The undersigned and compiler of the McKee Genealogy started his search for his Ancestry in the year 1963, and in 1979 is still finding new evidence and Descendants. The search goes on and on. The past 17 years of research has been most interesting and at the same time most difficult due to the fact that every shred of evidence obtained has been ferreted out of County Court House Records, Military Records, Census Records, School Records, Cemetery Records, Death Records, Wills, Deeds, Probate, Tax, and Marriage Records. Obtaining family data from living descendants of Guian McKee, Snr., in the State of Kentucky (Fleming and Lewis Co) has been an impossible and disappointing experience since they have been reluctant to talk about their family or branch of the McKee-Line. Whenever they do, the common phrase is spoken. “Quote: We know nothing about our McKee-Line, all the old folks are gone, anyway we are from a different branch than you”, Unquote.
Guian McKee, Snr., came to the Colony (Pennsylvania) when he was a small laddie of ten. The first trace of him was found in the Court House at Carlisle in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He was apprented out to James Moore to learn the trade and mystery of a Miller. In James Moores Will of Sept 18th, 1767, he gives and bequeaths various items and money to his children. To Guian McKee he makes the following statement: I give and bequeath to Gaven McKee, the sum of five pounds (Current Money), also his freedom dues provided he stays with my sons until he arrives at the age of twenty-one years.
In 1776 he entered the Army and served in the Revolution for a period of three years in the 8th Regiment, Pennsylvania Line. He must have been discharged in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, since he patented 133 acres of land in that County on June 15th, 1787, in Plum Township, later Allegheny County, where the present city of Pittsburgh stands. His first child was born while he was in service. All of his children were born in Pennsylvania, except for the youngest son, David, he was born in Fleming County, Ky (then Mason Co) in 1791.
From the early Tax Records for Westmoreland/Alleghany Counties, Pennsylvania and for Mason County, Kentucky, Guian McKee, Snr., migrated to Kentucky circa 1788/89. It is believed that the migration took place via the Ohio River on Broadhorns which landed on Limestone Creek where present city of Maysville stands.
Guian McKee, Snr., was married to Abigail Lane. She was the mother of his children. The compiler searched all available church and court house records for their marriage but did not find any record. The early marriage must have been lost. Very few remain available from that early period.
Available records indicate that he lived for a short time near Washington, Ky before removing to Fleming County where he lived the remainder of his years on Fleming Creek, Fox Creek, Pea Ridge, Park Lake, Anderson Branch, and on Brushy Fork where he died in 1827. He was born in Scotland in the year 1750. Abigail Lane, his wife was born in England in 1754, and died in Fleming County, Kentucky in 1830. Some Folklore and traditions indicated they are buried on Anderson Branch. They had the following children:
Sarah McKee, John O. McKee, David McKee, Margait McKee *, William McKee, Mary (Polly) McKee, Guian McKee, Jnr., Robert McKee, Abigail McKee
The compiler has proven from available records that the above are his children of Guian McKee, Snr., and his wife Abigail Lane with the exception of Margait McKee. Additional research must be conducted to determine if Margait was their daughter. It is believed that she was since her husband was listed as witness on several marriage bonds for the above when they married.
Researching and tracing Guian McKee, Snr. Has been most difficult because others spelled his name in various ways, such as Guien, Gyon, Guion, Guyon, Guyian, Garven, Gavin, Guyan, Guyann, and Guian. Since most of his records show his name as Guian, that is the one we chose to use. The Complier found only one record believed to have been signed by the old pioneer. It was signed in a shaken manner and was definitely signed as Gavin McKee.
In his application for a pension, Guian McKee, Snr., stated that he enlisted at Peters Creek, Pennsylvania in August 1776. He served as a private in Capt. James Montgomery’s Company, under Colonels McCoy, Broadhead and Bayard, in the 8th Regiment Pennsylvania Line, for a period of three years. He was honorably discharged by Colonel Bayard.
In 1818, thirty seven years after the surrender of the British at Yorktown, Congress enacted the law authorizing the payment of an $8 monthly pension to indigent Revolutionary Soldiers who had faithfully served the full term of their enlistment. The documents which he (and others) executed to establish his pension eligibility constituted almost all we know about him, except for the research performed by the compiler.
These pension documents unfortunately do not disclose Guians place of birth in Scotland. I made it a primary objective of my trip to Scotland in 1963 to find the birthplace of the old pioneer. I did not succeed. From bits and pieces that I did find indicate that he might have been born in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland.
While I did not find the birthplace of Guian McKee, Snr., I am content. I found that the Scots are the most charming people I have ever encountered. There is a complete absence of what we call “Hurry Sickness” in their Country. I never asked directions of a Scot who was not courteous. All were willing to take the time to give me the directions I sought. Their sense of humor is always evident. I frequently noticed a characteristic I had been told in advance to expect – the tendency to carry a point to its logical conclusion even though that point may be considerably past to its point of absurdity. Their country is beautiful beyond description. Guian must have been very much like the people I met.
James O. McKee, Jnr., Avon, IL
* - Margait McKee (page 1), and Abigail McKee turned out to be one and the same. Additional research into old marriage Bonds in Fleming County, KY Court House revealed one record had her name spelled Margait while all the others showed her name as Abigail. She married John Williams on April 4th, 1810. Her marriage Bond Shows her name as Abigail. The marriage register showed her name as Magait.Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker