Wednesday, January 20, 2016

52 Weeks/52 Ancestors, Week 2 - Thomas Christopher McNally

Thomas Christopher McNally is my 2x Great Grandfather on my paternal name line. He was the son of Christopher McNally and Rosanna Pearson. He was born 6 January 1852 in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, the oldest of Christopher and Rosanna's children.

He married Anna Martha Myers on 28 July 1875 at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Newry, Blair County Pennsylvania. This apparently was not a full Catholic ceremony, as the Church record indicate that Anna was a Protestant and I know from other records she was a life long member of the Brethren Church. They had three children - Richard (my great-grandfather), Thomas Jr., and Augustus.

Besides their three natural children , Thomas and Anna "adopted" a young man named Harry Malone some time before 1900, as he is enumerated with them in 1900 and 1910. I have e-mail correspondence where I was working with another family researcher to untangle Harry's details - maybe I'll do a separate post about Harry to try to sort him out. 

The point of this story is that I think it demonstrates one aspect of Thomas's character - his generosity, which he learned from his parents. It is no small act of generosity to take in a child. 

According to a report in the Altoona Tribune from 1906, a Thomas McNally from Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania was injured by a railroad car, causing the loss of his foot. I have not been able to determine if Thomas Christopher or his son Thomas was the one injured, as they both lived in Roaring Spring and both worked for the railroad doing manual labor at different times.  Thomas Christoper would have been 54 and his son Thomas would have been 26 at the time of the accident, so both are possibilities.  If anyone has ideas about how to sort this out, I'm listening.

Thomas died 16 September 1912 in Taylor Township, Blair County, Pennsylvania.  His death certificate lists asthma as the primary cause of death.  He was buried at the St. Patrick's Cemetery in Newry, Blair County, Pennsylvania in an unmarked grave. Extracts from church records indicate that his brother Richard and his sister Lavina are buried in the same grave.  At the least, there are stones marking those graves, so the location of his burial is not lost.   


  1. Dear Shane,

    Thank you for your blog on Thomas Christopher. He was my 2nd Great Grandmother Levina's brother. My cousin, Joy Glunt Smith told me that her mother Gladys McNally Glunt told her that her Grandfather Thomas Christopher had the peg leg. It was not Gladys's father Thomas. Hope this helps. We will send you some articles about the accident and pictures of Levina's and Richard's gravesite.
    Happy to see your blog again, Polly Hewitt

    1. Thanks. I haven't had a chance to look over what you sent me, but I plan on it when I get a little time.