Bertram, William, was born February 2, 1674, in the city of Edinburg, Scotland. He received his education in the university of his native place, studied for the ministry, and was licensed by the Presbytery of Bangor, Ireland, who gave him "ample testimonials of his ordination, ministerial qualifications, and regular Christian conversation." He married, about 1706, Jane Gillespie, the widow of Angus McClain, and their children were, John, first, second and third, who died in infancy; Phebe, died at age of seventeen, and Elizabeth, married James Galbraith. During one of those periodical political excitements in the British Isles, the son disappeared and his parents, under the impression he had come to America, determined, if possible, to ascertain his whereabouts, and came to Pennsylvania about the year 1730. Failing in their search, they decided to remain in this country, and the following year we find the Rev. Mr. Bertram unanimously received by Donegal Presbytery, which he joined. At the same time George Renick presented him an invitation to settle at Paxtang and Derry, which he accepted. He was installed November 17, 1732, at the meeting-house on Swatara. The congregations then appointed representatives, who executed to Bertram the right and title to the "Indian town tract," situated in Hanover township, on the north side of the Swatara, containing three hundred and fifty acres. On the settlement of Rev. Bertram the congregation in Swatara took the name of Derry, and the upper congregation, on Spring creek, was styled Paxtang. In 1735, Mr. Bertram complained of the "intolerable burden" he was under with the two congregations, and September 13, 1736, he was released from the care of Paxtang. The Rev. William Bertram died on the 2d of May, 1746, aged seventy-two, and his remains are interred in Derry church graveyard, his wife dying prior thereto. He was a faithful minister of the gospel. It may be stated that, through his marriage with Miss Gillespie, his descendants became heirs to a handsome estate in Edinburg. Efforts were made to secure this, but the difficulties inherent upon proving descent, we presume, have been the means of keeping the rightful parties from enjoying this patrimony.
Transcribed by: Lynne Ranieri
From pages 168-169