Michael L. McKay, Editor

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Vol. 51 #1 Michael L. McKay, Editor,

115 Morgan St., Winchester, VA 22601

Phone (540) 667-1243 | mike@robertmackayclan.com

Kimberly A. Price, Co-Editor,

66 E 7660 S, Midvale, UT 84047

Phone (801) 567-1190 | stimpyinc@yahoo.com

Betty I. Powers, Mailing,

996 Ashby Station Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630

Phone (540) 636-7356 | bippy603@yahoo.com
Issue date: 4th July 2010

Also serving Sowers, Kerfoot and other related families.


Welcome to my sixth edition of The Robert Mackay Clan Newsletter.

This Newsletter is made possible by the generous donations from its readers. Without you we wouldn’t have the funds needed to produce our family Newsletter. The expenses for the spring 2009 Newsletter totalled $514.66. Due to the increasing costs of postage we found it necessary to ask the readers to send a donation prior to receiving your copy of this year’s Newsletter. The Newsletter is printed in the Spring in order to get the information regarding the forthcoming Virginia McKay Reunion out in a timely fashion.

Please consider sending a donation to help us cover the expenses for producing this Newsletter.

For those of you interested, the Robert McKay Clan Newsletter now has an online edition through Yahoo! Groups. If you would like to receive the Newsletter as an electronic file please go to this URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/robertmackayclan/join

You will need a Yahoo! ID in order to join and view the Newsletter online.


You should have received a separate announcement about our annual Virginia Robert McKay Clan Reunion but as a reminder our annual gathering will be held on Sunday 27th June 2010 with lunch starting at 1:00 p.m.

This year’s reunion will again be a covered dish picnic and will be held at the Lion’s Park Shelter # 5 in Front Royal, VA. If you have misplaced your notice about the picnic and need directions you can reach me at the contact information in the above right corner of this page.

The annual Collett-McKay Picnic held every year since 1866 is scheduled to be held on the family picnic grounds at the corner of Inwood and Gurneyville Roads in northwestern Clinton County, Ohio on Saturday 14th August 2010 beginning at 12 noon.

To get to the picnic grounds from I-71 take U.S. 68 South and turn right onto Gurneyville Road. Follow Gurneyville Road for about three miles. Picnic grounds are on the left at the corner of Inwood and Gurneyville Roads.


Meeting and Traditional Service

The annual Bethel Memorial Incorporated Meeting and Traditional Service will be held on Sunday 22nd August 2010 at Bethel Church south of Millwood, VA beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a picnic under the oaks immediately following the service. The details have not yet been completed as to whom the guest speaker will be but will be posted on the Robert Mackay Clan website once they become known. Bethel has been the home church for many generations of our Sowers and Kerfoot families.

To get to Bethel on U.S. 50 between the Shenandoah River and the U.S. 340 interchange at Waterloo turn onto State Route 622 (Red Gate Rd.). Follow 622 (Red Gate Rd.) for about a mile or so and turn left onto State Route 624 (Swift Shoals Rd.). Drive about a half mile or so and turn right onto Bethel Lane. Bethel Church is located on the top of the hill. The road encircles the building.

Christmas Carols and Lessons Service

Additionally, Bethel’s annual Christmas Carols and Lessons Service will be held on Sunday 19th Dec 2010 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Our Christmas service has been well attended in the past. Due to the fact that there is no heat in the building attendees should be prepared to dress warmly. The service usually lasts about 30 minutes.

Second Picnic gathering for 64th Robert

McKay Clan Reunion comes to a close

There were 31 people present this year. The oldest attendee was Helen Burch and the youngest attendee was Emiliegh McKay. The farthest travelled were Chuck & Kate (Hackney) Luby of Wilmington, Ohio. The playground once again proved to be a hit for all the children present of which there were six.

A basket luncheon was served and Wallace Shipp gave the invocation. The sky was overcast for most of the day with the sun coming out occasionally but we never experienced any rain. As before we didn't hold a business meeting of any kind. Some present remarked on how they felt about the destruction of the Robert McKay Jr. house five miles north of the picnic location. I believe everyone present had a good time and I will try to get the shelter reserved once again as soon as I am permitted next year.

