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Archer Family




Note on Robert Archer


There is still in existence a paper evidently written by Dr. John Archer M. B., between May 1785 and October 1786 with additions made by his youngest son, Stevenson and others at a later date which is entitled " The Descent of the Archer Family" and is the best,  if not the sole evidence extant upon that subject. It names as the earliest known ancestor of this family, Robert Archer, but fails to state either the name of his wife or the place of their abode. The only child of theirs of whom this authority seems to have knowledge was John Archer whose wife was Esther Irwin. The latter seems to have come to Nottingham, Cecil County, MD in the first quarter of the 18th century with four children; it is supposed a widow at that time. She later married Moses Ruth and went with him to Carolina where she died in 1786.

The weight of evidence is largely in support of the tradition that these Archers were Scotch-Irish and had emigrated from the north of Ireland. They were certainly Presbyterians. It is well known that a large immigration of this people occurred about that time to western and central New York, to the Cumberland and Shenandoah Valleys, to Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and to the Uplands of the Atlantic seaboard.


Notes created by Donald Symington Hays

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John Archer
son of
Robert Archer


John Archer immigrated to America in the early part of the eighteenth century from Londonderry, Ireland and settled in what is now Harford County, Maryland.



Text reference:  Colonial Families in America     Archer Family Web Site


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Thomas Archer



Thomas Archer is the first of the name in Maryland of whom we have certain knowledge. He settled about 1740 near what is now Churchville in Harford County, MD. He appears to have been one of the colony of Presbyterians who first settled that part of what was then Baltimore, MD. He is styled "planter" in the deeds by which he first acquired land in the county. To this occupation he added that of merchant and had a "smith" to work for the vicinity and himself. He died a wealthy man for his time. His first purchase of land was by deed dated 9 May 1742 of 250 acres of a tract called"Uncle's Good Will" from Benjamin Boyd. In 1769 he purchased from Charles Carroll 200 acres of 'Out Quarter". Parts of these tracts are still in possession of the heirs. Thomas Archer was a prominent member of the Presbyterian Chapel called, " Log Chapel", on Grave Yard Run, now removed to Churchville and is thought to have been buried in the grave yard there which is now obliterated. All of his children save one died of scarlet fever with 10 days in October 1747. His wife, Elizabeth Stevenson, was born in 1715 and died in 1774.



Notes made by Don Symington Hays

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John Archer M. B.


John Archer M. B.  ( Bachelor of Medicine ) was born near Churchville, MD. He received his early education at West Nottingham, Cecil County, MD. along with Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, PA. who was his life-long friend,  He received the degree of B.A. at Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ. in 1760 and in 1765 that of M. A. from the same college. He then studied theology which he abandoned after preaching his trial sermons. Whether this was because of hes voice loss caused by disease of his throat or for some other hitch in his examination for ordination seems uncertain. In 1765 he began the study of Medicine in the office of Dr. John Morgan of Philadelphia. He attended three courses of lectures at the College of Philadelphia, now merged into the University of Pennsylvania, and on the 21st of June 1768 graduated with 9 others. They formed the first graduating class in medicine in the New World and is as follows:

John Archer of Maryland

B. Cowell, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

S. Duffiend, Philadelphia, PA.

Jonathan Elmer, New Jersey

Jonathan Potts, Philadelphia. PA.

H. Fullerton, Lancaster, PA.

David Jackson, Chester, PA.

John Lawrence, East Jersey

James Tilton, Kent

Nicholas Way, New Castle, DE.

This class after some dispute was alphabetically arranged for graduation, thus John Archer received the first medical diploma in the New World as Bachelor of Medicine. This diploma is now in the custody of the Medical and Chirtrgical Society of MD.

