About this blog (& me, Susan Tichy)

Welcome to Magruder’s Landing, where all are welcome to come ashore.

I am an 11th generation descendant of Alexander Magruder / McGruder / McGruther, a Scotsman transported to Maryland in the 1650s as a prisoner of war and indentured servant. I have been researching Alexander’s life, times, and legacy for more than 20 years and maintain this site in order to share what I know and find others with like interests.

You can see the range of my curiosities by running your cursor over the links that appear under the header. Some of those pages have not yet been written, but they will be (really: some day I will retire). The site is also searchable–just click on the magnifying glass at the top of any page. (If only historical searches were that easy!)

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Yet historical truths are rarely rooted in either shortcuts or comfort.

–Elizabeth Shown Mills

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In my professional life, I am a writer and university professor. This experience makes me value “hard” sources, documentation, and corroboration; but there are many kinds of truth, and I also respect oral history, family stories, and legends. (There are plenty of legends about Alexander himself, just for starters.) Often, we can learn from asking why and how different kinds of truth disagree, and how different pieces of information do or don’t add up. When we can’t corroborate, how can we weigh what we know and put together the pieces to construct a glimpse of the past? Official records are not always accurate–sometimes they are intentionally deceiving, sometimes just sloppy or incomplete. At the same time, few among us have not had the experience of discovering that some treasured story handed down from grandmothers and grandfathers is balderdash. And then what? Is there something that story was meant to cover up? These are the kinds of questions I asked in private for 20 years. Now I ask them here, making my discoveries (and my mistakes) in public.

So don’t be offended if what I write here contradicts what you have been told. Share your stories and we’ll see where the contradictions lead us—perhaps to an insight none of us could have reached on our own.

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In the old books, the blood lines of good and evil are the same.

–Scott-Martin Kosofsky

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Alexander began his American sojourn in indentured servitude.

Once out of bondage, he became a wealthy man, owning as much as 2400 acres of farm and woodland, as well as the tobacco landing (shipping point) for which this blog is named. One of my first motivations for researching his life was the realization that all that land had previously belonged to the Patuxent and Piscataway people. Alexander was an original displacer of Native Americans in Maryland, and that is part of our Magruder heritage.

Not long after that realization, I read the inventory of Alexander’s estate and learned that he owned a slave–one man negro named Sambo–which also changed my ideas about what it means to be an American Magruder. Before that, though I knew that some of my ancestors owned slaves I had not realized just how deep and how far back our involvement with slavery went. My direct Magruder ancestors owned slaves at least until 1842; most others owned slaves until Emancipation. Either way, Magruders were deeply involved from the very beginning of chattel slavery to its bitter end.

As a descendant of this heritage I acknowledge the utter evil of slavery, and the personal and cultural harm it did, in different ways, to all of us. It is imperative that we recognize not only the cruelty of slavery and the greed that underlay it, but its role in our national history–the survival of our nation in its earliest years, the rapid expansion of the American economy, and the development of international capitalism. Slavery is not a quaint relic of the past, but a major underpinning of our history that continues to shape our society today.

We Magruder descendants are lucky: much is known about our ancestry and many of us know our personal genealogies right back to Alexander. This provides us with a strong sense of history and community. I also think of myself as related to the descendants of people my ancestors enslaved—possibly by blood, and certainly by our families’ shared and painful history. I hope this site will help bring us together to enlarge our knowledge of who we are.

For all with Magruder connections, I hope you’ll find something old, something new, and something unexpected at Magruder’s Landing.

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Comments and discussion always welcome. Flaming, abusive, or irrelevant comments won’t be published. If you send an email and  want your communication to remain private, please make that clear. If you send an email and want me to post about it, please make that clear as well.

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Please note that this is not a genealogy site, nor am I a genealogist. I’m happy to make suggestions as to how you might research your line, but there is no space here for an ongoing genealogical forum.

Links in the sidebar will take you to Magruder pages on a number of genealogy sites. Though you can’t assume all family lines posted there are accurate–the person who posted them may not know any more than you do–you can use them as a place to begin. Check to see if sources are cited, and check the quality of the sources. If citation is sloppy or absent, or if the sources look like they could be just another form of hearsay, go straight to primary sources, such as census, marriage and death records, military records, manumission records, Freedman’s Bureau, and newspaper archives.

I particularly recommend that you join the Magruder/McGruder Family Genealogy Group on Facebook, where you can find some friends and get some help and advice.

If you are an African American Magruder, or descended from a family with a different name who was or may have been enslaved by white Magruders, please write to me. I have more information than I have time to summarize and post, nearly all of it from Maryland (especially Prince George’s County) and Washington, DC. Keep in mind that all Magruders (and many, though not all, McGruders) in all parts of the country are descended from Magruders in Maryland, so we might be able to trace your family connections back from other states to a point where it intersects with information I have or can find. I look forward to helping in any way I can–and the more detail you provide the better the odds. Full names, dates, names of farms–whatever you have. I also hope to learn from you, from your research and your family stories and traditions. If you wish, you can contact me privately by using the Contact tab at the top of each page on this site.

