Name: Alexander McGrew
Death: 1822 in Henry Co., Ky. 1
Note: Note: Although they probably moved several times, we do know thatAlexander, his sons James and Moses and two of his sons-in-lawsall settled along DrennonŽs Lick Creek in Henry County,Kentucky. Henry County had been part of Shelby County. TheJacob Colglazier/Colclasure family also settled there, and onOctober 4, 1805, our James McGrew married Mary Colglazier,whose hand was given by her father, Jacob. It is very possiblethe McGrews had know the Colglaziers in Pennsylvania, they allcame from there about the same time. Alexander, James and Mosesall paid taxes in Henry County, Kentucky, and bought and soldpersonal and real property there. On March 10, 1809, JamesMcGrew bought all the personal belongings and livestock of hisfather-in-law, Jacob Colglazier, as Jacob had decided tocontinue moving on into Indiana Territory, formerly know as theNorthwest Territory. Alexander continued to live on his land inHenry County Kentucky until 1821 when he died. His wifeŽs namehas never been known for sure, and the only clue that we haveis that when his daughter Hannah married John Simmons in 1793,her motherŽs name was given as Alice. If this is correct, shewould have died before 1821, as she was not mentioned in thesettlement of AlexanderŽs estate. In the settlement, Alexandernames the following children: Hannah, Mrs. John Simmons: John:Molly (Mary), Mrs. Francis May: Moses: Margaret, Mrs. JamesCarr: James: Joseph: Nelly (Eleanor), Mrs. Joseph Shannon:Alexander; Rebecca, Mrs. Jeremiah Guilion; Elizabeth, Mrs.Jeremiah Riley. During these years of the familyŽs living onDrennonŽs Creek, some of them began to get restless as new landopportunities were being open up in the Indiana Territory.Jacob Colglazier had already left in 1809. In 1811, JamesMcGrew bought land in Indiana Territory. He sold his land onDrennonŽs Creek to Daniel Colglazier and moved his wife anddaughters to Indiana. THE HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY INDIANASTATES: "Jacob Doan located on Honey Creek where a squatter hadpreviously been in 1809. He was the first permanent settler onthat creek. Jacob and Abraham Colclasure settled there a littlelater, about 1810. James McGrew located on the same creek about1811 or 1812" It is interesting to note the same history bookshows a typical settlerŽs cabin of that time as being " made ofround logs, 16Ž by 18Ž, one room, stick and clay chimney, nowindows, except a port-hole, one door of slab." It was here inwhat became Washington County, Indiana Territory in 1814, thatthe rest of James and MaryŽs children would be born. Indianabecame a state in 1816. It took several years for James tosettle his fatherŽs (Alexander) estate in Kentucky. On August14, 1824, the land and the assets he had were divided. OnSeptember 12, 1826, he had to sue his brother-in-law, JeremiahRiley, on a note that he owned to Alexander. This all involvedhis making trips back and forth between his home in Indiana andHenry County, Kentucky. During his twenty years in WashingtonCounty, Indiana, James and MaryŽs family grew to ten children,who were: Cynthia, Abigail, Mary, Rebecca, Joseph, John, Jacob,Hamilton, Moses and James McGrew. James McGrew served as aMethodist minister in his home and the local schoolhouse. In1822, when his father-in-law, Jacob Colclasure, died, he helpedhis wifeŽs family in settling the estate. Again, as had happenedin Kentucky, his neighbors and family began to get the urge topioneer new lands. Their next move was to Clay County,Illinois. THE HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY describes this area: " itsfertile land appealed to those who saw it. Farmed the deep,rich soil along its river and streams." This part of Illinoiswas the first to be occupied by permanent settlers. It was in1832 that James and Mary and most of their children moved toClay County. James bought his first land there in 1832, butapparently traveled back and forth to Indiana as he didnŽtdispose of his property there until 1833. Upon arriving inIllinois, the family faced the uncertainty created by the BlackHawk War to the North. Many of those from Clay County fought inthe war, including James and MaryŽs son John and theirson-in-law Abraham Songer and future in-law, John Sutton. In1836, James applied to purchase government land west of Flora,Illinois. The same year, be became the first Methodist ministerin the small town of Xenia. Life was not easy for thesepioneers. Besides the hard work and long hours working the landto produce food for their families, ""life for most pioneers isdependent largely upon his gun, for the necessary meat supplyfor his table, deer and wild honey." (The History of ClayCounty). During the 1840Žs, the area was policed by theRegulators, who were 100 to 150 men who banded together tocatch and punish the horse thieves and violators of the law.When a thief