GA State Senator John Madison McMichael of Butts County (1788-1854*)


Preliminary NOTE: The “story that needs to be told” continued noting, of course, the broader perspective of the McMichael and Carmichael families, the other clans and sephs of the Highlands, and the many, many–perhaps of none other American lineage–of the Scot Irish to the American heritage. Sorry, all of those families and lineages could not be mentioned, perhaps these clues for research will help you.

The McMichaels of Appin and Galloway were part of the turmoils between Presbyterians and Catholics that so often was the determinative history of Scotland, Ireland, and the Brits. Of course, you are aware of the history of the Stewart of Appin Clan of which some of the McMichaels {Carmichaels} were a seph that suffered the great loss to the Brits at the Battle at Culloden in 1745 with a subsequent burning of the crofts in the Highlands and the scattering of clan members, many to the US and Canada–of course here in Appin forced because of their social and political environment to support the catholic cause of Bonnie Prince Charles.

NOTE: It is suspected to be a similar set of circumstances many generations later when John Bartlett (Bruce) McMichael of Cass County Texas fought with the 1st Texas Partisan Rangers in the Civil War. It was really more a matter of survival to protect friends, relations, and the homeland, especially when it is considered the lesser known fact that Governor Sam Houston refused Sucession and was kicked out of office in Texas. Both sides, the union and the confederacy, were wrong to kill their cousins and brothers; after all, you will find that 127 McMichaels were on the roosters of the Union and 122 on the Confederate States of America (CSA).

Much earlier in Scottish history, the famous brothers Daniel and James McMichael of Galloway were avid leaders and defenders of the sect of Presbyterians known as Covenanters because they refused to bow to the King of England. Do you also see some similarity here to the States rights issues of the Civil War and even now of the current politics between Democrats and Republicans, or between the people and the Supreme Court. The long line of McMichael farmers and millers, also of distillers can be traced simultaneously through Appin and Galloway, and later to the island port of Campbeltown. Of the 5 ships that mysteriously appeared in the colonial harbor of Boston, most from Ulster Ireland but one most mysterious one on which a McMichael “miller” was onboard, no dobut had its original in Port Campbelltown as there are several historical records of McMichael ship captains out of there. Through the long history of the McMichaels from Scotland to Ulster to Penn, NC, GA and Cass County Texas they seemed to have one foot in the land for farming and another in what Lois McMichael called “mechancis” as in her book on the McMichaels of Butts County GA, she called John Battlett (Bruce) a “farmer, mechanic, and Cass County treasurer.

That mechanic miller of Boston eventually found his way to acquire land from William Penn in Bucks County Pennsylvania with his brother Charles, both from Robert McMichael of Ulster, sort of a mechanic Indian trader. Many this line of McMichaels can be traced as John and Williams with the Miller of McMichaels creek in Bucks County a John McMichael, his son William of Hallifas NC and grandson John, a distiller and large plantation owner with 23 slaves of Mecklenburg NC, who also fought in the American Revolution as did his son William; this William pioneering to new free land in Georgia, and his son John Madison McMichael that truly did everything right and established the McMichaels in Butts County GA, and as American mechanics and farmers and as Baptist mechanics. {Here mechanics is used more in the sense of early American history as banks and money and organizations were labeled “Farmers and Mechanics”. It was more a necessity of survival and of the developing Industrial Revolution of the United States. Later Griffin C Mac, one of the 10 children of John Madison Mac and among the 4 brothers and a sister Nancy to wagon train to Cass County shortly after Texas Independence and before the Civil War {1840}, would be like his father John Madison a mechanic of the law, Griffin C as a judge in Cass county and John Madison a GA state senator from Butts County.

Jude Griffin C would bring John Bartlett Mac, the confederate soldier–also farmer and mechanic and carpenter–into the world; John Battlett brought Thomas Bruce into the world, a carpenter that rebuilt the Cass County court house; Thomas Bruce brought Thomas Madison Mac into the world, who after starting as a truck driver became a mechanic and eventually worked his way to VP of a pioneering petro chemical Transport Company of Texas; lastly his son and grandson became respectively an Engineer and a FAA mechanic and manager of an airplane company.

