I recently found info on your William McCleary. There is a listing in an index to Chester County Pennsylvania Wills and Intestate Records from 1713-1850. The book is housed in the York County Heritage Trust (PA). Their email is <www.yorkheritage.org>
The index includes an abstract of a will for William McCleary from Upper Oxford Twp, Chester Co, PA (That is near the town of Oxford, PA and the Octoraro Creek which is the boundary between Lancaster and Chester counties). It is dated 'Feb. 22, 1799: Jan. 28, 1801.'(The assumption is that the first date was the date written and the second the date probated) It reads: 'To wife Marys girl Isabella Logan. household goods, &c. Provides for wife 1/3 of estate, &c. To daus. Ann & Eloner 1/4 of a dollar in lieu of all services done for me. To son John $10 and wearing apparel. All remainder of real and personal est. to be sold and divided among sons David, James and William.
Exrs. Sons James and William McCleary
Witnesses: John Fletcher, Roger Armstrong, Robert Fletcher.'
FYI - I also checked the tax lists and land records of Chester Co (at least the info that is housed in York). There is a reference for a William McCleary as a landowner in 1774. Other McCleary or McClery references from the same area in several adjoining townships were: Taxables for 1753 - Andrew McCleary and John McClery. Taxables for 1754 - John McCleary. Land for John McCleary in 1754. Taxables for 1768 Thomas McCleary (carpenter) and Alexander McClery (inmate).
Most of these McClearys end up in southern York Co (only about 15 mi due west across the Susquehanna River) in the 1760s and 70s. There is also another early McCleary enclave in current day Adams Co (that was part of York Co until 1800). The townships north and west of Gettysburg, PA held many McClearys. That was also the migration route from Chester, PA thru York Co to the Monocacy Trail thru current day Adams Co and either south thru VA or west via the Braddock Road to western PA, OH and beyond.
I have much more to share and would love to continue a dialogue. Where did you get the birth date for your James? What other info can you share? Please feel free to email me.
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