The McGehee Family Title Page: McGehees, MacGregors, Highland Scotland and America's South
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1st thru 8th 
Gent'n American McGehee 
Virginia & Our Virginians
Georgia & our Georgians
Alabamba & our Alabbamians
Our American Immigrants
Page Contents:  A) Introduction and Overview
 B) Our Direct Americans McGehee in Bio and  by Generation       C) Our Earliest McGehees of 17th C Va
D) McGehee/ McGregor Scotland : Why  MacGregor is felt the true European Surname  McGehee and a Brief  review of MacGregor  Area of Habitation and History 

McGehee Introduction and Overview: 

Our American McGehees arise from the Howard and Allied Ascendacy  , involve eight  generations, and  are entirely Southern, marrying each generation to  lines also  limited to America's south. Geographical areas  encompassed in our direct McGehees involve Virginia of the mid 17th century [when Jamestown was capital and through which our first ancestors arrived] to the late 17th [when Williamsburg was founded and near which our family lived] and , then , Louisa County in that state to the late 18th , at which time the direct line migrated in early marriage to Georgia . There,  for several generations,  our McGehees are found in Elbert and Wilkes Counties . By 1850 the direct line resided in  eastern Alabama [Macon and then Lee county formed from it and in the region of Auburn and later Opelika]  where our Benjamin Patterson  Howard , son of our last generation McGehee,  spent much of his orphaned youth. Ben's McGehee mother  married a native Texan , and they lived in both Texas and Alabama,  present  in Birmingham in the late 1880s when our Ben was born.  Fannie McGehee died in Texas , a young woman of 36, and her husband Jonathan Patterson "Pat"   Howard died soon after in Beaumont, Texas,  Thus four states are important to this family study. 

aaaOur McGehee line remains evident  matrynimically with Frances Beatrice "Bea"  nee Howard, named in entirity for Frances Beatrice "Fannie"  McGehee, her paternal grandmother. Frances Beatrice "Bea"  nee Howard, a native New Yorker born  of  a southern father and Irish mother in the first quarter of the  20th century and living in Manhattan NY  at the time of this entry ,  is part of a naming pattern identifable to 1820 Georgia and so  represents  nearly 200 years of southern American history in which she is rightly honored and because of  which she can hold substantial pride. Bea's younger sister Mary, this writer's mother, was named for the maternal Irish grandmother involved in the Williamson line of their Irish ascendancy discussed in other pages. 

aaaThe McGehee /MacGregor surname arising  from the Howard and Allied Ascendacy  , holds interesting if tentative ground  against  its Swope and Allied Ascendancy counterparts  among Our Peers and Royals,  If accepted, the McGehee / MacGregor ascendancy in Scotland involves  Scot Peerage within 
a substantial  Scot Highland History timeframe. As an aside  and of no genealogic merit,  Rob Roy of Scot history was of Clan Gregor. 
Acceptance of the Scot MacGregor ascendancy for our earliest American McGehee relies on understanding of 3 indisputable facts and one leap of faith:

  • 1) the outlaw of the name MacGregor through most of 17th century Scot history from that century's advent to its near close, exemplified with  laws based on decree to  'extirpate Clan Gregor and to ruit oot their posteritie and name,' 
  • 2)The emmigration to Virginia of   James MacGregor  [son of   Patrick MacGregor ,  Chief  of the branch of MacGregors known, owing to "their wild and hunted state"  as "Sons of the Mist" or "MacEagh" in native gaellic ]  for whom  no evidence  can be found   in Virginia history, and yet who is known to have arrived  during the time of suppresion and political denial  of the MacGregor surname
  • 3) The knowledge that this elusive James MacGregor was a  younger brother to the current Clan Chief's ancestor , and is  identified in Clan Chief pedigree as  James MacGregor, brother to the current Chief's ancestor, in which pedigree this James MacGregor's  emmigration to Virginia is declared .
  • 4) the acceptance that James MacGregor experienced a name change to  William MackGahye on arrival to Va. owing to political pressures involved in his general  MacGregor  surname and specific family history, the circumstances for which may have provided additional  pressure towards anonymity. The Gregor clan fought with Montrose, and James MacGregor's father, chief of his branch,   is thought to have been at Montrose's side with the larger Gregor contingency known to have supported Montrose in battle.  For his insurgency, Montrose paid with his head presented on a pike . If William MackGahye was James MacGregor  he left a hint as to his background, identifying himself as a Gregor , of the branch known as macEaghs..."a Son of the Mist" in which scenario  poetry can be found. For descendants seeking to link with James MacGregor of Scotland, much mist clouds identity. 

