(also spelled Straghn or Straghan or Straughan or Strawn)
Tilden, Randolph Co., Illinois
The Strahan Cemetery lies .5 miles south of the town of Tilden, Tilden Twp., Randolph Co., Illinois [Section 8 T45 R5W] on the east side Tilden [Plum Creek] Road on land now owned by the Hunter Family Trust. It is reported to have lain behind the present barn on a grassy knoll of trees, which have since been removed along with the tombstones, some of which are propped against a barn. Many have been destroyed or removed, so that little remains of what had been and still is a registered cemetery of Randolph County. For many years there was something of a fence around it, but people reported over the years that livestock had been able to enter and that the fence was not maintained. There is not much of a knoll left, either due to erosion or bulldozing. The tombstones are presently in the safe keeping of the Pyatt Funeral Home in Pinckneyville, Perry County, Illinois.
The cemetery contains the dead of some of the earliest pioneering families in the area from whom a large percentage of people in Randolph County’s history descends. James Strahan and his family were in Randolph County before 1818. They were founding members of the Old Bethel Church in Eden under the Rev. Samuel Wylie, who lived next door to the Strahans. To any one’s knowledge, though the graves have been plowed for farming, none of the remains have been removed.
The present owners have agreed to the restoration of the cemetery. Now the means, financial and physical, must be found to restore it. If any of you have any photographs of the tombstones as they originally were placed or any photographs of the cemetery or a plotmap or have reason to believe that there are still other persons buried in the cemetery not listed, please contact me. If any of you know where any of the missing tombstones are, please contact me. If anyone returns the tombstones, no questions will be asked.
For these reasons what follows is a compilation from a variety of sources of the persons buried in the cemetery and information about them. I have drawn from a Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation, which is the earliest compilation I have and is publicly available on LDS Microfilm No. 897, 007. Mrs. Torrens transcribed most of the old cemeteries in Randolph and adjoining counties. At that time she commented, “This old Cemetery has been terribly defaced, by a hard road being put through that vicinity, and some stones are broken.”
I have also drawn from a cemetery book by Lucille Wiechens with a transcription done April 10, 1989 and also her most recent revisiting of that cemetery at my inquiry in the past five years. I have also drawn from a transcription done by Virginia (Dickey) White and published in Branching Out (February, 1984), from the transcriptions from the cemetery records at the county courthouse done by Alvin Roscoe Strahan in 1995 and from his and his son Douglas Strahan‘s personal transcriptions of dates, names, and some of the epitaphs from some of the still existing tombstones on November 23, 1995. I have also drawn from death records of Randolph County which indicate burials, and inference and evidence from family records and written histories. Whenever a burial does not have a tombstone and has not existed in earlier tombstone transcriptions, the information is put in brackets.
First, I will list alphabetically the persons buried in the cemetery by name only, and then I will list the persons in Mrs. Torrens sequence which still reflects somewhat how the bodies lay, with the information on the tombstone and any comments of the relationships of persons and identities known through other sources in brackets. If there are any discrepancies of readings, they will be noted in brackets.
If anyone has any genealogical questions or other information or finds any errors typological or other, please contact me:
Linda Carol Strahan (The Rev. Dr.)
103 Kay Street
Newport, RI 02840-2835
Alvin R. Strahan
144 Church Street
Carrollton, IL 62016
I am 3ggdau of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan, 2gg dau of Blair and Mary Ann B. (McCullough) Strahan, ggdau of Charles McKelvey Strahan and Margaret Ann McIntyre, gdau of Charles Floyd Strahan and Ella Pansy Johns(t)on, dau of Charles Daniel Strahan. I have been working on family history for thirty years and the Randolph County, Illinois material for twenty. Alvin is 2ggrandson of James and Ann, ggrandson of Blair and Mary, grandson of Edwin Francis and Ida J. (Beaver) Strahan, s/o of Roscoe Leander Strahan. He grew up in Coulterville. His grandfather and my ggrandfather grew up on this farm.
The epitaph for this introduction comes from the tombstone of twenty-four year old Henry L. [Linn] McGuire, who died Nov. 2, 1836 and lies in the Strahan Cemetery:
What thou are reading per my bones
I’ve often read on others’ stones
And others soon will of thee
What thou art reading now of me.
- Campbell, Jennet Hayes
- Campbell, Moses E.
- Campbell, Moses F.
- Edmiston, Harmon
- Edmiston, John F.
- Edmiston, Sarah (Askins)
- Guthrie, Elizabeth
- Guthrie, Joseph S.
- Guthrie, William B.
- Lindsay, Alfred S.
- Lindsay, Dorah A.
- Lindsay, James S.
- Lindsay, Jane B. (Strahan)
- Lindsay, Jane Ann
- Lindsay, Martha A. (McGuire)
- Lindsay, Martha J.
- Lindsay, Thomas
- McGuire, Alexander Washington
- [McGuire, Elizabeth (Knox) (Mrs. John)]
- McGuire, Elizabeth C.
- McGuire, Elizabeth F. (Campbell)
- McGuire, Henry L.
- [McGuire, James (son of A.W. and Nancy)]
- McGuire, Jane Linn
- [McGuire, John]
- McGuire, John
- [McGuire, Nancy (Strahan)]
- [Mulligan, Mary Ann (Strahan, Mrs. George H.)]
- Strachan, Ann
- Strachan, Eliza Ann
- Strachan, Eliza Jane
- Strachan, James
- Strachan, Jane H. (Campbell)
- [Strachan, John]
- [Strachan, Mary Ann]
- Strachan, Mary Ann
- Strachan, Nancy
- Strachan, Nancy F. (Matthews)
- [Strahan, James]
- Strahan, John D.
- [Strahan, Margaret]
- [Strahan, Mary Ann B. (McCullough)]
- Strahan, Mary V. (Boyd)
- Strahan, William C.
These are the known or probable burials. There are probably more graves than we know. The only one of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan‘s children not listed above is Margaret Cathcart (Strahan) Haire, b. 9 Oct. 1807 [Shenango Twp., Crawford Co.,] PA, d. 8 Oct 1874 in Randolph Co., buried in the Old Bethel Cemetery near Sparta, married to John Haire [ Hayer ].
The following persons are listed in order of Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation, LDS Microfilm No. 897,007: the information is in the form Mrs. Torrens used, which is probably as it appeared on the tombstone, i.e., d. 8-21-1880 rather than converted to 21 Aug 1880.
