McCoy Family History

A great Scotch chief called Aodha, whose name meant "Firebrand", gave the name McCoy to descendents. His Scotch sons formed Clan MacAodh, while those who migrated to Ireland used MacCoy and McCoy.

Aodha was King of the North of Ireland from 1030 to 1033. His younger son, Anrothan, was ancestor of the Highland chiefs of several clans in Scotland. Their great strength was in the northern highlands that included Inverness and Ross. The great district of Strathnaver, which became known as the Mackay country, was the whole northwestern corner of the mainland of Scotland, measuring eighty miles by eighteen. The MacCoys first settled in north Irish Ulster, but moved to the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick by the 1500's. Their coat-of-arms has two black bars between six black heraldic birds on a silver shield. The century following the overthrow of the clans in 1746 was filled with great hardship. There was a population explosion, and raising cattle on the high ground was no longer profitable. Sheep also failed. At first the chiefs tried to dissuade their people from emigration, feeling that they belonged to the Highlands. But later, as the population explosion continued, some lairds assisted in the emigration.

In order to escape misery and oppression in Scotland, the Highlanders first went to the north of Ireland and then on the New World. Some members of the clans settled permanently in America before 1724. America offered the most inviting asylum to the more intelligent and enterprising Highlanders. . McCoy descendents migrated to the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania in the early 1700's. Between 1763 and 1775 over twenty thousand Highlanders left their homes to seek a better home in the forests of America.

From "Remembrances of a John McCoy Descendant" by Katherine Taney Silverson

Our father remembered hearing of five brothers who came to America. One or two went to Virginia, also New York and Maryland. Physically they were unusually tall men. Our father, was six feet tall and slender, said he was considered the small one of the family. There were Revolutionary flint-lock muskets in the attic of the old stone house (Antietam Creek, Washington County, MD) as the family was on the side of the Colonies, though there was one Tory of whom the family was ashamed and said "do not name anyone after him" - and now we have lost his name! Some research might prove definitely that members of the family were soldiers in the Revolution. Now this is about all that has come down to us from early days, except for the knowledge that the McCoy farm was a land grant from Lord Baltimore. When our mother was visiting in Maryland she saw this imposing document...unhappily, it was afterwards lost when an old man was said to have accidentally burned it in a barrel of trash.

Our McCoy Family History

Daniel McCoy first owned land in Frederick County, Maryland by 1749. He was married to Martha Mariah Perry, whose father, Joseph Perry was a prominent landowner in the Leitersburg District of Frederick County, MD. We believe Daniel died in October 1788. His wife, Martha McCoy was granted administration of the estate of Daniel McCoy on 9 Dec. 1788.

According to three documents I received from the Maryland State Archives, it appears Daniel had at least two brothers, William and John McCoy. A person named Samuel Young is also listed as next of kin...cannot figure out who this person is. Henry Newcomer (well known Frederick Co. MD man) and John Snavly appointed William McCoy, Samuel Young and John McCoy next of kin as appraisers of Daniel's estate in February 1790.

Click here to see Daniel and Marthaís Family Group Record

I do have some information on Margery McCoy Beard/Baird's line.

Our line continues through Daniel McCoy, Jr. According to my grandaunt, he was born in Frederick Co., MD in 1775. We donít know his migration path but he wound up in Bourbon County, KY where he married Elenor (Nellie) Sellers, daughter of Nathan Sellers and Sarah Finely Sellers on April 13, 1807. They had four children. The first son, Nathan McCoy was born in Kentucky. The second child, a daughter, Sarahís (Sally) obituary states she was born in Pennsylvania. It is possible they moved back to Pennsylvania for a while but they were back in Bourbon County, KY by 1809 as they moved with several other families to Preble County, OH that year. Their next two children, Nelly and John were born in Preble County, OH. Elenor must have died shortly after Johnís birth. Daniel married Maria Watt in Preble County, OH on January 10, 1815. (Nathan Sellers will dated 1824 mentions all of Elenorís children but not Elenor so we are fairly certain she had died and was not divorced. We have never found her grave, however.)

Daniel and Maria moved to Boone County, IN in 1830. Nelly and John were still living at home so they went with the family. We believe Daniel and Maria had several more children but we have been unable to verify this. In the 1830 census there are several young children but that census does not have namesÖonly males or females in age brackets. Daniel settled on a farm in Hendricks County about 3 miles from Jamestown. He sold the farm in 1831 and moved to Jamestown and went into business with his son-in-law Jacob Tipton. They continued in business for four years. Jacob Tipton and Sarah moved to Northfield in 1835

In the Probate Court Record in Lebanon, Boone Co., IN, Jacob Tipton swore Daniel McCoy died in the last 30 was dated 15 April Boone County. I have a theory that Daniel was alone and living with Jacob and Sally at the time of his death. I couldn't find any property in his name at the time of his death....and Jacob swore he had less than $150 in his estate. I don't know what happened to Maria.  I found Jacob and Sallyís graves in Northfield, Boone County, IN but I did not find Danielís grave. Jacob died in 1860 so you would think that if his head stone is still in tact (although fading fast) if Daniel was buried close by, his headstone would be in tact also. This will forever remain a mystery.

