SAMPSON FAMILY HISTORY
The Beulah Presbyterian Church, Churchill, Allegheny Co, PA.
Excerpts from "The Sampson Family" by Lilla Briggs Sampson.
Member Maryland Historical Society, Various pages.

Copyright 1914 Composed and Printed at the Waverly Press
By the Williams & Wilkins Company Baltimore, U. S. A.

Contributed for use by Wayne M. Sampson
916 South Olive Street; Mexico, MO 65265. wayne@morrisnet.net

NOTICE: These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the contributor, or the legal representative of the submitter. The Submitter has given permission to store the file permanently for free access.

The "Old Beulah Church and Cemetery" On Greensburg Pike, some eight miles east of Pittsburgh, Pa., which was the old road from Fort Pitt to Philadelphia, there is standing today and old dead walnut tree which marked one corner of the boundary line of John Sampson's farm over one hundred and twenty years ago. This farm of John Sampson's was very extensive and in a rolling country. It lay at the top of quite a hill commanding a most beautiful view over the valley. To the north about two miles was the Presbyterian Church and graveyard.

The Church was called "Beulah" and is the oldest in Western Pennsylvania and although we have no proof we must naturally conclude that John Sampson and his family lie buried in this old churchyard cemetery. There are no monuments to mark their resting place - there are no records in the church of bodies that were buried here in those pioneer days. Some of the oldest graves were marked with board at the head and foot and others have an ordinary three cornered stone such as you could pickup in fields, to show there is a grave on that spot.

A Miss Martha Graham (a granddaughter of the pastor who preached in this little church some 41 years) told me they had ceased to bury in the old part of the cemetery, for in excavation for new graves they would come upon evidence of other bodies having been interred in the same place. A little book of records kept by Miss Graham's grandfather since 1804 gave the name of Polly Sampson as uniting with the church. In a deed at the court house in Greensburg I find a signature of Mary (called Polly) Sampson. This record of Polly Sampson uniting with Beulah Church would indicate that the family were affiliated with this old Church, and makes the conviction still stronger that the little cemetery adjoining was the burial place of the earliest Sampsons of that section. This Mary Sampson in mentioned as a daughter in John Sampson's will. The following beautiful tribute from the Pittsburgh Despatch of May 24, 1886, is the only monument to the memory of Major Thomas Sampson (c1755-1833):


A Tribute to Major Sampson and Old Beulah Cemetery
Pittsburgh Despatch - 1886.

When the Western Pennsylvania's loyal sons and daughters next stop for a moment from the whirl of life to renew that most beautiful custom of modern days, decorating the graves of the Nation's dead, each heart should turn to a little, half-deserted, burial ground that years and years ago became history through the dead of heros of an extinct band of men. Crowning a range of hills that overlooks fertile valleys and fields, some miles east of Wilkinsburg, is Beulah Church and its humble last resting place, where sleep scores of men and women who long since paid the last great debt. Within the limits of the rude enclosure rest the ashes of four generations of soldiers.

When the leaves of the Judgment Book are unfolded old Beulah's church yard will furnish ten warriors of the Revolution, three of the War of 1812, two of the Mexican War, and over twenty of the late rebellion (Civil War) for the final reckoning. Some of them have been out of the strife for over three-quarters of a century, resting there with birds and trees and flowers through the summers, and disturbed by no harsher sounds than moaning winds during the winter.

Beulah Church is probably the oldest in Western Pennsylvania - it was built by rugged yeomen sometime after 1750; its early history is lost in the mist of years. Among the soldiers of the Sampson family, who are buried in Beulah Cemetery, Major Thomas Sampson, of Revolutionary Fame, awaits the trumtet call in an unmarked grave. Three generations of the family, headed by Major Sampson, were represented on fields of strife, but his only monument consists of a good name. John Sampson, a son of Major Sampson, took part in the War of 1812; he was born in 1785, and died in 1859. Coming down to the late war the names of many young men who went forth to battle for their country and returned in coffins, are to be found in Beulah; among these were George Washington Sampson, a grandson of Major Sampson; also Thomas Sampson, Company C-3 P. V. Other old family names are scattered through the peaceful shades of Beulah, making it one of the most noted spots in the county.


