James L. McLaughlin – Tombstone Inscription

McLaughlin – McConnell – Richardson Data

28 March 2010
by Mrs. Virginia Gooch Watson

Born 9 Jan 1789 in Rowan Co, NC, son of James MacLaughlin & wife, Anne Hart, died 8 Aug 1873 in Franklin, TN, buried in Gillespie Cem on Hen Peck Road in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Richardson McLaughlin Gillespie (Mrs. Randall M. Gillespie).

Married MARY CRAWFORD LAW, born 16 March 1796 in Baltimore, MD, the daughter of James Law and wife Elizabeth Davis. (Her parents were married 7 July 1795 in the Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore). Her father, James Law, was an Accountant with offices in the Custom House, Baltimore, MD from 1804-1827 (Baltimore City Directories & family letters).

Mary Crawford Law McLaughlin died 6 Nov 1876 in Franklin, TN at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Richardson McLaughlin Gillespie and is buried beside her husband in the Gillespie Cemetery near by.

McLaughlin, James Law (died 1823)
After 2008 Restoration

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This couple lived in Nashville until 1862 when they moved to Franklin to refugee from the Civil War where they remained until their death.

JAMES McLAUGHLIN AND MARY CRAWFORD LAW married in Nashville, TN on 17 December 1818 by Wm. Hume. The marriage bond was issued on 15 Dec but the returned solemnization was 17 Dec.

NOTE: Mary had an aunt living in Nashville, TN in 1821 & 1822 who was evidently a Law relative and she could POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN MRS. JANE McCONNELL.

Mary must have been visiting her aunt when she met, courted and married James McLaughlin in 1818 as young ladies did NOT travel alone at that time and even if she did, her later letters prove she didn’t. When she went to Baltimore to visit her parents taking her first child, James Law McLaughlin, with her, she could not return home until either her husband came after her or she was escorted by another family member which the letters reflect who could/couldn’t come and who would be able to escort her home and when. These letters begin in May 1821 and continue until 6 Feb 1822 when she evidently returned to Nashville by the middle of April 1822 as her second son, James Law McLaughlin, was born in Nashville 15 Jan 1823.


JAMES LAW McLAUGHLIN, FIRST SON, was born “March 19th 1820 at Nashville, Ten” as reflected in the James McLaughlin Bible.
He “died at Nashville, Tenn onTuesday 1/2 past 6 o/clock AM on the 8th day of April 1823 aged 3 years and 20 days” as reflected in the Bible and his tombstone in Nashville City Cemetery on the Jane McConnell lot.

This is the child Mary took to Baltimore to visit her parents and wrote back to her husband, James, about his growth – chubby, eating, crawling, walking, dancing, grown two teeth etc. At first he was called “Baldy” but by 14 July 1821, Mary says he no longer can be called Baldy as “his hair grows very fast & by winter I suspect he will have a nice such (?)”

JAMES LAW McLAUGHLIN, the SECOND CHILD, was born “January 15th 1823 at Nashville Tenn” and “died in Nashville Tenn on Monday 1 ½ o’clock AM 20 March 1848 aged 25 years 2 mos 15 days” – both records in the James McLaughlin Bible and the tombstone in Nashville City Cemetery.

The 2d James Law McL WASN’T named after the first child died as some are as he was born in Jan and the first James Law didn’t die til April 1823.

THESE TWO KIDS WERE NAMED JAMES LAW McLAUGHLIN AFTER MARY’S FATHER, JAMES LAW. She also had a brother names James O. Law, born 1809 who became Mayor of Baltimore, Md in 1843.

After these two children, James & Mary had 6 other children, the 7th child being my great grandfather, HENRY CONNOR McLAUGHLIN.
The other children were:
Mary Ann Richardson McLaughlin b. 20 Aug1824 – for Richardson family
Alexander Richardson McLaughlin b. Aug 4, 1826 – obviously for Alexander Richardson sho died 1st Jan 1825.
Ann (Nannie) Hart McLaughlin b. 26 March 1829
William Hart McLaughlin, b. 24 March 1831
Henry Connor McLaughlin, b. 26 Oct 1833
Elizabeth (Bettie) Law McLaughlin, b. 17 May 1837.


DIED 14 February 1829 as shown by her tombstone in Nashville City Cemetery AND HER OBITUARY WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

“Mrs. Jane McConnell Died in this town on Saturday last very suddenly” and published in the NATIONAL BANNER & NASHVILLE WHIG newspaper on Saturday Feb. 21, 1829. The “Saturday last” was 14 February 1829.

