Sunday, October 9, 2011

Portrait photo of my grandmother, Gwendolyn Veronica Anderson Danielsen, probably about age 17.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


In the interest of recording the little tidbits of information told to me over the years about the Anderson / McKenney side of the family:
  • Mary [McKenney] Anderson was a seamstress; she took in sewing from Philadelphia while she lived in New York City.
  • William Anderson, father of my grandmother Gwen & great-aunt Elizabeth, is said to have carried Gwen around on a pillow because she was so small when she was born.  [She was a tiny woman as an adult, as well - wore a shoe size so small she had to special-order them from Gimbels department store, where she worked after being widowed.]
  • Lillian Anderson, sister of Gwen and Elizabeth, died from pneumonia at age 27 in New York City; she was engaged to be married.
  • Margaret [Anderson] Butcher, daughter of Margaret & Frank Anderson, granddaughter of William & Mary [McKenney] Anderson, is said to perhaps have whatever "family papers" remain of her grandparents; her brother Frank, I believe, at one time asked his sister about them with no response. I hope no family history is being discarded!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

McKenney - surname spelling?

I found the following church marriage record to be interesting.  Mary "Minnie" McKenney's surname is spelled McKenny, and her mother's surname is spelled McKenna.  Her father is not named, although I suspect both parents were deceased by 1888.  Family lore has the surname spelled McKenny, McKenney, and Kenny or Kinney.  This record did make me wonder, though - did a McKenna really marry a McKenn(e)y, or is this just another case of multiple spellings of the same name within the same document??

Minnie's father was not named in this marriage record; I believe he died in the 1860's, as the 1870 census shows only Minnie, her 2 siblings and her mother in the household.  However it's possible her mother was also deceased prior to the 1888 marriage.   Both girls [Minnie and her sister Annie] were living as servants in two different households at the 1880 census; brother Andrew has not been found. Alternately, it is possible that their mother remarried and kept only her youngest child, Andrew with her, thus being enumerated at 1880 under the new husband's surname.

I have Mary "Minnie" McKenn(e)y Anderson's death certificate, which lists her father's name as William McKenna, mother Mary McKinney, both born Ireland.  If Minnie's mother's married name was used on the marriage record, Mary McKenna would have been correct [if William's surname was indeed spelled McKenna].  However, Minnie's name was shown as McKenny!   The death certificate is the only document I've found so far that names Minnie's father.  Her husband, William Anderson was still living, thus would have been the person to provide the info for the death certificate, so I assume it is basically accurate.  It does indicate that Minnie's parents had very similar surnames.

This is certainly one of my brick-wall families!