Some days, you are completely surprised by what you find. In the Case of Hannah Bell, I conjectured that she was widowed sometime between February 1852, when her son Peter was born, and December 1855, when she married Charles Mayholland. I saw that Hannah Maholland died in 1856 and figured she died within the year. So, to confirm my speculation, I ordered a copy of the death registry record.
The death record indicates my speculation was wrong. Hannah Maholland, who died in 1856, died at 14 days old. My first thought was that Maholland and Mayholland must have been different people. I don’t think so. Little Hannah died at High Church Street, the same location that Hannah had lived for many years. The death registry record for Hannah MaHolland reads:
When: 25 May 1856 – High Church Street, Workington
Who: Hannah Maholland
Age: 14 days
Prof.: Daughter of Charles Maholland, a lawyer journeyman
CoD: Premature Birth Certified
Inf.: Ann Solkirt
When: 27 May 1856
Reg. John Askew, Registrar
Even though there is a minor name difference (Maholland vs. Mayholland), I’m pretty sure that this Charles Maholland is the husband of Hannah (Bell) McAllister. My new theory is that Hannah had a daughter that died at 14 days old and that Hannah (the mother) did not die in the spring of 1856 as I initially supposed.
This research reminded me that relying on indexes can get you into trouble. Always get the original record to confirm the information you have.
“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.
This week, from Newspapers.com, I learned of five new venues for Donna.
From the Brooklyn Times Union (Brooklyn, NY) dated 25 January 1921, I learned that Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties” were booked into the Keeney Theatre. The dates and length of the booking is unclear but I now know she was there in late January 1921.
The York Daily Record (York, PA) dated 4 April 1922, indicates that Donna Darling played at the York Opera House. The dates suggested are April 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Those dates are in conflict with other items I’ve found indicating that on April 3rd, 4th, and 5th Donna played in Johnstown, PA. Further investigation is needed on this topic.
From the Morning Call (Paterson, NJ)) dated 4 December 1922, I learned that Dona [sic] Darling and Boys played the Majestic Theatre on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, of December 1922.
Of particular interest, the Winona (MN) Daily News indicated that “Donna Darling and Earle” played at the Strand Theatre on May 12th and 13th 1923. This booking fits into a large gap I’ve had in her work.
Back to the Brooklyn (NY) Times Union, this time dated 5 May 1928. In that issue, I learned that Donna Darling and Somory [sic] Clark played at the Majestic Theatre in Brooklyn. Again, it is unclear what the exact dates were, but I know it was in May 1928.
Additions to Donna’s Career History
Jan 25-?, 1921 – Brooklyn, New York – Keeney Theatre – Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties.”
April 3-5, 1922 – York, PA – York Opera House – Donna Darling & Boys – Conflict.
December 3-5, 1922 – Paterson, NJ – Majestic Theatre – Donna and Boys.
May 12-13, 1923 – Winona, Minnesota – Strand Theatre – “Donna Darling and Earle.”
May 5, 1928 – Brooklyn, New York – Majestic Theatre – Donna Darling and Sammy Clark.
I will further research these performances and theatres in future postings. I currently have 110 performance events to still write about and research.
I received the copy of the Death record of Joseph McAllister. Sadly, the Joseph McAllister who died in the St. Mary District, Carlisle, Cumberland County on 12 Dec 1855 is a different Joseph McAllister. That Joseph was 72 years old when he died and was an “agricultural labourer.” (Neither fact were evident in the index.) Our Joseph McAllister should have been about 37 years old and a mariner.
Hannah still married Charles Mayholland in the fall of 1855, so her husband, Joseph McAllister, must have died before that. Searches for his death have been unsuccessful so far. I’ve ordered a copy of the marriage record from the General Register Office. I should receive the record vis US Post be mid-June.
Corrections to the original are either lined out or added in green
Originally posted 11 February 2019.
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-c.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)
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.
52 – 3rd Great-grandfather: Joseph McAllister (c. 1818-c. 1855)
Joseph McAllister (1818-c.1855)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ordered a copy of Joseph McAllister’s 1855 death registration. That Joseph McAllister was 72 years old when he passed. Our Joseph McAllister would have been about 37. This Joseph McAllister who died in Carlisle in 1855 is clearly a different Joseph McAllister and from our Joseph.
Joseph McAllister is person LXWS-74R on Family Search.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Search maritime records for references to Joseph McAllister sailing out of Workington. Could Joseph have been a “sea captain?”
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.
