Biography of James McGinty

James McGinty, b. ca. 1755, probably in PA, because his father was living there by 1755, d. unknown, but thought to be around 1816, in Clairborne Co, MS. He was the brother of Rev. Robert McGinty, Baptist pioneer in GA. Married Lydia Hood, daughter of Tunis Hood from Mecklenburg Co., NC, by 1783. Their known children were Reuben, Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia, Robert J., and possibly a Bertram G., John, Abner F. and others. During the Revolutionary War, James served as a private in Capt. Charles Polk's Company of foot soldiers, which was organized in Mecklenburg Co., NC. His brother, John was the sergeant in this group of about forty men. They were involved in several campaigns including Cross Creek and Brunswick from 1776 until 1779. An article in the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 15, number 1, "Germans in Mecklenburg", published in 1997, shows that James was among 534 NC Militia captured at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Greensboro, NC), March 15, 1781, and after the British victory, were paroled by Lord Cornwallis the British commander. This was one of the last battles in the Revolutionary War.

After the sale of his father's land in NC, he accompanied his brother, Robert and mother, Rebecka to Wilkes Co., GA. He is shown in the substitute census of 1790, by Frank Parker Hudson, located in the GA Archives, as having land, or a land grant, in Wilkes Co., GA, in what is now Taliaferro Co., west of Crawfordville, GA. There is a footnote saying that he may not have actually been living there in 1790, but that he did pay taxes there in 1787. His brothers, Robert and John also show in this document. Sometime around this time, he relocated back to NC. In 1793 he had received State Land Grant #1583 in Mecklenburg Co. for 100 acres on the waters of Stewart's Fork and Richardson's Creek. He actually purchased this grant on April 3, 1800. He shows in the 1790 census in the Salisbury District, Mecklenburg Co. (since 1842, this is part of Union Co.) below Goose Creek. At this time his family consisted of wife Lydia with three males and two other females. He shows as a witness to the deed of William Robinson, July 20, 1793. He is also seen as a purchaser of several bushels of corn and a wagon at the estate sale of Robert Walker that was held in Mecklenburg Co. in 1794. In the minutes of the April 1796 session, Mecklenburg Co. N.C. Court of Common Pleas and Quarters, Book 3, Captain McGinty's Company is shown as a political district in 1796.

The Phillips Mill Baptist Church records in GA, where he had been a member with brother, Robert, show that James was dismissed by letter at their conference on July 8, 1797. The church minutes say " Bro. Robert McGinty from the Mount Pelia Church informed this conference that James McGinty who was formerly a member of this church and excommunicated for certain crimes committed among them, had of late given full satisfaction to the aggrieved members of said church, whereupon this church agreed to give up this matter to said church and their satisfaction should be ours. Dismissed by letter." James had already left Phillips Mill Church and was a member of a new church by 1797. He was living in NC by this date. James is shown as a juror from McGinty's Company. We can assume that James was this McGinty captain since his other brothers were no longer in NC at this time. He is shown in the 1800 land valuations for taxes in Iredel Co., NC (formed from Rowan Co. in 1788) as owning one tract of 510 acres of land on 3rd Creek and another tract of 200 acres on 4th Creek along with a barn that measured twenty-six by fifty feet. He shows in the 1800 census of Iredell Co. with a large family consisting of two males under 10; two males' 10-16; one male 16- 26; one male over forty-five, two females under ten, one female, 10-16; one female, 16-26; and one female, 26-45. Beginning in 1798, he shows as a juror in Iredell Co. several times through 1804. On November 3, 1801, James purchased the 510 acres on the waters of 3rd Creek from Adam Kerrell (Iredell Co. Deed Book D, p. 387). On February 3, 1802, he sold some of the land on 3rd Creek to William Astin. This was part of the same 510 acres (Iredell Co. Deed Book E, p. 393). His daughter, Elizabeth, also witnessed this deed. On February 26, 1802, he sold another 335 acres on 3rd Creek to Butler Stonestreet for $750. This sale was witnessed by his son, Reuben McGinty (Iredell Co. Deed Book E, pg.1).

James relocated to LA/MS before 1804. According to census records, one of his sons, Robert J. McGinty, is shown as being born in MS in 1804. The Louisiana Purchase was in 1803 and the opening of the Mississippi River brought in many new settlers to the area. James and his family seem to have been part of this movement. However, his legacy lived on in NC and in 1810, there is a court document concerning the responsible party for road maintenance and Nathaniel Bagwell was appointed overseer of the road from "McGinty's to Concord Meeting House." In 1811 and 1813, we see this same road mentioned again. In 1814, Ross McLelland was appointed overseer of the road "from opposite William Stevenson's to McGinty's old place."

He shows in the Federal census of 1810, living in Concordia Parish, LA. At this time, Concordia Parish was quite large and took in what is now Tensas Parish. In 1810, the McGintys lived in LA, just across the Mississippi River from the mouth of Bayou Pierre, Clairborne Co., MS. Today, that area is in Tensas Parish. His family is shown as three males under ten, two males, 10-16; one male, 16-26; one male over forty-five (he), two females, 16-26; one female over forty-five (wife) and no slaves. He is listed in the 1816 tax roll for Clairborne Co., MS, but is then missing from a later 1816 federal census where his wife, Lydia is shown as the head of the household. This census shows Lydia with one male over twenty-one, two males under twenty-one, two females over twenty-one and one female under twenty-one. Based on this, James could have died in 1816. Lydia is not found in the 1820 census, so she could have died before then. A member of the Tunis Hood family, Dellmann Hood, wrote a book titled The Tunis Hood Family: It's Lineage and Traditions. It mistakenly shows that Lydia Hood married Alexander McGinty, Jr., when in fact, she married James McGinty.

From "Our McGinty Family in America" by Gerald K. McGinty, Sr. and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

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