Background on William McGehee as we understand it as of 10/8/19
William McGehee was born March 31 1756 to James McGehee Jr and Ann Chiles McGehee. He was born in New Kent County Virginia. William had a twin brother named James McGehee. William met and married Direna (sometimes called Rina) Shelton about 1776. She is the daughter of Ralph Shelton. Click here for SHELTON information.
William McGehee was a revolutionary war soldier.
He first served as a private, volunteering as a minute man in 1777 for six months duty. He was a resident of Pittsylvania County Virginia at this time. He then moved to Henry County Virginia and volunteered as a minute man in 1780. During this second tour of duty, he served under his brother-in-law Eliphaz Shelton. Henry County was formed out of Pittsylvania County Virginia in 1776.
January 4, 1833, he served with the Virginia Troops as follows:
In 1777, 6 months in Captain William Dicks' Company, Colonel Peter Perkins'
Regiment and was in the
Battle with the Shawnee Indians at Cumberland Gap on Yellow Creek: in 1780,
he served 3 months under Captain Lyfus Shelton.
(From: veteran's statement when he applied for pension)
Pension certificate No 25778 was issued to William Mcgehe, January
3, 1834, rate $30 per annum, act of June 7, 1832, Alabama Agency.
In 1778, William moved to Sullivan County Tennessee. He lived there for 23 years according to his own account. In 1787 Hawkins County Tennessee was formed from what had been Sullivan Count, Tennessee. We find William McGehee listed "among others had located in the county prior to 1783" It is possible that he never actually moved, but the area that he was living in became Hawkins County.
To see info about William in Hawkins county click here -- Hawkins County Information:
This page and the links below will allow you to see some of the older information on the Lincoln County, Tennessee McGehee families. We do know that our James and Jane family are related closely to some of these McGehee families and that our James and Jane family did live in Lincoln County, Tennessee, until the late 1820s.
The spelling of McGehee in Lincoln County may be McGahee, McGehay, McGhee, and McGee, just to name a few. That does not mean that every McGee or McGhee is a McGehee, and your research will have to dig that out. This information is NOT comprehensive
Please understand the abbreviation "LCT" when found on this website to be a reference to "Lincoln County, Tennessee."
Lastly, I want to thank the following people for the LCT information contained within. Many people contributed in putting all this together.
Special thanks to :
Ann Gahan, Addie Harris, Ann Beason, Pat Shepherd, Jeanette Crane, Marilyn Baehler, Donna Kent, Linda May, Bobbie Spiegel, Ann Hinton, Janice Arnall, Sharon Wilson, Kevin McGehee, Charma Green, Harrell Doughty, Jim Sherman, Gayle Powell, Ken Thomas, Jim Watson, Jamie Cook, and a lady named Kathy whose last name I don't know; along with many others.
Woody L. McGehee
To date, there is no known documented record of the children of William and Direna. We have three basic speculative lists that I will post below.
List 1: Daniel McGehee, William McGehee Jr, Henry McGehee, Anna McGehee, Matthew McGehee, Samuel Hezekiah McGehee (bn Oct 10, 1790), and Nancy McGehee(bn 1797).
List 2 : Nancy McGehee, William McGehee, HenryMcGehee, Elijah McGehee, DanielMcGehee , and John McGehee.
List 3: Daniel McGehee, William McGehee, Henry McGehee, Nancy McGehee Reed; Samuel McGehee; Anna McGehee Poteet; James McGehee; John McGehee; Elijah McGehee and Matthew McGehee.
** there should also be a "Frances McGehee" who is suppose to have married a Henry Beason.
From these lists the following is also speculated:
(Nancy McGehee married Thomas Hall or Thomas Reed (or both or he is the same person)
Thomas and Nancy McGehee Reed had a daughter Lucy Reed and a son Elijah Reed.
Lucy Reed married Nevils H. Bridges (This family was living next door to Eli McGehee who will be mentioned later in 1850 Jackson County Alabama)
Elijah McGehee married Sarah Pennington;
Samuel married Elizabeth Mansfield;
William Jr married Mary Wooten;
Henry married Sarah?;
John married Mary Franklin; Anna McGehee married Larkin Poteet; Daniel married Hester ?;
Earlier I stated that William McGehee went to Sullivan county in 1778 and by his own statement on pension records state that he lived there for 23 years. This would mean he left Sullivan/Hawkins County around 1801.
Goodspeed's history of Lincoln county Tennessee indicates that William McGehee was listed as a settler in said county in 1813. I don't believe this necessarily means he CAME THERE in 1813 but that he was listed in 1813. If Ann Beasly is right and we continue to follow with the words of William himself, he moved to Lincoln County Tennessee in or around 1801. I believe William states somewhere that he lived in Lincoln County Tennessee for 18 years. If he left in 1820 then that would put him there in 1802. So we have a pretty good timeline of him arriving in Sullivan/Hawkins area 1778, 23 years later he moved to Lincoln County, 18 years later in 1820-1 he moved to Jackson County Alabama.
