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Shirley, Genealogy Consultant
Category: Genealogy
Satisfied Customers: 391
Experience:  Help with your Genealogy and Family History research.
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I have completed extensive ancestry research on my tree and

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I have completed extensive ancestry research on my tree and frustratingly there is one ancestor that is completley eluding me in terms of finding out whether she married, whether there were children and where and when she died. I have her birth certificate ( 1867 ) but despite many hours and dollars I have come up empty. I have also searched BDM websites in most Australian states without success.

Do you have any suggestions or should I consider using the services of professional geneologists to track her down ?

Shirley :

Hello and welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be doing the research on your question. Why don't you give me the details about her; parents' names and their dates and places of birth, and her date and place of birth, and I will see what I can locate for you. Thank you, Shirley


Mary Maclenehen was born in 1867 in Raymond Terrace, NSW. Her father was Thomas Maclenehen, born in 1840 in Rathfriland Down, Ireland and died in 1902 at Four Mile Creek, NSW. Mary's mother was Mary McCullough, also born in Rathfriland own, Ireland in 1841 and died in 1928 in Stockton, NSW.


Mary was one of nine children, all born and resided in the Newcastle area in NSW. I have been able to track down all of Mary's siblings, their marriages and deaths, except Mary of course. If you need anything further please let me know, good luck.

Shirley and other Genealogy Specialists are ready to help you

Hello Garry,

I completely understand how you feel. I have a few relatives I would swear were abducted by aliens. Family Historians and Genealogists are definitely a rare breed and you cannot be a person that gives up easily if you want to do more than skim the surface.


Mary's birth record was incredibly easy to locate and that is where the easy stopped.

Now you have to consider several possibilities and account for variations in vital information You have to consider that she either died very young or whoever transcribed the record (that is, if it has been transcribed at all) messed up or completely mutilated the surname. Most of the websites used in genealogy allows for
spelling variations but sometimes you have to do it yourself. So I started playing with her last name, trying to imagine what it would sound like if it was said with an Irish or Australian accent. I also tried to estimate a marriage date, which could be anywhere from fifteen years old (sometimes younger) to forty years old (sometimes older) for the first marriage. If Mary cannot be located in Australian records, maybe Mary did not stay in Australia. It is enough to drive any sane person crazy.


Here is what I located;


Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950

Name: Mary Mc Lenaghen

Spouse Name: William Wanklin

Marriage Date: 1886

Marriage Place: New South Wales

Registration Place: Glebe, New South Wales

Registration Year: 1886

Registration Number: 2795


England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007

Name: Mary Wanklin

Birth Date: abt 1863

Date of Registration: Dec 1934

Age at Death: 71

Registration District: Birmingham

Inferred County: Warwickshire

Volume: 6d

Page: 108


UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960

Name: Mr. Wanklin

Birth Date: abt 1867

Port of Departure: Sydney, Australia

Arrival Date: 20 May 1897

Port of Arrival: London England

Ship Name: Ophir

Official Number: 98675

Mr. Wanklin was travelling with his with Mary and an eight year old boy.


Ireland Marriages, 1619-1898

Name: Thomas Mcclenehan

Spouse's Name: Mary Mccullough

Event Date: 05 Sep 1861

Event Place: Drumballyroney, Down, Ire

Father's Name: Andrew Mcclenehan

Spouse's Father's Name: William Mccullough

Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M70224-2

System Origin: Ireland-VR

GS Film number: 101423

Reference ID: 2:3S496JQ


I wish I could say that I found Mary Maclenehen that the Mary in the records I have listed above is your Mary Maclenehen, but I cannot. All of this is to say to/show you
that the possibilities are endless. You asked me if you should hire a "professional
genealogist". I am a Professional Genealogist. I have given up some income so I can work at my convenience from home, but that does not make me less professional
in my research or the knowledge I bring to that research. I believe what you
meant was to hire someone to do some on-site research for you. . You can hire someone to do "look-ups" for you and that may be the way you want to go. Unless you have money to burn, exhaust all other possibilities before hiring a Professional Genealogist to do on-site research as that can get extremely expensive.

I wish you luck with your search,



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Shirley,


Thank you for your reply and the information supplied.


I was aware of the possible "William Wanklin " connection and had done some investigating on William myself. William and Mary had two children both boys, John T Wanklin born in 1889 and XXXXX XXXXX born in 1892. Robert died the same year and it was from his death certifcate that provided the disappointment, his mother Mary was born in Scotland........bugger ! William was born in Birmingham, England and it does make some sense that he and Mary decided to return to England to live in 1897 as per your advice. The son that acompanied them was aged 8 and this rings true for the remaining child John, born in 1889. So looks like just another dead-end but I do appreciate your assistance Shirley. I have many other similar Wanklin stories which I have investigated for Mary but they end up the same way.


I am thinking that maybe I can research the local papers in the Newcastle and Hunter regions for the period involved, I do know from Mary's parents death certifcates that Mary died betweek 1902 and 1928. Are you able to give me a heads-up as to how I might go about contacting the newspapers and perhaps do some on-line research ?


Thank you again Shirley for your help.

Hello Garry,

I really wish I could hear your accent when I read your correspondence.

In the United States you would look for old newspapers at the library, it might be a small town library or a university library, but that is the first place you look. But you are not looking for newspapers in the US are you...

hope at least one of these sites will either get you where you are going or at least aid in the journey.

Australian family history and genealogy selected websites

Australian Newspapers & journals - Family History Research


Genealogy South Australia - Family History South Australia


The leading resource for South Australian family history information. ... Newspaper Birth Notices Index from 1960 onwards; Newspaper Death


Newspaper extracts... - Wots My Genes -The Best of Genealogy


Newspapers for family history research - New South Wales Genealogy


Australia Newspapers

I hope this helps.


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