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McKinley/Sullivan and Related Families

Up ] Rathlin ] Archibald & Nancy ]


John McKinley born Rathlin Island/Ballycastle, Co. Antrim abt 1780 died ???? probably Rathlin & Mary Weir born Rathlin Island/Ballycastle, Co. Antrim abt 1780 died ???? probably Rathlin

rathlinview 1968.jpg (15297 bytes)Our McKinleys were originally Highland Scots, but by the 1700s they were living on Rathlin Island (photo left taken approaching Rathlin 1968, Church Bay) off the coast of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland.  The 1766 Religious Survey returned by the Ministers of the various Civil Parishes to the Irish House of Lords for Rathlin was:    Protestant Families 28, Papist Families 92.
Names of Protestant families: Walker 1; McQuilkin 4; McAhargey 1; McArthur 2; McKey 1; McQuoig 6; McCausland 1; Horaghan 1; McCully 1; Weir 4; Hunter 1; McKinley 1; Rankin 1. 
Names of Catholic families: McGillachrist 6; McCurdy 35; Morrison 6; McQuilkin 6; McFall 4; Roy 1; Millar 3; Rankin 1; Andrewson 6; McCay 1; Brallachan, 1; McKermud 1; McCargey 3; McKinley 1; McCurrey 1; McGowan 2; Walsh 1; McGrigor 1; McKeernan 1; Black 14.

RathlinView2.jpg (59646 bytes)Co. Antrim 1803 Agricultural Census,breakdown of surnames on Rathlin Island (photo left kindly provided by BW 1995): Anderson 13, Black 7, Bradley 1, Cresly 1, Gage 1, Grimes 1, Horan 4, Hunter 2, Lamont 3, McCarter 3, McCay 2, McCormick 1, McCurdy 31, McFall 6, McKey 2, McKinla 3, McLhargy 5, McQuig 8, McQuilk 6, McQuilkan 1 (may have become Wilkinson in U.S.), McQuilkin 1, Miller 1, Moore 1, Morrison 13, Ritchurson 1, Wier 3, Wrenkin 1

Among these families was a John McKinley who married a Mary Weir and had a son Archibald born 25 March 1804.  Archie married Ann "Nancy" Morrison of Rathlin in 1827 and they had 8 sons:  John 1827, Daniel 1832, James 1834, Alexander 1837, Archibald 1840, Michael 1842, Patrick 1845 and William 1848.

Selected McKinley Marriages & Baptisms in Ramoan Parish, Ballycastle (1825-1958): 
Ramoan Parish, Ballycastle - Parish Baptismal book; Baptismal records from 1838: 

p. 4, year 1839 -- Baptised Mary Ann, daughter to John Morrison and Mary Black; stood James Weir and Mary McCurdy. 

p. 13, year 1845, March 6 -- Patrick of Archie McKinley and Nancy Morrison; sponsors Archie McBride and Mary Anderson (note: Patrick was one of Archie & Nancy's 8 sons, but he must have died young because this is the only mention of him we have found). 

Dec. 25, 1846 -- Mary Ann of James Dunn and Pegy Christy; sponsors Archy McKinley and Sally McKinley. 

1850, Sept. 7 -- Archibald, son of John McKinley and Mary Scally (note: was this John a brother of Archie born 1804?). 

1850 Marriages, same book, p. 403; April 15; Alexander McKinley to Catherine Duncan; present Francis and Margaret Dunbar McNeill. 

rathlinStThomasChurch.jpg (68053 bytes)The following inscriptions were copied from the crumbling headstones at St Thomas Church (photo at left kindly sent by BW 1995), Rathlin Island in 1967 and probably belong to McKinley ancestors, although their relationship has not been documented:
"Daniel McKinley's burying place of Cregmacagan (note: Craigmacagan was a settlement on Rathlin Island). Here lieth his son Patrick who died 2 August 1792 aged 18, Also the said Daniel who died 1811(?)" - Was Daniel the father of John McKinley?
"Erected by John Weir of Kinkeal (note: Kinkeal was a settlement on Rathlin Island) in memory of his son Alexander who departed this life 8 November 1840 aged 56 years. Also his son James who departed this life 22 May 1841 aged 24 years" - Was John Weir a brother of Mary Weir?
"The burying ground of Archie Morrison of Kincale. Here lieth the remains of Jane Morrison, his wife, who departed this life 15 December 1827 aged 56 years. Also Catherine Hunter, his daughter who departed this life the 3rd day of November, 1830 aged 27 years" - Were Archie & Jane the parents of Nancy Morrison McKinley?

