Families & History of the Connected Manary Famillies

Introduction to: Branches/A Brief Overview

Almost 40 branches of the original Manary/Menary families in  Northern Ireland have been identified, with discoveries of new ones emerging as research develops. A branch can be defined as divisions of a family descending from a particular ancestor, one who cannot be linked back any further to a more distant ancestor. As time goes on, some present branches may be merged with an already existing branch, if a common ancestor is found.

The following are brief outlines of these ancestors, beginning with the oldest. A few, such as the first two oldest, have several children with extensive trees of their own, so are included with their parents. A few, such as John Menary, born 1798, a son of Alexander Menary, have enough of a history that they are considered a branch on their own. The surname spelling of each branch follows the common spelling they currently use.

The histories are brief, noting places of origin and of immigration, dates of birth and death, marriage information and children, as well as any outstanding stories of their lives. For detailed information, including family histories and photos, membership is required.

Many of these early ancestors are linked to hundreds of trees on Ancestry.com without any real knowledge of their genealogical connection. This overview is designed to help avoid confusion and to make clear what is possible or feasible. The fact is that at present, it is difficult to positively link our known ancestors born in the late 1700s who emigrated from Ireland to North America and elsewhere with the generation before them, born in the mid-1700s. Because of the scarcity of records, DNA matching may be the best tool we have to determine those relationships.

All biographies written by Barbara MacPherson

County Armagh Families

John Menary and Mary Ann (surname unknown)


ca 1745-ca 1804; lived Kilmatroy, County Armagh

John Menary and Mary Ann (surname unknown) are the progenitors of several established Menary lines. John was born about 1745 and married Mary Ann about 1768. We have knowledge of three sons born to them between 1770 and 1790, but there must be other children, perhaps some daughters who married into other families or sons who died young. John died at some time between 1804 and 1805 and spent most of his life in Eglish Parish in Armagh.

Descendants of John Menary and Mary Ann

William Wallace Menery (1770 – ca. 1850) has been linked to John and Mary Ann as his parents. His story has been written up separately, since it is well-known.

The second son, John Menary, born about 1780, died in 1831 in Kilmatroy, but his family is unknown at present. If he married and had a family, perhaps his children immigrated abroad.

The third known son, Thomas Menary, was born about 1790 and lived in Kilmatroy. He married Mary (surname unknown) and they had a family of four known children, although there may have been more. Thomas died sometime after 1832.

Descendants of Thomas Menary and Mary

The first known son, John Menary, was born in 1818 in Eglish Parish. While a young man, he converted to the Methodist church and became a lay preacher. In 1847, he married Ann Harbison (1826-1896) and they had five children. In 1872, John and his family immigrated to the United States. Sailing by way of the Panama Canal, they settled near Bodega, Sonoma County, California. John died in 1887 at Bloomfield, Bodega and many of his descendants still remain in California.

The other three children of Thomas and Mary remained in Ireland, as far as is known. William, who was born in 1831, married Margaret Garmony (the Garmony family has many ties to the Menarys) and died in 1909 in Kilmatroy, the third known generation of Menarys to live there.

Alexander Menary and Martha Herron

ca 1750 – 1806; lived Maghery Kilcranny, County Armagh

Alexander Menary, who was born about 1750 in Armagh, is one of the few older Menary ancestors about whom we know a great deal. The family was literate, and from letters that they wrote to each other, plus plentiful land and will records, an accurate picture has emerged. As well, we know with a certainty exactly how many children they had and who they were, so this is perhaps the most certain, indisputable branch that we know.

Whether Alexander was born in Maghery Kilcranny in the parish of Derrynoose isn’t known, but land records indicate he and his family leased land there. Possibly around 1775, Alexander married Martha Herron and they had a family of five children: two daughters and three sons. Alexander died in 1806 at the age of about 56; Martha was still alive in 1817, when her daughter Jane Menary Wilkins wrote her a letter from New Haven, Connecticut, and may have lived well past that.

John Menary and Ann (surname unknown)

ca 1757 – 1830; lived Keady, County Armagh

John Menary and his wife (Ann) were the parents of at least three groups of Menary ancestors. John was born in 1757 in the parish of Keady, Armagh. About 1777, he married Ann (surname unknown) and possibly had a large family. Three sons are known at present, but it’s likely they had as many daughters or more, since the spread between the three sons is eighteen years. John died in Cargaclogher, Keady, Armagh in 1830, age about 77; Ann had died three years earlier.

John and Ann’s oldest son was John, born 1777 in Keady. He also married a woman named Ann (surname unknown). The couple had four known children, but there has been little data found so far about them, except for their birthdates.
The second son was James, born 1784, who was married to Elizabeth (surname unknown). The couple had three known children; two were born in Clea, Keady, and the last was born in Tynan in 1813. Nothing more is known about the children, so far.

The youngest son was Samuel. Born in 1795 in Keady, he married Ann Lawson in 1819 in Keady at the age of 24. They had a known family of five children, the last being born in 1836. In 1837, Samuel died at the age of 42, cause unknown. It’s presumed that Ann lived on, since the youngest child at that time was only one. It may be that the family lived in extreme poverty after the loss of their father, since four of the five children left Ireland when they were older. The remaining sister, Ann, may have died in Ireland.
It’s not known if they came together or not, but they all settled in Elizabethtown, Leeds County, Ontario and were there by 1855. The only son, Alexander, eventually moved with his family to Gouveneur, New York. The daughters married, had families, and spent the rest of their lives in Leeds, Ontario.

James Menary and Martha Clarke

ca 1795 – bef 1865; lived Armaghbreague, County Armagh

This Menary line has an oral history which states that their ancestors were Huguenots who came to Ireland in the late 1600s. Written records confirm that Menarys have been in the Armagh area since before 1664.

James, father of James who married Martha Clarke,  was possibly born around 1765 and his wife was thought to have had the surname of Verner, but this has not been proven so far. “Miss Verner’s” first name is not known. There are land records of a George Verner and his wife Elizabeth Donaldson at Burke County, South Carolina, now Georgia, in 1765. They emigrated from Armagh as did George’s cousin William Crossle. The Menary families of County Armagh and County Tyrone have several links with the Verner and Crossle families.

The oral history which was written down in 1940s states that this James Menary stood surety for a neighbour who defaulted on his payments causing James to lose all his own property. “Miss Verner’s” brother, who had immigrated to America, offered them land in South Carolina but instead they settled in Armaghbreague in the Parish of Lisnadill. They had three sons: James, Alexander and William. There are no details of William at present. James and Alexander and most of their descendants were farmers and cattle dealers who travelled extensively buying and selling stock.

Son James married Martha Clarke (1807- 1895) and their descendants mainly live in Northern Ireland. They had eight children. The children of their daughter Isabella, married to Alexander Briens/Brines of Armaghbreague, immigrated to Montreal in the early 1900s. Most of them are buried in Mont Royal Cemetery.

Alexander (1793-1878) lived at Aghnadamph in the Parish of Muckno, County Monaghan with his wife Elizabeth (1791-1886), two sons who were single, and his daughter Jane who married Samuel Harrison in 1848. Their descendants still live in the Armagh/ Monaghan border area.


Four of the eight children of their son Alexander emigrated to America also in the early 1900s. Two married and had families. The remaining six children of Alexander and his wife Agnes/ Nancy Shanks had no family. Five were single. The daughters of this family researched the Menary family history in 1930s/1940s and were in contact with many Menary descendants in Canada, America and Australia, some of whom came to visit them in Armagh.

James Menary died before 1864. Martha Clarke Menary remarried in 1865 to James McBride, a widower with a family. They had no further children of their own.

The James Menary/ “Miss Verner” line has DNA matches to several other Menary families from the greater Armagh City area of County Armagh and their descendants worldwide.

William Wallace Menery and Catherine McMillan

ca 1770- bef 1851; Derrynoose, County Armagh to Halton County Ontario

William Wallace Menery (sometimes spelled Menerey) was born in 1770 in Madden, Derrynoose, Armagh.  William took a different path than most of the Menarys, who were tenant farmers. He moved to Cork sometime before 1796, since records show he married Catherine McMillan in 1796 there. At that time, he was a weaver by trade, but in 1799, he enlisted in the Irish Corps of Corps of Captains’ Commissionaries. By 1812, he had become a Sergeant, and in 1813, was sent to Spain to fight in the Napoleonic Wars with the Royal Artillery. He fought in the Battle of Nivelle in France and in 1814, was discharged, earning a Military General Service medal and a small pension.

