St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Madness Monday: Maggie, Who Was Your Father?

Sometimes, genealogy is frustrating. Especially when one is looking for an early female. Such is the case with Margaret McMILLAN.

According to her original tombstone, good ole Maggie was born in 1762. She married John HENRY of Lower St. Clair, Twp in Allegheny County as his second wife. His first wife, Sarah SMITH, daughter of John SMITH of Washington County, PA, died around 1790.

Maggie's father? I have a couple of candidates. One of the candidates is Thomas McMILLAN. Why? She named a son Thomas McMillan HENRY in 1791. I suspect it was her first child born to the couple as he already had four children by Sarah. There are a couple of Thomas McMILLANs living in the neighborhood but I have yet to prove any of them belonged to Maggie.

The other candidate which has a stonger claim at this time is Patrick McMILLAN. I did find a will in Washington Co, PA of a Patrick McMILLION. In this will, he mentions son in law John HENRY.

Why am I not convinced that Patrick is the right father for Maggie? There are no sons or grandsons or nephews or anyone named Patrick. Ever. And we all know that the Scot Irish naming tradition would not have allowed her father's and her mother's names to be ignored. I have to wonder if her father was indeed Thomas, but perhaps he died? Perhaps Maggie was raised by a kinsman, Patrick, as his daughter? To date, I have not seen any children by him and wife Jean.

We do know Maggie was able to read and write as she signed some legal paperwork after the death of her husband in 1838. So, Maggie dear, I still long to know who you really were.

Maggie raised the children of Sara after she died. She was indeed loved, as the name Maggie has continued down to the present generation. Sara also had many descendants named for her, but it appears they all died young. Scary.

Maggie, who are you?

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