William McConnell

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William McConnell (1753-1823) - In the year 1788 William McConnell, Revolutionary soldier, purchased from one James Buchannon 1,000 acres of land on the Paris-Lexington Road. This tract was bounded by lands of James Kelley, Aaron Ashbrook, Hugh Sidwell, James Buchannon and by Captain James Wright's Military survey. Here, William McConnell built his home of native rock four miles from Paris on the west side of the road immediately across from "Roccliegan," the present home of his great-great-grandson, William Breckenridge Ardery, on land now owned by his great-grandson, Lafayette Ardery. The old home was destroyed by fire many years ago, but the spring-house still stands at the foot of the hill and supplies abundant water for all who come for refreshment. This home is indicated on the first map of Bourbon county under the name of LaFayette Ardery, and an interesting sketch showing the style of architecture is in the possession of descendants. It was here that early stage-coaches stopped to change horses enroute from Maysville (Limestone) to Lexington at an early date.

William McConnell, who had rendered service both in assisting in establishing Royal Spring (Georgetown, Ky.), the first fortified station north of the Kentucky River, in company with his cousin, William McConnell, of Fayette county, and had returned to Pennsylvania to fight with the Lancaster county militia during the Revolution, was an outstanding citizen of Bourbon county. For many years he was commissioned by the Bourbon County Court to have jurisdiction over the Bourbon County section of the Paris-Lexington road. He was Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church of Paris, Kentucky, which statement is recorded in the first Minute Book of the Church.

William McConnell, son of Alexander McConnell, who came to America from Scotland, was born in 1753 and married Rosannah Kennedy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1768. He died in Bourbon County in 1823, his will being a matter of record. In his will he left his "Mansion House"' to his beloved daughter, Elizabeth Ardery and her husband, John Ardery, and it was from this ancestress that some of the land has descended unto the fifth generation. William McConnell and six of his sons fought in the War of 1812.

The children of William McConnell and Rosannah Kennedy, his wife:

Mary married Joseph Mitchell Ann married John Corry Martha married Wm. Dinwiddie Samuel married Elizabeth Nesbit John married Elizabeth Clarkson William Jr. married Catherine Turley Edward married Rebecca Todd Joseph married Jane Jackson Ephraim married Catherine Ardery James died unmarried Elizabeth married John Ardery

Elizabeth McConnell, above mentioned, was born 1785 and died 1833, married January first 1818 to John Ardery who was born 1790 and died 1853. John Ardery was the son of John Ardery and Mary (Watt) Ardery, the former a Revolutionary soldier who came to Bourbon county in 1787 with his brothers, James and William, from Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. James Ardery was one of the original trustees of Carlisle, Kentucky, and William Ardery was the first sheriff of Harrison county. John and James Ardery were both officers in the war of 1812. John Ardery died in Bourbon county in the year 1830.

Among the children of John Ardery and his wife, Elizabeth (McConnell) Ardery was Lafayette Ardery who married Ann Breckenridge,, daughter of John and Ann Weir (Brooks) Breckenridge, both of whom descended from Revolutionary and Colonial ancestry. Ann Breckenridge was a cousin of General John Cabell Breckenridge, Vice President of the United States.

The McConnells and Arderys lie buried in the old family graveyard on the original tract of land, four miles front Paris on the Paris-Lexington Road.

William McConnell was a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church in 1795 and was one of the Trustees to receive the deed front Lawrence Protzman in 1795 to the lot on High Street where the first building of the Presbyterian Church was erected. Mr. McConnell was a Ruling Elder in the Paris Church for many years serving in that office until his death.

Source: This sketch of William McConnell and his home was written by Mrs. William Breckenridge Ardery and published in the Kentuckian Citizen Wednesday, May 23, 1934.

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