Sunday, 12 April 2015

J is for (#AtoZChallenge)

J is for James - lots of them (#AtoZChallenge)
J just has to be about James, lots of them. There are 127 males named James in my family file. Forty-eight are named James with the rest having a second and sometimes a third first name. My family seem to love three first names and quite often four.

I will write about James Neill (Neale, O'Neill) today. James is my half 3rd great-great uncle. He was born in 1809 in Windsor, New South Wales to Mary Fitzgerald and James Neill (Neale). Mary, my 4th great-grandmother, married James Neill shortly after the death of her first husband, Peter McCann. 

James trained as a stonemason with his half-brother Nicholas McCann and listed as living with Nicholas and his family in the 1828 New South Wales Census. It must have been an opportunity for romance in that household as James married Carol McGowan in 1829 who was listed as a servant employed by Nicholas in the 1828 census.

James seems to have lived an uneventful life after his marriage as there is very little evidence of him. He appears in Braidwood, New South Wales as a godparent for one of his sister's, Bridget, children Ellen Hughes. James died in 1879.

I must look further into James' life. It occurs to me that in the early days if they lived an ordinary life there is often very little to discover. I will try to find out more.

This post is part of the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme is Names: First Names from My Family File. Stay tuned for the rest of the alphabet, and if you'd like to check out the other A to Z participants, simply click here.


  1. Wow, how the heck do you keep them all straight! Fascinating story on your 3rd great-great uncle! Hope you are enjoying A-Z!

  2. With great difficulty - for example there are nine named James Connor!

  3. I love the fact that you've gone so far back into your family history. Geneology is fascinating for me too. Its where we've come from...its our roots, our blood.

    I'm originally from Scotland and James usually gets changes to Jimmy and is quite a common name.

    Just stopping by from the A to Z Blog Challenge list. Enjoy the rest of the challenge.