Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surname Saturday - McPherson

James Peter McPherson
circa 1860, Madison, Wisconsin
JGH & Roots'n'Leaves Archives

James Peter McPherson
b. Nov.14, 1816, Dundee, Scotland
d. Aug. 11, 1900, Verona, Dane Co., Wisconsin

James Peter McPherson, my great-great-grandfather, left Dundee, Scotland with his new bride Mary Burns on July 16 , 1842 aboard the sailing ship Medora. They arrived in New York harbor on Sep. 13th of that year. He and his descendants are the focus of my current writing project, so over the next few months, bits and pieces of the project will show up on my blog.

Below is a copy of the Birth Record for James Peter McPherson, which was entered into the Old Parish Records almost two years after his birth. His father was Peter McPherson, who was listed as a sub private in the R artillery. The wee babe was named for his uncle James Spink (his mother's brother) and his father Peter.

James Peter and is wife Mary Burns lived in New York for nearly eight years,September, 1842 to April, 1850. These are years that tweak my curiosity, possibly because I know so little about their lives in New York. They came too late to be in the 1840 census, and left too early to be included in the 1850 census. However, I have some excerpts taken from the diary that he kept that give a hint of their lives. I have also tracked the diary to a family member in Wisconsin and am hoping to get a copy . If I dinna have a copy in my hands by mid-March, I will contact my Wisconsin cuzins to see if it is ok to come to Wisconsin with my trusty digital camera and photograph the diary. The diary haunts and taunts me.

For me, this new year's Surname Saturday will, for several months at least, focus on my McPherson line, as well as those that intersect with it -- cuzin' they're cuzin's.

NOTE: The picture of J. P. McPherson was most likely taken in about the late 1860's, during the time that he served as a Justice of the Peace in Dane County, Wisconsin. Although many family member's have a copy of this picture, this one resides in JGHill's private collection.


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  2. What a remarkable photo of your gg-grandfather, Joan! Looks like it could have been taken yesterday.