McChord Air Force Base, Washington and destroyer USS McCord named for McCord family members-Scottish heritage


The Oregon Trail terminated at Portland, Oregon and present-day Vancouver, Washington. They found rich farmlands in the Willamette Valley and elsewhere in Oregon and Washington. McCords live all through those two states, some descended from families who came West early on the Oregon and California Trails. Relatives of Arizona Territorial Governor Myron McCord lived in Portland at the turn of the century, in 1900.

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The lithograph "Rocky Mountains" by Currier and Ives, depicting a westward-bound wagon train of the mid-1800's

(coutesy Museum of the City of New York)


For many, gold was in the rich farm and ranch lands of the West. But the mineral gold was also found in 1860 in Eastern Oregon and in southwestern Oregon in 1850, after the California gold rush of 1849.

A large number of McCords have served honorably and with distinction in civil service and in other wars, not only the Spanish American War, but also in World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. They served in ranks from privates to Generals.

They came from border to border, from the Washington state and the Canadian border near Waterton pictured above and below, to the Mexican border in the South, and from California in the West to Maine in the East, and in Canada.

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Glacier National Park, Montana

Waterton Lake on the Canadian Border

Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton National Park in Canada share an International Park at the Canadian border at Alberta Province. The famous Canadian Pacific Railroad Lodge in the foreground.

McCords live in Canada, including our Clan representative for Canada, Reverend Robert A.M. McCord of Burlington, Ontario, Canada

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The McCords of Canada--a very distinguished family

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A Scottish Heritage

The McCords of Canada carry a very distinguished history. Records of the McCord Museum, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, carry the following information:

"David Ross McCord-Mackay. David Ross McCord (Mac-Aoidh) Mackay of Argyllshire, 1844, son of the honorable Mr. Justice John Samuel McCord (1801-65) of the Superior Court for Lower Canada, and Ann Ross, daughter of David Ross, K.C., and great-grandson of John McCord, Esq., (1711-93), (who was) the first of the family to come to Canada.

"He was the leader of the English after the Conquest, and by claiming from England (was) the fulfillment of its engagement to govern by a Parliament and not by a Governour and Council, founded the Constitutional system of the country.

"Mr. McCord represents the longest line of Judges and of Battle Honours in Canada. The family has given to the Bench six occupants and a seventh declined that honour of a hundred and fifty years.

"Among the Battle Honours of the (McCord) family on the Continent of America are:

    " ' Louisbourg                     78th Highlanders             1758

    " ' Fort Duquesne                77th Highlanders             1758

    " 'Plains of Abraham          78th Highlanders             1759

    " 'Ticonderoga & Crown Point 77th "                        1759

    " 'Second Battle of Quebec      78th "                        1760

    "' The Surrender of Canada     78th "                        1760

    " 'The Newfoundland Campaign                                 1762

    " 'The Havana                          77th "                          1762  

    " 'The Defense of Quebec       84th Royal Highlander Fusiliers, 1775-6

    " 'Capture of Prarie du Chien and the whole of the Michigan Territory, 1812-14

"This record has been sadly if dutifully carried out (only up) to Armistice of November, 1918.

"Two members went into the Boer War, and one sleeps on the Veldt (of South Africa).

"In the last war( World War I), five Officers, all with McCord blood in them and all descendants of (General) Wolfe's Officers, went to France and three of them sleep under the redeemed sod of that land.

"Among the changes made at Temple Grove since Mr. McCord's marriage are the steps of the Terrace.

"There are seventeen in number, and they are dedicated to General Wolfe, the three Brigadiers, the Staff and the Army of the Plains of Abraham, the 15th, 28th, 35th, 43rd, 47th, 48th, 58th, Monckton's 60th, Lawrence's 60th, 78th Highlanders and the Louisbourg Grenadiers. 'The ten battalions and the Grenadier are a chosen body of troops' were the General's own words.

"The distance from the road to the Terrace is the famous forty yards of that volley which transferred to England an Empire as effectively as did the treaty of the following year, while the height of the steps represent the advantage of of the Marquis de Montcalm's position.

