Cleanup, HM Passport Office, and Joseph McAllister

Ancestor Sketch
Darling-McAllister
By Don Taylor

Cleanup

One of my practices is to clean up a name when I start research on a person. In the case of Joseph McAllister, I wanted to be sure that I had all of my records straight and associated with the correct person. I had five different Joseph McAllister in my files. One was a duplicate which I deleted. The other four included:

  • Joseph McAllister (1818-1855) – 3rd great-grandfather – I’ll review his life below.
  • Joseph McAllister – (1848-____) 3rd great-uncle (Joseph Senior’s oldest son)
  • Joseph McAllister – (1889-1962) 2nd great uncle (Great-grandmother Hannah’s brother)
  • Joseph McAllister – (1917-1982) 1st cousin, 2x removed. (Joseph 1889’s son)

HM Passport Office

When doing genealogical research on English ancestors, I find that the General Register Office (GRO) is one of the best sites to use. They maintain the national archives of all births marriages, and deaths dating back to 1837.  I’ve ordered from them many times and have always been happy with what they provide.

Once you log into the GRO at HM Passport Office, (an account is free) you can do basic searches for particular records. If you know the person’s name, year of death, and place of death, you will likely find the record on the GRO website. Then you can order a copy of the record through them.  If you are like me and only need a PDF version of the file, you can order a Birth or Death record for about eight dollars at the current exchange rate.  You can’t order a PDF version of a marriage record, so you need to order a hard copy of one at about $12. I always think it is much better to have a copy of the record from the register than relying on just the index of the record. I highly recommend that you always get a copy of the record rather than relying on only the index information.

If you have an Ancestry World Explorer subscription, you can search several databases regarding England & Wales, Civil Registration [Birth/Marriage/Death] Indexes, 1837-1915. Ancestry has many different methods to search and potentially find the record you are looking for easier on Ancestry. When you see the indexed record, it will provide the book and page number for ordering at the Government Register Office. You can also order a physical copy through AncestryShop for $38.00.

Darling Research 2019 – Ancestor #52

List of Grandparents 

Joseph McAllister (1818-1855)

Birth

Joseph was born about 1818 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England.[i]  When Joseph was born, King George III was King of England. I have not determined who Joseph’s parents were.

Childhood

I know nothing of siblings of Joseph or his childhood. I do know that when Joseph was two, King George III died and was replaced by his son, King George IV who reigned until Joseph was about 12. George IV died: his brother William reigned for only six years. Then, in 1837, Victoria became Queen and reigned for 63 years.

Marriage

Joseph married Hannah Bell sometime between October and December 1845 in Cockermouth, Cumberland County, England. I have ordered a copy of their marriage registry entry through the General Register Office.

Adult

Joseph and Hannah had three children.

  •       Margaret – Born 19 October 1846 in Workington. Margaret died at the age of two, on 12 December 1848.
  •       Joseph – Born 1848 in Cockermouth.
  •       Peter – Born 12 February 1852 in Workington. He died in England in 1939.

The 1851 England Census shows the Joseph McAllister family consisting of:

  •       Joseph, Age 33, born in Cockermouth
  •       Hannah, Age 30, born Whitehaven
  •       Joseph, age 3, born Cockermouth
  •       Ann Calbeck, age 61, born Whitehaven — Ann is a “visitor” in the household. Because Ann and Hannah were both born in Whitehaven, I suspect that Ann may have been related to Hannah. Ann is 31 years older than Hannah, so possibly Ann is Hannah’s mother or an aunt. I need to do more research on Ann.

Stories

Margaret’s birth registration indicates that her father was a sailor. Likewise, Peter’s marriage record shows that his father was a sailor. Family oral history said that Peter was a sea captain. I’ve not found any evidence of that; however, I suspect that the oral history story may have been based on Peter’s father, Joseph being a sailor.

A Joseph McAllister was acquitted of stealing slabs and rails of wood from Charles Lamport of Workington. According to the newspaper article.[ii] this Joseph was 28 years-old where our Joseph would have been 33. However, this Joseph McAllister was in the same, Workington, with the same name as our Joseph McAllister.

Death & Burial

Some researchers have indicated that Joseph McAllister died between October and December 1855 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England. Carlisle is only about 35 miles from Workington and 25 miles from Cockermouth, so it certainly is possible that Joseph died there. However, all of Joseph’s other entries are in Cockermouth. I’ve ordered a copy of Joseph McAllister’s 1855 death registration and will see if it provides any assurances that this is the right Joseph. I suspect that this is a different Joseph McAllister and that our Joseph died before that. His widow, Hannah, remarried sometime between October and December 1855, to Charles Mayholland.

Joseph McAllister is person LXWS-74R on Family Search.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  1. Search maritime records for references to Joseph McAllister sailing out of Workington. Could Joseph have been a “sea captain?”
  2. Confirm Joseph McAllister’s death information.
  3. Confirm Hannah McAllister’s remarriage event.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


Sources

  • 1851 England Census, Ancestry, Joseph Allinson [McAllister] Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. Class: HO107; Piece: 2434; Folio: 483; Page: 15; GSU roll: 87114. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/8860/records/15194542.
  • The Newcastle Weekly Courant (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) dated 16 January 1852, Page 2 – “Cumberland Sessions” – Joseph McAlister.
  • England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915, Ancestry, Joseph McAllister – Death – Oct-Nov-Dec 1855 – Carlisle, Cumberland, England. FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: com Operations Inc, 2006.
  • England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915, Ancestry, Marriage – Joseph McAlister [McAllister] and Hannah Bell – Oct-Nov-Dec 1845. FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA.
  • Entry of Marriage, General Register Office, 1878 Marriage – Peter McAllister – Margaret Lambe.
  • General Register Office, Births, Marriages, & Deaths (UK) (HM Passport Office), GRO.GOV.UK, Birth – Margaret McAllister – 1846 – Workington, Cumberland, England. Volume 25, Page 104, No 350.


Endnotes

[i] The 1851 England Census indicates that Joseph Allinson [McAllister] was 33 years old and had been born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England.
[ii] 1852-01-16 – Page 2 – “Cumberland Sessions” – Joseph McAlister. 1852-01-16 – The Newcastle Weekly Courant (Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) · Page 2 “Cumberland Sessions” Joseph McAlister. Newcastle Weekly Courant, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England.

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