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Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center


Mc N ary Family




Pittsburgh. Pa.


jl 1576674

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^ - >; PREFACE

In presenting this book to the public we feel that it is very far
from being complete, and no one regrets it more than the ones who
have given of their time and energies to help compile what we have.
Yet we have put forth our best efforts to make the history as full and
as far-reaching as it was within our power to do, and we trust that
where discrepancies have occurred or omissions may have been made
hat it was not with any knowledge of ours. Many places where the
information is very limited and appears to be wanting, it was all that
we could get.

We wish to thank those who have taken an interest ami helped
to gather the record for this book, and would ask the members of the
McXary Familv to secure one of the books and to fill up any omissions,
correct any errors or make additions for births and notations of deaths,
so that at some future day, if it be desired to compile a later edition
or a supplement, it may be done much easier and be better.

The expense of publishing has been guaranteed by voluntary con-
tributions, which are to be reimbursed from the proceeds of sale of
book, and we sincerely hope that every family will purchase as many
as they can use. and thus help out the Committee, as it is not the in-
tention to make any money, but to merely bear the expense of the pub-
lication. To this end we have made the price only nominal and within
the reach of all. THE PL'BLISHIXG COMMITTEE.


Every McNary household should have one of these Books
that they may know the family history and that they will he
prepared to keep reeord of at least their immediate families,
of the Births and Deaths etc., for future records and should
there be another edition published later to complete it.

There has been a limited number of these Books printed
and if you do not have one you should secure it while the
supply lasts. They are being sold at the cost of Publishing
and can be had by addressing


Bellevue, Pa.


Reunion of the McNary



The first reunion of the McXary Family was held at Houston, Pa..
August 3, 1905. in response to a call sent out by the following, who con-
stituted themselves a committee for the purpose:

Committee — J. T. McXary, Canonsburg. Fa.; J. D. McXary
Washington, Pa.; S. E. McXary, Houston, Pa.; J. C. McXary, Canons-
burg, Pa.

The following were the proceedings of the meeting:




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United Presbyterian Church of Houston, Where First Reunion Was Held.

Houston, Pa., August 3. 1905.

Meeting called to order in the (J. P. Church of Houston, Pa.. l>y
S. E. McXary of Houston. Pa., at 11:30 a. m.

Devotional exercises conducted by Rev. Jas. \Y. McXary of Mil-
waukee, Wis.; music (solo) by F. T. Kyle of New Concord, Ohio,
accompanied by Mr=. Rev. W. C. Williamson.


On motion of T. A. McXary, seconded by Rev. W. P. McXary of
Creston. Iowa. Rev. D. L. McXary of Rock Island. Iowa, was elected
Chairman for the dav.

■ -■"" * ■ ■ " - -

- * ~r.^~ — ,-w.. »,!.,«■.* i. ~-> , » i. i ■^Aiu

Rev. D. L. McNary, No. 158. of Thomas Branch, Chairman of Reunion, August, 1905.

On motion of Rev. \Y. P. McXary of Creston. Iowa, T. A. McXary
of Allegheny, Pa., was elected Secretary for the flay.

An address of welcome was delivered by the Rev. J. C. Kistler of
Houston, Pa.

Response to address of welcome by Rev. Pressley Thompson of
Washington. Pa.

Rev. W. P. McXary of Creston. Iowa, moved that the Chair ap-
point three committees, as follows:

Committee on Resolutions.

Committee <m Organization and Xominations.

Committee on Registration.


The Chair appointed the Committees as follows :

On Resolutions —

Chairman — Rev. W. P. McNary of Creston, Iowa; J. XV. Pol-
lock of Washington, Pa.; S. M. McNary of Hickory. Pa.; J. Martin
McNary of Washington, Pa.: W. J. McXary of Canonsburg, Pa.

On O.ganization and Nominations —

Chairman— T. A. McXary of Allegheny. Pa.: Dr. W. D. Mc-
Xary of Milwaukee. Wis.; J. P. McXary of Canonsburg, Pa.; S. E.
McXary of Houston. Pa.; Byron McXary of Martinsville. 111.; D. R.
McXary of McDonald, Ta.

