Against great odds the Story of the McBride Family


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McBride Family: Explanations, Stories and Histories from 1620 AD
From the book “AGAINST GREAT ODDSThe Story of the McBride Family.”

By Bruce L. McBride and Darvil B. McBride, 1988,

Both authors are deceased

(No books are available at present)

Page I
The McBride Coat of Arms
In ancient times the fighting man wore a suit of metal armor, which covered his body from head to toe. Thus it became impossible t recognize the individual. As a means of identification to tell friend from foe, each knight painted a distinguishing pattern on his shield. In tine, they began the practice of weaving these colorful patterns into fabric vestments (coats) which were worn over the armor, an even more effective means of identification; hence the name, Coats of Arms. Eventually each clan adopted its own patterns and emblems and wore the coats with a special pride. They were recorded, or registered, so that no two clans would have identical coats of arms.

The McBride Coat of Arms, as shown here, drawn by an heraldic artist that gathered his information from ancient archives, is described basically as three chevrons between three scallops (shells). No description of the stripes, side decorations, or the scroll at the bottom is given. Sitting atop the shield and helmet is the crest, a chapeau (plumed military hat), wherein a salamander is enveloped in flames.

The salamander in the flames is interesting in that it verifies ancient belief that this lizard-like amphibian was supposed to be able to live in the midst of fire. Its significance to the coat of arms is lost in antiquity, though this unique emblem, no doubt held some deep significance to the clan.

Though none is shown here, most coat of arms scrolls contain a motto of some sort. These family mottos, are believed too have originated as battle cries in medieval time. Oh, that we knew that battle cry! Perhaps it would bear out the thought implied by the title of the book, Against Great Odds.

Page II The McBride Coat of Arms (coming depiction)

Page III

In the preparation of the book, AGAINST GREAT ODDS—The Story of The McBride Family,

The authors have relied heavily upon others. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins have gathered the facts. We are especially indebted to three individuals: Laura McBride Smith, Florence McBride Turley and Gladys McBride Stewart.

Laura Smith , affectionately known as Little Laura, daughter of Peter Howard McBride and Laura Lewis, lived to the age of ninety-nine years, and over a period of a great many of these resourceful years, gathered genealogy and historical facts of the McBride family. Her voluminous material has proven invaluable in the writing of this history

Florence Turley, daughter of Peter Howard McBride Jr. and Elsie Craig served for many years as the key persons in the family organization for gathering genealogy. Her leadership in promoting the Four Generation Program, and corresponding widely with numerous record sources in the United States and Great Britain, kept the organization alive and progressing.

Gladys Stewart, daughter of Robert Franklin McBride and Clara Sims, most recently heading up the family effort, has made significant discoveries pertaining to the early years of the McBrides in Ireland and Scotland. We are also indebted to Gladys for cataloging the many records which made possible the organization and concise arrangement of the genealogical charts in Sections IV of this book. Representing monumental effort by her and the authors, the charts clearly outline the McBride Genealogy.

Page IV, Chart #1, is combined with—Pedigree Chart #2, about seven pages on down
Page V
Robert and Margaret McBride are the pivotal characters of this history. They are identified on the accompanying chart #1 as Robert McBride 3rd (#10) and Margaret Ann Howard (#11). The union of Robert, of Scottish ancestry, and Margaret, of English parentage (1833) brought together two stalwart ancestral lines. The first of the McBride clan to embrace the (Mormon) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1837: they endured much for its sake.

Section I deals primarily wit the progenitors of Robert and the story of his and of Margaret’s family down to the early years in Utah. Chapter two gives special consideration to the ancestral pedigree of Nancy Lakey, wife of Robert 1st, as it connects to Scottish Royalty and other peerage groups.

Section II is comprised of life sketches of the five children of Robert and Margaret and of their spouses. Some of the children of these marriages have left short histories of their own lives. Other sketches have been submitted by family members. This section includes as many of these as we have been able to assemble. (i.e. the grandchildren of Robert 3rd and Margaret)

AGAINST GREAT ODDS—The Story of the McBride Family should be of interest and great value to all the descendants of Robert McBride 3rd and Margaret Ann Howard, whom we look to with undying gratitude for accepting the Restored Gospel and for the great sacrifice they made.

