Family Trees and Family Stories
 McKay/Stevens Genealogy Pages


All the ancestors on this page have their roots in and around the town of Dunmanway, County Cork, Ireland.

Roberts Family

The Roberts family in the United States started with Francis Roberts who emigrated from County Cork in about 1865.

How We're Related


Roberts Family ca 1910 Back L: May, three on couch unknown; Front L to R: Irl, Teresa, Percy, James

Teresa Roberts married Henry Petersen on June 13, 1918 in East Chicago, Indiana. Both families were very active in the First Congregational church in East Chicago so this may be where the couple met. Although a life-long resident of East Chicago, Teresa spent the last few years of her life in the Glen Rock, New Jersey home of her daughter and son-in-law, Doris and Bob Stevens.


James Roberts married May Francis on December 31, 1887 in Brayton, Tennessee. James had become a naturalized citizen in March of that year. He came to America from Ireland with his father, Francis, and mother, Charlotte, about 1865. His family moved to Bledsoe County, Tennessee for a few years before moving to Chicago in 1872. After his father died in 1879, he was living with his mother and two brothers working as a box maker. In 1883 he moved back to Tennessee and in 1887 he started married life as a farmer. With his marriage to May Francis he was marrying into a family with a long history in America. Many of May’s family were among the early English settlers. Although they were married in Tennessee and gave birth to Teresa (my grandmother) there, in 1906 they moved to East Chicago, Indiana. He worked there as a pattern maker for metal casting at the Davidson (Hubbard) foundry of East Chicago. He was a skilled carpenter who built several homes in East Chicago including the one in which he lived. By 1920 James was working as a janitor at the railroad and was soon forced into retirement due to poor health. The 1920 census shows that James and May were living on Baring Avenue and sharing the house with my grandparents, Henry and Teresa, and my mother who was less than a year old. In retirement he enjoyed drawing and painting. In 1930 May and James were living by themselves at 4421 Olcott Ave. James died of "heart exhaustion" in 1935.

A Roberts image

James Roberts

It seems that almost all of the Irish immigrants in the Stevens family were Protestants. That includes the Scots-Irish who had originally come from Scotland to Northern Ireland and those who immigrated to America from Southern Ireland. James Roberts was one of the latter. James was described as an Orangeman, i.e., an Irish Protestant. He was a prominent member of the Congregational church in East Chicago, Indiana, throughout his life.


A Ireland image

Irish connection

Francis Robert married Charlotte Wagner on July 14, 1855 in Fanlobbus, County Cork, Ireland. In 1858 before emigrating Francis was described as being both a servant and a a shop keeper in Dunmanway. In 1870 after arriving in Tennessee, Francis' occupation is a farmer. At the time of his death, nine years later in Chicago, his occupation is painter.


Joseph Roberts married Elizabeth Crowly in 1820 in Murraugh Parish, Ireland. Joesph was a weaver.


Francis Roberts and Charlotte Wagner migrated to America from the town of Dunmanway in the parish of Fanlobbus, County Cork, on the river Bandon in Ireland. The modern town of Dunmanway was founded in the closing years of the 17th century by Sir Richard Cox where he established the woolen and cotton industries, encouraging the growth of flax and the improving of the roads. Francis and Charlotte immigrated to the US about 1865 during a period when the population was dropping quickly in the region. Dunmanway went from over 3,000 residents in 1841 to about 2,000 in 1871. Francis and Charlotte were part of the sizable Protestant minority in the area.

A Dunmanway image

Dunmanway, County Cork

This summary from the Cork Almanac of 1875 describes the town at the time. “Dunmanway is the terminus of the West Cork Railway, running from Bandon: it consists of one street of about half a mile in length. There are Protestant, Catholic, and Wesleyan places of worship (Francis was a Protestant), court-house, bank, etc., in the town; and the Commissioners of National Education have established a model school here. This town is intimately associated with the name of Sir Richard Cox, the Irish Lord Chancellor in the reign of Queen Anne. He established an English colony here, made new roads, erected a handsome stone bridge over the Bandon river, and removed the parish church of Fanlobbus into his new town: he also established the manufacture of linen, diapers, fustains (coarse cloth), and girthwebs (saddle straps); to encourage which he give a house rent-free to the man who, through the year, had made the best and greatest quantity of linen. Sir Richard died in 1733; in the twenty years after his death the houses in the town had more than doubled, and the flax and woolen wheels had increased from 138 to 254. The present church of Fanlobbus was erected in 1821, at a cost of £1,000, on the site of the old church erected by Sir Richard Cox.”