On Registration —

J. T. McXary of Canonsburg, Pa.

The Chairman announced that the Refreshment Committee was
ready to serve luncheon on the lawn of the Church, and the meeting
would stand adjourned until 2 p. m. A prayer was offered by Rev.
\Y. B. Smiley. D.D.. <^\ Canonsburg, Pa. ( Luncheon.").

At 2 p. m. the meeting was opened by prayer by Rev. Jos. E.
Jackson of Greenfield, Iowa.

Music by Canonsburg Quartette, composed of Messrs. C. C. Ful-
ton. T. C. Parr. J. T. McXary. XV. H. McXary. all of Canonsburg, Pa.

Rev. W. P. McXary of Creston. Iowa, rear! a paper on the origin
of the McXary Family, the greater part of which will be found in an-
other part of this book.

Selection by the Quartette.

Mr. Joseph D. McXary of Washington. Pa., read a paper on the
Thomas McXary Branch, which consisted largely of geneology, and
will be found in the history of the Thus. McXary Branch of this book.

The Chairman appointed the following gentlemen to take up a col-
lection to defray the necessary expenses incurred for this meeting.
Messrs. Jos. Templeton, Jas. Kelso, John McNary, and Mr. Hamilton
were appointed a committee, the result being S3G.97 was raised.

Music by Quartette.

Historical sketch of the James McXary Branch was read by J. P.
McXary of Canonsburg. Pa., and will be found under the James Mc-
Nary Branch.

Report of Committees wa^ called for.

Committee on Organization and Nominations reported as follows,
which was adopted :

First. That we organize a McXary Family Union.

Second. That the officers shall be a President, First and Second
\ ice Presidents, Corresponding Secretary. Recording Secretary and a
Treasurer, who shall perform the duties usually required of such offi-
cers, who shall hold office four years.

Third. That all persons bearing the McNary name, belonging to
the James McXary Family, shall be members, and the lineal descend-
ants of all such persons shall be members.

Fourth. That we hold a reunion every four years, and that we rec-
•mmend that the- separate families hold reuions of their branches every

two vears.


Fifth. That the officers who are elected to till the offices as indi-
cated in Section 2 of this report shall constitute an Executive Commit-
tee to make all arrangements for the next reunion.

Sixth. That a Historical Committee be appointed by the Chair.
composed of one person from each of the four branches of the James
McNary Family, and one person from any other McXary family which
can be located in the United States, whose duty it shall be to ascertain
all possible facts of interest concerning the first five generations of the
family and to report the same at the next reunion. Committee — Rev.
W. P. McXary of John Branch. Joseph D. McXary of Thomas Branch.
Emerson B. McXary of James Branch, Joseph R. McXary of John
Branch, to represent the David Branch.

Seventh. That we instruct this Committee to publish in pamphlet
form all the historv reported at this reunion with a view to seeking
corrections and additions for further use.

Eighth. That the Historical Committee be instructed to prepare
for publication a more perfect genealogy of the first five generations.
to be published in a neat, strong, well-bound book, containing a large
number of blank leaves in which each family may record the subse-
quent generations of their children up to date, and to report the same,
with probable cost of publication to the next reunion.

Ninth. That all persons bearing the McXary name not of the
James McXary Family be considered consultive members.

Tenth. That we recommend that each branch elect or appoint
some one from their branch to act as a Corresponding Secretary and
that they so notify the Executive Committee in order that all branches
may be kept in closer touch during the continuance of this organ-

Eleventh. That we hereby recommend and nominate the following
for officers of our permanent organization: President, Gen. John C.
McXary of Canonsburg, Pa.: First Vice President. Toseph D. McXary
of Washington. Pa.: Second Vice* President. John P. McXary of Can-
onsburg, Pa.; Recording Secretary. Wier McXary of Canonsburg. Pa.:
Corresponding Secretary, J. R. McXary of Burgettstown. Pa. ; Treas-
urer, T. A. McXary of Allegheny, Pa. Respectfully submitted,

W. D. McXARV. M. D..
Committee on Resolutions.

The newly elected President. Gen. J. C. McXary of Canonsburg.
: Pa., made a few remarks and thanked the organization for the honor
bestowed upon him.

On motion of J. D. McXary of Washington, Pa., the President was
instructed to appoint the Second Vice President, which was left vacant
in the Committee's report, to be from the David McXary Branch.

