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Prob. William McIlmorrow

Male Bef 1640 - 1664  (~ 24 years)

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  • Name Prob. William McIlmorrow  [1
    Born Bef 1640  Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Jul 1664  Colmonell Parish, Ayrshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • James McLemore, III, attorney and author of books regarding the earliest McLemore immigrants to America wrote the following about the probable ancestors of James and Abraham Macklemore of southside Virginia:

      "William McIlmorrow.....(the) probable father of James Macklemore the immigrant (husband of Fortune Gilliam)....died in Colmonell Parish, Ayrshire, Scotland in July 1664 and he had at least one other son after James.....younger brother Abraham who came to America with him.  William's Testament Dative is recorded in the Glasgow Commissariot records of the Scottish Records Office but it does not name his children, just his widow Mary Aitken.  A legal analysis of it proves William had children, however.

      Source: 29 April 2005 8:42 pm

      James L. McLemore, III, the family authority, posted a message board note about his changes in thoughts to this theory:

      I thank you for citing my earlier book as authority for several of the statements that you make in your posting. However, I hope that no one thinks that I am your authority for the assertion that the immigrant McLemore brothers James and Abraham came from Argylshire in Scotland; they did NOT. They came from Ayrshire, the old Carrick District thereof, where Robert the Bruce was earl before he was king. This was the southernmost third of the shire, consisting of Ballentrae, Colmonell, Barr, Girvan and Dailly Parishes (and perhaps one or two others to their immediate north), where the family name was rendered McIlmorrow, and the name appears in the records frequently from 1526 until the mid 1800's. The "Il" in Scottish was generally heard by the English ear in Britain and America as "Le", and the Scottish ending "ow" or "owe" was usually dropped by English writers on both sides of the Atlantic, though at least one example of it has been found in Surry County, Va. record! So I hope that your plans to do research in Scotland will allow you to change location from Argylshire to Ayrshire, or you may be barking up the wrong tree based on perpetuated misinformation that has been floating around the family in this country for years.

      All of this will appear in a new edition of my book which I hope to get back to writing soon. I have just finished moving this past fall & have not yet unpacked the boxes and boxes of research materials that I have collected over the years. Once I have set up a new home office and organized these files, I anticipate about a year to complete the book, now 60% done in rough draft. But there are other projects as well. Still I hope to announce something on this and other boards then.

      By the way, there were several Abraham McLemores and I do believe that I recall hearing that at least one of the later ones was a Presbyterian Minister, but I have never heard that the original one was. If you have some authority for that statement, I'd like to see it. I have always believed that the immigrants' father William McIlmorrow (d. July 1664, Colmonel Parish, Ayrshire, Scotland) was a religious man - or that his wife Mary Aitken was - as they gave religious or Biblical names to most of their sons (except the probable 1st born, William), including Abraham (after the Patriarch), James (after the eldest brother of Jesus), and Mungo (after the patron saint of Glasgow & the SW Lowlands. And James named his youngest son Ephraim, another Old Testament name. I have always believed from the date of their arrival in America that the brothers came as a result of the Covenanting Wars, which ended in the year of their arrival, 1689, but I have never been able to determine for sure which side they had been on - the Anglican or the Presbyterian one. But I have always told my own preachers every time we got a new one at church that my ancestors left Scotland to get away from long-winded Presbyterian preachers and that each should remember that we don't pay for overtime!

      The earlier theories about the origin of the McLemore family name that James referred to was that the McLemore clan originated among the mixed cultures of Gaelic-speaking inhabitants of eastern Ireland and western Scotland. This culture resulted from the intermarriage of the native Gaelic population with the Norwegian and Danish Vikings who raided and occupied these areas. The surname was thought to be derived from "Mac Ghille Mhuire" which literally means "son of the Servant of the Blessed Virgin Mary." It was quite common for Norsemen, upon converting to Christianity, to take names with some sort of religious significance. The name was first used during the first half of the 12th century among the Scandinavian population in Waterford, Ireland and/or among a similar population in the west of present day Scotland. In the last half of the 15th century, it was common in the parts of western Scotland known to have been strongly influenced by the Scandinavians, such as Galloway and Argylshire. Whether the Scottish clan descend from those of Waterford, or vice versa, is not known with certainty. When the early Macklemore's emigrated to America, they also preserved the name, which has since evolved to the present spelling of McLemore. In Scotland, the name continued to evolve, in the Highlands to Gilmore, and in the lowlands to Murray.