With pride in our ancestry, whose faith and deeds we hope to impress indelibly upon the pages of history, we present this story as professionally as unprofessional hands are able to pen.

Page VI
Dedicated to GLADYS MCBRIDE STEWART (sister of the authors), who for many years has promoted the idea of a family history. Except for her diligence in genealogical research, and without her insistence that the project get underway, this book would never have been written. [Gladys: June 23, 1900 to November 21, 1988) Photo coming

Page VII
Whence came this courageous little family? What stripe of men and women had spawned such as these

who would champion truth no matter how unpopular? Their story has its real beginning in the distant

past amid scenes perceived butt dimly by the student of history.

The ship Horizon Half Clipper lay at anchor in the Mersey River a short distance off the docks at Liverpool England. Government officials and a doctor had completed the necessary inspection and had departed for shore. Tense with excitement, the passengers, anxious to sail for America, waited expectantly. Everything seemed in readiness on this spring day of 1856.

Suddenly sounds of scuffling and shouting and shouting arose from the deck. For cause not known to the emigrants, an argument between the sailors and the ship’s officers had precipitated a fight. It seem ms the sailors were attempting to get at the first mate who waited in his cabin. Suddenly the cabin door burst open. A man brandishing a pistol in either hand stepped out to face the rebellious crew. Half frightened out of their wits, the astonished passengers had scattered. Children screamed and clung to their parents.

“I’ll shoot the first man that moves, “shouted the first mate to the crew. For a few terrible seconds it appeared blood would be spilled, but the first mate’s menacing posture proved effective. The irate crew backed off. A ship’s officer sent up a distress signal. Quickly boats appeared alongside with policemen and the entire crew was taken ashore in handcuffs.

No other voyage of record transporting Latter-day Saints to America had ever staged so dramatic a beginning. One young passenger, Heber McBride, had managed to secure himself where he witnessed the whole affair. Heber figured his birthday had been well celebrated, for on that day, May 13, 1856, he turned thirteen.

Emigration of Latter-day Saints from the British Isles to America had begun as early as 1840. In the ensuing years, especially fro England they came, boatloads of converts to the Restored gospel, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. The port of liver pool, England, at the mouth of the Mersey River became a popular point of embarkation. Despite the severe persecution the Saints endured in Missouri, thousands continued to throw in their lot with the Latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith, as the main body of the main body of the Church fled Missouri Mobs to establish themselves in Nauvoo, Illinois.

Following the martyrdom of their Prophet Leader, the great migration to the west got underway in 1846. Within the net ten years, Brigham Young, prophet and colonizer, had engineered the movement of many thousands of faithful souls across oceans, plains and mountains into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake and its environs. Other thousands were yet to come as the message of the Restored Gospel touched the hearts of truth-seekers in many foreign lands.

The presence of the McBride family aboard the Horizon marked a culmination of several years of planning. A yearning to join the main body of the Church in America was about to be fulfilled. The happy hearts and an abiding faith, they felt they were now part of the “Gathering” predicted for the Latter-day Zion. Though all was tranquil now and none were worse off because of the unhappy incident with the crew, an agonizing delay of four days occurred. The Horizon remained at anchor in did-river while a new crew was rounded up and brought aboard. Heber concludes the exciting episode with these words; “With a new crew and a very jolly one, we set sail again, I believe on the fourth day…. After we lost sight of land there came another steamboat that brought the captain and took the pilot.” (The sailing date May 17 1 —the ship’s master, Captain Reed.)

The McBride family, Robert, Margaret and their brood of five, were all aboard and hopefully on their way.

The youngsters were Janetta Ann, 16; Heber Robert 13; Either Enos, 8; Peter Howard, 6; and Margaret Alice (Little Maggie), almost 3.

Now that the Captain had boarded with peaceable crew and the ship moved out of the river’s mouth into the open sea, and despite the unwelcome delay, the passengers, men, women and children numbering 856, all Latter-day Saints, began to relax into the voyage. What say ahead would take part in an episode of faith and endurance that will live forever in the minds and hearts of generations yet unborn.

