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Rankin Family History Project


James McCabe
Irish Immigrant:  1827-1901


Early Years Marriage to Sarah Ann Smith The 1860's The 1870's The 1880's The 1890's Children of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith McCabe Family Links Contact us

Early Years

James McCabe was born in Ireland. His grave marker in St. Mary's Cemetery in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, says he was born 28 Mar 1827, but it is more likely that he was born a year or two earlier. He was the son of Thomas McCabe and Julia Fitzsimmons. He probably remembered very little of his birthplace, since he was about 8 years old when he traveled to Louisiana with his father and younger brothers, Michael and Bernard. He lost his mother Julia around this time, and shortly after settling in Livingston Parish, his father remarried.

His new stepmother was Elizabeth Richardson, the 30-year old widow of Samuel Rankin. She was the mother of three young sons. By 1849, the McCabe family grew to include three sisters and another brother. It was also around this time that the family left Louisiana and moved north to Perry County, Missouri. The earliest record for James McCabe is the 1850 census, where he is a young man living and working on the family farm.


1850 Census Data
17-AUG-1850: Missouri, Perry co., Bois Brule twp.; Pg. 36,112,112
Name Age Sex Race Occupation Cash Birthplace Status
Thomas McCabe 42 m w FARMER $ 800 Ireland married
Elizabeth McCabe 43 f w Louisiana married
Mary McCabe 12 f w Louisiana school
Martha McCabe 9 f w Louisiana school
Minerva McCabe 7 f w Louisiana school
Thomas McCabe 1 m w Missouri
Samuel Rankin 17 m w LABORER Louisiana school
James McCabe 24 m w FARMER Ireland
Bernard McCabe 21 m w FARMER Ireland

Marriage to Sarah Ann Smith

The McCabes and Rankins had a total six eligible bachelors in their household, so it was fortunate that among their neighbors was a family of young women of marriageable age. There would eventually be a total of four marriages between the Smiths and McCabes. The first was that of James McCabe to Sarah Ann Smith.

23 FEB 1852, James McCabe, age 23, son of Thomas McCabe and Julia ----- married Sarah Ann Smith, daughter of John Smith and Mary Ann Smith. Witnesses were William Simon Riney and Mary Ann Smith. Fr. T. B. Escoffier.
Source: St. Mary's Church of the Assumption Marriage Records

Sarah Ann Smith was born 04 August 1835, the daughter of John Smith and Ann Tucker. Thanks to Ann Tucker's previous marriage to Joseph Johnson, there were a total of 12 children in the Smith family.


Family of Sarah Ann Smith

Ann Tucker, born Abt. 1807 in Perry County, Missouri; died April 10, 1856 in Perry County, Missouri. She married (1) Joseph Johnson Abt. 1824. He was the son of Zachariah Johnson and Priscilla Fulks. She married (2) John Smith Abt. 1830. He was the son of Bernard Smith and Ann Drury .

Children of Ann Tucker and Joseph Johnson are:

i. Clotilda Johnson, born May 23, 1825 in Perry County, Missouri; married (1) Benedict Mattingly January 03, 1842 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; they were the parents of 8 children. She married (2) Michael McCabe November 25, 1866 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; they were the parents of one son. She married (3) Edward Lloyd Adams January 10, 1875 in St. Mary's, Missouri.
ii. Lucinda Johnson, married Benedict Joseph Ferguson September 17, 1844 in Perryville, Missouri.
iii. Elizabeth Johnson, born 1826; married Ezekiel Pannell April 07, 1845 in Perryville, Missouri.

Children of Ann Tucker and John Smith are:

i. Bernard Smith, born March 04, 1831 in Perry county, Missouri; died May 1867.
ii. Vincent Joseph Smith, born April 21, 1832 in Perry County, Missouri; married Mary-Ann Elizabeth Reed February 27, 1854 in Perryville, Missouri.
iii. William1 Smith, born December 13, 1833 in Perry county, Missouri.
iv. Sarah Ann Smith, born August 04, 1835 in Perry County, Missouri; died July 17, 1888 in Perry County, Missouri; married James McCabe February 23, 1852 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri.
v. Mary-Ann Smith, born May 05, 1837 in Missouri; married (1) Bernard McCabe February 23, 1857 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; ; they were the parents of seven children; after his death, she married (2) Benjamin Cambron, Jr. July 28, 1872.
vi. Maria Smith, born February 04, 1839; died May 22, 1878 in St. Mary's Landing, Perry County, Missouri; married William Simon Riney January 31, 1864 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; they were the parents of five children.
vii. Theresa Smith, born October 14, 1840; married George Milton Brewer December 29, 1862 in Perryville, Missouri; they were the parents of seven children.
viii. William2 Smith, born December 24, 1841; married Mary-Elizabeth Tucker February 07, 1870 in Perryville, Missouri.
ix. John Smith, born April 04, 1847.

