How did he just show up? Help finding William's parents! [closed]

+7 votes
My 2x great grandfather was William Thomas Magee. I have many sources talking about him and the Mrs. and the birth of their two sons. I have obituaries of his wife and two children that refer to William T Magee. I have a census record from 1920 (a year or two before his death) which states he was born in Colorado and that both of his parents were from Illinois (they are not listed in that Census record). Any ideas for finding his parents would be greatly appreciated!
WikiTree profile: William Magee
closed with the note: Answered through research! Yay!!!
in Genealogy Help by Ron Norman G2G6 Mach 4 (43.3k points)
closed by Ron Norman
Ends up that his parents were with him in the 1900 Census under the name McGee. I swear I looked it up that way...but sure enough, there he was. Ends up that my family (through the Magees) were pioneers in what became Colorado Springs, Colorado before Colorado was a state. Makes me feel even more like a Coloradan, even more than being native-born to the state does. :)

2 Answers

0 votes
Best answer

I found this--I think born  1831--could be father

Birth:  unknown
Death:  Sep. 20, 1879

The announcement of the death of Mr. William T. Magee at his home in Fountain, Colorado will be received with sorrow by his many friends and acquaintances.

Wm. T. Magee was born in Cynthanna , Harrison county, Ky., July 3, 1831; was married to Mary E. Kramer Nov. 12th, 1851; removed to the State of Missouri in 1856, returned to Kentucky after a lapse of one year; removed to Canada in 1862. Again returning to Kentucky where he was engaged in mercantile business until 1871, when he removed to Kansas City, Mo., where he engaged in mercantile business until 1873, when he came to Colorado, where he remained until his death September 20th, 1879.

Mr. Magee was not a church member but was a firm believer in the Bible and Christianity. He expressed a willingness to die if it was the Lord's will. He leaves a wife and three children. His son Robert and his brother Joseph Magee were at ? at the time of his death. They were dispatched for but before they received the sad news the remains were interred in the cemetery at Fountain.

Mr. Magee was an industrious, temperate man, careful to attend to his own, but letting other people's business alone. He had many friends. There were quite a number, for a distance of many miles, present at his funeral, which took place on the 21st of September from his late residence. The bereaved family have the sympathies of many friends.

The Weekly Gazette; Colorado Springs, Colorado
October 4, 1879; Page Seven. (bio by: dm wms) 
Fairview Cemetery 
El Paso County
Colorado, USA
Plot: 015 001 001
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Maintained by: Angela Owens Jando
Originally Created by: HEE
Record added: Dec 20, 2006 
Find A Grave Memorial# 17093180
by Lori Cook G2G6 Mach 2 (28.1k points)
selected by Ron Norman

Thank you Lori. I had entertained the thought that, since he was also William T,, it may be likely that this could be the father I was looking for. When weighing that option a couple things made me doubt the connection.

  1. William T, the son, was born in 1896. This is one year before the death of this William T.
  2. William T (the son) was not mentioned in the obituary. Which seems odd to me when there was so much detail in the obituary. (I have done a search of the Pikes Peak Newsfinder which included this obituary, and found no other supporting articles mentioning the birth or anything else supporting this connection).
  3. According to the 1920 Census, William T's (the son's) parents were born in Illinois.This William T was born in Kentucky and was never in Illinois.
Maybe there is more evidence that would make a stronger case for this being the father, but I still am skeptical.
I can keep a check on it also
Ends up that William T above is his grandfather! The birth year of 1896 was a typo on the draft card and more likely 1886.
0 votes

Do you know if he had a brother David?

SOURCE: United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (, Willis Magee in household of George Elliott, Greeley, Weld, Colorado, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 269, sheet 4A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,139

George Elliott     Head     M     54     England
Emma Elliott       Wife     F     43     Sweden
Walter Elliott       Son     M     19     Colorado
David Magee      Stepson     M     16     Pennsylvania
Willis Magee        Stepson     M     14     Colorado
Chancey L Bench     Lodger     M     23     Iowa

Marriage of Emma and George?

Colorado Statewide Marriage Index, 1853-2006," database with images, FamilySearch (, George Elliott and Emma Magee, 21 Apr 1906, Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States; citing no. 37947, State Archives, Denver; FHL microfilm 1,690,073.

by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (790k points)
I think this is also unlikely. The 1920 Census says that my William T's parents were born in Illinois. I did entertain this one earlier as well as there are some Elliotts in my family and I thought there may be a connection.

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