Jacob McLean is this branch’s earliest known member.
Jacob’s death certificate (10 MAR 1904) and the Census entries for 1841(Leswalt) and 1891(Stoneykirk) all record his place of birth as Derry, Ireland; his date of birth is variously recorded as 1814, 1816 and 1818. What is certain is that by 1841 he had married Elizabeth Thomson (on 17 January 1837, at Balgracie, Leswalt), and that he was an agricultural labourer at Balwherrie (OS Landranger 82: 018658) and had three children – Elizabeth (4), William (2) and James (2 months).
At the time of first drafting this narrative in 2001, it had been established that Jacob and Elizabeth had produced at least 10 children. Subsequent e-mail correspondence with Barbara McLean in California identified a further two off-spring – Elizabeth (1842) and David (1852). Eleven of the twelve survived into adulthood.
(I) Elizabeth McLean born 1837, Larbrax, Leswalt. Died 1841.
(III) Elizabeth McLean born1842, Leswalt Parish. Single. Died 1869, Smithyhill, Leswalt.
(VII) Jessie McLean born 1850, Stoneykirk Parish. Single. Died, age 80, on 25 June 1928 at Drumbreddan, Stoneykirk.
(XI) Hugh McLean born1862, Castle Clanyard, Kirkmaiden. No details.
Jacob worked on a number of farms in the North and South Rhins, as evidenced by the birth places of his children: in 1841 at Balwherrie, Leswalt, in 1881 and 1891 at Drumbreddan, Stoneykirk and in 1901 at High Ardwell, Stoneykirk.
Jacob died at High Ardwell on 10 March 1904, age 90.
Jacob and Elizabeth are both interred in the Old Churchyard, Stoneykirk. Their headstone reads:
IN MEMORY OF HER FATHER
WHO DIED AT HIGH ARDWELL
10TH MARCH 1904.
ALSO HER MOTHER
WHO DIED 16TH JULY 1907.
ALSO THE ABOVE SARAH McLEAN
WHO DIED AT BARRHILL, ARDWELL
13TH NOVEMBER 1938.