Loucinda Joan Rodgers Boyd.

The Irvines and their kin. A history of the Irvine family and their descendants online

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settled, and the places of Abram Irvine and Shelby are both noted on the first
map of Kentucky, made, I think, in 1786, by John Filson.

Abram Irvine and Mary Dean had eleven children, nine of whom married

and reared families of children. These children and their descendants are as

follows :

I. JOHN IRVINE, born February 25, 1755 ; married Prudence Armstrong,

of Mercer county, Kentucky. He was one of the magistrates who held

the first county court in Mercer county while it was still a part of Virginia.

This was in August, 1786, and associated with him were Samuel McDowell

and Gabriel Madison. The children of John and Prudence Armstrong

Irvine were :

1. Samuel, who married, first, Cassy Briscoe, and by her had three

children : (a) Rev. John, who married Matilda Smith ; (b) Jere-
miah Briscoe, and (c) William, who married Eliza Mann ; and,
second, Elizabeth Adams, by whom he had two children, Mary,
who married James Forsythe, and David.

2. Mary, who married Dr. James McElroy, and by him had three

children : (a) Alice, who married a Norton in Marion county, Mo.,

(b) Dr Irvine, who married, also, in Marion county, Mo., and

(c) Milton, who never married. They all lived in Missouri.

3. Margaret, who married Dr. David Clarke, who, with their family,

also lived in Missouri, chiefly in Marion county. Their children
were : (a) Robert, who died unmarried ; (b) Margaret, who mar-
ried a Dr. Gore, and (c) Josephine, who married a Hatcher.

4. Sarah, who married Horace Clelland, of Lebanon. Their children

were: (a) Elizabeth, who married a Dr. Walker; (b) John, who
died unmarried, and (c) Rev. Thomas H., who was married three
times, his third wife was Sally Ray.

5. Abram, who married Amelia Templeton. Their children were:

(a) Leonidas, who married Bell Burton ; (b) Lucy, who married
Rev. Robert Caldwell; (c) Ellen P., who married Joseph Mc-
Dowell, a grandson of Col. Joseph McDowell and Sarah Irvine,
daughter of Abram and Mary Dean Irvine; (d) Joseph W., who
married, first, Mariah Brumfield, and second, Mary Davis, of
Bloomfield, Ky.; (c) Margaret C, who married Anthony McElroy,
of Springfield; (_/) Gabriel C. , who was married three times, his
first wife being Elizabeth Gregory, and his second being her
sister; his third wife was a Miss Hughes; (g) Abram P., who
married Elizabeth Fleece.

6. Priscilla, who married Dr. M. S. Shuck, of Lebanon. Their


children were ; (a) Mary, who married Charles R. McKlroy, of
Springfield; (b) John Irvine, who married Mary Young, and
(c) Solomon S.
7. Robert. I do not know the names of his wife and children.
II. HANS, born April 25, 1758. He was never married.

III. MARY, married, first, William Adair, by whom she had two children : ( 1)
Alexander, who married Elizabeth Monroe, by whom he had six children ;
(a) Anna, who married Dr. Lewis of Greensburg, Ky.; (b) Mary, who
married Thomas Wagner, of Greensburg; (c) Kate, who married Gen. E.
H. Hobson, of Greensburg; (d) Monroe; (e) John, and (/) William.
Her second husband was Dr. Issachar Paulding, by whom she had no

IV. MARGARET, born April 25, 1762; married, first, Samuel Lapsley, and
second, Rev. John Lyle, the first Presbyterian preacher in Kentucky, by
whom she had the following children:

1. Sarah, whose first husband was Rev. Joseph B. Lapsley, by whom

she had two children, (a) Samuel, who married Mary Jane
Pronaugh, and resided at Lincoln, Mo., and (b) Margaret, who
married John Taylor, of Missouri. Her second husband was a
Witherspoon, of Missouri. I do not know their children. This
family all lived in Missouri.

