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Ancestor of the Month

February, 2008

 

Israel McInturff, Sr.

b. c 1776        d. 29 Mar 1861

 

 

Israel McInturff was born in Shenandoah County Virginia around the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He was the son of Christopher (1753-1814) and Christina McInturff (c1753-?). The McInturffs had lived in the Shenandoah Valley for a number of years, settling in the area that was known as Powell’s Fort Valley.

 

Family History

 

Johannes Meckendorfer, “The Immigrant” and first of Israel’s family in the colonies, had originally arrived in Philadelphia in 1729.   He settled in PA, and the family remained there until the 1760s when John MacAnturf, Israel’s grandfather, moved his family south to VA. They were part of the group known as the "Shenandoah Deutsch” who had made the move from Germany to PA and had then started moving into the Shenandoah Valley in the 1730’s and years following.

 

Israel was of strong German stock. His ancestors were Palatine refugees who came to the colonies during the terrible religious persecution that plagued Germany. (For more information about Israel’s ancestors, see the articles on Johannes Meckendorfer and Christopher McInturff. Click the link at the top of this page. When you get to the Archives, scroll down the navigation bar on the left side of the page until you see the name you want.)

 

Israel was the fifth child and second son in a family of ten children.

 

1.      Mary McInturff ( b. 1779-1789 in Shenandoah Co., VA--d,?)  m. James Maddox 1801 in Carter Co., TN

2.      Dorothy McInturff (b.c1772 in Shenandoah Co., VA--d. ?)  m. William Wyatt in 1787

3.      Margaret McInturff (b. c1773 in Shenandoah Co., VA--d. 1814 in Carter Co., TN)  m. Unknown or remained unmarried

4.      Amanuel (Manwell) McInturff(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 

5.      Israel McInturff ( b. c1776 in Shenandoah Co., VA--d. 1851  in Unicoi Co., TN)   m. (1) Unknown and  (2)  Mary Whitson   )

6.      Christina McInturff (b. ?--d. ?) m. Samuel Wyatt, Jr. 1797 in Carter Co., TN) (b.1780-1785--d. 1850-1855  m.  Anna Unknown b. 1780-1790--d. ?)

7.      John  McInturff (b. 1780-1785--d. 1850-1855 ) m.  Anna Unknown (b. 1780-1790--d. ?)

8.      Christopher McInturff, Jr.( b. 1782 in Shenandoah Co., VA--d. 1796 in Unicoi Co., TN)

9.      Rebecca McInturff ( b. c1784 in Washington Co., TN--d. 1882)  m . Robert Cooper 1896 in Carter Co., TN

10. Susannah McInturff (b. c1786--d. before 1814 ) m. James Sanders 1806 in Carter Co., TN

 

Frontier Life 

 

Life on the frontier was hard, but the McInturffs were engaged in community activities and projects such as road building in addition to the normal hardships of farm life. Israel’s father Christopher brought his family to Washington Co., NC sometime around the 1790’s. (Washington Co was later divided into several counties in both NC and TN.)  Here life was also difficult, but the family survived and prospered. Their German work ethic held them in good stead. 

 

Just as they had moved from Germany to PA and from PA to VA, NC, and TN, many of the McInturff families seemed ready to “pick up and move” whenever others in the family felt the urge.  Move they did, but in each move it seems that a portion of the family members remained at each major stop along the way whereas others remained for a time (perhaps a generation or so) and then continued the journey.  Thus, McInturffs were (and are) sprinkled all along the pioneer trails.  

 

Israel’s First Marriage

 

When Israel was a young man, probably in the 1790’s, he met and married his first wife. Her name is unknown, but she may have been a Jervis. In 1803 a man named Alexander Jervis left a heifer to Israel’s oldest son in his will. Jervis may have been the boy’s grandfather. Israel and his unknown bride had eight children.

 

1. William McInturff (b. 1797 in NC--d. ?) m. 23 Jan 1823 to Abigail Watson (b.1800-1808--d.?) William and Abigail had three children: two boys and a girl.

2. Margaret Elizabeth McInturff (b. 12 Jun 1797 in TN—d. 4 Aug 1874) m in 1822 to Isaac Anderson (?--?) Margaret and Isaac had 12 children: 4 boys and 8 girls

3. Christopher Jefferson McInturff (b. 6 Jan 1800 in Washington Co., TN—d. 4 Jan 1880 in Greenville (Greene Co) TN) m. on 20 Jan 1825 in Carter Co., TN to Cynthia Tilson ( b. c1807 in Pulaski Co., KY—d. 1864) Christopher and Cynthia had five children: 3 girls and 2 boys.