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79 comments on “About this blog (& me, Susan Tichy)

  1. Jill Magruder Gatwood says:

    This is fantastic, Susan! Thanks for doing this and keeping the Magruder inquiries about our history alive. One suggestion would be to add “McGruder” to the name, as many of our ancestors and their descendants spell their name that way. (I write this somewhat grudgingly, as my name was often so “misspelled” and my information misfiled in the Mc folder…). I now accept my McGruder brethren and sistren with open arms ::kumbaya::

    • susantichy says:

      Good idea, Jill. I don’t want to change the name of the site (since it’s named for a real place) but I’ll get the McGruder spelling onto the front page so a search for “McGruder” will be more likely to turn it up.

  2. I’d like to introduce myself to the American clan, as it were. I am the great-grandson of David Lynn Magruder (1861-1937–owned large apple orchard in Kearneysville, WV) making me the g-g-g-g-grandson of Col. Zadok Magruder to help place me in your lineages. I am especially interested in knowing the living descendants of his siblings, Arnold Borders, Evard Lynn and Harry Files Magruder. Frankly, I’d enjoy corresponding with any living close relations. Please introduce yourself to me!

    Erron Zadok Lamar Callahan

    • susantichy says:

      Hello Erron! If you are on Facebook, the forum you want is Magruder/McGruder Family Genealogy. If you are a subscriber to Ancestry.com, there’s also a forum there. Both are linked on the right side of this blog. You may find some close relatives there. Good luck with the search!

      • sirzadok says:

        Dear Ms. Tichy,

        Wow! Genealogists are fast-paced these days as I’m discovering, having picked up the research again after laying it down in 1999, frustrated by the limitations of the internet then and living so far from where the records were kept. My grandmother was the the one who seeded a love of family history into me since I could talk and spouted their names as if they were still living. As a result of one genealogy forum recently, I’ve found a cousin AND the “Magruder Maven” so far! Your site is just that much more lagniappe for me to explore! Now, you have me wondering how I fit into your line and vice-versa!!! Thank you for responding SO quickly and especially, for the added tips, which I can ALWAYS use, as the web changes incessantly.

        BE well,
        ZL

  3. I am Martha Magruder. The daughter of David Norman Magruder aka-Norman David Magruder. Grandaughter to David Magruder and it goes from there just like Erron. My dad’s sister “Jane” was my father’s sister. I now live in Minneapolis Minnesota. I have been here since I was 3 years of age. Born in Indiana after my father transferred jobs from Pennsylvainia and West Virginia. My father Norman D. Magruder was 76 when he passed away in 1996. Other than Erron, an aunt Virginia Magruder and my step mother from my granfather’s 2nd marriage, that is all of the people I have ever met in the Magruder clan. It’s nice to have a place to connect with others. Thank you for that opportunity!

  4. Andrea says:

    I am trying to do research on black McGruder’s from Arkansas. If anyone has any tips, pass it long. I joined the facebook group.

  5. Julia in Fife Scotland says:

    Is there a DNA project linking McGruder DNA to Campbell DNA (perhaps solving the Margaret Campbell question once and for all)?

    • susantichy says:

      None I know of, Julia. Obviously, it would have to be a test including female descent. The small DNA project comparing Magruders/McGruders with well-established MacGregor markers was limited to men. Are you a McGruder?

      • Julia in Fife Scotland says:

        Yes. from Alexander McGruder in America. I have homes in Scotland and live there. I have access to ongoing research opportunities there. Perhaps I will stumble on some new information.

      • Holly Sellers says:

        Please tell me…what were the results of the DNA project comparing Magruders with MacGregors? I keep seeing references to the DNA project, but have never been able to find out the conclusive results. Thanks so much! Holly Sellers ( I am descended from Alexander through his son Samuel)

      • susantichy says:

        Hi Holly. As far as I know, the older results you found (2009?) are all we have so far. None of the Magruder/McGruther men tested were matches for well-defined MacGregor DNA markers; but it was only about four men. You should contact Jill Magruder Gatwood through the Magruder/McGruder Family Genealogy on Facebook. If you’re not on FB, send me a message through the Contact link, and include your email, and I’ll send you Jill’s email.

