Wilkes, Washington, Hancock
and Baldwin Co. Pioneer
Gerald K. McGinty, Sr.
Robert McGinty, b., ca. 1750, (based on the 1830 Monroe Co., GA, census which shows him in the age bracket between seventy and eighty, and the 1840 census of Monroe Co., where he is living with son, William, showing him in the age bracket between eighty and ninety). He could have been born in either Ireland or PA, depending on when his father arrived in America. He died in late 1840 or early 1841, in Monroe Co., GA. His will was recorded there on February 10, 1841 and the sale of his personal property was held on June 1-2, 1841. He married Deborah Jackson, ca. 1775. This is based on the estimated birth date of their first son, Joseph. We know that they were married before 1777 - 1778 because Deborah shows in Quaker records with the name McGinty. This marriage took place at the beginning of the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783).
Recent information from a website that includes Quaker Wrightsborough Township Records of Landholders, Residents, and Associated Families 1768-1810, shows Deborah Jackson married to Robert McGinty. It also shows that her parents were Thomas and Mary Jackson and that her brother was Joseph. Earlier researchers thought that Deborah was the daughter of a Baptist minister named John Wright but this is an error. The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. 1, by William W. Hinshaw shows an entry on pg. 405 of the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting minutes that says, “1778, 12 (day), 6 (month)., Joseph Jackson and Deborah, now McGinty, children (of) Thomas (Jackson), deceased, were granted a certificate (from), Cane Creek Monthly Meeting.” This confirms that she was in good standing and had permission to transfer to the Wrightsborough Monthly Meeting in GA. There is a later entry from the Wrightsborough Monthly Meeting minutes, pg. 1049, dated 1779, 9, 4 showing Deborah McGinty, formerly Jackson, being received into the monthly meeting in Georgia This proves that her name was McGinty prior to moving to GA. The Cane Creek Meeting was established in Orange Co., NC in 1751. These Quaker records prove that they had moved to the Wrightsborough, GA, area. It is also interesting to note that Robert does not show in these Quaker records with Deborah. This indicates that he did not become a Quaker when they married.
Earlier researchers have referred to Robert as Robert Earl. I have many documents covering Robert’s life. In none of them is he referred to as Robert Earl McGinty or even Robert E. McGinty.
Children of Robert McGinty and Deborah Jackson
i. Joseph McGinty, b. ca.1775-1780, in either NC or GA. The 1810 census of Amite Co., MS, pg. 5, shows that he was born between 1765-1784. The 1820 census of Franklin Co., MS, pg. 41, shows him born between 1775-1794, and the 1830 census of Madison Co., MS, pg. 92, shows his birth as being between 1770-1780. Based on these three census, he would have been born between 1775-1780. In the AR census of 1850 he shows as age eighty meaning that he would have been born in 1770. This 1850 AR census also shows that he was born in GA which is also unconfirmed. It is possible that he was born in NC, depending on when his parents moved to GA from NC. His name could have been Joseph Jackson McGinty, in which case he would have probably been named for his uncle and mother’s brother, Joseph Jackson. He died in 1851, in Conway Co., AR. He married, (1) Elizabeth (last name unproven, but thought to be Hood), (2) Louise (last name unknown but possibly Scroggin), (3) Melissa (last name unknown). One source says that he was married four times. In the 1793 muster rolls, Joseph is shown as a corporal in the 2nd Co., 2nd Bat. 2nd Reg., GA Militia. In 1797, he is shown as living in Warren Co., GA, Capt. Hill’s District, as a tax defaulter. In 1800, he is shown in Hancock Co., Capt. Boothe’s District, also as a tax defaulter. He was “received by experience” into the Island Creek Baptist Church, March 1, 1800. Joseph’s land records show two draws in Hancock Co. in the Land Act of May 11, 1803, for a fee of $8.10. This draw was actually made in 1805. He sold this land after moving to MS. In his military record, a report dated April 13, 1804, reads “Joseph McGinty, sergeant to Captain Graybill’s Company, Hancock Co., GA, being duly called as a delinquent for not attending the muster of officers on the sixth, is fined three dollars.”
He left the Island Creek Baptist Church in December 1805 (no wife is shown) and moved to the area that became Amite Co., MS in 1809. He shows in the tax list of 1809, owning 153 acres in what was then Wilkinson Co., but soon became Amite Co. This land was located on what today is Hwy 48, three miles west of Centerville, MS. He shows in the 1810 and 1816 census of Amite Co., MS (formed in 1809 from Wilkinson). In 1810, he already had seven children, so he had to be married before he left GA. By 1815, he is found in the minutes of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Amite Co. (History of Amite County, vol. II, by Casey. Unconfirmed records show that he ultimately had thirteen children. Two of his girls were married in this church and some of his sons are mentioned in the church minutes. He fought in the War of 1812, as part of Lt. Col. Neilson’s detachment of MS militia. His service is further confirmed by an 1887, letter from his son, Eli Hood McGinty to his brother, Thomas. In 1812, he is said to have signed the petition to Congress, made by inhabitants of the Territory of MS, to make MS a State in the Union. In the Amite Co. tax report of 1816, he or his son, are shown with 154 acres, and paid taxes of $307.00. This land was located in today’s Franklin Co., five miles north of Hwy 98 near Little Springs, MS. In the Amite Co. tax report of March 3, 1825, Joseph owned 78.87 acres and paid taxes of $98.00. This land was purchased from the federal government under land patent certificate 534, through the land office in Washington, MS on June 1, 1825. Pres. John Quincy Adams signed the patent. This patent document shows that he was from Franklin Co., MS at the time, and this land is in what is today, Franklin Co., in the southeast corner, north of Hwy 98, near Bude, MS. A land patent was the transfer of land ownership from the federal government to individuals. He is found in the Franklin Co., MS census of 1820 (pg. 41/49), with his wife and a large family of ten (four boys and four girls) and also in the Madison Co., MS census of 1830 (pg. 92) with a wife and large family of eleven. In this census, his name is misspelled as McGinly. The area where he lived was labeled "Indian Country". No township had yet been formed. On July 13, 1835, he purchased land in Holmes Co., MS, granted to him by the government land office (patent #16304) which is now Yazoo Co. In 1836, he sold this land to John Herrod for $1200, and his wife’s name is confirmed on this deed as Elizabeth. Something happened between Joseph and Elizabeth because he then moved to AR and the Holmes Co., MS census of 1840 (pg. 263), shows Elizabeth, age bracket 50-60, as the head-of-household with one male child, age ten to fifteen (possibly Eli Hood McGinty).
We next see Joseph in AR where he is shown as a taxpayer in Van Buren Co. in 1841. He purchased forty-acres of land from the federal government under patent certificate 3651, through the land office in Little Rock, on September 5, 1842. Pres. John Tyler signed this patent. At the time he was listed as being from Conway Co., AR. In 1846, he and second wife, Louise show selling 160 acres to a Samuel Asendell for $200 (Conway Co. courthouse, Morrilton, AR, record book C, pg. 50). He is also shown as homesteading 160 acres in Conway Co., AR, in 1846. He first settled in Union Township in what was known as “The Georgia Community.” He is shown in the 1850 Conway Co., AR, census (pg. 268) in Union Township, house 575, at age eighty, occupation farmer. In this census, Malissa, age thirty-two is shown as his wife. She was born in AR. In this census, there are four children, ages two through eleven living in his house. His son, J. J. McGinty (Joseph Jackson), age thirty-six, born in MS, and his family are living next door in house 576. Joseph died ca. 1851. In 1853, Melissa married Moses House, and two of the McGinty children, William Thomas and Mary Ellen lived with them. Mary Ellen went on to marry Levi Wofford and they lived in Faulkner Co., AR. She died there in 1889. Malissa shows as Moses wife in the 1860 census, age 45, born in MS (1850 census shows her born in AR). Sometime after Joseph’s death, it is said that J.M. Scroggins was appointed guardian of his minor children and shows himself as their grandfather. He would have been the father of Louise. Records are said to show that he paid taxes on money lent and dividends paid from Joseph’s estate, but I have not seen these records.
ii. Isaac McGinty, b. 1775 - 1780 in GA (confirmed by the 1850 Henry Co. GA census, pg. 201, and the Griffin, Spaulding Co., GA census of 1860, pg. 225), d. date unknown, but after 1860. There are War of 1812 service records in the Natl. Archives showing Isaac as a private serving in Newman’s command (with brothers, Robert and William) and also in the 2nd Reg., Jenkin’s command, GA Vols and Militia. He married (1) Sarah Samples on July 7, 1814, in Baldwin Co., GA., and (2) Mary Malone on February 2, 1832, in Pike Co. GA. He shows as a creditor in the estate settlement documents of a William Millinden, January 1814, in Baldwin Co. He served as a private in Wimberly's 1st Regiment of the GA Volunteers during the first Seminole War in 1817-18. His brother, Abednego, served in this same unit.
(Isaac and Sarah had a son, Shadrach L. McGinty, b. May 7, 1815. This Shadrach is sometimes confused with Isaac’s brother. On September 15, 1827, Isaac gave his brother, Thomas, legal custody of his son, Shadrach who was twelve years old at the time. This document is in Book E, # 241, Monroe Co. record of deeds. This document shows that Shadrach was to live with Thomas until he was twenty-one years old and be an apprentice in the art of farming. The document was witnessed by Robert McGinty. This Shadrach went on to marry (1) Winefred Mary Davidson, daughter of James and Elizabeth Davidson, November 24, 1836, in Monroe Co., GA and (2) Margaret Johnson, December 12, 1885, in Coffey Co., AL. There are pension records for him in the National Archives for war service in FL in 1836. He served in the GA Volunteers. This was during the second Seminole War. He shows in the 1840 census, living in Sumpter Co., GA, with a young family. On July 15, 1854, he purchased forty acres of land from the federal government under land patent certificate 43229. At this time he was shown as being from Coffee Co., AL. Pres. Franklin Pierce signed this patent document. He received land in 1857 for his military service. The land was in southern AL in Coffee Co. Shadrach is shown in the 1860 AL census of Coffee Co., living in Henderson Store, as a prosperous farmer, age forty-five, with his wife Winefred and four children. He purchased eighty more acres of land from the federal government on April 2, 1860, in Coffee Co., land patent 50670, signed by Pres. James Buchanan. They do not show in the 1870 census, but are there again in the 1880 census of Coffee Co. AL).