"When General Wolfe fell, among the wounded officers was a great-grandfather and a great-uncle of Mr. McCord in the 78th Highlanders and a Captain Mansell, a kinsman of Mrs. McCord in the 35th.

"The former were Captain Alex. Fraser of Strichen, the line in which is the present title of Lord Lovat, and Colonel Malcolm Fraser of Lovat, a grandson of Simon Lord Lovat of the Rising of the Forty-five. footnote: The original of the list of the killed and wounded--in the handwriting of a kinsman, also wounded, Captain Leslie of the 15th-Assistant Quarter Master General--is at Temple Grove."

Thus the McCords were a distinguished group of jurists in Canada, whose ancestors fought with General James Wolfe to free Quebec from the French while McCords in Pennsylvania were fighting the French in 1756-1763 to free that area and the mid-West from the French. Both were successful and France signed a peace treaty in 1763 giving up all lands in North America.

It appears from the above that John McCord (1711-1763) the first McCord settler and jurist in Canada, according to the above history, fought in 1758 at the capture of Ft. Duquesne from the French. John McCord appears to have been with the 77th British Highlanders there. Ft. Duquesne was then replaced by Ft. Pitt, a separate fort, which later Pittsburgh. 

This is the battle in which Colonel John Armstrong raised the American flag at Ft. Duquesne as the first troops to reach Ft. Duquesne. He headed the Pennsylvania militia from the Chambersburg-Carlisle area there, later known first as Cumberland County and then as Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Franklin County was earlier known as Conococheague, this is the area where Ft. McCord was located

These were vital victories, for George Washington could not have defeated both the French and the British in the American Revolution. McCords participated in both the successful French and Indian War and in the victorious American Revolution.

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The death of General James Wolfe at The Battle of the Plains of Abraham in which he captured for Britain Quebec from the French in September 1759

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Canada East to West: Quebec's Gaspe Penisula in the East, and Alberta's Lake Louise in the West with the Rocky Mountains in the background


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McChord Field, later named McChord Air Force Base in Washington State, is named after Colonel William Caldwell McChord (1881-1937), U.S. Army Air Corps, who was killed in a plane crash in Maiden, Virginia on August 11, 1937 while involved in a forced landing in an A-17 Bobcat twin-engine aircraft.

Colonel McChord was a military aviator in World War I. At the time of his death he was Chief of the Operations and Training Division, Headquarters, U.S. Army Air Corps. That was a very senior position in Army Air Corps in 1937, one of the most senior positions in the Air Corps at that time. The Army Air Corps became the United States Air Force in 1947.

McCord spelled with an "h" as in McChord, is a typical spelling of descendants of James McCord, who first came to America in 1720 and settled in York County, Pennsylvania. Many of his descendants later lived in Kentucky.


The destroyer USS McCord was named after Commander Frank C. McCord of the Naval Airship Akron which was lost in 1933.

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Rear Admiral William A. Moffett and Commander Frank C. McCord of the Naval Airship Akron in 1933 which crashed in a storm in 1933 on the coast of New Jersey

United States Ship (U.S.S.) McCord, a destroyer, DD-534, was laid down 17 March 1942 at the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company in San Francisco and launched 10 January 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Frank C. McCord, widow of Commander Frank C. McCord for whom the destroyer was named.

Cmdr. Frank C. McCord, along with Rear Admiral William A. Moffett were the Chief Officers of the U.S. S. Akron when that airship encountered a violent storm and crashed off Barnegat Light, New Jersey on 4 April 1933 and where Commander McCord, Admiral Moffett and 71 other persons were killed.

Rear Admiral Moffett was at that time the Navy's senior flight officer, the head of the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics. It is believed that Moffett Field, California is named after Admiral Moffett.

After World War I, the U.S. Navy had built four rigid airships, as they are called. The rigid airships had an inside framework that supported the gas envelope. Rigid airships do not depend on the pressure of the lifting gas to maintain their shape. Other airships are nonrigid and semirigid and the U.S. Navy used the nonrigid blimps for submarine patrol until 1961.

The four rigid airships built by the U.S. Navy were the Shenandoah in 1923, the Los Angeles in 1924, the Macon built in 1933 which crashed in 1935, and the 785-foot long Akron built in 1931.

