Taken from a handwritten note
Isaac McNew, son of Edward and Nancy, married about 1820.
First Wife's Name is Unknown. Died about 1836 or 1838.
Isaac McNew moved to Claybourne Co, Tennessee about 1800 to 1806.
He raised a large family by his first wife.
Nelson Hurst McNew was the youngest of this family. He was born
about 1836. He became a teacher. He graduated from Medical College
at Nashville, Tennessee about 1860. He served as a surgeon in
Confederate Army during Civil War, in Arkansas. After the war,
Nelson moved to Kentucky, where he practiced medicine, was a
politician, and published a newspaper.
He left several children and grandchildren.
Same Note continues:
Isaac McNew married second wife, Mary (looks like?) Armwine.
Date of marriage unknown.
Several children, including a Doctor McNew of Oklahoma (half brother
of Nelson Hurst McNew).
Many of the descendants of Isaac now live in or near Knoxville,
Same Note (same handwriting) continues on another page:
The Johnstons came from Scotland to North Ireland about 1689,
settled in Tyrone County and near Derry. Robert Johnston
was in the
Seige of Londonderry for 105 days (see History of that Siege).
He married there in Ireland, as did his son, John Johnston. John's son
Robert Johnston married Mary Breden, the oldest daughter of John
Bredon, whose wife was Miss Dysart (married in 1766). The
related to the Andersons and Scotts.
Robert Johnston married Mary Breden in 1788 and they came to
Marion County, Virginia in 1789, with other Scots from Ireland.
McNews, Rheas, Baucums, Wheelers and Johnstons seem to have
been related before coming to Virginia.
The Rheas settled in Sullivan County, Tennessee, the McNews in
Washington County, Virginia. Three Rhea Brothers
married three Breden Sisters.
(By this, the Johnstons and Rheas are related.)
James Johnston (born 1779) married Elizabeth McNew in 1819.
Elizabeth was born 12/25/1800.
Their child, Isaac McNew Johnston was born 1838 and died 1918.
He married (can't read the first name) ? Southern.
She was born 1841 and died 1930.
They had 11 children--two died young. Six sons and three daughters
married and raised families.
Same Note continues with:
Edward McNew married Nancy ?.
Elizabeth McNew, born 12/25/1800 in Washington Co, Virginia
There is a note written in parenthesis,
"[Old William McNew no proof he was Elizabeth's brother]"
From: Frank L. Baer, Washington D.C.
Dated: July 20, 1963
Titled: McNew - Snodgrass
Washington County, Virginia
Virginia State Library
NOTE: The Author (Frank L. Baer) refers to several lengthy Reports
with attachments. Five typewritten pages were all I received
from Willard McNew. I do not know how to acquire the rest of
the reports. If anyone is familiar with them, please advise.
Report No. 2: Attachments - 32 pages; 4 photostats.
This Report No. 2, formalizes the results from research in the original
records in the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, based
on indexes for deeds, wills, appraisements of estates, accounts,
marriage records, some deaths and births, court orders, etc.
The listings from the indexes were gained by searching the entire
compilations from page to page. Where it seemed pertinent
several documents were drawn at this time, from microfilm
or photostatic records, to see if a relationship could be established
between James McNay, born about 1818 in Virginia, who married
Jane Darnell, born about 1820 in Virginia, (the first one charted
by Mr. Allison J. McNay, San Carlos, California) and the
earlier McNews found in Washington County, VA.
Report No. 1, May 8, 1963, revealed a high number of McNew
and Snodgrass families living in Washington County, Virginia,
from 1790 through 1860. John W. McNay, son of the above James
McNay, had married Celia Jane Snodgrass, born 1848 in Virginia.
However, the Snodgrass search at the time of Report No. 2, was
secondary to the McNew search.
It has been definitely established that the family which later spelled
its name "McNay" came from a family in Washington County, Virginia,
which spelled its name "McNew". Although there are McVay families in
Washington County, Virginia records, they are definitely not a
variation of McNew, but a separate family.
Washington County, Virginia was created 1776-1777, from Fincastle
and Montgomery Counties, with the county seat at Abingdon. A cursory
survey of Virginia Wills and Administrations from 1632-1800 (p. 32
of this report) shows that the first McNew inventory, in Washington
County, was that of William McNew, in 1792. The first marriage appears
to have been that of John McNew to Sally Althea, in 1797. Deeds of
land involving persons of the name McNew are as early as 1795, Deed
Book 1, where Ezekiel Kelly and wife Mary, deeded to Edward McNew,
land; possibly the deeds of land to Elisha McNew Deed Book1, preceeded
the above, p. 199.
