Today's entry is about George McKinsey and his wife, Sarah Moore. It is also about the serendipity of the internet. And the fortunate discoveries that networking can provide.
In 1998 my husband and I were preparing for a trip to Scotland with three other couples. The men were a foursome who would play golf on as many of the famous golf courses of Scotland as they could arrange in the time period that we would be traveling. I was trying to do as much research as possible to get ready to sightsee while the men played golf.
The obvious choices for my research were my father's mother's people. My grandmother's maiden name was McGregor and her mother's maiden name was McKinsey. I knew the romantic story that was told in the family that Robert McGregor was a ship's captain who was transporting Irish passengers in the mid 1800's when he fell in love with Mary Ann Hare/O'Haire. He married her and their first son was born in New York. Robert then traveled to California and sent for his wife and son to join him. I descend from a later child, James McGregor, who was born while the family lived in Cherokee, CA.
On the McKinsey side I knew very little. But with help via internet from Tim Purdy of Susanville, CA, I was able to discover that my grandmother's gr-grandfather's name was Andrew Jackson McKinsey and that he had moved to CA during the gold rush. But I will save that story for another entry.
That year I was "hanging out" at my local LDS FHL and I somehow stumbled onto a fiche that I ordered that was a filming of a book by Ruby Mundell Barry:
The McKinsey's, McKensey, McKensie, McKinsey family : descendants of George K. McKinsey and his wife Sarah (Thomas) McKinsey of Newberry County, South Carolina, and Warren County, Ohio, and the migrations of their children into Indiana (fiche #6049761)
I printed out much of the book and it became my Bible on the McKinsey family for the next ten years. My grandmother would have been amazed to find out that on her mother's side her family had been on our continent since before the Revolutionary War. It is hard to believe that only 15 years ago I did not know these people. I have had so much fun looking at the descendants of George and Sarah!
A new highlight in my McKinsey research was just a few years ago when Harriet Imrey who is my good friend via internet pointed out that George had been a loyalist in the Revolutionary War. That was part of what started me on my quest to understand the Revolutionary War in the south that has been my passion ever since. And that is a subject for another blog as well.
But back to my story. I spent the next ten years after discovering George and Sarah McKinsey in SC looking at the Thomas family trying to figure out how Sarah was related and who of the Thomas family that were in NC and SC might have been her father. I just couldn't seem to make her fit in. Now, I don't want you to think that I am so dumb that it took me an entire ten years to make a breakthrough on a line. I need to explain that I do many lines all at the same time. I am just as interested in the female lines as I am in the male lines. Thus when I take a family back one generation, I have two lines to research: that of the mother and that of the father of the ancestor at which I am looking. I am always researching ALL of my lines. So I just chip away.
Why did Ruby Mundell Barry think that Sarah McKinsey's maiden name was Thomas? Because of a will that she found that had been written by Nehemiah Thomas. The transcription below of this will can be found:
From the evidence in the will, Ms. Barry had assumed that Sarah was the niece of Nehemiah Thomas. However, I am now totally convinced that Sarah was the niece of Abigail Moore Thomas instead of Abigail's husband, Nehemiah. That is that Sarah was a Moore NOT a Thomas as Ruby Mundell Barry had assumed. I will save my arguments as to why I have adopted this Moore family as my own for another post dated Sept 1, 2012.