Whence came this courageous little family? What stripe of men and women had spawned such as these who would champion truth no matter how unpopular? Their story has its real beginning in the distant past amid scenes perceived butt dimly by the student of history.

Research into Robert 3rd’s progenitors has been diligent and is ongoing. Some of those in his ancestral line have been identified: and though information concerning some of them is of the meagerest sort, in the following chapters we will make their acquaintance

1 The exact sailing date is open to question. One historical source has it as May 25. (See Handcarts to Zion, p 91). Be this as it may, McBride

family records are quite explicit that the date of boarding the ship was Heber’s birthday, May 13, and that the ship left the harbor three or four

days later.

Page IX
History—from Gael to Eden
Chapter 1

The McBrides of our ancestral line were Scots. Diligent research has placed those whom we believe to be the earliest of record as living in Ireland in the early 17th century A. D.

Fairly certain are we that the earlies person of record in our ancestral line is Captain John McBride (#1 on the chart, page IV, circa 1620). 2 To get a focus on Captain John and those succeeding him with whom this history deals, it is well to consider something of the early Scots, the origin of the name McBride, and why we find the McBrides, though Scots—living so much of their time in Ireland.

Just who the people were who first inhabited Scotland is uncertain. There is good evidence they were remnants of the Israelites who migrated into the north countries of Europe, having escaped the Assyrian captivity after 721 B.C. Some of these people evidently made their way into northern Scotland, into the highlands that came to be known as Gael, and from their spread southward.

Early in their history, for purposes of identity and protection, they formed themselves into close-knit family groups called “clans.” Out of a tangled web of clan struggles, Scotland’s history began to emerge

`At some period during these early centuries, fighting men developed the coats of arms by which individuals and families (clans) identified themselves. The McBride coat of arms described on the flyleaf is one of the many developed by the early Scots.

In Later centuries, after the introduction of Christianity, Catholicism became the predominant religion. Many of the clans looked to Patron Saints for leadership, giving them a sense of unity and a cause.

One particular group accepted “Saint Bridget” as their patron saint. Because they so religiously followed the concepts of this adopted leader, they became known “as The Followers of Saint Bridget,” or simply, Saint Bridgets.” Over the centuries the word “Saint was re placed by the prefix “Mac,” meaning “son(s) of.” Thus the appellation became Mac Bridget, literally, “Sons of Bridget.” Some years later in the contraction of the prefix (from M-a-c to Mc) the name became McBride. The Scots of today are descended from those early clans who gradually adopted modern names.

The political climate of the period had an even more far-reaching effect. At the time of which we speak, the English had strict control over both Scotland and Ireland. In the 1600’s Irish Lords rebelled against the oppressive rule of the English government. Successfully quelling the uprising the English drove he rebellious Lords fro the country, taking over their lands and holdings. The displaced Lords, their lives at stake, fled to places of safety never to return. Their property, the land, and political conditions were left in a devastated state. Likewise many hundreds of the Irish citizenry, employed by the landholders, fled to the mountains.

To correct this situation the English Government made large land grants, called Baronies, to certain chosen Scottish and English people. The grantees, however, were required to develop the land. Consequently, large numbers of people from neighboring countries were invited in, causing a steady influx of farmers and tradesmen to Ireland. Especially from Scotland they came, often whole families; even big portions of clans moved en masse. These people became known as the Scotch-Irish.3 They occupied the dubious position of living in Ireland but having no Irish ancestors.

The masses who had fled were forced to live by robbing from the villages of the lowlands. They eventually filtered back into the communities and took the menial jobs to survive. Being the native Irish who had been so unjustly deal with, they naturally held deep resentment for the Scots and English who had taken over.

Though intermarriage of the Scots with the English became common practice, any such integrating with the Irish remained a rare occurrence for many generations. This for both political and religious reasons since the Irish were predominantly catholic, they gave short shrift to those Protestants with whom they differed on matters of faith, and who they considered intruders.

