Friday, August 26, 2016

More on my peasant ancestry

It's Ballymena Castle where it's sure nary a McClernan
set foot, except possibly to deliver milk.


Back in January I traced my maternal ancestry to an Irish proprietor of an oyster bar and more glamorously, a sea captain.

Well a distant relative, a member of the Sawn family put up an impressively leafy family tree, which has a bunch of McClernans in the mix. So some fun facts:

My paternal grandmother's paternal grandfather, John Francis Dalton, was from a family of mostly illiterates from Ireland. According to census records he was a coal miner, then a tea salesman.

On her mother's side, her grandfather Daniel Dreyer was a laborer from France. I was impressed they traced the Dreyers all the way back to Andre Dreyer, whose birthdate is unknown but it was no later than the early 1700s. Her grandmother Gertrude Pfeiffer was from Germany.

My grandfather's ancestry can be traced back to John McClernan a milk dealer of Ballymena, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, born in 1845, moved to Philadelphia in 1876, and on his mother's side to John Hall of Yorkshire England.

John Hall is also the name of Shakespeare's son-in-law, but I'm sure the name Hall is about as common as Smith in England (and my maternal grandmother's maiden name was Smith) so there's likely no connection there. Plus, that John Hall was a physician, which sure doesn't sound like my family.

There is not much info about our John Hall but his granddaughter Sarah Jane Hall's husband,  William McClernan, my great-grandfather, owned bars in Philadelphia and Clementon New Jersey. Now that sounds like my family. My mother's grandfather Thomas Arthur Maguire managed a wholesale liquor business in Philadelphia. What are the chances that he sold merchandise to my father's grandfather the bar owner?

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