James McCaw

James McCAW (1762 – 1840) was Alex’s 5th Great Grandfather, one of 64 in this generation of the Miner line.

James McCaw was born in 1762 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  His parents were William McCAW Sr. and Ann WATSON. He married Martha MORTON. After Martha died, he married Sarah McWilliams on 24 Jul 1803.  James died 5 Mar 1840 in Chester County, South Carolina.

He served eight tours between 1775 and 1781 in all at least two years and two months.   It’s interesting how in the Revolution, troops served for a while, went home to work the crops and returned to serve again.

He served much of the time under General Thomas Sumter. The University of South Carolina’s 19 varsity sports teams are known as the “Gamecocks”. The unique moniker is held in honor of Sumter, a South Carolina war hero who was given the name “The Carolina Gamecock” during the American Revolution for his fierce fighting tactics, regardless of his physical stature or the size of his regiment. A British General commented that Sumter “fought like a gamecock.  Sumter and his actions served as one of the sources for the fictional character of Benjamin Martin in The Patriot, a motion picture released in 2000.

Note James served between about the ages of about 14  to 20.  He would definitely would have been the Heath Ledger character in the movie.

In his 1833 pension application he declared that he had to apply to history for the periods of the war but can well recollect his fighting and can pretty well recollect his service.

Martha Morton was born in South Carolina.  Her parents were John MORTON and Elizabeth [__?__]. Martha died in Chester County, South Carolina.

Some sources say Sarah McWilliams was born in 1771 or  1774 in Chester County, South Carolina, but when she gave her age as 72 when was living with her youngest son Edward Alexander in the 1850 census making her birth year 1778.  Her parents were  John/Jonathan McWilliams (1750 – ?) and Jane/Janet Cherry? (1750 – ?).  She died  25 Mar 1852 in  Obion, Tennessee.  She was either the niece of  the Mary McWilliams named in her will, and daughter of Mary McWilliams’ brother, Jonathan ‘John’ McWilliams and his wife, Jane / Janet / Jennety Cherry, of Chester County, South Carolina, or the sister of Mary McWilliams also named in her will, of Chester County, South Carolina.  Sarah signed her will 29 Oct 1847 which was probated 6 Dec 1847.  (See Below)

Children of James and Martha:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Morton McCAW 1789 in South Carolina Anna [_?_]
19 Sep 1822
9 Feb 1865 Americus, Lyon County, Kansas
2. Ann McCaw 20 Jun 1791  Never Married 17 Nov 1873
Her body was interred in November 1873 at Chester Co., South Carolina, at Hopewell ARP Cemetery
3. William McCaw c. 1795
South Carolina
 Mary [__?__] Bef. 1850
Preble, Ohio
4. James McCaw 2 Jun 1796
South Carolina
Jane L. Hemphill 25 Dec 1832
South Carolina
5. Samuel McCaw 5 May 1799
Chester Co., South Carolina
Elizabeth Nelson
March 1832
9 Nov 1874 South Carolina

Children of James and Sarah McWilliams:

Name Born Married Departed
6. Rev. David McCaw 16 Mar 1816
Chester, South Carolina
Jane Dicky Torbit
Apr 1839
Chester, South Carolina
Alzira J. Cross
27 Oct 1859
21 Jul 1906
Maury, TN
7. Edward Alexander McCaw 11 Jul 1820
Chester, SC
Mary Moffatt
11 Jan 1884
Troy, Obion, Tennessee

Additional Children may have been:  William McCaw and Jennet McCaw

His father bequeathed unto his Son James McCaw  “one Hundred acres of Land to  be Laid off my tract, along John Morton’s Line But if any of my Clear or Cultivated Land Should fall to his Divide I do not alow him any Benefit of it for ten years after my Death.”

Sarah’s parents John and Jane/Janet McWilliams (natives of Ireland) settled in Chester Co. before 1790.They had six children – Alexander (b.bef.1784), John (b.bef.1784), David (1784-1858), Sarah, Mary (d.1847), Jane (d.1854).

i. Alexander married Margaret ? and had four children – David C., Sara, John and Nancy O.

ii. John – no record of marriage

iii. David married Margaret McCreight and had twelve children – David Jr, Nancy, William B., James, Martha A., Mary Jane, Elander, Margaret, John, Robert and Sarah.

iv. Sarah married James McCaw.

Pension application of James McCaw S18117 fn14SC Transcribed by Will Graves rev’d 3/8/09 [Methodology: Spelling, punctuation and/or grammar have been corrected in some instances for ease of reading and to facilitate searches of the database. Also, the handwriting of the original scribes often lends itself to varying interpretations.  Blanks appearing in the transcripts reflect blanks in the original.]

State of South Carolina, Chester District

On this 21st day of September 1833 personally appeared in open Court before me Peter Wylie Judge of the Court of Ordinary of said District now sitting James McCaw a resident of State and District aforesaid aged 71 years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832.

That he entered the Service of the United States as a [tour No. 1] Volunteer in Col. Lacy’s [sic, Lacey’s] Regiment in Captain Dixon’s Company and served in what was called the Snowy Campaign in the year 1775 (to the best of his recollection) took some Tories whilst in the service served three months and was dismissed.

Tour No. 2 volunteered again in the year 1776 under the command of Colonel Lacey Captain Dixon’s Company marched to Charleston was in hearing of the Battle at Fort Moultrie on the 28th of June served three months and was dismissed

Tour No. 3 volunteered again under his former officers in the year 1779 marched to Charleston at the Time the British drove General Moultrie to Charleston Served three months when dismissed.

Tour No. 4 Volunteered again under the same officers marched to Orangeburg served three months when dismissed.

Tour No. 5 Volunteered under the same officers marched to Black Swamp Served three months when dismissed these last two tours were before the fall of Charleston in the year 1780.

Tour No. 6  After the fall of Charleston in the year 1780, volunteered in Captain Pagan’s Company Colonel Lacey Regiment under General Sumpter [sic,Thomas Sumter] was at the Skirmish at Williamson’s Plantation where Captain Huck was killed, was at the Battle of Rocky-Mount,   Battle of Hanging-rock and at the skirmish at Fish dam Ford on Broad River Served six months when dismissed.

Rocky Mount Campaign Map , July, 1780  1) British post at Rocky Mount, 2) British post at Hanging Rock Creek, 3) site of the battle of Williamson’s Plantation, 4) British post at Camden. Shaded area is the Catawba Nation. The dark line at the top of the map is part of the border between North and South Carolina.

