Gazlay Family History

FamilyRev. James A. P. McGaw


FatherJohn McGaw ( - 1838)
MotherAgnes _____ ( - 1838)

Personal Information

Record Created: 25 December 2012; Last Edited: 10 May 2014 
NameJames A. P. McGaw
Born 4 February 1835 in Fair Haven, Preble County, Ohio1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Married 21 September 1858 in Butler County, Ohio to Rebecca J. Irwin7
Married 3 January 1860 in Butler County, Ohio to Mary Ann Scott4, 8
Died 13 January 1920 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon9
Buried in Riverview Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon9


James wrote a biographical sketch of himself around 1876 which reads:6

The youngest but one of six children of John and Agnes McGaw, I was born at Fair Haven, Preble county, Ohio, February 4, 1835. In the fall of that year my parents removed to Oquawka, Illinois, where they died in the summer of 1838, leaving a family of orphan children, the oldest a girl of twelve years, the youngest an infant daughter. After being cared for awhile by my grandfather, I was taken into the family of Daniel M. Gordon, who was married to a sister of my mother. I remained with him, receiving a careful and conscientious religious training and enjoying such opportunities for acquiring a common school education as the country then afforded. According to the best of my recollection, I was admitted to communion in the Church in the early part of the year 1849.

From my earliest recollection it had been my desire to be a minister of the gospel. Through the kindness of friends in South Henderson Church, and through the self-sacrificing efforts of my brothers, Samuel and John, means were provided me to complete a regular college course.

I look upon South Henderson Church as having been to me a cherishing mother, and I shall ever regard her with the utmost gratitude and veneration. I hope always to act so that South Henderson shall never be ashamed to own me as one of her sons, and shall never experience a pang of regret for having aided an orphan boy to fit himself for the gospel ministry.

I commenced studies in Knox College, Illinois, in October 1849. After two years at Knox and one year in teaching, I entered Freshman in 1852, and graduated with the second honor in 1856. I studied theology at Oxford, under Rev. Dr. Young; was licensed by the First Presbytery of Ohio in April, 1857. In the spring of 1858 I received, very unexpectedly, a call to South Henderson, and was ordained at Harmony, Peoria county.

On September 21, 1858, I was married to Miss Rebecca J Irwin, of Oxford, Ohio. One month and one day after we were married, she died of diphtheria, leaving me in the deep sorrow of a sudden and most bewildering bereavement. On January 3, 1860, I was married to Miss Mary A. Scott, of Collinsville, Butler county, Ohio.

I remained pastor of South Henderson for nearly nine years, resigning in 1867 to accept the professorship of English Literature in Monmouth College.

On account of a state of feeling in the United Presbyterian Church, growing out of the McCune controversy, with which I was identified as one of the editors of the Union Presbyterian, I felt it was most expedient for me to resign my professorship, which I accordingly did. My view on the subjects of Psalmody and Communion have undergone a change, I felt it was best that I should sever my connection with the U. P. Church. I obtained a letter of dismissal, and on this was received by the Presbytery of Cincinnati (O.S.), and in December, 1868, received and accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, Ohio, where I have been laboring in word and doctrine for seven years and a half.

The lord has blessed my unworthy labors here so that the Church has increased in numbers. I can truly say as I look back over my pleasant fields of labor, “The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”


Spouse 1FamilyRebecca J. Irwin
Married 21 September 1858 in Butler County, Ohio to Rev. James A. P. McGaw
Died 22 October 1858
Spouse 2FamilyMary Ann Scott
Born 30 August 1836 in Ohio
Married 3 January 1860 in Butler County, Ohio to Rev. James A. P. McGaw
Died 16 November 1915 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon
Children of Rev. James A. P. McGaw and Mary Ann Scott:
+1.FamilyRebecca Irwin ‘Bessie’ McGaw
Born 13 November 1860 in Henderson County, Illinois
Married 1890 in Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio to Sidney Smyth
Died 26 January 1946 in Wallingford, New Haven County, Connecticut
2.FamilyEdward G. McGaw
Born ca. 1866 in Illinois
3.FamilyLewis Glenn McGaw
Born 1868 in Illinois
Died 8 November 1941 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon
+4.FamilyMary Louisa McGaw
Born 14 October 1876 in Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio
Married ca. 1902 to Robert Alden Lamberson
Died 15 March 1961 in Multnomah County, Oregon


  1. U.S. Federal Census, 1860, Illinois, Henderson County, Township 10 N. 5 W., Oquawka Post Office, Page No. 78, family of James A. P. McGaw (25, Ohio, U. P. clergyman; Mary A. McGaw (24, Ohio).
  2. U.S. Federal Census, 1870, Ohio, Champaign County, Urbana City, Page No. 16, family of James A. P. McGaw (35, Ohio, clergyman); Mary A. McGaw (33, Ohio); Rebecca I. McGaw (9, Ohio); Edward G. McGaw (4, Illinois); Louis G. McGaw (2, Illinois); Margaret Pleasant (50, Virginia, servant).
  3. U.S. Federal Census, 1880, Ohio, Champaign County, Urbana, Enumeration District 31, Page No. 31, family of James A. P. McGaw (44, Ohio, minister); wife Mary A. McGaw (43, Ohio); daughter Bessie McGaw (20, Illinois); son Edward McGaw (14, Illinois); son Glenn McGaw (12, Illinois); daughter Mary L. McGaw (3, Ohio); niece Alice McGaw (17, Illinois).
  4. U.S. Federal Census, 1900, Ohio, Allen County, Wayne Township, Enumeration District 29, Sheet No. 1A; family of James A. McGaw (65, Ohio, Feb 1835, clergyman); wife of 40 years Mary A. McGaw (63, Ohio, Aug 1836, 7 children, 4 living); daughter Mary L. McGaw (23, Ohio, Oct 1876).
  5. U.S. Federal Census, 1920, Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland City, Enumeration District 127, Sheet No. 9A; family of Robert A. Lamberson (43, New Jersey, cabinet maker, factory); wife Mary L. Lamberson (43, Ohio); son James D. Lamberson (10, Oregon); daughter Helen M. Lamberson (6, Oregon); son Robert A. Lamberson, Jr. (2, Oregon); daughter Margaret L. Lamberson (2, Oregon); father-in-law James A. McGaw (84, Ohio, widow).
  6. Memorial Discourse of the South Henderson Congregation, of the United Presbyterian Church, by the Pastor, Rev. Andrew Renwick, 2 July 1876. Available at Sketch of Rev. J. A. P. McGaw, D. D., prepared by himself.
  7. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997, Butler County, No. 2485, J. A. P. McGaw and Rebecca J. Irwin, married 21 September 1858.
  8. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997, Butler County, No. 2944, James A. P. McGaw and Mary A. Scott, married 3 January 1860.
  9. Find a Grave (website). River View Cemetery, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, Rev. James A. P. McGaw: Jas. A. P. McGaw / 1835 - 1920 [from grave stone]; the record indicates he died 13 January 1920 in Portland, and provides the text from his obituary which names his four children; the record provides for his wife Mary Ann McGaw and son Lewis Glenn McGaw.