aa In historic context, our American McGehee family study is known to involve Williamsburg Virginia, Early Colonial Virginia outside that locale including Slave holders in the Old Dominion, involvement with Dunmore 1763 in the Indian Wars, late 19th century settlers of  Georgia  in the time of that state's settlement expansion , early families of Eastern Alabama , the 6th Alabama Regiment CSA Company B known as  the "Loachapoaka Rifles" and its courageous and terrible experience at the Battle of Seven Pines [known to northerners as Fair Oaks] ,  and  early photographers in  the period of that arts emergence. At present the American McGehee family relevant to this writer is provided only in terms of the bios below given. Individual pages have not yet been mounted, being in formation. Though siblings of the directs discussed, and their own marriages  are known, they are not here included.

The background to this page is offered in undisturbed totality at its end  in kindly deference to the writer's sister Susan Howard Swope and likewise her brother James Donald Swope II, both of whom expressed  desire  to view the images provided as background to family studies in order to better understand the images impact relevant to the family studies in which they are presented. 


Page Contents:
A McGhee Family ntroduction and Overview
 B) Our Direct Americans McGehee in Bio by Generation
 C) Our Earliest McGehees of 17th C Va
D)Our Earliest MccGehees of Va & their purported McGregor Connection to Scotland



Our American McGehee Ancestors , 
Most Recent to Most Distant

 Presented In  General Biographical Outline 
from Virginia to Alabama ; via Georgia and to Texas 
Presented in order of Our  Most Recent McGehee Ancestor Arriving to : 

Our Earliest American McGehees 
who then introduce narrative on
The McGehee /MacGregor History of Scotland 
and our presumed family of that place


Our American McGehee Ancestors , 
Most Recent to Most Distant

aaaa8th Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaaFrances Beatrice McGehee   is our last  direct McGehee and a pretty,  East Alabama girl  called Fannie from her infancy as evidenced in her parent's census and her own Diggs grandchild's report. She was the second born child among her parent's 8 children, 7 of whom survived to adulthood. As a toddler, Fannie McGehee saw her father off to the Civil War; As a young woman and in 1884 she married a Texan born of a transplanted Virginian and that Virginian's  southern born and Texas raised wife. Her husband was Jonathan Patterson "Pat" Howard of Henderson, Rusk County, Texas. 
aaaFannie McGehee  was named for her mother Sarah Frances Cofield, and Sarah Frances Cofield McGehee was herself named for her mother Frances White Cofield. Fannie was honored though her daughter Frances Beatrice [nee Howard] Sheridon, and Fannie lives matrinymically in her  grandchild  Frances Beatrice "Bea"  [ nee Howard ] Swain, thus the name spans nearly 200 years of Southern America history. 
aaaFannie McGehee Howard died tragically in Texas at age 36 of appendicitis,   after spending her marriage in travel with her architect husband. Pat  Howard followed Fannie to the grave 9 months behind her and  in Beaumont Texas, succombing to pneumonia  and leaving the three beloved children  Fannie bore him to be raised by various extended family members involving Hawkinsville and Perry Georgia, Clarksville Texas, and Black Hawk Mississippi among other unknown locales. Fannie McGehee Howard's  children never pertained  to one home after the death of their father, , and they never again resided together. Instead, they rotated seperately to  various family homes. As a result , the McGehee homes of Fannie's siblings and Fannie's cousin Sally LUNDY, with whom Fannie's  orphans  for some time resided ,  gain great importance to our direct McGehee line ascending for us from Fannie's youngest child and only  son Benjamin Patterson Howard. Ben's childhood was in large part defined within the households of his McGEHEE aunts, , his uncle Edward Howard, and that of his  mother's cousin Sally LUNDY.  Fannie's middle child Mamie was raised predominantly in McGehee households, while eldest daughter Bea resided mostly among her Howard kin. 
aaaa7th Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaaJabus Everett McGehee was exceedingly hard to track down to specific biographical detail and known ascendancy; Details of his life have been uncovered over a period of many years. He was born in Ruckersville, Georgia according to the  Civil War  Pension application he filed,  and the date of his birth is revealed in Jabe and Sarah's [his wife]   own family bible though no mention of their parents is given there.  His Grandaughter Mamie Hazel [nee Howard] Diggs maintained a bible in which her grandfather's family is likewise identified. 

