Biography of Rev. Robert McGinty

Updated September 18, 2005

Robert McGinty, b., ca. 1750, (1830 Monroe Co., GA, census which shows him in the age bracket between seventy and eighty, and the 1840 census of Monroe Co., where he is living with son, William, showing him in the age bracket between eighty and ninety). He could have been born in either Ireland or PA, depending on when his father arrived in America. He died in late 1840 or early 1841, in Monroe Co., GA. His will was recorded there on February 10, 1841 and the sale of his personal property was held on June 1-2, 1841. He married Deborah Jackson, ca. 1775. This is based on the estimated birth date of their first son, Joseph. We know that they were married before 1777 - 1778 because Deborah shows in Quaker records with the name McGinty. This marriage took place at the beginning of the Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783).

Recent information from a website that includes Quaker Wrightsborough Township Records of Landholders, Residents, and Associated Families 1768-1810, shows Deborah Jackson married to Robert McGinty. It also shows that her parents were Thomas and Mary Jackson and her brother was Joseph. Earlier researchers thought that Deborah was the daughter of a Baptist minister named John Wright but this is an error. The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. 1, by William W. Hinshaw shows an entry on pg. 405 of the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting minutes that says, "1778, 12, 6. Joseph Jackson and Deborah, now McGinty, children (of) Thomas (Jackson), deceased, were granted a certificate (from), Cane Creek Monthly Meeting." This confirms that they were in good standing and had permission to transfer to the Wrightsborough Monthly Meeting in GA. There is a later entry from the Wrightsborough Monthly Meeting minutes, pg. 1049, dated 1779, 9, 4 showing Deborah McGinty, formerly Jackson, being received into the monthly meeting in Georgia This proves that her name was McGinty prior to moving to GA. Cane Creek Meeting was established in Orange Co., NC in 1751. These Quaker records prove that they had moved to the Wrightsborough, GA, area. It is also interesting to note that Robert does not show in these Quaker records with Deborah. This indicates that he did not become a Quaker when they married.

The Wrightsborough settlement was in St. Paul's Parish near present day Thomson, GA, which is about thirty miles west of Augusta, GA, in McDuffie Co. The general assembly of GA granted 40,000 acres of land to the Quakers for this settlement. It was named for Sir James Wright, governor of the colony of GA in 1760. At this time, the government of the GA colony was located in Savannah. The land was located on "both sides of Germany's Creek to the head thereof and from thence to continue this same course, 'till it intersects the Indian line." The original settlers were from the Orange Co. area of NC. Thomas Jackson, who was from the Cane Creek meeting in NC, and one of the first settlers, received an initial grant of 250 acres, town lot thirty-one, on July 3, 1770. An 1807 map of Wrightsboro, published in The Story of Whitesboro, 1768-1964, by Mrs. Pearl Baker, shows that this lot was located between Tower Ln. and Habersham St.