      • Holly Sellers says:

        Oh! I just found the Magruder facebook group and joined it last night! Thanks, Susan! Your Magruder’s Landing site is FABULOUS! What a great thing for you to do to help all us Magruders out there who are fascinated with our heritage. My boys are 18 and 20 and they are interested in everything I can pass down to them. They are also grateful for your site and the FB page. My mom is 81 and has always passed down everything she can get her hands on to the family. She is in Clan Gregor Society and told me she had actually met you one time at a meeting. Her name is Grace Key. We live in Birmingham, Alabama and have lived in Montgomery for years. Anyway, thank you for all you do to keep us all straight and to share all the wonderful photos. I am just blown away with the great photos you just posted by Hugh Rose. Holly Sellers

      • susantichy says:

        Holly–The web site is my pleasure, in every sense of the phrase, and I’m always glad it’s meaningful for others. I’m especially glad to hear that your boys are interested in their family history! They must be wiser than most their age.

      • Holly Sellers says:

        Thanks, Susan! I think my boys sort of inherited their interest in their family heritage because they, just like me, grew up with it as an important family priority. Our large family would get together at the Highland games, the children in their kilts, and we would have SUCH FUN! Their Great-Aunts and Great-Uncles, grandmother, and cousins would participate with gusto. We would all stay together for 3 days and savor all things Scottish. We would also have many other family events throughout the year with much reference to our heritage. That is why I am so focused on finding out the truth about our relationship with the McGregors because, of course, family tradition stated that Gillespie MacGregor the Cruiter born in 1375 had William MacCruiter born in 1413 who had Gillespie McGruder B 1453 and so forth on to Alexander (the Immigrant). Where did it all go wrong!!!?? Ha Ha. No. Seriously. Where is the line of Magruders proven back to? I have ordered the book and CD’s from Sue Emerson and I am hoping there will be some clarification there. Or you may have it on this site and I haven’t found it yet. Thanks, Holly Sellers

      • susantichy says:

        Yeah, I was raised the same way, and that gave me a lifetime interest. On my site, you can look under “Alexander” at “Aexander’s Family Tree,” and “Was Alexander Who We Think He Was?” When you get Don McGruther’s book (from Sue Emerson) you’ll find all his gleanings of early instances of the McGruder/MacGrouther name. Don spent years combing records and archives in Scotland. He found numerous individuals, but no family trees can be constructed farther back than the guy I call on my page “James II.” The stuff about Gillespie the Cruiter sounds convincing until you try to track it down. First, linguists say the name isn’t derived from Cruiter, but more likely from Grudair (brewer). Second, the hypothesis linking Gillespie to the McGruders originates with Henry Lathan Magruder, an American who, around the turn of the 20th c, did a lot of research into Alexander’s origins. (Up till then, American Magruders believed we got our name when MacGregors had to change their names at the time of Proscription.) In the correspondence preserved at the ACGS archives, Henry offers no evidence for his belief in this Gillespie. When pressed by his correspondents, he says nothing stronger than “it is my belief.” He offers no source, and never says why he believes this. When it starts getting repeated (in early ACGS yearbooks, for example), the simple “it is my belief” is magically transformed into “it is believed” (which sounds more authoritative) or even “it is traditional” (which is only true if by “traditional” you mean “we’ve been saying this for ten years”). Also much to the point: Henry argues passionately in his letters for the founding of an American McGruder/Magruder organization. He says there is no firm basis for the MacGregor link beyond “remote origin from a common stock.” He also points out that the name Magruder had a 250 year history in this country, while the name MacGregor had none. So, you always have to look for the source. One of my dear friends is a professional folklorist, and she has taught me this: if people say a belief or custom has been handed down, ask “handed down by whom?” and “where?” and “when?” and “why?” In the ACGS materials, this is very important. Often the writers of historical articles in the yearbooks cite each other as authorities! So you find yourself chasing your tail. It’s been maybe 15 years since I accepted that there is no evidence we are MacGregors–and it wasn’t easy to accept. I grieved, really. But then I reminded myself that when I started researching it was Alexander I was interested in. Who was he? What were his circumstances? The answers to those questions don’t lead to Clan Gregor, but the history is fascinating nonetheless. We’ve lost all the MacGregor romance, I’m afraid; but we’re still Scottish, and our roots still lie in the Highlands.

      • Judith says:

        Julia my sister and I believe we descend from the Magruders. She is in Scotland right now researching our line (Margaret Campbell/Alexander Magruder through their great granddaughter Isabell Magruder who married John Henry.
        Does any one else follow this line?

      • susantichy says:

        Hi Judith. The basic genealogical research on the Scottish Magruders has been done, so unless Julia just loves the process she doesn’t need to duplicate that work. There are two main sources, the most complete is Don McGruther’s book Wha’s Like Us? MacGrouthers in Scotland before 1855. You can get a copy directly from him. Send me an email via the Contact button on my web site and I’ll put you in touch with him. I can also send you a PDF of the older source. And: the places to find Magruders who share your line are the Ancestry.com Magruder group or the Facebook Group. You’ll find links on my home page.

      • Julia Low says:

        The best thing to do when is Scotland researching the McGruders (please tell your sister so she does this while over in Scotland).

