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Her Tree Story, My Genealogy Blog
Her Tree Story,
My Genealogy Blog

Biography Written by Grandson of John James McKEMIE and additional notes by Marjory Watts

Copy of a letter shared with Marjory Watts in the early 1980's by a Newton WILSON to a Mr. BURNS, first name not known to me. [LTR 089]

"One John James McKemie, evidently a grandfather of Dr. McKEMIE of GA, to whom you referred me, wrote a family history about 1887; this John James McKEMIE was an M.D. of Claiborne Parish, LA when he marr. Martha I DAVIDSONS there in 1852. His descendants all refer to this acct. as authentic.

This line begins with John McKEMIE and his wife, m. in N. Ireland, who emig. to America ca 1700, to settle in Chester Co., PA near the Schuykill R. The writer believes that this John of Ireland was a brother or cousin of Rev. Francis; I believe he had at least one son named Francis (see Makemie bios.) All were strict Presbyterian, John of Ireland was a trader, waggoner and rafter on the rivers, esp. Delaware & Schuykill. Of his children, are noted Joseph and James, of whom the writer knew nothing. I believe these could be your progenitors. They seem to have remained in PA.

Robert and Mary emigrated to Guilford Co., NC (prob about 1760-1770); Mary married a Mr. GALLANT, who had sons by her named Daniel (d. unm.) and John (whose line rem to the TN/AL west). Robert, wife's name unkown to the writer, had among his ch. sons John, James, William and Francis. You note the name Francis in every generation, and also that the Rev. Francis Makemie who founded the Pres. Ch. in America seems not to have any issue today (he and Naomi Anderson McK. had only 2 daus., and they had no sons - but the distiquised WILSON family of Somerset Co., MD , with a senator and congressman named Ephraim King WILSON, each, appears related and is int. in the Makemie churchyard at Manokin or Snow Hill, MD).

A son of John of Ireland, John of PA (b. there 1734) was born in Chester Co., PA and rem there until 32, then marr Jane ELLIOTT of the same place, rl to ARMSTRONG, R. JOHNSON and JORDAN lines,16 at marr., and they removed to SC, first to the Congaree, where she was very ill, probably of malaria, and for her health they rem. by 1773 to Fairfied Dist (they were marr and rem to SC in 1767 where she recovered and they had a large family; their lived center on the Lebanon Church 1/2 miles from them, & a Rev James RODGERS, preacher from Ireland; John was elder; aqs Whigs they wer emuch pillaged by neighbors, whom in the main they despised, forbidding their child to assoc. with them.

Of John of PA's 12 children, eight lived to maturity; all helped in trading on the rivers and by wagon, selling horses, cattle, produce, timber, etc; the William McKEMMY of the 1790 Charleston Dist, partner of Joseph WILSON, glazier, roofer, painter, who held 23 slaves together, probably came of this line, although most Seceders were to renounce slavery. They traded and traveled up to Guilford and down to Charleston. John of PA and Jane had Francis (d. in infancy); Johnson, b. 1775; Mary (d. in infancy); A Francis (d. at 16); John; wm.; Nancy (d. unmarried at bros. place some years later); Jems Robert; Elizabeth and James. As the children matured, mosted moved to GA, to Twiggs and Troup Cos. Jane died at 60 in SC, and after that sib Robert rem his father John of PA to Twiggs Co., where he lived with children James and Nancy until he dided in 1805 at 81, and was interred near there.

Johnston McKemie marr Genl. Pierson's dau in Fairfield, and by her had 5 sibs and 2 days: Mary; John; Phillip; William; Robert; James; and Sarah. Johnson died, as did his wife, in Fairfield. Most of his children became Methodis, and one (John) was a Methodist preacher in Clairborne Co., LA in 1887; at that time William and Robert were living in Troup Co., GA; James was then living in Barbour Co., AL.

The next son fo John of PA, John (writer called him Carolina John) and his brother James were close all their lives; they marr the GIGER sisters, Rachel and Sarah. Not long after John marr in Fiarfield, SC and rem to Twiggs Co., GA, he died, and bro James raised the children, having none of his own' they were Jane; Mary; Harriet; and John Giger McKEMIE who later became and MD. This Mary McKEMIE marr Robt McKEMIE, son of her uncle Johnson McKEMIE, and died without children. This Jane marr James, another son of Johnson, and had a large family in Barbour Co., AL. John GIGER MCKEMIE married a Miss Denard, who soon died, and then his cousins, Margaret McKEMIE, dau of Robert McKEMIE, son of John of PA.

William, another son of John of PA marr a Miss CANSBY in Fairfield and removed to Twiggs, where he died;his widow and his children ret. then to Fairfield, where the writer lost them. Nancy, as mentiuoned, never married, and died at her bro James' place in Twiggs Co. Jane, another dau of John of PA marr a James ELLIOTT, removed to Twiggs, where she died; her husband raised their ch in Gren Co., AL; 5 sons, 2 daus.. James ELLIOTT left these when old and died in LA at 80. His ch. Mary (m. Jesse CODY) of DeSote, AL; Jane (marr John DODDO of Yal Busha Co., MS; Johnston (marr Miss FULLERST, who died young) removed to Texas; Susan (Mrs. SMITH) was in AL in 1887. The youngest dau og Joh of PA marr. Charles FINLEY. Robert, son of John of PA, was father of the writer, Dr. John James McKEMIE. This Robert was b. 25 July 177- in Fairfield Dist., SC and removed to Twiggs Co., GA when 28, after marrying Susannah ELLIOTTT in 1821-2; they moved to Green Co., Al ca 1822, and lived near Carthage in 1860, where he and his wife died on their plantation within a few weeks of one another in 1960.