Limited records show that the Roberts and Wagner families had been in the Dunmanway area for at least three generations, perhaps much longer. The families don’t seem to have been particularly prominent in the area, although Charlotte Wagner's brother, Richard, did become a shopkeeper. But other more distant relatives, the Jennings, Atkins, and Crowley families, do seem to have been landowners and merchants.

A Roberts image

Fanlobbus Famine Burial Ground

The reasons for leaving for America are not known, but it is clear that many of Charlotte Wagner’s relatives migrated to the Chicago area at the same time she and Francis did. The hard times in Dunmanway started much earlier than their departure. The first signs of the Great Famine in the area were apparent with the failure of the potato crop in 1845. By April 1846 the famine in Dunmanway had begun in earnest. A well-known letter written to the “Ladies of America” from women in Dunmanway said, “Oh that our American sisters could see the laborers on our roads, able-bodied men, scarcely clad, famishing with hunger, with despair in their once cheerful faces, staggering at their work . . . Oh that they could see the dead father, mother or child, lying coffinless, and hear the screams of the survivors around them, caused not by sorrow, but by the agony of hunger.” About a million Irish people died of starvation or disease, and a further million succeeded in emigrating.

It would be another twenty years before our own ancestors left Dunmanway but the legacy of the Great Famine must have played a part in the decision to leave. Today on the outskirts of Dunmanway, you can find the Fanlobbus Famine Burial Ground with hundreds of stone markers but few marked graves. Undoubtedly, the Roberts and Wagner families have ancestors buried here.

Continued in column 2...

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Wagner

Wagner Family

The Wagner family still has a presence in the Dunmanway.

How We're Related

Charlotte Wagner married James Roberts on July 14, 1855 in Fanlobbus, County Cork, Ireland. Charlotte was a dressmaker. The 1880 census shows the widowed Charlotte living in Chicago with son James and two other sons.


James Wagner, Jr. married Elizabeth Atkins in 1811. He lived to be 90 years old.


Richard Wagner married Mary Hayes in 1780.


Very little is known about Richard Wagner, Sr. other than he ws from Dunmanway.

Stevens/Petersen/Roberts /Wagner/Atkins

Atkins Family

The Atkins family had been merchants in the Dunmanway area.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Atkins married James Wagner in 1811. Her brother, James Wright Atkins, died on a voyage from Quebec, Canada in 1830.


John Atkins married Elizabeth Wright on February 10, 1773 in County Cork, Ireland. Elizabeth was only sixteen when they married and they had nine children.


William Atkins married Mary Blake. It is likely that William's father and/or grandfather (both named William) were tenants of Sir Richard Cox as shown on the 1725 Rent Roll of Tenants in Dunmanway. Cox devoted much effort in his later years to improving the town of Dunmanway: he obtained a royal charter to hold fairs and market days in the town and did much to encourage the local flax industry. Thanks largely to his efforts, by the time of his death Dunmanway was a flourishing little town of some 600 citizens. James and Richard Wagner later leased land in Dunmanway from Cox's descendants in 1847.

Continued in column 3...

Links to the Extended Petersen Family



The Petersen ancestors are all from Denmark or more accurately from the region on the present day German/Danish border region that (at the time of Sönke's emigration) were culturally and linguistically Danish.

The Roberts family in the United States started with Francis Roberts who emigrated from County Cork in about 1865.

The Wagner family still has a presence in Dunmanway.

The Atkins family had been merchants in the Dunmanway area.

The Christiansen family like the Petersens came from the same Danish-German border region and similarly came from the same small farmer tradition.

The Hansen family goes back five generations in the Süderlügum Parish of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Francis family first were New Englanders making their homes in Massachusetts and Connecticut. They later moved West to Ohio.

The Stoddard family were long time Connecticut residents.

The Buck family is closely associated with Wethersfield, Connecticut.

The Butler family can trace their roots back to the first Chief Butler of Ireland. The Butler family put down roots in Connecticut.

James Olmstead was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

James Loomis was among the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut.

The Churchill family settled early Wethersfield, Connecticut.

The Griswold family in this branch are distant cousins of other Stevens and McKay Griswold ancestors.

Henry Hayward came first to Cambridge in 1634, then to Hartford, to Wethersfield in 1649, and finally back to Hartford in 1663.

Rev. Samuel Stone was the co-founder (along with Rev. Thomas Hooker) of Hartford, Connecticut.

The Hand family members were early Long Island, New York settlers and connect to the Petersen family twice.

John Stratton was one of the first settlers at East Hampton, Long Island and was a slave owner.

