Ever heard of English economist and financier, Alexander McCullough?

+4 votes
I am trying to trace the ancestry of my 3rd-great grandfather, Joseph MOWDER.  He was born in 1808 in Northumberland (later Columbia), Pennsylvania and died in 1889 in Havana, Mason, Illinois.  He married in 1833 to Judith STRAUB/Strawb.

I came across a notation in a book that Joseph was the "nephew of the noted English economist and financier, Alexander McCullough."  I've never been able to locate Alexander McCullough (McCulloch?).  Can anyone help?  It seems that Joseph's mother would have to be a sibling to this Alexander...

As to the Mowder surname and family, the book claims they are of Scottish ancestry.  I have found the surname spelled variously as Mower, Mouder, Maurer, Mourer, Moder, Mauerer, Mauder.
WikiTree profile: Joseph Mowder
in Genealogy Help by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (400k points)
Who wrote the book and when?  Does the book list any references?

Hi Michael,  The source I had for that statement was from a website.  I just tried going to it to get the information (I found it back before I kept really awesome sources -- I didn't consider that the website might vanish!), and the website is no longer available.  It was through a library, and evidently the library no longer is making it accessible.  From the link, it looks like the book was published in 1912.  There were no references to the statement.  Since Joseph was born in 1808, his mother was probably born circa 1775-1790.  So I would guess his uncle Alexander McCullough would have been born in the same timeframe.

It just seems strange and has always been a huge brick wall for me that I can locate nothing on this 'noted English economist and financier'...

If you have the website link, try Internet Archives, Wayback Machine.


1 Answer

+1 vote

I was able to track down the source for the mention of Joseph being a son of Alexander.  It is from the book, "Kansas Biography Part 2, Vol. III", publ. 1912, Page: 1063-1065.

Since I posted this in 2014, I've searched off and on for more information.  The book had also stated, "He is descended from stanch Scotch ancestry on the paternal side."  With the mention of the English economist, I think it may have been Scottish.  I located a John Ramsay McCulloch (1789-1864) who was a Scottish economist and wonder if this could be his uncle (perhaps through marriage?).  Any thoughts?

by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (400k points)
I have access to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography so I can tell you that John Ramsay McCulloch only had one sibling (a younger brother) as his father died when he was very young. His mother Sarah (nee Laing) then married her cousin David Dempster. John later married Isabella Stewart.

So this looks like a complete dead-end to me.
Thanks, Matthew.  I still think he might be a piece of the puzzle.  I understand that he only had a younger brother.  But one book I located said that his father William had two brothers, Alexander and John.  John died unmarried circa 1790, but I can find nothing about Alexander.  The source makes reference to "McKerlie V 127".  I can't figure out what that is.  Any help would be appreciated.
Alexander was an extremely popular name in Scotland. Every single branch of the McCullochs/McCulloughs is going to have an Alexander at least every other generation.

I see from googling that you've been researching this for a long time but I fear you're in danger of suffering from genealogical snow-blindness. Joseph's grandmother might well have been a McCullough/McCulloch with a financier brother called Alexander. So focus on finding her, finding Alexander, and establishing who Joseph's parents were.

Apart from having the right surname, there's no reason at all to suppose that John Ramsay was connected to Alexander the financier. John was an economic essayist who only achieved a measure of prosperity after getting a senior administrative position working for the British government.

McKerlie must refer to Peter Handyside McKerlie who published books on Scottish history, so the 'V' is a five for a chapter probably. https://www.worldcat.org/search?q=au%3APeter+Handyside+McKerlie&qt=results_page
No worry to becoming snow blind, but thanks for the concern.  I am trying to look at every possibility and getting others involved to assist.  I don't care about someone being prosperous or famous; all I want to know are the ancestors of my ancestors.  I've been researching my family tree for over 35 years and use DNA these days to help break down brick walls.  I know it will probably end up being DNA that helps me figure out the family.  Meanwhile, I think it's worthwhite to look at all possibilities.  I haven't been able to find out anything about John Ramsay's brother Alexander, so by asking here I was hoping someone might be able to locate information.  One would think that a "noted economist and financier" would be able to be located...  Thanks again.
Matthew, thanks for the link to worldcat.  I was able to figure out which book it would probably have been:  "History of the lands and their owners in Galloway".  As luck would have it, Vol. V is online at archive.org.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have any information that I hadn't already located.

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