Updated 20 January 2006
Mackay Stories, p.12
Mackay family ties in Australia and
A railroad in Texas once owned by John W. Mackay
26 December 2005

     Fascinating site - especially since I am distantly related to John W. and Clarence H. Mackay.  I do have some information on their relations, including some of them in the United States, although many of his extended family settled in Australia.
                                                                                                                          Marc Mackay, New South Wales, Australia
Marc traces his family ties back to John Mackay (Irish immigrant father of John W. Mackay and grandfather of Clarence Mackay) through his great-great-great grandmother Helen Mackay (John and Helen were brother and sister).

5 January 2006

     I have been looking over your website further and am, quite frankly, amazed at the wide range of interesting material you have.  Perhaps you can answer a question for me. My father believed that either John W. or Clarence (or perhaps both) had interests in a railway in the USA. My father recalls his grandfather telling him as much many years ago, something to the effect that, 'Our American cousins owned and operated a very big railway.' I have been unable to confirm that.

In answer to Marc's question above about John W. Mackay's (Clarence's father) involvement in railroading, here's an answer:  John bought the New York, Texas and Mexico City Railroad on January 9, 1885. This was done to bail out his brother-in-law, Count Telfener and his father-in-law, Daniel Hungerford. The railroad was affectionately known as the Macaroni Railroad due to the fact that Count Telfener brought over about 1,200 Italian laborers to build the railroad. Click on the link that follows for an interesting page of history on this railroad that John subsequently sold to the Southern Pacific in September 1885.  www.macaronifest.com/history.php

Marc continues:  In the late 1890s, my great-great aunt visited America and spent about four or five years there, spending most of her time in Philadelphia with our relatives there, the Cornish family. She also reported going to New York City and spending a couple of months with another relative there, who lived in what she described as a mansion. In retrospect, I can only assume she visited John W. Mackay.
    Marc has found another parallel between John W. Mackay in the USA and his Mackay forebearers in Australia.  Both did exceedingly well in mining for precious metals.  John W. Mackay first went to California in 1851 and worked in the gold fields there until 1859.  He subsequently walked east over the mountains and made his fortune during the next twenty years in the silver mines of the Comstock Lode in Virginia City, Nevada. 

     By coincidence,
Samuel Mackay (1844-1933),  Marc's great-great grandfather and first cousin to John W. Mackay, arrived in Australia in 1863.  He and his older brother George worked in the goldfields of Kiandra, New South Wales, then both travelled to prospect in the goldfields in New Zealand.  Samuel then tried his luck in the goldfields of Castlemaine, Victoria and finally returned to Kiandra.  Both George and Samuel amassed considerable assets.  Samuel Mackay purchased significant tracts of land between Cooma and Adaminaby. His land eventually encompassed some 20,000 acres and he settled at Earlscourt, part of the extensive Frying Pan run, which includes nearby Dry Plains (picture to the right and half way between Cooma and Adaminaby, just east of Snowy Mountain Highway in the center of the map below).

     The area below, is south, south west of the Australian Capital Territory in an area of New South Wales just east of Kosciuzko National Park and about half way between Sydney to the northeast and Melbourne to the southwest. [Yellow arrow in lower left corner shows where this is on the Australian continent.]
Samuel Mackay (1844-1933)
First Cousin to John W. Mackay
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