Life is good and we have been blessed. We have always seen our 43 years of marriage as a continuous adventure. while we no longer enjoy the challenges of living in Alaskan Villages, we manage to find new options. we love living in the Sierra Foothills, but we also need to explore the world.

During our life together, we have managed to explore all of the United States except for Hawaii. i guess that growing up in California beach towns spoiled us and the desire for more beaches (even tropical ones) is limited. We have criss-crossed most of Western Europe several times and have visited some of Eastern Europe. Cruising is new to us. We have enjoyed reaching places I would not drive to like Egypt and the Holy Land.

Retirement has given us the chance to go places without summer crowds. our next adventure inspired this blog. I doubt if we will add much to the extensive literature on the Camino. I do hope to give our family and friends a running commentary on what we are doing. There is even the chance that we can avoid the need for an endless slide show at holiday time.

CONCEPT UPDATE – Since we have spent a good part of the last three years traveling and doing genealogy, I believe it is appropriate to expand the focus from our upcoming adventure to include our travels to places associated with our ancestors. I realize this may be of little interest to those outside of our family, but that is why they invented the Delete Key and the Spam Filter. I will try to modify categories and organization as my entries increase to make navigation somewhat easier. Thanks for your patience.

31 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello. My McKenney ancestors were mixed farmers in Arkansas In the late 1890’s. They were Primitive Baptists and presumably Scotch-Irish. Should I assume they were highlanders and converted from Catholicism at some point in Ireland? Thanks.

  2. Hello cousin 🙂 ! Travis McKenney is my 5th great grandfather through his son John McKenney (also Rev War), brother of William. I have been trying for years to find the proof that Travis was a Rev War patriot! Do you have specific documentation I can reference? I am Lee Vanette Kirkland McKinney (married name not related to us!). I can be reached at mckin43@cox.net. Thank you for this blog!

  3. mckinney line here too! mckinney from the mckinney’s who founded mckinney, texas. they migrated from skye to ireland, to va, eventually to texas. So cool!

  4. Hello to all Cuz’s. I have two McKenney grams from same emigrant [sic] different generations, different siblings. If I understand the information correctly, my John McKenney was a soldier in McKinnon’s Foot from the Isle of Skye during the War of the Three Kingdoms and was captured and transported after Battle of Worcester on the ship John and Sarah to Boston. As I researched my family history, I found myself seriously giving credence to the theory of genetic memory- I have a whole passel of Scottish Stuart Royalists in my family, including the legendary “full ton” man of the the “Derry Seige”, a POW from Dunbar, and a Campbell from the Jacobite uprising of 1743 who somehow found their mates up to and including my parents who descend from [paternally] Mass/Maine Royal commissioned emigrants and [maternally] New Jersey royal commissioned emigrants during the reign of Charles the first!

    • There is a California Pioneer Cemetary – in Hill View Cemetary in Oakland, California. The McKenneys who were California Pioneers are buried there. Now, there is no more room. The McKenneys I am related to are from Ireland – 1850’s. LM McKenny (my gg grandfather) passed through Austin, Nevada, about that time. I can track my McCullagh ancestors much better, Do you have record of Lafayette M. McKenney? Thanks so much. Anna Simcox artetc122@sbcglobal.net

  5. I am so glad you are back home. What an adventure you have had in the last three years.
    I am particularly interested in all of your pictures of places you have visited.
    –Sue (Grisham) Hardwig

  6. It seem there is a connection to the Kentucky (Estill Co., KY via Clark Co., KY via colonial VA) McKinney’s. One famous one was Wildy McKinney or Wildcat McKinney. It is a published fact. UWK, that he squeezed a wildcat to death against a desk early in the morning in his one room schoolhouse. His family’s sons ran a steel chimney near Spout Springs, KY which remnants still remain. And I am a descendant of this line.

    • “Wildcat” McKinney was John McKinney, the first schoolteacher in Lexington, Kentucky, veteran of the American Revolution, and an early settler of Kentucky with his brother Alexander, who were early patents of Kentucky (both eventually moved to Bourbon County). The McKinney’s in Crittenden County, Kentucky are likely their descendants (needs to be verified). Wildcat McKinney was wounded during the war and received a pension from the State of Virginia.

      Wildy McKinney was the son of John Jr and Elizabeth Coleman who migrated from Shenandoah County, Virginia to Kentucky after his father, John Sr.’s death in 1795. John Jr. followed his brother Francis, who went to Kentucky about 1790 to determine whether to move his family there and was living at the Bush Settlement, Clark County, Kentucky (he returned to Shenandoah County to get his family not long after John Sr. died and after John Jr’s left for Kentucky). He ended up moving his family and John’s family to Kentucky.

      John Jr was killed in 1800 by Indians, and his widow remarried and (likely with some of her children) lived in Madison County, Kentucky. Wildy purchased land in Estill County, Kentucky in 1829 on Mill Seat Creek where he raised his children from both marriages.

      At some point Francis and most of his family moved to Bourbon County then Pendleton County Kentucky.

  7. Hello!

    I, too, am a descent of Reginald and Judith Foster. I would greatly appreciate being able to share with you the information that I have collected about the family. I am a direct descent of Benjamin Foster of East Machias, Maine and I took my husband and boys there this past August to share our wonderful heritage. Since then I have been obsessed with Revolutionary War history and am currently reading the biography of Alexander Hamilton in hopes of learning more about the Congress and the Constitution. My oldest son intends to study law and is currently a student at Gettysburg college.
    I am trying to determine whether Reginald is truly the son of Elizabeth Carr of Northumberland. I am trying to figure out why her husband (and Reginald’s father) would have a son that became a Puritan. Was Rev Thomas Fo(r)ster a Puritan minister? I would imagine in the Northumberland area they were mostly either Catholic or Episcopalian.

