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The History of Two McNeill Families In North Carolina 

Related By Marriage But Not By Birth




Mrs. F.K.Biggs, Sr. 
1505 N. Elm St. 
Lumberton, NC 28358
Jan. 22, 1970

Copy of History

Written by
Mrs. G.V.Baker of
White Oak, GA

for her father Cyrus McNeill


"This is the genealogy of two McNeill families of NC who were connected by marriage but not otherwise related.

Beginning w/ Hector McNeill, who was the first plant of my father's family in America:

He was a Highlander, born in Scotland about the year 1725. His wife's name is unknown to the author, however, he came to this country soon after he was married and landed at Wilmington, NC, the place where so many of the Scotsman landed. From there they took flat boats or barges up the Cape Fear River to Cross Creek where Fayetteville now stands. These boats were propelled by long poles at which the passengers took turn about. At Cross Creek they were met by their friends who had arrived there before them.  They were directed to a 'goodly land', stories of which had been told them in the 'Auld Countries' before they left their home.

It is not known who met Hector McNeill or whence he first located, but at the close of the Revolution we find him on a farm in Richmond Co. 3 miles west of Robeson's Ferry, now Gilchrist's Bridge, on Drowning Creek. This was no doubt selected by him as a desirable place for cattle and stock raising. Besides, the country was well stocked w/ game.

There he reared a family consisting of 2 sons and 1 daughter, viz., Angus, Lauchlin, and Sarah. Hector McNeill had a neighbor, John McEachin, who lived opposite on the east side of Drowning Creek. They were true and tried friends. For mutual convenience they built a passable causeway across the creek swamp. This bridge is there at the present time. Thus they had easy access to each other's homes.

So it came about that when their children came to years of maturity,

Angus married Margaret McEachin. Their marriage was solemnized as they stood on this bridge over the creek in the year 1799. Angus and his bride located near his father. 6 children were born to them and raised to maturity, viz., Daniel (C). McNeill, commonly known as Calder Daniel, born in 1800 and died Feb. 15, 1868; John, known as Major Jack, born in 1801 and died in 1879; Mary, born in 1803 and died in 1856; Hector, known as Preacher McNeill, born in 1805 and died in 1872; Flora, born in 1807 and died in 1872; Lauchlin, born in 1809 - at whose birth his mother died - died in 1893. These are the children of Angus McNeill and Margaret McEachin McNeill.

Lauchlin McNeill, 2nd son of Hector McNeill, married Mary McNeill. We know nothing of their children except Hector, who married first, Nancy McEachin and second, Belle McNeill. He had 6 children, 2 sons and 4 daughters; John, Daniel, Sarah, Ann, Margaret, and Almenia. This is all that is known of Lauchlin McNeill and his descendents by the writer.

Sarah McNeill, 3rd child of Hector McNeill and Margaret McEachin <this is an obvious error - Margaret married Angus, Hector's wife is unknown, though one source indicates she might have been a Graham>, never married.

John McEachin, father of my grandmother, Margaret McEachin, was born in Scotland about 1740 and came to this country in early youth and lived and died as above described. He married Mary Currie who was born about 1750 and died at the age of 87. John McEachin lived to be 74 years old. He had 7 children, viz., 

(1) Margaret my grandmother, who married Angus McNeill, born 1776, died 1809.

(2) James, born 1790, died 1868. He married Effie Purcell, daughter of John Purcell. She was born 1794, died 1843. They had 9 children, viz., John, Archie, Calvin, Purcell, Mary, Effie, Jane (my old teacher), Margaret Elizabeth, and Harriet (children of James McEachin & Effie Purcell). They are all dead except 3: Effie, Jane, and Calvin.

(3) Edward, born- died- married Mrs. Mary Johnson. They had 6 children - 2 sons and 4 daughters, viz., Daniel (Major), Evander, Jane, Annie, Eliza, and Amenda.

(4) Peter, born- died- married Miss Fairley. They had one daughter, Margaret, who married Mial Wall of Anson Co. NC.

