Share This:

Hello, all.  My father had always presumed we have origins in Ireland (based on the fact that we are McKees) but never knew specifics and was only familiar with ancestors in and around far west (Ayrshire/Dailly), Scotland.  Recently I had stumbled upon this strange 1879 excerpt from the London Gazette that details a bankruptcy hearing involving Cattle Dealers Samuel McKee of "Largan (which they mispelled "Largen"), county Sligo, Ireland" and [sons] Samuel and William McKee of Dailly (which they mispelled "Dailby") -- see attached image ;)

The peculiar thing is that Sligo appears to be much farther inland west than where most of the McKees appear to hail from (looks like County Down has the highest concentration of them) and, of course, the Internet doesn't yield anything additional information at all about any McKees from Sligo (or that worked in the cattle industry for that matter).  The only other clues are a small tidbit of info on a genealogy website that says he was born in 1829 "in Ireland" and makes mention of this fellow's father (another William McKee) who was a "hotel keeper" and his mother "Ann Wilson" -- Unfortunately too common of a name to be helpful in yielding a solid search.  (There is a William McKee listed as a "Grocer" from Sligo in Slater's Commercial Directory of 1846, but it's impossible for me to know if it's the same guy..) Samuel seemed to have made a life for himself across the water in Ayrshire at some point, but any information or evidence related to his upbringing in Ireland (or info about his parents and beyond) is nowhere to be found.

I had presumed, though, that perhaps hotel keepers and cattle dealers in the 1850s would have a bit more information scattered about the Internet, but then again, a lot of that stuff also appears to have been "lost in fires" etc, so there's that.  So!  With the information provided, anyone have any clues as to where I could perhaps find more information about these fine folks?  Thanks much!


Tuesday 20th April 2021, 05:41PM

Attached Files

Message Board Replies

  • lobstertexas:

    I checked the Tithe listings for Co. Sligo and there were seven McKeen records but no Samuel or William and no one in Largan or Dailly.

    The 1858 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for Co. Sligo showed five Mackey records but no Samuel or William.

    On the subscription site Roots Ireland there was a Church of Ireland baptismal record in 1856 for a Samuel McKee but his father was Robert. Many of the Co. Sligo C of I parishes ( I presume your family was C of I) have records starting late e.g. 1870s.

    There are two Largan townlands in Co. Sligo but I was not able to find a townland spelled Dailly. Perhaps it was a local place name.

    Have you tested your DNA?

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 20th April 2021, 06:19PM
  • Thanks for the info and response, Roger -- failed to mention that Dailly is a very tiny town in South Ayreshire, Scotland, which is where a large amount of the descendents ended up... so despite the spelling of our last name, my father had only known of the ties to Scotland.  It wasn't until I discovered that 1879 London Gazette article was it revealed that a McKee (my great-great-grandfather) was indeed originally from Ireland (but ended up in Dailly eventually, as he was buried there in 1902)

    I had thought maybe the facts that they were "cattle dealers" (and that his father was a "hotel keeper") would lend themselves to making the searching a bit easier; just curious, are you aware of any resources that may contain details of cattle transactions (figuring the sale of cattle must be significant enough to have a paper trail) or did they not keep track of that level of detail back then?

    (I have not tested my DNA.. considering it)

    Thanks again!


    Tuesday 20th April 2021, 06:42PM
  • lobstertexas:

    I noticed a typo in the first sentence of my reply but you likely knew what I meant--- McKeen should be McKee.

    Not aware of a data base which has data on cattle transactions. 

    Very possible that the William in Slaters is your ancestor.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 20th April 2021, 07:13PM