McInerney and various spellings, from Ayrshire from the 1840s
Spellings: McInerney, McInairney, McAnarney, McNarnie, McAniny, McInery


This is a line where I can’t get much further backwards or forwards than my great grandmother Mary Ann McInerney baptised in January 1840 in Newcastle. My research has been made expecially difficult due to my Mcinerney ancestors ability to avoid being documented, and for all the vast variations of spelling that took place when anyone did manage to get them into the records.

Great grandmother Mary Ann married John McCrae in 1861. Their marriage certificate has her as Mary Ann McInairney, a hand sewer age 21 of 21 Fore Street, Kilmarnock, daughter of John McInairney coal miner dead and Sarah McInairney ms Marshall. Witnesses William Marshall and John Marshall. The two witnesses are her uncles, brothers of her mother.

In the 1861 census, taken earlier in the year Mary Ann married, the family, with the name spelt McAnarney, is at 19 Fore Street, Kilmarnock in a rather crowded household:
Agnes Marshall head, widow age 93, bed ridden, born Kilmarnock
Sarah Marshall daughter, widow age 45, flowerer, born Kilmarnock
Mary Ann McAnarney granddaughter, unmarried age 21, flowerer, born England
Matthew McAnarney grandson, unmarried age 19, boot closer, born Bellshill Lanarkshire
William McAnarney grandson, age 16, boot closer, born Muirkirk
John McAnarney grandson, age 13, boot closer, born Kilmarnock
Sarah McKennon granddaughter, age 8, born Kilmarnock
Helen McDonald granddaughter, age 3, born Kilmarnock

A flowerer was a hand sewer who embroidered flowers onto muslin. A boot closer worked for a shoemaker and stitched the leather uppers of boots and shoes: several of Sarah Marshall’s brothers were shoemakers so her sons may have been working for their uncles. Given the birth places of her children, it looks as if John McInerney and Sarah Marshall had their first child in England, their second in Bellshill, near Glasgow, their third in Muirkirk and their fourth in Kilmarnock. This fits with the movements of a coal miner, which Mary Ann gives as her deceased father’s occupation on her marriage certificate.

Going back in time, the family can be found in the 1851 census at Mather’s Land, with yet another spelling for their surname, where Sarah McNarnie, widow age 30 pauper hand sewer, is with daughter Mary Ann age 11 at school, son William age 6 at school and son John age 2. This means Sarah’s husband, John McInerney, must have died some time after their son John was conceived in about 1848 and the time of the census in early 1851. This is before official registration commenced in Scotland so there’s no record of his death and the family were unlikely to have been able to afford a head stone at the graveyard.

Mary Mcaniny (yet another spelling variation) was baptised on 13 January 1840 at St Mary’s, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, daughter of John Mcaniny and Sarah Marshall. I can’t find the family in the 1841 census in either England or Scotland, nor can I find baptism records for the younger children Matthew, William and John. Or at least I haven’t found them yet.

Looking for a marriage of Mary Ann’s parents, the only possibly one in the records is for John McInery and Sarah Marshall in Bothwell, Lanarkshire on 23 October 1842. This is after Mary Ann was born but is close to when and where her brother Matthew was born. Perhaps Sarah and John went to England unmarried, had daughter Mary Ann, and only married when they returned to Scotland and their second child was born. Their October 1842 marriage is recorded in the Bothwell Parish register (presbyterian) and also in the Airdrie St Margaret’s RC church register – proof that John McInerney was Catholic as Sarah Marshall wasn’t.

Nothing is known about John McInerney, husband of Sarah Marshall, although my suspicion is that he was born in Ireland. The surname comes from County Clare, and there was a lot of migration from Ireland to Ayrshire in the 1800s, especially from when the potato famine took hold from 1845. Given the place of his marriage, in the Catholic church, I suspect he is somehow related to the McInerney families that are in the Bothwell area of Lanarkshire in the 1841 and 1851 census. But he most likely met Sarah Marshall in Kilmarnock, and they then went to Newcastle where their first child was born, then Lanarkshire where their second child was born and they were married, then Muirkirk and then back to Kilmarnock, where he died in about 1849, leaving Sarah a widow at the age of 30. She went on to have two further children, Ellen and Sarah, both illegitimate.

Going forward in time with the McInerney family is also problematic as researching Mary Ann’s brothers hasn’t produced much at all. They’ve done a very good job of not appearing in the records.

Matthew McInerney was born in 1842, in Bellshill and was baptised at Hamilton RC church (with the surname written as McAnainey). He was a boot closer at age 19 in the 1861 census but thereafter disappears from the records – or if he’s there I haven’t found him yet.

