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The Jamison family was a pioneering one in Westmoreland. Its genesis began with the emigration of Francis and Margaret Jamison and their children from northern Ireland to Franklin County, Pa., in 1764.

Five years later, 20-year-old son John and his brother Robert moved westward into Westmoreland to own land here after the Fort Stanwix treaty between the Penns and the Indians made it possible in 1769. Each took claim to about 300 acres of land in the area later defined as being along the southern Hempfield-Unity township borders.

Francis and Margaret Jamison remained in Franklin County, but both died on a 1792 visit with their children and are buried in the Middle Presbyterian Cemetery north of Mt. Pleasant.

John Jamison married Janet Martin of Big Cove, Fulton County, survivor of a terrifying Indian ordeal which involved her abduction as a youngster to Quebec, where she was ultimately involved in an exchange with the British.

Their son, Hugh, born in 1785, inherited that family homestead, located on the Hempfield-Unity border just north of West Point on an original land tract known as "Dry Ridge." Hugh and his wife, Jane Stewart Jamison, lived there nearly 90 years before his death in 1873.

The Jamison relatives were involved in starting the county agricultural society in the 1820s, and provided leadership through part of the succeeding half-century.

The son of Hugh and Jane, Robert Smith Jamison, was a leading farmer and active with his agricultural interests in scientific farming, labor-saving machinery and breeding better strains of livestock.

There were notable coal veins on the Jamison farms, which obviously created an interest of family members when that product began to occupy an important role in industrial production. Robert Smith Jamison had also moved into the lumbering business to some extent in addition to agriculture.