Sunday, February 20, 2011


I'd been waiting for two weeks now for a piece of mail from the NARA with
the Naturalization Papers for my 2x great grandfather John McFarland. It
finally came on Friday and it proved to be disappointing. I had thought I had
the right John McFarland because the birthdate was close to the information
I had which was 28Nov 1852; the person whose record I obtained was born
29Nov 1853. But some of the information about grandfather McFarland had
changed from census to census, so I was hoping this might still be him.

But several items on the petition seem to indicate that this is indeed a different
person, the first being that this John McFarland states he'd arrived in this
country as a minor 28Apr 1868 and  and another being that he'd been a
resident of Massachusetts for a year. Now I know my McFarland had married
Annie Kelley in Edinburgh, Scotland on 16May1879 so that would mean
this couldn't be him.

Now there is a long shot possibility that it really is my great grandfather. This
was the era in which the Irish immigrants were starting to build their political
machines and it isn't outside the realm of possibility that my John McFarland
gave false information in order to get his citizenship. Family tradition says
he was one of the laborers that helped build the Boston Elevated Railway and
later censuses show him holding jobs with the City. Having citizenship might
have made it easier to get hired,

But for now I'm filing this paperwork under "not related". Ah well, back to
the drawing board!     


Bobby Gail said...

Ah, yes, Bill. A common mistake we've all made -- and all part of the hunt!

dee-burris said...

Well, poop.

But by blogging it, maybe a descendant of the "wrong" John McFarland will contact you.

And you'll be able to share.