Appeared in the September 2013 issue of The Southern Genealogists Exchange Quarterly


J. G. Braddock Sr.


In early 2006, I was contacted by William Boston ‘Billy’ McKinnon Jr. of Darien, Georgia. He had heard that I had provided ancestry information that helped qualify several people descended from Captain John Cutler Braddock for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution. Billy said he was a descendant of Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene and wanted to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. However, he lacked all the information of his ancestors between himself and the General required to qualify for membership and wanted me to research his ancestry for the missing pieces.

My reaction was a polite but emphatic no. It had been difficult enough putting together my family’s genealogy, a task that took several years of intense research and a lot of generous input from numerous cousins. Billy persisted in a pleading tone of voice. He said that with the many notes he would provide, he was sure I could come up with the few missing names he needed.  I reluctantly agreed to at least look at his notes. After receiving them, I casually searched the Internet for some of the names in them and quickly realized that researching his ancestry would be more than just another genealogy. It would be an intriguing lesson in several facets of American history. I accepted the challenge, and with his notes, some internet searching, especially Amy Hedrick’s Glynn County Georgia website, and some help from Kerrie Brailsford in far away Australia, I was able to piece together the following



William Boston ‘Billy’ McKinnon Jr. was born September 30, 1935 in Milledgeville; GA. Billy founded McKinnon's Louisiane, a highly successful restaurant in Atlanta.


William Boston McKinnon Sr. was born January 25, 1894 in Brunswick, GA and died April 10, 1949 in Brunswick. He married Mary Ethelyn Nightingale February 10, 1927 in Brunswick, GA. She was born October 7, 1902 in Atlanta, GA. She was appointed director of the Davenport House Museum when it opened in Savannah in 1966. In 1977, she received the Davenport Trophy from the Historic Savannah Foundation for her work at the Davenport House. In 2002, the first Ethelyn Nightingale McKinnon Award was presented to a worthy museum volunteer. She died June 22, 1981 in Savannah, GA. In addition to Billie, William Boston McKinnon and Mary Ethelyn Nightingale had Lynn and Marjorie.


Leonidas Theophilus McKinnon was born August 20, 1850 in St. Pauls, NC.  He married Mary Boston October 6, 1886. He held extensive turpentine interests in Glynn, Wayne, Charlton and Camden Counties of Georgia and was a member of the Georgia and Florida Investment Company and the W.C. Hopkins Co. He died October 21, 1921 in Brunswick, GA. Mary Boston was born September 24, 1866 in Alachua County, FL.  She died September 12, 1956 in Glynn County, GA. In addition to William Boston McKinnon, Leonidas Theophilus McKinnon and Mary Boston had Leonidas Jr., Winnie, and Gladys. 

Phineas Miller Nightingale was born December 12, 1875 in Glynn County, GA.  He married Mary Ethelyn Downing June 12, 1900 in Brunswick, GA. He died February 17, 1964 in Savannah, GA. Mary Ethelyn Downing was born September 11, 1877 in Pomeroy, OH. She died August 2, 1944 in Milledgeville, GA. In addition to Mary Ethelyn Nightingale, Phineas Miller Nightingale and Mary Ethelyn Downing had Brailsford, Columbia, and Marjorie.


John McKinnon was born December 4, 1804 in Robeson County, NC. He married Catherine Gaster McNair. He died October 26, 1866. Catherine Gaster McNair was born c1814 in Moore County, NC. She died August 21, 1854. In Addition to Leonidas Theophilus McKinnon, John McKinnon and Catherine Gaster McNair had Kenneth, Malcolm, Margaret Ann, Katherine, John, Mary, Hector, Christian, and Daniel.

