The Magill Family
(also spelled McGill or Megill)
William Magill, Sr. |
William Magill, Jr. |
Samuel Magill |
Elizabeth Shannon Magill
By Steven R. Butler
I may be related to the Magill family by virtue of the marriage of my maternal grandfather, William Ollie Jenkins, to my grandmother, Ida Lee Seay, who was the daughter of Margaret Inez (Ward) Seay, who was the daughter of Mary Ann (Lowry) Ward, who was the daughter of Elizabeth B. (Murdock) Lowry, who was the daughter of Eliza or Elizabeth (Magill?) Murdock, who may have been the daughter of Samuel Magill of Greene County, Tennessee.
The Magill family to which I may be connected immigrated to the British colonies in America from Northern Ireland, also called Ulster. They were the "offspring of [Scottish] lowland Presbyterians who had moved out of their ancient homeland after 1607," historian Parke Rouse, Jr. has written, "in response to English inducement to colonize Ireland and grab cheap farmlands." For more than a century the Scottish continued to come, "building up profitable linen and woolen manufactures" in Ulster; but in 1698, at the urging of English wool producers, the British Parliament passed a law forbidding "Scotch-Irish wool growers…to sell their product to any buyers except the English."
"Persecuted both in politics and business," says Rouse, the Scotch-Irish also found themselves the targets of religious intolerance by "Ireland's Anglican conformists," who, "in countless ways,…made life difficult for the followers of John Knox."
As a consequence of the harsh treatment they received, Rouse continues, "the younger sons and daughters of transplanted Ulster Scots began to move in small numbers to America," beginning about 1718. Within a decade, what began as a trickle had become a steady stream. "When famine struck Ulster in 1740," it became a torrent. "Thus," lamented one contemporary observer, "was Ulster drained of the young, the enterprising, and the most energetic and desirable classes of its population."
Departing from the ports of Belfast or Derry, these "hardy middle-class farmers and craftsmen" made the eight-week-long voyage across the oftentimes storm-tossed North Atlantic, seeking shelter in the darkness and foul smell of some tiny vessel's hold. In wooden sea chests, each family brought only those items that they deemed essential, their "few clothes, tools, kitchen implements, and books." During the day, Rouse has written, if the weather was fair, "they were permitted abovedeck, crowding the rails to watch the gray seas while the square-rigger beat her way at eight or ten knots across the 3,000 miles of sea which separated Ireland from the American coast."
Altogether, about 200,000 Scotch-Irish immigrated to America prior to the American Revolution. Because Pennsylvania had a reputation for religious tolerance, most of them arrived at the port of Philadelphia, at that time one of the largest cities in the American colonies. A few others landed in Delaware, where Presbyterian congregations had also begun to thrive.
WILLIAM MAGILL (SR.)
DISCLAIMER: Although to the best of my knowledge the information this section contains is correct, I am not completely sure that William Magill, Sr. is one of my ancestors. He could be, but in the absence of a corroborating "paper trail," his inclusion here should be considered tentative.
William Magill, reportedly born in Scotland about 1670, was among the thousands of people who left their homes in Ulster to come to America during early the 1700s. According to one researcher, William and his two brothers, John and Charles, along with their father, Robert, were comparative latecomers to Northern Ireland. In 1715, they emigrated from Scotland to the Irish village of Tullycairn. At that time, William was about forty-five years old and married. He and his wife, whose name is unfortunately unknown, had six children, as follows:
- William, Jr., who is said to have been born in Northern Ireland shortly after his parents emigrated from Scotland
William Magill, Sr., along with his brothers John and Charles, immigrated to America about 1726. Like most Scotch-Irish newcomers, they settled first in Pennsylvania. Later, William and John and their families removed to Virginia.
At some point in time, William Magill's first wife died (perhaps on the sea voyage to America, not an uncommon occurrence unfortunately) and he re-married. His second wife's name was Margaret Gass, a widow with one son, David. Margaret's maiden name is unknown.