        1. Go to Drummond Castle (the father was chamberlain here)
        2. Drive out the BACK entrance from Drummond Castle and drive down the tiny one lane road towards Culloch. You will see the farm where Alexander grew up on the right side (Craigneach). You can also see the standing stone from the road.
        3. Go to Castle Campbell above Dollar. (You can drive almost up to the castle, don’t use the lower parking lot unless you like uphill walking).
        4. Go to the National Archives on Princes Street (Edinburgh) at the Leith end of Princes Street. You need to call and make an appointment. They give you a code to enter the research rooms.
        5. Keep in mind that the Scots get thousands of americans coming through every year looking for ancestors. Do your research first. Don’t walk in and announce “my ancestors are from Scotland can you help me find them”. They will be nice but thinking “here’s another one…”. The research rooms at the National Archives take time and most the the research has been done. Your sister is better off with limited time visiting the sites.
        6. With extra time she could drive to Cupar Angus and visit the church yard where Nicholas Campbell is buried.

        Tip from McGruder descendant that lives in Scotland, 40 minutes from Craigneach and Drummond Castle.

      • susantichy says:

        Thanks for chipping in! If she has a bit more time, I also recommend driving up Glen Artney. It’s beautiful and has long MacGrouther associations. Most of the time the road is high above the river, but if she keeps going to the church she can park right by the river.

      • Julia Low says:

        I agree Susan. If you stay on that one lane road from Drummond Castle to Culloch, that will take you right to Glen Artney. Go straight at the intersection across the B827, don’t turn right to Comrie on the B827. The end of the road dumps into Glen Artney. Aso, if you sign up for Scotland’s People http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/, they have most of the information available at the National Archives (unless you want to look at the orginal documents).

      • Judith A Davis says:

        The ladies at Magruder’s Landing sent me this site to get certified documents at, not to pricey, if you know what you’re looking for.

        http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554 &409

    • Hi Julia
      As we both live in Scotland it would be nice to meet up. If you would contact me on mcgruther @ btopenworld.com I would be delighted to see you.
      On a more general basis, if any Magruders are coming to Scotland to trace Alexander’s origins give me a call. I consider myself the unpaid fount of Magruder history in Scotland, and all other things being equal (like competing commitments) would be pleased to show visitors around.
      Regards
      Don McGruther

  6. Charlene Whitaker Cherry says:

    Boy I wish I had found this site early on. Such great information! I am related to the Magruders through Elizabeth Magruder who married Robert Whitaker in 1733. I wish there were a catagory that would allow those of us that are related to leave our names so that we could see who else out is out there now. Thankyou for this site.

    Charlene Whitaker Cherry

    • Judith JACaltonDavis says:

      I believe I have you as a match on Ancestry.com but hadn’t figured out our match yet, this may be it!

      • susantichy says:

        The Isabelle Magruder who married John Henry was the daughter of James Magruder, son of Alexander the Immigrant. I am descended from James’ brother Samuel. Our lines might intersect again later, though, because they all used to marry their cousins and other relatives.

    • Judith JACaltonDavis says:

      Correction – We share a match to Abigail Osborne and Zachariah Wells – my 4th great grandparents (and I guess our Magruder’s as well!) We’re related on both sides of my family!
      JACaltonDavis

  7. Joe Robling says:

    Hi Susan, I am 12th generation from Alexander Magruder, through the William Selby/Sarah Magruder marriage and the Selby family that later migrated to Indiana in the early 1800’s, and then married with the Robling family. I appreciate all the work you have done in creating this web site. I will enjoy exploring it. My brothers and I were were very pleased to find that we were related to such distinguished Maryland founding families and Patriots as the Magruders, Selbys, Braithwaites and Bealls.

  8. wayne marple says:

    Thanks for the info..i have been trying to get info on john magruder as to land that was granted to him aro und 1748 as i have found the original signed deed granted to him by lord baltimore but still unclear where the property is if you have any info in regards to the actual location i would greatly appreciate it

    • wayne marple says:

      Correction…after further investigation the grant is dated 1747 to john magruder for a property named the ridge that is adjacent to properties named robert and sarah bearing the signatures of john magruder and samuel ogle

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Wayne. I have a map that may help, but seem to have misplaced it. I’ll post something here when I find it. Which John Magruder is this? Who are his parents/grandparents?

      • wayne marple says:

        From my research its the son of samuel grandson of alexander father of zadock thx for the info

  9. Malcolm Nealand Mckinnon says:

    Dear Susan,

    I just discovered this website and look forward to devouring the content. I am a descendent of Alexander Magruder’s son Samuel and his descendants into the state of Georgia. I joined the Society of Colonial Wars in NJ through that ancestry.

    My daughter, Elizabeth, is now in the University of Edinburgh Medical School studying Veterinary Medicine and we are spending more and more time in Scotland. I take great relish in bringing up our Perthshire roots and look forward to reading and learning more from your content here.

