Thomas McGehee

Male Abt 1659 - Aft 1727


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  • Born  Abt 1659  Loch Katrine, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  Aft 27 Jul 1727  St. John's Parish, King William (formerly New Kent) Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID  I5281  Line_036
    Last Modified  28 Dec 2014 

    Family  Ann Baytop,   b. Abt 1664, County Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1724 
    Married  Abt 1684  Prob. New Kent Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Sarah McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     2. Samuel McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     3. Mary M. McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     4. Edward McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     5. Anna M. McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     6. Wiliam McGehee,   b. Abt 1672, New Kent Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 Dec 1748, Caroline Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Jacob McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
     8. Dinah McGehee,   b. UNKNOWN,   d. UNKNOWN
    Family ID  F1734  Group Sheet

  • Notes 

    • For many years, Thomas Mackgehee was called the "immigrant," and identified as James MacGregor, son of Patrick MacGregor and Marian McDonald of Auchatrichaton. He is said to have come to America when Clan MacGregor was outlawed following Cromwell's defeat of the Scots. He supposedly changed his name to Thomas MackGehee in an attempt to hide his identity from the Crown. Quite a number of researchers today think that Thomas was the son of the immigrant, not the immigrant himself. Recent material suggests that a William MackGahey had sons William and Thomas in Virginia by 1653. The evidence suggests that the elder William may have changed his name from James MacGregor, making him the immigrant ancestor, and "our" Thomas, his son.

      Thomas owned land in several Virginia counties. Dorothy Helmer tells us that, "Thomas MackGehee owned land in New Kent Co, as early as 1689, when it is recorded in St. Peter's Vestry, p. 20, that he 'marked the bounds of his land'." Several years later, on 28 October 1702, Thomas petitioned for 256 acres in Pamunkey Neck on the west side of Nicatywance Swamp, in King William Co. This patent was granted for transporting six persons into the Colony. However, this land grant was not confirmed until 10 November 1713, according to English Duplicates of lost Virginia Records. Less than a year after his above petition, Thomas bought 110 acres from Wiliam Glover, recorded 20 September 1703, King William County. This land was farther up the Nicatywance Swamp, which is now called Harrison Creek. According to Helmer, these acres had been granted to James Johnson on 1 April 1702, then sold to William Glover. Glover, in turn sold them to Thomas MackGehee. The Quit Rent Rolls of 1704 for King William County list "Thomas MackGehee 250 acres." Nelson Heath Merriwether informs us, "...the records of these grants, detailing acreage, payments of rent, constitue the Quit Rent Rolls" and are "the first evidence of the foundation of a family progenitor in early Virginia."

      Pamunkey Neck, on the west side of Nicatywance Swamp in King William County, Virginia, was laid out for the Pamunkey Indians. The "Articles of Peace" with the Indians, however, designated this area for colonists after the Governor and Council forced the Indians to relinquish their rights.

      In his will, Thomas left bequests to all nine children but made no mention of his wife. She probably had died earlier.

      SOURCES: "Our McGehees, A History of One Branch of the McGehee Family from 1659 to the Present," Elizabeth McGehee Johnson, 1993.
      English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, Patents, pages 60, 62, 113

      From "McGehee Descendants," E. C. W. Grider: "First, let's consider the ancestry of Marian MacDonald whose husband was Patrick MacGregor. According to Sir Gregor MacGregor there were two Patricks and the one who married Lady Marian MacDonald of Slate is NOT our Patrick. Our Patrick married Marian MacDonald of Auchatrichatan, who was possibly a cousin of the MacDonalds of Slate."

