The Family Tree of Andrew McCornack (1778-1876) – Helen McGeough (1782-1860)
This material was prepared and compiled by Albert James Gage of Chicago, Illinois and Mrs. Olive Gage Hamilton of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Brief Historical Sketch of Andrew McCornack and Helen McGeough, his wife
(Taken from the Centennial Celebration Records 1938)
In the year 1838 Andrew McCornack and his wife Helen arrived in New York from Scotland. Three of their six children accompanied them: Janet, Alexander, and Andrew. One year before, Margaret, John and William, had come to America. Margaret, who was Mrs. George McQueen, lived in Croton just above New York City, on the Hudson River. John and William settled near Rochester, New York.
Andrew and Helen were married about 1806. They lived on a farm called Annabaglish, seven miles from Newton Stewart in Southwest Scotland. They were strict in their religious beliefs. They belonged to the Covenanters. One of the tenants of this group was complete separation of Church and State.
Since half of the children had migrated to the new country, the question of joining them was discussed. Many factors were involved. One, no doubt, was the hilly unproductive sheep land of Western Scotland. Helen, the wife and mother, had the best argument. She wanted the family to be together again. Andrew was sixty years old and reluctant to leave. After prayerful consideration the decision to go to the United States was reached. Leaving Liverpool, England, on a ship called Siddons on June 16, they landed in New York July 19, 1838.
After arriving in New York, they visited the George McQueens at Crofton and their sons John and William at Rochester. Deciding to go West into land recently vacated by the Indians, they then moved on to Illinois, joined by John and William, journeying through the “Erie Canal to Buffalo, then up Lake Erie, Lake Saint Clair, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan” to Chicago, and finally settling in a “fine country of prairie and woodland” forty miles to the west.
Here in the fertile land six miles West of Elgin, bought from the Indians three years previously, Andrew and Helen McCornack reestablished a home and clan of their own. Here they worshiped in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, now known as the Washington Church. The lovely grounds surrounding the Washington Church is the final resting place for many of the Andrew McCornack Clan.