White County INGenWeb

Family Submitted - Unknown Author

Anna McCuaig Of White County, Indiana, Personal Research and Recollections Written by Jonathan Edwards Paul, (Great Grandson of Anna McCuaig)  November 5, 1995. Anna McCuaig was a first generation American, a very ordinary person, I suspect, but important in that she was by great-grandmother. She was born in 1847 near Marietta Ohio, the ninth child of Neil and Margaret (Johnson) McCuaig. In 1842 her parents along with five brothers and sisters had emigrated from Scotland to Ohio where Neil McCuaig's older brother, John McCuaig, had earlier settled. Neil McCuaig was a farmer and yeoman and Anna grew up in a farm environment. We know little about Anna's childhood other what we can presume knowing that she was raised in a rural farm family with five sisters and one brother. In 1860 (at age 13) she is listed as having attended school in White County Ohio. We can presume, therefore, that she was educated and literate (which is also confirmed by other information). Family tradition says the McCuaig women were accomplished seamstresses. We can assume that Anna was also trained in all the skills needed to raise a family and to thrive on the Indiana prairie A fuzzy studio photograph, probably taken about 1885 when Anna was in her late thirties, shows a pleasant, kindly, motherly woman. Her appearance is plain, perhaps bordering on severe, but is not inconsistent with her Scottish Presbyterian upbringing and with her life on the frontier. On December 4, 1868 Anna, age 21, married Judson S. Paul, a former officer in the Union Army, and local farmer. Judson had earlier that year bought a 160 acre farm straddling the border between Monon and Honey Creek Townships in White County, Indiana. In the next fifteen years Judson and Anna had six children, two daughters and four sons. Together, they wrested their farm from the swamps that comprised that portion of White County near the Monon and Tippicanoe Rivers. My father told stories that suggested that Anna was a staunch woman who was firm in her insistence that no blasphemous remarks should be uttered in her hearing. We do know that she was a dedicated Presbyterian and defended her creed against alien denominations. According to Anna Paul Rainier Lowe, in February of 1888 her grandmother "was taken to Monon in a spring wagon to have teeth pulled. She caught cold from the ordeal and died on February 8th of what was called lung fever". Perhaps the best portrait of Anna is found in her obituary in the Monticello Herald. "Anna McCuaig Paul was born in Ohio in the year 1847 of Scottish descent. She was the tenth of eleven children (sic). She was known as an exemplary wife and mother. Kindness and gentleness were marked traits of her character. From childhood she was a devoted Christian uniting with the Presbyterian Church of Monticello early in life. Her membership was later transferred to the church in Bedford of the same denomination of which she was an honored member at the time of her death. The funeral services were held in the church of Bedford and were conducted by the Rev. G. L. Mackintosh. The church was crowded to its utmost by sympathetic friends. The esteem in which she was held was fittingly shown by the large concourse of friends and neighbors who followed her remains to their last resting place in the beautiful cemetery nearby." There are actually two grave stones for Anna in the Bedford Cemetery. On large and modern headstone that marks the graves of Anna, Judson, and their son James. A second much older stone in the shape of a tree trunk is situated a hundred yards from any other grave near the southern boundary of the cemetery. It is engraved simply, "Anna McCuaig Paul/ wo Judson Paul/ b 3-12-1847/ d. 2-8-1888". It seems a solitary and lonely memorial. I have wonder why it was placed so. A final epitaph for Anna is found in the 1900 White County Census. Anna had, of course been dead for over 12 years. Yet the census enumerator lists Anna, the wife of 31 years of Judson Paul, as a member of the household. Who chose to list Anna as a member of the family, and why? Leaving Scotland Anna McCuaig was descended from generations of Scots, concentrated, so far as we know, in the county of Argyll. It is most interesting that her parents turned their back on centuries of culture and emigrated to America. In many respects, her family was typical of millions of European emigrants, and of Scottish emigrants in particular, who came to America in search of a better life and relief from the incessant hardships of their home countries. Why did the McCuaigs leave their native country for the frontier of a foreign country four thousand miles away? Angus Martin in his book Kintyre Country Life attributes it to lack of opportunity. "Throughout the nineteenth century the population of rural areas ebbed away. There was a steady movement into the towns and cities for work in the distilleries, factories, trades, and at labouring and fishing, but the greatest movement was overseas, to Canada, the United States, Australia, and elsewhere. The main cause for depopulation were rooted in the land itself and in the economics of farming: increased mechanization, crop failures, and market collapse. In short, the land could not support its swelling population." There were other several factors that contributed to the disenchantment with Scotland. In the mid 19th century, there was little or no individual ownership of land. Most of the land was owned by the Dukes and other lairds. Farm land was leased to the highest bidder for a 19 year period. It was always difficult