of the Month
b. c1753 d. 1814
McInturff, born about 1753, was a third generation American. He was the oldest
child of John (1730-1759) and Maria Rosina Kern Macanturff (1735-1790). Christopher‘s
father, John Macanturff, had been born in PA, but his parents--Christopher’s grandparents--Johannes and Phronick McInterfeer
were from Baden, part of the area known as the Palatine region in southeastern Germany.
Johannes and Phronick were part of the huge migration from Germany to the American colonies during the terrible religious
persecution that occurred in the Palatine. Chistopher’s grandparents had
traveled down the Rhine to Rotterdam in 1629 and had booked passage on board the ship Allen from there to the colonies.
more info on the persecution and on Christopher’s parents and grandparents, see the AOM article on Johannes (Meckendorfer)
McInterfeer. Click the link at the top of this page, and when you reach the Archives
page, scroll down the navigation bar on the left side of the page to Johannes McInterfeer)
may be surprising to some to learn that the McInturffs were of German rather than Scottish origin. The McInturffs started out as Meckendorfers, but by the time various ships’ clerks and colonial officials
had had their turns spelling the name phonetically, the name went through many modifications.
Christopher’s father John stayed in PA until sometime before
1760 when he moved to VA (All his children to that point had been born in the
Philadelphia area of PA; after 1760 new additions to the family were born in VA).
When he left PA, John moved his family to the Shenandoah Valley region. His
reasons for moving were not recorded, but were probably the same reasons other settlers left the Philadelphia and Germantown
area of PA in the mid 1750’s through mid-1760’s
Reasons for Leaving Pennsylvania
One reason for moving was probably that John was interested in acquiring more land. Land could be procured
cheaply or in some cases for free on the southern and western frontiers. Secondly,
there may have been a desire to get away from the English-speaking colonists in PA.
German immigrants had all the hardships of other colonists, but they had the additional problem of language.
(Some German families did not learn English for about three generations, and there were stories about
German-speaking colonists being cheated in contracts and business deals by their English-speaking neighbors. In any case, the Germans tended to stay and travel together. Many were also bound together through religion
which indeed had been their primary reason for coming to the colonies in the first place.
The McInterfeers (McInturffs) were members of the German Reformed Church.
There is speculation indicating that they may have been members of the Church of the Brethren (or Dunkers) since they
sailed from Rotterdam with a group of Brethren, but no specific evidence exists [See AOM article on Johannes McInterfeer for
info on language and religion.])
Finally, and probably most importantly, the French and Indian War (1754-1763) caused hundreds of families
to leave PA in fear for their lives. During this period native tribes who fought
on the French side during the war massacred many white settlers in the area. After
the war there were no more mentions of the McInterfeers in PA public records, so this was likely the time they left.
The Caravan South
John moved his family south, two of his brothers moved their families to Southwestern PA.
Quite likely all the other McInterfeers (McInturffs)—including the patriarch Johannes—were part of the
group who accompanied John and his family to Virginia. (Both Johannes and his
third wife Dorothea died in Shenandoah [Page Co]., VA—he in 1779;
she in 1780.)
Life in Virginia
family settled in Powell’s Fort Valley, located in Western VA and part of the Shenandoah watershed region. We do not
know whether the McInturffs knew of this desirable area before leaving PA or just stumbled upon it as they traveled. The destination turned out to be a wise choice.
The McInturff community was at the southern end of the valley, near Passage Creek.
Family traditions tell of the McInturff men working to widen an old Indian/deer trail that crossed the Massanuttens (a 5 mile wide
group of steep ridges between the two forks of the Shenandoah River) into a narrow road. That opening from Fort Valley into the broad Shenandoah Valley to the west became
known as McInturff’s Gap and was listed on maps as such for over a hundred years.
It is now called Edinburg Gap.
In addition to building the road, the McInturffs contributed in other ways to their new home. John’s
brother David (Christopher’s uncle) continued road service when he was appointed overseer of a road from the Crossroads
in Powell’s Fort to Adam Shearman’s farm. Later, in 1819 David was appointed to the school commission. Either Christopher’s father or brother John served as a private during the Revolution.
family moved south, he was one of four young children, all boys, born in PA. Within
a few years, however, he had additional brothers and sisters. The family finally consisted of eight children: Christopher,
Casper (Gasper), John, Frederick, Daniel, David, Margaret, and Mary.
sources say that Christopher was the first McInturff to have his name appear on a public document in Virginia. In 1763 when he was still a young boy, he was listed on a land survey report as a chain carrier.
