My great-great-great-grandmother was Mary Meconkey (1805-1890), daughter of John Meconkey and Elizabeth Rickabaugh. Finding any information about her ancesors has been difficult, even though her brother David was one of the wealthiest men in Chester County before he died in 1868. In the interest of research, I'm putting a few records here that may or may not have any connnection to my line, but seem to hold some potential clues.
A family tree chart at the Chester County Historical Society shows David McCockey's parents as John McConkey and Elizabeth Rickabaugh (daughter of Adam and Nancy [Ragan] Rickabaugh) and his grandparents as John McConkey and Mary Harris. David was born in Howellville in Chester County,m but his parents soon moved to Northumberland County. In 1812, a John McConkey died intestate in Point, Northumberland. The will of Elizabeth Rickabaugh's father names her as the wife of John McKunky (sic).
Elizabeth died in 1836 and is buried in the Union Hall cemetery in Chester County, along with her father Adam and a daughter Ann.
John McConkey is fond in 1810 in Northumberland with 1 son and four daughters, all under the age of 16. This fits with information gathered from David's will which names his three surviving sisters: Mary McFarland, Elizabeth M. Watt, and Margaret Mitchell.
For many years. I've been rather intriqued by the idea that my McConkey line might be related to the McConkey family that ran the ferry at Washington's Crossing. William McConkey, the son of the owner of the ferry and its related inn, was a captain in the Bucks County militia and is supposed to have crossed the Delaware with Washington, possibly in the same boat.
Many of the stories concerning the Crossing and the Ferry state that William McConkey was the owner of the property, but it was actually his father, Samuel, who owned it, though it is quite possible that William was running the operation at the time of the Crossing. Many of the stories also state that the Samuel and at least three of his sons came to America about 1750 and settled along the Delaware river somewhere north of Trenton, noting the records of McConkey baptisms at the Old Tennent church in Freehold. There are a couple of problems with this idea, first of which is that Freehold is not on the Delaware and is more east than north of Trenton. Invariably, this stories point to the baptism record from Old Tennent Church for Samuel McConkey's children.. Considering the information from the Old Tenent history which shows a William McConkey as a pe-holder in the church as early as 1734, shortly after the church was built, it seems more likely that Samuel's children were born in the area, rather than overseas as so often stated.
Bucks County Taxables
- Newtown township 1779 - William McConkey, single man
- Northampton, 1781 - William McConky, 1 horse
- Northampton Twp, 1782 - William McConkey, 4 acres, 1 horse, 1 cattle
- Northampton, 1783 - William McConkey
- Northampton, 1784 - William McConkey
- Middletown Twp, 1785 - William McConkey
- Middletown, 1786 - William McConkey
Cumberland County Tax Records
- 1781, Guilford, Cumberland County - Jacob, John and Samuel
- Upper Makefield, 8/19/1775 - William McConkey, Jacob McConkey
- Bristol, 7/13/1777 - Captain William McConkey
- Newtown Presbyterian, Bucks County, 8/16/1772 - Christening: John, son of William and Hannah McConkey
- Newtown Presbyterian, Bucks County, 5/4/1771 - Marriage: Mary Mcconkey to Robert Ramsey
- Newtwon Presbyterian, Bucks County, 1/6/1780 - Marriage: William McConkey to Susannah Johnson
From New Jersey Wills
1760, Oct. 9. McConcky, William of Freehold, Monmouth Co., yeoman. For the Scotch Meeting house in Freehold £100. Cousin Samuel McConcky, son of Samuel £100, for the College of New Jersey, for poor scholars. Cousin, William McConcky, son of Samuel, £20. To Stephen Voorhees, son of Isaac, £50. Children of said Samuel McConcky, all that remains. Executors - friends, Garret Schamck, Robert Cummings, and Samuel McConcky. Witnesses, Stephen Voorhees, Jr., Dirik Sutphen, Jr. Proved Oct. 10, 1787.
1788, Feb. 28. Renunciation by William McConcky, stating that he took out letters of Administration, and since a will has been found.
1788, March 7. Renunciation by Samuel McConcky, stating that he is near of kin of WIlliam McConky, deceased, and by the renunciation of William McConcky, has a right to act, but refuses to do so.
