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!