William and Catherine had a family of ten known children, at least two of whom died in Ireland. The oldest, Robert, was born before William’s military service, and five more were born during his service. After his discharge, William and the family moved to Dublin, where three more daughters were born, and he was probably engaged in the weaving trade at that time. In 1822, he made the decision to emigrate and in March of that year, they sailed to Canada. Their youngest child, William Henry, was born 22 March 1822 on the voyage over. As far as is known, William Wallace Menery was the first of the Manary/Menary family to come to Canada, but was followed by many others  in subsequent years.

The family lived in Trafalgar, Halton, on land that William had leased before he left Ireland.  Some of their children married in Canada but at least three moved on to the United States. Catherine died some time before William, possibly in the 1840s. According to early letters from family members, in his last years, William was a widower who lived with his daughter, Sarah Menery Leslie, who lived in Churchville, Halton County. He died sometime before the 1851 census and his burial place is unknown at this time, but is likely in Churchville.

Jane Manary and Adam Bailey

ca 1778-1861; Eglish, County Armagh to Middlesex, Ontario

Jane Manary was born in December 1778, probably in County Armagh and possibly in Eglish Parish. At the age of 26, she married Adam Bailey in 1804, Eglish Parish. They probably farmed in Eglish Parish, as all ten of their children (one died young) were born there between 1804 and 1822.

In 1823, a year after their last child was born, Jane and Adam emigrated to Canada and settled in West Nissouri Township, Middlesex County. They located on the East ½, Lot 2, Concession 2, West Nissouri, and may have moved from there to Thorndale, which is in West Nissouri township. Adam died there in 19 October 1843; Jane died eighteen years later on 11 September 1861.

West Nissouri was settled by many Irish families, some from Armagh, and at least one from Eglish Parish. The children of Jane and Adam Bailey intermarried with these Irish families, some of whom were from the Wilson, English, Weir, and Dixon families. Most of them remained in Middlesex County and farmed there.

James Menary and Elizabeth (unknown)

ca 1780 – aft 1850; Lived in Tynan, Eglish, Armagh; immigrated to Allegheny, PN

James Menary was born about 1780, likely in County Armagh. About 1804, he married Elizabeth, whose surname is unknown. Records have been found for four children: Jane, Catherine, John, and Henry, born between 1806 and 1813 in Ballymacully, Clea, and Tynan in County Armagh. No records have been found of the family after 1813 in Ireland.

However, records for a James Menary who left Ireland about 1817/1818 and settled in Pine Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania highly suggest that these refer to James of Tynan, who must have emigrated to Pennsylvania with his family, along with another daughter, Elizabeth, born in Ireland perhaps about 1814. Another daughter, Nancy, was born in 1818 in Pennsylvania, pinpointing their approximate date of arrival. James established a farm, which may have grown to about 800 acres by 1850.

The 1820, 1830, and 1840 censuses of Pennsylvania name only the heads of household and list other members only by sex and approximate age. In the 1820 Allegheny census, records showed that there was other family living with James and Elizabeth besides their children: a man and a woman between the ages of 25 – 44 and a young woman between the ages of 16 – 25. These people were probably relatives from Ireland who immigrated with them, but their identity is unknown.

Elizabeth died sometime between the 1820 and the 1830 census, probably aged about 40. James did not remarry and his household in 1830 and 1840 was composed of people of varying ages who lived with him. Some were probably his children, but it’s difficult to know exactly. In 1840, an Ann Menary who appeared to be a widow with five small children lived next door to him, and may have been the widow of his son John, born in 1812. No further records of her have been found, or of the children. As well, no real records naming John, Henry, or Catherine have been found.

The only children who appeared to have descendants were James and Elizabeth’s daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, and Nancy. They married, had large families, and lived on farms in the Pine Township area. Some descendants of the family moved to nearby Pittsburgh.

James appeared in the 1850 census, age 70, living alone on a small parcel of land on an 800-acre farm owned by his son-in-law  James McCombs, married to Jane. This would suggest that he had sold the farm to them. Sometime between 1850 and 1860, James died, although no death or cemetery records have been found for him. Despite being settled very early in American history, early Pennsylvania records in the Allegheny area are very sparse.

John Menary and (name unknown)

ca 1783- 1868; lived Drumhirk, County Armagh

John Menary was born about 1783 in Armagh, probably in Derrynoose parish. He married about 1818 or earlier, although the name of his wife is unknown. They had eight known children born between 1819 and 1835; two of them were stated as being born in Keady. John died in 1868 at Drumhirk, Derrynoose Parish, Armagh.

Out of the eight children, four immigrated to Canada, and one made plans to immigrate, but fate took a hand. The remaining children of the family married and had families in Keady and Derrynoose.

Dates point to the fact that three of the children of John of Drumhirk probably banded together and left Ireland together in 1849 or 1850 to immigrate to Ontario, Canada. William, born 1826, and John, born 1820, both single, may have been accompanied by their sister Elizabeth, born 1829, and her new husband William Foster (they were married in Ireland in 1849, but their first child, born in 1850, was born in Ontario).

William, who farmed in Euphrasia, Grey County, Ontario, married Sarah Breadner in Brampton, Peel County, Ontario in 1853. They had a family of three known children (some researchers show five) and began to spell their surname as Manarey. William died in 1858 at the young age of 31. Sarah remarried and had six more children with her new husband, John Neeley, before she too died an early death at age 37 in 1873.

Elizabeth and her husband William Foster had seven children in Canada. Some were born in Churchill, Simcoe County, but by 1874 at the latest, they had settled in Collingwood. Elizabeth died at the age of 76 in Collingwood in 1887; William had died in 1881.

Andrew joined the group in Euphrasia, Ontario in 1856. Born in 1823 in Keady, he married Mary Jane Hughes in 1849 in Derrynoose and at the time of their emigration, they had two children born in Ireland. His occupation in Ireland was listed as a weaver, but he soon acquired land and became a farmer. Seven more children were born in Euphrasia, Grey County and the family also adopted the spelling of Manarey. Andrew lived to the age of about 76 and died in 1889. Mary Jane died sometime after the 1871 census.

John, who never married, died at age 45 in 1865 in Euphrasia, Grey County, Ontario.

Their remaining brother, Joseph, married Ann Dunwoody in Keady and had nine children, all born in Keady. The story is told that he made a trip to Ontario (probably in 1879) to join his siblings and buy a farm for himself and his family. He returned home to Ireland to arrange for the family to immigrate, but became ill and died in April 1880, aged 50. His widow and their children chose to remain in Ireland.

Andrew and his family, William and his family, along with single brother John, are buried at the Temple Hill Cemetery in Euphrasia. Elizabeth and her husband William Foster are buried in Collingwood. The descendants of John of Drumhirk are numerous in both Canada and Ireland.

John Menary and Sarah Martin

ca 1789-1855; Mullaghbrack, County Armagh to New Zealand

John Menary was born in 1789 in Lurgaboy, Mullaghbrack Parish, Armagh, the son of William Menary, born about 1750. About the age of 25, John married Sarah Martin, born about 1793 in the nearby town of Markethill. John was listed as a shepherd in 1839, although he may have been a farmer as well.

John and Sarah had eleven children in quick succession and, sadly, Sarah died in childbirth 22 February 1835 with the last child, Susannah, or Susan. The three oldest girls were teenagers and probably looked after the younger children at that time (one child died young in 1833). John fell on hard times financially and in 1839, decided to immigrate to Australia. The family arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on the ship Royal Admiral, and settled in that area for about ten years.

John wasn’t satisfied with life in Australia, so sometime before 1843, the family pulled up stakes and moved to New Zealand, settling around Auckland. The children married and most remained in the Auckland area. John died 21 May 1855 in Auckland at the age of 66, his funeral attended by 126 of his descendants.

