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The McAtee Family History

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Megan Quillen
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Click here: The Sorensen Family Tree to see the Sorensen Line.
Ultimate Family Tree, ver 2.5
MCATEE Project Version 62
July 7, 1999

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Table of Contents

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Ackerson, Allen, Atchison, Clements, Frazier, Hardy, Livingston, Mcatee, Quillen, Robertson, Sutton, Tiller

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  • The McAtee Family tree has grown by leaps and bounds during the past few years. With a great amount of help from my uncle, Gary McAtee, and from many distant cousins across the country, I have been able to put together this "family journal." To help give our ancestors a personality, I've been able to include several letters, obituaries, and bits of personal information. It is a great and glorious history that we have in our family and it is a pleasure to bring it to you.

  • Our original name began its career not as a surname, as we know surnames today, but as a descriptive sentence in the old Gaelic tongue. "McAtee" is believed by many, to derive from the Gaelic "Mhac an t'Saoi"; "saoi" being the word for "scholar" or "sage". MacLysaght traces McAtees to Counties Armagh and Monaghan, and McAteers ("Mhac an t'Saoir", which means "the son of the carpenter") to Armagh, Antrim, and Donegal. There is a suspicious closeness in the distribution of these two names in Ireland, just as there is in the spellings of the names themselves. "Saoi" and "saoir" are not only close in spelling, but their historic meanings are close as well.
  • Are the McAtees simply a southern branch of the same clan; were they just unusually learned or wise McAteers; or are they a completely separate family? Our McAtee cousins are presently working to find out, and will carry on until either new evidence appears, or they themselves pronounce on the matter. For more on this read the article by James Robling below.

    I have heard from distant cousins that most of the original McAtees were Catholics. This may explain why our ancestors' Pat and Rosamond, moved from Ireland to America (if they did come from Ireland, recent evidence shows they came from Scotland). They were both born in 1652, but before they were born, in 1649, English army lay waste to Catholic towns and exiled Catholic landowners to the rocky west of Ireland, reducing Catholic ownership of land to 22 percent. In order to farm better and larger amounts of land, many Irish Catholics sailed to America.

  • Here is some more information on the origins of Partrick and Rosamond McAtee as told by James Robling:

