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McKinstry Genealogical Data   


There are a number of large McKinstry family groups in the U.S., and a number of smaller families that came over during the 19th century.   The surname appears to have a single origin in or near Minnigaff, Scotland, just before 1500.   I want to see if these families have one or more common Y DNA lineages.  It makes more sense to present complex genealogical data in a database than in the traditional one page of lineages of project members.   Also, the McKinstry forums seem to be full of McKinstry's who lack the most basic genealogical knowledge.  Either they don't know what their McKinstry lineage is, or they ask questions to which the answers are well known except on the McKinstry forums, like, how can we find out if the Columbus County NY family is related to the Chauttauqua County NY family?  A database of basic McKinstry genalogical information is needed.  

I tried to find all the McKinstry families, but it is clear that I've missed alot of strays, and I only just learned of a good sized Ohio family that isn't often discussed online.   

My general McKinstry database at Rootsweb Worldconnect.   This includes all of my data except that from the genealogy of the Sturbridge McKinstry family put together by the Killingsley Connecticut Historical Society from the notes of Katherine McKinstry Williams, which I have as a separate database.  

I carefully avoided including living people or their parents, even where I had that information.   Usually people can trace their ancestry atleast to 1900.   

A group of stars means that this family has representation on the McKinstry Y DNA project.  This does not necessarily mean that a second person is not needed from that line for Y DNA testing.   

****  Alexander McKinstry, b 1708, Co Antrim, Ireland.  Married Mary Samuels.  founder of Bucks County McKinstry family    Bob Erskine, son of James McKinstry aka Erskine, descendant of Alexander McKinstry Jr.   

     James McKinstry b 1733 m Sarah Huston

     ****  Alexander McKinstry Jr b 1738 m Sarah Ross  -  

Three relatives, apparently siblings of each other, and cousins of Alexander Sr.:  (Link to their hypothetical father)

    Nathan McKinstry  b 1712 Co Antrim

     Samuel McKinstry b 1721 Co Antrim.  m Priscilla Pearson.  Settled in Warrington, PA

     Elinor McKinstry came with Nathan, m Hugh Young in 1737.  Settled in Wrightstown, PA

**** John McKinstry, m Jane.   From possibly County Antrim, Irleland.  d 1795 in Richland County, SC.   Descendants to South Carolina and Alabama.   There are two versions of who the emigrant parents were.  The County Antrim version is the more likely.     

They owned a Black family, some of whom went with their owners to Alabama, whose descendants also took the name McKinstry.   I have treated them as descendants of the White family, but there is so no particular evidence of that.   The female founder is poorly identified and the father or fathers of her two sons may have been anonymous slaves.  I think that Lewis McKinstry told me that some of the Black family live in Missouri near each other but do not know they are related to each other.   

New England McKinstry families  (This is not all of the McKinstry's that ever settled in New England; this is the larger families who were tracked by Willis in a published genealogy in the mid 19th century.  A half dozen versions of his genealogy can be found complete via Google online, and an early version was published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.)

There was also a Harmon McKinstry of McKinstry Creek, in South Carolina.  

Y DNA shows the South Carolina McKinstry's to be separated from the other three families who had tested so far, by two or three hundred years.  

John McKinstry b 1773 Belfast, to South Carolina, married Mary Patton, to Washington and Franklin Counties, Pennsylvania, then to Marion County and Bucyrus, Ohio.  

Captain John McKinstry b 1712 Armagh, Ulater, Ireland (Armagh appears to be speculation).  Settled in Londonderry NH.  Married Jane Dickie  Includes Columbia Co NY McKinstry family.   

Rev. John McKinstry b 1677 "Brode", Antrim, Ireland.  Married Elizabeth Fairfield.  Settled at East Windsor, CT (Ellington, Sutton).  Includes the Chattauqua Co NY McKinstry family.   WE PARTICULARLY NEED MALE LINE DESCENDANTS OF THIS LINE FOR Y DNA TESTING.  He is the only known son of Rodger McKinstry who is otherwise rather vaguely said to have founded several huge family groups in Ireland, and conceivably have quite a number of descendants in the U.S.   Moreover, there was evidently an old notion that the New England McKinstry families were closely related to each other.  

 **** William McKinstry b 1722/3 Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, Ireland.  Settled in Sturbridge, MA, married Mary Morse.    Descendants of two of the emigrant's sons have tested have been Y DNA tested.  

I have more data on the family of William McKinstry and Mary Morse, from the records of Katherine McKinstry Williams, as transcribed by Marilyn Labbe of the Killingly Historical Society, at .   This work contains errors and was not intended to be complete, which is why it is by itself.   I transcribed the first five generations.

John McKinstry b Ballymena, Ballyclare, about 1782 in IReland.  D 1837 Ballamany, Antrim, Ireland.  (mear Carrickfergus) M Ann Wilson, b 1782, Scotland.  Two sons, Hugh and Archibald, settled in Wayne Co, Indiana.     John's farm passed to his son Robert, who stayed there.   Robert's great grandson Brian McKinstry still lives on the family farm there and grows sheep.  It's address is Glenhead Rd., Glenwherry, Ballymena, meaning that this is the same location as the James McKinstry who fought on the side of the Catholics in teh early 1700's, and then betrayed one of the O'Haughan's.   Another Glenhead/ Glenwherry Presbyterian family, the Graham's, also played a prominent role in the tale.   (I have this story in my notes, if this page should ever not work.)  That means among other things that the McKInstry family of that place lived there in the early 1700's..  Part of Archibald line to N. Michigan.   