Descendants in possession of photos of Jabe 
PLEASE  share those images so that this 
photographer, who surely had his 
image made, may be shown  on this page
aaaaThere is a Ruckersville identified in Elbert County, Georgia.  Jabus was the  son of a physician and  of significant artistic bent, his father , so the oral tradition goes, intending to send him to Europe to study,  these plans being interrupted by the civil war . However, Jabus was a young husband and father at the war's outbreak, and if the story of plans for him to study in Europe were interrupted, it is more likely that they were interrupted by his love for, and marriage to, Sarah Frances Cofield.  Jabus was first a painter and later a photographer, the change in profession necessitated, as told to Jabe's great grandaughter Doris Diggs by Jabe's daughter Ethel,  due to his loss of an arm in the Civil War.  Still,  an ad  of the 1880s for his Opelika , Lee County, Alabama photography studio indicates that portraits in Oil and Crayon are offered there,suggesting that he must have somehow learned to paint again, although his brother in law is known to have been a photographer and artist as well and herein may lay the reason for the advertisement of that service. Jabe's  wife ,  both the daughter of and sister to photographers, was also was a photographer in  Opelika's  McGehee Photographic Studio, offering  confectionaries in addition according to  her advertisement for the studio after Jabe's death.

aaaaWhen Fannie was still a babe, her father enlisted with the CSA. Jabe was then  25,  a husband and father of two,   and is described in enlistement papers  as five feet, nine inches tall, fair complexion, black eyes, and by occupation a painter. He belonged to 1st Co. "B". 6th Ala. Inf. Regt. [  Company ìBî of Macon County, the ìLoachapoka Riflesî] , organized by Captain John M. Kennedy, with  William L. Rowe  elected captain when the company reorganized on April 28, 1862. Jabe was serving under Rowe's command when he was wounded at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862 [In the battle referred to as  Fair Oaks by the northerners].  However referred to, this battle was exceptional,  terribly violent, filled with bad weather ,  bad luck, rising creeks and incredible losses. This particular company suffered immensely and displayed great courage;  Jabe's experience in this battle is enlighted  in Shelby Foote's  'The Civil War: A Narrative' Volume I in the  account of the attack of Robert E. Rodes' Brigade at Seven Pines, pages 446-49.
aaaaJabus was not a slave holder, neither was his father in the 1850 census in which that father is identified, although Jabe's GG and GGG Grandfather McGehee's had had slaves in Virginia this was very  likely unknown to Jabe.  Jabe's great grandmother Mrs James [Lucy] Simpson,  mentioned slaves in her will but Jabe would not have known her, though Lucy Simpson's son in law, Jabe's maternal Grandfather Richeson BOOKER was also a slave owner and he died in 1853 in Wilkes County Georgia and so may have been known by Jabe in youth. Though Jabe and , it appears, his father  did not individually practice neither benefit from slavery, it is clear Jabus came from a southern tradition accepting it. In the absence of his or his father's benefit from slavery, Jabe's compunction to service , like that of many of his fellow southerners,  can be seen as his understanding of this struggle as a War of Northern Aggresion, wherein Jabe was willing to sacrifice his life for  States Rights understood within the southern context . Jabe and Sarah Frances Cofield had 8 children, 7 of whom survived to adulthood, and all of whom are found in Jabe and Sarah's family bible, , in which he and wife Sarah are the first entries and in which,  sadly, Jabe and Sarah Frances did not include notations on their birth families though their own birthdates are evident therein. 

aaaa6th Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaaDr William Jefferson McGehee is felt securely identified as Jabe's father. It was told to Doris [nee Diggs] Osborne,who  often visited Jabe's daughters, her great aunts, with her mother Mamie [nee Howard] Diggs that Jabe's father was a physician .  But Doris was not aware of his birth name or exact place of residence , and so identifying the physician father has taken much effort. Dr William Jefferson McGehee was  born in Elbert County Georgia in 1802, named for his grandfather William McGehee and probably Thomas Jefferson, who in the year of the doctor's  birth was President of the US, and had just sent off Lewis and Clarke on their expedtion to the Pacific Coast  in quest of a westward passage waterway. William J  McGehee [how he gave his name in the 1850 census] married his bride Americus BOOKER in Wilkes County in 1827, she being of that county in Georgia. Dr  McGehee moved his  family to Macon County Alabama by the 1850 census where they are ennumerated and where a son Jabez is included as a boy of 12 or 13. Jabe is likewise in that county as Head of his Own Household in 1860 in which he is of the Auburn region, while in 1870 he is found in Auburn's census for Lee County, Lee being split off from Macon by that time. It is therefore possible Jabe's  father, this Dr William Jefferson McGehee, will be uncovered in more detail within  the history of Auburn, Macon  [now Lee County] Georgia. This relationship of Dr McGehee as father to Jabe is all presumptive, involving naming patterns, the appearance of a son Jabez of near age to our known Jabus Everett McGehee in the 1850 census where Dr McGehee's family is outlined, and the identification of a probable mother and father for  Sally LUNDY, known cousin to Fannie McGehee [8th generation America McGehee]  and who was remembered by Fannie's orphaned children as the kindest of kin offering them temporary shelter. The substantial pros and several cons in side by side format substantiating Jabus Everett McGehee as son to Dr William Jefferson and Americus Booker McGehee are outlined in the link just given

