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I hope to discover the parents of 3 McFall's who married in Ireland prior to immigration between 1842 and 1853, to prove or disprove that they were siblings.  All were RC, and I believe all came from the area of Cushendall.  I have not found any marriage records, but have found baptism records for 3 of the 4 children born in Ireland.

James McFall married Catherine Scullion (both born ~1810) around 1834.  Son James (Jr.) was baptized Sep 1835 at St. Patrick's RC in Loughguile, with James Mcavoy and Mary Scullion as sponsors.  I'm not sure why they were in Loughguile, but perhaps that's where Catherine was from, or perhaps James was working on a farm (his occupation in Canada).  Daughter Mary was baptized Dec 1837 at St. Patrick's in Cushendun, with Andrew Stewart and Mary Scullen (Scullion) as sponsors.  Son Daniel was baptized April 1841 at St. Mary's in Cushendall, with Archy McFall and Ann Scullion as sponsors.  I believe Archy was brother to James, and Mary and Ann were sisters to Catherine.  The family of 5 came to Canada in 1842, where they had 2 more children.

Catherine McFall married Alexander McAllister (both born ~1831) around 1851.  Their daughter Mary was born in Ireland in 1852, followed by Ann, born in Canada in 1854, and others.  I've found no Irish records for them - everything is deduced from Canadian census data, church records, etc.

Elizabeth McFall was born ~1820, and may have married a Mr. Doyle (first name unknown) in Ireland before coming to Canada.  She was known by descendants of another McFall in the area as "aunt Betty Doyle".  She came to Canada sometime before 1855, where and when she married James Wickham (widow & widower).

I look forward to any guidance or wisdom that can be provided.






Wednesday 24th May 2023, 09:12PM

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  • Cushendun RC’s baptism records start in 1834 and their marriages in 1845. Loughguile's baptisms and marriages both start in 1825. If any of the events you are interested in were in those parishes and before the relevant start dates then there are no records to find, so far as I am aware.

    If it is of any consolation, RC marriage records from the mid 1800s and earlier did not contain the couples parents. All you normally got were the date, their names and the 2 witnesses names. Very occasionally a townland but that was about it.

    You wonder why one baptism was in Loughguile. It’s the adjacent parish to Cushendun and it would not have been at all unusual for farm labourers to move about to follow the available work.

    Tracing a family of farm labourers who emigrated in the early 1850s can be fairly challenging. There are very few sets of surviving records that might record them, apart from the church records whicb you have evidently already explored.

    Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project in conjunction with FTDNA and can offer testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 25th May 2023, 11:24AM

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