Alexander McKee Family
Randolph County, Illinois, United States of America
1.3 William C. McKee
b. 1812 Ireland
d. 1870–1880 Randolph County, Illinois
b. 1807 Ireland
d. 17 Feb 1891 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois
1.3.1 Margaret McKee
b. Jan 1835 Ireland
1.3.2 Mary Jane McKee
b. 11 May 1837 Port Norris, County Armagh, Ireland
d. 1 Jan 1886 Six-Mile Prairie, Randolph County, Illinois
1.3.3 Sarah McKee
b. 1841 New York City, New York
d. 18 Oct 1909 Tilden, Randolph County, Illinois
1.3.4 Margaret Susannah McKee
b. 1847 Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 19 Oct 1883 probably Cutler, Perry County, Illinois
1.3.5 William M. McKee
b. 1853 Randolph County, Illinois
d. 26 Jun 1891 Randolph County, Illinois
1.3.6 Susanna McKee
b. 1856 Eden, Randolph County, Illinois
d. 30 Oct 1919 State Facility, Anna, Union County, Illinois
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Transcribed from Sparta Plaindealer, Friday, 20 Feb 1891
Mrs. Susan MCKEE, widow of the late William MCKEE, of Six Mile, died on Monday night, after a lingering illness, aged 83 years. The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, and was attended by a large circle of friends and acquaintances who appreciated the many virtues of the aged lady.
If an Irish immigrant’s dreams include leading the hard, humble life of a farmer, then William C. MCKEE’s life is a roaring success. William starts life in Ireland. His birth is sometime in 1812. He marries in his early twenties to Susana (or Susannah) GILMORE—probably in 1834. William and Susana have two children in Ireland. Margaret is born in January of 1835, and the Mary Jane is born in Port Norris, County Armagh, Ireland on 11 May 1837. Shortly after Mary Jane’s birth, the family grabs toddler Margaret’s hand, bundles up Mary Jane, and sets sail for America.
The family lives in New York City for a few years. The birth of Sarah—their third child—places the family in New York City as late as 1841. While in New York, William and Susana appear to lose their oldest child Margaret. Next, a land patent places the William MCKEE family on their Randolph County, Illinois farm by 1842.
While living on the farm, William and Susana have three more children, including William—their only son. In the course of life unfolding on the family farm in Illinois, William and Susana experience a joy that only parents can know. They watch their children grow and they give their older daughters away to happy, prosperous marriages.
As the life of William MCKEE begins to fade, he has only his wife, son, and youngest daughter at home. William appears with his family on the 1870 census but is gone by the 1880 census. The logical assumption is that he dies. William is buried in the Union Presbyterian Cemetery in Randolph County.
When contrasted with the sometimes dramatic and often loss-filled lives of his siblings, William’s life seems to be one of tranquility and modest prosperity. In spite of the turbulent times in which he lives, he appears to live out a life that must have been close to his immigrant dreams.
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