by: Michael McCormick
Samuel was born between 1831-1834, and lived near Strabane, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland with his father Charles McCormick, a sister named Eliza, a brother, and possibly others.
Charles and his wife were good to the local Methodist ministers, and were members of the Strabane Wesleyan Methodist circuit.
"In the year of '47, I saw an end to what I've been... saw my neighbors, friends, and loved ones fade before me like a dream... on a ship I crossed the ocean, sailing on the raging foam... to the land of my tomorrows, far from my native home..." - Johnny McEvoy, Irish singer
When Samuel was a young man of 15-18 years--in the middle of this great
famine--he left Ireland with this letter in hand.
"Samuel McCormick who is the bearer of this note, is
a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Society on the Strabane Circuit. He is a
young man of industrious habits & excellent character. His parents are
Wesleyans & entertain our ministers.
Robt. H. Lindsay
June 4, 1849"
"Samuel, his brother and sister (reaching their late teens) were sent out into the world on their own, and came to America. This assumes their parents stayed
at Castlederg, near Strabane.
Bob McCormick found the records of Samuel's entry into the US. at Philadelphia. Samuel came over on the ship Venice, but listed no other info on the entry records."
We have not been able to verify the above statements.
Samuel's sister Eliza, in a letter to family, declared, "...alas, I
have married an Englishman..." Her husband was John Sealey.
On the 1850 U.S. census, John
(46) and Eliza (25) Seeley [sic] appear together in New York City. Eliza and
John had children between 1852 and 1861. Eliza died at Brooklyn, New
York in 1892.
It has not been possible to find any living descendants of Eliza McCormick Sealey.
We do not have further information on the brother of Samuel McCormick.
The environment in Ireland that our McCormick family came out from
was an environment of religious conflict. A series
of laws known as the "Penal Laws" were passed to force Irish Catholics
and Protestant dissenters (including Wesleyan Methodists like the
McCormick family) to accept the Church of Ireland, and even participate
in the church's sacraments.
Many families, therefore, show up in both their favored dissenter church and in the English church.
On 6 July 1854, Samuel McCormick and Sara Caldwell were married by Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe at St. Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church (13th Street), Philadelphia.
Samuel and Sara settled in Burlington, New Jersey.
Samuel traveled about 23 miles northeast along the Delaware River "to Burlington, where he worked at Green Hill, a 2,000 acre horse farm established in 1603 via a land grant from King Charles I."
This 1860 US census record shows Samuel, a "Farm Laborer," and Sara living in Burlington, New Jersey with three of their four children.
Charles (1855-1929)Eliza (abt.1857-1882)Robert (1859-1934)Samuel (1861, died young)*
*The name Samuel was reused in 1876 for the last child of Samuel and
Margaret. He lived to adulthood and had a family of his own.
Samuel's wife, Sara McCormick, died May 1st 1862, when only 27 years old.
Her son Charles McCormick was 7, daughter Eliza was about 5, and Robert was 3.
She was buried at St. Mary's Episcopal burial grounds in Burlington, New Jersey.
Sara's sister, Margaret B. Caldwell, stepped in to help raise the
Samuel and Margaret married 16 October 1864 at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Burlington, and had four children of their
Samuel and Margaret's children were:
Annie H. (1866-1949)William Arthur (1867-1952)James Caldwell (1873-1941)Samuel (1876-1929)
In 1880, Samuel and his family still lived at Green Hill Farm on Oxmead Road.
Samuel was working as a dairyman by this time.
In about 1880, Samuel's eldest son, Charles, married Elizabeth Williams. Each of Samuel's other children did not marry until after Samuel's passing in 1887.
Charles and Lizzie's first son, Robert Earl McCormick, was the only grandchild born to Samuel before Samuel died in 1887.
In 1882, Samuel lost his oldest daughter, Miss Eliza McCormick.
She was 24 years old.
Like Samuel, some of his children became farmers in the Green Hill Farm area along Oxmead and Jacksonville Roads in Burlington.
Robert McCormick lived at this house on Green Hill Farm.
The James Caldwell McCormick family lived at this house.
Samuel died 15 June 1887 and was buried at St. Mary's Episcopal grave yard, alongside his first wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Eliza.
Samuel's second wife, Margaret (Caldwell) McCormick, was buried there in 1903.
Samuel's son James Caldwell McCormick was one of the sons who had a farm on Jacksonville Rd.
In this photograph, you can see a few of the farm structures. James is kneeling in the back, and his three sons are to his right.
Many of Samuel's descendants stayed around New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.
Some descendants today are in Washington state, California, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, etc.
There are more than 100 living descendants of Samuel McCormick.
McCormick reunions were held again in the 1970s.
Carol Ann (McCormick) Rice hosted some at her house in Barnegat, NJ.
Left to right: Harry Hibbs, Thelma, Robert Taylor "Cy," and Dot.
There was another multi-family McCormick family reunion Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1979. This time it was hosted by Robt. C. and Barbara (Brown) McCormick in Connecticut.
Only a few families were able to participate.
Thank you for coming to our 2014 McCormick family reunion!
Today, the story of Samuel McCormick's legacy continues in us.
While we may be too many, and too distant, to have everyone come together for a reunion, we come together in spirit.
"Families are forever."