to meet lease payments and improvements to the land were not encouraged by this system. Even basic life seemed doubly hard. While urban Europe was basking in the age of enlightenment and undergoing the industrial revolution, the Scots were tilling their rocky fields with wooden plows. Accommodations were rarely better than stone and sod huts with dirt floors. Education, though valued, was difficult to pursue. Lease holders, as difficult as it was, were the fortunate ones. The unlucky were reduced to laboring, squatting, or emigrating. Scots also had a tendency to have very large families where eight to ten children in a family was not at all unusual. This put a tremendous strain on the capacity of the generally marginal agricultural land. Finally, the land owners from the end of the 18th century onwards discouraged the continuation of the traditional subsistence farming in favor of sheep and cattle raising. In many parts of Scotland whole regions were depopulated as farmers were turned off of their lands in forced evictions in favor of more profitable uses of the land. These factors led the most ambitious citizens to seek a way out. An attractive option was to emigrate to a country where land was available and inexpensive and fertile, and where hard work could result in an improved life. These adventurous settlers usually wrote back to their families and neighbors with stories of their success and encouraged then also to emigrate. But it took either courage or despair to leave one's homeland. I asked an expert in Scottish history if he thought my ancestors could have been well off. He said "Absolutely not. If they had been rich or even comfortable, they would have stayed. One had to be desperate to emigrate". One interesting aspect of Scottish emigration is that Scots rarely emigrated as individuals. Usually they moved as extended families, groups of families, congregations, and in several cases as entire parishes. Often this process took years with each new wave of emigration acting as encouragement to those who stayed behind. More often than not, a neighbor in America had also been a neighbor in Scotland. Who Were The McCuaigs? The McCuaigs were highland Scots, a small segment of the MacLeod Clan. The name means "Son of Blackie" in Gallic. The MacLeod clan surprisingly does not have Gallic origins but descends from Norwegian warriors, specifically Harold the Black of the Norwegian royal family. The clan was concentrated on the islands of Harris and Lewis in the outer Hebridies in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, most of the McCuaig families lived on the island of Islay (pronounced eye-lee) in the Scottish Inner Hebridies. In the 19th century, many McCuaigs migrated to other parts of Argyll and neighboring counties. There is some confusion about the lineage of the McCuaigs since there is a family with a similar name, the McCoig's, who are part of the Kintyre branch of the MacDonald clan. The McCoigs, who lived mostly in Southend on the Kintyre peninsula, are an entirely separate family. Obviously Anna McCuaig had many progenitors and thus descended from many different families. We can state with certainty that her ancestors, in addition to the McCuaigs, consisted of members of the Johnson, Macmallan, and MacGibbon families. With great (but not absolute) assurance, we can identify Hunter, McConochy, Dallas, and Adam as part of her ancestry. Finally there is a strong possibility that the following names are also part of her lineage: McArthur, McNeilage, McNeil, and Campbell. When I started my study of the McCuaigs in 1991, I had a few preconceptions (misconceptions, really) of who the McCuaigs were. What I knew I had heard in stories my father had told over the years. The McCuaigs, he said, had been wealthy Scottish farmers from Marietta Ohio. The impression I got was that the McCuaigs had been well off in Campbeltown and had simply relocated to America. My great-grandmother, the beautiful Anna McCuaig of White County, had been wood by my great-grandfather Judson Paul, a dashing Civil War veteran, and had married at 16 years of age. It turned out that much of this lore turned out to be false, a result, I believe, of my father's penchant for distorting the truth in favor of a good story. The McCuaigs may have been well-off when my father was a boy, but they didn't start off that way. Nor had they been established residents of Campbeltown (having lived there for only one generation). Anna McCuaig married at 21 years of age (a sensible age) and Judson Paul, may have been dashing, but he was a hard- working dirt farmer like everybody else in Monon Township, White County, Indiana. Another source of information, far more reliable, has been Anna Paul Rainier Lowe (Anna's granddaughter) who has faithfully passed down well-documented family lore. Anna (Lowe) passed on much that she had heard first hand from her mother, Edna Paul, youngest child of Anna McCuaig Paul. But Anna (Lowe) did not have the benefit of the most recent research documents, so her knowledge does not much extend further back than her great grand parents, Neil McCuaig and Margaret Johnson. Family Migrations Within Argylleshire The McCuaigs and their related families lived in Argyle County Scotland, called Argyleshire. Argyleshire is a rugged fiorded land jutting out of the north western shore of Scotland into the stormy North Atlantic Ocean. Nearly a third of the land mass is in the form of islands. It is occupied principally by Highland Scots. In spite of poor transportation and an economy rooted to the soil, the ancestry of Ann confirms that the population