Large numbers of Scotch-Irish settlers left Pennsylvania during the 1730s, migrating south along the Philadelphia Wagon Road, originally an Indian trail that snaked its way through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Many of these emigrants settled in Augusta County, located in Virginia's famed Shenandoah Valley. It was here that the family of William Magill carved a home out of what was then a wilderness on the far western edge of the British colonial frontier in America.
Although it was first formed in 1738, Augusta County was not formally organized until 1745. Thus the first mention of William Magill in Augusta County court records, the eighth item in Order Book No. 1, indicates that he was one of the region's earliest settlers. Dated February 11, 1745, it records that he and a neighbor, Thomas Stinson, were directed by the court to "view" a road "from North River to John Anderson's." This meant that although the county assumed the expense of maintaining the road, the actual responsibility for keeping it in good repair belonged to Magill and Stinson. The second time William Magill's name appears in Augusta County court records is November 20, 1746, when he was appointed constable.
Mention of William Magill as a neighbor of Andrew Erewin (or Erwin) in a deed recorded 5 March 1747/48 reveals that the Magill's frontier homestead was located on a branch of the "North Riv[er] of Shanando [i.e., Shenandoah] called Long Blade Cr[eek].
In October or November 1749, William Magill died at the age of about seventy-nine. For some unknown reason, his widow Margaret "renounced all benefit or advantage under her husband's will," which was proven in the county court on 29 November 1749. Perhaps this seemingly unusual course of action was connected with the fact of her being William's second wife. Nevertheless, when accounts against Magill's estate were finally paid on 15 November 1758, Margaret Magill was one of nine individuals who each received 9 pounds, 1 shilling, and sixpence from Hugh Campell and Robert Cravens, the will's executors.
Here is the entire text of William Magill, Sr.'s will:
In the name of God, amen: the 10th day of October, 1749. I, William Magill of Augusta County, Virginia, being sick in body, but of perfect wit and memory, thanks to be God, calling to remembrance the uncertain state of this transitory life, and that all flesh must yield to death when it shall please God to call, do make, constitute, ordain, and declare this, my last will and testament, in manner and form following, revoking and annulling, and by these presents all and every testament and testaments, will and wills, heretofore made by me, and declared, either by word or writings, and this to be taken only for my last will and testament, and one other.
And, first being sorry from the bottom of my heart for my sins past, most humbly desiring forgiveness for the same, I give and commit my soul to God, my Saviour and Redeemer, in whom and by the mercies of Jesus Christ, and believed to be saved, and to have full remission and pardon of all my sins, and that my soul with my body at a general day of resurrection shall rest again with joy, and thro' the mercies of Christ's death and passing, passes and inherits the kingdom and heaven prepared for his elect and chosen and my body to be buried in such a place where it shall please my executors hereafter to appoint;
And now for ye settling of my temporal estate, and such goods and chattels and debts as it has pleased God far above my desserts to bestow upon me, I do give and dispose as followeth: That is to say,
First, I will that all my debts and dues that I owe, in right and conference to any person or persons whatsoever, shall well and truly be paid within convenience time after my death, by my executors;
I order that my wife, Margaret, to have six of my best ye cows and one bay two-year-old mare, and ye half of ye household plenishing [furnishing?], and ye gray mare to her son, David Gass;
And as for my land, I order it to be divided between my sons James and William, and ye line to run a straight course from ye river by ye upper end of James meadow, and toward a little spring between and Charles Campbell, and James to have ye end he now lives on, and William ye end that I now live on.
I order my son, John, to have ye young mare, yearling mare, and as for ye rest of ye young cattle, I order them to be equally divided among my children; and likewise my hogs, I order them to be equally divided between my wife and my children;
I order my brown coat for my son John, and ye white coat to William; and ye half ye household goods to William, and one chest to be excepted for my wife, more than her equal share and ye patter and one pot to my wife, also above her equal share.
