Monday, June 22, 2015

Jane McClenachan: "In the Land of the Living"

My newly discovered Correy family of Chester County and nearby Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is potentially the most interesting branch I've yet uncovered. I'm anxious to share these incredible stories. But, first I have to prove that all of these "Correy's" are my family!

I have a huge job ahead! Thankfully, there are lots of documents. I've found more than a dozen wills, over 50 other documents, and at least 50 names.

But I'm struggling to put these family members together. And, it is quite possible that all of these individuals do NOT belong to the same family: my family! So, until I am more certain, I will skip the amazing stories & try to prove the relationships.

While searching for a way to piece together this giant genealogical puzzle, I came across a letter that verified a small piece of what I'd uncovered.

The letter was written in 1846 by Samuel B McClenachan of Chester County, Pennsylvania, to his niece, Mrs. Jane McClenachan of Madison County, Illinois. Samuel hadn't been sure if Jane was alive the previous 27 years and was excited to learn from Jane's brother, Robert, that she was indeed "in the land of the living."

After discussing his immediate family, he then mentions Jane's "Uncle Armstrong" who died two years before at the age of 83. The next paragraph says the following: "George Correy's family [is] all dead but [the] two youngest; Mary Anne married a son of Mrs. McGraw's and lives at Harve de Grace in Maryland, and Jane lives with her."

This George Correy is probably the son of my 6x great grandfather, David Correy (1708-1787). I found a book about the Armstrong family that said Jane Armstrong married George Correy. It listed Jane & George's children, including the two youngest, Mary Anne (who married a McGraw) and Jane, who both died "near Baltimore, Maryland." It also showed both George Correy, his wife Jane, and their older 6 children were deceased by the time the letter was written.

This book also listed one of Jane Armstrong's sisters, Sarah, married to a John Finney McClenachan. This is the likley link between the 3 surnames: Armstrong, Correy & McClenachan: Jane Armstrong married George Correy and Sarah Armstrong married John Finney McClenachan.

The letter continued by discussing a handful of other residents of Chester County, though it doesn't mention any more as relatives.

I'm thankful to Robin L. W. Petersen for sharing this letter and hope people will continue to share letters and other documents they have inherited.


  • Letter from Samuel B McClenachan, dated August 8, 1846; USGenWeb Archives, Chester County, Pennsylvania; contributed by Robin L. W. Petersen; accessed 22 June 2015; (
  • "Record of the Smith Family Descended from John Smith, Born 1655 in County Monaghan, Ireland" published 1906 in Philadelphia, pages 28, 47, & 53; ( accessed 22 June 2015


  1. Wow, how exciting! Good luck with piecing it all together, which I'm sure you will. Yes, it would be so nice if people with treasures such as letters, family bibles and such would be generous and share. Those of us pulling who are pulling our hair out trying to find that one piece, that one shred of evidence that would help connect our family dots Good Luck!

  2. Great points, Jill! And, while I don't have any old documents, I do have family members who own them. And, I bet they'd be willing to let me share them. So, that needs to be something I work on.


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