Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fredrick Joseph Meagher's Birth Record FOUND... And There's A Twist!

After many years of searching, I have finally located the birth record of my great-great-grandfather Fredrick Joseph Meagher. And there is a reason why I could not find it for so long - turns out he was born Frederick Sullivan.

After posting my earlier blog post regarding Fred in the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists Facebook group earlier today, asking for thoughts and comments, I got several responses, including one from Sally Donaldson-Taylor, who wrote the following.

There is a record of an August 4, 1876 birth of a Frederick Sullivan in Boston- parents Michael and Mary. I see that on his 1897 marriage to Sarah McGinn he is listed as Frederick J.S. Meagher. Theory #1- His full name was Frederick Joseph Sullivan Meagher and his birth was erroneously recorded under the surname of Sullivan. Theory #2- Mother Mary was married to Michael Sullivan, then remarried to Michael Meagher and he adopted the surname Meagher. Theory #3- Mary was not married at the time of his birth, (was her maiden name Sullivan?) and he was registered as Sullivan but then the parents married and he adopted his fathers surname in addition to the Sullivan surname.

After reading that, I remembered back to when I requested a copy of the parish record for Fred's 1897 to his first wife, Sarah J. McGinn. When it came in, I was surprised when it listed Frederick's surname as Sullivan but simply wrote it off as poor record-taking based on prior experience. But after reading Sally's comment, it all started coming together and started to make sense.

The names listed on parish record for Fredrick and Sarah's marriage.

I found the record for myself on FamilySearch and am thoroughly convinced that it is him. The date of birth matches. The place of birth matches. The first names of the parents match too.

But after looking it over, I am still left with questions. For starters, legally, was Fred's name Sullivan or Meagher? If was Sullivan and then Meagher, when and why did he make this change? Why is it I still can't find Fred on the 1880 United States Federal Census? On Fred's death certificate, his father's place of birth was Boston; his mother's Lowell. On his birth record, they're listed as being Ireland and Charlestown. Which is it?

Very happy to have found this record and a big thanks to Sally for helping me!

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boston Couldn't Find Fred Meagher's Birth Record... Now What?

On April 14, 2014, I went to Boston City Hall: Registry of Births, Marriages, and Deaths to find my 3x-great-grandfather Fredrick Joseph Meagher's birth record. I provided them with the following information:

Name: Frederick Joseph Meagher
Place of Birth: Boston / Charlestown
Date of Birth: Aug. 4, 1876
Name of Father: Michael
Name of Mother: Mary

I brought a copy of Fred's WWI Draft Registration Card, his marriage record to his first wife, Sarah j. McGinn, and his daughter Mary Elizabeth Caroline Meagher's birth record with me as proof.

After searching through their records, the clerk was unable to find his birth record. She found a birth record for Frederick Meagher, born 1876 to Daniel and Julia Fay. The only other birth record she was able to find for the name Frederick Meagher was for one born in September of 1881 to William and Mary.

At one point, I presented her with Fred's WWI Draft Registration Card as proof of his date of birth. The clerk looked it over, went over and grabbed a book, searched through it, and then came back over and told me that the code provided on the Draft Registration card is not correct.

The woman recommended I visit the Massachusetts State Archives as they would be able to assist me further. I did not mention to her that I have already been to the State Archives previously and they were unable to find Fred's birth record either.

Throughout my years of research, any record I have come across with Fred's place of birth listed on it names it as being either Boston or Charlestown.

But now with Boston being unable to find anything on it, I am not sure about where to go from here.  So my question is, now what?

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Old Photo of Sarah J. (McGinn) Meagher

The following is a photo of of my 2nd-great-grandmother, Sarah J. (McGinn) Meagher. Sarah passed away on November 25, 1910 in Boston.

The photo is one of the many photographs I lost when my previous laptop died. But thanks to Sharon Hardy, the stepdaughter of my grandmother's late brother, I now have it back once again.

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Friday, August 30, 2013

Three Old Photographs of Fred J. Meagher

The following are three photographs of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Frederick Joseph Meagher. The photos were courtesy of my grandaunts, Theresa Duquette and Barbara Tamulevich, as well as Sharon Hardy, to whom I forwarded these photos to a few years back and whom was kind enough to send them back to me the other day after having lost them when my previous laptop died a few years back. Thanks again, Sharon!

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Birth Announcements For Six McRae Children

The following are the birth announcements for the six children born from my grandfather Clayton McRae's third marriage, the one to my Nana, Ruth Agnes Cockayne. The birth annoucement for my father, David J. McRae, Sr., is included in here.

One thing that I have always found to be both interesting and amusing about these birth announcements is that in almost every one, Clayton and Ruth are living in a different location. 

Alan Joseph McRae's Birth Annoucement.
Printed on March 30, 1951 in the
Brockton Daily Enterprise.

William McRae's Birth Annoucement.
Printed October 11, 1952 in the
Brockton Daily Enterprise.

Deborah McRae's Birth Annoucement.
Printed on December 22, 1954 in the
Brockton Daily Enterprise.
Sheila McRae's Birth Announcement.
Printed on Thursday, January 9, 1958
on page 2 of the Brockton Daily Enterprise.

David J. McRae, Sr.'s Birth Announcement.
Printed on Tuesday Evening, November 12, 1963 
on page 2 of the Taunton Daily Gazette.
Phil McRae's Birth Announcement.
Printed on Monday Evening, August 13, 1962
on page 2 of the Taunton Daily Gazette.

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Some Unlabeled Photos From One of Lucile's Old Photo Albums

The following are some unlabeled photographs I found in one of my great-grandmother Lucile (Garfield) Anderson's old photo albums.

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae

Social Security can boost you up family tree

The following is an article I found in the Lewiston Morning Tribune while searching through the Google News Archive a couple years back. The article, written by Tommy Morgan, district manager for Social Security at Lewiston at the time, published Sunday, January 5, 2003, provides some great information on the Social Security Death Index and has a nice tidbit at the beginning about John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.

Copyright © 2013, David J. McRae