An American Family History


The McKinley Family




Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

William McKinley was born about 1740 in Maryland.

William married Mary Lockhart about 1756.

William and Mary's children included:

Mary McKinley King (1757, married John King),
Martha McKinley Alison (1759, married Robert Alison),
Samuel McKinley (1763),
William M. McKinley, Jr. (1767, married Sarah Davidson),
Ruth McKinley (1769, married John Davidson),
Isaac McKinley (1769).

The McKinleys were early settlers in Piney Flats (The Fork), Sullivan County, Tennessee. Massengill wrote that

The McKinleys of the "Fork" section were akin to President McKinley, who contributed to the upkeep of the New Bethel Cemetery of that section.

On September 8 1785, William bought some land beginning above the Good Gap and crossing Hogan's Branch for 50 pounds from William Scott.

On October 3, 1785, William purchased 175 acres in Sullivan County from Samuel Smith for 30 pounds. The deed was witnessed by John Scott and Samuel McKinley.

In 1796 and 1797, William was on the Sullivan County tax list. He had 375 acres.

In 1812, William was shown on the Sullivan County tax list with 145 acres.

In 1820, Isaac McKinley witnessed Henry Smith's will.

William died about 1824 in Piney Flats.


Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

Samuel McKinley obtained 150 acres at Sullivan County, North Carolina, for 50 shillings per 100 acres on Land Grant No. 175 on 10 October 1783.

In 1796, Samuel was shown on the Tax List at Sullivan County, Tennessee. He was shown as 1 white with 150 acres on the poll list. He was shown on the same poll list in 1797.3

Samuel sold land at Sullivan County, Tennessee, to Isaac McKinley on 23 February 1803.


William McKinley, Jr. was born on 5 June 1767 at Carroll County, Maryland.

William married Sarah Davidson circa 1795 at Sullivan County, Tennessee.

William moved to Putnam County, Indiana in 1822.

Sarah McKinley b. 2 Mar 1800, d. 22 Nov 1864
William Riley McKinley b. 15 Aug 1801
James H. McKinley b. 1805
Samuel McKinley b. 30 Jul 1809, d. 19 Nov 1864
John McKinley b. 10 Aug 1811, d. 10 Dec 1882
Amanda Melvina McKinley b. 1812, d. 16 Aug 1868
Abner McKinley b. 8 Nov 1813, d. 9 Mar 1896


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©Roberta Tuller 2017