1788, March 7. Adm'r - Jonathan Rhea. Fellowbondsman - Samuel McConcky, both of said co., Witness - James Matthews. Libre 30, p. 61
1784, Oct 12. Mcconcky, WIlliam, of Freehold, Monmouth Co. Int. Adm'r William McConkey. Fellowbondman - Henry Preine; both of said co. Witnesses - Charles Gordon and Joseph Combs.
1784, Oct. 11. Inventory, £300.13.0, made of by Charles Gordon and Ebenezer Kerr. Libre 26, p. 388
1793, Sept. 4. McConkey, Samuel, late of Franklin Co., Penna. INt. Adm'r Samuel McConkey of Freehold, Monnouth Co. Libre 33, p. 255, File 6909-6910M.
1798, Oct. 1. McConkey, WIlliam, of Gloucester Twsp. and Co. INt. Adm'x - Mary McConkey. Fellowbondsmen - John Thorn and Thomas Tomkins; allof said Co. Libre 37, p. 529
1798, Oct. 8. Inventory, $328.69, made by Abel Clement and Aaron Chew. File 2198H
From History of the Old Tennant Church - Freehold, Monmouth Co., NJ
Samuel McConkey had bap.: William, March 11, 1744; Jacob, Sept 13, 1745; John, July 19, 1747; Anne, Apr. 23, 1749; Mary, March __, 1751; Samuel, June 10, 1753
Pew diagram of 1734 shows William McConky
Pew diagram from about 1755 or later shows Samuel McKonkey
From the Schenectady Gazette of 9/9/1932:
Washington's Delaware Pilot Forgotten by Celebrators
A Drab Headstone Near Charleston Marks Resting Place of River Ferry Operator
The grasses grow in wild profusion there, brushing fronds caressingly against the worn stone, and a tree stands calm, cold shadows across the mound. Only the caretaker and a few of history's initiates known the story beneath.
Pageantry, trumpeting her gilded splendor through the state in the year of Washington's bicentennial, passed far to the north of Wykofite church cemetery in southern Montgomery county. Pageantry passed along the main highways, turned all unknowingly from the grave of one who played a lead role in a turning point of Washington's career.
"William McConkey," the words are traced easily with a finger point, "died Sept 10, 1825, aged 81 years, 7 m. and 15 days."
Staunch colonial that he was; capable of subdueing personal gain and for that bugaboo, religious prejudice for patriotism, McConkey probably wished his grave inscription to read as it does.
A mere incident to him, if a proud one, was that wild Christmas night along the Delaware with the dozens of small boats drawn up at his ferry slip. There were whispered groans that night. Shaded horn lanterns cast their flickers against the snow to show the bloody footprints of men. A tall, cloaked figure strode to the dock to be greeted by the officers. "A horrid night, Excellency."
McConkey, the ferryman, then pulled his boat out into the current, while the same figure from the prow muttered imprecations against the weather - muttered and wondered of this wild march toward Trneton would lead to victory or final defeat for himself and the end of the confederation.
That, the picture of December 25, 1776, has an ending in the other, the quiet graveyard at Charleston.
The Irish Ferryman
William McConkey was born in county Tyrone, Ireland on January 22, 1744, the 15th generatin from Donnachaide Reimhar MacAonghus of Scotland. With a thousand others he despaired of living conditions and listened longingly to the tales of America and her opportunities. Finally, he embarked, arrived in New York and journeyed to New Jersey to settle nine miles north of Trenton on the banks of the Delaware river.
In time, a road was built to the spot and William McConkey, grasper of opportunity, built a ferry and docls. A comfortable living came to him, through the farthings and half crowns from those who journeyed between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The ferryman married, built a large stone house and settled down to family life.
From A Collection of Papers Read Before the Bucks County Historical Society
...by deed dated December 5, 1774, conveyed the site of the ferry and five hundred and sixty three acres to Samuel McConkey....By deed dated April 2, 1777, he conveyed to his son John McConkey one hundred.....John McConkey, on April 22, 1777, conveyed forty-six acres of his purchase to Benjamin Taylor...