(1) Doctor James Lynah
1735 - 1809
the family name, and in fact the family itself, had its beginning in
Ireland, there is no doubt. (1) The name is a mutation of the word
"Leinsterman" a place name, meaning out of, or from, Leinster, one of
the four provinces of Ireland, and dates from the thirteenth or
fourteenth century. Many variations of the name can be found in
Ireland, and some are still in general use. (2) At this writing only
one reference worthy of note has been found in Ireland and its
connection, if any with the family, is yet to be established. (3) There
are two records of other Lynah immigrants to Charleston, but the writer
has not found evidence of family relationship. (4) The first written
record of Doctor Lynah appears to be July 1, 1766. (5) His grandson,
also James Lynah, has, in a letter
written at age 73, stated that he immigrated somewhere about 1765 or
1766(6). This letter is remarkable for its accuracy and so worthy of
note that it will be the basis of the early history of Doctor Lynah
with footnotes added to elaborate where necessary. To quote:
was in my 16th year when my grandfather died in Charleston corner of
Meeting and Queen Streets.(7) He bore the reputation of a fine surgeon
and physician, and in a practice of more than fifty years, grew
rich.(8) He was 74 at the time of his death of consumption produced by
accidental catarrah, taken at one of the great conflagrations in
Charleston where he worked and exerted
(1) Parish Register St. Mary's Church Vol. 11 pg. 138
(Jan. 13, 1814) was buried Eleanor Lynah, widow of Dr. James Lynah, in
the eightieth year of her age, by birth an Irishwoman and by religion a
most ardent Catholic.
(2) Laighneach, Leynaugh, Lynaugh, Lynagh, Linagh, Lynam, etc. from Woulfe's Irish Names and Surnames.
(3) St. Johns Parish Register. Dublin 1720 Mar 16 marriage Andrew
Lynah and June Hughes, widow, by the Rev. Mr. Hugh Vaughn. The early
generations of the family believed that the original surname was Welch,
Lynor, and later O'Neil (the maiden name of an early wife, taken
because of inheritance rights). It was thought that this Dr. James
Lynah was the first or second of this name. Dr. Bullock, the noted
Georgian genealogist has recorded this tradition. The "O'Neil" being
that great family of Ulster. If this is so, tracing the line will be
even more difficult, if not impossible.
St. Phillips Parish Register, pg. 321: died, Lynah, John of Ireland.
Burried Oct. 7, 1762. Charleston County Dept. of Health, died, Timothy
Lynah, age 32 of Ireland (Sept. 1838).
(5) Deed from John Pamor & Wife to Dr. James Lynah for 289 acres
north side Santee River. St. Marks Parish dated July 1, 1766. Price
concealed. The property was bounded on the north by that of Peter
Porcher. RMC book N3, pg. 288.
His obituary reads in part as follows: Died on the 17th, Dr. James
Lynah, physician in this state, age 72 years, 46 of which he has been a
resident thereof. (The obituary is in error as to his age but confirms
the time of immigration.) (Oct. 1809)
The house #55 Meeting Street was destroyed by fire in 1861. However an
interesting description of it appeared in the CITY GAZETTE of Jan. 10,
1829. See Appendix I.
(8) First U. S. Census 1790 lists: Lynah, James having
2 white males 16 years & upward
1 white female
slaves should be adequate to staff a household. In addition to the
residence on Meeting and Queen Street he is known to have acquired
additional properties. See appendix.