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Mathew McCauleyAge: 71 years17501821

Name
Mathew McCauley

Matthew McCauley

Name
Matthew McCauley
Birth 1750
Immigration 1771 (Age 21 years)
Note: The published article (from 26 Nov 1771 Belfast News Letter) states that they sailed in May of that year, so arrival may have been in or around July of 1771.
Shared note:

Letters written by William J McCauley (grandson of Mathew and Martha McCauley) in 1896 to a cousin state that William was the first of the two brothers to come from northern Ireland to the American Colonies and that he did so 1-2 years before Mathew emigrated.

A letter from recent passengers of a ship (including Matthew McCauley) was published in the Belfast News Letter in 1771 announcing their safe arrival in Philadelphia. Although not proven, this appears likely to have been our Mathew McCauley. If that is the case, and if the statement in the paragraph above is correct, then William would have come to America in 1769/1770.

As William seems to have been rather well-established in Orange County NC by 1775, he may have come quickly there after arriving in America. Where Mathew was and what he did between 1771 and his arrival (attested to by his wife when a widow) in Orange County in 1775 are unknown.

Arrival 1771 (Age 21 years)
Military service
Lieutenant in the Continental Army. Served from 1777 to 1783, first in the Continental Army then in the North Carolina Militia. [source: approved pension application by widow Martha, 24 Nov 1837]
1777 (Age 27 years)
Valley Forge, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
Latitude: N40.096939 Longitude: W75.470001

Residence 1779 (Age 29 years)
Residence
Appearance (first?) on the Orange County tax roll. http://files.usgwarchives.net/nc/orange/census/earlytax2.txt
1779 (Age 29 years)
Residence
Appearance (first?) on the Orange County tax roll. http://files.usgwarchives.net/nc/orange/census/earlytax2.txt
1779 (Age 29 years)
MarriageMartha JohnstonView this family
Martha's widow's pension application of 1837 states that she was born in 1760 and was married when she was 20, their first child being born a year later. [A summary gives the marriage year as 1781.]
February 1, 1780 (Age 30 years)
Birth of a son
#1
John McCauley
January 29, 1781 (Age 31 years)
MarriageMartha JohnstonView this family
This is probably an error. See 1780 marriage note.
February 1, 1783 (Age 33 years)
Birth of a daughter
#2
Jane McCauley
1783 (Age 33 years)
Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N35.913200 Longitude: W79.055855

Property
Land grants (as assignee)
February 5, 1786 (Age 36 years)
Address: There were two grants of the same date totaling 104 acres in OLD Davidson County NC, which would later become several counties in North Central Tennessee. The location of the first grant (640 acres, Warrant No. 290) was along both sides of Spring Creek a branch of the west fork of the Red River. This is a few miles NE of Clarksville TN and is also directly N of McCauley Hill Farm (George J McCauley). The second grant (761 acres, Warrant No. 104) was along both sides of "a Small Creek two miles above Bushy".
Birth of a daughter
#3
Martha McCauley
July 22, 1787 (Age 37 years)
Birth of a son
#4
Charles McCauley
August 3, 1789 (Age 39 years)
Event
1790 Tax
1790 (Age 40 years)
Birth of a son
#5
William McCauley
August 3, 1791 (Age 41 years)
Property
Donation of 150 acres to the University of North Carolina
November 7, 1792 (Age 42 years)
Birth of a daughter
#6
Elizabeth McCauley
September 14, 1793 (Age 43 years)
Birth of a daughter
#7
Polly McCauley
January 2, 1797 (Age 47 years)
Birth of a son
#8
George Johnston McCauley
January 9, 1798 (Age 48 years)
Residence 1800 (Age 50 years)
Hillsborough, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N36.075424 Longitude: W79.099747

Birth of a daughter
#9
Elenor McCauley
December 9, 1801 (Age 51 years)
Birth of a son
#10
Matthew McCauley
1803 (Age 53 years)
Property
Sale of 323 acres
April 2, 1804 (Age 54 years)
Address: Along Bolin's Creek
Event
Advertisement of a horse
1807 (Age 57 years)
Note: Mathew McCauley of Chapel Hill has a notice printed in the Raleigh newspaper stating that he is in possession of a horse belonging to a young man who died at his (McCauley's) home recently and asking for the man's friends in Tennessee to come and get the animal. The name of the deceased young man was Reuben Bradberry.
Marriage of a childSamuel NevillElizabeth McCauleyView this family
January 14, 1810 (Age 60 years)
Residence 1810 (Age 60 years)
Hillsborough, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N36.075424 Longitude: W79.099747

Death of a daughterPolly McCauley
before 1811 (Age 61 years)
Note: Polly appears in the list of children written in the family Bible by Mathew McCauley but does not appear in his will of 1811 along with all of the other children. It seems the only reasonable way to explain this is to assume Polly's death prior to the writing of that will.
Will
Will of Mathew McCauley
February 7, 1811 (Age 61 years)
Marriage of a childWilliam McCauleyVirginia Jane StuartView this family
August 30, 1816 (Age 66 years)
Federal Direct Tax
1314 acres on Morgan's Creek worth $3942
1816 (Age 66 years)
Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N35.913200 Longitude: W79.055855

Marriage of a childRev. Wilson AtwaterElenor McCauleyView this family
December 17, 1819 (Age 69 years)
Marriage of a childCharles McCauleyElizabeth WilsonView this family
January 11, 1820 (Age 70 years)
Marriage of a childGeorge Johnston McCauleyElizabeth McCauleyView this family
1820 (Age 70 years)
Address: This marriage is undocumented but seems to be generally recognized on Ancestry.
Residence
19 slaves. "Seventeen or eighteen likely Negroes" were sold at the estate sale after Mathew McCauley's death by his son, John, on 30 Dec 1821. (Hillsborough Recorder, 3 Dec 1821)
1820 (Age 70 years)
Seeking repayment
Power of Attorney
August 26, 1820 (Age 70 years)
Address: Mathew and brother William both appoint George J McCauley (son of Mathew), and Mathew also appoints James McCauley (son of John, and probably, grandson of Mathew, to obtain from James McCauley of Dickson County TN the monies owed to them by the said James.
_PHOTO

