Friday, October 28, 2016

Finding "Speedy" -- My Sister-in-Law's Maternal Grandmother

After I took over our family history research from my father, I became curious about the ancestry of my sisters-in-law. One sent me the birth dates and locations for her parents, siblings, and aunts and uncles, which she got from her father. After entering that information into my family tree, I was able to do some online research and got this far:

My sister-in-law's pedigree chart after I had researched the information given
to me about her parents; image courtesy of and edited by me

The difficulties with her father's ancestors were easy to explain as his grandparents were immigrants from parts of Europe difficult to research online. What was troubling was my inability to learn anything about the parents of her grandmother, Jessie "Donna" Speedy (McKloshum) Monnier. The only records I had were the 1940 U.S. federal census and her Find A Grave memorial.

I decided to research Donna, who I affectionately call Speedy again to see if I would learn anything new. Neither record included her maiden name, but the census record indicated her father was born in Australia and her mother in Scotland. Helpful information later when verifying I had the correct records, but of no immediate help. Donna had four children so my next step was to review what I knew about them. And an obituary held a big clue. Donna's maiden name was listed as McGlashin, not McKloshum, as I had previously entered into my database. Close but not entirely correct. Donna's maiden name was actually McGlashan.

With the correct maiden, I quickly found several records, the first being a marriage index for a William J. J. Mcglashan and Mary Elen M. Speedie.[1] With these names I quickly found more census records, passenger lists, and birth registrations. However, I was chasing the wrong Mary Speedie/Speedy, which I should realized when I saw her birth city on her passenger manifest. Communicating with a DNA match with a private tree quickly got me sorted out.
A few days of research on ScotlandsPeople and the New South Wales Registry, my sister-in-law's pedigree chart looks a bit better.

My sister-in-law's pedigree hart after figuring out the correct spelling of her
maternal grandmother's maiden name; image courtesy of and
edited by me

I believe I'll have better luck processing her DNA test results now.

A huge shout-out to the wife of my sister-in-law's DNA match, who shared her private tree with me. 

[1] Helen and Ellen were often interchangeable in Scotland during this period.

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