A Daughter of John McGriff...

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Research on the "First Daughter" of American McGriffs

Much has been published regarding the five sons of John McGriff but is was several years ago that we learned about a Margaret McGriff Hale living in Montgomery County, Virginia when about 1779 she married Thomas Cassady. We have known for a long time that John McGriff had five sons. But now we had to determine who this Margaret McGriff Hale was. It’s important to remember that the John McGriff family was the only McGriff family in Montgomery County, Virginia or for that matter, in all of Virginia. His five sons were born between 1745-1760. The book “Giles County, Virginia, History-Families” published by the Giles County, Virginia Historical Society, page 9 shows Margaret McGriff Hale married Thomas Cassady. Further research indicates this happened around 1779 and if we estimate her age around 20 years old, she would have to been born about 1759 or at least within the range when John’s other children were born. We must then assume that all the sons were to young to have a 20 year old daughter and the only conclusion we can reach is she must be a sister to the five sons and a daughter to John McGriff.

As yet research has not determined who the unknown Hale was that Margaret married. There was an Edward Hale, born 1750, who in 1779 was living near the mouth of Wolf Creek in the New River settlement near the McGriff homestead. Edward Hale certainly had to know John McGriff as they were members of the same Militia Companies and they fought together at Point Pleasant in 1774. But, the records show that in 1785 he married a Patsy Perdue at age 35. Could he have been married earlier to Margaret McGriff? Research has yet to determine this.

Thomas Cassady, a son of Simon Cassady, was born in 1757. He also lived near the McGriff home on Sinking Creek and participated in the battle of Point Pleasant with John and Edward Hale. Around 1798 the Cassady men settled in Montgomery County, Ohio and appears on the list “ Delinquents of the Revenue for the Year 1798” and appear as “ Meamy’s” which indicates they had moved to Miami County, Ohio. Later Thomas and Margaret owned land in Preble County, Ohio but eventually settled in an area of Indiana that would become Rushville, Indiana and appear on the 1820 Flat Rock Township, Indiana census. Margaret died in 1823 and Thomas followed her in death on September 6, 1825. They are both buried in the Lower Cemetery which is on the banks of the Flat Rock River on the south side of Rushville.

Much credit for the Cassady information goes to Patrick R. Pearsey and taken from his publication “The Cassady Family of Virginia, Indiana and Iowa” published in 2001.

Contributed by Jack McGriff, March 1, 2005.