Tour No. 7 volunteered with General Sumter in the year 1781 as a Commissioner  to value property that might fall into the hands of the Army went with Sumter on what was called Sumter’s Rounds in State of South Carolina was at the Siege of Friday’s fort or Congaree fort, marched from thence to Thompson’s fort at Buckhead served two months when dismissed

General Thomas Sumter

Tour No. 8 volunteered in the year 1781 under Captain Fair and Colonel Pickens Regiment marched to Georgia had two Skirmishes with the Indians and made some prisoners then fought with the British at Governor Wright’s plantation in Georgia.   Colonel Twigs [sic, John Twiggs] commanded  Georgians served at this two three months when dismissed having served in all at least two years and two months; He further declares that he had to apply to history for the periods of the war but can well recollect his fighting and can pretty well recollect his service.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the Agency of any State except that he now is on the roll of State pensioners of State of South Carolina.

Answer to Interrogatory 1: I was born as I am informed in the kingdom of Ireland in the [year] 1762

Answer to 2 Int: I have no record of my age

Ans to Int 3: I was living in Craven County Camden District in the same part I now live and only as his name is now called Chester District when called into service and have lived there where I now live

Ans to Int 4: I always served as a volunteer

Ans to Int 5: I have seen General Lincoln in Charleston when in Charleston as to other officers and circumstances I have mentioned them in the fore part of my declaration

Ans to Int 6: I never received any discharge but was dismissed

Ans to Int 7: I will name some to whom reference may be had of my veracity Viz William Walker, John Douglas Esq., John Rosborough, Clerk of the Court Chester District, John McCreary (late a member of Congress), John McKee

Sworn to & subscribed the day and year aforesaid in Open Court S/ James McCaw S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD South Carolina, Chester District Personally came into open court before me Peter Wylie Judge of the court of ordinary of Chester District Joseph Gaston.  Personally came into open Court before me Peter Wylie Judge of the court of ordinary of said District George Weir Esq. (a Soldier of the Revolution) who upon being duly sworn saith upon oath that he is well acquainted with James McCaw and has been well acquainted with said McCaw during the Revolutionary War and saith that said McCaw was one of those veterans who turned out in defense of his country when the State of South Carolina was in possession of the British and Tories and further saith that he this deponent was with said McCaw at the Battle of Rocky-Mount & hanging-rock and further saith that he this deponent has sufficient information of said McCaw’s Services in the State of Georgia as this deponent had two or three Brothers in said service in Georgia with said McCaw and this deponent further saith that he fully believes all the statements set forth in said McCaw’s declaration to be true as he believes said McCaw to be a man of truth & veracity.S/ Joseph Gaston

Sworn to & signed this 17 day of October 1833 in open Court S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD South Carolina, Chester District (a Soldier of the Revolution) who being duly sworn saith upon oath that he fully believes the whole of the above affidavit to be true & further saith that he has been in service with James McCall above named in the revolutionary War and knew him to be true to his country. Sworn to and subscribed this 17th day of October in open Court. S/ Peter Wylie, JCOCD S/ Geo. Weir

James took part in the Battle of Williamson’s Plantation, also called Huck’s Defeat. Captain Christian Huck, a Philadelphia Loyalist, came south as a part of Tarleton’s legion. He commanded a cavalry unit of about 100 Loyalists and was given marching orders to “push the rebels as far as you deem convenient.”

Battle of Williamson’s Plantation

On his list of “rebels” to “push,” was Colonel William Bratton. Huck and his cavalry arrived at Bratton’s home on July 11, 1780. After attempting to gain the captain’s whereabouts from his wife Martha, Huck set-up camp just west of Bratton’s home at Williamson’s Plantation.

Martha sent word to her husband’s camp and at dawn on July 12th, Colonels William Bratton, Andrew Neel, William Hill and Edward Lacey and a force of about 100 men surrounded Huck’s camp and ambushed the waking Loyalists early in the morning at reveille. Huck attempted to rally his men but was killed almost immediately with a wound to the head. After the smoke cleared, only about two dozen of the Loyalists managed to escape the ambush. On the American side, there was only one Patriot death.

The battle of Williamson’s Plantation was a disaster for the British, not because of the British losses that were incurred, but rather because it cooled Loyalist ardor, greatly encouraged the Americans, and put to an end the previously-effective Provincial/Loyalist raids from Rocky Mount.

James took part in the Battle of Rocky Mount. The Battle took place on 1 Aug 1780 as part of the American War of Independence. Loyalists commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull occupying an outpost in northern South Carolina withstood an attack by 600 American Patriots led by Colonel Thomas Sumter.

Throughout 1779 and early 1780, the British “southern strategy” to regain control of its rebellious provinces in the American Revolutionary War went well, with successful amphibious operations against Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina, and a routing of the few remaining Continental Army troops in South Carolina in the May 29, 1780 Battle of Waxhaws. The British, in complete control of both South Carolina and Georgia, established outposts in the interior of both states to recruit Loyalists and to suppress Patriot dissent.

One of these outposts was established at Rocky Mount, near the confluence of Rocky Creek and the Catawba River, south of present-day Great Falls, South Carolina. This outpost was garrisoned by a regiment of New York Volunteers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull.

In the absence of Continental Army command structure to organize resistance to the British following the disaster at Waxhaws, companies began to grow around Patriot militia leaders who had either survived it, or were not present at the battle. One militia colonel, Thomas Sumter, began in June 1780 to accumulate a militia force near Salisbury with financial assistance from North Carolina officials. While his force was too small to effectively oppose large-scale British and Loyalist activity for a time, enlistments rose following the Patriot victory known as Huck’s Defeat on July 12. By late July he had several hundred men and decided it was time to take action.

Battle of Rocky Mount – Attacking the Abatis. A party of militia (one of whom is carrying a torch), rush the abatis under covering fire from riflemen in the woods. According to William Clark, the abatis consisted of “fixed huge timbers pointing outwards.”

His primary target to attack was the British outpost at Rocky Mount. Sumter had learned on July 20 from a spy that the defenses might be susceptible to small arms fire, a clear benefit since Sumter lacked any sort of field artillery. (To Sumter’s detriment, the spy was probably a double agent, and Turnbull shortly thereafter began strengthening Rocky Mount’s defenses until they were proof against musketry.)

On July 28, Sumter broke camp and moved his company, numbering about 600 men, down to Land’s Ford, a major crossing point of the Catawba. There he met Major William Davie, who was leading a company of dragoons, and additional smaller militia companies. They decided that Davie would lead a diversionary attack against another outpost while Sumter would assault Rocky Mount.

