Margaret Stewart & Thomas McGhee

About 1796 Thomas McGhee, son of Nancy (Nesbit?) and James McGhee, married Margaret Stewart, probably the daughter of James Stewart and Margaret Caldwell. Thomas McGhee was born about 1770 while Margaret Stewart was born about 17781.  The couple would have at least eight children while they lived in Treanamullin, Stranorlar Parish, Raphoe South Barony, County Donegal, Ulster Province, Ireland.

  1. James Joseph McGhee was born October 28, 1796.
  2. Robert McGhee was born about 1800.
  3. Adam McGhee was born about 1805.
  4. Thomas McGhee was born about 1812.
  5. William McGhee was born about 1815.
  6. Nancy “Sarah” McGhee was born about 1816.
  7. Margaret McGhee was born November 25, 1817.
  8. Caldwell S(tewart?). McGhee was born December 25, 1824.

Family legend says that three brothers, James Joseph, Adam, and Thomas, left Ireland for New York in 18192.  It is unlikely that Thomas, who would have been about seven years old, traveled to a new country in 1819.

In the 1820 census, it is interesting to note, in Bellefonte, Centre County, Pennsylvania, there is a James McGhee living next door to a Thomas McGhee.  This James is shown with three males under 10, two males 18 – 26, and one male 26 – 45.  There is also one female 26 – 45.  Thomas shows one male 26 – 45, one female under 10, and one female 16 – 263.  This is significant because James Joseph McGhee will later marry in Centre County, Pennsylvania a woman who was born in Bellefonte.  I have not been able to find anything on this Thomas McGhee, but I have found that the James McGhee was born in Northern Ireland around 1755 – 1760.

On June 4, 1839 the passenger ship Barque Agenora docked at the port of New York.  Many from the McGhee/McGee family were on this ship that started in Liverpool4.

  • Thomas McGee, Age: 64, Occupation: Carpenter
  • Margaret McGee, Age: 60, Occupation: Wife
    • Margarite (Margaret) McGee, Age: 28, Occupation: Spinster
    • Thomas McGee, Age: 27, Occupation: Son
    • Caldwell McGee, Age: 19, Occupation: Labourer
    • Robert McGee, Age: 36, Occupation: Labourer
    • Elizabeth McGee, Age: 29, Occupation: Wife
      • Sarah McGee, Age: 8, Occupation: Daughter
      • Margaret McGee, Age: 6, Occupation: Daughter
      • Elizabeth McGee, Age: 4, Occupation: Daughter
      • Thomas McGee, Age: 2, Occupation: Son

By October 1839, the McGhee’s and several allied lines have made their way to Stephenson County, Illinois.  Of the 39 families listed on the 1840 census for Centre Precinct, Stephenson County, Illinois, five are allied with the McGhee family.  The heads of these families are Thomas McGhee5, James McGhee6, Robert McGhee7, David Neidigh8, and C. (Conrad) Epley9.  David Neidigh and Conrad Epley are brothers-in-law of James McGhee.

In November 1849 Thomas McGhee was awarded $12.50 in a suit against neighbor, Rezin Wilcoxon, on the grounds that Wilcoxon (1) maintained a mill dam on Richland Creek, (2) obstructed the water of Richland Creek, and (3) erected a mill dam across Richland Creek on October 1, 1846, causing flooding on Thomas’ land10.  Wilcoxon refuted this suit based on the fact that he purchased the land from the United States of America on July 10, 1844 and that the mill and dam in question were already erected.  Additionally at the time of purchase, the land of both parties was already sustaining floods from the mill dam.  It was based on these grounds that Wilcoxon took this suit to appeals.  Thomas McGhee’s attorney, Thos. J. Turner, countered that the United States is not in the business of building and/or selling mills or mill dams and that the mill and dam were erected on land owned by the United States was grounds for tresspassing.  Turner further pursued that purchasing the land did not grant Wilcoxon the right to continue to flood adjacent tracts of land, and although the dam may be a convenience, it is not absolutely necessary to fulfill enjoyment of the land purchased.  Additionally, that the United States held the right to flood adjacent tracts of land with the mill dam, did not mean that the purchaser of the land would have the same right because the only thing purchased was the land.  Not only did the Illinois Supreme Court uphold the original judgement in favor of Thomas McGhee, but this case became case law in defining that the deed of a mill would grant the right to overflow land, to the same extent when the grant was made11.

The Catholic population began to grow in Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois about 1850 and the need for a church was realized.  Although the McGhee family was not of the Catholic faith, Thomas McGhee, along with his son, Robert, donated sills for the new building12,13.

