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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Surname Saturday- My McClurken's

John McClurken was born about 1774 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland

Here's a little history on where he was born

The town is built on land given to the Adair family by King Charles I in 1626, on the basis that the town holds two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity. As of 2016, the Saturday market still runs.
Ballymena is the hometown of notable actor Liam Neeson, who was awarded "Freedom of the Borough" in 2013. It is a popular shopping hub within Northern Ireland and is home to Ballymena United F.C.
Ballymena incorporates an area of 632 square kilometers (244 square miles) and is home to large villages such as Galgorm, Ahoghill, and Broughshane.
The town used to host Ireland's largest one-day agricultural show at the Ballymena Showgrounds. The town center has many historic buildings. The Town Hall was built in 1924 on the site of the old Market House and was refurbished in 2007 at a cost of roughly £20 million.

I could not find records of him coming to America All that is known is he died somewhere in South Carolina. I would assume he came with his children. His oldest son came abt 1772 to Charlestown SC on the Ship Lord Dunluce.

His wife is unknown also at this time. 
He had 9 children.

1) Thomas McClurken born 1756 in Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, died 22 Mar 1845 in Oakdale, Washington, IL He is buried in the Oakdale Cemetery.

inscription on the gravestone: "Mark the perfect, bold the upright, for the end of that work is peace."

Elizabeth Smith was born on February 10, 1767, in Antrim, Ireland. She died on September 2, 1852, in Oakdale, Illinois.

Her parents were John Smith (1730 - 1784) and Agnes Faris (1745 - 1838). Elizabeth and her parents were Scotch-Irish. Her siblings included:

·      David (May 13, 1771 - December 29, 1841)
·      James (1776 - 1826)
·      John (1778 - February 7, 1807)
·      Agnes Donnelly (1782 - April 8, 1848)
·      Rebecca Wilson (July 22, 1784 - September 27, 1864)

Elizabeth accompanied her parents, and brother David, on a voyage from County Antrim, Ireland to Charleston, South Carolina in 1772. For an explanation, see Covenanters. Elizabeth came to either the Hopewell or the Pennsylvania. See surnames at  Surname Summary of those who came with Rev Martin and details at Names of Passengers from Ireland.

Elizabeth Smith married Thomas McClurken on September 4, 1790, in Chester, South Carolina.

Elizabeth and Thomas were Covenanters. They had six children while living in South Carolina:

·      John (May 4, 1792 - July 12, 1874)
·      Archibald (November 11, 1794 - April 7, 1853)
·      Nancy (December 25, 1797 - November 9, 1857)
·      James (January 5, 1801 - October 8, 1875)
·      Thomas (March 31, 1805 - January 10, 1867)
·      David (June 22, 1811 - March 18, 1880)

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1790 Census of Chester County, South Carolina, along with three males under 16 years of age, three females, and one slave. It is presumed that the others were not their children but may have been related.

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1800 Census of Chester County, South Carolina. Living with them were John, Archibald and another male child (under 10), another male (15 - 25), Nancy (under 10) and 4 slaves.

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1810 Census of Chester County, South Carolina. Living with them were John (16 - 25), Archibald (10 - 15), James and Thomas (0 - 9), Nancy (10 - 15), and two other free persons.

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1820 Census of Chester Township of Chester County, South Carolina. Living with them were James (16 - 25), Thomas (10 - 15), David (0 - 9), and Nancy (16 - 25).

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1830 Census of Chester County, South Carolina. Living with them were Thomas (20 - 29), David (15 - 19),  and Nancy and one other female (20 - 29).

About 1830, some of Elizabeth’s children (James and Thomas, Jr.) moved with their families to Washington County, Illinois. For an explanation of the circumstances associated with the move, see Covenanters. On September 7, 1833, Thomas sold his 250-acre plantation on Rocky Creek in South Carolina. In December, he and the balance of his family members left for Washington County Illinois. Thomas and Elizabeth purchased 80 acres in Section 15 in 1834 and 40 acres in 1836.

Pages 55 & 56 of the Narratives of Randolph County are a transcript of a letter written in 1896 by Rev. J. J. McClurkin, a grandson of Elizabeth. In it, he describes:

·      How Elizabeth was well indoctrinated in the principles of the Covenanter Church and, no doubt, helped Thomas to see the evil of slavery and to join the Covenanter Church.
·      The four slaves that were set free by Thomas (between 1800 and 1810) as a result of his conversion to the Covenanter faith.
·      The trip from South Carolina that commenced in December 1833. This was a six-week trip, on which Thomas, Elizabeth, and daughter, Nancy, traveled in a one horse carriage. Other family members were in a wagon with four horses.

Elizabeth and Thomas were Charter Members of the Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church that was formed in 1834. It is likely that they participated in the Underground Railroad, along with other members of the congregation, because of their disdain for slavery.

