Proof in Canada

One of the things that I have always been looking for in researching the family is more proof of their stay in Ontario, Canada beyond the 1861 (Upper) Canada census. [1] I say that because in that census Michael is really the only McCormack that is identified by their full first name. Also, the rest of the boys in the family wasn’t born yet. A few months ago, I got a hint from Ancestry about my great-uncle Frank. He was one of the remaining boys that were born in Canada or at the time, Upper Canada. The others being his brothers, Arthur and Henry.

The full page [2]

In the above picture, the entry that we are very interested in the is on the second page or the right side and it is the third entry from the bottom. Below is an enhanced selection.

The transcribed text says;

86 (entry number?)


Aug 2nd

The body of the entry;

Was baptized (sine ______) Francis born April 20th 1865 _________ of the lawful marriage of Michael McCormick and Catherine Payne (Delila).  Sponsor Delila McCormack. F.L. Byrne

One note: The second word of the two words in parentheses is thought to be some unique spelling of ceremony.  My “translators” couldn’t come up with an exact spelling of the “mysterious” second word!


Without Ceremony?

Without ceremony?


There are several things/facts that we can take away from this entry. First, Frank’s “real” birth name was Francis. That makes sense since Frank is the common diminutive of Francis. Two, his (apparently actual) birthdate of April 20, 1865. That is a few months earlier than I had previously thought. Prior to finding this record, I had thought that he was born in June of 1865. I believe that I had gotten that information from one of the censuses. Third, we have another confirmation of the marriage of Michael and Catherine. Finally, the name of the sponsor. Delila McCormack.

At the time of Frank’s baptism (and currently), I know of two people with the first name of Delila.  The first person would be Delila McCormack, the first daughter, and second child of Michael and Catherine. At the time of her brother’s baptism, Delila was only 11 years old! I have never heard of an 11-year old (girl) being a sponsor. Upon doing some elementary searching, I have seen several examples of a sponsor that young. But there is a slight problem with Delila being the sponsor. The problem is that family lore says that the boys were to be baptized/raised Roman Catholic and the girls were to be baptized/raised Protestant. This is a Roman Catholic baptism of a boy but his (only) sponsor was his sister who was supposed to have been raised as a Protestant. So, are we still talking about the same person as the sponsor?

The other person with the first name of Delila was Catherine’s sister-in-law, Delila Payne. She was married to Catherine’s brother. But in 1865, as far as I know, Delila Payne was residing in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!


  1. Ontario Census, 1861, Ontario, Canada, Ward St. Lawrence, ED 1, Pg. 4 and 62 (stamped), family 33, Michael McCormack, digital image,,, accessed 9 Sep 2012, citing Year: 1861; Census Place: London, Middlesex, Canada West; Roll: C-1050-1051; Page: 4.
  2. Ontario, Canada, Diocese of London (Ontario); London, Ontario, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 2017, Francis J. McCormack,, Provo, Utah, United States of America.

A witness to Michael’s marriage – Michael Doyle

Dedicated readers of my blog — if you aren’t you should be! — know that my great great grandfather is Michael McCormack. I know so little about my great great grandfather’s marriage. Some of what I do know is encapsulated in the file below;

Marriage certificate for Michael and Catherine

Marriage record for Michael and Catherine [1]

I previously wrote about Michael’s marriage in my post, An out of order marriage record!There is a term in genealogy called either FAN or FANS. It can stand for Friends and Neighbors or Friends, Associates and Neighbors. It is also known as cluster genealogy. Basically what it is is that you research the people around your subject in order to help you gain a better understanding of your subject. In this case, I am attempting to research one of the witnesses/informants, Michael Doyle. I guess the first thing that I would like to find out is what was the relationship between my great great grandfather and Michael Doyle?  I hope that he wasn’t someone that my great great grandfather met in the local pub and persuaded to be a witness for his marriage! Was Michael Doyle a friend of the McCormack family? What was Michael’s age? His standing in the community?

Some preliminary research that I did involved the Griffith’s Valuation. I went to and used their search engine.  I found a couple of pages. 

This is the first page;

Michael Doyle in the city of Kilkenny

Michael Doyle in the city of Kilkenny [3]

Here is my second page;

Michael Doyle in the parish of Graiguenamagh

Michael Doyle in the parish of Graiguenamagh

Finally, my third page;

Michael Doyle in the parish of Powerstown

Michael Doyle in the parish of Powerstown

I also found this file from the  Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912 and it is very interesting;

Michael Doyle - Petty Sessions

Michael Doyle – Petty Sessions

Michael Doyle is the last name on the page. First of all, I don’t know if I have the right person or not especially on the Petty Sessions file. Of all the pages I have shown you, it is the first Griffith’s Valuation page that I find most interesting. That is because at the time of my great grandfather William E. McCormack’s baptism, Michael and Catherine lived on Jacob Street and one of the sponsors/informants is Michael Doyle! Another interesting thing from the baptism record [2] is the identity of the second sponsor/informant, Catherine Doyle.

For right now, my search will have to stop about here. To search in Ireland much further costs more than I can afford right now. I have some interesting leads to pick up on at a later date. I haven’t come to a firm conclusion on any of the information that I have presented today. The Griffith’s Valuation page from the city of Kilkenny, as I said earlier, is the most promising.

I would like to thank Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy for helping me out with the definition of FANS and cluster genealogy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!