The Chittenden/Chatterton family seems to have first arrived in northern New England, in this case the Piscataqua River area on the border between Maine and New Hampshire, and over the next three generations made their way south into Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The Clark family were early New Haven, Connecticut settlers.


Robert Coe, was in involved in the settlement of a number of communities in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. His descendants settled in more permanently in Stratford and Durham, Connecticut.

The Smith family is associated with the founding of Milford, Connecticut.

The Northrup family has connections to Milford, Connecticut.

Nathaniel Briscoe was a founder of Milford, Connecticut.

Jasper Gunn settled first in Roxbury, Massachusetts and later in Milford, Connecticut.

The Norton family was among the early settlers in Connecticut.

The Robinson and Kirby families settled Middletown and Durham, Connecticut.

The Hawley family is closely associated with early Connecticut settlements in Stratford and Wethersfield.

The Birdsey/Birdseye family were settlers in New Haven.

The Mitchell family progenitor, Matthew, was an early success story in New England.

The Daniels family settled early in Massachusetts and Connecticut with nore recent generations of the Daniels family migrating west to Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee.

This branch of the Daniel's family stayed in the East.

The Partridge family stayed in Massachusetts through the first four generations in New England.

The Ellis family's early history runs through Dedham, Medford and Medfield, Massachusetts.

The Breck family is strongly associated with the founding of Sherborn, Massachusetts.

The Fairbanks family were the first settlers in Sherborn, Massachusetts

Religious issues sent the Graves family from the relatively civilized Hartford to the frontier of Hatfield, Massachusetts.

The Hoar family in America is descended from John Hoar, a man whose good relationships with the local Indians made him unusual among his peers.

The progenitor of the Smith family in New England, Samuel, had a long and interesting life and he has many connections with both sides of our family.

The Chappell family were early settlers in Wethersfield (just south of Hartford) and New London, Connecticut.

The Greenaway family is connected to both sides of the family tree.

It is said that the Larkcom family is of Huguenot descent. They lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut for five generations before going west in 1825.

The Norton family made their home in Massachusetts and Connecticut or six generations before Comfort and her husband moved to Ohio in 1825.

The Bartlett family passed on the profession in the leather trades from the first immigrant, Richard. They spent their lives along the Merrimack River in Newbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts.

The Merrill family is associated with Ipswich, Massachusetts and the founding of Newbury, Massachusetts.

The Webster family is associated with Ipswich, Massachusetts.

The Shatswell family came to Ipswich in 1633 and they later moved to Newbury, Massachusetts.

The Rust and Wardwell families arrived at and remained in Massachusetts through the first three generations.

William Wardwell was a follower of Anne Hutchinson and was banished from Massachusetts but was later reinstated.

The Younglove family originally settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts but over a couple of generations moved to Connecticut.

Robert Kinsman was an early Ipswich, Massachusetts resident.

The Hart family in America started in Ipswich, Massachusetts but soon relocated to Connecticut.

The Beaman family was greatly affected by the early colonial wars.

The Kibbe and Cook families were among the first settlers of Enfield, Connecticut.

Henry Cook was a butcher who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638.

The Phelps and Randall families settled in the Connecticut River Valley between Westfield and Windsor.

Philip Randall, a blacksmith, came to New England in 1633 and settled first in Dorchester, Massachusetts and in 1636 in Windsor, Connecticut.

The Ingersoll and Bird families have their roots in Hartford, Connecticut.

Thomas Lord was an original 1636 proprietor of Hartford.

The Solart family had their share of troubles with a suicide and a witchcraft accusation in just two generations.

The Keep family suffered through Indian raids in early Massachusetts settlement and later this line produced three generations of Massachusetts iron manufacturers and blacksmiths.

The Lawrence family arrived early in the Great Migration and through four generations made their home in Massachusetts.

The Scripture family was greatly affected by the Indian wars around Groton, Massachusetts.

The Knapp family had a history of controversy in the early colonial days.

Samuel Morse was an important Puritan founder of Dedham, Massachusetts but an important head of family that branched off into many McKay and Stevens ancestors.

The Colton family is closely identified with the Longmeadow, Massachusetts are, its early settlement and conflicts with Native Americans there.

The Griswold family originates from Solihull, England, where they lived for centuries as greyhound breeders.

Henry Wolcott came to New England on the Mary and John in 1630. His descendants include Oliver Wolcott, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Leonard family lost four members of their family to Indian raids in 1676 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

The Turner family is only known through the association of Edward Turner with the church in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

The Hyland family spent the first four generations in New England in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The Thorne family settled in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The Pinson family also settled in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The first Hoopers in America were weavers who settled near Boston. Later generations were associated with Scituate, Massachusetts.