In the 1850 census of Stephenson County, Illinois, I have found 84 people connected to the McGhee/McGee family.  Three of these people are living with an allied family, leaving 81 relatives found in one county in 1850!  The families found here include Thomas and Margaret (Stewart) McGee, Caldwell and Mary (Sprouls) McGee with Joseph Wardlaw14, Thomas and Sarah (McGee) Seaton15, David Neidigh and his mother Susanna (Klee) Neidigh with her granddaughter, Elizabeth (Mary Elizabeth McGee) and Andrew Kostenbader16, James Joseph and Mary Ann (Neidigh) McGee17, Robert and Elizabeth (?) McGee with Sarah A.  (McGhee) Clemens18, Adam and Elizabeth (Folgate) Epley with his mother Christina (Grater) Epley19, James Washington and Margaret (McGee) Murdough20, Conrad and Catherine (Neidigh) Epley21, Benjamin and Sarah (?) Epley22, John and Anna (?) Epley23,  James and Susan (Neidigh) Epley with Adam Leymeister24, and David and Sarah A. (McGhee) Clemens with Sophia Phillips25.

After the 1850 census, the McGhee’s seem to disappear from Illinois.  The patriarch, Thomas McGhee died September 27, 1858 in Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois.

  1. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 247; Image: 104. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16605120&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/2/2009)
  2. Philip F. McGee.  Letter to Lois McGee Moorman dated January 17, 1967.  Digital copy held by Paula K. Hawk
  3. Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fourth Census of the United States, 1820. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1820. M33, 142 rolls. M33, 142 rolls. Year: 1820; Census Place: Bellefonte, Centre, Pennsylvania; Roll: M33_98; Page: 274; Image: 282. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1820usfedcenancestry&h=215524&ti=0&indiv=try> (accessed 4/20/2007)
  4. Ancestry.com. New York, 1820-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: New York. Registers of Vessels Arriving at the Port of New York from Foreign Ports, 1789-1919. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. Micropublication M237, rolls # 1-95.<http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=newyork273&h=1391124&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 3/26/2009)
  5. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1840. M704, 580 rolls. Year: 1840; Census Place: , Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 238. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1840usfedcenancestry&h=1973178&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/09)
  6. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1840. M704, 580 rolls. Year: 1840; Census Place: Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 238. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1840usfedcenancestry&h=1973177&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/09)
  7. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1840. M704, 580 rolls. Year: 1840; Census Place: Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 239. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1840usfedcenancestry&h=1973214&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  8. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1840. M704, 580 rolls. Year: 1840; Census Place: Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 238. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1840usfedcenancestry&h=1973187&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  9. Ancestry.com. 1840 United States Federal Census. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1840. M704, 580 rolls. Year: 1840; Census Place: Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: 70; Page: 238. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1840usfedcenancestry&h=1973196&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  10. E. Peck, Counsellor at Law. Reports of Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois from November Term, 1850, to June Term, 1851, both inclusive. Volume XII Reprinted from the Original Edition, with Annotations by William Gordon McMillan of the Chicago Bar. Pages 384-9. Callaghan & Company, Chicago, IL, 1881. <http://usgwarchives.net/court/IL/1850/wilcoxon159gwl.txt> (accessed 4/15/2009)
  11. Pope, Benjamin W. Legal definitions: a collection of words and phrases as applied and defined by the courts, lexicographers and authors of books on legal subjects. Volume II, Page 964.  Chicago: Callaghan and Company, 1920. Google Books <http://books.google.com/books?id=IOMUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA811&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=0_1#PPA964,M1> (accessed 4/15/2009)
  12. Ancestry.com. Original data: “History of Stephenson County.” The History of Stephenson County, Illinois : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., biographical sketches of citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Illinois, map of Stephenson County, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c., &c.. Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1880. Page 446. Online publication – Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=genealogy-glh31431828&h=416&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 3/27/2009)
  13. Milanis, Carola. “History of St. Mary’s New Church.” 1846 – 1896 The Golden Jubilee Souvenir Freeport, Illinois.  The History of Catholicity in Stephenson County, Illinois. Freeport: F. Chas. Donohue, Book and Commercial Printer. 1896. Page 52. <http://www.archive.org/details/historyofcatholi00mila> (accessed 4/15/2009)
  14. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 247; Image: 104. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16605120&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  15. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Freeport, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 254; Image: 119. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16605741&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  16. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Lancaster, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 265; Image: 141. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16606574&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  17. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls.  Year: 1850; Census Place: Lancaster, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 267; Image: 144. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16606730&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  18. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Buckeye, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 273; Image: 156. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16607203&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  19. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Buckeye, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 274; Image: 159. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16607353&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  20. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Wayne, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 343; Image: 298. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16612935&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  21. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Rock Run, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 360; Image: 333. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16614269&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  22. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Rock Run, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 360; Image: 333. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16614278&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  23. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Rock Run, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 360; Image: 333. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16614285&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  24. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Rock Run, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 364; Image: 340. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16614592&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/14/2009)
  25. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls. Year: 1850; Census Place: Buckeye, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: M432_129; Page: 270; Image: 151. <http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=16607017&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt> (accessed 4/16/2009)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>