Earliest Known Killough/Kelloch History

This is a talk given by Dean Mayhew at the 1992 Kalloch Family Reunion

Professor Dean Mayhew of Rockland, Maine, has been researching the family beginnings for many years and is considered an authority in this area.  He hired researchers in Ireland, Scotland and England for all the data possible and also for evidence of a Killough crest.  No crest could be found.  McKelleghs/Kelloughs operated under the crest of the Clan Donald.  Following is a copy of a portion of a talk which Professor Mayhew gave at the annual Kalloch reunion, which my brother John and Barbara Killough and I (Zora Killough Cunningham) attended in Rockland, ME, in 1992.  Kallock [Kalloch] is the spelling primarily used by the Maine branch now.  To keep the John Kelloughs apart, Mr. Mayhew arbitrarily named them John I, II, III, IV according to their generation.

Sir Thomas Phillips was a soldier of fortune in France in 1579-99.  Many Scots were soldiers of fortune at this time.  He came to Ulster [area of northern Ireland] from the French Service.  For the next several years, he participated in campaigns in Leigh and Munster and, in 1601, raised a company of foot at Carrick-Fergus, County Antrim.  This unit continued in service until April of 1605 when it shared the demobilization of the army in Ireland.

For his service in Ireland, Phillips received a 3,000 acre estate near Limavady in Kenoch Barony.  As early as 1611, one John Kellough -- John I -- was listed on this estate as a servitor, equipped with a sword and pike.  He is listed again in 1630 to ‘31.  This is the only person in Ulster (Northern Ireland) with any variant of the name at this time.

Servitor meant a person receiving land in exchange for military service.  John was on the only major privately-owned estate in Ulster.  Since he wasn’t on the Londoners’ holdings nor the Scottish undertakers’, he must have been under Phillips’ command, circa 1600.  It was Phillips, not the government, which rewarded him.  He might even have accompanied Phillips in the French wars.  Where might John have originated?

Kerrick Fergus [city in northern Ireland] was barely across from Argyle, Scotland, in the Hebrides.  Black, in his Surnames of Scotland, states that the name originates in Argyle, the original “McKellegh” from the island of South Uist in the Hebrides.  South Uist was under the sway of the McDonalds of Clan Reynold.  Hundreds of unemployed Clan Donald men swarmed into Ulster circa 1600 as “gallow classes,” or hired swords (hired mercenaries) for the Irish noble.  Scotland was simply a land of poverty and insecurity so we have John I at Limovady in 1631.

John II appears on the 1659 census at Drogheda in County Louth (pronounced Luth).  Born in 1630, John II was not one of Cromwell’s troops, as the Protector did not send his regiments to Ireland until a bit later.  Instead, numerous foot companies and regiments of heavy horse were raised locally and conducted the campaign until Cromwell’s arrival.  Our John may thus have been in the army as early as 1647.  Drogheda is the key here.  From this siege comes the term, “Drogheda Quarter.”  When the survivors came out to surrender, all were slaughtered.  [by Cromwell’s troops]

Why would John II join the army?  In the 1640s, a counter-revolution set in in Ulster.  Hundreds of homes were destroyed and many were the victims of revenge murder, often at the hands of the woodkerns [armed Irish peasants] who lurked in the forest, bursting in upon and slaughtering the inhabitants at will.  John I may have ended this way.  If so, this would surely explain the horror of Drogheda by vengeance-seeking locally-raised troops.

After its fall, the town was garrisoned by several companies of foot, together with Jones and Coops regiments of heavy horse.  Units gathered the land that they conquered.  The troops grew crops to feed themselves and keep busy.  In September of 1655, the army was simply marched out into the wilds and disbanded.

After 1655, most of Louth was set aside not only for the army but for the adventurers as well.  Since the troops were Cromwell’s own, the government didn’t want to pay for it.  The troops would be paid in Irish land, which only the officers wanted.