Boston settler Thomas Marshall was a follower of Anne Hutchinson who later founded Windsor, Connecticut.

William James was a shipbuilder and Quaker.

The Richards family became well-to-do early residents in Dorchester and Hartford.

The Stockbridge family were early settlers in Scituate, Massachusetts.

The first immigrant in this branch came to America from Holland and later descendants change their name to Mills from Van der Muelen.

There is some uncertainty about the Dewey family ancestry but there is a strong likelihood that the link goes back to immigrant Thomas Dewey.

The Lyman family members were among the earliest settlers of Hartford, Connecticut.

Thomas Ford was a founder of Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630.

The Terry family is another line with uncertain links.

The Webster family includes one of the first governors of Connecticut.

The Alexander family is from Scotland.

The Bliss and Leonard families are closely associated with Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Porter family is associated with Windsor and Hartford Connecticut.

The Stanley family settled in Hartford but went to Hadley, Massachusetts due to religious differences.

The American progenitor, Lamrock Flowers, was a lawyer who settled in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Smith family traces its roots back to Stratford-on-Avon, England.

Rev. Ephraim Huit matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge in 1611, and became a preacher at Knowll, Warwickshire. He was "silenced by Archbishop Laud" in 1638. After Ephraim was "silenced," meaning he no longer had a livelihood, he came to America in 1639. He went directly to Windsor, Connecticut, to join Rev. John Warham in leading the church there.

The Buell and Griswold families are tied to stories of mishps at sea, dissenting religious beliefs, and witchcraft.

Edward Griswold was the brother of another Francis ancestor Matthew Griswold. Edward came to New England with Rev. Ephriam Huit from England; he was in Windsor by 1639.

The Mason family will be forever tied to the reputation of Major John Mason, a hero in his time, now viewed in a different light.

The Stanton family began in North America with Thomas who was a well-known Indian language interpreter and trader in Connecticut. Later generations settled in Rhode Island.

The Gallup family's first two generations are known for John senior and junior, the former a noted mariner and the latter a soldier who died in King Phillip's War.

The Prentice family settled in Boston and later in New London, Connecticut.

The Nichols family were in Watertown, Massachusetts by 1634. They went to Wethersfield, Connecticut, and finally to Stratford, Connecticut in 1639.

The Mead family arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 1635 and settled in Roxbury.

The Lord family has two paths of Petersen ancestry.

The Sanford family along with their relatives, the Coddingtons and Hutchinsons, include some of the most historically significant ancestors in our family tree.

William Coddington left Boston, Massachusetts because he was a supporter of Anne Hutchinson and settled in Rhode Island.

Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson has been called "the most famous—or infamous—English woman in colonial American history" due to her outspoken dissent from the Puritan Church in Massachusetts.

The Eggleston family was very prolific leaving many descendants.

William Kelsey was one of the original followers of the Rev. Thomas Hooker and they were the first settlers of Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632. In 1636 he became one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut when Rev. Hooker's congregation relocated there.

The Robinson family includes the Revolutionary War veteran, Amos Robinson.

The Hyde family were founding settlers of Norwich, Connecticut.

The Gray family in America starts with the rags-to-riches story of Edward Gray and includes his connection to Mayflower travelers, the Chiltons.

The Church family settled in Massachusetts and later relocated to Rhode Island.

The Warren family includes the Mayflower passenger, Richard Warren.

The Calkins family is associated with the founding of New London, Connecticut.

The Lake and Goodyear families were among the original settlers of New Haven Colony with later generations moving to Topsfield, Massachusetts.

The Goodyear family members are ancestors to multiple Petersen and McKay lines.

The Cummings family had many unfortunate encounters with Native Americans during the early colonial period.

The Kinsley/Kingsley and Brackett families are associated with the Massachusetts towns of Braintree and Dunstable.

The Brackett family was among the earliest Boston settlers.

The Howlett family settled in the Ipswich/Topsfield, Massachusetts area.

Later French descendants settled in New Jersey.

Color Codes

Generations removed from Petersen ancestor


2nd Generation

3rd Generation

4th Generation

5th Generation

6th Generation

7th Generation

8th Generation

9th Generation

10th Generation

11th Generation

General History


Relations with Native Americans







The Pequot War

King Philip's War


Schleswig-Holstein immigration

Scots-Irish immigration

Dutch immigration

The Headright System

German Immigration

Great Migration

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Plymouth Colony


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