The 1812 Immigrants from Ballyleese, Ireland, to Washington County, Pennsylvania

JOHN MCELRAVY (1797-1876) Biographical Summary

This John McElravy was born in Ireland about 15 December 1797, based on his death date and age at death. If this birthdate and that of Daniel (4 April 1798), based on his death date and age at death, are correct then they cannot have been brothers. As, stated earlier, Daniel was a son of the Hugh C. McElravy who died in Washington County, Pennsylvania, in about 1817.

A John McElrevy owning 57 acres of land in Strabane Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, is listed in the 1817/1818 tax list along with the estate of Hugh McElrevy. I believe that this was the father of the subject John McElravy. The Washington Examiner issue of Sat. June 28, 1845 includes the following brief item: "Another Veteran Gone on the ___ inst. John McIlravey of N. Strabane twp. aged 95 yrs." If this was the same John, and if the age is correct, then he was born about 1750. However, from other records, I doubt that he was quite that old.

In the 1830 census for Strabane Township there are two John MacElerevey families listed, comprised as follows:

John MacElerevey (1)
Males:     1 15-20; 1 50-60
Females: 1 20-30

John MacElerevey (2)

Males:     1 20-30
Females: 1 20-30
The second listing is almost certainly the subject of this summary. He was married in 1830 and their first child was born in 1831. The first listing is the older John in the 50-60 age range who I believe to be the father of the second. In the first listing, the male in the 15-20 age range corresponds to George McElravy who first appears in the North Strabane census in 1840 with his own family.

It is significant that the neighbors of the McElraveys in both the 1830 and 1840 census included William Morrison, Daniel Quivey, and James, Josiah, and John Crawford. John McElravy (1797-1876) married Esther Quivey March 9, 1830. She was the daughter of Daniel Quivey and Elizabeth Morrison. Two of the Crawfords also married children of Daniel and Elizabeth Quivey. Note that the Washington County document on "The Descendants of Guyon Morrison"  6  incorrectly lists Esther's name as Henrietta. Her given name was apparently Esther, although she was often called Hester (even in her marriage record) - and is listed by that name in other family genealogies.

Washington County Examiner Record Vol 1 - Marriages and Deaths 1798- 1833, entry for March 20, 1830: "Married on Tuesday the 9th inst. by Jeremiah Emery Esq. John McElravey to Miss Hester Quivey, both of Strabane Twp."
In the 1840 census for North Strabane Township (formed by the subdivision of Strabane in 1831) there is the following listing:
John McElerevey
Males:     1 5-10; 1 40-50
Females: 2 <5; 1 5-10; 1 30-40
The children in the above family correspond to the following children of John and Esther:
John - born 1833 - (5-10)
Nancy - born 1835 - (<5)
Rachel - born 1838 - (<5)
Elizabeth - born 1831 - (5-10)

Their other children, born after the 1840 census were:

Daniel - born 1840
David T. - born 1843
Hugh - born 1845 or 1847
Mallissa - born 1851
All of the children except Mallissa were born in Pennsylvania. She was born in Ohio in 1851 according to the 1860 and 1880 census listings.

The "Descendants of Guyon Morrison" document states that this family lived in Harrison County, Ohio for several years - before moving "to the west". However, there is no record of them being in Harrison County. We speculated that, rather than following the other McElravys, they might have followed Esther's brothers in their migration westward. Her brothers, James Quivey and John Holland Quivey, had moved to Holmes County, Ohio in the 1820s. (James first acquired land in Holmes Co. in 1824.) We had later found the Quivey and McElravy families near each other in Indiana. Following this lead, Sue Sohn, found the 1850 census record for John McElravey in Holmes County, Ohio.

[Note: Sue Sohn has been of great help to us in researching the McElravys. While she is not a McElravy descendant herself, several of her ancestors followed migration paths similar to the McElravys. She has a wealth of knowledge and genealogy research skills and has voluntarily done a good deal of research for us. Her objective critical review of our findings and conclusions continue to be invaluable. Many thanks, Sue.]

In the 1850 census, the John McElravy family is listed in Ripley Township, Holmes County, Ohio as follows:

John 53 M Ireland farmer
Ester 41 F PA  
Elizabeth 20 F PA  
Nancy 18 F PA  
John 17 M PA  
Rachel 12 F PA  
Daniel 10 M PA  
David 8 M PA  
Hugh 3 M PA  
By the time of the 1850 census, the John Holland Quivey family had already moved on to Marshall County, Indiana. (They are listed as "Quincy" in that census.) Sometime after Mallissa was born in 1851 in Ohio, but before 1858, the John McElravy family followed them to Indiana - to the northern part of Fulton County, just south of Marshall County.