A will was found for Thomas McNew of Washington County, Virginia,
with Shadrach, Washington County, VA, dated May 12, 1856, proved
June 23, 1856 where he mentions his wife (not named) and his only
children, James, Emily, John and George. To James and Emily he left
"nothing" leading one to believe that James at least was now
separately housed or self-supporting; Emily seems to have offended her
father; John and George were named executors. It seems definitely
established that James McNew is the James McNew (McNay on chart) who
married Jane Darnell.
A comparison of the Thomas McNew family, Report No. 1, p. 10, for
the 1830 Washington County, VA census, and p. 13, for the 1840
Washington County, VA census, where males and females in the
households are listed by age brackets, with the Thomas McNew family
given in the 1850 Washington County, VA census, p. 17 of report No. 1,
indicates pretty clearly that the Thomas McNew of these three censuses
is one and the same person. Every child in the 1850 census can be
accounted in the male-female lists of 1830 and 1840. the will of
Thomas McNew, photostat enclosed as well as a typed transcription,
refers to James McNew. James McNew, in 1850, p. 17, report No. 1, is
living practically next to Thomas McNew as dwelling-families' numbers
29/29 and 31/31 show, a circumstance which leads to the conclusion
that James McNew, married to Jane with children John, Amanda J. and
Benjamin F., is a son of Thomas McNew.
George McNew (Report No. 1, p. 17) with an Amelia, 66 years in his
household, suggests that Amelia was the mother of George. In the Thomas
McNew family, living very close there is an Amelia 15, a daughter, who
suggests, too, that the elder Amelia might be her grandmother, in which
case, it would give us George and Thomas as brothers. Further support
of this conclusion resides in the fact that Thomas has a son George 19,
who may have been named for his uncle.
Report No. 1, p. 26, 1870 Census, Pottawatomie County, Kansas, John and
Celia McNay are living in the Vivux (Vivoux) household. This John, now 28,
would have been born about 1842, an age that agrees with that of John, 9,
son of James and Jane McNew. The name change McNew to McNay is
significant. It probably occurred during the Sixties, the period of the
Civil War, and the pension file of John McNay may provide an
explanation for such a name change. Note, too, that a Francis
Snodgrass is living two dwellings from the Vivux house which suggests
that Francis may be the father of Celia. Lucinda, wife of Francis, could
not be the mother of Celia, but she might well be a second wife to
The explanation that Emily McNew was cut out of her father's
(Thomas McNew) estate probably resides in the birth records, p. 31
this report, where it is shown that although unmarried, she was the
mother of a son John McNew, born March 27, 1859. This is after her
father's death because his will was made in 1856, but leads to some
speculation as to her father's leaving her nothing in his will.
There is another James McNew in the county, since Thomas McNew, in
1856 in his will, refers to my friend James McNew. He might well
also have been a near relative for it was not uncustomary to refer to
relatives as "friends".
The minute books, 1844-1853, showed some court suits between Thomas
McNew and Elisha McNew, which were settled out of court, involving a small
amount of money, $19.25, in 1845-1846; also Humberson Miller, was a
plaintiff against James and Edward McNew, 1848; and
James McNew had a suit against Edward McNew involving the sum of $30.11
in 1849-50. These suits indicate a close relationship between the persons
Note that Elisha McNew seems to be the earliest in the county; next is
Edward McNew. Elisha McNew, in 1827, in his will mentioned his wife
Nancy, and his sons James, Edward, Isaac, and William; his daughters
Tabitha Caywood (Cawood), Sally Hurst, Elizabeth Johnson, and
Rhoda Hurst. There is no mention of a Thomas McNew so we shall have
to look for other documents to prove who he is the son of.
With the indexes before us further search can be made among the individual
wills, inventories, accounts, deeds, etc., to establish the father of
Thomas, and his further ancestry. Another trip to Richmond will
accomplish this purpose. Also further notes will be taken in full
from the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses of Washington County, VA,
to further establish each McNew family, to eliminate some, and definitely
prove Thomas McNew's children and grandchildren. Also it will probably
show as to his brothers.
Undoubtedly further relationships will occur on further study but the above
outline shows the trend.
Snodgrass was not further traced than here shown by the attachments.
Report No. 3:
Attachments - 13 typed pages; 41 pages photocopies
Report Titled: John W. McNay - Celia J. McNay
Civil War Pension Application
The National Archives, Washington, D.C.
An examination was first made of all the name McNay who applied for pensions
on account of Civil War Service. The list of files is attached. A
brief examination was made of the two files for John M. McNay and John R.