William McInerney was born about 1845 in Muirkirk. At age 16 he was a boot closer in Kilmarnock. I haven’t been able to find him in the 1871, 1881 or 1891 census, but he died in 1899: his death certificate says William Marshall McInerney shoemaker single died 13 February 1899 at Kyle Union Poorhouse, usual domicile Muirkirk, parents John McInerney deceased and Sarah McInerney ms Marshall. He died of multiple neuritis, which could well have been a result of alcholism, probably not an uncommon condition for a single shoemaker in his fifities.

John McInerney was born about 1848 in Kilmarnock, and in 1861 is a boot closer age 13. He then disappears from the records too.

So all in all, my McInerney line is a brick wall going in both directions. If anyone finds this and thinks they might be connected somehow, do get in touch!

9 responses to “McInerney

  1. Maybe you could try to trace the death certificate of your 3xgreat grandmother Agnes Marshall? She was still alive in 1861 and at 93 probably didn’t survive much longer, but as civil registration started 1855, you might have some luck with her death certificate – maybe another elusive family member registered her death or perhaps her parents names were input? Its worth checking if you haven’t already!
    Great website by the way!

    • Hi Martin. Thanks for visiting and enjoying the site/blog. Yes, I’ve got Agnes Marshall’s death certificate from 1865, and researched back from there. Both the Marshalls and the Logans were saddlers and shoemakers from Kilmarnock. Sadly, it doesn’t give me anything to help with the search for John McInerney, who was most likely born in Ireland.

  2. Hello Judy- I came across your blog while searching a Strachan name, then McInerney caught my eye. I have the baptism record for Matthew born 1842. Do you already have it?

  3. Can you write me your email at my email address? I will send you the RC baptism record and marriage record. I have McInerny (various spellings) in my family in Airdrie-Coatbridge, Lanarkshire from 1840s. Patrick McInairnie was my 3 x great grandfather, born about 1810-1815 in Ireland, with what I believe is a brother Michael, also in Airdrie. He was married in 1836 in NEWRY & MOURNE district of Co. Down. Later various family moved over to Blantyre area. Your John’s marriage was in St Margaret’s RC parish in Airdrie in October or November 1842 (no exact date is noted, only the year, but the previous was Oct and the next was 13 November), and Matthew’s baptism was in St Mary’s RC parish in Hamilton, Lanarkshire. He was born 10 July 1842 and baptised on 16 July 1842. let me know your address and I’ll send on the document copies. You can find my family McInerneys at and you can follow the descent from there.

  4. Hi Judy, great blog. I have been intensely researching my Scottish family and came across your blog. We share a couple of surnames, HAY and McINERNEY, and this inquiry is about McINERNEY. Mine were from Kilrush Clare (as you noted, possibly so were yours, back when…). Long story short – my grandfather was adopted by my great grandfather’s wife, and after a long search I have found someone who is a high possibility to be my “birth” great grandmother. Her mother was a McINERNEY (and married a GORMAN). Irish through and through :). I am desperate to prove this, and the only way is DNA. I have brick-walled for family tree connection at ancestry, and the family left no other descendants (except possibly ME and my siblings). You are the first possible living McINERNEY relation (no matter how distant) that i have found. I don’t imagine you happen to have DNA available at I need a comparison. It’s a real longshot but worth checking. (And if there are any other McINERNEYs (or any of the other surnames mentioned here) out there that do have a DNA kit available, please let me know!) I would have preferred private email about this, so if you could email me at (my internet email address) that would be excellent. Looking forward to hearing from you. (I’m in Canada, my Scottish family, GILZEAN/REID, emigrated here 1855). Thanks.

    • Hi Margaret
      My 2xg grandmother was a McInerney, directly through female line. Her parents married in 1836 in Clonallon RC parish, Newry And Mourne, County Down, Ireland

      I have had an Ancestry DNA test done. You can email if you think I can help through the webmaster address on my website.

    • Hello Margaret Stowe; We are possibly related, as my grandmother’s mother, Harriet Christina Red, was the daughter of William Gilzean Reid, who came to Canada (Hamilton area) at about that time. Am looking for more info about that part of the family. You are welcome to email me; we can compare notes. I have just started on this part of the family. Am living in Alberta.

  5. Hi Mary, yes, I’ll send email. I just realized that because Judy and I share another surname through the Hay line, it will cloud my result, so I’m happy to have yours to compare! Thanks.

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