This genealogy-history of the McConnel and McConnell families comes alive as we observe the individual members with our mind's eye. We observe the early pioneers like David K. McConnel and his brothers who were among the earliest settlers in Idaho Territory during the 1860's and 1870's. We learn of one McConnel young man who loses his life early in the American Civil War. The story is told of William and Nancy Graham McConnel, parents of those western pioneers, who follow their sons and come west themselves. We learn of others who took part in the wars of the Twentieth Century. We read colorful anecdotes of these family adventures over the decades. From beginnings of early homesteads on the flood plains and in rugged mountain meadows of territorial Idaho, our pioneer McConnels and McConnells developed their cattle and sheep ranches, worked for early county governments, taught school, attended college and entered new professions, volunteered in their church congregations, and grew their families. Their story is really "our" story, your own story. You will know more about who you are, by tracing their lives over more than two centuries, to ours of today.
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The McConnel and McConnell FamiliesTrue Pioneers of the American West
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Ralph A. Lawrence
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTHE FIRST GENERATION IN AMERICA
Our McConnels = Scots-Irish Immigrants from Ireland They Did Not Arrive By Way of Ellis Island They Did Not Arrive on the Mayflower and, They Did Not Come out of the 19th Century Potato Famine
As we look at the different generations of our McConnel families in America, we note the fact that we have very little information about the first of them to immigrate. We are told that William and Susannah came to America from Ireland in the spring of 1792, their fifth child, James, being born on board the ship. We do not know the name of the ship, the port from which it embarked, and not even the American port where it arrived, though we believe it may have been Philadelphia, as many Scots-Irish emigrants arrived there. We know one thing: They did not arrive through Ellis Island. Nor did they come out of the well-known "potato famine" of later Irish history. As we point out in the introduction, they also did not come with the New England settlements known as the Mayflower - Plymouth Colony, or the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Philadelphia was at that time the capital of the recently founded United States of America. New York, while also important, was not yet the "Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island" port of later immigration fame and mythology. Ellis Island would not be opened for another one hundred years.
True American Frontier Pioneers in the Best Sense of the Word
We further do not know how this McConnel family came to be living in Guernsey County, Ohio. We do know that our McConnels were in on the ground floor of the building of the early American nation, true pioneers in the best sense of the word. They may not have been quite so famous as some of the colorful pioneers of the history books, but they were history-makers, nonetheless. So we offer the following information, in the hope that future students of our family tree might fill in the gaps of what we do not yet know.
Sharon A. McConnel points out in her McConnel family website, McConnel Homesteads that,
"Nothing is known of William and Susannah's life prior to the birth of son James 'on board ship"' May 1792."
She goes on to say that, "R. J. Dickson in Ulster Emigration to Colonia/America 1718-1775 writes that, it was most unusual for an emigrant vessel from the north of Ireland to sail on the advertised sailing date.... The consequences of such delays were often serious ... The paying passenger, especially if he was some distance from his former home ... had to support himself till the vessel sailed. In doing so he used part or all of the money with which he had intended to pay his passage or which he had hoped would enable him to secure a footing in America.
"Whether this happened to William and Susannah, we, of course, do not know, but it is quite likely, given James' birth on-board ship.
"Nor Do We Know Where They Arrived or Where They Lived for Their First Sixteen Years in America"
"Nor do we know where they arrived or where they lived for their first sixteen years in America. Pennsylvania seems most likely. From census responses we know that Fanny Stephens, who later married their son Janes, was born in Pennsylvania in 1792. Mary Glover Graham, whose daughter Nancy later married their grandson William, was born in Pennsylvania in 1795. Robert McConnel places William and Susannah in Pennsylvania at the birth of their son William in 1798 and in 1801 at the birth of their son Matthew. Matthew's descendants give his birth place as Ohio.
"Whether McConnels, Stephens and Glovers knew each other in Pennsylvania is also unknown, but it was common for people to migrate in groups for aid and protection and for such families to inter-marry.
"In 1798 'Zane's Trace' cut through the territory that later became Guernsey Countywide enough for a horse and rider, but not a wagon. It crossed Ohio, connecting Wheeling, West Virginia, with Maysville, Tennessee, turning south, west of present-day Guernsey County. In 1800 it was widened from Wheeling to Zanesville, in present-day Muskingum County, west of where William and Susannah settled. Steep and deeply rutted, it is probably the route McConnels traveled."
In an essay, "Back in Time, Zane's Trace", by Rickie Longfellow, we learn more about Zane's Trace:
"Colonel Ebenezer Zane, beginning with Zane's Trace, played a major role in the social and economic development of Ohio, placing it on the path to statehood.
"Zane and his brothers followed Native American footpaths to cut the first road from the wilderness in the Northwest Territory in the late 1700s. Colonel Zane, who founded Wheeling, West Virginia, and helped to settle Lancaster, Ohio, appealed to Congress for permission to build a road and he received that permission in 1796 after he had already begun the project. Zane requested and received from the American government land grants where the Trace crossed the Muskingum, Hocking and Scioto Rivers to pay for his surveying costs. The government agreed to his request, believing that a major road opened in 1797 would bring more settlers to Ohio and help increase trade.
