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View Tree for John McCargoJohn McCargo (b. 1737, d. February 07, 1814)

John McCargo was born 1737 in -8-, and died February 07, 1814. He married Mary Magdalene Radford, daughter of John IV Radford and Elizabeth Agnes Maxey.

 Includes NotesNotes for John McCargo:
The McCargo Name probably originated in Scotland but subsequently is to be found in Island Magee County Antrim which is quite close to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. In the early part of the 19th Century a Miss McCargo taught in a school attached to the Presbyterian Church in Island Magee. The United Irishmen were a strong force in that area and in addition Island Magee supplied the Merchant Navy with men who became Captains in various passenger and merchant ships.

Information from:

Listed below are all the Scottish McCargo's in Virginia beginning from 1860 to 1790.

1860 Census:
Name County/State page# District

McCargo, Bettie H Charlotte Co, VA 192 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, George R Charlotte Co, VA 191 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, H.D. Prince Edward, VA 871 Moore's Ordinary
McCargo, James C. Charlotte, VA 192 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, James M Charlotte, VA 239 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, James Mecklenburg Co, VA 316 Union Levell PO
McCargo, Jane Charlotte Co, VA 185 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, John Princess Ann Co, VA 645 London Bridge
McCargo, John M Charlotte Co, VA 187 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, Joseph V. Charlotte Co, VA 185 Wylliesburg PO
McCargo, Littlejohn S Halifax Co., VA 737 Scottsburg
McCargo, Louisa J Charlotte Co, VA 191 Keysville
McCargo, W.T.F. Charlotte Co, VA 191 Wylliesburg PO

1850 Census:

McCargo, Elizabeth Mecklenburg Co, VA 129 22nd Reg.
McCargo, George R. Charlotte Co, VA 006 Charlotte
McCargo, James Mecklenburg Co, VA 073 98th Reg
McCargo, James C. Halifax Co, VA 029 Northern
McCargo, John S Halifax Co, VA 026 Northern
McCargo, Littlejohn Charlotte Co, VA 006 Charlotte
McCargo, Martha Mecklenburg Co, VA 076 98th Reg
McCargo, Susan Mecklenburg Co, VA 099 22nd Reg
McCargo, Susanna J. Charlotte Co., VA 006 Charlotte
McCargo, William T. Charlotte Co., VA 006 Charlotte

1840 Census:

McCargo, Hezekiah Charlotte Co, VA 159 No TWP L
McCargo, Hezekiah D Charlotte Co, VA 159 No TWP L
McCargo, James Charlotte Co, VA 159 No TWP L
McCargo, John M Charlotte Co, VA 159 No TWP L
McCargo, William Mecklenburg Co, VA 374 No TWP L

1830 Census:

McCargo, Hezekiah Charlotte Co, VA 201 No TWP L
McCargo, James Charlotte Co, VA 235 No TWP L
McCargo, John M Charlotte Co, VA 200 No TWP L
McCargo, Johnathan Halifax Co, VA 413 No TWP L
McCargo, Littlejohn Halifax Co, VA 413 No TWP L
McCargo, Robert Charlotte Co, VA 205 No TWP L
McCargo, Thomas Halifax Co, VA 413 No TWP L
McCargo, William Charlotte Co, VA 202 No Twp L

1820 Census:

McCargo, David Campbell Co, VA 134A
McCargo, Heskiah Charlotte Co, VA 18A
McCargo, James Charlotte Co, VA 19A
McCargo, Littlejohn Halifax Co, VA 75
McCargo, Radford Charlotte Co, VA 20A
McCargo, Robert Charlotte Co, VA 20A
McCargo, Thomas Halifax Co, VA 62A
McCargo, William Charlotte Co, VA 18A

1810 Census:

McCargo, David Campbell Co, VA 871
McCargo, David Charlotte Co, VA 58
McCargo, Hezekiah Charlotte Co, VA 57
McCargo, James Charlotte Co, VA 57
McCargo, John Charlotte Co, VA 58
McCargo, John (Junior) Charlotte Co, VA 58
McCargo, Robert Charlotte Co, VA 58
McCargo, Thomas Charlotte Co, VA 57

