Monday, June 25, 2018

McMullin Family: Where Did They Go? The Ohio Contingent

When my four times great uncle, Matthew McMullin, Jr.[1], died on 4 July 1828 he left a heck of a financial and administrative mess behind. In three convoluted lawsuits about land he may have owned at the time of his death, the names of his seven siblings, his widow and his nine children were named.

Matthew McMullin, Jr., married Mary "Polly" Wysong, daughter of Feidt "Fayette" Wysong, in Botetourt County on 18 August 1801. They lived in Bedford County[2], Virginia, after their marriage where Matthew's father settled after moving from York County, Pennsylvania, sometime after 1790. They had nine children:
  • Fayette McMullin (1805-1880)
  • Elizabeth (McMullin) Bowyer Briddy Denton (1807-1892)
  • Margaret (McMullin) Baber (1810-before 1835)
  • Mary Rebecca (McMullin) Wilcox (1811-1882)
  • Christopher McMullin (?-?)
  • Matthew McMullin, III (1815-likely after 1894)
  • Susan (McMullin) Baber (1813-1871)
  • Andrew Jackson McMullin (1817-1892)
  • Minerva (McMullin) Miles Carmack (1821-after 1880)
Learning about these first cousins four times removed has taken me to the halls of Congress, learning about stagecoach driving, and pioneering with those who settled in Ohio. This is the story of those who migrated to Allen County, Ohio -- daughter Elizabeth McMullin and her first husband, Isaac Bowyer; Margaret and Susan McMullin and their husband James W. Baber; and Matthew McMullin, III, and his wife, Eliza Jett.

Isaac and Elizabeth (McMullin) Bowyer

Elizabeth McMullin married Isaac Bowyer on 16 November 1824 in Bedford County. They had one son, Madison, in 1826. Madison was profiled in an 1896 history of Allen County, Ohio, described his parent's life in Ohio:

"...and in 1829, with his family, loaded in a wagon and started for Sangamon county, Ill., but on arriving in Ross County, Ohio, he was obliged to lay up for the winter, and hearing flattering accounts of Allen county, in the following spring he came here, leaving his family in Ross county, and entered 163 acres of land in the vicinity of where Elida now stands in German township. In 1831 he moved his wife and child to their new home and erect a log cabin, where they encountered the many hardships and had the usual thrilling experiences of pioneers and frontiersmen. Mr. Bowyer bought a blacksmith's outfit, erected a rude log shop, bought a couple of cows of the Indians, and life began in dead earnest. He did all the blacksmithing for miles around and continued doing this work until 1835 when he turned his attention to farming, which occupation he continued in until the time of his death, which occurred in 1842. Politically, in early life he was a democrat but later a whig. He was a man of unswerving integrity, industrious, benevolent and kindhearted, and a true friend and good neighbor. His religious affiliations were with the Methodist Episcopal church and his home was the place of worship in his neighborhood for a long time. At his death Mr. Bowyer left an estate of 258 acres. Mrs. Bowyer married twice after the death of her first husband -- William Briddy first, and William Denton second. She died at the home of her son, Madison L., March 26, 1895, at the age of eighty-eight years."

Biographical Sketch of Madison L. Bowyer, son of Isaac
and Elizabeth (McMullin) Bowyer; courtesy of

It is possible Isaac and Elizabeth (McMullin) Bowyer were headed for Sangamon County because the widower of Elizabeth's aunt, Elizabeth (McMullin) Withrow settled there in 1825.

James W. and Susan (McMullin) Baber

James W. Baber married Margaret McMullin on 19 January 1828 in Bedford County. They had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, before Margaret died some time before 1835. After Margaret died, James married Susan McMullin, who was Margaret's sister[3]. He and Susan had eleven children in Ohio. He was a co-executor of his brother-in-law, Isaac Bowyer's estate in 1843, which was probated in Allen County. When the 1870 census was enumerated, James estimated the value of his real estate at $3,000 and his personal property at $675. The farm was located in Amanda, Ohio.

Analysis of the 1870 Non-population Agricultural Schedule
for the farm of James W. Baber; created using Microsoft Excel

According to the Baber Family Tree, Susan (McMullin) Baber died on 20 May 1871 and James on 14 December 1878.  

Matthew and Eliza H. (Jett) McMullin, III

According to Bud Phillips, a local Bristol, Virginia, historian and author, Matthew, McMullin, Jr., started a wagon line and stagecoach service from Bedford County to Estillville (now Gate City) in Scott County. The route came through Big Lick (now Roanoke), Salem, Christiansburg, Ingle Ferry (now Radford), Fort Chiswell, Wytheville, Rural Oak (now Marion), Abingdon, Blountville, and Estillville. The coach had a contract to carry the mail once per week. Matthew McMullin, Jr.'s son, Fayette, began driving the stagecoach at the age of 17, about 1822. After Fayette married a young woman from Scott County in 1826, he settled there and I believe some of his siblings, including Matthew III, went to Scott County after their father's death in 1829.

Matthew III married Eliza H. Jett on 1 October 1838 in Scott County. Sometime between 1850 and 1856 Matthew III, Eliza and their six children removed to Logan, Ohio. Matthew served with the 81st Ohio Infantry from 19 September 1861 through 26 Sep 1864. He was mustered out at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. By 1870 he and his wife and younger children lived in Amanda, Ohio, near his brother-in-law, James Baber.

Analysis of the 1870 Non-Population Agricultural
Schedule for the farm of Matthew McMullin, III;
created using Microsoft Excel

By 1880 Matthew and his wife lived in Pettis County, Missouri, where his son Madison lived. Eliza (Jett) McMullin died in Warrensburg, Missouri, and was interred at Clopton Cemetery in Pettis County. Matthew III likely returned to Allen County, Ohio, after her death. When he died he was buried at the Allentown Cemetery in Allentown.

[1] McMullin was frequently spelled McMullen at the time.
[2] There are conflicting sources about in which county they lived and where their children were born. Many secondary sources indicate the children were born in Scott County, but my current theory is this is not correct for three reasons: a) most of Matthew, Jr.'s children married in Bedford, b) the court cases about his estate occurred in Bedford County, and 3) the disputed land was in Bedford County.
[3] Anonymous. A Portrait and Biographical Record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio, (Chicago, IL: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1896), pages 182-184, 208-209.
[4] The Baber Family Tree indicates she was the daughter of Steven McMullen and Ann Foster, but no source citation was provided.

Matthew McMullin, Sr. (<1765-c1816): Court Cases Tell the Tale

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