Share This:

McChesney Family


 Hi.  I am looking for any information on either Mary McChesney or George McChesney.  Mary McChesney was my great great grandmother.  I know that Mary McChesney was born in County Cavan, Ireland around 1828, possibly Bailieborough.  She came to Australia on a ship called the Wallace with her sister and uncle in 1844.  She did change her name at that time to Mitchell (her uncles surname).  She had children including my great grandmother Amelia Susan Tatham who was born in Australia 1858.  Mary McChesney's father was George McChesney, he was born about 1807.  He was in the town Drumhillagh North Knockbridge Cavan as noted on the Griffith Valuation.  I think that Mary's mother was also called Mary.  Any information on Mary McChesney, my great great grandmother or her father George McChesney, would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your help.



Thursday 10th October 2019, 01:07AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi,

    I searched Find My Past for any record for George or Mary McChesney.

    Apart from the Griffith's entry there is little of note. 

    Roots Ireland (subscription site) does not show any records pertaining to George McChesney in Cavan.

    What was the name of Mary's uncle who she travelled to Australia with. Do you know in what way he was her uncle? Is there a possibility Mr Mitchell was the brother of her mother?

    What denomination were the family?

    The 1911 census shows one result for George McChesney in Co. Cavan. Possibly related to your family.




    Thursday 10th October 2019, 04:54PM

    Hi Miriam.  Thank you very much for your email.  Mary's uncle was John Mitchell, he was the brother of her mother.  Also, accompanying them to Australia was Mary's sister Martha.  Mary's mother's name was Mary Mitchell.  They were protestants.  We know that Mary's mother died when she was young.

    Kind Regards






    Saturday 12th October 2019, 09:45AM


    Hi Miriam.  Thank you very much for the email.  Mary's uncle was John Mitchell.  He was the brother of her mother.  Also accompanying them to Australia was Mary's sister Martha.  Mary's mother's name was Mary Mitchell.  The mother died when the children were young.  They were protestants.

    Kind Regards



    Saturday 12th October 2019, 09:50AM
  • Hi Carolyn,


    I thought maybe it would be possible to find some link between the Mitchell family and the McChesney family but unfortunately nothing shows up on any database.


    I searched for a birth of any children to McChesney and Mitchell and nothing shows up but of course many records just don't exist anymore so it is not unusual to come up blank. 


    However, by searching for the spelling Machesney on Find My Past, I did come up with an interesting entry for a George McChesney.


    This is in the Royal Irish Constabulary Service Records. Here are the details.


    Name: George Machesney.

    Number: 29933

    Age on Appointment: 20 

    Height: 5ft  8 3/4ins

    Native county: Cavan

    Religion: Pres

    Recommended by: BS Adams

    Occupation: Labourer

    Date of Appointment: 10 Nov 1864

    Allocation: Queen's (Laois) 8 Jun 1865 Belfast 1/9/65

    Resigned 5/5/70 months notice. To enter business.


    It would seem to me, Carolyn that this is a pretty good fit to be a brother to Mary and Martha. There is little to prove that George McChesney existed but this person clearly did and is of an age to be his son. I think this is worth exploring anyway and see if you can get somewhere with it.

    Usually, I have found that the ages given on an RIC record are pretty much correct unlike other records so this George was probably born in 1844 which is the same year as Mary and Martha went to Australia, it is possible their mother died in childbirth but of course that is just conjecture on my part.

    On the other hand this does give you a starting point for looking for a record of his birth which should include his parents names. See my links to obtaining records below.

    The fact that he was last posted to Belfast may mean that this is where you should look for him in future searches. 

    On the civil registrations I also came across some records pertaining to James Machesney living in Drumhilla who may possibly be another brother. You should probably scan these registers for any McChesneys or Machesneys who may help prove a link to your family. I would suggest you build a tree of all the families in Bailieboro area to see if anything starts to come clear to you.


    This is the link to the civil registers. Civil registration was introduced in 1864. There are some records for Protestant marriages before that but they are almost all in index form and you will need to order to view, this is an easy process by following the links. Each order costs €4.


    It looks like the family may have been Protestant, most likely, Presbyterian. Presbyterian records are held in PRONI, details here. However I think these records only start in 1845.

    If they were Church of Ireland, these records prior to 1864 are held by the church body, here is some information about obtaining records.


    Not a whole lot to go on Carolyn, I'm afraid, but hopefully something will turn up to help you with your search.



    Sunday 13th October 2019, 01:51PM
  • Dear Miriam

    Thank you very much for your detailed email and your help with the search.  I truly appreciate it.  


    Kind regards





    Monday 14th October 2019, 03:10AM
  • You're very welcome Carolyn,

    Good luck with your research.


    Wednesday 16th October 2019, 11:20AM