Mahaffey Descendants published 1914, pp. 144-167

Washington County [Pennsylvania] cont.

Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Generations

1489.  7ADA ESTELLE MAHAFFEY,6 (Alex.,5 William,4 Alexander,3 _____,2 _____ Mahaffey.1)

Ada Estelle Mahaffey, third daughter of Alexander and Isabel Kennedy Mahaffey, was born Jan. 13, 1871, married Charles C. Arnold, 23rd day of Jan., 1892, who was born July 1, 1870, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. I. C. Paugh, of Kennedy M. E. Church. They live in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, and have five children:

1490.  7JAMES MATHEW MAHAFFEY,6 (Alex,5 William,4 Alexander,3 _____,2 _____ Mahaffey.1)

James M. Mahaffey, eighth child of Alexander and Isabel Kennedy Mahaffey, was born May 27, 1872; married Dec. 17, 1902, Hettie G. Henry, who was born July 14, 1875.

They are members of the Christian Church, and live in Dennison [Tuscarawas Co.,] Ohio, where James is employed by the P.R.R. They have two children:

[Untitled closing poem to section
on Washington Co., Pa.]

Clan kinship with the Mahaffey name —
Matters not if in some distant land —
Sure you belong to this “Irish” band.
Beside you know with us you have met
In our reunions; you’ll not regret
You came.  Come agin, ‘tis glorious fun —
Good “Buckeye Clan” from county Washington.


Introduction to Part No. 2

1605.  Mahaffeys in Ireland, and 19th Century Emigrants to America.

The literature of Ireland is filled with great collections of genealogies, some compiled before the time of St. Patrick, and continued until seventeenth century.

These genealogies were checked every few years by the great convention Lara. After this ceased the Aenachs, or Fairs, con­tinued, at which time the genealogies of the chiefs were rehearsed.

The Irish chieftain families meet in certain historical and semi-historical personages who lived several centuries before, or after Christ. But not content to going back to these founders the old genealogists strove to make nobility of one family.

They went on to the legendary Miled, his sons and uncle; Miled is supposed to be the leader of the first Gaels who entered Ireland. Three of his sons were Eremon, Ir and Eber, and his Uncle Ith. From these men are derived the great groups of Eremonian, Irian, Eberian and Ithian families.

The Emeronian families are the largest group and meet in Arch King Eochaidh, who died about 379. From another son of Eochaidth, the archking Nial of the Nine Tostages, come from the Northern Ily-Neils, or O’Neils, of Ulster, of whom there are three families; those of Dungannon in Tyrone, Fews of Armagh, and Clanneboy in Antrim. Another son of Nial was Eoghan, who gave the name of Tyrone, Tir Eoghan, the land of Eoghan.

When Brian [Boru?] was archking he obliged the chiefs of the Clans to take the name of some ancestor as a family name. If he took his father's name he used the prefix “Mac,” meaning “son of,” if of a more remote ancestor they used “O,” which means “grandson, or descendant of.” Brian was Archking in 1002 (note this is copied from printed matter sent by Miss M. G. Mahaffey, of Baltimore, Md., who is a descendant of Susan O’Neil, of Dungannon, Ireland.)

The fact that the Mahaffeys adopted a coat of arms as early as the 11th century goes to prove that they are of ancient lineage. We, however, do not know whether this was in Scotland or Ireland.

We have from good authority that they have been buried in Clonleigh Cemetery, in Ireland, from time immemorial (a long time), which would suggest that they might have been in Ireland even earlier than the 11th century.

The strong impression is that they are of Scotch descent, although there is a legend to the effect that one “Bau Haffet” came over with William III, in 1688, making, if that were true, a strain of Dutch blood. In certain families this would be re­ceived with scorn, because all these years they have prided themselves on that Scotch-Irish blood. However drop the “Bau,” and substitute “Mac,” and we have “Mac Haffet,” which could easily be corrupted into McHaffet, McHaffy, or Mahaffey.