2. John R., who married his cousin, Sarah Irvine, daughter of Robert

and Judith Glover Irvine. Their children were : (a) William J.,
who married his cousin, Ellen Lyle, of Paris ; (b) Robert B., who
married Mary McElroy, of Lebanon ; and (c) Edwin, who died
unmarried after reaching maturity. There were other children
but they died early.

3. Abram Irvine, who married Frances Hunly, by whom he had two

children: (a) John Andrew, who married Belle Russell ; (b) Joel
Irvine, who married, first, Erama Railey ; and second, Cornelia
V. ANNE, born November 28, 1763, who married her cousin, Samuel
McDowell, born March 8, 1764, who was a youthful soldier of the Revolu-
tionary War. They had the following children :

1. Mary, who married William Starling. Their children were : (a)

General Lyne, of the Union army, who married Marie Antoinette
Hensley; {b) Colonel Samuel, also of the Union army, who
married Elizabeth Lewis ; and (<r) Col. Edmund Alexander, also
of the Union army, who married Anna L. McCarroll, of Hop-

2. John Adair, who married Lucy Todd Starling, and removed to

Columbus, Ohio, where he afterwards became a judge, but died
at thirty-four years of age. Their children were: (a) Anna


Irvine, who married Judge John Winston Price, of Hillsboro,
Ohio ; (b) Starling, who died young ; (c) Jane, who married John
A. Smith, of Hillsboro; and (d) William, who never married.

3. Abram Irvine, who married Eliza Selden Lord. He resided at

Columbus, and was clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio for many
years. Their children were : {a) Gen. Irvine McDowell, who
commanded the United States army at Bull Run. He married a
Miss Burden, of Troy, N. Y. ; (b) Anna, who married a Massey,
formerly of Virginia, but afterwards of Memphis, Tenn. ; (c) John,
who was a colonel in the Union army ; (d) Eloise, who married a
Colonel Bridgeman, of the United States army; and (e) Malcolm,
who married Jane Gordon, and resided in Cincinnati.

4. Wm. Adair, who married Mariah Hawkins Harvey, of Virginia.

He was a physician and resided in Louisville. Their children
were: (a) Sarah Shelby, who married Judge Bland Ballard, of
Louisville; (b) Henry Clay, who married Annette Clay, grand-
daughter of Henry Clay, and daughter of Lieut-Col. Henry
Clay, who was killed at Buena Vista. They reside at "Ash-
land," the old Clay homestead, near Lexington; (c) Anna; (d)
Magdalen; (e) William Preston, who married Katherine Wright,
and resides in Louisville, and (/) Edward Irvine, who was a
soldier in the Union army and was killed at Resaca. He was
never married.

5. Joseph, who married Anne Bush, and settled in Alabama. Their

children were: (a) Mary, who married Judge Clarke, of Missis-
sippi; and (b) Elizabeth, who married Dr. Welch, and settled in
Galveston, Texas.

6. Sarah, who married Jeremiah Minter, of Columbus. Their chil-

dren were : (a) Ann, who married Alonzo Slayback, of Missouri ;
(b) McDowell, who never married; (c) Magdaline, who married a
Kidd, of Illinois ; (d) Mariah, who married a Colorado man,
whose name I do not know; (e) Bertrude, who died in the Union
army during the war, unmarried; (/) Ellen; and (g) Susan. I
do not know whom they married. Nearly all of this family and
their descendants live in Missouri.

7. Reed.

8. Alexander, who married, first, Priscilla McAfee, daughter of Gen.

Robert McAfee, who had removed from Mercer county to
Missouri. She, with her only child, perished in the burning of
a steamboat on the Mississippi river. His second wife was Anna
Haupt, of Mississippi. Their children were : (a) Louise Irvine,
who married her cousin, Dr. Hervy McDowell, of Cynthiana ;
and lb) Anna, who never married.