    Thanks for this and I will check back in with questions or comments as I read on. (I just discovered this website today)

    Kindest Regards,

    Malcolm Mckinnon
    Princeton, NJ

  10. Ronda J. Rhoden says:

    I am learning new information everyday about my family. I, too, just found this site although I have had to link for who knows how long. I am now starting to do what I should have done from the beginning, look only for validated sources. However, I started looking into genealogy as a hobby in the mid-late 1990s and then got distracted with teaching – from which I am now retired.

    I, too am related to Alexander Magruder. If I counted right, he is my 12th great-grandfather. My line is Alexander, Samuel, Zachariah, Nathaniel Beall and finally Elizabeth Magruder (1781-1854 who married Littleton “Little” Bryan (1780-1836). Three generations later, Elizabeth Virginia Bryan (1863-1923) married my gGrandfather George Coulby Thistlewood. Their daughter, Gertrude Irene (1894-1949) married my grandfather, Vasco C. Rhoden, Sr. (1889-1977).

    My father’s family was from Georgia and he married a Texas girl and they had four of us kids in Denver, CO. As Malcolm said, I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Ronda J. Rhoden

  11. Judith JACaltonDavis says:

    Thank you Julia and Susan! I emailed your info to my sister – can’t wait to see the pictures!

  12. Tonya Kelley Johanson says:

    Sarah Magruder is my 7th great grandmother (on my moms paternal side) She was born in 1691 in King Georges county Maryland. Married William Selby. I have been unabel to get back any further than that. Look forward to hearing from you!
    Tonya Kelley Johanson
    Alto, Louisiana

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Tonya. For once, it’s an easy question. Sarah Magruder b 1691, who married William Selby, was the daughter of Samuel & Sarah Magruder. Sarah’s maiden name is much debated. For a long time it was believed she was a daughter of Ninian Beall, but that has been disproved by Beall genealogists. Samuel was the son of Alexander Magruder the Immigrant. You can pick up his family tree under the “Alexander” tab on this site.

      Samuel Magruder died in 1711. He left nothing to his daughters but 10 pounds each “for to buy her a gown and a petticoat.” His wife Sarah died in 1734, 14 years after your Sarah died. The elder Sarah left to William Selby “Six silver spoons and one Negro girl” [name unknown, though some slaves are named in the will]. You should be able to find a transcription of Sarah’s will online.

    • Joe Robling says:

      HI Tonya. We share 7th great grandparents, William and Sarah Selby, and are 8th cousins. I have quite a bit of information on the Selby family, and will be glad to share with you.
      Joe Robling
      Atlanta, GA
      joerobling@bellsouth.net

  13. L Wargo says:

    It’s nice to hear some information on Alexander magruder. I am eleventh generation the great great great great granddaughter of Emma Louise and James Phillips.

    • wayne marple says:

      Hi all..I joined this blog some time ago to do some research on a deed that I found buried with some junk in a home I had purchased. I believe I mentioned it before here trying to get info on it. It has been a interesting conversation piece on my wall and now I have the info on it I believe that it would be more appreciated elsewhere and was wondering what you would recommend..I’ll try to attach a pic of it..the deed is to land attached to the ridge purchased by John Magruder. On Apr 6, 2015 7:56 PM, “Magruder’s Landing” wrote:

      > L Wargo commented: “It’s nice to hear some information on Alexander > magruder. I am eleventh generation the great great great great > granddaughter of Emma Louise and James Phillips.” >

      • susantichy says:

        Hi Wayne. I’m not sure where that document would best be housed. You might start by making sure the Maryland state archives have this deed on record–they probably do, but old records can be spotty. You can search Land Records on line, by name, so you could search for John Magruder and/or the name of whoever deeded the land to him. Or just call the Hall of Records and ask for help. Beyond that, there’s the American Clan Gregor Society Library in Special Collections at the University of Baltimore. Though we are not MacGregors, the ACGS has not recognized that fact, and they have a lot of Magruder information, correspondence, and so forth, in the collection. I’m not sure how much the collection actually gets used, however. Another idea is to get a good quality scan of the document and attach it to the correct John Magruder on Ancestry.com, where many would be be able to access it.

  14. Kelly Kosmas says:

    Thank you for this. Alexander was my 9th Great Grandfather. While my name was never Magruder I am from them. I am interested in him because he was the one to come here. To bring his bloodline to the new world. I’ve always wondered why? With so many Titled ancestors and Kings and Queens what happened? Thank you for doing this blog so that many of us can benefit. Thank you cousin!!

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Kelly I’m glad you’ve discovered the site. I think you’ll find answers to your questions if you read the pages under the “Alexander” tab. Alexander Magruder was transported as a prisoner of war, sold as an indentured servant, obtained his freedom, and acquired land and a wife in Maryland. He was not descended from titled people, nor from kings and queens. His family included several men (including his father and older brother) who were literate and privileged servants to the Drummond family, including the Earl of Perth, but he himself was nota Drummond ( nor was he a MacGregor).

  15. I’m glad i finally made it to this site. The immigrant Alexander Macgruder is my 10th great grandfather. I’ve read about their life in Scotland and the feuds. Funny with the feud with Campbells that Margaret Campbell married a Macgruder. Anyway as to the slavery. I wouldn’t feel bad about it as long as you have never owned a slave or condone it. i have alot of ancestor that were slave owners. But on the other hand i’m descended from Abraham Lincoln lol. 6 cousin once removed. I think life was rough in Scotland and they were used to things like slavery. I just hope they at least treated them nice. i descend from Macgruders and Beall mainly. i’m just want to know more about the clan. I descend from several different clans and know least about the McGregors. So i will be reading all you have here. thanks

    • susantichy says:

      Thanks for your comment, Donna. I hope by now you’ve read the Magruder history on this site, including all the reasons it is impossible that our Magruder ancestors were MacGregors. I know that is widely believed–I was raised with the same belief–but we now have too much counter evidence to go on believing it. Alexander’s father was Chamberlain to Lord Madderty, and his elder brother was Chamberlain to the Earl of Perth. Not exactly outlaws! As to slavery: there was nothing in Perthshire, Scotland, that in any way resembled chattel slavery. In America, Magruders bought and sold human beings, separated families, and forced women into concubinage, for two hundred years. That is an important part of our heritage and ignoring it will not change that fact. Our entire society suffers the consequences of slavery, and of Jim Crow, to this day. Facing the truth about the past is the only way we can hope to heal the present. Your descent from both slave owners and from Abraham Lincoln illustrates the complexity of human relations throughout our history, and the fact that we each have a choice of how to live and how to treat others. Our ancestors also had that choice, and many of them chose to build their wealth on the bodies of enslaved workers. I choose to call them to account, and to call on other Magruders to recognize the truth of our history. Lincoln is your sixth cousin–that’s of great interest; some of my 6th and 8th and 4th cousins are black Amaericans who also descend from Alexander Magruder, and that is of equal interest and importance.

      • Thanks for replying I’m sorry to say i’m just seeing this. You are right about one thing i have not research McGruder family yet. Until i’m 99% sure of it i don’t put it on my chart. So the next project is to research them. i did read your work and found it very interesting and something for me to go on. As far as slavery is concerned my dna shows traces of African and i just read about one on Beall side. Bealls are also from Scotland named Bell. I don’t ignore slavery persay i just think it’s in the past and people today had nothing to do with it. I think people if their descendant had some land which in 1600’s was easy and alittle money they had slaves. Indentured slaves when they did their time got land grants and in turn got slaves. So a large majority of people’s ancestors were slaves owners and that includes blacks. If there is blacks in my family which there is then they have ancestors that were slave owners. I think we should go forward and not backwards. I’m a history buff so i read alot of history. I like to know about ancestors no matter who they are. I’m glad to say that Bealls in my family only had a couple of slaves. Some others had hundreds. I don’t know how they thought but probably it was greed. Slaves are cheap labor. It still goes on today. People hiring immigrants and not paying them much. Your right there were not slaves in Scotland . They called them prisoners and had them work for free and treated them bad. In Ireland thousand were transported to the America’s as slaves and half didn’t make it. I think it’s time to go forward and get along. But i might repeat i’m not responsible for other people’s action just my own and try to set a good example. Sorry this is so long

      • susantichy says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Donna. After 200 years of chattel slavery and 100 years of Jim Crow, I believe we have only just begun the process of racial healing, and of equalizing real-life conditions. So, for me, going forward from here still includes a need to tell the truth about the past and to recognize how it shaped (and still shapes) the society we have now. It’s interesting that your DNA shows a trace of African descent. I know another white woman who has some African descent, and has researched it and even visited some graves and so forth, but won’t speak about it publicly. We all have our own paths. I fully agree that we are responsible for our own actions, not those of our ancestors; but my own actions include acknowledging our history and calling my own family and ancestors to account. Perhaps it’s because I’m a writer and professor that I feel I must do this publicly and clearly, not just in private ways in my private life. It would be rather strange to speak and write publicly about other injustices, while remaining silent about my family’s share in such things. I did so, actually, for many years, before I was able to look it in the face. I won’t be returning to that silence.

  16. Beverly Conolly (Mrs. Richard L.) says:

    My husband and I owned “The Ridge” for several years after purchasing it in 1979. We were the 3rd owners after the Magruder family. When we sold it we both had tears in our eyes because we loved it. We had the Log Cabin restored as it was originally with a new stone foundation, hand made shingles with special wood purchaed from Canada, buttermilk white paint etc.. I gave original papers and letters to the Rockville, MD historical society and museum, as well as photos. Although I kept copies of ever thing and many many photos, including photos of the Smithsonian Historical restorers who did the work. Our antiques fit beautifully. I am also a genelogist.

  17. Betsy Solis says:

    I think Alexander was my 8th gr. grandfather through his son Samuel then Sarah Katherine Magruder who married William Selby. William’s son, William Magruder Selby and his son, William Wilson Selby both fought in the Revolutionary War…DAR #A101666 and A101667. All of your information is very interesting…love the site. My mother was a Selby.

  18. Tracy Williams says:

    After years of believing i was a descendant of Alexander Mac Gregor, I’ve found the truth. It was Alexander McGruder who my grandfather came from. My grandpa was Joseph Levin Harvey. I’ll be reading more as i can.

  19. Rashaun McGruder says:

    Hello, all I know about my Family’s history goes back as far as 1896 my great great grandfather’s name was Braxton McGruder and my great grandfather was born in 1916 or something close to that his name was Russell Corneilus McGruder and my grandfather was Russell Corneilus McGruder of Palmyra VA and once my grandfather met my grandmother they relocated to Washington DC

    • susantichy says:

      Rashaun–So sorry I missed your comment when it was first posted. With that spelling (McGruder) you could be descended from Alexander McGruder/Magruder, or you could be descended from other McGruders who came to this country via Ireland, at a later date. (Many of those folks identify as Irish-American, being ignorant of or uninterested in the older Scottish origin.) See my blog post from Dec 24, 2014, called “Are You a McGruther or McGruder Who Is Not Descended from Alexander Magruder?” Don McGruther, in Scotland, is actually descended from one of those families (that later immigrated back to Scotland!) and has been researching those families. If you think there’s any chance yours could be one of them, he may be able to help. His email address is in that blog poet, or just contact me via the Contact tab on this site. Good luck, and thanks for writing.

  20. Denise Osborne says:

    Hi. I am of African descent and discovered there is a possibility I am a blood descendant of the Magruders by way of the Beall family in MD. Based on my research on ancestry.com, Alexander Magruder was my 10th maternal great-grandfather. His granddaughter Verlinda Magruder (1693-1745) married John Beall (1688-1742). They bore my 7th great grandad Samuel Beall (1713-1778). Samuel’s grandson, Robert Beall (1770-1838), moved to Ohio and bought property around 1810. He had a son named Josephus Beall (4th great grand) in 1811 (d. 1843). Josephus moved from Ohio to Missouri, married, and had a son named George Beall (1847-1937). He married and had my 2nd great grandmother, Blanche Irene Beall-Gill (1888-1971). She married and had my great grandfather, Raymond Gill. According tocensus records, my family tree “mixed” when my great grandfather married a Black woman (Carrie Sullivan; 1911-1954). From them came my maternal grandmother (Elizabeth Gill) my mother (Jacqueline Gill). My maternal family members took root in MO. I live in PG county, MD and didn’t realize my maternal family tree began in my background! My mom & I are still amazed at the findings.

    • Charlene Whitaker Cherry says:

      Denise, do you have Robert Bealls (1770-1838) fathers name?

      • susantichy says:

        I scrolled through Sue Emerson’s Magruder genealogy and didn’t find the answer to this question, nor could I locate a Robert Beall b. 1770 that seemed to match. But I wouldn’t despair–I might have missed it, or Sue might have missed it. Her PDF is more than 1700 pages and therefore does contain some errors and omissions. Do you have the info, Denise?

      • Denise Osborne says:

        His father’s name was Richard Beall (1738-1778).

      • susantichy says:

        Thanks, Denise. That fills in the gap. Have you put your tree up on Ancestry, or any other public site? I know it isn’t free–and that’s a barrier for some–but what I like about Ancestry is that it allows you to link each person in your tree to documents that back up your conclusions…and that’s very helpful to others whose lines intersect with yours.

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Denise. Thanks for sending this info–yours is an interesting family history, to be sure. In case you’re interested, there’s a DC-area chapter of Coming to the Table that meets monthly. Here’s the organization’s web site. If you’re interested in the DC group, send me a message via the Contact tab on this site and I’ll reply with info on the meetings. I am currently not in Virginia, but expect to be back in time for the December 12 meeting.

    • Hi Denise,
      Well my lineage comes from John and then Samuel then Daniel so your John would have come from a brother of Daniel. You do live in Beall country. Are you close to Fredricksburg. My family went to West Virginia then To Texas. If you don’t know John’s father i probable can find it. I’ve researched Beall’s alot

    • susantichy says:

      Denise, You and I are related, but it’s quite distant. I’m descended from Verlinda Magruder’s brother, Samuel (parents: Samuel & Sarah Magruder).