The action began early on July 30.   Davie and his dragoons rode to the British outpost at Hanging Rock (south of present-day Heath Springs, South Carolina), where they surprised a company of Loyalists camped outside the fortifications, inflicting casualties and seizing 60 horses. The action happened so quickly that the British forces inside the fortifications were unable to respond.

Sumter’s attack went less well. Turnbull’s work on the defenses at Rocky Mount paid off, and Sumter’s men were unable to penetrate the defenses. After several hours of fruitless battle, they tried setting fire to the works, but this was frustrated by a torrential downpour that ended the battle.  Sumter’s forces suffered relatively modest casualties, and Sumter went on to successfully attack Hanging Rock a few days later.

James also took part in the Battle of Hanging Rock on 6 Aug  1780.  The battle was in present-day Lancaster county south of Heath Springs, South Carolina, about a mile and a half from a place known as Hanging Rock.  A British garrison was located just south of Heath Springs. It was well fortified with more than 1400 British troops, including the 500-man Prince of Wales Regiment of the regular army, led by Major John Carden of the British Army.  The Americans were under Gen. Thomas Sumter, commanding troops made up of Maj. Richard Winn’s Fairfield regiment, Col. Edward Lacey’s Chester regiment, Col. William Hill’s York regiment and Maj. William Richardson Davie of the Waxhaws of Lancaster county with Col. Robert Irwin’s cavalry of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina.

The Liberty Boys at Hanging Rock; or The Carolina Game Cock by Harry Moore July 28, 1916.

Sumter decided on a plan of attack of assaulting the camp in three mounted detachments. The initial assault was made early in the morning where Winn’s and Davie’s men completely routed Bryan’s corps. Capt. McCulloch’s company of the British Legion, after presenting a volley, was also routed by Sumter’s riflemen. The Prince of Wales Regt. also came under heavy fire and suffered very severe losses, including Carden who was badly wounded. The King’s Carolina Rangers then came up, and having cleverly deployed themselves in some woods, checked the rebel assault with a surprise crossfire. This allowed the British to drew up on a hollow square in the center of the cleared ground, and to further protect themselves with a three-pounder which had been left by some of Rugeley’s Camden militia.

Then, in the heat of the battle, Major Carden of the British Command lost his nerve and surrendered his command to one of his junior officers. This was a major turning point for the Americans. At one point, Capt. Rousselet of the Legion infantry, led a charge and forced many Sumter’s men back. Lack of ammunition made it impossible for Sumter to completely knock out the British. The battled raged for 3 hours without pause, causing many men to faint from the heat and thirst.

At the end, the British had lost 192 soldiers; the Americans lost 12 killed and 41 wounded. It should have been a total American victory but the American militia was untrained and suffered from extreme thirst. A small group of Americans came across a storage of rum in the British camp and became so drunk that it became necessary to prematurely start the march back to the base camp at Waxhaw. Thus, the intoxicated Americans were in no condition to take prisoners and let the remainder of the British army retreat to Camden.

James also took part in the Battle of Fishdam Ford, an attempted surprise attack by British forces under the command of Major James Wemyss against an encampment of Patriot militia under the command of local Brigadier General Thomas Sumter around 1 am on the morning of 9 Nov 1780, late in the Revolutionary War. Wemyss was wounded and captured in the attack, which failed because of heightened security in Sumter’s camp and because Wemyss did not wait until dawn to begin the attack.

Battle of Fish Dam Ford  – Marker is near Leeds, South Carolina, in Chester County. Marker is on State Highway 215 ½ mile west of Store Road

In mid-September General Cornwallis moved north to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was virtually surrounded by active North Carolina militia and Continental Army units. Following the important defeat of gathering Loyalists at Kings Mountain, Cornwallis retreated back to Winnsboro, South Carolina, where he engaged in attempts to suppress the Patriot militia that were harassing his supply and communication lines.

Two troublesome militia commanders in South Carolina were Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion. Marion caused trouble for Cornwallis in the northeastern part of the state, east of the Santee River. His activities were successful enough that Cornwallis sent Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in November to hunt the wily Marion down. Sumter made similar troubles in the backcountry, where Cornwallis sent Major James Wemyss with the 63rd Regiment and some Loyalist dragoons to find him.

Wemyss learned on November 8 from local Loyalists that Sumter was encamped near Fishdam Ford. His intelligence about Sumter’s camp was sufficiently detailed that some men were specifically designated to attack Sumter’s tent. Moving quickly, Wemyss arrived near Sumter’s camp early on November 9. Fearing they would be discovered by Sumter’s patrols, Wemyss opted to attack immediately rather than waiting for dawn.

Sumter’s men had been wary to the possibility of surprise attacks, which were a popular British tactic. His officers had ordered their men to lie on their arms, to keep their fires burning, and had specific instructions about how to form up in case of attack. When Wemyss led the British attack against Sumter’s sentries, he was hit twice by musket fire and went down. His dragoons continued the charge into the camp, where the campfires illuminated them, providing easy targets for Sumter’s men, who had lined up in the woods just outside the camp. Their first volley took the British lead company by surprise, killing and wounding several men. They retreated, and Wemyss infantry then advanced into the camp, where they also came under fire from the woods. The British attempted a bayonet charge, but it was confounded by a fence between the two lines in the darkness. After twenty minutes of battle, the British retreated, leaving their wounded, including Major Wemyss, on the field.

Sumter played virtually no role in the battle, escaping from his tent to the riverbank early in the action.  Following the British failure, Lord Cornwallis recalled Tarleton to instead go after Sumter, who he believed was preparing an attack on Ninety Six. Tarleton and Sumter met at Blackstock’s Farm, in which Sumter very nearly revenged himself for Tarleton’s near-capture of him at Fishing Creek in August.

