Neal McKay

Born: Oct 03, 1816
Loc: Espyville, Crawford Co. PA
Died: Apr 05, 1888
Loc: Randolph, Crawford Co. PA
Father: Joseph McKay
Mother: Nancy Ann Gilliland
Married 1st: May 07, 1839
Spouse: Lydia C. Smith
1880 Census: Randolph Twp. Crawford Co. PA Children: David
Married: 2nd Mrs. Hannah Rice
"Neal McKAY, retired farmer, PO Black Ash, was born near Conneautville, Penn., October 3, 1816, and when eighteen months old his parents, Joseph and Mary (GILLILAND) McKAY, removed to Randolph Township, and located on a portion of the present farm of our subject. They came to Pennsylvania in 1817, and were blessed with seven children: Nancy, James, Eliza, Angeline, Hugh, Robert and Neal. The father died when Neal was ten years old and the latter suffered severely by his demise, being compelled to labor hard to maintain his mother and himself. He early engaged on the construction of the canal from Meadville to Franklin at $13 per month, and after two years of such toil his salary was advanced to $18 per month, which amount was given to his mother, and on that and what she made by weaving, the family was sustained. In 1838 our subject's mother was married to Jacob TRACE, and soon after died. Neal had but little school advantages, and they were experienced with arduous trips three miles through the woods, where wild animals abounded, and in the log-cabin with its puncheon floors, slab seats and writing desks. At the age of twenty-one there was a debt of $700 hanging over the old homestead which was contracted after his father's death, and our subject assumed the responsibility of eradicating the same with the understanding that the property should be his. This he paid out principally by labor at 50 cents per day. He was married, May 7, 1839, to Lydia SMITH, daughter of Philip and Hettie SMITH, who came to Pennsylvania in 1839, one year subsequent to her arrival with her brother, Benojah SMITH. At the time of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. McKAY possessed property valued at about $100, and by their united efforts they have secured 175 acres of finely improved land, and possess an estate valued at over $10,000, of which they can truly claim to be the artificers. They have no children, save one by adoption - David T. - whom they have reared and educated, together with three other children of their relatives. Mr. and Mrs. McKAY joined the Methodist Episcopal Church over thirty years ago, under the exhortation of Rev. E. HULL, at East Randolph, and have been consistent members since, he having been Steward, Class-leader and Trustee. He votes the Democratic ticket. The family are of Irish descent, the original Neal and Nancy (MONTGOMERY) McKAY having come to America at an early date, settling in Crawford County, Penn. One, Joseph McKAY, was in the war of 1812, and stationed at Erie at the time of Perry's great naval victory. His father was a Revolutionary soldier."
Transcribed from pages 936 and 937, in the Biographical Sketch section for Randolph Township: "History of Crawford County, PA, 1885."
Source: Crawford Co. PA Rootsweb