John Menary and Elizabeth Downey

ca 1790- 1865; lived Lisnadill, County Armagh

John Menary of Letmacollum, Lisnadill Parish, was born about 1790. About 1825, at the age of 35, he married Elizabeth Downey (ca. 1810 – ca. 1865). John was a farmer and managed to purchase his own farm at Letmacollum. He and Elizabeth had four known children, most of whom remained living within miles of the family farm. John died in 1865, age 75, at Letmacollum. The original house still exists today.
Little is known about three of the children, but one son John, born sometime between 1832 and 1840, had a family of about nine children and eventually owned the family farm. He married Mary Kennedy and had one son in 1864, but unfortunately, Mary died at the age of 26 in childbirth. In 1867, John remarried to Margaret Gray and the couple had eight children. Most remained in Ireland, but one son, Thomas, immigrated to the US in 1913 and is said to have died in Pennsylvania. James Kennedy Menary, John’s son by Mary Kennedy, immigrated to Australia in 1884. Five great-grandchildren of John and Elizabeth Menary immigrated to California and their descendants live there today.

Little is known about three of the children, but one son John, born sometime between 1832 and 1840, had a family of about nine children and eventually owned the family farm. He married Mary Kennedy and had one son in 1864, but unfortunately, Mary died at the age of 26 in childbirth. In 1867, John remarried to Margaret Gray and the couple had eight children. Most remained in Ireland, but one son, Thomas, immigrated to the US in 1913 and is said to have died in Pennsylvania. James Kennedy Menary, John’s son by Mary Kennedy, immigrated to Australia in 1884. Five great-grandchildren of John and Elizabeth Menary immigrated to California and their descendants live there today.

Robert Menary and Sarah Whitton

ca 1790- ca 1847; lived Derrynoose, County Armagh

Robert Menary, whose descendants in Australia now spell the name Menerey, was born about 1790 in County Armagh, possibly in Derrynoose Parish. About 1813, aged approximately 23, Robert married Sarah Whitton. It has been said that Robert married twice, but so far, no evidence has been shown of that. Robert was listed in 1863 as a tailor and some of his family carried on in that profession.

Robert and Sarah had six known children, at least four of whom immigrated to other parts of the world. Their oldest son, John, along with his wife, Jane Shannon, left and moved to Ontario; the second son James, who married Mary Jane Goodwin, immigrated to Scotland, as did his brother Samuel who married Mary McWilliams and his sister Sarah, who married Peter Campbell. The youngest son, Joseph, married Annie Halliday and they and their family moved to far-away Brisbane, Australia.

Records were found in 1847 that Robert’s son John sent money back from Ontario to his father in Mowillan, Derrynoose, so possibly Robert lived there until his death sometime after that year. It’s not known when Sarah died.

John Menary and Phoebe Kilpatrick

ca 1798- ca 1851; lived Derrynoose, County Armagh

John Menary was born about 1800 in County Armagh, Ireland, a son of Alexander Menary and Martha Herron. The family lived in Maghery Kilcrany, Armagh. About 1828, John married Phoebe Elizabeth Rebecca Kilpatrick. Born about 1798, apparently, her given names were Elizabeth Rebecca, but she was usually known by Phoebe, a common Kilpatrick name.

The couple had six known children, born between 1830 and 1846. In 1851, when the youngest child was about five, John died and left the family fatherless. A year later in June of 1852, Phoebe and her children, ranging in age from six to twenty-two, sailed on the S.S. Mountaineer to New York, where several Kilpatricks had already immigrated.  On the ship’s passenger list, Phoebe and her two daughters, Anne Jane and Martha, were listed as “gentlemen’s servants” (Anne Jane, as the eldest, had married a few years before and had her ten-month-old daughter with her). The two older brothers were listed as labourers.

A little more than a year after the family arrived in New York, Phoebe died, location 32nd Street, 20th Ward, New York. Her age was given as 55, suggesting her year of birth was 1798. Anne Jane’s baby daughter, Margaret, appears to have died after their arrival in New York, and sometime after that, Anne Jane returned to her husband Thomas Foster in Ireland. Martha, the second youngest daughter, married James Williams, a blacksmith from England. Some of her siblings boarded with them and since James apprenticed blacksmiths, they possibly learned the trade from him.  Sadly, Martha died in 1859 at the age of 27 from “consumption” (TB) and by the time of the 1861 Canadian census, her brothers had left New York and immigrated to Simcoe County, Ontario. In contrast with many of Menarys who were farmers, they worked in professions such as masonry, blacksmithing, and wagon making, most of which they’d learned in New York. Sometime between 1862 and 1866, Anne Jane and her husband Thomas Foster and family also left Ireland, sailed to New York, and travelled from there to Ontario, where they took up land in Muskoka. Tragically, after their arrival in New York, their second daughter, also named Margaret (nicknamed Phoebe), disappeared from the docks at the shipyard and was never found.

The brothers all married, and had families who have mostly remained in Ontario. Robert moved to Chicago in 1900 and died there in 1912, although his remains were buried in Orangeville with the rest of his family.

Robert Menary and Susannah Smart

ca 1815-1877; lived Tullymore, Eglish Parish, County Armagh

Robert Menary, whose parentage is not known at this time, was born about 1815, possibly in Eglish Parish in Armagh. Robert worked as a tailor and married Susanna Smart about 1839 in Armagh. They had five known children, three sons and two daughters. Their oldest child Sarah was married in 1840 at the First Keady Church.

The family apparently lived in a few different places, such as Killinure, Killylea, Kennedies, and Tullymore, perhaps following work opportunities. The children and grandchildren of the family often followed Robert’s profession and worked in such occupations as tailor, linen weaver, linen beamer, upholsterer, weaver, loom tenter, and damask weaver.  Others worked as a harness mounter, engine fitters and plater’s helper at the shipyards. In contrast with most of the Menarys, none seemed to be farmers.

Robert died in 1877 at the age of 62 while living with his son Thomas and family in Tullymore. Hannah had preceded him in death several years earlier. Most of Robert and Susanna’s descendants remained in Armagh, although Thomas, who married Hannah Pillar or Pillow, moved to Motherwell, Scotland in the early 1900s. As far as is known, none emigrated to North America or Australia.

County Down Families

Prudence Menarry and David Bell

ca 1767- aft 1805; lived Magheralin, County Down

Prudence Menarry or McNary (parents’ names unknown) was born about 1767 and the first record we have of her is her marriage in Belfast to David Bell in 1787. It is likely that both Prudence and David came from County Down. Prudence’s father may have been born about 1740 or earlier and there are a few possibilities for her father in the Down records.

Sometime after their marriage, they moved to Scotland and lived in Irvin, Ayrshire, where their first known child, James Bell, was born in1792. By 1799, they had returned to Ireland and were living in Magheralin, when their second known child, James, was born. Magheralin is less than 10 km from many of the locations where other Menary/McNarys lived: Donaghcloney, Lurgan, Waringston, Dromore, etc.

All three of their known children remained in Down. Work was quite plentiful in Down and many men worked as stonemasons or similar professions. James Bell, born 1792, married Mary Moore; they lived in Lurgan and had seven known children. William Bell, born 1799, married Jane Hamil; they had one known son and may have moved to Lisburn, the place where William died. Jane Richardson Bell, born in 1805, married Matthew Bunting; they had eight known children and lived in Tullyloob.

As far as is known, most of Prudence and David’s descendants remained in Northern Ireland.

William Menary of Clonmacash

ca 1800 - unknown; lived in Clonmacash, Tartaraghan, Armagh

William Menary may possibly be linked to the Lurgan branch of the Menarys, but it isn’t known at present. The first record of William, who was a weaver at the time, is at the marriage of his daughter Hannah. Hannah, age 20, married Josiah McKittrick in 1849 at the Tartaraghan Church of Ireland. There may have been other children in between, but the only other record of William is that of his daughter Mary Jane, who married Ralph Johnston in 1868 at the same church. William at that time was listed as a pensioner, so he was likely born about 1800 or a little earlier. No further records have been found of Mary Jane and Ralph Johnston.

Hannah and her husband Josiah McKittrick raised their family of five known children in County Tyrone. Records of two of the children name their birth location as Clonavaddy, Donaghmore Parish, Tyrone, which is where Josiah was also born. He may have been an estate worker to have met Hannah in Clonmacash, and the family also lived at other places in Tyrone over the years. Josiah died at the age of 55 in 1879, when their youngest child Thomas was seven.

Hannah and four out of her five children decided to immigrate to the United States. The oldest child, Ann Jane, had married Thomas Harvey and remained in Ireland. In June of 1884, Hannah, Josiah Jr., and Thomas arrived in New York on the City of Chester. The two younger daughters, Mary and Marcella joined them a year or two later. In 1888, Mary married Samuel Bell, an iron worker. About the same year, Marcella married Charles Haselton, a teamster who worked for a butcher shop. Josiah Jr. worked as a printer and lived with his mother. Young Thomas died in 1889 at the age of 19, cause unknown.