4. Uriah McInturff (b. 1802/1808—d. before 1870) m. on 19 Feb 1848 in Washington Co., TN to Elizabeth Brown (b.c1816 in NC—d. ?) After Uriah’s death, Elizabeth married George Haun. Uriah and Elizabeth had one son.

5. Gabriel McInturff (b. 27 Nov 1803 in Washington Co., TN—d 16 Oct 1852) m. on 30 Oct 1832 in Washington Co., TN to Amy Nelson (6 Jun 1811—d. 1866). Gabriel and Amy had eight children: 5 girls and 3 boys.

6. John “Jackie” McInturff (b. c1804—d. after 1870) m. on 8 Feb 1829 in Carter Co., TN to Mary Carter ( b. c1805—d 1 Sep 1857 in Carter Co., TN) m. (2) Myra Elmyra Tipton (?-?). John and Mary had eleven children: 6 boys and 5 girls

7. Israel McInturff, Jr. Our ancestor (b. c1805—d. 1845 in Blount Co, TN) m. on 29 Oct 1828 in Washington Co., TN to Elizabeth Webb (b. Oct 1808 in Blount Co., TN—d. 12 Feb 1881 in Blount Co., TN. Israel and Elizabeth had four children: 2 boys and 2 girls (including our ancestor, Mary McInturff)

8. Sarah McInturff (b. c 1807—d before 1896) m. on 2 Mar 1824 in Carter Co., TN to William B. Holt. ( William later married Milcah Moss on 24 Feb 1836. Divorces were rare in those times, so Sarah probably died before 1836 rather than before 1896).

 

By 1796 Israel and his family were living in Carter Co., TN.  Israel is listed on the tax lists for Carter County, TN in 1796, 98, and 99 and is shown as owning 60 acres of land there at that time.

 

War of 1812

 

In 5 Jan 1814 when Israel was 38 years old, he enlisted in the army and served in the War of 1812. (This was to be an important year for the young man for his father died the same year)  Israel was in Capt. Adam Winsells' Company of East Tennessee under the command of Col. Ewel Allison.  Israel’s company trekked to Alabama where they fought against the Creek Indians. While on this campaign, he contracted a fever in Alabama and was plagued afterward with rheumatism. These afflictions caused him to be discharged 26 May 1814.  He had served for four months and 22 days.

 

A New Occupation

 

When Israel returned from the war, he took up a new occupation. Most colonial farmers were jacks-of-all-trades and many were skilled as blacksmiths. Rather than repairing farm implements, however, Israel---either before or after the war—chose to use his blacksmithing skills to help him in the craft of gunsmithing. He became a gun maker, and the 1820 Carter "Census of Manufacturers" listed Isreal [sic] McInturff as involved in “Rifle Gun Manufactory [sic] on Buffaloe [sic] Creek.” According to this report, Israel’s business seems to have been successful. The manufacturers’ census notes a number of details about the operation. For example, Israel had four employees whom he paid a total of $480 (probably $120 each) annually. Each year he used an estimated ton of bar iron and 2000 bushes of coal. His equipment was all working and in good order.   It included one water wheel, one grindstone and boring machine, two anvils and vices, two bellows, and two sledgehammers. Israel claimed $600 capital invested and $20 contigent [sic] expenses. The product manufactured was listed as “rifle gun barrels” and the annual market value of products produced was $1500. Under general remarks about the business itself and demand and sale of its products the census taker commented: “flourishing condition, demand great, and sale very ready.”

 

John “Jackie” McInturff

 

Not long after this 1820 census—in the mid-1820’s---Israel’s son John (called Jackie by friends and family) began to sow some wild oats. Jackie became involved with a young woman named Rebecca Snider. The result of the relationship was a son who was born 26 Dec 1828 and whom Rebecca named James Madison Snider. When Rebecca accused John McInturff of being the baby’s father, John accepted responsibility and though a single man, took the child to rear as his own. On 8 Feb 1829 John married Mary Carter, who accepted the two-month old boy. Later, when Rebecca married a man named John Reeser, she and her new husband went to the McMinn County court on 16 Dec 1831 to try to gain custody of her then three-year-old child, James Madison Snider. On 5 Mar 1832 John McInturff was ordered by the court to turn the boy over to the Reesers, but he appealed.  In court on 7 Mar 1832 “John McInturf stated[ed] that by oath of Rebeca [sic] Reeser he was made father of male child James Madison Snider and [sic] illegitimate born to the sd. Rebecca and [that] he believes he is father.” He requested that the court make the boy his heir and that the boy’s name be changed from James Madison Snider to James Madison McInturff. The request was granted. This action shows considerable character on the part of John McInturff and also reveals much about the character of his wife Mary Carter, who accepted the boy as a son when she married John. Since James Madison was born before John and his wife were married, there has been speculation over the years that he was a child of the couple born a “little early.” The court case sets the record straight.

