From LDS files of Lois C. Meyer:
(Caution - transcription of a transcription)
Copy of letter written to W. J. McClurkin, son of Archibald McClurkin, by Rev. John Johnson McClurkin.to
New Alexandria, Penn.
June 29, 1896
Yours of May 2nd, 1896, was received in due time; and I now proceed to give you what information I can respecting your and my ancestry.
Thomas McClurkin, my grandfather and your great-grandfather was about sixteen (16) years old, the time of the Revolutionary War.This I have from his own mouth.He said, "his father had a farm well stocked (in South Carolina) with cattle and horses, in Chester District.(They called the counties, districts.)The English camping near-by took all."Grandfather, being young and inexperienced, hearing they were about to move their camp, went to the chief officer to ask some pay for the cattle, but behold you, his response was "Get out of this place, you dog."And stamped his foot at him, and let down his brows.Grandfather said "he never was as glad in his life, to get away."Had the officer said the word he would have been shot on the spot.In those days there were many loyal to King George.They were called Torries.These helped the English to select a suitable place for encampment and in many ways encouraged them.
I never saw grandfather's Father or Mother.I do not know whether they had moved to South Carolina before Grandfather was born or not.It is evident they were of Scotch origin, as the name McClurkin indicated.
Of the cemetery you speak of, that my son John saw in Ireland, I have no knowledge.I will send him your letter and he can inform you what he knows about the matter.
Grandfather owned four (4) negros: viz, Adam and his wife, Tine, and two sons, Isaac and Jacob.When grandfather joined the Covenanter Church, he sat them free.Our Church never believed in slavery, always testified against it, and afterwards, the law of the State was so changed that no one could set his negroes free, however anxious to set them free they might be.This was the condition of affairs when we moved from South Carolina in December 1833.According to this date we landed at Archibald Hood's place after spending six weeks on the road in a wagon with four horses, and another one-horse carriage for grandmother and grandfather and their only daughter, Nancy McClurkin, my Aunt Nancy.We were the last of the McClurkins that moved away from South Carolina, the others had moved before us.
My grandmother was Smith, sister of old David Smith of Bloomington, Indiana.No doubt your mother may have seen him when she was very young, at least she had heard of him.At all events your mother knows the family of Smiths about Bloomington.My grandmother was Smith, sister of David Smith, John Smith, and James Smith, and also a sister, of Mrs. Donnelly, the wife of Rev. Thomas Donnelly, who was a preacher.These Smiths were born and educated in the principles of the Covenanter Church in Scotland and Ireland.I remember seeing my great-grandmother Smith when she was one-hundred and one (101) years of age, she lived with her daughter, Mrs. Thomas Donnelly.My grandmother McClurkin, being so well indoctrinated in the principles of our church, no doubt helped grandfather to see the evil of slavery and join the Covenanter Church.Because he did so, he incurred the displeasure of his neighbors.Evidence of this we have in the way he was persecuted.Four times in succession, through spite work, he was suponead to sit in court as a juryman.This they knew he could not do, consistently with the position he has just professed as a Covenanter, consequently he paid his fine, which was twenty (20) dollars, and four times this, is eighty (80) dollars, which they took out of his pocket, because he did not join some of the slave-holding churches; such as the Secession Church or the Associate Reformed, or the Presbyterian.These churches were many, if not all, originally from Ireland and Scotland, and all opposed slavery at first, but fell in with slavery because the Constitution allowed and sanctioned it.
Grandfathers family consisted of the following children; viz, John, my father, the oldest; Archibald; James; Thomas; David and Nancy.All are now dead and buried in the same graveyard near Oakdale, Illinois, which used to be Elkhorn Cemetery.My father and mother died in 1874, only three or four days between their deaths.I ought to exempt Uncle Archibald McClurkin, for I remember that he was buried in Pinkneyville, near Chester, in Illinois.I suppose all his family that is now dead are buried there.All these deaths remind me that I am the oldest McClurkin now living of which I have any knowledge.
Matthew McClurkin, a brother of Thomas McClurkin, my grandfather, moved from South Carolina before I was born.He raised a large family in Ohio, in New Light Covenanter Church, some of whom moved to Iowa, near Morning Sun, and others went to Princeton, Indiana.
Grandfather had four or five sisters or more, Mrs. McClure, and Mrs. Blair, whom I have seen.The Blair family lives near Adamsville, in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.The McClure family has moved to Iowa, near Morning Sun.
I am living a retired life, being put on the retired list of old super-annuated ministers.I am eighty-four (84) years old.I am trying like Moses to ascend Mount Pisgah to see the heavenly Canon, or like the worthies in Hebrew 11th Chapter, I am a stranger and pilgrim seeking a better country.
Mrs. McClurkin joins me in sending her regards to you all.Your mother knows that her maiden name was Ewing, daughter of Robert Ewing.Please answer me.
J. J. McClurkin