“Will of Sarah’s sister Mary McWilliams of Chester District, South Carolina

In the name of god Amen I Mary McWilliams of Chester District and State of South Carolina being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and publish this my last will & Testament in manner and form following

That is to Say first I allow my just debts and funeral expenses to be paid out of the first money which may come into my Executors hands its / my / property mostly consists in my wndevided third part of the lands which my brother and sister Jane now lives on

it is my desire that at my death my third part of the lands & property shall fall into my executor David C. McWilliams hands th moneys of said lands & property to be devided as follows

2nd I bequeath to my brother David McWilliams my fifty dollars

3rd I bequeath to my sister Sarah Mclaw [transcriber’s note: spelling? McCAW?] twenty dollars

4th I bequeath to my brother John McWilliams five dollars

5th I bequeath to my sister Jane McWilliams five dollars

6th I bequeath to my niece Sarah McWilliams fifty dollars &

7th I bequeath to my nephew John McWilliams twenty Dollars

8th I bequeath to my neice nancy Sprowle twenty dollars

9th I bequeath to my nephew Alexander McWilliams Decd his minor Children one Dollar each

10th I bequeath the remaing part of my property to my nephew David C. McWilliams and I wish David C. McWill to pay all these Different amounts and live on the place with John McWilliams and Jane and not m?lay? them but to have and hold my thir part of evry thing

11th I allow the Negro man tom in which brother John & Sister Jane has an equel Shair to be taken [by] my executor when parties are agreed and emancipate him in the State of Indiana

Lastly I appoint and constitute my nephew David C. McWilliams Sole executor of this my Last will & Testament

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 29 day of October 1847

Signed Sealed published and declared as the last will & Testament of the above named Mary McWilliams being first duely read to her and witnessed by us at her request in her presence and the presence of each other the day and year above written

Mary ^ her mark ^ McWilliams SL
Joseph Johnson
James B. Wylie
Joseph Disney [Disnoy? / Dishney?]
Probated December 6, 1847


1. John Morton McCAW (See his page)

3. William McCaw

 Several genealogies show a William McCaw as a son of James, but without details.  A William McCaw was an early elder of the Hopewell and Fairhaven Churches in Preble County, Ohio and a widow Mary McCaw gave her farm to her nephew [our ancestor William A. McCAW] in exchange for agreeing to take care of her.

Our ancestor William A. McCAW was too young to be the Elder William McCaw below who helped found the Fairhaven Church,. History of Preble County, Ohio

In October, 1877, Rev. J. C. Campbell, the present pastor, began his labors among the people of Hopewell. The church, at present, is in a flourishing condition. The records show that since the establishment of the church there have been eight hundred and sixty-four baptisms and one hundred and forty-two deaths in the Hopewell church proper. There have been fifty ruling elders, as follows: Alexander Hamilton, William Mc. Gaw, John Pressly, John Patterson, Ebenezer Elliott, James Boyse, David McQuiston, Nathaniel Brown, John Foster, Andrew McQuiston, John Pinkerton, John Giles, William Gilmore, John Douglas, Samuel McDill, James Brown, sr., John Caldwell, Thomas Pinkerton, David Robertson, William McCaw, Archibald McDill, James Brown, jr., Hugh McDill, David McDill, John Ramsey, George Ramsey, Andrew Hamilton, John McDill, John Buck, Robert Marshall, Robert Simpson, Richard Sloan, Hugh McQuiston, James McCracken, James Davidson, John Simpson, Hugh Elliott, Thomas Buck, Samuel B. McQuiston, William Caskey, Hugh Ramsey, James A. Brown, William Bell, and A. B. Rock. The Sabbath school has about one hundred scholars, with James A. Brown superintendent.


As soon as that portion of the Hopewell congregati0n living in the vicinity of Fair Haven had been stricken off, the petition to moderate a call had been granted by presbytery, a call was made out and moderated by Rev. Alexander Porter, and accepted by Rev. Jeremiah Morrow, son of ex-Governor Morrow. He was installed in the following spring. The congregation consisted of about fifty families, and the new church immediately commenced its career of prosperity. The following were the first elders of the church:

John and Thomas Pinkerton, John Foster, William MaGaw, and William McCaw. The present elders are William MaGaw, Morton Gordon, William A. Pinkerton, David Ramsey, William Simpson, and Robert Beckett. Mr. Morrow preached seven or eight years, and was obliged to resign on account of failing health. He died soon afterwards in Chillicothe.

In the spring of 1845 Rev. John Reynolds became pastor, but he died in about a year, and was the first person buried in the Fair Haven cemetery.

June 20, 1847, Rev. John Y. Schouller, a graduate of the Alleghany Theological seminary, took charge of the church, and still continues in this his first and only pastorate.

Israel Township, Preble County, Ohio

In the 1850 census, Mary McCaw was living on a farm with William Paul  in Dixon, Preble, Ohio.  Household Members:  William Paull 27, his wife  Eliza J Paull 26 (William A McCAW”s sister-in-law), William M Paull 1, Mary Mccaw 55, and Patrick O Connell 17   William Paul was born in South Carolina in 1821 or 1823 and married Eliza Jane Smith in 1848 in Ohio.

16 Jul 1856 – Mary McCaw gave her farm in Preble County to her nephew William McCAW in exchange for William agreeing to take care of her.  Mary was about 61 years old.  In exchange for the farm, William agreed

1. To pay one half the expense of building Mary a house  to stand near the present dwelling

Furnish Mary with all the necessaries of life except clothing including her Physician, medicines and nursing etc in the case of sickness

3 & 4. Keep and care in a proper manner one horse and one cow for Mary

5.  Furnish Mary anny other little necessaries or comforts of life suited to her condition in life and not above enumerated

6. Pay Mary for charitable, religious and other purposes fifty dollars a pear to be paid on the first of January

7. Pay all taxes and assessments and keep farm in good condition

8. If William died or otherwise failed to complete the contract, the farm would revert to Mary

9. Wukkuan agreed to live on the farm with his own family in the present dwelling house and not to rent the house to any other persons during Mary’s natural life.

William A McCAW was still living on the farm in the 1860 census, but I can’t find any further record of Mary.  William sold the farm April 10, 1869 and moved to Missouri.


4. James McCaw

James McCaw died on Christmas Day 1832  in Chester, SC.  His wife Jane L Hemphill immigrated with John MORTON McCAW and his family to Bloomington, Monroe, Indiana and On the fourth Saturday of May, 1835, the following were received on certificate into the Presbyterian.  Many of them had been under the pastoral care of the Rev. John Hemphill, a notable minister of long service among these people in Carolina.

James’ wife  L. Jane Hemphill  was born 3 Apr 1807 in South Carolina.   Her parents were both born in South Carolina.   After James died, on 24 Nov 1841 she married Alexander Henry (1804 Ireland – After 1880 Census Perry, Indiana).  Jane died 4 Sep 1892 in Bloomington Twp., Monroe County, Indiana.

