THE PHOTO...Help me out, Cousins! I know that there is a photo of our great-grandparents around - it hung on the walls in the master bedroom in Margate.

THE KNOWN...The family connection starts with Mary Ellen McKee (b. 1862) a great-grandmother of the Fagan Cousins. Mary Ellen married James Lockhart Garroway in 1888 and they had six children and twelve grandchildren. Mary Ellen's great grandfather, Andrew McKee, was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States before the birth of his son, Thomas Vincent, in 1791.

Andrew was in the Revolutionary War and as were two brothers, Thomas and William. All three brothers joined the war in Antrim township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Afterward he came to Allegheny County, PA, settling at what is now McKeesport, named after another branch of this family. After several years' residence there he moved to Armstrong County, first living in what is now East Franklin township, near where Montgomeryville now stands. Armstrong County is located next to Butler County where the McKees, Garroways and Fagans were destined to meet!

The ancestral line of the surname McKee and variants, including McKie, Mackie, Mackay, Mackey, and even Mac Eth, has been traced back to at least the eleventh century. Many McKee family trees have been published on the internet and it is as true for McKee as it is for many of the surnames with a thoroughly researched history that the published information does not always agree.

AND THE UNKNOWN...While there is agreement that Andrew, possibly with the Mackey surname, was born in Ireland in 1747, disagreement occurs as to the identity of his father. Some family trees show it to be Hugh McKee, born in Pennsylvania in 1725 and married to Mary Nesbitt. Others name William McKie, born in Scotland in 1696. The ancestral line of each is fairly clear, but which relates to Mary Ellen McKee?

On further examination of information now available, if Andrew was born in Ireland, could his father be Hugh, who was born in the British colonies? Many of the family trees on Ancestry.com seem to agree with this possibility and include Andrew, born in 1747, and his many siblings as part of the Hugh McKee and Mary Nesbitt family. It is also of interest that several of these Hugh McKee trees do not list a place of birth for Andrew. Perhaps this discrepancy has been noticed.

However, other family trees show William McKie and his presently unknown wife as Andrew's parents. All these trees list only Andrew, born in 1747, as a child, yet it is known that Andrew had at least two brothers. The surname variants also add to the confusion.

So who was Andrew's father? Were there two Andrew McKees (McKies) (Mackeys) born about 1747? In our Cousins' collection of connected and collateral families, the pedigree of Mary Ellen McKee as shown ends with her great grandfather, Andrew McKee. But both McKee descendant lines, one ending with Hugh McKee, the other ending with William McKie and his son Andrew Mackey, are included here. Perhaps someday the family connection with Andrew can be made with some certainty.


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