John Alexander McWhirter

November 15, 1809 - September 07, 1892

The first photograph we have of our ancestors is that of Samuel's oldest son, John Alexander.

(NEWS: see HERE for a new and earlier photo!)  

The above photo came to me by way of John's granddaughter, Clara Elizabeth McWhirter, the daughter of John's son Robert Clark McWhirter.  When she died my parents received a big box of family photos.  Notice John's very long fingers.  Some of us think that this is a family trait that has been handed down to the males.

John was born in Ulster, County Derry.  John told his daughter, Margaret Jane McWhirter, that he was from Maghera, and that his family had followed his cousin into Western PA.  This cousin had been married to a Thompson.  He was a farmer.

John married Miss Jane Black,  b. February 1818, daughter of Thomas Black and Margaret Hunter, who came from Ireland in 1809.  John and Jane were married August 25, 1842.  Their son, Samuel Alexander was born August 22, 1843.  Jane died the following year, June 30, 1844.

John then married Margaret Jane Clark, of Harlansburg, b. 1823, probably in Ireland, most likely to one Lemuel Clark and his wife Elizabeth.  The marriage took place December 15, 1847 in Mercer County, PA.  The couple had son Robert Clark McWhirter on September 26, 1848.  Then on February 20, 1850 they had baby Margaret Jane McWhirter.  The mother Margaret Clark McWhirter, died seven days later on February 27, 1850.

According to the 1850- census, taken right after the birth, John's sister Margaret had come from Vincennes, Indiana, where she lived with her husband, William Kyle.  John had most likely decided that with two little boys, Samuel and Robert, that he could not care for the newborn baby by himself.  A decision was made that the baby's Aunt Margaret MCWhirter Kyle would raise the baby, taking her home to Indiana.  There she lived her whole life, never marrying.  She sometimes visited PA, but lived out her later years  in Vincennes, IN with her half brother John, who also never married.

John  married his third wife, Mary Jane Garvin, who was born November 30, 1823. The marriage took place in Mercer County on July 31, 1851.   The following is a photo of Mary Jane Garvin McWhirter.

With his third wife John had seven more children. David Garvin McWhirter on June 19, 1852; Nancy L. Abt. 1854; Joseph A. on January 16, 1857; Elizabeth A. (Lizzy) on February 24, 1858; William Swan b.Abt. 1862; and John b. Abt. 1864.

John died at the age of 83 on September 07, 1892 near Charlestown, Mercer County, and is buried with his third wife Mary Jane Garvin McWhirter at Mt Washington Cemetery, Jefferson Twp, Mercer Co. PA.  John's second wife, Margaret Clark McWhirter is buried next to John's father, Samuel at Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery, New Wilmington, PA

The Obituaries of John and Mary Jane Garvin McWhirter