McCune Family History


by Mary W. McCune

January,  2006

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by Mary W. McCune.pdf


Contact Information

Duncan C. McCune
145 Columbia Avenue #458
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: 1-616-355-7454

{Chapter member, Duncan McCune, sent the following information to the chapter editor. The materials were edited to fit this format}

THOMAS McCUNE – Revolutionary Soldier {Letter to DAR member, Miss Jessie E. McCune, Brilliant, Ohio from Samuel Chalmers McConahey. The letter is dated, April 20, 1922.} “Location of Colonel Thomas McCune’s Grave – Recalling our talk in Brilliant two or three weeks ago, would report that last Sunday afternoon, April 16th, Latimer and I went out to the Old Seceder Graveyard, near Oak Grove School House, East of Mount Pleasant, with a mattock and shovel and located the McCune lot, as identified by the remnants of the old iron-rod and wooden-post fence which, while practically fallen to pieces, clearly outlined the lot. The iron-rod and post enclosure was in fact the same as pointed out to me in person by my father some 30 to 35 years ago, as designating where Colonel Thomas McCune was buried but always coupled with the comment that there had never been any stone to mark his grave exactly. However, in the hope of finding some kind of marker submerged in the surface soil, even if it might be only a rough boulder, we cleared away the ivy from the entire surface of the lot. Then with a mattock tested the ground to the depth of six to eight inches to see if we could not locate some stone or other indication of the exact spot of Colonel McCune’s grave, but without success except to uncover two fallen stones which clearly represent a later generation than Colonel Thomas McCune’s. To make the situation more clear I attach a sketch of this old graveyard, not only with the location of the McCune lot (measuring about 10 by 12 feet) but the location of the two head stones mentioned, and showing further that the unmarked space remaining (say 6.5 x 10 feet) provides room for three graves at the most. I am, therefore, entirely satisfied in my own mind that the bodies of Colonel Thomas McCune, and undoubtedly Mary Brady McCune, his wife, lie within the confines of this 6.5 by 10 foot space, which is undoubtedly amply sufficient for the Daughters of the American Revolution to mark the grave. My father’s knowledge of the location was unquestionably definite since he was quite familiar with this old graveyard, his own grandfather and grandmother McConahey being buried there, and my own recollection from boyhood visits to the place with my father is quite vivid, with respect to the location of this McCune lot, and as the spot where Colonel Thomas McCune was buried.

 In any event the fact that the surface of the lot is now scraped down to the bare earth and Latimer’s familiarly with the location will enable any committee of your society to set up the marker accurately enough for all purposes. In vies of the fact that these markers are to be placed within the next two or three weeks it would be my suggestion to have Colonel McCune’s grave so marked where it now is. This would not interfere with any later plan to remove the bodies of Thomas McCune and wife to the Seceder Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, now maintained under an endowment and after proper arrangements with the Trustees of the last named cemetery.”

“If there is any further information I can give you, please command. Yours faithfully, (Signed) S.C. McConahey.” {Note – S. C. is Samuel Chalmers McConahey and the Latimer referenced in his letter is his brother, Hugh Latimer McConahey.}

{Letter from Samuel Chalmers McConahey, address given as, The Little Village Farm, Mt. Pleasant, Ohio 43939, dated November 19, 1963, Tuesday. The letter was sent to Mr. Oliver Andrew Tarr, 501 Smithfield St., Mingo Junction, Ohio.} “Dear Mr. Tarr: Col. Thomas McCune Burial Site – Since your visit to Mt. Pleasant on Oct. 21, 1963, and our failure to locate exactly Col. McCune’s burial site in the Old Oak Grove Cemetery two miles east of Mt. Pleasant, due to dense brush and undergrowth, I have been intrigued to find again the spot.”

“Therefore yesterday (Mon.) being a beautiful mild fall day my younger brother, H.L. (Hugh Latimer) McConahey and I drove out to the Old Oak Grove Cemetery and with the aid of a rake and a sketch I had made dated April 21, 1922, succeeded in locating the Col. McCune plot, as identified by the bronze rod projecting above the surface of the ground 6 to 8 inches. Also located were the markers for two burials at the northerly end of the 10 x 12’ (approximated) McCune space; one of these markers being for Joseph B. McCune died April 10, 1842, aged 40 years, 11 months, and 21 days. The other marker was for Margaret R., daughter of J.B. and H.J. McCune, died Sept. 15, 1843, aged 1 year, 3 months, and 3 days.”