Report of Registrar was progress, as cards are not vet in; 279
cards in, estimated number present, 650.


Officers of McNary Family Union

John C. McNary, President.
No. 408, John Branch.

Joseph D. McNary, First Vice President.
Xo. 3(52, Thomas Branch.

John P. McNary, No. 61 of Jas. Branch.
Second Vice President.






By J. R. McNary of Burgettstown, Pa.

Should the casual Student — in this year of grace 1907
deign to trace the rise and development of our great and rapidly expanding country,
by referring to the pioneer annals of Western Pennsylvania — especially to the history
of that portion located to the westward of the Monongahela, and south of the Ohio
River — he will find abundant evidence to incite true wonder and admiration! In this
wonderful region — a veritable hive of industry — where the verdant hills and fertile
valleys are girded by bands of steel, and thickly studded with suburban village or
embryonic city; where furnace and workshop belch forth flaaie; and where luiuost
the entire region is a "city of derricks," tapping subterranean wealth in streams
of oil and gas! Where hundreds of mines are distributing millions of tons of Black
Diamonds to feed the furnace, the workshop and the warship of the great-
est empire known to man! In the presence of this wonderful scene of activity
and of applied mechanical power, the student of National progress may well pause.
and, in unfeigned admiration exclaim, ''How. and from whence came all this?" And
will the cause of his unalloyed admiration be lessened, kind reader, to learn that
but a little while ago — aye, four generations only, agone — all this entire region was
unknown to civilization, constituting an unbroken forest, in undisputed possession of
fierce and vicious beasts of prey — the wolf, the bear, and panther! pastured by the
now almost extinct elk and buffalo! and peopled only by the aboriginal red man of
the forest — the Mingo or the Delaware!

Contemporaneous with, and amid this intense scene of reclamation, or trans-
formation, of "desert to garden" — of native grandeur to civilized magnificence —
that immediately preceded the birth, and continued during the infancy of our great
Republic, may be dated the origin, or foundation, of one of the most numerous and
influential families of Scotch-Irish descent iu the United States— the McNary family
of Pennsylvania!


The names, and dates of entry, of the first white settlers to penetrate and
occupy this vast unsettled region — so intimately connected with the trials and priva-
tions of the early ancestors of this prominent Scotch-Irish family — have unfor
tunately been lost to succeeding generations! From the earliest "traditions" ob-
tainable, we learn that the well-known French explorer, La Salle, in A. D. 1670
entered this region from Canada, descending the Allegheny and Ohio rivers— f he
La Belie Riviere of the early French geographers — as far South as the site of the

5 .' /


city of Louisville, Kentucky. Prom this early date, there is an uninterrupted gap
of 79 years in the history of this region, until, in A. D. 1749 we have an authentic
account of a French exploring expedition from Canada, led by Celoron tie Bienville,
who, with a detachment of 215 French soldiers, accompanied by a party of 55 In-
dians, descended the "La Belle Rieviere" from the headwater of the Allegheny to
the mouth of the Miami — by the course of which latter stream he returned to Canada!
The Celoron party landed at intervals to bury leaden tablets, especially prepared for
the expedition, proclaiming dominion over this entire region in the name of the
King of France! There were, at this date, no permanent white settlements vest
of the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania; but there may have been a few trading
posts established by fur-dealers, and the region traversed by "trapping" and -hunt-
ing" parties, who visited the different Indian tribes for exchange of commodities.
George Washington, accompanied by Christopher Gist and six others, pene-
trated this region A. D. 17o3 on a mission for the Governor of Virginia to the com-
mandant of the French, at Fort Le Boeuff— now French Creek, Pennsylvania. At this
date — four years after the Celoron expedition — we hear of a settlement at the mouth
of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, by one John Frazer; and Christopher Gist, "Washing-
ton's friend and scout, has established a home near the location of Connellsviile,
Pennsylvania. The succeeding year — A. D. 17-34 — the French, under Contrecoeur.
came down in force from Canada, and established themselves at the "forks of the
Ohio," erecting a "fort," which they named "Duquesne" (now Pittsburg). Tue
French held possession of this disputed territory until General Forbes, in 173S, was
dispatched from Carlisle. Pennsylvania, with an army of 7.000 English and Colonial
troops to expel the invaders, and destroy the fortificatious they had erected — which
task was successfully accomplished November 2-3th of the same year (173S), forever

tending French dominion east of the Mississippi!
After the expulsion of the French, the razing of Fort Duquesne and the erec-
tion of the English "Fort Pitt" on its ruins, there were few, or no permanent
settlements made in this Western country until after the overthrow of Pontiac, and

