Ayres, William, son of Samuel Ayres and his wife Margaret Richmond, who came to Philadelphia with his family in 1745, was born in 1720 in the county of Antrim, Ireland, came to the Province of Pennsylvania previous to 1745, in advance of his fatherís family, and settled in the country contiguous to the Pennepack, then Philadelphia county, Pa. In the year 1773 William Ayres with all his family, excepting Samuel and Charles, who remained in the old locality, moved to the west, then in Paxtang township, Lancaster county, now Middle Paxtang, Dauphin county, Pa., and purchased land on the east side of Peterís mountain, where the turnpike crosses, three miles above Dauphin. The common road terminated at that point, and when supervisor of roads, in 1781, he constructed the first road across the mountain. In the map of purchase from the Indians, only twenty-four years previously (1749), the country west of the mountains is entitled "Saint Anthonyís wilderness." He was several times elected to township offices. Although nearly sixty years old, we find him doing Revolutionary service in Capt. Richard Manningís company of the Fourth battalion of Lancaster county, Col. James Burd, March 13, 1776. In the winter of 1784-5 he was accidentally drowned in Fishing creek, near old Fort Hunter, his wife having died previously, and both were buried in the old graveyard above Dauphin, where sleep all the oldest residents of that section of the county. William Ayres married Mary Kean, daughter of Charles Kean, of the same locality.


Transcribed by: Lynne Ranieri

From page 171-172