Facts and Events
John McGill was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- American Revolutionary War Veteran
Revolutionary War Pension Information
Information from “Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records”, Vol. 3, compiled by Patrick G. Wardell, Lt. Col. U.S. Army Ret. :
- Magill, John - entered service 1777 in Augusta County, Virginia; moved in 1782 to Lincoln County, Kentucky, thence 1787 to Fayette County, Kentucky, for abt. 2 years, thence to Bourbon County, Kentucky, thence in 1795 to Franklin County, Kentucky; received Pension there in 1832; last Pension payment in file 1839. F-S31230, R1614.
- "The author, John Magill, was born in 1759 in Augusta County, Virginia. He saw active service in the Virginia Militia in which he served under the commands of General Gates and Morgan. When the Revolutionary War was ended young Magill followed in the footsteps of his neighbors and came out to Kentucky to lay claim to western lands. He arrived on the Kentucky frontier in 1782, just in time to go through the latter part of the struggle of the white man to claim the region from both nature and the Indians. His experiences in the West were typical of those of hundreds of Virginians who moved beyond the mountains to take up land claims. He first settled in Lincoln County near the town of Stanford. Magill, like all good frontiersmen, showed a definite interest in land, and throughout his long detailed personal record there is much mention of land grants in several of the central Kentucky counties. In 1794 Magill fell a victim to the dread frontier disease of smallpox and for many years the old soldier was in a poor state of health. His health, in fact, became so poor that his mind was affected and in 1810 the legislature passed an act absolving him from the responsibility of paying a headright tax because of his mental incapacity. Within three years from the date of this legislative act he had regained his normal mental state and was appearing in Franklin County court as a deponent in a lawsuit indicating that he was again being respected as a normal citizen capable of managing his own affairs with intelligence. For forty-seven years, 1795-1842, John Magill lived on his Benson Creek farm in Franklin County. He had lived in Lincoln, Fayette, and Bourbon counties in Kentucky, and at his death he left behind him property valued by his son-in-law at $2,940.00. At the time of his death there were seven children living, some of whom had gone west of Indiana and Iowa." [Magill, John, The Pioneer to The Kentucky Emigrant, Lexington, Kentucky, University of Kentucky Publications Committee, Margaret Voorhies Haggin Trust, 1942 (reprint of Frankfort, Kentucky, James B. Marshall, Printer, 1832)].
- "John Magill - Died in January, at the advanced age of 83 years, on his homestead of 220 acres on South Benson Creek on the old Mourning Road in Franklin County, Kentucky." [Jillson, Willard Rouse, A Chronology of John Magill, Kentucky Pioneer and Historian, 1759-1842, Louisville, Kentucky, Standard Printing Company, 1938].
John Magill moved from Augusta County, VA, to land near Stanford on the Wilderness Trail. He took up land on Paint Creek in 1783 and returned to Augusta County to marry Jean (Jane) Edmiston, October 6, 1785. They returned to Kentucky. John was a school teacher, attorney and printer, was associated with the first newspaper west of Pittsburgh, the Kentucky Gazette first issued August 11, 1787, in Fayette County. In 1788 he bought land in Bourbon County and became a tobacco planter, owning land in many locations (Mercer County, now Franklin; Cumberland County. He suffered smallpox in 1794, was damaged mentally. Moved in 1795 to Franklin County from Bourbon County, 7 miles southwest of Frankfort. His history of Kentucky, THE PIONEER TO THE KENTUCKY EMIGRANT, was published in Frankfort in 1832. He died in Franklin County 1842. He was born in Augusta County, VA, son of John Magill, Sr., in 1759. Served in the militia in 1777. Completed his education probably at Liberty Hall, Lexington, and served in the campaign to relieve General Gates at Hillsborought, NC, in 1780. Children of John and Jean Edmiston Magill: Matthew E. Magill, Mary Magill, Samuel P. Magill, John Allen Magill (a well known physician), Cyrus T. Magill, William Magill, Jane Ann Magill, Margaret S. Magill.
See EFAB, No. 33.