John McAfees – Senior & Junior – Battle of the Boyne?

Today’s family sketch will close out the McAfee research for the time being.

John McAfee Senior is said to be the ancestral patriarch of this branch of my husband’s family tree.

John was said to have been born c1645 in Scotland, possibly near Edinburgh and died in County Armagh, Northern Ireland by 1738. He is also said to have married Elizabeth Montgomery, daughter of Malcolm Montgomery, c1670, somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland.

These details come from oral family histories gleaned decades ago, so how much is accurate there is no way to know.

There is only one known child of John and Elizabeth – John McAfee Jr., who is said to have been born c1670 in Edinburgh, Scotland. John Jr. married Mary Rodgers, born c1675, perhaps in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Family lore states that the extended McAfee and Rodgers families emigrated to Ireland by 1672. It is further said that both John McAfee Sr. and John McAfee Jr. fought together at the Battle of the Boyne, which began on 1 July 1690 in Drogheda, County Louth, Republic of Ireland. Drogheda is located about 55 miles south of County Armagh.

That seems like a very long way to travel back in 1690, but as I’ve read in English history books, soldiers and locals who decided to take up arms might travel extremely long distances to reach a battlefield, so 55 miles isn’t exceedingly far.

However, historical facts include numbers of men who hought for each side – 36,000 in support of William (and it is said they were from many countries) and 23,500 in support of James, most of whom were Irish Catholic. Amazingly, only about 2,000 men died in this battle and 1500 of them were James’s soldiers.

Given this background, it is more than possible that James Sr., and even James Jr., did take part in The Battle of the Boyne.

There are no military lists of men in this battle that I’ve come across, but knowing that the McAfees were staunch Presbyterians, it is safe to assume that they supported the efforts of William, who won.

John Jr. is said to have died c1738  in County Armagh before his children decided to leave for the British colonies. It is said that his wife, Mary, accompanied her children to Pennsylvania and died in Little Britain Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania before 1754.

Again, I can find no proof of either of these statements.




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