Cleland, Diana: Spelling of Irish Names Can Complicate your Research - John and Ann Jane McCagherty

Spelling of Irish Names Can Complicate your Research - John and Ann Jane McCagherty

by Diana Cleland

My journey searching for my great grandparents begins in:

Gilford, Northern Ireland

My great-great grandfather was George McCaugherty born 1780 in Gilford, N. Ireland and was married to Catherine McCaugherty both 1778. They owned a linen mill just outside Gilford. Their four sons were Patrick born 1811, David 1813, George Jr. 1814, and John 1821. Gilford is a village in County Down, N. Ireland. It is within the Banbridge (district) area. Griffith’s Valuation lists a Catherine McCaugherty living in Gilford, a widow in 1863.

Oswego, New York, U.S.A.

John, born 1821, is listed in the USA Census as John McCarty, Head of the household, laborer, W. Forth, N. Utica St., Oswego. The Census shows him living there from 1855 until 1860. Ann Jane Wright born 1826, married John in 1852 in Northern Ireland. Their son William Edward was born Feb. 10th, 1855 in Oswego.

Drummond Township, Lanark County, Ontario

The 1861 census shows John McCarthy, a farmer, Ann Jane, Catherine McCarthy, widow, born 1778, Northern, Ireland, William, Susannah, Margaret, Catherine, and John living in a one storey log home. Drummond Township population listed in the 1861 Census was 2,637.

McCagherty Monument

Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario

The 1871 Census places the family in Westmeath. It lists John McCarty, farmer, his wife Ann Jane and seven children. The last child is my grandfather, Samuel McCarty. Therefore, John is my great grandfather and Ann Jane is my great grandmother. Not listed on the census is Catherine (John’s mother) born 1778 in Northern Ireland.

There are many spellings for McCarthy, my ancestors’ name. It has been spelled as McCarthy, McCaugherty, McCagherty, McCarty, McKarty, McGharty, etc.

On my great grandfather’s tombstone all the names are spelled McCagherty. Approximately one hundred feet away at the top of the Beachburg Union Cemetary is my grand father’s plot and all names are McCarthy.

The Westmeath Township Landbook shows John McCagherty owning several parcels of land in the 1890’s. I have copies of John’s will where he bequeaths his land to his wife and sons. My grandparents Samuel and Sarah Jane lived on the Pretty Farm near the lookout between La Passe and Beachburg

McCarthy Monument

Samuel McCarthy & Family

Beachburg, Ontario.

In his early years grandfather farmed, later he managed the Union Hotel in Beachburg. From that hotel I still have the Cylinder Music Box. It is marked SUBLIME HARMONEY, patented in the U.S.A. dated March 23, 1875. It operates well and it is a pleasure to listen to arias, hymns, marches, and waltzes of that era.

It was amazing for me to find a picture of the view on the hill where my ancestors’ lived in Ireland and then to see a very similar view my grandparents had looking from the Pretty Farm Homestead, down into the valley. The view was similar but generations and countries far apart.

Pembroke, Ontario

My grandparents moved to Pembroke in the late 1920’s where they bought a city block of land and

built a large two storey brick home. Grandfather was a loyal Orangeman and the family belonged to the Presbyterian Church. They raised four daughters here. My mother was the baby Etta Irene. This is also the home where I was raised.

Living and growing up in Pembroke one knew that hockey and Pembroke were inseparable. Some form of hockey was played there as early as 1837. Pembroke Seniors first hockey game was played Dec. 28th, 1893 in Ottawa. Over the years my father, brother David, many uncles, cousins and sons all played hockey with our women folk cheering on every generation.

Now fast forward to the 2011-2012 NHL San Jose Sharks roster, number 72 Brandon Mashinter is a centre player. Brandon is a great grand nephew of my mother, Etta Irene and her sister, my Aunt Olive’s great grandson. If they were alive, both would have been overjoyed and very proud of this wonderful young man of his generation. Therefore, Brandon, is the great-great-great grandson of John, born in 1821 in Gilford, Northern Ireland.