In 1654, John II had married Mary Hyde.  By about 1660, John and Mary, with son John III, left for County Antrim (pronounced An-trim).  He had probably sold his debenture to an officer to acquire cash for either land or a business in the new area.  They probably established themselves at Antrim’s border in the Bann Valley.  Here they would be close to their co-religionists [Scottish Presbyterian].

John III, born in Louth in 1657, married Anne McNeil and produced three children, Robert, John the Fourth and James.  John III died at Antrim circa 1715.  Robert and John IV and their sons came to America in 1718.  James stayed in County Antrim.

Killough's Come to America

Dean's talk continues...

As early as 1706, Cotton Mather conceived a scheme to secure the Maine and New Hampshire frontiers from Indian trouble.  Captain Robert Holmes heard of this plan while on a voyage to Boston and contacted Mather to learn the details.  Upon his return to Ulster, he briefed his father, the Reverend Holmes, and his colleague, the Reverend Thomas Craighead.  The two clergymen journeyed to Boston to meet with Mather.  Returning to Ireland on the same ship, they carried the news to the 1717 Presbyterian Synod.  Why should the Synod be interested?  The Test Act had cost the Ulster Scot everything he valued: his marriage was invalid; his church was illegal; he must even be buried by Episcopal prelates in order to satisfy the law; his pastor could not hold office.  The Act turned ministers out of their pulpits and, even more important, silenced them.

By 1718, the call for exodus was heard throughout the land.  Ministers urged their flocks to leave as the latter could no longer afford to support them.  To add to their woes, a severe drought raised food prices and a smallpox epidemic swept the land.  Several clergy from the reasonably prosperous Bann Valley became interested in the project, including the Reverend William Boyd of Aucusquid [?], thirteen miles from Coleraine.  By July, 1718, the ministers had struck their bargain and the ships were loaded.

The Massachusetts leaders wanted to attract a good class of tradesmen who would leave good occupations and come prepared.  Most of the Bann colonists were of this sort.  Many of substance had embarked on the assurance that they would get free land for securing the Indian frontier.  Most had paid passage in sterling with the idea of settling unimproved New England land.  Instead, whatsoever land they would receive--and this was uncertain--must be purchased at twelve pence and more with time payments.

Robert and his wife and children, with at least one of his brothers (John), arrived in Boston in August of 1718 aboard the William, Captain Archibald Hunter, from Coleraine.  Since land had not been determined for them and since the city fathers would not accept descending Presbyterians, they were forced to move on.

The early records speak of Worcester on the then frontier of Massachusetts and far enough away so as not to offend the sensibilities of Boston Calvinists.  Research shows that there was never such a settlement in Worcester but instead in Freetown, now Assonet, several miles away.  A study of the Freetown records, dating from 1689, makes no mention of the [Robert Killough] family.  Since one of the children was born here, this seems to prove that they were here by 1721.  The next stage finds the family at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he became involved in the oil and sturgeon trade.  It should be recalled that the Bann River had been the center of the sturgeon business in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the John Young family had arrived in Merrymeeting Bay, now Bowdoinham.  Here they probably practiced the sturgeon fishery until burned out by Father Rosell’s Indians in 1722.  Having fled to Boston aboard Thomas Sander’s vessel, the Youngs were warned out by the town fathers to keep them from becoming public charges.  Spanish ships unloaded prime fish at Portsmouth for their return run to Europe.  John Young and his family may have supported Killough’s fishery business as Merrymeeting was the prime producer of these fish.  The two families may also have known one another in Europe.

Suddenly disaster struck.  Robert’s business burned.  Where to go next?  Two alternatives presented themselves.  The lack of land in Massachusetts, together with the attitude of people in government, made this choice unattractive.  Since the provincial legislature controlled all land grants, if you were Presbyterian, you were out of luck.  Between 1720 and ‘30, agents offered 120 acres, a paid minister, a school, a sawmill and sea borne communication if settlers would come to the Georgias.  However, there weren’t enough settlers at this time.  Robert, however, had gotten wind of the soon-to-be-opened central valley of Pennsylvania.  The only drawback here was the fact that a treaty with the Indians was not as yet signed.  Both families traveled to Philadelphia where they awaited developments.  Apparently both families would go to the best chance, whichever might open up.  Young was known to have been there to draw lots for the Warren [Maine] land.  Finley [Killough] and Mary [Young] had married by this time and were still in Philadelphia when Matthew was born in 1734.  At this time, he changed his name back to Kelloch, the Scottish version of Killough.  The Warren [ME] lots were drawn at Tremequid [Pemaquid] in April of 1735.  Kelloch had lot 23; Young, lot 11, across the river.  The settlers arrived in July.