Hannah died in 1911 at the age of 82. At the time of her death, she was living with her daughter Marcella and family. There are few descendants living today from Hannah and Josiah McKittrick’s family of five children. Ann Jane and her husband Thomas Harvey had only one known child. Marcella and Charles Haselton had only one living child, and sadly, young Charles Jr. drowned at the age of 20 while working on a tugboat. Mary and Samuel Bell had four children, but as far as is known, only one of them had children. Josiah Jr. died at 44 in 1911 and likely never married.  

  James Menary and Jane (surname unknown)

ca 1791- 1864; lived Corcreeny, County Down

James Menary was born in 1791 in County Down and is probably the same James Menary who was baptized 5 September 1791 at the Donacloney Church of Ireland, the son of John Menary and his wife Ann. Baptisms, marriages and deaths have been recorded in these church records since 1698, with the baptism of a Margaret McNary, daughter of an Alexander McNary/Menary.

James, a farmer, probably lived in Corcreeny for most of his life. About 1816, he married Jane (surname unknown) and the couple had at least ten children, all of whom show up in vital records. Some of them lived in the town of Dromore, about ten miles away from Corcreeny. One son, Thomas, was well-known as a bricklayer, builder, and architect in the town of Lurgan, Down.

James died 13 April 1864 in Corcreeny and his will indicated his wife was still living at that time. As far as is known, most of his family have remained in Ireland, although a few have been noted as emigrating to Scotland and the United States. 

DNA results have now confirmed that John Menary, who was born about 1813 in County Down, was a son of James. John’s oldest daughter Eliza stated in later years that he was the son of a James Menary, born possibly about 1780 – 1785 in County Armagh and who later moved to Down, and now, DNA research has borne this out. 

The County border at Waringstown / Corcreeny is between Armagh and Down and people moved around a number of townlands within a very small area – maximum five miles. On a farm in this area one field could be in one county and the rest in the other. The Lurgan, County Armagh Menarys all feed back to the Corcreeny line of James Menary, born 1791. (Linda Leonard note) 

John married Elizabeth Kilpatrick (known as Bessie) about 1843, when he was 30. Elizabeth’s father, James Kilpatrick, lived at Annaghanoon, Down. Eight known children were born to John and Bessie, three sons and five daughters. One or two were said to have been born at Banbridge, County Down, so this is likely where the family lived while in Ireland.

The children of John and Bessie were quite intrepid. In 1861, the oldest daughter, Eliza, who was 21 at the time, immigrated to “America” and settled in Quebec. Sometime in the later 1860s, the two sons, William and James, immigrated to Nebraska and in the 1870 census, were found in Rose Precinct, Hobb, Thayer County. James, 24, was working as a brick mason, and William, 21, was a farm hand. They were both citizens of the U.S. by that time. By 1873, they had filed a claim for a homestead in Rose Creek and the rest of the family left Ireland and joined them in 1873. The obituary for their youngest daughter Mary (Patterson) tells the story:  

When she [Mary] was 12 years old she came with her parents to the United States. They traveled by train to Nebraska City, then by wagon to a homestead near Rose Creek City. After filing the claim for the homestead, her two older brothers had sent for the family.

At that time, Eliza left Quebec and also joined them. The June 1880 census found her living in Nebraska City and working as a cook for the Salbou Hotel, age 30. In December of that year, she married widower Francis Sim. Between 1874 and 1880, all the daughters had married, except for Ann, who remained single. Son James died at the age of 28, cause unknown, and while William did marry, he and his wife had no children. All seven children spent the rest of their lives in Nebraska, either in Rose Creek or a little further afield. Most of the 18 grandchildren also remained in the area.

John Menary, considered to be a pioneer of the Rose Creek area, died in 1896 at Rose Creek at the age of 86, and Bessie followed two years later in 1898, age 76. They appeared to be the only Menary family from Northern Ireland to settle in Nebraska. A few other Manarys have been found in the records, but they appear to originate from the McNary/Manary branch.

Another DNA revelation was that Samuel Menary, who was born in 1849 and lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was a son of John and Bessie Menary. He first appears in records about 1875, living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he must have moved to after being in Rose Creek, Nebraska with his parents. Family stories indicate that he was friends with Joseph Causer Menary (of the Alexander Menary and Martha Herron branch), who settled in Williamsburg, Iowa in 1879, about five years after Samuel settled in Cedar Rapids. 

In 1876, 27-year-old Samuel married Anna Lunn. Records show that he worked at a major meat-packing plant, which Cedar Rapids was well-known for. He and Anna had eight children between the years of 1876 and 1888, two girls and six boys.

Samuel died in 1888 at the young age of 39, leaving his pregnant wife Anna with eight young children. The last one, Albert, was born four months after Samuel’s death. Somehow, Anna managed to provide for the family and keep the children together, even though she did not remarry. It is probable she had some support and help from her own family. In 1910, when she was 62, the census showed that she was still head of the household with four of her children living with her, ranging in age from 24 to 30. She died a year later at the age of 63.

Of the eight children, all married except for the oldest girl, Anna. However, from the seven children, there were only six known grandchildren, and only one, Albert, had children carrying on the Menary name. A few of Samuel and Anna’s sons became livestock buyers, while Albert went on to become a well-known veterinarian in Cedar Rapids. Albert also raised cattle and riding horses. Most of the grandchildren remained in Iowa.


James Meneary and Rebecca Burton                                         

ca 1820– 1879; immigrated to Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia

James Meneary was born about 1820, probably in either County Down or County Tyrone, Ireland, to parents John and Jane Meneary. At an unknown date, possibly in the late 1840s or early 1850s, he immigrated to Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. So far, there has been no record found of anyone accompanying him.

In 1856, James married Rebecca Jane Burton, who had come from County Tyrone with her parents in 1841. If their birth years are correct, James was 38 and Rebecca only 17. Land records show that in 1859, James had over 15 acres in Bathurst. During the years 1857 to 1878, James and Rebecca had ten children, four boys and six girls. One daughter died in infancy. 

In 1879, a year after the birth of the last child, James died at the age of 59 (according to his gravestone) and Rebecca was left with nine children, four of them under the age of ten. Since the oldest son John was 20, it is possible he ran the farm while Rebecca raised the family. She lived there for the rest of her life, dying in 1920 at the age of 81. The farm was sold in 1921 and by that time, had increased to 100 acres and was described by the auctioneers as a “well-known, compact and highly productive farm…highly recommended to Orchardists and Dairy Farmers.”

Although James and Rebecca had nine surviving children, four did not marry, and of the five that did, only a few had families of any size. Most of their descendants remained in New South Wales.




John Menary of Bleary, Down (son William Menary m. Elizabeth Toman)                                          

ca 1825; son William Menary m. Elizabeth Toman

John Menary was named as the father of William John Menary in William’s marriage certificate, although his mother’s name wasn’t noted. John was listed as a weaver. Their only child that we know of, William John, was born about 1859 in Bleary, County Down, very close to many of the other Down Menarys.

In 1885, at about the age of 26, William married Elizabeth Toman in Tullylish, Down. It may have been at this time that the family became Roman Catholic, as the church they were married in was Catholic. Sometime around their marriage, they moved to Lurgan, Armagh, where most, if not all, of their children were born. Following in his father’s footsteps, William became a weaver who specialized in weaving cambric fabric (a plain, closely-woven fabric favoured for eccesiastical wear, fine shirts, handkerchiefs, and so on.)

Of the seven children, only three had any descendants. Their fourth child, Joseph, enlisted in World War I in 1914 and joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was wounded in Gallipoli, Turkey, and died of his wounds in August 1915, only twenty years old.

Samuel, the oldest son, was born in 1886 at Wesley Place, Lurgan, married Mary Healy in 1909 in the Roman Catholic Church at Lurgan, and the couple went on to have a family of eight children. Samuel carried on the family tradition of weaving. Six of the eight children remained in Lurgan, with the sister Alice being the only sibling besides Joseph to have a family. The oldest son, John Patrick, left Ireland and didn’t keep in touch with the family. It’s thought that he might have gone to England.

