Michael McKee was born sometime between 1765-1770 and is believed to be the oldest child of Adam and Jean McKee. Michael married Margaret, before 1796 as their oldest son was born in June of that year. Most likely they married some time in 1795. They had 11 children together:
William, Mary, John, Archibald, David, Michael Jr, Joseph, Rebecca, Benjamin, Adam and an unknown son.
Michael lived in Abbeville and raised a large family on his land, which was only about five miles from his father’s. Check out the end of the newsletter and the website for additional pictures of his land. It is believed that the house Michael built was still standing in 1979, however the only part of the original house left now is the chimney.
As with his father and grandfather, the urge to settle unknown territory was great. Word traveled back and forth from past Abbeville residents that had moved to Missouri and apparently Michael felt the urge to explore and settle this new territory.
We do not know exactly when Michael left for Missouri, but most likely sometime between 1812-1818. He was a buyer at an estate sale in Abbeville on August 25, 1812. He is listed in the Missouri gazette as a resident of the Joachim Township on October 23, 1818. We know that they traveled from SC to MO by wagon train. [I have always been fascinated by the journey they must have undertaken. As soon as I finish my current writing project-which should be finished around Christmas-I plan to write about Michael’s journey by wagon train.]
The majority of his children followed Michael as he moved and settled in Jefferson County, MO. However, his oldest son, William, stayed in Abbeville, SC. Two of his brothers also joined him on the trip, William and James. There is speculation that at least one brother, James, got to MO and before he even unpacked, returned home. I do not know if all of the children left at the same time as their father, or if once he got settled in this new area, they then followed. Since William stayed, it appears as if they all left at the same time, but it is unproven.
However, there were three wagon trains going from Abbeville to Missouri. At least one went before Michael and one after him. There was a lot of land for sale in this area.
Margaret died in 1828. Michael married a widow, Lucinda Whitney Gamble, in 1835 and they had two children together, Olive and Seth Whitney. We know that Michael returned to Abbeville at least once, as he is listed as a buyer at the estate sale of his brother, Adam Jr. His signature is on file as assisting in the appraising of the estate. Michael attended many auction sales, in which he mainly bought books. This gives the impression that he was well educated from his readings. I would predict that he had read his bible from cover to cover so many times that he knew many passages by heart.
Apparently Michael moved around a lot once he reached Missouri. He bought a patch of land on May 10, 1824, short of the north-south section of Russell road. Sometime before his death he sold it to George Washington Pierce. The original deed is now in the hands of their descendants, and three of Michael’s grandchildren married into this Pierce family. Michael died April 23, 1845, but no estate record has ever been found for him. Lucinda died soon after in Feb. 1846. As their son was only ten at the time, I wonder where he lived after the death of both parents?
Children of Michael McKee
With his 1st wife, Margaret
All of these children were born in Abbeville, SC
- William McKee was born in 1796 and married Nancy ?. They had 10 children and remained in Abbeville, SC. He died September 1881. For more information see the September edition of the newsletter.
- Mary McKee was born about 1797 and married Samuel McKay. She and Samuel went with Michael to Missouri. They had 7 children. She died about 1843.
- John McKee was born about 1800. No other information is known on him. See the Mystery of the Month.
- Archibald McKee was born about 1802. He married Martha McCullough. When he passed away his younger brother, Adam Harvey, married his widow. Archibald and Martha had 4 children and moved to Missouri with his father. He died August 1835.
- David McKee was born about 1804. No other information is known about this child.
- Michael McKee, Jr was born May 11, 1804. He married Elizabeth Gamble and they had 10 children. He moved to Missouri with his father, and with his brother-in-law in the 1850’s. They eventually settled in Greene County, Iowa. Linda Goodell says that his letters make him sound like a very kind man. Four of his sons were killed or died of wounds as a result of the Civil War. I can’t imagine the pain the family must have encountered after so many tragic losses. According to a letter Michael wrote, Elizabeth died on their 46th wedding anniversary. He died about 1890.
- Joseph McKee was born about 1805 and married Leathy Wideman. They had 3 children. They moved to Missouri and eventually settled in Kansas. He died October 1856.
- Rebecca McKee was born about 1806 and married George Hildebrand. She moved with her father to Missouri. George’s grandfather had been one of the settlers of Jefferson County. They had 10 children. From Wayne McKee: Their son Samuel (sometimes called Outlaw Sam) had a reputation within the Missouri Ozarks during the Civil War second only to the James brothers and his extremely frank memoirs made quite
a sensation. Note: Would someone from this line please send me additional information on the Hildebrand line to be featured in the newsletter.
- Benjamin McKee was born about 1810 and married Sarah ?. They had 6 children. They also moved to Missouri.
- Adam Harvey McKee was born July 13,1811. He married his brother, Archibald’s, widow, Martha McCullough. Martha and Adam had 5 children together. [she had 4 children with Archibald]. He died March 1880.
- McKee Child…Another child was born about 1809, according to the 1810 census. It is assumed that this child was male, but no additional information is known. Perhaps he died as a child.
After Michael and Margaret moved to Missouri she passed away. Michael then married Lucinda Whitney, widow of John Gamble, Jr.
Children with Lucinda Whitney Gamble
These children were born in Jefferson County, Missouri
Olive McKee was born about 1832. She married Silas Ballew and they had 10 children together. She died October 1870.
- Seth Whitney McKee was born June 28, 1835. He married Milly Wilson and they had 9 children together. He died March 1907.
That means that Michael had 74 Known grandchildren.