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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

To Daughter or Not to Daughter . . . Part I, Sarah not Sarah

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

This is the first in a three-part series on the daughter and supposed daughters of Dugal McQueen.

The internet is rife with misinformation, none more than in the case of Dugal McQueen’s daughters. Online pedigrees and family charts detail a daughter named Sarah and Ruth. They rarely speak of a daughter named Anne.

In fact, Dugal had only one proveable daughter, and it was not Sarah or Ruth. And in genealogy, proof is everything. A paper trail is a must. Circumstantial evidence is only good if it is overwhelming. And always, the discovery of another document can upend everything.

This week I will detail the reasons why, as far as can be ascertained, there is no such person as Sarah McQueen Logsdon. In follow-up posts, I will detail the problem with daughter Ruth McQueen and the certainty of daughter Anne McQueen.

Online pedigrees and family charts for Dugal almost always include a daughter named Sarah McQueen who married Edward Logsdon. However, there is absolutely no solid evidence that such a person ever existed.

Dugal, in his will filed in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland, Will Book 25, pages 10 and 11, names his three sons – William, Thomas, and Frances. He names his wife Grace, and his son-in-law, John Brown. (More on Brown in my posting on Ruth.)

No daughters are listed at all. Not Sarah. Not Ruth. Not even Anne. So, where did the idea that he had a daughter named Sarah come from?

In working on the second edition of my book on Dugal - Metes & Bounds I: Dugal McQueen and Some Descendants, I decided it was time to dig and see if I could find out just where this idea of a daughter name Sarah came from. After all, I am more than likely partly responsible for the stickiness. When I wrote my first book on Dugal back in the early 90s, several individuals contacted me saying that they, too, descended from Dugal through a daughter named Sarah. Now, keep in mind, this was the 90s. I was still paying for the amount of time I spent on the internet on the old Prodigy network. My computer screen was amber and black. Ancestry, nor any other genealogical website or database, yet existed. Genealogy was done by traveling to courthouses, rifling through old documents, and stomping through cemeteries. Sometimes, I waited weeks for a letter to come back snail mail from someone asking for information or stories or facts. I spent boocoodles of money through a company called Stagecoach Library that enabled me to borrow genealogy books through the mail for a fee.

I never, in any of the researching, found anything to prove or even give an indication there was a daughter named Sarah, but neither could I find much on Dugal at all. Records seemed to be non-existent, and descendants of Edward and Sarah believed desperately that they were related to Dugal through her. So, being a young genealogist and considering there might be a document out there that I had not yet seen, I decided to include those lines in my book but with a disclaimer. I clearly stated there was no proof she belonged to Dugal.

Well, people don’t read disclaimers. And now, anyone can post a pedigree chart online and not even offer proof of their facts. Lesson learned . . .

It appears that Sarah’s name might have been added to the family based solely on a book by James H. Simon titled Sunfish, Edmonson County, Kentucky, Oasis of Catholicism. If there is another and earlier reference I have not found it. No date of publication is given in the book, but the typeset is from an old typewriter. The book is an extensive work on the Durbins, with additional information on the Logsdon family and others. No footnotes are given. No sources are detailed. He does state he became obsessed with researching his family history and traveled to courthouses, perused census records, etc. He mentions five books where some of the information came from. He does not state what information came from those books. He does on occasion give the source of some of his entries. He does not, however, do so with Sarah.

Edward I [Logsdon], son of William Logsdon and Honora O’Flynn, was married to a Sarah, thought to be the daughter of Dugal McQueen, date unknown. Edward and Sarah lived in Baltimore and Frederick Counties, Maryland, and Edward witnessed the will of Dugal McQueen in 1793. (Simon, pg 434)

As I said, no reference for where this thought came from is detailed, and the word thought should give all of us pause. He may well have had no proof either just heresay from someone else. The information is, of course, enough for us to raise our eyebrows, but without more we cannot add Sarah into this family. Not only that, but Dugal’s will was written and filed in 1743 NOT 1793.

I have seen a smattering of other kinds of information circulating about Sarah. A birthdate given for her is often 1711. I have searched and searched for just where this thought originated, but I have come up dry. It also very, deeply puzzling. Anyone, after even a little bit of research, will quickly learn of Dugal’s history. He was not exiled until 1715. In 1711, he was still living near the present Tomatin Distillery and working his land near the Ruthven River in Scotland. He was married to Elizabeth Mackintosh a few years previous (more on that in daughter Anne’s posting here), and it appears, at least, that his proven daughter Anne was born about 1711.

Well, one could say, maybe Sarah is Anne.

No. Anne is clearly found in records in The Mackintosh Muniments. We have a clear paper trail for her to her mother, Elizabeth Mackintosh, and to her father, Dugal McQueen. She never saw her father again after he was exiled to the colonies. She lived in Scotland her whole life, later marrying Robert Mackintosh. They lived on her father’s lands near Ruthven. That, too, is in the records.

I have also seen Sarah, quite often, given as the daughter of Dugal and Grace Brown McLean. I have no idea where the name McLean came from nor how it was attached to Grace’s name. It should also be considered that Grace might well be a second wife depending upon what relationship Dugal had to John Brown. (More on that on Ruth’s posting found here.) It is even possible that Grace was not the mother of any of Dugal’s children. That woman may well have been lost to the ages.

While Edward Logsdon may have married a woman named Sarah (I have not perused records to see if that was indeed her name), there is absolutely no evidence, not one zilch of an iota of a fact, to suggest that Dugal had a daughter named Sarah. Our best source, the will, is silent in her regard. Could she have been left out of the will? After all, Ruth was not mentioned.

I will detail the problems with Ruth in the next posting. Suffice it to say that it is possible Dugal had daughter(s) and did not name them in the will. However, two thoughts come to my mind. First of all, daughters were more often than not detailed in their father’s will during this time period. Sometimes they are given nothing more than jewelry or furniture, but they are mentioned alongside of the sons. Secondly, Dugal’s wife in Scotland, Elizabeth Mackintosh, was left a sizeable allowance by her father, Lachlan Mackintosh, 19th Chief of Clans Chattan and Mackintosh, then deceased, and said money was to be administered by her brother, Lachlan Mackintosh, 20th Chief of Clans Chattan and Mackintosh. Dugal’s own daughter inherited his lands, even though they later went to her husband after their marriage. Dugal may well have come from a long line of women who were individuals in their own right. Women who owned property separate from their husbands. Women who were educated and well-spoken. I find it more plausible that he would include daughters in his will then leave them out. And even if he did not include them - one cannot simply start adding daughters to fathers. That's not how genealogy works.

I have decided not to include the Sarah / Edward line in my second edition as it was detailed in the first edition. If I had it to do over again, I would not have included it in the first one, despite what those researchers so fervently believed. I will discuss the problem with Sarah in the book, but she will not be included as one of Dugal’s children unless something heretofore unseen surfaces. It is also important to note that none of the genealogical societies would accept a line to Dugal through Sarah based on lack of evidence and a paper trail.

Now daughter Ruth is a whole other confusing matter . . .

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