William Charles McDonnell to Mary Agnes Beirn

McDonnell-Beirn Wedding [1]

Though errors abound in this notice it is very probably the marriage announcement of Mary Agnes Beirn to William Charles McDonnell. The indexes to Philadelphia marriages indicate an Agnes Beirn to William McDonnell in the year 1887 (though, that index also has errors). [2] I will need to request the original marriage documents through the state and church. However, the marriage is not what piqued my interest in this article

“…daughter of Mrs. A. Beirn…”

“…reception followed at the residence of the bride’s mother…”

The address of 406 South Eighth Street is identified with Michael Francis Beirn and his wife Sarah Caslin beginning as early as 1866 [3] and continuing until Sarah’s death in 1885 [4]. Agnes would have been 21 years old at the time of her mother’s passing. Would guardianship be necessary at this age, possibly because of the size of the estate? I’ll need to research the laws of inheritance at the time to be sure.

So who is Mrs. A. Beirn? How might she have been related Agnes? Given the misspellings throughout the article can we even count on the initial “A” being accurate? Does the “A” relate to the lady or her husband? For clues I turned to city directories. We have a potential Mrs. A Beirn though not living at the 406 South Eighth Street address. [5]

It must be said, there is also the possibility that there is no clue here. The wording of this article may actually refer to Sarah Caslin, mother of Mary Agnes.  It could simply be an issue of odd wording.

To date, I have been unable to prove, or even guess at, the grandparents of Mary Agnes Beirn. Though this lead is hardly what I would call solid, it is certainly something to keep in mind. I’m hopeful Michael and Sarah (Caslin) Beirn’s probate records might prove more directly helpful. I’m in the process of compiling probate entries for the following surnames: Beirn, Caslin, Collins, Gilbert, McDermott, McDonnell, Paul and Wilcock. Once that is completed, I will bring in the microfilms for the will books themselves. But, should those probate records prove fruitless, Anne Beirn might be a good lead to pursue.

Rorey Cathcart

Copyright (c) 7 December 2012

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Rorey Cathcart, “Who Gave The Bride Away” posted 08 December 2012, I Hope To Speed, (http://www.ihopetospeed.com accessed [ DD Month YYYY])