Be that as it may, we will not strain our imaginations to that extent, but rest on the conviction that we are Scotch-Irish. They could have migrated from Scotland at any time, but it is likely that at the time of the Ulster Plantation, 1609-1612, they have found sufficient reason, especially among the poorer, or ambitious ones, for settling in Ireland. Those of the extreme north were doubtless among this number, and were the ancestors of who are buried at Clonleigh, and took part in the defense of Londenberry [sic] when besieged by King James in 1688, as one of them died in sight of “home ten miles from Londenberry.” [sic]

We also have record of them at Lifford, in Donegal, at Strabane, just across the river, in Tyrone; in Lurgan, Cavan and Down, also Dublin and Belfast. From family traditions, inherent traits, family names, and certain striking resem­blances one can almost with certainty select the place of origin. The members of the Clan are welcome to their choice, except where it is already proven, as in the case with the nineteenth emigrants to this country and those now living in Ireland.

The Baltimore Mahaffys [Maryland]

1606.  CHARLES MAHAFFY, and family came to America in 1848 from Tyrone, Ireland.

1607.  1JAMES MAHAFFY.1  (Spells name without the “e.”)

James Mahaffy, of Strabane, Tyrone, Ireland, married Susan O’Neil, direct descendant of Hugh O’Neil of Dungannon, of Dungannon, Province of Ulster (see introduction). To them were born seven children:

Second Generation

1611.  4CHARLES MAHAFFY,2  (James Mahaffy.1)

Charles Mahaffy, fourth child of James and Susan O'Neil Mahaffy, was born in Ireland about 1807. He married Nancy McPhilony, of Castlederg, Ireland, about 1835 or '36. They lived at S.E. corner, 12th and Ellsworth Sts., Philadelphia.

Nancy died in 1887, and Charles in 1880. He was a retired tailor. To this union was born four:

1615.  1JAMES B. MAHAFFY,3  (Charles,2 James.1)

James B. Mahaffy was born at Spamont, Tyrone, Ireland, in 1837. Came with his parents to America about 1848. He married Margaret Dinsmore, in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1859, and moved to Baltimore, Md., in 1879, where he died in 1912. He was a noted lumber man and inventor. They had born to them eight children:

1616.  2JANE MAHAFFY,3  (Charles,2 James.1)

Jane Mahaffy, second child of Charles and Nancy McPhilony Mahaffy, married Edmund English, who was a Civil War veteran, Co. C, 2nd N.Y. Vol., Co. C., 7th N.Y. Vol., member Medal Legion of Honor, a retired grocer. Died in 1912. She died in 1899, and to this union were born five children:

1617.  3ELIZABETH MAHAFFY,3  (Charles,2 James.1)

Elizabeth Mahaffy, third child of Charles and Nancy McPhilony Mahaffy, and first wife of the above Edmund English, died in 1868; they had one child:

1618.  4SUSAN MAHAFFY,3  (Charles,2 James Mahaffy.1)

Susan Mahaffy, youngest daughter of Charles and Nancy McPhilony Mahaffy, unmarried and lives at 5816 Washington Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.


To our Southern Clan we extend a hand,
Bid you welcome; and may you feel
Much interest you have added to our band;
T’will prove to all a common weal.


James Mahaffey, of North Side
Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania]
Family came to America in 1850, from Donegal, Ireland.

1635.  1James Mahaffey,1 native of Ireland, had two sons:

1642.  1James Mahaffey,4 son of Edward Mahaffey,3 had five sons and one daughter [probably not listed in birth order, since all the sons were listed first]:

Third Generation

1641.  4JAMES MAHAFFEY,3  (James,2 James.1)

James Mahaffey, fourth son of James and Margaret McClure Mahaffey, was born in 1800, married Mararet Galbraith, who was born in 1799. They emigrated from Masshill, Parrish [sic] of Lifford, Dongegal county, Ireland, in 1850; settled in Butler county, Pa., on a farm. He later sold the farm and moved to Allegheny, now North Side Pittsburgh. He died in 1855 and his wife in 1872. Eight children were born to these parents:

Fourth Generation

1650.  3JAMES MAHAFFEY,4  (James,3 James,2 James.1)

James Mahaffey, third child of James and Margaret Galbraith Mahaffey, was born in 1831, married Sept. 18, 1855, Jane Patterson, who was born Oct. 4, 1835. He died in 1913. James Mahaffey was a retired banker, and much beloved by all who knew him. To him the “Mahaffey Clan” owe many interesting details as to the “Irish Mahaffeys.” He took great interest in the reunions and always regretted he was unable to attend.

He was an invalid for some time before his death. In a letter written in 1911, he positively states that he believed himself to be a relative of the Mahaffeys who settled on the Susquehanna. He had heard his father and his great Uncle “Jack” discuss this matter. Uncle “Jack” lived at Drumore, Parrish [sic] of Lifford, county Donegal, Ireland, weighed about 250 pounds, was very red in the face. He had a son Minion, who was the tallest man in the parrish. [sic] In 1897 there was a grandson Minion, living on the old homestead.

He also wrote, “Tradition has it that some of our ancestors were defenders of the city of Londenderry, [sic] when besieged by King James in 1688; some were killed, some were starved to death, and one died from exhaustion in sight of home.” “A[n] [embroidered] sampler worked in different colored silk hung over the mantelpiece in my boyhood home. The inscrip­tion was ‘Our faith and Our Fireside’; ‘No Surrender, Meg 1688.’ The word ‘Meg’ is an abbreviation of roaring Meg, a cannon that was mounted on the walls of the city of Londenderry, [sic] and made a terrific noise, which struck terror to the heart of King James and his followers. The early Mahaffeys were Episcopalians, with a few Presbyterians. They have been buried in the old cemetery at Clonleigh from time immemorial.”

He further states that his father had the family tree neatly written out on a sheet of parchment. (This record was obtained by him in a law suit he had in regard to a piece of freehold property), and was written back to 1688, and was lost in the move to this country. James and Jane Patterson Mahaffey were the parents of nine children:


We have heard from many of our Clan;
Much different, too, their stories ran,
Each in their class; we prize them all,
Responding to our earnest call
For data.  In which to fill our book —
It, we secured, by hook or crook.
Our “Pittsburgh Clan” have helped us fine,
In running out this “Irish” line.
I know you’ll enjoy their part,
Displaying a true “Irish” heart.

An “Irish” American Chapter

1690.  An “Irish” American chapter.  American representatives of this family emigrated to this country about 1881.

The settlement of Mehaffeys in West Down, Ireland, was begun about the beginning of the 17th century. Possibly one of the clan came from Scotland during the Ulster Plantation, and settled here under grants, at, or about the same time as the others settled in Donegal and Antrim counties.

This wing of the Clan spelling their name “Mehaffey.” There were three known grandsons, or great-grandsons of the first founder, and they all died between the years 1830 and 1880, namely:

There is also mention made of two unknown brothers of this family, there having been five brothers in all. Many daughters were among the descendants, and have intermarried so that many of the present generation can claim lineage to the first Mehaffey settler. This settlement was made at Loughbrickland, (see illustration in book [not included here]) county Down, 24 miles south of the city of Belfast, and three miles from the market and banking town of Banbridge. It was at this village where King William III encamped with his troops on the way to the Boyne, June 20th, 1690.

There are many of the ancient landmarks to be found in this district. There remains a monument of three large, long, almost square stones, in the town of “Greenan,” supposed to be from the Danes time of conquest, and known as the three sisters of “Greenan.” Between the villages of Scarva and Gilford can be found the ruins of Tally-Ho-Castle, built by the Danes in the 11th century.

The Ulster Plantation, frequently referred to in several previous chapters, consists of 511,465 acres of land in the province of Ulster. This land became vested in the [British] crown owing to the forfeitures made under [King] James 1st, and was divided among English and Scotch Protestant subjects, as chose to settle there—dates, 1609-1612. The colony settled in the extreme north, chiefly in Antrim and Londonderry counties, but especially around the cities (now) Londonderry and Coleraine, receiving their charter in 1613.

