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The Gilfillans

One of Pittsburgh's Founding Families

The Gilfillan's arrived from Scotland via Northern Ireland in 1772.

Alexander Gilfillan (1745-1836) was a PVT 4 CO 2 PA BN Washington County Militia, in the Revolutionary War. He purchased a 1787 land patent for 413 acres where present day St. Clair Country Club is located today. He added to his land, hiring laborers to help him work it. He was elected the first Justice of Peace in St. Clair Township and held the post for 40 years.

John Gilfillan (1784-1859) farmed his father's land.

John Gilfillan and Eleanor Ewing Gilfillan purchased 157 acres from the Patterson land grant in 1849. John, "one of the best known and most influential men in the Southern part of Allegheny County"2 and served in both State House of Representatives3 and the State Senate.4
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John Gilfillan

1826-1885
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Eleanor Gilfillan

1825-1903
They had five children: Margaret, who never married; Jane Lyle, who passed away at the age of 3; Retta, who married and moved to the Sewickley area; Alexander, who married and moved across the road from the Gilfillan Farm; and Eleanor, who also never married. Margaret and Eleanor lived their entire lives at the Gilfillan Farm.
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Margaret Gilfillan

1845-1912
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Retta Gilfillan

1854-1908
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Alexander Gilfillan

1857-1934
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Eleanor Gilfillan

1862-1937
Alexander Gilfillan married Annie Martha Boyd Gilfillan and moved into a home across the road from the Gilfillan Farm on Orr Road.
Alexander and Annie had three children: John, Margaret, and Alexander. When Annie passed away, Alexander (her husband) moved back into the Gilfillan Farm house and lived with his two sisters, Margaret and Eleanor, who helped raise his three children. Alexander served as President of the Allegheny County Bar Association.
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Annie Boyd

1853-1903
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John Gilfillan

1898-1980
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Margaret Gilfillan

1901-2001
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Alexander Gilfillan

1902-1997
John, Margaret, and Alexander never married.

Margaret was the last Gilfillan to live on the property. In 2001, she left the final 15 acres of her grandfather's original tract of land to the Historical Society of Upper St. Clair for the purpose of educating "the public as to life on a traditional farm in Pennsylvania." It is known today as the Gilfillan's Farm.
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