Sunday, August 26, 2018

Marriage Registration of my Great-Great Grandparents James McCann and Catherine Walsh

Anne McCann.

Doing some more research into my family history I had to use the General Register Office (GRO) to find the marriage certificate for my great-great-grandparents James McCann (1842-1927) and Catherine Walsh (1843-1908). No known photographs of them exist, though I do have one of their only daughter Anne (1874-1952).

Below is a copy of their marriage register dated 26th June, 1869 - almost 150 years ago. It was through this document that I found out that James's father was called William, and Catherine's father was James Walsh - mothers names were not recorded. James was a "Labourer", no occupation is given for Catherine. Both their fathers were labourers. James lived in Gorey, while Catherine was from the townland of Moneycross which is just outside Gorey near Camolin where the wedding took place. It is clear that they could not write, as the document indicates that they should make a "mark".

Source: General Register Office.
I wonder what kind of a day it was on 26th June 1869, and what it was like for them. They had survived the Great Famine as children, which was not as bad in Co Wexford as it was in other counties. I wonder did they consider emigration the Canada or the USA, as hundreds of thousands of people their own age were doing at that time. They were  labourers - what made them stay? On their wedding day did they have a big party - were they madly in love or was it a marriage of convenience? They lived in Kilnahue outside Gorey, though James is recorded as living in Wexford Street in Gorey in the 1911 census - this was after Catherine had died (1908) and James had remarried. They are both buried in St Michael's Cemetery in Gorey. I would have loved to have met them.

Headstone of James McCann and Catherine Walsh.

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