William McGehee in Jackson County Alabama
Just after 1820, William McGehee moved to Jackson County Alabama. We believe he is shown selling his farm just before 1820 and then moves on to Jackson County Alabama. Also found in Jackson County is Eli McGehee and his son who would later move to Lawrence county Missouri. Lawrence county Missouri is also where the aforementioned Elijah McGehee moved to. We do have documented proof that Eli was the nephew of Elijah.
We find William McGehee as an older man living in Jackson County Alabama on the 1830 census. He is listed as being between 70-80 years old. He is living next door to Daniel McGehee who is listed as being between 20-30. Daniel later moved on to Oregon County Missouri. Daniel and Elijah are both often listed as his children. I have often wondered if they are not too young to be his kids and might be his grandchildren instead. Also in Jackson County Alabama is Eli McGehee who married Rosella Underwood. This is where the documented proof that Eli was the nephew of Elijah comes from. (One of Elijah's daughters stated that Eli was "her own cousin").
William McGehee's own words were
"I lived in Pittsylvania County and State of Virginia when bound into the service.
I moved from the State of Virginia to Sullivan County, NC, now E. Tennessee where he resided about twenty three years. From thence to Lincoln County, TN where I resided about nineteen years, thence to Jackson County, AL, where he now resides."
(dont ask why "he" keeps popping up in that statement... I dont know)
Toward the end of his life William drew a pension from the government. The application of his pension is dated Jan 3, 1833. William McGehee passed from this life in May of 1836. His wife Direna continued to receive his pension. I have a date of Oct 26, 1841, which may indicate that the pension was dropped when William died and she had it reinstated later. Direna shows on the 1840 Jackson County Alabama census as being between 90-100. Derina and some of her children or grandchildren were active in the Baptist Church of Paint Rock, Jackson County, Alabama. I do not know her death date. One source states that William and Direna are probably buried in Old Prince Cemetery, Princeton, AL.
The records show that on October 11, 1841, the clerk of the Jackson County
Court of Alabama certified that satisfactory evidence had been presented to
the Court that William McGehe (certificate No. 25778) Alabama Agency, died
in Jackson County in May 1836 leaving a widow, Divena. Arrears of pension
paid to the widow pursuant to a certificate issued by the Treasury
Department Third Auditor's Office on October 26, 1841.
16S E 539107 N 3872130
N 34° 59.461 W 086° 34.289
One of the great mysteries and dead ends of our family research has been our lack of knowledge about the children of William and Direna. There are people whom we believe are descended from William and Direna based upon location and names etc. For instance, records indicate that there was an Eli who had a sister named Dorina which is likely a descendant of Direna Shelton. Several lines kept tha t given name which was unique. The most well-known group descends from a "William Martin McGehee" and in this family, there in Lincoln County, Tennessee there is also a Direna. We do not know exactly how William Martin McGehee descends from William and Direna but we believe there is enough circumstantial evidence to believe there is a link.
There is a Samuel McGehee in the area whose family also bears many of the same names as Direna Shelton McGehees family which are very odd and unusual nameds. This also has made us all wonder if he wasnt descended from her line as well. There are TWO men named Samuel McGehee and I believe they are often confused. I believe on ly one is directly connected to William and Direna.
It is not possible to measure age based upon parent's age when dealing with men because men can father children up into the ir 80s. However, women, on the other hand, have a limitation in most cases. There is speculation about the age of Direna Shelton McGehee, but the 1840 census puts her at about 80-90 which means she was born 1750-1760. If she was born in 1755, and married William about 1776 which is what we have been told, then she would have been about 20 when she was married. William was supposedly born in 1756 and "normally" men married women who were thier own age or slightly younger. ( I realize this didnt ALWAYS happen but it was by far the most common).
If she was born in 1755 then by the time Elijah McGehee was born in 1795 she would have been 40 years old. The Daniel McGehee attributed to her was born in 1789 and she would have been 42. This is obviously not impossible, however, the more likely scenario (in my opinion) is that Daniel and Elijah were her grandchildren. If she was married in 1775 then she would have been able to have children who would be bearing children of thier own right at that time, 1795 and on.
As you look at the information from Lincoln County, Tennessee listed in the links below, you will find that there are a number of people in Lincoln County, Tennessee who could have made up the children of Wiliam and Direna. There was Matthew, Samuel, John.
There is a Francis McGehee who is attributed to William and Direna - however it is speculated that she married Henry Beason. On ancestry.com there is a Francis McKie Beason who fits her profile. Her father is speculated as being "Henry McKie". She was born entirely too late to be William and Direna's child. Could Henry "McKie" be Henry McGehee? He could have been a son of William and DIrena. Names of the children of this Frances McKie Beason follow very similiar lines to Elijah McGehee, and she ended up in the same area of Missouri that Elijah, Eli and James's family.
If you look at the picture of a census on the left, and you enlarge it, you will find that living all around William McGehee are the Poteet, Hall and Beason Families.
Locating and documenting where these possible children of Wiliam and Direna went is one of the main keys to unlocking many of the doors we are struggling with.
The link below will take you to the page containing information about other McGehee families that DNA and other sources confirm are somehow related to the James and Jane McGehee family. As of this date (4/1/20) specifically how we are related is unknown but we are still searching