The Akron carried 5 fighter planes inside its hull, and the planes were launched and received while the airship was in flight.

The cockpit of a lighter than air ship is shown below. A number of airships are currently being built today. One is a South Africa airship which is scheduled to make its maiden voyage from South Africa to New York in August 1998, a three-day trip, traveling at 100 knots and "carrying 60 passengers on three decks and enjoying luxury liner-quality cabins, restaurants, and an unsurpassed view." It is built by the Hamilton Airship Company. It is the largest machine built since the Hindenburg  which went down in 1937. It is powered by three fuel-injected Chevrolet car engines, and uses non-inflamable helium in 23 individual gas ballonets. It is designed to take off and land like a helicopter. 15 other manufacturers are competing to be the first to cross the ocean by airship in recent times. Supporters of airships say they can carry extremely large cargoes and be used for a multitude of purposes.  

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U.S.S. McCord (DD-534)

(Photographs and research courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Lt. Commander (ret.) Howard McCord)

The destroyer U.S.S. McCord saw most distinguished service in the Pacific War in World War II and in the Korean War off the coast of Korea. It served as the flagship of its Naval Division 93 in World War II, was attacked by Japanese Zeroes and Zekes and Kamakazi aircraft, rescued several flyers from the seas after they were downed, attacked Japanese submarines, and earned 10 battle stars. The battle stars were for the Marshall Islands Operations at Eniwetok Atoll and Kwajalein and Majura Atolls; for the Tinian capture and operation; for the Western Caroline Islands Operations; for the Leyte and Luzon Operations, landings and attacks at Formosa, Luzon, China coast attacks and the Nansei Shoto attack; for the Iwo Jima Operation, raids against Honshu and Nansei Shoto and the assault and occupation of Iwo Jima; and for the Okinawa Operation; as well as for special operations and anti-submarine warfare operations.  In the Korean War the McCord operated off the coast of Korea with naval bombardments.

McCords have served as Federal Appeals Court Judges, including Judge Leon P. McCord, Louisiana 1935-41; lower Federal Court judges; State Supreme Court judges, including our Clan Society officer Judge Guyte P McCord, retired from the Supreme Court of Florida, and Chief Justice A.B. Neil of the Supreme Court of Tennessee 1947-49, a descendant of Tabitha McCord; ministers; medical doctors, including Dr. Tom Hill, M.D. and Dr. Symm McCord, M.D. who served in Vietnam, present McCord Clan Society officers;   scientists; poets; writers; teachers; expert Chinese linguists, including out Clan Society officer David McCord;  intelligence officers; senior naval and military officers, including Major General George McCord, U.S. Army, and our own clan member Army Brigadier General (ret.) Thomas Fuller McCord; federal officials, bankers, and in a wide variety of other public and private professions. Who's Who and Who Was Who have each carried a number of McCords in their listings. McCords have also been Chief Executive Officers (CEO's) of some of the major Fortune 500 companies, including Texan William C. McCord. Wiliam C. McCord retired in 1993 from Enserch Corporation in Dallas where he was President, Chairman and CEO and remained on until his death in 1998 as a director. He was also on the Executive Board of the National Boy Scouts of America and in a number of other distinguished positions.

Father and son: Dr. James McCord and his son Vincent McCord

Dr. James McCord in 1986 received The Templeton Prize, among the world's highest awards for progress in religion. Others who have received it have included Mother Teresa in 1973, Dr. Billy Graham in 1982, and Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1983. Dr. McCord was Chancellor of of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey and was President for 26 years of Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. James McCord's son Vincent McCord has served as President of Exxon, Jamaica and Chile, and Senior Representative of Exxon in India.

The McCords of America are proud of these men above and of other McCord descendants who are current U.S. Congressional representatives. Among the latter are three senior Senators, Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, and Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. 


Senator Larry Craig

Senator Craig's mother was a McCord and his grandfather homesteaded in Idaho in 1899.


