McGee researchers have known for years that five brothers, John, James, Robert, William and David came to Augusta and Botetourt Counties Virginia in the mid 1700ís. In 1775 they began the migration to Kentucky and were involved in the Transylvania Land settlement with Daniel Boone and others. They invested in hundreds of acres of land in the area of Boonesborough, Kentucky. That endeavor eventually fell into a hornetís nest of lawsuits so the Boones packed up and moved to Missouri in the early 1800ís. We also know thru probate records that the McGee brothers and their children soon followed.
Because of a very public lawsuit in 1824 over Williamsís estate we discovered that they left a sister, Jane, in Ireland. It was one of her sons, James Young that was a participant in that suit and in the court records he stated that his mother Jane Young was Williams sister. My cousin, William McGee and I have tried for years to locate Jane Young because we believed that if we found that information it would let us establish where in Ireland the family was from.
Bill and I traveled to Ireland in May of 2010 for three weeks and again in May of 2011 for another three weeks. We dug through hundreds records at PRONI and The National Archives in Dublin. There are many references to the McGee and Young families in Ireland. For those of you who have not discovered it yet I can tell you without hesitation that the spelling of our name is irrelevant, if it sounds like McGee then we are related. In the old records you can find a name spelled numerous ways on the same page. There are many marriages and parish records available for review and we sat for hours looking through them. PRONI, Public Records of Northern Ireland, have computerized many of the old manuscripts so it makes searching very fast but we were unable to find any record of a Jane McGee marrying a Mr.Young. Near the end of the 2011 trip we started going through microfilm records, some of which had not been computerized. Then there it was in the middle of a page of marriages in Donagheady Parish, County Tyrone: Rev. George Bracegirdle, June 11, 1755, married Jane Mcghee and Charles Young. In all of our research this in the ONLY record of a Jane Mcghee marrying a Young.
Since making that discovery Bill and I have found much about the Macghee family in County Tyrone. We discovered far too much information to document in this short announcement. We invite fellow McGee, Magee, McKee, Macky and the many other variations of our family names to join us in our research to find even more about this family. I suggest if you are interested in the McGee family then go to the PRONI website and start looking at John, David, James, Robert, William, George and Patrick Macghee of Counties Tyrone, Donegal and Derry. Look at Leckpatrick Cemetery near Strabane for John Macghee, d:1617. If you are in the Family Tree DNA project go to my kit 171920 to see if you and I are related. If you are related to William (Bill), Kenneth or Jerry McGee you probably have already noticed you have a heavy concentration of DNA matches in the area of County Tyrone and Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. That is because this Macghee family was related to the Hamilton family, aka, The Lord of Abercorn. King James 1st gave them thousands of acres of land in the early 1600ís and they were prominent in Ulster for 200 years.
I will attempt to answer as many questions concerning this information as I can. If you have any research that will compliment the above please contact me and post it for others to see.
Billís article concerning our McGee/Young research was featured in the latest edition of the Directory of Irish Family History Research Journal. It is published by the Ulster Historical Foundation and their website is http://www.ancestryireland.co.uk/
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