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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM BLACKHOUSE NEGLEY, attorney, Pittsburgh. The first Negley of which we have record settled at or near Frankfort, Germany, having fled from Switzerland after the death of the reformer Zwingle, whose firm supporter he was. As layman and deacon, he labored to disseminate the new doctrine in Germany. The record is next found in 1734, when Jacob Negley married. Five years later he set out for America with his wife, Elizabeth, and three children—Alexander, Casper and Elizabeth. He died at sea; his family settled in Bucks county, Pa. Alexander, the eldest, born in 1735, married Mary Ann Burkstresser in 1762, and had ten children. He was a blacksmith and came to Pittsburgh in 1778, settling as a farmer where the Hiland avenue reservoir now is, where he died Nov. 3, 1809; his widow, born in Bucks county, June 20, 1741, died June 17, 1829. With forty-one others Alexander Negley established the First German U. E. Church congregation, the first church in Pittsburgh, in 1782. Felix, his eldest child, settled on the present site of Tarentum, and married Ruth Horton in 1798. Jacob, the second son, born Aug. 28, 1766, married, June 19, 1795, Barbara Ann, daughter of Conrad Winebiddle. She was born Sept. 15, 1778, and died May 10, 1867. Jacob Negley was a farmer, and founder of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. He died March 18, 1827. His twelve children were named, in order of birth, John, Elizabeth, Jacob, Daniel, Mary Ann, George G., Catharine R., Margaret, William, Sarah Jane, Alexander and Isabella M. Daniel married, Jan. 15, 1824, Jane, daughter of James and Jane (Moore) Backhouse. Jane Negley’s father was a cabinet-maker, and was an elder in the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. She died Feb. 21, 1834, and Mr. Negley afterward married Keziah Peebles Cox. His first wife bore him six children and the second seven. Daniel Negley was a merchant, and a large property holder in East End. He was a Presbyterian, and was elected to the state legislature in 1858 by the republican party. He died Dec. 4, 1867. But four of his children are now living.

William B., the third and only living child of Jane Negley, was born in Pittsburgh, June 5, 1828. He was educated in Western Pennsylvania, read law with Hon. Thomas Mellon, and graduated from the law college of Princeton University, with the degree of LL. B., in June, 1849, and following November he was admitted to the bar. From 1851 to 1855 he was a member of the law firm of Mellon & Negley, and from 1857 to 1886 was associated with D. D. Bruce, as junior of Bruce & Negley. At the outbreak of the civil war he was appointed chief of staff of Gen. James S. Negley, with rank of major, and served in that capacity during the service of that general with the Army of the Potomac. In 1864 he was a delegate to the national republican convention at Baltimore. He was elected to the lower branch of the city councils in 1870, and served in that body twelve years, being its president half the time. In 1875 he was appointed trustee in bankruptcy, without bonds, of the famous “Nation Trust Co. Bank;” became a director in the Western Theological Seminary in 1883, and two years later, in the Citizens’ National Bank, which positions he now holds. Since May, 1884, he has been president of the Allegheny Bar association. Mr. Negley was one of the founders of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, in which he is a ruling elder; was a delegate from the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. of A. to the general alliance of the Reformed churches holding the presbyterian form of government, at Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1877, and again to a like alliance in London, England, 1888, and was a commissioner to the general assembly in 1883, from the presbytery of Pittsburgh. May 17, 1853, he married Joanna, daughter of the late Rev. Robert Bruce, D. D.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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