of Argyleshire was surprisingly mobile. It is known that Anna McCuaig's parents, Neill McCuaig and Margaret Johnson, lived near Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula. Today, Campbeltown is a charming, well-tended, town surrounding a beautiful harbor. Many of the structures date to the years when the McCuaigs lived nearby. However, as stated earlier, the McCuaigs were really transplants from the island of Islay. Donald McCuaig, Neill McCuaig's father, moved from Islay to Kintyre around 1790. He and has parents and grandparents were born in Kildalton Parish on Islay. It seems likely that their wives, Katherine Hunter and Margaret McArthur, were also from Kildalton. Donald Mccuaig married into the Macmallan family who were apparently long-time Campbeltown natives. However, Isabell McConochy, wife of Neill Macmallan and mother of Donald McCuaig, was born in Kilfinan fifteen miles up the Kintyre peninsula from Campbeltown. Margaret Johnson, like her husband's parents, was born in Kildalton on Islay. Her father was born in a neighboring parish, Killarrow and is presumed to have been a long time resident of Islay. Margaret's mother, Betty MacGibbon, on the other hand, was born fifty miles north east of Islay in the parish of Kilmoden on the present day Cowal Peninsula. Her parents were born in the parishes of Inveraray and Inverchaolain. Scottish Research Methods A few comments on Scottish research methods may be helpful in judging the family histories that follow. Scotland has generally excellent records for births and marriages in the form of church records. These are known as the Scottish Old Parochial Registers. They provide primary source information for Scots from the 18th and 19th century. Useful information from Argyll prior to 1700 is scarce. These records are all hand written and of varying degrees of completeness, legibility, and preservation. Many entries and, in some cases, complete ledgers are missing. One cannot assume that since a birth or marriage is not in the records, the event did not occur. The process of establishing a family tree is to work backwards from a known person. It is necessary to find the birth record that best matches that individual by name, age, and location. This birth record usually identifies one or both of the child's parents thus providing the names and approximate ages of the parents. The process is repeated for older and older generations. marriage records provide supporting evidence. Just because a birth record may best fit the known facts, there is no absolute guarantee that it is the correct person. The real record may have been lost or there may be several records that are equally suitable. Alas, therefore, some of the information presented below is a best guess that awaits confirmation from other sources. Scottish genealogy research is hampered by the fact that "everybody has the same name". Scottish naming practices followed rigid rules that tended toward the reuse of a limited set of family names. For example, there were eight Margaret Macmillans born in Campbeltown (a town of only several thousand people, in the ten year period 1770-1780. Any one of these young ladies could have been the future wife of Donald McCuaig. As excellent as the ledgers are, they would be useless for research if it were not for the recently completed LDS Indices to the Old Parochial Registers. These computerized indices were prepared by the Mormon Church and contain the essential information about births and marriages indexed by name, place, and date for all the registers. These indices permit one to immediately find the records for a specific individual. The indexers have also done the hard work: reading the frequently illegible handwriting of the ledgers. The following pages summarize each of the generations of Anna's McCuaig's ancestors. The numbers in parenthesis, one assigned to each ancestor, follow a pattern. Anna McCuaig's number is 1. A father's number is always twice the child's. The mother's number is the father's number plus 1. Anna McCuaig's Parents: Neill McCuaig (2) and Margaret Johnson (3) Neil McCuaig was born on the 20th of April, 1801 in Campbeltown, Argyleshire the son of Donald McCuaig (4), a carpenter, and his wife Margaret Macmallan (5). His birth is recorded in the Campbeltown parish register as follows: "Donald McCuaig & Margaret Macmallan in town had a lawful son born 18th, baptized 20th named Neil" He was the third of nine children and the second son. Little is known of his early life. Since his father was a skilled tradesman and the family lived in the town, the largest in the region, it can be presumed that he received basic schooling. No doubt, the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) played a significant part in the life of young Neill as it did for all Highland Scots of the period. Margaret Johnson was born 24 October 1805, in Kildalton Parish on the island of Islay. She was the first child of six or seven. Her father was Archibald Johnson (6), a farmer, and her mother was Betty (Elizabeth) MacGibbon (7). Her birth is recorded in the Kildalton parish register as follows: "Oct 24th Margaret d to Arch'd Johnson & Elizabeth MacGibbon in Tayycarmagan" There is evidence that Margaret Johnson's family remained in Kildalton while Margaret alone moved to Campbeltown probably around 1823 at age 18. Margaret Johnson was listed as a resident of "this parish" at the time of her marriage in Campbeltown in 1826. We do know from the parish registers that the parents were still living in Kildalton on Islay as late as 1819 when their son Alexander was born. It