CAMPBELL, Janet Hayes: ‘Jenett Hays Campbell, widow of William Campbell, born July 22, A.D. 1781, County of Derry, Ireland. Member of R.P. Church for 60 years, a True Christian and Devoted Mother, Died Oct 18, 1855, in the 75th Year of Her Age and the 33rd Year of Her Widowhood.1
CAMPBELL, Moses E. d. 10-15-1855 age 2 years 1 month.2
CAMPBELL, Moses F. d. 10-7-1841 age 20 years.3
EDMISTON, Harmon d. 5-24-1834 age 14 years son of William and Sarah.4
EDMISTON, Sarah. d. 7-29-1833 age 34 years Wife of William D.5
EDMISTON, John F d. 8-25-1843 age 13 yrs, 11 mo., 23 d, son of Wm & Sarah.6
GUTHRIE, Elizabeth. d. 1-27-1845 age 2 years dau of Joseph & Elizabeth.7
GUTHRIE William B. d. 5-14-1837 age six weeks old, son of Joseph & Elizabeth.8
GUTHRIE, Joseph S. d. 11-28-1848 age 40 years.9
LINDSAY, Alfred S. b. 10-16-1869 d. 9-30-1870 son of Thomas & Martha.10
LINDSAY, Dorah A. b. 3-18-1871 d. 7-12-1871 dau of Thomas and Martha.11
LINDSAY, Martha J. d. 11-9-1861 age 2 years dau of Thomas and Martha.12
LINDSAY, Martha A. d. 10-29-1871 age 34 years wife of Thomas.13
LINDSAY, Jane B. b. 7-21-1801 d. 8-21-1880, wife of Thomas.14
LINDSAY, Thomas. b. 2-17-1792 d. 4-22-1854.15
LINDSAY, James S. b. 11-12-1858 d. 27 years.16
LINDSAY, Jane Ann. d. 12-25-1871 age 34 dau of J.S.17
McGUIRE, Alexander Washington 1809-1854.18
McGUIRE, Nancy [Ann] (Strahan) b. 30 April 1813 d. 30 June 1881, dau of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan, wife of Alexander Washington McGuire.19
McGuire, James b. 1839-d. before 1864. Son of Alexander Washington and Nancy (Strahan) McGuire. No report of tombstone but probable place of burial.20
McGUIRE, Elizabeth C. dau of Henry L. and E. d. 6-25-1853 age 18 years.21
McGuire, Elizabeth F. wife of Henry L. d. 11-2-1835 age 24-1-28.22
McGUIRE. Jane Linn d. 7-27-1840 age 69 years, wife of John.23
McGUIRE, Henry L. d. 11-2-1826 24 years 1 month 28 days.24
What though are reading per my bones
Ive often read on others stones
And others soon will of thee
what thou are reading now of me.
McGUIRE, John. b. 10-10-1800 d. 7-31-1836.25
MULLIGAN ?, Mary Ann (Strahan) (Mrs. George H.?) 1805-.26
STRACHAN, Ann. d. 10-8-1858 age 81 years., wife of James.27
STRACHAN, James. d. 3-16-1833 age 56 years.28
STRACHAN, Eliza Ann d. 9-15-1853 age 2 years. dau of John & Mary.29
STRACHAN, Eliza Jane d. 8-18-1851 age 2 years dau of John & Mary.30
STRACHAN, Jane H. d. 1-17-1847 wife of Blair.31
STRACHAN, William G. b. 12-27-1846 d. 3-17-1847 Son of Blair and J.H.32
STRACHAN, John D. [David] d. 4-8-1859 48 years34
STRACHAN, Nancy. d. 9-11-1855 age 16 years. dau of John & Mary.35
STRACHAN, Nancy F. b. 10-2-1815 d 3-13-1860 Wife.36
STRACHAN, Mary Ann. d. 4-13-1848 age 2 years, dau of John & Mary 2yrs 4 mo 20 da.37
STRAHAN, Mary V. b. 10-2-1815 d. 13 Mar 1860 44y 5m 8 d.38
STRACHAN, John or Joseph or Thomas.40
I have in my database 754 descendants of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan and that is primarily of the descendants of their son Blair
Linda Carol Strahan
Easter 23 April 2000
Newport, Rhode Island
Copyright Linda Carol Strahan 2000, Permission for non-commercial use only.
Revised February 9, 2003 version copyright Lind Carol Strahan 2003. Permission for non-commercial use only.
Contact information: for information or to offer assistance in restoring the cemetery
Linda Carol Strahan, 103 Kay Street, Newport, Rhode Island 02840-2835
Alvin R. Strahan
- Her husband William B. Campbell was a Revolutionary War veteran. “Disembarking at Chester, Mrs. Campbell brought her children overland to the location her husband had chosen, near Sparta, then known as Columbus. However, the family remained here only a few years and left in 1832 for eastern Iowa, where they settled.’
‘Apparently, the entire family moved back to Southern Illinois, in 1836 and the mother died near Sparta in 1855. She is buried in the Strachan Cemetery near Tilden. The inscription on her marker reads; ‘Jenett Hays Campbell, widow of William Campbell, born July 22, A.D. 1781, County of Derry, Ireland. Member of R.P. Church for 60 years, a True Christian and Devoted Mother, Died Oct 18, 1855, in the 75th Year of Her Age and the 33rd Year of Her Widowhood.’
“To William and Jeanette Campbell were born 10 children, some of whom are ancestors of the Campbells still living in this area. They were, Samuel Alexander, John Gregg, Joseph Nathan, Elizabeth F., wife of Henry Lynn McGuire, James Argyle, Thomas Hays, Margaret Cathcart who never married, Jeanette Hays, wife of Blair Strachan. Sarah Ann, wife of John H. McKelvey, and William Stavely” Genealogy of Families of Sparta and Randolph Counties, Ill. A-McKee v. 1. [This series of ten volumes was also compiled by Mrs. Torrens and the only known copy is in the Sparta Public Library. I understand that it now may have been filmed by the LDS].
- Lucille Wiechen‘s cemetery book, not in Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation. Whose child this is is unknown to this redactor, but probably a grandson of Jane Hayes CAMPBELL above.
- Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation, not in present courthouse or Mrs. Wiechens cemetery book. S/o William B. Campbell and Janet Hayes, Moses Findlay Campbell was born Sept 5, 1821 Kentucky, died Oct 7, 1841 Randolph Co., IL. Was with the Sparta Democrat, then known as the Columbus.
- This is one of two 14 year old sons of William D. Edmiston, War of 1812. He gave the land upon which the town of Tilden lies, and his son William was its first mayor, married to Nancy J. Lindsay, dau of Thomas and Jane (Strahan) Lindsay, both buried here. In the fall of 1832 the family of William D. had migrated to Randolph Co. from Lincoln Co., Tennessee with the family of the youngest brother John, from whom your compiler descends. William D. and John are believed to be grandsons of Col William Edmiston (then Major) who was second in command at the Battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War. William D. and brother John were first cousins of Gen. William Edmondson Jones, C.S.A. Harmon’s mother is Sarah Askins Edmiston, William D.’s first wife, who probably remains buried here.
- This tombstone is said to have disappeared, though I have talked with people who have seen it with their own eyes, and Mrs. Torrens lists it in her compilation as does Virginia (Dickey) White in her 1984 compilation published in Branching Out. Evergreen Cemetery, Chester, Randolph Co., IL also lists William and Sarah with these dates as does the Coulterville Cemetery, p. 13 #10 & #11 (LDS Film 559,051). I have yet to learn that her body was ever disinterred and moved.
