Thomas McKean Sr.

Thomas McKean Sr. (1734 - 1817)

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Thomas McKean Sr.
Born in New London, New London Township, Chester, Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in New Castle Co, Delaware, British Colonial Americamap
Husband of — married in New Castle Co, Delawaremap
Descendants descendants
Died in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 22 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 3,258 times.

Categories: President of the Continental Congress | American Revolution | American Founding Fathers | Continental Congress | Signers of the Continental Association | Signers of the Articles of Confederation | Signers of the United States Declaration of Independence | Delaware Governors | Pennsylvania Governors | Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Namesakes US Counties | Pennsylvania Notables.

U.S. Continental Congress President
This person was a President of the US Continental Congress
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Thomas McKean Sr. is Notable.
Thomas McKean Sr. served during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:
Preceded by
1st President
John McKinly

Preceded by
1st Governor

Thomas Mifflin
Thomas McKean
2nd President
of Delaware

2nd Governor
of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
3rd President
George Read

Succeeded by
3rd Governor

Simon Snyder
Preceded by
7th President
Samuel Huntington
Thomas McKean
8th President
of the Continental Congress
10 Jul 1781 - 5 Nov 1781
Succeeded by
9th President
John Hanson



U.S. Continental Congress President
This person was a President of the US Continental Congress
Join: US Presidents Project

Declaration of Independence Signer, Continental Congressman, 2nd Pennsylvania Governor. Elected as a Delegate from Delaware to the Continental Congress, serving from 1774 to 1776, and from 1778 to 1781. Served as President of the Continental Congress in 1781, signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Articles of Confederation in 1777. Served as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Elected Governor of Pennsylvania, serving from 1799 to 1808. McKean County in Pennsylvania is named for him.

Thomas McKean

Thomas McKean (1734-1817) No single colony or state could contain the ambition and vision of Thomas McKean. Born in Pennsylvania, he studied law in Delaware and practiced in those two colonies as well as New Jersey. While serving in the Delaware Assembly, he moved to Philadelphia to enhance his law practice and become more active in the move toward independence. McKean represented Delaware in the Continental Congress, and he was present in July 1776 to vote for independence and the adoption of the Declaration. After helping to draft Delaware's new constitution, and in spite of being a vocal opponent of Pennsylvania's, McKean accepted the chief justiceship in the latter state and remained in that position for 22 years. This apparent hypocrisy, and his mobility, made him unpopular, but he became a moderate jurist and made a lasting contribution to the Pennsylvania courts. McKean supported ratification of the federal constitution but allied himself with the Republican faction in Pennsylvania. He was elected Governor in 1799 and served three controversial terms, surviving impeachment proceedings in 1807. He was an advocate of education, moderate judicial reform, and internal improvements. Thomas McKean might have been the last to sign the Declaration of Independence, but the evidence in inconclusive. He left Philadelphia shortly after July 4 and did not return until late August 1776. He might have signed at that time, and in fact he told John Adams that he did. But the Goddard printing of the Declaration casts doubt on an early signing. [1]

Mary Borden, eldest daughter of Thomas Borden of Bordentown, New Jersey, married Thomas McKean, future signer of the Declaration of Independence, in 1763. Mary lived only ten years after her marriage to McKean. She did not live long enough to see the great success of her husband, but she did live long enough to give him six children. The children are: Joseph Borden (born 1764), Robert (born 1765), Elizabeth (born 1767, married Andrew Pettit), Letitia (born 1769, married George Buchanan), Mary (born 1771, died in childhood), and Ann (born in 1773, married Andrew Buchanan).

Thomas McKean married Sarah Armitage of Newcastle on September 2, 1774. They were parents of four children: a son who died in infancy, Sarah (born July 8, 1777, and became the Marchioness de Casa Yrujo), Sophia Dorothea (born 1783), and Maria Louisa (born 1785 and died unmarried).[2][3]


Several photo's on my ancestry tree page, one photo was copied from findagrave and was contributed by Garver Graver.


Mortuary Notice, Date: Saturday, June 28, 1817 Paper: Berks and Schuylkill Journal (Reading, PA) Volume: 2 Issue: 4 Page: 3


Laurell Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., PA Several photo's from a findagrave contributor, Russ Dodge Find A Grave Memorial# 2676

Newspaper articles after death

  • 12 Aug 1817 American Mercury (Hartford, CT)
  • Letters of Thomas McKean, from Nile's Weekly Register. The oldest statesman in North America is no more. 8 letters with dates. I pray you to print these letters in your Register. John Adams, Editor of the Baltimore Weekly Register
  • Letters of Thomas McKean to John Adams (Published by John Adams after Thos McKean's death) Date: Tuesday, August 12, 1817 Paper: Sun (Dover, NH) Volume: VI Issue: 6 Page: 2, 3


  • McKean County, Pennsylvania is named in his honor.


  1. GayleB7 originally shared this at
  2. Two Mrs. McKean
  3. Wives of the Signers: The women behind the Declaration of Independence, pp. 215-217.


  • This person was created through the import of PittsPenn_2010-09-21.ged on 22 September 2010.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Thomas:

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On 6 Oct 2016 at 05:17 GMT C (McKean) M wrote:

This is me founding father. I got his moon shaped head, receding hairline and all that. I see the Declaration of Independence. I don't see the Constitution that much but I linked that. I'll continue to work on this line for a long time because it's my line all the way regardless of the bank behind the broken line. Whatever went down.

Thomas is 16 degrees from George Bush, 18 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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