The exact time our ancestors moved from Scotland to Ireland is not known. The earliest people we know of in the McBride ancestral line are believed to have been of the Presbyterian persuasion. Such families as the McBrides, seeking good opportunity, may have come to Ireland for either or both reasons mentioned. That they were a part of the so-called “Scotch-Irish” as explained above seems certain.

The Captain John McBride with whom our story begins seems to have been a man of integrity, seriously committed to his religious views and possessed of certain qualities of leadership. From parish records of the period is gleaned the information that he was a Presbyterian born of Scottish parents, and that he had a military career. It is highly probable that his parents came to Ireland from Scotland in the early 1600’s at the time of the settling of the Ulster Plantation, 1603-1610.

No doubt the early years of his life were in uncertain, rapidly changing times. An important issue of those times centered around freedom of worship. In due course political and religious leaders drafted a document called, The Solemn League and Covenant, which provided that religious reform groups would be allowed their own forms of worship and still show allegiance to the King. One in sympathy with the movement, John McBride attached his signature to the document at Holywood, county Down, April 8, 1644. This act alone marks him as a man of firm convictions, not adverse to being identified with the issues of the day. And judging from what research has disclosed concerning the high moral and spiritual caliber of a great many of his descendants, one cannot escape the feeling that this Captain John was a man of similar noble endowments. 4

Just when John began his military career is not certain, but by the time Reformer-General Oliver Cromwell did battle and took over the English Government in 1649 he was an officer (Captain) of a certain contingent of Irish troops, a part of the standing army loyal to the English King, Charles I. As such he would ostensibly be expected to defend the existing government against Cromwell’s campaign of government reform if called upon.

Evidently Captain John never engaged directly in any of the military encounters of Cromwell’s campaign. When the take-over was imminent, he and other officers surrendered without bloodshed to one of Cromwell’s generals. Captain John’s name is listed among the “49er’s” or the “49 Lot” 4 who capitulated at this time.

Cromwell’s take-over marked the beginning of the “British commonwealth,” which lasted eight years, or until the General’s death in 1658. It is believed the surrendering officers continued to serve their country under the rule of the Commonwealth managed by the victorious Oliver Cromwell.

About the time of the General’s death there is a records of the “49 Lot” (group) being called to headquarters to receive their “adjudicants,” which evidently means they were given whatever citations or rewards were due them for the military service. Among the long list of officers is the name of Captain John McBride.

Research of the period has revealed several persons by the name of McBride, ostensibly sons of the Captain. Only one of them is documented as such. He became a minister and was known thenceforth as Reverend John McBride. 5 The Reverend, however, is not in the ancestral line of the McBrides of this book. Though documentation is lacking there is good evidence that a certain Robert McBride is the one who fits the time and location to be the son of Captain John and the father of Daniel, (#3). (A less likely candidate is one Thomas McBride, believed to be a brother of Robert.).

As of this writing (1988), vital information about this Robert is lacking. Research is on-going through correspondence with the Belfast the Daniel of whom we speak was the grandson of Captain John McBride. (See chart I page IV). All those names descending from Daniel are well documented.

Though records are extremely sketchy, Daniel (#3) is established as a tenant on the Downshire, or Hillsborough, Estates, in Down County, Ireland. The exact nature of his occupation is not mentioned, but he was evidently a farmer or a tradesman.

Of Daniel McBride’s family we know only of a son, John (#4) born about 1715 (or 19) given the name of his great-grandfather. Though the place of his birth is not recorded, at the time of his marriage he lived in Lisburn, Antrim County, Ireland. Very likely John’s birth was at this same place, at least at some town within the County Antrim. He married Mary Hull (#5), whom we believe to be also of Scotch-Irish descent. That he became a man of some importance is evidenced by the fact that he received a Government appointment to the Port Surveyor’s Office at Londonderry, Derry County, at which time he moved from Lisburn to London-derry.

John McBride and Mary Hull were married sometime prior to 1750. Mary, the daughter of Edward Hull, was born about 1724 at Blaris, County Down, in Ireland. The Hull family were in the service of Lord Hillsborough, the father being the agent for the Hillsborough Estate. Edward Hull died around 1748/49, leaving his estate to Mary and her brothers. The properties thus inherited by Mary were later disposed of according to records of deeds dated 30 June, 1750, in Blaris, and 24 July, 1856, in Londonderry.