 I have not yet been able to find reference to Dr William Jefferson McGehee  in any primary records beyond his 1850 census listing, and have found mention of him in only one family study by   Marion Dewoody  Pettigrew of 1939 entitled "Marks-Barnett families and Their Kin ",   wherein a brief paragraph regarding  this Doctor, his wife and their children are mentioned,  including  reference to their son Jabe, not further identified. That the Doctor does not reveal himself easily in Alabama or Georgia history suprises;  I had expected a physician to have been prominent in his community.  It appears, based on son Jabe's pension entry for his place of birth , that Dr McGehee and his family were residing in Ruckersville Georgia in the late 1830s when Jabe was born. Ruckersvsille, [found in Elbert County ] Georgia,  was a small but thriving town when incorporatedin 1822 but at its zenith had only about 200 citizens, and most of these slaves. It did not experience continued success and Ruckersville history is covered in great depth from the period of its incorporation in 1822 to the period of its demise within the book outlined the  History of Elbert County, the relevant excerpt to which is given in the previous link,  in which no reference to Dr McGehee of that place will be found. I assume from this that Dr McGehee and family were forced from this locale. Dr William J and Americus Booker McGehee's 5th child and 3rd son , our direct ancestor Jabus Everett McGehee,  shared the name of Americus Booker McGehee's older brother [ an apparant half-sibling] Jabez M. McGehee.  Americus brother Jabez M  perhaps got his own  name from another as yet unrevealed family member in the BOOKER / SIMPSON ascendancy of which Americus and her brother are  part.  Our Jabus Everett McGehee, Dr William Jefferson and Americus Booker McGehees son, named two children to honor his own parents. He also named a daughter [ 6th born and 4th dtr Cornealia "Nellie"  born Feb 15 1875] for his closest eldest female sibling [ Cornealia born ca 1835 as found in the 1850 census of William Jefferson and Americus Booker McGehee] . Jabe's  First born daughter Eleanor Americus McGehee  is called Americus in the 1860 census and when she was 3, but was known as an adult as "Ellie". This daughter was named for both her maternal and paternal grandmothers, while her younger brother  John William McGehee was named for both his paternal and maternal grandfathers. Dr William Jefferson and Americus Booker McGehee had a fruitful marriage producing 12 children. The stories of two of these 12 children directly  involve Black Hawk Mississippi, where it is known that my grandfather Benjamin Patterson Howard and his sister Mamie [nee Howard] Diggs spent time in the home of a cousin to their  mother Fannie McGehee Howard, that cousin being long single but finally married, and  named Sally LUNDY. The exact identification of Sally LUNDY's  cousinship to Fannie McGehee Howard has only recently been [probably]  identified. Before her identification within the family substantiating this cousinship was unearthed, it was known that Sally LUNDY was  a  native of Black Hawk Mississippi with a known brother Jim who,  it is felt by  Fannie McGehee Howard's  grandaughter Doris [nee Diggs] Osborne [who knew him]  to be named for his father, though Doris expresses she is uncertain how she knows this, yet feels it to be fact.  Sally LUNDY gains importance for two reasons: She cements the identification of Dr William Jefferson  and Americus Booker McGehee as the parents of Jabus Everett McGehee, and she holds special meaning to the children of her first cousin Fannie McGehee Howard, Jabe's dtr, whose orphaned children very neearly felt her their mother, one of whom was my grandfather. 
Sally LUNDY was the most beloved of the many family members offering temporary shelter to the Howard orphans born of Fannie McGehee and Jonathan Patterson "Pat" Howard  . As a result  of Sally LUNDY's  near surrogate mother status as described by Mamie [nee Howard]  Diggs  to Mamie's own daughter  Doris [nee Diggs] Osborne,  identification of Sally LUNDY and how she is related gained importance to this researcher   and it is desired by me to better detail Sally LUNDY and so  the childhood of Benjamin Patterson HOWARD, my grandfather .Though they did not live with her throughout their childhood, this is the only home that accepted more than one of the orphans at one time. Still, from this home, they rotated to other family members. It is was with Sally LUNDY that Mamie and Ben Howard   again resided together, although temporarily, and to this is owed  her reported warm recollection among the Howard orphans. 

