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Robert Mackay Sr. Record

Robert Mackay Sr., born: ca. 1680; died: 1752; See his Find A Grave entry.

Robert, married: Ann Brown, See her Find A Grave entry.

These are the webmaster's ancestors.

See Robert's Last Will & Testament and Land Records and Homes.

Recently your webmaster submitted a DNA sample to find matches in the hopes that it might help provide clues to where Robert Mackay Sr. originally came from. See the Mackay/McKay/McCoy Y-DNA Surname Project - Y-DNA Classic Chart. See my Y-DNA matches.

The following Y-DNA projects relate to our Mackay name and ancestry. It is hoped that some matches will be seen that will provide clues to Robert's early ancestry. Your webmaster already has some matches with another individual with the name McKay as well as two with the names Kee & Key and another one with the name George.

  1. The Mackay Surname Project
  2. McGee Surname Project
  3. Keys, Curry, McKay, McKee, McGee Comparison Chart

The birth year given for Robert is only a guess since we have no records at this time which give us a clue as to when he was born. Also, there have been different genealogy records both on-line and off-line submitted by people that give Robert's parents as being Hugh Mackay & Jane Dunbar. At this time there is no evidence supporting these claims nor has there been any evidence so far giving us a clue as to Robert's true parentage & origins. It is assumed our family's origin comes from Scotland because of the surname 'Mackay' but nothing substantive in that direction. Similarly there has been mentioned that Ann Brown's parents were James Brown & Honour Clayton. This too remains unproven. We know of Ann Brown's existence because she is mentioned in a minute from Nottingham Friends Meeting dated 1 Nov 1730 concerning the forthcoming marriage of their daughter Margaret to Joshua Job which reads '1.11.1730 Margaret McKay, daughter of Robert & Ann Brown of Milford Hd. Cecil Co. MD & Joshua Job son of Andrew & Elizabeth'. There is considerable biography written in Dee Ann Buck's Book 'A Tabulated Genealogy of the Family of Robert and Ann (Brown) Mackay Sr.' (Vol. 1, 1997 edition) about Robert's early life and the evidence gathered so far. This book will be used as the primary source for compiling these partial genealogy records.

Some of the problems we have regarding the mystery of Robert Mackay Sr.'s origins can be summed up by both Dee Ann (Shipp) Buck & Hunter Branson McKay. Dee Ann writes:

'Who were Robert Mackay Sr.'s parents? Where was he born? Was Robert Mackay Sr. the emigrate? Why can't we seem to find civil and church records dealing with this man's life before we find him as a member of Nottingham Quaker Meeting House? The only hint about his life before living in PA, came from a land deed filed in PA, which stated that he came from Freehold, NJ. Why can't more information about his life in Freehold, NJ be found? Where did he come from before Freehold, NJ? These questions Hunter Branson McKay, spent most of his adult life trying to answer. I have spent about sixteen years, carrying on this task. To successfully find the answers to the above questions, we must have solid and legitimate original documents.'
'In all the pages that make up the Fairfax Land Suit, his partners made references to their place of birth, but not our Robert Mackay. There has never been a hint, inkling, suspicion, clue or by insinuation the names of his parents, his siblings or cousins in any original document. The only known near relations were his children and his three wives.'

Below is a link to a chart submitted by Katherine (Hackney) Luby which spells out the alleged Hugh Mackay connection that has been passed around. Unfortunately this connection as of yet remains unproven. Certain conditions need to be met in order to prove this connection. Once that has been done I can connect it to the main family tree. Until then this has to be the way to display this:

Hugh Mackay Connection?

