Tag Archive for McGlade

Blended Families

When I first read the Perth Courier’s obituary (January 1941) for my great-grandmother Catherine McCarthy (Mrs. Arthur McGlade), I was puzzled to read that she was survived by, amongst other people, a sister named Miss Mary Mahoney. Miss (as in, never married) Mahoney? But shouldn’t that be Miss Mary McCarthy?

Well, no, not necessarily. Not if Miss Mary Mahoney was a half-sister of Catherine McCarthy, with a father named Mahoney who had previously been married to Catherine McCarthy’s mother Anne McDonald (or possibly McDonnell). Simplest explanation in the world, and of course it should have immediately occurred to me. But I was so focused on the surnames McCarthy and McGlade, that it actually took a bit of digging to make sense of it all.
The “blended family” is nothing new, of course. Back in the day when a woman dying in childbirth was no rare or unusual occurrence, and when a man in the prime of life, and seemingly hale and hearty the last time his neighbours ever saw him alive, might be carried off by influenza within the course of week, remarriage was quite common, and households containing children from a previous marriage were therefore quite commonplace. If you were a widow or a widower with a parcel of young children to be fed and watered, your best bet was probably to find yourself a new spouse: a new husband to bring home the bread, or a new wife to bake it. And the possibility of a remarriage is something to keep in mind when you’re looking through the 19th-century census returns: don’t assume that all of the children in a household are the children of the enumerated married couple of that household.
When Eugene McCarthy married Ann McDonald (21 March 1872), he was the widower of Catherine Trainor, with whom he had five known children (with one of them, Charles, presumably dying in infancy). And when Ann McDonald married Eugene McCarthy (21 March 1872), she was the widow of David Mahoney, with whom she had three known children, all of them daughters. Here is their blended family household from the 1881 Canadian census (transcription by ancestry.ca, with original image [LAC] here):
mccarthy_eugene_household_1881census.jpg
The above household contained children from three separate marriages:
1. Eugene McCarthy and Catherine Trainor (Jeremiah, James, Mary, and John McCarthy);
2. David Mahoney and Ann McDonald (Mary J., Abigail, and Annie Mahoney);
3. Eugene MCarthy and Ann McDonald (Ellen and Catherine McCarthy)
Abigail (Catherine Abigail, nickname “Abby”) Mahoney is mentioned in Catherine McCarthy’s (Mrs. Arthur McGlade’s) obituary as “Mrs B. Dignan,”  which again, was initially a bit mystifying to me. She married Bartholomew, son of James Dignan and Catherine Cahill, whose nickname in combination with his surname (“Bartley Dignan”) is perhaps my favourite name ever to be found in my family tree, though with the duo of Mickey and Maisie Moran running a close second (when John Levi [Leavy] “Mickey” Moran married Mary Katherine “Maisie” Dunn, to become Mickey and Maisie Moran, that couple should have put on a Broadway show or something, their paired names had such a lovely alliteration).

Michael James McGlade (1856-1897)

Headstone for Michael James McGlade, son of John McGlade and Bridget Dunne. He died in a horrible head-on collision railway accident near Topeka, Kansas, and was buried at St. John the Baptist RC Cemetery in Perth, Lanark Co., Ontario:

mcglade_michael_james1897.jpg
From the Perth Courier (10 September 1897), a notice of his death:
mcglade_michael_perthcourier_10sept1897.jpg
And from the Perth Courier (17 September 1897), a notice of his burial:
mcglade_michael_perthcourier_17sept1897.jpg
Note the mention of the American lawyer (“a lawyer named Dolpin”) who accompanied his remains. This would have been big news in the town of Perth, and no doubt expectations ran high for some sort of legal settlement against the railway.
Apparently these expectations were dashed. There’s a story here about a failed lawsuit against the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. I don’t yet have all the details, but the case (Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. Ryan) made it into several compilations of late-19th and early 20th-century railroad cases, including, for example, American and English Railroad Cases, ed. Thomas Mitchie, Vol XXI (1901), which I discovered through Google Books.

In Remembrance: James Michael McGlade (1905-1944)

James Michael McGlade was born at Perth, Co. Lanark, Ontario on 17 September 1905, the son of Patrick McGlade and Elizabeth (“Lizzie”) Cahill. He died in the Second World War, at the age of 39.

One of my mother’s older sisters remembers cousin Michael (James Michael) coming over to their house to say good-bye before heading out overseas.

James Michael McGlade was a Corporal in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, R.C.I.C. (Royal Canadian Infantry Corps). He died in action in Belgium on 3 October 1944, and is buried at the Schoonselfhof Cemetery in Antwerp, Belgium. There is also a grave marker at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery in Perth, Ontario, Canada. He is commemorated on page 386 of Veterans Affairs Canada’s Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Catherine Honora McCarthy: Confirmation Photo

My great-grandmother Catherine Honora McCarthy, daughter of Eugene McCarthy (originally of Co. Cork) and Ann/Honora McDonald (or possibly McDonnell, originally of Co. Clare), at age 13, on the occasion of her Confirmation (at St. Philip Neri, in Toledo, Kitley township, Leeds Co., Ontario) in 1889. With older sister Ellen, and note the age-related difference in the lengths of their skirts.

McCarthy_sisters_1889.jpg

She looks like my mother (or vice-versa, of course).

Breach of Peace in Perth Town: John McGlade and his son Michael

On 11 August 1856, John McGlade was convicted of “Breach of Peace on Sabbath,” for which he paid a fine of £1 to the Town of Perth (Co. Lanark, Ontario, Canada). This was no doubt a hefty sum for a labourer, and especially for a recently married one, whose wife, Bridget Dunne, was expecting their first child (Michael James McGlade, born 28 December 1856 at Perth). Another man, Michael Lee, was likewise convicted of the same offence on the same day, but his was apparently deemed a more serious breach of the peace, since the fine levied against Lee was £3 10s. The charges were brought by George Graham, Chief Constable of the Town of Perth.

I’m not sure what exactly constituted a “Breach of Peace” on the Sabbath, but if I had to hazard a guess, I’d imagine that it involved the consumption of alcohol on a Sunday. I have to wonder if the complaints against McGlade and Lee were connected to the conviction, on 12 August 1856, of Hugh McMullan, Inn Keeper, for “Keeping a noisy, riotous, and disorderly house in the Town of Perth on the Lord’s Day,” for which offence he suffered the loss of his tavern license (“License to keep an Inn in Perth abrogated”).1