Isaac and Sarah are shown in the History of Upson County, p. 234. He does show in some of the GA census records from 1820 through 1860. There is an Isaac shown in the 1830 census of Monroe Co. (pg. 190), but his age bracket is 40-50, meaning that he is not the same Isaac, or this age is an error. He would be too young. Isaac McGinty, listed as a soldier, had a successful draw in the Cherokee land lottery of 1832. He is shown as living in Martin’s district, Pike Co., GA. In the 1840 census, he was living in Henry Co. with his wife and two grown children. In 1850, he is shown in Henry Co., GA at age seventy-five with Mary, his wife, age sixty and a thirteen-year-old child named E.S.R. McGinty (pg. 201). There is an Isaac McGinty who was granted land warrant #27327, January 22, 1852, in the old Mardisville, Lebanon and Centre land office. This land was in section 15, township 18, and range 10 and is shown as being settled by him. Because of the date, this must not be Isaac, Sr. but could have been his son. I do not have the names of all his children. He and Mary show in the 1860 census of Griffin, Spaulding Co., GA, pg. 225. He is shown as age eighty and she is shown as sixty. He is listed here as a pauper.
iii. John McGinty, b. ca. 1780, in GA, d. date unknown, but after 1841, because he is shown in his father’s will that year. He was a member of the Island Creek Baptist Church, joining by letter on February 1, 1800, a few months after his parents had joined. He was a member here until he lettered out November 30, 1811. He is shown in the 1804 tax records as having 112 acres on Derrisos Creek (now Champions Creek). He did receive one lottery land grant draw in 1805. He was shown as living in Hancock Co. at the time. He is shown in the Baldwin Co. tax list of 1808 in Capt. Gumm’s district with 100 acres of type 2 land and then again in 1809, with 200 acres of type 2 land. In 1810 he has 210 acres on Rocky Creek adjacent to that of his father. In 1811, he shows with 120 acres at the same location. His Rocky Creek land was originally granted to a J. Walker. There is a John McGinty that served in the War of 1812, that could be him. In 1815, there was a courthouse sale in Milledgeville, GA for 100 acres of his land. I have not been able to locate him after these dates.
iv. James C. McGinty, b. ca. 1781, in GA (1860 census shows him age seventy-nine, occupation, farmer), d. date unknown. He married Lister Temperance “Tempy” (last name unknown). She was born in GA, ca. 1790. Nothing is known about his early life. He first shows up in the 1830 census of Monroe Co., GA, pg. 225, age 40-50, with his wife, age 40-50, and one male child, age five to ten. They moved to AL, and the 1850 census of Russell Co., AL, pg. 31B, shows James, age seventy-two, and Temperance, age sixty-three, living in the home of Benjamin F. McGinty, age twenty-eight (possibly their son). This Benjamin and wife, Rebecca (married in 1869) also appear in the 1870 census of Pulaski Co., GA, where he shows as a sawmill owner, and the 1880 census of Macon, Bibb Co., GA (pg. 279D), where he is shown as a gin manager. There is a record in the 1900 census of Cullman Co., AL, showing Benjamin and Rebecca McGinty ages seventy-seven and seventy respectively.
James Cooper McGinty (Jr.?) is also thought to be their son, b. ca. 1811-14 (see Nancy B. McGinty below). James did get a lottery land grant draw in 1805, but only one, indicating that he was not yet married. He is shown as living in Hancock Co. at the time.
We do not see James in the records of the Island Creek Church but we know that he belonged to a Baptist church in GA because he joined the Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church in Chambers Co., AL, by “letter.” He moved from GA to AL prior to 1850, and first lived in Russell Co. He then moved to Chambers Co., and records show that he and Tempy joined the Ephesus Baptist Church in Chambers Co., AL, on December 20, 1850. They were members here until they lettered out in October, 1856. There is a deed dated September 2, 1848, showing James purchase of land from James M. Spear, Chambers Co. Deed Book 8, Page 544. The 1860 census shows him, at age seventy-nine, living in Chambers Co. as a farmer (southern division, Oakbowery P.O., M653, roll 4, pg. 997). Temperance is also listed at age seventy. Late in his life, he and Tempy lived with Mollie McGinty Wyatt, the daughter of Robert A. McGinty and the granddaughter of Washington McGinty. The story told by Mollie is that at some point after Aunt Tempy's death, Uncle Jimmy went for a walk on a very cold day and fell off of a fence that he was climbing over. Apparently, he then froze and died of overexposure. He would have been well over eighty when he died. There are War of 1812 service records in the Natl. Archives showing a James McGinty serving as a private in the 2nd Reg., Jenkin’s command, GA Vols. and Militia.
There is a Nancy B. McGinty showing in Chambers Co. records who is easily confused with Nancy McGinty Means, daughter of George Washington McGinty. Coincidentally, they both have the same middle initial. This Nancy shows in the 1850, 1855 and 1860 census as a head-of-household farmer, born in GA. She is thought to have been married to James Cooper McGinty (Jr.?), the son of James and Temperance McGinty. There is a James McGinty in the 1830 census of Wilkes Co., GA, pg. 294, age twenty-thirty. This is thought to be him. James was married to (1) Phebe Martin in 1829. They had two children including a son, John B., b. March 1, 1833. Phebe died in 1837. He married (2) Nancy B. Griswold (b. 1814) on July 13, 1837, and they had five children. These included Emily Francis (1838), Rebecca Cannon (1840), James Alexander Cato (1843), Joshua Soule Wilson and Mary Jane (1848). There is a deed showing that James C. purchased fifteen acres from James M. Spears on January 6, 1846. This land was in Township 20, Range 28, Section 2 (Chambers Co. Deed Book 8, pg. 644). One of their children, Mary Jane, was born in Notasulga, Macon Co., AL (west of Auburn) in 1848, indicating that this is where they lived at the time. James, who was born ca. 1811, died in 1848 and Nancy moved the family to Chambers Co., AL, close to James and Temperance McGinty, parents of her husband. She shows there in the special AL State census of 1855 with one male and three female children under twenty-one. She shows again in the 1860 census, still living next door to them with Emily, age eighteen, Joshua, age seventeen, and James, age twelve (southern division, Oakbowery P.O., M653, roll 4, pg. 997). A family recollection is that James was a Methodist “circuit rider preacher.” He does show up in Methodist Preachers in Georgia, 1783-1900, by Harold Lawrence, published in 1984, as a "local preacher" and as attending the Georgia Conference in 1844. He is also shown here as a deacon. One of their children, Joshua Soule Wilson, enlisted as a private in Co. A of the 14th AL volunteer infantry regiment on July 26, 1861. He was eighteen years old. In January of 1862, he was listed in the military records as “sick at Fredericksburg” and he died February 5, 1862, in Richmond, VA, only six months after enlisting. His mother, Nancy B. McGinty, received his back pay consisting of four months and five days pay at $11.00 per month, the balance on his first commutation of $4.00 and his second clothing allowance of $25.00. The total was $74.83 and it was paid to her August 1, 1862. (His records are in the National Archives, M374, roll 30). The 1870 census of Harris Co. GA shows her living with daughter Mary Jane and her husband, James H. Sands. The 1880 census shows her living in Harris Co., GA, as a sixty-six year old widow, keeping house. There is a ten-year-old grandson, Charlie Shaw, living with her. He is the son of her oldest daughter, Emily, who married Joseph Shaw in 1862 and died in 1873. Her youngest daughter, Mary Jane, died in West Point, Harris Co., GA, August 29, 1875, at age twenty-seven. Nancy died in February 1883.
v. Robert McGinty, Jr., b. 1782 in GA (the 1850 census of Hancock Co., GA, pg. 39, gives his age as sixty-eight), d. Grimes Co., TX, after 1850. He married (1) Penelope “Nelley” Moore, daughter of Elijah Moore, Sr., July 5, 1807, in Hancock Co., GA. He may have married again before 1851. This wife (2) is shown as Eleanna in the 1850 Hancock Co. census, pg. 39, age fifty-seven, born in MD. The Island Creek church records also show her as Robert’s wife, Elan, when they lettered in, 27 Sept 1851. They both then lettered out 17 Sept 1853. However, this could be Penelope because one unconfirmed source shows her name as Eleanor Penelope.
He had two draws in the land lottery of 1805 and is shown as living in Hancock Co. at the time. He was not successful, drawing two blanks. He had one draw in the Ocmulgee Lands lottery of 1806. There is a War of 1812 service record in the Natl. Archives for a Robert McGinty. He served as a private in Newman’s command, GA Volunteers. His brothers, William and Isaac also served in this unit. Robert did receive two land draws in Baldwin Co., GA, under the Act of 1820.
Robert and Penelope were baptized at the Island Creek Baptist Church on December 1, 1827, and they departed the church by letter on October 24, 1835. Church minutes show that he was an active member. He was already forty-five years old when he was baptized, indicating that he could have been of a different religion prior to this. He shows in the 1830 census of Hancock Co., GA, with his wife and two children. He has not yet been found in the 1840 census. He shows in the 1850 census of Hancock Co., pg 39, age sixty-eight, with the occupation of house carpenter. His son, John, age twenty-six, lived next door with his wife, Mary L. age twenty-seven.
There are references to him in the Milledgeville, GA newspapers, such as The Southern Recorder, as an executor of estates. He also shows in numerous records in the Hancock Co. Court of Ordinary, thru 1825. The 8 Aug 1807 issue of the Farmers Gazette, shows that he ran for the house of representatives. He was a county commissioner and also a justice of the peace (in Hancock Co.) in 1835. There were several marriages performed by Robert McGinty in Hancock Co., from 1812 thru 1816. Some of them may have been performed by his father. Two of his sons, John Moore McGinty and William Augustus McGinty, moved to TX, after taking their letters out of Island Creek church between 1852 and 1853. Robert and wife, Eleanna, who had re-joined the church, 27 Sept 1851, are also shown as departing the Island Creek church by letter in 1853. John Moore McGinty and his wife, Mary L. Brown McGinty are later found in central TX on the Brazos River (1860 census of Grimes Co., TX, pg. 244/245 and also the 1870 census of the same area). They have a child, age three that was born in TX, so they were there by 1857. In 1857, John organized the Harmony Baptist Church at Navasota on the Navasota River. He was pastor there until his death. William A., who had been a justice-of-the-peace in Hancock Co., and his wife, Lucretia, came to Goliad Co., TX after 1851, and show there in the 1860 census (image 19 on ancestry.com). They then moved to Grimes Co., TX and show there in the 1870 census, pg. 265. Robert, Jr., and Eleanna have not been found in any TX census records, but I discovered his death and probate records in the Grimes Co., TX probate index. His son, John Moore was named administrator of his estate. I have not seen the original probate records, so the exact date of their death is, as yet, unknown.
The following unconfirmed information, is from one or Robert’s descendants: “Robert McGinty is buried in Harmony cemetery, His grave was marked with a large rock between John Moore McGinty's grave and the fence that marks the cemetery boundary. This is oral information that was given from my grandfather Andrew Maurice McGinty to several people. The rock has long been moved or stolen. I definitely remember that there were many rocks with names and dates scratched on them in that cemetery when we were growing up in the 50's.” There are also said to be church records showing a Mr. And Mrs. R. McGinty among the original founders.
There is a George Washington McGinty who is later found in Barbour Co., AL. I think that he was the son of Robert, Jr. He was born in 1821. This birth date confirmed by the Barbour Co., AL census of 1870 and 1880. Robert, Jr. shows a son, age 0-9 in the 1820 census of Hancock Co. This son is then shown, age 10-15 in the 1830 Hancock census. He was a private in the Hancock Co., GA Calvary in 1836. He married (1) Lavitus Rowe, November 1, 1838, in Hancock Co., by Wm. A. McGinty, JP. This JP was William Augustus McGinty, the son of Robert McGinty, Jr. George Washington would have been his brother. In 1841, he was a farmer living in Warren Co., GA. According to The Georgia Black Book by Robert Scott Davis, Jr., he was convicted of simple larceny and received a four year sentence from April 10, 1841 until April 10, 1845. He was pardoned on June 18, 1843. His description was given in the court record as being twenty-two years old, 5 ft. 7-3/4 in., dark complexion, black hair and gray eyes. He married (2) Mrs. Elizabeth C. Loveless, January 10, 1849, in Eufaula, Barbour Co., AL., by Rev. William Van Doren (this was her maiden name and she was a widow. Her former married name was Griffith). One of their sons, Walter, died in Eufaula June 17, 1859, at age eight. He is buried in the Fairview cemetery in Eufaula, AL. The Barbour Co. census of 1860 shows George at age thirty-nine with the occupation of druggist. The 1870 AL census shows him at age forty-nine living in Barbour Co. as a retired merchant. They show three children at this time, and he appears to be prosperous with property valued at $3000 and personal worth of $7000. Orphans court records in 1851(book IV), show that they were the guardian of Moses Griffith, a minor, who was heir of his father, Moses Griffith, deceased. Young Moses was living with them in the 1850 and 1860 census (age 20). He was the son of Elizabeth, from her previous marriage to Moses Griffith. There was an 1853 legal case in the Barbour Co. probate court concerning his custody (McGinty vs. Mabry). Moses later shows in the census of 1870 (AL) and 1900 (Chattooga Co., GA, pg. 249).
vi. Thomas McGinty, b. September 29, 1784 (date shown in family bible and confirmed in the Muscogee Co., GA census of 1850, where he shows as age sixty-six), probably in Wilkes Co., GA. He died in 1868, in Moorehouse Parish, LA. He was raised in Hancock Co., GA, and married Sarah Castleberry (b. December 16, 1780), the daughter of John and Mary Ann Castleberry, in 1804. They produced a large family of eight girls and three boys. The Island Creek Baptist Church records show that both of them were baptized into that church on September 1, 1804. He had two land lottery draws in the Ocmulgee Lands lottery in 1806. On July 2, 1808, they took out their letters from the church and moved to Wilkinson Co., GA.
