An immigrant from Ireland, he spent his adult life farming in Menallen
Township, Pa., where he also served terms as Township Overseer and Constable.
The family farm was left at his death to his youngest son James (the three
daughters had married, and of the other three sons, one had died and the
eldest, Finley, had moved out of the area).
In about 1760 he married for the second time. Two years earlier (and whether his first wife was still alive I don't know) he confessed to taking "the undue liberty of singing idle songs along with a company that was engaged in that exercise." He survived both his wives, so that no mention of either is made in his will, and there is a great deal of confusion and some controversy about their identities. See the case made (with a good history of the problem also) by Phyllis McGrew Walklet. If some have guessed from the fact of a son named Finley that that was the mother's maiden name, this clearly won't hold water, as there was already a Finley McGrew in James's generation--possibly his brother--living in the same place. It has been suggested that Isabella _________, James's mother, may have been a Finley.