Joseph B. McCune was quite certainly a son of Col. Thomas McCune and Mary Brady McCune Joseph’s middle initial being without doubt for Brady, his mother’s famous family. The record in the McCune Roster (1898) at pg. 19 says that Joseph McCune, son of Col. Thomas and Mary McCune, supposed to have been living in Harrison County, Ohio, in 1898.”

“Quite obviously, the child, Margaret R. (for Robinson?) was the daughter of Joseph Bradley McCune and Hannah Jane Robinson McCune. Comparison of father’s death on April 10, 1842!

Col. Thomas McCune (b. July 12, 1756) died April 12, 1842 aged nearly 87 years.

From time to time we have been in the habit of saying that Col. Thomas McCune was buried in “unmarked” grave; which seemed strange in view of his prominence in Church and State, to say nothing of his outstanding record as a private in the American Revolution and the fact that he was given a full military funeral!

However, the McCune plot was marked in a rather distinctive manner by post and iron pipe enclosure. On one occasion that I recall very distinctly as a young lad my father (Thomas Mitchell McConahey) took me across the hill and valley from “The Oaks Farm” in Pease Twp., Belmont Co., to the Old Oak Grove Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant Twp., Jefferson County – a distance of 3 miles perhaps; to show me the site of the McCune space. At that time the post and iron rod enclosure was still in relatively good condition altho obviously constructed many years before. There was, however, no stone marker for either Col. Thomas McCune or his wife, Mary Brady McCune.

On the occasion of this visit to the Old Oak Grove Cemetery, I was probably about 12 years old. Since I was born in 1876 this would indicate the year as 1888. If Col. Thomas McCune and his son, Joseph B. McCune both died in 1842, the post and iron rod enclosure was erected later…At this point we are suddenly aware of the absence of a critical date, viz. when Mary Brady McCune died; and whether before or after the death of Col. Thomas McCune on Apr. 12, 1842. Nor do we have the birth date for Mary Brady McCune, whereby to fix her age in 1842, if then living. References are all clear that Mary was buried in the McCune space in the Old Oak Grove Cemetery…

Col. Thomas McCune’s will, dated Jan. 20, 1829 names his wife and makes provisions for her. This will was probated May 16, 1842 and there is no indication that she had been deceased previously, in which event Col. Thomas McCune would have revised his will or so it would seem.”

Note by Duncan McCune – “In further confirmation that no stone markers were ever placed, is the attached copy of the writer’s (Samuel Chalmers McConahey) letter dated Apr. 20, 1922, from Wilmerding, Penna. addressed to my Aunt, Miss Jessie Ellen McCune, Brilliant, Ohio who with her younger sister, Laura Alma McCune, were then active members of the DAR Chapter in Steubenville. Some weeks later the DAR supplied the standard official bronze emblem used to identify the graves of soldiers of the American Revolution; and on July 4, 1922, this placement was “dedicated” at the family gathering as recorded in the News Register Wheeling, W.Va., issue of July 7, 1922, the data spoke about the service and dedication was then given by the minister from the Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church, Woodsdale, Wheeling, W.Va. and husband of Theresa Maxima McCune, youngest of the ten children of Joseph McCune and Mary Medill McCune.”

“Removal of identification from the Old Oak Grove Cemetery to the Old Seceder Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant – In view of the fact that the Old Oak Grove Cemetery is now almost completely neglected and overgrown and no longer used for burials (altho the Mt. Pleasant Board of Trustees may have some legal responsibility if the matter of maintenance should be pursued by interested descendants); in the circumstances, the proposal has been advanced that permanent identification of the McCune space and burials—more specifically for Col. Thomas and his wife Mary Brady McCune, be transferred from the Old Oak Cemetery and set up in the Old Seceder Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, now maintained through permanent endowment funds; with accurate record of such transfer or memorial and approval of any available surviving descendants. The location of such memorial in the Old Seceder Cemetery is suggested appropriately as immediately adjacent to the McCaughey burials, including James McCaughey who married Elizabeth McCune, daughter of Col. Thomas and Mary Brady McCune. James McCaughey was a son of William McCaughey, the latter also a solder of the American Revolution.”

“The contemplated transfer of the Col. Thomas McCune Memorial is now in the course of accomplishment.