I order my grandchild, James' son, to have one heifer of a year old. I order my wife's share of ye creatures, & William and Elizabeth, to be maintained on ye plantation this winter and my funeral charges to be taken of ye whole estate.
My saddle and tools I order, with ye plow irons, to William; and ye big Bible, I leave it to James. As witness my hand, this tenth day of October, 1749. Order Robert Creaven and Hugh Campbell to be my executors. Memorandum -- Before signing, William is to have ye black mare and ye gray horse.
Signed, William Magill; Marget Magill (her mark); Andrew Erwin; Charles Campbell (his mark)
At a court continued and held for Augusta county, the 29th day of November, 1749. This last will and testament of William Magill, deceased, was presented to court by Robert Creaven and Hugh Campbell, the executors therein named; and being proven by Andrew Erwin and Charles Campbell, the witness thereto subscribed, is admitted to record, and on motion of the said executors; who made oath thereto according to law, certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form, and Marget, the relict of said deceased, personally appeared in court, and declared that she would not receive or take any legacy of legacies to her given or bequeathed through, by or any part thereof, and did renounce all benefit or advantages which she might claim by the said will.
Unfortunately, the location of William Magill, Sr.'s place of burial has seemingly been lost to history.
WILLIAM MAGILL (JR.)
DISCLAIMER: Although to the best of my knowledge the information this section contains is correct, I am not completely sure that William Magill, Jr. is one of my ancestors. He could be, but in the absence of a corroborating "paper trail," his inclusion here should be considered tentative.
William Magill, Jr., was born about 1715 in either Scotland or Northern Ireland. As a child, he came with his father, two brothers, and one sister to America. It appears that his mother died young, possibly on the voyage across the Atlantic but perhaps earlier or later. Following his wife's death, William Magill, Sr. married a widow named Margaret Gass, who had a son of her own, David.
In America, the Magill family lived first in Pennsylvania. Sometime prior to the 1740s, they migrated south, obviously along the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, which led them to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where they settled in newly-formed Augusta County.
The children and grandchildren of William Magill, Sr. are mentioned with some frequency in the county court records of Augusta County, particularly James, who by the time of his father's death was married and also had a son named William. The name of the boy's mother is not known.
William Magill Jr. was married about five years after his father's death to Jean Fowler, daughter of a neighbor, Robert Fowler. Together, William Jr. and Jean had eight children: Robert, John, James, Samuel, Elizabeth, Charles, Hugh, and William.
The first mention of William Magill, Jr. in Augusta County court records is dated 1751, when he and several neighbors petitioned the court to have a road built "from John Davis' mill to Wood's Gap, or to the road now clearing over th e mountain near said gap." Hugh Campbell and Robert Fowler were also signers. On May 28 of that same year, both William and John Magill, along with Campbell, Fowler and several other neighbors, were ordered by the court to keep the road in good repair once it was built.
In 1756 James Magill was one of seventeen men who brought charges in county court against a particularly undesirable neighbor. Their petition read:
To the Worshipful Court of Augusta County. The petition of sundry inhabitants of this County by this North Mountain, in Captain Harrison's and Captain Love's Companies, humbly sheweth: That your petitioners are daily troubled by John O'Neal, a person of evil fame, who being [an] ill natured, evil, designing, citigious, wicked man, he often takes occasion to come to the houses of some of your petitioners and then designedly raises and foments disputes with them in which make use of the most opprobrious and abuseful words he can invent, and as he is bound to the peace, dares any one to strike him, there, should any of us strike or beat him we know not what the consequences as we are unacquainted with the law and his usual manner threatens to shoot us if he sees any of us out of our own plantations, that he will do us all the damage he can by killing our horses, cattle, &c., and when reproved of his misbehavior he tells us that if he does any action, be it ever so bad, that he will be cleared by this Court for two pieces of eight. His behavior is such that your petitioners are afraid to leave their families to go about their lawful affairs, not knowing but he may fulfill his threats before our return by killing our wives and children, burning our houses, or doing some other irreparable damage, and, as doubtless your Worships is [sic] well acquainted with the behavior of this malicious man, we hope you will take our case into consideration and fall upon some method to hinder him from being guilty of such outrages and irregularities for the future. That we, being subjects to his Majesty and the laws of the Dominion, may be no longer abused by such a person in the above manner, and your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
That O'Neal was every bit as threatening as he was portrayed appears to be confirmed by the fact that two of the petitioners afterward denied signing, one tried to erase his name from the document and a fourth, Gawin Black, told the court he had nothing to say against John O'Neal, claiming that he "was overpersuaded by some of the petitioners." In the end, the word of the other fourteen men seems to have been enough the court that something needed to be done. O'Neal was found guilty of the charges against him but his punishment, if any, went unrecorded.