is likely that Margaret Johnson had left her home to take employment on one of the Kintyre farms or, more likely, with some Campbeltown industry. Neil McCuaig married Margaret Johnson, 21 Sept 1826 in Campbeltown. This is recorded in the Campbeltown parish registers as follows: "Neill McCuaig labourer and Margaret Johnston both of this parish were married 21 Sept 1826" There is a discrepancy in the spelling of Margaret's family name. American records identified her as a "Johnson" (without the "t") and in her birth record in Kildalton she is listed that way. Yet in most of the Campbeltown Parochial Register records, her marriage and her children's birth, she is listed as a "Johnston" (with the "t"). This difference would appear to be a typical recording clerical error and is not considered significant. Neil did not enter one of the trades as did his father or brothers who were carpenters and blacksmiths. Neil had a varied early life as chronicled by his listed profession in the Parochial Registers at his marriage and at the birth of each of his children: Sept 1826 labourer June 1827 brewer April 1829 labourer June 1831 farmer Ballyvouline July 1833 farmer July 1834 farmer "Ballyvouline" in the 1831 entry is a local farm name. Elizabeth Marrison, president of the Kintyre Antiquarian Society, and an historian of local farm records, offered some very useful information: "Ballywilline Farm is on the outskirts of Campbeltown, just before you enter the Royal Burgh. The Currie's were tenants there from 1787. The name was often spelled Ballyvouline. Donald Shaw was tenant there in the 1830's and gave it up in 1846. I have no mention of McCuaigs here at all, especially as a tenant. He looks to have been a labourer, rather than a tenant." "I came across Neill McCuaig who became tenant in Calliburn (also called Killypole) in 1837. In 1815 William Steward renewed his lease on Calliburn for 19 years. In 1826 he wrote to the Duke of Argyll asking for a new lease in the name of his son-in-law, Dougald McDougall, which he got. Dougald and his wife gave up the lease in 1837 and moved to a smaller farm nearby. The new incoming tenant was described as 'Neill McCuaig, tenant in North Ballywilline'. The lease was for nineteen years and the rent was 70 pounds yearly. This was followed by a John Blair from Renfrewshire taking over the tenancy in 1838, a year later, as 'sometimes possessed by Neill McCuaig". Next I have an Alex Macmallan from Campbeltown taking over the tenancy in 1842 'as sometimes possessed by Neill McCuaig' - which was four years later still. Which was right? Did Neill give up the tenancy in 1838 or in 1942? Or could the farm have lain empty for a short time while a tenant was found?" Calliburn is found about four miles north of Campbeltown about two miles inland from the eastern coast of Kintyre. Mrs. Marrison's question may be answered by the Scottish census of 1841 which shows Neil McCuaig and his family still living in Calliburn in June of 1841. Also living on the farm are six other family groups, each in a separate dwelling, a total of 32 individuals, 15 adults and 17 children. The men are all listed as farmers or agricultural laborers except one who is listed as a blacksmith. Two family groups are Macmillans who may have been cousins of Neil McCuaig. Thus we have a picture of Neil McCuaig as a hard working laborer and farmer. For whatever reason, Neil seemed quite mobile and his tenancy was apparently none too stable or successful. Accoring to Martha McCuaig, Neil McCuaig was a tenant of the Duk of Argyle and was about to be put in prison for debt when some of his relatives were able to collect enough money to pay for their passage to America. We can presume that this was more due to the difficulties of Scottish life than to any ineptitude or lack of ambition on the part of Neil. To the contrary, having a tenancy at all was a position of some achievement and we do know that he supported a wife and a large family and accumulated enough funds for his emigration to America. Finally, there is every reason to believe that Neil McCuaig was a man of industry and stability based on the success of his ventures in America and the obvious good character of his offspring. Neil and Margaret are known to have had six children born in Scotland. John 7 June 1827 (not in 1841 census) Mary 30 April 1829 Margaret 9 June 1831 John 11 July 1833 (not in 1841 census) Isabella Macmallan 23 July 1834 Daniel 9 Nov 1839 The first born child, John, died before his sixth birthday in 1833 as confirmed by the naming of another child John in 1833 (a common practice). The second John is absent from the 1841 census and is presumed also to have died prior to that time. The White County Indiana History (1915) states that "Neil and Margaret had ten children, three of which died in childhood". The records show nine children, six born in Scotland and three born in America. This leaves one child and one childhood death unaccounted for. Family legend tells us that a son died on the long trip to America and was buried at sea. This child, whose name is unknown to us, could only have been born after June 14 1841, the day of the census, and must have died on the voyage as an infant. According to family tradition, sometime before 1842, the family moved to town of Greenock on the Clyde estuary. Greenock was once a principle sea port in Western Scotland and could have been a logical place to go to arrange for and await passage to America. They apparently lived there for awhile but it is likely that this was only for a few months. There were several McCuaig families living in Greenock