With kind regards, I remain sincerely yours, S. C. McConahey.” {He notes that copies of this letter were sent to the following people: Joseph Condit McCune, Edgewood, Pittsburgh, Penna.; Hugh J. Tamisia, Missouri Valley, Iowa, Mrs. George Clifton Edwards Jr., Detroit, Michigan, Mrs. Simon E. Knudsen, Birmingham, Michigan, Census of Burial Files, Old Seceder Cemetery; The Historical Society of Mt. Pleasant, Ohio; S.C.M. File on Col. Thomas McCune, The DAR Steubenville Chapter.

{Letter from Samuel Chalmers McConahey, dated November 28, 1963 to Mr. Oliver Andrew Tarr, Mingo Jct., Ohio.} “Dear Mr. Tarr: Col. Thomas McCune Burial Site – Supplementary Data on Mary Brady McCune. In our letter to you dated, November 19, 1963, we were in doubt as to whether the death and burial of Mary Brady McCune occurred before or after the death of her husband, Col. Thomas McCune. From further search of my file materials, I am now able to piece together additional items as follows:

  1. From the “Old McCune Bible”, formerly in possession of the late Rollin Medill McConnell, 17412 Wildemere Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, and at this present writing in custody of his two daughters, Margaret Medill McConnell (who married George Clifton Edwards, Jr.) and Florence Ann McConnell (who married Semon Emil Knudsen); reads: “Thomas McCune, {son of James McCune, Esq. and Elizabeth Allis Rotherham}, was born the 12th day of July 1756. Thomas McCune was married to Marey Brady, {daughter of General Joseph Brady and Allis Carnahan} on the 5th day of April 1785 and she was born on the 20th day of October 1765. Note – The McCune’s and Brady’s had been friends and neighbors in Delaware State; and later in Cumberland County, Penna. Judge James McCune and Elizabeth Rotherham McCune, his wife with children removed from Delaware (near Newark) to Hopewell Township, Cumberland County, Penna.  “In the spring of 1774.”

  2. A letter dated Washington. D.C. Sept. 2, 1913 to Joseph C. McCune, Tonnaleuka Club, Wilmerding, Penna., signed by G.M. Saltzgaber, Commissioner of Interior states: “Remarks, Pension was paid to children March 12, 1842. Thomas McCune, Cert. No 31563, issued Nov. 23, 1838, Act of June 7, 1832, Wheeling, Ohio Agency.”

  3. Feb. 29, 1948 I made inquiry and received the following reply: “The last payment of record which was due Thomas McCune at the time of his death was made on May 18, 1844, at the Wheeling, Virginia, Agency. William C. McCauslin, attorney for the surviving children, received the money. The veteran died March 12, 1842 but the place of his death was not given. In March 1842 it was stated that the veteran left no widow. The following are the names of his surviving children: Sarah Brown; Mary Mutchmore; Jane McConnell; and James and Joseph B. McCune. Thomas McCune of Jefferson County, Ohio, was allowed a pension of $20 per annum. No further family data are given.

  4. This report makes clear that Mary Brady McCune had pre-deceased her husband Col. Thomas McCune.

  5. The record clearly shows that Col. Thomas McCune died April 12, 1842 and not March 12, 1842.

  6. From birth dates recorded in the A.W. McCune Bible, ages of the “surviving children” (all married), at Col. Thomas McCune’s death on April 12, 1842 were:
  • James - born May 30, 1792, age April 1842, 50 yr. old.
  • Sarah McCune Brown - born Feb. 12, 1794, age April 1842, 48 yr. old.
  • Mary McCune Mutchmore - (fifth child), born May 21, 1796, age April 1842, 46 yrs. old.
  • Jane (Jean) McCune McConnell - born March 16, 1800, age April 1842, 42 yr. old.
  • Joseph B. - born May 30, 1805, age April 1842, 37 yr. old.

