Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Allen line: Vincent McCoy

Vincent McCoy was born in 1807 in Shelby County, Kentucky, the son of James McCoy and Nancy Lane.  His parents were Baptists, and his grandfather, William McCoy,  was a Baptist minister in Clark County, Indiana.  It's hard to pinpoint when the McCoy's came to Indiana, because for several years William crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky to preach on Sundays, but didn't settle in Indiana until sometime after 1800.   I haven't located him in the 1810 census, but by 1820 James and Nancy were in Washington County, Indiana.  Sadly, James, Nancy, and at least one of their children died in a cholera epidemic there in 1833. 

Vincent left home prior to 1831. He may be the male aged 20-29 in the 1830 census for James McCoy, but he may have already left home by this time and I just haven't located him yet in the 1830 census.  He was commissioned a Captain in the Indiana State Militia on 3/30/1830. serving in the 40th Regiment.  It appears that the 40th Regiment marched from Marion County, Indiana to at least as far as Lafayette, Indiana, some remaining in Lafayette, some marching as far as the South Bend area, and some going some distance west of the Wabash River, all in response to reported Indian uprisings during the Black Hawk War of 1832.  Perhaps this is when Vincent saw the land in northern Indiana for the first time.

He married Eleanor Jackson in Marion County, Indiana on February 24, 1831.  It appears that he moved about a good deal, or at least bought property in several counties, including Miami, Kosciusko, and Fulton.  The land he bought in Kosciusko County was entered July 13, 1836, and was sold to Lewis Mitchell in 1838 or 1839.  He was a treasurer of Kosciusko County for a short time period.  It is likely that Vincent and Eleanor traveled what is known as the Michigan Road from Marion County to Fulton County.  This was not yet what we would consider a "road" but it was at least a marked wide path.  I have read various estimates of how long the trip would have taken, but it would have been measured at least in days and possibly in weeks, camping along the way.

By 1840 he and Eleanor were in Union Township, Fulton County, Indiana, where they stayed for the rest of their lives.  He was a justice of the peace there, and a farmer.  Vincent and Eleanor had at least 10 children; they were James, Catherine, Nancy, Isaac, William Henry, John, Eliza, George, Sarah, and Nelson.  Nelson was only 4 years old when his father died. There are two gaps of 4 years in the birthdates of the children, so it is possible that there were additional children who did not survive. 

Vincent died on September 30, 1857 in Fulton County and is buried at Moon Cemetery, aka Sharon Cemetery there.  I have visited this cemetery. It is directly across the road from a home that obviously at one time was a church.  Perhaps Vincent and Eleanor attended services there, but that is only speculation. 

I have a great deal of admiration for Vincent, and for Eleanor.  Vincent lived on the frontier for all of his life, possibly excepting the time he spent in Marion County.  Frontier life was not easy, for anyone.  He lost his parents when he was still a young man, but that did not stop him from living a good life. He must have been highly respected to have been the captain of his military unit, the treasurer of the county, and a justice of the peace at different times in his career.  I would like to know more about the church he attended, and I'd like to know more about his experiences in providing a living for his large family. 

Our line of descent is:
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Their children, grandchildren, great, and great great grandchildren