Such Lives as These: A Chronicle of the Armstrong, Hart, Howard, McLean, and Trimmer Families in Pennsylvania, New York and Westward ca 1751 – ca 1855 

I am happy to announce that the first edition of my study of these five families is complete and is available without charge to interested researchers and institutions in PDF format.  If you are interested in receiving a copy of Such Lives As These, please write to me at gregvaut "at" gmail "dot" com. The complete book is also available for download at

This is a study of the Armstrong, Hart, Howard, McLean and Trimmer families over the period 1751-1855. These five families appeared together in Fermanagh Twp., in (then) Cumerbland Co., PA during the mid-1700's. They intermarried, settled close to each other, and the men served together during the Revolutionary War. In 1793-96, the five families all moved to the newly-opened Phelps & Gorham Purchase in (then) Ontario Co., New York, and settled together in what is now Yates Co. Finally, beginning in the 1820s, members of these families began to migrate on westward, to Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. The study analyzes the documentary evidence of their lives and relationships, and explores their various migrations in moving from Penn. to N.Y., and later westward.

I was motivated to write this study by a quote realting to the early history of Yates Co., NY from Stafford Canning Cleveland's History of Yates County [1873]: "The Armstrong, Harts, McLeans, Howards andTrimmers were all of the same colony." This comment led me on a long trail of research to understand the ties between these families and back to their pre-Revolution roots in Pennsylvania.

I chose the title for this work from the obituary published 15 feb. 1915, for Mary Blackwood (Copeland) Howard, the wife of Dresden H. W. Howard, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Armstrong) Howard: "Such lives as these form the richest part of the heritage of our present American life."

Though painted at a later date (in the 1850's), "The Squatters" portraying settlers on the Missouri frontier, seems to me to capture what these peripatetic families might have been like.


“The Squatters”, 1850, by George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879); a bequest of Henry Lee Shattuck to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in memory of the late Ralph W. Gray. This painting is of settlers along the Missouri River.

The five famlies covered in the book were headed by:

1. Alexander ARMSTRONG Sr (bef 1742 - aft 1832)

2. Epenetus HART (bef 1755 - ca 1801)

3. Thomas HOWARD (1758 - 1825)

4. John S. McLEAN (1748 - 1841)

5. Anthony II TRIMMER (ca 1754 - 1838)

Links to these individuals on this website can be found below.  There the information I am developing in my research is outlined on the website pages of these individuals and their descendants and realtives.  Eventually, I hope publish a more complete report that will be available to interested researchers.  Clicking on the links below will take you to the web pages for the heads of each of these families or to charts of their decendants. This study is very much a work in progress. If you are interested in one or more of these families, please check back often for updates on the person pages.

I seem to be directly descended from the ARMSTRONG and HART families, as follows (click on chart to enlarge): 

Descendancy of Gregory Vaut from the ARMSTRONG and HART Families

I am very interested in sharing my research with others who have related interests. If you are interested in any of these families and want to share research, please contact me at "at" rcn "dot" com.

The following links will take you to the personal pages for the head of each family and a descendancy chart for each family from that person.