  • I have seen many articles that indicate that the McAtee’s came from Ireland, and that the name was derived from various other similar names (McAteer etc) but no one has ever shown solid proof to back up their statements. I believe that they came from Scotland. I have personally been to Charles County, Maryland several times where the McAtee family originated, and I did my own research in that area and throughout Md. The McAtee’s lived just west of the small town of Pomfret, and I have read everything that I could find on all their neighbors. The records show that all these residents of this small village did their import business with merchants of Glasgow, Scotland. I have not found any record to indicate that anyone in this immediate area ever came from Ireland.
  • When you go to the records of Ireland no one has ever found the name McAtee. In and around the town of Glasgow, Scotland in the counties of Lanard and Fife in the 1600’s you will find the McAtee name, and it was spelled the exact same way that Patrick spelled his name in early Maryland records [Mackatee]. I have not researched the records of this area, only to show that the McAtee family lived there.
  • In various histories of the families of this area, and Maryland histories, it has been proven that several ships came to this area of Charles Co. from Scotland, but nothing ever indicated that any ships came from Ireland. There were two ships that came to this area from Scotland (1685 and 1690), and it is my personal belief that Patrick McAtee came over on one of these ships. One of the ships belonged to the Beall family and it is well written that they bought over 200 Scotsmen on one of their ships, but no record exists as to who these 200 Scotsmen were. (NOTE: The Bealls lived in the same neighborhood as the McAtee’s in MD, and you will also see the McAtee family intermarrying with this family)
  • Another strong point to consider is the following: An extensive research of all the McAtee’s of Charles County, Maryland, reveals that all of a sudden there was another McAtee that showed up in Charles Coounty in the 1770’s. Who was this McAtee family and where did they come from?
  • A John McAtee and his family came to Charles Co., MD. His son, Walter McAtee, enlisted in the “Flying Camp” regiment in 1776 in Charles Co., MD, and this Walter McAtee filed for a pension in 1833 in Nelson Co., KY. John McAtee, the father had a will in 1794 in Prince George County, Maryland, and he had 5 daughters and only one son (Walter). When our McAtee family moved to Montgomery County, Maryland this Walter McAtee moved there also, and when the McAtee family moved to KY Walter McAtee moved there and belonged to the same church as our McAtee family. With this McAtee family moving into the same neighborhood as our McAtee family, then moving on to other parts with our McAtee family, I would think that there was some kind of a connection there.
  • Walter McAtee had a will in Nelson Co., KY and he had a son named Benjamin, who he named. In the “Biography Encyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky” page 595, they included a history of Benjamin L. McAtee in the 1800’s and Benjamin personally stated that "HIS FATHER HAD COME FROM SCOTLAND IN THE MID 1770’s, AND HAD SERVED IN THE REVOLUTION, AND HAD MOVED TO NELSON County, Kentucky, IN 1812."
  • All records support the bio given by Benjamin L. McAtee. My personal view is that this McAtee family was related to our McAtee family, and that is most likely the reason that they had come to America and settled amongst our McAtee family in Charles County, Maryland, then moved on with our family.
  • When you look at the way these immigrants came to America, Patrick’s history fits right in. From all indications only their last son (James) was born in America (1695) and the only one to have an Americanized/English name. All the other children had Scottish names. You won't find any evidence where Patrick and Rosamond’s children were born between 1689 and 1695. Why? It is my belief that Patrick came over by himself as an indentured servant to James Brown, who most likely paid for Patrick’s passage, and in this time and era one had to work for this person for 5 years to pay for his passage, in which time he most likely formed a close relationship with this James Brown. I would believe that most likely Rosamond and their children came over in 1694, and that would also account for them not having any children born between 1689-1695. That also supports the reason for them naming their last son James, most likely after James Brown.
  • In 1698 there was an epidemic in this area of MD and James Brown died (without a will) and a few days later his wife (Ann) died. Ann Brown in a brief one line will gave everything to Patrick McAtee. She most likely wrote the will on her deathbed, which is why it was so brief. You will find that the McAtee family called their land "McAtee’s Luck". Patrick McAtee was not educated and could not write his own name, and I can understand why they most likely called their land McAtee Luck, because with the events that happened so suddenly they went from being a poor uneducated family to one of great standing. You will find that Edmund (the oldest son) turned out to be the most influential McAtee and when he died he still owned 10 slaves, and had a large estate, and yet he could not write his own name.
  • Others say that Rosamond was a Greene before she married. I know all about the Greene family and they came from England in the 1630’s, and there is no way that she belonged to this family.
  • Ann Brown, who left everything to Patrick, was originally Ann Smithson, daughter of John Smithson from England, and they too came to Maryland from England in the 1630’s, and there is no way that she was related to McAtee’s.
  • James Robling

    --When you go through the web site you will notice some interesting things. At the bottom of the pages there will be a button for the next page, previous page, and back to the index or the Table of Contents. These make the web site so much easier to navigate. I hope you enjoy our McAtee Family History. I welcome constructive criticism and family information. Thank you again to everyone who helped me put this together
    -Megan Quillen
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    Other McAtee Family Resources:

    The McAtee Family Tree by Cathy Conrad - extensive work on all of Patrick's sons and descendants. A lot of information on the Pike County McAtee's.

    The McAtee Surname Family Center A McAtee Resource Center. What you'll find here: message board, Archives and records, Submit your information, Meaning and origins of the McAtee name, Surname researchers, downloadable gedcom files, online database, and McAtee genealogy links.

    McAtee Net A McAtee directory and message board.

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