It is wooden and rectangular, about 16″ x 6″ x 6″ or so. It is hinged at the back and has a rough clip at the front to keep it closed. The top is adorned with carefully written white letters. “J superscript N then McElmoyle”. The letters in the name McElmoyle are faded or worn, but they are there. The whole box is battered a bit, dripped with something in spots, dirty and dusty. It spent at least 40 years or so in the attic of a McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, South Carolina. About 80 miles from it’s original owners home in York, South Carolina and close to 4000 miles from it’s origination point in Antrim County, Northern Ireland.
John McEmoyle carried all of his worldly possessions in this box when he arrived in South Carolina in the late 1700’s. Who knows what those original contents were. The contents it held in recent times were an original copy of the Immigration and naturalization records of John McEmoil (McElmoyle), Sr.
As Irish inheritance goes, this box would have been inherited by the first son of John, then the first son of that son and so on, on down the line.
But something is amiss…
John McElmoyle, Sr. had five living children proven by his 1811 Will.
The first son would be James, who according to the McElmoyle Family Papers was “single, may have been an invalid” and “deaf and dum”.. The 1850 Census of York County, South Carolina lists him as living with his brother Daniels’ Widow Elizabeth, her new husband John D. Boyd, and his niece Harriet E. McElmoyle. John Getty’s, also listed, must be related to his brother Daniels’ daughter Mary Adaline McElmoyle Gettys.
So it seems James would have no male heirs to leave the box to.
The next son, Daniel has plenty of heirs. He dies early, his Widow remarries and the children are raised by their step-father. They might have had the box.
Daughter Margaret McElmoyle has no information suggesting she lived and breathed other than her 1812 inheritance from her father.
- McELMOYLE SR., JOHN of York District, signed December 11, 1811
- Wife: Mary
- Sons: James and John, the plantation containing 200 acres.
- Son: David, 140 acres on Turkey Creek, purchased from Abraham Livingston.
- Daughter: Margaret McElmoile, the lease of 70 acres Indian land purchased from John White.
- Son: Daniel
- Executors: John McClenchan
- Witnesses: Isaac McFaddin, Thos. Faris, Mary Polk
- Proven: 22 Apr 1812
John McElmoyle, Jr., “…believed to be the youngest, remained single and is believed buried at Rose Hill Cem. in York, SC as J.C. McElmoyle, died Feb. 2, 1884 aged 84 yrs.” This, again, is from the McElmoyle Family Papers. He does not appear to marry and lives with a niece in Census records from 1860 to 1880.
And then there is David, who like his sister Margaret, has no information suggesting he lived and breathed other than his 1812 inheritance from his father.
In John Sr.’s Will he divides his land, his livestock, farm implements, Negroes, and even specific pots and kitchen items, but nowhere in his will does he bequeath the box. There is this statement: “All the rest of my farming utensils and plantation and all my property not above mentioned, I give and bequeath jointly to my wife and two sons James and John.”
So John or James inherited the box and that is how it ended up in the attic of that McElmoyle descendant in Greenville, SC. But…
That McElmoyle Descendants great grand father was, according to the McElmoyle Family Papers, “probably a cousin [to John] who may have immigrated at later date. He too is buried at Bethesda…Do not confuse his descendants with Daniel son of John Mc. Senior.” How on earth would a descendant of a cousin of the John McElmoyle, Sr. family inherit the box and it’s contents?
That is the question.
To be continued…
1.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, p.1,No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
2.↑ McElmoyle, john (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.
3.↑ McElmoyle Family Papers, No Author, 1978, NCR, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County, Charlotte, North Carolina.
4.↑ “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 10 November 2015), James Mcelmoyl in household of John D Boyd, York county, York, South Carolina, United States; citing family 1496, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
5.↑ McElmoyle, John (Sr.), Vol.1, 1770-1815, p. 466, Indexes to the county wills of South Carolina. York County Wills, p. 9, Mid-Continent Public Library, South Carolina – Probate records – Indexes.