Genealogy Hedgecoe-McKenna


Topic: The first of two posts, one from yesterday, one from today, different topics completely, I swear! I sent this as an e-mail and didn’t think to blog it – Sorry, still trying to get back in the groove with this.
Family Name Associations: McKenna, O’Neill
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Low on Sugar
Music: Hot’n Cold – Katy Perry

Alright, this is what we do know, and at this point it out weighs what we don’t know, but it also looks a little crazy… So maybe more eyes will prove I’m off my rocker, or that my family really is a pile of dancing skeletons.

Both the McKenna and O’Neill families were in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA… We have the McKenna family in 1880, starting with Thomas Sr. (b. 1790) and Margaret (b. 1800) McKenna, Thomas William and Bridget O’Neill (b. 1834), and their three surviving children who were born in Quebec, Canada. Thomas Edward (b. 1862 – No birth or account), Mary Alice (b. 1865 – Birth account, no death account) and William John (b.1686 Birth account, Marriage to Mary Ann Teresa Stafford – birth accounted for – And son Thomas Edward accounted for, no death accounts or graves).
Two others are listed with the family at that time, Emma J O’Neill (17 born in New York) and Richard Gihan (20).
Thomas Sr, Thomas Jr and Richard are listed as Plumbers.
All but the children are listed as born in Ireland. We have no other records about the older McKennas or where Emma and Richard ended up.

Now, we have this one account in the US, that’s ALL from that side of the boarder, and there are no customs accounts (Odd eh?). We know Thomas Jr. and Bridget were married in Quebec in 1857 at the Notre Dame Basilica. In 1891 Bridget shows up widowed in Montreal again, we have the 1900 Census and she dies in Montreal in 1910. No death accounts for Thomas Jr. who’s full name is Thomas William McKenna (b. 1830)

We have two accounted for deceased children.
James O’Neill (1863-1864) Montreal, Quebec
Margaret Josephine (1867-1868) Montreal, Quebec

We have a huge conflict about these two children born here after.Jun 1875 in Quebec, Francis Joseph (Frank) McKenna
Oct 1875 in Quebec, Patrick Charles McKenna

And a note of two questionable children that could have been born in Chicago due to timing…
1872 James Henry McKenna (Who is on the 1891 Canadian Census) and 1871 John C McKenna (Who I think died at birth or shortly after given his absence from 1891 Canadian Census, and that’s assuming he ever existed in the first place!)
No further information available and they haven’t been coming up in any searches so far, so I’m calling in the team.

What we’re looking for:
– The birth record for Francis Joseph McKenna. (Possibly born a year earlier in Chicago?)
– Immigration records proving or disproving any of this country hopping – What a mess!
– Accounts of birth, death or marriage for Thomas Sr., Margaret McKenna (Her maiden name started with an M but is illegible, rough guess is that it would be Mopeugh or something close), Thomas Jr., Emma J O’Neill (My personal belief is that she’s Bridget’s sister).
– Who Richard Gihan is and why he was living with the McKenna family?

Every little bit helps, so buckle down and keep the team informed.

Moving on… We have the O’Neill family, Bridget’s older brother John (b. 1822 Ireland, died in 1887, no proof) is established in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA as early as 1860. John is a brewer (I thought that was exciting, LOL) and marries Ann McGillen (b. 1830 Ireland, dies 1861, no proof) they have 5 children.
1851 James, 1854 Mary Ann, 1855 Alice, 1856 Margaret Frances, 1858 Elizabeth, and possibly an son named John Henry.
Now, the fun begins when Ann dies… As the hired help, Mary White (No information but that she died in 1908), apparently marries John some time before 1870 and takes over wifely duties… Producing a daughter named Sara Ann Benedicta (b. 1869)
I do have a question as to whether there were more servants in the household and possibly another brewer as well. I’ll publish the census for you to all take a look.

What we’re looking for:
– Proof. Someone who knows American records better than me! Graves… This is our least proven branch so far. Help sorting out the American records is appreciate.

In addition, a later thought:
The 1891 Canadian Census notes James Henry and Francis Joseph were born in the US, so we are looking for proof of birth on American soil now.
As well, something I thought of afterwards, Military records should be available for most of these guys… I’m thinking WWI???

And today’s developments…

We’re looking for Thomas Edward McKenna in Chicago, thinking maybe he didn’t come back to Quebec with Bridget and the kids when Dad died. Assuming that Chicago records are going to need some thorough going over pretty soon… There’s too many holes.

Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.

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