History again tells us of the re-colonization between 1683 and 1690, during the reformation, when the last Stuart King, James II, was removed from the throne, and died an exile in France after suffering defeat at Derry, Aughrin, Oldbridge and the Boyne, under William III in 1801, to settle the Irish rebellion, which began May 4, 1798, costing about 170,000 lives. It was more probable that during the reformation period (1688-90) our ancestors came from Scotland and made settlement in Ulster. The writer wishes the reader could have the pleasure of reading a “Retrospect” furnished by the author of the above data, pertaining to a recent journey made by himself to his “Fatherland.” Owing to lack of space we are denied giving you the pleasure, it being well worth reading. We would suggest that all interested members of this clan secure same from our newly found relative and clansman, John Mehaffey, No. 17 Florida St., Pittsburgh, Pa. [address current as of 1914], and journey with him across the Isle of Shamrock, the land of sunshine and flowers:

“O! Land of sunset glories,
Lone island of the west;
Of all lands to thy children,
The fairest one and best.
Thy sons will cease to love thee,
And for thy sake to toil—
When clinging Shamrock ceases
To love the Irish soil.”

(Unknown writer on the Emerald Isle.)

This “Retrospect” consists of 33 closely written pages of the most interesting journey, therefore we find it impossible to take you with us upon this journey through these pages, but will introduce you to his ancestry.

1691.  1JOSEPH MEHAFFEY,3  ( Mehaffey,2 Mehaffey,1)

Joseph Mehaffey married Mary Graham, 1843, who was born in Scarva, county Down [Ireland] of Scotch ancestry. She died March 18, 1886.

Joseph Mehaffey was one of three brothers to settle in West Down. Little is known of his early life, as records are unavail­able; however, he died Jan. 1, 1863, a man about 60 years of age. To this marriage there was born an only child, a son:

1692.  2JOHN MEHAFFEY,3 second son of this branch men­tioned in the beginning of this chapter, was born, died and buried in this settlement in county Down [Ireland]. Little can be learned of his life, save that he died some time after his brother, Joseph, leaving no direct descendants.

1693.  3WILLIAM MEHAFFEY,3  third son, was the youngest and died about the year 1880; he married and was survived by one daugher:

Fourth Generation

1694.  1JAMES MEHAFFEY,4  (Joseph,3 ____ Mehaffey,2 ____ Mehaffey,1)

James Mehaffey, only child of Joseph and Mary Graham Mehaffey, was born Aug. 26, 1844, at Drumsallagh, near the village of Loughbrickland; was married to Jane M. McFerron, Nov. 24, 1865. A family of eight children were born to them where they resided upon the old homestead, and were:

1695.  1JANE MEHAFFEY,4  (William Mehaffey,3 _____ Mehaffey,2 ____ Mehaffey,1)

Jane Mehaffey, only child of William and ______ Mehaffey, who at present is living in the townland of Lisnagade, Parish of Aghaderg, near the village of Scarva. Jane being the only heir to the estate of her father, settled in Warrenpoint, and engaged in the hotel business; after a lapse of about ten years, gave up the business and married John Taggart, of Loughbrickland, about the year 1900, who owns a large farm adjoining this village. She sold the old farm to another James Mehaffey, a cousin of her father, a son of either John Mehaffey, or one of the unknown brothers.

1696.1JAMES MEHAFFEY,4  (supposed to be a son of one of the unknown brothers of Joseph, William and John Mehaffey.)

James Mehaffey, supposed to be a son of one of the two unknown brothers of the mentioned Mehaffeys, in forepart of this sketch, married Miss Alice Risk, a local and beautiful country lass; he died Aug. __, 1913. Ten children survive:

A family of Mehaffeys were discovered in these environments who belong to the original settlers, and have not had mention made, a brother and sister:

Quotations from Irish Letters

Letters of Interest to Clan
with the Genealogies of the Writers

1734.  1Doctor John Pentland Mahaffey, of Dublin, Ireland.

