My update for November is a little later than planned but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share some of my progress in researching the Heenan surname.
- My research on soldiers with the Heenan surname who were killed while serving in World War 1, was completed a few hours before the 100th anniversary of the Armistice on November 11. I posted biographical information on 20 soldiers who died during the conflict. Unfortunately there was one man who will remain a mystery: an able seaman called P Heenan who was part of the merchant navy. There are no records still in existence that enable me to identify him further. But as I wrote in my commemorative post on November 11, he will not be forgotten.
- I’m going to continue my military research by tracing the Heenan individuals who fought in other conflicts. I’ve found one soldier who was a veteran of the American Civil War. John Heenan served in the Massachusetts 40th Infantry Regiment. He died in 1911. His story is here on the Heenan Footsteps website. I’ve also written a biography of one of the 15 men from the Commonwealth who died during World War 2. Lieutenant Harry Gilmore Heenan died in a freak accident in the Netherlands in 1944. He was 21 years old. His story is posted here.
- The number of individuals now recorded in the database increased by another 200 in November. It now stands at 1202. The new additions come from the civil registration records of marriages and births for England and Wales and census returns for England for 1891 and 1901. I’m now focusing on the 1911 census and will add more names as I confirm relationships. My rule is to add people to the database only when I can link an individual to at least two other people – that could be a husband, wife and a child, or a parent and two children. I am not adding couples or lone individuals at this stage. To search the database, click on this link or go to the Records tab on the top menu bar and use the drop down menu. The database can be searched by name or place or date of an event.
- I’ve also cleaned up the sources on information for a large number of people
- New family groups added during this month include the descendants of John Heenan and Janet Lockey who were living in Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland in 1875.
- I’ve made more connections to family group 114 which can be traced back to John Heenan, a tailor who was born around 1757 and died in London in 1813. This group now has six generations including James Heenan who was a tobacconist in the wealthy area of Regent Street in London.
Discoveries of the month
- The surname Heenan figures largely in a “Missing Friends” column published in The Boston Pilot Newspaper between 1831 and 1921. Relatives could publish advertisements asking for information about lost” friends and relatives among those Irish migrants last heard of in the United States. More information about the advertisements and some of the appeals can be found here on my website.
- Ellis Island was one of the primary places of arrival for immigrants and people arriving in the USA from 1892 to 1954. A search of the database shows there were records for 149 people with the surname Heenan between those years. The earliest is 10-year-old Mary Heenan who arrived with the steamship Circassia at Ellis Island from Glasgow on Aug 31 1892.