IF she was the aunt of Mary Crawford (Law) McLaughlin, then she would have been either a Law or a Davis from Baltimore, MD. If she was the aunt of James McLaughlin, then she was either a McLaughlin or a Hart. There WERE McConnell’s in Rowan Co, N.C. where James was from but I’ve never researched to see if any connection.

There were NO McConnell’s in Davidson Co, TN in 1820 – the closest were Samuel & a William McConnell in Maury Co and a Daniel, John & Montgomery McConnell in Sumner Co. By 1830, there were 5 in Davidson Co with Montgomery being one of them. Whether there’s any connection I don’t know.

JACOB LAW, Mary Crawford (Law) McLaughlin’s brother DID LIVE AND WORK IN NASHVILLE IN OCTOBER 1826. Family letters reflect he was living & working in Baltimore in 1821 but Mary was asking her husband if he could find work for Jacob in Nashville in 1821 so obviously he did. Jacob doesn’t appear on the 1830 TN census so he must have returned to Baltimore but he’s NOT buried in the Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore with the rest of his family. He’s not mentioned in the 1848-1850’s letters between family members with family news written from Baltimore to Nashville.

BORN 12 Feb 1776 in Ireland
DIED 1st January 1825 in Nashville, TN, buried in Nashville City Cemetery,
Section 28 NE Lot 41 on the McConnell Lot.
(Nashville City Cemetery tombstone inscription; Jeanette T. Acklen’s Tombstone Inscriptions and Manuscripts” p.35.

Clayton’s “History of Davidson County, Tennessee” reflects the following:
p.201 – Alexander Richardson was a Merchant; lived in house just south of Presbyterian Church in Nashville on corner of Sumner. There is no other house between Richardson’s house and Broad Street. (this would have been First Presbyterian Church, now Downtown Presbyterian, at corner of 5th & Church St.)

p.364 On 24 June 1812, Cumberland Masonic Lodge No.60 was established and Alexander Richardson was a member.

The 1820 Davidson Co, TN census shows Richardson was over 45 with a FEMALE BETWEEN 26-45 and ONE MALE CHILD BETWEEN 16-26 (born between 1794-1804) living in his household.

NO WILL WAS FOUND in Davidson Co, TN nor any administration in the Davidson County Court Minutes.

NO OBITUARY was found in the “Nashville Gazette” as there was no paper for the date he died – the first issue TSLA has in 1825 is Feb 18 but it didn’t reflect any mention of Richardson’s death.

NO MARRIAGE for an Alexander Richardson was found in North Carolina (N.C. Marriages for every county except Granville on microfiche & Granville was checked separately).

A NANCY RICHARDSON wrote her will 8 May 1839 which was probated July Court 1840 in which she mentions “children” but only two girls were named: Matilda Richardson and Amelia Richardson. It was witnessed by Robert A. Hill, friend & R.G. Goodson and Robert A. Hill, friend, was the executor. This “could have been the widow of Alexander – Nancy Richardson appears on the 1830 Davidson Co, TN census as between 50-60 with 2 girls between 20-30 and 2 girls between 30-40. This would put Nancy born between 1770-1780 & be of the right age to have been Alexander Richardson’s wife.


I think the common thread between the McLaughlin, McConnell’s and Richardson’s is the First Presbyterian Church that they were all members of. Richardson lived just south of the church on 5th, McLaughlin’s lived in downtown Nashville living at 23 S. Vine Street (7th) from 1853 to 1859 when they moved to S. High St and in 1862 they moved from Nashville to Franklin to get out of Nashville because of the Union occupation.

On 20 Jan 1823, William Hart McLaughlin gave his brother, James, power of attorney to transact his business regarding the Washington Hotel or Tavern, in Nashville, TN – William Hart owned the hotel & opened it in January 1823 with James as manager and supervisor. The Washington Hotel was located on the west side of the public square and prior to 1823 was formerly known as Bell Tavern.

By Feb 1827 James McL owned & managed the iron furnace in Russellville, Alabama returning to Nashville ca June 1827. James contd to live in Nashville & by 1850 he was a School Teacher in Nashville and a primary teacher in 1860 but I don’t know the names of the schools. Obviously in the downtown area since they lived on Vine in 1853.

The aunt of Mary C. Law who lived in Nashville could have been either Mrs. Jane McConnell or Mrs. Alexander Richardson. If they were James McLaughlin’s kin, then I have the problem of who was the aunt Mary stayed & visited with? The aunt was married, that I learned from letters.

The three families were obviously kin in some manner as the McLaughlin’s and Richardson wouldn’t have been buried on the McConnell lot had they not been. I don’t know where Nancy Richardson is buried but perhaps she thought she’d be buried there too.