Joseph, son of Samuel and Mary, was born in 1924, moved to London, England, where he worked as a builder. In 1984, he immigrated to New Zealand. After World War II, Australia and New Zealand needed immigrants and to entice people from the United Kingdom, offered to pay all expenses except for 10 pounds (which is where the term “Ten Pound Pom” came from) as long as the new arrival would promise to work for the government for two years. Joseph worked as a builder on the Maraetai Dam and after its completion, changed careers and became a psychiatric nurse at the Oakley Hospital in Auckland. In 1951, he married Tui MacDonald Sherson. Three daughters were born to them in Auckland and the fourth was born in Marton, 362 km north, also on North Island.

As of 2023, the connection between John Menary, born ca 1825 in Down, and other Menarys in Northern Ireland isn’t know, but further research or DNA connections should be able to shed some light.





Thomas Menary and Mary Stanton                                      

ca 1835-aprox ca 1883; County Down to New Zealand

Thomas Menary was said to have been born in County Down about 1835. It’s not known when he immigrated to New Zealand but according to the New Zealand Electoral Rolls, it was probably not until about 1870 or 1871, when he was about 35. He settled in Nelson, which was the oldest city on the South Island, and established himself as a “publican”, an owner or operator of a pub. Records showed that he owned at least one hotel.

Shortly after establishing himself, he married or lived common-law with a widow named Mary Stanton Lechner who had seven children. (No record has been found of their marriage, although records have been found of other marriages for Mary Stanton). Mary had become widowed in 1866 and her children ranged in age from 5 to 20. In 1872, Thomas and Mary had a son, George Thomas and there are no records of any other child. Ten years later in 1883, Thomas died at the age of 48. George was 10 years old at the time. Mary remarried the same year, but her new husband died three years later. In 1886, Mary once again married. By this time, George, her son by Thomas, was 14 years old.

At the age of 19, George married Harriet Goodwin and the pair had two daughters, Daisy and Doris. George was an engine fitter and eventually, the family moved to North Palmerston on the North Island. George died there at the age of 80, and the descendants of his family still live in New Zealand.

County Tyrone Families

David Manary and unknown

ca 1760- unknown; lived Tullynisken, County Tyrone

The first record we have of a David Manary or any other variation of the surname in Tyrone is in the 1796 Flax Grower’s List, where a “David M’Nary” is shown living in Tullyniskin. Since he would probably have been at least 21 at the time or older, we can guess that he was born anywhere from 1755 – 1775.

About four Manary ancestors have been found in Tyrone who was in this age range (David, born ca 1760; John, born ca 1770; William of Desertcreat, born ca. 1770; and William of Donaghenry, born ca. 1770) in records in County Tyrone and they seem to be the progenitors of the branches who originated there. According to various records, David and his family lived around Tullynisken for well over a hundred years, and probably longer, with succeeding generations often following the naming pattern of “David”.

Who might be David of Tullynisken’s descendants? DNA matching, as well as family stories, have confirmed that the family group comprised of James Manary born 1793 (married Isabella McLellan and named his first son David); Robert Manary born about 1806 (married Maria McWilliams); and Sarah Manary born about 1809 (married Robert Penman), all born in County Tyrone, are siblings. DNA also strongly suggests that they had a brother named David, since the family group who have been confirmed by DNA and family stories to be the nephews and niece of the above group — Joseph Minary, born 1821 (married Ellen Coleman); David Manary, born 1830 (married Jane Lively); and Mary Manary born 1831 (married Francis Allingham), stated on various records that their parents’ names were David Manary and wife Mary.

This inter-related group has always claimed to have come from County Tyrone, but not a single one has left behind any specific location name. Since this cohesive family group has a preponderance of “Davids”, and David Manary of the Tullynisken Flax List is a generation above the older generation, it is logical to assume that he is indeed their ancestor.  It is certain that neither of the Williams mentioned in the second paragraph is their ancestor, and John born 1770 does not seem to fit well, mostly because of naming patterns.

It’s hoped that some evidence will turn up that might confirm this theory a little better. If even one of the above six people is confirmed to have come from Tullyniskin, this might be the pivotal piece of evidence that is needed. For the moment, it’s likely but hypothetical.

William Waling Manery and Margaret Beattie

abt ca 1770-unknown; lived in Desertcreat, County Tyrone

William Manery, whose middle name has been given as “Waling”, was born somewhere around 1775, probably in County Tyrone. He married Margaret (surname possibly Beattie) and they had at least three children, possibly more.

William, the eldest, whose surname was sometimes transcribed as “Maneary” or “Minary”, was born 1805, possibly in Desertcreat Parish, as his four children were born there. About 1825, he married Martha Conway, a Catholic, and presumably because of this, William also became a Roman Catholic — in a highly Protestant area. The couple had four children in the years between 1827 to 1836, all born in Lime Hill, Desertcreat, Tyrone. William worked as a weaver and a labourer. In the same year their youngest was born, William was accused of receiving stolen goods (some stories say the goods were stolen guns, but this doesn’t appear on any records). He went on trial 7 March 1836, and was sentenced to ten years. With this sort of “light” sentence, the stolen goods were likely not guns. In those days, people accused of even burglary got a life sentence. Not long after, William was sent to New South Wales, Australia, and sailed on the Captain Cook 3 with a shipload of convicts.

Records are unclear about dates, but William may have spent several years alone in Australia. He made an application to the authorities to have his family join him, and possibly in 1849, Martha and the children were able to reunite with him in Australia. They settled in the Raymond Terrace area in New South Wales. William died in 1876 in Macleay River, NSW. William and Martha have many descendants through at least three of their children, many of whom still live in Australia today.

The youngest known child in William and Margaret’s family was John, who worked as a heckler in the linen trade. His daughter Rose Ann was born about 1836 and married James Lindsay in 1856. The couple had seven children and when the youngest was about four, Rose Ann became ill with what was termed a “brain disease”. She was placed in the Belfast Workhouse and died there two weeks later. Four years later, James and the children immigrated to Australia, although records have not been found of all the children. The family settled in Brisbane, Queensland and James remarried in 1909.

William Menary and Elizabeth (surname unknown)

ca 1770-unknown; lived in Donaghhenry, County Tyrone

William Menary was born about 1770 or earlier, probably in Tyrone. His wife’s name was Elizabeth, although her surname is unknown at present. By 1794, when their son Andrew was born, they were living in Donaghenry, a parish bordered by Desertcreat and Tullynisken where other Tyrone Menarys lived. William’s date of death is not known.

Their son Andrew (whose surname has also been transcribed as Minairy or Manairy) was born about 1794 in Donaghenry. No other siblings are known at present. In July of 1812, he enlisted (probably in Cookstown, Tyrone) in the 26th Cameronian Regiment of Infantry and became a Private in Captain John Brock’s Company. From that muster point, the new recruits marched to the coast and sailed for Dumfries, Scotland. Five short months later, he married Agnes Pringle (born about 1789 in Dumfries) on 22 December 1812 in Dumfries. In 1817, Andrew was discharged from the military, and in the following years, worked as a general labourer and remained in the area for the rest of his life.

Andrew and Agnes had a family of six children, born between 1819 and 1833. On 17 January 1859, Andrew died at the reported age of 78 and is buried at St. Michael’s Church in Dumfries. Agnes lived on until 1878, when she died at the age of 88. Most of their children remained in Scotland, some of the sons working as coachmakers.

David Manary and Mary (Wilson?)

ca 1795-unknown; lived County Tyrone

Although David is a relatively rare first name within the various branches of the Manary/Menary family, records that have been found are confusing. As mentioned in the biography of David Manary born about 1760, who lived in Tullyniskin, County Tyrone in 1796 (as shown by the 1796 Flax Grower’s List), nothing is conclusively certain at this point. As well as the early record in Tyrone, there was also a David and Mary Manary in Eglish Parish, Armagh, whose daughter Isabella was born there in 1803. As well, there was a younger David and Mary Minneary who were living in Derrynoose in 1836, where their son William was born. Nothing further has been found on these Armagh David and Mary Manarys.  Were they the same people as the Tyrone Manarys? If so, they must have moved back and forth between Armagh and Tyrone.  At least five records have been found of various David Manarys of different spellings in Tyrone, ranging from 1796-1853.

