Montgomery, Joseph, son of John and Martha Montgomery, emigrants from Ireland, was born September 23, 1733 (O.S.), in Paxtang township, then Lancaster, now Dauphin county, Pa.. He was educated at the College of New Jersey, from which he graduated in 1755, and was afterwards appointed master of the grammar school connected with the college. In 1760 the College of Philadelphia and Yale College conferred upon him the Master’s degree. About this time he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and soon after, by request, entered the bounds of the Presbytery of Lewes, from which he was transferred to that of New Castle, accepting a call from the congregations at Georgetown, over which he was settled from 1767 to 1769. He was installed pastor of the congregations at Christiana Bridge and New Castle, Del., on the 16th of August, 1769, remaining there until the autumn of 1777, when he resigned, having been commissioned chaplain of Colonel Smallwood’s (Maryland) regiment of the Continental Line. During the war his home was with his relatives in Paxtang. On the 23rd of November, 1780, he was chosen by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania one of its delegates in Congress, and re-elected the following year. He was elected a member of the Assembly of the State in 1782, serving during that session. He was chosen by that body, February 25, 1783, one of the commissioners to settle the difficulty between the State and the Connecticut settlers at Wyoming. When the new county of Dauphin was erected the Supreme Executive Council appointed him recorder of deeds and register of wills for the county, which office he held from March 11, 1785, to October 14, 1794, the date of his death. "Mr. Montgomery filled conspicuous and honorable positions in church and State in the most trying period of the early history of the country. In the church he was the friend and associate of men like Witherspoon, Rogers and Spencer, and his bold utterances in the cause of independence stamp him as a man of no ordinary courage and decision…He enjoyed to an unusual degree the respect and confidence of the men of his generation." The Rev. Mr. Montgomery was twice married; married, first, in 1765, Elizabeth Reed, died March, 1769, daughter of Andrew and Sarah Reed, of Trenton, N.J. Mr. Montgomery married, secondly, July 11, 1770, Rachel (Rush) Boyce, born 1741, in Byberry; d. July 28, 1798, in Harrisburg, Pa.; widow of Angus Boyce, and daughter of Thomas and Rachel Rush.
Transcribed by: Lynne Ranieri
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