual information about the origins of John Verner are provided on the link The search for the pedigree of John Verner, Sr., born ca1725, by Foy Varner, Jr. A putative extended but unproven genealogy, showing this author's best guesses as to the ancient European and American origin of John Verner is provided. It attempts to be inclusive of the many gleanings that Gerald Varner and Foy Varner (see references below) have uncovered in their extensive study of the Verner/Varner family history.

John Verner* married Mary Cochran Pettigrew*, a daughter of James Pettigrew* and Mary Cochran* in 1758 or 1759, presumably in Lunenburg County VA. However there is no record of this marriage, probably because it may have taken place at the Cub Run Presbyterian Church on the Caldwell Settlement in Lunenburg, VA, and the records of marriages there prior to about 1830 have been lost. Presbyterian marriages were not officially recognized in most of Colonial Virginia at that time. The only recognized marriages in colonial Virginia were those of the Anglican Church. This was a major issue in the Presbyterian Church at the time, and many Presbyterian Ministers were arrested and punished for performing marriages illegally in Colonial VA. Therefore, it is possible that John Verner and Mary C. Pettigrew may have traveled back to PA for their marriage; or were married illegally by a Presbyterian Minister, or were married in an Anglican Church in Lunenburg VA, or married in nearby North Carolina, or (unlikely) were married after having their first child and had moved to Granville County, North Carolina in 1761. Since no records of their marriage have been found elswhere the greatest probability is that they were married in the Caldwell Presbyterian Settlement, at the Cub Creek Church nearby where Presbyterian marriages were allowed by a special act of the Colonial Government.

John and Mary Cochran Pettigrew Verner moved to nearby Granville County, NC, in 1761.

John Verner's family moved to the 96 District (now Abbeville County), SC in 1774, presumably following James Pettigrew's family which moved to SC in 1768, 6 years before the Verners moved.

John Verner* rendered service to the American Revolution as a Private, along with three of his sons in 1777-1782. However, it is not certain whether John Verner had joined a Militia or whether he was in the Continental Army. Records of his service are found in the Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, by Bobby Gilmer Moss, Limestone College, Published by the Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc. Balto, MD, 1983; and in Stub Entries to Indents issued in payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing out of the Revolution. Books U-W, Edited by A. S. Bailey, Jr. printed for the The Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1918. Circumstantial evidence of his service is also provided by his land purchases in SC as mentioned in the paragraph below.

After the war, John Verner* acquired land in Pickens County and in Oconee County, SC, on the Rocky River, the Seneca River, and the Keowee River "up to their headlands". These lands were originally reserved for Cherokee Indian settlements by the pre-revolutionary colonial government of SC, but the State of South Carolina, under the new American government opened them up for settlement by revolutionary soldiers as a way of providing compensation to them for their service.

John Verner* died in 1798 or 1799. His will was written on Feb. 10 1798, and recorded on Jan. 24, 1799, indicating that he died at some time between those two dates.


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Note: Ancestors of Phillips Verner Bradford are denoted in the text lists with an asterisk (*) following the names.