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Magdalen Tasker[1, 2]

Female 1637 - 1726  (89 years)


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  • Name Magdalen Tasker  [3
    Born 1637  Donegal, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Immigrated America Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 1726  Somerset County, MD Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I734  Main
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2009 

    Father Colonel Tasker,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F329  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Capt. Robert Polk,   b. Abt 1625, Donegal, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 1703, Somerset, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 78 years) 
    Married Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Children 
    +1. William B. Polk,   b. 1662, Donegal County, (near) Coleraine, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1740, Whitehall, Somerset, MD Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years)
     2. David Polk,   b. Abt 1666, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Anne Polk,   b. 1669, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Ephraim Polk,   b. 1671,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Robert Bruce Polk,   b. 1672, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. James Polk,   b. 1673,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. John Polk,   b. 1675,   d. 1707  (Age 32 years)
     8. Martha Polk,   b. 1679,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Joseph Polk,   b. 1681,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2009 
    Family ID F327  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Col. Porter,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Last Modified 30 May 2003 
    Family ID F1009  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1637 - Donegal, Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigrated - - America Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1726 - Somerset County, MD Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - - Ireland Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • From L.A. Lentz p.21

      Magdalen inherited half of one of her father's estates (about 300 acres) called Moneen, Parrish of Lifford.  Robert Bruce Polk was a captain in Colonel Porter's regiment which served under Cromwell. (Colonel Porter was Magdalines's 1st husband).  Captain Robert Bruce Polk died in 1703-4 as shown by his will dated May 6, 1699, on recod at Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD.

      From: Polk Family and Kinsmen (see complete citation)

      Magdalen was the youngest daughter of Colonel Roger Tasker of Broomfield Castle, near Londonderry, Ireland. Colonel Tasker was a distinguished chancellor of Ireland, whose seat was "Castle Hill," near the village of Ballindrate, commanding a view of the River Dale. Colonel Tasker was much renowned for his wealth and honor. His word of command was "Death or Liberty." He distinguished himself in many ways--command, horsemanship and bravery. He always rode a white horse and died after the "Derry Spree." He had just two children, Barbara and Magdalen, who were said to have been good singers. The Taskers were related to the Countess of Mornington and her sister Prudence, aunts to the Duke of Wellington.

      When Colonel Tasker of Donegal County, Ireland, died, he owned two fine estates lying near the river Foyle, above Londonderry--"Broomfield Castle" and "Moneen Hall." [Col. Tasker appears to have owned more than these two estates (or one of the estates came to be known as something other than the original name); see below]. The first was a famous estate and according to a statement made to William Harrison Polk, author of Polk Family & kinsmen, by one who was born near it, had on it "one of the finest old castles in Ireland." At his death, Colonel Tasker devised Broomfield to his eldest daughter Barbara and Moneen to Magdalen. Moneen embraced six hundred Cunningham acres with a fine mansion on it. It lay close to the little village of Strabane, in the Barony of Rafo, County of Donegal. Correspondence, in 1874, between William Harrison Polk and the Postmaster at Strabane, Hugh McMenamin, revealed many interesting items regarding Colonel Tasker's estates including the fact that ancestors of the Taskers still retained part of the old estates as of that year.

      Barbara, the eldest daughter, married Captain John Keys who served under Colonel Tasker. She had only one child, a son named Tasker, who was born about 1640 and died about 1725. Captain Keys was a close friend of Robert Pollok. The castle on the estate inherited by Barbara fell into decay and a new one called "Castle Keys" was erected by Tasker Keys, greatgrandson of John Keys, about 1780. Captain keys and Barbara went with the British army to India, where he accumulated a large fortune. On their return to Ireland they again occupied their ancestral estate. At a later date, Barbara purchased from Joseph Polk of Maryland, son of Robert and Magdalen, "Moneen," who inherited the estate from his mother.

      Magdalen married Colonel Porter, a regimental commander of the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell. The marriage was of short duration. Colonel Porter died and it was said that Magdalen "ran off with one Polk, who was a companion or friend to Colonel Porter," as well as a captain in his regiment. The Porters were a strong family with many connections in that area at the time. It appears that the Porters threatened Robert Pollok and Magdalen. Magdalen, having no children by Colonel Porter, gave up most of the property in the estate of "Moneen."

