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Robert McMahan

Also Known As: "Robert McMahon"
Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Probably Ireland
Death: May 26, 1769 (59-67)
Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia (hanged for the murder of Robert Reaburn in 1768.)
Immediate Family:

Husband of Catherine McMahan and Jean McMahan
Father of Captain John McMahan; Andrew McMahan; James McMahan; Samuel McMahan; Jean McMahan and 1 other

Managed by: Andy McMahan
Last Updated:

About Robert McMahan

There is NO evidence that:

  • Archibald McMahan was a son of Robert McMahan c.1706-1769
  • Redmond McMahan was a son of Robert McMahan c.1706-1769
  • Archibald Redmond McMahan was a son of Robert McMahan c.1706-1769
  • Andrew McMahan was a son of Robert McMahan c.1706-1769
  • Catherine Cole / Coleman was a wife of Robert McMahan c.1706-1769
  • Redmond McMahan, son of Catherine, had a brother Archibald

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WILLIAMSBURG, June 1. Last Friday were executed, pursuant to their sentence (being all that were capitally convicted and condemened the last General Court) the following criminals, viz. Robert McMachen, from Augusta, for murder ; William Jones (alias Richard Chapman) from Southampton, and James Biggars, from Bedford, for horsestealing ; and John Derby (alias Derby Finn) from Westmoreland, for picking of pockets.

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It appears that Robert McMahan (c.1706-1769) murdered Robert Raeburn / Rayburn in Augusta County, Virginia. Robert McMahan was the father of John McMahan who married Deborah Stockton. McMahan family tradition is that in 1746 Robert McMahan died at sea on the voyage from Ireland to America, however, this appears to be a cover for the fact that he was hung for murder.

The following "story" shows that Robert McMahan was married to Catherine. There is NO evidence that information is correct. A 1747 Augusta County, Virginia, court record shows that Redmond McMohan was an illegitimate son of Catherine Cole. There is no mention in the court records that Robert McMahan was the father of Redmond McMahan. Court records show Catherine as both Catherine Cole and Catherine Coleman.

Church records prove that Robert McMahan was already living in Augusta County, Virginia, by 1742 when one of his children was baptized, so Robert was not "bound for Virginia" in 1746.

Court records and newspaper records prove that Robert McMahan of Augusta County, Virginia, did not die "at sea on the way over," but instead was hung in 1769 for the murder of Robert Reaburn in 1768.

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Robert McMahan and his wife Catherine left Dublin, Ireland in 1746, bound for Virginia. They were accompanied by their ten ( some say 12 ) sons. Robert died at sea on the way over and the rest of his family settled in that part of Augusta Co., VA, that later became Montgomery Co., VA , where Catherine worked as a housekeeper for David Stuart. She is given the surname Cole in some Augusta or Montgomery Co. records, which I suspect was a second Husband who probably worked for David Stuart. No record has been found of his given name nor are there any children known from this second marriage.

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The McMahan name starts with the sons of Mahan, a 5th Century King of Leinster. The name was variously spelled McMahan or McMahon when it was translated from the old ERSE/GAELIC spelling phonetically into English. In the 13th Century the McMahans resided mostly in County Clare and Wexford, but by the 1600's many lived in Meath and Kildare near Dublin.

McMahan is Irish and the Coat of Arms contains Silver with three red lions. The Family Crest is an Arm in armour holding a sword. The family motto is: Sic nos sic sacra tuemur.

Spelling variations include: MacMahon, MacMann, MacMahan, MacMohan, Mahan and others. MacMahan was first found in County Clare in Ireland where they had been seated from very ancient times.

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Robert McMahan's Timeline

Probably Ireland
Age 19
Probably Ireland
Age 20
County Meath, Leinster, Ireland
Age 31
probably Ireland
Age 32
June 25, 1742
Age 36
February 1, 1745
Age 39
May 26, 1769
Age 63
Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia