McGruders / McGroders / McCrues in Monaghan, Ireland

In January, in response to a message I posted from Duncan McGruther, a reader posted this comment : “There is or was a cluster of rural McGroders just north of Carrickmacross, Monaghan, Ireland; perhaps they were an independent plantation from Scotland, as most were RC.

“Many immigrated to Iowa, Illinois, and several other places in the USA, Durham UK, & Australia ; it might be a variant name of the McGregor? Or McGrother. Some fought on both the Confederate and Union sides, like many Irish in America. Some in the USA changed the spelling to ‘McGruder.’”

To which Duncan McGruther has responded : “I think the Monaghan McGroders are likely to be the same family as the McCru/ McCrue’s of the 1630s in the Belfast records, whom I believe were in turn derived from the McGruders of Perthshire. It would be nice to hear from a descendant from Ulster with some knowledge of their ancestry.”

Does anyone have any information for Duncan? Maybe you have some Irish relations you could ask?

New info re: people enslaved by the P.G. County McGregor family

In 1820, John Smith Magruder changed the surnames of his children to McGregor. After his death, one of his sons, Roderick McGregor, took over the family plantation. Another son, Nathaniel McGregor, opened a business in Washington, D.C. Roderick married, but separated from (perhaps divorced) his wife between 1840 and 1850. He died childless in 1857 and his estate was inventoried in 1858, with additional inventory added in 1860. The land and most of the enslaved people were left to Nathaniel’s sons, Roderick and John Francis. They being minors when their uncle died, the estate was managed by Nathaniel. Family letters show that Nathaniel’s family lived primarily at the plantation in Prince George’s County. Nathaniel kept his office and residence in Washington, and traveled frequently between the city and “home,” as the farm is called in the letters.

I have been working off and on for years to identify people enslaved by this family, and have recently added new information to the page Will of Roderick McGregor, including surnames for several people. From various sources I can identify with some certainty: Pinkney Belt & Chloe Belt, their two oldest children, Charles Belt, Martha Belt; Otho Berry; Warren Berry; William Bowie & Matilda Bowie, their children Jack Bowie, William (Bill) Bowie, Tom Bowie, Nathaniel Bowie, and Margaret Bowie; Henry Buchanan; Emanuel Carroll; Frederick Chapman; Anthony (Tony) Chase; John R. Dodson; Ned Dodson; John Godfrey; Basil Mullin, Hanson Shaw; Robert (Bob) Turner. I am not sure if Tom Vermillion, identified in a runaway ad, is the “Tom & his wife Mary” who appear in the inventory. I have not found surnames for George, Sam, Ambrose, Jeff & Adeline & their 5 children, or Esther.

Eight of the men–Otho Berry, Warren Berry, William (Bill) Bowie Jr., Emanuel Carroll, John R. Dodson, John Godfrey, Basil Mullin, and Robert Turner–enlisted or were drafted into the Union army, and it is likely some did not survive the war. I am still looking for them in post-war records.

Maryland Archaeology Month

April is Maryland Archeology Month! This year’s focus is The Archaeology of Healing and Medicine, with articles on nine topics, including Personal & Tribal Health prior to white arrival, Health & Mortality in Early Maryland, Medical Artifacts, and Archeobotanical Evidence for tobacco. Download the booklet and check out multiple online events, including Healing & Medicine, the Riggs House in Montgomery County, an African American cemetery in P.G. County, the original St. Mary’s City fort, the Jonathan Street cabin in Hagerstown, how to become an archaeologist, and more. Online events run April 6-22.