It appears that John McBride’s appointment to the position in the Port Surveyor’s Office occurred some time between the dates of the disposal of these properties (1750-56). Upon their move to Londonderry, no doubt occasioned by the appointment, John and Mary lived in a house on Bishop Street. His name appears on the tax rolls there from 1775 until 1778, presumably the time of John’s death, at about age sixty.

Mary continued to occupy the house until 1783, presumably the time of her death, she also near age sixty, at which time their son Robert became the occupant. This is the person designated as Robert 1st (#6) on the chart. 6

Robert’s son and grandson also bore the name of Robert. For identification purposes we arbitrarily refer to these three individuals as Robert 1st, Robert 2nd, and Robert 3rd, although, as noted, an earlier Robert, believed to be the son of Captain John, is part of the record.

As noted earlier, Robert the 1st is assumed to have been born about 1750 in Lisburn, Antrim County, Ireland, and upon the death of his parents, John and Mary, he occupied a house in Londonderry, Derry County, Ireland. However, any further documented information about Robert 1st in Londonderry is lacking. This is probably due to the fact that he followed a seagoing profession and had little to do with life in the city. He probably never exercised the rights of citizenship in Londonderry. Consequently his name does not appear on record as a “Freeman,” one who has a voice in the city’s government and other privileges of citizenship. This does not mean that he was not deserving of such right, only that he probably was not at home enough to be interested.

1 The entire chapter is taken from research performed by Florence Turley and Gladys Stewart

2 This approximate birth date is based on tphe fact that his signature appears on an important document, April 8, 1644. No doubt an adult at the time, we assume he may have been 20 to 24 years of age. That his birth place is in Ireland is based on thefurther assumption that his parents came to Ireland from Scotland, upon the settlement of the Ulster Plantation—1603 – 1610, for which there is good evidence.

3 this term used to identify these particular people should not be construed to mean a mixture of Scottis and Irish blood; merely that they were Scots who had made Ireland their home.

4 See Section III, Appendix 1—The Progeny of Captain John McBride

5 Apparently it has reference to the year 1649.

6 See Section III, Appendix1—The Progeny of Captain John McBride

Chapter II 1

Robert 1st married a Scottish Lass, Nancy Lakey (#7), in 1776.We have nothing of the personal life of Nancy Lakey other than that she was born about 1755 in Londonderry, Derry County, Ireland, to James Lakey and Margaret Cust. In a family of seven children, three brothers and three sisters were all older than Nancy. Her extensive pedigree, to be discussed in this chapter, suggests a solid family, proud of its heritage. The fact of her father being a “Shopkeeper” suggests that he held an enviable position in the business world of his day. Her grandfather, Thomas Lakey, is known to have been a merchant and to have held the position of Alderman and Mayor in Derry, circa 1708.

It seems evident that the Lakey family had considerable knowledge about their progenitors and that there existed a connection to Scottish Royalty even to Robert Bruce I, 2 King of Scotland. Whether there existed any recorded pedigree in possession of the Lakey family is doubtful. Their Knowledge of being a one-time peerage family was primarily by word of mouth passed down through ten or more generations. Furthermore, there is evidence that the tradition persisted in the McBride family through the descendants of Robert and Nancy to modern times. 3

Research, of recent years, into the historical background of the Lakey family has resulted in a genealogical windfall, a treasure trove of information about people and places of great renown, peerage families, stewards and kings. Truly, Nancy Lakey is deserving the appellation “Gem of Genealogy.” Not only is the tradition of relationship to Scottish royalty now confirmed, but a great deal else has come to light. However, Royalty no confirmed, but a great deal else has come to light. However, only a limited portion of these discoveries falls within the scope of this book.

Since King Bruce figures prominently in genealogical material to be discussed, the reader will be interested in reviewing the story of how this illustrious Scot came to prominence, an account seen as one of special significance to the McBride family.