The Wrightsborough settlement, founded in 1769, was in St. Paul's Parish, Columbia Co. (now McDuffie Co.) in an area that is near present day Thomson, GA, about thirty miles west of Augusta, GA. The general assembly of GA granted 40,000 acres of land to the Quakers for this settlement. It was named for Sir James Wright, governor of the Colony of GA. At this time, the provincial government of the GA colony was located in Savannah and Gov. Wright personally owned substantial acreage adjacent to the granted tract. Beginning in 1768, several Quaker families moved from the Hillsborough, Orange Co., NC area with their leader, Joseph Maddock, and settled in the area. They left NC mainly because Gov. Tryon did not like the Quakers and was making life miserable for them. Gov. Wright in GA was supportive of the Quakers and agreed to let them settle the land. An interesting account of the Wrightsborough settlement is found in the book, Bartram, Travels and Other Writings, edited by Thomas P. Slaughter. William Bartram (1739-1823) was a noted naturalist, writer, botanist and explorer that visited the settlement during a 1773 journey through the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. He described the settlement as follows: "We arrived at a small village on Little River, a branch of the Savanna: this village called Wrightsborough, was founded by Jos. Mattock, Esq., of the sect called Quakers. This public spirited man having obtained for himself and his followers a district, comprehending upwards of forty thousand acres of land, gave the new town this name, in honor of sir James Wright, then governor of Georgia, who greatly promoted the establishment of the settlement. Mr. Mattock, who is now about seventy years of age, healthy and active, and presides as chief magistrate of the settlement, received us with great hospitality. Wrightsborough is a late but thriving settlement…the inhabitants are for the most part emigrants from the North Colonies. The town is already laid out and about twenty housed built. Several traders are in it and goods are sold as cheap here as Augusta, sugar, rum, salt, dry goods, etc. The settlement being upon the head of Little River, a very considerable branch of the Savannah River. The soil is very fruitful, hills and vales watered and beautified by numbers of salubrious waters…Mills are erected on the swift flowing streams…The inhabitants plant wheat, barley, flax, hemp, oats, corn, cotton, indigo, breed cattle, sheep and make very good butter and cheese. Fruit trees thrive very well here. I saw in Mr. Mattox (Mattock) garden, very fine large apples two years from the seed and grapes two years from cuttings…The distance from Augusta to this place is about thirty miles; the face of the country was chiefly a plain of high forests, savannas and cane swamps, until we approached Little River, when the landscape varies, presenting to view high hills and rich vales. The soil is a deep, rich, dark mould, on a deep stratum of reddish brown tenacious clay…The forest trees are chiefly of the deciduous order…Leaving the pleasant town of Wrightsborough we continued eight or nine miles through a fertile plain…." The settlement thrived for a number of years, but between 1805-09 the inhabitants moved on to the western frontier and the Quaker town of Wrightsborough ceased to exist.

Another excellent account of the families that lived in the Wrightsborough settlement and their involvement in the Revolutionary War is the novel by (Pres.) Jimmy Carter, The Hornet's Nest, published in 2003. Although fictional, it is based on historical facts and tracks the movements of our own McGinty family.

As mentioned above, Deborah's father, Thomas Jackson, was one of the founders of the Wrightsborough colony of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1769-70. The records show that he was born April 22, 1731, in East Marlborough, Chester Co., PA. His wife was named Mary, and they had at least two children, Deborah and Joseph. It is also interesting to note that Thomas was the son of Isaac Jackson who was born ca. 1705, in Ireland and came to America as a small boy, growing up in PA. Isaac married Mary Miller in Chester Co., PA, in 1730. He then moved the family to NC in 1751, and was a charter member of the Cane Creek Monthly Meeting in Orange Co., NC. He shows in the minutes as one of about thirty original families. Thomas, father of Deborah, moved with his father's family to NC when he was about twenty years old, where he married a girl named Mary (maiden name unknown).

The records of the Jackson family are well documented and show at least nine generations up to Deborah. This family was living in England, as early as 1505. From there, they went to Cavan, Ireland, probably around 1650, and then came to America and Chester Co., PA, sometime before 1727.

The Wrightsborough monthly meeting minutes show that Thomas Jackson was "disowned" on May 3, 1775, for enlisting in the province services. Then, the monthly meeting minutes of April 5, 1777, say that he "hath enlisted himself in the province service and took the qualifications required and hath deserted and absconded the parts which conduct being contrary to our peaceable principals and reproachful to society." Thomas died in 1779, of unknown causes. His son, Joseph Jackson, was also "disowned" on April 1, 1780, for "bearing arms in a warlike manner, and of partaking of plundered goods, and also of accomplishing his marriage disorderly or out of the unity of Friends." Joseph moved to Wilkes Co. and then Green Co., GA, with his wife, Mary Burke. They produced seven children. There are records of several land transactions and the mention of their slaves. They were divorced in 1801, and their property split between them. He remarried Anna Rainey in 1805, and died in Putnam Co., GA, in 1835.

According to Jackson researchers, Deborah was a cousin of President Andrew Jackson. They shared the same great, great grandfather, Anthony Jackson, II, who was born ca. 1599, at Killingwold Graves, Yorkshire, England and died in October, 1666, probably in Ireland. If this is correct, all future children in this McGinty - Jackson line are blood relatives of the President (see attachment for more detail).

Earlier researchers have referred to Robert as Robert Earl. I have many documents covering Robert's life. In none of them is he referred to as Robert Earl McGinty or even Robert E. McGinty.

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

Should the author decide to rescind permission for the use of their material, please email the webmaster of this site.

» Submitted by: Jerry McGinty «

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