Strahan Cem Records, Randolph Co., IL as compiled differ. Both Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation (LDS Film 897,007) and Virginia Dickey White‘s published in Branching Out (Feb. 1984) has her listed as having a ts at Strahan Cem.: Mrs. Torrens‘ says “Edmiston, Sarah d. 7-29-1833 age 34 years.” Mrs. White’s says, “Edmiston, Sarah, d. 7-19-1833, age 34 yrs., wife of William D.” And Alvin Strahan’s recording of the Chester county courthouse listings has no listing of Sarah Edmiston at all in the Strahan Cemetery!
Her husband was buried at the Coulterville Cem., and she is listed on the tombstones there as well. She was buried in the Strahan Cemetery, its first known burial and then either she moved to Coulterville and/or a tombstone was put up for her in Coulterville. So far no one has evidence that her body was ever exhumed and moved from the Strahan Cemetery, where it probably still lies with her fourteen year old boys.
The following is her husband’s Obituary from the Sparta Plaindealer, May 8, 1885:
“Edmiston. At Tilden on Thursday, April 30, Mr. William Edmiston, aged 90 years, 2 months and 21 days.
Funeral services were held on Saturday. The remains, followed by a large procession of friends and relatives, were taken to the Coulterville cemetery for interment.
Mr. Edmiston was born in Virginia on February 8, 1795, and while quite young, moved to Tennessee. Her served as a Tennessee soldier in the war of 1812, and in 1816 married Sarah Askins. Nine children, seven boys and two girls, were the fruits of this union. Mr. Edmiston and his wife came to Illinois in 1832 and settled near the site of Tilden. He has peacefully resided in that neighborhood for fifty-three years. Respected and honored as a citizen and a Christian, he died mourned by the entire community.”
William Edmiston enlisted as a Pvt. in Capt. John Doak‘s Co., Tennessee Militia on Sept 28, 1814 at Fayetteville, Lincoln CO. He was assigned to the 2nd Regiment of Mounted Riflemen commanded by Col. Thos. Williamson. This was included in Brig. Gen. Coffee‘s Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gun-men brigade. They fought at the Battle of New Orleans – Jan 8. 1815. He was mustered out April 27, 1815 at Nashville.
Their children include Albert G., mar. Narcissa Taylor; Mary Polly (Mrs. Thomas L. Paul); Harmon bur. here (see above); William mar. Nancy Lindsay (see ref. above); Rufus, mar Sarah Boyd, dau of William Boyd and Elizabeth Verner; James A., mar. Martha Little; John T. or F., bur. here (see above); and Sarah mar. Daniel Hannah, son of David.
- Another son of William D. and Sarah (Askins) Edmiston. Strahan Cem. listings (Mrs. Torrens LDS Film 897,007) and Virginia (Dickey) White‘s published in Branching Out (Feb. 1984) has “John F”; however the cemetery listings at the county courthouse in Chester has “John T” and Simon Cameron Edmiston‘s genealogy The Genealogy of a Branch of the Edmiston Family has “John T.” Mrs. White has d. 8-25-1843, age 14 yrs, son of William and Sarah. Mrs. Torrens has just “son.” Alvin Strahan’s county courthouse list has John T., 13 yr. 11 mo 23 d. “son of William & Sarah. I am inclined to think that the letter was F. at one time because William’ s brother John also named a son John F., and I believe the initial comes from a family surname.
- See below for Joseph. Elizabeth Guthrie was Elizabeth Boyd, dau of William Boyd, Jr. and Elizabeth Varner [Vernor], who had migrated to Randolph Co. from South Carolina with Samuel Boyd, Sr. his brother, and wife Nancy Varner [Vernor], sister of Elizabeth (Varner) Boyd. Samuel Boyd, Sr.s farm adjoined the Strahans. The child here was the fifth of Joseph and Elizabeth’s eight children.
- [William B. [Boyd] Guthrie was the couples second child, first son, first William B. They had a third child, another William B., b. 11 Feb. 1839, who died at age 22 on 6 January 1862. Whether that William B.’s death was related Civil War is unknown to me.
- Joseph S. Guthrie was born in 1808 in Virginia. He was James Strachan‘s executor, and may have been his nephew, the son of the sister that is said to have immigrated from Ireland with James and a brother John (Joseph?) A Nancy Guthrie appears in the 1820 census of Randolph Co. and a James S. Guthrie appears in the 1825 state census in the Plum Creek Precinct, Randolph Co.
A Joseph Strahan had a land patent in Randolph County in 1818 [?], and nothing has been seen or heard of him of him since. If the Joseph Strachan was a brother to James, the Joseph Strachan may also be buried in this cemetery. [See discussion of John Strachan below.] The mother of Joseph S. Guthrie may have been a daughter of this Joseph Strachan and/or a brother of James Strahan. If anyone has any information on the Joseph S. Guthrie‘s family of origin or on this unidentified Joseph Strahan, please contact me.
- Alfred S. Lindsay is the second child, first son of Thomas Blair Lindsay, son of Thomas Lindsay and Jane Blair (Strahan) Lindsay who are both buried in this cemetery. His mother was Thomas first wife Martha A. McGuire, dau of Hugh J. McGuire and [Martha] McHatton. Hugh J. McGuire was the son of John McGuire and Jane Linn and brother of Alexander Washington McGuire, buried in this cemetery.
- Dorah is last (seventh?) child of this couple. Her mother died seven months later.
- Martha J. was the first child of this couple. Their first two and last children died in infancy.
- Martha A. (McGuire) Lindsay, whose parents and grandparents are listed under Alfred S. Lindsay, was the first of three wives of Thomas Blair Lindsay. She was the neice of Alexander Washington and Nancy (Strahan) McGuire buried here, married to the son of Thomas and Jane Blair (Strahan) Lindsay whose parents are buried here. She was survived by four sons: John S., James F., Charles H., and Thomas H.
- Jane Blair (Strahan) Lindsay was the oldest child of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strachan or Strahan, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1801, a year after her parents’ marriage in Ireland in 1800. They soon afterward settled in Shenango Twp., Crawford Co., Pennsylvania with her Blair grandparents Hugh and Jane (Thompson) Blair and their several children who had followed James and Ann Strahan to the region. After 1814 and before 1820 they migrated to Tilden Precinct, Randolph Co., IL, where they bought this land from a Nathan Davis and were the first to farm it. Jane lived with her husband Thomas near Red Bud, Illinois most of her life, in log cabins at first. Hers is one of the last known burials in the Strahan Cemetery. It and the farm eventually passed to the youngest son Blair Strahan and then to her descendants into the 20th century, when it then passed to the Hemphills, a more distantly related family and then to William Temple Hayer, Jr and then to the present family. Eventually it came into the possession of a descendant of Jane’s sister Margaret Cathcart (Strahan) Haire or Hayer, who, not knowing about the cemetery and his ancestors and kin who were buried there, sold it to his nephew by marriage, who is married to a Hemphill and has now passed it to his children in a trust. This lack of awareness may be because Margaret Cathcart (Strahan) Haire, wife of John, is the only child of James and Ann known to have been buried elsewhere, with her husband in the Old Bethel Cemetery near Sparta.
