Her parents were Patrick McWEENEY and Mary Ann, whose maiden name is still unknown. She was the third of six known children, including Ellen, Francis, John, Patrick and Andrew.
She was born in 1843 once her parents reached North America. But she was not born in the United States; she was born in Montreal, Canada. Based on US census records, her younger brothers were all born in Illinois. I know from their birth date ranges that they came to Illinois about 1845.
This past summer, I did a little digging in the local court archives in Will County, Illinois, and was able to uncover some probate files for this family. I learned that her father Patrick was from County Leitrim, Ireland. More specifically, I learned her older sister Ellen was born in something similar to 'Latham' in Leitrim. Well, that narrows down future searching! Patrick's wife, the unknown Mary Ann, had a childless sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Charles CLIFFORD, who also were residing in Lockport, Will, Illinois.
Her father Patrick was a farmer and purchased at least 40 acres on the north side of the Village of Lockport in Will County. This part of the county was near the being-built Illinois and Michigan Canal. Patrick died in October of 1851. Shortly after, his property was transferred to his widow. And then Mary Ann died in 1862.
Their daughter Mary Ann married an Irish immigrant named Thomas RILEY in 1865. Thomas and Mary Ann had four children: Elizabeth, James, John, and Andrew. They lived in Lockport for the rest of their lives.
I am fortunate to have this three-generation photo of the family, taken about 1913:
Mary Ann is on the far left and Thomas on the far right. Mary Ann died in 1922 at age 79.
I have recently made contact with descendants of some of the other McWeeney children, so there is more work to be done and hopefully, more connections to be made, especially back to Ireland.
© 2014 Sally Knudsen