In 1756 a struggle erupted between the British and the French for dominion over North America. Lasting for seven long years, it has gone down in history as the "French and Indian War." Not surprisingly, the Scotch-Irish settlers of western Virginia, who had suffered for years at the hands of Indian tribes allied to the French, were eager volunteers in the colonial militia. The Magills were no exception.
Military records from this period reveal that James Magill served as both a lieutenant and a captain of the colonial militia while his son William and brother William (known at this time by their peers as William Jr. and William Sr., although one was the nephew and not the son of the other) both served in Capt. Alexander Sayers' (or Syer's) company during the summer of 1758, along with James Fowler, William Magill Sr.'s brother-in-law.
One of the incidents of the French and Indian War that seems to have concerned our intrepid forebears was an attack on one of the many frontier forts that settlers built to protect themselves against the Indians. In his History of the Valley of Virginia, early-day historian Samuel Kercheval, described what happened:
Seybert's Fort was erected on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, on the land now owned by Mr. Ferdinand Lair, twelve miles northeast of Franklin, the present county seat of Pendleton. In the year 1758, a party of Indians surprised the fort, in which were thirty persons. They bound ten, whom they conveyed without the fort, and then proceeded to massacre the others in the following manner: They seated them in a row upon a log, with an Indian standing behind each; and at a given signal, each Indian sunk his tomahawk into the head of his victim; an additional blow or two dispatched them...
Another tradition says that Seybert's Fort was not surprised. It had been invested for two or three days, and after two Indians had been killed, the garrison agreed to surrender on condition that their lives should be spared, which was solemnly pledged. The gate was then opened, and the Indians rushed in with demoniac yells. The whites then fled with precipitation, but were retaken, with the exception of one man. The massacre then took place, as before related, and ten were taken off as prisoners.
Another tradition says, that, on the fort's being given up the Indians seated twenty of the garrison in two rows, all of whom they killed except the wife of Jacob Peterson. When they reached her, an Indian interposed to save her life, and some altercation ensued. The friendly Indian at length prevailed, and throwing her a pair of moccasins, told her to march off with the prisoners. How long she remained in captivity is not remembered.
Earlier that same year young Fowler was involved in an alleged mutiny, while serving under Capt. Abraham Smith. Following the occurrence, a court martial was held at the Augusta County courthouse on May 19, 1758. No less than ten officers presided, including two colonels and a major (the remainder were captains). The record of the court reads as follows:
The inquiry, held on the complaint of Edward McGary, involved the conduct and behavior of Capt. Abraham Smith who was out with a party of his company on the South Branch after Sybert's Fort was burned by the enemy. Thomas Baskins and Thomas Patterson swore they heard Edward McGary say that Capt. Smith was a coward. McGary proposed three men as evidence, but they were not admitted as they were in a mutiny in which McGary was said to be the promoter. Capt. Love, Lt. Archer, John Young, Mathew Patton, and William Magill swore that Capt. Smith behaved in a prudent manner to be a good officer without showing signs of fear. Capt. Smith was acquitted.