"In 1800, the road was widened from Wheeling to Zanesville, but it was steep with deep ruts, making travel difficult. However, the Trace was the only major road in Ohio until after the War of 1812.
"In 1803, after Ohio received its statehood, the state legislature set aside money to improve Zane's Trace and make it accessible by wagon. Trees were cut down to make it 20 feet wide and bridges were built. Soon travel by wagon from Wheeling to Chillicothe was possible. Settlements sprang up along the way, with businesses such as taverns and inns that catered to the travelers. Farmers used the road to transport their crops to market."
GENERATION "MINUS ONE"
We begin by identifying the parents of our First Generation in America McConnels, William McConnel, and his wife, Eleanor McCaughery:
-I WILLIAM McCONNEL Born about 1723, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Married Eleanor McCaughery in 1739 at William's age 16, Eleanor's age 14 ; at Sainttield, County Down, N. Ireland. Eleanor was born about 1725 in Saintfield, County Down, Northern Ireland.
I. William McConnel, b. 1750 (or 1760), d. 1840. (Some sources show name as William S. McConnel)
The First Generation McConnel Family in America
I. WILLIAM McCONNEL, son of William McConnel (-1) and Eleanor McCaughery.
Born about 1760, County Down, Northern Ireland. Died in 1840, age 80, Lee, Carroll Co., Ohio. Place of burial unknown; possibly Coen Cemetery [See James McConnel for location].
Married Susannah Cockshoot (or Cockshott) in about 1780, County Down, Northern Ireland. She died about 1840 in Guernsey County, Ohio. (or, Lee, Carroll Co., Ohio). According to some genealogical sources, Susannah was the daughter of Samuel Cockshoot, born 1788 in Kildwick, Yorkshire, England, died 1831 in Ohio, USA; and Alice Cockshott (1740-). Samuel Cockshoot was the son of William Cockshott, who was born April 15, 1742 in Craven, Yorkshire, Englard, and died March 1, 1821, in Crossmoor, Yorkshire; and Sarah Wilson (1742-1808).
Some genealogical sites show Willian's name as William Samuel McConnel. Lorena Estlow Hyde says this is not reliable information. We show his name simply as William McConnel (1) throughout this book. See Chapter Twelve, Collateral Families.
II. Eleanor McConnel, b. 1785, County Down, Northern Ireland, died 1842.
II. Dorothy Dolly McConnel, b. 1787, County Down, Northern Ireland; d. 1850, Ohio. Married John Long and had four children.
II. Margaret McConnel b. 1788, County Down, Northern Ireland, d. Feb. 28, 1882, Ohio
II. William McConnel, b. 1791, County Down, Northern Ireland; d. 1887.
II. James McConnel, born in May 1792 on a ship from Ireland, died on July 6, 1845. He married Fanny Stephens and became the father of William McConnel, who married Nancy Graham, who in turn became the parents of twelve, including eight McConnel sons who settled in the part of the Oregon Territory that became Idaho Territory in 1863 by order of President Lincoln.
II. John McConnel, abt 1794-1870
II. Samuel McConnel, b. abt 1797
II. Nancy McConnel, b. abt 1798
II. Anne McConnel, b. abt 1800
II. Charles McConnel, b. 1801, died 1875
II. Matthew McConnel b. 1801 (twin to Charles?)
II. Catherine McConnel, b. 1809, died Sept. 4, 1879. Married Hugh Shearer
William and Susannah came from Northern Ireland to America via ship in the spring of 1792, arriving in (possibly) Philadelphia, a port to which many Scots-Irish emigrants sailed. However, Ancestry.com, says it was New York, likely reflecting the popular mythology that "everyone arrived in New York" via Ellis Island.. We (RL) are inclined to believe it was Philadelphia (see below). Their fifth child, James, was born on shipboard.
U.S. Capital Was Philadelphia until 1800
We note here that Philadelphia was a major city in the history of American independence. It was the location of the First Continental Congress in 1774, and the site of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Even though the First Congress of the United States met in New York, the Capital remained Philadelphia until 1800 when it was moved to Washington, D.C. Therefore, we may believe that the first of our McConnels may possibly have arrived in Philadelphia when that city was the Capital of the newly formed nation.
They Moved over the Steep and Deeply Rutted Trail
We believe this family probably spent about eight years in Pennsylvania, a popular region for Scots-Irish immigrants. Their children were born either in N. Ireland before 1792, or in Pennsylvania from 1793 (James b. on ship, 1792) to about 1800, when they apparently moved to Ohio, probably over the steep and deeply rutted trail mentioned above by Sharon McConnel. William and Susannah took up land and settled in Wills Township [T. 1. R. 1, section 3, southeast quarter], Guernsey County, Ohio in 1808. The patent for this land was issued to William on April 20, 1812. The Census shows them living in Wills Township, Guernsey Co., Ohio, in 1808. The U.S. Census of 1830 shows William still living in Wills Township.