was found, he was usually shot or hung. Theschoolhouse that was first used by these early residents ofXenia township is described in The History of Clay County: "Thefirst schoolhouse was built in 1830. It was made of round logs,having a puncheon floor, an old-fashioned "Stick in the mud"chimney, and to afford a little light, a portion of the log wascut away and the opening covered with grease paper. It stood inthe timber and served a radius of four miles for the children."The property James had applied before became legally his onAugust 10, 1838. Unfortunately he would not live to enjoy it.He died August 31, 1838 and was buried in nearby CampgroundCemetery. He had lived a long and eventful life in his 55 yearsand had begun a family that, would soon spread out all over theUnited States. His wife, Mary, continued to live on the farmwith her children. MaryŽs son Joseph, then 21, married MarthaS. Griffith on October 15, 1838. With his mother Mary, Josephand his wife assumed the head of the house hold chores and thefamily. It wouldnŽt be until 1848 that the farm would belegally his as it took a few years to settle James estate as hestill had minor children. In the meantime, he and Martha beguntheir family. Their children were : James, Martha J., Olive B.,Alexander, Margaret A., Jacob Calhoun, Lucinda A., Miles V.,Abigail, Martha Elizabeth, Susanah C., Marion M., Joseph T.,Winfield S., and George Brenton McClellan McGrew. All we reallyknow of Joseph was that he was a well thought of member of thecommunity, Attended the church his father preached in, andraised a large family. Mansfield said of him "GrandfatherMcGrew put his children at work on the land to help making aliving. They called it a living then donŽt know what theywould think of it our way. These people were upright andhonorable, and their children were clean and industrious. " Hiseldest son, James, was born October 30, 1839 and was also thefirst to marry. James married a neighbor, Sarah Adeline MooreSeptember 5, 1861. Joseph died May 3, 1897, followed by Marthaon June 21, 1898. The farm then went to George Brenton,JosephŽs youngest son. By 1860, Mary had moved to an adjoiningfarm her son Moses had, and she stayed with him until she diedJuly 19, 1871. She was buried in Campground Cemetery by herhusband, James. James Carlisle McGrew and Sarah Adeline MooreMcGrew started their family in Clay County where Mansfield wasborn, July 11, 1862, the eldest of his family. MansfieldŽsbrothers and sisters were: Vilary, Ida Belle, Minta, LillianMay, Ceres Ettie and James Oscar. It is not know where James andSarahŽs family lived as they are not in the 1870 or 1880 censusfor Clay County. But they were in the general vicinity.Mansfield says of his father, "Our father took lessons in nightschools and became a good pensman and another time in singing,and he became a leader in the neighborhood singings." TheMcGrew were a close family and even after Mansfield went west,his mother came out and visited them when they were in Kendrickand Merton was born. James died early, passing away September28, 1883. Sarah finished raising the family. Then on March 3,1892, she married William T. Monical whose family had beenneighbors of the McGrews for years. He served as a Lieutenantin the Union army during the Civil War. Sarah died September21, 1902 and was buried next to her husband James in CampgroundCemetery. William T. Monical is also buried separately inCampground cemetery. The Clay County McGrews still are a veryclose family. They have yearly get together in August and enjoytalking about their ancestry and who belong to whom in thisvery large family. ManfieldŽs brother Marion had seven childrenwho all celebrated being married over fifty years, a record notmany families can match. And the farm that the first Jamesbought in 1836 is back in McGrew hands. It had been lost duringthe depression in 1931. Joseph McGrew bought it back in 1977.Today in Clay County and along the Wayne County line, a goodnumber of the families trace their roots to some member of thisvery large prominent family. Their doors are always open tofamily and friends and they want us all to know we are alwayswelcome. Written by Lowell N. Swanson, whose wife is thegranddaughter of Mansfield Cromwell McGrew========================================================================== ==
Change Date: 31 JAN 2000|
Father: William McGrew b: ABT 1705
- James McGrew b: 31 AUG 1750 in Pa.
- Molly (Margaret) McGrew b: ABT 1772
- Hannah McGrew b: 10 OCT 1774
- John McGrew b: ABT 1775
- Mary McGrew b: 2 JUN 1776 in Va.
- Moses McGrew b: 1781 in Pa.
- Rebecca McGrew b: 1795
- Joseph McGrew b: ABT 1795
- Eleanor "Nelly" McGrew b: ABT 1797
- Alexander McGrew , Jr b: ABT 1799
- Elizabeth McGrew b: ABT 1803
- Type: Book
Periodical: Descendants of John Simmons and Allied Families of Hatton. McGrew, Sherwood, Linthicum and Cathcart
Author: Ruth Maxwell Graham