Ithe ending of the great Indian uprising incited by the cunning wiles of this power-
ful chieftain — known in history as Pontiac 's War — which occurred in 1763. After
the subsidence of this great uprising against the whites, and when tranquility had.
in a measure, been restored, the country began gradually to be occupied by the
desultory immigration of the more restless and venturesome element from the eastern
slopes of the Alleghenies.

But it was some ten years later, or about 1773, that the Western country
began to be populated by the influx of that sturdy Scotch-Irish element from Eastern
Pennsylvania and from Virginia, that gave this region its well-earned reputation for
the probity, sobriety and moral stamina of its pioneer settlers. Concurrent with
the close of the Revolutionary conflict with the mother country, in A. D. 17m'. began
the great flood-tide of emigration to the Western wilderness, "beyond the Alle-
ganies;" and upon the crest of this wave came the ancestors of that uunvrous
and influential Scotch-Irish Clan— the subject of this brief narrative— the McNar?


By Rev. W. P. McNary.

Some time after the Civil War I asked my grandmother to give me the his-
tory of the McXary family. She became greatly interested and gave me a pretty
full account of the older generations of the family, which I wrote down very eare-
fullv. I regret very much to say that that memorandum was lost. After her death
I mentioned the loss of the memorandum to Mr. William Martin, Canonsburg. Pa.
He told me to go and see his mother, that her maiden name was McXary and that
she was familiar with the whole family history. I went with him immediately to
call on his mother and she gav e me a full and reliable account of the father of nil
of us and his five children. I wrote down her statement and read it over to her
for correction. I remember that it agreed substantially with the account given mc
by my grandmother. Taking her history, which was given from memory, for a basis
I undertook to verify her statements in every way possible. I wrote to the
Recorder of York County, Pennsylvania, for an abstract of all the deeds and wills
containing the McXary nam e in the records of that county. I also wrote to Brook
County, West Virginia, for similar facts and went in person to Washington. Penn-
sylvania, and examined the records there. I also wrote to the session of Guinston
congregation, of which our ancestors were members, for the session records con-
cerning them. I am glad to say that every item of information received con-
firmed the statement of Mrs. Martin and I am convinced that her history, although
given from memory, is substantially correct, and I am thankful that I was enabled
to write what I believe to be an authentic history of our branch of the McXary

When I began to study this history I wa,s under the impression that all the
McXarys in this country belonged to the same connection. I clung to that theory
with great tenacity for a long time. I opened correspondence with four differenr
McXary families, one in Vermont, one in Kentucky, one in Tenuessee and one ic
Red Stone, Virginia, and tried very hard to find the connecting link between us
and these other families, but that missing link I was never able to find.

Finally when I was in Scotland in 1^7S I went to the state archives in
Edinburgh, where there is kept a complete record of all the births, baptisms and
marriages of the people of Scotland. There I found page after page of McXarys,
McXairys, McEnarys and McXairs. and I became convinced that these are differ-
ent spellings of the same name. They were a very prolific stock and you will see
from reading this history that in this respect our own McXary families are worthy
descendants of their Scotch ancestors. One thing is sure, the McXary family is
not in favor of "race suicide." If the history of the family could be written up
to date there would not be less than 2,000 names, descendants of James McXary.
of York County, Pennsylvania, and there are two other McXary families in the
L'nited States n.-arly as large, besides some scattering ones. To illustrate what I
mean by scattering ones I must tell you of a man I found in Princeton, Indiana, that



bore that name: He was as- black as a crow. He had been a slave in one of the
McXary families in Kentucky.

While speaking of the other McXary families in the United States T want to
give you a little history which is worth preserving for the sake of some one who
may some time make a more exhaustive research as to the origin t>f the family.
It is in the form of an extract from a letter by a William S. McXary in the ''Com-
mercial Bulletin,"' of Boston, which was sent to me by Mrs. Margaret Spencer, of
Colli us ville, Connecticut.

