The Fate of Levi & William McCaffrey and their Descendants
(Sons of James McCaffrey of Loudoun County, Virginia)

            William, the son of James McCaffrey, appears to have died after the 1820 Loudoun census and perhaps not long before 1830. Levi, the brother of William, appears to have died he was recorded in the 1830 Fauquier County, Virginia census and the 1831 tax list of that county: however, there is one item of contradictory evidence to this assumption. The census enumerations appear to show that both of these men married and had families. The 1820 Loudoun census shows that three males and four females children resided with William and his wife. All these younger people were less less than sixteen years of age. In the 1830 Fauquier census, Levi appears to have been enumerated twice. This was an unusual occurrence but, in our extensive research, we have encountered several similar enumerations. In the seemingly first enumeration there was one male in the 0/5 age range, two males in the 5/10 age range and one female in the 0/5 age range. In the seemingly latter 1830 Fauquier enumeration, there were two males in the 0/5 range, one male in the 5/10 range, two males in the 10/15 range, 1 female in the 0/5 range and one female in the 5/10 age range. So there are two more younger males and one more younger female in the seemingly second 1830 Fauquier census. These children might probably his wife's orphaned relatives of a neighbor's orphans. There are very few Virginia McCaffrey marriage records for the period of 1800-1850 and we have identified the involved individuals of all that we have found. To us, it seems virtually impossible than none of these McCaffrey children can be found in Virginia records if these children had remained in that state. Another fact that may be related to this situation is the 1840 Pittsylvania County, Virginia census enumeration for William (bc 1795) and Mary Walker McCaffrey who were married December 16, 1822. This is the same William McCaffrey mentioned on the main page as having submitted a 1855 War of 1812 bounty land application in Pittsylvania. This enumeration shows two males in the 10/15 age range; however, there were no younger males or females enumerated in the William and Mary family in the 1830 or 1850 Pittsylvania censuses. So these children could have been Levi's orphans or other people's orphans. We have posited William of Pittsylvania as the son of Robert McCaffrey, so he would have been a nephew of Levi McCaffrey.
            The evidence that seems to indicate that Levi McCaffrey lived until the 1850s is the War of 1812 Land Grant Warrant No. 11568 that was used Feb 16, 1857 to acquire land in Greene County, Iowa. Levi is twice recorded as a Private in Virginia's War of 1812 military force. Once as Levi McCaffry in the 5th Virginia militia and again as Levi McCafferry in Hunton's Command, Cavalry, Virginia Militia. The image of the original Land Warrant is viewable at the Bureau of Land Management - General Land Office (BLM-GLO) website. has an archive called "U. S. War Bounty Land Warrants 1789-1858".  This archive does not contain a warrant for Levi McCaf*; however, it does show that Land Warrant No. 11568 was issued to a Henry Purdy, assignee of John Nelson, a soldier in the Maryland Line. Since we have never found a trace of Levi after 1831, our only explanation is that the warrant shown at the BLM-GLO site is a forgery.
            William, the son of James McCaffrey, is has another interesting and complicated story. He is first taxed in 1791 with Abner Humphry, then in 1792 and 1793 with his father James and brother Robert. So he was born about 1775 or so. He was then absent from the tax roll until 1797 when he is taxed with Samuel Purcell. As mentioned above, he seems to be in the 1820 Loudoun census and absent from the tax rolls and censuses thereafter. In 1816, a William was taxed alone and in 1818 and 1819, a Wm McCaffrey was the tax responsibility of Andrew Marten. Although William was no longer a minor, Andrew may may have claimed he was to lessen his taxes. This was not an uncommon practice.  The obvious question is this: why isn't William McCaffrey on the 1820 tax list? We posit that the answer is this: Andrew Marten was again taxed in 1820 and he was responsible for the tax owed by a William Marten. We believe that this William Marten was in fact William McCaffrey because, after 1820 a William Martin/Marten was no longer on the tax lists and was not in the 1830 census. So the next question is this: If this was the William bc 1795, how could he have been enumerated in the 1820 census with a large family. We posit that the large number of young males and females were not William's children. They may have been Andrew Marten's children. It could have been possible for William to have had a few children before 1820, but not more than one or two. If the 1820 census children were not McCaffreys, this would go a long way in explaining the lack of McCaffreys in the later Virginia marriage and census records and, indeed, the United States.

            Our conclusion is that most or all of children enumerated with William McCaffrey in the 1820 Loudoun census were not McCaffreys and that two of Levi's orphaned males may have been part of the William (son of Robert) and Mary McCaffrey family enumerated in the 1840 Pittsylvania census. In any event, it is somewhat to us amazing to us that none of these young people seem to be enumerated in the 1820, 1830, 1840 censuses and none seemed to have married  in Virginia or even been enumerated in the 1850 Virginia census. Indeed, when we examine the United States 1850 census for McCaf*  individuals born in Virginia, we can find very few candidates might have been the children of William or Levi; however, some of these children may have been "adopted" into some or all the families of the surviving brothers living in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. We doubt that these conclusions can be verified or, if true, that any of the children can be identified; however, since none of the children seemed to have been born before 1800, it seems highly unlikely that they can be any of the  McCaf* found in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Kentucky and Tennessee.

 Revised Sep 17, 2020

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