When William McCormick was born in 1821 in Carlisle, Cumberland, his father, Michael, was 33 and his mother, Margaret, was 27.
Although I can not be certain evidence points to William’s mother being Margaret Carley baptised in December 1794 in Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland. She married a Patt Cahill in Delvin in 1809 when she was only 15 years old. Delvin a very small village of 240 in 2002 so only a few crofters cottages likely in 1800. This was where Michael was born and lived. Women in the area keep their own surnames after marriage.
My own DNA test and family oral history show the Westmeath/Roscommon/Athlone/area is where our ancestors came from. My DNA also matches others with the same ancestry.
No marriage can be found for Michael so it may be that Margaret ran away with Michael to Carlisle and they did not get married but she changed her name to McCormick. The puzzle is why in the 1851 census Margret is listed as born in Carlisle but in the 1861 census as being born in Ireland. This could be because her daughter Catherine who she is living with at the time in 1851 was born in Carlisle and maybe it was assumed Margaret was as well but this is then corrected in 1861.
Although it is not known why but at 21 years old William in 1841 is a lodger in Glasgow Street, Dumfries, Scotland. He is working as a cotton hand loom weaver living in the Mitchell household. His wife to be Sarah Murray (18) was born in Dumfrieshire and in 1841 was living with her parents in Loreburn Street in Dumfries also working as a cotton weaver. Loreburn Street was just over the river from Glasgow Street and was easily accessed by foot via a nearby bridge. It is therefore most likely William and Sarah met and fell in love in Dumfries.
Following their meeting they moved sometime between 1841 and 1851 to Carlisle , William’s hometown.
In 1851 William (32) is living with his wife Sarah (27) in Chambers Court, Caldewgate, Carlisle. Both he and his wife are hand loom weavers, and their children are Michael (9), John (7), James (5), Hugh (3) and Mary Ann (3mths). His mother Margaret and sister Catherine are also living in the same street.
By 1861 the family is living in Scott Street in Caldewgate, Carlisle. William is a cotton power loom weaver as are his sons John (17), James (14), Hugh (12). His eldest son Michael is a cotton spinner. Sadly Mary Ann appears to have died before her 10th birthday but Frank (7), William (3) and Catherine (1) are all new additions to the family in the same period. His mother Margaret and sister Catherine have also moved to Scott Street. Catherine is now married her mother is living with her family. Evidence suggests that her mother Margaret at some time moved to Cockermouth likely to live with one of her other daughters Sarah who lives there because records show that Margaret dies in October 1871 in Cockermouth.
It is unknown where William and Sarah were between 1861 and 1881 as I have not been able to find as yet a record of them in the 1871 census. However, in the 1881 census, they are living in Denton Hill, Caldewgate, Carlisle, the same location as their son James. William is now 62 years old and still working in the cotton mill. His wife Sarah is 58 years old and is not working, neither is their daughter Catherine (20). Margaret(16) is still at home but is working as a cotton weaver and Robert (12) is still at school.
We last find William mentioned in the records as still living at 10 Denton Hill, Caldewgate, Carlisle in 1891. He is now 72 years old and still employed at the mill as a cotton sizer. Robert is still at home (21) working as a dye work labourer.
William died in Carlisle in September 1895 aged 74 years old.
William and Sarah had 10 children.
Mary Ann McCormick
Francis/Frank Mc Cormick
William Mc Cormick
Catherine Mc Cormick
Margaret Mc Cormick
The information on this page has been verified using:
- Documentation: Birth, Marriage and Death Records etc. Click this link to view these documents
- Family Oral History
- The author’s own knowledge
If any family member can add to the facts on this page or thinks a correction needs to be made I would welcome any information.