      The first family member known to be in America was Mun. Macklemore. He immigrated to Virginia from probably from Argylshire or Ayshire, Scotland around 1679, as an indentured servant to a Virginia landowner. He is either the older brother or father of James and Abraham Macklemore, the brothers who are generally conceded to be the founders of the family in the United States. Both James and Abraham were farmers near the Virginia/North Carolina border. Their descendants settled first in that area, and then gradually spread to Georgia and Tennessee and further even westward.

      This theory was from the books "The Early History of The McLemore Family of Virginia and The Carolinas" by James L. McLemore, III (available for purchase  at P.O. Box 1085, Suffolk Virginia 23434) and "Ole Rosinheels: A Genealogical Sketch of the Family of Major Amos McLemore, 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A" by Dr. Rudy H. Leverett.

      And finally, a very detailed post regarding the most current theory, including an extract of the will of William McIImorrow was posted to the following website:

      Many believe Mary Aitken (Aitkine) and William McIlmorrow of Colmonell Parish, Ayreshire, Scotland are the parents. - William McIlmorrow died in July 1664, and has a Testament Dative on file with the Scottish Archive ( There is no mention of children, but people believe they had children because of the word (bairns). - Other Mary Macklemore's seem to exist, causing confusion on the connection (finding out who these Mary's are might help solve the puzzle.) The following is a message I wrote earlier describing my thoughts on a Mary Macklemore that helps the confusion about the McLemore Scottish roots: "Mary could possibly fit in the position of this Mary Aitken, but I feel it is more unlikely than likely. William McIlmorrow died 6/8/1664, so it's possible that Mary moved to Aberdeenshire and remarried William Turner in 1670. However, with the birth of James and Abraham being around 1660, this would make the Mary in your document only 10 or 11 when she had children. Plus, according to a McLemore researcher, in 17th century Scotland the women kept their maiden name throughout life…so I don't believe this is the same Mary, since she would have to be the daughter of a McLemore/Mcilmorrow. So now I wonder about the possibility of James and Abraham having a sister. I recently came across another family line that has a Mary Ann McLemore married to Dr. Thomas Gibson Carson. According to a couple of people's research (I have no documentation on this), her birth was in 1688 in Londonberry, Tyrone, North Ireland. This also has her married in July 27, 1707. If documentation of this person exists, then that opens the possibility of a sister or at least another documented McLemore as old as James and Abraham. It also opens the possibility of where the family was located. Also, if this Mary Ann were born around that time and was a sister, then that would put serious doubt on the William and Mary McIlmorrow connection since this person was born after William's death. Then there is the land grant for Col. Edward Hill, which he is receiving land for bringing people over, including a Mary Macklemore. According to a McLemore researcher, this was a repatent of the same land to Col. Hill with Mungo Macklemore on the first one (dated 1681)." This can be found online at the Library of Virginia Digital Collection: Land Office Patents and Grants. - Notes from Turner-Parker Pedigree, Oct. 1898, This manuscript was written by Wm. Parker in 1791 and copied by Wm. H. Sassnet in Oct 1898." Wm.Turner, a minister of the Kirk of Scotland was born in Aberdeenshire Scotland in 1645. He married Mary McLemore, born in same shire in 1650. married in 1670. On account of persecution of the Covenanters he fled with his young bride and settled in the North of Ireland. Persecution followed him and his co-believers there and with quite a colony he came to Maryland in 1680 and settled in Worcester Co. in 1680- not far from Snow Hill the present county seat. There were born to this couple; William-1671. Elisha-1672. Mary 1674. Ebenezer 1675. John 1675. John 1677. Gertrude 1679. Thomas 1681."