McNay, to find out particularly where the name occurred.
The file of John W. McNay proved to be the one who was in Pottawatomie
County, Kansas, who married Celia J. Snodgrass, in that county. The
file was examined and it was decided to have photocopies made of the entire
file. This file shows that John W. McNay first served briefly in the
Confederate Army having been taken by force he claimed, then was taken
prisoner by the Union Army and afterwards when the opportunity arose he
enlisted in Co. G, U.S. Vol. Infantry. Generally the U.S. Vol. Infantry
were for regular enlisted soldiers and only enlistment registers are
available for such soldiers. John W. McNay lost his pension first
because of his Confederate service, then again on the basis that the
U.S. Vol. Infantry was for border service and not for the Rebellion.
Both times he was restored to the rolls. His marriage and the births of
his children are included in the records; also his death and that of his wife.
Note that Celia J. Snodgrass was born about 1848 in Monongalia
County, now West Virginia. That is an indication of the place her
family lived at that time. The 1850 census of that county will be
Note also that John W. McNay was in Russell County, VA, when conscripted by the Confederates--just north of Washington County, VA; he stated he was going
north. A search will be made of Kentucky service records for the
Confederate service for his service; also the Rock Island prisoner of war
records will be examined. He had not heard from his former home in
Washington County, VA, since 1866, he stated. There is no indication so
far that he used the name McNew.
Dear Kinsman Mike:
My son, Tom, was through here a couple of weeks ago, and said you would like
to have a copy of what we have on the McNew Family.
Before coming into contact with Albert and Lottie McNew, here in
I had run what information I had through a duplicator, and am
sending a copy of that with this letter. It is somewhat out of date
so far as the later generation is concerned, but maybe we can gather enough
information to bring it up to date. So will appreciate any
information you may be able to gather and send along. What we need for
such a record is the date and place of birth, and death, to whom and when
and where married. Name of father and mother and places of birth,
dates, etc., and the same for the children, of each individual. Also any
information about the trade or profession would be of interest, as well
as any tales of their lives which have been handed down through the
family, where they have traveled, or moved, and things of interest
they have done, etc.
The information that Albert and Lottie have given us helped a lot in
where our ancestors came from. Also it sort of verified the statement of
my friend, Ryan, who placed the Clan north of New Castle on Tyne.
According to the Johnston papers, we came from the vicinity of Annadale,
which is close to Dumfries, in the lowlands of Scotland.
According to the books on the subject (see the Scotch Irish in America--
there are several books on the subject), the Lowlanders and Highlanders were
a different type of people. They were at war with each other most of the
time, and between the English on one side and the Highlanders on the other,
the Lowlanders had lost most of their land by 1610, and were ready for the
move to Ireland when the Ulster settlements started.
The English government sent soldiers, who drove the native Irish off
and settled the Lowland Scots there. Then it was a struggle with the Catholic
Irish (most of the Scots were protestant) and the oppression by their
English landlords during the next 150 years or so, which made the Scots
ready to move again, this time to America.
The McNews, Rheas, Baucums, Wheelers, and Johnstons seem to have
related before leaving Ireland. Also all of the Lowland families did not
leave Scotland, so some of the McNews might have been left there, and come
directly to America.
However, the fact that these families all settled in southwestern
makes it probable that they all came from the same location. Tradition
within the family says that more than one McNew Family came to Virginia
in 1789, along with other Scots from North Ireland.
From Washington County Virginia, the McNew Clan spread over most of
the United States. Some moved to the Ohio Valley, others down into the
Carolinas, but the large marjority moved west into Tennessee, Kentucky,
Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The Family in Pine Bluff, Arkansas are from the Ohio Valley group
County, Indiana), but an old settlement of McNews have lived in the
vicinity of Conway, Arkansas, long enough to have a cemetery named for
them. They probably came from Tennessee or directly from Virginia.
This is about all the information I have to date, so if you can add
it, I would sure be pleased to receive it. There are a great many dates
and other information missing, we would like to have,and what we do have
has hardly touched on the whole McNew Clan.
Hope to hear from you some day soon.
Robert Dihel McNew
P.S. Albert and Lottie McNew, who live in Stillwater, Oklahoma, have done
great deal in getting the data on the Clan together, and probably have
more information than I have.
I was in touch with Albert by mail before we moved to Stillwater from
Pocahontas, Arkansas, the first of this year. He is an instructor in the
University here, and my wife, Beverly, is now working on her Doctoral
Degree here at the University. I am retired, having worked about 50 years
as a power plant operator with different companies and the government in
California on the Panama Canal, and in Arkansas.
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