John and Janet Mackie

Today’s Tombstone Tuesday is about John and Janet Mackie,
my husband’s Scots great-great grandparents and their gravesite in Knox County, Illinois.

On our big road trip this spring, we detoured to go through Knox County, Illinois. Originally, I wanted to find the grave of his great-great-grandmother, Mary Kinsley Curtis. We found her buried in the wonderful little Parker family cemetery along the banks of the Spoon River. As a bonus, we also found my husband’s Scots great-grandparents, the Mackies.

John and Janet Mackie


  • Birth:     27 Aug 1826, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Death:     3 Dec 1899, Cumming, Warren, Iowa
  • Burial:     6 Dec 1899, Parker Cemetery, Truro Twp., Knox, Illinois
  • Father:     Matthew MacKIE  (1792-1867)
  • Mother:    Jean ANDERSON (1791-1836)


  • Birth:     abt 1828, ? Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Death:     23 Aug 1903, Williamsfield, Knox, Illinois
  • Burial:     25 Aug 1903, Parker Cemetery, Truro Twp., Knox, Illinois
  • Marriage:     17 Apr 1846, Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland

John and Janet Mackie

The gravestone inscription for John and Janet Mackie reads:

But seek ye first the kingdom of
God, and his righteousness
And all these things
shall be added unto you.

Other Mackie Sources

I found the Mackies in a county history published in 1878. The History of Knox County, Illinois; Together With Sketches Of The Cities, Villages And Townships …. Portraits Of Prominent Persons And Biographical Sketches has this passage:

Mackie, John, farmer, born in Scotland, March, 1824. His parents, Mathew and Jane, were natives of the lowlands of Scotland; was sent to private school in his native country, and while yet quite young began work in the mines; was married April 17, 1846, to Miss Janett McFadyen, who bore him 9 children, 4 boys and 5 girls; came to America in 1848 and settled in Knox Co., and has lived here since; has held the office of School Director and Road Commissioner in Truro township; early in life united with the Presbyterian Church, but later joined the Christian Church, which he has served as Deacon. Independent. P.O. Truro.

I’ve posted on about searching for Janet’s baptism record with mixed success, but their marriage record and John’s baptism record were easy to find. After the cemetery, we headed to the Knox County courthouse. While we were waiting for some records, I spied a county map on the wall and lo and behold the land around the family cemetery was still owned by Mackies! When I got home, I wrote and received a lot of excellent information in reply from Mrs. Helen Mackie. She enclosed a family cookbook and John and Janet Mackie are on the cover. Isn’t that great? I wish all my cemetery trips paid off so handsomely.


About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”


  1. Sassy Jane Genealogy 4 February 2011 at 11:37 AM - Reply

    Hi Gayle – always great to meet a fellow genealogist/librarian. My Mackies actually belong to my husband’s line. Let me look at the connection and I’ll email you.

  2. Gayle 2 February 2011 at 9:51 PM - Reply

    Hello Sassy Jane,
    I spotted your Mackie family on and I am intrigued. Jean Anderson and Matthew Mackie were my 4th great grandparents. Their son, James, who would have been the brother of John, married Agnes Ross Watson in Ayrshire and had several children, including two who emigrated to the United States. One was my great great grandfather, Matthew David Mackie, the other his older brother, David. David settled in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania and Matthew in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. After at least a 12-14 year residence there, Matthew and his family are suddenly found in Streator, Illinois in the 1880 census. Could it be that he went there on the bid of his uncle, John? When they left Illinois, the family went to Nebraska for a short period and then ended up back in Pennsylvania. I am curious to see if you can help me fill in any blanks.
    Thank you,
    Gayle Thorpe Baar, MACKIE researcher

  3. Sassy Jane Genealogy 5 August 2010 at 12:29 AM - Reply

    My husband has done a FTDNA test, but John Mackie would be his mother’s father’s mother’s father, so I don’t think Y-DNA will map back to Mackies.

    The earliest Mackie I have is John Mackie, m. 18 Jan 1683 to Jean Speir in Dalry, Ayrshire. His son John, then his son Matthew, then another Matthew, and then the John above.

  4. Anonymous 4 August 2010 at 12:12 PM - Reply

    Great work here. I linked to this site from genforum and I am a McKee researcher wondering if your MacKie husband has had YDNA test? I would greatly appreciate comparing markers if so. I don’t have a url. I post on McKee GenForum as Linda McKee.

  5. Sassy Jane Genealogy 3 August 2010 at 8:29 AM - Reply

    It really was – most of my letters to living people are notes in a bottle tossed into the sea and never heard from again.

    BTW, do you need a haggis recipe? 😀

  6. Ginger Smith 3 August 2010 at 6:07 AM - Reply

    I bet that was a really great surprise. And how great is it that the Mackie family is still keeping the history and tradition of the old family alive with the picture and the cookbook 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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