Attending this year's picnic were: Susan Jeffery (great-granddaughter of Oscar C. McKay) of Front Royal, VA.; her mother Minnie Randall (granddaughter of Oscar) of Front Royal, VA.; Michael LeHew McKay of Winchester, VA; Jay Keller of Front Royal, VA; Dawn Perrero of Front Royal, VA; Mala Bansal of Front Royal, VA; Mike Bansal of Front Royal, VA and a guest; Maurice Bowen of Front Royal, VA; Ed & Kate McKay with children Tommy, Mary & Will of Winchester, VA; Fred & Joyce McKay of Winchester, VA; Archie & Cathy McKay of Winchester, VA; Jeff & Heather McKay with children Logan & Emiliegh of Winchester, VA; Chuck & Kate Luby of Wilmington, OH; Helen Burch & son Greg of Charles Town, WV; Wallace & Dorothy Shipp of Broadway, VA; Donna Alliata and daughter Dorothy Lynn of Broadway, VA; Phyllis Gardner of Middletown, VA;

Photos from the picnic

The children enjoyed the playground.

Helen Burch & Archie McKay, Fred McKay & Donna Shipp.

Heather & Jeff McKay with Emileigh and Logan at genealogy table.


AUGUST 8, 2009

by D. Howard Doster

a Family Recorder

Near-by cousins had the 5151 Gurneyville Road grounds manicured the best ever! At least 163 cousins gathered again on the 4-acre picnic site purchased 204 years ago by our northern Virginia Quaker ancestor, Moses Mckay, from the Virginia Military Land Grant surveyor, Nathanial Massie. At least ten first-time attendees were among the persons who registered from 15 states, plus Costa Rica and Iraq. First-timer Phyllis Rohrback of Xenia brought four other first-timers. She said her Grandfather, Werter McKay, last attended the picnic in 1947.

Michael McKay, the McKay Clan Webmaster, at www.robertmackayclan.com, from Winchester, Virginia, reported the sad news that the 1734 Robert McCoy (McKay) house at Cedarville, Virginia, has burned down. Robert was our Moses’ grandfather, and his home was the oldest house in the Shenandoah Valley. He came into the valley in 1731 with his father and sixteen German families, including my Doster g-g-g-g-g-g grandfather, Thomas Doster. A hundred-sixty years and four generations later, in Harveysburg, Ohio, a Mckay-Collett-McCune married a Doster. They were my grandparents.

While attending the McKay Clan picnic in northern Virginia several years ago, this recorder learned why the McCoy house was not burned during the many Civil War battles in that area. In the first battle, it was used as a hospital, and it continued to be used as a hospital in all the many battles there during the “War of Northern Aggression” as some of the cousins there still call it. Two of Moses’ grandsons, no longer Quakers, were Union casualties; some of their cousins fought for the Rebels.

Cousins travelling to Cedarville can still have their picture taken standing in the fireplace of Moses’ house, which burned perhaps fifty years ago. It’s located a few yards south of his grandfather’s home site, on the south side of a big spring. The town of Front Royal now owns the property and gets water from this spring.

For the first time in many years, Esther Doster, my mother, was not the oldest attendee. She died last October at age 105, after attending 79 of the 81 picnics, starting with the year before she married into the family. Her record of perfect attendance at 82 Wilmington College Alumni and 87 Kingman High School Alumni gatherings will not be matched. She often summed up her commitment to these events; “Some persons attend, some don’t. We do.”

At age 94, Betty Magee, a descendant of Daniel and Mary Haines Collett’s son, Aaron, was the oldest cousin present. Aaron’s cousin, Aaron, was scalped by Shawnees in Kentucky in 1780. Betty now owns former Moses McKay land across Gurneyville Road from the present picnic site, including the site of former Mt Pisgah Methodist Church, started by McKay’s and where several are still buried, where the first Collett-McKay Picnic was held in 1866.

Jonathan Collett married Sarah McKay in 1823. McKay Collett, now age 85, and living in the “Hole-in-the-Woods” home Jonathan built for his bride, was their oldest descendant present. Daniel Collett, Jr, married Virginia McKay in 1826, but she died in childbirth and Daniel, their only child who inherited the picnic site from his grandfather, Moses, never married. Francis McKay married Mary Collett in 1830. Patricia Schultz, age 78, of Proctorville was their oldest descendent present; and Holly Nicole Beers, at 4 months, of Columbus, was the youngest cousin present. Maria McKay married Daniel Haines Collett in 1830. Virginia Collett, age 89, was their oldest representative.

Playing softball used to be a high point of the picnic. While several teenagers attended, no one brought a volleyball or net. Who will get such games started again next year?