Marriage and Family
As a young
man, Christopher met and married Christina Unknown in Frederick Co., VA. They
had ten children
Mary b. 1779-1789 in
Shenandoah Co., VA d. ? m. James
Maddox 1801 in Carter Co., TN
Dorothy b.c1772 in Shenandoah Co., VA d. ? m. William Wyatt in 1787
Margaret b. c1773 in Shenandoah Co., VA d. 1814 in Carter Co., TN m. Unknown or remained unmarried
Amanuel (Manwell) b. 1775-1780 in Shenandoah Co., VA d. 1840-1850 in TN m. (1) Malinda (Amelia) Luster 1802 in Elizabethton, Carter Co., TN (2) Nancy Hurt
Israel b. c1776 in Shenandoah Co., VA
d. 1851 in Unicoi Co., TN
m. (1) Unknown and (2) Mary
Whitson (Israel and Unknown are our ancestors. Israel was a veteran of the War of 1812)
Christina b. ? d. ? m. Samuel Wyatt, Jr. 1797 in Carter Co., TN
John b. 1780-1785 d.
1850-1855 m. Anna Unknown b. 1780-1790
Christopher, Jr., b. 1782 in Shenandoah Co., VA d. 1796 in Unicoi Co., TN
Rebecca b. c1784 in Washington
Co., TN d. 1882 m . Robert
Cooper 1896 in Carter Co., TN
Susannah b. c1786 d.
before 1814 m. James Sanders 1806 in Carter Co., TN
Christopher was included on Shenandoah County tax rolls as a head of household. In
Virginia--or at least in Shenandoah Co--males over 21 years of age were required to pay a “poll tithable tax”
as well as a tax on cattle and horses. Male sons age 16 and over were also taxed. If the son were 16-21 years old, the father paid the boy’s tax. When the son reached age 21, he was responsible for paying his own tax.
From 1762-1786 Christopher was listed with only one “tithable” (himself) because his sons were all under
sixteen. (It is interesting to note the changes in the number of horses and cows that he owned during this time.
For example, in 1786 he owned 5 horses but only 1 cow. In 1782, however, he had
owned 3 horses and 3 cows.)
was apparently active in community affairs. In September of 1774 the Dunmore
Co., VA court appointed him Constable for that county. Again in 1776 he qualified
as Constable for Dunmore County (Shenandoah Co.), but the court minutes state that William Webb was appointed constable that
year “in the room of Chris. McEnturff. [Sic].” I don’t
know what “in the room of” means and was not successful in finding an explanation.
I would guess it means in the “stead of” “absence of,”
“vacancy of,” or some other term that would suggest Christopher’s declining of or withdrawal from consideration
of the office.
Again: On to North Carolina
after his parents’ deaths, Christopher and two of his brothers moved their families to Washington County, NC. At that time, Washington County’s boundaries extended westward to the Mississippi River and would
eventually become part of TN. By 1790 Christopher owned 482 acres in Washington
Co., and on 17 Nov 1792 he received a patent from NC for 550 more acres. (A patent
was an official document conveying ownership of public lands to an individual). The
land patent was for acreage on Buffalo Creek at the foot of Buffalo Mountain in Washington Co.
(This land is now in Unicoi Co., TN) Before obtaining the land patent,
Christopher sold 150 acres on Sinking Creek to a man named Charles Renno. During
the same year—1792—Carter Co, TN records showed Christopher owning 232 acres there. Christopher continued to buy and sell land and directed in his will (written 30 Mar 1814) that his lands
be sold after his death in order to carry out the terms of his will.
(Christopher and Christina did not
do as much moving around as it at first appears. County boundary lines in NC
and TN changed frequently. Although the McInturff family is recorded as living
in Washington Co., NC and in Washington, Unicoi, Carter and possibly other counties in TN, all these place names may have
involved only one general home place. If you have time, check out the “Tennessee County Formation Maps” http://www.tngenweb.org/maps/county-ani/tn-maps/tn-cf.html listed in the sources below. Watching the county boundary lines change before
your eyes as time flows by is fun)
may have been somewhat strong willed or maybe he simply stood up for himself, for he was involved in three civil suits in
the late 1700’s and early 1800;s. One case was against a man named John
Cooper in 1796. Another was against Jesse Wyatt in 1813. (I was unable to determine what the cases concerned or how they turned out.
Christopher’s name--along with those of Emanuel [sic], Israel, and John--appear on several court documents (such
as summonses) around this period. A George McInturff (connection unknown) was
also listed in the court documents
and Christina appear to have had a good life. They and their children prospered. Two of their children, however, may have added a gray hair or two to their parents’
heads because later in life some “scandalous” things happened to these children.
WARNING: The following stories may be total poppycock.
