CLEMMER-L ArchivesArchiver > CLEMMER > 2000-02 > 0950799574
From: Jim Burnell <>
Subject: [CLEMMER-L] George Clymer the Signer
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 07:59:34 -0700
As I indicated yesterday, the story within my family was that we were
descended from George the Signer. Unable to find out working backward,
I adopted the tactic of researching that Clymer family and George's
descendents, figuring that I would find the connection if there was
one. (In short, it seems impossible for my family to have descended
from George Clymer the Signer - at least directly.) The research did
turn up lots of information on a great American, his ancestors and
descendents. So I will provide a synopsis of info on George himself and
then go over his known descendents for the Clemmer board.
Born 3-16-1739 in Philadelphia, the only child of Christopher Clymer
and Deborah Fitzwater Clymer. His mother died when he was an infant;
his father died when he was seven. George was adopted by his mother's
sister and her family - William and Hannah Fitzwater Coleman. George
graduated from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of
Pennsylvania) and started as a clerk in his uncle's business, and moved
to the business of his mother's cousin, Reese Meredith. On March 22,
1765, George married Reese Meredith's daughter, Elizabeth. George was
elevated to a partnership in the business along with Samuel Meredith,
who would later serve as Treasurer of the U.S.
An interesting sidebar her is that George Clymer is commonly referred to
as a Quaker businessman. I have found records, however, indicating
that his wife, Elizabeth Meredith, was excommunicated from the Society
of Friends. (Sorry, I can't remember exactly what their term is for
excommunication.) George was not a pacifist. He served in the Army,
rising to the rank of Colonel, unlike most of the devout Quakers in
Philadelphia, who did not support the Revolution. I have wondered if
Elizabeth was sanctioned because she married George Clymer or if
George's military activity caused it. I just don't know. It is
interesting that both George and Elizabeth were ultimately interred in a
Anyway, back to the story. Briefly, George Clymer was active in
causes of the Revolution and was a major contributor in supplying the
Army. Served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and signed the
Declaration of Independence at age 37. He served in the Pennsylvania
Assembly and in Congress. At age 48, he signed the Constitution.
Another interesting note is that one of his sons - Meredith Clymer - was
killed while serving in the Army during the Whiskey Rebellion. This
quelled George's ardor for military action and he soon after left public
life. He died on January 24, 1813 and was buried in the Quaker Burying
Ground in Trenton NJ.
Most of the genealogical information that follows is from the booklet
entitled "George Clymer .... His Family and Descendents" by James R.
George and Meredith had nine children:
(1) William Coleman Clymer, b. 1766. Died in infancy.
(2) Henry Clymer, b. 1767. Married Mary Willing. 8 children.
(3) John Meredith Clymer, b. 1769. Killed in military action. [I can't
clarify if he had any children or was married.]
(4) Margaret Clymer, b. 1772. Married George McCall.
(5) Elizabeth Clymer, b. 1774. Died in infancy.
(6) Julian Clymer, b. 1780. Died in infancy.
(7) George Clymer, b. 1782. Married Mary O'Brien.
(8) Reese Clymer, b. ?. died in infancy.
(9) Ann Clymer. b. ? . Married George Lewis & died w/o issue.
So four of his offspring died in infancy: William, Julian, Elizabeth &
(3) John killed in 1787.
(4) Margaret married George McCall. 2 offspring: George Clymer McCall
who died unmarried; William Coleman McCall who had one child, William
Coleman McCall who died unmarried.
(9) Ann married George Lewis and had no children.
(7) George married Mary O'Brien. Only one child Dr. Meredith Clymer
died w/o issue.
(2) Henry m. Mary Willing in 1794 and had 8 children.
(H-1) Eliza Clymer born 1795 in Philadelphia.
(H-2) Louise Ann Clymer b. 1796 in Trenton, died 1797.
(H-3) Ann Willing Clymer b. 1797 in Trenton, died 1802.
(H-4) William Bingham Clymer b. 1801 in Trenton.
(H-5) Thomas Willing Clymer, b. 1802 in Trenton.
(H-6) George Clymer, b. 1804 in Trenton.
(H-7) Francis Clymer, b. 1806 in Trenton.
(H-8) Mary Willing Clymer, b. 1808 in Trenton.
After his father's death, Henry Clymer moved his family and his mother
to Northumberland County PA where Elizabeth Meredith Clymer (his mother)
died in 1815. He later moved to Wilkes-Barre PA, then to Trenton NJ
and finally across the Delaware River to Morrisville PA in 1822. Henry
died April 17, 1830 and his wife October 25, 1852.
(H-1) Eliza Clymer married Edward Overton in Wilkes-Barre in 1818. 6
(H-1-1) Mary Overton m. James McFarlane.
(H-1-2) Giles Overton m. Mary Wilmot
(H-1-3) Henry Clymer Overton m. Matilda Pettit
(H-1-4) Louisa Overton m. Jonas Ward
(H-1-5) Edward Overton m. Colette Rosseel
(H-1-6) Francis Overton never married.
(H-2) Louise Ann Clymer died in infancy.
(H-3) Ann Willing Clymer died in infancy.
(H-4) William Bingham Clymer graduated from Princeton; married Maria
Hiester Clymer (a 3rd cousin). Died in Italy. Don't know how many
children but there is Henry, Mary who married Guglielmo Grant.
(H-5) Thomas Willing Clymer, b. 1802, died 1872 unmarried.
(H-6) George Clymer, M.D. m. Mary Shubrick 1845. Died in Washington
D.C. 2 children:
(H-6-1) Mary Willing Clymer m. Senator Thomas Bayard & died w/o issue.
(H-6-2) William Clymer m. Catherine Livingston.
(H-7) Francis Clymer, b. 1806, died 1864 unmarried.
(H-8) Mary Willing Clymer, b. 1808, d. Trenton 1893 unmarried.
This is as far as I got. Since my ancestor - my g-g-g grandmother who
was supposedly descended from George the Signer was born about 1805,
she clearly could not be a part of this family. Since my connection was
disproven, I haven't researched any further descendents.
>From my own ancestry, however, a Clymer or Clemmer connection is still
possible. My g-g-g grandmother who was supposedly a Clymer (Clemmer?)
married Jacob Finkle. Evidence shows that Jacob was born in 1809 in
Lebanon PA. The Lebanon-Berks County area contained a lot of Clemmers,
some of whom had anglicized their name to Clymer. I am hoping to find
the link there.
I also have additional research on other Clymers of Pennsylvania. I
would be happy to post that information (since some are actually
anglicized Clemmers) if you folks are interested.
I hope you find this interesting, if not helpful!