A Biographical Sketch of
Patriot John Skelly

(Patriot ancestor of Elizabeth Oliver (DAR) (5th Gen),
Ben Oliver (6th Gen), Lee Oliver (7th Gen), and
Dustin and Devin Oliver (8th Gen)

John Skelly


John Skelly was born in Pennsylvania in 1754 and fought for American Independence.

A frontiersman, John Skelly served as a private in several local militias where he helped defend the western frontier areas from British and Tory-led Indian attacks. The attacks were meant to distract the colonists and force Washington to divert forces from the main lines. John Skelly had great cause to fight the Indians on the frontier as many of his family had fallen victim to Indian attacks. His father and uncle were victims of the massacre of Captain Phillip's Pennsylvania Rangers in 1780. The massacre happened after a company of 13 rangers was formed to investigate Indian attacks but was captured by a much larger Tory-led Indians force. While the captain and his son were ransomed, the remaining rangers were murdered near Fisher's Summit, Saxton, PA.

A monument stands at that spot today.

Another uncle was also killed in a separate Indian attack in 1778. Five of his grandfather's six brothers were also killed by Indians before the war.

As the War for Independence continued, John Skelly also served as a soldier of the Maryland Line or as General Washington referred to them as the "Old Line". He had two brothers, Philip and Patrick, who were patriots as well. Both served at Yorktown, but Patrick was killed in the last redoubt against Comwallis. John's grandson, James Skelly, came to Texas in the mid-1800's having served as a member of the Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Mexican War.





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Max Strozier


Web Page Created:

19 August 2009


Web Page Updated:

19 August 2009