Prior to being married to L. Jane Hemphill, widow of James McCaw, Alexander Henry was married to perhaps Mary Ann Millen, whose mother was a Chesnut, but I have not been able to figure out how this Mary Ann Millen was. This Mary Ann Millen apparently died in South Carolina before o Alexander moved to Indiana. And this Mary Ann Millen is likely the mother of all of Alexander’s children. Jane died 4 Sep 1892 in Bloomington, Monroe, Indiana. Jane and Alexander farmed in Perry Township, Monroe, Indiana in 1850,  1860, 1870 and 1880.

Perry Township, Monroe, Indiana where L. Jane and Alexander farmed includes the southern half of Bloomington home of Indiana University

James and Jane had the following children:

i. Jane McCaw. (Aug 1828 South Carolina, – 13 Sep 1913 in Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana); m. Robert Henry, (8 Apr 1826 in South Carolina – 20 Nov 1894 Perry, Monroe, Indiana) son of Alexander Henry born in Ireland,  and her step-brother on 22 Feb 1848. They had seven children, but only one or two lived past childhood.

In the 1880 census, Robert and Jane were farming in Perry, Monroe, Indiana.

ii. Martha McCaw (1831 South Carolina – After 1880) Martha was living with her mother Jane and step-father Alexander in the 1880 census in Perry, Monroe, Indiana.

iii. Mary Isabella Hemphill McCaw (1833 South Carolina – After 1860 when she was still living with her mother and step-father)

There are some interesting deeds showing sale of property in Chester, South Carolina before the move to Indiana.

March 5, 1834 – Chester Dist. Jennet, John (Jane McCaw), and Robert Hemphill of Chester Co., ….to be paid by Andrew McQuiston of Fairfield Dist. to Andrew McQuiston where we now live 317 acres more or less on Little Rocky Creek and branches that bound at present Samuel Mills, Mary Hemphill , John Millsetc.
signed by Jennet Hemphill , John R. Hemphill , Jane L. McCaw and Robert Hemphill on Aug. 13, 1834. Witnessed by Geo. McNall and Wm. McQuiston .

Another entry dated Feb. 23, 1836 to Andrew McQuiston of Fairfield Dist. in the state of SC all right title and interest and claim to a certain Plantation or tract of land containing 317 acres more or less sitated on the waters of Little Rocky Creek in Chester Dist. in the state of SC bounded at this time east on Samuel WYLIE, S. E. on Samuel Mills, …. S. W. on Mary Hemphill , N. W. on John Mills being the plantation whereon my Father William Hemphill deceased and formerly lived. William McQuiston Hemphill of St. Clair Co., Illinois, sworn before James S. Robinson, Justice of the Peace on Feb. 23, 1836. Witnesses were James Wilson Sr. and James Wilson, Jr.
[NOTE – Interesting that the William Hemphill’s middle name was ‘McQuiston ‘].

One last Deed entry … Dec. 24, 1839, Andrew McQuiston of Tipton Co., TN by his Attorney William McQuiston to David Hemphill and Robert W. Hemphill, Plantation of 317 acres SC, Chester dist. on Little Rocky Creek ….bounded at present – S.W. (south west) on Mary Hemphill , N. W. by John Mills and John Torbet.
Andrew McQuiston by Wm. McQuiston his lawful attorney, Sworn Feb. 22, 1840 by H. WILLIAMS, Justice of the Peach and Witnessed by Wm. CALDWELL and Robert BRICE.

5. Samuel McCaw

Samuel’s wife Elizabeth Nelson was born in 1815 South Carolina. Her father was born in South Carolina and her mother in Ireland. Eliza was a widow in Hazlewood, Chester, South Carolina in the 1880 census.

Elizabeth’s sister Margaret (Nelson) Wilson was living with the family  in 1850 and 1860. Samuel stayed in Chester, South Carolina farming there in 18401850, 1860, 1870

Children of Samuel and Elizabeth:

i. J F McCaw (1833 South Carolina – After 1850 census)

ii. Robert N. McCaw (1835 South Carolina – Before 1880 census); m. 11 Nov 1857 in South Carolina to Narcissa J. Blain (1840 –  After 1920 census when she was living with her daughter Effie Graves in Jack, Texas) In the 1870 census, Robert and Lais were living in Franklin, Drew, Arkansas. In 1880 Narcissa was widowed and teaching school in Selma, Drew, Arkansas.

iii. Sarah E. McCaw (1837 South Carolina – After 1870 census) Living with parents in 1870

iv. William McCaw (1839 South Carolina – )

v. John C. McCaw (1843 South Carolina – )

vi. S P McCaw (1848 South Carolina – Before 1860)

vii.  Edward Brice McCaw (7 Aug 1852 – 10 Dec 1886 at age 34);   His body was interred in December 1886 at Chester Co., South Carolina, at Hopewell ARP Cemetery.  m.  Martha Fannie Brice at Due West, Abbeville Co., South Carolina, on 12 Jan 1882.

6. Rev. David McCaw

David’s first wife Jane D. Torbit was born 16 Oct 1818 in Chester, South Carolina.  Her parents were John Torbit and Mary Hare.  Jane died 10 June 1858 in Maury County, Tennessee.

David’s second wife  Alzira J. Cross was born 18 Sept 1821 in Jackson, Tennessee.  Her parents  were born in Virginia.  She was first married 3 Dec 1845 in Columbia, Maury, Tennessee to Frank Butler (4 Mar 1812 – 22 Mar 1856 Maury, Tennessee). Alzira died 20 Jul 1898 in Maury, Tennessee.

David McCaw owned a farm of 156 acres , of which 60 acres was under cultivation in 1906.  David came to Maury County Tennessee in  1851.

The centennial history of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church: 1803-1903 (Google eBook)

McCaw, David.—Son of James and Sarah McWilliams was born in Chester, S. C, March 16. 1816. His educational advantages in early life were limited to the old field schools of his day, but being anxious to secure a collegiate education, he entered Miami University, and graduated from that institution August 5, 1838.

David McCaw might have lived in Elliott Hall which was built in 1828 and is still in use as a dormitory at Miami University.

[The foundations for Miami University were first laid by an Act of Congress signed by President George Washington, stating that an academy should be located Northwest of the Ohio River in the Miami Valley.  At its opening on 1 Nov 1824, there were twenty students and two faculty members in addition to the College President. The curriculum included Greek, Latin, Algebra, Geography, and Roman history.  An “English Scientific Department” was begun in 1825 which studied modern languages, applied mathematics, and political economy as training for more practical professions.   In 1839  Old Miami reached its enrollment peak, with 250 students from 13 states; only Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth were larger.  By 1873, enrollment had fallen to 87 students and the board of trustees closed the school and leased the campus for a grammar school.   The period prior to its closing is referred to as “Old Miami”. The university re-opened in 1885, having paid all of its debts and repaired many of its buildings.]