“The above summary would indicate that as of April 12, 1842, the other children of Col. Thomas and Mary Brady McCune who were previously deceased are:

  • Mary– born Oct 19, 1786, first child and first Mary died in infancy.
  • Elizabeth – born March 15, 1789, married James McCaughey
  • Margaret – born Aug. 10, 1802
  • William W. – born June 7, 1808

“Note – Certainly Col. Thomas McCune waited a long time before applying for a pension. In a history written about Col. Thomas McCune we have read that his primary motive in applying for a pension was to have on file an official record of his military service rather than the money value of any pension; and this we can readily believe. We still do not have the death date of Mary Brady McCune and we doubt that she left a will. On the other hand, a check through the Steubenville Herald Star Newspaper prior to April 12, 1842 might reveal an obituary of a woman so prominent in her own right (daughter of General Joseph Brady; sister of Samuel Brady, famed Indian fighter), to say nothing of having been the “consort” of Col. Thomas McCune with his military record; Representative in the Ohio Legislature in 1804, 1807-8, 188; Presbyterian Church activities and so on. Possibly a lead on Mary Brady McCune ‘s death might be had from Hugh J. Tamisia, Missouri Valley, Iowa; or the McConnell girls, Detroit, Michigan.”

 {Samuel C. McConahey, wrote the following letter which included a hand drawn map of the Old Oak Grove Cemetery}. He states that is measures approximately 180’ x 140’.  “The McCune family plot is located in the center of the cemetery. {All tombstones and signs of the McCune family lot have been removed and family tombstones that did exist were moved to the Old Seceder Cemetery sometime in 1963-4.}

 The number one tombstone marked on the hand drawn map is that of Joseph B. McCune, April 10, 1842 aged 40 yrs, 1 mons. and 21 dys. Next to it south is a small marker for Margaret R., daughter of J.B. and H.J. McCune, died Sep 15, 1843, aged 1 yr., 3 mons. 3 dys. Adjoining the McCune lot where the iron posts once existed is the Dunlap family lot. Near the two other Dunlap unidentified tombstones is a James Parker and Martha, consort of James ParkerAndrew McMechon buried just north from the McCune lot. By 1963 the bronze marker for Thomas McCune was long gone, presumed taken and used for scrap.” 

{The following is various military records for Thomas McCune submitted by chapter member, Duncan McCune, direct descendant.} Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files, Volume I: A-E, Abstracted by Virgil D. White, 1990.

McCune, Thomas – PA line, S16193, soldier was born 12 July 1756 in Delaware and in 1774 he moved with his parents (not named) to Cumberland Co, PA and he lived there during the Rev and in 1783 he moved to Huntingdon Co, PA and in 1797 he moved to Jefferson Co, OH and he applied there 1 June 1838 and soldier died there 12 Mar 1842 leaving children (not named) who rec’d final payment on 17 May 1844.

{The following is a statement made by Thomas McCune, found in the Common Pleas Records, Jefferson County Court, State of Ohio.}   June the first, 1838 Thomas personally appeared in open court before the judge of the Court of Common Pleas.  Thomas McCune as a resident of Warren Township, Jefferson County, Ohio aged 81 yrs… “Following the declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed june seventh on the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty two…I entered the service of the United States in December of 1776 as a volunteer under Major Davis to reinforce General Washington’s army which had retreated across the Delaware River. We reached Philadelphia and were organized into companies…which I belonged to Alexander Laughlin Captain…we assisted in guarding the Hissians captured at Trenton and were soon off to the battle of Princeton under the command of General Putnam where he drew out seven hundred volunteers for a secret expedition of which number I was one…Colonels Hunton, Randolph, and Geurney and Major Davis were our officers… we went in very inclement weather to Shrewsbury unable to proceed from fatigue and sore feet…we met up in Middletown to attack it on two front at once… we took a great quantity of stores including a large quantity of cloths, wine, tea, coffee, sugar, molasses, and peas, twenty or thirty valuable horses, paper and some arms, we had been promised the plunder to induce us to volunteer at Cross wicks by General Washington and we strongly wanted to relinquish stores for their use…We remained there during the winter protecting the country and were discharged in March 1777… I never slept in a tent the whole time and great numbers died soon after we reached home. We were paid something I do not remember about seven pounds ten shillings each all in continental money which was worth very little to us… the middle of April 1778 I was called out as a militiaman under the command of Colonel Abraham Smith, Captain Mollay, Lieut. Robert Quigley, Ensign John Laughlin and march to Crooked Billet near Philadelphia where we encamped…we numbered 3 or 4 hundred here about May we were surrounded by a large force of British troops before day and we were forced the lines but Capt. Mablay was killed and all the rank and file except myself and three others – General Lacey commanded at that place…later I was under the orders of General Potter a short time and then Brigadier General Frederick Watt until first of July and was discharged and returned home…I was called again as a militiaman in April 1780 under Captain Thomas Askew, our colonel was James Young… we were at Frankstown, now Holydaysburgh to protect the country from the Indians where I acted Assistant Quarter Master – I was there when the Bedford volunteers were attacked by the Indians and several of them killed. This fight was at the Allegheny old Gap. We were discharged about the first of july and returned home. We never had any written discharges and we have no written evidence to prove service except a written certificate signed by Robert Quiglay dated May 29th, AD 1783, the Captain of the Militia.” Thomas states, “I do not know any person by whose testimony I can prove my services.” He continues, “I moved here Sept of 1797 and I have resided ever since.” He swears he was born in Delaware on the 12th of July 1756. He has brought a record of his age. He is known to Robert Dean, Reverend Benjamin Mitchell (both of Belmont Co) and Henry West (Warren Twp) who live in his neighborhood and who can testify as to his character and their belief of his services as a soldier in the revolution.” He declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state – sworn to and subscribed the day aforesaid. Signed by, Thomas McCune, James Ralph Wells, clerk. 

