McIlvaine Family History

John McIlvaine -  8 May 1777 Baltimore, Md.  In 1795 John made a trip to Ste. Genevieve, Mo. & then to the lead mines of Potosi before returning to Baltimore, Md.  He married Jane Hord 1799 in Mason County, Ky.  He began mining operations in the Potosi area in 1799 & shipped lead & produce in keel boats from St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve to New Orleans & Ft. Pitt.  He moved his family to Potosi circa 1804.   He died in 1843 & is buried about two miles north of Potosi in a family cemetery on the Long Farm.

 Children of Jane & John are:

Jesse Hord - 10 July 1800 Mason County, Ky. - married 1) Mukee Smith  2) Emily Dunklin Martin  Died at St. Louis, Mo. 2 July 1869.  Buried in Potosi Presbyterian Cemetery.

Maria - 21 April 1802 - married 1) Thomas Ficklin  2) Gov. Archibald Yell - NOTE:  Maria had one blue eye & one green eye.

Eveline - 30 May 1804 - married Dr. John Gano Bryan

Isabella - 22 June 1806 - married John McGready 15 December 1825 Washington County, Mo.

Lucy - 3 August 1807 - married Israel McGready 1 May 1831 Washington County, Mo.

Orville - 22 June 1809 - married Minerva Baker - Orville died 27 January 1880 -  had children Minerva & Firmin

Chytnian - 21 June 1813 - married Firmin Desloge 21 June 1832 Washington County, Mo.

Narcissa Jane - Novemeber 1817 -  married 1) Thomas W. Bryan  2) Thomas J. Payne

Susan H. - 1819 - married Col. Robt. Smith (from Arkansas) 8 December 1836 Washington County, Mo.


William McIlvaine - born 19 February 1732 Bucks County, Penn. He was the son of Orville McIlvaine. One source says that in 1740 William & his father supposedly made a trip to the West Indies their ship being lost in the Gulf of Mexico.  The only survivor was William who was rescued by a party of Spaniards.  It is said that they took him up the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Missouri River & began searching for minerals & later the same year founded New Madrid. William was supposedly captured & raised by Indians but later managed to escape.   In 1775 William McIlvaine & others took a cargo of lead & powder from New Orleans up the Ohio River to Fort Pitt for the American Revolutionists.   One source says that William died 1798, Baltimore, Maryland.  Another source says tht he died in Mason County, Kentucky in 1801 & his estate was administered there.     William married Mary (Polly) ??  -   Their children are:

John - born 1777 Maryland. Married: Jane Hord 1799 in Virginia. Died: 1843 Missouri.

Hugh -

Rosanna -

Mary -

Margaret - married Thomas J. Davis - 27 May 1807 - Mason Co., Ky.

Thomas -

Robert -

Nancy -



Orville McIlvaine -  Died 1740 in a ship wreck in the Gulf of Mexico - was the son of Jesse McIlvaine


Jesse McIlvaine - came to America supposedly with William Penn the founder of the state of Pennsylvania.



Firmin McIlvaine - Firmin was shot & killed by the outlaw Sam Hildebrand - SAM'S BROTHER LYNCHED:   Sam and his brother, Frank, had gotten into some trouble over a horse swapping deal involving a horse that was stolen from Firmin McIlvaine.   When the Civil War started in 1861 Frank went to Potosi in Washington County to enlist in the Union Army Home Guards. That is when Capt. Castleman turned Frank over to Firmin McIlvaine and his group of vigilantes. They eventually took Frank to Ste. Genevieve County and, without the benefit of a trial, hung him to a tree then threw his body into a sink hole where it was not found for more than a month.  In June, 1862 Sam avenged his brother's death when he shot and killed George Cornicius and Firmin McIlvaine.

SAM HILDEBRAND'S VICTIMS: Below is a partial list of the victims of Sam Hildebrand.  This information was gleaned from "Sam Hildebrand Rides Again" by Henry C. Thompson.

FIRMIN McILVAINE ~ Shot June, 1862 while working in his farm field in St. Francois Co., Mo.

Excerpts from:  Sam Hildebrand Guerilla by Carl W. Breihan -

Pg. 6 - Shortly before this someof Sam's neighbors had started what they called a Vigilante Committee, & their squads patrolled night & dy to put down horse stealing.  At the head of that gang was Firman Mcilvaine, the worst element in the community.

Pg. 7 - McIlvaine & his vigilantes had come into the yard & were approaching the house from all sides in a regular line.  Sam detected a gap in their ranks & dashed through it.  They commenced fireing, & Sam dodged behind a molasses mill in the yard.  That mill caught nine of their bullets & without doubt saved Sam's life.  Then he struck out towards the wood, a distnce of about 200 yards.  He had the inclination to shoot back at them but that would indicate where he was in the open field, so he silently gained the edge of the woods.  From there he could hear them men talking & thus became certain of his enemies' identity.

Pg. 17 - When Sam arrived in the vicinity of Flat Woods in St. Francois Co., Mo. , it was the 12th day of June.  Immediately , he commenced searching for George Cornecious, the man who had reported his whereabouts to MacIlvaine & the soldiers.

Stealthily he crosse the river & went to the lower part of McIlvaine's farm.  There he found Negroes cuttin down a field of rye.....

Pg. 18 - Sam had been waiting, well hidden.  At last he saw McIlvaine making his first round.  Actually, he passed where Sam was hidin & he stopped to whet his scythe.  As soon as he had done that, he lowered the cradle to the ground & stood resting against the handle.

Sam fire, & McIlvaine was dead.  Nothing but a long series of wrongs could have made him take the life of a young man who had so many good points.  Sam remembered how, after the first outbreak of war, a fine mare had been stolen from McIlvaine.  He maust have loved that mare,& when others told him that Sam Hildebrand was the thief, he must have felt a righteous anger.  And so he was goaded on to take the law into his own hands.  Because of allthat, Frank Hildebrand had hung without a trial & his body flung into a sink-hole to moulder like that of a beast.  


Potosi Presbyterian Church Records - (copied by Esther M. Carroll)

Infant Baptisms:

McIlvaine, Henry - Oct. 9, 1843 - Mrs. Ev Bryan
        "       , John Gano - "       "                    "
        "       , ELmily Eveline -    "      "           "
        "       , Francis Theodore   "      "           "
        "       , Ann Smith -             "       "           "

McIlvaine, John -  May 23, 1846 - Austin Houck
        "       , Eveline - July 26, 1846 - Minerva McIlvaine
                 , Minerva Ann - May 1, 1853 - Mrs. Minerva McIlvaine

Register of Members:

Minerva McIlvaine - Nov. 24, 1844 - Certificate
Mary McIlvaine - (of color) Dec. 6, 1857 - Certificate - removed
Mrs. Emily S. McIlvaine - May 19, 1860 - Certificate - United with Methodist Church
Mrs. Emily McIlvaine - June 4, 1870 - Letter dismissed Apr. 1872 to (other remarks illegible - possibly Kansas City)

Mrs. Emily S. McIlvaine - May 19, 1860 - from Presbyterian Church of Corondolet - received on certificate


McIlvaine Cemetery - two miles north of Potosi on the Long Farm (From Mary Rosenthall - St. Louis, Mo.)  The inscriptions on the large slabs of stone which cover their tombs are almost illegible.  A cyclone wire fence has been erected around the cemetery & modern type stones have been placed at each grave, with inscriptions:

Jesse H. McIlvane

Mukee Perin Smith

Orville McIlvane


Lucy McIlvane McGready

Maria McIlvane Yell

Narcissa McIlvane

Susan McIlvane Smith