Hi, I am looking for information about my McKee family. It is a hard history to do as there are so many McKee's in Northern Ireland. And many of the documents are been destroyed by fire.
If you see any connection with my McKee's please contact me.
My Great Grandparnets are James William McKee and Jane McGowan McKee of Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. I have now much info about all of James and Jane four boys Bill (my Grandpa), Wesley and Twins Marshall and George, but I can not seem to get further than their parents information. Any help would be appreciated.
James William McKee
Born to: John McKee(? not sure)
Siblings:?(How many is not known - It is said that he had a sister called Margaret McKee and she married a man with the surname Beattie. She had a couple of sons, one called Tommy and one was nicknamed Count Beattie)
Born: about 1864
Birthplace: Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Relocated to: Relocated for a few months to USA, thur Ellis Island, but returned home because they did not like the USA.
Description: 5'10", average frame, brown hair, blue eyes, right handed.
Education: Grade School, Bangor Co. Down NI
Employed: Brick Layer and labourer, Milesman
Service: UK Army
Health: Lung problems and Cancer
Buried: Bangor Abbey Chruch - cemetery behind church, Northern Ireland. (Small cement headstone, less than two feet square and in the ground) Original a shield in the ground but it is now gone.)
Church: Church of Ireland, Bangor Abby, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland Protestant denomination
Last known address: owned, 13 & 13a Springfield Road, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Married to: Jane (Ellen?) McGowan
Married on: 1890's
Born to: McGowans?
Siblings: Brother (the brother’s son & his family moved to Orillia, Ontario, Canada)
Jane had a sister who married a man with the surname Chambers (Chinq - (Nickname) Chambers was a cousin of Bill, Wesley and the twins) That is why Marshall’s middle name is Chambers. Other middle names on boys where Sinclair, and Blisington, do not know how that connects yet(?)
Born: about 1869
Birthplace: Primacy or Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland (Primacy, was were the family thought she was born, but the ship’s record states Holywood.)
Relocated to: Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, went to USA for a few months, but returned.
Description: 5'7", average frame, light brown hair, blue eye, right handed.
Education: Grade School, Bangor
Employed: Wife and mother, St. Comgall’s Parish church committee member and volunteer.
Service: No military service
Health: Stroke, heart problems, heart attack, psoriasis.
Buried: Bangor Abbey, Northern Ireland.
(Son, Wesley is with buried with them too)
Church: Bangor Abby, and St Comgall's Parish, Church of Ireland, Bangor, County Down, N. Ireland, Protestant denomination
St. Comgalls Parish Church, in Bangor, is on Hamilton Road. Many McKee children still go to this church.
Parents of: Bill, Wesley, George & Marshall - Twins
It is said that John McKee was a Milesman.
(Milesman/Lengthsman - railway worker who had a length of railway track to keep in good order.) The railroad probably came to Bangor in the 1860's as the railroad station was opened in 1865. According to the book, “Bangor, Historic photographs of the County Down town 1870-1914", By Ian Wilson.
Marshall did take some of his children to his parents grave when they were little. Marshall Jr. recalls that he was about 9 or 10 years old the last time his father took him to the cemetery. Marshall Sr. pointed to an area and said, “ This is were me Mommy and Da lay!” The grave was never attended to, and the grass was growing over the less than 2 foot square cement headstone and plaque.
Their church was Church of Ireland, however Ellen McKee Munroe says her dad always said they were Baptist.
Jane asked her son Wesley and daughter in law Lily McKee for their daughter Maureen. They said yes, and sent Maureen to be raised by Jane from the ages of 3 to 11.
It is said that the McGowan’s were supposed to have money at one point, and that is how James and Jane were able to buy the two connected homes. One for them to live in and the other was to be rented out for profit.
They travelled April 8th 1913, to the USA on the ship California. I believe the family went to retrieve their eldest son Bill McKee who travelled there on the ship Columbia on October 21,1912. Bill age is listed as 16 years old. He was being sent to his Uncle’s in Pennsylvania.
Within the California ship’s records are the families ages recorded. James’ ages stated as 49 years and Jane’s as 44, Wesley was 11 years old and the twins were 6 years.
They returned home as the family just did not like living in the USA. Later their sons would move to Canada.
Interesting note is that the ship California was later torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine off the Irish coast in 1917. The ship was built by D. & W. Henderson & Company, Glasgow, Scotland, 1907. It was 8,662 gross tons; 485 (bp) feet long; 58 feet wide, with steam triple expansion engines, twin screw. It’s service speed 17 knots. It held 1,214 passengers (232 first class, 248 second class, 734 third class). Built for the Anchor Line, British flag, In 1907 it was then named California. Its run was the Glasgow to New York service. It was transferred to the Cunard Line, British flag in 1909.
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