William King Boston was born December 17, 1838 in Georgia. He married Henri French Richard. He died January 26, 1921 in Alachua County, FL. Henri French Richard was born April 28, 1838 in Alachua County, FL. She died April 26, 1869 in Alachua County, FL. In addition to Mary Boston, William King Boston and Henri French Richard had George, Sarah, Goertnia, John, Margaret, Laura, and Julia Camilla,

Columbia Downing Jr. was born February 1, 1845 in Meigs, OH. He enlisted in the Union army at the age of seventeen and was appointed bugler. He later was commissioned a second lieutenant, and at the close of the war held the rank of first lieutenant. He took part in the battle of Hatchie, in the siege of Vicksburg, and other important engagements. In 1877, he moved to Atlanta, then Savannah, in Georgia, where he opened agencies for Standard Oil. He moved to Brunswick in 1881 and opened a naval storehouse for Standard Oil. A year later he bought this business and made it into a huge financial success. He also had a financially successful wholesale grocery and provision business. When the First National Bank of Brunswick was organized in February 1884, he became its first president. A memorial to Columbia  Downing Jr. stands in a downtown square in Brunswick, GA. He married Mary Helen Frances Remington October 14, 1875. He died August 29, 1924 in Richmond Hill, NY and was buried in Brunswick. Mary Helen Frances Remington was born December 7, 1850 in Meigs, OH. In addition to Mary Ethelyn Downing, Columbia Downing Jr. and Mary Helen Frances Remington had Madeline.

John Alsop King Nightingale was born May 12, 1844 in Camden County, GA. He married Maria Heyward Troup December 12, 1871 in Savannah, GA. He died October 25, 1911 in Brunswick, GA. Maria Heyward Troup was born April 19, 1852 in Glynn County, GA. She died May 6, 1935 in Brunswick, GA. In addition to Phineas Miller Nightingale, John Alsop King Nightingale and Maria Heyward Troup had Brailsford, Fannie, Murray, and Matilda.


Kenneth McKinnon was born in 1760 at Isle of Skye, Scotland.  He married Catherine Munn. He died February 25, 1848 in St. Pauls, NC. Catherine Munn was born in 1762 in Scotland. She died May 27, 1844 in Robeson County, NC.  In addition to John McKinnon, Kenneth McKinnon and Catherine Munn had Ann, Mary, Margaret, Catherine, Daniel, Christian, Angus, Neill, and Hector.

Malcolm McNair was born c1787 in Robeson County, NC.  He married Margaret Dalrymple. He died September 9, 1823 in Robeson County. Margaret Dalrymple was born December 24, 1787 in Moore County, NC. She died April 22, 1883 in Salisbury, NC. In addition to Catherine Gaster McNair, Malcolm McNair and Margaret Dalrymple had Mary Ann, Archibald, and John.    

John Charles Richard was born April 5, 1797 in Charleston, SC. He married Melinda Sherrod Tison March 23, 1821 in Glynn County, GA. He died July 10, 1859 at Richard Farm in Bland, Alachua Co., FL. Melinda Sherrod Tison was born in Glynn County, GA. She died May 24, 1889 in Richard Farm in Bland, Alachua Co., FL. In addition to Henri French Richard, John Charles Richard and Melinda Sherrod Tison had Joseph, John, William, Susan, Natoga, Jane, Jobe, Osceola, Harney, Mary, Victoria, Honorine, and Mason.

Columbia Downing Sr. was born c1809 in Maine. He married Jane Smith. Jane Smith was born c1818 in Meigs, OH. In addition to Columbia Jr., Columbia Downing Sr. and Jane Smith had Samuel, Sarah, Westley, Mary, John, Harvey, and Lucy.

George Whitefield Boston was born March 23, 1812. He married Sara Elizabeth Tison October 24, 1834. He died April 28, 1890. Sara Elizabeth Tison was born September 12, 1818. She died August 3, 1839.  Child of George Whitefield Boston and Sara Elizabeth Tison was William King Boston.

Daniel Heyward Brailsford Troup was born October 20, 1824. He signed the Ordinance of Secession of Georgia for Glynn County in 1861. He married Frances E. Grant April 28, 1851. He died October 29, 1870. Frances E. Grant was born August 8, 1832.  She died March 21, 1858.  In addition to Maria Heyward Troup, Daniel Heyward Brailsford Troup and Frances E. Grant had Hugh.

William Holderidge Remington married Elizabeth Randall. Child of William Holderidge Remington and Elizabeth Randall was Mary Helen Frances Remington.

Phineas Miller Nightingale was born November 8, 1803 on Cumberland Island, GA.  He married Mary Ray King November 16, 1836 in Jamaica, LI, NY. He died April 21, 1873 in Brunswick, GA. Mary Ray King was born October 28, 1810 in Jamaica, LI, NY. She died March 24, 1894 in Brunswick, GA. In addition to John Alsop King Nightingale, Phineas Miller Nightingale and Mary Ray King had the following children, Louisa, Mary, Martha, Ellen, Elizabeth, and William.


