The ancestor most wanted for this month is Joseph McGinnis.
Joseph McGinnis was born ca 1825-1830 in Ireland. He was married to Frances (Fanny) Downey. With his wife and year old daughter Bridget (aka Delia) he came to Ontario Canada circa 1846. They settled on a farm owned by John McGinnis who was probably a father or uncle. The farm was on Concession 3, Lot 11 Puslinch Township, Wellington County Ontario.
Joseph disappears from the records after the 1871 census for Guelph, Wellington County Ontario. Fanny also disappears but is found again in 1891 Guelph and 1901 Morriston census as a widow. She may be the Fanny found in 1881 Guelph census too, also as a widow. Many of Joseph's brothers (or cousins) and sisters (or cousins) left the Guelph area for USA and it is possible Joseph left with them and died there.
To complicate this mystery, there was a second couple named Joseph McGinnis with wife Frances (Fanny) Foster living in the area at the same time. Both couples were born in Ireland and were Roman Catholic. Both couples were around the same ages. One of the problems is determining which couple is being referred to in some of the records. I have listed the known facts and confusions below.
Known Facts about Joseph McGinnis & Fanny Downey
* Joseph rented/ran a tavern called Speed the Plow on Concession 4 Lot 6 Puslinch Twp.
* 1847. Daughter Fanny baptised in Church of Our Lady, Guelph, in Sept. Parents "Joseph Miganes and his wife Fanny"
* 1850. Son Alexander in Church of Our Lady, Guelph,in Feb. 1850. Parents "Joseph McGinnis and his wife Fanny"
* 1851. Missing from the 1851 census for Puslinch Township. The first page of that census is missing, it is very probable that Joseph and family were on that lost page
* 1857. Daughter Margaret baptised in Church of Our Lady, Guelph, in Feb. Parents "Joseph McGinnis and Fanny Downey"
* 1861 Puslinch Township Census. Joseph age 30, labourer born Ireland, Roman Catholic. Wife Fanny age 30 born ireland. 7 children
- Bridget, b Ireland, 16
- Fanny, b. Upper Canada, 14
- Alex b. Upper Canada, 12
- Daniel b. Upper Canada 10
- Ann b. Upper Canada 8
- Margaret b. upper Canada 6
- Mary Jane b Upper Canada, 1
* 1864. Son Joseph baptised in Church of Our Lady, Guelph in August. Parents "Joseph McGinnis and Fanny Downy [sic] McGinnis"
* 1871-1872 Wellington County Directory. Joseph McGrunnis [sic] farmer on Conc 3 Lot 11 Puslinch
* 1871 Census, Guelph Wellington Co. Joseph age 46, labourer and Fanny age 44 with children:
- Alex, 23 b. Ontario
- Fanny, 20 b Ontario
- Daniel, 18, b. Ontario
- Annie 16 b Ontario
- Margaret 14 b Ontario
- Mary 9 b. Ontario
- Joseph 7 b Ontario
- Robert 5 b Ontario
* 1881 Census Ontario. Joseph not found but Fanny may be (see notes below)
* 1891 Census Guelph, Wellington Co. Fanny McGinnis, 60, widow, Roman Catholic, laundress. living with her daughter Delia Johnson
* 1901 census Morriston, Puslinch Tp, Wellington Co. Fanny McGinnis, widow, born Ireland 1824, age 76, living with her daughter Frances (Fanny) Vogt and son Alex McGinnis
* 1904 Death of Fanny McGinnis nee Downey in December.
Known Facts about the SECOND Joseph McGinnis & his wife Fanny Foster
*28 March 1877. Death of Joseph McGinnis age 48 in Guelph. Church of Our Lady records his burial with the notation "husband of Fanny Foster". Burial in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Guelph, Block C, Section 28, Grave 25
* 12 July 1890. Death of Fanny McGinnis in Guelph. Church of Our Lady records her burial with the notation "born in Gilbrator, age 65 years". Death certificate reads "60 years old, died in St. Joseph's Hospital [Guelph]" She is buried in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Guelph, Block B, SEction 19, Grave 47.
Facts for Joseph and Fanny McGinnis - but which ones?
* 1847. Feb 4, July 7. Letters for Joseph McGinnis in the Guelph Post Office
* 1850. Dec 10. Letters for Joseph McGinnis in the Guelph Post Office
* 1873 Guelph City Directory. Joseph McGinnis, labourer living Norfolk & Cork St
* 1875-1877 Guelph City Directory. Joseph McGinnis, living 77 Norfolk St. near Cork
* 1877 Guelph City Directory. Fanny McGinnis, widow of Joseph, living 64 Cork St.
* 1881 Census Guelph. Fanny McGinnis, 40, born Ireland, servant in another house (if this is MY Fanny, where are her sons Robert and Joseph?)
* 1881 Census Guelph, Fanny Maginnis [sic], 49, charwoman, born Ireland, Roman Catholic with son Joseph, 15, a moulder. (If this is MY Fanny with her son Joseph where is son Robert?)
* 1882-1883 Guelph City Directory. Fanny McGinnis, widow of Joseph, living 64 Cork St.
Migratory Pattern of Known Sons & Daughters of John McGinnis of Conc 3 Lot 11 Puslinch
* S. left Ontario for Cherokee Iowa in 1872
* J. Jr. in Puslinch until 1861. 1871 in Oxford Co. Ontario. Naturalized in LaPeer Co. Michigan in 1879
* D. in Puslinch until 1861. 1871 in Oxford Co. Ontario. Naturalized in LaPeer Co. Michigan in 1880
* C. left Puslinch for Marquette Michigan in 1864 then went to Iowa
* MJ was in Puslinch in 1851, in Cleveland Ohio by 1860
* F. in Puslinch in 1851, in Cleveland Ohio by 1860
* J & H sold land in Puslinch in 1875, found in Hespeler, Waterloo Co. Ontario in 1879
The possibility is strong that my Joseph and Fanny also left Puslinch/Guelph for USA. Joseph may have died there sometime between 1871 and 1881.
* no death record found for Joseph in Ontario after 1871
* no burial record found in Church of our Lady, Guelph
* no record of Joseph in the 1880 USA census or 1881 Ontario census
* I am unable to find the 4 youngest children of my Joseph and Fanny in the 1881 census for Ontario. These children are Margaret, Mary Jane born 1860-1862, Joseph born 1864, Robert born 1865. I did find a Fanny with son Joseph who could be my Fanny with son, but the other 3 youngest children are missing.
* All the children except Margaret resurface (Mary Jane marrying in 1883 in Galt, Watlerloo Co; Joseph in Hamilton by 1899 and possibly in Guelph 1885; Robert in Morriston Wellington Co. in 1891)
* The 5 oldest (Bridget aka Delia, Fanny, Alex, Daniel and Ann) are all married and accounted for in 1881 census records for Guelph (Delia & Alex), Morriston (Fanny), Bruce Co (Dan) and Waterloo (Ann).
$100.00 Reward offered for proven death for my Joseph McGinnis - the location and date.
$50.00 Reward offered for proof of where Joseph was living after 1871
$25.00 Reward offered for proof of whereabouts of any of 4 youngest children - Margaret, Mary Jane, Joseph and Robert, in 1880 or 1881 census.
If you need more details to tackle this mystery, please contact me in private email (olivetreegenealogyATgmail.com replace AT with @)
P.S. The Reward for September Most Wanted Ancestor is still up for grabs!