Elizabeth Montgomery McAfee ????

(written by )

OK everybody here is something that will upset all we know about the lineage of our McAfee line.

Thanks to Robert B. McAfee, we have an excellent written account of our ancestral history. In this work he names each generation paternal grandparents in order. His grandparents James McAfee sr. & Jane McMichael -> John McAfee jr. & Mary Rogers -> John McAfee sr. & Elizabeth Montgomery. This line has never been previously questioned and numerous follow up accounts have mirrored this, but I've recently uncovered research while working on another family line that disputes the notion that Elizabeth Montgomery was of John jr.

This account indicates that Elizabeth Montgomery was born in "Lainshaw" in Scotland about half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Sometime prior to 1659 she married 1st to James McCoun, and together they had 1 child James McCoun jr. born 1660.

Just like our McAfee ancestors, James McCoun was a soldier under William III and took part in the Battle of Boyne on July 1, 1690. According to the McCoun history James was a casualty of this battle leaving Elizabeth a widow.

This McCoun account does not dispute that Elizabeth Montgomery was married to our John McAfee, but are steadfast in belief that such marriage took place after 1690. Since John jr. was also a soldier in that same battle (according to RBM, he was a young boy at the time), but still was at least born prior to that designated date. Therefore, if this account is to be entertained as fact then Elizabeth would have been his step mother not biological mother.

This theory would have made our John McAfee jr. and James McCoun jr. step brothers. This idea is not so far fetched when you look at how closely associated these two families have throughout the generations. As follows:

  1. John's son James migrated from Ireland to America in 1739 and James's son James III moved about 1742. Both families lived close by each other and both ended up in Botetourt County, Virginia prior to the American Revolution.
  2. James McAfee's son Robert was married to James McCoun's daughter Ann
  3. In 1773 The McCoun's joined the McAfee's on their first expedition into Ky., and in 1779 they all relocated together to Salt River.
  4. In 1781 the McCouns where listed as among the defenders of McAfee Station when it was attacked, and are listed at various times serving together in the militias.
  5. Throughout the history of Mercer County both families have continued to intermarry and remained a close-knit clan well into the 21st century.

This story is in no way intended to question the integrity of Robert B. McAfee and his written account, but we have to consider that these event all took place over 100 years before he was even born. He relied entirely on family traditions handed down by the previous generation. No doubt that James McAfee sr. considered Elizabeth Montgomery to be his paternal grandmother. And surely she would have been the only grandmother he knew thus being recorded as such for posterity.

Any comments about this???

Look forward to another story that contradicts the writings of RBM about his cousin John McAfee.