The 1860's

By 1860, James and Sarah Ann McCabe were living on a 80 acre farm in Beauvais Township, Ste. Genevieve County, close to James' parents, Thomas and Elizabeth. There were four children, and James' brother, Michael, was living with them and working on the farm.


1860 US Census data
10 Sep 1860, Missouri, Ste. Genevieve County, Beauvais Township, St. Mary's Post Office pg. 338, dwelling 1165, family 1167
Name Age Sex Occupation Worth Cash Birthplace Literate
James McCabe 35 m farmer $500 $450 Ire noR/W
Sarah A. McCabe 25 f Mo noR/W
Edmond McCabe 10 m Mo
Rosana A. McCabe 6 f Mo
Nancy A. McCabe 5 f Mo
Thomas J. McCabe 3 m Mo
Michael McCabe 33 m farm laborer Ire noR/W

Along with the four children they were raising, James and Sarah Ann also had one horse, three milk cows, four oxen, five sheep, and four pigs. Michael McCabe was still single. They grew wheat, indian corn and irish potatoes. They sold wool and butter for a profit.

When the Civil War began, Michael McCabe and step-brothers Samuel and Sanford Rankin fought for the Union.

The 1870's

In 1870, James and Sarah Ann were living on a farm in Bois Brule township, still close to the town of St. Mary's and the Thomas McCabe farm in Ste. Genevieve County. Their family had grown some, but they had also lost their eldest son, James Edward.


1870 US Census data
13 JUN 1870: Missouri, Perry co., Bois Brule twp.;Pg. 26,200,191
Name Race Sex Age Occupation Worth Cash Birthplace
James McCabe w m 50 farmer $0 $300 Ire
Sarah McCabe w f 34 keeping house Mo
Rozana McCabe w f 16 Mo
Nancy McCabe w f 14 Mo
Thomas McCabe w m 12 Mo
James E. McCabe w m 9 Mo
William McCabe w m 7 Mo

1876 Missouri State Census Data
1876 Census, Missouri, Perry County, Bois Brule Township
Name Age Sex Read & Write?
James McCabe 53 m
Sarah Ann McCabe 42 f R
Thomas McCabe 18 m
Edward McCabe 16 m
Vincent Jos. McCabe 2 m

James and Sarah Ann's sixteen year-old daughter, Nancy, died in 1872. Their last child was born in 1878. In 1879, James and Sarah's son, John Thomas McCabe, became the first of their children to marry, and it would not be much longer before they would become grandparents.

The 1880's

By 1880, James was the only McCabe remaining from the family that emigrated from Ireland almost fifty years earlier.


1880 US Census data
JUN 1880: Missouri, Perry co., Bois Brule twp.; Pg. 25,190,190
Name Relationship Race Sex Age Occupation Born in Father Born in Mother Born In
James McCabe head w m 55 farmer Ire Ire Ire
Sarah McCabe wife w f 45 keeping house Mo Mo Mo
James McCabe son w m 19 works on farm Mo Ire Mo
Vincent McCabe son w m 6 Mo Ire Mo
Mary McCabe dau w f 1 Mo Ire Mo
Mary McCabe niece w f 14 Mo Ire Mo
Sarah Riney niece w f 14 Mo Ire Mo

In the household at this time were two nieces, Sarah Riney and Mary McCabe. Sarah was the daughter of Maria Smith and her husband William Simon Riney, both deceased. Mary McCabe was the daughter of Bernard McCabe, who died in 1869, and Mary Ann Smith.

Son John Thomas and new wife, Catherine Vessells, had a child that year. It is assumed that this first child did not survive infancy, as no other records have been found. Their second child, born in 1882, was a little girl named Emily.

In 1882, another son, Edward McCabe, married Lydia Flynn. She had been previously married to Emanuel Tucker. Edward and Lydia's first son was named James Bernard McCabe. By 1888, James and Sarah had four grandchildren.

In July 1888, Sarah Ann Smith McCabe died at the age of 53. She had been married to James McCabe for 36 years and was the mother of at least eight children, and four grandchildren. At the time, her youngest child was just ten years old.

She was laid to rest in St. Mary's Cemetery in St. Genevieve County. Her grave is situated at the top of a hill, protected from Mississippi flooding, and shaded by large trees. That area could now be called the "McCabe section" as so many family members have been laid to rest there. The two trees that are near her grave have grown quite tall, and may have been planted at the time of her death.

The 1890's

James McCabe lived the rest of his life on his farm in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, and did not remarry. He spent the next few years after Sarah Ann's death raising his children and working on his farm. Daughter Mary Anna married Edward Difani in 1898, and son Vincent married Gertrude Baylard in 1900. James reached his 74th birthday in March 1900.