Out of state attendees included: Lue and Bob Rowsey of Opelika, Alabama; Kathi McKay Stafford of Tucson, AZ; Mary, Raymond Sell, of Boulder, Colorado; Nate Rowsey of Columbus, Georgia; Jim and Patricia Giesting of Glenwood,, Iowa; Jason and Allen Inwood, Lebanon, and Chuck, Chad, and Kevin Fabian, Des Plaines, Illinois; Pierpaula, Stella, and Lena Polzonetta, South Bend, IN; David Sell, Richmond, KY; Dave, Cynthia, and Drew Doster, Novi, Mich.; Bernice and Brian Magee, Dryden, NY; Marilyn Talmage, Nashville, Tenn; Andrea and Max Magee, Webster, Texas; Bill Zook, Seattle, Wash; Ellen Magee and Guy Fields, Madison, Wisc; plus Jim Zook in Costa Rica, and James Lee Billingsley in Iraq.

Photos from the picnic

McKay Collett giving the opening remarks.

One of the three food tables. So much to choose from.

The genealogy table was another popular gathering spot.

Lydia Donovan: Sorry… I work weekends and can’t take off. New: Passing of Mary Eva Bingamon Hackney on 11/14/08 (age: 93) & passing of Arthur “Art” Robert Godfrey on 12/6/08 (age: 61)

Cortney Hackney: I am divorced now so it’s back to Cortney Hackney and I have 3 children, Gracee, Gabriel, & Garret.

Carole A. Bunker: Sorry to be so late responding. Thanks for keeping me posted on events.

Donald H. Clarke: Still retired with a parttime job. No car to get to the reunion unless I win the Georgia Lottery before then. I still haven’t had the time to contact Mr. Sherrman on his McKay Genealogy.

Robert S. Coleman: We will be in CA.

Marjorie Sears: I don’t do genealogy anymore. I will soon be 88 & can’t travel. You have a wonderful publication & organization. Keep up the good work.

Doris McKee: I have had two strokes this year so no longer able to travel. Do so appreciate you always inviting me, but although I’m seriousl handicap due to stroke. Unable to get around very well.

Julie Soderlund: Kevin works for Hewlett Packard. He usually travels but with his current contract is able to stay home and work. Julie homeschools Katelyn who will be a six grader next fall and Jeffrey who will be a third grader. If you’re in Raleigh, NC stop by!

Yvonne Schneider: No news. Currently live in Florida & cannot get up to the reunion.

Sue Ellen Tyree: We have a wedding to attend.

Lynn and Kim Cozzi: Sorry we can’t attend. Working and Mom is not well.

Wallace E. Shipp: Our next Callaway Reunion Oct 12 – 16, 2009 in Branson, Mo. We had over 100 Ritchie families at a picnic 6/7. Suggest you have a meal at Traditions Restaurant in Harrisonburg, VA. It would help if the type was bigger. Thanks for all your work. Wallace & Dot Shipp

Paul & Mary Levo: Had a stroke. Health Reasons we are not able to attend. Was glad to visit with you at Collett-McKay Picnic.

Bruce Vanscoy: Thanks for all the work you do Mike! Daughter Jamie & husband Tarek having baby due June 26th which is 1st grandchild. Son Jeremy wife Ashley having a baby due Oct 17th Amazing!

Judith E. McKay: My wonderful husband, Donald Gordon McKay, died October 4, 2008. – Judy

Perry B. McKay: Mike McKay Rocks!

Minnie Catherine Randall: Hi Michael, I was saddened at the loss of the McKay Home. My hope was that it would be restored some day. Please accept this contribution towards the newsletter. Minnie Catherine Randall. Michael Jeffery, son of Susan Jeffery, joined the Marine Corps on May 10, 2009. He is currently at Parris Island, S.C. for Boot Training.

Anne & Bill Simmons: We have too much going on to come. Bill’s brother’s grandson is graduating from the Naval Academy the same weekend. Our first granddaughter is getting married in September. Another granddaughter – Jenny McKay Simmons is going to a year in Edinburgh, Scotland to earn a degree in early English History which she wants to teach. Our grandson is a new lawyer practicing in Annapolis and our youngest granddaughter is still waiting to hear if she has been accepted to medical school at the University of Maryland where she hopes to become a surgeon!

Gracie Esser: I want to extend an invitation to anyone traveling thru Colorado to come and visit me. I enjoy meeting new relatives. Thanks Michael for keeping me in the loop. Gracie.

Lois E. Wunderwald: I am 93 years old and really like receiving the McKay Newsletter. Interesting to know about other McKay relatives. Though I only really know or have had contact with other descendants of Levi Duffy McKay – Son of Moses – Son of Andrew. Thank you for keeping the Newsletter going. Lois Wunderwald

Jessie Hutt: Hi Mike, I don’t know any news. Hope you are well.

Beverly Garmany: Michael, I hope to attend in the next couple of years. Thank you for all your hard work to keep us together. Bev.

