People who are not our John McNally

I really did think I had something here. Now, I’m not so sure.

In any genealogical inquiry, it can be really easy to get twisted off on a theory, enough so that you start to look for “confirming” evidence more than looking for actual evidence. Now, this tendency is not wholly bad — it can narrow a field of options, and thus the labor necessary to sort them, down considerably. At every turn, you have to keep your eye on which facts you’ve verified to what degree.

In our quest to break through the brick wall that is Stephen Joseph McNally, we have four documents on which we can reasonably rely:

  1. The 1921 Census of Canada (bearing in mind its flaws)
  2. Daughter Mary Ellen McNally’s birth certificate
  3. Phyllis May Pearce and Stephen Joseph McNally’s marriage certificate
  4. Stephen Joseph McNally’s WWI enlistment papers

These identify his birthplace as England (but ethnically Irish), Ireland, Ireland, and London. They tell us he was a police constable and a WWI veteran, once trained as a shoemaker, and that he purported to have served in the Middlesex Regiment Special Reserves before his Canadian service.

It seems likeliest that if he was born in England, he is the Stephen McNally born in Toxeth Park, Lancashire, in Summer 1893 — despite what his enlistment papers say. But if we take the enlistment papers to offer an accurate address for next-of-kin, then we know that John McNally — who nearly five years later would be listed as a “scene painter” on his son’s marriage license — was living in London in Summer 1914.

Extrapolating backward, allowing Stephen Joseph McNally to be his last child or his first, John was likely born between 1843 and 1876, with his wife, identified on their son’s marriage license as Margaret Ellen Shine, born sometime between 1848 and 1878. They presumably married sometime between 1865 and 1893, an unfortunately wide range to look.

But I went to the registries, then, with these two tasks:

  1. Find matching entries for Margaret Ellen Shine (or variants) and John McNally in the marriage registry sometime between 1865 and 1893, and
  2. Find entries for John McNally in the death registry any time between Fall 1914 and about 1950 (arbitrary cutoff), though he could conceivably have died as late as the 1970s.

These two tasks seemed most logical because they were the most concrete. The way the civil registry for marriages is set up, it’s alphabetical within chronology by quarter, but you only get individual names. Somewhere in the same quarter’s listings is the other spouse, but there’s nothing but the coincidence of date/location to link them. Still, that was something I could check. Then, because I knew Stephen Joseph McNally believed his father to be alive and in London (at a particular address) in 1914, I began with that as a lower bound, even though it was possible he hadn’t seen or heard from his father in 4+ years (more on that later). His mother, on the other hand, could have died any time in the prior 20 years — or not. With no way to narrow things down, chasing her didn’t seem productive. (That said, I did run searches for both at findagrave.com, finding no immediately appropriate matches.)

The first task was the more complicated one, in some respects, though it provides the more manageable use of variants. The second task, somewhat more straightforward until you account for variants, still produced nearly 100 results: (EBY = estimated birth year)