What is certain about the David Manary and wife Mary who were born about 1795 is that this couple were the parents of Joseph Minary, born 1821; David Manary, born 1830; and Mary Manary, born in 1831, all of whom emigrated to Ontario. Both David 1830 and Mary 1831 stated on their marriage records that their parents were David and Mary Manary of Ireland. As for Joseph, this was the family lore and older family members also remembered that it was said that David’s wife Mary’s surname was probably Wilson.

Going by the years of birth of these three siblings (whom DNA has confirmed were nephews and niece to James, Robert, and Sarah Manary of Lanark County), their father David was likely  born about 1795 and was James, Robert, and Sarah’s brother. David and Mary probably lived in one of the townlands in the vicinity of Ballygawley, County Tyrone. The following are short biographies of his children.

Joseph Minary and Sarah Kitchen

ca 1791-1862; County Tyrone to Juaniata Pennsylvania

Joseph Minary was born about 1791 in Ireland, probably County Tyrone. Joseph was the first of his generation in Tyrone to leave his homeland and emigrate elsewhere in the hopes of a better life. About 1814, at the age of 23, he made his way across the ocean to Pennsylvania, where he settled in Chester County.

Joseph obtained land in West Whiteland, Chester County and established a small farm. On 8 June 1816, he married Sarah Kitchen. A daughter, Susan, was born to them in December 1816 (according to Susan Minary Dougherty’s gravestone). Unfortunately, Sarah died the following year on 27 September 1817. With a young daughter to raise, Joseph married again sometime in 1818 or 1819 to Mary Slone. To this union were born four more children from 1820 to 1828, John, Eleanor, Thomas, and Mary. Mary Slone died sometime before 1840 and Joseph, now in his mid-40s, raised their children. His daughter by Sarah, Susan, had married Matthew Dougherty by this time. The four children went on to marry and have their own families.

In the 1860 census of Philadelphia, Joseph was living with his daughter Ellen and her husband Benjamin Cooper, who was a carpenter. Joseph died 9 February 1862 at the age of 82 and is buried at McCoysville Cemetery, Juniata County, Pennsylvania.

James Manary and Isabella McLellan

ca 1793-1872; County Tyrone to Lanark County Ontario

James Manary was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, possibly in the area around  Ballygawley. In 1830, at the age of 37, he left Ireland and immigrated to Canada, among the earliest to arrive there. Unlike the rest of the Manary/Menary clan, he chose Lanark County to settle in. Land was not as desirable there as in many other places in Ontario, so it’s possible he already knew someone there who encouraged him to come.

A year after arriving in 1831, James married 17-year-old Isabella McLellan, daughter of William McLellan, who also lived in Lanark County. Their first child David was born in 1832, and in all, fourteen children were born to them in Lanark County. The 1851 census shows them living on Lot 7, Concession 7, Lanark Township.

Members of James’ family came to join them from Ireland in 1839: his brother Robert Manary and wife Maria McWilliams and their family, as well as an unmarried sister Sarah, who soon after became the wife of Robert Penman. McLellan relatives of Isabella’s emigrated from Scotland to Bristol, Pontiac County, Quebec across the Ottawa River, and in 1854, David (James and Isabella’s oldest son) married one of them, Jane McLellan. He obtained land there, and in 1861, James, Isabella and most of their family followed him and also moved to Bristol.

James died in 1872 at the age of 79 in Bristol, Quebec, and his burial place is not known at this time. He willed their farm to his wife Isabella, and in 1881, Isabella sold the farm and immigrated to South Dakota with several of her children and their families.  She died in 1888 in Canistota, South Dakota and is buried in the Canistota Cemetery with her youngest daughter Elizabeth.

James Menary and Rebecca Lockhart

ca 1793-1883; County Tyrone to Huron County, Ontario

James Menary was born in the townland of Altnagore, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland in 1793. About 1815, at the age of around 22, he married Rebecca Lockhart in Altnagore. He farmed there for most of his adult life; he and Rebecca had a large family of eleven known children, all born in Altnagore. In the mid 1840s, two of the married daughters and their husbands emigrated to Huron County, Ontario, bringing four of their unmarried sisters with them. One sister, Elspeth, died on the voyage over. One daughter and her family remained in Ireland, as well as all four of James and Rebecca’s sons.

Rebecca may have died just before the daughters and their families emigrated, since the youngest daughter who left was only four. A burial location has not been found for her. Years later, James visited his daughters in Ashfield, Huron, Ontario and decided to stay. Records have been found of him purchasing a fifty-acre parcel of land on the NE ½, Lot 13 of Concession 5, Wawanosh, Huron County. At the time he was over eighty years old. This property is said to have been across from the USS#8 Dungannon School.

James Menary died 5 January 1883 in Wawanosh, at the impressive age of ninety. An exact burial location has yet to be found for James, although it is very likely in the Ashfield, Wawanosh area in Huron County.

John Menary and Catherine Wilson

ca 1795-1855; County Tyrone to Halton County, Ontario

John Menary was born about 1795 in Annahoe, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. About 1821, around the age of 25, he married Catherine Wilson. Over the next nineteen years, John and Catherine remained in County Tyrone and all of their nine children were born there.

Sometime between 1841 and 1846, John, Catherine, and all of the children immigrated to the Halton County region in Ontario, Canada. It is believed that John operated an extensive lime kiln business in Terra Cotta, which is just north of Milton, Ontario. Eight of the nine children married and had families of their own in the nearby regions.

John died on 12 March 1855 at the age of 60 and is buried at St. John’s Anglican Cemetery in Campbellville, Ontario. Since he died without a will, his wife Catherine had to sign an oath, swearing to account for and disperse all of John’s property in a proper manner. Catherine remained in the Halton region until her death 15 September 1897. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Milton, Ontario.

William Manary and Sarah Johnston/Ellen McGregor            

ca 1799 – 1849; Ireland to Halton County, Ontario

William Manary was born about 1799, perhaps in County Tyrone, as he had many connections with other Manary/Menarys from that area.  Research has shown that he had four siblings: John, James, Robert, and Agnes (whose married surname has been shown as both Anderson and Williamson), all of whom immigrated to Ontario. It has been suggested that John Menary, born 1795, and married to Catherine Wilson, was the same person as John, the brother of William, but so far, DNA does not show a strong connection between John and William that would confirm they were brothers.

About 1823, William married Sarah Johnson or Johnston, who was born in Ireland. Since records show that William emigrated that year, it seems likely that he married Sarah in Ireland, since he would hardly have had time to meet, woo, and marry Sarah in the same year that he immigrated. The couple had five children, two daughters and three sons, all born in Halton Township. In the 1820s, William operated a hotel in Nassageweya; by 1834, he had sold the hotel and taken up farming in Nelson, also in Halton County. In 1839, Sarah died at the age of only 38, leaving a family ranging in age from three to fifteen. William remarried in 1841 to Martha Hamilton. They had no children together, but family lore is that Helen McGregor, who was said to have been a housekeeper for William, gave birth to a son named Joseph Charles in 1843. DNA results do confirm the story.

In 1849, William sold his farm and purchased land in West Flamborough, Halton County. Only a few months after this, William was thrown from his wagon and died two weeks later.  A local newspaper tells the tragic story:

William Manary died October 22, 1849 age 50


A man named William Manary, residing on the Rock Road, East Flamboro, met with an accident about a fortnight ago, which produced death on Monday morning. It appears that he was descending the hill at the western end of town, near the old toll-gate, when his horses ran away, and upset the wagon, throwing the unfortunate man against the railing of the fence, and totally separating the bone of the face from the head. Dr. Hunter was promptly called in and some of the bones of the nose extracted; but of course no hopes of recovery were entertained. The man lingered in great agony until Monday morning when death kindly put a period to his sufferings. 

William’s children and their families remained for the most part in Ontario. His son with Helen McGregor, Joseph, moved to Michigan, where he married and had a family.

William Manery and Agnes “Annie” McGill

ca 1800-1885; County Tyrone to Essex County, Ontario

William Manery was born about 1800 in County Tyrone, and is related by DNA to all the Tyrone branches. He was a weaver and sometime in the 1830s, moved to Scotland and worked at his trade, probably in Calton. In 1833, he married Agnes McGill, known as “Annie”. The marriage record spelled his surname as “McNair” and recorded his residence as Calton, which was a community of weavers near Glasgow. The couple had three sons between 1835 and 1839, and sadly, Annie died shortly after the birth of her last child. Histories of the family state that William remarried to a Miss Moffat, about whom nothing is known. Records have not shown that they had any children together and it’s likely that she died in Scotland.