Virginia Kerin: I had knee replacement surgery in April – Granddaughter Melissa was married 7 June in Manchester, NH to Mark Regan.

Richard McKay: Grandson Jeffrey Smith and Jennifer Adkins are getting married December 19, 2009.

Herb & Linda McKay (Golden) Brown: I was preparing my thoughts for this annual letter, (while the TV was playing away in the background), when a question posed by a television character stopped me in my tracks! The question, What’s the most important thing in life.” And the answer, Making a difference in someone’s life.” immediately captured my thoughts of JESUS and the DIFFERENCE he has made in my life! I pray your Christmas Celebration will provide time for making a difference in someone’s life AND experiencing The Baby Jesus in a DIFFERENT WAY

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14



The Grandchildren:

Luke Thomas Brown: 5 years and the youngest, LOVES ANYTHING to do with Firemen and has started Home School! Our northern visits are few and far between, but Luke immediately joins us in the amazing bond between that of a grandchild and his grandparents…a beautiful blessing!

Jeffrey Soderlund: 7 years, is in his 2nd year of Home School classes. He LOVES the Wii games and Webkinz, as well as all Playmobil, Star Wars and the piano. He visits us on numerous Tuesday afternoons, while his sister is participating in her Drama class.

Katelyn Soderlund: 10 years, is in her 5th year of Home School classes and is totally absorbed by: Webkinz, DRAMA, American Girl dolls, Wii games, and singing. Katelyn, surprised us recently with the creation of three original poems, revealing another dimension to our “growing up too fast” young lady!

Mark and Elizabeth:

They experienced a successful 2008 winter art exhibit during their LAST WEEKEND in Florida…talk about a cliff hanger! The summer/fall art festivals took them to Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Virginia, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Of course, the big question for this year’s tour of Florida, is the economy…we are praying for them. www.markbrownartist.com. Elizabeth loves to cook and experiment with organic foods as well as home schooling Luke.

Kevin and Julie:

The family spent their summer months in Toronto, Canada, where Kevin was on assignment to Maple Leaf Foods. They experienced the area tourist spots as well as the natural surroundings. Julie researched nearby “Underground Railroad” locations for her fall class presentation on “Slavery.” Upon returning to Raleigh, she met with the curator of the N.C. Museum of History, who provided additional information. Both parents and students have received her course work with enthusiastic praise!

Life at Holland’s United Methodist Church:

Herb: Co-Chair of Missions Committee; Attends a weekly “DISCIPLE” Bible Study; Raleigh Food Bank volunteer; United Methodist Men; Vacation Bible School (Kitchen Volunteer); Established “Stop Hunger Now!” program; Homeless Ministry volunteer (twice yearly) and MERCI Disaster Warehouse volunteer; Co-Team Leader – Home Repair Mission Team to Dulac, Louisiana. Presently raking enough leaves to bury Chicago!

Linda: Co-Chair of Missions Committee; Attends a weekly 8:00 A.M. bible study; Raleigh Food Bank volunteer; United Methodist Women/First Journey Circle (Program Chair); Vacation Bible School (Kitchen Volunteer) Homeless Ministry Volunteer; Choir Member; Co-Team Leader – Home Repair Mission Team to Dulac, Louisiana.

Friends Passing Through

Gretchen Zimmerman’s surprise arrival/move to North Carolina, during the early days of ’08. Ronny and Gerri Thurston – returning from Gulf Coast home repair mission in Mississippi. The Dutrow Clan Reunion @ Uncle Paul’s home in Durham and the joy of meeting Jim & Hilda’s first granddaughter, Mia and mother, Kathy! My sister, Nancy Sipe, visited in October. Cynthia Dolinger and daughter-in-law, Margaret Dolinger, on return from Florida. (2) Stray cats, dropped in last winter and seem to be here for awhile…yes, we fed them!


“February Birthday Bash” with Gerri Thurston and Barbara Zimmerman – Williamsburg, VA. The Ward & Susan Smith wedding in Columbia, S.C.; Tom & Lee Mueller in Belton, S.C. The “Going North” Reunion of Round Hill friends/Family in Carlisle and New Oxford, PA. Team Leaders for First Youth Team (7) from Holland’s United Methodist to participate in home repairs in Mt. Olive, N.C. – Coordinated through the M.E.R.C.I. ministry of “FOOTPRINTS.” Joined Julie & kids on return drive from Toronto to Raleigh. Toured Niagara Falls; Western N.Y.; Reunion with Mark & family in Lancaster, PA., and attended the Sight & Sound Production, “In the Beginning.” Attended “Women of Faith” Conference in Greensboro, N.C. Dulac, Louisiana – Home Repair Mission Team (18) Hurricane Ike made landfall 10 miles S. My visits to Hickory, N.C. will be replaced by flying to Tampa, Florida, where friends, Judith & Larry Lane, have recently moved. Myrtle Beach, S.C. – 4th of July and Thanksgiving! The Best Days are spent at the Beach!

