I’m way behind on the topics for #52ancestors so I may skip a few weeks where I don’t really have a lot of relevant material.
But I do have an item for week 13 which was on the theme of “In the Paper”. I assume that means we talk about an ancestor who has featured in a newspaper report. I’ve already written about some of the news items relating to Heenans (see previous articles here and here
So let’s turn to an item that appeared in the Cheshire Observer on March 26, 1949 under the headline:
Officer-Cadet Sent to Prison
ALL MONEY HAS BEEN REPAID
James Heenan Donnelly, 18 1/2-years old officer-cadet at Easton Hall stated to be the son of a doctor, pleaded guilty on Wednesday at Chester Castle Magistrates’ Court. before Judge Whitmore Richards to endeavouring to obtain £4 10s. by means of a forged cheque, to the larceny’ of two cheques and to forging a cheque with intent to defraud. He was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment on each offence. the sentences to run concurrently.
To the police, Donnelly admitted that he forged the signatures on a cheque for £4 10s. from a cheque book of a cadet named Upton. which he culled at a Chester Co-operative Society shop; and that he forged the signature on cheques for £4 10s and £6.10s. from a Cheque book of a cadet named Greenacre. which he cashed respectively at Messrs O’Brien, tailors at Eaton Hall. and at Alkits Ltd. He said also. “I have lost the chance of becoming an officer in the British Army and this in itself has made me realise the foolishness of it all.”
Who was James Heenan Donnelly?
The National Register for England and Wales records a James Heenan Donnelly living at The Wiend in Snowdon Road , Birkenhead which was part of Cheshire at that time. His date of birth is 6 April 1930. Also in the house are a James Donnelly , a doctor, born 11 July 1896 and Mary Donnelly born 2 January 1896. Both are married and we can assume they are husband and wife though relationships are not stated in the National Register. There are two closed records. Find My Past incorrectly transcribes the adults’ surname as Dennelly but James as Donnelly.
In 1963 James Heenan Donnelly married Catherine E Maynard in Shoreditch, London. He died in 1992 in the Hackney registration district, London, when he was aged 62. His date of birth was said to be 6 April 1930.
And that’s just about the full extent of the information I’ve been able to find about this family. There is nothing to explain why he has a middle name of Heenan – was that his mother’s maiden name perhaps? Without a record of that marriage it will remain a mystery….
Cheshire Observer, Saturday 26 March 1949 page 8. Accessed via British Newspaper Library online
Civil Registration of Marriages, England and Wales: General Register Office, Shoreditch registration district, Q1 1963 vol 5 page 1103, accessed via Findmypast.com
Civil Registration of Deaths, England and Wales: General Register Office, Hackney Registration District, Q3 1992 vol12 page 1208, accessed via Findmypast.com