    We currently live near Seattle Washington but we frequent the East Coast. I would love to get in touch somehow.

    Sincerely, Elisabeth Anton-McIntyre blkct7@gmail.com

    • Sally:
      I descend from John McKenney/McKeny of Skye, He served in McKennon Foot at Battle of Worcester 1651 and transported as POW aboard the ship “John and Sarah” to Boston to be sold as Penal/POW labor. After serving he and son Roger hot-footed it across the Piscataqua River to District of Maine and were founding family of what was Black Point-now Scarborough Maine. Some descendants relocated to nearby Eliot, now Kittery; where POW’s from Battle of Dunbar [transported on ship “Unity” the same time as Worcester POWs] had relocated after their penal sentences were served. Since the list of “cargo” aboard the John and Sarah were written phonetically, I suspect that there were at least a dozen McKenneys with different spellings including Machenie, as well as McKenzies and other highland names. I have a list I acquired from early Suffolk County Deeds [the men were shipped as cargoe, thus the need for a deed]. I live in Passadumkeag, Maine. my email is obnn9119@yahoo.com. I also descend from Robert Jordan, who’s uncle was the Anglican Bishop at Worcester who crowned Charles II and was later also beheaded by Cromwell. Robert Jordan was sent by his uncle in 1640 to be the Anglican spiritual advisor for the members of John Winter’s company that settled on Richmond Island in Casco Bay, District of Maine. As that area was part of Sir Fernando Gorge’s patent [a Stuart Royalist] it became the haven for Stuart Royalists escaping the Puritan tyranny of Boston.

  8. I am a Gresham also. I have done a bit of research and enjoyed reading your accounts.
    I am an Alabama Gresham. My great great grandfather was Shamie Gresham but have traced my line back to the titsley Gresham’s also.

  9. Sir,

    My name is Shawn McKinney, originally from West Virginia. I too trace my direct male line back to William McKinney. I also run into a dead end at that point. Did you ever get an answer from the Scottish genealogists with concrete info on his ancestry? Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.

      • Yes, I do understand that. I think you may have misunderstood my question though. I am speaking of the same William McKinney which you trace to the Westmoreland area, and of whom you wrote that you had contacted the Scottish group with a research request. I was just wondering about the response.

        Thanks much,

        Shawn McKinney

  10. I am a Kreis family descendant from Wartburg, TN/Igis, Graubunden, Switzerland. I would love to exchange information with you some time.

    • We stayed in Igis for a couple of days. According to the local historians, the Uhlians had farms at the headwaters of the Rhine. We drove up there and took some pictures. Also visited “Heidiland” that is just outside Igis,

      • Unfortunately, every time I was in Europe I never got an opportunity to visit Switzerland. My wife and I have talked about visiting there sometime in the future.

  11. Thanks for this info.
    I am descended from the Bryson’s that lived in Cowee near Franklin. My grandfather was Frank Bryson Sr who came to Washington State just after the turn of the century. His youngest daughter Eloise is my mother.
    I have heard bits and pieces of the Bryson family story for years and hope to take more time to study my heritage in the days ahead.
    Philip Kell

  12. Hello, I too am a McKinney. I have family in Philly and Virginia, it’s great to see so many interested in the lineage of the Mckinney Clan. I would love to do a geneology on my family history.

    • Mac, Did your family come over during the John and Sarah era or the ’45? Mine was at Worcester and a Cromwell SPOW. I also have an ancestor who was at Dunbar and am hoping to make the event next summer there and learn everything I can about both occurences.

  13. Hi, I’m a descendant of Mordecai McKinney (b. circa 1680s from the Isle of Skye. He came to America sometime between then and the early 1700s. His grandson (my 6th great grandfather) James Colin McKinney was born in 1735 (died 1811 in Pulaski County, Ky). He is the uncle of Collin McKinney in whose honor Collin County and McKinney, Texas were named. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog about our heritage in Scotland. I was under the impression that McKinney came from MacKenzie, not the other way around, wow.

    • Martin:
      I am also a descendant of a McKinney- mine is a bit older though- John Mackeny of Mackinnon’s foot at battle of Worcester, 1651. b. abt 1620 Isle of Skye d. abt 1692 District of Maine, Colony of NE.. It was after the War of the Three Kingdoms, during Cromwell’s Commonwealth and under the leadership of the Marquess of Argyll -who wanted all the western Isles, that the Mackinnon/McKinneys lost Strathern Castles & lands [& MacDonalds/Dunverty & McDonnells/Kiintyre etc] had to leave the Isles and travel to the MacKenzie holdings. Im doing research for a september 2019 trip to the Battle of Dunbar re-enactment in Scotland so am a bit wow’d.
      Roberta Williams

  14. Hi! I’m glad I stumbled across your blog! I’m a descendant of the Virginia Gresham’s. I was wondering if you had any information that might help me straighten out that line? I can trace it back to George Gresham (1710) who married Sarah, but I’m not sure who his parents were. I appreciate any help you can provide! I can be reached by email at aksimmon@gmail.com. I look forward to reading more about your travels!


  15. Hey Cuz, This is Dick Gresham in Norfolk, VA. I visited Briar Hill, Newtown (King & Queen Co.) VA 20 years ago (1999-ish). The original One and a half story colonial wood house was wishing to fall down. Since then the owner has rented the huge property to hunters so I have not been able to return. Did salvage some bricks from the substantial chimney and etched “Briar Hill” for Christmas gifts. The house appears to have been built about 1700. An ugly 2 story Victorian wing was added and caused water infiltration issues that ruined the old wing. It is a beautiful ruin on a hill, surrounded by briars (and poison ivy) could send photos if interested.

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