As stated,   Dr William J  and Americus McGehee had 12 children, one of whom  , Louise [Louisa] married William Hunter Johnson apparantly  in  Black Hawk Mississippi, though this has not been verified. Another, Elizabeth is reported as having married a Mr Lundy but no detail is offered as to where it is they lived . Much effort is currently focused on the identification of a James and Elizabeth McGehee Lundy of Black Hawk Mississippi, the probable parents of Sally LUNDY. This research also encompasses  a known sister to Mrs Elizabeth McGehee Lundy named  Louise or Louisa McGehee and who may be found  resident   as well in that place as Mrs William Hunter Johnson.

Naming patterns, the known occupation of Jabe's father as a physician as reported by his daughter Ethel to Jabe's grandaughter Doris [nee Diggs] Osborne,  the 1850 census of Dr W J McGehee and wife with a son Jabez among others,  the proximity by census of the two generations McGehee in Macon [now Lee County] Alabama ,  and the known residence for some time of my grandfather in the Black Hawk,, Missippi home of his mother's cousin Sally LUNDY, cements the identification of Dr William Jefferson and Americus Booker McGehee as parents to Jabus Everett McGehee, although no baptismal or birth records, or any evidence beyond the census record in which the age of Jabe is off by a touch, can be found to provide primary evidence of this relationship. 

aaaa 5th Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaa Samuel McGehee , named for his Grandfather Samuel McGehee,  was born 1766 in Louisa County, Virginia, in which place and in the year 1789 he married Nancy TATE [Tait]  who was likewise born in that part of the Old Dominion. These two migrated soon after marriage to Elbert County Georgia, where first record of Samuel appears to be Aug 13, 1793, when  Samuel McGehee bought " 230 acres on Beaver Dam Creek, in Elbert County, Ga., from James Tait, and his wife Rebecca with William Hudson Tait. Test."  [effort is underway to identifiy the players here in relationship to Nancy Tate McGehee' s own family line].  The 14 children of Samuel and Nancy Tate McGehee pertained to Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama in their marriages. 4 of those children were named for Samuel and Nancy Tate McGehee's own parents, including son William Jefferson McGehee  detailed in 4th Generation American McGehee above.   Nancy Tate McGehee died in 1824 in Elbert County Georgia, while her husband died at the home of their  son, methodist Rev Thomas Franklin McGehee , in 1833 and in Meriweather County, Georgia. 

aaaa 4th Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaa William McGehee,  born about 1739-43 in Virginia,  was named perhaps for his possible and very likely , but not proven  paternal great grandfather [1st Generation American McGehee] and clearly shared the name of his father's eldest brother. In 1763 he Served in a  company  of Vol Rangers in Lord Dunmoreís war against the American Natives. He died in 1819 in Louisa County, Virginia, deeded land for the Methodist Episcopal church, and had two marriages. The first, to which was born Samuel in 1766, was with Martha Cole, a native Virginian, who went by the name Patsy as was common in the time for girls named Martha. Martha bore William 8 children, and died about 1787. In 1808 William McGehee remarried to Bathsheba SHIRLEY, born Culpeper Co, VA, a girl 30 years his junior who in death left a substantial estate involving much litigation revealing her family relationships and a substantial Virginia history in her ascendancy. Bathsheba bore William no children in their 11 year marriage, and she survived him by nearly 20 years. 