  21. My great grandmother maiden name is macgruder. She was born in west virginia
    Around 1863. Her mother was sylvia macgruder and grandmother was matilda
    There is a uncle name charles. That is about all i have. I would like to know more. I have heard them say that they were Molly Gaskins.
    Not certain about the pronunciation. I have been thinking about taking a blood test for my DNA.

    Best Regards
    James Randolph

  22. Charlene Whitaker Cherry says:

    Just now catching up on all the news. Now my question has anyone come up with the ancestry of Elizabeth Hawkins who married Alexander Magruder (1610-1677)? Their daughter Elizabeth married Robert Whitaker. I can find other Hawkins in their area but nothing that definitive on Elizabeth. I saw some interesting information that when Alexander’s will was (read) that it was stated she had died but that was not the case. She came back and said she was alive. I am related to the Hawkins also and would love to see if anyone has been able to unravel the mystery.

    Thanks,
    Charlene Whitaker Cherry

    • susantichy says:

      As far as I know there is nothing definitive on Alexander’s last wife. Probably her name was Hawkins, though some suggest it was Green. Somewhere I have an old typescript (on onionskin! remember that?) from a Magruder I don’t know, who lists a lot of information/speculation about Elizabeth. When I next run across it, I’ll let you know. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of his info, but you could try to corroborate it, which would be a place to start your search.

      • Charlene Whitaker Cherry says:

        Thanks Susan that is more than I have now. I remember onion skin paper. I learned to type on that. And if our teachers could see what we can do now.

        Charlene

  23. Keith Newman says:

    I believe I also am 11th generation descendant from Alexander Magruder. My Great Grandmother was Maude Jewell Magurder 1891 daughter of Barrett Daniel 1860. Been doing a lot of looking at the history in Maryland, cause we are planing a trip to DC. Personally I want to see the places and stand where my ancestors did. Thank you for this site.

  24. Warren Smith says:

    It appears that I have been finally able to determine just who Metropolis/us/es Magruder was. According to research by the Virginia Historical society he was Thomas Contee Magruder of Maryland.

  25. stephanie lane says:

    Thank you for all your hard work!! I am sort of new at tracing my roots. My great Aunt Martha Frances Driver-Magruder spent time researching with documentation s, church records, death-birth and etc. She shared with our family. I have started connecting from myself back to Alexander there Immigrant. My children are grown and i’m retired from teaching so I have time!!! :) I have only recently heard that the McGregor’s and Magruder’s are two different families. I suspected the findings of slavery. Those were dark times to say the very least to my Afro-American relatives. My father’s mother’s line is Webb and story has it they too had slaves. :( I pray both families were kind and not like some shown on tv.

    Was Alexander Magruder involved in the government in our country’s early day? My line to Alexander is through his son Samuel of Good Luck. Once again thank you for all the information you have on here!!! I will be following on here.

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Stephanie, and welcome to Magruder’s Landing. My line also goes back to Samuel of Good Luck. Which of his children do you descend from?

      Yes, the years of slavery were dark times indeed. It’s futile, I think, to pray or to hope that our ancestors were kind to the enslaved. Degrees of suffering and of cruelty are real, certainly; but the whole system rested on violence–there’s no other way to perpetuate bondage. Our ancestors had as much free choice as we have. They made their choices and we make ours–to face history honestly as a foundation for change in the present. I wish you luck in your searches.

      • warren smith says:

        Ms.Tichy, Can you tell me where James Edelbert Magruder is buried? Thx, Warren Smith

      • susantichy says:

        No, I’m sorry. I am not a genealogist, nor could anyone know the location of the many thousands of MacGruder/Magruder graves in America. You might try a website called findagrave, or you might post a query on the Magruder/ MacGruder family Facebook group.

      • stephanie lane says:

        I am from ‘ll Samuel b.1689-1779!! This is cool!! I am trying to get the information I have on Ancestry and Family Search. It I’d most interesting to learn about my family!!

  26. Karran says:

    Wow, this is amazing history. I am a descendant of enslaved people owned at some point by MaGruders. DNA has confirmed this link. As an African American, we often can’t trace our lineage before the Civil War. While I don’t like to think about how it is that I have come to have Magruder DNA, having it does give me a glimpse of my lineage before the civil war on my European side.

    • susantichy says:

      Hi Karran, and welcome. I’m glad you like the site. If you’d like to, please send by private email (use the Contact tab) whatever you know about your Magruder/McGruder connection. I might have more information for you. Many people, both Af-Am and white, contact me about ancestry and historical links. Soon, I’m going to create a new section of the site and move all such comments and queries there, to make it easier for people to find each other, and for me to find them when/if I come across any useful info. Whatever you send by private email I will keep in confidence unless I have your permission to post something on the site. Susan

  27. Ji Mcgruder says:

    I am a McGruder one of the slaves ancestors kids

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