In 1841, William sailed to Canada from Scotland, along with his three sons and a maiden sister (unknown name at this point). First locating near Hamilton, Halton County, he found little opportunity as a weaver and took up lumbering. About 1846, he married Mary Jane Manary. According to accounts of the life of William Manary (1799-1849) who lived in Flamborough and Nassageweya, Mary Jane was the daughter of one of his brothers (unnamed). The two Williams were related, but not so closely that the marriage was unsuitable. The couple had one daughter together.

William ended up owning and operating a small sawmill, and also engaged in farming. About 1870, he took up 200 acres in Mersea, Essex County, along with his son James. William and Mary Jane spent their last years in Leamington, Essex. William was said to have died there in 1885, but his death record shows that, in fact, he died in Mersea, but is buried at the Leamington Cemetery. Mary Jane lived with her stepson James Manery after William’s death, and she died somewhere between 1891 – 1901.

Thomas Menary and Margaret Shaw

ca 1801-1882; County Tyrone to Kingston, Ontario

Thomas Menary, who was said to be a “cousin” of James Menary who married Rebecca Lockhart, was born about 1801 in County Tyrone. About 1827, at the age of 26, Thomas married Margaret Shaw. He may have been working on the Annahoe estate, outside of Ballygawley, as their first child, Jane, was born there in 1828. John Menary who was married to Catherine Wilson also worked and lived at Annahoe, probably within the same time period.

The couple had seven children born in Ireland, and while some trees include one or two children born in Ontario, proof is sparse. According to the obituary of one of their children, Elizabeth Menary Thurston, the family came to Canada in 1842. Unfortunately, Thomas and his family have only been found on the 1881 census, although City Directory records for Kingston show him as early as 1855. The Directory records show him working as a labourer, although family stories record that he was a carpenter and worked on shipbuilding in Kingston. A different family story relates that he was a barn framer, but he certainly could have worked in both areas. On the 1881 census of Kingston, when Thomas was 80, he was still working and stated his trade was a shoemaker. Thomas died in 1882 at the age of about 81, and Margaret died in 1884. Earlier researchers stated he had a headstone in Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston but perhaps it has grown over, as Cataraqui Cemetery records no longer show a Thomas Menary, or any other similar spelling.

One of Thomas and Margaret’s sons, Thomas Shaw Menary, born in 1835, married Rebecca Menary, daughter of James Menary and Rebecca Lockhart. Rebecca and her family lived in Ashfield, Huron County and was perhaps a second cousin of Thomas Jr’s. He moved to Ashfield and they raised their family of nine children there. He died at the age of 50, reportedly from asthma.

William Manary and Mary Corman

ca 1803-1862; Ireland to Wentworth Ontario

William Manary was born about 1803 in either County Tyrone or County Armagh.  About 1830, he and a group of his family immigrated to Ontario and settled in Saltfleet, Wentworth County, Ontario. According to the branch’s family stories, William’s father’s name was also William, and might have been born about 1765. William Sr. died in Ireland and his wife Mary (born in 1766) remarried to a Mr. Moffat. The group who emigrated from Ireland to Saltfleet was apparently composed of Mr. Moffat, William’s stepfather; his mother Mary Moffat; an unnamed widowed brother; and the brother’s two sons, Robert and John, who were probably born in the 1830s.

At Stoney Creek (now part of the city of Hamilton), William met Mary Corman and the two were married in 1832. They established a farm in Tapleytown, not far from Saltfleet, and raised a family of six children, two boys and four girls. Most of the first two generation of descendants of William and Mary remained in the Saltfleet and Tapleytown area. Mary died in 1853 and William in 1862. They were both buried on the Tapleytown Manary farm and were later removed to the Manary plot in the Tapleytown Cemetery. William’s mother, Mary Moffat, who died in 1852, is also buried there.

James Manary and Catherine Hopkins

ca 1806 – 1869; lived in Desertcreat, Tyrone, immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts

James Manary, born about 1806, lived in Desertcreat, County Tyrone, the same location as William Waling Manery. James stated that his parents’ names were John and Ann Manary and when his son James Jr. made an application for US citizenship, he stated he was born in Desertcreat, Tyrone. At this point, we have no knowledge of a John Manary born about 1780 with a wife named Ann in that area of Tyrone, but further research may solve that.

About 1830, when he was about 24, James married Catherine Hopkins and the couple had six children, three sons and three daughters, all born in Ireland. The last child, Catherine, was born in Ireland in 1847, but by 1851, the family had moved to Cambusnethan, Lanark, Scotland, where James worked as a shoemaker. His two older sons, James and John, ages 15 and 18, worked as coal miners and the two older daughters, Margaret, 12, and Mary, 8, worked as tambourers (lacemakers).

Later in 1851, the family immigrated to Boston, arriving there in late August or early September. Evidence suggests they brought James’ youngest brother (or possibly a half-brother or nephew) William, 11 years old, with them. [William and his family will appear in a separate story.] James continued to work as a shoemaker in Boston, while two of his sons and his brother William learned the glass-cutting trade. Disaster struck in 1854. In August, their oldest daughter Margaret died of cholera and a month later, the children’s mother Catherine died at age 45 of liver disease.  James managed to hold the family together, but sometime after 1855, his daughter Mary also died, and in 1859, he lost his oldest son John. John was only 28 and died of lung inflammation, possibly from working both as a coal miner and glass cutter.

James died in1869 at the age of 63 and his will indicated that he was very concerned about his remaining children. James Jr. was steady, so his father left instructions that he was to watch out for and counsel his two “unfortunate” siblings, Patrick and Catherine. During the ensuing years, Patrick died of alcoholism in his 30s, and James Jr. and Catherine married. One of James’ grandsons, James Manary III, became a doctor and worked his way from the bottom to become the esteemed executive director of the Boston City Hospital. He and his wife had no children, however. The only one to carry on the family line was Annie Nolan, the daughter of Catherine Manary and her husband Michael Nolan.

Robert Manary and Mary “Maria” McWilliams

ca 1806- 1888; County Tyrone to Lanark Ontario

Robert Manary was born about 1806 in County Tyrone, Ireland. Although his death record indicated he was born in 1795, earlier censuses when he was younger stated his year of birth as 1806 or 1807, and these would be more reliable. DNA verifies that he was a brother to James Manary, born 1793, who married Isabella McLellan, and to Sarah Manary, born about 1809, who married Robert Penman.

When he was about 25, he married Mary or Maria McWilliams, who was likely as young as 15 or 16 years old. Their first known child, James, was born about 1832 in Ireland. There may have been other children born in Ireland, as their next known child wasn’t born until 1840 in Canada, and, if so, these children may have died.

In 1839, accompanied by his small family and his unmarried sister, Sarah, Robert left Ireland and joined his brother James in Lanark County. They were in Lanark Township for about fifteen years, living on Lot 8, concession 1, which was noted by the census taker in 1851 as a very inferior farm, with little land being capable of cultivation. During those years, six more children were born. By 1856, Robert and his family had moved from Lanark and were living in Wallace Township, Perth County. It’s not known how long they lived there, but their last child George was born there in 1865. By the 1871 census, they were farming in Listowel, Perth County.

Robert was an interesting contrast to many of the other Manarys, who were usually Methodists. Over his years in Canada, he was variously listed as Presbyterian, New Connect, and Christadelphian. By 1881 in his old age, he reverted back to being Presbyterian.

Maria died in 1874 at the age of 58 and is now buried in Listowel, after having her headstone moved from an abandoned cemetery. Robert moved in with his son John who had married Elizabeth Weir, and spent his last years there, dying in 1888 in Proton, Grey. His headstone was lost, but in the late 1990s, a genealogist found the buried headstone in the Listowel pioneer cemetery under 3” of soil.

Sarah Manarey and Robert Penman

ca 1809-1895; County Tyrone to Lanark, Ontario

Sarah Manary (who later went by Manarey) was born about 1809 in County Tyrone. DNA has borne out the family story that Sarah, James who married Isabella McLellan, and Robert who married Mary McWilliams were siblings. James was the first to immigrate to Ontario in 1830, and nine years later, Sarah, her brother Robert and his family, left Ireland and joined James in Lanark County.  She was about 30 at the time.