VI. ABRAM, born August 8, 1766; married, first, Sally Henry, a relative of
Patrick Henry, and second, Margaret McAfee. By his first wife he had
only one child, Jane, who married Lee M. Speak. Their children were :
(a) Frank, who married Mary Hunter; (6) Magdalen, who married James
McKee, and removed to Texas; (c) Sarah, who married Rev. J. L. McKee,
D. D., vice-president of Centre College; (d) Jane, who married Dr.
William Mourning, of Springfield; (e) Julia, who married Castello Barfield,
of Tennessee; {/) Ermine, who married John Mitchell, of Missouri, and
(g) Irvine, who died unmarried. The children of Abram Irvine and
Margaret McAfee were :

1. James H., who married Elizabeth Williamson. Their children

were : (a) John Williamson, who married Anna Simpson, of
Indiana; he resides in Missouri; (b) Anna Bella, who never mar-
ried ; (c) Elizabeth, who never married, and (d) Cornelia Critten-
den, who married her cousin, Joseph McDowell Wallace, and
resides at Danville.

2. Abram Lyle, who married Sarah Hughes. Their only child was

Letitia Reed, who married Capt. A. M. Burbank. They reside
in Atlanta.

3. Issachar Paulding, who married Margaret Muldrough. Their only

children, Hugh and Letitte, died unmarried.

4. Elizabeth, who married Ansclm D. Meyer. Their children were :

(a) Ardis Rebecca, who married Thomas R. Browne, of Wash-
ington county; (b) Margaret C, who married Stephen E. Browne,
and removed to Missouri ; (c) James, who died unmarried ; (d)
John Miller, who married Fanny English; (e) Edward Hopkins,
who married Alice Mann, of Mercer, and (_/") Mary Irvine, who
never married.

5. Mary Paulding, who married her cousin, Abram Dean Irvine, son

of Robert Irvine and Judith Glover. Their children were: (a)
Abram Walter, who married Sophia Tate, of Taylor county
(these were my parents); (b) Elizabeth M., who married Rev. L.
H. Blanton, D. D., chancellor of Central University; (c) Robert
Lyle, who married Anna Seymour, of Chillicothe, Ohio, to which
place he removed; (d) Mary Paulding, who was never married,
and (e) Rev. William, who married Elizabeth Lacy Hoge, of
Richmond, Va. There were several other children who died
young and unmarried ; their names were : Margaret Sarah, Judith
Glover, John, and Sally Lyle.

VII. ROBERT, born 1768, married Judith Glover. Their children were:

1. John Glover, who married Emiline Drake. Their children were:
(a) William Drake, who married Gorilla Parker, of Fayette
county, and (b) Emeline, who died unmarried.


2. Abram Dean, who married his cousin, Mary Paulding Irvine, whose

children I have enumerated above.

3. Robert, who married Ann Armstrong. Their children were: (a)

Robert Andrew, who married Mattie Logan, of Shelby county,
(b) Judith Emma, who married Rev. William Cooper.

4. Mary, who married, first, Walter Prather. Their children were :

(a) Martha, who married, first^a Caps, and second, a Cunning-
ham: (b) Mary, who married, first, Nineon Prather; second,
Thomas Rickets, and third, Samuel Varble ; (c) William, who
married Susan Blackwell ; (d) Robert, who married Martha
Johnson ; (<?) Walter, who married Mary Prather ; (/) Irvine,
who married Sarah Peyton; and (g) Sarah, who married Benja-
min Baker. The second husband of Mary Irvine was a Shrock,
by whom she had one child, Edward, who married Laura Taylor.

5. Judith, who married a Brink. They had no children.

6. Celia, who married William Davenport. They had only one child,

Judith, who married, first, George St. Clair, and second, John

7. Sarah, who married her cousin, John R. Lyle, whose children I

have already given.
VIII. NANCY, born July 5, 1770, married Francis McMordie. Their children
were :

1. Abram Irvine, who married, first, Jane Armstrong, and by her had

one child, Francis, who died, a Confederate soldier, during the war,
and unmarried ; second, Jane Hurt, by whom he had the follow-
ing children : (a) Nancy, who married Samuel Lackey and
removed to Texas; (b) Mary, who died without issue ; (c) Mag-
dalen, who married Elijah Vanarsdale, of Mercer; (d) Abram
Irvine, who married Nancy Harris, of Mercer.

