Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1997-08 > 0872524552
Subject: Three Brothers
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 11:55:52 -0400 (EDT)
On August 14, 1997, Denise Wood wrote about the surname McKinney:
"I am a newbie and am desiring information on the above surname. A
brief history: Three brothers, Peter, Druid, and unknown arrived from
Ireland (they were Scotch-Irish) right before the Amer. Rev. War.
Unknown settled in Mississippi, Druid in eastern North Carolina, and
Peter in Halifax Cty, Virginia."
I apologize to Denise in advance because I don't know anything about the
McKinney family, but her request reminded me about something that I've been
meaning to share with the list for a while. I recently read Rodger
Cunningham's book "Apples on the Flood" about the Scotch-Irish people of
Appalachia. In the book, Cunningham cites research conducted by Cratis
Williams in 1961:
"Cratis Williams reported that when he asked his fellow mountaineers about
their ancestry, he was often told some version of a story to the effect that
three brothers had come over 'from the old countries before the old
Revolutionary War.' One had settled in the mountains, one had gone west, 'and
we never knew what became of the other.' This story is so widespread that, as
Williams said, it can hardly be historic; but its widespread occurrence itself
bespeaks an appeal which demands an archetypal explanation."
Well, when I read this, I almost fell out of my chair, because one of the most
cherished legends in my family is about the "three brothers" who came to
America in the mid-18th century, and then after the Revolutionary War crossed
the mountains into Western Pennsylvania. And yes, one of them (my ancestor)
stayed here, another one and his children moved to the west, and the third
brother -- well, until recently we didn't know his name or what happened to
Is this REALLY a common family legend among the Scotch-Irish? Does anyone else
besides Denise and me have a similar story to tell?
|Three Brothers by <>|