A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Child 4 Robert McKee

1.4 Robert G. McKee
b. 1816 County Armagh, Northern Ireland
d. 17 Sep 1880 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois
Anna N. Jones
b. 1813 Northern Ireland
d. 13 Sep 1887 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois

Child 1.4.1 Margaret McKee
b. 2 Jun 1838 New York City, New York
d. 11 Feb 1861
m. 23 Feb 1860 Randolph County, Illinois
William McKinley

Grandchild Unknown McKinley
b. 29 Jan 1861 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 21 Feb 1861 Randolph County, Illinois

Robert's Will

No one is looking for Robert MCKEE because there is no one left to look. Robert’s only child dies soon after giving birth to Robert’s only grandchild. And ten days later, Robert’s tiny weak grandson follows his mother to an early grave without the dignity of having been given a name that I can find save his surname: McKinley.

And yet in spite of the fact that no is left to look for Robert MCKEE or his family, Robert is the key to this family history. Without Robert’s intestate letters, much of this history would be unknown. Because Robert dies intestate, all heirs must be listed. Here is a transcription of the heirs from Robert’s intestate letters. The text in parentheses provides clarification of each person’s relationship to Robert MCKEE.

Ann MCKEE (wife, Anna N. JONES)
Alexander MCKEE (brother) and Susan MCKEE his wife
Joseph G. MCKEE (brother) and Patsy (Martha) MCKEE his wife
Jane CAMPBELL (sister) and Harvey CAMPBELL her husband
Mary L. A. ASHWORTH (great niece, Mary Jane ANDERSON ASHWORTH MCKEE CARSWELL’s daughter)
Agnes E. ASHWORTH (great niece, Mary Jane ANDERSON ASHWORTH MCKEE CARSWELL’s daughter)
Joseph J. MCKEE (great nephew, Mary Jane ANDERSON ASHWORTH MCKEE CARSWELL’s son)
Elizabeth G. CARSWELL (great niece, Mary Jane ANDERSON ASHWORTH MCKEE CARSWELL’s daughter)
Susannah (Susana) MCKEE, widow of William MCKEE (brother) dead
William MCKEE, Jr. (nephew, William MCKEE's son)
Susannah (Susana) MCKEE, Jr. (niece, William MCKEE's daughter)
Mary J. THOMPSON (niece, William MCKEE's daughter) and Joseph THOMPSON her husband
Sarah MCKINLEY (niece, William MCKEE's daughter) and Robert MCKINLEY her husband
Margaret LEMAN (niece, William MCKEE's daughter) and George LEMAN (LEEMON) her husband

In addition there is an ad for the following persons:
Agnes DODD, Joseph DODD (niece, Agnes MCKEE ANDERSON’s daughter, and her husband)
Alexander ANDERSON (nephew, Agnes MCKEE ANDERSON’s son)
33 Old Cross Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancastershire, England


By 1880 when Robert dies, Agnes (MCKEE) ANDERSON, her daughter, and granddaughters have already been gone from England for 13 years. Yet family members in the United States are able to give an exact street address for the family in England. Again, this hints at communication between the English and American lines of the families. That communication lessens with each inevitable death until it is no more.

Robert MCKEE’s intestate letters re-establishes that connection. The one family member who has no reason to leave a trail of records leaves what is arguably the best piece of evidence for the accurate reconstruction of the family. From a genealogy point of view, Robert’s gift is a rare and valuable one indeed.

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