2. Mary, who married William Cowan. Their children were : (a)

John, who never married, he died in Cuba; (b) Nancy, who
married Rev. John Bogle; (c) Sarah, who married William
Harrison; (d) Robert, who was a Confederate officer, and was
killed in the battle of Green River Bridge, unmarried ; (e) Jane,
who married Rev. Geo. O. Barnes; (/) Dr. Francis, who died
in the City of Mexico, unmarried ; (g) James, a Confederate soldier ;
and (A) Abram Irvine. The last two went to Colorado, I do not
know about their descendants.

3. Margaret, married, I think, James Crawford, of South Carolina. I

do not know about their children, if any. Nancy Irvine and
Francis McMurdie had three other children — Robert, Jane and
Hans, but I think they all died unmarried and without issue.


IX. ELIZABETH, born March 20, 1772; married George Caldwell. Their
children were :

1. Abram Irvine, who married his cousin, Anne McDowell. Their

children were: (a) Belle, who died unmarried; (b) William,
who married Callie Adams ; (c) Elizabeth, who married Preston
Talbott ; (d) Anne, who married John Yeiser ; (e) Irvine, who
died unmarried ; (/) Caleb, who married Lou Woolfork ; and (g)
Cowan, who married John C. Crawford, of Texas.

2. Isabella, who married Benjamin Perkins. Their children were :

(a) Mary, who married Nicholas Bowman ; and (b) George, who
never married.

3. Dr. John, who married Jane Fox. Their children were: (a)

Mary, who married Cyrus Richardson ; (b) Amanda ; (c) Belle,
neither of whom was ever married; and (d) Sophia, who married
Dr. Parker, of Somerset, Ky. There were three other children of
Elizabeth Irvine and George Caldwell, George, Mary and Eliza,
but I think none of them married, or left descendants.

X. SARAH, born November 21, 1774; married her cousin, Col. Joseph

McDowell, a brother of Judge Samuel McDowell, who married Anna
Irvine, the elder sister of Sarah. Their children were :

1. Samuel, who married, first, Mariah Ball; they had only one child,

Mary, who married Dr. J. M. Meyer. His second wife was
Martha Hawkins, and their children were: (a) Joseph, who mar-
ried his cousin, Ellen Irvine, whom I have mentioned before ; (b)
Charles; (c) Nicholas, who married Elizabeth McElroy, of Spring-
field ; (d) Samuel, who married Mattie McElroy, sister of Eliza-
beth ; (c) William, who died unmarried.

2. Anne, who married her cousin, Abram I. Caldwell, and whose

children have already been given.

3. Sarah, who married Michael Sullivant, of Columbus, Ohio, after-

wards Illinois. Their children were : (a) Anna, who married
E. L. Davidson, of Springfield, Ky.; (b) Sallie ; (c) Joseph
McDowell, of Illinois; (d) Lou, who married William Hopkins,
of Henderson, Ky.

4. Margaret, who married Joseph Sullivant, brother of Michael ; their

only child was Margaret Irvine, who married Gen. Henry B. Car-
rington, of the United States army.

5. Lucy, who died unmarried.

6. Charles, who died unmarried.

7. Caleb, who died unmarried.

8. Magdalen, who married Caleb Wallace, of Danville. She survives

him, with two sons, (a) Joseph McDowell, who married his cousin,
Cornelia C. Irvine, before mentioned, and (b) Woodford.