Of this long history of MACs from Scotland through Ulster to the colonial American of PA, NC, GA, and cass county texas, the focal point of honor and credit should be to GA State Senator John Madison McMichael and first to bring the Covenanter stock from Prebyterianism to the Christianity of the Macedonian Baptist Church in Butts County GA. There are a lot of reason for this focus: (1) thanks to the books of Lois McMichael on Butts County and the McMichaels, there are more public records, including the photo of John Madison, looking like Abraham Lincon that you see above, and a history of Macedonia Baptist Church where Rev William, a son of John, served so faithfully for so many years; (2) another reason is that John Madison seemed to do everything right, starting with accepted the invitation of Chief McIntosh of the Creek Indians to graze his cattle near Indian Springs GA, later to become Butts County where John served for many years in both the Macedonia Baptist Church and as a local justice of the peace, called in those days justice of the inferior court. (3) John and his wife Gitta Francis Griffin {whose story like other women that married the MACs is the real story but with few public reords**} raised 10 kids, most of whom were both farmers and mechanic professionals like Doctors and Lawyers, and somehow in spite of the civil war ravages on GA by the Union, managed to leave one thousand dollars each to those 10 children, 800 dollars of which would show up on the Cass County records as the purchase of far land by one of those five chidren Nancy that would buy a farm for her grandson Levi Mac.

(4) The significant contribution of John Madison McMichael to the religious heritage of this line of MACs in transition from the Presbyterian Covenanters of Scotland and Ulster to the Moravians of PA, to the Presbyterians of an earlier declaration of independence in NC to the Missionary Baptists of Butts County GA, a son William Griffin of GA and Macedonia Baptist Church fame in GA and the masons, and no doubt making contributions all the way to a great, great, great grandson–Jerry Vaughan McMichael–of simultaneous work in both Engineering on Airplanes and Missiles and as a licensed and ordained Baptist preacher.

NOTE: At the McMichael hotel in the village of McMichael PA, on the wall, are two historical notices for this line of MACs, a letter from William Penn granting land to John McMichael, and a protest letter from some unhappy citizen calling John a half breed Indian. I think we are seeing a little history here for granted that the original John of Bucks county from Ulster was an Indian lover, and who by the way was killed by the Indians that he tried to evangelize as was his brother Charles the Indian trader; however the John Mac called the half breed, no doubt was a grandon, and indeed as John Mac lost his first wife to Indians and married a second, his could have been an Indian.

Some Highlighted Notes above:

* Remember this period at the beginning of the 1900s is called by Henry Steele Commager “The Watershed of American Thought” as America underwent so many changes during the civil war, industrial revolution, etc. We owe a debt to all of those of our heritage who in spite of the ungodliness of evolution and other indluences of the watershed, survived with Christian faith intact, especialy those unique Presbyterian of the Covenant variety and lived and survived the famous “Killing Times” of Sctoland and Britain.

** There are almost more public records of Francis Caroline Lanier, the wife of John Bartlett Mac of Cass County. Only with her record as a school teacher in Hugo Indian territory would be know that this McMichael family after the Civil war worked in the Indian Territory, although we know John Battleet had to be there as part of the First Texas Partisan Rangers CSA. No doubt, it was John’s work of mechanic carpenter that brought the family to the IT (Indian Territory), for surely it was not farmer. Also the work for a living after the difficult times of Reconstruction in Texas could have been as an Engineer on the railroad as their is some photographic evidence to that effect, and that John’s daughter Winnie married a railroad man of Houston Texas, knowing that it is a long ways between Houston and Cass County East Texas.
However this is more of the story that needs to be told.


1. Lois McMichael on the McMichael and Maddux family of Butts County GA.

Part 1.

Part 2.
2. Lois on Butts County GA.
3. About John Madison and his son Rev William in the History of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Jackson, GA Butts county.
4. McMichaels of Cass County as part of the Scottish Corner Research and Photos on Google Plus.
5. The Scottish Corner on the website of and on
6. Scot Irish blog and history on of WordPress.
7. Various free downloads available on the McMichaels as part of our American Scot Irish heritage.

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