The Indian treaty now settled, the Killough contingent established themselves near a series of springs in what is now Cumberland County, Penn.  Big Springs, now the town of Newville, was the center of this community.  The first houses were erected along the banks of the Conodoguinet, a two and a half mile section of the river bank, centered on the spring.

Since nearly all were [Scottish] Presbyterians, a congregation was organized in 1738.  A log church was built in 1737 and ‘38, near the spring, in anticipation of a minister.  The earliest burials clustered around an old oak tree in the southeast portion of the yard near the log church.  In one of these graves lies Robert, the immigrant.  There is apparently no stone.  Few of the first generation had one.  The Reverend Thomas Craighead, the same who had organized the Bann migration, became the minister.

There were problems here as well.  In the eighteenth century, a hundred-acre quitrent to the Pennsylvania heirs was assessed.  Indian troubles filled the 1750s and ‘60s.  David died in 1767, by now, in Lancaster County, PA.  Allen, John and the rest pushed on to the Appalachians and history.

Finley, by the 1740s, had gone to war.  The French had constructed a giant fortress at Louisbourg [Canada] in Cape Breton Island.  Finished in 1743 at a cost of six million dollars and probably the most powerful fortress on earth, it would be captured by three regiments of New England farmers.  Finley was in this group.  After the miraculous victory, Finley and the rest were retained in mutinous and involuntary servitude till 1748 when they returned to Warren, Maine.  Kallochs have considered Maine their ancestral home ever since.   Later generations of this family spelled the name Kalloch instead of Kelloch.

More Early Killough/Kelloch History

This is from a talk given by Dean Mayhew at the 2000 Kalloch Reunion

First of all, there are some people that I haven't run across in previous years.  Would anyone for whom this is their first arrival at our little sessions, stick up their hands, please.  Aaah, yes, well you haven't heard some of the stuff that has gone before.

Are there a few that haven't been here for awhile?  All right, two, or three.  All right, here we go.

First of all, we're going to have a talk a little bit about the basic background of this particular tribe.  Number one, we're talking about the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.  That's where the original homeland for the entire tribe came from.  Now, if you have ever seen the Nova television series, there is an excellent piece on the islands of the Outer Hebrides.  Beautiful, I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to pick it up, because it will show what the original family had to contend with.  All it is is rock.  There isn't a bush or a tree on it anywhere, as far as I know.  The only things you can do on the islands of South Uist or elsewhere in the Outer Hebrides is to fish or to tend sheep.  For you gentlemen out there who have ever worn a Harris tweed jacket, you know what I mean, because that's where the Harris tweed comes from.

If you don't want to fish or tend sheep, you have one basic choice - leave the Hebrides.  And that's what our earliest ancestor did - a fellow by the name of John - we usually refer to him as John I.

Now John I, not wishing to fish, and not wishing to tend sheep, somehow or other found himself in a unit of mounted Scots mercenaries in France under the command of one Captain Thomas Phillips.  As far as we know, this John was his number two guy, his executive officer.  How he reached that esteemed position, we'll probably never know.  But we find him functioning in France circa 1580 or 1590 - I'm not quite sure of the dates.

Alright, now, for those of you who heard the presentation on this subject a couple years ago, you will recall that we were trying to find a connection between John One and the Scots Guards.  In the past couple months, I stumbled over the connection.  William Forbes Leaf, The Scots Men at Arms and Lifeguards in France, Volume I, Edinborough, 1882.  In his book it gives the roster lists of all of the Scots Guards companies as well as the mounted mercenary companies as well.  Now not all of the mounted mercenary companies have survived, unfortunately.  And the one he was in hasn't survived either.  Nonetheless, we now know what units he was with and what units he was not.

