James McKee (1763 - 1855)

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Birthplace: County Down Ireland
Death: Died in McKee's Gap Union, Fulton, Pa.
Managed by: Myrna Huthmacher, (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About James McKee


http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=rrrose2&id=I048839

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One tree on My Heritage claims that is James McKee, III or Jr. Birth: 1760 Heshban, Tyrone, Ireland Death: 1814 Cincinnati, , Hamilton, Ohio Son of James McKee and Sarah McKee (Bell) Husband of Sarah Guess

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James McKee settled at McKee's Gap Buck Valley Fulton County Pa. around 1793.

The first white settlers were James McKee at McKee's gap and Joseph Deneen at Deneen's Gap. They found evidence that another settler had preceded them. In the forest they found a crudely fashioned shelter made by a man who obviously had no tools, not even an axe, to work with. It was of what appeared to be African design and was probably made by a run away slave who moved on to parts unknown.

James Mckee was soon gathering all the pine knots he could find in the forest and in a mature forest they are not too plentiful as the hardwoods tend to crowd out the pine trees. On a large flat stone on the mountain he burned them and as the pitch collected on the stone it ran into a groove that led to a spout at the edge. The hot pitch dripped into a barrel and thus he collected what was once known as Naval Stores. He hauled the barrels overland to Philadelphia and found a market for the product there. In the days of wooden hulled ships pitch was the best way of keeping the cracks watertight.

These trips East brought him in the vicinity of Path Valley, Franklin Co., Pa, where his wife to be Nancy Robison was born. The Robisons moved to Robisonville Bedford Co., Pa. in 1797.

In his wedding day, June 22, 1805, James waited at the top of the mountain with his horses. At home the bride had been delayed by some discussion with her mother who felt that her intended was too old for her. Next we hear of Nancy running up the mountain trail with mother Robison in hot pursuit. Youth will be served and she didn't catch her. In later years Mother Robison reflected that she didn't really want to catch her.

In Bedford, Pa. there is a record in Deed Book H Page 96 that in 1810 James McKee used all his land holdings including his home at the Gap in the mountains to secure a loan of $152.71 for two years from George P. Barnhart. At this time a farm sometimes sold for $20.00. This was just on the eve of the War of 1812 and just what signifcance this had on his trip is not certain.

It is known that James McKee was one of the few immigrants in his county to ever make a return trip to his homeland. great Great Grandmother Nancy looked up one morning from milking a cow and saw a man approaching in the distance. From his walk she knew it was her "Jimmy" coming home. On the sea voyage he helped the crew repair a leak in the ship saying "I have too much to loose not to help".

James brought back Marigold seeds and also the blue Iris from Ireland and shared them with his neighbors.

In 1995 the stone chimney of James McKee's house beside the road can still be seen. The McKee Cemetery on Mr. Caveners farm in Union Twp. Fulton County Pa. is a little harder to find and a guide would be required if you have never seen it.

Zillah Mellott Garland told of hearing of 3 brothers that came from Ireland. James McKee settled at McKee's Gap, another in Maryland and a third, David, near Pittsburgh, Pa.and is likely the founder of McKeesport according to the Western Pa. Historical Magazine Vol. 13 Jan. 1930 #1 PP3-19

James McKee was a member of the Masonic Order.

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James McKee's Timeline

1763
January 2, 1763
County Down Ireland
1805
June 22, 1805
Age 42
Buck Valley, Bedford Co., Pa
1806
June 6, 1806
Age 43
Pennsylvania, United States
1808
October 10, 1808
Age 45
Pennsylvania, United States
1811
April 14, 1811
Age 48
McKee's Gap Union, Fulton, Pa
1813
October 2, 1813
Age 50
1817
January 11, 1817
Age 54
McKee's Gap Union, Fulton, Pa..
1820
April 21, 1820
Age 57
1823
February 21, 1823
Age 60
Pennsylvania, United States
1825
September 22, 1825
Age 62