Bradford County PA
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Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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The McKean Reunion

The descendants of James McKean, who was one of the early settlers in Pennsylvania, met in large numbers at the residence of John McKean, near Troy, Pennsylvania, on the 17th of August, 1870. Extensive arrangements had been made for the meeting, and other circumstances attending it were most auspicious The meeting was organized by the appointment of Thomas McKean, of Centre County, Pennsylvania, the oldest grandson of James McKean, President, and Rev. Samuel McKean, of Amsterdam, New York, Secretary.

At 2 o’clock some two hundred sat down to a most bountiful collation, which was spread in a floral dining hall of one hundred and sixty feet in length. After dinner the procession was formed, and led by the Troy Cornet Band to the beautiful yard in front of the residence of Mr. John McKean, when prayer was offered by Rev. Wm M Chipp, of Katonah, New York.

Hon. J. B. McKean, late of Saratoga, and recently appointed Chief Justice of Utah, then gave a history of the origin of the family and the family name in Scotland. He said that Ian, a grandson of Angus Oig, the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s " Lord of the Isles," was the first chief of the Macdonalds of Glencoe; that "Mack" in the Gallic or Highland dialect means "son of," and that the son and successor of Ian was therefore called Mackian.-The Mackians were the chiefs of the Macdonalds of Glancoe for more than four hundred years. It was a chief of this name and family that commanded this branch of the great clan (Donald) at the battles of Flodden Field, Killiekrankie and Culloden. The seat of the Mackian family was Mingarry Castle, in Arduamurchan. The chief, Alexander Mackian, was barbarously murdered, with many of his clan, at the massacre of Glencoe, in 1692. The vowel "i" in Mackian was pronounced in the Highlands like the English vowel "e" and in modern orthography the "e" has been substituted for "i"—hence come the name McKean, and wherever this name is found, whether in Scotland, Ireland, or America, it was once Mackian, and originated in Glencoe.

Rev. Samuel McKean, of Amsterdam, being called for, gave the signification of the family name, and the family history in America. He stated that the great ancestor of the family, and father of James McKean, is supposed to have emigrated to this country, either directly from Scotland or through the north of Ireland, about 1740, and settled in Cecil county, Maryland,. His name was John McKean. In this county James McKean was born in 1745. He married Miss Jane Scott, who came from Scotland when a girl and settled with her parents in Cecil county. In 1774 of 1775 they removed to Huntington, Pennsylvania. In 1789 the removed to Chemung county, New York. About four or five years after this they removed to Burlington, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, where they spent the remainder of their days. James McKean died in Burlington, January 4, 1797. His wife died in Burlington, February 11, 1813. They had ten children, three of whom were born in Cecil county, Maryland, the others were born in Huntington, Pennsylvania, except the youngest, who was born in Chemung county, New York. The children were Allen, William, James, Rebecca, Andrew, John, Robert, Samuel, Benjamin and Jane. None of these children are now living.

Col. Henry B McKean, of Towanda, Pennsylvania, son of Benjamin McKean, addressed the meeting, expressing the great pleasure it afforded him in meeting with his kindred, and the gratitude he felt to Mr. John McKean and wife for arranging the grand entertainment.

Col. Irad Wilson of Alba, Pennsylvania gave interesting reminiscences of the family.

Hon. Allen McKean, of Towanda, Pennsylvania, presented a resolution of thanks to Mr. John McKean and wife for the entertainment they had furnished, which was unanimously adopted.

Rev. Wm M Chipp, of Katonah, New York, made a few remarks in which he indicated the manner of his coming into the McKean family.

Mr. John McKean was called for, when he declared the day the happiest day of his life. He declared himself as abundantly rewarded for all he had done to arrange for the meeting.

The venerable patriarch of the gathering, Mr. John Calkins, son-in-law of James McKean, now eighty years of age, gave his early recollections of the family, and spoke of the virtues of the grandparents.

The names of each of the children of James McKean were then called in the order of their ages, in order to ascertain how many representatives of the family were present.

Allen McKean had one representative present, a great granddaughter.

William McKean was represented by his two sons, Thomas and Dobbin, ten grandchildren, one great grand child, and one who married a child.

James McKean Jr. was represented by four children (William, John, Rebecca and Jesse), fifteen grandchildren, five great grandchildren, four who married children and ten who married grandchildren.

Rebecca, who married John Dobbins, was represented by five children (Mary Ann, William, Betsy, Daniel and Sarah), fourteen grandchildren, four great grandchildren, five who married children, and six who married grandchildren.

Andrew McKean was represented by three children, (Ruth, James B and Samuel), by three grandchildren and by three who married children.

John McKean was represented by his son Hiram McKean.

Robert was represented by three children, (Allen, Almira and Jackson), three grandchildren and by three who married children.

Samuel McKean was represented by his widow, Julia McKean, two daughters (Ruth and Julia Ann), nine grandchildren, three who married children, three who married grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Benjamin McKean was represented by five children, (James C, Charles S, Henry B, Helen E, and Alma E), six grandchildren, one great grandchild, four who married children and two who married grandchildren.

Jane, who married Mr. John Calkins, was represented by her husband, one child, (Newberry E Calkins), five grandchildren, two great grandchildren, two who married children and one who married a grandchild.

There were found to be present as representatives of the family one hundred and seventy-six, and it is estimated that there were about one hundred representatives who were not present. Each family appointed it’s historian, who is to collect history and forward it to the Secretary of the meeting, who will arrange the facts collected for future use.

The occasion was one of great interest to those who enjoyed it. They will cherish the recollection of it in all their future as one of the most pleasant in their lives. It will also be the means of gathering and preserving the family history, and transmitting it to future generations.

(This was recorded on stenographer paper Washington DC and attached was a letter to C T Heverly by H B McKean Washington DC, December 3, 1944 or 1894 sending Heverly this history of the McKeans) [Note from Joyce : You can find many references to the McKean name and family members in Heverly by using the Heverly partition of the PICO Partitioned search engine on the current What’s New Page]

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 20 MAR 2008
By Joyce M. Tice
Typed by Janet PETERS Ordway from document in Ed Ballard Family Collection
Email: Joyce M. Tice