      Magdalen married Robert Pollok before the Pollok family moved to America. It is not known how many of Robert and Magdalen's children were born in Ireland and how many in America. That most of them came to America with their parents seems certain. John Polk, by tradition the eldest child, must have been of age to register the ear marks of his cattle in 1680. If he was aged 18 or so in 1680, then his birth would have occurred about 1662. As women married younger in those days, and Magdalen had been married once before marrying Robert Pollok, it is safe to assume she was probably in her early twenties when she married him. Her birth must have occurred about the same time as Robert Pollok's birth, about 1639. All of the children of Robert and Magdalen were mentioned in Robert's will except Anne, supposedly the youngest child. Why she is not mentioned is not known. That she was born after her father's death is not likely, for Magdalen must have been over sixty years of age at the demise of Robert. The omission of Anne's name may have been because she was dead before he executed his will. It is possible, but not certain that Robert Polk, in his will, mentioned his children in their proper numerical order, Robert coming first, David next, Joseph fourth, and John and William last. However, this is not the order of birth so long recognized by most Polk family historians, such order beginning with John as the eldest son and ending with Joseph as the youngest son.

      Colonel William T. Polk, who was born and lived all his life in Somerset County, Md., near the area where Captain Robert Polk and his family settled, and who owned at his death, "Polk's Folly," the original land grant to Robert Polk in the Colony of Maryland, took great interest in the Polk family history and wrote many letters to William Harrison Polk about the family. Colonel Polk was very familiar with the history and traditions of the locality. He was, for many years, the Clerk of the Court of Somerset County, thus having free and unlimited access to the various records available for research. William Harrison Polk stated that Colonel Polk was a man of the highest standing and of unblemished character. What he has stated may be relied on with the utmost confidence. In a letter of October 1874, Colonel Polk writes about three items the Polloks brought from Ireland to America: "The first was a large quarto bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, and an old version of the Psalms. The spelling was antique and the punctuation queer. The date on the title page was 1669. That on the Testaments was different. Evidently printed separately and bound up together. Seventy years ago the book was in a dilapidated condition as to the binding and my father had it substantially rebound in calf. It was said that our ancestors hid it in a hollow tree, in the days of the Persecution, after the Restoration, to prevent it from being taken from them. It is said that while one read it, others of the family would stand guard to give warning of the approach of Papists. And truly, it seems that this might have been probable, as the book was very much stained, as though it had been thoroughly saturated with water many times. It was destroyed in 1847, together with the dwelling of my brother and all the ancient recordings it contained."

      The letter continued: "The second article is a case containing fifteen square bottles, each holding over two and a half gallons. Since my recollection, the bottles were all perfect, and when all full contained about forty gallons. But General Temperance, causing King Alcohol to retire, these bottles have been used for vinegar and other liquids that would freeze. Hence all have been cracked and most of them lost. I have but two or three of them left, useless except a a connecting link between the present and the past. My nephew, Ephraim G. Polk, who owns the old homestead, has the old case."

      The letter continued: The third article is a large brass clock, which, in the case stands eight or nine feet high, with great leaden weights of ten or twelve pounds each. In addition to keeping the hours of the day, it keeps the day of the month and the phases of the moon, and is a repeater. A string may be attached to a lever inside the clock and carried to the foot of your bed. At any hour of the night, if the string is pulled, whe will repeat the last stroke, unless it is within a half hour of the next strike. So you can know within a half hour the time, without rising from your bed. Seventy years ago it was given by my grandfather to my father with the old homestead. When he took possession of them he found the old clock in a lumber room covered with dust. Supposing it to have finished its work, he proposed to a clock-maker to trade it in part payment for a new clock, if there was any value to it. It was sent and when my father saw the clock-man, the latter told him that no man need want a better clock. He cleaned it up for a few dollars. I left it thirty years ago on a farm which has been in my immediate family one hundred and nine years, with some servants, and although it has not been cleaned in that time, when I have occasion to spend a few days on the farm, or when I send mechanics to repair or build houses, if she is wound up, she will run eight or nine days and keep excellent time. My father laid aside the old case and had a new one of mahogany made. This clock was made, I suppose by W. Nicholson, White Haven, which is inscribed on a plate screwed to the face, and there is an inscription, also on the face--'Tempus edax Rerum,' and I find true in reference to our family, for Time has consumed almost everything relating to its early history."