A few years ago a letter was received by the President of the Mahaffey Clan from Dr. John Pentland Mahaffey, of Dublin University.

Doctor Mahaffey is a man of much learning, an authority on Greek, and an author of no small note. He has held for years the Greek professorship at Trinity College, Dublin. Twenty years ago he was made Vice provost of the University. He has received every degree and title a man of learning deserves, and when last heard from, although past his eightieth year, was active in his duties. He made a lecture tour of this country some years ago.

He writes:

I cannot at a moment’s notice go back further than my great-grandfather, who was a landed proprietor, living at Foxhall, near Killygarden, in South county Donegal. Most of a large property had been let on lease for corn, receiving a mere head rent per acre. These head rents were recently redeemed by the tenants under the present land laws.

Two or three town lands will remain Creaghdro, Broadpath, and Black Repentance. This grandfather whose Christian name I cannot at the moment recall, had at least two sons: my grandfather, a parson and squire at Killygarden, and my grand uncle, Minion, a well-known barrister in Dublin. Both brothers married sisters of the Hone family. Minion left no children who survived him.

This generation, my grandfather and granduncle, were born about 1760 or ’70. My father, Nathaniel Brindley [Mahaffey], was born in 1798, and was the oldest; he had a brother James, who went as an Army surgeon to India and disappeared; there was a son who became a lawyer of Billieborough, county Cavan, who is grandfather to Judge Mahaffey, now in Meskaka; also a daughter married to Frederick Moore, who left issue and has many grandchildren; and an unmarried daughter Eliza, who spent her later years at Billieborough, and emigrated with that family to Canada, where she died.

A William Mahaffey, from parrish [sic] Donoughmore, graduated M.D. in Glasgow about 1770.

The family ‘Coat of Arms’ appears on various pieces of furniture and family plate in my house. It is a mailed hand and an arm brandishing a broken spear, and I know by tradition that the motto was ‘Factus non Victus,’ ‘Broken but not conquered.’ The family never took out a regular ‘Coat of Arms,’ i.e. never had it registered.

Doctor Mahaffey states also that his line should be strict to spell the name “Mahaffy,” that is the proper form.

When W. T. Mahaffey and his son Leroy visited Ireland in 1909, they met Miss Rachel and Miss Elsie, the charming daughters of Doctor Mahaffy, and was highly elated over the cordial welcome they received.

Doctor Mehaffy has two sons also, Arthur William, who has an heir, and Robert Rutland, a barrister in London, unmarried.

1735.  2John George Mahaffey, No. 2, Acorn Villa, Belfast, Ireland.

“Extracts, Early marriages and prolific families the rule.” “The direct descendants of my grandfather were all born in the vicinity of Lurgan, a town of thirty miles south of Belfast.”

“We have this legend as to our family dated 1690” — “A Mahaffey had a farm beside Strabane, Tyrone county. He died leaving a wife and one son. He left his estate to his widow during her life, and after her death to his son. A second son was born after the father’s death. The oldest son sent his brother to Trinity College and educated him as a barrister, and later was known as ‘Croppy’ Mahaffey, during the time of the Irish rebellion.

“The second son, who took no part in his father’s estate, became a farmer. He had three sons—James, William, and Samuel. James and Samuel each had a son, the former being killed at the battle of Scringapatam, and the latter dying without issue.

“William had a son named James, who died June 14, 1849, aged 60 years. This James left five sons—William, George, John, Robert and James.

1736.  3William Irwin Mahaffey. [sic] Extracts from William Irwin Mahaffey, [sic] Belfast, Ireland.

“I observe your branch of the family have an ‘e’ in the surname. In my childhood days I remember my father had an ‘e’ in his name, but it was found that for generations previously, as was evidenced by the inscriptions on the family tombstones in Lurgan, county Armagh, that the correct form was without the ‘e.’ There are some families that insert the ‘e.’

