Alexander McKee (1665 - 1740)

‹ Back to McKee surname

Is your surname McKee?

Research the McKee family

Alexander McKee's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Related Projects

Birthplace: Antrim, Ireland
Death: Died in Cumberland, Pennsylvania
Managed by: Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns
Last Updated:

About Alexander McKee

On the founding of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania

If the Delaware King Shingas became persona non grata in colonial McKee's Rocks so did Alexander McKee. McKee was a valued British Indian agent and guide who worked at Fort Pitt. Because of his valuable service, the British through Colonel Henry Bouquet, granted McKee 1,375 acres, twice the size of the current Borough. The grant read:

"By Colonel Bouqet, Commanding Officer in the Southern District, permission is hereby given to Alexander McKee, assistant agent for Indian Affairs, to occupy and build upon land at the mouth of the Surtee's Creek (Chartiers), on the south side of the Ohio."

McKee built a substantial house 200 yards from the mouth of the creek in the area of River Road. George Washington dined here in 1770 and refers to the house as a "Mansion" with eight rooms. This first venerable structure existed until 1902 when the P&LE, which had used it as an office from 1886, tragically burned it. Interestingly, Washington also refers to "Chartiers Creek" in his diary indicating the name was commonly used by early visitors.

Trouble for McKee came during the Revolutionary War. He was a staunch British supporter and spy and was forced to flee his home in 1778 when soldiers at Fort Pitt were sent out to arrest him.

James McKee assuemd the title to his borther's lands and historians believe that the name, McKee's Rocks, can be attributed to early settlers at the Point referring to this area of the Indian Mound and McKee's mansion as such. His descendants lived in this area for more than 125 years.


FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP was also one of the original townships in this [Erie] county, and its first settlement seems to be, so far as can be ascertained, that of Francis Scott in 1797. But the real activity towards the settlement of this section arose from the organization and activities of the Harrisburg and Presque Isle Company, organized at Harrisburg July 25, 1796, by ten men putting up 200 pounds each (about $1,000) to form capital to be used in exploiting lands at and near Erie. Three of these men were Thomas Forster, Captain Richard Swan, and William Kelso, who were natives of Paxtang, and may have been some of those famous "Paxtang Boys" who so mistakenly attacked a peaceful community of Indians. This company bought a considerable amount of lots and tracts at the Carlisle sale Aug. 3 and 4, 1796, including a large section in Fairview Township. Colonel Forster, for the company, built the first grist mill in the county in 1798, and the second saw-mill in 1797, at the mouth of Walnut Creek, later called Manchester. Captain Swan brought his family here in 1802 and settled near the lake at Walnut Creek, where he rented and operated the company's mills, and a log tavern built by the company also near the mills, of peeled hemlock logs. Colonel Forster and Captain Swan, when approaching the lake, came out on the high bluff and first beheld a clear view of the expanse of blue water, when the former is said to have exclaimed, "This is the fairest view I have seen yet", and the place was named forthwith. Here in the old log tavern was held the first church services in the western part of the county, resulting in the erection about 1810 of the first church building west of Erie in this entire section.
    Amongst those coming in later were, John and George Nicholson, John Kelso, Patrick Vance, ALEXANDER, JOHN and PATRICK McKEE, William Sturgeon, Jeremiah Sturgeon, and William Haggerty, in 1797; John Dempsey, in 1798; Thomas Kennedy, James Moorhead, and Thomas MeCreary, in 1800; S. F. Gudtner, William and James Arbuckle, of Maryland, and Joseph M. Kratz, a Frenchman, in 1802; Jacob Ebersole, in 1801; James Ryan, in 1805; Rev. Johnston Eaton, in 1806, all followed by John Caughey, Samuel McCreary, Moses Barnett, Arthur Oney, John Silverthorn, son of James who located in Girard about 1801, David Russell, Samuel P. AlIen, Daniel Bear and Andrew Sturgeon.
    This original township has been largely reduced by the formation of a part of Girard Township out of it in 1832. Its population in 1820 was 536.

SOURCE: Reed, John Elmer HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA Topeka - Indianapolis: Historical Publishing Co., 1925 CHAPTER XXX, TOWNSHIPS. Accessed online @

view all

Alexander McKee's Timeline

Antrim, Ireland
Age 28
Antrim, Ireland
Age 30
Age 35
Downton, Ireland
Age 75
Cumberland, Pennsylvania