He joined the Church at Hopewell, Ohio, under the pastorate of the Rev. Joseph Claybaugh. In the fall of 1841 he was received as a student of theology by the First Presbytery, A. R. P. Church, in Mecklenburg Co., N. C, and studied theology in Erskine Theological Seminary at Due West, S. C He was licensed and ordained in 1842 by the First Presbytery. During 1841 and 1842 he was tutor in Erskine College, and in the fall of 1842 was elected a professor in the College, in which capacity he was retained until the fall of 1848, when he resigned. He is the author of the Motto of Erskine College, “Scientia cum moribus conjuncta.” [Knowledge United with Morals]

[Erskine College still exists as a small four year, Christian liberal arts college located in Due West, South Carolina.  It is highly ranked for academic quality.  Erskin was established by the Associate Reformed Synod of the South as an academy for men, Erskine College became the first four year, church-related college in South Carolina in 1839. It was named for Ebenezer Erskine, one of the founders of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and a pastor. Erskine had led a group of separatists from the Church of Scotland to found a separate Associate Presbytery. While the college has always employed a Professor of Divinity, its theological branch became a distinct but affiliated school, the Erskine Theological Seminary.

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churchis a small denomination, which was formed from the merger of the Associate (Seceder) and most of the Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) churches in Philadelphia in 1782. It is a theologically and socially conservative denomination and one of the oldest in the United States.  

In 1739, Presbyterian pastor Ebenezer Erskine led a group of Christians in leaving the Church of Scotland and forming a separate Associate Presbytery. Other similar offshoots had formed the Reformed Presbytery. These emigrated to Ireland, and later to the United States, establishing congregations from around 1750 to 1770, mostly in the back country of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Some churches of the two movements came together officially in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1782. Another synod was formed of churches in South Carolina and Georgia in 1803 and still another in Texas. The northern Synod merged with the Associate Presbyterians in 1858 to form the United Presbyterian Church of North America.  The modern ARP Church descends from the southern Synod.  In 2004, the ARPC had 41,019 members in 256 churches. The denominational office is located in Greenville, South Carolina.]

In April, 1839, David was married by Rev. Warren Flenniken in Chester, S. C, to Jane Dickey Torbit, a daughter of John and Mary Hare Torbit. She was born in Chester, S. C, Oct. 16, 1818. Three children were born to them, two daughters still living, and a son who died in 1876. She died June 10, 1858. She was a good woman greatly beloved by all who knew her. He was married a second time to a daughter of Hon. John B. Cross of Jackson, Tenn. She was born in 1821 and died July 20, 1898. She was beloved and mourned by all.

Century review, 1805-1905, Maury county, Tennessee… By David Peter Robbins

Trustees – Prior to the middle of the 19th century the magistrate made the assessments and the sheriff was collector. David McCaw, [now 1906] in his ninetieth year, who resides with his renter on Bear Creek, 3 1-2 miles northeast of Columbia, was made assessor under a special Act for 1856-7, after which the assessing again reverted to the magistrate. The collectorship was separated from the sheriff’s duties about the war time, Wm. C. Allen having been chosen in 1864; W. B. Kannon, 66; W. L. Connor, 68; J. H. Akin, 70; D. A. Craig, 72; A. A. Lipscomb, 74; W. T. Edwards, 76—at which time the duties of collector were added to those of the Trustee’s office. J. C. McCaw and others served as Trustees during the seventies;

Schools.—Among early teachers here -were C. F. Collins, Geo. and Edward Gantt, David McCaw, and others. Academies and various private schools -were maintained until the present public-school law became effective. A. C. Allen is now in charge of the school.

David wrote an article in Dec 22, 1897 issue Associate Reformed Presbyterian newspaper, Erskine College, Due West, South Carolina.  Census records show him to be a successful farmer.  In the 1850 census, David and his first wife Jane D. Torbit were living in District 48, Jefferson, Georgia.

David and Alzira had one child, Angeline Pocahontus Butler (1846 – 1848). By 1860 census, David and  Alzira were living in Maury, Tennessee.  David was quite wealth with real estate worth $17,000 and  personal property worth $13,000. By 1870 his farm was worth $20,000.

Map of Tennessee highlighting Maury County

Map of Tennessee highlighting Maury County

David buried his second wife Alzira J. Cross at Rose Hill Cemetery, Columbia, Maury County Tennessee

McCAW, A. J. Cross, b. Jackson, Tenn. 28 Sep 1821 -20 Jul 1898. ‘David McCaw, a native of S.C., erected this shaft in his 84th year A.D. 1900, in fond memory of his second wife. He intends to sleep by her side.” Block “M”

McCAW, no inscription on this shaft stone for the birth and death date of David McCaw, if he is buried here there is only the inscription that “He intends to sleep by her side” referring to A.J. Cross his 2nd wife. Block “M” 3165

McCAW, Jane D. Torbit, no dates. “His 1st wife Jane D. Torbit. of Chester, S.C. is buried at Zion.” (On side of the same shaft as A.J. Cross McCaw.) Block “M” 3166

McCAW, Susan Wilson Jacobs, Jan 1866 – May 1953. Blcok “M” 3137

McCAW, W. C., “His son W.C. McCaw of Wheeler’s Cavalry Sleeps at Lonoke Ark.” Block “M” 3164

Children of David and Jane Torbit:

i. Mary A. McCaw b. 1840 South Carolina; d. ca. 1865

ii. William Chambers McCaw b. 1846 in Due West, Abbeville, South Carolina; d. ca 1885 in Lonoke, Lonoke, Arkansas; Of Wheeler’s Cavalry buried at Lonoke, Arkansas

iii. Jane A McCaw (c. 1850 Georgia – Before 1920 census); m. Eudoxus  V McCullum (1849 Georgia – After 1920 census)  In the 1880 census E.V. was a buggy maker in Alpharetta, Milton, Georgia.  In 1910 Jane and E V were living in Marietta Ward 5, Cobb, Georgia with their son Robert.

iv. Julia A. McCaw (16 Oct 16 1850 in Augusta, Georgia – 11 May 1934 in Columbia, Tennessee); m. 12 Jul 1871 in Maury, Tennessee to William Bradshaw Wilson (31 Dec 1821 in Tennessee – 24 Mar 1906 in Columbia, Tennessee)  William first married Izora C. Hamilton 14 Aug 1851 in Columbia, Tennessee. Izora died just two years later in 1853.   He was elected mayor of Columbia in 1854.  He married again to Louisa B Wilkins 8 May 1862 in Columbia, Maury, Tennessee.  Louisa died in 1866.  William was elected Maury County Clerk in 1866.

