For anybody that is searching for family links in the area covered by the coast road towns Ballygally -Glenarm-Carnlough-Waterfoot-Cushendall-Cushendun-Ballycastle area. If need be I will start separate area forums

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Post by fyldemac »

I have tried without success to find a link between my early McHenry ancestors and other such families in County Antrim. But IÔÇÖm not giving up, so perhaps something mentioned in the account below might just get me over that interminable brick wall. Apologies for the length and detail but my hope is that, by drawing in other family names, a connection with my McHenry family might be made. Any help or inspiration warmly welcomed.

I think my gt gt grandparents John and Sarah McHenry, born 1801 and 1805 respectively, moved from Ireland to the Liverpool/Birkenhead area of England in the mid 1860s. They are not on the 1861 England/Wales/Scotland Census.

On the 1871 England Census, John 1801 ÔÇô described as a labourer* ÔÇô and Sarah 1805 just said they were from Ireland. John died in December 1873 age 72 years but Sarah lived on to aged 87 years. On the 1881 Census, Sarah McHenry said she had been born in Glenarm, County Antrim.

[*When son John 1843, a gardener all his life in England/Wales, married in 1866 his fatherÔÇÖs occupation is recorded as ÔÇ£farmerÔÇØ]

So far, I have not found a marriage for John and Sarah McHenry so I donÔÇÖt know her maiden name.

I know John and Sarah had at least 5 children between 1831 and 1845. On England Census forms, two - Mary Anne McHenry 1831 and William 1842 ÔÇô just said they were born in Ireland but the other three ÔÇô Isabella 1835, John 1843 and Margaret 1845 all said they were born in Glenarm, County Antrim.

I have only found one baptism ÔÇô Margaret McHenry [parents John & Sarah McHenry] born 31 March 1845 and baptised at St PatrickÔÇÖs Church of Ireland, Glenarm on 1 June 1845.
Given the spread of ages, it seems likely that John and Sarah had other children ÔÇô who either died or married and remained in Ireland, perhaps in the Glenarm area. And a ten year span between Isabella 1835 and Margaret 1845 suggests the McHenry family must have established a presence in the Glenarm area during that time.

There is no trace of my McHenry family on the surviving fragments of the 1851 County Antrim Census although the town of Glenarm seems to be well covered. So my assumption is that ÔÇ£born in GlenarmÔÇØ probably meant in one of the townlands inland from the town itself ÔÇô records for these have not survived.

Mary Anne McHenry 1831 was in England by 1851 and in service in Oxton [near Birkenhead] Cheshire. She married William Dickson in 1855 in the Church of England. Isabella 1835 and Margaret 1845 were both in England by 1861 and again in service in Oxton. Isabella married James Ferguson in 1862 and Margaret married James Fagan in 1869, on both occasions in a Presbyterian Church. John 1843 was working as an estate gardener in North Wales by 1861 and married Elizabeth Davies in Henllan Denbighshire in 1866, in the Established Church of Wales.

William 1842 is first mentioned on the 1871 Census - together with sister, Margaret 1845, and families, he was living with his parents in Oxton. But, in May 1867, William was living in Everton, Liverpool when he married Margaret Cullen in a Roman Catholic Church. My working assumption is that John and Sarah McHenry were in Liverpool by this time.

I mention the religion because I know it is an important factor for research in Ireland. In my McHenry family there are different persuasions.

John McHenry 1801 was buried in the Church of England section of Flaybrick Cemetery, Birkenhead. However, when his wife Sarah died in 1892 she was buried in the Roman Catholic section and an entry in the burial register of the local Roman Catholic Church confirms her faith. She may, of course, have converted in her later life but her son William McHenry 1842 married in the Roman Catholic faith and, although married in a Presbyterian Church, Margaret [McHenry] Fagan 1845 had her three children baptised as Roman Catholics. Mary Anne [McHenry] Dickson1831 and Isabella [McHenry] Ferguson1835 were both buried in Non-Conformist graves. William 1842 and Margaret [McHenry] Fagan1845 just ÔÇ£disappearedÔÇØ.

So I seem to have a mix of Established Church, Presbyterian and Roman Catholics.

Interestingly, John McHenry 1843 named his first child Daniel in 1867, though by the 1871 England Census, the child was recorded as Donald, the name by which he was known for the rest of his life. He called his second son John in 1869. If this followed traditional naming patterns we might expect John 1801ÔÇÖs father to have been Daniel.

I understand that the names Daniel and Donald were interchangeable in the Glenarm area. And, also, that is difficult to say whether the names McHenry. McKendry and McHendry were one and the same in the Munie area.

I have information on other McHenryÔÇÖs and McKendryÔÇÖs in the Glenarm area but, to avoid sending you all to sleep, IÔÇÖll see whether the above strikes a chord with anubody before adding more.

Many thanks

Ian McHenry
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Post by b4ckh »

Hello Neil,
I have been searching forever for a John McHenry born in Ireland in 1801, and likely in County Antrim. I am hoping against hope that your gt gt grandfather John McHenry could be the one I have been seeking.
My heart 'skipped a beat' when I read "there is no trace of my McHenry family in the surviving ...1851 County Antrim Census..." in your posting.

This is the reason: my gt gt grandfather Daniel McHenry, who was born in County Antrim 17 August 1817 (according to family bible), emigrated to North America and purchased 200 acres of land on 1 May 1838 in Lennox County, Ontario Canada. On our 1851 Canadian census, enumerated with my Daniel and family was a John McHenry, age 50, listed as family. His religion was stated as 'Church of England' and birthplace Ireland. My Daniel's father was also named John McHenry but he had passed away before 1851 and obviously was older. I had always assumed that the John McHenry on our 1851 census was Daniel's older brother, but try as I may, I could not find him again on either Canadian or American censuses from 1861 on. There was also a James McHenry enumerated with John, a young man of 19, religion RC. The occupations of both John and James was listed as "baker". I have searched in vain for this James as well in later censuses in both countries! Although it was unusual in the early days for people to marry outside their religion, I have noticed that in my McHenry family at that time it seemed to be the norm. Even my gt gt grandfather Daniel, a RC, married a gal who was Anglican, although she converted to Catholicism.

I am presently trying to finish writing a collection of McHenry stories for my grandchildren, sibling, children, cousins etc.
I would dearly LOVE to discover the town, village or townland where my Daniel was born and where his family originated. Neil, if you think there is any possibility that your John (and possibly his son or nephew??) James could have been visiting his brother and widowed mother named Bridget in Ontario in 1851 I hope your will answer this post. Perhaps we could exchange email addresses?

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