Cornelius McDermott-Roe (-c1807)
Cornelius McDermott-Roe
Sex: Male
Birth: County Roscommon, Ireland
Death: circa 1807
Siblings: Edward McDermott-Roe
Timothy McDermott-Roe
Bernard McDermott-Roe
Owen McDermott-Roe
Patrick McDermott-Roe
Spouse/Partner: Mary ?
Children: Sarah McDermott-Roe
Mary McDermott-Roe (c1805-aft1832)
Nora McDermott-Roe
Margaret McDermott-Roe
Edward McDermott-Roe


Cornelius came to the United States in 1784. He was one of the 24 Irish servants sold from the ships Angelica and Washington at Alexandria in August of 1784.


Cornelius was a stonemason and architect. He was an indentured servant of President George Washington for two years. After his two-year indenture was completed, Roe signed a contract to work for Washington for another year, in return for a salary of 32 pounds, plus board, lodging, washing, an allowance of spirits, clothing to be made and mended at Washington’s expense from materials supplied by Roe, and an agreement by Washington to pay Roe’s taxes and parish levies; Roe was also to be allowed one day off per quarter to see to his own business. Among the mason’s duties was to “instruct to the best of his skill and judgements [sic], any person, or persons who shall be placed with him for that purpose, in the Art & misteries [sic] of his Trade.” Roe later went to work on construction of buildings in the Federal City, including the U.S. Capitol.

Marriage to Mary[]

Cornelius married a woman by the name of Mary. After Cornelius' death, Mary married a McNamara.

Residence in Philadelphia[]

In the 1790 census, there was a Cornelius Roe residing in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This would be consistent with Cornelius' grand-daughter Mary Elizabeth Harper's statement in the 1880 census that Cornelius' daughter Mary McDermott-Roe was born in Pennsylvania. However, there is no proof that this is the same Cornelius as the subject of this article. Evidence in favor includes the fact that George Washington (for whom Cornelius worked) resided on Market Street in Philadelphia beginning in 1790.


  • Sarah McDermott-Roe (married John Canna in 1814)
  • Mary McDermott-Roe (c1805-aft1832) (married Andrew Harper in 1827)
  • Nora McDermott-Roe (married Thomas Castleman in 1814)
  • Margaret McDermott-Roe
  • Edward McDermott-Roe


"Will of Cornelius McDermott Roe of the City of Washington, will dated [blank], will proved 26 Oct 1807, To wife Mary McDermott Roe, use of my whole estate during widowhood and if she changes her name, she is to have no more, the remainder of her life, but a small brick house on Lot 1 in Square 254, with 20' in front on 13th St. W. Wife to complete transactions with Mr. Kyler and Mrs. Anderson, now residing on Lots 8 and 9 in Square 323, Mrs. Anderson is to hold her part under a lease of 99 years, renewable with John Sessford; Mr. Kyler Beargan is to remain good to him when completed on his part. To daus. Sarah McDermott Roe and Mary McDermott Roe, Lot 1 in Square 254; to daus. Nora McDermott Roe and Margret McDermott Roe, Lot 22 in Square 254; to son Edward McDermott Roe, Lots 4 and 7 in Square 533, purchased in his name; my interest in Lot 10 in Square 225 should be sold for common use of my children, and interest in Lot 6 in Square 253 to be sold; residue of interest in Lots 8 and 9 in Square 323, proceeds to be equally divided. Exrs.: Mary McDermott Roe, wife. Wits: William Matthews; Nicholas Callan; Edward Fennell."