aaaa 3rd Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaa Samuel McGehee  was born between 1706 and 1709 in Va, possibly New Kent County, There is no evident previous family history of which I am aware and for which the name Samuel would have been selected for him - he was the 5th son. He is found relevant to Louisa Co apparantly by 1776, clearly in 1787; 1780 and 1788 he was of St. Martins Parish , Louisa County, Va. He married  Elizabeth ELLIT [sometimes shown as ELLIS]  having 9 known children with her. Samuel outlived his wife , who may have died in childbirth , by 50 years, dying in Louisa County assumedly, as his will was probated there  3 12 1795
He was a slave owner and son of a slave owner:   Thomas MackGehee

aaaa 2nd Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaa Thomas MackGehee is said to have married Ann BAYTOP [or BAYSTROP]  of England, and the marriage is said to have occured in Virginia, though I have found no mention of the source of Ann's name at any place offering her up in full identification. What is known is that Thomas MackGehee  died on or after July 27 1727  ì St. Johnís Parish, King William countyî near Williamsburg, Virginia, where his will was written and his children clearly named, including Samuel above mentioned, while substantial property was dispersed showing him a man of wealth at the time of his death. He appears to have been present in Virginia by 1689, and was a slaveholder. 

aaaa 1st Generation American  McGehee: 
aaaa William MackGahye is now felt to be the father of Thomas MackGehee.  Thomas was formerly felt the immigrant McGehee, and any MacGregor allusion formerly  occured at the level of Thomas. Current researchers feel that Thomas was in fact son to William MackGahye, who is first present in Virginia records in Spring of 1653. Both Thomas and William are  discussed in more detail below . 

Our Earliest Documentable McGehee   in America [ Thomas MackGehee]
and his probable Father of Virginia [William MackGahye] 

aaaa Our earliest documentable McGehee appears in the form of Thomas MackGehee of Virginia, born date unknown but ca 1645-1658, and dying on or after July 27 1727 when he wrote his will in   St. Johnís Parish, King William county  near Williamsburg , Virginia,  founded  as the capital of Virginia in 1699. The will shows him a prosperous landowner / plantar. It appears documentation of his precense in Virginia spans back to earliest 1689 :  "Thomas owned land in several Virginia counties according to Dorothy Helmer. She said that, "Thomas MackGehee owned land in New Kent Co, as early as 1689, when it is recorded in St. Peter's Vestry, p. 20, that he 'marked the bounds of his land'." Several years later, on 28 October 1702, Thomas petitioned for 256 acres in Pamunkey Neck on the west side of  Nicatywance Swamp, in King William Co. This patent was granted for transporting six persons into the Colony. However, this  land grant was not confirmed until 10 November 1713, according to English Duplicates of lost Virginia Records. Less than a    year after his above petition, Thomas bought 110 acres from Wiliam Glover, recorded 20 September 1703, King William County. This land was farther up the Nicatywance Swamp, which is now called Harrison Creek. According to Helmer, these   acres had been granted to James Johnson on 1 April 1702, then sold to William Glover. Glover, in turn sold them to Thomas  MackGehee. The Quit Rent Rolls of 1704 for King William County list "Thomas MackGehee 250 acres." " The McGehee Family A Resource page for all McGehee Descendants

aaaa Thomas MacGehee .is said to have married Ann Baytrop of England, and the marriage is said to have occured in Virginia.  Through the good fortune of his will's preservation,  children living at the time of its writing are known to us today, including his son Samuel who continues our line. Thomas MackGehee's  ascendancy is presumptive  and full of speculation, but much of this speculation involves tantalizing fact, including an understanding, if not proof,  of why our Thomas MackGehee [ and  his now presumed father William MackGahye in the more current research]   is often presented as born James MacGregor, son of Patrick  , a man who  subsequently changed his name and who previous researchers would have arising to Robert II Scotland.   To clarify the above: Thomas MackGehee was felt born James MacGregor , changed his name and came to America. Now it is thought that it may be William MackGahye, Thomas's presumed father present in Virginia before him, who was born James MacGregor, changed his name and came to America.

aaaa Thomas MackGehee of the will above was not the first McGehee in America, that honor belongs to William MackGahye who on April 14 1653 was listed as a headright on a grant comprised of 1000 acres given to William Hoccaday. Through such  practise, Hoccady as grantee received  a portion of land  from the crown in return for  bringing a person to the colony... .he also received the person's  indenture for a period of years. Hoccaday had several other headrights, allowing for the considerable size of his land grant. William of the headright then  reappears in the records in November 17 1658 in York County Court, Virginia where he is found as William MaGahee, a witness in a case concerning a canoe. In testimony at this time he gives his age as 40 years. . 