The following is a condensed recital of facts and theories relating to James McCune, who married Elizabeth Rotherham, and His Ancestry written by Samuel Chalmers McConahey of Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, March 29, 1954 – “James McCune born abt. 1732, the father of James McCune, emigrant ancestor of Thomas McCune, tracing his great grandfather’s ancestry back to Scotland during the time of the great martyrdom and fled to Ireland changing the McEwen name to McCune. There is considerable evidence of a substantial concentration of the McCune name in County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland; from which it is reasonable to deduce that the McCunes both settled in and migrated to America from that area. Many other families came from Antrim, Ireland and migrated to Jefferson County settling in the same community, in which Thomas McCune lived, attended church, and worked.  Many were buried in the same old pioneer church graveyards, side by side.”
1754 – 1755

“James McCune married Elizabeth Rotherham about 1754-1755, derived from when their first child, Thomas was born. Elizabeth was a daughter of Joseph Rotherham, Sr. The Rotherham’s were English Quakers who were in this country prior to the McCune family.

James and Elizabeth had ten children. Thomas, born Jul. 12, 1756-7, married Mary Brady; Elizabeth McCune McConnell, born Jun. 6, 1760; Joseph, born May 10, 1760, married Mary Shannon; William, born May 9, 1784; Mary McCune Culbertson, born Feb. 13, 1766; Sarah McCune Robertson, born Jun. 18, 1788, died Aug. 12, 1840; James, born Nov. 4, 1770, married Margaret; Abigail McCune Dean, born Sep. 11, 1773, died Jan. 12, 1866; Samuel, born Jun. 18, 1776; Margaret McCune, married Hugh McConahey (son of Samuel McConahey & Margaret Thompson, from County Donegal, Ireland) born Feb. 22, 1779, died Apr. 29, 1842.”

Names found throughout pedigree charts linking the following families migrating from Scotland to Ireland, to America, to Pennsylvania, to Jefferson & Belmont Counties and surrounding areas – McCune, McConahey, Mutchmore, Mitchell, McCaughey, McConnell, McAssay, McMurtry, Smith, McFarland, Dean, Murdock, McCracken, Elliott, Carson, Wells, McKelvie, Pickens, Dungan, Moore, Alexander, Finney, Latimer, McWilliams, West, McMillan & many more.

Thomas McCune

American Union, Sat. 14 May 1842 – Died in Warren Twp., Jefferson County, O on Tuesday evening, the 12th inst., Col. Thomas McCune, aged 87 years… Col McC’ was one of the volunteers of Delaware in the Revolution, who took f25000 in bounty from the British, and as the army under Washington was in extreme distress, it was voted as a supply for the use of the army, and immediately conveyed to it. Forty five years ago Col. McCune moved to Ohio, and he was one of those early pioneers who opened the wilderness and made a home and local habitation for generations to come… He represented the people of Jefferson Co. for some years in the legislature of the State. He was a leading member of the Presbyterian Church…he died full of years and was buried (Oak Grove Cemetery, Mt Pleasant Twp.) with the honors of war and a patriot. Peace to the ashes of the veteran citizen and the patriot soldier of the revolution! … he may be found as innocent and free of faults, as the honest old warrior, who fought for human rights and the blessings of liberty!