Of this last Robert's children, who were 4, Margaret marr her cousin Dr. John Giger McKEMIE; William died unm. ion early adulthood; Robert drowned at 12,; John marr Miss Mary Ann McTURK in May 1854. This last family, that of John James McKEMIE and Mary Ann McTURK, had these children:
John (d. 1861 - 65)
Margaret Jane (ELLIOTT)
William Francis
Robt. (d. inf. 1861-1865)
Clarenc3e (d. inf. 1861-1865)
Susannah Isabel (ELLIOTT)
Mary Grahm "Minnie" (d. 1895)
Anna Ford (LATIMER)
Je;em Rpobert (CLEMENT)

All this came from the Dr. McKEMIE to whom you referred me. Feel free to copy this letter and correct it. I hope it helps identify the branches of the family.

Once again, to identify my earliest ancestor* James McKAMY, a Revolutionary soldier of Augusta/Rockbridge Co., VA, b. in VA Jan 1753, rem ca 1878 to Blount Co., TN, where he died 2 mar 1845. I am descended from his dau. Mary "Polly" McKAMY, 1793 - 1882, who marr. John WILSON near Maryville, TN in 1818, after he served under her brother, Capt. David McKAMY, in the 3rd E. TN Militia in the War of 1812. I think my James McKAMY was a son of Joghn McKemy who came to Augusta Co., VA ca 1740-70 from PA. Needless to say, all were staunch Seceders and elders of the Pres. Church (so strict that James, as elder of the Big Springs and Pistol Creek Session, excommunicated his beloved son, Capt David McKAMY, for doubtin elements of doctrine ... David came down for individiual conscience and expressed disgust with moralizing preachers). This branch seems to have split over the coming Civil War, and som fought for the north (mostly in the 98th III. Vol. INF., and some for the south (SXA cavalry, mostly). I can disucuss more of the early E. TN McKAMY families ...most cae to Anderson Co., another line to Blounty, and they spread from there to McMinn, Bradley and other counties.

I hope this finds you well and enjoying September. This is the hottest month here and in FLA that is really hot!

Best wishes,
Newton WILSON"

Read this carefully!!! I think there are errors, but it does provide some very sound clues to various branches of the family. It has been fairly welled cleared that John of SC descended, most probably, from Robert rather than John, who died in Cumberland Co., PA in the mid 1700's.

References were made to the following:

Family of Francis McKAIMY (McKAMY) of NC. Another revolutionary veteran, Francis McKAMEY, swore he was born 15 Aug 1758 in Orange Co., NC and removed to Guilford Co., NC, where he remained until 1811, when he settled in Bedford Co., TN. He was drafted from Guildford Co., and enlisted there for subsequest tours of service. He mentions a brother, James McKAMEY (McKAIMY) who he says was killed during his last tour of duty when Francis was driving wagons across the Roanoke River to Taylor's Ferry inVAm about the time of teh battle of Guilford Court House. He said tha James was killed by Tories and some of TARLETONs men; then Francis volunteered again Capt BRAHSER & Col. PAISLEY ad marched to Deep River in Randolph Co., NC in pursuit of Col. Fanning, a "Tory Colonel." Like Samuel McKAMY. Francis McKAIMY was able to sign his name in 1832, but there is no notice in the record of his death.

2. William McKEEMMY, of Charleston, SC. There was a firm of WILSON (Joseph WILSON) and McKEMMEY in Charleston, SC in 1790, evidently general traders who each held a large number of slaves. There were no white women, but two adult white males and 24 slaves in the William McKEMMY household.

3.The McAMY/McKAMY family of Crawford Co., IL. A family of McKamys came from Tennessee to Duncansville, IL, in the mid=1800's. The head of the family in 1883 was William McAMY, born in 1831, listed as an engineer. Local papers noted that he was sick at Duncansville 8 Aiug 1883. Wm. & is wife Mary and a Wm. and Ann.

4. "Little Reddy", Robert McKIMIE, Desperado. A rare pamphlet by J.W. Bridwell, published by the local newspaper in Hillsboro, OH, in 1878, describeds the wild adventures Robert McKIMIE, a member of the notorious Sam Bass Gang from Texas. There ia a line of TX McKAMYs described in Virkus Compendium, vo.. 7, p. 381, including William Thomas McKAMY, a stockman and merchant of Richardson, TX, and Thomas Franklin McKAMY, b. in Dallas 1889, who became wealthy. this line MAY come from F.R. McKAMY who was fsrom Roane Co., TN, a CSA soldier,, (1819 - 1881).