The 1860 census for Richland Township, Fulton County, Indiana, lists the family as follows as of July 13, 1860:

John 63 M Ireland farmer
Hester 52 F PA  
Rachel 22 F PA  
Daniel 20 M PA  
David T. 18 M PA  
Hugh 15 M PA  
Mallissa A. 9 F OH  
By the time of this census, two of the daughters, Elizabeth and Nancy, had married and left home - and the oldest son, John, had died in 1859. In the following few years, Daniel died in 1861, Esther (Hester) died in 1862, and David T. died in 1867. Rachel had married in 1864 - so by the time of the 1870 census the family was comprised as follows as of August 16, 1870:
John 72 M Ireland farmer
Hugh 23 M PA farmer
Melisse 19 F PA ?  
Note that this lists Melisse as born in PA. However, both the 1860 and 1880 census list her birthplace as Ohio. And the family was in Ohio by 1850, so she is not likely to have been born in PA.

John died October 12, 1876. His tombstone lists his age as 78y 9m 28d. He, Esther, and their three oldest sons are all buried in the Richland Center Citizens Cemetery, Richland Township, Fulton County, Indiana. Their tombstones contain the following inscriptions:

John McIlravy, died Oct 12 1876, aged 78y 9m 29d

Esther McIlravy, wife of J., died Apr 18 1862, aged 54y 7m

John McIlravy, son of J & E, died Sep 28 1859, aged 26y 8m 10d

Daniel McIlravy, son of J & H, died Apr 22 1861, aged 20y 6m 10d

David T. McIlravy, son of J & E. died Apr 17 1867, aged 23y 11m 13d

As can be seen from the 1860 census and the tombstone inscriptions, the names Esther and Hester were used at different times and almost interchangeably. I assume that the name on the tombstone is her correct given name. At the time of her death, Esther's brother, John Holland Quivey, lived just a few miles away - across the county line in Marshall County and her nephew, Virgil Quivey, son of James Quivey, lived near them in Fulton County. I would expect that her brother would assure that the correct given name and age would be used on her tombstone.


Three of the daughters of John and Esther married as follows:

Nancy married Israel G. Roberts on June 17, 1858

Elizabeth married William Henry Harrison Blodgett on June 27, 1859

Rachel married William Dudgeon on June 28, 1864

Each of the above lived in Fulton County for some years - then moved into Marshall County. Later, the Dudgeons and Blodgetts left that area.

In the 1880 census:
Israel G. and Nancy Roberts and three children (Andrew C. - 19, Ester E. - 16, and Mary M. - 16) were living in Center Township, Marshall County, Indiana. Nancy died in April, 1891.

Also in the 1880 census:
William and Rachel Dudgeon and four children (Daniel - 22, William O. - 15, Hugh E. - 13, Marion R - 10) were living in Green Township, Marshall County, Indiana. In 1883, this family moved to Labette County, Kansas. The "History of Labette County, Kansas, and its Representative Citizens,"  7  published in 1901, includes a biographical sketch for William Ora Dudgeon - which includes a paragraph about his parents. At that time, Rachel was living in Oswego, Kansas. In the 1900 and 1910 census listings she was listed with one of her sons, Hugh E. Dudgeon, and his family in Oswego. In the 1900 census she was listed as born in Pennsylvania in October 1837. Hugh was listed as a drayman. Another son, Marion R. was listed as a barber in the town of Oswego where he lived with his family. The other son, William O. Dudgeon and his family continued to live on the family farm in Oswego Township. According to the census records, only these three of Rachel's children were still living.

In the 1870 census, Harrison and Elizabeth Blodget were in Woodford County, Illinois with 4 children (John - 11, Eva - 8, Frank - 6, Henry - 4). Since all of the children except John were born in Illinois, they apparently left Indiana about 1860. Harrison's parents, Morris and Lydia Blodget were also there.

Before 1880, they had moved to Colorado. The 1880 census lists Harrison and Elizabeth Blodget and three children (John - 20, Eva - 18, Frank - 16) living in Douglas, Colorado. Harrison was listed as age 45, farmer, born in Ohio - parents both born in Vermont. Elizabeth was listed as age 45, born in Pennsylvania - father born in Ireland, mother born in Pennsylvania.

Millie McIlravy, Elizabeth's youngest sister, was unmarried and living with the Harrison Blodget family in Douglas, Colorado, in 1880. She was 24, born in Ohio - father born in Ireland and mother born in Pennsylvania.

The BLM land records indicate that William H. H. Blodget acquired 150.8 acres of land as a homestead entry May 16, 1878, in Section 30, Twp 9 South, Range 66 West in Douglas County, Colorado. (This is near the town of Larkspur.) Earlier, in 1875, William H. Blodget and E.R. Benton acquired 40 acres in section 10 in the same area. Also, land had been acquired in the same area by George W. Blodget and Morris Blodget in 1870 and 1872. (George Washington Blodget was a brother of W.H.H. Blodget and Morris Blodget was their father.) (Morris and Lydia Blodget died in Gilroy, Santa Clara Co. California in 1887 and 1894, respectively.) Another researcher states that W.H.H. Blodget died 29 March 1906. In 1910, John Blodget was in Arapahoe County, Colorado (adjacent to Douglas County). In 1910 & 1920, Frank Blodget was in Silver Bow County, Montana.


After the 1870 census I have found no trace of Hugh McIlravy, son of John and Esther, born 1845 (from age in 1860 census) or 1847 (from age in 1850 and 1870 census).

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