William Bradshaw Wilson Portrait – At the time of his marriage to Izora C. Hamilton in 1851 Source: Colonial Dames’ Tennessee Portrait Project site

Children: Julia D Wilson (1873 – ) wife of R. Butler, of Nashville; Allee Wilson (1876 – 1882); Nick Wilson (1878 – 1928) mar. Elmo Gray, and farmed the home place in 1906; Gertrude, (1880 – 1891)  D avid E. Wilson (1882 – ) Railroad telegraph operator; Jane Wilson (1885 – 1977) m. Allen Burnside Gallaher;  Janie and Paul C. (1887 – ) were home in 1906.

In the 1880 census, William was a Deputy Clerk in Maury, Tennessee. William was 29 years older than Julia and in 1880 had three children living at home from a previous marriage.

Home of Julia McCaw Wilson  Source: Century review, 1805-1905, Maury county, Tennessee. The homestead of 127 acres, 1 m. E. of Columbia, is sightly located and the home fronted by a fine park of ancient oaks

By the 1900 census, William and Julia were divorced and William was living with his daughter Julia Butler and listed as a “capitalist.” I can’t find Julia in the 1900 census, but by 1910 she was living alone on her own farm in Maury, Tennessee.

Century review, 1805-1905, Maury county, Tennessee… By David Peter Robbins  (David McCaw and family

Hon. W. B. Wilson, whose fertile memory has assisted the compiler in establishing facts and dates, was born, Dec. 31, 1821, came to Columbia to clerk in boyhood, was elected constable, 1846, engaged in merchandising as firm of Wilson & Porter, 49, was mayor of Columbia, 54, deputy sheriff several times, clerk of chancery, circuit, and county courts, and twice elected to the State Legislature

[Julia and William’s son] D. E. Wilson, born in Columbia, Sept. 28, 1882. He commenced telegraphy at age of 14, and 6 months later became operator at Mt. Pleasant. After the charge of this office for 2 • years, he became assistant in the dispatcher’s office at Nashville, later served 2 yrs. in the north yards of Columbia, then voluntarily changed to the St. L. and Iron Mt. R. R., at Little Rock, Ark., serving 2 years, when he returned to Harriman Junction, Tenn., where, after 18 months with the Q. & C., he became agent for L. & N. at Calender’s Sta., and, 1906, was transferred to Godwin.

Children of David and Alzira:

v. Susan  McCaw?  (Jan 1866 – May 1953) m1. [__?__] Wilson m2. [__?__] Jacobs,


7. Edward Alexander McCaw

Edward’s wife Mary Ann Moffatt was born 14 Jul 1827 in Chester, Chester, South Carolina. Her parents were William F. Moffatt and Jane McDill. Mary Ann died 11 Feb 1896 in Troy, Obion, Tennessee.

E. A. and Mary Ann moved from Chester South Carolina  to Obion County, Tennessee between 1849 and 1853.

Family is connected w/ the Reformed Presbyterian folks on Fishing Creek & environs including McDills, Millens, McDaniels, McMillans, et al In the 1830s some went to OH.IN,IL, others to GA.MS.TN.AR depending on their views on slaveholding.

Edward was listed as the head of a family on the 1850 Census at Chester Co., South Carolina. 1850 South Carolina, Chester Co. lists the following family: E.A. McCaw, age 29, born in South Carolina; Mary McCaw, age 25, born in South Carolina; Sarah J. McCaw, age 5, born in South Carolina; William M. McCaw, age 3, born in South Carolina; Sarah McCaw, age 79, born in South Carolina; Eli Chestnut, age 10, negro.

Edward was listed as the head of a family on the 1860 Census at Chester Co., South Carolina. 1860 South Carolina, Chester Co. lists the following family: E.A. McCaw, age 48, born in South Carolina; M. McCaw, age 36, female, born in South Carolina; S.J. McCaw, age 15, female, born in South Carolina; W. McCaw, age 13, male, born in South Carolina; M.M. McCaw, age 10, female, born in Tennessee; J.H. McCaw, age 7, male, born in Tennessee; J.C. McCaw, age 4, male, born in Tennessee. Edward died on 11 January 1884 at Troy, Obion Co., Tennessee, at age 63.

The centennial history of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church: 1803-1903 (Google eBook)

Pleasant Hill, Obion Co., Tenn.—Located six miles east of Troy, and two miles west of Rives, has been a place of preaching from an early day in the history of this country. A union church was built here, and for many years a monthly appointment was filled by the pastor of the Associate Reformed church at Troy.

The organization of an Associate Reformed Presbyterian church was formed there by Rev. T. P. Pressly, November 18th, 1882, with 13 members. Edward. A. McCaw T. B. Moffatt and James. H. McCaw were elected Elders. Regular services were continued at this place until the congregation decided to build at Rives, and to move the organization to that place. This was consummated, the church at Rives being dedicated in January, 1888, and services discontinued at Pleasant Hill.

Children of Edward Alexander McCaw and Mary Moffatt

i. Sarah Jane “Sallie” McCaw (1844 Chester Co., South Carolina – 21 Dec 1916 in Troy, Obion Co., Tennessee, at 72 years of age.) Her body was interred  in Troy, Obion Co., Tennessee, Troy Cemetery. m1. S. F. Maxey 1869; m2. Augustus Paden Moffatt 1880. Augustus was born in Chester Co., South Carolina 30 March 1830. One source gives birthplace as Troy, Tennessee. Augustus was the son of James Strong Moffett and Martha Moffatt.

ii. William M. McCaw (1846 Chester Co, SC – 1927)

iii. Martha Mary McCaw (Jan 1849 South Carolina – 1932);  m. 1868 at Troy, Obion Co., Tennessee to David “Dock” Marshall (1845 – Before 1910 Census) In the 1900 census, Martha and David were still farming in Troy, Obion, Tennessee in the northwest corner of the state.  Martha had twelve children, seven of whom were still living in 1900.

iv. James H. McCaw (1854 – May 1924  Union City, Obion, Tennessee); m.  23 Nov 1882 Obion, Tennessee to Elizabeth Purdida Callicott (Feb 1860 Tennessee – 27 Feb 1949, Obion, Tennessee)  In the 1910 census, James and Purdida were farming in Obion, Tennessee.

v. John C. McCaw (1856  Obion County, Tennessee – May 1924 Union City, Obion, Tennessee,) In the 1910 census, John was single and working as a furniture salesman in Rives, Obion, Tennessee.