Jane’s death record has her as dying August 24, 1880; there are discepancies either in transcription or fact between death records and tombstones. She died of 15 days of remittent fever at the home of her daughter of Eliza McCormick: “Mrs. Jane Lindsay died, Aug. 24 at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Eliza McCormack, this city, aged 81 years. She was one of the oldest citizens of the county, having resided here for over a half a century, and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all acquaintances” [Sparta Plaindealer, August 31, 1880].
- Thomas Lindsay, husband of Jane Blair (Strahan) Lindsay, is omitted from Mrs. Wiechen‘s Cemetery list and that at the Chester County Courthouse. However, it is listed by Mrs. Torrens. Apparently his is one of the now missing tombstones. Thomas was born 17 Feb. 1792 in Kentucky and died 22 April 1854 in (Redbud). His parents were James Lindsay and Elizabeth Scott. Thomas and Jane had a large family beside the two already mentioned who are a foundation family of many families of Randolph County: Eliza Ann (wife of Hugh Coffee McCormack); Mary Ann (died as infant); Nancy (mentioned above who marred William Edmiston, s/o William D. and Sarah (Askins) Edmistion); Margaret Jane (w/of (1) Thomas Dickey, s/o John Dickey and Margaret McDill and (2) John Thompson Ewing McKelvey, s/o Alexander McKelvey and Mary McMillan; James Strahan, also buried here (see below); Samuel married perhaps four times; Thomas Blair (mentioned above) whose children and wife lie buried here; John Henry Henry, mar. Marian Doak; and Joseph, mar. Margaret Doak.
- [James Strahan Lindsay, the postmaster of Tilden, was the fifth or sixth child of Thomas and Jane Blair (Strahan) Lindsay. He was born 15 Aug. 1831 and died 12 Nov 1858, mar. to Barbara Gray. James Gray was the administrator of his estate. He died of consumption.
- [Jane Ann is listed in Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation but not at the county courthouse or in Mrs. Wiechen‘s compilation. Hers is another missing tombstone. She was the daughter of James Strahan Lindsay and Barbara Gray.
- b. 17 Feb. 1809 d. 14 Sep 184 55y 5m 16d. Alexander Washington McGuire was the son of John McGuire (War of 1812) b. 25 Jan 1770 in Lineskea Parish, County Fermanagh, Ireland, and Jane Linn and grandson of John Linn (Rev. War), who was of Scottish descent and came from Ireland to Chester Co., S.C. aboard ship Lord Dun Luce in 1772 with the Rev. William Martin, who had organized the emigrations from Ballymena Par, Co. Antrim, Ireland. John was brother to the eminant divine in A.R.P. Church the Rev. Matthew Lynn and one of first ruling elders of Union Congregation.
According to Dr. Simon Cameron Edmiston, whose mother was Mary Ann, dau. of Alexander Washington and Nancy (Strahan) McGuire, John McGuires‘s great grandfather was among the twenty-six head of families of the McGuires who returned and settled on their old lands in 1606 after swearing an oath of allegiance to the King of England. They had been driven off by an army under General Chicester.
“When John was 12 his older brother, who was a sugar planter in Cuba, sent him money to pay his fair to Cuba, where he hoped to help the lad along. The boy shipped for Cuba but never arrived at his intended destination. His ship had instead put in to Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, where John McGuire was stranded. The Colonial authorities soon took him in charge and bound him out to a Hatter, where he learned that trade. This interruption of his journey is subject to explanation in this way. The time was the closing years of the Revolution. Nearly all of the English miliary forces were in the South and the English Fleet was blockading the southern coasts. The Carolinas were being overrun by the military forces under Lord Cornwallis; Charleston had fallen into their hands and North Carolina was being overrun by the British, where small squads of the patriots under Morgan, Lincoln, Sumpter, Marion. Co. Ferguson’s command of 1200 had lately been destroyed by Col. Campbell and Major William Edmiston, in a battle at King’s Mountain. Lord Cornwallis was soon to surrender at Yorktown. The English Battle Fleet was overhauling all ships found without English Register, and confiscated if caught trading with the colonists.”p.p 60-61 John McGuire located at Princeton in the Northwest Territory about 1795 and for 15 years endured the “Indian menace”. In September 1811 danger ended with defeat of Chief Tecumseh on the Tippicanoe Creek. John McGuire in the War of 1812 was sworn into the service by Squire Davison Challot, July 26, 1814 and served under Col Hamilton in the Third Rifles Regiment” (p. 64 ).
Alexander was married to Nancy (Strahan) McGuire (see below), dau of James and Ann (see below).
The William Edmiston who gave part of his 1812 land grant for the building of Tilden, whose wife Sarah and sons are buried in this cemetery is the grandson of that then Major William Edmiston or Edmondson mentioned above in the Battle of King’s Mountain in the American Revolution.
- No tombstone has been reported for her in the Strahan Cemetery; however, her death record has it that she was a life resident of 1st Ward Sparta, died of apoplexy, and is buried in Tilden Precinct. Since no tombstone has been reported anywhere else in Tilden, it is reasonable to infer that she is buried in the family cemetery with her husband.
Nancy was the fifth surviving child, youngest daughter of James and Ann (see below). She and Alexander Washington McGuire had a large family that included Nancy T. (mar. Sam Wylie McKelvey, s/o Charles McKelvey and Mary Hunter); Mary Ann (mar. John F. Edmiston s/o John Edmiston and Vashti Jones and was mother of Dr. Simon Cameron Edmiston of Los Angeles); Margaret J. (mar. James S. Gray, s/o William and Jane E. (McDonald) Gray); Lucretia (mar John Keys, s/o Adam Keys); James b. 1839 who died as a boy and is probably buried here (see above); John (mar. Margaret Stevenson); Caroline Elna (mar. Isaac M. Mitchell); Alexander C. (mar. Sarah J. Alexander); and Annie E. (mar. John W. Crouch).
- If anyone has more information, please contact me.
- This is the daughter of Henry Linn McGuire and Elizabeth F. Campbell (d/o Janet Hayes Campbell, also buried here, and William B. Campbell). Both of her parents are buried here. Henry Linn was the brother of Alexander Washington McGuire and son of John McGuire and Jane Linn McGuire, probably both buried here. (See above) Mrs. Wiechens does not list a tombstone, and no tombstone is listed in county courthouse records but Mrs. Torrens did find one. Hers is another of the now missing tombstones.
- Elizabeth F. Campbell, youngest child of William B. and Jennet (Hayes) Campbell, b. 5 September 1811 d. 2 Nov. 1835. She was married to Henry Linn McGuire (buried here, see below), s/o John McGuire and Jane Linn, also buried here. Husband and wife died on the same day only five months after death of Elizabeth C. If anyone knows the story, please contact me. I think there may have been a typographical or transcription error. Mrs. Wiechens and the county courthouse do not record these tombstones. They are among the missing. Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation had them.
