family history, McManigal

James Patrick McManigal

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a family tree post. Actually, it’s been awhile since I logged into my tree. So when I did this past week, I started clicking along the different branches to see what I might find. While I ended up wandering down a line that still has many gaps, it’s one of my proudest lines as I’ve had to research the surname “Green” from scratch. Here’s one I hope you enjoy!

James Patrick McManigal, my 3x great-grandfather, was born sometime around 1798 in Virginia. While the colonies had been there for well over 100 years, America as a country had been independent for only fifteen years. And John Adams had succeeded George Washington as the nation’s second president just the year before James was born.

So far, I’ve found little to prove his lineage. All I’ve manged to find is an article attaching him as son to James McMonigle and Osse “Polly” Jacobs. McMonigle and his wife lived in Southwestern Pennsylvania during the 1800 census. By the 1810 census, McMonigle and Polly had six children: James Jr b. 1799?; Daniel b. 1803; Sarah b. 1805; Thomas b. 1807; Catherine b. 1809; and Rebecca b. 1814. McMonigle was most likely a Scots-Irishman born in Ulster County, Ireland. (So excited to have potentially found my Irish connection on this side of the family!) He probably immigrated shortly before the war began with his parents. His father is rumored to have been named William, and was, according to legend, killed at the Battle of Brandywine during the American Revolution. James McMonigle supposedly disappeared while taking a herd of horses across the mountains. It was believed he became a victim of horse-thieves and his body was never found. But, I have also located quotes from different McManigal descendants that suggest McMonigle may have been less than honest, and may indeed have been a horse thief himself.

Sometime before 1824, James married Lavinia Wild (27 Sep 1808 Big Kanawa, WV). She and James were blessed with a large, healthy family, having thirteen children: Catherine b. 1825; Mary b. 1826; James b. 1829; Clarinda b. 1831; Archibald b. 1832; Lavina b. 1833; Flora b. 1834; Ruth b. 1838; Daniel b. 1842; Lara b. 1845; Thomas b. 1847; Clarissa b. 1848; and Annie b. 1852.

The family began life in West Virginia, but by the time of James’ birth in 1829, they had moved west into Ohio. They eventually settled in Scioto County, Ohio.

While I don’t know much about their lives in West Virginia or Ohio, James Patrick’s end suggests that he may have been more suited to his wife’s maiden name: Wild.

When Lavinia’s brother Edward left for Arkansas to homestead, James decided to follow. Whether he planned on returning for Lavinia after establishing a homestead of his own, I’ve no idea. On 15 June 1860, he was murdered by David Johns. James was 78 years old. Below is an article I’ve found online regarding the murder:

Murder- We learn that on Saturday evening last, James P. McMangehel was killed by David Johns, on Lower Surrounded Hill, Monroe County. Johns shot the deceased twice with a double barreled shot gun, after which he made his escape. An inquest was held over the body, who returned a verdict of willful murder. McMangehel was near 78 years of age, and had given the murderer no offence. Johns is a notorious character and this is said to be the third man he has killed. (Copied from the DES ARC CITIZEN newspaper, dated Saturday, June 23, 1860)

Why was a 78 year old man murdered? I did a little digging into the past of David Johns. And while I was unable to conclude if Johns even had two previous victims, I did find that at the time of the murder, David Johns was 31 years old, a farmer, recently married and had a baby girl.

Was James McManigal killed in a battle over farmland? Or was the dispute political in matter? Remember, 1860 Arkansas was soon to be part of the Confederacy when the Union fractured following Lincoln’s inauguration.  Was Johns upset at seeing “Northerners” invading his territory? In any case, Surround Hill, Monroe County, Arkansas is now added to my bucket list in hopes of solving this mystery.

In the aftermath of the murder, James was probably buried somewhere in Akansas. But many of his children followed in his wanderlust ways. Some settled in Kansas, but many of the sons, including Archibald and Daniel were among the first to settle in the Blair, Washington County, Nebraska area.

Lavinia, however, remained Ohio. She passed away in 1887 and was buried in Green Township, Scioto County, Ohio. Below is the tombstone that her son Daniel erected when he returned for her burial.

Lavinia <i>Wild</i> McManigal

Lavinia <i>Wild</i> McManigal
Lavinia Wild McManigal’s grave located in Scioto County, Ohio

Stay tuned as the search continues! While I was writing this post, the name Green Township struck me. Is it named after the Greens in my line? I plan on doing a follow-up post to this about the possibility of Green Township, Scioto County, Ohio being named after my ancestors.

If anyone is researching this line, if the names sound familiar, or if there are any errors in the story above, please feel free to contact me. I would love to meet new cousins!

1 thought on “James Patrick McManigal”

  1. I too, am a descendent of James P. McManigal. My mother is a McManigal who was born in Blair, Nebraska. It is nice to see the information (that is known of him) here. I wish that we knew more of him in the old country. Hopefully, maybe someday a flood of unknown info will come in. 🙂

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