Friday, August 31, 2018


Source: Revised (1976) Book of Boylan's by John A. Boylan.
The Descendents of Aaron Boylan and Catherine Parkinson Shilton. Pg. ii.

Aaron Boylan, who was married to Katherine Parkinson Shilton built the
Boylan House or Mansion in 1751. Aaron who pronounced the name "Bullion" had
a store in Basking Ridge before coming to Pluckimin. The first year he used
the ground floor for his store, but as soon as a new store was erected the
house was his residence only.

At first the house consisted of the front portion with a lean-to kitchen
in the rear. As the family became more affluent other sections were added to
make the fine structure which can be seen today.

Historical records show that George and Martha Washington attended a
dinner and dance held at the Boylan Mansion during the Revolutionary War.
There is also record of an order issued by General Lincoln to James Boylan,
Physician and Surgeon, directing Doctor Boylan to use the Boylan Mansion at
Pluckimin as a hospital to care for the wounded.

The land around the building is also historic. The rear boundary is
General Know Lane, built by his orders during the Revolutionary War
for access to the Continental Army's artillery encampment in the fields back of the property.
The north lawn is reputed to be the site of the temporary ballroom for the Grand Alliance Ball,
held in 1779 in Pluckemin to celebrate the first anniversary of the Alliance with France,
which ended in victory at Yorktown.

The home has been completely restored and is now open to the public as
"The John Boylan House". John son of Aaron was the second owner.
The present owner, an antique dealer has his handsome shop
attached to the rear of the house.

James Boylan And Aaron Boylan Born In Ireland Around 1710

The three Boylan brothers; Roger, James, and Aaron were left orphans in
Ireland. Roger, the eldest was appointed guardian of the two younger boys,
James and Aaron. The two boys became dissatisfied with this arrangement and
came to America from the seaport city of Colerain in northern Ireland. One
record stated that they paid for their transportation by selling their
services in America, while another reported that they paid their way by
working on the ship. At any rate when Roger heard of their plight, he made
arrangements for their release. Later divisions of family property left the
boys in a good financial position.

Roger was educated for the Church, but became a teacher in a classical
school. What education James and Aaron had is not recorded, but evidence
points to a good basic education.

Not much is known of the later activities of James 1st as he moved to
North Carolina. According to William Boylan, a grandson of Raleigh, North
Carolina, James 1st married and had several children.

In this History we will concern ourselves with the descendents of the
brother Aaron Boylan and his wife, Catherine Parkinson Shilton, widow of
Richard Shilton and daughter of Rev. Samuel and Elizabeth Parkinson. Aaron
settled near Liberty Corners in 1732. War records show he was a soldier
in the French and Indian War, serving under General Wolf in the battle of Quebec in 1750.
In 1752 Aaron built the Boylan House one of the first homes in
Pluckemin, New Jersey. At least three children were born to Aaron 1st and
Catherine; James, John, and Aaron.

James became a doctor in and around Vealtown in New Jersey. When
fighting of the Revolutionary War came to this area General Lincoln issued
orders for Dr. James Boylan to care for the wounded, using the Boylan House as a hospital.
James' marker in the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church bears this inscription:
"Dr. James Boylan of Vealtown (1743-1828)
son of Aaron Boylan and Catherine Parkinson and brother of John Boylan."

John, the second son followed in his father's footsteps and became a
merchant. He also became the second owner of the Boylan House or Mansion as
it was later called. He became the owner of four stores as well as an active
civic leader in his community. John is also buried in the Basking Ridge
Presbyterian Lot. Inscribed on his marker we find: "John Boylan Esq.
(1746-1793) son of Aaron Boylan and Catherine Parkinson and brother of Dr.
James Boylan of Vealtown; merchant and civic leader of his day."

Aaron Boylan the third son was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Princeton,
Jan 3, 1777, he served under Capt. Daniel Piatt. Hemarried Sarah McDade
and they had nine children; five sons and four daughters.
After the war Aaron practiced his trade of Master Weaver
in Fayette County, Cookertown on Redstone Creek,
Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties all in the state of Pennsylvania.
He finally settled in Mercer County, Pa.
which was a wilderness area at that time.
He cleared the land, planted an orchard of apple and peach trees,
and continued his trade as a Master Weaver.
It is recorded that customers came from many miles away to get his goods.
Aaron 2nd and his wife, Sarah McDade are buried in Fairfield Cemetery in Mercer County,

Special Note

In the late 1930's the section of the Fairfield Cemetery containing the
graves of Aaron Boylan 2nd, a Revolutionary War Vetern, and Caleb Boylan, was
scheduled for destruction. This was prevented from happening through the
efforts of Harry Boylan of Sandy Lake and Edith Boylan Braymer of Beaver
Falls; who spearheaded a committee to raise money and secure title and deed
for the lot. This was done and is so recorded in the Recorder's Office in
Mercer County Court House: Deed Book C, Vol. 17, Page 370, and dated July 10,
1940. The document is signed by Stephen Lukacs, Recorder.
This deed was made out to (Boylan Heirs).


Tour of the Presbyterian Churchyard Reveals Bernards Early History

Among the dignitaries resting in the curchyeard are :

Dr. James Boylan, 1743 - 1820, personal physician of Lord Stirling

Eleanor Boylan, 1749-1795, wife of John B Boylan, Esq, worked at Lowden's Press in Valley Forge, PA which printed materials for the Revolutionary Army under George Washington.

Frontier Farmer:  AutobiographyAutobiography and Family History of Aaron A. Boylan: 1827-1923 by Katherline Lytle Sharp donated by Manning Lee.

White, John G. A Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, Pennsysvania. Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1909.