After graduation, Dr. John Archer returned to his native county where for many years he practiced his profession with much success. He made various contributions to the medical knowledge of his time, notably his exhibition of the Senega Snake Root in croup. He was regarded as the leading physician of his State. He was a member of the Revolutionary Convention of August 1776. During the American Revolution he was Aide-de-Camp to General Wayne at Stony Point. On 1 June 1779, he was made a Captain, then Major in the Continental Army. On 26 June 1779, he was the bearer of General Wayne's letter announcing the victory at Stony Point. He was Presidential Elector and served as a Representative at Large in Congress from 1801 to 1805 with distinction. His death was sudden at Medical Hall, his home. He was interred in the Presbyterian Churchyard at Churchville, Harford County, MD. of which church he was a member for 50 years and also as Elder for many years. His wife, Catherine, who survived until 3 February 1815, and lies beside him, was the second daughter of Thomas Harris of PA, and Mary McKinney, His wife who was born 22 March 1742. Thomas Harris was born before 1700 and died in Tuscarora Valley, PA. late in 1801 having thus lived in three centuries. He had several children besides Mrs. Catherine Harris-Archer who's descendants survive but none in Marland


Notes from Donald Symington Hays

Reference: The Political Graveyard, website:


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Hannah  Smith-Archer


Hannah Smith was the great granddaughter of Elizabeth (Bettie) Martin and Richard Bullam ( 5 October 1718 ).

"Pretty Elizabeth (Bettie) Martin, tiptoe fine,
       could'nt find a husband to suit her mind."

Elizabeth Martin's parents owned large tracts of land in Maryland. She first married Richard Dallam. There are many descendants in Harford County MD. from this marriage. Her second husband was William Smith, whose step-father was the brother of the Duke of Marlborough and who took his step-son under his special care and sent him  to America in company with Elizabeth and Richard Dallam.

The parents of Bettie Martin made their new home in Harford County. Richard Dallam owned "The Cranberry"  and William Smith "Blenheim", two of the handsomest estates in the country.  The above well known couplet is said to have originated with a disappointed suitor.

Bette lived to the advanced age of 110 years; was able to walk about the room the day before her death; to the last remaining her brilliancy of eye and freshness of complexion. Five generations sat at a table with her the last week of her life and the very day upon which she breathed her last, a grandson of the sixth generation was born-William Middlemore Dallam, MD.  Two distinguished grandsons were Governor Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Maryland, and Governor Caswell of North Carolina. She died at "Cranberry"in 1778. Her great granddaughter Hannah Smith married Archer Hays ( father of Thomas A. Hays I ). They were the parents of Stevenson Archer's wife, nee Pamelia Barney Hays.



Excerpt from the Hays-Archer Tree.
Data prepared by Mrs. Bisland McCaleb,
nee Olivia D. Archer deceased



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Stevenson Archer



Stevenson Archer , the youngest child of John Archer, M. B. was born at Medical Hall. His early education was received at State Ridge School and in Baltimore. He entered the sophomore class at Princeton and graduated A.B.   in 1805. He read law first with Hohn Montgomery in BelAir, MD. and later with Chancellor John Johnson at annapolis, MD. He was elected a delegate in the General Assembly of MD. as an Independent candidate in 1809, and again as a Democrat in 1810. He was Paymaster to the 40th Regiment MD., Militia during the War of 1812. In 1811, he was elected to the House of Representatives 1811-17, 1819-21. In Congress he was a supporter of the War. In 1817, he was appointed by President Madison, Judge of Mississippi Territory with the powers of Governor, holding Court at St. Stephens up the Alabama River from 1817-18. He resigned this position in less than a year; returning to Maryland, where he practiced his profession. He was a State Court Judge from 1823-48. and continued to practice law in the courts of Harford, Cecil and Kent Counties and the City of Baltimore. In 1844 he was appointed by Governor Pratt to be Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. This office he held until his death, which took place at Medical Hall, 25 June 1848. He was buried at Presbyterian Cemetery, Churchville, near his father, and where his wife and two brothers were interred. In 1836 he received the degree of L.L.D. from his Alma Mater. His wife, Pamelia Hays, and his second cousin, being the daughter of Archer Hays and Hannah Smith ( daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Webster Smith). All of their children save one, lived to marry and have families. 



