Born in Northern Ireland (likely of “Scots-Irish” or “Ulster Scots” heritage). Details and timing of his arrival in America are not known and
Very little is known of the life and origins of Jeremiah Handley, beyond the fact that he was probably born in Ireland (Ulster) in about 1750 and immigrated to America, settling eventually in Ohio. Scots-Irish Americans are the descendants of Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who migrated to North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the Scots-Irish were descended from Scottish and English families who colonized Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century.
His wife’s name is not known with certainty. By some accounts his sons Garrett Handley and Jeremiah Handley (Jr.) were born in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but sources are inconsistent on these points. Garrett’s son, David Handley, was born in Cayuga, New York, so a gradual migration of the family westward from New Jersey to Ohio through Pennsylvania and New York seems probable. The family may even have had roots in Connecticut, where Garrett’s wife Betsy Andrews was born. Jeremiah Handley is known to have died in Ohio, where he appears in the probate records of Athens Township, Athens County, Ohio on 14 Jan 1825. The inventory of his estate was presented on that date by his sons, Jeremiah Handley (Jr.) and Garret Handley. The property, consisting mostly of livestock, farming tools and household goods was valued at $56.87.
Jeremiah Handley (Jr.) and his family eventually migrated further west and was one of the early settlers of Blackford County, Indiana (in the east-central portion of the state).
The son of Jeremiah Handley is Garrett Handley, born about 1783, possibly in New Jersey and died 1 Jul 1863 in Dublin, Ohio. Before 1809 he married Betsy Andrews, born about 1783 in Connecticut and died 15 Aug 1856 in Dublin, Ohio. Their son, David Handley, was born 24 Sep 1809 in Cayuga, New York and died 29 Oct 1895 at Columbus, Ohio.
[According to cemetery records, Garret and “Betsey” Handley are buried in Section J, lot 40 at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. However, a search of the site has only revealed the markers for David Handley and Elizabeth Wallace Handley. The markers for Garret and “Betsey” are apparently no longer there.]
David Handley married Elizabeth Wallace, born 1818 and died 1908, both in Ohio. Nothing further is known of her, except that her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother was born in Massachusetts. This information was obtained from the 1900 Census record, at which time Elizabeth (aged 82) was living with ther son-in-law, Matthew (spelled Mathew) Henderson (aged 63) in Columbus (Ward 6), Franklin County, Ohio. Their daughter, Elizabeth Handley was born in 1837 and died 11 Jan 1917, both in Columbus, Ohio. On 1 Sep 1864 she married Matthew Henderson, born 31 Oct 1836 and died 24 Jun 1924, both in Columbus, Ohio. According to the 1900 Census record cited above, Matthew‘s father was born in Pennsylavania, and his mother was born in Ohio.
The daughter of Elizabeth Handley and Matthew Henderson is Florence Henderson, who was born 31 Jul 1869 in Columbus, Ohio and died 13 Jun 1956 in Winona, Minnesota. On 16 Oct 1889, she married Paul Watkins, who was born 9 Nov 1864 in Lebanon, Ohio and died 24 Dec 1931 in Winona, Minnesota. At this point, the Handley lineage merges with the Watkins lineage, where it is continued under the heading of Thomas Watkins (1629-1689).