XI. WILLIAM DEAN, born August 1 775 (?) ; never married. He was an
officer in the War of i Si 2, and subsequently died at Natchez, Miss.
In this I have attempted merely to give you a list of the descendants of
Abram Irvine and Mary Dean to the third generation. It is a mere skele-
ton. To fill in, to give life and flesh, dates of birth and death, collateral mar-
riage connections, the occupations, the achievements and leading characteristics
of all who are worthy of special mention would require a volume. It is a
noble line — pure Scotch-Irish, the blood that has done more than any other to
turn the American wilderness into the strongest and most enlightened nation
the world has yet known. We shall search history in vain, I think, for a
family that combines in a higher degree love of God, of kindred and country,
with the highest personal integrity, dauntless will, energy of purpose, and a
burning devotion to liberty in all its forms, that could have been nourished
nowhere else than among the intrepid clans that followed Wallace and Bruce
to battle.

My chief objection to our great composite national life is that the mem-
bers of our best families are too prone to become absorbed in the general
hurlyburly, and to forget their past. This is to lose the greatest of all stimu-
lants to lofty purpose and unceasing exertion. The noble work you are doing
will do much, very much, to recall us of the present, and the generations yet
unborn, to realize the debt we owe to heredity, and to incite us to new
resolves to meet that responsibility.

Elizabeth Irvine.

Since this story was told me an immeasurable desert of buried years,
haunted by the ghosts of departed hopes, stretches between me and the dis-
tant time I listened to it, and I can hardly realize that I and the child who wept
over the fate of fair Elizabeth Irvine are one and the same person.

The name of Elizabeth Irvine's father — other than Irvine — I know not,
but this I heard : that he was a Scotch-Irishman, of a noble family, and that
he came to this country and married a beautiful French woman, who could not
speak English well, and who brought great wealth to her husband on her mar-
riage day.

Elizabeth Irvine was born in the South. Why I have always thought that
she was born near New Orleans I do not know, but such an impression has been
borne in on my mind ever since I heard her story, now more years ago than I
care to count.

Elizabeth inherited her mother's beauty and her father's intellect, which was
said to have been considerable ; and to these rare possessions had been added,
by the time Elizabeth had reached her eighteenth birthday, a good education.


She had been graduated in some large city in the East, but, if I ever heard the
name of it, it does not dwell in my memory.

In the town — or city, as I think it was — where Elizabeth Irvine was born
there lived a certain wealthy and distinguished judge, whom I shall call Judge
S. , for fear, if I should be more particular, I might offend some one now living
who might be nearly related to him. His direct descendant he could not be,
for, although the judge married, he drew a blank in the infant lottery, and no
child ever called him father.

Judge S. was forty years old the first time he and Elizabeth met, after her
return from school ; but he was not bald or gray and was eminently handsome
and attractive. Judge S. had been the schoolmate and friend of Mr. Irvine,
although Mr. Irvine was a few years his senior. He was often invited to Mr.
Irvine's house, and often took the liberty of a life-long friend to call when
he was not invited. In this way he saw a great deal of Elizabeth, and no
one was surprised when he asked her to be his wife — not even Elizabeth,
although she promptly, but kindly, refused to marry him. She took the sting
from her refusal by saying that she intended to see the world before she
entered into so solemn and responsible a compact as marriage, and that the
judge must give her time to look about her. The judge did not feel hopeless
about finally winning Elizabeth, because there was no rival in view, even if
Elizabeth did have a vast deal of attention from the young men of her

But there was a rival coming from an obscure corner of a distant State, and
one whom the judge, if he had only known, might have dreaded through his
whole life.

One morning, as the judge sat in the morning room of his stately mansion,
there came a ring at the door-bell, and a young man just from a long journey
stood before him. At the first glance the judge, who was well versed in human
nature, knew that the youth before him was no ordinary character; for,
beside being handsome, his bearing was that of an educated gentleman ; and
the judge arose, gave his name and offered the young man a chair. The young
man gave his own name, thanked the judge, and seated himself. I shall call
this young man James Allen, although that was not his name, nor anything
like it, but it will serve my purpose in this story as well as another name and
much better than the one he afterwards made famous, and which he had
legally inherited from his father.