The story of Thomas in Wilkinson Co. has been told partly in The History of Wilkinson County by Victor Davidson and partly by other sources. Thomas McGinty was one of the first settlers in that part of Wilkinson Co., on the west side of the old Indian boundary line when the limits of the county were extended by the legislature following the Treaty of Washington in 1805. He made his home on the “Ridge” separating Commissioner and Big Sandy Creeks, where the old Hartford Road crosses the Irwinton and Macon Highway (Hwy 57 today). With him were families connected by blood and marriage including the Gays and the Castleberrys. Together these Baptists from Wilkes Co. early settlements, and then from Hancock Co. and Baldwin Counties, organized the Ramah Baptist Church, and Thomas was one of the charter members; having at his own expense built the church on his land (photo). In 1810, he was selected by the Georgia Legislature as one of the commissioners from Wilkinson Co. to construct the Hartford Road from Hartford (now Hawkinsville) in Pulaski Co. to Milledgeville, the state capital. There was an urgent necessity of building this road with the least possible delay in order to avert the great crisis about to confront GA. Hartford at the time was a frontier town situated at the head of navigation on the Ocmulgee River. British agents, stationed beyond the Ocmulgee were constantly stirring up trouble with the Creek Indians. This road became necessary so that troops, artillery and ammunition could be rushed to Hartford as well as other points. The assignment of this task shows the confidence of the Legislature in his ability and his patriotism. It was necessary to draft able bodied men subject to such duties, assign into squads, direct clearing of the underbrush, the cutting of the big trees to a level with the ground, the leveling of the rough places, the making passable of boggy places and streams, and all the other things essential to the construction of a road through “forest primeval.” In 1927, when the John Ball chapter of the DAR erected the marker on the Old Hartford Road (Hwy. 57), the site of his tavern and home was selected. The author visited this site in January 2002 (photo). The gully and ruts of the old stagecoach road, where they crossed Hwy. 57 still appear to be partially visible on the site.
The growing travel between Milledgeville, Marion and Hartford and the establishment of a line of stage coaches made it necessary for stations to be established every ten miles where the tired horses having been driven at a gallop the greater part of the way were exchanged for fresh ones, which had been hastily harnessed and gotten ready when the stage driver’s bugle was heard in the distance announcing his approach. Quick to grasp the opportunity, McGinty built a tavern which tradition says was well equipped to satisfy the hunger as well as the thirst of the wayfarer. He also received an appointment to supervise and build a stage road on the ridge called the Ridge Road between the east coast of GA and Macon, which was the western frontier at the time.
He is shown in the 1811 minutes of the Ocmulgee Baptist Assn., as a delegate to the annual meeting, representing the Ramah Baptist Church in Wilkinson Co. The church is shows as having twenty members. He shows again in their 1813 minutes, representing Ramah and the membership is shown as fifty-four. These minutes show that the Ramah church dropped out of the Ocmulgee Assn. in 1814. They probably became part of another assn. at this time (Tarver Library, Mercer University, reel #1180).
He served on the grand jury in Wilkinson Co. in 1812. He is listed as a tax collector in Wilkinson Co. in 1817, and again in 1821, for a four-year term. He was also a justice of the inferior court. He is shown in the 1820 census of Wilkinson Co. with three males under ten and himself under age forty-five. There are three females under ten, three under sixteen and his wife, under age forty-five. He was living in Brooks military district (same as brother, Washington) in 1821. He drew in the GA land lottery and received land in both Monroe and Houston counties.
He lived in Baldwin Co., GA, until sometime before 1827, when he moved the family to Monroe Co., GA, near Montpelier Springs, south of Forsyth, GA. There are deeds on record showing his purchases of land in Monroe Co. as early as 1824. He sold a parcel of land there in 1827, and his father Robert witnessed the sale. There are other land sales recorded in the late 1820's and 1830. This land was very near his brother William in the twelfth district of Monroe Co. He shows in the 1830 census of Monroe Co., pg. 189, with seven white people and six slaves in his home, including a female, age 60-70 that could be his mother-in-law. Thomas is then found in the 1840 and 1850 Muskogee Co., GA census. There is a deed (book H, pg. 84-85) recorded in Talbot Co., GA, showing Thomas McGinty of Muskogee Co., selling 202 ½ acres of land to James Barnes, January 24, 1844. In 1850, at age sixty-six, he is seen with three males and eight females in his household. There is also a female, age sixty-seventy, which could have been his mother-in-law. In 1859, after the death of Sarah, when he was then living in Muscogee Co., he went with his son William Jones McGinty (1814 - 1896) and his family to Ashley Co., AR. The trip was made from GA in covered wagons. Ashley Co. is on the LA line and adjacent to Morehouse Parish, LA. William Jones had a grandson, Joseph Eugene McGinty (b. 1876), that was a member of Roosevelt’s RoughRiders.
“Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters of the DAR,” Vol. IV, show that a family bible belonging to Sarah Castleberry McGinty of Conyers, GA contained the marriage of Thomas to Sarah Castleberry and the following birth dates:
Sarah (wife) 12-16-1780
Mary Anne 01-08-1808
Elizabeth Jones 09-28-1809
Robert (C.C.) 05-23-1812
William Jones 06-22-1814
vii. George Washington McGinty, b. 1786, in Wilkes Co., GA, d. March 14, 1874 in Randolph Co., AL. See extensive research on Washington.
viii. William McGinty, b. 1792 (confirmed by the census of 1850) in what was Washington Co., now Baldwin Co., GA., d. April 7, 1858 (The Christian Index, page 3, col. 7), in Monroe Co. GA. His will was prepared February 1, 1858. He married Martha Grant (b. ca. 1800) at the house of Levi Speights, March 14, 1824, by Sterling Bass; Esq. He may have married again. He is shown in the 1820 census living in Baldwin Co. (pg. 36-37), age bracket twenty-six to forty-five, with two male children under ten and one slave. He is living next door to his father, Robert. He also shows in the Baldwin Co. land lottery of 1821, with his father, living in Maj. Ellis’s district. He was a justice of the peace in the 305th district from 1813 – 1817.
He produced a very large family of at least eleven children and one of his sons, John Thomas, was editor of the Monroe Advertiser, a schoolteacher and was Ordinary of Monroe Co., GA, for many years. William’s grandson, George Banks McGinty was Secretary of the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C. He was the son of John T. It is interesting to note that in William’s will, he specifically mentions John T. as follows: “It is my will that my son, John shall not come in for any part of my estate as I have provided him with a liberal education which I consider equal to what the balance of my children will get.” As it turned out, John T. was very successful in his life. Four of his sons, Cornelius, John T., Richard W., and Sidney F. enlisted in the Confederate Army; all in Monroe Co. Records show that they all survived.
There are War of 1812 and other war service records in the Natl. Archives showing William serving as a private in Newman’s command, GA vols., His brothers, Isaac and Robert also served in this unit. He is also shown as serving as a private in the 1st Reg., Harris’s command, GA Militia and later as a corporal in the 2nd Reg., Thomas’ command, GA Militia. There is an article in the Georgia Journal, December 16, 1817, saying that William and Levin Moore (father of Ann Moore who was wife of William Pitts McGinty) were drafted into the 1st Reg. of the GA Militia but had not joined the company by the required date. A reward of five dollars was being offered for their delivery to Ft. Hawkins. The State of GA Military Records, roll 40, box 16, pg. 109, show William as a Captain, 5 August 1824, in Jasper Co. (GA Archives). Records show that he was living in Russel’s district, Baldwin Co., in 1821. He drew in the GA land lottery that year and received land in Henry Co. William and his first wife Martha both joined the Island Creek Baptist Church in Hancock Co., GA, by experience in 1827. William was elected clerk of the church, 29 February 1828, and served in this position until he departed by letter in 1836. He shows in Baldwin Co. census of 1830, pg. 37, with seven children and two slaves. There are records showing that he had two successful draws in the land lottery of 1827. In one draw he is shown as a soldier. The land that he drew was in Muscogee Co. He shows as the owner of 202 ½ acres here in the tax list of 1828, but he never lived on this land. It does not show up in later tax years, so he probably disposed of it.
He left Baldwin Co., in 1836, and moved to Monroe Co., GA. This is proven in the death notice of his son, Cornelius in 1907, which says that he came to Monroe with his parents in 1836. Deeds on record at the Monroe Co. courthouse in Forsyth, GA show many of his land transactions. He shows in the 1840 census of Monroe Co., pg. 158, with six male and three female children. His father, Robert, is also living with him, age 80-90.
Note: There was another William McGinty in Monroe Co., shown purchasing land as early as 1824 and he also shows in the 1830 Monroe Co. census, pg. 177, in the age bracket twenty to thirty. He shows a wife and two female children under five years old. I am not yet sure as to the identity of this William.
In 1842, the minutes of the Flint River Baptist Assn. show that he was the delegate from New Providence Baptist church to the annual meeting of the association. By this time, New Providence had seventy-six members. His father, Robert had been pastor of this church until 1829.
