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A Miracle Finding of
Lost Love
Author: Marjorie (McBride) Weaver

Editor's Note: The McBride descendants we are concerned with are a branch of the Taylor tree. Ethan McBride married Aurie Taylor in 1898 and they lived around the Jamestown - Concordia area all their lives. Aurie (Taylor) McBride was the oldest daughter of Edwin Maxwell and Hulda Sarah (Beaty) Taylor, Kansas Pioneers.

The McBrides and McKees of Scotland Move to Ireland

Sometime between the years 1650 and 1680, a great many Presbyterians who called themselves Covenanters left Scotland because of the persecutions they suffered under the rule of Charles II of England, most of them seeking refuge in Northern Ireland. (See This Covenanter Page.) Among those were the families in which we are most interested, namely, the honest, sturdy McBrides and the more aristocratic McKees. Both families settled in Armah, Ireland.

William and Eliza Fall in Love

In the year 1788, a son was born in the McBride family who was destined to become an American citizen. He was given the name William. A few years later a baby girl was born in the McKee clan. These two children grew up in the same neighborhood, attended the same church, may have been tutored by the same Presbyterian pastor, as there were no public schools and we have evidence of their literacy. However, the McKee family felt much superior to the McBride family and discouraged the attentions of William to the bonny Eliza. Human nature being the same then as now, love found a way and they secretly married in the year 1813.

William Emigrates to America for a Home for the Family

Then William sailed for the new world to make a home for his bride expecting to be able to send her very soon, never dreaming of the hardships and heartaches in store for them both.

Eliza's family may not have known of the secret marriage, anyway they thought it a good opportunity to break the bonds with humble William and they kept away from Eliza all the letters he wrote her. A baby was coming and she was frantic but kept her trust in him despite the long silence. When baby Martha was but a few months old, she packed a few clothes, took her baby and stole away to Belfast where she took passage to New York, thinking she could easily find her husband.

Eliza Hunts for William in America

New York was even then a bustling city. She had no address, very little money, and a baby. For awhile she was bewildered, then the courage of her Scottish ancestors came to her rescue. She obtained work as a housemaid, looking always when on the street for her William, never doubting that she would some day meet him. Two years passed and still she worked and searched when finally for some unknown reason or just plain intuition she went to Philadelphia to resume working and searching. Several weary months passed and then came an eventful day. She and William met on the street!! What a reunion it must have been, so much for both to explain and little Martha to meet her father who did not even know about her.

Then Tragedy Strikes

At that time there was a vast wilderness to the West and pioneer spirits that they were, they decided to journey West with others seeking new homes. William and Eliza found their new home on the banks of the White Woman River, now known as the Walhounding River in the north central part of the Ohio territory. They took a homestead, more children were born and they had several happy years. Then, tragedy struck. William had gone that day (April 25, 1827) to work for a neighbor living across the river. A rainstorm came up in the afternoon. He started home at dark. His horse reached home at daylight, but it was many days before his body was found down the swollen stream.

Their children grew and multiplied, however, as the descendants of William and Eliza McBride are sprinkled across America. Note the Taylor tie-in to the McBrides is through Aurie (Taylor) McBride.

Related Pages

Our Scotch-Irish Heritage

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Copyright 1978 Marjorie (McBride) Weaver