at that time, including Neil's younger brother Kenneth. It was there, Anna Lowe writes, that "some of the children were born". This reference would seem to apply to the unlucky child who died on the ship although this is not confirmed by any civil or church records. Why did Neill McCuaig decide to emigrate? Aside from the general situation in rural Scotland with an expanding population and limited opportunities, the evidence suggests that Neil had problems with the lease on the farm. Neil's older brother, John, had emigrated to America and undoubtedly wrote back to the family extolling the virtues of the new world. Other Campbeltown families must also have played a major role in influencing the McCuaigs. Neil McCuaig's uncle David Breckenridge (spelled Brakenridge in the Scottish records) emigrated to Marietta Ohio in 1834 with his large family of eleven children. The Breckenridge family were natives of Campbeltown and were later pioneers in White County, Indiana. As such they were part of the general Campbeltown migration to America. Three of Neil McCuaig's children married Breckenridges. Thus in April or May of 1842, when Neill McCuaig was 41 years of age, the family consisting of the parents and five children, ranging in age from infancy to 13, sailed from Glasgow Scotland for America on the ship Eveline. Accompanying the family was a Robert Johnston, age 29, a laborer. He is presumed to be related to Margaret, but the exact relationship is not clear. The Eveline, John Thompson, captain was of moderate size, 301 tons, and carried 119 passengers, all declared emigrants, of varying ages, gender, and professions. Based on the tonnage, the Eveline was probably about 150 feet long with three masts and was rigged with square sales. Although the details of the sea voyage are not known, it is likely that the trip was very harsh with the emigrant passengers treated little better than cargo. The Eveline, like all ships of the day, was a sailing vessels, and the passage from Scotland to America typically took anywhere from six to twelve weeks. The journey was usually very rough with all passengers crowded into cargo holds with little or no light, heat, air, or sanitation. Rude bunks were provided for sleeping. Privacy was unknown. Generally, provisions for the passage were carried by the passengers themselves. As mentioned earlier, family legend indicates that the infant son fell ill on the voyage and died. He was, it is told, buried at sea. One can only imagine the emotional impact this voyage had on the family, especially the children. On the 30th of June, 1842 they arrived at New York. The family would have been processed at Castle Gardens emigration station located near the Battery. Martha McCuaig Heath of Cincinnati provided the following information: "The family ... bought transportation to Marietta, Ohio by way of the canal. On learning that the tickets were bogus, the family was stranded in New York. Neil secured a job on the Erie Canal Boats, and for his work, secured passage for his family. They then went on the canal boat to Pittsburgh, and then to Marietta Ohio, where they had relatives." Neil's older brother John was a blacksmith in Marietta. We can assume that he had encouraged his brother to emigrate and had, no doubt, made some arrangements. Neil, being a farmer by trade, began farming the next year either as a farm laborer or by leasing a farm. There are no records of his having bought a farm in Washington County. While in Washington County, two daughters were born: Charlotte, born 6 Mar, 1844 Anna, born 12 March 1847 Four years later in 1846, Neil's younger brother Kenneth, born in 1803, emigrated with his three young sons, Kenneth, David, and Daniel. He arrived in New York on the 15th of September, 1846. Kenneth was a widower since the death of his wife Mary Davidson three years earlier. He was a carpenter like his father. Four year later (as documented by the 1850 census), he was still living with his brother John and his family in Marietta, Ohio. Kenneth remained in Marietta until his retirement in 1880 at which point he moved to White County Indiana and lived with his son David who operated the premier hotel in Monticello, the McCuaig house. Sometime between 1847 and 1850, Neill McCuaig and his family moved to Hamilton County Ohio, near Cincinnati, where they bought a farm in Sycamore Township. It was here that their final child was born: Jane, born June 1850. The family now consisted of 7 children, 6 daughters and one son. Martha McCuaig wrote: "After living in Marietta for a few years, they then moved to a small truck (sic) farm, about ten miles north of Cincinnati. They took their produce to the market in Cincinnati" Members of Margaret Johnson McCuaig's family also emigrated to America. Her brother Alexander is also found living in Hamilton County Ohio but in a different township from the McCuaigs. According to the 1850 census, Margaret's younger brother, Nathaniel Johnson who was 30 years of age was living with the family and working as a "farmer". William Johnson, age 16, relationship unknown but presumed to be kin, was also shown to be living with the family. While living in Hamilton County, Mary McCuaig, the oldest daughter, married David Breckenridge (her first cousin, once removed) son of David Breckinridge and Charlotte Macmallan Breckinridge, natives of Campbeltown. Mary and her husband moved to White County Indiana in 1852 the first of the McCuaigs to do so. Unfortunately, Mary died in 1854 either from the rigors of pioneer life or from child birth. In September of 1856, the McCuaig family moved to White