He is shown in the 1850 census of Monroe Co. with wife, Martha and six children. He was still living in Monroe Co. in early 1858 on the land that is mentioned in his will as “the land I currently live on.” He owned several slaves, and they were given to his wife and children in his will. His will listed the following fifteen people: Elija(h), Robert, William, Lewis, Maranda, Francis, Cornelius (executor), Elisha, Manerva Ann, Clayton, Martha Marietta, Richard, Sidney and John. He also listed nine slaves by name and to whom they were left; seven to his wife Martha, one each to daughters Manerva Ann and Martha. His obituary published in the April 7, 1858, issue of the Christian Index, says that eleven children survived him. His son, Cornelius was named the executor of his father’s estate. There were several land sales from his estate beginning in 1858. Wife, Martha, is shown as the head-of-household in the 1860 Monroe Co., GA census, pg.749, with several of her children, and again in the 1870 census, pg. 394, with daughters Manerva and Mary. She died April 4, 1876, at her residence in Monroe Co. Her obituary, published in The Advertiser, April 11, 1876 reads as follows: “She was a native of Baldwin Co. and united with the Island Creek Baptist Church more than forty years ago. The profession, which she then made, she continued to adorn to the close of life, having attained a ripe age of seventy-seven years. She was highly appreciated in the community for her many sterling qualities, and for the worth of the large and interesting family she raised. Like a shock of corn fully ripe, she seemed only to await her Master’s pleasure when she should be gathered into his garner.” She was buried at the Cleveland Scott Cemetery near Brent, GA. The final 202 1/2 acres of land William’s estate was sold by son, Cornelius at public auction in Forsyth, GA, December 11, 1877, for $800. This may have been the land with the home Martha was living in and was sold after her death.
x. Mary (Polly) McGinty, b. ca. 1794, in GA, d. unknown, but after 1841, because she is shown in her father’s will that year. She went to MS with her brother, Joseph. She was a member of the Zion Baptist Church in Amite Co. and shows in the church minutes. A marriage license was issued on March 4, 1811, in Amite Co., MS for her marriage to John Russell. The 1820 census of Franklin Co. MS (next to Amite Co.) shows a John Russell with several children. It also shows a female between the age of sixteen and twenty-six, which should be Polly. There is a Mary McGinty shown in the 1840 census of Warren Co., MS, pg. 260. Two females are shown in age bracket, 40-50.
xi. Shadrach McGinty, b. ca. 1800, based on the 1850 census of LA, but probably earlier because he has service records for the War of 1812., d. after 1859, probably in AR. He married Mary “Polly” Lamar August 5, 1818, in Putnam Co., GA. Mary was born, ca. 1805, according to the 1850 LA census records, but had to be born earlier than this because of her marriage date, assuming that it is correct. Her father, James Lamar, is said to have been the cousin of Mirabeau Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas (after Sam Houston). Her mother was Catherine “Caty” Richardson. Mary’s nickname, “Polly,” is confirmed in her mother’s will, written in Autauga Co., AL, February 22, 1827, RB-1. Previous research shows that, prior to their marriage, Shadrach had been appointed guardian of Mary’s brother and sister. There are War of 1812 service records in the Natl. Archives showing Shadrach serving as a corporal in the 2nd Reg., Thomas’ command, GA Militia. There is a record in Index to Volunteer Soldiers in Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815-1858, vol. II by Virgil D. White, showing a “Thadiac” McGinty, Pvt., serving in Russel’s Co., 1st GA militia as having been drafted for the Creek War. This could be Shadrach. He shows in the 1820 census in Putnam Co., GA (pg. 173) with one male child (James) and seven slaves. He shows in the 1830 census in Bibb Co., GA (pg. 65) with two male children, five to ten (James and Robert), and a total of twenty-nine slaves. This indicates a large farming operation. He moved to Jones Co., and is shown as an executor of the will of Robert Carey in 1823. He is also shown in the State of GA Military Records, roll 40, box 16, pg. 43 as a 2nd lieutenant, 16 May 1820, in Jones Co. He shows again on pg. 201 as a captain, 8 July 1830, also in Jones Co. (GA Archives). Shadrach and brother Meshach both show in the Jones Co. land lottery of 1826. In 1828, he sold 101 acres in Jones Co., GA, to Alfred Iverson (Deed Book "O", page 158, Jones Co. courthouse, Grey, GA). He was in Jones Co. after 1830, and is listed in a sheriff’s sale of 101 acres of his land. He was in Milledgeville, GA, in 1834 as part of the city’s “Board of Visitors,” which must have been similar to the chamber of commerce. Family legend says that he was a Baptist minister, but I have found no church records to confirm this. He moved to Monroe Co., and records show that he had a successful draw in the Cherokee land lottery of 1832. At this time, he was living in Brewer’s military District in Monroe Co. He is listed as a soldier. Records show a land sale of 362 acres that he made in Monroe Co., GA in 1838. The deed shows that it included land that he was living on. The buyer was Chosen Boynton. He is shown in the Monroe Co., GA census of 1840, with three males (himself, James and Robert), two females (his wife and a probable, but as yet unidentified, daughter) and no slaves in his household (district 554, pg. 184). His name is grossly misspelled in the census index as Shederick Mcyinty. Shortly after 1840, the family relocated to Dallas Co., AL. Mary’s Lamar family was already established in this area of AL. Earlier researchers erroneously thought that Shadrach died in Jones Co., GA in 1843. A recent discovery in the 1850 census, shows him listed as “Shadrick,“ age fifty, wife Mary, age forty-five, and son James L., age thirty, living in Catahoula Parish, LA (pg. 73A). His occupation was, planter. His son, Robert H (Henry), age twenty-five, is living next door. Sadie Burt McGinty, the great, great granddaughter of Shadrach, says that they were all living on the DuBois Plantation when this census was taken. Sometime after 1850, the family moved to AR and there is a federal land patent showing Shadrach with forty acres in sec. 40, twsp. 16S, range 15W, dated September 1, 1856. There is also a Union Co. deed showing his sale of two quarter sections of land to Mirick Harrell, dated February 17, 1855. This land was located just west of downtown El Dorado, AR on highway 335. Shadrach has not yet been found in the 1860 census so it is assumed that he died before then because Mary, his wife, age fifty-eight, is shown in the 1860 census of Union Co., AR living in El Dorado with her son. R.H. (Robert Henry) McGinty (pg. 322B). Robert served in the Civil War. His service record is as follows: “McGINTY, ROBERT H., Second Sergeant. Enlisted in Co. I, 6th Arkansas Infantry, June 1861; discharged, 1861; enlisted in Co. C, 2nd Arkansas Battalion, at El Dorado, Arkansas, September 23, 1861; appointed second sergeant, September 23, 1861; absent sick in hospital at Dumfries, Virginia, October 31, 1861, “wounded by a shell from enemies battery;” absent wounded in hospital at Dumfries, Virginia, December 31, 1861; absent sick in hospital at Dumfries, Virginia, February 28, 1862; discharged for wounds at Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 18, 1862; born in Georgia, c1824; listed in Union county 1860 census, with wife E.J.; occupation farmer; bought land in Union county in 1860 and 1869.” The other son, James L. McGinty stayed in LA and shows there in the 1860-1880 census. He is shown as a primitive Baptist preacher in the 1860 census of Winn Parish, LA (pg. 963/121, house 829). Robert Henry moved on to TX and shows in Lavaca Co. in the 1880 census (pg. 10/469B). It is said that his mother, Mary, died in some kind of an accident while traveling through LA. Robert died in Lavaca Co., December 19, 1896, and is buried in the Old Moulton cemetery.
xii. Meshach McGinty, b.1800 (confirmed by the Autauga Co., AL census of 1860), d. unknown, but after 1869. He could have been married twice or even three times. He received a lottery land grant in 1819, drawing in Watson’s Battalion District, Baldwin Co., GA, along with his brother, Abednego and father, Robert. He drew again in 1826. He was then allowed two draws indicating that he was married. He is shown in the 1820 census in Baldwin Co., GA, pg. 26, as “Meshac,” with a wife and no children. He also drew in the 1821 Baldwin Co. lottery. He is shown in the 1830 census of Jones Co., GA. with four girls and no boys in his household. He and his wife’s age bracket is 30-40. In 1832, he shows in the Jones Co. land lottery draws. He was an ordained minister at Pope’s Meeting House, which was a Baptist church in the Ocmulgee Assn. in 1833. In 1836-37, he was a member of the Union Baptist church in Jones Co., GA, and was a licensed Baptist minister. In 1838-42, he was minister of the Eanon Baptist church in Putnam Co., GA, showing that he had relocated his family here. This is confirmed in the 1840-1841 minutes of the Ocmulgee Baptist Assn., showing that he was the messenger to the annual meeting from the Eanon church in Putnam Co. He was an ordained minister by then. He shows again as a messenger in the 1842 assn. minutes (Tarver Library, Mercer Univ., reel 1180). He was a justice of the peace in Milledgeville, GA in 1835. He shows in the 1840 census of Putnam Co., GA. with five girls and one boy in his household. In 1842, the local newspaper, Southern Recorder in Milledgeville shows him involved in the settlement of the estate of Benjamin Talbot. In 1843, he is shown as a member of the Upatoie Baptist Assn. He lived for a few years in Upson Co., GA (589th military district of Hootenville) and is shown performing two marriages there in Aug., 1846 and Apr., 1847. He shows in the Upson Co. tax list in both 1847 and 1848 (GA Archives). He also shown in the 1848 list, still living in Hootenville, but also paying tax in on 202 ½ acres, lot seventy-seven, district 5, in Houston Co., GA. The 1846, poor school records of Upson Co. show his children, Martha, Sarah and William. Based on the age and place of birth of his son, Robert (1848 in GA), as shown in the 1860 Autauga Co., AL census, he relocated to AL sometime after 1848. He then shows in the 1855 AL census, living in Autaugaville, AL and is a member of the Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church. On September 15, 1855, he was deeded property adjacent to this church. The deed shows him as an elder. He was probably the pastor at this time. Then, in an Autauga Co. deed dated, September 21, 1860 (pg. 233), he sells this land to Charles P. Shilley, acting agent for the church, indicating that he was no longer pastor and had moved or was moving to another location. He is shown in the 1860 census of Autaugaville, Autauga Co., AL (pg. 140, house 979) age sixty with his wife, Frances, who’s age appears to be fifty. If correct, she is not his first wife because her age does not match earlier census records. In 1860, they show four children, Sarah, William, Rebecca and Robert, all born in GA. His occupation is "Primitive Baptist Minister." Census records show that he had a total of two boys and six or seven girls. One of his daughters, Nancy, married Jeremiah Stewart in 1836. Meshach is shown as her father in the Stewart family bible. Nancy is shown in this bible as being born, October 1, 1820, so she would have been one of his first children. The bible shows her death date as January 16, 1899. Nancy and “Jerry” Stewart show in the 1870 census of Bibb Co., AL, pg. 227. She is age forty-nine, meaning that she was born in 1821. They had a very large family. Nancy also shows in the 1829-30, poor school records in Jones Co., GA, age 10. Meshach’s wife, Frances, shows in the 1860 census as possibly being age fifty. If correct, she would have been born in 1810, and could not be the mother of Nancy. This would confirm that Meshach had another wife before Frances. Her name could have been Tabitha (Heritage of Bibb Co. Alabama, pg 246). Another Tabitha, possibly Meshach’s daughter, married William H. Clayton on April 25, 1858, and shows as his wife in the 1860 census of Tuscaloosa Co., AL, pg. 459. She is then age twenty-two, showing that she was born in GA in 1838. Clayton is shown as a member of Co. D, 43rd Reg., AL Inf., which was organized in May, 1862. He may not have survived the war, because he has not been found in the 1870 census. The LDS website has a marriage listed in Bibb Co., AL, December 5, 1863, showing Meshach McGinty marrying Telitha Townsend. I have not confirmed this marriage with any other records. She would have been his third wife. In December 1869, a new primitive baptist church was founded near Pondville, Bibb Co., AL. Meshach was asked to be the moderator of the first meeting. Tabitha McGinty, probably his daughter, was also shown as one of the charter members of this church. The fact that he was moderator does not mean that he had relocated to Bibb Co., and he does not show up on the 1870 census. The date of his death is unknown at this time. His two sons have not been found in later census reports.
