Abraham Forney grave stone
Abraham Forney grave site

Captain Forney began his service in the Revolution in 1777 while living in Germany Township, York County, Pennsylvania.

He served under Lieutenant Colonel Adam Winterode, 7th Battalion, 4th company of the York County Pennsylvania Militia. He served at Valley Forge under General Washington. He also served as Captain in the 3rd Battalion of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel Alexander Lowry. Captain Abraham Forney also paid the 1781 Supply Tax.

Forney was a descendant of a large family of French Huguenots who fled persecution in the 1680s with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV, which had, up until that time, protected the rights of Protestants. The family lands in France located near the Swiss border, in the Provence of Ain approximately 20 miles from Geneva, allowed for an easy escape. The Forney family, originally Ferney, were chevaliers/noblemen who served the kings of France since the middle ages. Members of the Ferney family sold their land and fled to Switzerland and Germany where they changed the spelling of their name to accommodate Germanic dialects. They lived in peace and security for several generations before coming to Pennsylvania in the early part of the 1700s to seek their fortunes and purchase land.

Once in America, the Forney family flourished; they became community leaders, fought in the American Revolution and dedicated themselves to their Protestant faith. Abraham Forney followed the motto of his ancestors, “A Deo lux nostra – Our light is from God,” and he remains a role model for his descendants.