Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Posted by Craig Kanalley on 8/13/2008
What better time than the present for my second ever entry? There's a reason I'm posting two on the same day, the 13th of August. The timing is significant...
One thing that I've found really interesting is to compile a list of my ancestors' birthdays. It makes all of those dates a whole lot more fun to look at. Compiling such a list, with the amount of ancestors I've found birthdates for, is enough to pepper any calendar. Every week of the year, at least one of my ancestors is celebrating a birthday. On some days, multiple ancestors of mine share a birthday.
Today is Mary Killeen McQuaid's day (and there's her picture).
She was born on August 13, 1842 - that's right, 166 years ago - in Toronto, Ontario to Irish immigrants Catherine Hartney and Sgt. Patrick Killeen. Her father was a member of the British military for many years. He first enrolled in the 94th Regiment of Foot as a young Irish lad at age 16. His service took him to the Mediterranean region for some time and subsequently to Canada. Mary was the eldest of seven children, with three of her siblings born in Quebec and the other three in Ontario.
This Killeen family is special to me for a few reasons. One, I've learned so much about Sgt. Patrick and the rest of the Killeen clan through a distant relative I've been in correspondence with the last several years, Killeen Farrell of Toronto (descended of Mary's brother Patrick Jr.), and she's been wonderful in helping me trace my Canadian roots. But I've also found a much closer link to the Killeen's in my immediate family. The story goes that my grandfather Kenneth Kanalley put in writing that he wanted my grandmother to name their first daughter "Killeen." My grandmother thought he was misspelling Colleen, and that's what she had put on the birth certificate. He never made a peep. But years later, when I showed my grandma the Killeen connection, with my grandfather long since passed away (he died before I was born), she immediately remembered the old note from my grandfather.
Mary Killeen McQuaid died May 14, 1882 while in childbirth at the all-too-young age of 39. That child would have been her and John McQuaid's 12th. Their 8th child Joseph is my great-great-grandfather. Though she died so young, Mary's memory lives on today.
Click here to check out the complete list of my ancestors' birthdays.