A year later in December 1840, she married Robert J. Penman in Lanark County. Robert had immigrated from Scotland in 1821 and sailed on the Commerce for Canada, settling on Concession 9, Lot 20E in Lanark Township. Robert farmed on the land, and the couple had six living children (one died in infancy): five sons and one daughter. Most of the children remained in Lanark County, although one of the sons retired to British Columbia and one relocated to Manitoba. One son and a daughter married siblings from the family of Michael McKirdy and Elizabeth McLellan, who were also from Scotland.

Robert died in 1863 and Sarah, as a widow, lived another 32 years. She died in 1895 in Galbraith, Lanark County at the ripe old age of 86.

Scotland & England

John Mannery/Manery  and (name unknown)         

ca 1650 – unknown; From England to Maryland

Well over 50 matches have been found between our Manary/Menarys and a group of Manerys who originated in Maryland, USA. Our connection is uncertain but the strength of the matches equal that of the McNary group. It seems the family, whose name was originally spent Mannery, came from England.

It appears the main family line in North America started out in Maryland.  In 1675, John Mannery appeared on a passenger list as a servant of Nicholas Sewell, arriving from England to Cecil County, Maryland. John may have been about 25, tentatively placing his birth as about 1650. The tobacco trade was thriving in Maryland, which had an ideal climate for this industry. Using indentured servants for cultivation was common in early Maryland. After his indenture was completed, John Mannery likely established a tobacco farm of his own.

He may be the father of a John Mannery who was mentioned in a Calendar of Wills in Cecil County, 1732. John Mannery was listed as the husband of Hannah Green, although they apparently were both deceased. Bequests were given to John and Hannah’s sons, John and Thomas. Calculating approximate dates suggests that John may have been born about 1680.

The son of John and Hannah, John, was probably born in the 1710s. Records exist of several court transactions for a John Mannery about that age who was definitely involved in the tobacco trade. John sued a neighbour and was sued in turn; the fines were all paid in tobacco.

From that point on, a minefield of facts from unknown sources have been randomly assigned  to the next generation of Mannerys.  However, a John Mannery born about 1747 has fairly consistent information. He had moved from Cecil County to nearby Charles County, and married Sarah Tubman. The line continues through their son Richard Mannery, who was said to have married a woman named Mary. Various trees give her the surname of Shagnasha and Tubman, but the most accepted surname appears to be Edwards. They had a family of four or five children and later moved to Georgia.

Their oldest son, Edward Manery, married Elizabeth Upshaw, and it is from this family that most of the Mannery/Manerys are descended. Edward and his siblings spread out to Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Virginia, and other southern states, and are numerous in America today. Further intensive research is needed to ascertain what our DNA connections to them mean.

David McNary and sons James, Hugh, and Martin

ca 1685-unknown; Lived in Scotland to Pennsylvania

David McNary appears in the records of over a thousand people on Ancestry.com, yet little original research has been done on his actual origin. What is known for certain is that he had at least three sons who came from Scotland to North America, possibly around 1740: James, born ca 1710; Hugh, born ca 1720; Martin, born ca 1724. The McNarys appeared to have first settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania about 1740.

In the Manary/Menary Ancestry DNA Study, which has 44 participants from seven different branches of the family, virtually every participant has matches to the McNary family at an average of about 8 to 9 centimorgans, indicating our common ancestor is probably about nine generations back. At this point, we do not know who that particular ancestor was.

The oldest son, James, married Mary Beilman before coming to the American colonies, and the couple had at least five children. James and the first few generations in his family remained in Pennsylvania, some moving on to Washington County. They mostly retained the name of McNary.

The second son, Hugh, moved on from Pennsylvania and married Janet Logan in 1751 in Monmouth, New Jersey. Interestingly, he signed his marriage record with “Hugh Minery”. Hugh and Janet raised a family of at least seven children in Basking Ridge, Somerset County, New Jersey and probably had a sizeable farm. Hugh died in 1785 at the age of 65 in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, where they had moved to sometime after 1762. Hugh and Janet’s children moved far and wide and of the seven of them, none died in New Jersey. Instead, they moved on to Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, Indiana, and Illinois, and eventually some went west to Oregon. Through the generations, Hugh and Janet’s descendants fought in the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783), the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War (1846 – 1848), and the Civil War (1861-1865). The McNary Dam over the Columbia River is named for Senator Charles L. McNary (1874- 1944), a descendant of Hugh McNary/Manary and Janet Logan. At least two of the seven children, particularly in the branch of James born 1797 whose descendants were most involved with the military, began spelling their surname “Manary”, while the rest stuck with McNary.

Much less is known about the third son, Martin, who moved on from Pennsylvania and settled in Connecticut. He died in 1809 in Haddam, Connecticut.

Descendants of these McNarys are legion in the United States and many had ancestors whose name was spelled Manary (but never Menary). It’s hoped that future research on the origin of the McNary family will shed light on how they connect with the Manary/Menary family at large.

Mannery Family of New Jersey

Early 1700s; possibly originated in England; lived in Gloucester, Burlington, and Atlantic Counties

Recent DNA matches to our participant group have revealed that at least ten participants from three branches of our Manary/Menary families match the Mannery family of New Jersey. The name has been spelled variously as Mannery, Mannering, and Manring, but earliest records seem to use the spelling Mannery, as do modern records. Several Mannerys have been found in English records, and although no link has yet been found, it is very possible this branch of the family originated there.

The earliest known records is that of Richard Mannering/Mannery, born about 1736, birthplace unknown. His will of 3 May 1785, Great Egg Harbor, Gloucester County, New Jersey, showed he had a wife named Sarah and four grown children. It’s not known how he links into the rest of the family.

The next record of importance is that of the marriage of Thomas Mannery to Theodosia Hammet in 1761 in Gloucester County. They may be the parents of Solomon Mannery, who was born around that time and who later married Hannah Adams, as well as Sarah Mannery, born about 1765 and married Abraham Albertson. All DNA connections that have been found so far for the New Jersey Mannerys connect to either Solomon or Sarah. Sarah and her husband Abraham were Quakers, although other Mannerys might not have been. Several fought during the American Revolution and the American Civil War.

Further updates in research will be posted on the website.


Joseph Menere and Sarah Prickett

ca 1770 - 1847; origin presently unknown; lived in London, England

In October, 2022, matches from three different branches of the Manary/Menary family began to show up to an entirely new branch, that of Joseph Menere who was born in 1770 and who was living in London, England by 1809. Many questions still remain of Joseph Menere’s origin and of his life previous to marrying at a rather late age of 39 in 1809. As new research develops, updates will be made to his story.

In April 1809, Joseph Menere, 39 years old, married 30-year-old Sarah Prickett, born in Buckinghamshire. The pair married at St. George’s Church of England, Hanover Square, London. Interestingly, there were two versions of his surname on the marriage registers. The original, Menarey, later had the version of Menere written above, although neither name was stroked out. Joseph signed with an X, while Sarah signed with her name.

In August of that year, their first child, William James, was born. Three more children followed: Sarah in 1814; Mary in 1817; and Edward in 1823. During this time, Joseph worked as a domestic servant in the capacity of valet and chaffeur. By 1841, Joseph was no longer working and in 1847, died at the age of 77, according to his death record. Sarah lived on for another thirty years, residing with various relatives until her death in 1877 at age 92.

Daughter Sarah married Thomas Bayes, a surgeon, and after his early death, married John Ballard, an innkeeper. She had one child with each husband and died at age 80 in 1894. Mary worked as a domestic servant and died unmarried at the age of 34. Edward married Hannah Broooks and worked as a domestic servant. The couple had two children, both of whom died in infancy. Edward died at the age of 44 in 1867.

The oldest son, William, married Matilda Frances Mead, and soon after their marriage, moved to Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, where he worked for about six years as a tailor. It is possible he had problems with his health. They moved back to England and on the 1851 census, William was listed as being an “annuitant”, a person living on an annuity. Later that year, the family immigrated to Australia. One of their daughters was born near Indonesia on the long voyage. William and his family settled at Prahan, then Keilor, both near Melbourne, Australia. When William died in 1857 at age 52, his obituary stated that he had been suffering for years from an unnamed debilitating condition.

William and Matilda had eight children, most of whom married and raised families in Australia, where most of their descendants still reside today.





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