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Wed 20 September 2017
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 Genealogy - Help Offered
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16 Aug 2006 at 01.57
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1 Jun 2008 at 02.11
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I have a major retraction to make, re: William Rea (MacRae) of Kintail.

It seems that some data I received a couple of years ago from my cousin in Minnesota turned out to be seriously flawed.

She told me that her mother had found that our earliest known ancestor was William Rea or McRea, born in Kintail in 1670 and married to a "Miss Creighton." Well, I have since learned that the source of her data, which has also been incorporated into the LDS' IGI files, is a blend of fact and fiction that is based upon a spurious lineage that has been around for some two hundred years.

It seems there was a spurious MacRae lineage, published in 1899 in The History of the Clan MacRae. The line in question is that of the MacRaes of Guernsey, of which this William McCrea was supposedly descended. The History says that William came to Delaware in 1710 or 1715 and that his descendants lived mostly in Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

Meanwhile, in County Down, Northern Ireland, there was a William Rea of Drumskee, born in 1680, who, I believe, is indeed, my ancestor. The trouble resulted when someone supposed that William Rea of Drumskee was William McCrea of Kintail, the one who supposedly married "Miss Creighton." I had a gut feeling something was wrong about this as soon as my cousin sent it to me, but, I went with, telling myself I could always change it later, if it turned out to be false. Well, as it turns out, I should have trusted my intuition.

So, if any Rea researchers have been lead astray by my posts here re: William Rea (MacRea) of Kintail, my apologies. I herewith formally retract that data and announce, for the good of all concerned, that William Rea of Drumskee is separate and apart from William McCrea of Kintail and they are NOT one and the same.

As for for my ancestor William Rea of Drumskee, I am confindent that much is true. He simply wasn't born in Kintail, nor was his name ever MacRea, nor was he ever married to a Creighton. But, he did exist and was a rather wealthy and influential figure in 18th century County Down and I have uncovered quite a bit of data on him and on his descendants, so far. As for his origins, I'm sure he was either born in Ulster or in Scotland, but, if in Scotland, it was more likely in the lowlands, perhaps around Ayrshire. I have found data on a Hugh Rea of County Down who was among many Scots from the lowlands who had emmigrated to County Down and were on the Hamilton estate rent rolls in 1681 and 1688. It is possible this Hugh Rea was William's father and I am currently investigating this. So, all is well that ends well.

Gary Rea

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