1800 Census:

No McCargos were listed

1790 Census:

McCargo, John Prince Edward Co, VA

White Souls - 8 Dwellings - 2 Other Buildings - 5

Subj: Re: McCargo Family
Date: 97-12-11 14:54:44 EST
To: Lauriebs

To:Lauriebs@aol (Laurie Senaca)
Fr: tommcargo@aol (Tom McCargo)
RE: How did they come to America?
Leaving aside for the moment, the problem of how each got to the new world, there are three known groups that have produced descendants present today in Canada and the U S . I have designated these as the New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia branches. The Virginia branch is by far the largest and Virginia Colonial records have been more productive. Beginning in the earliest days of the Proprietorship, we find entries in the Patent Books and in the action of the Governor's Council relating to our family.
Patent Book 7 has an entry for October 7, 1652, which is the earliest record to date, of our family in America. The entry in its entirety reads:
Major Lewis Burwell & Lucy his wife, 200 acres, 100 of which lyes within the Pallisado at the Middle Plantation, taken out of the land of Mr. Richard Brooks; & the other without the Pallisado, taken out of the land of John Clerk, dec'd. The former bounded S.E. upon the land of Mr. John Broach, & N.W. upon the Pallisado; the latter upon land of David Mansell, N.W. & S.E. upon the Pallisado. 8 Oct 1652. Transportation of four persons (and Also by order of the Governor. & Councill dated ' Oct. 1652) John Macargoe, Mrs. Lucy Burwell, Wm. Shurly, Gilbert Mackdull
In the early days of the Virginia Colony, while it was still under the Proprietorship, the Virginia Company offered fifty acres of land, free to any settler who paid his own or another's passage to the colony. In the instance above Major Lewis Burwell, then commander of the Guard at Williamsburg, (the Middle Plantation) filed a claim for 200 acres, 100 within the city, based on the "Head Rights" of the four persons named. This does not mean that any of the four arrived in Virginia that year, or that they stayed beyond the date of the claim. In fact the Head Right was so much abused, as we shall see later, that the Company was finally forced to abandon the practice.
Major Burwell was born in Bedfordshire around 1621, and had come to Virginia in 1640. Captain Robert Higginson, who had been born in Warwick County, England, and his family, including a daughter Lucy, arrived three years later in 1643. Captain Higginson also had commanded the Williamsburg garrison prior to Major Burwell's filling that post. It was inevitable the two young people would meet and marry, which they did around 1650. Since Major Burwell had previously patented a large plantation in Gloucester County, that became their home. The marriage was not fated to last very long, since Major Burwell died November 1653. Lucy then married Colonel William Bernard and after his death, married Colonel Phillip Ludwell. She died November 6, 1675, and was buried in Gloucester County.
Nineteen years pass before the next McCargo appears and then it in another patent this time dated April 7, 1671. The patent was filed by Thomas Ludwell, son of Colonel Phillip Ludwell, who you will remember, was Lucy Higginson's third husband. The claim was filed for 2,994 acres, based on the head rights of 60 persons. The list is long and includes both men and women and two slaves listed simply as " (2) -Negroes." Among the final three names is Jno. Mackargoe.
Are the two John McCargos the same person, or do they represent two generations in the same family? Perhaps we shall never know, but I propose the following scenario.

Unlike most of the Virginia colonist, who were landless younger sons, Captain Higginson was a prosperous, substantial landowner in Warwickshire, with an established family, and a retinue of household servants to attend their needs. The youngest of these servants would have been children by today's standards, twelve to sixteen years old, who were bound as indentured servants for periods of from eight to twelve years. John Macargoe would have been among those accompanying Captain Higginson to America. When his daughter married, part of Lucy's dowry would have been three of Captain Higginson's indentured servants, William Shirly, John McCargo and Gilbert McDowell. John would have been about twenty-one at the time, and perhaps with only one or two years of bondage remaining. He would have surely followed Lucy when she and Major Burwell moved to Gloucester County. We can never know if he married or remained a bachelor, once he became free. But we can be certain he chose to remain in Lucy's service, becoming over the next twenty years a dependable and trusted member of the staff that made her plantation function. By 1671, John, now 42 and perhaps an overseer, would have been entrusted with the responsibility of going back to England, recruiting new bonded servants and even buying slaves. The combined Headwright of his group were used by Thomas Ludwell on 7 April, 1671 to claim 2,994 acres in Henrico County "on the Chickahominy Swamp at a run called Wynn's Corner." I have not identified this watercourse, but Henrico County at that time included what later became Goochland and Cumberland counties. Hence, it is not unreasonable see John becoming Thomas Ludwell's agent in developing this new property on the frontier.
You might be interested in contacting Col James David McCargo at 405 W Persimmon Foley AL 36535 Phone 334-943-1437 who is also a descendant of your James David through Perry Emory and David Edgar. He is recovering from a stroke, but I talked to him back in June, and he seems to be handling it quite well.
Do you keep your records in any of the popular genealogical programs. I keep parallel files in PAF 3.0 and Family Tree World 3.0? Are you interested?