At a court of inquiry of the behavior of Edward McGary, William Cravens, James McClure, and James Fowler, soldiers in Capt. Smith's company, on the complaint of Capt. Smith and Capt. Love with the following present: Col. Buchanan, Col. Stewart, Maj. Smith, Capt. James Lockhart, Capt. Israel Christian, Capt. Alexander Syers, Capt. R. Bratton, Capt. Thomas Armstrong, and Capt. Robert Brooks, with William Preston, clerk. Henry Smith and John Smith swore that they were on duty when the above four left the company contrary to orders and went where Sybert's Fort stood. When they returned, they would not join the company although ordered to do so by their officers. McGary swore that he would not be under the command of any officer. McGary fined 40 shs [shillings] for the offense and 5 shs for one oath. Cravens, McClure, and Fowler were fined 10 shs each.
Sybert's Fort or Fort Sybert, mentioned above, was of a chain of forts that the British army had built along the western frontier, for defense against the Indians.
Augusta County court records show that James Magill was made a lieutenant of militia in 1762 and again in 1765.
During the American Revolution, several members of the Magill family served the patriot cause. One was Samuel Magill, son of "our" William Jr. (in other words, the son of William, Sr., not James' son), who in 1778, participated in an "expedition against the Cherokees" under the command of Capt. John Gilmore. Another was James Magill (probably also William Sr.'s son), who served in Captain Henderson's Company of Augusta County militia, John Magill, who served in Captain Trimble's Company, and a William Magill, who served in Captain Stephenson's company (and who was either the elder James Magill's son or William Sr.'s youngest son).
Following the end of the Revolutionary War, William Magill Jr., his son James and family, and son, Samuel and his bride, all migrated south into the eastern edge of what would eventually become the state of Tennessee in 1796. Land records of the State of North Carolina (of which Tennessee was then a part) show that on October 21, 1783, William Magill claimed 200 acres on the north side of the Nolichucky River on Sinking Creek. Greene County. On the same day, James Magill claimed 260 acres in the same area. On June 7, 1784, both men received patents from the State of North Carolina. This land lay about eight miles east of Greeneville, the present-day seat of present-day Greenville County, Tennessee.
Although there appears to be no evidence that they were acquainted with one another, it is interesting to note that the Magill family's neighbors in Greene County during this time included John and Rebecca Hawkins Crockett, parents of the celebrated David or "Davy" Crockett of Alamo fame, who was born in Greene County, Tennessee on 17 August 1786.
On 19 July 1806, William Magill, Jr. wrote his last will and testament, which read as follows:
In the name of God, Amen - I, William Magill of the County of Greene and State of Tennessee, former being in a bad state of health but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given unto God: Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this, my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto the hand of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life. I give, divide, and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
First-I give and bequeath to Jane Magill my dearly beloved wife, the whole of my household furniture, also her choice of two milk cows and two steers out of my stock of cattle and my riding mare, her side saddle, and bridle together with my Negro woman named Jude, the whole of which I bequeath to her as her absolute property - and also one ewe and lamb.
Secondly-I give and bequeath unto Samuel Magill, William Magill, James Magill, Robert Magill, John Magill, Hugh Magill and Charles Magill, my sons, and Elizabeth Walker, my daughter, wife to Thomas Walker, the residue of my stock of cattle to be equally divided amongst them.
Thirdly-I give and bequeath unto my beloved sons Hugh Magill and Charles Magill the whole of my plantation on which I live for to remain in one entire tract until they agree to dispose of it and then the money or property from thence arising shall be equally divided between them reserving a comfortable living for my dearly and well beloved wife, Jane Magill out of the plantation or of the profits arising therefrom at sale during her natural life.
Fourthly-I hereby make, constitute, ordain and appoint Hugh Magill and Charles Magill my sole executors of this my last will and testament and I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke, disannul all and every former testament, wills and bequests and executors by me in any way as before ordained, willed and bequeathed; ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and six.
