Thursday, August 14, 2014

She's Her Own Ma-Jane McKenzie McNamara- #52Ancestors #32

I've been searching for some time for information on Jane McKinzie McNamara. I first learned of her from her daughter Lizzie's death certificate. Lizzie was my great grandmother, wife of Patrick McGowan. Lizzie was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1864, so her parents had to be there. Somehow they have managed to remain well hidden in the census records.
I had found another daughter, Rose, from her marriage to John Hogan, listing her parents.

I estimated Jane's birthdate to be about 1840, give or take a few years, and I knew she was born in Ireland. I knew her husband Daniel McNamara was born in 1841, and had died in 1904 leaving Jane a widow. The 1910 census had several Jane McNamara's in Pennsylvania.

Finally, paydirt!  Sort of. I did find a death certificate for Jane McKinzie McNamara. With great excitement I slowly read the information. Date of birth March 17, 1842..St Patrick's day! Awesome! Widowed is correct since Dan was already deceased.  Date of death November 30, 1922..Slowly scrolling down...parents!! Yes!  Oh No!!

Father is Daniel McNamara (her husband)...and she's her own mother. Surely the informant had to be a son in law, but no, it turns out he was the undertaker. He must have spoken to one of the children, and asked Father? Mother? Understandably distraught, they gave their own parents instead of Jane's.

Oh well, still glad to have found this much.
Using the birthdate and location, I was also able to find Jane in the 1920 census, and a previously unknown daughter Anna.

Name: Jane Mc Namara
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Census
Event Year: 1920
Event Place: Penn Hills, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States
District: 307
Gender: Female
Age: 78
Marital Status: Widowed
Race: White
Race (Original): White
Can Read: No
Can Write: No
Relationship to Head of Household: Head
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Head
Own or Rent: Own
Birth Year (Estimated): 1842
Birthplace: Ireland
Immigration Year: 1869
Father's Birthplace: Ireland
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
Sheet Number and Letter: 18A
Household ID: 283
Line Number: 49
Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Affiliate Publication Number: T625
GS Film number: 1821516
Digital Folder Number: 004384985
Image Number: 00629

Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
Jane Mc Namara Head F 78 Ireland
Anna Mc Namara Daughter F 32 Pennsylvania
William Daugherty Boarder M 23 Kentucky

Citing this Record:
"United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 Aug 2014), Jane Mc Namara, Penn Hills, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States; citing sheet 18A, family 283, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1821516.

Shortly after finding the above, I ran across another daughter, Mary, from her death certificate. At least she had the correct parents listed.

Update March 29, 2015
I found two McKenzie connections through AncestryDNA, and together we've been able to find more pieces of the puzzle. Jane had a brother, George Patrick McKenzie. HIS death certificate listed parents as Archibald McKenzie and Elizabeth Brown. Together we've been working on the McKenzie family. We were able to find the following:

Jane and her family were living in Upper Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales in 1861.

Notice the last entry in the family. The boarder is none other than Dan McNamara!
This led to a further search for him, where I was surprised to find an entry in the marriage records. 
Daniel McNamara marriage

Keep in mind that the UK marriage records have individual entries for the bride and groom, with the only link being the date. A bit more searching and I found this:
Jane McKenzie marriage

Sooo, it appears that Jane McKenzie married Daniel McNamara the second quarter (April-May-June) 1861.
June 23, 1864
I have to wonder if the marriage was secret, because I also found the record of Jane's immigration with her family. Her father, brother Murdock, and Daniel McNamara were not on the same ship.
This states Jane McKenzie, spinster
 It turns out Her father, brother, and husband had already made their way to Pennsylvania.

I'd love to hear from you if you have any more info on these families.