Death
Age: 71
September 6, 1821 (Age 71 years)
Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N35.913200 Longitude: W79.055855

Probate 1821 (Age 71 years)
Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N36.059177 Longitude: W79.118141

Dedication
Dedication of Memorial Marker
July 13, 1939 (117 years after death)
Address: McCauley Family Cemetery (Carrboro)
Burial
Carrboro, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Latitude: N35.910141 Longitude: W79.075279

Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
elder brother
12 years
himself
Family with Martha Johnston - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: February 1, 1780Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Marriage: February 1, 1783Orange County, North Carolina, USA
1 year
son
3 years
daughter
Jane McCauley
Birth: Named 'Jinney' in the citation from the family Bible quoted in the 1837 application by Martha McCauley for a military pension (Matthew McCauley, Revolutionary War)1783 33 22Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, USA
Death: after 1850
5 years
daughter
Martha McCauley
Birth: July 22, 1787 37 27Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Death: 1844Orange County, North Carolina, USA
2 years
son
2 years
son
2 years
daughter
Elizabeth McCauley
Birth: September 14, 1793 43 33Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Death: March 24, 1881Orange County, North Carolina, USA
3 years
daughter
Polly McCauley
Birth: January 2, 1797 47 36Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Death: before 1811Orange County, North Carolina, USA
1 year
son
4 years
daughter
Elenor McCauley
Birth: December 9, 1801 51 41Orange County, North Carolina, USA
Death: March 2, 1872Orange County, North Carolina, USA
2 years
son

Immigration

The published article (from 26 Nov 1771 Belfast News Letter) states that they sailed in May of that year, so arrival may have been in or around July of 1771.

Immigration

Letters written by William J McCauley (grandson of Mathew and Martha McCauley) in 1896 to a cousin state that William was the first of the two brothers to come from northern Ireland to the American Colonies and that he did so 1-2 years before Mathew emigrated.

A letter from recent passengers of a ship (including Matthew McCauley) was published in the Belfast News Letter in 1771 announcing their safe arrival in Philadelphia. Although not proven, this appears likely to have been our Mathew McCauley. If that is the case, and if the statement in the paragraph above is correct, then William would have come to America in 1769/1770.

As William seems to have been rather well-established in Orange County NC by 1775, he may have come quickly there after arriving in America. Where Mathew was and what he did between 1771 and his arrival (attested to by his wife when a widow) in Orange County in 1775 are unknown.

Event

Mathew McCauley of Chapel Hill has a notice printed in the Raleigh newspaper stating that he is in possession of a horse belonging to a young man who died at his (McCauley's) home recently and asking for the man's friends in Tennessee to come and get the animal. The name of the deceased young man was Reuben Bradberry.

Shared note

The proofs of parent-chid relationships between Mathew and Martha and their off spring come from two primary sources, Mathew McCauley's 1811 will probated in 1821 and the 1837 pension application made by Martha in which the handwritten list of children made by Mathew is recited. Taking these in reverse order, we have:

The pension application was written by a justice of the peace of Orange County writing on behalf of the illiterate Martha McCauley, sixteen years a widow. In the course of recounting the details of Mathew's military service, the JP also documented his relationship to Martha and quoted from entries made by Mathew McCauley in the family Bible, listing the first few of their children:

John McCauley born in January 1781 Jinny McCauley was born in 1783 Martha McCauley was born on 22 July 1787 Charles McCauley was born on 3 August 1789 William McCauley was born on 3 August 1791 Elizabeth McCauley was born 10 September 1793 Polly McCauley was born 2 June 1797.

The application goes on to say that "...the entries of the births in the family Bible are in the hand writing of her deceased husband and are a genuine and true account of births of all of the children of the declarant...." It is difficult to entrely reconcile that last statement with Mathew's will, and one is left to wonder whether Martha (unable to read) simply presented the Bible to the JP and told him that this was the list of their children without having it read to her.

In any case, Mathew McCauley's will of 1811 makes it apparent that he did not continue writing the names of their children in that Bible, for in the will he sepcifies as sons and daughters:

my son John McCauley my son Charles McCauley my son William McCauley my son George McCauley my son Matthew McCauley my daughter Jinny [later referred to as Jane] my daughter Martha [later referred to as Patsy] my daughter Elizabeth my daughter Elender

The will mentions again "my three youngest children, that is to say George & Elender & Matthew" in a discussion of what should happen should any of them die before coming of age. So we can conclude that they were minors at the time the will was written (1811). It also refers to "my four daughters" in reference to the possibility of one or more of the boys dying, thus eliminating a fifth daughter, Polly.

Notably missing from the list presented in the will is daughter Polly, who was the final entry in the Bible list. As discussion by William Burlingame of the Chapel Hill Historical Society in his blog entry of 17 October 2017, this may mean that Polly had died before the will was written. Actually, it is difficult to think that her absence could mean anything else, given the practices in every other McCauley will I have discovered in Orange County. Indeed, there are numerous cases in which a child was bequeathed $1 for whatever reason (usually because they were already independent and needed no inheritance and were included in this way to acknowledge them, or possibly to prevent them from contesting the will by including them). In no other case was a living child not mentioned in a parental will. So, it seems reasonable to conclude that Polly (probably really named Mary) was deceased by 1811. One speculation might be whether it was her death that led Mathew to write his will at that time.

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?