Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hugh McVay - Kentucky Pioneer

Caldwell County can count a number of Revolutionary War veterans among the county’s earliest settlers. One such man was Hugh McVay. On the 29th day of August 1832, Hugh McVay, age 90, appeared in the Caldwell County court and gave a declaration regarding his military service.

McVay first entered the service of the United States in Caswell County, North Carolina about 1778 as a volunteer in the militia and served three months against the Tories. Following his discharge, he went to Lawrence [Laurens] County, South Carolina, in the frontier, where his brother lived, and volunteered for three more months of service. Later he returned to Caswell County, North Carolina and was drafted into service of the militia for nine months. After the expiration of this tour, he was discharged, but was again called into service. In all, he served four tours against the Tories, British and Indians.

McVay stated he was born 18 April 1741 in Richmond County, Virginia on the Rappahannock River. When young he moved to Lunenburg County and then to Hallifax County and lived there until about the time of the Revolution. He then moved to Caswell County, North Carolina, where he entered the service at age 35. After the war he moved to South Carolina and lived there about 23 years and moved to Tennessee a while, and then moved to this county [Caldwell], where he has lived upwards of 20 years. He is now extremely old, has no record of his age, having lost it in the time of the Revolution, and "keeps his age now by his memory." In his present neighborhood he is known to Arnold Jacob, Henry Machen, Thos. Hill, Tho. Jackson, Wm. Ford, Rev. Jas. W. Mansfield and many others could testify as to his character for veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution.

Hugh McVay was married to Martha Langston and some descendants believe Martha, or "Patty" as she was usually known, was his second wife. McVay received a land grant on Crooked Creek in Livingston County, Kentucky (present day Crittenden County) in 1806, but, before 1815, he moved to Caldwell County, where he bought land on Skinframe and Livingston creeks.

Hugh and Patty McVay had a number of children, but only a few of them moved to Kentucky. A son, Jordan McVay, married Isabella Cruise in Livingston County in 1815. Jordan, who was born 3 Apr 1781 and died 8 Sep 1826, is buried at Hill Cemetery just off Hwy 91 in Caldwell County. Another son, Kinson, lived in Caldwell County for a while before moving to Tennessee. Still another son, Pleasant, received a land grant on Hoods Creek in what is today Crittenden County in 1806, but died young without issue.

A daughter, given name unknown, married my ancestor, John E. Wilson, by 1806 probably in Tennessee and died before Wilson’s second marriage in 1816. Children born to John E. Wilson and Miss McVay were Manerva, Claibourne, Martha "Patsy" and Letty Keziah. In 1826, Hugh McVay began disposing of his property. He conveyed a slave to his son Kenson; a slave to his daughter Sally P Pool and to his four Wilson grandchildren (Letty Keziah Wilson, Minerva Wilson McCluskey, Claibourn Wilson and Martha "Patsy" Wilson) he left household items, a slave and land. In none of the deeds involving his grandchildren, did he ever name their mother. Although I descend from John E. Wilson’s second wife, Harriet Brooks, I would love to have proof of the name of his first wife.

Hugh McVay died 24 September 1834, probably in Caldwell County. His burial place is unknown.

Published 5 March 2008, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,


Marvin Langston said...

Ms Jerome, thanks for the information on Hugh McVay. His wife Martha (Patta) Langston was the half-sister to my 4G-GF James Langston. I have some information in my files that I received many, many years ago from Mrs. G.L. Cooper of Phoenix, AZ. I will review it and see if there is anything pertinent. You are the first person I have found in over 40 years that knows anything about the Mcvays.

Marvin R. Langston ,Jr.

T Dunn said...

My name is Theresa Dunn and I live in Spencer County, IN. My 3gr-grandmother was named Precious McVay and she was born in KY before 1810. She married Larkin Carter in Meade County, sometime @1830. She is one of those stone walls I have been banging my head against, so if you have any information on her that you would not mind sharing, I would most greatly appreciate it!

Thank you,
Theresa Dunn

Brenda Joyce Jerome said...

I'm sorry, but I do not.