- Jane was born 22 Aug 1771 in Conners Par., Co. Antrim, Ireland to John Linn and Jennet Malcolm. Her uncle was probably the Rev. Matthew Linn [see Alexander Washington McGuire above for biographical information on her husband and herself.] She and and her husband John had had a large family that included Elizabeth b. 1799 (bur?); John (buried here-see below); Hugh J. (mar. Margaret McHatten) whose daughter is Martha A. (McGuire) Lindsay, buried here); his twin Henry who married and had children; Alexander Washington, buried here (see above); Elizabeth b. after 1809 (bur. ?); and Henry Linn, buried here?, mar. Elizabeth F. Campbell, buried here with daughter Elizabeth C. [see above]
- Henry L. [Linn] McGuire was born about 1811, the youngest son of John and Jane Linn McGuire, brother of John and Alexander Washington. He is listed by Mrs. Torrens, Mrs. Wiechens, and the county courthouse. No one listed his epitaph until Douglas Strahan transcribed it in November 23, 1995. If anyone knows how he and his wife died on the same day or if this is fact or if he had any surviving children, please contact me. He and his wife had been married five years when they died.
Henry’s tombstone is one of the great mysteries because it has the same dates of death except his is 1836 as his wife’s Elizabeth F. same day Nov. 2 but 1835. According to some people’s accounts he and Elizabeth Campbell are supposed to have had four daughters: including a Jane Melinda, Nancy T., Elizabeth Campbell (buried here), and Mary Ellen born after his death. Other records indicated that he survived to marry a Margaret Lyon in 1837 and to have several additional children by her and live until 1874!
I would appreciate any information about this strange circumstance because it would seem that the couple may have perished on the same day in the same year or one year apart. . . . . .and there is no question at all that this tombstone is for a Henry L. McGuire. Perhaps there is another Henry L. McGuire that has been confused with this one!
- John McGuire, was the oldest son of John and Jane Linn McGuire, brother to Alexander Washington and Henry Linn McGuire. John is listed only by Mrs. Torrens, and his is another missing tombstone. He was married to Elizabeth Knox. If anyone has any information, please contact me.
- Mary Ann Strahan was the second child, oldest daughter of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan, b. 1805 in Shenango Twp., Crawford Co., PA. She came to Randolph Co., Illinois with the family. She is listed (by age) with her parents in the 1820 census but not in the 1830. Charlotte Blair Stewart, General Research Chair of The Blair Society, says she found a note on this Mary Strachan as married to a George H. Mulligan in Lois Meyers The Descendants of the Rev. Hugh McMillan (available through LDS microfilm No. 9599425):”Descendants of Rev. Hugh McMillan; William Edmiston; Hugh Blair; and Hugh C. Gault by Lois Myer, Rev Hugh McMillan of Co. Antrim Ireland William Edmiston & Margaret Montgomery of MD and VA, Hugh C. Gault, born 1793 in NC & Nancy Mary AskinsHugh Blair of Ireland and Jane Thompson (LDS No. 0599425).
Dr. Simon Cameron Edmiston in his The Genealogy of a Branch of the Edmiston Family says she never married. No other information about her has come to light, and she is quite possibly buried here in the family cemetery. If anyone has any information, please contact me.
- Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan was b. in 1777 to Hugh Blair and Jane Thompson, possibly in Donegore, Co. Antrim, Ireland. She married James Strahan in Ireland in 1800 and was in this country for their first child Jane to have been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1801. She and James settled in Shenango Twp., Crawford Co., Pennsylvania, where all of their remaining children were born. Between 1814, when their youngest son Blair was born, and 1820 Fed. Census in Tilden, Randolph Co., PA they had migrated with their family, coming with James Coulter, after whom Coulterville was named. They bought land in 1822 from a Nathan Davis and were probably the first to farm the farm, where the cemetery now lies.
Ann’s nephew was The Rev. Hugh Henry Blair (1809-1877), who held a cure in New York City and after whom one of her grandsons was named. For information on this branch of the Blair family, contact Charlotte Blair Stewart, Gen. Research Chair of The Blair Society, who also descends from this Hugh Blair married to Jane Thompson. For information, on The Blair Society
Ann and James had a sizeable family that included Jane Blair (buried here with her husband Thomas Lindsay; Mary Ann (possibly buried here); Margaret Cathcart (mar. John B. Haire or Hayer); Nancy (buried here with her husband Alexander Washington McGuire; and Blair, whose first wife and son and probably second wife are buried here. The 1820 census listed a young male under five in the household that we have not been able to place, who may have been a son born after Blair, and who may be buried here as well.
- James may have died in a cholera epidemic that followed the Black Hawk War.
James Strachan, b. 1777 in Ballymena Par., Co. Antrim, Ireland, was of yoeman stock, meaning landholding not peasant: when he came to Pennsylvania he bought land as he did when he came to Randolph County. The probate records has his death to be in 1833 (contrary to transcriptions of the tombstone). His parents were probably a John and Mary or Mary Ann (Davison? Cathcart?) Strachan. [A George Strachan in Ireland b. 1780 married a Sarah Davison and the name Davison comes from son of David: James named his first son John David, perhaps taking a mother’s surname as the 1st sons middle name (as was the custom), and the third daughters middle name was Cathcart.] After marrying Ann Jane Blair in Ireland in 1800, probably in the Seceder Church near Donegore, Ballymena Par, Co. Antrim, he emigrated to the United States.
The couple had their first child Jane Blair in Steubenville, Ohio in 1801 and were there in 1802, according to an extant letter in the possession of Charlotte Blair Stewart, who also has a letter of a person who attended their wedding in Ireland. They soon settled in Shenango Twp., Crawford Co., Pennsylvania where they were joined by her parents and others of her siblings. In Crawford Co. James and Ann had the rest of their children before migrating to Randolph Co., Illinois before 1818.
Charlotte Blair Stewart, Gen. Research Chair of The Blair Society, believes that the Blairs and these Strahans were probably involved with the United Irishmen, who as Protestants and Roman Catholics working together in the Rebellion of 1798, attempted to attain in Ireland the independence that the United States had achieved by our Revolutionary War. The revolution failed, and the Blairs and Strahans immigrated to the United States shortly thereafter.
Dr. Simon Cameron Edmiston in The Genealogy of a Branch of the Edmiston Family includes a section on his mother’s family: the Strachans and the McGuires. He asserts that the Strahans could be found in Brooklyn by 1795 and that James came with a brother John and a sister, who married a Blair, and that the John came on to Illinois with James. I have as yet to find evidence of James being in this country before 1800 or certain evidence of a brother John being with him in Illinois. There is a Joseph Strachan, who holds a land grant in the area of Randolph County as early as 1819. However, I have not seen further evidence of this Joseph.
More recent research indicates that James Strachan probably descends from James Strachan of Broughshane, Ballymena Par., Co. Antrim, Ireland, who had immigrated to Ireland from Scotland in the 1700s. with sons and a daughter. [Actually Strachans of Scotland may have come originally from northern Ireland and there had been ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ for centuries. The name in Gaelic? means something like babbling brook and the surname Brooks also derives from it. A Scottish story is that it is from the people who lived on the strath or bank of the Ann River and that the Strachans were Saxons.]