John McCargo (1736-1814) Died Charlotte County VA.
Submitted April 1998 by: TOM MCARGO (

Leaving aside for the moment all questions about the parents of the John McCargo who founded our line, and who I have come to know as "Old John", I will confine this monograph to what I have learned of his life since he first appeared on the pages of Virginia Colonial history. That may prove to be a promise I cannot keep, since it is tempting to fill the blanks of his life with conjecture. However, I hope to keep this within the realm of "reasonable conjecture".

Hard data on John's origin, that is his date and place of birth, his parents, even his date of marriage do not exist, or if they do exist, they have not yet been uncovered. It is one of the modern researcher's problems, that most of our colonial ancestors did not play a major part in events of their time. Many lived their entire lives with the sole record of their existence, an entry on a militia muster or as the "party of the first part" on a deed. But if the researcher is patient and persistent, sometimes hints or clues that may cast light on these questions may be found in records in which they may appear as bystanders to larger events. Witnesses to deeds, lists of those purchasing property at estate sales, probate records of estate distributions are some examples in which valuable information may be found. However the task of sifting though volumes of un-indexed, barely legible records is formidable, and discouraging to all but the most devoted researcher.

One such clue that casts some light on the above questions has been found in the application of his son, Radford for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service. The application, which was filed in Fayette County, Kentucky; February 20, 1834, states that he, Radford, was born in Cumberland County Va. in 1762, but that the only proof of that statement is "in my bible at home". Base on this simple statement we can make some statically based estimates on John's date of birth and date of marriage. Knowing that Radford was the first child and assuming John married at age 25, 1761 becomes the date of marriage and 1736, the date of birth.

"Old John" first appears to us in Cumberland County Virginia in October 1763, as the plaintiff in a suit in case law " McCargo vs Hall". As we have seen from Radford McCargo's pension application above, John had been married for at least two years, had one child over a year old and another on the way. As far as we can tell at this time, he owned neither land nor slaves, so how did he support this growing family? Sadly at this time we cannot supply the answer to these questions.

Cumberland County in 1763 was still very much a part of the Virginia frontier. It had existed as a county only since 1749, when the clearing of lands and the spread of settlements south of the James River, made trips to the old courthouse at Goochland too burdensome for these new settlers. Colonial government was located in Williamsburg, as were the centers of commerce and finance. The immigrants of the preceding generation had by this time formed themselves into a well established class system, based to some degree on merit, but with its roots in the English class system. Here, at least among the aristocracy, the son, after his marriage began his married life either in the father's home or on property provide by his parents. In a much more primitive fashion, the lower orders followed this same plan, but with one important difference. With the flood of new immigrants, both from abroad and from the colonies to the north, land had become scarce, and the younger sons began to looking to the virgin lands to the west, looking up the James River toward the mountains. As the newcomers pushed the frontier forward, they were joined by these "second sons" of the older generation in staking out claims in these new lands. As mentioned earlier, we cannot be sure to which group "Old John" belonged; that is was he a "new man", fresh from Scotland; or the younger son of an impecunious earlier settler? Perhaps we will never know for sure, but the odds appear to favor the later.

But back to our question of - How did Old John provide for his family in the early years of his marriage? The simplest answer is, he either rented from or more likely, worked for a land owner. The only other McCargo in the area, Hugh was not a freeholder, but he had been in the county since 1753 for sure and he does appear on the parish tithe lists in the same year John's suit is filed, i.e. 1763, with three tithes listed. John could very well be one of these, since thithables then were defined as "All male persons of age sixteen and upwards; also all Negro, mulatto and Indian women sixteen and above".

The court action mention above, was filed against Thomas Hall and though John prevailed, and a conditional judgement issued, the suit was dismissed in June of 1764,"for failure to prosecute" - probably because Hall had settled John's claim. Nothing more than these bare facts are known about the circumstances surrounding the suit.

By July 1764 John had accumulated enough spare cash to purchase his first piece a property, a two hundred acre tract on Great Deep Run Creek. This would have been in southeast Cumberland County, and located on the fork of the Little Deep Run. The property had been patented by John Alexander when it was still part of Goochland County and he sold it to John and Ann Scott, from whom John purchased it for 45. John's next-door neighbors at the new farm would be John Alexander as well as Nicholas Barnes and William Palmer. The deed was witnessed by James Pleasants, William Cunningham, Mary Gaines and Judith Scott, hence we can assume they were also neighbors, though not living on adjoining property.