County to a large farm of 120 acres about five miles north of Monticello and west of Dennie's corner. Neil bought the farm from his uncle John Dunlop, another emigree from Campbeltown who had moved to White county five years earlier in 1851. This large and well kept spread is still known locally as the "McCuaig Farm" even though it has long since passed into other hands. It appears that brother Kenneth McCuaig's son Daniel also moved with the family to White County and might have labored on his Uncles's farm for awhile. Neil applied for U.S. citizenship on June 20th, 1857. In his testimony he swore to "renounce forever allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatever and particularly to Victoria Queen of whom he is a subject" Tragedy struck the family in 1861. Neill McCuaig, at the age of 60, died unexpectedly, reasons unknown. He was buried in the Monticello Cemetery. After Neil's death, full responsibility for the operation of the farm and the support of his mother and five sisters fell on the only son, Daniel, age 21. Apparently, Daniel was a responsible and hard working lad since the farm prospered and Daniel, in later years, was a leading member of the community, holding both public office and a high church position. In 1862 Daniel was drafted into the Union Army but paid another man $1,100 to serve in his place. His brother-in-law Levi Reynolds helped him raise the money. Daniel married Janet Breckenridge and they had four sons: John, Frank, David, and Alvin. It is through these sons that the name of McCuaig was perpetuated in Indiana for several generations. The sisters all eventually married except for Charlotte who was frail and who died in 1874 at the age of 30. According to family legend, the McCuaig woman were accomplished seamstresses. This is not surprising for a pioneer family with so many female family members. It is likely that the family made extra money by sewing for neighbor families. Margaret Johnson McCuaig lived a long life. Margaret kept house for her son until Daniel married Jennette Breckenridge (his second cousin) in 1874. Thereafter she lived with her youngest daughter Jane McCuaig Roach at whose home in Monticello she died on 24 September 1892 at the age of 86. She is buried next to her husband in Monticello Cemetery. I had the satisfaction of having their tombstone re-erected which had been upset in the tornado that struck Monticello in 1974. Anna McCuaig's Grandparents: Donald McCuaig (4) and Margaret Macmallan (5) Donald McCuaig was born in Kildalton Parish on the island of Islay, Argyleshire on 7 March, 1762. He was the son of Donald McCuaig (8), a blacksmith, and his wife Katherine Hunter (9). Our knowledge of Donald's birth is due entirely to the tenacity of the indexers of the Scottish Old Parochial Registers. Many of the older registers, such as this one from Kildalton, are severely damaged and are virtually unreadable. Yet the indexers found the essential information. An example was this a torn smeared fragment at the bottom of one page from 1762 which reads: ...ch 17 Dond M'Cuaig smith in ..... .... two male children in bapt..... .... the other Donal... Possible translation: March 17, 1762, Donald McCuaig, a blacksmith in Kildalton (Islay), baptized two sons (twins?), Donald and (name unknown). It cannot be absolutely certain that this register entry is the one for our Donald McCuaig (4), father of Neil McCuaig (2). But there are no other reasonable options in the registers. It is either this entry (which is a good match) or we must concede that the information on the correct Donald McCuaig has been lost. We have to search farther to find the name of Donald's mother. This is deduced from the marriage records of the Kildalton Parish where we find that Donald McCuaig married Katherine Hunter in 1750 (twelve years before our Donald was born). Margaret Macmallan (5) was born in Campbeltown on 21 November 1776 and listed in the register as "November [1776] Margaret, Lawful Daughter of Neill Macmillan and Isabell McConochy Auchotish 21". There are actually eight Margaret Macmillans born in Campbeltown in the period 1770 to 1780, any of these could, in theory, be the one who married Donald McCuaig. The above choice is appealing both because her age is exactly "normal", marriage at 20, and because of the very good matching of names in her family with those of later McCuaigs. This Margaret's father's name is Neil, which is also the name of her son (Anna McCuaig's father). Further corroboration comes from the names of Margaret's siblings all of which later appear as McCuaig family names. Finally, it is likely that this Margaret's paternal grandfather was named John, the name of her oldest son and the name of Neil McCuaigs oldest son. Donald and Margaret were married in Campbeltown on 4 Sept 1796: "September [1796] Donald McCuaig & Margaret Macmallan of this Parish Married Here 4" Donald would have been 34 years old. This seems a bit old for a first marriage. There might have been an earlier marriage (no documentation exists for this) or he simply married late in life. Both were listed as "of this parish" meaning that they were residents of Campbeltown. This would establish the date of Donald's removal to Campbeltown as prior to 1796. The distance between Kildalton and Campbeltown could be covered in a day's travel by foot and boat. Therefore, we must assume that there may have been frequent visits and correspondence between the different parts of the McCuaig family Donald McCuaig (4) apparently was trained as a carpenter. Recorded with the birth of each of his children between 1805 and 1818 was