Monday, April 10, 2017

Our Scottish ancestor

Painting by Peter Graham. Wandering Shadows, 1878.

Back in December 2012, I started to explore the story of our Scottish ancestor, John Og McIntosh. I picked up his story this month while exploring the line of his daughter, my 4th-great-grandmother, Lucinda McIntosh Smith. A booklet written by his grandson, Andrew J. McIntosh, was published in 1898. A version of this story appeared in the Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, 1883.

According to these stories, John Og McIntosh was born on 6 March 1753 in Inverness, Scotland. He was a son of John McIntosh and Margaret Og. John McIntosh Sr was a shepherd and small farmer. Margaret's brother John Og is said of have been a British military surgeon, who took young John McIntosh under his wing and helped him get to the Medical College of Edinburgh. There he studied medicine and surgery up to the Spring of 1776.

With the start of the American Revolution, John Og was ordered with Gen. Cornwallis' Army to America. John McIntosh joined his uncle as an assistant surgeon. Andrew's account says they set sail for America on 11 February 1776. Andrew wrote that they were with Cornwallis' Army up to 4 October 1777, when John Og died at the Battle of Germantown. While the British Army was camped at Germantown, John McIntosh met a Scottish family named Bennett. This family had a daughter Sarah Bennett, who would later become John McIntosh's wife.

After the death of his uncle, John McIntosh could no longer work as an assistant surgeon, and he accepted as a recruit in the British Cavalry of Colonel Tarleton. John served in this unit up to 17 January 1781.

By Andrew McIntosh's account, while at the Battle of Cowpens, John McIntosh was trapped under his horse after it was shot. McIntosh was captured by American General Daniel Morgan, who led him into camp as his personal prisoner. Andrew's story isn't clear why Morgan spared McIntosh's life, but he says McIntosh followed Morgan to Winchester, Virginia. Before settling in Winchester, McIntosh returned to Germantown, New Jersey for Sarah. They were married at Philadelphia. Afterward they moved to Winchester, Virginia, where their first child James McIntosh was born on 5 May 1783.

In early Spring 1784, they young family packed up their belongings and began the journey with a few other families to Kentucky. They traveled to Pittsburgh and caught a boat down the Ohio River to Kentucky. The McIntosh family lived in various parts of Kentucky from 1785 to 1814.

With the opening of land in Illinois, they moved to what became Edwards County, Illinois in 1814. John McIntosh was named as a Justice of the Peace for the county for Illinois Governor Ninan Edwards in November 1814. McIntosh was appointed as a Justice in the county on 24 December 1814. He was reappointed in 1816 to another term as Justice in the County Court. Andrew McIntosh indicates that his grandfather served as a Justice until Illinois became a state in 1818.
Territorial Papers of Illinois, pp 650-651.
John McIntosh retired in Wabash County, Illinois, and died on 28 January 1829.

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