[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) Â· Page 2 “Cumberland Sessions” Joseph McAlister. Newcastle Weekly Courant, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England.
It is always great when you can get a copy of an original record rather than relying upon an index. Thanks to the General Register Office, I was able to receive PDF copies of the actual registries for the Birth and the Death of my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather, Peter McAllister. He was a double emigrant – the only one I’ve found in any of my genealogical research. That is to say, he left his native country of England for the United States. He lived in the States for thirty-five years and became a citizen of the United States. Then he emigrated from the US to England, where he lived the last 20 years of his life.
Anyway, thanks to the General Register Office’s birth records, I learned Peter was born at home, on High Church Street in Workington. The record confirmed the names of his parents and confirmed the occupation of his father, a Mariner.
The death register entry provided an exact date for Peter’s death. I had long known he died during the 1st quarter of 1941, however, the Registry nailed the date of his death to 16 January 1941 and provided a cause of death. He died at 4 Lismore Place, Workington, which I suspect is where he lived at the time. Today that address is a small 2-story flat on a narrow street, just two doors down for what is now a Fish & Chips Take-Away.
If you have ancestors that were born, married, or died in England since 1837 you may find a record there at the General Register Office. https://www.gro.gov.uk/
Donna Montran & “Chin Chin” at the Empire Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on January 12th thru 14th, 1920
Vaudeville – Chin Chin – Donna Montran
It was a hectic week before. The “Chin Chin” company played in Medicine Hat on the 5th and 6th, in Lethbridge on the 7th, and Calgary the 8th through the 10th. After seven days of shows in three cities, I hope the cast received the 11th off, because the crew would do three days at the Empire Theatre in Saskatoon[i] before continuing on to another three days (the 15th thru the 17th) in Regina. Saskatoon was bitter cold that week. When the cast arrived on the 12th the high temperature for that day was a balmy 28 degrees Fahrenheit. That night the temperature dropped to two degrees and continued to drop to five degrees below the night of the 13th. When the cast left on the morning of the 15th, the temperature was still below zero.[ii]
The first newspaper advertising I’ve found was 9 days before the show. On January 3rd, 1920, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, on page 10, column 3, the last article reported that the “Dreams of Arabian Nights Realized in ‘Chin Chin.’”
DREAMS OF ARABIAN NIGHTS REALIZED IN “CHIN CHIN”
Coming to the Empire theatre on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 12, 13 and 14, is Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin” the musical comedy which is one of those tales of love and wishing common to the Arabian Nights. All impossibilities are crowded into it, jumbled together like the figures in a dream, and in the end it resolves itself into a vehicle for the display of the clever grotesqueries of the two clever “turn” artist, Walter Wills and Roy Binder. Mr. Binder gives us a rapid succession Chin Hop Low, the widow, a Coolie, and the Ring Master, lightning changes of mood, manner and get-up that provoke the audience to mirth. No more diverting and entertaining “comics” have come this way for many seasons.
In the same paper, on page 3, was a display ad for the coming show. On the 5th was another display ad and on the 7th was another text story about “CHIN CHIN” COMING. The 10th and the 12th had similar articles and displays.
On the 13th, the day after the show’s opening, both the Saskatoon Daily Star and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix had articles that included callouts about Donna.
The Daily Star wrote, “Outstand among the other principals were Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp, Neva Larry….”
The Star Phoenix wrote, “Donna Montran has a nice voice and puts two very pretty songs across to advantage. Star Dunham.…”
The Empire Theatre opened in 1910 as a live stage venue. It was built as an addition to the existing Empire Hotel. In 1914, the theatre was equipped with screen films, keeping it current. In 1930, the theater was sold, converted to full-time motion pictures, and renamed the Victory Theatre.[iii]
Specifications for the Empire Theatre
Seating Capacity: 1,154 Total — 442 on the floor, 276 in the balcony, 400 in the gallery, and 36 in boxes.[iv]
Proscenium opening: 27×32 ft
Front to back wall: 22 ft
Nearby, the Elite Café (#2 on map), which was a block from the theatre, advertised that they catered to performers. About two blocks away was the Hub Café (#1 on map) which touted Yankee Coffee and that “All the Acts Ate Here Last Week.” The Canadian National Railway station was about two blocks from the venue and the Canadian Pacific Railway station was another block or so further.[v]
What happened to theater
During the 1960s the brick exterior was clad in marble. Today, the theatre building is part of “The Lighthouse,” which provides long-term housing for 68 people.[vi]
[i] I learned that Donna played Saskatoon last January and wrote about that in a “Donna in the News” post.