Western Pennsylvania Genealogy
Compiled by Douglas H. Lusher

Family Group Record

David Acheson and Elizabeth Young

Husband David Acheson 1 2 3

         Born: Abt 1770 - County Armagh, Ireland
         Died: 1 Dec 1851 4
       Buried:  - Washington, Washington Co, PA

       Father: George Acheson (1724-1812) 1
       Mother: Elizabeth Weir (1728-1808) 5

     Marriage: 1799 1

 Other Spouse: Mary Wilson (Abt 1788-1872) 2 6 - 31 Oct 1805 1

Wife Elizabeth Young 1

         Died: 27 Feb 1800 1

       Father: Samuel Young (      -      ) 1

1 F Eliza Young Acheson 1

         Died:  - Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co, OH
       Spouse: [Unk] Woodward (      -      ) 1

General Notes: Husband - David Acheson

He received a tolerably thorough English education. In the spring of 1788 he left Ireland to join his brothers, John, George and Thomas, in America. Arriving in Washington, Pennsylvania, he immediately went into business with his brother John, who gave him an interest in his contracts with the United States Govern­ment for furnishing Indian supplies, and cavalry and pack horses for the use of the army. He was constantly employed in mercantile transactions, from 1788 to 1791, when he commenced the study of law with James Ross, then a distinguished lawyer of Washington (afterward U. S. Senator from Pennsylvania); but this he subsequently abandoned, having resolved to again embark in business with his brother Thomas, which partner­ship was successfully and harmoniously conducted during their joint lives. He and his brothers, John and Thomas, owned several large stores in the western country-one at Washington, one at West Liberty, West Virginia, one at Muddy Creek, Greene County, Pennsylvania, one at Cincinnati, Ohio, and one in the then Spanish province at Natchez. Some of their stores were opened as early as 1784, and for many years had a large trade from the Ohio country. In 1805 David Acheson was appointed eastern purchasing agent for the firm, which occasioned his removal from Washington to Philadelphia. In 1795, while in his twenty-fifth year, he was elected by the Republican party to represent Washington County in the State Legis­lature, and was re-elected in 1796, 1797 and 1804, respectively. [CBRWC, 27]

Coming with his brothers to America in 1788, he first located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He brought the following letter from the pastor of his father's church: “The bearer, David Acheson, intending to remove to North America, this, therefore, is to certify that he is a young man of sober and good conduct, and son of Mr. George Acheson, an elder of the Seced­ing Congregation of Market Hill, in the County of Armagh, Ireland. This is given under my hand this 30th of April, 1788. David Arnott, Minister.”

In November, 1802, he visited the old country, remaining about six months in England and Ireland.

He married his second wife and they immediately made their home in Philadel­phia, PA, returning to Washington, PA, in 1815, he having practically retired from business.

After his return to Washington, PA, he erected an elegant home and entered busi­ness at Washington, but some investments in real estate having failed, he soon retired from active life. In 1840, then over seventy years of age, he made another trip to Ireland, returning to America two years later. In 1848 he was seized with a par­alytic stroke, but lingered until December, 1851.
The fol­lowing obituary notice appeared in one of the papers: “He was an accurate and close ob­server of public and political affairs, as connected not only with our own Government, but with the prominent nations of Europe, of the diplomacy of which, as well as of their policy, there were but few private men of his day, retiring and unobtru­sive as he was, who better understood or could more accurately delineate. His judgment and conclusions, which were always deliberate and well matured by his deep-thinking, strong mind, were valuable and very highly esteemed by those acquainted with him, whether in public or private life. Thus, during the period of vigorous man­hood, he enjoyed a most extensive popularity and influence in the State of Pennsylvania particularly, and with many of her most distinguished indi­viduals, in her political party history and govern­ment, he was on the closest terms of intimacy; hence his opinions and counsels were always much sought after and greatly valued. As a private friend and in social life Mr. Acheson was a man of ardent and sincere attachments, and where personal effort or labor were needed he never faltered or shrunk by reason of apparent difficulty or threat­ened danger, ever ready and willing to serve his friends at whatever responsibility or personal risk by day or night, at home or abroad.”

He was a leading man of his day, being Republican representative to the State Assembly from Wash­ington County for three terms. At this time the state and national capitals were both lo­cated at Philadelphia, and Mr. Acheson be­came well acquainted with President George Washington and many other leading charac­ters of the time.



1 Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893), Pg 27.

2 John W. Jordan, LL.D, Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915), Pg 64.

3 Charles A. Babcock, Venango County, Pennsylvania, Her Pioneers and People (Chicago, IL: J. H. Beers & Co., 1919), Pg 511.

4 Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893), Pg 28.

5 Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893), Pg 129.

6 Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893), Pg 252.

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