Map of Tennessee highlighting Obion County

Map of Tennessee highlighting Obion County







Century review, 1805-1905, Maury county, Tennessee… By David Peter Robbins  (David McCaw and family)

The centennial history of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church: 1803-1903 (Google eBook) (Rev. David McCaw)


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21 Responses to James McCaw

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  7. Erin Price says:

    Hello. I work for an interior design company and we are actually trying to obtain more information on the Liberty Boys of ’76 image you have posted. Where did you obtain the image? Do you know if someone has rights to it? I apologize to clutter your comments with something unrelated to genealogy, but I was hoping you could help. Thank you.

  8. yogaleigh says:

    Thank you so much for this information. I’ve been struggling to get info on my mother’s mother’s family and the only things I knew were that her parents were Julia (McCaw) and William Bradshaw Wilson and through Ancestry.com I’d found that maybe David McCaw was Julia’s father and you have given me so much more than I’d had before. So David & Jane McCaw to Julia and William Wilson to Jane Wilson and Allen Burnside Gallaher to Polly Gallaher Gaitskill to me, Leigh. Thanks!

  9. yogaleigh says:

    PS – my grandmother had brothers not just a sister. I have two of them on my family tree at Ancestry.com (Gaitskill/Gallaher family tree) that I got off the 1880 census but because the 1890 census records burned I’m having trouble getting the others (my grandmother and a brother or two were born in the 1880s); somewhere in my mess of papers I have (or had) a page of notes I scribbled many years ago when I made my grandmother give me some info that has all of their names but where is it now???

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Leigh,

      I fleshed out Julia’s paragraph. It looks like she and William had a tempestuous relationship. He was 29 years older and by 1900 they were divorced and William was living with your great-aunt Julia Butler. I couldn’t find Julia in 1900, but by 1910 she was living alone in Maury, TN. I couldn’t quite decipher William’s occupation in 1880 Deputy [CC?] Clerk? By 1900 he was listed as a capitalist. Do you know more of the story?

  10. yogaleigh says:

    Sorry, I kept thinking I’d checked that I wanted an e-mail if there was a response so I didn’t look back here. I’ve actually added quite a lot to the William and Julia story since then (and I have a chunk more that I’ve not put on yet). In 1880 William listed himself as Deputy Clerk on the census. I’ve since found a fabulous resource — Century Review of Maury County 1805-1905, which is complete on line and mentions William quite a few times. Also mentions David McCaw. Also, in the supplement at the end there’s a picture of Julia’s house (which I’m pretty sure started off as William’s) with a bio of her. The divorce seems to be a little murky. My grandmother only said that he left them (she didn’t mention that he was about 70…). On the 1900 census Julia listed herself as divorced but in every other bio and census I’ve seen and on her tombstone she’s listed as his widow.

    I’ve also stumbled into the Centennial History of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (it’s also on line in full) and David McCaw was in fact ordained in 1842 after studying at Erskine Theological Seminary at Due West, SC — also had a degree from Miami University. His bio is pp. 210-211 in that book.

    My great frustration at the moment is that I can’t so far get to William’s parents, which makes me all the more pleased that I’ve found your great info on Julia’s ancestors!

    • markeminer says:

      Hi, I’m glad we made contact. I’ve incorporated the material you found into this page. My dad’s cousins were Presbyterian Missionaries and I found the information about Rev David McCaw and Erskine College very interesting. Several of my Scot/Irish ancestors moved from Chester SC to Preble Ohio early in the 19thC and this helps paint the picture. Thanks again, Mark

      • yogaleigh says:

        Doing some more research I ran back into this piece and enjoyed reading it again. Something I noticed: The piece about Alzira and Rev. David having a child — as far as any info I’ve ever found they didn’t. The year of birth for this child (1846) is while Jane Torbit was still alive. And Alzira was married to a Butler first –the child’s name suggests she was his daughter. Alzira was a widow of nearly 50 when she married David in 1860, well after that child was born and died and I’m thinking it’s unlikely she’d have had a child at that point.

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  14. Pelham Lyles says:

    So interesting to see the excellent work you have done on the Chester County, SC McCaws. I presume that the John McCaw who married Rev. William Martin’s daughter (who died soon after) may have been from this lineage. My McCaws who settled in York County, just north of Chester County, were apparently of a different immigration group from Antrim. John McCaw, the immigrant, according to family tradition and published in Sally Pelham Webster’s “The McCaws in SC, 1737 to 2004” came to Pennsylvania employed as a surveyor. I think he also may have been a linen weaver in the old country. His son John McCaw first appears in SC in the militia records, havingg been born in PA in 1753. He married Mary Johnston Gordon (1757-1829, daughter of Robert Johnsont Sr. of York County, SC) in 1781. He fought in Purrysburg, Ramsour’s Mill, Battle of Huck’s Defeat, and as an acting -commissary for the light horse under General T. Sumter. He became a merchant in York Court House and was a member of the sixthe General Assembly, and Clerk of Court, also the first postmaster of York Court House. Our line of McCaws, living not more than 30 miles from the McCaws of Hopewell community in Chester, became a cotton plantation owner and slave owner. Although our group was staunch Presbyterian, they did not follow the tenets and leanings of the Covenanters/Seceders, many of whom came to SC with the emminent Rev. Martin and his 5 shiploads of settlers. The Hopewell/Rocky Creek McCaws who went to Ohio and beyond were anti-slavery practitioners.

    • markeminer says:

      Thank you Pelham for your interesting post. I learned about the Civil War from a South Carolina perspective from the McCaws, It was a part of our history that I did not know before. Most all my ancestors were Northerners, the McCaws were an exception, though I have Scot-Irish from several other sources as well. First they were kicked out Scotland and then they had to leave Ireland.

      I have some Johnstons that married into the the group that moved from South Carolina to Preble County in Ohio. A whole community followed their minister to Ohio around 1803, probably because they were anti-slavery as you say.

      I don’t know a lot about the Johnstons and some of what I have is a guess. William Johnston settled on a farm, Crawford County, Pennsylvania in 1801. He came from Cumberland County, Penn.; was a soldier in the war of 1812, going to the front twice, for which he received two land grants and a pension. He and his wife were charter members of the Presbyterian Church at Conneautville.


      Thanks again,


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