Duncan McNair was born c1760 in Scotland. He married Catherine McCallum c1786. He died September 01,1800 in Robeson County, NC. Catherine McCallum was born in 1763 in Scotland. Malcolm McNair was son of Duncan McNair and Catherine McCallum.

Archibald Dalrymple was born March 17, 1761 in Scotland. He served in the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Gaster. He died in October 1836 in Moore County, NC. Mary Gaster was born in October 1761 in Cumberland County, NC. She died in July 1820 in Moore County, NC. Child of Archibald Dalrymple and Mary Gaster was Margaret Dalrymple.

Louis Joseph Francis Richard was born c1769 in Florence, Italy son of John Richard and Marie Ferry. He died in 1819 in Jacksonville, FL. He married Honorine Genevieve Bianne July 28, 1796 in Bordeaux, France, daughter of Anthony Bianne and Johanna LeMoine. She died June 1821 in Camden Co., GA. In addition to John Charles Richard, Louis Joseph Francis Richard and Honorine Genevieve Bianne had Clementine, William, and Francis.

John Alsop King was born January 3, 1788 in New York. He married Mary Ray January 17, 1810. He served as governor of New York from January 1, 1857 to December 31, 1858. Before becoming governor, he served in the New York and U. S. Senates. He died July 7, 1867 in New York. Mary Ray was born September 17, 1790. She died in 1873. In addition to Mary Ray King, John Alsop King and Mary Ray had Charles, Elizabeth, John, Caroline, Richard, Cornelia, and Ellen.

Dr. James McGilviray Troup was born August 31, 1786 in Liberty County, GA. He studied medicine in Philadelphia, was a bank president, alderman, major, state senator for McIntosh County, and a long-time mayor of Darien, GA. He died April 25, 1849. He married Camilla Brailsford at Broadfield Plantation, owned by Camilla’s father, near Darien. After Camilla’s father’s death, Dr. Troup purchased Broadfield. After his death, his daughter Ophelia and her husband George Dent began developing part of it into what would become tourist attraction Hofwyl Plantation. Camilla Brailsford was born in 1804.  She died September 9, 1847 in Baisden Bluff, GA. In addition to Daniel Heyward Brailsford Troup, James McGilviray Troup and Camilla Brailsford had Maria, James, Catherine, Matilda, Ophelia, Clelia, Hannah, Septima, and James.

Hugh Fraser Grant was born January 29, 1811. He married Mary Elizabeth Fraser in 1831. He owned Elizafield Plantation on the Altamaha River in Glynn County, Ga. He died August 9, 1873. Mary Elizabeth Fraser was born October 19, 1809 near Georgetown, SC.  She died May 31, 1881. In addition to Frances Amelia Grant, Hugh Fraser Grant and Mary Elizabeth Fraser had Marian, Sarah, Hugh, and Buford.

John Clark Nightingale was born January 28, 1771 in Providence, RI. He married Martha Washington Greene May 12, 1795 at Mulberry Grove Plantation, GA. He died September 11, 1806 on Cumberland Island; GA. Martha Washington Greene was born March 14, 1777 in Potowomut, Rhode Island. She died in June 1839 in Savannah, GA.  In addition to Phineas Miller Nightingale, John Clark Nightingale and Martha Washington Greene had Catherine and Joseph.


George Troup married Catherine Anne McIntosh, Her father, Captain John Mohr McIntosh, was one of the Scottish Highlander soldiers Oglethorpe brought to Georgia in 1736 to help protect the young colony from Spanish attack. McIntosh County, GA is named after Captain John Mohr McIntosh’s family, and he had several illustrious descendants including Revolutionary War officers General Lachlan McIntosh, Colonel William McIntosh, Colonel John McIntosh, Major Lachlan McIntosh - officers in the Revolution. In addition to Dr. James McGilviray Troup, George Troup and Catherine Anne McIntosh had  Robert, Roderick, David, John, and George. George served terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate and was 32nd governor of Georgia.