On 21 Jan 1901, James McCabe made his last will and testament, naming his son, Vincent J. McCabe, as Executor and leaving him one red cow. His property was to be divided equally among his four surviving children, with the provision that first James E. McCabe must repay a debt owed to Vincent J. McCabe, otherwise his portion would be reduced to 5 dollars. Witnesses were Emmette O'Mara and James Percy Kline. James Percy Kline was the brother of Ellen Kline, wife of James McCabe's step-brother Samuel Rankin.

James McCabe died 2 days later. He is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery next to his wife, Sarah Ann.

Children of James McCabe & Sarah Ann Smith

James McCabe, born March 28, 1827 in Ireland; died January 23, 1901 in Bois Brule Township, Perry County, Missouri. He was the son of Thomas McCabe and Julia Fitzsimmons, and step-son of Elizabeth Richardson. He married Sarah Ann Smith February 23, 1852 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of John Smith and Ann Tucker.

Children of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith are:

i. James Edward McCabe, born January 21, 1853 in Perry County, Missouri; died March 12, 1860 in Perry County, Missouri.

"26 MAR 1853, James Edward McCabe, born 21 Jan 1853, daughter of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith. Sponsors were Joseph B. Tucker and Mary Ann Smith. Fr. J. Lynch."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100


"12 MAR 1860, James McCabe, son of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith. Fr. John J. Quigley."
Deaths, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1872, FHC film #1940099, pg. 50

ii. Mary-Rosana McCabe, born April 19, 1854 in Perry County, Missouri.

"25 JUN 1854, Mary Rosana McCabe, born 19 Apr 1854, daughter of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith. Witnesses were Timothy Brewer and Teresa Smith. Fr. James Rolando."
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

iii. Nancy Ann McCabe, born 1856; died February 27, 1872 in Perry County, Missouri.

"27 FEB 1872, Nancy Ann McCabe, age 16. Fr. D. M. McCarthy."
Deaths, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1872; FHC film #1940099, pg. 329

iv. John Thomas McCabe, born November 26, 1857 in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. He was named for both his grandfathers. He married Catherine Vessells, daughter of Alexander Vessells and Susan H. Reed, on November 12, 1879 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri.

"12 NOV 1879, John Thomas McCabe, son of James McCabe and Sara A. Smith, married Catherine Vessels, daughter of Alender? Vessells and Susan H.? Reed. Witnesses were James Hagan and Teresa McCabe. Dispensation granted for consanguinity of the 3rd degree. Fr. News."
Marriages, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo., 1822-1856; FHC film #1940100

John Thomas and Catherine Vessells McCabe were the parents of at least six children. Catherine died 06 September 1901, and John Thomas died November 25, 1915 in Perry County, Missouri. They are buried at St. Marys Cemetery.

v. Joseph Edward McCabe, born November 15, 1860 in Perry County, Missouri.

"Baptized on 6 Dec 1860, Joseph Edward McCabe, born 15 Nov 1860, son of James McCabe and Sarah Ann Smith. Sponsors: A. J. Ryan (Ryars?) and Teresa Smith. Priest: Abraham J. Ryan, C.M."
FHCFilm #1940098: St. Mary's Seminary Baptisms, 1857-1920, pg.69

He was the second husband of Catherine Lydia Flynn, they married abt. 1879 in Missouri. She was the daughter of William Flynn and Catherine Sanders. Frequently referred to as Edward and Lydia, they were the parents of at least three children. No death records have been found for them.

vi. William McCabe, born November 02, 1862 in Perry County, Missouri.

"Baptized on 11 Jan 1863, William, born 2 Nov 1862, son of James McCabe and Sarah Smith. Sponsors: Riney and Mary Ann McCabe. Priest: P. J. Gleeson, C.M."
FHCFilm #1940098: St. Mary's Seminary Baptisms, 1857-1920, pg. 118

vii. Joseph Vincent McCabe, born January 1875 in Perry County, Missouri.

"McCABE, Joseph Vincent, born 08 Jan 1874 & baptized 04 Apr to James McCABE & S. A. SMITH Sponsor(s): John J. McCabe & M. A. Smith"
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Baptisms 1870-1923, St. Mary, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri (PCHS)

He married Mary-Gertrude Baylard August 13, 1900 in St. Mary's, Missouri; she was the daughter of Joseph Baylard and Elizabeth Bishop. Referred to in some records as Vincent and Jennie, they were the parents of at least five children. Vincent McCabe died May 05, 1940 in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Missouri. Jennie died seven years later. They are buried together in St. Marys Cemetery.

viii. Mary-Nancy Ann McCabe, born 1879; married Edward Difani .

"McCABE, Mary Anna, born 10 Dec 1878 & baptized 03 May 1879 to James McCABE & Sara A. SMITH Sponsor(s): Josephine Bogy"
3 May 1879, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Baptisms 1870-1923, St. Mary, Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri (PCHS)

McCabe Family Links

McCabe Surname Generation 1:  Thomas McCabe Last Will & Testament of James McCabe
Brown Cemetery Mt. Hope Cemetery St. Mary's Cemetery



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