McBee Family in Texas
McBee Family - Scots Irish Sept of the McBain Clan


Another name which is historical in the Palo Pinto/ Parker County area is McBee. My grandmother was a McBee, and, although she never lived in this area, many of her kinsmen did. Today we can find McBees in Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, and other area counties.

The McBee Family came from Scotland, many by way of Ireland. They are part of the Clan McBean which is a sept (or division) of the McBain Clan. It is probable that the name originated from the personal appearance of the members of the group, as Ban or Bain means "fair". This name is found in several areas of Scotland and Ireland, but originally the MacBeans are said to have come from Lochabar as part of the entourage of the heiress of the Clan Chattena of Northern Europe. They settled in Eastern Invernessshire in Scotland.

The principal family of the time was the McBeans family of Kinchyle. For photos of the area go to Kinchyle of the Dores on the internet at . Journalist Bob McBee stated that it is possible that the whole of the clan immigrated to Northern Ireland and then to North America. The belief is that while crossing the Atlantic the MacBeans changed their name to MacBee later dropping the "a" and placing the "c" hence the name McBee. The name Is sometimes spelled as "McBee" with a hyphen to represent the missing "a". I have also heard it pronounced "mac-a-bee".

Bob McBee further states that the McBees have been farmers, military men, clergy men, newspapermen, politicians, manufacturers, plantation owners, frontiersmen, and more. They have played their part in making and protecting that vision of the United States. Theirs is a heritage to be respected.

The following is a tradition that has been passed down through the families. William McBee left Maryland and settled in Halifax County, Virginia. His wife's name was Susannah Vadry. They had four sons and three daughters; Samuel, Vardry, James, Mathias, Elizabeth, Joannah, and Mary. At the time the McBees were Quakers, but they renounced the faith at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Vardry and James married and moved to North Carolina. Later the boundary was changed, and they ended up living in South Carolina.

James stayed in South Carolina, but his children moved on to the West. One son, named Thomas, married Rachel Riley and moved to Ohio. He died in the 19th century, but left nine children. They were Elizabeth, Margaret, James, David, William, Levi, Thomas, John, and Henry. The boys and their mother came to Missouri from Canton, Ohio, in 1835. They came to St. Louis by boat, and from there they moved and settled two miles east of Hardin, Missouri. The river crossing there was called McBee Landing for some time.

That first winter was very cold, and they suffered many hardships. When spring came they planted their crops, but the heavy thaw and high waters drove them to the hills. Later the family moved to just south of Millville, Missouri. William, Levi, Thomas, John, their families, and their mother left Ray County in 1852 for Portland, Oregon. They stopped at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, for two or three weeks, where they became sick with cholera, which was spreading through the country at the time. Several of them died on the way west and were buried on the plains. The mother Rachel Riley McBee, died and was buried in the Black Hills of South Dakota; John and William, with their families, and that of Thomas went on to settle in Oregon.

Three sons remained in Missouri. David remained in the New Hope area, James moved to the family home one half mile east of the McBee Chapel in Carroll County, near Braymer, Missouri, and it is said that Henry moved to Chillicothe, Missouri., and later to Gainsville, Texas, in 1895, leaving no descendants.

There are several websites which tell the story of these McBees. You can see the McBee Family History of Missouri at ; The Great McBee Search at ; and McBee Genealogy at which tells about the McBees of Carson County Texas.

My great grandparents were James William McBee and Elizabeth Jane Shrum. They lived in Braymer, Missouri. They had seventeen children, six of whom were girls but with only one set of twins. One of the twins, Nell McBee Null, said that "most all of McBees were farmers, and all of the six girls of us McBees married farmers, too."

The story goes that when they butchered, it was about 18-20 hogs at a time. It took a lot to feed a family like that. Everybody helped, for it was quite a job to work up that many. The family tells a story about Grandma McBee (Elizabeth Jane Shurm) in the smokehouse. She was a very short woman, and she climbed up on a barrel of sorghrum molasses to reach the meat, and the lid tilted , and she fell into the molasses. They said they had a terrible time getting her out and cleaning her up!

The family home was on the border between two counties, Carroll and Ray, with land in both counties. James William got mad at the school which his children attended, so he built a room onto the house in the other county and transfered the all the children to the other county's school. That must have hurt the first school!

Many of these family members immigrated to Texas. The eldest, Laban, went down to Oklahoma and settled there and then moved on to Texas. It was around this time, about 1900, that the Panhandle area was opened for settlement (Cherokee Strip) and other families from the Braymer, Missouri, area went to the Panhandle to claim land. They included Marion Holder, Elmer McBee, Wasson McBee, Laban McBee, Charles Tripp, and John Ficke, my grandfather, who was married to Harriett Elizabeth McBee, James William and Elizabeth Jane's daughter seventh oldest child. John and Harriett Ficke settled in Wheeler County, where John's brother Henry settled. Both John and Herny had immigrated from Germany in the 1880's.

Another Texas McBee family is that of William H. McBee of Van Zandt County. His oldest daughter Rebecca married (#1) Peter Karber, ca. 1846. Their sons were Henry L. and Jasper Newton Karber. Rebecca married (#2) James Roberts 1853 in Kaufman County. According to Probate Records in Kaufman County Rebecca and both of her husbands were dead by 1854. The 1860 Census shows the youngest son, Jasper Newton Karber , living with his Aunt Nancy's family in Kaufman County and Henry L .Karber is found living with the B. Irby family in Parker County, Texas.

Rebecca's son's are recorded as selling and paying taxes on the property in Kaufman County assigned to their father, Peter Karber, by their grandfather William H McBee and land left to them in Kaufman Co., as heirs of Rebecca (McBee) Karber Roberts by the death of their Uncle .

William Newton McBee, who appeared to have died about the same time as Rebecca, as recorded in Probate records in Van Zandt County, and as heir of Rebecca by the death of their Uncle Silas P. McBee in a Partition Deed dated 1857.

Henry L. Karber is listed as living in Parker County, Texas, as shown in deeds filed in 1876, but he is never mentioned after this date. Jasper Newton Karber is not found or mentioned again after 1869 probate records. The land inherited by the two boys, was sold by "John Karber" in 1881 and 1882, John Karber is recorded as living in both Kaufman and Madison County, Texas. John Karber was probably the half-brother of Henry L. and Jasper Newton, son of Peter Karber. He was born 1818 in Arkansas. He lived in Madison County, Texas, where he raised his family.

Of other Texas McBee interest, there is a McBee Cemetery in Ovalo, Texas, in Taylor County (Abilene), latitude 321025N, longitude 0994547W, and there is a J. G. McBee listed on the Census of Hood County, Texas, for 1889.

For those who would like to learn more about the McBee History or to share artifacts, pictures, etc. you may contact Dean Hughson,1812 Quail Point Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89117; 702-360-5419. Also, there is an out of print McBee book called Out of the Wilderness by Janice Mercer, illustrated by Helen Scott., printed in 1973 at the Printery in Clinton, Missouri.

As Bob McBee said, the McBee family has a respectable heritage.

Do you have information about your family which you would like to share? If so, please contact me, Sue Seibert, P. O. Box 61, Mineral Wells, Texas 76068-0061; or .

You all come back now!


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