aaaa While there is no known will for William MackGahye of the Headright and canoe case, it is presumed by many McGehee researchers that William was father to two Virginia McGehees, our Thomas MackGehee of St John's Parish, King William County Va above mentioned and with the will of 1727 , and his presumed  brother  named William , a Quaker in faith.  In studying these first known McGehees in America, William of the Headright, Thomas with the will , and William the Quaker, it is impossible not to find reference to the name MacGregor, and allusion that the name McGehee was changed from MacGregor in the generation involving American immigration. The time frame of William of the Headright and canoe case corresponds with the longstanding suppresion  and outlaw of the McGregor name in the homeland,  the recent involvement of Clan MacGregor  fighting alongside Montrose in an effort doomed to failure, and the known  emmigration of a James MacGregor , son of a Gregor branch Chief, to Virginia, no record of whom can be found in that state. 

aaaa The McGehees are a large family here in America, and several different lines of the family have distinguished and useful precense in various websites. While the surname is  the subject of its own recent historical tome  " McGehee Descendants"  by  Jane Grider ,  McGehee history is also  present  in  numerous other  published geneological works involving its many allied surnames predating Grider's work. and involving many different researchers of earlier timeframes.

aaaa Older McGehee research  appearing in many allied study tomes often present in addendum to the American McGehees outlined   our Thomas MackGehee as James MacGregor, forced by political circumstance to the change of his name, the son of Patrick MacGregor and his wife Marion MacDonnall  and when so presented, Patrick MacGregor is called Chief Clan Gregor, "who led his clansman under Montrose in 1645" , and his wife is presented named in full as Marion MacDonald, daughter of the second baronet , and so  a direct female descendant of Robert II of Scotland. This is NOT the case, contains several errors, and is presented here only to underscore the fact that this considerably legnthy ascendancy is inaccurate and to advise caution to gaurd against it effects, as its  repetition persists  in some studies of the name. The known James MacGregor who is known to have emmigrated to Virginia, was indeed the son of Patrick MacGregor, just not the one mentioned. His mother WAS Marion MacDonnall [MacDonald] , but she is of a different MacDonnal  branch and not of of the baronetcy. His father IS said to have fought under Montrose at Kilsyth in 1645 , and he was indeed a Chief, just not Chief Clan Gregor, but of a branch known as sons of the mist, or in Gaellic  MacEagh, a branch subordinate to another Chief Patrick MacGregor, Gregor Clan Chief, who   led his clansmen alongside Montrose. 

aaaa It is now felt , but unable to be proved, that our Thomas MackGehee is the son of William of the Headright above mentioned. If a father /son  relationship to Patrick MacGregor exists it would be through William of the Headright and that generational level, which better fits with the timeframe for nvolvement with Montrose which, as it turns out, involved two different Chiefs Patrick MacGregor. 

Our Scotish McGehees , The MacGregors

The MacGregor Connection to our earliest American McGehees, while not able to be proved, involves three facts: 
1.The name MacGregor was suppressed vigorously, and particularly in the first  75 years of the 17th century being "outlawed". The proscription was not entirely lifted until the 18th century.
2.  There was   a MacGregor clan branch who "In the latter half of the 16th Century....led such wild and hunted lives in the misty mountains that they became known as MacEagh or 'Sons of the Mist.' "
3. The known emmigration of the known  son James MacGregor, born of the known chief of the Gregor Clan branch called "sons of the Mist' [in Gaellic MacEagh]  to Virginia,   for which no record  in Virginia can be found. 

Records of the Suppression of the MacGregor name in Scot History: 

In the early portion of 17th century Scotland history a substantial royal antipathy toward Clan Gregor is evidenced from 1603 when the name is first proscribed and its owners prohibited from bearing arms to year  1633 when the clergy is forbidden to christianize any child of the name. It is not until 1661 when the 1603 proscription , enlarged in 1621 to the then current generation and in 1627 to that generation's progeny, was finally lifted , but it was later reimposed, and was last lifted, finally , in the mid 18th century.  Kevin McGehee in his McGehee Timeline informs that in 1603 "Responding to the Kingís order to 'extirpate Clan Gregor and to ruit oot their posteritie and name,' the Privy Council proscribes the names Gregor and MacGregor and prohibits any MacGregor from carrying arms." , while  in 1621  "The 1603 Proscription is extended to the new generation of MacGregors."  and in 1627 "  the  Proscription of 1603  is further applied to the children of the generation proscribed in 1621" . Then 6 years later, and in  1633 "Members of the clergy are forbidden to christen any child with the name Gregor; also, ìLetters of Fire and Sword,î authorizing more reprisals, are issued in response to new MacGregor uprisings"  while at last in 1661 "King Charles II lifts the 1603 Act of Proscription against Clan Gregor." But this reprieve was short lived, the proscription resurrected, and it was not until the later part of the 18th century when the proscription in was lifted finally. The tartan bordering this page is that of Clan Gregor.