xiii. Abednego McGinty, b. 1800 in GA (confirmed by the 1850 and 1860 census), d. unknown. He is shown in Baldwin Co. (Milledgeville, GA) in 1822 with his mother, Deborah and father, Robert. He relocated to Decatur Co. (Bainbridge, GA) before 1824, and lived there until after 1832. In 1824/25, he was the “receiver of taxes” in Decatur Co. He actually paid taxes in Capt. Carson’s district. The January 20, 1825 court records show that he was a member of the jury in a murder trial. In January, 1831, he was the successful bidder to construct a new, brick courthouse for $4120. For unknown reasons, the building was not completed. In February, 1832, the court canceled his contract and awarded it to another man who completed it (History of Decatur County Georgia, Frank S. Jones, 1980). Two hundred thirty two acres of his land in Decatur Co. was later sold in a sheriff’s sale. There is a general index card in the National Archives showing that he was a corporal in Wimberly’s 1st Reg. of the GA Militia, in the Seminole War, 1817-1818. His brother, Isaac, served in this same unit. The State of GA Military Records, roll 40, box 16, pg. 134, show him as an ensign in Decatur Co. from 29 October 1824 until 22 June 1825. Page 134 shows him as a 2nd lieutenant in Putnam Co., July 1825 (GA Archives). The Military Record Book of 1829-1841, p.83, located in the Georgia Department of Archives, shows him listed as a colonel in the 88th Reg., GA Militia (Early Co. GA), and as being commissioned on August 27, 1835. To attain the rank of colonel indicates that he spent a great deal of his life serving in the Georgia Militia. He was the commanding officer at Ft. Gaines (est. in 1816) in Early Co., GA in 1836. This fort was named for Edmund P. Gaines who was second in command to then General Andrew Jackson during the Seminole wars. This part of Early Co. is now Clay Co. (formed in 1854). This was on the extreme frontier at the time and there were many problems with hostile Indians. There are several letters in the archives that he wrote to the Gov. of Georgia asking for workable muskets and other desperate needs for his men. There are also interesting documents in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia, showing some of his actions while at Ft. Gaines. These include the forming of military units to defend against the Creek Indian uprisings. Early Co. is in extreme southwest GA, next to Seminole Co., and near the FL border. It is interesting to note that the second Seminole War started in 1835, and lasted for seven years. Also of note is that his older brother, Washington, served in the first Seminole War in 1818.
He is shown in the 1840 census of Early Co., GA, under the name A. McGinty, in a section of the census record covering the personnel stationed at Ft. Gaines. He was in Capt. Wilson’s district. There are two children shown, a son under five years old (Robert T.) and a daughter between ten and fifteen years old. He is listed at age 40-50, with his wife, age 30-40 (pg. 113). On July 13, 1844, he was given military land warrant 8778 in Barbour Co., AL., for 80.22 acres. By October 1, 1845, he was shown as living on this land in Barbour Co., AL. Pres. James K. Polk signed this land patent document. Barbour Co., AL is directly across the river from Ft. Gaines, GA. He is then listed in the 1850 census in Macon Co., AL, pg. 199, at age fifty, living in the home of John A. Boling, with wife, Elizabeth, age forty-five and son, Robert T., age ten. His occupation is shown as carriage maker. We then see him listed in the 1860 census of Macon Co., along with a wife, which, on the census sheet, looks like either Mrs. Ellia or Ellisa (probably short for Elizabeth), and son Robert T., age twenty. His occupation is then postmaster of Union Springs and the U.S. postal records show his appointment to this position in 1857. Based on the obituary of son, Robert T., who died at age eighty-five, the family moved to Union Springs in 1850. No further records have been discovered on Abednego, but Elizabeth is shown living alone in the 1870 Union Springs, Bullock Co., AL census. Bullock Co. was formed from Macon Co. in 1866. Son, Robert T., is also shown in Union springs, Bullock Co., AL in the 1870 census (pg. 41/219) as a farmer, age thirty, with wife, Martha and three children, Walter, George and David. James Watson, a farm hand, is also living with them at this time. Robert and family show again in the 1880 census in Bullock Co. Robert died in April 1920 and is buried at the Oak Hill cemetery in Union Springs with wife, Tommie. He had been the city Sexton for over thirty years. I visited this gravesite in February 2004.
Note: It is possible that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were triplets. Separate census records show that were all both born in 1800, and speculation as to how and why their parents chose these biblical trio names is most interesting.
xiv. Josiah McGinty, b.1801-1802, in GA (confirmed by the 1850 and 1860 census of Bibb Co., GA.), d. unknown. He married Marion Penelope Russ on March 17, 1825, in Monroe Co., GA, W.F. Bayne, JP, and they had a family of three sons and two daughters, Benjamin R., Jeremiah, Perry, Marion Elvena, and Mariah Penelope. He is shown living in Huson’s district, Baldwin Co. in 1821. He drew in the 1821 land lottery and was awarded land in Dooly Co., GA. He then shows in the 1827 tax list of Pike Co. with 202 ½ acres in the 2nd district, lot 220. Pike was formed from Monroe in 1822. In 1830 and 1840, he is listed in the Pike Co., GA, census and later in the 1850 and 1860 census in Bibb Co., GA. In the 1850 census of Bibb Co., he is shown at age forty - nine, occupation, wagonmaker. Also shown are his wife, M.P, and children, Jeremiah Q., Mariah P. and Perry A. Jeremiah Q. is shown at age twenty-two as a carpenter. The last record we have is the 1860 census of Macon, Bibb Co., GA, pg. 474, which shows him at age fifty-eight, occupation, wheelwright (wagon maker). Also shown is his wife, age fifty-three and son, Perry, age sixteen.
NOTE: Census records before 1850 do not list family members by name, only by number within age brackets.
The Life of Robert McGinty
Robert was born in either Ireland or PA depending on when his father, John arrived in America from Ireland. His early life was spent in Mecklenburg Co., N.C. He married Deborah Jackson, ca. 1770. Records show that in 1778, she was in the process of transferring her membership in the Quaker Cane Creek Meeting in Orange Co., NC to Wrightsborough, GA. It is not known how they met or exactly where and when Robert and Deborah were married. According to the 1850 census of Conway Co., AR, pg. 268, their first son, Joseph, was born in 1770 in GA, so we can assume that they were married around this time. They would have probably moved to GA, ca. 1770, near or in the Wrightsborough Quaker settlement. Her father, Thomas Jackson, was a charter member in Wrightsborough but was “disowned” by the Quakers in 1775. He moved from this area to Wilkes Co., GA in 1775 and died in 1779. It is possible that Robert and Deborah moved to the land owned by her disposed father in Wrightsborough.
The Wrightsborough settlement was in St. Paul’s Parish near present day Thomson, GA, which is about thirty miles west of Augusta, GA, in McDuffie Co. The general assembly of GA granted 40,000 acres of land to the Quakers for this settlement. It was named for Sir James Wright, governor of the colony of GA in 1760. At this time, the government of the GA colony was located in Savannah. The land was located on “both sides of Germany’s Creek to the head thereof and from thence to continue this same course, ‘till it intersects the Indian line.” The original settlers were from the Orange Co. area of NC. Thomas Jackson, who was from the Cane Creek meeting in NC, and one of the first settlers, received an initial grant of 250 acres, town lot thirty-one, on July 3, 1770. An 1807 map of Wrightsboro, published in The Story of Whitesboro, 1768-1964, by Mrs. Pearl Baker, shows that this lot was located between Tower Ln. and Habersham St.
The Wrightsborough settlement, founded in 1769, was in St. Paul’s Parish, Columbia Co. (now McDuffie Co.) in an area that is near present day Thomson, GA, about thirty miles west of Augusta, GA. The general assembly of GA granted 40,000 acres of land to the Quakers for this settlement. It was named for Sir James Wright, governor of the Colony of GA. At this time, the provincial government of the GA colony was located in Savannah and Gov. Wright personally owned substantial acreage adjacent to the granted tract. Beginning in 1768, several Quaker families moved from the Hillsborough, Orange Co., NC area with their leader, Joseph Maddock, and settled in the area. They left NC mainly because Gov. Tryon did not like the Quakers and was making life miserable for them. Gov. Wright in GA was supportive of the Quakers and agreed to let them settle the land. An interesting account of the Wrightsborough settlement is found in the book, Bartram, Travels and Other Writings, edited by Thomas P. Slaughter. William Bartram (1739-1823) was a noted naturalist, writer, botanist and explorer that visited the settlement during a 1773 journey through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. He described the settlement as follows: "We arrived at a small village on Little River, a branch of the Savanna: this village called Wrightsborough, was founded by Jos. Mattock, Esq., of the sect called Quakers. This public spirited man having obtained for himself and his followers a district, comprehending upwards of forty thousand acres of land, gave the new town this name, in honor of sir James Wright, then governor of Georgia, who greatly promoted the establishment of the settlement. Mr. Mattock, who is now about seventy years of age, healthy and active, and presides as chief magistrate of the settlement, received us with great hospitality. Wrightsborough is a late but thriving settlement…the inhabitants are for the most part emigrants from the North Colonies. The town is already laid out and about twenty housed built. Several traders are in it and goods are sold as cheap here as Augusta, sugar, rum, salt, dry goods, etc. The settlement being upon the head of Little River, a very considerable branch of the Savannah River. The soil is very fruitful, hills and vales watered and beautified by numbers of salubrious waters…Mills are erected on the swift flowing streams…The inhabitants plant wheat, barley, flax, hemp, oats, corn, cotton, indigo, breed cattle, sheep and make very good butter and cheese. Fruit trees thrive very well here. I saw in Mr. Mattox (Mattock) garden, very fine large apples two years from the seed and grapes two years from cuttings…The distance from Augusta to this place is about thirty miles; the face of the country was chiefly a plain of high forests, savannas and cane swamps, until we approached Little River, when the landscape varies, presenting to view high hills and rich vales. The soil is a deep, rich, dark mould, on a deep stratum of reddish brown tenacious clay…The forest trees are chiefly of the deciduous order…Leaving the pleasant town of Wrightsborough we continued eight or nine miles through a fertile plain….” The settlement thrived for a number of years, but between 1805-09 the inhabitants moved on to the western frontier and the Quaker town of Wrightsborough ceased to exist.
Another excellent account of the families that lived in the Wrightsborough settlement and their involvement in the Revolutionary War is the novel by (Pres.) Jimmy Carter, The Hornet’s Nest, published in 2003. Although fictional, it is based on historical facts and tracks the movements of our own McGinty family.
As mentioned above, Deborah's father, Thomas Jackson, was one of the founders of the Wrightsborough colony of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1769-70. The records show that he was born April 22, 1731, in East Marlborough, Chester Co., PA. His wife was named Mary, and they had at least two children, Deborah and Joseph. It is also interesting to note that Thomas was the son of Isaac Jackson who was born ca. 1705, in Ireland and came to America as a small boy, growing up in PA. Isaac married Mary Miller in Chester Co., PA, in 1730. He then moved the family to NC in 1751, and was a charter member of the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting in Orange Co., NC. He shows in the minutes as one of about thirty original families. Thomas, father of Deborah, moved with his father’s family to NC when he was about twenty years old, where he married a girl named Mary (maiden name unknown).
The records of the Jackson family are well documented and show at least nine generations up to Deborah. This family was living in England, as early as 1505. From there, they went to Cavan, Ireland, probably around 1650, and then came to America and Chester Co., PA, sometime before 1727.
The Wrightsborough monthly meeting minutes show that Thomas Jackson was “disowned” on May 3, 1775, for enlisting in the province services. Then, the monthly meeting minutes of April 5, 1777, say that he “hath enlisted himself in the province service and took the qualifications required and hath deserted and absconded the parts which conduct being contrary to our peaceable principals and reproachful to society.” Thomas died in 1779, of unknown causes. His son, Joseph Jackson, was also “disowned” on April 1, 1780, for “bearing arms in a warlike manner, and of partaking of plundered goods, and also of accomplishing his marriage disorderly or out of the unity of Friends.” Joseph moved to Wilkes Co. and then Greene Co., GA, with his wife, Mary Burke. They produced seven children. There are records of several land transactions and the mention of their slaves. They were divorced in 1801, and their property split between them. He remarried Anna Rainey in 1805, and died in Putnam Co., GA, in 1835.