      Abraham and James Macklemore were very likely brothers. - Abraham Macklemore's will was signed Jan 4, 1735 (NC State Archives) witnessed by Wiliam Gillim, William Clanton, and Joseph Brady. - Three sons, Atkins (b. 1724 Bertie Co., NC, d. May 1791 in Warren Co., NC), Young (b. 1726, d. bef. April 9, 1804, Williamson Co., TN) and William (b. 1728, d. bef. 1736/7 in Bertie Co., NC) - Wife, Mary (Young) who died in Northampton Co., NC around 1737/38 - James Macklemore's will dated Feb 7, 1733 in Bertie Co. NC. Witnessed by John Doyle, Abraham Macklemore, and Thomas Roberson. - James's children, William (b. abt 1692, d. 1750), Margery (b. abt 1696), John (b. abt. 1698 in Surry Co., Virginia, d. abt 1767 in Sussex Co., VA), James (b. 1702-5, d. abt. 1770), Charles (b. bet. 1705-9), Ephraim (b. 1709-12), d. abt. 1787) - Wife, Fortune (Fortain) Gilliam (b. 1671 in Surry Co. VA, d. abt. 1736 Bertie Co., VA), possible daughter of John Gilliam and Margery Henshaw. - There is a 1695 Virginia headright record for the importation into Virginia of a Mary Macklemore in a patent to Col. Edward Hill, and it was a repatent of a 1681 patent to the same man for the same land in Charles City County (I think), and for the most part with the same headrights, with one or two exceptions, specifically including the Macklemore one - in the earlier patent it was to Mun. Macklemore. This is the only reference to a Mun. (Mungo) Macklemore, so there is room for error in the interpretation of who this is.