Grateful Hearts

Brandt and Amelia Zimmerman – United in Holy Matrimony – September 21, 2008

Enoch Robert Soderlund – November 25, 2008, son of Scott & Joyce

Gretel’s Mother, Margaret Henssler, now with the Lord

For the Amazing Native American (Houma) Indian People of Dulac, Louisiana, who lovingly embraced our mission team in the midst of their devastation and loss of homes.

Each one of you have made a DIFFERENCE in our lives…You are always there…whenever times are tough…or when we are Celebrating…we couldn’t do it without your calls, prayers and love…WE ARE BLESSED TO CALL YOU A LOVED ONE!



Joanne Mackay: Husband Stanley died Mar. 2008. Both granddaughters – Emily and Elizabeth are in junior year at Northeastern Univ. Boston, MA Stanley is buried in Mt. Ashburn Cem. Cambridge, MA gts’plot – Peter, Donald. My baby sister Rosanna Darnall McKay Seamans just celebrated her 75th birthday. We tried had to get to the reunion but maybe next year!

Michael L. McKay: I have a few things to report from Ohio and Virgina. First, Caleb John Jaycob Price was born Sunday 18 Oct 2009 at 1:14pm to Delwyn and Kim (Becker) Price. He weighed 8lbs and was 20 inches long. Kim is the daughter of Katherine (Hackney) Luby and granddaughter of the late Howard S. and Lucille (Morrow) Hackney. Tyler Reid Billingsley was born 19 Apr 2010 at 3:41 pm to Samuel Billingsley and Sarah Payton. He weighed 6 lbs 4 oz and was 21 ¼” long. Sam is the son of Kristen (Becker) St. John and grandson of Katherine (Hackney) Luby and great-grandson of the late Howard S. and Lucille (Morrow) Hackney. Josephine Annabelle Proctor was born Friday 12 Mar 2010 at 7:05 pm to Jenica Jones and Steve Proctor. She weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was 20 ¼:” long. Jenica is the daughter of Wilma (McKay) & Johnny Gilbert Jones and granddaughter of Kenneth T. McKay. Landen Westley Boswell was born on Thursday 22 Apr 2010 to Jeweli Billingsley and Rob Boswell. He weighed 7 lbs 15.8 oz and was 21 inches long. Jeweli is the daughter of Kristen (Becker) St. John and granddaughter of Katherine (Hackney) Luby and great-granddaughter of the late Howard S. and Lucille (Morrow) Hackney. Keagan James Billingsley was born at 10:04 am on 7 Jun 2010 to James & Melissa Steele Billingsley. He weighed 9 lbs 6.4 oz and was 20.4 in. long. James is the son of Kristen (Becker) St. John and grandson of Katherine (Hackney) Luby and great-grandson of the late Howard S. and Lucille (Morrow) Hackney. Justin Bradley Lakes and Linda Grasso were united in marriage on 20 Feb 2010. Brad is the son of Gayle (Hackney) Lakes and Larry Lakes and grandson of Albert Morrow Hackney and great-grandson of the late Howard S. & Lucille (Morrow) Hackney. Kent Robert Hackney and LeAnn Hughes were united in marriage in 2010. Kent is the son of David and Pat (McClelland) Hackney and grandson of the late Robert & Mary Eva (Bingamon) Hackney. Cecilia Rose Hackney was born to Mark & Sarah (Rogers) Hackney on 22 Jun 2010 weighing 8 lbs 4 oz and was 20.5 in long. Mark is the son of David and Pat (McClelland) Hackney and grandson of the late Robert & Mary Eva (Bingamon) Hackney. Cole Rahmany was born in 2009 to Tarek and Jamie (Vanscoy) Ramany. Jamie is the daughter of Bruce McKay & Judy (Ott) Vanscoy and granddaughter of the late Keightley (McKay) Vanscoy. Ellie Vanscoy was born in 2009 to Jeremy and Ashley Vanscoy. Jeremy is the son of Bruce McKay & Judy (Ott) Vanscoy and grandson of the late Keightley (McKay) Vanscoy.

FAIR USE - Doctrine of International Copyright Law
Lessons and Carols at Old Bethel

(From The Winchester Star dated Thursday 17 December 2009.)

By Stephanie M. Mangino

The Winchester Star

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