Elizabeth is mentioned in “History of Oakdale Township” (see references) on page 33 as an RP Church Charter Member.

Elizabeth and Thomas show up in the 1840 Census of Washington County, Illinois. Living with them were David, Nancy and one other male (20 - 29).

Thomas died on March 22, 1845 at the age of 97. He is buried in Oakdale Cemetery (Old Section, Row 5, Grave 32), near Oakdale, Illinois.

Elizabeth then applied for and received a widow’s pension of $34.11 per year until her death. Copies of the payment registers are available below. In addition, at least 40 pages of Thomas’ pension file are related to the widow’s pension for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth shows up in the 1850 Census of Washington County, Illinois. She was living with her son, David, and her daughter, Nancy.

When James McClurken died on October 8, 1875, he had the following assets:
·        $378.35 in Goods, Chattels and Personal Property
·      $1935.95 in loans to five individuals
·      $2060.00 for five real estate parcels totaling 187 acres

After expenses, Sarah McClurken, his widow, received:
·       $378.35  for the value of the personal property
·       $377.40  for the “widow’s award” in two installments
·       $395.41  as a one-third portion of the balance

Each of his eight surviving children received a one-eighth portion of the remaining two-thirds of the balance:
·        $98.85  to Elizabeth (McClurken) McKelvey
·        $98.85  to Nancy (McClurken) Owens
·        $98.85  to John R. McClurken
·        $98.85  to David W. McClurken
·        $98.85  to Sarah (McClurken) Walker
·        $98.85  to James H. McClurken, Jr.
·        $98.85  to Andrew T. McClurken
·        $98.85  to Clara (McClurken) Kemps

In addition, it appears that two parcels, valued at $250, became part of the estate in settlement of the James and Mary Managing debt.
The disposition of all of the real estate was not addressed in the probate records.

Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church 1894

An early description, of the Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church, was written by the Rev. D. G. Thompson, in 1879, and was published in “History of Washington County, Illinois,” on page 42.

The History of the Oakdale Reformed Presbyterian Church includes three versions that were published, in various RP Church Newsletters:

·      The 50th Anniversary of the (Elkhorn) congregation, in 1884, was recorded in “Our Banner” Volume 11, on pages 402 & 403.
·      The 100th Anniversary of the congregation, in 1934, was recorded in “The Covenanter Witness” Volume 13, on page 256.
·      The 125th Anniversary of the congregation, in 1959, was recorded in “The Covenanter Witness” Volume 64, on pages 405 & 406.

The Covenanter Soldiers’ Record of Oakdale, Ill. includes a listing of fifty veterans of the Civil War who, at one time or another, had been connected with the congregation. This was published in the “Christian Nation” Volume 50, page 324, in 1909.

The “History of Oakdale Township” includes an updated combination of the 125th Anniversary and the Covenanter Soldier’s Record. It is on pages 29 through 35

Their son James McClurken 1801-1875


This book began as Jean Stephenson's effort to validate the family tradition that her great-great-grandparents emigrated from Belfast to South Carolina under the leadership of Covenanter Presbyterian minister William Martin in 1772. The author was not only able to authenticate the crux of the story, but, in the process, to place nearly 500 Scotch-Irish families in South Carolina on the eve of the Revolutionary War.
The impetus for the colonization was the combination of exorbitant land rents in Northern Ireland, sometimes provoking violent resistance, and the offer of free land and inexpensive tools and provisions tendered by the colonial government of South Carolina. For instance, each Scottish Covenanter was entitled to 100 acres for himself and 50 acres for his spouse, and an additional 50 acres for each child brought to South Carolina. Faced with this crisis and opportunity, Reverend Martin persuaded his parishioners that they had nothing to lose by leaving Ulster, and before long he was in charge of a small fleet of vessels bound for South Carolina. This story is recounted by Ms. Stephenson from the records of the South Carolina Council Journal and tax lists, passenger lists, church histories, and other sources housed at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
Genealogists will want to pore over the land evidences assembled by the author from entries found in the Council Journal, namely, authorizations, survey abstracts, wills, deeds and other records which demonstrate where each family settled, or was entitled to settle. The families, which are grouped under the vessel they traveled in, are identified by the name of the household head, names of spouse and children, number of acres surveyed, county, location of the nearest body of water and the names of abutting neighbor, and the source of the information. For the reader's convenience, there is not only an index of the persons found in the list of survey entries and a separate subject index, but also a table of spelling variants. A work of exacting scholarship, Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772 is a crucial source on settlement of the Palmetto State on the eve of the American Revolution.

I am compiling more records so I will continue more blogs with each one of their children and their families.

I would like to mention Roger Kemps who did an outstanding job compling information on our McClurken line. Many thanks.

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