John Mecoy was born in the 1770's in Craven County, North Carolina. He married Mary Beesley on December 21,1797, in Craven County. They had seven children; John, Hardy, Abner, Sidney, Mary, Elizabeth, and Jackson Mecoy. John Mecoy's parents were Willis and Keziah Mecoy of Cove City, NC. John's family lived in Craven County for over 50 years in and around the Cove City area. John had several brothers and sisters: Hardy Mecoy, Willis Mecoy II, Delana Mecoy Daughty, Edward Mecoy, Sarah Mecoy, Betsey Mecoy, Lewis Mecoy, Huldey Mecoy, and William Mecoy.
John Mecoy moved to Rutherford County with his wife, children and in-laws, in 1806. He purchased approximately 500 acres of land near his father-in-law, John Beesley and brother-in-law, Solomon Beesley. He served on the Grand Jury for Rutherford County Court, between the years of 1807 and 1812. John also worked for the county, laying out roads and clearing land for development of roads.
In the fall of 1814, John enlisted in the War of 1812, as a private. The company's first expedition was to New Orleans to join Andrew Jackson's motley crew of soldiers defending the mouth of the Mississippi from the British. The expedition and was headed by Colonel William Carroll, and placed under the authority of Captain Bird Nance. The troops traveled by riverboat to New Orleans. After a bloody battle leaving over 700 British soldiers dead the volunteers readied to return home. In March of 1815, traveling on foot up the Natchez Trace to Tennessee, many of the troops became ill and died; John was one of them. His body is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere around French Camp, Mississippi. Military records indicate that March 16, 1815, was the date of his death. Yellow Fever or Dysentery was thought to be the cause.
Mary Beesley Mecoy remarried on December 3, 1817, to John Patterson, also of Rutherford County. The family soon moved to McNairy County, TN. The children became of age and scattered across the country. Abner married Polly Ann Ferrell on January 8, 1824, and purchased Indian land near Walnut, MS. Abner lived until the ripe old age of 88, and had 8 children with Polly. Hardy married Louisa Thorton on September 23, 1822, and moved his family to Washington County, Illinois before 1830. Hardy and Louisa had 6 children. He died in Washington County, Illinois, in October 1858. John Mecoy, Jr. married Abicilla Patterson and moved to Madison County, AR. John and Abicilla had 8 children. John passed away in the 1870's. It is thought that John and Mary's daughters settled in Illinois with Hardy. Mary Beesley Mecoy Patterson moved in with Abner and his family after the death of her second husband and is buried in Tippah County, MS. Most of the children's descendants changed the spelling of their name to McCoy during the next few generations.
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