his profession where he is listed as a "carpenter". In 1803 he is listed as a "ships carpenter". For 1797 through 1801 he is listed with no profession, possibly because he had not yet achieved journeyman status or he was not working at any particular trade. However, this seems unlikely, in view of his mature age at that time. Donald (4) and Margaret (5) had nine children according to the Parochial Register. All the children were born in Campbeltown: 1. John 23 May 1797, emigrated to America before 1828 2. Isabell 22 May 1799 3. Neill 20 April 1801, emigrated to America in 1842 4. Kenneth 7 Aug 1803, emigrated to America in 1846 5. More 8 Sept 1805 6. Jean 8 Mar 1808 7. Margaret 20 Oct 1810 8. Donald 1 Feb 1814 9. Charlotte 29 Oct 1818 Because Donald was a skilled tradesman and lived in town, we can assume that his family's life was somewhat more comfortable than those living on the farms. We can further assume that his children may have availed themselves of more education than would have been available in the countryside. No information has yet been found concerning the deaths and burial of Donald and Margaret. It is presumed that they died while residents of Campbeltown. However, a search of Campbeltown Cemetery found no grave stone for them. Since many of the stones are badly eroded, this is not surprising. Anna McCuaig's Grandparents: Archibald Johnson (6) and Elizabeth (Betty) MacGibbon (7) Archibald Johnson (6) was born August 26, 1777 in Killarow Parish on the island of Islay. He was probably the son of Archibald Johnson (12) and Isabell Dallas (13) as shown by the register entry: "26 August [1777]. Arch Johnson in company Isabell Dallas his wife had son baptized Arch" In the parish register Killarow as listed as the town of Bowman, a town today known as Bowmore. It is about five miles from and adjacent to Kildalton Parish where Archibald lived as an adult. Elizabeth (Betty) Macgibbon (7) was not a native of Islay. She was born 25 June, 1789 in Kilmoden Parish which is about 50 miles northeast and several bodies of open water from Islay. Kilmoden parish is on the mainland in an isolated part of Argyle near the modern day town of Balliemore on Loch Striven. Her parents were Donald MacGibbon (14) and Mary Adam (15). Her birth is recorded in the registers: "Betty Daughter to Donald MacGibbon & his spouse Mary Adams was baptized 25 June (1789)" The circumstances of Betty's migration to Kildalton are not known. We do know that she was younger than fifteen when she moved, suggesting that she moved with her parents. However, there is no evidence such as the birth of a sibling in Kildalton to confirm that the entire family moved. There were pockets of MacGibbons in both Kilmoden and Kildalton before 1750 (and few other places) suggesting a linkage between these two concentrations in Argyleshire. When not quite 15 years of age, Betty MacGibbon married Archibald, a widower, 12 years her senior at 27 years of age. The marriage took place in Kildalton. The parish register noted: "Arch'd Johnson and Betty MacGibbon. He a widower and she a young woman and both in this parish have been booked in order to marriage". We have no record of Archibald's first marriage nor why his first wife died. We can suspect the rigors of childbirth or disease. There are no recorded children of an earlier Archibald marriage. We can presume that Archibald was a farmer since he is listed as living at Taycarmagan, a farm name. Probably he was the tenant (lease holder) since he remained there for so long. The register records the birth of six children between 1805 and 1819, all the while the family was living at Taycarmagan. These children were: Margaret, born 24 Oct 1805 [daughter], born 12 Dec 1807 [died unnamed] Ronald, born 14 Dec 1808 Janet, born 8 Sept, 1812 Bell, born 4 April 1815 Alexander, born 5 Sept 1819 Family legend says that there was another son, Nathaniel. A Nathaniel Johnson is found at age 30 living in the McCuaig household in Cincinnati Ohio in 1850. He is likely to have been Margaret's younger brother, born in 1820. Anna McCuaig's Great Grandparents Donald McCuaig (8) and Katherine Hunter (9) We know Donald McCuaig (4) father's name was also Donald McCuaig (8) from the aforementioned fragment recording the birth of the son in 1762. From that small written shard, we deduce that the father was a blacksmith in Kildalton on Islay. Based on available records, it seems likely that Donald (8) was born on 6 Dec, 1725 in Kildalton the son of John McCuaig (16) as recorded by the following terse register entry: "Dec 26th (1725). John McCuag (sic), a child called Donald" We can further deduce Donald's (8) mother was Margaret McArthur (17) from the birth record of a younger brother of Donald's (8). "John McCuag and Margaret McArthor in Glenastin had a child baptized called John" This record also gives us a clue to the exact whereabouts of the family. "Glenastin" may be a variant of the present day Glenegedale, one of the principle villages of Kildalton. We can presume that the family lived in the village where the father operated his blacksmith business. Donald McCuaig's (8) wife was certainly Katherine Hunter (9) based on the following marriage record: "June 27th (1750) Donald McCuag and Katherine Hunter of this parish gave their names for proclamation in (order) marriage." Katherine probably was the daughter of Archibald Hunter (18). She was born August 6, 1725 in Kildalton. We have no record of her mother's name. Her birth was recorded in the registers as: "August 6th 1725. Archibald Hunter had a child baptized called Katherine". We have no record of any