  1. John J. McNally – EBY 1853, died Winter 1914 in Fulham, London
  2. John McNally – EBY 1855, died Spring 1914 in Middleborough, Yorkshire N.Riding
  3. John McNally – EBY 1866, died Winter 1914 in Chorlton, Lancashire
  4. John F. McNally – EBY 1870, died Fall 1914 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  5. John McNally – EBY 1867, died Winter 1915 in Hartlepool, Durham
  6. John McNally – EBY 1849, died Spring 1915 in Sunderland, Durham
  7. John McNally – EBY 1869, died Summer 1915 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire
  8. John McNally – EBY 1870, died Winter 1915 in Chorlton, Lancashire
  9. John McNally – EBY 1876, died Summer 1915 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  10. John McNally – EBY 1871, died December 1916 in Lanchester, Durham
  11. John McNally – EBY 1855, died March 1917 in Prestwich, Lancashire
  12. John McNally – EBY 1860, died June 1917 in Wigan, Lancashire
  13. John McNally – EBY 1860, died September 1917 in Rochdale, Lancashire
  14. John McNally – EBY 1865, died June 1917 in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
  15. John O. McNally – EBY 1874, died December 1917 in Middlesborough, Yorkshire N.Riding
  16. John McNally – EBY 1875, died September 1917 in West Derby, Lancashire
  17. John McNally – EBY 1865, died December 1918 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  18. James J. McNally – EBY 1851, died March 1918 in Lambeth, Greater London
  19. Robert J. McNally – EBY 1856, died March 1918 in West Derby, Lancashire
  20. John McNally – EBY 1873, died June 1918 in Prestwich, Lancashire
  21. John McNally – EBY 1875, died September 1918 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  22. John McNally – EBY 1849, died September 1919 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  23. John McNally – EBY 1849, died March 1919 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  24. John McNally – EBY 1851, died December 1920 in Hartlepool, Durham
  25. John McNally – EBY 1854, died September 1920 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire W.Riding
  26. John McNally – EBY 1855, died December 1920 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  27. John W. McNally – EBY 1860, died December 1920 in Rotherham, Yorkshire W.Riding
  28. John D. MacNally – EBY 1850, died September 1920 in Wirral, Cheshire
  29. Patrick J. McNally – EBY 1867, died March 1921 in Ashton, Lancashire
  30. John McNally – EBY 1873, died December 1921 in Wirral, Cheshire
  31. Patrick J. McNally – EBY 1867, died March 1921 in Ashton, Lancashire
  32. John McNally – EBY 1871, died December 1922 in Tynemouth, Northumberland
  33. Thomas J. McNally – EBY 1866, died December 1922 in Shoreditch, London
  34. John McNally – EBY 1868, died June 1923 in Gravesend, Kent
  35. John McNally – EBY 1868, died December 1923 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  36. John McNally – EBY 1869, died December 1923 in Gateshead, Durham
  37. John McNally – EBY 1873, died June 1923 in Durham, Durham
  38. John McNally – EBY 1874, died March 1923 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  39. John McNally – EBY 1876, died September 1923 in Birkenhead, Cheshire
  40. Christopher J. McNally – EBY 1871, died September 1926 in West Derby, Lancashire
  41. John McNally – EBY 1874, died March 1927 in West Derby, Lancashire
  42. John F. McNally – EBY 1866, died September 1927 in Tynemouth, Northumberland
  43. John McNally – EBY 1855, died June 1927 in Walsall, Staffordshire
  44. John McNally – EBY 1853, died March 1928 in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire
  45. John McNally – EBY 1854, died June 1928 in Hartlepool, Durham
  46. John H. McNally – EBY 1876, died June 1928 in Manchester North, Lancashire
  47. John McNally – EBY 1863, died December 1928 in Liverpool, Lancashire
  48. John McNally – EBY 1853, died March 1929 in Worcester, Worcestershire
  49. John McNally – EBY 1853, died September 1929 in Wakefield, Yorkshire W.Riding
  50. John McNally – EBY 1868, died March 1929 in Sunderland, Northumberland
  51. John McNally – EBY 1873, died March 1929 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  52. John McNally – EBY 1874, died June 1929 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire
  53. John McNally – EBY 1850, died March 1930 in Tynemouth, Northumberland
  54. John McNally – EBY 1864, died December 1930 in West Derby, Lancashire
  55. John H. McNally – EBY 1868, died March 1930 in Bolton, Lancashire
  56. James J. McNally – EBY 1876, died December 1930 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland
  57. John McNally – EBY 1858, died September 1931 in Alverstoke, Hampshire
  58. John P. McNally – EBY 1872, died September 1932 in Manchester North, Lancashire
  59. John McNally – EBY 1860, died December 1932 in Middlesborough, Yorkshire N.Riding
  60. John McNally – EBY 1875, died September 1934 in Middlesborough, Yorkshire N. Riding
  61. John J. McNally – EBY 1869, died March 1935 in Sedgefield, Durham
  62. John E. McNally – EBY 1871, died March 1935 in Liverpool North, Lancashire
  63. John McNally – EBY 1866, died December 1935 in South Shields, Durham
  64. John McNally – EBY 1864, died June 1936 in Liverpool North, Lancashire
  65. John T. McNally – EBY 1864, died June 1937 in Gateshead, Durham
  66. John McNally – EBY 1866, died September 1937 in Manchester North, Lancashire
  67. John J. McNally – EBY 1869, died June 1938 in Birkenhead, Cheshire
  68. John McNally – EBY 1870, died June 1938 in Tynemouth, Northumberland
  69. John McNally – EBY 1854, died September 1938 in Liverpool North, Lancashire
  70. John McNally – EBY 1862, died September 1939 in Birmingham, Warwickshire
  71. John McNally – EBY 1858, died March 1940 in Cardiff, Glamorganshire
  72. John McNally – EBY 1871, died September 1940 in Northumberland Central, Northumberland
  73. John McNally – EBY 1870, died March 1941 in Sheffield, Yorkshire W.Riding
  74. John McNall – EBY 1871, died March 1943 in Liverpool North, Lancashire
  75. John McNally – EBY 1863, died December 1943 in Durham Eastern, Durham
  76. John McNally – EBY 1865, died June 1943 in Littleborough, Lancashire
  77. John McNally – EBY 1874, died September 1943 in Durham South Western, Durham
  78. James J. McNally – EBY 1862, died June 1944 in Liverpool North, Lancashire
  79. John McNally – EBY 1876, died September 1946 in Hackney, London
  80. John McNally – EBY 1866, died December 1946 in Prescot, Lancashire
  81. Jonathon McNally – EBY 1870, died June 1947 in Durham Eastern, Durham
  82. Peter J. McNally – EBY 1868, died December 1947 in Bootle, Lancashire
  83. John McNally – EBY 1860, died September 1949 in Walsall, Staffordshire
  84. John McNally – EBY 1867, died March 1950 in Dewsbury, Yorkshire N.Riding

For the moment, I have limited matches to “McNally” and “MacNally” and have not particularly evaluated the variants of “McNeil” or “McNeely.” I have also included matches from all of 1914, despite his enlistment papers’ bearing Summer 1914 dates.

Bearing totally in mind that a mispelling or misfiling could have put John McNally elsewhere in the record, the next task becomes to identify and back-trace each of these John McNallys in a marathon process of elimination. Given we know he lived in London (enlistment papers), we’ll start with the four men who died there, then do Lancashire, then the rest.

Advertisements

One thought on “People who are not our John McNally

  1. Ancestry.com. 1921 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2013. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013. Series RG31. Statistics Canada Fonds.

    Ancestry.com. Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006. Images are used with the permission of Library and Archives Canada. Original data: Canada. “Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918).” Record Group 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4930 – 35. Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

    FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.

    FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.

    Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Indexes created by the General Register Office, in London, England.

    Royal British Columbia Museum, Marriage Registrations, British Columbia Archives, Genealogy Collection [database on-line]. Victoria, BC, Canada: Royal British Columbia Museum. Original Data: British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency. British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency: P.O. Box 9657, Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9P3.

    The Canadian (British Columbia) Birth Certificate for Mary Ellen McNally is held privately by the author’s family.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s