When our family group started holding our annual gatherings what we should call ourselves became a question of concern for Hunter Branson McKay. He wrote:
'I appreciate that it has been the practice to speak of the reunion since it was founded some 20 years ago by Cousin Mamie, as the McKay Clan Reunion, as this has a pleasing connotation and suggestive reference to the Highlands of Scotland, but it would be much more accurate to refer to it as the Robert McKay Family Reunion or Association. You see there are hundreds of McKay families in this country, and about 10 or 12 of them hold reunions, and hence the designation of Robert McKay rathern than simply the McKay family. As to calling it a "Clan" I have yet to find any authentic evidence of any connection whatsoever with the Scottish Clan of Mackay, other than the name. The earliest records of Robert McKay the elder and his family made when he and they were alive, give no indication of a Scottish origin. Genealogically speaking, it seems to me, that among the various unrelated McKay families in this country alone, to say nothing of Canada and other British possessions, that the notation of the Robert McKay Family of Virginia is sufficiently illustrious to require attempting to borrow from no other source.'
Our family organization has unofficially been called 'The McKay Family Association' and 'The Robert McKay Clan'. Recently when I assumed the presidency of our annual reunion for the first time I changed the spelling of the name to 'Robert Mackay Clan' to be more in line with the way Robert Sr. spelled his name. We have been known predominantly as 'The Robert Mackay Clan' (or Robert McKay Clan) and I believe that in order not to be confused with an official Clan Society such as 'Clan Mackay Society, USA' that we spell it as 'The Robert Mackay Clan' since it is no different than if we were to speak of the 'Samuel Jones Clan'. 'Clan' or 'chlann' as it originally is spelled in Gaelic simply means children and is used rather loosely in the language when speaking of one's general family. In official terms denoting a Scottish Clan the word is placed before the name instead of afterwards as we do with our family group's name.

Recently a copy of a hand-written account about Robert Mackay Sr. came into my possession from Katherine (Hackney) Luby which is believed to have come from Frances who is a granddaughter of Sarah McKay Smith who did some considerable research on the family during her lifetime. The information, if proven, would lend support to the theory that Robert Mackay Sr. was a convert to Quakerism. The wife mentioned in the account below would probably have been Ann Brown based on what we have on the marriage certificates of Robert's children.

'Robert McKay ( -1752) came from Freehold, N.J. It appears that he joined Friends when he married a Quaker woman in New Jersey, whose name is unknown. The McKays moved to the Nottingham Lots on the Pa./Md. boundary line where they were early members of Nottingham Meeting.'

If the reader would like to see further information about Robert Mackay Sr. he needs to either purchase a copy of Dee Ann Buck's book or check his local library to see if the book is available for inter library loan.

All chn. of Robert & Ann (Brown) Mackay are believed to have been born in Freehold, Monmouth Co. NJ.

Issue: Mackay

  • Mary, born: ca. 1705; died: ca. 1797; Brandywine, New Castle Co. DE;
  • Robert, born: ca. 1708; died: before 20 Sep 1796; Frederick Co. VA; believed to be buried in Crooked Run (Nineveh) Cem., Warren Co. VA; This is the webmaster's line.
  • Margaret, born: ca. 1710; died: ca. 1770; Frederick Co. VA;
  • James, born: ca. 1700; died: 1797; Beckford Parish, Shenandoah Co. VA;
  • Zachariah, born: ca. 1714; died: ca. 1797; Sullivan Co. TN;
  • Hannah, born: ca. 1715; died: ca. 1755; Winchester, VA;
  • Leah, born: ca. 1716; died: 1797; Shenandoah Co. VA;
  • Elizabeth, born: ca. 1719; died: ca. 1790; Sullivan Co. TN;
  • Moses, born: ca. 1720; died: 1777; VA;

Robert, married 2nd: Mary (unknown), See her Find A Grave entry.

We know of Mary's existence because she signed the marriage certificate of Robert's daughter Mary Mackay & George Robinson dated 14 Feb 1726.

Robert, married 3rd: Margaret (unknown), See her Find A Grave entry.

We know of Margaret's existence because she signed the marriage certificate of Robert's daughter, Margaret Mackay & Joshua Job dated 1 Nov 1731. It is also known that she was alive after Robert's death because a codicil attached to his will makes provisions for her care.

Source info: A Tabulated Genealogy of the Family of Robert & Ann (Brown) Mackay Sr." by Dee Ann Buck, Vol. 1, p. 1-20; Notes of Sarah McKay Smith;