      From a letter by Sir Gregor MacGregor, 2 February 1970: "There were, in fact, two Patricks living at this time who were distant cousins. The first was Patrick MacGregor of that Ilk, 13th Chief of Clan Gregor, led his Clan under Montrose in 1644 and fought at the battles of Inverlochy and Kilsyth in 1645. . . . The other Patrick MacGregor of Ardchoille (called Aberach after his father), Chieftain of the Children of the Mist and is also said to have fought under Montrose at Kilsyth in 1645. He would, of course have been subordiante to the other Patrick who was his Chief. He married Marion MacDonald of Auchatrichatan in Glencoe member of the family of the MacDonalds of Glencoe and, perhaps, a distant relative of the MacDonalds of Sleat. By her, with other children, he had two sons---- Iain, his heir, and James who settled in Virginia and was your ancestor. I am directly descended from his elder brother, Iain, as a matter of interest. In the latter half of the 16th century, this branch of the Clan led such wild and hunted lives in the misty mountains that they became known as MacEagh or "Sons of the Mist." It may be that it is from this Gaelic patronym that James MacGregor took the name MacGehee."

      Persons who could be James, the Immigrant:
      1. Thomas MackGehee who died in Virginia in 1727
      2. James MacGregor who was in Virginia and Maryland and had one son, Hugh
      3. William Mackgahye who was in Virginia in 1653

      "Any of these could be correct, but #1 Thomas is eliminated because it would not seem possible that he could fight under Montrose with his father Patrick in 1645 and have young children in 1727 when he was over 100 years old.
      #2, James MacGregor, is eliminated because of the preponderance of family history linking the MackGehees with the MacGregors and because Sir Gregor MacGregor stated that the name MackGehee probably comes from MacEagh, a name meaning Children of the Mist.
      #3, William Macgahye is my choice. His two sons were William and Thomas.
      The children of Thomas MackGehee were: William, Anna, Diannah, Abraham, Edward, Mary, Samuel, Jacob and Sarah.
      The children of William, the Quaker, brother of Thomas, were probably: Catherine, wife of Thomas Butts, James, who married Rebecca Prewitt; and Samuel, who married Mary Ladd.

      Stark Young, in his famous and rare book "So Red the Rose" (about the McGehees of the 19th century in Mississippi, particularly in and around Natchez) quotes Lucy as saying "McGehee rhymes with McFee."

      From an essay by Dr. Clanton Ware Williams for his Master's Degree at Univ. of AL:

      " Under the next king (James V), the property of the MacGregors was confiscated. This property in turn, was redeemed by Queen Mary, with all the family honors, and that state of affairs lasted until Montrose Rebellion, in which Patrick MacGregor joined Montrose in support of the royal cause. . . . This was during the Civil War of 1644, in which Charles I was defeated and executed. The property of the MacGregors was again confiscated."

      WILL OF THOMAS MACKGEHEE - Dated 27 July 1727, St. John's Parish, King William County

      Son William 10 shillings to buy a mourning ring
      Dau Anna Butler
      Dau Dinah and her husband Joseph Lipscomb 20 shillings
      Son Abraham 96 acres part of land I live on, one negro, bed and furniture and a large chest
      Sons Jacob and Samuel and Dau Sarah, when they come of age, 5 lbs each to be paid them by son
      Abraham
      Son Edward 50 acres of land, one negro, one bed and furniture, one large chest which was his mothers
      Son Samuel 50 acres of land, one feather bed and furniture, one large chest, riding mare, saddle
      and bridle
      Dau Sarah one feather bed, chest and drawers, sealskin trunk, 5 lbs. currency, her mother's horse
      saddle and bridle
      Dau Mary Dickson one feather bed, one pair blankets, desk, etc.
      Cattle, sheep, hogs, etc., to be equally divided
      Exs: sons Abraham, Edward and Samuel
      Wts: Robert Bambridge, W. Craddock, J. Buckley

  • Sources 
    1. [S77] "Old Kent County [Virginia]: Some Account of the Planters, Plantations and Places" (2 vol.), Harris, Malcolm Hart, M.D.; compiled and published by, (Name: Malcolm Hart Harris, West Point, VA, ca. 1977; repinted with permission for Clearfield co., Inc., by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, Baltimore, MD, 2006;), pg. 721, Volume 2.
      "His [Thomas MacGhee's] will was dated July 27. 1727 and was proved in King William County. (Magna Carta Barons, Browning, 1915 Edition, page 255)