William Magill (Seal)
Signed, sealed, published, pronounced, and delivered by the said William Magill as his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names.
Unfortunately, the final resting place of William Magill, Jr. has seemingly been lost to history.
DISCLAIMER: Although to the best of my knowledge the information this section contains is correct, I am not completely sure that Samuel Magill is one of my ancestors. He could be, but in the absence of a corroborating "paper trail," his inclusion here should be considered tentative.
Samuel Magill, a son of William Magill, Jr., was born in 1757 in Augusta County, Virginia.
In October 1777, when Samuel Magill was about twenty years old, the Virginia state assembly passed a bill that divided Augusta County in half, forming the northern portion into a new county named Rockingham, to take effect on 01 March 1778. Thus without moving, the Magill family found themselves living in a new county.
During the American Revolution, Samuel Magill's two brothers, James and Charles, as well as his cousin, William (son of John Magill), performed military service on behalf of the Patriot cause. There is evidence that Samuel himself participated in a 1776-77 "expedition against the Cherokees" under the command of either Capt. John Gilmore or Capt. William Christian. However, unlike his brothers, Samuel died before Congress passed a law providing for Revolutionary War pensions. This is unfortunate because the application and its accompanying documents would have provided us with the details of his service.
On 4 November 1782, at the age of about twenty-five, Samuel Magill married Martha Shannon, widow of Joseph Shannon, in Rockingham County, Virginia. Martha's maiden name was Reid or Reed. Together, Samuel and Martha had the following named children:
- Margaret (married a Shannon)
- Robert Magill
- Agnes Magill
- Mary Magill
- Matthew Magill
- Elizabeth Shannon Magill, born about 1800 (married Elliott Murdock)
- Jean Magill (married Henry Thompson)
Following the end of the Revolutionary War, Samuel Magill and his bride, his brother James and family, and their father, William Magill Jr., all migrated south into the eastern edge of what would eventually become the state of Tennessee in 1796. Land records of the State of North Carolina (of which Tennessee was then a part) show that on October 21, 1783, William Magill claimed 200 acres on the north side of the Nolichucky River on Sinking Creek. Greene County. On the same day, James Magill claimed 260 acres in the same area. On June 7, 1784, both men received patents from the State of North Carolina. This land lay about eight miles east of Greeneville, the present-day seat of present-day Greenville County, Tennessee. Samuel Magill did not apply for a patent himself. Presumably, Samuel and his wife initially lived with either William or James, but in time he acquired some property of his own.
On May 3, 1790, for eighty Pounds "current money," Samuel Magill (spelled "McGill" in the deed), purchased 222 acres of land on Pigeon Creek from George Hayworth. A 1793 land certificate issued to a man named John Glass mentions that Glass' one-hundred-acre grant lay adjacent to Samuel McGill's [sic] land.
On August 2, 1800, for $265, Samuel McGill purchased an additional 203 and ¾ acres of land from George Hayworth, who apparently had moved to Ohio.
On September 3, 1809, Samuel Magill made out a will (see below), which was presented for probate in Greene County Court on April 24, 1810
The Last Will and Testament of Samuel Magill Dec'd
In the name of God Amen, I Samuel Magill of the County if Greene and State of Tennessee Formerly being in a bad state of health but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God, Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to die I do make and ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent christian Burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receve [sic] the same again by the mighty power of God, and as tuching [sic] such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and Form. First, I give and bequeath to Margaret Shannon Robert Magill Agnes Magill, Mary Magill, Marthew [sic] Magill Elizabeth Magill the whole of my plantation on which I live to be equally divided between them.
Secondly, I give and bequath [sic] unto Margaret Shannon Agnes Magill Mary Magill Marthew [sic] Magill Elizabeth Magill the whole of my household furniture to be equally divided between them.
Thirdly I give and bequeath unto Jean Thompson the wife of Hendry Thompson one too [sic] year old cald [sic] heifer and one milks cough [sic].
