Mary Ann was the daughter of Milton McGahey and his first wife, whose identity remains a mystery. Milton's second marriage was to Ann Elizabeth Torrence, who had first married Edmund W. Caldwell.
Milton McGahey was b. ca 1800 and is reported to have died Apr 1871; his and both wives' burial locations are undetermined. His parents are said to have been John McGahey and Mary Bickerstaff, who were married in Mecklenburg Co., NC in 1786.
No record of Milton McGahey's first marriage in Mecklenburg Co. There is a possible connection with a BLACK family; Milton McGahey was bondsman for his neighbor Samuel Black to Jane Cherry in Lincoln Co., NC 25 Nov 1862. Another possible family connection is ALCORN; William Alcorn, age 25, is with his family in the 1850 census. He probably had a brother or a cousin named Thomas A. McGahey, who married Eloisa Potts in Mecklenburg Co. in 1824; he was bondsman. When Edwin W. Caldwell died in 1845, he was named guardian of the children, which suggests a family relationship of some sort. He is a witness to the will of R. H. Johnston (who married second wifeâ€™s twin sister), 22 Jun 1864.
The only references to Milton McGahey in Fergusonâ€™s abstracts of Mecklenburg deeds, 1794 - 1830 are in 1828, in which he is the sole witness in two personal property transactions from Wm. C. Cathey to Wm. J. Willson.
1850 census: Hopewell Dist., Mecklenburg Co., NC
McGAHEY, Milton 49 M Farmer; Val RE $1000
McGAHEY, Ann 43 F
McGAHEY, Margt 21 F
McGAHEY, William 18 M
McGAHEY, James 16 M
McGAHEY, Louisa 1 5/12 F
CALDWELL, Jane 18 F
CALDWELL, Monroe 15 M
CALDWELL, Rebecca 14 F
CALDWELL, Mary 9 F
ALCORN, William 25 M Laborer [W. N.? Alcorn was a purchaser of â€œlot booksâ€ from Milton McGaheyâ€™s estate]
1860 census: Mecklenburg Co. (all shown as Charlotte PO)
McGATHEY, Milton 57 M Farmer; R.E. val $1000; P.P. val $450
McGATHEY, Ann 52 F
McGATHEY, Laura 12 F
CALDWELL, Mary E. 20 F
1870 census: Lemley Twp, Mecklenburg Co., NC
Milton McGahey - 70 - b. NC
Ann McGahey - 55
Robert Helms - 20
Nancy Helms - 25
Robt. C. Helms - 2/12 (b. Mar 1870)