According to Jackson researchers, Deborah was a cousin of President Andrew Jackson. They shared the same great, great grandfather, Anthony Jackson, II, who was born ca. 1599, at Killingwold Graves, Yorkshire, England and died in October, 1666, probably in Ireland. If this is correct, all future children in this McGinty – Jackson line are blood relatives of the President (see attachment for more detail).
One of the first records of Robert was a deed that he witnessed in Richmond Co., (Augusta) GA in 1777. This deed was a sale by Absalom Bedell to David Robinson for 250 acres in the Township of Wrightsborough. The land had been granted to Bedell in 1772 (it is said that Absalom Bedell married Ruth Jackson, the aunt of Deborah and one of the Quakers at Wrightsborough. Absalom was not a Quaker, and she was dismissed in 1768, for marrying outside the church. They moved to GA where Absalom became one of GA’s first justices, showing as a county judge in August, 1779, and he also served as a major in the Rev. War).
Robert purchased 270 acres of land from Peter and Sarah Buffington, who were from the Old 96 District of SC, on August 4, 1785 (deed book B-2, Richmond Co.). This land was an original grant that had been made to William Fanning in 1770, and was located on Germany’s Creek in Wilkes Co. Robert shows as “McGintee” in the 1785 “remnant” tax digest, living in Capt. Karr’s district with 1 ½ polls, one slave and 300 acres in Wilkes Co. Absolom Bedell . Esq., was the tax collector. This tax list was published in Early Records of Georgia, vol. II, pg. 24, by Grace Gillam Davidson, Macon, GA, 1933. There is no further record of Robert during the war years. Earlier researchers speculated that he might have gone with families that were taken to safety in the NC mountains by Elijah Clarke and his men during this part of the war, but, as yet, there is no proof of this.
The Revolutionary War, 1775-1783, reached these settlements in late 1779. Robert’s actual involvement in the war is unknown. Conditions in this area during the war were very bad, and several families fled the area and lived in the NC mountains, returning after the war. He did receive a land bounty warrant after the war for 250 acres (tax-free). This was later increased to 287.5 acres (taxable) and the land was located in Washington Co. However, according to the office of the Surveyor-General of GA, he never exercised the warrant nor took possession of the land. The land warrant was granted to him under a proclamation from Col. Elijah Clarke on February 2, 1784. However, it was common for citizens that did not actually bear arms to receive land grants. In his warrant, there is no mention of him actually serving in the war.
An interesting paragraph in Sketches of Some of the First Settlers of Upper Georgia, by George R. Gilmer, pg. 155 describes some of the actions by Elijah Clark immediately after the war. "King George had granted land in the GA Colony very stintingly to his subjects. Everyone was especially hungry for more land. After the war, Elijah Clark and other N.C. settlers in Wilkes Co. took possession of the fertile territory between the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers, without regard to the occupant rights of the Indians, established a republic, made Clark their chief ruler and were prepared to parcel out the lands when the GA militia, ordered into service by Gov. Matthews and the regular troops by Pres. Washington, drove them off." Our Robert McGinty could have been involved here (speculation by author).
A search was also done at the National Archives, and there is no record of military service for Robert McGinty. Georgia’s Roster of the Revolution, by Lucian Lamar Knight, shows no record of Robert McGinty serving in GA. This book contains many official documents from the war. However, the DAR lists him as a patriot ( reference code RXYJBAXK) but this certification is based on earlier, incorrect McGinty research.
There is a record in the National Archives of his brother, James McGinty, serving in the NC militia as a foot soldier with the rank of private. The records show that he served in Capt. Charles Polk’s company from July 1776, until after January 1779, when he was at Cross Creek. His brother, John II also served in this unit and was the company’s sergeant.
On September 16, 1785, Robert was given an additional 200-acre “headright” in Wilkes Co. (Grant Book HHH, page 448). The deed reads, “bounded on all sides by vacant land” and was on Little River. Then on October 12, 1785, he was given an additional “headright” for 300 acres in Wilkes Co. (Grant Book III, page 90). The deed describes the location of the land and one side was bordered by the Absalom Bedell property. Absalom is mentioned above in the 1777 land transaction. The Governor of Georgia, Samuel Elbert, signed both of these headright grants. This land was on a tributary of Little River. The two grants did not adjoin. Both of these headright grants are confirmed by the office of the surveyor-general in Atlanta where all land grants since 1752 are recorded. A “headright” was land that had not been surveyed and divided into land districts and land lots. It was only surveyed in response to an application for a head-right grant and could be any shape the grantee desired so long as it conformed to the amount of his grant.
In February 1785, Robert returned to Mecklenburg Co., NC, and sold 122 acres of land that was part of his father, John McGinty’s estate (Mecklenburg Co. deed book 12, pg. 491). This land was located on McAlpin’s Creek and was a tract originally granted to Thomas Polk, 4 March 1775, and sold to John McGinty, 10 April 1779. Robert sold the land to William Kennedy for 60 pounds (note: Kennedy later married Mary Ann McGinty, the granddaughter of Alexander McGinty, Sr.). After this sale, Robert, his mother Rebecka, and brother James returned to Wilkes Co., GA. At this time, Mecklenburg Co. court records of this sale show Robert’s occupation as a wheelwright. These minutes also confirm that John was Robert’s father.
Later, on October 25, 1785, Robert sold 270 acres on Germany’s Creek to Thomas Napier (deed book F, St. Paul’s-Richmond Co.) and moved his family to the newly granted property in Wilkes Co., GA. Several years later, in 1797, Napier’s land on Germany’s Creek, which was then 600 acres, was sold at a sheriff’s sale in Columbia Co. at the instance of Robert McGinty (Augusta Chronicle, June 3, 1797, pg. 3, col. 4). I am not sure what this was all about, but it indicates some problem arose with the property. This land on Kettle Creek was said to be near War Hill, just west of Washington, GA, where the Revolutionary War battle of Kettle Creek was fought. The home place was just south of Little River into which Kettle Creek flows.
After settling in Wilkes Co., Robert and Deborah sold part of their land grants in several parcels. One hundred acres on Kettle Creek were sold to Thomas Daniel (deed book AA, pg. 248). Three hundred acres were sold to Edward Butler, November 24, 1786 (deed book CC, pg. 257). This land was on the south side of Little River and is described as land “whereon said McGinty now lives.” This was part of the 1785 grant. There is an additional record of some land “granted by the government to said McGinty” that was sold to Charles Smith on August 4, 1787 (deed book CC, pg. 97). All of these sales are shown in Early Records of Georgia, Vol. 1, Wilkes County compiled by Grace Gilliam Davidson in 1932. The book is located in the Jack Tarver Library at Mercer University in Macon, GA.
Somewhere in this time frame, Robert converted from the Presbyterian to the Baptist faith and the church records exist showing that he joined the Phillips Mill Baptist Church by “experience” on April 7, 1787 (photo). Deborah joined "by experience" on May 11, 1787. Records show that they were members of this church as early as 1785, along with Robert’s mother, Rebecka and his brother, James McGinty. These records are on microfilm, Philips Mill Baptist Church, Wilkes Co. GA, pub. no 1111, Historical Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, TN. (Abstracted in 1989 by Charlotte G. Tucker).
Why did his family convert? There could be several reasons, but at this time in history, there was a severe shortage of ministers in the Presbyterian Church, particularly in these new southern territories. The Presbyterian Church had a rule that only well educated men could become ministers. Because of demand, there were not enough that met this requirement. The Baptist religion did not require any education for becoming a minister. What the Presbyterians could not do, the Baptists accomplished. To them, the gospel was simple, uncomplicated, within the reach of all. It required no complex organization to form a Baptist church. A group of like-minded Christians could form a congregation and select as their minister a dedicated Baptist who felt the “call.” The Phillips Mill church certainly had an experienced minister in Silas Mercer. The success of the Baptists, in attracting new members, was phenomenal among the Scotch-Irish during this period. This conversion of Robert McGinty to the Baptist faith was a significant event in McGinty history. Future generations in GA, AL and other states, remained devout Baptists with several becoming well-known ministers and pastors.
When we examine the early Phillips Mill Church history, we see some of the hardships experienced by the congregation, which included Robert and his family. Since the original building where Robert was baptized in 1787, only had a floor, shutters and doors for a short time, if at all, it was probably a log structure. Pews were benches without backs. The site was known as "meetinghouse hill" due to the ridge on which the building was located. The building was on a hillside with a spring below running into Little River. It was also known as "meetinghouse spring." In 1801, a new church was built on a different site, "on top of the hill above the old one." The old meetinghouse building was moved to Raytown where a new church was formed.
The Phillips Mill Baptist Church was founded June 10, 1785, by sixteen members who met at the home of George Lea. The first building was on the banks of Little River about one mile down river, southeast of GA Hwy. 44, near the Little River Bridge. This is near Washington, GA. The first pastor was Silas Mercer, one of the great Baptist preachers in early GA. Silas came from the church at Kiokee, which was the first Baptist church in GA, established in 1772. It was located about twenty miles northwest of Augusta GA. His son, Jesse Mercer and Robert McGinty were both received into the Phillips Mill church by profession of faith and baptized by Silas in 1787. Jesse was fifteen years old and Robert, about thirty-seven. They remained close associates in the Baptist church for the rest of their lives.
It is very possible that Robert met Silas Mercer and his son Jesse when they were at the Kiokee Baptist Church. Kiokee was about ten miles from Germany’s Creek where Robert and Deborah had lived prior to moving to Wilkes Co. However, Robert and Deborah did not join the Baptist church until 1787. When Robert and Deborah moved to Wilkes Co., Silas and Jesse were again their neighbors.
In 1787, Robert was appointed by the congregation at Phillips Mill, “trustee to get the meetinghouse floored and seated.” By 1791, this had not been fully resolved according to the church minutes and Robert and two other members were ordered to “see how cheap they could get a workman to joint and lay the meetinghouse floor, make seats with backs and a pulpit, and to make doors and window shutters to the same.” In 1787, Silas Mercer, pastor, referred to Robert as “one of our beloved brethren at Phillips Mill.”
He shows in the 1787 tax records of Wilkes Co., living in Capt. Heard’s District, with 374 acres of #2 grade land.
In 1790, Robert became a licensed minister at Phillips Mill Church and began a long career of service in the Baptist Church. He remained at Phillips Mill Baptist until January 7, 1791, or about four years.
He is shown on the 1790 tax returns of Wilkes Co., GA, in Capt. McCormick’s District, owning 250 acres. He is shown in the 1790 census of Wilkes Co. as living in what is now Taliaferro Co., north of Sharon, GA. This was very close to or in the Wrightsborough Quaker settlement. He sold the final two hundred fifty acres in Wilkes Co. to Nathaniel Dean on March 26, 1791, but the sale was not registered until August 21, 1794. The Philips Mill Church records show that on January 7, 1792, Robert and Deborah were "dismissed by letter."
