Blood is Thicker than Water
John Preston was the first of his family to come to America from Londonderry, Ireland. His father and uncles were Englishmen who served under King William and aided in the defense of that city when besieged by Roman Catholics commanded by King James in 1689. Preston was a protestant and married a sister of Colonel James Patton of Donegal and removed with him from Ireland to Virginia during the year of 1740. Colonel Patton had for some years commanded a merchant ship and was a man of property and enterprise. The Colonel obtained an order from the Council from the Governor of Virginia under which he appropriated to himself and associates 120,000 acres of the best lands lying above the Blue Ridge Mountains. When Colonel Patton was killed by Indians at Smithfield in 1753, some of these lands passed on to his descendants. The first Virginia residence of John Preston was “Spring Hill” in Augusta County; thereafter, in 1743 he settled his family upon a tract of land adjoining Staunton on the north side of that town. He died shortly thereafter and was buried at Tinkling Spring Meeting House.