Rich in family lore, The Descendants of Captain John McCollough (1770-1847) and Anna Elizabeth Spangler (1779-1858) was published in 2019. It chronicles the 250-year legacy of the McCollough, Fiscus, and Spangler families and their roles in settling the wilderness of western Pennsylvania. After publishing a family history in 2003, authors Curtis and Mark McCollough continued their search for our immigrant ancestors. In 2012, they discovered 18th century documents that answered the mysteries surrounding our family history. Brick walls crumbled, and we now know Captain John’s parents, aunts and uncles, and the names of his German grandparents that raised him. We can now trace our McCollough family back one generation further into mid-1700s America.
The new 831-page McCollough family history is hardbound (8 1/2 X 11 inches) and published by Mechling Bookbindery in Butler, Pennsylvania. It includes over 120 archival photographs of our ancestors. New discoveries in genetic genealogy allow us to trace our McCollough family origins to Ireland and Scotland and beyond to the steppes of Russia. The book includes a 5,000-name family tree for Captain John and Elizabeth McCollough’s ten children. For the first time, John McCollough’s 18th century account book is painstakingly transcribed and translated from German revealing new insights into our family’s past. The new book documents the history of our German immigrant ancestors, the Fiscus and Spangler families, who fled the Palatine region, journeyed down the Rhine River, and braved the Atlantic crossing for new homes in eastern Pennsylvania. The McCollough, Fiscus, and Spangler families left the relative safety of eastern Pennsylvania and were among the first to explore and settle the western Pennsylvania frontier. Several of our ancestors fought in the American Revolution. The book includes the first compilation of Indian attacks in Westmoreland County during the Revolutionary War and provides newly-discovered documents about Captain John McCollough’s legal struggles to defend his hard-won land in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
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