They then relocated the family to Washington Co. and moved their membership to the Mount Pelia Baptist Church. In 1793, this area of Washington Co. became part of Hancock Co., and, in 1807, part of Baldwin Co. In 1797, Robert attended a conference back at Phillips Mill and the minutes show that he was from the Mount Pelia church. There is a very good possibility that Mt. Pelia was Robert’s first church as a pastor. Records at Mercer University indicate that this church was also named Montpelier and that it later united with the Hephzibah Baptist Church (1804) and that the name was changed to Mt. Olives Baptist Church in 1812. I visited this area in April, 2006, and found a historical marker (photo), showing the general location of Montpelier. It is east of the Oconee River, off hwy. 22/24, near Milledgeville, GA.
The Hancock Co. records show that on 10 Nov 1792, Robert purchased 116 acres on Town Creek from Isaac Williams. We have a copy of this land plat (photo). At this time in GA history, this area was the western frontier. Indian lands lay beyond. He lived on this land until 1799 and then moved a few miles north to land on Rocky Creek (photo), then located in Hancock Co. (became Baldwin Co. in 1807). He sold the 116 acres on Town Creek to William Bivins, 1 October 1800, for $1200.
The tax lists of Hancock and Baldwin Co. show Robert as a property owner on Rocky Creek from 1804 - 1821. He lived in Capt. Jacob Gumm’s district. Jacob Gumm is buried in the small Gumm cemetery nearby (GPS 33 08’ 32” N 83 09’ 07” W). In 1808 - 1809, he is also shown here as executor for a Daniel family. His connection to this family is yet unknown. In October 2004, my brother Phil located the exact position of Robert’s land. Today, the southern border of his lot is the shore of the man-made reservoir, Lake Sinclair (photo). This 287 ½ acres of land was originally in Washington Co., and owned by Peter Perkins. It was surveyed, 11 November 1784, when Washington Co. was originally formed. Later, in 1793, this area became Hancock Co., and in 1807, it became part of Baldwin Co. We have the original Washington Co. survey map of the Perkins land. Perkins sold the land to Stephen Horton in 1797. Horton then sold the land to Robert on 6 April 1799 for $460. This land is 2.8 miles south of the Island Creek Baptist church where Robert was so active for many years. After Robert moved to Jones Co., in 1821, this land is shown as being owned by his son, William McGinty.
(Note: Washington Co. was formed in 1784. Hancock Co. was formed in 1793 from parts of Greene and Washington. Baldwin Co. was formed in 1803 from parts of Wilkinson, Washington and Hancock, with additions from Washington in 1807, 1812 and 1826.)
There is mention in earlier research about his having a bounty warrant, number 1446, for the land in this county, but there is no record in the GA surveyor-general office showing that he was ever actually granted the property. There is also some research showing that warrant 1446, which he was said to receive, was only shown as an example in the records and was not actually given to Robert. He served as Justice of the inferior court in Hancock Co. from 17 December 1793 – 16 June 1796. He was a member of the Hancock Co. Grand Jury in September 1797. He served a second term as Justice from 1801 – 1807. He was also a Justice of the Peace in Hancock Co. from 1799 until 1812. We do know that their family was large by then with twelve sons and one daughter all born by around 1800.
There is an interesting article that was published in the Augusta Chronicle, September 17, 1796. It reads as follows: “State of Georgia, Hancock Co., Whereas I the subscriber, did on the twenty-first day of April last, speak slanderous words against the character of Robert McGinty of Town Creek, in said county, in the hearing of Joseph McGinty, and perhaps some others; saying that the said Robert McGinty was an old dammed thieving son of a bitch; That he had stole my corn. Which words, I do hear by certify to have been spoke through heat of passion; and without any foundation: But on the contrary. From the best information that I have received, and as far as I know of my own knowledge, I do believe the said Robert McGinty to be an honest man. Given under my hand this 10th day of August 1796. William Minor.” Today, we find a Minor Road in this area (Montpelier) of Baldwin Co.
On June 1, 1799, he and Deborah joined the Island Creek Baptist Church, (est. 14 Mar 1794) in the newly formed Hancock Co., “by letter” (photo). This church is still located west of Sparta, GA. He was listed as an ordained minister. Five of their sons were baptized there, Joseph on March 11, 1800; Thomas on September 1, 1804, Washington on August 31, 1805, William on November 11, 1827 and Robert, Jr., December 1, 1827.
On April 26, 1800, a petition was published in the Augusta Chronicle, pg. 3, col. 1, concerning Robert and the title to 116 acres of land that was formerly owned by Isaac Williams. Apparently, the deed had been destroyed or lost and the Hancock Co. superior court ordered that the deed be either produced by their next session or that a new deed would be created after publishing the issue in one of the local “Gazettes” for three months. He is also shown as a justice of the peace in Hancock Co., beginning January 29, 1801.
In 1801/02, he served as pastor of the Horeb Baptist Church in Hancock Co. According to the church records, the current pastor became ill and Robert was asked to serve for one year. Church records show that “In February, 1802, Bro. McGinty made known to the church that he could not attend them any longer. On leaving, the treasurer was ordered to procure a suit of clothes for Bro. McGinty.”
In 1803, he served as pastor of the Island Creek Church and in 1808-1809; he was the substitute pastor or, as they were called, “supply.” He was also clerk of this church from 1815-1821. I visited this church on January 24, 2002, with my cousin Tom Wood who lives in Milledgeville, GA. The church is located N.E. of Milledgeville, GA, off of Hwy 22, on Carr's Station Rd. It is a neat, well-maintained small white wood building out in the open country. According to church history, this is the third building. The first and second church buildings were both nearby. There are two entrances in the front of the church. In the primitive Baptist churches, it was customary for the women and men to be segregated with the men sitting on one side of the church and the women on the other side. One front door was for the men and the other for the women (photo). Another primitive church that appears to be the identical building plan is the Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church (est. 1817) in Baldwin Co., GA. The small cemetery at Island Creek church is full of graves, but there are only a few stones with inscriptions. There are no known McGintys thought to be buried there because none died during their years of membership.
The original minutes of the Island Creek Church are located in the Jack Tarver Library at Mercer University in Macon, GA. Robert wrote some of these minutes when he was clerk of this church from 1815-1821, and they are there in the original book. It is interesting to note that the church was called "The Church of Christ at Island Creek" at this time. I reviewed this material at the library on January 25, 2001, and have since studied the microfilmed minutes.
On May 1, 1803, a committee of twelve Baptist leaders, including Robert McGinty, met at the Baptist church in Powelton, Hancock Co., GA, and formed The General Committee of Georgia Baptists (photos). This was actually their third yearly Baptist conference. Abraham Marshall was named chairman. He was a legendary Baptist minister in GA. Jesse Mercer, son of Silas, was also there. They adopted the following resolution: “Resolved, That the encouragement of itinerant preaching, the religious instruction of our savage neighbors, and the increase of union among all real Christians, which were the leading objects of the late conference, shall be zealously prosecuted by this committee.” This “conference” might be called the first regularly appointed Baptist convention ever held in GA. The group agreed to meet annually and the Georgia Association was born.
On October 4, 1804, Robert preached the sermon at the Georgia Association meeting. The title of the sermon was “And there was given to me a reed, like unto a rod, Revelations 11:1.” This meeting was held at the New Ford Baptist Church in Wilkes Co. Jesse Mercer was also present and was the clerk.
He participated in the Ocmulgee land lottery drawings of 1806, in Hancock Co. These draws were in Capt. Jacob Gumm’s district. He drew twice but was not successful. His brothers, James and John, also drew and were unsuccessful. His son, Joseph McGinty was successful in his draw. His son, Robert McGinty, Jr. also had one draw along with son, Thomas McGinty, with two draws.
As the Indians were being pushed steadily
westward, it usually took up to five years for their vacated land to be
surveyed and divided up into lots of two hundred and two acres each.
In typical land lotteries, plats of each lot were traced on small cards,
about the size of those now used in the game of Monopoly, which were deposited
in wire cages, along with a number of blank cards. At highly publicized
events, the cards were drawn one by one, in full view of the assembled
crowds. Every white adult male was entitled to one free draw, married
men or widows with children had two draws, and extra chances went to Revolutionary
War veterans, those who had served honorably in certain public offices,
or had some other distinction.
After arriving in Hancock Co., Robert became involved in the local government. An article in The Land Between - A History of Hancock County Georgia to 1940, chapter IV, by Forrest Shivers, explains how the county was organized. "Before it became a separate county, the area of Hancock had been organized into militia districts and these units played an essential part in local government. The boundaries of the districts also defined the territorial jurisdiction of the justice of the peace courts, the election districts, the return of property for taxation, stock and fence laws, the conveyance of land, and all other matters specifically referred to the districts in the law of the state.
The new county had nine militia districts, each designated by the name of the captain commanding. (The districts were not numbered until the early years of the next century.) The captains were elected by all the able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 50 in their districts and hence eligible for military duty. No district was supposed to have more than sixty-three militiamen.
The nine-militia districts in the county in turn formed two battalion areas, one commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lamar and the other by Lieutenant Colonel Harmon Runnels. The governor and legislature appointed David Adams and Richard Bonner tax receivers for their respective battalion areas. They also appointed five justices of the Inferior Court: David Dickson, Matthew Rabun, Peter Boyle, Robert McGinty and John Hamilton. The position of justice of the Inferior Court was an important one. Though the court originally had quite limited jurisdiction, it was granted increased powers in the Constitution of 1798 and subsequent legislation so that it would eventually exercise most of the administrative power of the county government. At the same time, six justices of peace were named: John Harbert, Davis Long, James Thweatt, Jesse Veazey, Daniel McDowell and Joel McLendon." Robert held an important position here in addition to his church work.
There is also evidence that Robert was a candidate for the State Legislature around this time. This same article, word for word, appeared in the June 6, 1807 and August 8, 1807 editions of the Farmer's Gazette. It reads: "From good authority, we learn that Col. Epps Brown, Robert M'Ginty, esq., William Chandler, esq., Richard A. Blount, esq., are candidates to represent this county in the House of Representatives of the next General Assembly."
On April 16, 1810, he was issued a passport by the Governor of GA to travel through Creek Indian lands. On October 15, 1810, he was issued another passport for the same purpose (Passports Issued by the Governors of Georgia, 1785-1809, by Mary G. Bryan). Note: The Ocmulgee Baptist Association was determined to engage in the works of “Indian Reform” among the Creeks and at their annual meeting in 1820, approved a plan to establish a school in the Creek Nation, in the area that “lies between the Euchee Creek and the Tallapoosy River.” The school was known as the Withington Station. The plan was titled as follows: “A plan of a school to be the germ of a religious establishment among the Creek Indians.” The plan was originally supported by the Georgia, Ocmulgee and Ebenezer Assns. By 1823 the school had opened and was flourishing with an initial enrollment of thirty-seven male and female Creek Indian children. Robert’s early trips into Indian country were probably missionary in nature and no doubt influenced the decision to establish this school.
On November 10, 1810, the Ocmulgee Baptist Association (named for the Ocmulgee River, which was the western boundary of white settlements in GA) was formed at Rooty Creek Baptist Church in Putnam Co. It was the fifth association formed in GA and had about 1,200 members. Robert McGinty was part of the committee that formed this association of twenty-four churches. He was then the moderator (chairman) from 1817-1822. At the 1817 meeting, which was held at Elim Baptist Church in Jones Co., GA, Robert preached the introductory sermon from 1st Corin., ch. 2, verse 12: “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.” He was also elected moderator of the association at this meeting. The Island Creek church became a member of the Ocmulgee Assn. in 1816. It was formerly part of the Georgia Assn. While serving as moderator of the Ocmulgee association, he continued as the delegate or messenger from the Island Creek church in Hancock Co., from 1816 - 1821. He was also president of the Ocmulgee Missionary Society around 1819, and for some years after.