Senator Thad and Rose Cochran


The family of Senator Thad Cochran is descended from David McCord of Derry (now Hershey) Pennsylvania. David McCord was the brother of William McCord who built Ft. McCord near Chambersburg in 1756. It has been designated a Pennsylvania Historic Site of the French and Indian War.  

Senator Cochran was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, where numerous McCord families lived

Senator Strom Thurmond

Senator Strom Thurmond is President Pro Tem of the U.S. Senate. 

Should the Presidency and Vice-Presidency become vacant simultaneously, the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem are next in line of succession for the Presidency. 

Senator Thurmond is a descendant of a South Carolina McCord.

Lamar Alexander

Presidential Candidate Lamar Alexander, former Governor of Tennessee, is reported to be descended from an Alexander who married a McCord in Tennessee.




The McCord names in the first of the lists below, I acquired over a period of years in Washington, D.C.  Most of them came from the files of the National Archives in D.C., or from Dr. William Egle’s writings about early Pennsylvanians, and from a few other sources such as the DAR Patriot List. The second list, list number two,  is that of Dr. Symm McCord who acquired the names from the National Archives in Georgia. Michael McCord’s list number three came primarily from his own research over a period of years for his excellent book, The McCord Saga. These names are provided as leads to the reader, a starting point in his or her research, designed to aid in documenting the service of an ancestor’s service in the American Revolution, military or civil. This Revolutionary War service will need to be documented in detail for membership in the DAR and SAR. This listing below will not be in itself normally sufficient within itself to serve as such documentation, but it is a vital part of such documentation and an excellent beginning for the McCord researcher. There are some duplicates in the names listed below. Between now and the time of the next print newsletter, we can sort most of those out and come up with a closer estimate of the number of McCords who served in the American Revolution. For now, using the number of “more than 100” will be a highly conservative estimate to use. In reality it will be considerably more than that. The email and other addresses of Dr. Symm McCord, Michael McCord and mine appear elsewhere in this newsletter, should you have further questions on the names listed.


Explanation of List number one:

The following McCord names appear either in 1) the National Archives in Washington, D.C. as American Revolutionary Soldiers, 2) in the list of  Bounty Land Warrants in the National Archives, or 3) in Dr. William Egle’s writings in his Notes and Queries, unless otherwise described below. Dr. William Egle was the Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission, a state agency of Pennsylvania located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His writings covered several volumes. He was a recognized authority on Scotch-Irish settlers in early Pennsylvania and wrote the history of several counties in which they lived.


Some of the National Archives files for a particular McCord named below are assigned a NA (National Archives) number such as “S16194” or R6646.” Where the initials “BLWT” appear below they stand for “Bounty Land Warrant” and that National Archive file often contains letters and correspondence regarding the bounty land sought for the soldier involved based on the American Revolutionary War service he claimed.


Where the source is Egle’s writings, the words “(Egle)” appear by the name. The sources for McCord names from other sources are set forth with a narrative. There is an index to Dr. Egle’s  writings in which the McCord name can be checked and exact volume determined in which it appears. Dr. Egle’s volumes also appear on a CD where the names can also be searched. This CD-19 is published and sold by Broderbund’s Family Tree Maker publisher,  1700 Progress Drive,  P.O. Box 100, Hiawatha IA 52233-0100, telephone 1-800548-1806.  Dr. Egle’s Notes and Queries were originally published between 1879 and 1895 as a series of newspaper columns in the Harrisburg (PA) Daily Telegraph and then continued separately in annual volumes between 1896 and 1900. Over 109,000 names are referenced in these extensive volumes of Egle’s.  The material of his also contain early wills, church records, marriage and death records and lists of early immigrants and frontiersmen in Pennsylvania. It is a rare and unequalled source of Pennsylvania genealogy.  









McCords in the American Revolution, 

List Number One (click here)


McCords in the American Revolution, Dr. Symm McCord's list,

List Number Two

McCords in the American Revolution, Michael L. McCord's list,

List Number Three


We owe much to these McCords and others who served in the American Revolution and in later wars. Some made the supreme sacrifice that we might live in freedom and liberty. We do not take their sacrifices lightly, but rather honor them. 

How fortunate we are that we have this great heritage from them, paid at such a great price.