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Calling friends in Ireland, Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand and even here in the UK.  Please help me fill in the gaps on my family tree by sharing this, far and wide.  I am looking for someone to share background details on my great Grandma, Mary D’arcy 1901.

I have recently discovered the joys of researching your family tree.  I have spent the last month or so finding out some very entertaining stories about my ancestors, some of them quite remarkable.

  • One ancestor donated a building and some land so the local children could have a school.
  • One ancestor was the first offical time keeper of the Automobile Association
  • One ancestor ran a pub in Chester and was known as a friendly type of chap
  • Two ancestors designed and built the Eastgate Clock Tower in Chester
  • One ancestor was court martialled for speaking out against the Army and Queen Victoria’s cousin (Prince George, 2nd Duke of Cambridge)
  • One ancestor moved to Canada with the Waifs and Strays Society
  • One ancestor played for the All Blacks
  • One ancestor was deported to Australia as a convict
  • My personal favourite – my fourth cousin, three times removed married the neice of Ned Kelly, the notorious Australian outlaw!

I have had such fun researching the tree and have even made a start on my husband’s family tree which has proved just as entertaining.

However, I am stuck, so I am asking people to share this post far and wide with the hope that someone can help me.

Mary Darcy - b. 1901 in Republic of IrelandFinding Mary D’arcy 1901

On 5 April, 1901, my Great Grandma was born.  We knew her as Mary D’arcy.  She was born in the Republic of Ireland.

However, by 1922, she was living in Widnes, Cheshire and was married to my Great Grandad Frank Swindley.

They had eight children – Alice, Francis (my Grandad), George, Nellie, Elizabeth, William, Margaret and Amy Patricia.

I can find no record of their marriage.  However, I can find a wedding in 1921 in Dublin between Frank Swindley and Bridget D’arcy but no one in our family can ever remember her being anything other than Mary D’arcy.

In fact, they remember her being called “Mad Mary D’arcy of Grafton Street” – sounds like she could have been a lot of fun!

We are fairly sure she had a brother called Patrick (which of course doesn’t help as it is one of the most popular Irish names at that time).

She also had a sister call Bessie (could be Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy or Bess) who married a “Daley” and was living in Dublin in the 80’s.

Mary was in regular contact with Frank’s family in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada in the 80’s. Frank’s sister Nellie Swindley was the family member who emigrated to Canada with the Waifs and Strays Society.  She married Albert Osborne and had 6 children.  We have copies of letters from Jack & Betty Osborne, Winnie Smith and Eva – all living in/around Ontario – to Mary and we don’t know what they know about Mary’s background, if anything.

Unfortunately, we do not have anyone around within our family who can help us to fill in the gaps.

Franks’s mum was Alice Moynagh (born 1865), she came from Cavan in Ireland but the family moved to Chester before she was 5.  She married Henry Swindley from Chester.

Alice had a sister Catherine and two brothers – Peter and Patrick.  We can find no record of either of the brothers marrying.  However, Catherine Moynagh married Joseph Dean and they had Sarah, Louisa, Bertie, Annie, Francis Peter, Lily, Charles, Joseph and Lionel.  So perhaps one of those branches of the tree may know something about Mary.

So, please, share this far and wide.  Ireland, Canada, America – anywhere.  It would be really great to find out more about this side of the family.  We have this huge gap and I would love to find out more about Mary and her family.

Can you help?

If anyone can help, please get in touch – [email protected] or fill in the easy contact form:

[contact-form to=’[email protected]’ subject=’Finding Mary Darcy’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

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