      Transcript of testament dative for William McIlmorrow: ["The testa[men]t dative & inventar of the goods geir debts & soumes of money q[uhi]lks perteinit to umq[uhi]le W[illia]m Mcillmarrow in McCallastoune within the parochin of Cammonell the tyme of his deceis wha deceist in the moneth of Julii last bypast 1664 yeirs ffaithfully maid & givin up be Mary Akin relict of the defunct & ex[ecut]orix dative surrogat in place of Mr Jon & Jon Herbertsouns pro[curato]r fiscalls of the Com[m]issariat of Glasgow who are exe[cut]ors dative decernit to the defuncts goods geir & debts be de[crei]t of the Com[m]issar of Glasgow his deput upon the 4th day of August instant 1664 yeirs as the sam[en] beirs Inventar Item the defunct had the tyme fors[ai]d perte[n]ing to him the goods & geir underwr[itte]n of the pryces following viz In the first the saweing of nyne bolls corne estimat to the thrid corne pryce of the boll with the fodder iiij lib Inde jct and viij lib Item the saweing of thrie firlots of beir estimat to the fourth corne pryce of the boll w[i]t[h] the fodder v lib Inde xv lib Item four ky pryce of the peice o[ve]rheid x lib Inde xl lib It[em] twa stotts pryce of the peice o[ve]rheid x lib Inde xx lib Item twa yeir old qua[n]ddoch pryce of the peice o[ve]rheid iiij lib Inde viij lib Item thrie stirks pryce of the peice o[ve]rheid xlsh Inde vj lib Item twenty sheip pryce of the peice o[ve]rheid xxx sh Inde xxx lib Item ane old hors pryce th[e]rof vj lib xiijsh iiijd It[em] insyt & plenisching of the hous in utencills & domicills with the abulziements of the defuncts body estimat worth xx lib Sum[m]a of the invent[ar] ..... ijctLiij lib xiijsh iiijd Debts awand in Item ther was awand to the defunct the tym fors[ai]d the soumes of mo[ne]y following be the persons underwry[tte]n viz In the first be Hew Cathcart of Carrilltoune Lxxiij lib vjsh viijd It[em] be Andrew Ros at the Bridgend of Girvan viij lib It[em] be Patrick Carnochan in Lowstoune xxx lib It[em] be James Andersoune in Daly xx lib It[em] be Andro Ramsay y[ounge]r x lib Item be James Mcillwraith in Meikle Brochloch xij lib Sum[m]a of the debts in ...... jct xiij lib vjsh viijd Sum[m]a of the invent[ar] & debts .... iijct xvii lib Debts awand out Item ther was awand be the defunct the tyme fors[ai]d the soumes of mo[ne]y efterspe[cife]it to the persons eftermentionat viz In the first to the heritor of Killoux of duty the s[ai]d yeir jct xliij lib It[em] to the minister of Daly of teynd the s[ai]d yeir ix lib vjsh viijd Item to Helen Glen of fie & bounteth the s[ai]d yeir xx lib It[em] to Jon Begs off fie & bounteth the s[ai]d yeir vij lib xsh iijd Item to Hew Kennedy of Daljavoch of deuty the s[ai]d yeir xiij lib vjsh viijd Sum[m]a of the debts out .... jctLxxxxiij lib ixsh iiijd Rests of frie geir debts deduceit ......ijct xxxiij lib xvijsh iiijd To be divydit in thrie p[air]ts Deids pairt is ..... Lxxiiij lib xijsh vd (In margin \endash   quota iij lib) I Mr W[illia]m Ffleiming of Ferm Com[m]issar of Glasgow be the tenor heirof eft[er] dew warning maid be edict opinly as effeirs ratify approve & confirm this p[rese]nt testa[men]t & inventar in swa far as the sam[en] is leillily & treuly ma[i]d & givin up nothing omittit furth th[e]rof nor set w[i]t[h]in the just availl th[e]rinconteinit & give & com[]itt full power of intromissoune w[i]t[h] the goods geir & debts abovewry[tte]n to the s[ai]d ex[ecut]orix dative abovesurrogat allenderly w[i]t[h] power to hir to call & persew therfor if neid beis becaus schoe hes maid faith as use is & fund cation as law will as ane act m[ai]d therupon att lenth beirs Att Glasgow the eight day of August 1664 yeirs The q[uhi]lk day compeirit perso[na]ly Patrick Aikin in Balachduan & becam actit as cau[tione]r & sur[e]ty for Mary Aikin relict & ex[ecut]orix confirmit to um[quhi]le W[illia]m Mcillmarrow th[a]t the goods geir & debts conteinit in the defuncts confirmit test[amen]t salbe maid furth cum[m]and to all p[air]tys haveand entres as law will & the s[ai]d ex[ecut]orix becam obleist for his releif q[uhe]rupon they askit acts befor thir witnessis James Hamiltoin wryter in Glasgow Walter Graham mess[enge]r ther James Bishop ther & Hew Kennedy of Daljavoch] First testament of William The testa[men]t dative ad omissa and invent[ar] of the guids geir debts & sowmes of mo[n]ey q[uhi]lks perteinit to u[mquhile] W[illia]m Mcillmurrow in Mcallastoun w[i]thin the parochine of Camonell the tyme of his deceis who deceist in the moneth of