Our line continues through the youngest son of Daniel and Elenor, John McCoy.

John McCoy was a carpenter. He was mentioned in "Early Life and Times in Boone County, Indiana." as having built a home and store for Hiram McQuitty.  He married Isabella Stephenson on 9 August 1838 in Boone County. William Kindell, J.P, performed the ceremony. They had two sons, Henry Daniel on 3 June 1839 and William L. (probably Leonidas) in 1841. Both were born in the Northfield area. According to a Stephenson Ancestry Chart, they also had two girls, Phoebe Jane and Sarah Mariah.

The family may have been living in Indianapolis in the late 1840s while he worked on the building of the Masonic Temple. According to The Indianapolis Locomotive: "He was looking through the Masonic Hall, the floor of which is not laid in some parts of the building and in the third story he stepped on a joist that gave way by splitting with the grain obliquely across and he was precipitated through an open hatchway in the second floor, to the lower room breaking his back, neck and one arm and killing him almost instantly. This occurred on the afternoon of 21 April 1850. He left a sick wife and two young children." Isabella and the family moved to Zionville and then back to Northfield before 1850. Henry Daniel was counted twice in the 1850 census. He may have been boarding while he continued his studies. Isabella and the boys were living with her mother, Phoebe (Foote) Stephenson and brothers in Northfield in 1850 according to the census. No girls were mentioned. It is possible Isabella was pregnant with twins as in those days they often referred to a woman as being "sick" when she was just pregnant.

Isabella was remarried on 11 November 1852 to John Frost. Itís possible that she and John Frost moved to Marion County, Iowa in the 1860s. The last time we find them is on the 1870 Marion County census. Although my grandaunt told us many stories of her father, she did not mention any aunts or uncles or whatever happened to her grandmother Isabella although Henry Danielís obituary said he moved to Iowa after the Civil War because his mother was there.

Our line continues through their second son, Henry Daniel. He was named after Isabellaís father, Henry and Johnís father, Daniel.

Henry apparently completed his education and became a schoolmaster in about 1857 in the Zionsville area. He possibly studied under his Uncle Nathan McCoy who was also a schoolmaster. He enlisted in the 10th Indiana Infantry Regiment at Zionsville on April 24, 1861. His unit, Company F, was attached to Rosecran's Brigade, McClellan's Army of West Virginia. They took part in only one engagement, the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861. The unit was mustered out on August 6, 1861.

He and his Uncle, Captain Benjamin M. Gregory, reformed the company during August, however it was not mustered until September 18, 1861. Benjamin Gregory was his uncle George Stephenson's brother-in-law. So, although they weren't blood relatives, he thought of Ben Gregory as his uncle.  Henry Daniel was elected First Lt. and then was promoted to Captain (Company Commander) on June 11, 1862 (he had been an acting Captain since May 20) when Benjamin was promoted to Major and transferred just before the battle of Shiloh. Henry was severely injured in the left shoulder on September 20, 1862 during the battle of Chickamauga. Half of his company were either wounded or killed during the action.

Shortly after that, the company was force-marched after the Rebel General Morgan from Gallatin, Tennessee to Rolling Fork and Lebanon Junction, Kentucky and then on January 14, 1863 on to the mouth of the Narpitte River, 20 miles below Nashville. On January 16 he couldn't move (supposedly from rheumatism).

Click here to see a picture of him in his Civil War uniform.  The site belongs to a cousin.  I want to thank him for letting me link to it.

Henry was discharged after the conclusion of hostilities on  September 19, 1864. He went to Marion County, Iowa, supposedly as a photographer in May 1865 (according to family documents). Where he was trained as a photographer is unknown. The local newspaper stated that he moved to Iowa because his mother was already there. The Washington Township Platt map of 1875 shows him owning a 33-acre farm in Section 19. In January 1880 (per deposition) he had a farm 4 miles northwest of Knoxville. The 1901 map doesn't show H. D. McCoy in Washington Township. The 1909 map, however, did show him back with a 160-acre farm in Section 3.

Martha Ann Brady and Henry were married by Rev. Elder A. Williams at her father's house on November 16, 1866. He stopped teaching and became a full time fruit farmer and nurseryman. He did spend a couple of years around 1912 teaching in the Eagle Butte area of Zeiback County, South Dakota where Bert, one of his sons, lived.

Henry did have some trouble with his health due to injuries suffered during the Civil War. He fought for and received a pension in 1881 when he was about 43 years old.

Henry passed away on September 22, 1927 in his 88th year. There was a full-page article on his passing in the Knoxville paper. He was hoping to live to be 100. Martha passed away in 1937 also in her 88th year.  Click here to see Henry Daniel and Martha Brady McCoy's Family Group Record.

Our line continues through their son, Charles Leonard McCoy. He was my grandfather. 


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