Fourthly I give and bequest unto Dorcas Shannon one milks cough [sic]
Fifthly, I give and bequest unto Margret [sic] Shannon Agnes Magill Mary Magill, Marthew [sic] Magill Elizabeth Magill the remainder of my cattle and hogs to be equally divided betwen [sic] them.
Sixthly, I give and bequeth [sic] unto Robert Magill my beloved son one bay mare and one rifle gun.
Seventhly, I give and bequeath unto Margret [sic] Shannon Agnes Magill Mary Magill Marthew [sic] Magill Elizabeth Magill to go equal sharers [sic] in the rest of my stock of horses.
Eighthly, I give and bequeth [sic] unto Margret [sic] Shannon Agnes Magill Mary Magill Marthew [sic] Magill Elizabeth Magill one noete [sic] on mi [sic] son Robert Magill to the amount of one hundred and thirty bushels of corn.
Ninthly, I hereby constitute ordain and appoint Charles Magill and Henry Thompson my sole Executors of this my last will and testament and do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every former testaments wills and bequests and Executors by me in any ways before named willed and bequeathed. Ratifying and confirming and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty third day of September in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and nine
Signed sealed published pronounced and declared by the said Samuel Magill as his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other hereunto subscribed our names
Samuel X Magill Seal
Samuel Magill reportedly died at Pigeon Creek, Greene County, Tennessee on October 28, 1809. Unfortunately, his place of burial has seemingly been lost to history.
ELIZABETH "BETSY" SHANNON MAGILL
DISCLAIMER: Although to the best of my knowledge the information this section contains is correct, I am not completely sure that Elizabeth Shannon Magill is one of my ancestors. She could be, but in the absence of a corroborating "paper trail," his inclusion here should be considered tentative.
There is no question that Elizabeth or "Betsy" Shannon Magill was a daughter of Samuel Magill of Greene County, Tennessee and his wife, Martha. She was born about 1800, almost certainly in Greene County, and was about nine years old when her father died. The fact that her mother is not mentioned in her father's will suggests that her mother was already dead. Who raised Elizabeth to adulthood is unknown. Most likely, it was her older brother, Robert, and his wife, or one of her married sisters.
Elizabeth Shannon Magill should not be confused with her niece, Elizabeth Magill, (daughter of Hugh Magill), who married James Glass in Greene County in 1828.
It's been speculated by another researcher (see The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 75, No. 2, April 1974, p. 133) that on December 6, 1821, in Greene County, Tennessee, Elizabeth Shannon Magill married a young man named Elliott Murdock. However, there is no record of this marriage in Greene County, Tennessee. Another source (South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol 3, No. 1, 1975) states that Elliott Murdock married an Eliza Magill in South Carolina. All we can be certain of is that Elliott's wife's first name was Eliza (or possibly Elizabeth) and that by 1830 they were living in Hamilton County, Tennessee (near Chattanooga), but by 1840, had crossed the state line into Walker County, Georgia, which is immediately adjacent to Hamilton County, Tennessee.
It's interesting to note that at least one of Elizabeth Shannon Magill's Greene County, Tennessee cousins, Robert Magill (son of Elizabeth's uncle, James Magill, not to be confused with James' brother, Robert) settled in Northern Georgia, where he and his family were found by the federal census-taker living in Walker County, in 1840 and 1850, the same county in which Elliott Murdock and his wife, Eliza, resided at exactly the same time. According to Robert Magill, Jr., his mother and father went to live in Northern Georgia in 1837. His father died in Catoosa County (which was created in 1853 from parts of Walker and Whitfield counties) in 1858, his mother sometime after. Obviously, this could just be coincidence and by itself, it doesn't prove a Magill-Murdock connection, but it certainly lends some weight, however slight, to the possibility that Elizabeth Shannon Magill of Greene County, Tennessee, and Elliott Murdock, of wherever he was from originally, somehow met and got married.
For more information, see the MURDOCK FAMILY.
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