The McKinley family was from Ballycastle, a sea-port, market and post-town, in the parish of Ramoan, and Rathlin, an island and parish, both places located in the baroney of Carey, county of Antrim, and province of ulster. The McKinleys were said to go back and forth to Greenock from Rathlin to work in the shipbuilding industry. Greenock is a city that sits on the south bank of the River Clyde just before the river makes a sharp turn to the south to empty into the Firth of Clyde. Greenock is in Renfrewshire and is about 15-20 miles west of the center of Glasgow.  Another family story is that If the second gathering of the McKinleys booklet is correct, the immigrant McKinleys, who settled in Ireland from Scotland arrived about 1715 (so First Jacobite Rebellion?) at Fair Head, Co Antrim near Ballycastle.

Archie, Nancy and their youngest son William emigrated to live on their son John's Iowa farm abt 1863, probably sailing from Liverpool to New York City as their other sons had previously.  They w/h/b ages 59, 58 and 15, respectively.

Here's how the Irish might have come from New York to Iowa:  Many came through waterways---via the Erie Canal, then by steamboat across Lake Erie, up to Lake Huron, then around the lower peninsula of Michigan following Lake Michigan to Milwaukee or Chicago. From there they could buy a horse and wagon to get to Iowa. They could have come from the East by railroad at that time, but it was a more expensive option.

Notes of Archibald Gustin McKinley: McKinley family research shows that they originated as a clan in Scotland in 1200 A.D., and branches came to Ireland in 1610 A.D. when James I made "Plantations" of Scottish settlers there in 1610 A.D. In Gaelic, the name was Mac Fionnlaoic -- "sons or descendants of Fionnlaoic" a Scottish chief who died in 1170 A.D., and whose name meant fair-hero. The McKinley clan occupied over 2000 acres of land originally in the district of Lennox, just north of Glasgow and were also associated with the Buchanan Clan; they still live there today in large numbers and have their own Tartan and Coat of Arms, some insist on accenting the "lay" of the name. McFinley would be a more logical anglicisation of the name; (from Fionn, fair one), the "k" merely being a form of "Mack." There is no similar name in Ireland, but the McKinleys have behind them over 400 years of history as settlers in Northern Ireland. At Ballycastle in County Antrim McKinleys came from Scotland in 1715 with the opening of coal mines in that town, and abstracts of mining documents show a number of McKinleys as mineworkers. 

Here's a little Scot's history:

1609 - James VI King of Scotland (son of captured Mary Queen of Scots) sends Scot settlers to Northern Ireland to begin the "plantations."
1707 - Act of Union joins Scotland, England and Wales into the United Kingdom of Great ritain. Many Scots remain loyal to the Catholic House of Stuart. They become known as Jacobites.
1715 - First Jacobite Rebellion. English win and many Scot losers are sent to Northern Ireland.
1745 - Second Jacobite Rebellion under Bonnie Prince Charlie. English defeat Highland army at Culloden and enact cruel punishment on Scots (forbid wearing of tartan, playing of pipes, etc.). Many Scots are sent to Northern Ireland. Some stayed, while others joined the emigration to America. Most of these Scotch-Irish families settled onthe frontiers of Pennsylvania and the Southern back country of Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas where their descendants still live.

I've been told that the Scottish McKinleys came from a place called "The Annie," a corruption of the Gaelic An-Abhain-fheidh, meaning "The Ford of the Stag," which is near Callender in Perthshire. This was in the 1600s. Before 1600, being of many clans, the McKinleys were from everywhere in Scotland. After the 1600s, there was James the Trooper (born 1671) who went to Ireland.

Some versions of the McKinley Tartan (below):

TARTAN~2.GIF (5524 bytes)

Tartan~3.jpg (99773 bytes)

McKtartan2 jpg.JPG (52302 bytes)

McKinleyCrest.JPG (116461 bytes)

Arms, crest and motto :--gu, a stag trippant ar; crest, an unarmed arm holding a branch of olive, all ppr.; motto, "Not too much." 

Info Wish List -

  • Need to check out baptisms in Culfeightin Parish for McKinley brothers


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