''I believe in one of the old rare volumes of our public library there is a
little information and an engraving of the family coat of arms. The latter I have
seen and will send you a copy. * * * As it now stands McXary means. 'Sol
of the King." In the old Celtic language Mac — Son, Xa — of the, Ry — King. Iu
Celtic it is written rig (pronounced re), French — roi, Spanish — rey. Italian — re,
Latin — rex regis. The original form was McEnarig (pronounced McEnary), which
meant King's sou or crowned prince. The name has been Anglicized into McXary.
McXairy, McEnary, McHenery and McXair. The last two forms I am somewhat
doubtful about. This I gather from an old Celtic scholar. He told me the family
was Irish in origin and was descended directly from one of the sons of King Byron
Boru, who was killed at the battle of Clontarf, when the Danish invaders were final I y
driven out of Ireland. People of the name may be found in County Limerick,
Ireland. I understand there is a Castleton in that County, which town used to be
called Castletown-McXary. In it is an old ruined abbey and a castle which once
belonged to the family, and there is also a McXary burying ground.''

It would appear from this account that all the original McXarys were Irishmen.
but our ancestor and probably all the other McXary families lived many years iu
Scotland and are therefore veritable Scotch-Irish.

Xo doubt the original name was MacXary and the fact that many of out
ancestors could neither read nor spell accounts for the variety in the spelling, espe-
cially when the name passed through the Scotch and English dialects.

I have had correspondence with four different families, besides our own York
county family, that can trace no relation to each other.

First: The Vermont family.

Martin McXary. who was born in Grennoek, Scotland, in 1723 (about twelve
years younger than our ancestor James 1. came to this country before the Revolu-
tionary War. He was a soldier in the French war. He had a son who was a lad
and therefore must have been a widower, and he married a Mrs. Mahitible Blake,
a widow of a soldier of the French war. He was also a soldier of the Revolutionary
War and died in 1S09 in his s '">th year. Up was the ancestor of a large and in-
fluential family who live mostly in New England. One of the descendants is now in
Congress. Brigadier General William Henry McXary wa- Colonel of the Fifty-eighth
Xew York Volume rs during the war. I have sent several of my circulars to the
members of that family and have kept up correspondence with them.

Second: The Kentucky family.

A Mr. McXary who was nearly contemporary with James and Martin lived in
Kentucky before the Revolutionary War. He is said to have come from Scotland.


He had five sons and tw« daughters who were raised in Muhlenburg County, Ken-
tucky. A postoffice in that county is named for the family. They are Presbyterian
people and appear to be prominent in the community. I got my information from
Dr. H. F. MeXary, of Princeton, Kentucky.

It was no doubt from that family that our colored brother got his name,
as Princeton, Indiana, is only a short distance from MeXary postoffice, Kentucky.

Third: Tennessee family.

Six brothers by the name of McXairy lived in Tennessee from the year ITS".
The eldest of the six, John, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, March
30th, 1762, and was elected Judge of the Superior Court of North Carolina by
the General Assembly of that State on December 20th, 17S7. Later he was ap-
pointed by George Washington Territorial Judge of the territory south of the Ohio
river and held that office until the territory became a Stare, when he was by the
Assembly appointed Judge of the Superior Court of the State of Tennessee. He
was later appointed by George Washington District Judge of the Courts of East
and West Tennessee and held that office until his death on November 10th, 1S37,
a period of 40 years in all. A county and a town in Tennessee were named for
him and his brothers. There is quite a large connection of the descendants of
these six brothers, and although they spell their name with an "i" they always
regarded their name the same as that of the MeXarys of Kentucky.

Fourth: Virginia family.

William MeXary, of Red Stone, Old Fort, Virginia (now Brownsville, Pa.),
was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. One of his grandsons. Forest McNary, is
now living at Green Castle, Indiana, and takes an iuterest in the history of the
MeXary family. (See Supplement.)

With reference to all these separate families we may say that they appear
in America about the same time, they all have the same characteristics, they are
generally upright, substantial Scotch and Irish Presbyterians. They have the same

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