By 1811, many new churches had been formed in GA by the original twelve preachers who were part of the Association in 1803. Robert was one of these men, “who engaged themselves devotedly in itinerant labors, and constituted churches all over the eastern half of GA, and the general spirit of earnestness, piety and zeal prevailed.”
In 1811, Robert helped found the First Baptist Church of Milledgeville in Baldwin Co., GA. Church records say that he drafted the original constitution for the church. Jesse Mercer was also one of the advisors that helped start this church.
He is shown in the 1813 Baldwin Co. tax list,
living in Capt. Thomas' district. He is then shown in the 1818 Baldwin
Co. tax list, living in Capt. Hightower’s district with 145 acres of type
two and 145 acres of type three land. His land adjoined that of a Sanford
on the waters of Rocky Creek. He also shows seven slaves. Apparently,
he owned and operated a grist mill on Rocky Creek. The following was published
in the Georgia Journal, “1818, December 1st. The subscriber, living in
Baldwin County, Rocky Creek, 7 miles northeast of Milledgeville, wants
to employ a man as a Miller, for ensuing year, who understands grinding
and keeping a good geared mill (Signed)
Robert and Deborah remained members of the Island Creek Church for twenty two years, departing by letter on November 17, 1821, when they moved on to Jones Co., GA, and he became pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church for a short time. He was then referred to as “Elder McGinty.” The Ocmulgee Baptist Assn. minutes of 1822 show him as the messenger to the annual meeting from Bethel church in Jones Co. (Tarver Library, Mercer Univ., Macon, GA, reel # 1180).
Since it is known that Robert was very involved in association work from this point forward in his life, it is important to understand what changes were taking place in the Baptist church at this time in history. From the beginning, Baptist churches were not independent of each other. Whitney, in his History of British Baptists, covering the church history in the 1600’s, shows that they always sought the fellowship between the different churches to carry on evangelistic work. This continued in America.
The first Baptist church that was established in GA was founded in 1772. It was the Kiokee Baptist Church in Columbia Co., near Augusta. Over the next two years several others were formed. In 1774, these churches formed an association called the Georgia because it was the only one in the State. It was constituted at Kiokee by the work of Elder Daniel Marshall, the pastor. Over the next ten years, the association flourished, and by 1784, there were about fifty-five churches with over 5,000 members. Beginning in 1794, new associations were formed including the Hepzibah, the Serepta and the Savannah. About this time, the question of foreign missions began to be considered by GA Baptists. Cary, the great pioneer in modern missions, had already been to Hindustan for a number of years and by 1812, great interest was developing in GA. The first mission society is thought to have been in Savannah in 1813. This society sent out a stirring address on the subject of missions, which resulted in the formation of other societies.
By 1815, Jesse Mercer, one of the most influential Baptist of the day, started a society to “evangelize the poor heathen in idolatrous lands.” In July 1815, the Ocmulgee Missionary Society was formed and proved to be strong and influential. Later, in 1819, Robert McGinty was elected president of this society.
At the same time a strong anti-mission spirit which condemned the whole movement was underway. This caused great division in the church with some becoming “Missionary Baptists” and others anti-missionary, or “Primitive Baptists.” There was thought to be a need for a general organization where brethren from different views could meet and resolve their differences. The new organization was called the General Baptist Association of the State of Georgia. It was formed at Powelton, GA, June 27, 1822. Robert was the first moderator. He wrote the following letter following the session in September, 1822: “The transactions of your first convention have been presented to our body, by our much esteemed brother, Jesse Mercer, and have been taken into consideration. We have now to state that your specified objects meet our unanimous approbation. We cannot close this poor token of love without expressing our hope that the General Baptist Association of Georgia will prove a lasting blessing to the cause of the Redeemer’s kingdom. We further request your next convention be within our bounds. R. McGinty, Moderator.” At the time there were eight separate associations in GA with about 16,000 members. The new association did not receive full support for many years. In 1828, the name was changed to the Baptist Convention of the State of Georgia (Georgia Baptist Convention). However, by 1846, it was representing only 38,000 members out of estimated 60,000 total in the association. There were bitter feelings and divisions within the church in the period 1830-1840 over the missionary issue.
The 1820 census shows Robert, over age forty-five, which is the highest age bracket on the census form, and his wife, also over forty-five, with son William living next door in Baldwin Co. (pg. 36-37). In this census, Robert is shown with one male child, sixteen to twenty-six and three male and six female slaves. Robert and his sons, William and Josiah, are also shown in the Baldwin Co. land lottery draws of 1821, in Maj. Richard W. Ellis’s Battalion. Robert is shown here as Robert, Sen. (senior).
In 1823, he moved from Jones Co., to Monroe Co., and around the age of seventy-six, became the pastor of the New Providence Baptist Church. Monroe County, Georgia, a History, pg. 275, says that this church was organized in 1820 and was located on Providence Hill near Tobosofkee Creek. This location is southwest of Smarr, GA. My brother and I have visited this area. He was pastor here until 1828. At this time he also became very involved in the Flint River Association and continued active there until 1830. According to the tax digest of 1828, located at the GA Archives in Atlanta, he owned lot 80 in the twelfth district that contained 202 ½ acres. This lot was adjacent to lot 91 and 92 that were owned by his son, Thomas. The original grantee of lot #80 was John Prescot. He sold the lot to Jos. Duckworth, January 26, 1822 (deed record vol. A, #253), for $200. Sometime after this, Robert came into possession of this lot, but the deeds transferring title to him have not yet been found. He then shows in the 1830 and 1840 census, living in Monroe Co. In the 1830 census, he is listed at age 70-80 with a female age 60-70 who I think was his wife, Deborah. She must have died in the early 1830’s because she is not shown in the census of 1840.
The Flint River Association, tenth in the state, was formed October 16, 1824, at Rocky Creek meetinghouse in Monroe Co. It consisted of fourteen churches, five ministers and about 525 members. Robert McGinty was the moderator of this first session. In 1825, at the second session, Robert gave the introductory address. He was the moderator (chairman) of the association for the first five years, 1824 - 1828 (Flint River Assn. Minutes, Mercer University). This association was created out of the Ocmulgee and was a strong missionary group of churches. The association responded to the needs of people at home, such as the Indians and Negroes and abroad where they could. They heartily embraced the total world mission program. The minutes of 1824, show Robert, in the first circular letter, had admonished the people of God, “In the name of Him in whose service you are engaged, go on.” Robert chose the Missionary Baptist Church while some of his children, such as Washington and Thomas, remained in the Primitive Baptist Church. Robert continued active in the association until age and infirmity compelled him to decline service. In 1829, he notified the association that he wanted to be excused from the moderator position because of age and infirmity (Flint River minutes of 1829, item 3). However, in 1830, he accepted the position of "circular letter writer" for one more year. We think that after Deborah’s death, he moved in with his son William near Montpelier Springs, south of Forsyth, GA, in Monroe Co. According to the Christian Index, William moved to this area in 1836. He shows as living in William’s house in the 1840 census of Monroe Co., age 80-90 (pg. 158). We know that William was a member of the New Providence Primitive Baptist Church at this time. William was listed as "messenger" for this church to the Flint River Assn. in 1841. This means that he represented the church at association meetings. The exact church location and Robert’s burial place have yet to be found. Various sources show the approximate location of the original church, and my brother and I visited the area in November 2004. Flint River Assn. records and other references show that it was originally located six miles south of Forsyth, GA, and three miles southwest of Smarr, GA. Sometime after the railroad was completed in 1836, the church building was moved to it’s present location in Smarr, GA.
In Georgia Baptists: Historical and Biographical by Jesse H. Campbell, published in 1847, he offers the following on Robert McGinty: “He was a man of general information, an excellent moderator, a person of easy and polite manners, and a sensible, sound preacher.” In the book, History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia, published in 1881, Robert is described as follows: “Rev. Robert McGinty was a man of high standing and good influence; polite and easy in his manners; pious in character; strongly missionary in spirit; an excellent moderator and a sound, sensible preacher. He was one of those who helped form the General Committee, at Powelton, in 1803, and was a member of the Committee. He was moderator of the Ocmulgee Association, president of the Ocmulgee Missionary Society, and for years the moderator of the Flint River Association. Raised (which is an error) in Wilkes Co., he was baptized at the same time and place as Jesse Mercer, in 1787, and was ordained before 1799.” He is also mentioned as one of the “most prominent actors among the historical characters of the Georgia Baptists who moved in the drama enacted in the first decade of the nineteenth century, and put in train events which molded the destinies of our denomination in the State.” In this section his name is shown as R. E. McGinty, but it is thought that this middle initial was picked up from earlier research that was in error. There is no proof that he had a middle name.
Robert’s last will and testament (Record of Wills, Book A, pg. 164, Forsyth, Monroe Co., GA) was probated February 10, 1841, in Monroe Co., GA. He gave his servant, Molly, her freedom. He gave all of his twelve children twenty-five dollars each with equal shares of everything else and appointed two of his sons, Thomas and William, executors for the balance of his estate. A newspaper article appeared in the Southern Recorder, published in Milledgeville, April 6, 1841, that read; "Georgia, Monroe County: Will be sold before the court house door in said county on the first Tuesday in June, next, between the legal hours of sale, all the property belonging to the estate of Robert McGinty, Sr., late of said county, deceased. Sold for the benefit of the heirs and creditors of said estate. (Signed) Thomas McGinty, William McGinty, Adms." This sale was held over two days. On June 1, 1841, four negros, Lucy and her three children, Henry, Susan and Emeline were sold to James Bivens for $1350. On June 2, all of his personal property was sold at the residence of son, William. This list of property is on file at the Monroe Co., GA courthouse, Court of Ordinary, Book E, pg. 322-324 and is very interesting. Several McGinty relatives purchased items including Robert C.C., William, James, Elijah, Thomas, Josiah, and Shadrach. The items included household furniture, kitchen utensils, toilet items, poultry, livestock, food items and his book collection. He was well read and the books included law, history and religious titles. These purchases totaled $1525. We have no record of Deborah's death. She shows in the 1830 census but is not shown in Robert's Will. It is thought that she died between 1830 and 1840.
The exact date of his death and burial site is still unknown. However, recent discoveries in the tax records show that at the time of Deborah’s death, they lived on lot #80 in dist. 12. They should be buried nearby. His death was not reported in the minutes of the Ocmulgee Assn., probably because he had not been a member for some time. There is a notice in the Christian Index, December 3, 1841, with the minutes of the Flint River Association, October 16-19, 1841, which includes a report on the death of ministers. It reads as follows: “We notice with much reverence, and long won worth and merit, the departure of our honored and aged father and brother, Robert McGinty, who we remember in useful life, and even when age had taken the vigor of youth and active usefulness, as one of the pillars: Yes, he has gone up to reap his reward!”
Robert McGinty had been a minister in the Baptist Church for more than fifty years. Many of his descendents were also noted ministers and his longevity is also found in several future generations of McGinty.
At the time of his death in 1840/1841, all thirteen of his children were living because they are all mentioned by name in his will. The number of McGinty descendents from Robert and Deborah are so numerous that future researchers will have plenty of opportunities to sort out the branches of their family tree.
Reproduced from “Our McGinty Family in America”
by Gerald K. McGinty, Sr., with permission from the author.
This material is copyrighted and may not used without the express written consent of the author.
Submitted by Jerry
Website copyright Eileen Babb McAdams 2006