NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
William McRae, father of Roderick William McRae of Lowville, was born in the city of Inverness, Scotland, in 1812, son of Ducan and Margaret (McQutosh) MrRae. William McRae came to this country with his parents when a child, and shortly after arriving in Quebec his parents were stricken with cholera and died.
In January, 1847, William McRae married at Packenham, Province of Ontario, Canada, Mary, daughter of Morgan and Mary (McDonald) Curran. They came to Lewis county, N.Y. in 1849, where they purchased land and made their home in the town of Watson, remaining until the spring of 1858 when they moved to Lowville, where the family has since resided.
1. Elizabeth, born Oct. 23, 1848; married John Gleason, of Boonville, N.Y.; they have an adopted daughter, Mary Elizabeth, born April 10, 1888.
2. Margaret, born April 24, 1850; married Pierce Grace, of Florence, Oneida county, N.Y.; eight children, four of whom are (1910) living, namely: Mary, Julia, Thomas P., John G.
3. Roderick William, see forward.
4. Mary, born Aug. 29, 1856; married John Cannan, of Martinsburg, N.Y.
5. Richard, born Jan. 3, 1859; married Julia Comstock, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; children: Rosabelle, Marie and Altha.
Mary (Curran) McRae, mother of these children, was born in county Kilkenny, Ireland, Dec. 25, 1814, died Feb. 2, 1901.
In the spring of 1864 William McQutosh McRae, brother of William McRae, enlisted in Company I, Fifty-fourth Regiment. He was taken prisoner and confined in Andersonville prison until Dec. 4, 1864, when he was brought to Annapolis, Maryland, where, unable to endure the hunger and privation, he died Dec. 8, 1864.
Roderick William, son of William and Mary (Curran) McRae, was born in Watson, Lewis county, N.Y., April 16, 1854. He was educated at the common schools and Lowville Academy. After completing his studies, at the age of seventeen, he was for a time employed by the Black River Railroad Company, first in the construction department and afterwards as locomotive fireman. During one summer he was in the employ of the Oswego Starch Factory, and the following year engaged with the Northern Transportation Company, whose boats plied between Ogdensburg and Chicago. He remained with this company two seasons, having taken out his government license which entitled him to act as second engineer. In 1875 he removed to Lowville and followed the vocation of stationary engineer, having been employed by the most extensive manufacturing concerns in the county.
About the years 1884 he engaged with Hon. H. A. Phillips, editor and proprietor of the Lowville Journal and Republican, a weekly newspaper, to act as his traveling representative, remaining inthat capactiy about fourteen years. On Jan. 1, 1898, he was appointed keeper of the Lewis County Almshouse, Hospital and County Farm, which position he held for nearly ten years, and was then appointed by Jerry A. Fiske, superintendent of the Black River Canal, to act as captain of one of the repair boats on his division, which Mr. McRae held until Sept., 1910.
In all these varied occupations, Mr. McRae has performed his duty in a highly creditable and efficient manner, giving entire satisfaction to those higher in authority.
He is a member of Lowville Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Lowville Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Lowville Lodge, No. 759, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a past grand, and of the Presbyterian church.
He married, Sept. 23, 1885, at Copenhagen, N.Y., Ellen, daughter of John Baunon, at that time an extensive farmer of Pinckney, Lewis county, N.Y. Mrs. McRae died Jan. 29, 1908.
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