They may be about other people with similar names. They may be just flat
wrong. However, they are interesting and if there had been a National Enquirer
during the 1700 and 1800’s, these stories might have made first page “news.”
Manwell. Manwell (or Amanuel) married Malinda Luster (1786-1845). (Some documents give Malinda’s name as Amelia). The couple had one son whom they named Wilson Wilson
grew up to do great things. The problem was not with him; it was with his parents’ marriage.
Legend has it that Malinda divorced Manwell—something that was just not done in the early 1800’s.
Divorces were granted by the state legislature in those days, not by the county courts.
No record of divorce has been found, but the story persists. After leaving
Amanuel, Malinda married William Loving Hickerson Some say that Malinda
was a widow when she married Hickerson, but Manwell lived until the 1840’s or 1850’s and married Nancy Hurt after
his breakup with Malinda. (Now, some say this whole story is untrue and that Manwell was not Wilson’s father. In fact, there is no definite proof of Wilson’s father’s name.
It is “strongly believed” that Wilson is the grandson of John McInturff, Christopher’s father, and
that one of Christopher’s sons or nephews was Wilson’s father. Which one?
Christopher, Jr., died at age 14; Israel married twice--an unknown woman and Mary Whitson; John married
Anna Unknown. No one seems to be left except Manwell. Running down all the nephews proved a little unwieldy. Please
feel free to do so if you’d like.
lived with his mother and his stepfather and moved with them to Illinois. He
grew up to marry Mahala Hickerson, daughter of William Loving Hickerson by his first marriage.
Thus, Wilson married his stepsister. (And, if we want to get technical, his stepfather was also his father-in-law!)
Nevertheless, Wilson became a fine, upstanding citizen of Illinois who contributed much to his community and state.
problem child was Margaret. There is controversy over whether or not Margaret
ever married. Some sources say she married “UNKNOWN.” Some say she remained single. Married or not, she did have
two sons: Thomas McInturff (29 Aug 1792-2 Mar 1881), born when she was 19, and
John “Crowner” McInturff (5 Dec 1799-5 Feb 1884), born when she was 26.
It is unknown whether these two sons were full brothers or half brothers. Since
both sons use their mother’s maiden name, it is likely that she was unwed. She
was evidently unmarried when her father wrote his will, because he did not list her with a married name; he called
her “my beloved daughter, Margaret McInturff.” Christopher’s
will makes a couple of things apparent: (1) he obviously loved Margaret and (2)
he had not disowned her or “kicked her out” if she was indeed an unwed mother. Unfortunately, Margaret died before
her father, so she did not receive the “one hundred dollars out of the sale of my land after my wife’s decease”
that he had left to his “beloved daughter Margaret McInturff.”
was written 20 Mar 1814, and Margaret died sometime before 15 Jul 1814. She was
evidently still alive when her father wrote his will because he would probably have provided for her heirs if she had been
already dead. (He made provisions for his deceased daughter Susannah’s
children in his will) Sadly, Margaret’s son Thomas and Christopher’s
wife Christina filed inventories of their loved ones’ estates on the same day.
to the Basics
know the exact date of either Christopher or Christina’s deaths. He
died sometime in 1814; she died sometime between 1820-1825 because at that time her family began selling off the property
Christopher had left. He had directed in his will that the property be sold after
his wife’s death. The two died in Carter Co., TN and are buried in People’s
kept growing, as families tend to do, and spread to other parts of TN. Christopher’s
son Israel (our ancestor) was to help the family branch out from farming and land acquisition to manufacturing.
McInturff was MaMaw McCarter’s great, great, great grandfather. If you
are Mary Elizabeth Hatcher’s great great grandchild, Christopher McInturff is your 7 great grandfather.
Line of descent from Christopher McInturff to Mary
McInturff (c1753-1814) + Christina Unknown (1753-1820/1825)
(c1776-1851) + UNKNOWN (?-?)
Jr. (1805-1845) + Elizabeth Webb (1808-1881)
Mary McInturff ((1837-1915) + James H. (Pete) Hatcher (1839-1911)
Hatcher (1860-1950) + Susan Sutton (1866-1903)
Hatcher (1889-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)
Facts Part III”
“McInturff and Some Allied Families”
McInturff Family Genforum
world connect project
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright
© 2003, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press.. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
County Formation Maps”
Watauga Historical Association Collection: 1796 – 1891 (Predominantly 1796 - 1835) East Tennessee State University Archives of Appalachia Box 70295 Johnson
City, TN 37614-0138
“Wyatt L Archives” http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/WYATT/1998-09/0906910868
L- Archives” http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/WYATT/1999-10/0939798293