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Dr. Robert Irvine
ROBERT IRVINE, 2nd child of Thommas Irvine and Jane Sproule, in 1764 was born in Ireland, probably in Killyless, co. Fermanagh. Of him we know merely that his father was a "gentleman" farmer whose shifting sites of operation from 1751 to 1776 was doubtless in attempts to better conditions for his growing family. We are safe in the surmise that Robert attended what schools were available, with aid by tutors between times. No doubt too he was attracted toward a medical career through some knowledge of or influence of his uncle, Dr. James, or his cousins in America – Dr. William, Brig-Gen'l, and Dr. Mathew. Graduated in medicine from the University of Dublin.
Credence may be given to the statement of a granddaughter, Mrs. Hazel Irvine Keyser, that Dr. Robert married Margaret Armstrong shortly before embarking for America – the voyage being their honeymoon. It is plain to see the co. Fermanagh environment was abundantly supplied with both families and inter-marriages between the families no novelty.
By 1786-7 Dr. Robert is known to have established himself in Sharon, Pa., reportedly the first physician in Shenango Valley. It is not improbable that he was attracted to the area through knowledge of his cousin Dr. William’s interest in the development of western Pennsylvania and "The Triangle".
From 1811-15 he practiced in Mt. Vernon and owned a drug store. There seems scant reason to doubt that his being in this frontier community is what enticed his younger brother Thomas to venture there – finally to end 13 years of wandering when he settled to farming in 1811. In 1817, as proven by Court Records, Dr. Robert owned a farm near Perrysville, Ohio. The last years were spent in New Bedford, Pa., a small community some 6 miles south of Sharon – where he died in 1823, and is buried in Deer Creek Cemetery.
Information concerning his wife Margaret is lacking, but it says that she bore 10 children, all of who reached maturity.
From 2nd April 1952 to 23rd Oct 1963 have come veritable avalanches of family fast and lore and comment. Over this period – despite repeated reminders – the specifics of immediate forebears of Dr. Elizabeth Reed remain strangely missing. Casual references only – and confusing in that a few letters later a differing order or attributing this or that to another. On 20th Oct., 1963 a 3-page listing of her non-fulfilled promises was dispatched. The above dated response conveyed yet another promise – and stated that for the past 2-3 years she had been busy with a well-documented maternal line. Previous casual reference was that her [Dr. Elizabeth Reed] Great Grandfather (or Great Great) James had a daughter Elizabeth – who married an Applegate – whose daughter married Dr. Reed, and begat Dr. Myron, Dr. Elizabeth, and Dr. Barbara. The latest is "my mother’s maiden name was Zimmerman – a descendent of Johann Jacob Zimmerman, Prof. Of Mathematics and Astronomy of Heidelberg (1641-1693), invited by Wm. Penn to come to Pennsylvania, died in Holland & family and 40 followers came to Germantown where the 40 set up a monastery and observatory & waited for the world to end as per his calculations. (It didn’t) Unlike the Irvine’s the stuff is documented to the hilt. I even have their family Bibles back to 1772. Maybe the Irvine’s used the Koran instead of Bibles I can’t find."
Other reports sadly needing corroboration or correction: - Differing sequence of Dr. Robert’s children.
Some future addict may want to tackle this dissection (by Adrian Irvine)
This story contains too many discrepancies for me to clear up. Maybe someone will soon recognize this family line and email this webmaster to clear up the details (by WHK Irvine)