Notes from Don S. Hays
and Political Graveyard Website


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Archer Jarrett



Archer Jarrett the only son on Elizabeth Hays and Abraham Jarrett, fell from a window and was found dead. He left a widow and no children



Notes from Don S. Hays


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John Archer LeJeune



Judge Stevenson Archer had a most distinguished grandson, Gen John Archer LeJeune Archer Turpin.

General LeJeune was born at Pointe Coupee Parish, LA. His father was Captain Ovide LeJeune of the Confederate Army, a Louisianian, and his mother was Laura Archer Turpin of Mississippi. He graduated from the Naval Academy in the class of 1888. He was then assigned to the USS Vandalia, on which vessel he served during the typhoon of March 1880 when the ship was wrecked. He was commended at this time for his coolness, bravery, zeal, and pluck. In 1890 he entered the Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant and did active service in the Spanish War, commanded a battalion as Major in the occupation of Panama, served in the command of the Marines at Caviate, P. I. and was in command of the Marines at the occupation of Vera Cruz in April 1914. He landed at Brest, France 8 June 1918, and assumed command of the Fourth Brigade of Marines until appointed Major General of the Division, 26 July 1918.

As Major of the famous Second Division or Indian Divisions that he took rank with the leading soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force. The Second Division was unique in its effective mingling of Army and Marine Corps and Naval Medical Units. Under Gen. LeJeune's brilliant leadership the Division fought in the St. Mihile, Champagne and Argonna section and marched to the Rhine. The Division was cited at Blanc Mont Ridge by the French, and the plan of attack, which was prepared by Gen, LeJeune and his Staff was pronounced the masterpiece of military tactics by the great masters of strategy, Generals' Gouraud and Petain of the French Army. Gen. LeJeune received the decoration of Commander of Legion of Honor, and the Croix de Guerre with Palms from the French, and our own Distinguished Service Medal and Navy War Medal. Following the Armistice, 11 November 1918, he commanded the Division on its own march to the Rhine and during its occupation at Heddesdorf, Germany. He brought the Division home and led it on its celebrated parade in New York City 8 August 1919.

On his return to America he commanded the post at Quantico, Virginia, until appointed Commandant of the R. S. Marine Corps by Secretary Daniels on 30 June 1920. His appointment was approved and signed by President Wilson. At the end of five years he was again appointed Major General Commandant on March 1925 by President Coolidge. Shortly thereafter he was elected President (?) of the Virginia Military Institute. His death was caused by injuries received in a fall from a building under construction which he was inspecting.


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Stevenson Archer



Member of Maryland State House of Delegates,1854; U. S. Representative from Maryland, 1867-75; Maryland State Treasurer, 1886-90.  Removed from office as State Treasurer in 1890 and charged with embezzling monies belonging to the State; found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison; pardoned in May 1894 due to poor health. Interment at Presbyterian Cemetery, Churchville, MD.

Reference:  The Political Graveyard website


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Percy Franklin Archer



Percy Franklin Archer was born and reared in Harford county, MD. and later went to Washington serving under General Haywood, then Commandant of the Marine Corps and was afterward appointed by the President in 1903 as Second Lieutenant of Marines. In the next year, he went to the Phillipine Islands where he obtained the rank of Captain. After returning to Washington for two years he went to the Phillipines again. Later, two tours of duty in Haiti saw his promotion to Major and , serving in Norfolk, VA. in 1925, he became Lieutenant Colonel. In the Fall of 1926 he was sent  to San Diego, CA. bearing a fine record as a painstaking and competent Marine Quartermaster.

On 4 March 1927, he was detailed for expeditionary duty in China on General Smedley Butler's staff and sailed for Shanghai. In December he became ill with pneumonia at Tientain, and returned to San Diego in March 1928.

In May he was assigned temporary duty at San Francisco. Here he remained until October when he returned to the Marine Base at San Diego. In April 1929, he was ordered to Managua, Nicaragua, on General Dion Williams Staff sailing from San Francisco, April 10.


Notes by Don S. Hays

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Revised: 2001

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