So here he is, functioning as a merc, a mercenary then in France, looking out for the life of the French king.  In fact the French king would give, in most instances, his life to the care of these people.  They would all die for the monarch.

Now a bunch of things were happening in France and Scotland during the period of time that John I was there.  There's no question about it.  He went there with one religion, he came away with another.  Now let's see how that worked out.  Between 1560 and 1574, civil war and anarchy swept France.  As no military system existed as such, each person in France fought for himself.  Anyone, really, that could put together 30 guys would become a captain.  And some of them would fight for the king and some would fight for religion.  It made no particular difference.  Everything was chaos in the France in which our John I served.

By 1574, most of Scotland, on the other hand, had adopted the Protestant views of John Knox.  Is there anybody here who's fully cognizant of the Kirk of Scotland? (I hear a chuckle in the background).  My wife and I know something about it.  We were married in University Presbyterian Church.  Any Presbyterians here?  The Kirk of Scotland.  And the whole idea of Knox, and how you ran a church, swept like a whirlwind over Scotland.  It didn't stop there.  It also swept like a whirlwind through the Scots overseas and that included those in France.  They had adopted the Protestant views of the Kirk of Scotland.

Scots Catholics, on the other hand, crowded into France, many of them to find their way to the colonies if at all possible.  There was no future for them in the Highlands by any stretch of the imagination.  So they came by the hundreds if not the thousands to Europe and mostly to France.

James Hamilton, the Earl of Aaran, who commanded the Scots men at arms had become a Protestant.  Now that should tell you a lot right there.  The Earl of Aaran, who commanded the Scots men at arms, including the company in which John I served, had become a Protestant.  That in itself is important.  Such men at arms could no longer be afforded.  If you were the King of France and putting your life into the hands of men who were now "Protestant heretics," what are you going to do about it?  So Louis could no longer afford that.

Among the Scots guards themselves were the very inner circle of the military forces.  Twenty-five men who had served with the Prince of Conde, became Protestants, and were dismissed because they were no longer dependable.  Government figures wished to disband all companies of Scots cavalry, including that in which John I served.  "Get rid of these people."  They were in essence a cancer at the heart of France.  This is a problem that they faced.  I think we are fairly safe in saying that John I entered the Kirk of Scotland.

Now after the peace of Verviens, Henri IV, King of France, 1589-1610, demobilized all of his forces, with the exception of two Swiss companies, a Corsican regiment, and a Scots company of the Guards, under the command of Montgomery.  In fact, the king was so desperate, for the last company that he raised, he had to send the bishop of Edinburgh, in order to send along 30 or 40 trustworthy Scottish Catholics, so as to be able to fill out this particular group.  And so, we find the king demobilizing his forces.  All he had were two Swiss merc companies, a Corsican regiment, and a Scots company of the Guards under the command of Montgomery.  Everyone else, "Y'all go home."  That's exactly what they all did.

Now we know, for example, that the command of the company in which John I served, Capt. Tom Phillips, had a noble connection in the British government, a guy who looked after him.  And so, under the circumstances, the guy in the British House of Lords said, "Tom, if you'd like, and since you have no future as a Kirk of Scotland adherent in France, if you want to come to Ulster and command the company that is going to be raised, fellow by the name of Cromwell is ultimately going over there, but you can get in on the ground floor.  You can raise this particular company and command it."

And taking John I with him, he [Phillips] went to Ulster, town of Carrick Fergus in Ulster.  And it would be this particular group of people that would capture the O'Cahan.

Now what was going on at Ulster?  Why should Cromwell go there?  Why should these other people go there as well?  Ulster and all of Ireland was still basically feudal.  England wasn't, Ulster was, and Ireland was.  Because if you were given a castle and a piece of territory, you held it in the feudal system for a social superior.  And as long as you were a good boy, everything worked out just fine.  You screwed up, they took it away from you.

