Monday, February 25, 2019

McMullin Family: Where Did They Go? The Illinois Contingent

Mary (McMullin) Beard, one of my three times great grandmothers had been a brick wall for Dad and me for many years. We knew little beyond her name from a Bedford County, Virginia, marriage record and that she died some time before 1850 when her widowed husband remarried. Thanks to a few DNA matches with people who had the McMullin/McMullen surname in their trees and communications with one of those matches, I found two Chancery Court cases at the Library of Virginia, which unlocked Mary Mullin's family.[1]

Map of Botetourt County; courtesy of Etsy

My four times great grandfather, Matthew McMullen, Sr., moved his family to Botetourt County from Warrington, Pennsylvania (York County) sometime in 1790 or early 1791. One of his daughters, Elizabeth, married Joseph Withrow soon after arriving in Virginia. Joseph Withrow was born in 1772 in Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he moved with his family to Botetourt County, Virginia, likely traveling on the Great Wagon Road. The county was formed from the southern portion of Augusta County in 1770 and is situated where the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain ranges run close together, separated by the James River.

Joseph and Elizabeth (McMullin) Withrow's first child was born in 1791. They had seven more children before moving to Washington County, Kentucky, near  Muldraugh Hill in 1811. Today Muldraugh Hill is a central Kentucky landmark, an escarpment which separates the Bluegrass region from the Mississippi plateau. In Kentucky, Joseph and Elizabeth had two more children. Elizabeth (McMullin) Withrow died after the 1820 census was taken.

List of 1822 marriages; courtesy

On 5 June 1822, Joseph married again to Susan Landis. Joseph and Susan had a child in Kentucky before removing north to Sangamon County, Illinois. They settled in Woodside township in 1825 and had another child. Joseph deposited a certificate at the Springfield Land Office on 1 May 1826, proving he had fully paid for 163 acres of public land offered for sale by the federal government.

Back in Bedford County, Joseph Withrow's former brother-in-law, James Harvey Beard, who had married Elizabeth McMullin's sister, Mary, filed a cause in the county Chancery Court in his position as administrator of Daniel McMullin's estate. Daniel was a brother of Elizabeth and Mary. The case was quite complicated but did detail the McMullin family relationships.

Snippet of Bedford County Chancery Court cause 1832-067; courtesy of the
Library of Virginia

The relevant part for tracing the Withrow family was found in the initial filing by James Harvey Beard:

"...Elizabeth Withrow, widow and relic of Joseph Withrow, deceased; Peggy Withrow, William Withrow, _____ Cloyd and Ann his wife, late Ann Withrow; Robert Withrow; _____ Ferrell and Sally his wife, late Sally Withrow; Matthew Withrow; Harvey Withrow; Tabitha Withrow; and Caroline Withrow..."

So in 1831, the McMullin family knew that Joseph and Elizabeth Withrow had left Virginia and headed west. It seems the McMullin family thought Joseph was deceased. "Widow and relic" makes one think Elizabeth was still alive, but if she was, why name her children? They would have only been relevant to the Bedford County case if their mother was deceased as she was one of heirs in the case.

I also surmise Elizabeth and Joseph lost contact with their Virginia McMullin family. As they didn't know that Elizabeth predeceased her husband and the names of all their children or the fact that Joseph Withrow had remarried and moved to Illinois, where he died in 1850.

According to the Chancery Court cases and a book entitled History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois: Centennial Record, Joseph Withrow had the following children:
  1. Margaret "Peggy" Withrow, born in 1791 Virginia, married Daniel Hays on 21 June 1812 in Washington County, Kentucky according to a Kentucky marriage record. 
  2. William Withrow, born 14 October 1793 in Botetourt County; will probated in Sangamon County, Illinois, on 25 January 1894; married 1) Rhoda B Prather, 2) Polly Smith, 3) Celia Turpin, 4) Ana "Ann" Wilson, and 5) Lucinda Combs
  3. Anna/Ann Withrow, born 29 December 1795 in Virginia; died in 1882 in Sangamon County; married Thomas Cloyd
  4. John Withrow, born about 1797; died about 1820
  5. Robert Withrow, born on 27 January 1800 in Botetourt County; died 3 October 1842 in Sangamon County; married Mary T. Peter in Sangamon County
  6. Polly Withrow, born about 1802; died about 1822
  7. Matthew Withrow, born 12 August 1804; died 9 Dec 1891; married Pamelia Knotts
  8. Sally Withrow, born about 1805 in Virginia; died 16 Feb 1885 in Quincy, Minnesota; married 1) Gabriel Ferrell and 2) John Sudduth
  9. James Harvey Withrow, born 15 January in Botetourt County; died 26 September 1883 in Sangamon County; married Mariah Rice Beaucamp
  10. Tabitha Withrow, born about 1812 in Kentucky; died after 1850; married Alvah "Alvey" Graves
  11. George Washington Withrow, born about 1813 in Kentucky; died before 1860; married Sarah Ann Waterman
  12. Caroline Withrow, born about 1813 in Kentucky; died before 1843; married Edward Shan
From History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois: Centennial Record, published in 1876:

WITHROW, JOSEPH was born about 1772 in Pennsylvania. His parents moved when he was a young boy to Botetourt County, Virginia. He was there married to Elizabeth McMullin. They had eight children in Virginia, and in 1811 moved to Washington County, Kentucky, near Muldraugh Hill, where two children were born. Mrs. Elizabeth Withrow died there, and Joseph Withrow married Susannah Landis. They had one child in Kentucky, and moved to Sangamon County, Illinois, where they had one child. Mrs. Susannah Withrow died in 1844, and Joseph, Sr., died in 1850 both in Sangamon County, Illinois.