The Origin of Suppresion of the MacGregor Name in Scot History 

Clan Gregor is often found described as fierce and feared , harriers of the countryside for miles about, driving hereds of stolen cattle and planning and and executing daring raids. Their history involves the times of great upheaval in Scottish history, alliance to Scot cause during periods of English claim and then subjugation, for which their fierce bravery was well suited. 
Many pages on Gregor clan history are found on line. Detail on the MacGregor Clan through their history, lands and affiliations is given at is given Scottish History and Culture Clan MacGregor, presented by  Scotswoman writes " Traditional MacGregor lands lay along west Perthshire and across to Loch Awe. By supporting Robert the Bruce, [ed note, lived 1274-1329] Campbells were given   huge tracts of land in Argyll and Perthshire which had previously been MacGregor. MacGregors were forced to live in the poorest remoter areas of what became Campbell land. There was never really peace between the Campbells and MacGregors. During the 16thC the Campbells even tried to establish a 'tame' line of MacGregor chiefs under their control! 
"James VI was married in 1598. A Royal Forrester, John Drummond,  was to provide venison for the feast. While hunting he was set upon   and killed by MacDonalds from Glencoe. They later arrived at the  Stewarts of Ardvorlich beside Loch Earn on their way home demanding refreshments. To her horror the lady of the house saw the head of her dead brother John and never recovered from the shock. Further on their journey, they met with MacGregors of Balquhidder  who sided with and swore to support the MacDonalds; MacGregors had been hanged by Drummond for poaching. This act and other  'offenses' around the beginning of the 17thC resulted in more than a century of slaughter and persecution of MacGregors. 
MacGregors fought in support of Montrose in his rebellion for Charles I. In gratitude Charles II later repealed the  proscription on the surname MacGregor. However, with the denise of the Stuart monarchs it was re-proscribed when William IV became king. ....
"The proscription of the surname was finally repealed in 1774." 
The history of Clan Gregor with multipled links and other details of proscription are given at , and their MacGregor clan history there. The history of why the MacGregors were persecuted is explained at ClanGregor    , and of how terrible certain forms of  the persecution  were at Highland Magazine's entry on MacGregor
These are only some of the sites available regarding Gregor history. 

James MacGregor, his parents,  his Virginia Emmigration and the absence of him in Virginia Records: 

The known son of Patrick MacGregor, named James MacGregor, who emmigrated to Virginia, does not appear in records there. All comment of him post Scotland is lost. 
Grider's work presents a letter dated 1970 from the 23rd Clan Gregor Chief, Sir Gregor MacGregor,   in which Sir Gregor addresses the purported ascendancy to his clan from the American McGehees then writing to him.  In this letter it is explained that  Chief Patrick MacGregor was Chief of the Children of the Mist  and was subordinate to his clan Chief also named Patrick MacGregor. He informs that  this  Patrick  MacGregor, Chief of the Children of the Mists [in Gaellic MacEagh]  " is also  said to have fought under Montrose at Kilsyth in 1645 and was married to Marion MacDonnall of Auchatrichatan in Glencoe a perhaps distant cousin to the MacDonnal Baronets involving Sleats. By her,  with other children, he had two sons ó Iain, his heir, and James who settled in Virginia and was your ancestor. I am directly descended from his elder brother, Iain, as a matter of interest." 

If we accept that our William MacGahye of the headright and canoe is our direct forebear who produced our known and secure forbear Thomas MacGehee, and if we accept that he was  born James MacGregor and was forced by political circumstance to change his name on immigration, we have a remarkable documentable history in Scotland through the very mists of its history, and share that ascendancy with the current Chief of the Clan. This research is under way. 

Sources when not given in text are: 
1. McGehee Descendants Volume I. Jane Grider.  McGehee Descendants can be purchased by writing to Jane Grider at : 383 Third Ave., Winder, GA

   30680. Volume I and II each cost $50, and Volume III costs $80.

To Top of Page: The McGehee Family History
Page Contents: 
A) Introduction and Overview
 B) Our Direct Americans McGehee in Bio by Generation
C) Our Earliest McGehees of 17th C Va
D) McGehee/ McGregor Scotland : OR
 Why MacGregor is felt the true European Surname  McGehee

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