* Of the nine children of Major Thomas Sampson, I find records of only three. David, born December 13, 1800, married in Kentucky and had five children: William, Thomas, Stewart, Margaret and Theodosia. David returned to Westmoreland County from Kentucky and died December 31, 1864. No doubt, he, too is buried in Beulah.

Margaret, born September 21, 1797, married Stewart Thompson, and has one son, Stewart S. D. Thompson, living at Princess Anne, Maryland. Margaret died July 9, 1868, and is also buried at Beulah, with a stone to mark her resting place.

Unmarked Graves:
Major Thomas A. Sampson 1755 - Aug 1833
His wife, Elizabeth (Duff) Sampson 1755 Aug 1833. She is the sister of John Duff (1756-1823).

David Sampson, son of Thomas, 13 Dec 1800 - 31 Dec 1864.
His wife Mary (Purcell) Sampson 1820 - ?.

Marked Graves:

Thomas Sampson, son of David and Mary Sampson, was born 1844 in Kentucky. Note: He is listed on  at Beulah Cemetery  as Thomas Sampson, Private, Co. C, 63rd Reg, PA Vol.

Margaret (Sampson) Thompson, daughter of Major Thomas A. Sampson, 21 Sep 1797 - 9 Jul 1868. She is the wife of Stewart Thompson


George Washington Sampson
101st Pennsylvania Volunteers
From "History of Allegheny County", page 564.

"George, son of John Sampson, died at Suffolk, Va., in 1863, while serving in the 101st P.V., in the Union Army."  Following is the text of a letter written by George W. Sampson to his brother, April 7, 1862. I have left the letter as close as possible to the original:

Camp Keim Apr. the 7, 1862
Dear Brother

I once more take my pen in had to let you now how I am pretty well considering the climate and the cined of water we have to drink the water is no quite as good as you have there at home it slimy as anny frog pond there in august we are now near Newport News back in the country about two miles back in the pines and swamps we had a pretty rough time comeing down the bay we had to run back 20 miles one night to get out of a storm we run back into the potomac and anchored till morning and then started again and anchored at fortress the next night and started the next morning for Newport News we had view of the monitor the great Northern gun boat at the fourt and also the reble gunboat merrimac the terror of the bay we also saw the two vessels of ours that was sunk by the merrimac in the mouth of the James River and was in hiering of guns at the Battle of yorktown they comenced on saturday morning fought on till sunday evening we have not heard which side is victoras I have seen what a rebble flag looks like I saw one on pig point yeasterday pig point is just a cross the river from Newport News within cannon shot of our guns I have seen some of my old aquaintances some of in the 8 reserve and the 8 reserve is at Alexandra I have not time or I would have went to see Jo Beal and dunk currens we was camped withe in three miles of them for to days and nights and I saw Duff and Chaffan and Long and Bright and Morris they are still at Alexandra I rote to Thomas from Alexandra and put ten dollars in it I dout wheter it would reach there or not I would have sent more only I did not like to risk it I have over $90 with me yet I expect I will loss it laying around on the ground we are not fixed up as nice as we were at washington we have to lay out on the ground we had to carry all our baggage from the river on our backs we had to go down and carry fifty thousand Ball cartrages on sunday after surmon our chaplain preached a most beautiful surmon in the morning and had prayer meting in the eavning there is the ruins of a town about six miles from here that the rebbles burnt and left hampton was the name of it they sayed it looked hard to see the walls of churches and large swelling houses standing there all black and chared well I believe that is all at preasant give my love to all the folks Nothing more at
present.
G.W. Sampson

(letter is addressed as follows:)
Direct to Washington D C
forward after the regiment

NOTE: During the Civil War there were nearly as many  casualties from disease as there were from battle wounds. George was stricken with Malaria in Suffolk, Virginia in November, 1862 and died December 13, 1862.


SAMPSON, George Washington - Corporal, Co. A. Born 30 Sep 1837, the son of John & Jane (Dampster) Sampson.
Enlisted at age 24, a Farmer from Allegheny Co., PA. Mustered in 22 Oct `61. Stricken with Malaria in Suffolk, VA in Nov
1862. Died 13 Dec 1862 at Suffolk, VA. Memorial marker or buried in Beulah Presbyterian Cemetery, Churchill, Allegheny
Co., PA.   Roster of the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry

colrline.gif (1632 bytes)
Beulah Presbyterian Church