Monday, September 1, 2014

Matrilineal Monday ~ Jane Hunter McAlpin

After seeing my last blog post about a branch of the Hunter family on my mother's side, a reader of this blog asked about where the name Hunter came from on my father's side.

Hunter is the maiden name of my third great grandmother, Jane Hunter, who married James McAlpin.

Jane Hunter was briefly mentioned in a post about my McAlpin line. According to Pyle, Smith and Allied Family Histories (Privately published, 1951) which I have mentioned before, she was born on May 11, 1786, in Muckamore, Antrim, Ireland. She married James McAlpin on July 14, 1809, at Antrim, Ireland, and had one or two children before immigrating to New York, on the Jupiter, in 1811. The family soon settled in Dutchess County, New York, up the Hudson River from New York City.

I believe Jane Hunter and James McAlpin were Scotch-Irish.

Most of this information is from secondary sources (though I have seen enough references to the immigration on the Jupiter that I'm pretty sure that's accurate) so please don't go believing all this is fact - it's simply a place to start if anyone wants to do some research in Antrim County, Ireland, which is where research would need to be done to find her parents' names.

Jane's children were baptized at the Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, New York. In June, the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society made a book available in which I could confirm the McAlpin children's baptisms.

Arthur C. M. Kelly, Vital Records of Presbyterian Church Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, NY 1793-1947
(Rhinebeck, NY: Kinship, 2007). Page 131 (image 135) from the index.

After her husband died in the cholera epidemic of 1849, and was buried in what is now Beacon, Dutchess County, New York, Jane is found in Brooklyn in the U.S. Federal Censuses in 1850, 1860, and 1870, with different combinations of children and grandchildren.

Jane Hunter McAlpin died on November 28, 1875, and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. She had eight children that I know of:
1) Rebecca McAlpin, born in Ireland about 1810. She married Addison B. Wight and had three children. She died in Unadilla, New York on June 12, 1895, and is buried there.
2) Elisa Ann McAlpin, born July 7, 1812, baptized August 30, 1812. In exploring sources for this blog post, I think I have found her as Ann E[liza] Hughes, married to William Hughes, whose household includes her brother, James. She died April 1, 1897, and is buried in Matawan, New Jersey.
3) James M. McAlpin, born June 11, 1814, baptized January 1, 1815. It looks like James M. McAlpin, found in the Matawan, New Jersey, household of William and Ann Hughes, in 1850 and 1860, is the same James. He died in 1862 or 1863.
4) David Hunter McAlpin, born November 8, 1816, baptized January 1817. I have written about him.
5) William Henry McAlpin, born September 22, 1818, baptized February 21, 1819. He worked in the family's tobacco business in New York City. I find him in a couple of census records with a wife, Anna, and two daughters. He died on December 4, 1895, in Manhattan, and is buried in Matawan, New Jersey, according to his death certificate.
6) Hugh McAlpin, born March 29, 1821, baptized July 28, 1821. He became a Baptist minister, moving first to North Carolina, where he married Charlotte Allen and fathered ten children. He later moved to Illinois, where he died and is buried.
7) Jane McAlpin, born February 28, 1823, baptized August 2, 1829. She married Charles Williston Benedict. I see in my tree that I have not done any research on this family. I do show that she died in January 1911, and is buried in Honolulu, Hawaii.
8) Catherine McAlpin, baptized August 2, 1829, died in 1849, possibly in the Cholera epidemic that took her father. She is buried with him at Beacon, New York.

Unfortunately, I have not yet confirmed all the burial locations for her children, so they are not all linked on FindAGrave, but I ultimately hope to link them all.

I descend from Jane Hunter McAlpin as follows:

Jane Hunter (1786-1875)
David Hunter McAlpin (1816-1901)
Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860-1937)
Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893-1966)
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. (1924-1993)


  1. I also find that I often need to rely on secondary sources. I know that sometimes there are errors or mistakes, but I'm also sometimes surprised how things that seem improvable (for example, the story about an ancestor who had her last child when she was 48) are later verified using primary documents.

    1. Sheryl, I am now very careful with secondary sources, especially when sharing information in a blog post. They are sometimes helpful in directing me to look for other primary sources. I'm much better about this now than when I first started my genealogy research!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.