Family (Notice: It has been determine that Jonathon David McGuffin’s name was in fact, Jonathan r mcGuffin 6/4/2013)

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Origins of the McGuffin Family

(Notice: It has been determine that Jonathon David McGuffin’s name was in fact, Jonathan R McGuffin 6/4/2013)

(Notice: See Album item “Bushwhacked at Lone Mtn”? for the latest version of Jonathan R McGuffin’s Story)

John David McGuffin and

Nancy Cook

John David McGuffin emigrated from

Ireland, arriving in America (probably Virginia)

prior to 1830. No research has been discovered

revealing further information other than family

lore that reports four McGuffin brothers, John David, James, William, and Joseph came to America, and one, a preacher, returned to

Ireland. James settled in Pennsylvania, William settled in New York, and Joseph settled in Franklin County, Va.

John David McGuffin was born about

1804, as determined by the 1870 federal census of Monroe County, Tenn., Post Office:

Sweetwater, Place of Birth: Ireland.

The year 1830 is known because that is the

year of the birth of John David McGuffin's

oldest child, Jonathon David McGuffin, who was born in Virginia. John David's wife was

Nancy Cook, who was also born in Virginia about 1805. (The spelling of Jonathon could possibly be Jonathan, as various handwritten

documents could be interpreted as either spelling. Living descendants, however, have consistently used the spelling Jonathon.)

An understanding of Irish history offers a possible explanation to the McGuffin family


John David McGuffin's immigration to

America probably occurred in the mid-1820s, when he was a young man. That was prior to the devastating Irish potato famine of 1845-49

in which some 1 million people died, and the deplorable "coffin ships" full of Irish emigrants

who died at sea or of fever in quarantine stations.

According to a documentary film produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America," some 7 million people left Ireland during the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. Through the 1700s, emigrants were predominantly Presbyterians from the northern province of Ulster seeking land on the frontier of colonial America. With the coming of the

19th Century, the Scotch-Irish (protestant)

were joined by a new stream of emigrants

(Roman Catholic) from all four provinces of


Protestants and Catholics had distinctly

Different reasons for leaving Ireland.

Protestants emigrated in search of land.

Catholics fled oppression (religious

discrimination and denial of basic civil rights such as the right to vote or hold office) and


Since there is no evidence of any kind that the McGuffin family had any Roman Catholic

origins, it must be presumed that the four brothers probably originated in Northern Ireland. Also, since one of the brothers was alleged to have been a "preacher," not a "priest," the implication is that they were protestant.

The likelihood is that the McGuffin

brothers entered America in Virginia because

Joseph supposedly settled in Franklin County,

Va., and John David married Nancy Cook

from an established Virginia family (her

mother, Catherine, was born in Virginia,

probably in the 1780s).

John David McGuffin and Nancy Cook McGuffin migrated to Tennessee in the 1850s. We know this because their youngest child, Charlotte, was born in Virginia in about 1849 and their oldest child, Jonathon R, was

married in Greene County, Tenn., in 1856. The family's migration route probably was through the Shenandoah Valley because, "The Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee, are barriers to travel. ... For that reason it was easier to come into Tennessee from the north than from the east. Many of the settlers, therefore, came into Tennessee from Virginia," reads The Handy Book For Genealogists, seventh edition, published by The Everton Publishers, Inc., Logan, Utah.

"Many of the Tennessee counties were

settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants coming into

the state via the Shenandoah Valley," The

Handy Book For Genealogists adds.

In the eighth edition of The Handy Book

For Genealogists, it was reported, "Early white settlers of Tennessee were predominantly English, but there were many Scotch-Irish,


Germans, and Irish, as well as some French and Dutch."

John David McGuffin and Nancy Cook

McGuffin eventually moved to Sweetwater,

Monroe County, Tenn., as confirmed by the

1870 census, and it is believed the couple is

buried in Sweetwater.

Jonathon David McGuffin and

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