Wm Anderson McCoy Tree (MAIN Tree)

William McCauley + Cathrin Wife of Wm McCauley

8 children
James McCauley
Birth: 1771 32 29Hillsborough, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Death: between April 3, 1818 and December 31, 1818Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, USA

Parents Grandparents

Family group information
Marriageyes

Marriageyes

Address: Assumed to have been in Orange County, North Carolina.
Note:

Where and when this marriage occurred is unknown. There is no known documentation of it. [Early Orange County NC documents have been lost due to burying them to protect them from capture by the British and then forgetting where they were buried.]

What is known comes from the 1837 pension application of William's sister-in-law. the widowed Martha McCauley, who states "This Declarant first became acquainted with the aforesaid Mathew McCauley in the year of 1775, when the said Mathew came to New Hope in the aforesaid County and lived with his brother William McCauley, esq., who was neighbor to the Declarant's father, Charles Johnston."

Since the best evidence indicates that William had several children prior to 1775 (and probably at least 2 before 1766), it's clear that his wife Catherine and children James, Jane and John (and possibly Mary "Polly") were present with him in that year in Orange County. Also, since most trees for this family indicate arrival in North America in the 1770s, this strongly suggests that a marriage and births of the first two (or more) children occurred in Ireland.

So it is possible that Catherine was also of Ulster, married William there, came with him to America and is the mother of all of his children (and was, therefore, not the wife and widow of William Long or, probably, a Jonston). Or she may have been as described above.


There is a conjecture that this William McCauley married a Nancy Jacobs, who had previously married one Isaac Craig. This is based upon "A Historical Sketch of New Hope Church, in Orange County, N.C." written in 1891 by a Rev. Craig, who lists these marriages without providing dates for them. The abstracts of marriage bonds in Orange County NC (Holcom, Brent H. Marriages of Orange County, North Carolina, 1779-1868. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001), does indeed show an initial marriage of Nancy Jacobs to Isaac Craig and a subsequent marriage of Nancy Craig to William McCauley. However, the first marriage occurred in December of 1838 and the second in March of 1861, both long after the death of this William McCauley.

Shared note

What do we know about William McCauley's first years in North America? Not much, despite numerous unsourced claims to the contrary.

These comments from his sister-in-law Martha's application for a pension were made in 1837:

"This Declarant first became acquainted with the aforesaid Mathew McCauley in the year of 1775, when the said Mathew came to New Hope in the aforesaid County and lived with his brother William McCauley, esq., who was neighbor to the Declarant's father, Charles Johnston...."

So, William McCauley established himself in the New Hope area of Orange County, North Carolina, prior to 1775, and his brother came to join him there in that year. William McCauley was a neighbor of Charles Johnston, father of Mathew McCauley's future wife, Martha.

This statement by Martha opens some doubt on the story of how the brothers came to North America. Did they arrive together as in the Mathew-in-a-barrel story? If so, where was Mathew while William established himself in Orange County? And, if William's wife, Catrin, was a daughter of Charles and Martha Johnston, as is widely claimed, why does Martha McCauley fail to make any reference at all to her supposed sister?

Last change March 28, 202018:15:01

by: Matt Petersen