Dr. Robert Grant was born July 15, 1762 in Scotland. He died September 17, 1843 on St. Simons Island, GA. After coming to America, he served as a surgeon on the staff of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox." After moving from South Carolina to Georgia, he established three plantations, Grantly, Eve-lyn, and Elizafield, along the Altamaha River. He also had a summer place called Oatlands on St. Simons Island. He married Sarah Foxworth in 1799 at Sampit, S.C. She was born October 28, 1778. She died March 13, 1859. In addition to Hugh Fraser Grant, Dr. Robert Grant and Sarah Foxworth had Robert, Amelia, Charles, Elizabeth, Harry, Sarah, and James.

Joseph Nightingale was born September 16, 1748. He and John Clark were merchants in Providence, RI. The partners also owned a privateering sloop, the Hope. After George Washington was chosen by the Continental Congress to be Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he placed an order with Nightingale and Clark:

August 31st 1775


Hearing that you have imported a Quantity of Powder, Lead & Small Arms I have dispatch’d Capt. Bayler, one of my Aids de Camp to treat with you for it. Whatever Engagement he shall enter into for the whole or any part I will confirm: And upon Delivery to him your Bills drawn on me for the Price agreed on shall be honor’d on the Shortest Notice.1 I am Gent: Your very Humble Servt.

G. W.

Joseph Nightingale married Elizabeth Corlis December 27, 1769. He died November 3, 1787. Elizabeth Corlis was born June 1, 1750.  She died January 1, 1837. 

In addition to John Clark Nightingale, Joseph Nightingale and Elizabeth Corlis had Mary, William, Elizabeth, Betsy, Harriett, Joseph, and George.

General Nathanael Greene was born August 7, 1742 in Potowomut, RI. He was named for his father, a respected minister of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and a prosperous businessman. Nathanael Greene's mother was Mary Motte, the second wife of his father. Nathanael married Catharine Littlefield July 20, 1774 in Rhode Island. He embarked on his military career as a private in the Rhode Island militia in August the same year. Less than a year later, on May 8, 1775, he was commissioned as a major general in the Rhode Island Army of Observation, which had been formed in response to the siege of Boston. He was appointed a brigadier general in the Continental Army by the Continental Congress on June 22, 1775. General Washington assigned Greene the command of the city of Boston after it was evacuated by the British in March 1776.  Armies under his command fought in twelve major battles, the last four in the South. After several strategic losses in the South, including Charleston and Savannah, under other generals to British armies under the command of General Cornwallis, General Washington placed Greene in command of the armies in the South. The move paid off. Greene’s tactics succeeded in driving Cornwallis and his army from the Carolinas, earning him the nickname "The Savior of the South." At the end of the Revolution, the State of Georgia, in gratitude, granted General Greene Mulberry Grove Plantation along the Savannah River. The plantation had belonged to Lieutenant Governor John Graham, a loyalist. Shortly before his unexpected death, Greene purchased Dungeness, a plantation on the south end of Cumberland Island. He died on June 19, 1786 at Mulberry Grove Plantation and is buried in Johnson Square in downtown Savannah, GA.

Greene’s wife, Catharine Littlefield, was born February 7, 1755 in Block Island, RI, the eldest daughter of John Littlefield and Phoebe Ray.  The Greenes had hired Yale graduate Phineas Miller as tutor of their children. Upon Greene’s death Miller became plantation manager and eventually Catharine’s suitor. While on a boat returning from a trip to New England, Catharine met Eli Whitney, who was on his way south to become tutor for the children of a plantation owner in South Carolina. She talked Whitney into coming to Mulberry Grove instead. It was there that Whitney, with some input from Catharine and Miller, developed his invention, the cotton gin. After it was patented, Whitney and Miller formed a company to manufacture and market it. Catharine married Phineas Miller June 13, 1796 in Philadelphia's First Presbyterian Church. The President and Mrs. Washington served as witnesses to the wedding. The Miller’s sold Mulberry Grove plantation in 1798 and moved to Dungeness Plantation on Cumberland Island, GA. Catharine died September 2, 1814 on Cumberland Island.

After several months of researching Billy’s ancestry, I finally got to meet him at the 2007 Georgia Patriots Day celebration at St. Simons Island, GA. Apparently, my research paid off for him. He got his membership in the Sons of the American Revolution.  Three years later, on June 15, 2010, Billy died.