Three Irishmen signed the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1776 but little seem to be known about their family history. Today being the 4th of July we thought we’d have a look through our site to see if we could uncover any records which feature them.

The three signatories were James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton all were born in Ulster. There is little to no information available on their backgrounds before they emigrated to America so we weren’t too hopeful of any new discoveries in the records. However we did find what could potentially be the mother and father of James Smith.

James Smith

All that is know of James Smith’s early life is that he was born in Ulster and emigrated to Chester County, Pensylvania when he was around two years old. We had a look through the records and although we haven’t found any evidence of James himself we have found a record of what may be the wedding of James’ mother and father in the Register of Derry, which includes the baptisms, marriages and burials for the parish of Templemore which included Derry City, from 1642 to 1703.

We know James’ father was named John Smith, a protest or Presbyterian from Ulster, but little is know about his mother. The record entry is below:

If you have any more information on the lineage of any of the Irish signers please let us know.

Read more about the Register of Derry