In 1313 a Scottish Baron, fugitive from battle, heartsick with discouragement, lay on a bed of straw in a peasant’s hovel hiding from his enemies while his troops were in disarray. Repeated military defeats had reduced his fighting spirit to low ebb. Idly he watched a spider hanging from its web, vainly attempting to swing itself to the next beam of the wretched hut. Six times the spider tried and failed.

“If it tries again and is successful,” said the fugitive to him, “I too will make another attempt.”

On the seventh try the spider succeeded.

This bedraggled soldier, the Scottish hero Robert Bruce, encouraged by the insect’s stubborn persistence, rallied his forces, and against great odds went forth to win the battle against his enemies, and was soon thereafter crowned King of Scotland.

The story of the spider (it is more than legend) illustrates a dominant characteristic of our Scottish progenitors. The dogged determination to prevail in the face of adversity, demonstrated by the King and his contemporaries, has cropped up many times in their lineage since that distant date, and is evident in their progeny even today. To persevere against great odds has been the legacy of the McBride family, especially since the time one of their number, in 1837, threw in his lot with the Latter-day Saints, the first of his clan to do so.

The story of our connection with King Bruce I, II and III begins with his beautiful daughter, Princess Margery. She married a man by the name of Walter Stewart, who held the office of Lord High Steward of Scotland, the most important office in the kingdom next to the throne. From this union was born a son whom they named Robert Stewart, after his grandfather, the King. This son, Robert Stewart, eventually inherited the throne (1371). He assumed the title King Robert Bruce II and reigned until his death. His son, also Robert Stewart, also ascended the throne and reigned as King Robert Bruce III. Thus the line of Stewart Kings began to be perpetuated in Scotland.

From King Bruce III a genealogical line begins with his daughter, Princess Mary Stewart, then descends through six succeeding generations to an Agness Cunningham who married Walter Leckie in the mid 1500’s.Through five more generations of Leckie (Lakey) 4 family we arrive at a James Lakey living in Ireland.

James’ daughter, Nancy Lakey, married Robert McBride 1st. (See chart II below). This couple, Robert and Nancy, are great, great, great-grandparents of the authors, and the 5th and 6th greats

[And now, 7th and 8th greats, as of 2005] to many who will read this book the year [1988] of its publication.

A perusal of genealogy in the possession of the McBride organization confirms the brief outline given in the preceding paragraph.5 The accompanying Chart II shows at a glance 5 centuries of genealogy from King Robert Bruce I to Robert McBride 3rd.

That Nancy Lakey was a descendant of a family of some note is evidenced by the fact that a town of that name (then Lecky or Leckie) still exists near Dumbarton, Scotland. According to available information the Leckies remained for many years a high ranking peerage family owning great Baronies and lands, fully aware of their relationship to Scottish Royalty through the descendants of Stewart (Bruce) Kings. Like many people of early times, through quarrels among themselves, changes in rulers, wars and disagreements, the Lakeys (lekies) evidently lost their holdings and titles and became a solid working class of people. This small area near Bumbarton is presumed to be all that remains of the vast holdings once owned by them.

The extensive research performed in recent years takes us back even farther than has been mentioned. From King Bruce I, an ancestral line can be traced to the kings of Israel, Furthermore, from that Walter Stewart who married the King’s daughter, Margery, an ancestral line con be traced to William the Conqueror, 1100 A.D., and thence to Biblical times, likewise connecting to the kings of Israel.

Although no attempt has been made on our part to verify it, genealogists tell us that these royal lines including Biblical lineage, form one straight line back to Adam. That we are all descended fro Adam is not new; but the fact we are actually able to verify it, and, in the process, acquaint with those people whose blood flows in our veins, is sobering and exciting information.

The Cunninghams, mentioned in the ancestral line of Lakey, are in the pedigree descending from the great Charlemagne. Other high-ranking and peerage families are found to be intermarried with the Leckys and the Cunninghams, including the Setons, Sinclairs, the Livingstouns, Stewarts and Edmonstounes. The brief outline of names and places mentioned here represents only a small vein of the genealogical bonanza uncovered upon searching into the background of the Scottish lass, Nancy Lakey. The story of her ancestry, branching as it does through dozens of peerage families of the British Isles and Europe, t\though of great interest and importance, lies outside the scope of this volume.

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