The immigrant Strachans (Scotland to Ireland) settled in back in Ireland in primarily three places: Broughshane, Keady, and Co. Cork. The Broughshane, Ballymena Par (later Rathkenny and Lisnacrogher and Clough?) Co. Antrim group were Presbyterians. The Keady, Co. Armagh, group were or became Church of Ireland; they came to Keady from Ayr, Scotland. (The Broughshane group may also have come from Ayershire) The Co. Cork group were Roman Catholic, by and large. The Broughshane (and later Rathkenny) group descend from James Strachan of Broughshane and his children. Possibly all of these branches of Irish Strachans/Strahans were related at one time.
James Strachan of Broughshane had three sons and a daughter. The sons seem to have been a George, a Samuel, and a Matthew. The daughter was a Jane who married a Wilson (as per her brother George’s will). The Samuel moved to Lisnacrogher, dates unknown, landed in Carrickfergus [email from Wendy Strahan, Perth, Australia, dated Oct 28, 1998]. The Matthew (or perhaps the later Matthews) was probably the cloth manufacturer who emigrated to the United States and has descendants in Oklahoma and Texas.
The George is the only one whose will we have. He married [Ann Speers ?], had six sons and a daughter: James, John, Gordon, George, Matthew, Sarah, and Samuel. The James moved to Linsacrogher and had four sons and a daughter: George, Ann, Matthew, James, and Thomas. The John s/o George, who probably was our Jame’s father, had at least three and probably five sons and a daughter: Ann, James, George, Speers, John, and Ben, etc.
Sorting this family lines out has been challenged by the burning of the civil records in Belfast in 1922 and by the ways in which the families keep using the same limited numbers of given names, and every son will have a son with his fathers given name! So far one of the few clues as to James’ relations from overseas is that a James Andrew Strahan, b. 1858 who was a Professor of English Law at Queens University in Ireland 1886-1898, (and who wrote THE English textbook on property law) wrote the aunt of one of my correspondents Bruce Strahan to say that that he had been born very late in life to his father Samuel? and that his father had had cousins two brothers who had come to the United States just after the Rebellion of 1798: that sounds like our James and his brother John? Joseph?.
Besides this English barrister/professor, the most eminant member of the family was the Rev. William Gordon Strahan, who also descends from the John mentioned above and who was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland 1931-1933. We know that virtually every Presbyterian Strahan from Ireland came from this one family.
We know that from the Rathkenny Strahan (branch of this one) Andrew Straghn who married a Margaret Straghn of Dumboght, Co. Antrim in New York City in 1851 was married by the Rev. Hugh Henry Blair, James and Ann (Blair) Strahan‘s nephew! Their descendants ended up in Fond du lac, Wisconsin and Illinois. It also included a Gordon Strahan married to a Mary Craig, who emigrated through Ontario Canada and settled in Monroe Co., Michigan. The Samuel Strahan, who served in the Revolutionary War from Pennsylvania had descendants in Bourbon Co., Kentucky, was almost certainly related, perhaps an uncle of James.
We are sometimes asked if we are related to the William Strahan, who was a M.P., Samuel Johnson‘s and Boswell‘s publisher, and friend of Benjamin Franklin at the time of the Revolutionary War. We do not know that we are, though we understand that some sons of the publisher ended up in the north of Ireland. We know that a high percentage of members of our family are in journalism, editing, publishing in all the media, telegraphing, radio, and all forms of communication. We are probably related to the Charles Strahan, publisher of the Richmond Virginia newspaper who erected the statue on Martha’s Vineyard dedicated to the Union soldiers to heal the chasm left by the Civil War (and joined by a plaque from the townspeople on the other side of the monument dedicated to the southern soldiers and saying ‘The chasm is closed’): he, too, had ties to Pennsylvania.
We do not know how, if at all, we are related to the Strahan colonial wallpaper company in Boston.
At the present time we are aware of descendants of this family in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand. They have many fields of endeavor, and high among them are education, law, arts, textiles, ministry, communications and publishing, transporation and defense industries (railroad and then aviation and space travel and research), and the natural sciences. None to my knowledge is today still in farming, though, some are in farm-related employment, and some were until the last generation.
Further origins of Strahans are interesting if speculative. They are said to be a sept of the Tribe of Mar (the septs the Tribe of Mar being Marr, Morren, Strachan, and Tough), a Pict tribe originally: the Tribe of Mar is the oldest Scottish earldom with a count (currently a countess) at its head. It occupies one of the divisions of the ancient kingdon of the Picts stretching from the Braes of Mar in the west to Aberdeen and from the Braes of Angus in the south to the River Don. The original leader was called a mormaer (mayor???) and the area was a geographical and political region long before the first earl, Ruadri, is recorded in 1120.
The original Irish, Pictish people also were killed off by the next wave of invaders, our mixed Saxon ancestors who then moved into what is now Scotland and killed most of the Picts there. In the area the Tribe of Mar occupies many invaders intermarried with the Picts – probably after killing the males and “attaching” the females. The Picts were the “little people,” the pharasees of the woods; our ancestors killed the fairies (quoted, found and sent by Barbara King, married to grandson of my grandfather’s sister).
According to Ivan Strahan, retired professor of Queens University, Belfast, the Strahans were in Co. Donegal as early as 1204 and had been probably driven off the ancestral lands by local landholder, which necessitated the migration to Scotland. Other claims are they had been a Saxon tribe based in the borderlands. Probably they had intermarried with the Saxon invaders!
- Eliza Ann is the youngest of John David and Mary Varner (Boyd) Strahan‘s four daughters buried here, the third two year old daughter they lost.
- Eliza Jane was the third daughter, the second two year old they lost.
- Jane Hayes Campbell Strachan was the first wife of Blair Strahan, youngest child of James and Ann, dau (ninth child) of William B. Campbell and Jennette Hayes Campbell, buried here (see above). She died “in her first confinement.”
- Mrs. Torrens has Strachan; stone has Strahan.
Mrs. Torrens has William G. Mrs. Wiechens and the courthouse list has William C. William C. would make sense because his maternal grandfather was William Campbell. However, the engraving was probably clearer when Mrs. Torrens looked at it, George and Gordon are both ancestral Strahan names, and Blairs daughter Margaret Isabelle Belle (Strahan) Wise named her first child William G. Wise. [She died in a prairie fire in Americus, Kansas in April 1890 in saving this child, who died 5 May 1890.]
- b. 12-27-1846 an LDS file has William G. as having had a twin sister born on the same day, perhaps still born.
- Mrs. Torrens has Strachan; stone has Strahan. John David Strahan, the oldest son of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strachan, was born in 1811 in [Crawford Co.] Pennsylvania and died 8 April 1959. Mrs. Wiechens has the tombstone as listing him as 49 years, which would suggest that he was born 1810. He was married to Mary Varner Boyd, dau of Samuel, Sr. and Nancy (Varner) Boyd. They had four daughters: the three two year olds and sixteen year old are all buried here: Nancy, Mary Ann, Eliza Jane, and Eliza Ann. There are large gaps of time between Nancy and Mary Ann and between Mary Ann and Eliza Jane, during which time even younger infants lost may have been buried here.
