Brick Wall review – part III

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I started to work on my third brick wall review when I noticed that there may be a connection from another person’s family tree to mine. My third problem branch has been my McKim one. William R. McKim and Sidney Isabella Kilgore were both from Pennsylvania. William may have been born in Centre county and then moved to Mercer county at a young age with his parents. Sidney Isabella was born in Mercer county.

Both William and Sidney went to Oberlin College in 1853 – 1854. They were enrolled in the Preparatory Department for one academic year, which is similar to today’s modern high school. They were both 21 years old. In August of 1853 they were married in Oberlin, Ohio. By July of 1854 my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth S. “Lillie” McKim was born.

When Lillie was just 3 years old, she would lose her mother, Sidney Isabella Kilgore McKim, on November 20, 1857. Just four short years later, the Civil War would break out, her father would join and within months be killed in Virginia at the Battle of Balls Bluff. The Union suffered immense losses in this bloody battle.

Lillie would go to live with her Kilgore grandparents. My Kilgore line has always been well documented. They were active members in the Underground Railroad and human rights. This large family would remain an important part of Lillie’s life as she moved from the Mercer county area to raise her family in McKean county.

It was the McKim line that I have had a lot of difficulty with. William just seemed to appear from nowhere and left very little trail behind him to find his origins. Although his Civil War pension forms clarified where he had been married, with a photocopy of the marriage certificate, there was no mention of any of his family anywhere. All of the paperwork for Lillie’s care was for the Kilgore family.

Until yesterday I was at a dead stop. According to family trees, William R. McKim’s father was John McKim and his mother was Henrietta “Harriet” E. Rung or Nelson. William had at least 6 siblings, 5 of which were born in Mercer county. According to the 1850 census from Springfield, Mercer county his siblings were, Robert A, who would eventually move to Mercer, Mercer county, Lydia May, Rebecca E, Catherine “Cassie”, and Martha Rachel. His sixth sibling was Henrietta Rung McKim Buckley.

Google searches revealed that a James Miller McKim, 1810 to 1874, from Carlisle, Cumberland county, (near Philadelphia) was an anti-slavery activist, I am not sure where or if he fits in with this line of the McKim family. But his beliefs seem to mesh with many of the individuals in Mercer, Mercer county.

The research showed William, 1832-1861, son of John, 1805-1867, moving from Centre county to Mercer county, son of David, 1768-1830, Centre county, son of Robert, 1740-1834, still in Centre county. Although I have the Census record for John, 1805-1867 showing that he had moved to Springfield, Mercer county, I have not been able to locate William, 1832-1861 in the 1850 Census.


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