"The Passing of a Nestor
James Armstrong, Oldest Mason
Soome [sic] Interesting Facts About
the Career of One of the County’s Oldest Residents
Mr. Armstrong was born on December 26, 1820, at Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland, of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian parentage. His mother was Miss Hannah Scott, through whom he is akin to the widely extended family of that name in this county. His father, Robert Armstrong, died while James was in his early youth, leaving the son and wife with little of this world’s goods."
Nestor, an uncommon word in today's vernacular, means a patriarch; a wise old man; a sage.
It has been difficult pinning down the birthday of James David Armstrong. Using the recorded age together with the date of the recorded age, I calculated a year of birth.
Record Recorded Age Computed birth year
1847 Marriage 24 1822
1849 Immigration 22 1826
1850 Census 24 1825
1860 Census 38 1821
1870 Census 49 1820
1880 Census 59 1820
1900 Census 79 1820
His year of birth was consistently given as or around 1820 later in life. It is possible that when he married or immigrated that it was advantageous to be slightly younger.
His mother's maiden name was Briggs. After Robert Armstrong died, Hannah Briggs Armstrong married someone with the last name of Scott.
The obituary hints at connections to extended family in McLean County but at this time I haven't determined any connections.
1. “Passing of a Nestor” Pantograph, Bloomington, Illinois March 30, 1906