Meeting Miles McDonough McNair



Ask & You Shall Receive...

Whether you're a prayers sort of person (which I am), or sending energy out to The Universe sort (I'm that too) ... you eventually do find what you need.

Unexpectedly ~ and gratefully ~ it came far sooner than I expected :)

As I shared just the other day, I was hitting dead ends in my local search on Miles McNair, and I proposed many theories. Low and behold, most were true! Instinct pointed me in the right direction, and fate helped me get to the destination.

I had no intention of posting again today (sorry, family ... dinner will be a little late). However, I had to document all I could while it's freshly discovered.

Meet Miles McDonough McNair...

Miles M. McNair was born in 1823. 

His parents were Charles Williamson McNair and Mary A. Tozer McNair of Oakland, Livingston County, New York. Miles was one of ten children.

Miles did indeed live an impressively long life until 90 years of age, having passed in 1913.  

My considering the possibility of there being two Miles (a Jr. & a Sr.) was a quickly open and shut-down theory, as Miles lived a Blessedly long and notable life. He was indeed  a pallbearer in 1903 for George West at the age of 80 (his age being a red herring considering lifespans at the turn of the century).

Meet Elizabeth(s)...

Based on my trip to the Greenwood Cemetery, I mentioned my confusion as there is an Elizabeth marked by the smaller white marble headstone, and another Mother next to presumably Mile's Father grave. 

Prior to my cemetery trip, I knew Mile's wife was Elizabeth, as well as many of their children's names. However, the curveball was that Grace Elizabeth was born in 1877, and Elizabeth's death is noted as 1858 on the obilisque in the family plot. 

Since my visit, I have been trying to learn if they had a daughter Elizabeth, or the possibility of a second wife named Elizabeth... and ...
My guess that Miles was married to two different women named Elizabeth was indeed correct.

Elizabeth Lozer McNair...

Miles married his first wife, Elizabeth Lozer, in 1850. They had four children together. 

The four white marble markers in the family plot for: Elizabeth, Mary H, Laura A, and Phoebe, are indeed his family from his first marriage

As I shared earlier, Elizabeth Lozer McNair died in 1858. Only three of Mile's and Elizabeth Lozer's children are buried with them, as Theodore Thomas was presumed lost at sea in 1873.

Another aspect I will further research is that genealogical documentation shows their third daughter as Frances Delancy, but her marker says Phoebe. I believe it safe to assume Phoebe was her preferred name, as another theory I had in regards to Mile's son from his second marriage held to be true.

Elizabeth R. Melendy McNair...

I am unsure the exact year of Miles and Elizabeth R. Melendy (also referred to as Rachel Elizabeth Melendy in some genealogical documentation) were married, but the timeline is indicating the 1860's. 

I have considerable information on Grace Elizabeth (to be shared soon), and excited now to have information that Grant's birth name was indeed William Grant McNair (and as Grant is stated on his headstone, I believe Phoebe in the family plot to be the preferred name of Frances Delancy).

A mystery is that there is documentation of a Frances E. McNair (1862-1926) as part of the family. I only saw it on an unreliable site and she is not in the family plot at Greenwood Cemetary, but am keeping the point open for further research.

An Updated M. M. McNair Family Timeline...

1822 ... birth of Elizabeth Lozer McNair - (1st wife)
1823 ... birth of Miles McDonough McNair
1840 ... birth of Elizabeth R. Melendy - (2nd wife)
1850 ... marriage of Miles & Elizabeth Lozer McNair
1854 ... death of Mary Helen McNair - (daughter)
1856 ... death of Phoebe - (mother-in-law)
1856 ... birth of Theodore Thomas - (son)
1858 ... death of Elizabeth Lozer McNair - (1st wife)
1862 ... birth of Frances E McNair - (daughter?)
1866 ... birth of (William) Grant McNair - (son)
1870s .. elected as Brodhead Street Commisioner - (son)
1873 ... Theodore Thomas - lost at sea - (son)
1877 ... birth of Grace Elizabeth McNair - (daughter)
1896 ... built Sunnyside Manor
1903 ... pallbearer to George West
1910 ... death of Elizabeth R. Melendy McNair - (2nd wife)
1925 ... death of (William) Grant McNair - (son)
1926 ... death of Frances E McNair - (daughter?)
1945 ... death of Grace Elizabeth McNair - (daughter)

Next Steps...

I just purchased a copy of Mile's obituary this afternoon from The Wisconsin Historical Society, so stay tuned as I continue to gather my research. Today's post is helping flesh out a timeline with answers raised since my trip to the Greenwood Cemetery.

Also piquing my curiosity from today's discoveries is that Jacob Marty did not buy Sunnyside until 1916. So with Mile's passing in 1913 as a widower, I wonder who lived in the house for the three years  prior to selling it to Jacob.

As I wait for Mile's obituary to arrive, I am going to start searching further on each wife and child.  Also knowing Miles lived an impressively long and seemingly robust life, I also want to further research his businesses, involvement as an elected official in Brodhead, relation to the McNair block, and anything I can discover on his building of Sunnyside.

Can't wait to see what new gems are to be discovered, while I hope to learn more than the genealogy, and understand who the people were. What an exciting and regarding week it has been researching!

*as Lap of Legends documents ongoing research, please utilize the post "tags" for the most recent and accurate information