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William Augustus
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McConoughey
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McConoughey

The McConoughey's were Scotch Irish or Ulster Irish who migrated to America in large numbers between 1717 and the Revolutionary war.  Most had been lowland Scots, who lived between the English and Highland Scots who had fought the lowlands for several hundred years.  Beginning in 1603, they migrated in large numbers to Northern Ireland to occupy land vacated after years of war between England and Ireland. 

 After a century of difficulties, fighting with the Catholic Irish, the English (Church of England) and Cromwell (Puritans), many again moved, this time to America.  They were at first invited to migrate to Boston because the Puritans wanted some tough people to occupy lands between Boston and the unfriendly Indians supported by the French to the North and West.  After finding the Scotch Irish were difficult to manage and convert from their Presbyterian religion, they were discouraged from migrating to Boston, so immigration slowed there.  However, even larger numbers migrated through the Philadelphia area where they quickly moved to the western frontier and ultimately settled the region east of the Allegheny Mountains, on the western frontier from Pennsylvania to Georgia.  

The Scotch Irish (sometimes called the Ulster Irish fiercely defended their independence and were a major factor in both declaring independence from England and executing the Revolutionary War.  George Washington once noted that "if things went poorly and they lost the Revolutionary War, he would make his last stand with the "Irish" in western Virginia".  Many of his generals were "Irish".  (The Scotch Irish or Ulster Irish were known as "Irish" before the Revolutionary war and were quite a different ethnic group from the Catholic Irish that migrated to America in the 19th century after the potato famine.)

The McConoughey family’s immigrant to America was David McConoughey Sr. who was born in Northern Ireland about 1710.  He married Margaret Crawford in Ireland and arrived in Massachusetts in 1731.  It is probable that he came as an indentured servant.  He and his wife lived at Waltham, Massachusetts where they were farmers for wealthy land owners until about 1743. 

The area in Waltham was a frontier area owned by landholders in Boston.  They needed farm labor provided by indentured servants to operate them. Normally, the period of indenture was 7 years, but if there was a pregnancy, the indenture period was extended typically by 3 years.  David and Margaret had a son David Jr., born 27 May 1731 as well as Geroge (1734), Sarah (1737), and Samuel (1743) in Waltham.  In 1743, the family moved to Blandford, Massachusetts.  Hannah (174?) and Rachel (1748) were born in Blandford.  Parents for David Sr. in Ulster have not been identified.  Family ledgend indicates that they may have been from the Londonderry area of Ulster.

Two variants of McConoughey appear in America.  McConoughey and McConaughey.  It appears that the latter mostly migrated through Philadelphia while the McConoughey variant came through New England.  It is probable that the name McConkey is another variant.  It is likely that all were from the same name in Ireland.

David Jr. born 27 May 1731 in Waltham married Anna Cannon (Carnahan) in Blandford in 1758.  He served at Fort William Henry in 1758 (French Indian War) and also served in the Army during the Revolutionary War.  In 1776, he marched to Ticonderoga with a contingent of soldier from Blandford.  He served as town selectmen and in other capacities at Blandford until his death there in 1805. 

Blandford was a frontier town that had been settled in about 1730 with Scotch Irish immigrants.  Many of the settlers that come to Blandford had settled in Worchester, but moved on to Blandford when conflicts between the Presbyterian Scotch Irish and the Puritans caused life to be untenable.  It was the practice in New England to tax residents to suport a Puritan Meeting House.  The Scotch Irish of course resented the pracctice of taxation to support another's religious facility.  Then when they tried to build their own church, the Puritans tore it down and stole the materials. Tensions became high and the Scotch Irish from Worchester moved as pioneers to create the new town of Blandford.

Blandford was first named New Glasgow, and its namesake in Scotland was to send them a bell as a token of apreciation.  However, When a new governor arrived in New England at the time the town was to be incoporated, he changed the name to Blandford in honor of the ship that had carried him to America. 

David Jr. and Anna had a large family, George (1761), Rachel (176?), Mary (1765), David (1767), Samuel (1769), Anna, 1772), Sarah (1776), Anna (1780), Eli (1784).  David died in Blandford in 1805.

Anna Cannon was from a family originally named Carnahan with possibly a more complex spelling.   

Samuel was an early settler in Ohio.  He married Louisa Henry in 1792 in Blandford.  He migrated to Aurora  and was the first to build a cabin in Brimfield, Ohio   Samuel and Louisa raised a large family, Jarvis (1792), Louisa (1794), Almira (1800 abt.), Sally (1800 abt.), Willy (1800 abt.), Rachel (1801),  George (1808), Augustus (1810 abt.), Anna (1810 abt.), Henry (1810 abt.) and Ruby (1810 abt.). 

Jarvis McConoughey, born in Blandford married Dolly Whitter in 1812 in Ohio. He died in Solon in 1875.  Jarvis and Dolly had the following children, Samuel (1814), Festina, Otis, Wiliam, Hannah, Augustus and Henry (1834).    

Henry McConoughey, born in 1868 in solon, married Elizabeth Greer in 1875 and lived in Solon, Ohio.  Henry and Elizabeth had the following children:  Charles (1881), Edward (1885), Grace (), Helen (1878) and Curtis (1868)

 

Curtis McConoughey, the site owner’s grandfather Married Mary Stevenson in 1893.  Curtis and Mary had two children, Merle and Belle Helene (the site owner’s mother).  Curtis worked for the railroads first in Burbank and then in Lodi, Ohio.  He had held various positions, including the Station Master at Lodi.  He operated a B&O switching tower when he retired.  I can remember sitting in the tower while he worked.  the tower was filled with a large number of levers to control where each train would go.

Curtis was an avid gun collector and hunter.    

Mary died a few days after Belle was born in 1897 and Curtis then married Dora Miller.  There were no children from this marriage. 

Merle, (Curtis and Mary's son) attended Ohio State University and was a Chemical engineer during WW I.  He work on chemical munitions among other projects for a compnay near Philadelphia, PA.  He died in Tucson 1933) from damage to his lungs from his work during the war.
 




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