MARGARET, born in Virginia, was married in Kentucky to Timothy Hays. They moved in 1824 to Vandalia, Illinois, and the next year to Sangamon County, where they both died, leaving several children.

WILLIAM, born 14 October 1793, in Botetourt County, Virginia, was married in 1818, in Washington County, Kentucky, to Rhoda B. Prather. They had twelve children, and moved with Thomas Cloyd to Fayette County, Illinois, thence to Sangamon County, in 1825, and settled in Curran Township, where two children were born...Mrs. Rhoda Withrow died in 1827 and William Withrow married Polly Smith. They had two children...Mrs. Polly Withrow died and William Withrow married Celia Turpin. They had eight children, and Mrs. Celia Withrow died, and William Withrow married [Mrs.] Anna Barbre. They had had two children, and Mrs. Ann Withrow died...William Withrow resides two and a half miles southwest of Mechanicsburg, Sangamon County, Illinois.

The Find A Grave memorial for Ann (Binion) Wilson Barbre Withrow includes a biography that contains this interesting insight into William Withrow's character:

Anna Barbre's husband, "Eli died 29 November 1839 in Waverly, Morgan County, Illinois, before their youngest son, Robert, was born. His obituary mentions that he 'leaves a widow and nine young children[2] in destitute circumstances.' His second son, William, apparently helped support the younger siblings and Anna after that time.

Anna married a third time on 7 May 1846 in Sangamon County, Illinois. This husband was William Withrow, whose son, Robert Harvey Withrow, would later marry her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth. Anna
was William's fourth wife, and she had two more children with him. William Withrow was reportedly 'so mean' to Anna's young sons, James and John Barbre that Anna 'gave them all the money she had -- 50 cents -- and sent them across the fields to live with their half-brother William.' The two boys appear in the 1850 census living with William Barbre and his wife, Lucy, in Sangamon County."

ANNA, born 29 December 1795 in Virginia, married Thomas Cloyd. Thomas, son of David, was born 14 January 1798 in Botetourt County, Virginia, and went with his parents to Washington County, Kentucky, in 1815. He was married there 27 April 1820 to Ann Withrow. They had three children in Kentucky, and in 1824 moved Fayette County, Illinois, where they had one child, and from there to Sangamon County, arriving October 1825, in what is now Curran Township, north of Lick Creek, where they had two children.

JOHN, died, aged twenty three years.

ROBERT, born 27 January 1800, in Botetourt County, Virginia, was married in Sangamon County, Illinois, 10 September 1826, to Mary T. Peter. They had five living children...Robert Withrow died 3 October 1842, and Mrs. Mary T. Withrow married August 1844 to Samuel Graham, who was born in 1811, in Pennsylvania. Samuel Graham died 1 October 1850, and Mrs. Mary T. Graham was married 23 August 1854, to Joseph McKinley. She resides in Loami, Sangamon County, Illinois.

POLLY, died in Kentucky, aged about twenty years.

MATTHEW, born in Kentucky, married Amelia Knotts. They have one child. Matthew Withrow lives eight miles west of Virden, Macoupin County, Illinois.

SARAH, married Dr. John Sudduth. They have one child, and live in St. Charles, Minnesota.

JAMES H., born in Botetourt County, Virginia, 15 January 1811, was married in Sangamon County, Illinois, to Maria R. Beauchamp. They had eight living children. James H. Withrow lives between Sherman and Barclay, Sangamon County, Illinois -- 1874.

TABITHA, was married in Sangamon County, Illinois, to Alvah Graves. They both died, leaving several children in Macoupin County, Illinois.

CAROLINE, married Edward Shane. They both died, leaving three children.

ELIZABETH H., the oldest by the second marriage, was born in Kentucky and married Joseph Drennan. Joseph Drennan was born in Kentucky and married in Sangamon County to Elizabeth Richardson about 1833. They had two children and he married Elizabeth Withrow. They had ten children. She died, and he married Sarah Purvis. They had six children, and he died in Macoupin County, Illinois.

ALMIRA, born in Sangamon County, Illinois, married Israel Coverdell, and lives in Gerard, Macoupin County, Illinois.

Note: There are some inconsistencies between the Sangamon history book and the available online records.

[1] There is a reference to a third case which was heard by the Chancery Court of Botetourt County, but it has not yet been indexed or digitized.

McMullin Family: Where Did They Go? The Ohio Contingent
Matthew McMullin, Sr. (<1765-c1816): Court Cases Tell the Tale

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