The Ligon family is connected to our branch of the descendants of John McCargo, through Martha Christine (Blankenship) McCargo's mother, Elizabeth (Ligon) Blankenship. The Ligon's had been early settlers in Virginia and early to the frontier, succeeding generation moving south and west as the frontier moved that direction. There were at least four members of the family in Cumberland County in the mid-part of the 18th century. One of these James Ligon died late in 1764. His property was sold early in 1765, and in an accounting of his administration dated June 23, 1766, the administrator reported to the court, as still outstanding from the sale "Bond by John McCargoe for 5 pounds 12 shilling, 10 pence". Again what purchase this has reference to is unknown at this time.

During the next eight years, John continued to prosper. Five more children joined the family: Letty on 1763, David in 1764, Susannah in 1769. Robert in 1770 and James in 1771. The growing family, especially now that Radford was ten years old, and able to work in the fields, would naturally require more land, so John bought a one hundred acre tract adjacent to the older place. Drury and Lizzy Hudgen were the owners, and got 50 for the farm, or more than twice the price per acre over the cost of the first farm. John Creasy, William Parmore and Hezikiah Harding now became neighbors, with the witnesses to the deed; Jessee Thomas, L. Mosby and Davis Davenport probably living near-by.

Only two years passed before John acquired more land. In September of 1774, he bought neighbor Hezikiah's farm. Adding that 100 acres to his 300 acres giving him what might be called a small plantation. He paid 50 for the land, the same as he had paid for the previous 100 acres and what one might suspect was the "going rate" for land at that time. The child born in 1772 had been another girl, Elizabeth. But David, now ten, was old enough to join Radford in the fields. This would not have been enough to work what was by now a 400 acre farm, far too large to be productively worked by a small family such as John had then. The obvious solution to this problem would the acquisition of one or more slaves to augment the family labor force. While there is no evidence to support the assumption that John owned slaves at this time, he is shown as a slave owner later in Prince Edward county. The Hardin place was located on Great Deep Run Creek, and had been also been acquired by Hezikiah from John Alexander. William Turpin appears as a new next-door neighbor, and neighbors John Walker and Peter Martin are present to act as witnesses to the deed. Both sign with their mark.

In the interval between the last two land purchases, John had appeared in Cumberland court again, on July 27, 1771, this time as a witness for John Scruggs in his suit against John Mayo. Both men were long time residents of the county and both powerful in county politics. Here again we don't know the details of the suit, only that John was awarded 150 pounds of tobacco for five days at court and that presumably he was neighbor to both parties.

The years 1774 to 1781 were years of turmoil through out the colonies, and the John McCargo family felt the impact of those war troubled years. Two more children were born; Hezikiah in 1777 and John Junior in 1779, and in that same year Radford, had gone off to join the Revolution. John had even managed to get into the fight. Radford had come back home in the summer of 1880 to help his father in the fields that year and after the harvest was over, John joined Radford when he returned to the army for the winter campaign of 1881 on the North Carolina border. John probably came back home in April, in time for spring planting, leaving Radford to serve until the war dragged to it's end at Yorktown. Radford returned to his father's home in the fall of 1781.

The home that Radford returned to was not the one he had left in the fall of 1779. Something, some event, perhaps the war itself, led John to decide to leave Cumberland county and move further south to Prince Edward county.

In any event in November of 1780, he sold the entire 400 acre farm that he had put together to Thomas Walton for 10,000. The fluidity of the neighborhood is reflected in that of the adjacent land owners in 1774 only John Creasy and Peter Turpin were still living on their lands. Peter Montegue, and Richard Baskerville had replaced John Alexander and William Parmore. This deed apparently was executed at the court house and the record indicates "Mary Magdalene, his wife, being first privately examined, relinquished her right of dower in the land conveyed." This is the first clue we have concerning John's wife, so perhaps we should stop and examine:


Children of John McCargo and Mary Magdalene Radford are:
  1. +David McCargo, b. Abt. 1764, Southam Parish Cumberland, County, Virginia -7-, d. July 1814, Charlotte, County, Virginia.
  2. Radford McCargo, d. date unknown.
  3. +LittleJohn McCargo, b. September 24, 1779, d. March 23, 1856.
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