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Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 4:21PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 30 Jan 2013 4:24PM GMT
Surnames: Downings Meharg McHurg Cooper
This is a shot in the dark but who knows....

Short version: Do marriage records exist in Laurens County from the late 1700s to 1810s?

Longer version: Archibald Meharg (a corruption of the name McHurg) had a daughter, Mary Meharg (possibly called Polly) who married James Downing around 1805-1808 or so. Archibald appears in the 1790 Census of Laurens County. But no record of this specific James Downing exists before 1820 in St Clair County Alabama (he eventually ended up in Benton/Calhoun County.)

This James Downing was born in the 1780s/90s in South Carolina. His parentage is unknown, but according to family accounts (recorded in the 1930s by a family member who might have known him), his family was from Ireland. Two or three brothers arrived (supposedly) in South Carolina-- George, Solomon, and if there was a third brother, his name's unknown (however, these tales always have three brothers, so I have taken this with a grain of salt).

One of these brothers was the father of my James Downing. James also had a sister, born about 1780, whom I have reason to believe was named Mary and married a Cooper (the name, not the occupation:-). She probably married him in South Carolina and at least part of her family ends up in Alabama (Benton/Calhoun and Etowah Counties).

But I cannot find any George or Solomon Downing listed in the South Carolina Census.

The reason I am thinking maybe Laurens County is because James's 1st wife, Mary's family is there. And like James, Archibald Meharg, as well as many of their neighbors, eventually packed up and moved to St Clair County (it is amazing how many of the names on the 1790 Census there are that are the same names on the 1820 Alabama Census).

Any help would be appreciated. Any suggestions of where there might be records (online, via snail mail, or an eventual visit in person) would be great.

Thank you.

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 4:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McHarg, Meherg
Do you have Archibald's parents as John McHarg and Susannah Woods? I may be descended from Archibald's sister, Margaret.

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 6:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Downing
There is a Solomon Downing for the 1830 and 1840 Censuses in Newberry County.

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 7:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Downings Meharg Clark Mchurg Coker Bolt
I do not know the names of Archibald Meharg's parents. I'm descended from James Downing via his second wife, Mary Clark, but I know this Archibald Meharg served in the Revolution, was probably married to a Rebecca (with a maiden name of POSSIBLY Bolt... or not). And I've seen mentions on the internet that Archibald Meharg may have married Temperance Coker (another Laurens County resident) in Alabama (I have no evidence of this, though). He died in St Clair County, Alabama. (The Cokers also ended up in Benton/Calhoun County, Alabama, and their family is always there alongside the Downings and Mehargs.)

The children of Mary Meharg and James Downing were: Archibald, Susan, Thomas Jefferson, Jencie, and Mary (who may have also been called Mary Ann or Polly). All these children appear to have been born in South Carolina or Tennessee. The 1820 Alabama Census confirms 2 boys and 3 girls, all still under the age of 21 (this census disguishes between those over or under 21). There is no other female in the house, indicating Mary Meharg had died by then. James remarried a couple years after that, and had 11 more children by his second wife.

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 30 Jan 2013 7:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Downing
Thank you. I'll have to check this out more carefully and see if this Solomon Downing's age can be determined (roughly). He seems too young to be a father or uncle to my James Downing. BUT, my family story could be wrong and Solomon could've been a brother. Or the Solomon from the story could've had a son named for himself. This has possibilities.
Thank you.

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 14 Dec 2013 7:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am a direct descendant of James Downing, and have also found dead-ends about his parentage. His son Thomas Jefferson (also in my direct line) was born in Tennessee, and War of 1812 records show James Downing fought in that war in the 1st Regiment of the W. Tennessee Militia (Wynne's command). War records also show a John and William Downing from the same area of Tennessee who could possibly be James' brothers (or perhaps cousins, I suppose). Am very interested in finding out more about James parentage and direct lines. Thanks for any help.
David Downing, Tulsa, OK

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 14 Dec 2013 9:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 15 Dec 2013 12:21AM GMT
Surnames: Downing Meharg Copper Clark
I am literally in the middle of finishing a rough draft of a book on the descendants of James Downing-- his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, plus another generation of my own line. For the moment, I've "set aside" trying to find his parents.

However, in the 1790 Census, there was a "James Dawning" in Laurens County, SC [not ours, as ours would've been about 2 then], and he lived near Archibald Meharg. This James Downing was older and had a bunch of daughters and one son [named William, I believe]. They all went to Kentucky by 1800. But in their family accounts, "James Dawning" had a brother named William, and there is evidence in the records of Laurens County of a William Downing in Laurens County SC c1805-1810. The document I'm thinking of was an estate sale [or such] with a list of buyers [at least, this is how I read the abstract of it] which included the name of a William Downing and a James Downing [whom I've no doubt is our James Downing] as well as some Mehargs.

As you know, Thomas Jefferson Downing's mother was Mary Meharg, the daughter of Archibald Meharg. The eldest of her children, Archibald Downing and Susan Downing Autrey, were both born in SC between 1808 & 1812. The next, Mary Ann Downing Jones and Thomas Jefferson Downing, were born in Tennessee between 1812 & 1815, and the last, Jincey Downing, was born in Alabama c 1816.

James Downing remarried [Mary Clark] in Alabama, and the first son born to this second marriage was named William. [William Patterson Downing] [Eventually, between the two marriages, James Downing fathered 16 children. I know the names of all but 1.]

According the research done by the descendants of the Downings who went to Kentucky, "James Dawning's" father was another James Downing, whose father was another James Downing who immigrated from Ireland. [The "came from Ireland" part is consistent with my own family stories, as is the "timing".]

But this all hurts my brain, and I have no idea where to start researching it all. So, for the moment, I've set it aside to "worry about later." :-)

I also know our James Downing had a sister named Mary Cooper [married name].

By any chance, do you know anything about when James Downing died? While I have a general idea of when he and his wives were born and when they died, there's nothing specific in the records. I keep hoping to find a family Bible record or an obituary, but so far, nothing.

I'd love to talk more. Thank you for the War of 1812 info. I will look into that more.

Anna

Re: Downings of Laurens County? 1790s Meharg McHurg

Posted: 2 Apr 2014 5:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am a direct line of James Franklin Harvey and Lucinda Downing, I have been looking for the father of James Downing as well. Lucinda is the mother of my ggrandfather Absolum Barto(Abb Barto). My mother told me the family story goes 2 Downing brothers came to the New World and went separate ways and if both brothers were found, then the family money so to speak would be given. If anyone wants the information from Absolum down to my kids, please email me at kristiwiggins@ymail.com

Kristi
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