Somehow or other, I have become tagged with recording and preserving some of the family history of both my wife’s and my own
family’s. I used to spend hours listening to my father-in-law Warren, who passed away late last year, as he recalled in what seemed like infinite detail, the names and relationships of the McKendry and Whealy families on my wife’s side here in Canada. While he may not have been able to recall a conversation from yesterday, events of 50 and 60 years ago seemed to still be vivid and clear to him – but of course it is always good to try and check the facts if you can ! Along that line, while we were in the Kingston area travelling from my brother’s place in Delaware to our son’s graduation in Toronto we took a detour to try and confirm a few things about the arrival of the McKendry’s to Canada from Ireland. Warren had provided a lot of information and included in the files he passed along to me was a photo of a grave marker taken somewhere north of Kingston. Our objective then, was to try and find this marker.
To cut a long story short, Warren’s memory proved to be pretty accurate, and after some searching along various side roads and concessions, we were successful in locating both the hamlet of Brewers Mill as well as the small Presbyterian church and cemetery where the original family of McKendry immigrants are buried. There is a grave marker there – see to the right (just ‘click’ to see a larger photo) – on which John McKendry is listed who was the original family elder from Ireland, born in the county Antrim and Parish of Rasharkin back in 1823 plus or minus a couple of years. So Warren was (almost) right !
I say ‘almost’ because over in the back of the same cemetery were other McKendry markers and names which so far as I’m aware Warren had never mentioned, plus we were able to locate others in the Gananoque area just to the east.
So now I have a bit of work to do when I get back to Calgary ! To date, when searching Irish records for Sandy family information in the Dublin area I have pretty much drawn a blank, as the 1800’s Irish records are very incomplete. Still, there is nothing better than a puzzle to be sorted out, so I can see I will be busy over the next short while when not playing with the old motorbikes !!