Rodney McKinstry Rodney McKinstry b abt 1780 Carrickfergus, Ireland, to Huntington County, Pennsylvania. 

Alexander McKinstry b 1811 Ireland, immigrated to Dearborn Co, Indiana.  M Mary Alexander.   This name was sometimes McKinster in the census.   

Samuel McKinstry b abt 1790 Ireland, m Martha McGookin, settled in Dearborn Co Indiana   (E Ctrl on border on border of Ohio.  Preble and Dearborn Co are on border w Ohio)

William McKinstry.  Settled in Virginia in about 1760.   Then to Kentucky, then Butler Co, OH, then Indiana.  He and several sons fought in Revolutionary War.  Most of his probable dozen children are unknown.  One son was John McKinstry who married Charity Gard.   (They have one grandson of John McKinstry and Charity Gard, who strongly appears to have been illegitimate, and whose Y DNA at does not match any other McKinstry's.  It appears to be Celtic R1b1b2.)   

Robert McKinstry b 1802 Lisburn, Ireland.   Several children went to Canada in the mid 1800's.  I have scant details on this family.   One, Henry, m Mary Smylie and had seven children.  

William McKinstry b abt 1770 Belfast, Ireland. M Mary McGinley. Founder of Mercersburg, Franklin Co, PA McKinstry family.  

William McKinstry b 1812 Belfast.  Settled in Mendham, New Jersey.  married Catherine Elich. Had eleven children.

Robert McKinstry, founder of a line of McKinstry gentry in Co Armagh, Ireland, 18th and 19th century.  Mythologically tied to Roger McKinstry, known father of Rev. John McKinstry of East Windsor, CT.   Several families in this country think that they are descended from this family.   They may or may not be a family that was in shipping or ship building.   

Robert McKinstry b 15 Mar 1802 Co Antrim, Ireland, married Jane Warren, had Elizabeth Jane McKinstry b 1849 in Ireland, father of Warren Nelson McKinstry b 1867 in Bradford, Simcoe, Ontario.  I don't have if Elizabeth Jane's parents came with her.   Warren's birth looks to have been a nonpaternity event, from what I have.  This Robert was allegedly of the lineage of Robert McKinstry and the Armagh gentry, above.

Robert McKinstry b 1755 Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ireland.  Settled in western Pennsylvania, then he and his immediate descendants lived in Meigs and Athens Co, Ohio.    Robert is a very close (one off at 37 markers) match to a descendant of William McKinstry of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, who was also said to have come from Carrickfergus.

Descendants of James McKinster and Eliza Blackburn   (Separate web page with the genealogy of the entire clan)

Descendants of William McKinster and Elizabeth Hines (Hail)  (Separate web page with the genealogy of the entire clan.)

There are many McKinster strays who cannot identify their lines past a certain point, nor their emigrant ancestors.   Much of the time there is a record that the earliest known ancestor was sometimes called McKinstry in the records.   Unfortunately there were stray McKinstry's, McKinstry lines that were never followed forward, and McKinstry's who very early plain got lost but may have lived and had children.   For instance, there may have been McKinstry's among Daniel Boone's followers at some points.  God knows who they were.   William McKinstry, father of John McKinstry who married Charity Gard, probably had a dozen children, but only several of them are known.   One of the Meigs and Athens County Ohio emigrant's sons disappeared, and nothing is known of what became of him.   One thing that is clear is that the census and other records often mangled the name McKinstry into McKinster.   Further, the name McKinstry has a history in Scottish surname references, but the name McKinster does not.   

Go to the McKinstry Y DNA Project at Family Tree DNA

McKinstry Y DNA Results Table

Theophilus tested positive for L126 and L137, the parent SNP's of the Isles-Scottish haplotype.  

This table shows among other things that William McKistry of Sturbridge really came from Carrickfergus.  Vaguely cited family history said he was from there.   Robert McKinstry of Meigs Co Ohio was also said to have come from Carrickfergus.  At 37 markers Robert appears to be more closely related to the Sturbridge McKinstrys than the Sturbridge McKinstrys are to each other.  At 67 markers they are all two off from each other.   

The Bucks County McKinstrys are slightly more distantly related to the Carrickfergus McKinstrys.   

The South Carolina McKinstrys are closely related to each other, but separated by two or three centuries from the Carrickfergus McKinstrys.   Their ancestor certainly went to Ireland independently from Scotland.   

The Y DNA of certain McKinstry families could help to place the entire group in a family tree, by virtue of distinctive aspects of their history.  The father of Rev. John McKinstry is alleged to be ancestral to every McKinstry who has ever lived in Ireland.  The existence of another McKinstry in the Ballyclare area of County Antrim, who was born before John McKinstry's father, disproves that.   This means that the Y DNA of Rev. John McKinstry's descendants, and the Y DNA of male line descendants of the Ballyclare family, would be a real help to sort out the entire tree.   If McKinstry's who still live in Scotland and never left have the same Y DNA, that would prove the present McKinstry's came from Scotland.  So far all McKinstry's who can be found in Scotland and asked, have immediate ancestors who lived in Ireland.  

Usually some members of an old family group like this do not match in YDNA due to historical nonpaternity events, such as adoptions, rapes, and extramarital and premarital affairs, and there could even be several main Y DNA lineages.   

Go to the McKinstry Y DNA Project at Family Tree DNA