      Magdalen must have been very aged when she died, having been a widow for about twenty-five years. If it is accepted that her eldest child, John was born about 1662, and if she was aged twenty-two or so at his birth, she would have been 87 or 88 years of age when she died in late 1726 or early 1727. Some Polk family historians believe she was over ninety years old when she died at her home place, "White Hall," in Somerset County, MD.

      Letter below from a genealogy of the Polks entitled "The Pollock-Polk Family," by Stella Polk Gipson of Texas, Vernell Endicott, of Drumright, OK., and Pauline Polk Gilbreth of Mason, TX.

      Conney Burrow Road
      Lifford Co. Donegal
      Ireland 18'4'77

      Dear Mrs. Gilbreth,

      I have been reading in our local newspaper that you are trying to trace your ancestors from Co. Donegal. In this connection I can give you some information. There was a gentleman who lived in Lifford & who owned a lot of property in that area. His names was Knox Pollock & some of his descendants lived in Lifford till about forty years ago. They went to reside in Castlefin later but I believe that they are all dead.

      Now regard of Magdalen Tasker Porter, I know the House well where she was born. It is situated at Broomfield near Lifford not Castlefin near Derry as you thought. The original House is still standing & is now occupied by a family by the name of Maxwell. In the last century it was in the ownership of Tasker Keys who I would assume was a descendant of Magdalen Tasker Porter.

      This Home is still in very good condition & is situated on the main Lifford Letterkeny Road. I understand it was called the castle in days gone by & there was a very large farm connected to it. Apparently much of the land has been sold to other neighboring farmers.

      Regarding the estate which Magdalen Tasker Porter inherited at Moneen. This House is occupied by the McBeth family. The original Building was replaced by a new Building some years ago & I understand that this was a very large farm in days gone by.

      You are right about the name being contracted to Polk. That was commonly used in Lifford to describe Knox Pollock. All the places I have mentioned in this letter are quite close to Strabane which you mention in your letter.

      If there are any other questions you would like to ask or if you have any other information about the matter or should you think that Tasker Keys was descendant of Mary Tasker Porter please write to me & let me know. I think this is all the information I have at the moment. If anything else comes to hand in the meantime I will write to you again.

      Yours Faithfully
      John Sheils" [5, 6, 7]

  • Sources 
    1. [S590] familysearch.org (LDS Church), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (1999-2002 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.).

    2. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (http://www.jhowell.com/ jhowell@jhowell.com).

    3. [S716] L. A. Lentz - Our Heritage, Loula Allen Lentz, (Privately published manuscript. March 1, 1959. 198 pp. 8.5 x 11 in 19 ring binder, green custom impritned cover with gold lettering. Scanned into .PDF format. Cpies of the PDF file may be obtained from John Howell, jhowell@jhowell.com), p. 20 (Reliability: 0).

    4. [S748] Angellotti - Polks of NC and TN, Mrs. Frank M. Angellotti, (Originally published by the New England Historical and Genealogical Soc., 1923-1924. ISBN 0-89308-543-X), p .134 (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S745] Polk, Wm. H. - Family and Kinsmen, William Harrison Polk, (1912, by Bradley and Gilbert Inc. of Louisville, KY. Note: Few sources are cited; probably most complete genealogy (as of 1997) of the Polk family as many, many branches are included Ed and Willa Voyles rewrote this book in 1993 and it was published by Oldbuck Press Inc., P. O. Box 1623, Conway, AR., 72033; ISBN 1-56869-036-3; copyright 1993. This new edition has an index), http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=danbuckley62&id=I3199 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S746] Polk, Stella & Pauline - The Polk Family, Gipson, Endicott, Polk, (Stella Polk Gipson of Texas, Vernell Endicott, of Drumright, OK., and Pauline Polk Gilbreth of Mason, TX. A genealogy of the Polks with the main emphasis on the authors' family lines.), http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=danbuckley62&id=I3199 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S747] Polk, Bill - Kansas City, MO, Bill Polk, (Large web site, Kansas City, MO http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/p/o/l/Billy-F-Polk/index.html?Welcome=1054312140), http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=danbuckley62&id=I3199 (Reliability: 3).