Week 16- Alice McGlynn

Ok, so late again….

In the 52 Ancestor’s challenge it is Week 16 – Live Long. The suggestion: Time to feature a long-lived ancestor. Any centenarians in the family?

Well, actually, no.  Not on my side of the family.  Fortunately my kids have my husband’s side too, so they have a chance!  On my side, there are very few that were nonagenarians whether direct ancestor or collateral line!

One of the nonagenerians, Harriet Vitty, I already wrote about back in Week 4.  The other in my direct line is Alice McGlynn.

Alice is my great-grandmother.  She married Frederick McGlynn and her maiden name was Alice Parson or Parsons.  Except its not.

This is my twisty side of the tree-  Family lore was that there was always something with the name, maybe it should have been Parsons, and that lore has its basis in truth.

The first piece of evidence I found to back up the family story was Alice’s social security application, filed in 1937.  Alice lists her name as Alice MacGlynn McGlynn.  (instructions to married women were to write the name as maiden first name, maiden last name, married last name)  It seemed more than a little strange that both her maiden and married names were variations of the same.  Her father was listed as Thomas (no middle name) MacGlynn and her mother she listed as Unknown.Snip20150427_8

Next I obtained a copy of Alice and Frederick’s marriage certificate from 1896. On this certificate record, Alice McGlynn, daughter of Thomas McGlynn and Alice Wetherhead married Frederick Parsons.  Clearly this is the same Alice, but shouldn’t her married name have been Parsons in the SS-5? Perhaps here was where the “something with the name” comes in- maybe it was switched on the marriage certicate?

Second side of Fred and Alice's marriage certificate showing their signatures as Fred Parsons and Alice McGlynn.

Second side of Fred and Alice’s marriage certificate showing their signatures as Fred Parsons and Alice McGlynn.

It appears that in all census records the family is found in- 1900-1940 US, 1905-1925 NYS, they are using the last name McGlynn.

Alice was born in England so I looked for records there.  I found a marriage record for her parents-but no obvious birth or baptism.  There was a female McClean birth registered in the first quarter 1880 in the district of Hampstead.  This is not obvious for Alice, but warrants more investigation.

In the UK Census for 1881 and 1891, the family of Thomas and Alice (parents to Alice) are found.  In both of these census, the family does not list a child named Alice, but rather a girl Fanny of the correct age.  Although I have found no proof in documents, family information had also provided Alice’s name as Alice Frances.  Fanny is a nickname for Frances, and possibly used as there were 2 Alice McGlynn’s in the household- ” and daughter.  Here I have likely found my great-grandmother- Alice Parsons, under the names Fanny McLean, Fanny McGlynn!

Family stories provide that Alice was a young girl/teen when she arrived alone in the United States.  Her family had remained in England.  An immigration record for Fanny McGlynn has been found from England to Canada on passenger lists from 1894.  She had immigrated with other children from England bound for Niagara-On-The-Lake, a home for indigent and orphaned children.  Again further information is needed to confirm that this Fanny is my Alice.  If it is she, questions surround how she left Canada and came to be in Canandaigua, New York to be married there in 1896.

In 1897 Alice and Frederick had their first child, W Frederick in Canandaigua, NY.  It appears that the family were Parsons’ at the time, the child was named W Frederick Parsons, father was Frederick Parsons, mother Alice McGlynn. Printed above the names are also known as William Frederick McGlynn”, and “also known as Fred McGlynn”.  These appear to be in a different handwriting.  The situation is the same with their second child Maurice Neally Parsons, aka Maurice Nealy McGlynn, born in Palmyra, NY.

Changes on the birth record.

Changes on the birth record of Maurice McGlynn.


Changes on the birth record of William Frederick McGlynn

My grandfather, John, was the 3rd child born to them and his birth certificate indicates his mother was Allice Parsons, his father Fred McGlynn.  John was born in 1900 at Rochester, NY.  The children after him were also born with the last name McGlynn.  It appears that from the time they came to Rochester, Fred and Alice used the name McGlynn.

Birth record of John McGlynn shows names originally written Fred McGlynn and Alice Parsons.

Birth record of John McGlynn shows names originally written Fred McGlynn and Alice Parsons.

Alice and Fred remained McGlynn from that point on.  Alice died at the age of 91 in Rochester, New York.  Her death certificate states her father’s last name was McGlynn.

So the lore that there was something with the name was true.  But the question remains: Why?

Ancestor profile:



5 thoughts on “Week 16- Alice McGlynn

  1. Karen, this is fantastic. Grandma McGlynn was the only grandparent I knew. Your dad was the one who told me about the Parsons name. He told me it had to do with her throwing him out, taking back her maiden name and then taking him back and making him pay rent. Thank you for all the hard work you are doing on our genealogy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really wish I had known Grandma McGlynn, and had gotten more stories from my Dad! I know he told me the name was wrong. If the name change came from that throwout/take back it seems that at some point they probably just found it easier to say Parsons was her maiden name. I can imagine it would be awkward to explain to city clerks!

    I am really curious to see what I can find out about the British Home Children and if that is Alice. I seem to remember my Dad saying Alice came over at 12 or 16? Fanny was 14 so maybe it is her. It would make sense, her mother Alice had died and her father later remarried, I found her brothers in a workhouse in London area.


  3. Karen you are doing a great job. Grandma came and stayed with us when we lived in Illinois when mom and dad where on a business trip. I remember her but then again I don’t if you know what I mean. She was a feisty old lady that didn’t take any. nonsense from us kids of which there were only 3 because brother John was staying with your parents while in college. I wish we knew more. Stephen


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s