A family history of the Methodist circuit-rider, John Simpson McGee, his wife, Ann Reminta Hawkins, and their descendants.

Author can be contacted at the address below:

Jon E. Huffman 6605 Falls Creek Road Louisville, KY 40241 Email:


Complete Book in PDF Format

Book Accessible in Chapters and Sections
Chapter One John S McGee, Methodist Circuit-Rider
Chapter Two Medley Shelton McGee Family
Chapter Three Richard Deering McGee Family
Chapter Four Martha Alice McGee Family
Chapter Five Permelia Helen McGee Family
Chapter Six John Legrand McGee Family
Chapter Seven Joseph Flood McGee Family
Chapter Eight George Pierce McGee Family
Chapter Nine William Dempsey McGee Family
Chapter Ten James Wilson McGee Family
Chapter Eleven Virginia Lee McGee Family
Chapter One Ralph McGee Family
Chapter Two Martha McGee Family
Chapter Three William McGee Family
Chapter Four Elizabeth McGee Family
Chapter Five Theodore McGee Family

“When you are lost, in this world or on the continent of time itself, remember who you have been and you will know who you are. These people were all you, and you are them. I was you before you were born and you will be me after I’m gone. That is the meaning of family.”


Of all the people I want to thank for their help and support for this project, the first is Liz Lester. Her clearheaded assessments, scrupulous reading and tireless on-line searches have helped more than I can say, and this is a far better book for her fine editing job.

Like all genealogists, I owe a great debt of gratitude to the volunteers and employees who staff the many archives and libraries where I conducted my research. I would like to thank the staffs of the Research Center for Beaver County at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, the Records Center and Archives of Butler County at Hamilton, Ohio, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History at Frankfort, Kentucky, the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library at Greensburg, Indiana, the William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, the Anderson County Public Library at Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, the Mercer County Research Library at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and the Hart County Historical Society at Munfordville, Kentucky.

A project as extensive as a family history book is only possible with the help and cooperation of many others, and I would like to thank, collectively, all of those newly found family members who have given their time and effort to sorting through their family archives and copying and sending that information to me. It would be nearly impossible to list everyone, but I would like to name a number of people to whom I owe special thanks: (in alphabetical order) Judy Colgin, Laura Culbertson, Donna Fowler, Diane Froedge, Dorothy James, Pennie Lowery, Polly McCreary, Ann & Jim McCurry, Kathryn O’Gea, Lola Post, Carol Caillouette Riley, Betty Schawe and Jean Utley. The Gift of Rain, Tan Twan Eng

One of the truly gratifying aspects of compiling a family history is the opportunity to meet and often visit with new kinfolk. Regrettably, many contacts were limited to the telephone or email correspondence, but sometimes I had the pleasure of meeting people face to face. In every instance I was made to feel like family, and for that I thank you all.


Curiosity about my mother’s side of the family was what prompted the research that eventually led to this publication. My grandmother was a McGee from Horse Cave, Kentucky, one of many descendants of Rev. John Simpson McGee, who settled in Hart County about 1872. Although I, too, grew up in Hart County, my family lived in Munfordville, located some eight miles away, and when I was twelve years old, we moved away from the area before I had gotten to know any of my McGee cousins. It would be fifty years later, after retirement and after my return to Kentucky, before I would attempt to learn more about my family lineage. By that time, there was no one left in my immediate family who could answer questions, and it became necessary to look elsewhere for answers. Once that search began in earnest, it took on a life of its own, and the end result is the manuscript before you. Before I began my quest, I had never heard the name of Reverend John Simpson McGee, and now he has become the primary subject of this report.

The following book is comprised of four major parts - the Introduction and Parts One, Two and Three. In addition, an index has been included which lists the name of every individual found in the book. The Introduction discusses the ancestry of John Simpson McGee and outlines the author’s attempts at tracing his early history before he came to Kentucky. Prior to this work, the names of John McGee’s parents and siblings were unknown to many of us, and evidence is presented here to explain how and why certain conclusions were drawn about their identity. The most extensive portion of the book is Part One which deals with John McGee, his wife, Ann Hawkins, and their direct line of descendants. It consists of eleven chapters, the first of which deals specifically with John and Ann McGee. They had ten children who lived to adulthood and had children of their own, and each of the following ten chapters pertains to each of those children and includes many of that child’s descendants. Part One also contains over 500 old photographs and documents which are arranged more or less chronologically at the end of each chapter. After John McGee’s mother died, his father remarried to Jane Cassel in Butler Co., Ohio, and they subsequently had six children of their own. Part Two traces the McGee family after John left the family home in Indiana and follows his siblings as they married and moved westward with their respective families. It contains five chapters, one for each of five siblings. A sixth sibling, James McGee, is not included here as he seems to have disappeared after the 1850 census. Finally, it was Ann Hawkins’ grandfather, Benjamin Hawkins, who came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1789, and established the Hawkins homestead in Mercer County. Part Three outlines eight generations of the Hawkins family.

It should be noted that all documents and public records quoted or transcribed for use herein, were copied as they actually exist, preserving the original grammar and spelling errors. These include census reports, newspaper articles, obituaries, courthouse records, personal letters, and, of course, quotations. Rev. John McGee’s family eventually settled in Hart County, Kentucky in 1872, and a major problem for researchers is that the Hart courthouse burned to the ground in 1928, totally destroying all official records accumulated during the previous one hundred years. The author has had to depend heavily upon individual family records and, in some cases cemetery markers, for names and dates. Every reasonable attempt has been made to check and verify information whenever possible, but due to the number of sources, complete accuracy was not always possible. The author would greatly appreciate having any omissions and discrepancies, such as unintentional errors in name-spelling and dates, brought to his attention. My email and street address are provided on the back of the title page.

The total material in this report represents nine generations of the McGee and Hawkins families and includes the names of some 5,000 individuals. Regrettably, the identity of all descendants could not be determined, and some readers will find that data on their specific line are disappointedly sparse. For example, information on some of John McGee’s siblings in Part Two and on Benjamin Hawkins’ family in Part Three is far from complete. It is the author’s hope that this publication will provide the basic framework upon which to hang future research, and that other workers will fill in the gaps of missing data.

The McGee family history book as presented here is essentially a self-publishing effort. The software used for organizing and compiling family data was Family Tree MakerTM by Broderbund. Once various reports were generated using FTMTM, they were exported to Microsoft Word where major editing could take place as well as the insertion of documents and photographs. Once all of the individual pieces that comprise this book were completed in Word, the total compilation was downloaded to a CD and given to the publisher for printing and binding. Indexing was provided by an outside source.