 

James Madison McInturff

 

Israel’s grandson James Madison grew up to live an eventful though somewhat restless life. He married Caroline Eliza Sims (b. 15 Mar 1841—d. 28 Dec 1920) on 2 May 1860 in McMinnville (Warren Co), TN, and the couple moved to Dade County, Missouri. In Missouri James bought land and became a farmer. He apparently did not like farming, however, for soon he changed his occupation and began to build houses instead. James Madison and Caroline had eight children—5 girls and 3 boys---but as might be expected with the McInturff pioneering spirit in his veins, James Madison still felt the need to move on to other pastures. In 1874 or 1875 he and several male family members and friends left home in Greenfield, MO, and headed to Texas. (Caroline was pregnant and did not make the journey with him.)  The family did not hear from the group for several months. Finally, in March 1875, James’ body was found along the banks of Caney Creek in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). His body was brought home to Missouri and buried there. Caroline later left Missouri, taking her family, and moved to Craig County, Colorado.

 

James’ father, John, became a respected man in TN and in 1875 was the first sheriff of Unicoi County. (1875 was an important year for the McInturff family)

 

Israel’s Second Marriage

 

After Israel’s first wife died, he married Mary Whitson. Mary, who had been born in SC, was a widow with children. In the 1830 census two of Mary’s sons are listed as living with the couple.

 

Israel still had his rifle barrel making business in 1840, but the 1850 census lists his occupation as farmer. By 1850, however, Israel was in his 70’s and manufacturing was probably too much for him. If any of his sons continued the rifle business, I was unable to find evidence

 

End of the Road

 

Israel died 29 Mar 1861.and is believed
                                    to be buried in the McInturff Cemetery near Erwin TN. This cemetery, located on Rock Creek Road, is on land that may have
                                    originally been part of Israel’s farm. Mary Whitson McInturff outlived Israel, and records show that she applied to
                                    receive a pension from his War of 1812 service. 
 
Israel’s life spanned three major wars in American History.  He was born near the beginning of the Revolution; he fought in the War of 1812, and he died near the beginning
                                    of the Civil War.  During his life he lived in VA, NC, and TN. and made his living
                                    both by farming and by manufacturing gun barrels.  He reared eight children with
                                    his first wife and took in the children of his second wife.  His son Israel, Jr.,
                                    (our ancestor) was to continue the family in East TN  

 

Israel McInturff, Sr. was Mamaw’s great great grandfather.

If you are a great great grandchild of Eli and Betsy, Israel McInturff, Sr. is your 6 great grandfather.

 

Line of Descent from Israel McInturff to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher

 

Israel McInturff (1776-1861)+ UNKNOWN (?-?)

Israel McInturff, Jr.(1805-1845) + Elizabeth Webb (1808-1881)

Mary McInturff (1837-1915) + James H. (Pete) Hatcher (1839-1911)

Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950) + Susan Sutton (1863-1903)

Mary Elizabeth Hatcher (1889-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1855)

 

Sources    

 

Descendants of Christoffel Meckendorfer

http://www.genealogy.com/users/s/y/k/Denise-Annette-Sykeswilson/FILE/0010page.html

 

Garman, Gene.  “The Poor Palatines” www.sunnetworks.net/~ggarman/palatine.html

 

Global Tree http://www.gencircles.com/globaltree/gosearch?f=Israel+&l=McInturff&by=&ba=0&bp=&fa=&dy=&da=0&mo=&dp=&sp=&t=Marriage&oy=&oa=0&op=&g.x=9&g.y=12

 

Hatcher Family charts

 

McCarter family charts and worksheets

 

McInturff and Some Allied Families http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com?~mcinturff/index.3htm.

 

McMinn County Court Minutes 1820--1872

http://www.rootsweb.com/~tnmcminn/Court_Minutes_18201872.html

pp. 46,, 65, 7l3

 

Smart Match:  http://www.gencircles.com/users/subee2/2/smartwindow/23/jbm15/1/1660

 

“Tennessee County Formation Maps”

http://www.tngenweb.org/maps/county-ani/tn-maps/tn-cf.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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