1. 1853 Civil marriage record of Michael McCormack to Mrs. Catherine Steel (nee Paine), Kilkenny 1853, vol. 6, p. 317.
2. “Baptismal/Birth Records for Ireland,” William E. McCormack, digital image,
3. Richard Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland … Union of Kilkenny … County of Kilkenny (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1849), pg.62, for Michael Doyle, occupier, Jacobs Street, Gardens (Townland), St. Patrick (Parish); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland ( : 2 Oct 2013.

Mappy Monday – The McCormacks on Jacob Street

Today, I would like to show everyone where in Kilkenny my great great grandparents, Michael and Catherine lived. The first picture/map is a “few” years before they lived there. 80 years to be exact but it is such a good map, I couldn’t resist. The red line indicates approximately where Jacob Street would be.

Kilkenny in 1780

Kilkenny in 1780

The second map I got from Google Maps. Once again, the red line indicates approximately where Michael and Catherine lived at the time of the baptism of their first son and child, William E. McCormack.

Jacob Street - 2013

Jacob Street – 2013

If you remember the marriage “certificate” post, they lived or had a residence on Patrick Street. With so many residences in such a short time, you have wonder why? There are so many questions and so few answers!

Thanks for stopping by!

Shipping Sunday – The McCormacks coming to America

Today, I would like to continue a “theme” of some of my posts for the past week or so. I have blogged about Michael and Catherine, my great great grandparents, their marriage, the baptism of their son, William E. McCormack (my great grandfather). For today’s post, I would like to share the manifest list from the Dirigo, the ship that carried the nascent McCormack family from England to America.

S.S. Dirigo Manifest List

Dirigo Manifest List [1]


As you can see, they left from the port of Liverpool, England apparently on 5 Oct 1853 and arrived in port (of New Orleans) on 20 Nov 1853. The Dirigo’s captain was Cyrus Cooper. Information that we can glean from this manifest is the birth of William,any profession and their ancestry. The fifth column is entitled “Number of infants not older than one year.” The entry, listed in Catherine’s row, is Sept(ember). That is problematic because it conflicts with the birthdate that was stated on William’s death certificate which was given by his wife. It does match up with the baptism record that I showed in my post, “Sharing Saturday – William E. McCormack’s Baptismal record.” Although, at the top of that document it does state that it is a baptism record (index). Another interesting piece of information that we get from this manifest list is Michael’s apparent profession, laborer. That does tend to match up with his professions upon arriving in America. It does conflict with the family myth that Michael was some sort of instructor or even a religious figure of some type. The last piece that we can gather is the ancestry or national origin of Michael and Catherine. It has columns for people of English, Scotch, Irish, American or other. If Michael was Scottish, one would assume that he would have told the person taking the information that he was Scottish. But he and Catherine are listed as Irish. Right now, one has to believe that they were Irish. Most of the (future) information given by either one of them stated that they were Irish. But that is a topic for a future post.

Thank you for stopping by!


1. “Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902,”,, Michael McCormack, digital image, accessed 7 Jan 2007, New Orleans, Louisiana, S. S. Dirigo.

An out of order marriage record!

In today’s post, I would like to followup yesterday’s post about my great grandfather, William E. McCormack. With today’s post, I would like to examine a couple of records that I have about the marriage of William’s parents, Michael McCormack and Catherine Paine/Payne.

Index for Michael's marriage to Catherine Payne

Index for Michael’s marriage to Catherine Payne [1]

Marriage certificate for Michael and Catherine

Marriage certificate for Michael and Catherine [2]

If we use William’s date of birth at the time of death, as supplied by his wife Lavina, of 9 Jul 1853 [3] we run into a problem or two. On the first record (index), you see the date of 26 Sep 1853. Then on the second record or the actual certificate of marriage, you have the same date of 26 Sep 1853. If the date of William’s birth is correct and the date of his parent’s marriage is also correct, then, technically speaking, my great-grandfather was born out of wedlock. This “date” problem begs a few questions. 1.) Why didn’t Michael and Catherine marry before William’s birth? 2.) Were the two months between his birth and baptism normal?

One “error” that one sees on the first record is the misspelling of Catherine’s last name. I believe that the transcriber couldn’t properly read the clerk’s handwriting and misunderstood Steele (her married name) to be “Healy”. On both records, we see a name for Michael’s father and it is Patrick. As of the time of writing this post, I have no indication if Patrick was alive at the time of his son’s marriage or where Patrick was from. We also see Catherine’s maiden name of Paine and her father’s name of Robert Paine. Then for one of the witnesses, we see a Margaret Payne. We don’t know if this Margaret was a relative or a friend with the same last name. One thing that is missing is the name for the mother of both the bride and groom. Why was it left blank? Questions! With every piece of evidence that is the puzzle of genealogy, there are always more questions.

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Thanks to Eneclann for record #2!


1. “Ireland Marriages, 1619-1898,” Michael McCormick, digital image,
2. 1853 Civil marriage record of Michael McCormack to Mrs. Catherine Steel (nee Paine), Kilkenny 1853, vol. 6, p. 317.
3. Lapeer County, Michigan, Michigan Department of Health, Death Certificate, No. 3309/2, 1943, William E. McCormack.

Wordless Wednesday – The Baptism twins!

Today, I would like to share a picture that I have of my dad and his twin brother at their baptism.

The Ford brothers at Baptism

The Ford brothers at Baptism [1]

The participants from left to right; William E. McCormack, William McCormack Ford ( my dad), Richard Curtis Ford ( my uncle) and an unknown woman. The picture was taken at William McCormack’s house in Otter Lake, Michigan.


1. photo of the baptism of the Ford brothers, , ca. 1938, privately held by Jeff Ford, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2009