Now in this case, a series of Irish earls, for religious problems, proceeded to carry on a rebellion against the King, who just happened to be their social superior.  So they sent John as well as Captain Phillips out there to beat the bushes for as many of these rebellious earls as they could get their hands on.  And they got their hands on the Earl of O'Cahan.  He later lost his head.  In exchange for this particular bit of goods, Phillips would be given the O'Cahan fief, his estate, his castle, everything that went with it.  "You're a good boy, and by the way, you can now be a 'sir' - I'll make you a knight."  Sir Tom Phillips.

So Tom hops it over to his new acquisition, his new piece of turf, bringing John I with him.  He apparently was dependable, and so he brought him right along to this place, and he became a servitor on the estate, armed with sword and pike.  We know this because the records state it: "a servitor with sword and pike."

Now it goes down from this - there were two more Johns, curiously enough, and while all this was happening, the St. Bartholomew Massacre in Europe, whereupon practically all French Protestants, or those who were in France at this point, were slaughtered, made it quite enough for all the Scots in France.  So we find John I they living as a servitor on an estate, later on John II (apparently he was murdered, by the way).

There was a group of people - I use the term loosely - called the Woodkerns, who worked in the woods swooping down on everybody in the middle of the night and slaughtered everybody that they found there.  And we don't know this for a fact, but we strongly suspect - I think John I was killed by the Woodkern.  John II, his son, then as a response to all this, joined a regiment of heavy horse in Ulster, to get revenge for Dad.  And he was there at Drogheda.  And the term Drogheda, curiously, has come to mean - they have a term, they call it Drogheda Quarter, which means everybody comes out after the battle, they lost, they come out with their hands in the air, and they're all killed.  That's exactly what happened.  And John II was involved with that, swinging with both hands, presumably, lopping off as many heads as possible.

Revenge, in Ireland, is the way it works.  You do something, somebody revenges against you.  You in turn then, do something against somebody else.  And that's the way it works.

{"Not limited to Ireland" - from the floor.}

For some reason or other, the Celtic people tend to do that sort of thing.  And ultimately, there was John III.  We don't need to get into him.  And he would later produce a son Robert, who took it into his head, along with his comely wife, Margaret Finley, to come to the new world.

And we find him leaving Port Rush, we believe, on the Bann River in Ulster, on board the "William", 1718, and arriving in Boston, where they were promptly shipped off [to] the Freetown, present Assonet, Massachusetts, near Worcester.

Then there was Freetown.  You could be free to be whatever you wanted to be.  Everything else was already established.  In Massachusetts, you were Congregationalist or you left town.  In Virginia, you were Episcopalian or you left town.  And since these people were Kirk of Scotland - oh horrors- they would therefore have to leave town also.  And to Freetown they went.  And there, still another brother was born - Alan - of whom we know absolutely nothing.

It would be from Freetown that they would go to the Isles of Shoals off Portsmouth.  There they got into the fish and oil business.  They lost their business to fire - we don't know whether they were burned out or whether it was an accident - and from there, needless to say, they would go down to Philadelphia, because they had heard that the central valley of Pennsylvania was being opened for settlement.  Treaties with the Indians were being entered into.  The entire tribe, Robert, his wife, several sons, all went down to Philadelphia, where they waited to see where they would go from here.  And it would be at this point that the family split.

Finley, after whom we are descended, Finley would accompany his in-laws to the Waldo Patent.  And we're standing almost in the middle of the Waldo Patent right now.

David, his brother, and the almost infant Alan, would go with Robert and Margaret to the Conodoquinet River in the middle of Pennsylvania.  Big Springs, Pennsylvania, is still there.  Do you recall when you were in school, those little blue exam books that you had to write in?  They were manufactured in Big Springs, Pennsylvania.  That's the only thing I know of that goes on in Big Springs.

It is from this point that the family split.  Finley and his group came up here - the rest went to Pennsylvania.  Why didn't we know all these years about the famous lost David line?  Real simple - they changed the spelling still again.

Dean Mayhew's Talk from the 1980 Reunion

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