Where it all began: Northern Ireland, possibly Donegal in the 1800’s. At least two brothers (it is rumored that there were at least two more) left Ireland for the United States. Samuel arrived about 1835 and William about 1837. They brought with them their wives and children.
In the 1850 census both families are living in the Cedar Ward of Philadelphia: Saml McKean and Wm McKean…note the spelling. It was to change different times. Samuel’s first wife was Nancy (Ann, Annie) Bovard. They had five children: John, born in Ireland and Sarah, Jane, James & Catherine, all born in Philadelphia. William was married to Catherine Burney. They had six children: William was born in Ireland; Catherine was born “on the sea” abt. 1837. John, James, David and Hester were all born in Philadelphia.
Catherine, daughter of Samuel and David, son of William would later marry.
William’s family would eventually use the McKain spelling……….EXCEPT for the oldest son, William, who changed his last name to Cain.
Samuel bought a farm in Washington Twp., Butler Co., PA in 1854 and he and his first wife, Ann, moved there. His son John bought a farm in Venango Twp., Butler Co. Sarah married and lived in Emlenton, Venango Co., but died young. Jane married and stayed in Philly. James married and lived in Scrubgrass Twp., Venango Co.; but, later moved to Washington, Washington Co., PA where he died. Catherine married David McKain, son of William McKean/McKain and Catherine Burney. They lived in Washington, Washington Co., PA.
Samuel’s first wife died not long after they moved to western PA. In 1857, he married Mary Ralston; and, they had three children: Margaret, Samuel and Mary……..I am descended from Samuel.
William B. Cain, son of William, Sam’s brother, had six children. The youngest, Ellwood Cain, moved to Beaver Co., Pennsylvania, married Ellen Mary Shannon, and they raised their family there. They had three children. My “cousin”, Lois Butler Cain and I are working on this project together. She is descended from Ellwood and Ellen’s youngest son, James Shannon Cain.
We are looking for anyone who knows anything about other McKean/McKains who could be brothers of Samuel and William………..and………….anything about where they came from in Ireland.