other children of Donald (8) and Katherine (9) other than Donald (4) and his unnamed brother. Anna McCuaig's Great Grandparents: Neill Macmallan (10) and Isobel McConchy (11) Neil Macmallan (10), father of Margaret Macmallan (5), was born between 1740 and 1752 in Campbeltown. There are, in fact, three Neil Macmillans born in Campbeltown parish that were about the right age. Their birth years were 1741, 1750, and 1752. Neal, 15 March 1741, Malcolm Macmallan/Mary McNeillage Neill, 9 May 1750, John Macmallan/Mary Bleu Neill, 1 July 1752, Alexander Macmallan/ Mary McIsack Any one of these three could be the right age to father the first child, born 1772, of the union with Isobel McConochy. Since Isobel McConochy was probably born in 1750, it does not seem likely that husband would be younger than she, tending to disqualify the youngest choice. Likewise, the nine year difference in ages would tend to disqualify the oldest choice whose name is spelled differently from our Neill. Therefore, while awaiting further evidence, I have assumed that the parents of Neill (10) are John Macmallan (20) and Mary Bleu (21) and that Neill was born on 9 May 1750. It is possible that John Macmallan (20) was born 11 February 1725 in Campbeltown the son of More Macmallan (40). There are two Isabel McConochy's in the register who could qualify as the mother of Margaret (5). One was born in 1746 and the other in 1750, both in Kilfinan, twenty miles up the Kyntire peninsula from Campbeltown. Isabel, 25 May 1746, Donald McConochie/[mother unknown] Isabella, 18 Nov 1750, John McConachie/Sara McNeil The different spelling of the last name is not significant. I selected the latter choice of the two girls since she would have been twenty two at the birth of her first child whereas the latter would have been 26 (which seems a little old). Therefore, while awaiting further evidence, I have assumed that the parents of Isabell (11) are John McConochy (22) and Sarah McNeil (23) and that Isobell was born on 18 November, 1750. There is no record in Argyll of the marriage between Neill and Isabel. We can presume that the marriage took place around 1770 or 1771 (before the birth of their first child in 1772). There are no records for the baptism of any of Isabel's siblings (if there were any). We therefore have little knowledge of the migration of the McConochy family. We have no way of knowing whether the marriage took place near Campbeltown where Neil lived or in Kilfinan parish where Isabel was born. According to the Parochial Registers, Neill Macmallan and Isobel had six daughters (and no sons) who were baptized, all in Campbeltown: Isabell 11 May 1772 Margaret 21 Nov 1776 (mother of Neill McCuaig) Ann 1 Oct 1778 Jean 1 Nov 1784 Charlotte 30 Nov 1786 Ann 9 May 1792 It can be surmised that Ann, born 1778, must have died in childhood, probably after age eight (when Charlotte was born) , since the last daughter, born 1792, was also name Ann. It is noteworthy that all these names (save Jean) appear later in the McCuaig family. This would seem to confirm that of the eight Margaret Macmillans born between 1770 and 1780, this is the one most likely to be the Margaret Macmallan who married Donald McCuaig and who was the mother of Neill. We have every reason to believe that Neill Macmallan was a farmer based on the listing of a farm name, Auchahine (or Auchenhoad) in the register when each of his daughters was born. I await further information from the estate records concerning the leasing of this farm to determine something more about the Neill Macmallan family. The farm was located about three miles south east of Campbeltown. Anna McCuaig's Great Grandparents Archibald Johnson (12) and Isobell Dallas (13) We know little for sure about Archibald Johnson (12) and Isobell Dallas (13) other than that they are the parents of Archibald Johnson (6) as listed in the Parochial Register of Killarrow (Town of Bowman) at the birth of their son. There is no record of their births. There is no record of their marriage. There are no other children of the marriage in the registers. Nothing is known of Archibald's (12) profession although we are likely to be correct if we assume that he was a farmer. Unlike Archibald, Isobel had a somewhat uncommon surname name for the region. She may have been married earlier to Archibald's brother Alexander since in 1773 there is recorded the birth of Morilla, daughter of Alexander Johnson and Isobell Dalles. This is either 1) a mistake of the father's name and Morilla is also the daughter of Archibald and Isobel, 2) there are several Isobell Dallas' in Killarrow, or 3) Alexander died and his brother married the widow. Anna McCuaig's Great Grandparents Donald MacGibbon (14) and Mary Adams (15) Donald MacGibbon (14), father of Elizabeth (Betty) MacGibbon (7), may have been born 13 July 1741 near or in Inveraray the son of William MacGibbon (28) and Davida Campbell (29). We can surmise that Mary Adams was born around 1768 in the parish of Inverchallern-Gorvelychan based on the notation in her marriage record. Little is know of Donald MacGibbon and Mary Adams other than they married on April 29 1788 in a third nearby parish, Kilmodan. "Donald McGibbon in this parish and Mary Adams of Inverchallern Gorvelychan name in courte marriage on 28 April and Married on 29th April". We can presume that before 1804 the family moved from Kilmoden to Kildalton on Islay based on the marriage in 1804 of their daughter (age 14) at that place. There are no records for any siblings of Betty MacGibbon so she may have been an only child.

Back to the White County Biographies Main Page