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Please check my research! McGahey - Birmingham


I am new to this site, but have been researching my family tree for 15 years. I have reached several brick walls and started researching my husbands family tree. I am quite good at making assumptions. I would appreciate it if anyone had the time to read the following and let me know how realistic it sounds!

My husbands great grandfather was Joseph Charles McGahey born 1902 in Birmingham (however on freeBMD it is transcribed as MacGahey), he married Sarah Mason (widow -was Stansbie, in 1921). I was given some names by my husbands grandad - but he didn’t really want to talk about it. His mother died and his father remarried and I think they lost contact.

I ordered the marriage certificate of Joseph C McGahey and Sarah Mason to try and prove a link between the possible parents I had found. But it feels like I am making too many assumptions.

Joseph McGahey was in the RAF, I haven’t been able to look at his military record (I try not to pay for records! His marriage certificate was the first I’ve ordered). However I did see on his record that his mother was Ellen. I looked for marriages between a McGahey and Ellen and found a record for the marriage of Thomas James McGahey and Ellen White in 1907 (so 5 years after his birth ?!).

On the marriage certificate (for Joseph) his father is listed as Thomas McGahey but deceased. I can’t find a death record before 1921 and thought it could be a mistake (his wife’s father was deceased) or they could be estranged.

Thomas McGahey and Ellen we’re living together on the 1901 census, although it looks like Ellen’s age is wrong. Then in 1911 they are recorded as being married for 4 years and have 3 children - including a 6 year old. Joseph is not living with them and I can’t find a Joseph McGahey. I have found a Joseph White living with grandparents - so wondered if they could have put down his mothers surname accidentally.

Thomas James McGahey was originally from Cheshire, I have found quite a few electoral roll records for him. He is married but living alone.

I couldn’t find a death record for Ellen McGahey, so started looking for different surnames. Ellen Bradshaw (born 1876) died in 1949. I found a marriage record for Ellen McGahey and James Bradshaw in 1947. In 1939 James Bradshaw was living with Ellen Bradshaw - born 1876.

I am assuming that they married after the birth of their son (they were living together before he was born), for some reason Joseph was with grandparents in 1911. They separated between 1911 and 1919 (when he joined the military) as only Ellen is mentioned. Ellen lived with Janes Bradshaw but had to wait until the death of her husband in 1947 before she could marry again.

Any help or advice appreciated,


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