(5) Nancy, born- died- married Hector McNeill <son of Lauchlin, as previously mentioned>. They had 6 children, 2 sons and 4 daughters.

(6) Flora, born 1785, died 1862, married Archie Lytch. They had 5 children, viz., Mary John Angus, William James, John Daniel, Sarah Ann, Mary Margaret, and Almenia (some mistake).

(7) Mary, born 1779, died 1856, married Angus McLean. She had 3 children: Angus, Giles, and Eliza.

< Unfortunately, there is no further mention of John & Mary's other sons John and Archie. >

My g-grandfather, Hector McNeill, before mentioned, died in 1812, aged 86.

My grandfather <Angus McNeill> died 1835, aged 73. His wife, Margaret, died in 1809, age 33.

(a) Daniel, eldest son of Angus McNeill and Margaret McEachin, married Ann McNeill, Feb. 7, 1828, and to them were born 4 children, viz., Hector James, born June 11, 1832, died May 1, 1860; Margaret Jane, born Mar. 1, 1835, died Jan. 21, 1883; Cyrus (AUTHOR OF THIS RECORD), born Feb. 23, 1840; Catherine Frances, born Apr. 9, 1844. <more on this family later in sketch>

(b) John, or Major Jack McNeill, was first married to Catherine McKay, sister of William and Archie McKay and Mrs. Daniel McKinnon. She died in 1840 after having bore 3 children, June, Archie, and Cattie, who was in infancy at her mother's death. My mother kept her until her father's 2nd marriage to Elizabeth Buchanan the gunsmith. <???!!!> She was an amiable woman. They had 4 children, viz., Sallie B., John B., Franklin, and Flora.

(c) Mary McNeill married John McCallum, son of Archie McCallum. They lived near Ashpole Presbyterian Church. They had 4 children, viz., Margaret Ann, Flora Ann, James Baxter, and Henry.

Margaret Ann married Alexander McRae. They lived near Rowland, at Red Bluff.

Flora Ann married John McRae. Her husband died leaving her w/ no children.  The 2 sisters married the same night. Their husbands were cousins.

James Baxter graduated at the University of NC, in the class of 1861. He volunteered and was elected Lieutenant, Co. F, Scotch Tigers. 51 NC volunteers were killed at the battle of Drewry's Bluff. He (the Lieutenant) was buried temporarily in Major Drewry's front yard. His remains were moved the following winter to the family burial grounds at Ashpole Church.

Henry McCallum was a soldier in the same Co. and regiment. He married Rev. Angus McCallum's daughter in MS and had 3 children, John, Scott, and Mary.

(d) Hector McNeill, the preacher, married Mary Purcell, dau. of John Purcell. They had 2 sons and 2 daughters, viz., Thomas Alexander, Franklin Purcell, Mary Purcell <should be Gilchrist>, and Annie.

The daughters died at the ages of 6 and 8.

Thomas A., born March 1843, graduated at UNC, read law under Judge Pearson, practiced successfully at his profession and represented Robeson Co. in the Legislature in 1872 and in 1896 was elected Judge of the Superior Court.  He married Miss Caro Smith of Cumberland Co. They have 3 children, Mary Gilchrist, Thomas, and Alice Campbell (Cammie).

Franklin (Long Frank) Purcell McNeill lived on his father's farm. He married Miss Catherine Buchanan of Richmond Co., a daughter of ex-sheriff William Buchanan. They had 2 boys and 3 girls, viz., Mary Jeanette, Hector, Flora, William, and Caro.

(e) Flora McNeill married William C. <G?> McNeill. They have 5 children, viz., 

James A., married Miss Miriam Smith of Richmond Co. They have 4 daughters, Flora Lee, Miriam <Mary Ann?>, Margaret, and Carrie Belle. <I can't tell if these are the daughters of James & Miriam or William and Flora. I think it's the latter, w/ the transciber making an error and changing the name of one daughter to Miriam>.

Mary Ann attended school at Floral College and married John H. McEachern, May, 1867. They lived near Lumber Bridge and have 5 daughters and 1 son, viz., Mary Flora, Julia, Maggie, Robert, and Carrie.