July jajvjct and thrie scoir four yeirs omittit & left furth of the defuncts prin[cipa]ll confermit testa[men]t the tyme of the confermatione th[ai]rof be Marie Aikine relict of the defunct and onlie exe[cut]orrix dat[ive] surrogat & confermit to him and of new againe ffaithfullie made & givin up be the s[ai]d Marie Aitkine who is exe[cut]orix dative ad omissa surrogat in place of Mr Jon & Jon Herbertsounes pro[curato]r fischalls of the Comissariat of Glesgow who is exe[cuto]rs datives decernit ad omissa to the defuncts guids geir & debts omittit furth of his prin[cipa]ll confermit testa[men]t be dec[rei]t of the Comissar of Glesgow his dep[u]t upon the sixt day of July jajvjct and thrie s[c]oir fyve yeirs as the samyne beirs Inventar Item ther was omittit and left furth of the defuncts confermit testa[men]t the tyme of the conferma[tio]ne th[ai]rof be the exe[cut]orix fors[ai]d xxxvj lib as being the worth of ane irone luddie in the custodie of Agnes Mcclaimount in Clachine of Camonell (in margin \endash   xxviijs viijd) Sum[m]a of the invent[ar] patet ..... xxxvj lib Nae divisioune I Mr W[illia]m Flyming of Ferme Comissar of Glesgow be the tennor heirof ratifie approve and conferme this p[rese]nt testa[men]t & invent[ar] in sua far as the samyne is leillie & trewlie made & givin up nathing omittit furth th[ai]rof nor set w[i]thin the just availl th[ai]rincontenit and give and comitt full power of intromissioune w[i]th the s[ai]d sowme abovewr[itt]ine to the s[ai]d exe[cut]orix dative ad omissa above surrogat allenerlie w[i]th power to her to call & persew th[ai]rfor if neid beis becaus she hes made faith sas use is & fund ca[utio]une as Law will as ane act made th[ai]rupon at length beirs givin att Glesgow the twenty ane day of July 1668 The q[uhi]lk day compeirit James Hamiltoune wryt[er] pro[curato]r speciallie constitut be the p[air]tie obligator eft[er]spe[cife]it and consentit for th[e]m to the reg[ist]ra[tio]une of the band underwr[itt]ine q[uhi]lk the s[ai]d Comissar dep[u]t admittit q[uhe]rof the tennor follows I Andrew Mcillmurrow in Kilrie be the tennor heirof binds and obleissis me my airs and successors as cau[tioune[r & sovertie for Marie Aikine relict and exe[cut]orix dat[ive] decernit and confermit ad omissa to u[mquhile] W[illia]m Mcillmurrow in Calmonell that the guids geir & debts givin up and confermit in the defuncts confermit testa[men]t ad omissa sall be made furth cumand to all p[airti]es haveand intres as Law will and I the s[ai]d Marie Aikine binds & obleissis me & my successors to warrand my s[ai]d cau[tioune]r & his fors[ai]ds of his cau[tioun]rie & of all danger th[ai]ranent Consenting thir p[resen]ts be reg[ist]rat in the buiks of counsell & Sessioune Comissar Court buiks of Glesgow that exe[cutoria]lles neidful may pas heirupoune on sex dayes and constituts James Hamiltoune wryt[er] our pro[curato]r wr[itt]ine be Jon Eastoun wryt[er] in Glesgow & sub[scrivi]t as follows att Idailie the threttin day of July jajvjct thrie scoir fyve yeirs Befor thir witnessis Jon Mcknabeine at Daill & Jon Couper ther Jon Abercrumbie not[ary] inserter of the dait & witnessis & James Andersoun att Daillie & is thus sub[scrivi]t Andrew Mcillmurrow & Marie Aikine w[i]th our hands att the pen led be the not[ary] following at my co[m]mand becaus we cannot wryt o[u]r selves Ita est Joannes Abercrumbie no[ta]rius publicus in premissa requisit[us] de mandat[o] dict[e] personatir scribere nescein[tis] Johne Couper witnes John Mcknabine witnes James Andersone witnes
    Person ID I21642  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 25 Sep 2014 

    Family ID F11283  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Aitken,   b. Bef 1642, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
     1. James Macklemore,   b. Between 1660 and 1662, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 13 Feb 1732, Bertie County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years)
     2. Abraham Macklemore,   b. Aft 1664, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1735, Bertie County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 71 years)
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F7451  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Bef 1640 - Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Jul 1664 - Colmonell Parish, Ayrshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S208] McLemore, James L. III (Correspondence, email, genealogy list discussion and postings).