Sunday, February 26, 2017

The McCay Family of Hanover Precinct, Ulster County, New York in the 1700s

The farm of John McCay was adjacent to the farm of Joel Campbell's father. The deed of sale of the Campbell farm in 1793 describes its property line as running "... to the land belonging to John McCay, then along his Line North eighty five Degrees West fifteen Chains and seventy five Links to the said Highway then along the same South ..."

Outline of farm based on description in 1793 deed

The ongoing transcription of the DayBook from the Colden Store reveals purchases of a Patrick McCay in 1767.

On August 18, 1767, Patrick's daughter appeared at the store and purchased a gallon of Y [York?] Rum for her father.

On the 29th of the same month, Frederick Fawker [Faulkner?] picked up one half gallon of W [West Indian?] Rum for Patrick McCay.

Again on September 6th, Frederick Fawkert [Faulkner?] picked up one half gallon of W [West Indian?] Rum for Patrick McCay.

Undoubtedly we will hear more of this family as the DayBook is further transcribed, but one interesting entry appears on March 28, 1768. On this date, William Wear appears at the store and picks up six items "for funeral of Patrick McCay."  The items included:
"5 1/2 Galn  Rum @5/
7 # Sugr [sugar]
1 Galn Wine
1/2 Gross Pipes [a gross is 12 dozen]
1 # Alspice
4 # tobaco"

I suspect the McCay family may have been part of the company brought over from Ireland in 1729 by Charles Clinton. On that ship was a John McCay who died during the tragic crossing. [p. 216 of Ruttenber's History of Orange County.] He was one of 92 who would not live to see the landing on Cape Cod. Perhaps he had a brother or son who carried on the name in the Little Britain area.

In the 1779 Tax Assessment of Hanover Precinct [NYS Archives], a Mary McKay [McCay] appears adjacent to Joel Campbell's father, Samuel. Presumably this is Patrick McCay's widow. And presumably she is living on the property shown above that lies to the south of the Campbell farm. It is described in the assessment as being 29 acres.

A "John McCay" appears later in the records of the Hardenbergh militia and may be the same John McCay who is listed as the owner of the McCay farm in the 1793 deed. Presumably he is the son of Mary and Patrick McCay.

More to come.....

Friday, February 24, 2017

DNA of Jemima Campbell Tice (daughter of Joel Campbell, 1735-1828) PART II of IV

The difficulties in learning more about the mother of Joel Campbell's children were discussed in Part I of this series. One source of information that does not suffer from incorrect  recollections or lack of documentation is the genetic material that is passed from mother to child.

Maternal DNA testing

Mothers pass genetic material to their children. Some of it, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), is passed intact. In other words, this mtDNA it is not recombined with the father's DNA. Daughters pass it further to their children, creating a genetic signature of the maternal line that continues from generation to generation. An occasional random mutation occurs, perhaps every 5 to 22 generations, marking a "branch" in the mtDNA tree.

If two persons have matching mtDNA, it is fairly certain they have a common maternal ancestor in the past 5 to 22 generations.  [FamilyTreeDNA estimates a 95% confidence of a common ancestor at 22 generations (or to about the year 1500.)]

If the test results from a known maternal descendant of Jemima's mother matched that of another person whose genealogy was known back to the village of Newark, New Jersey in the early 1700s, one could be fairly certain that Jemima's mother was related to that Newark resident as perhaps a sister, daughter, maternal niece, etc. At the least, it would give additional leads on where to focus genealogical searches.

The next article in the series will tell of the search for a living maternal descendant of Jemima's mother (Joel's wife). Such a descendant would carry the same mtDNA as mother of Joel Campbell's children.

Friday, February 17, 2017

DNA of Jemima Campbell Tice (daughter of Joel Campbell, 1735-1828) PART I of IV

If you have done much research in the 18th century and earlier, you know how hard it is to find information on maternal lines. Maiden names were seldom recorded.  Females rarely held office, or were levied taxes, or signed deeds, or joined armies.

That is certainly the case with the females closely related to Joel Campbell. Many questions about the wives of Joel remain unanswered. Their maiden names, even their given names, can be disputed. What is known is this:

No mention of the names of Joel’s wives has been found in historical documents EXCEPT for a 1793 deed that gives her name as ABIGAIL. This is a name that DOES NOT occur in any traditional genealogies.

The evidence that he had more than one wife is fairly strong.  The historian, Craft, states in his 1878 book that Joel's family at the time of settlement in the Ridgebury area in 1805 "consisted of his second wife...", and that "Joel and his wife lived to be very old people." Craft undoubtedly talked with people who knew Joel and his second wife while they were alive, but it is still not a first hand account. In Craft’s accounts, he never mentions the name of the wife.

Traditionally, the wives of Joel are listed as Nancy Leonard and Rebecca Hunter. Nancy is the one most commonly associated with being the mother of Joel's children. The source of this information is purportedly a family bible that belonged to Joel's grandson, Benajiah.

The name of Rebecca Hunter is most certainly an error of genealogists that were searching for Joel's roots in the Boston area.

Because the name of the mother of Joel's children is still debatable, I will refer to her in the remaining text as "Jemima's mother."

With this dearth of historical information, can anything more be learned from the mtDNA that Jemima’s mother passed down to her children?

Part II will review mtDNA and how it is used to research maternal lines.

Also see this related post from 2015.