Margaret Elizabeth also attended school at Floral College and married John H. McKinnon, son of 'Big' Daniel McKinnon. They have 6 children, Ida, Dan, Luther, Flora, William, and Maggie. John died at 9 years of age.

Carrie, born June 3, 1845, also attended Floral College. She married Hector McN. Lytch of Laurinburg. They have 9 children, viz., William McNeill, James Angus, Ferguson, Flora, Edmund Shaw, Mary Ellen, Clarence, Hector, and Albert.

(f) Lauchlin McNeill married Mary McEachern, daughter of Col. Archie McEachern and Effie Sellers McEachern. They had born to them 6 sons and 2 daughters, viz., John McIntyre, Angus, Archie, Sellers, Walter and Lawrence (twins), Eliza, and Anna.

Angus was a natural born mechanic and was induced by the Confederate Government to give his services as such in the mechanical force at the Arsenal at Fayetteville where he contracted fever and died the same week his brother John was killed.

Archie <NOTE: the history calls him Archie Sellers, but this is obviously a transcription error, as he had a brother named Sellers and he his correctly listed as Archibald McEachern McNeill in the book "Lumber River Scots">, born 1843, was a soldier in the same company w/ his brother John (Co. G, Highland Boys, 24th NC Volunteers). He was severely wounded in the foot at Sharpsburg in September 1863, while guarding prisoners from Richmond to Branchville, SC. He was standing in the doorway of a boxcar on duty, his gun slipped out of his hand and in falling it struck the hammer to the doorstep. In his efforts to catch the bayonet the musket was discharged, the contents going through his right hand, necessitating amputation at the first joint. (The "foot" injury an error.) This accident incapacitated him for further service. After the war he married Miss Fannie Wright of Fayetteville and lives at Burgaw. They have several children.

Sellers, born March 6, 1848, volunteered in the Junior Reserves and served in Co. D, 1st Battalion of the NC Heavy Artillery. He was in Fort Fisher at the time of the terrific bombardment which lasted for several days. He was killed in this battle January, 1865. His comrade, Malcolm McNeill, says of him - "There was not a better soldier in the Confederate Army than Sellers McNeill".

Walter was born August, 1849. He attended the business college at Poughkeepsie, NY and engaged in business in SC. In 1870 he came to GA and engaged in the naval stores business w/ his brother Lawrence. He opened a successful commission a short time before his death in Savannah. He joined the firm of Peacock Hunt and Co. In May 1887 he was taken sick and died suddenly, after which his twin brother, Lawrence, succeeded to the position made vacant by his death. His remains are in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

Lawrence, born 1849. He was engaged in business with his brother Walter up to the time of his death, then connected himself with Peacock Hunt & Co.  He married Miss McConnell of Marlow, GA. They have one child, Walter. His mother and sister reside with him in Marlow.

Eliza, born 1851, attended school at Floral College and Peace Institute, Raleigh, NC. She moved with her parents and brothers to GA. She married Mr. Walter Powell, a successful naval stores operator both in GA and FL.  They now live in GA.

Anna attended college - Floral College and Peace Institute. She resides w/ her mother at Marlow, GA.

Children of Daniel and Ann McNeill:

Hector James attended the common schools for college under the tutorship of J.E. McNair at Robeson Institute. He entered the University in 1852, and graduated in 1855. He taught school at Spring Branch in Robeson Co. during the winter 1856-59. While there he had the misfortune to be thrown from a buggy in a runaway from which he came near losing his life. This accident caused his death the following May. While in Bladen he met Miss Fanny Cromartie to whom he was engaged. After his death she married John C. Monroe of Cumberland Co.

Margaret Jane attended school at Floral College. On Nov. 1, 1860 she was married to Dr. Duncan Smith. They had no children. Her husband was the son of 'Red' Archie and Mary McPhatter Smith who lived and died near Floral College. Dr. Smith was born in 1825. He graduated at Princeton in 1848, taught school at Lumberton, NC and read medicine under Dr. Ed. McQueen of Lumberton and later, Dr. Ben Robinson of Fayetteville; he graduated at Philadelphia Medical College. He was a very successful practioner, having the confidence of all people. To all his friends and those who knew him best he was both kind and genial. He died Jan. 2, 1895, and was buried at St. Pauls by the side of his wife.