- Included in Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation but omitted from Mrs. Wiechens‘. I know from Dr. Edmiston and oral tradition that this sixteen year old existed, the last of the losses to her parents that happened every 2 or 3 years from 1848 on.
- Nancy F. Matthews, wife of a John Strachan which? There are major discrepancies between Mrs. Torrens‘ compilation and Mrs. Wiechens‘: Mrs. Torrens had his wife as Nancy F. b. 10-2-1815 but dying 3-13-1960 and does not have Eliza Jane and does not have Mary V. but does have 16 year old Nancy as well; Mrs. Wiechens has Mary V. with the same birthdate as Nancy F. 44 y 5 m 8 d (see below) and does have Eliza Jane 2 year old daughter but does not have the 16 year old daughter Nancy. Dr. S.C. Edmistons has it that there was a John Strahan, s/o Blair who married a Nancy F. Matthews, and indeed I have seen that Randolph County marriage record myself, though I do not now recall the date on it. I have also found a listing for a John Stranahn with a William Strahand and a much older John Dickey listed in the 1860 census for Perry Co. This John Stranahan, William Strahand, and John Dickey are all listed as having been born in Ireland, which none James and Ann’s children were.
Either Nancy F. was a first wife, before Mary Varner Boyd, and Mrs. Torrens transferred Mary V’s dates or she was the wife of another John Strachan/Strachan, perhaps the mystery missing brother John of James or perhaps a nephew immigrated after 1835? I am not aware that Blair ever had a son named John. If anyone has any information on this Nancy. I believe that there is a Mrs. John Strachan in this cemetery who was a Nancy F. Matthews and that Mrs. Torrens did not confuse her with the 16 year old Nancy daughter of John & Mary.
- This child was the second born daughter and first of the daughters to die. She was born 25 Dec 1845 [a Christmas baby after six years without children] and died 13 April 1848. John David had no surviving children, and most of Blair’s children moved away from the area so that the surviving descendants were mostly from the daughter’s lines of James and Ann. These factors contributed to the ignoring of this cemetery and failure to recognize the ancestors buried there.
- Mrs. Wiechens has her; Mrs. Torrens does not. She definitely was the mother of all four daughters (see above) of John & Mary. Mary Varner [Vernor] Boyd was born 2 October 1815 in South Carolina the daughter of Samuel, Sr. and Nancy Varner (Vernor) Boyd, whose property adjoined the Strahan‘s in Tilden.
- b. 1839 died young son of Alexander Washington McGuire and Nancy (Strahan) McGuire. He died young and is probably buried here with his parents.
- The brother and/or nephew that supposedly came to Illinois with James and has not been heard of since may have died and been buried here without markers.
- b. Randolph Co. about 1851, oldest child of Blair and Mary Ann B. (McCullough) Strahan, died after 1870 and supposedly lived near Alton, Illinois, according to my grandfather who was his nephew. My grandfather said his uncle James was killed when a railroad engine turned over on him. We have never found him in a census after 1880 in Randolph Co. nor found a grave or a death record. I did find the James Strahan near Alton that died of a spinal chord injury, but he had different parents. The James s/o Blair and Mary may be buried here depending on where and when he died. If anyone has any information on his fate please contact me.
A volunteer found some document on this family in a Sparta library that had James his grandfather located in Alton and distorted information on the family group and that is now part of the LDS files! Whoever compiled that information had confused James the grandfather 1777-1835 with this James b ca 1850.
- Since the original version of this report, we have found a James A. Strahan who died between 1875 and 1877 in Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas of an infection in his neck. He had married Harriet (Long) Turpin in Paris, Texas after 1870 and had two sons John David and Alexander James before his death. His widow remarried to an Andrew Markely and had two daughters by her first husband and one daughter by her third. The first son John David Strahan worked for the railroad and lived and died in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and the 2nd son Alexander James was a carpenter, married once or twice and had five children when his wife and he both died of cancer in the early 1920s when they were in their forties in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We have no positive proof that this James A. is our missing James Strahan, nor have we found that James A’s grave, but we are inclined to believe for reasons too complex to detail that he and Blair and Mary’s son are one and the same. 2/9/03
- b. 1826 South Carolina to a father who had been born (at sea ) Ireland and and a mother who had been born in South Carolina (1880 census). She was said by Dr. Edmiston to have been the sister of John Edmiston‘s second wife Jane McCullock b. 1814/1815 South Carolina, who had married John about 1839 in Randolph Co. [She was Dr. Edmiston‘s step-grandmother.]
Mary Ann married Blair Strahan June 29, 1849 in Randolph Co., Illinois, and they had seven children while living on the farm where the cemetery lies: James (see above); Margaret Isabelle “Belle,” who died in the prairie fire April 1890, mar. Daniel P. Wise s/o George and Mary M. (Sharrofatatim) Wise (see William G. Strachan above); Charles McKelvey mar. Margaret Ann McIntyre, d/o Daniel McIntyre and Elizabeth Edmiston, dau of John and Vashti (Jones) Edmiston, brother of William (see above) whose wife and sons are buried here; Hugh Henry Blair “Henry” mar. Hattie Marie [or Mae] Hollandbeck, d/o Egbert Otis Holenbeck and Parilla Lasibba Hume; Leander Joseph, mar. Mary Elizabeth Christie, d/o James and Elizabeth Christie of Oakdale or Lively Grove, Washington Co, Illinois.; Nancy Jane “Jennie” mar James A Christie, s/o James [s/o H.H.?] & Elizabeth Christie and brother of Mary Elizabeth; and Francis Edwin. Ed mar. Ida J. Beaver, d/o Ephraim Beaver and Rebecca Little. In the spring? of 1883 Mary is said to have died and is most likely buried in the cemetery. We have found no death record or burial record for her, nor any obituary. The farm was passed just after 1885 to the Lindsays, children of Blair’s oldest sister Jane, in whose hands it remained through the first decade of the last century.
- If anyone has any knowledge of the parents of Mary Ann B. McCullough Strahan, please contact me.
- Since the original version of this report, much has come to light to indicate the probability that Mary Ann B. McCullough was the daughter of William McCullough 1789-1849, s/o Samuel McCullough and Elizabeth McCrory, all of whom are buried in Gibson County, Indiana, and Isabella [McCulloch] 1803-1861, probably daughter of the Rev. Robert McCulloch and Margaret Simonton. Isabella is buried in the Hopewell Cemetery near Pinckneyville, Perry County, Illinois and her son Leander M. who died of disease in the Civil War is buried beside her. Also buried in the cemetery is Isabella and William’s daughter Agnes (McCullough) Deem Campbell Wadkins Paskill (four husbands) and Isabella’s first cousin Jane Brown Campbell with her father John Brown and two brothers (Jane’s mother was Elizabeth McCulloch Brown who migrated with her son Leander Brown and other children to Travis County, Texas.