“My father was James B. Mahaffy, [sic] and gave me a history back into the 18th century. The family early in that century lived in Strabane, county Tyrone. One of the sons came to Armagh and he was the progenitor of the Lurgan Mahaffys. [sic]

“I am the sole survivor of my father’s and mother’s family.”

William Irwin Mahaffy [sic] is a barrister in Belfast, Ireland.

Quotations from
“American Irish” Letters

Odds and Ends

1737.1Samuel Mahaffey, of No. 1429 East Montgomery St.,
Philadelphia, Pa., has this to say:

“My father’s name was John, and his father's name was William. My father came from northern part of Ireland, when a small boy, and would be about ninty-five [sic] years old (1912).

“I have often heard him say he had many rela­tives in Pennsylvania, but did not know where. His mother was buried in Philadelphia, Pa.”

1738.  2Pearl Mahaffey, an Ohio branch:

“I am the eldest daughter of John Wesley Mahaffey, of Middletown, Ohio. I have been teaching French and German here in Bethany College, W. Va., for five years, coming here after my graduation in Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Pearl Mahaffey.”
(Letters received in 1913, by W. P. Mahaffey, Clan Sec.)

1739.  3J. M. Brown, Irwin, Pa. A Westmoreland descendant.

1740.  4John Mahaffey, of Philadelphia, Pa. (Received in 1912.)

“My ancestors came from Scotland about two hundred years ago and settled in Ireland, county Down, near Belfast, where I was born. I came to Philadelphia when I was eighteen years of age. I am now forty. I am married and have five children.

“Yours respectfully,
“John Mahaffey"
“No. 79 Laycock Ave."
“Phila., Pa.”

1741.  5John Mahaffey, a relative of James of Allegheny, now deceased.

John Mahaffey, a distant relative of James Mahaffey, of Allegheny, now deceased, married _____ Macbeth, to them were born four children: (1) John, (2) Moses, (3) Samuel of Marion, Ohio, and Jane. Samuel attended one of the reunions at Mahaffey [Pa.].

1742.  6Clyde R. Mahaffee, Shadyside, [Belmont or Columbiana Co.,] Ohio (received May 21, 1914.)

"My great-great grandfather, it is claimed, came from Scotland about the time Lafayette came over to this country. My great-grandfather’s name was Samuel; grandfather’s name was William Henry, born at Smithfield, [Isle of Wight or Russell Co.,] Va., 1818, died at Wegee, [Belmont Co.,] Ohio, in 1912. Married Mary Emerson, also dead.

“My father’s name was Lawrence; died 28 years ago, when I was two years of age. Grandfather, William Henry, had an uncle, Joseph Mahaffee, living at Mt. Vernon, [Knox or Lucas Co.,] Ohio, just before the Civil War. I have lived in Ohio all my life.

“Yours truly,
“Clyde R. Mahaffee, Shadyside, Ohio,”

1743.  7Rev. J. Clyde Mahaffey, Torrington, [Goshen Co.,] Wyoming:

The Rev. Clyde Mahaffey writes:  “My father was born in Brown county, Ohio. His father’s name, I believe, was Andrew; his mother’s before marriage, Black. Both his father and mother died in ’48 or ’49, of cholera, and he was sent to Illinois, with an older sister. We would be very glad indeed to know more of our people, and if we could be traced I would like to receive information to that effect. I have five sisters and brothers. I would be glad to hear from you more fully.

“Rev. J. Clyde Mahaffey
“Torrington, Wyoming.”

(Dated, June 10, 1914.)

[Webmaster’s Note:  There is also an alphabetical “Mailing List” on the final page of my copy, p. 167, which I have omitted here, since it has only names and addresses, probably those of people to whom copies of this book were sent in 1914. Also, it does not appear to be the complete list, since it ends with surnames beginning with the letter “C.”]


[TOC] Table of Contents