Judge S. took this young man to board in his house and gave him the use
of his law books and his office, and in a year after Mr. Allen's first appearance
in Judge S. 's presence he was admitted to the bar and had won golden opinions
from many of the older lawyers, and had stolen the heart of Elizabeth Irvine,
who, it seemed, had had time to take a look about her and to see the world,
for she was willing to enter into the solemn and responsible compact of marriage
with Mr. Allen, if he would wait a year before it should be solemnized by law



and the church. Elizabeth's mother was a Catholic of the Roman persuasion,
and her father was a Presbyterian, but neither of them was of the strictest sect,
for they never had discussions on their different faiths, but went their several
ways in quietness and peace, and often went to the Presbyterian church together;
and as often sat side by side while the old priest held forth, before the altar, of
the only way to Heaven. Thus Elizabeth, hearing much doctrinal truth, and
having as much love for and faith in one parent as she had in the other, sought
out a way to save her own soul, as also a means in so doing of offending neither
parent, and she became an Episcopalian. She had been baptized when she was
a few weeks old, so it only remained that she be confirmed in the church of her
choice. Her father and mother both attended her at her confirmation, and
afterward they went with their only and beloved child to her church, and she
went to theirs; and still there were no religious disputes, nor were any fears
expressed that any member of that family of three souls was in danger of —
shall I say hell- fire? Preachers used to rip out that expression in my youth, and
although I shuddered at it, it made me afraid to do wrong, so I shall let it stand.
Mr. Allen besought Elizabeth more than once to shorten his probation and
name an earlier day for their wedding, but she held firmly to the first arrange-
ment, and Mr. Allen was forced to wait for the blessings in store for him and
the time when he should call Elizabeth his wife and be enabled to bask, from
day to day, in the light of her gracious presence.

Those two, Elizabeth and James Allen, were betrothed one June evening,
in what year I am sorry I can not tell, and Mr. Allen said, as he placed the ring
on Elizabeth's finger, "This day one year I shall replace this ring with another,
and then you will be mine, Elizabeth, through time and eternity."

How much sorrow and misfortune can gather and fall in twelve months !
Six months after this date Elizabeth's mother sickened and died, and before the
year was out her father slept beside her. At his death it was learned that
security debts would sweep away his whole estate. Elizabeth was left not only
alone, but almost penniless.

She begged Mr. Allen to postpone their marriage; and he, in his sorrow
for his beloved, did so, and Elizabeth went East to the school in which she had
been educated, and remained there until within a few weeks of the time
appointed for her marriage to take place. An old friend, who had loved her
father and mother and who had loved Elizabeth from her infancy, had written
Elizabeth to beg that she should be married from her house.

This friend lived in sight of Mr. Irvine's old home, now in the posses-
sion of strangers, and when Elizabeth came to stay with her, to wait for the
appointed time that was to make her and Mr. Allen one, she thought that the
change she saw in Elizabeth was due to grief and sorrow at beholding the
pleasant home that was hers no longer.

When Judge S. called to see Elizabeth he could not understand the manner
of the woman he still loved, but he made no comments, and the day came on


for which .Mr. Allen had waited so impatiently, and he and Elizabeth stood
before the altar to be made man and wife.

Judge S. was to give the bride away. Just as the clergyman had opened
his lips to begin the service Elizabeth fainted, or, they said, pretended to faint,
and a second time the wedding was postponed, this time indefinitely.

Mr. Allen had an interview with Elizabeth on the evening of the day on
which he had hoped to have claimed her for his own. What passed between
them was never known, but it must have had a stormy termination, for he left
town that night. When Elizabeth arose from her bed of illness her friends
noticed that she no longer wore her engagement ring, but on this subject she
was silent as the grave, and none dared question her.

Months went by — six of them — and still Mr. Allen did not return. Judge

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Online LibraryLoucinda Joan Rodgers BoydThe Irvines and their kin. A history of the Irvine family and their descendants → online text (page 4 of 13)