According to several histories of this family, the Lyon family immigrated from Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland between 1751 (William) and 1763 (father John), together with the Armstrong family, with whom the Lyons intermarried several times. John Lyon’s wife was Margaret Armstrong, sister of Col. John Armstrong, and John’s sister Rebecca Lyon became the wife of John Armstrong. To date, I have not been able to find definite proof of the Enniskillen period, although there are several Lyons, including a John, who show up in Fermanagh records. However, several Lyon histories seem to agree on this point, and it is in any case certain that they arrived from northern Ireland.
Our branch of the Lyon family continues through William Lyon to Samuel, born 1775 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He married Ester Willis Broom, daughter of Jacob Broom, delegate to the Constitutional convention from Delaware, mayor of Wilmington, surveyor, merchant and gentleman farmer at various times in his career, and Rachel Pierce, his wife.
Both Samuel and Ester died relative young, possibly from yellow fever, of which there were several epidemics in the early 1800’s. It is difficult to fix an exact date for Samuel’s death, however. Samuel’s father, in his will of 1809, mentions that he had set Samuel up as a merchant and the wording suggests that Samuel was alive at the time. Jacob Broom leaves bequests to his daughter Hetty Lyon but there is no mention of her marital status at the time. In 1812, we find Hetty, assisted by a brother in law, suing her brother over settlement of a piece of land from her father’s will. This also involved Samuel Lyon but it is again unclear if he was still alive at the time.
From other records, we can deduce that Samuel apparently had some very meagre profits just prior to his death, and left his widow with only a small estate beside what she had inherited from her father. Ester Broom Lyon remarried Robert Eggleston in 1817, A deed from her mother Rachel to Eggleston in 1820 suggests Hester was still alive at that time, but by the time of Rachel’s own will in 1823, she too had died.
The children, one of whom was our ancestor Jacob Broom Lyon, were raised by aunts and uncles. J.B. Lyon attended Jefferson College and graduated from Chambersburg College, Washington, PA in Civil Engineering in 1829. He became involved in the iron business with his brother John. Although their various businesses had their ups and downs, they formed some of the more prominent families of the Clarion area for many years.
The banner photo shows Jacob Broom Lyon’s wife, Nancy Jane Ross, at about age 83, with one of her daughters, her granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Another daughter, Ella, married William Sheridan McCullough. The house at left once belonged to either J.B. or John Lyon (Library of Congress historical photo).
Ancestors of Ella Lyon
Generation No. 1
1. Ella Lyon, born 18 October 1861 in Clarion; died 2 December 1926 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. She was the daughter of 2. Jacob Broom Lyon and 3. Nancy Jane Ross. She married (1) William Sheridan McCullough 21 April 1885 in Clarion, PA. He was born 28 January 1863 in Mechanicsville, PA, and died 5 October 1941 in Pittsburgh, PA. He was the son of William McCullough and Elizabeth Jane Frampton.
Generation No. 2
2. Jacob Broom Lyon, born 14 March 1807 in Baltimore, MD; died 19 January 1882 in Clarion, PA. He was the son of 4. Samuel Lyon and 5. Ester Willis Broom. He married 3. Nancy Jane Ross.
3. Nancy Jane Ross, born 12 January 1827 in Jefferson Co., PA; died 3 April 1918 in Clarion, PA.. She was the daughter of 6. Joseph Ross and 7. Mary Montgomery.
Children of Jacob Lyon and Nancy Ross are:
i. Rachel Lyon, born 3 March 1849 in Clarion Co, PA; died 19 May 1926 in Clarion, PA; married Clark Charles Fleming 24 June 1872 in Clarion, PA; born 16 November 1845 in Limestone Twp, Clarion Co, PA; died 13 February 1920 in Clarion, PA.
1 ii. Ella Lyon, born 18 October 1861 in Clarion; died 2 December 1926 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA; married William Sheridan McCullough 21 April 1885 in Clarion, PA.
iii. Sarah Lyon, born Abt. 1859; died Aft. 1910 in Clarion, PA; married Harry Slater Abt. 1880; born Abt. 1856; died Aft. 1910.
iv. George C. Lyon, died in Allegheny, PA.
v. Hester Lyon, died in Cincinatti, Ohio; married (unknown) Moore.
vi. Mary Lyon, born 15 December 1850 in Riedsburg, PA; died Bef. December 1926 in Clarion, PA; married James J. Pennington 19 February 1886 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
vii. Rhetta Lyon, died Bef. 1918 in New Castle, PA; married Albert I. Broadhead.
Generation No. 3
4. Samuel Lyon, born 20 January 1775 in Carlisle, PA; died in Baltimore, MD. He was the son of 8. William Lyon and 9. Ann Parker Fleming. He married 5. Ester Willis Broom 3 March 1800 in Wilmington, Del.
5. Ester Willis Broom, born Abt. 1779 in Wilmington, DE. She was the daughter of 10. Jacob Broom and 11. Rachel Pierce.
Children of Samuel Lyon and Ester Broom are:
2 i. Jacob Broom Lyon, born 14 March 1807 in Baltimore, MD; died 19 January 1882 in Clarion, PA; married Nancy Jane Ross.
ii. John Lyon
iii. Rachel Broom Lyon, married Hugh Campbell.
iv. George Armstrong Lyon, born 1 March 1805.
v. William Lyon, born 14 February 1801 in Baltimore, MD.
6. Joseph Ross, born Abt. 1780 in Ireland; died 1867 in Armstrong Co., PA, USA. He married 7. Mary Montgomery Bet. 1820 – 1824.
7. Mary Montgomery, born 1803 in Ireland; died 1874 in Armstrong Co., PA, USA.
Children of Joseph Ross and Mary Montgomery are:
i. John F Ross, born 1829; married Mary Simpson; died 1892.
ii. Samuel Ross
iii. James Ross, born Abt. 1824.
3 iv. Nancy Jane Ross, born 12 January 1827 in Jefferson Co., PA; died 3 April 1918 in Clarion, PA; married Jacob Broom Lyon.
v. Margaret Esther Ross, born Abt. 1833; married George Montgomery Matteer 13 March 1855; born Abt. 1830.
vi. Mary Ann Ross, born Abt. 1828.
vii. Catherine J Ross
viii. Phoebe Ross