Strongest evidence that William McCullough was Mary Ann B. McCullough‘s father is that he was, according to his death record in the 1850 Gibson County Mortality Schedule July 1849 born “at sea” whereas Isabella had been born in South Carolina. Jane McCulloch was probably Isabella’s sister and therefore a young aunt of Mary Ann and who in 1830 was probably in the household of William and Isabella in Chester County, South Carolina with the other minor children of the Rev. Robert McCulloch and Margaret Simonton, who are buried in the cemetery of the Old Catholic [sic] Presbyterian Church in Chester County, South Carolina, where he had been minister until his death in 1824. Four or five of his children, after the death of the other children, migrated to Gibson County, Indiana and daughter Elizabeth (McCulloch) Brown had migrated to Perry County, Illinois in 1835. The guardian of the minor children of the Rev. Robert McCulloch had been David Boyd, husband of the daughter Mary Ann, until her death before 1827 or 1828 when he remarried to Martha Narcissa Gaston. The minor children seem to have shifted by 1830 to the household of William and Isabella. Jane McCulloch Edmiston Little‘s oldest daughter Margaret (Edmiston) Kealy named a son David Boyd Kealy, apparently after her mother’s guardian uncle.
We still do not know where Mary Ann B. (McCullough) Strahan is buried, but now it is possible that she may be in an unmarked grave in the Hopewell Cemetery near Pinckneyville, Perry County, Illinois, where other members of her family lie.
The second husband of Jane (McCulloch) Edmiston was a Samuel Little, whom I believe was a son of the Samuel Little, who was a Ruling Elder of the Old Bethel Church. If anyone has any information as to what happened to him, please contact me.
If I am correct in this construction of Mary’s family, then the Sarah McCullough who married John Linn, Jr, brother of Jane Linn McGuire buried in the Strahan Cemetery, was Mary’s first cousin, and the John McDill who lived next door to the Strahans in Tilden was also probably first cousin as Samuel McDill married to Agnes McCullough, prob. sister of William McCullough married to Isabella, is buried with another sister Jane (McCullough) Harbison, wife of Adam Harbison, in the Bell Cemetery in Barton Township, Gibson County, Indiana. This Samuel McDill in the Bell Cemetery I believe to be the uncle of the John McDill who lived next door to the Strahans.
Also Mary’s death may have been in 1881, as there is a law suit brought by a female M. B. Campbell against an out of state Mary Ann Strahan in Greenwood County, Kansas, a suit to clear title of a piece of land in March of 1882. If Mary had had an ownership in that land, then such a suit might have followed upon her death. LCS 02/09/03
By the time of Mary’s death her husband Blair was 69 years old, and the farm was not doing well, due to dought, markets, erosion and poor agricultural practices that affected fertility. Many of their extended family were having their properties foreclosed upon. All of the children moved away from the area to Texas or southwest Kansas or Nebraska (two or three of the sons going to work for the railroad); only their youngest, Ed, returned and Blair lived with him in Coulterville until Blair’s death in 27 October 1897. Blair is buried in the Coulterville Cemetery (unmarked grave?) according to Branching Out, [Marissa Historical & Genealogical Society ,P.O. Box 47, Marissa, Illinois 62257] Nov 1995 v. 23, no. 1. Ed was a blacksmith and did some small gentleman farming. All of Ed and Idas four children grew up in the area as did most of their grandchildren. Alvin Roscoe, though, Roscoe Leander’s son, says he never knew about the cemetery all of the years he had lived in Coulterville or that the family had owned the farm! Alvin’s father Roscoe and uncle James had farmed in the area much of their lives.
- Margaret Cathcart (Strahan) Haire or Hayer, as mentioned earlier, was the only child of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan definitely known not to be buried in this family cemetery (Old Bethel Cemetery, Eden, Randolph Co.), and her descendants ended up not knowing about the cemetery or that these people were their ancestors and kin. In order to make perfectly clearly the relationships and link that Strahan family with this cemetery, here is Margaret Cathcarts family:
Margaret Cathcart Strahan, b. 9 October 1807 in [Shenango Twp., Crawford Co.,] Pennsylvania, the third surviving child of James and Ann Jane (Blair) Strahan, d. 8 Oct 1874 in Randolph Co., IL. She married John B. Haire 8 Aug. 1823 at the Strahan farm, Tilden Twp., Randolph Co., IL. He was b. 24 Oct. 1791 Ballencragy, Par. Drumall, Co. Antrim, Ireland and d. 9 Feb. 1851 in Randolph Co., Illinois. She was his second wife; his first, a Martha Patterson. A farmer, he was sixteen years older than she and, according to census records, suffered dementia at the end of his life. They are both buried at the Old Bethel Cemetery
“John was born in Ulster, Ireland, in County Antrim in the Parish of Drumall, on the lands of Ballancragy, which lay on the edge of Laugh Naugh. He came to American as a young man about 1813. Born, Oct. 24, 1791. He landed at Charlestown, South Carolina. He soon married Miss Martha Patterson, and they migrated to Randolph County, Illinois. After a short time his wife died and he married again, August 23, 1823 [sic], to Margaret Cathcart Strachan [Strahan], who was born Oct. 7, 1807, on the Strachan [Strahan] farm home three miles north of Sparta [Randolph Co., Il]. . . . .John Hayr settled on a large farm northeast of Sparta,where [their] . . . children were born” (S.C. Edmiston, The Genealogy of a Branch of the Edmiston Family, p. 47. I believe the place is known as Haire or Hayer Hill).
Together Margaret Cathcart and John had fifteen children, some who died young and one died as unnamed infant: Martha, Isaac Newton, Mary Ann (died young, mar. Robert Dinsmore); John Blair (mar. Melinda Temple); Margaret Jane (mar. James Edgar); Martha Patterson; Martha; Debra? (mar. Frederick Hart); David (mar. Robenia McCloskey); Nancy Ann McGuire (mar. Robert Wylie); Elizabeth; unnamed infant b. 20 Jan 1844; Sarah Ellen or Sarah Ann (mar. James Wallace Edgar); Charles J.; and Charlotte Isabella, and, yes, there are three Marthas.
Ironically, your redactor on her paternal grandmother’s side has a common Marshall ancestor with Melinda Temple, whom John Blair Haire married: a William Marshall d. 1794 in Westmoreland Co.,Pennsylvania, whose daughter Elizabeth married John Temple, from whom Melinda descends. In fact, according to the history of the Old Bethel Church, William Temple, father of Melinda Temple, came with a William Marshall from the Pittsburgh area to join the newly formed congregation in Eden, which the Strahans had helped to found. William Marshall was probably the son of William Marshall d. 1794 and the grandfather of James Smith Marshall, my grandmother’s grandfather in Nebraska. The William Marshall d. 1794 is probably the William Marshall who provided the bond for James Smith and his friends in the murder trial that was the basis of John Wayne’s 1942 movie Allegheny Uprising. I had no idea that my Pennsylvania to Nebraska lines had generations in the same church in Illinois with my James Strahan and Ann Blair.