Cyrus McNeill (author of this sketch) attended the common schools of the county at Old Hickory Grove, now Rennert. My teachers were Lauchlin Matthews, William Conoly, Catherine McGeachy, Mary Evans, Effie McEachern, then William Conoly again, afterwards for 3 terms to Daniel A. Malloy, afterwards to my brother Hector at Red Branch for 2 terms. Boarded at my uncle Lauchlin McNeill's and walked 3 miles to school every day. My aunt Mary and uncle Lauchlin treated me as one of their own boys and gave me a lot of kind instruction.

After this I attended school in the years 1857-59 at Cromartie Academy in Bladen Co., my brother Hector being teacher. I boarded at Mr. John H. Wootens, who was thrown from a horse and killed in 1859. They lived near White Hall. In the spring of 1861, at my brother's death, before mentioned, my educational career ended as the political excitement was now running high and the best of thinkers were undecided as to the future.  Nearly all the schools were closed and education was little thought of. The election came on in November <1860>. The excitement caused by it rocked the country from center to circumference. After Lincoln's election nothing was thought of but war. So, early in the spring of 1861, instead of marching off to college I marched off to war. Patriotism was at a premium. All learned men, lawyers, doctors, and ministers of the gospel volunteered. I remember distinctly hearing the adress of Rev. F.K. Nash at McLean's Cross Roads in May, 1861, which inspired many of the boys and their parents, who, up to this time hesitated, to volunteer for one year.

There was a company formed in the neighborhood of St. Pauls, Harrellsville, Floral College and Shoe Heel (Maxton). The company went into camp at Floral College and organized under the name of Highland Boys. Their officers were Captain Thaddeus Love of St. Pauls, 1st Lt. Harrison Purcell, 3rd Lieutenant Hector McEachern <McEachin?>, orderly Sgt. A.P. McKinnon, surgeon Dr. Adnell <Adville> McLean. John H. McLean, John Regan, and T.D. Love attended a military school in Charlotte which was under the supervision of D.H. Hill. The 'Highland Boys' stayed in camp at Floral College for 3 weeks. They were well and suitably named as nearly all the company were of Scotch ancestry. A reference to the old company roll will show 40 odd Macks. The company was soon ordered to Weldon where it was soon organized into a regiment. W.J. Clark was elected Colonel; Lt. Col. Jonathan Evans.

The regiment was composed of the following companies - A and H from Granville Co., B from Onslow, C E and I from Johnson, F from Cumberland, G from Robeson, K from Halifax, and D from -----? The regiment drilled at Weldon and Garysburg, NC, and went to VA about Aug. 20, and was ordered to the western part of VA to meet Rosecrans' Advance. Our 1st Brigadier General was John B. Flody, Sec. of War under President Buchanan. In the winter of 1861-62 we were returned to Petersburg, VA. There we remained until McClellan advanced upon Richmond, about the 1st of June where we were ordered to Seven Pines, east of Richmond, under heavy fire, June 28-30; at Marlvern Hill July 1st; then our brigade returned to Denny's Bluff and from there to City Point south of Appomattox. About the last of August we were ordered to Maryland. We forded the Potomac (armpit deep) opposite Leesburg and camped a day at Fredericksburg, MD; recrossed the Potomac by fording at Point Rocks, -----"

<Sorry, that's all I have!  I only have the first six pages!>

<It was typewritten using a 70's style IBM script typeface, so I would guess that Mrs. Biggs transcribed it from handwritten sheets. The document itself says that Cyrus McNeill is the author, so perhaps his daughter wrote it per his dictation.

If anyone has the rest of this history, I would very much appreciate an emailed, faxed, or photocopied copy.>


Copyright 2000 Jeffrey D. McEachin.

Verbatim copying and distribution of this document permitted for non-commercial use, provided this notice is preserved. Owner's permission required for other uses.

Page last updated 03/28/00 .

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