"In the Same Family since it Was Sold to Thomas Parry In the Settlement of William McConnel's Estate"
Lorena Estlow Hyde said that in 1983 all the boundaries of the above piece of land could be seen from State Route 265 between Lore City and Salesville. Township Road 741 is the boundary on the west and Township Road 742 is boundary on the east. North of Route 265 the land slopes up to a line of woods. South of Route 265 the land is gently rolling to a line of trees on the southern boundary. One house is on the land-old, brick, abandoned-on the south side of Route 265, facing the southern boundary [not Rt. 265]. The land is in use and also the barns and corrals by the house. In 1978 it was learned that this land is owned by John Herbert Watson of Leatherwood Valley Egg Farm, Salesville, Ohio. It has been in the same family since it was sold to Thomas Parry in the settlement of William McConnel's estate. The abandoned house was built by Thomas Parry in 1855.
Chapter TwoTHE SECOND GENERATION IN AMERICA
This second generation of the McConnels in America underwent many hardships as they established themselves in their new land. Some of them had been born in Northern Ireland before immigration, while most of them were born in America. Various McConnel families established themselves first in Pennsylvania, but moved on into Ohio where they stayed for several generations, and some of them to the present day.
Ohio: the First State of the Northwest Territory
In 1803, while Thomas Jefferson was President, Congress passed an act recognizing that the citizens of Ohio had adopted a constitution in accordance with the 1802 enabling act and the state had become one of the United States of America. Thus, Ohio, home of so many of our pioneer McConnel families, was the first state created out of the Northwest Territory, which originally included all of modern-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and parts of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Lewis and Clark Blaze an Overland Trail
Many significant events in American history took place in these years: In 1800 the national capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. In 1803 Louisiana is purchased from France, and shortly after, under commission of President Thomas Jefferson, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed an overland trail to the Pacific and returned. By 1825, the Erie Canal, from the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, had become a new waterway to the Midwest.
From a Shipboard Birth to Idaho Territory
It is worth noting that one member of the Second Generation, James McConnel, born aboard ship arriving in 1792, became the father of William McConnel, whose sons were pioneer settlers in the American West (Idaho and Colorado). William McConnel and Nancy Graham, the central couple of this book, were the parents of twelve children, of whom eight eventually traveled west to pioneer settlements in Idaho and Colorado. Two died young, one died in the Civil War, and one, the only daughter, married and remained in Iowa. William and Nancy later came west and spent their last years in Boise, Idaho, and are buried in Pioneer Cemetery. Thus, in the lifetimes of just two generations, is made a leap from an immigrant ship of 1792, to a family instrumental in settling Idaho Territory, which achieved statehood in 1890.
The Members of the Second Generation
II. WILLIAM McCONNEL, son of William McConnel (1) and Susannah Cockshott. William is son of William McConnel (-1) and Eleanor McCaughery.
Born 1784, County Down, Northern Ireland; d 1880; m. Phoebe Conklin in 1814. She was born in 1792.
III. Lemuel McConnel, b. Jan. 23, 1815, Pennsylvania.
III. Barbara Ann McConnel, b. Nov. 2, 1817
III. Isabel McConnel, b. Oct. 18, 1819
III. Alexander McConnel, b. Aug. 13, 1823
III. William McConnel, b. Nov. 5, 1834
II. ELEANOR McCONNEL, daughter of William McConnel (1) and Susannah Cockshott. William is son of William McConnel (-1) and Eleanor McCaughery.
Born 1785, County Down, Northern Ireland, died before May 1842
Married Robert Robinson Miller (1785-) in about 1800, in Belmont Co., Ohio.
III. Rhoda Ann Miller b. 1816, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio; m. Elijah Shafer, b. 1816
III. Caleb Miller, b. 1819, Ohio; m. Margaret, b. 1817
III. Barnet Miller, b. 1828, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio; m. Margaret, b. 1828
III. McConnel Miller, b. 1830, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio
III. Robinson Miller, b. 1831, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio
III. Isabel Miller, b. 1842, m. Ferdinand Moore, b. 1842 Muskingum Co. Ohio
According to Robert McConnell of Miami, Florida, who has done extensive genealogical research of the McConnell's,
Excerpted from The McConnel and McConnell Families Copyright © 2011 by Ralph A. Lawrence. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
The Work of Lorena Estlow Hyde....................3
What about the "One L" and the "Two L" McConnels?....................4
How to Read This Book - What's the Code?....................8
How Many Ancestors Do We Have?....................10
The First McConnels and McConnells in America....................15
Chapter One - The First Generation....................27
Chapter Thirteen - Some Family Tales....................581
Chapter Fourteen - Idaho File into History....................639
Chapter Fifteen - Photo Section....................645
"Two Special People" - William and Nancy McConnel....................670
Chapter Sixteen - Boise McConnel Homes....................671
"Trail's End" -David K McConnel....................673
Genealogical Relationship Chart....................675
Book Order Form....................677