Captain James Kirk
(Abt 1720-1783)
Mary Agnes Edmiston
(1733-1774)
John Kirk
(1751-1822)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Mary Eleanor Montgomery

John Kirk 1 2

  • Born: 1751, <Ballymoney>, County Antrim, (Northern) Ireland
  • Marriage (1): Mary Eleanor Montgomery after 1772 in South Carolina, (United States)
  • Died: 15 Oct 1822, Murfreesboro, Rutherford Tennessee, United States at age 71

  Research Notes:

From http://www.telegraph-office.com/McEwen_family_history/John_Kirk_1751-1822-mirror_of_history.pdf :

John Kirk was born in County Antrim, Ireland in 1751. He was of Scottish descent.iv

Kirk is the Scottish word for church. We inherited the word 'kirkja' from the Vikings, who plundered Scotland for centuries, finally leaving the northern most islands of Scotland in the 15th
century. Generally, anyone named Kirk in Scotland or northern England took the name because they lived by a church.

Antrim is in the present Northern Ireland. In John Kirk's time, Northern Ireland's population was principally Scottish settlers who had left Scotland looking for the freedom to practice their
Presbyterian religion and a better economic climate.

John was the son of James Kirk born about 1730 in Ireland. His mother's name is unknown.

John Kirk came to America in 1772. Younger brothers Matthew and Robert came with him.

Matthew was just 12 at the time. Their father James and a brother, also named James, remained in Ireland.vi The most careful genealogists have not been able to find a record of John's mother.

It seems strange that James Kirk would send or permit his three young boys to journey to America by themselves. Perhaps they knew someone here. Or perhaps conditions were so bad in Northern Ireland that the father wanted his sons to have a better life in spite of the hardships they would encounter.

The same conditions that forced the Scottish settlers to flee Scotland emerged in Northern Ireland, causing mass migrations of the Scots-Irish to colonial America.

John Kirk and his brothers came to Charles' Town (Charleston) South Carolina, probably with Protestant settlers brought by Rev. Wm. Martin on five ships. They settled near the current town
of Lancaster, SC.

It is told that the ship left Larne, Ireland in August, but the passengers on John's ship, possibly the "Lord Dunluce" or the "James and Mary", were not allowed to leave the ship until December because of a smallpox outbreak while in transit.

There is a record of a land grant to John Kirk from the South Carolina Colonial Council in Charles' Town. He was the only one of the brothers old enough to own land.

John married Eleanor Montgomery, daughter of Hugh Montgomery and Jane Cunningham. Their children were born in South Carolina.

John Kirk served in the American Revolution under General Thomas Sumter and was wounded.

Not all colonists were pro-revolution, as popular history would have us believe. Significant numbers were "Loyalists", adding and abetting the British or serving in their Army. Not so for John Kirk and his fellow Scots and Scots-Irish.

It is not surprising that John served because of the well-founded hatred that the Scots and Scots-Irish had for the English. Even the English officials in America treated them badly, most often forcing them to the frontier to act as a buffer between Indians and the English settlers.

George Washington said the if it looked like he had lost the war, he would retreat to a Scots-Irish enclave in Virginia and fight to the last man.vii

John and Eleanor moved from South Carolina to Rutherford County, Tennessee, around 1804, when he received a land grant for his military service. Some of Eleanaor's brothers, the Montgomerys, came with the Kirks. Brothers Robert and Matthew Kirk remained in South Carolina.

John Kirk mentioned seven children (the census shows nine children) in his will including Agnes Kirk McEwen; Agnes was the wife of James McEwen III, also of Rutherford County, Tennessee. Agnes Kirk and James McEwen III were married about 1810 plus or minus.

  Noted events in his life were:

Immigrated: from (Northern) Ireland, 1772, Charles' Town (Charleston), South Carolina, (United States). John Kirk and his brothers [Robert and Matthew] came to Charles' Town Charleston) South Carolina, probably with Protestant settlers brought by Rev. Wm. Martin on five ships. They settled near the current town of Lancaster, SC.

It is told that the ship left Larne, Ireland in August, but the passengers on John's ship, possibly the "Lord Dunluce" or the "James and Mary", were not allowed to leave the ship until December because of a smallpox outbreak while in transit.

There is a record of a land grant to John Kirk from the South Carolina Colonial Council in Charles' Town. He was the only one of the brothers old enough to own land.

Fought: in the American Revolutionary War. under General Thomas Sumter and was wounded.

Census, 1790, Lancaster, South Carolina, United States. 3 Jonathan Kirk in index.

Census, 1800, Lancaster, South Carolina, United States. 4 John Kirk
1 - Male - age 45+
1 - Female - age 45+
1 - Male - age 16-26
1 - Female - age 16-26
3 - Female - age 10-16
2 - Male - age 0-10
2 - Female - age 0-10

Moved: from South Carolina, 1804, Rutherford, Tennessee, United States.

Probate, Fall 1822, Rutherford, Tennessee, United States.


John married Mary Eleanor Montgomery, daughter of Hugh Montgomery and Agnes Jane Cunningham, after 1772 in South Carolina, (United States). (Mary Eleanor Montgomery was born in 1762 in Waxhaw Settlement, Lancaster, South Carolina, (United States) and died in 1827 in Rutherford, Tennessee, United States.)


Sources


1 http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi, http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=kbullis&id=P3273428364.

2 Website:, http://www.telegraph-office.com/McEwen_family_history/John_Kirk_1751-1822-mirror_of_history.pdf.

3 Census, http://files.usgwarchives.org/sc/lancaster/census/1790/lanc1790.txt.

4 Census, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cenfiles/sc/lancaster/1800/1800lanc.txt.


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