MCNISH - Antigua

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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby johnlane » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:48 pm

I have been trying to decipher some of Florence's letters. They are difficult to read and she rambles a lot. My in-laws are currently trying to decipher the letters and document any relevant details about family etc.

However, in several of her letters, she does "pass on her brother Walter and her sister Louisa, best wishes" Note: In one of the letters it looks like Louisa and the others it looks like Larise. so this doesn't help us much with confirming the correct name

Florence mentions another brother, Brodie McNish, who died in 1918. There is a New York death record for Brodie McNish, born abt 1882 and died 11 Jan 1918. I will order a copy of this certificate as well.

Florence also mentions a sister Lilly (I think she is indicating that Lilly died 40 years earlier, (1906), but don't know if that was in USA or WI )

Florence indicates that her parents died when she was small and that she lived with her uncle Walter B McNish, until she went to America.

There is some more family details but may take some time to try and decipher.

Note: Florence always refers to Macnish and not McNish.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:55 pm

Will be looking to see what you find out on the death certificate. I am still puzzled by the 2 Walters, in the 2 Census' in 1905, on both he is shown as his occupation being a "waiter", and on the one (at a residence not a jail) he has a daughter named "Florence" (named after his sister???). As far as the one being in jail & the other a residence, it could be the wife gave his name as head of household, could have told the Census taker he was at work, did not want to admit that her husband was actually in jail...wish the Census taken of inmates had give the name of his wife. This is one of the things I like most about genealogy...mysteries unravel.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby hassler » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:56 pm

I have seen the gravestone of a McNish in the churchyard of St John's Cathedral, Antigua, although I do not remember the first name. The inscription was faded but Mc Nish was quite discernible. There is also an area in the south of Antigua called McNish, probably an old plantation and some hills called McNish mountains. You may be already aware of this but I thought it might add a little bit of information on the subject.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:55 pm

The gravestone is more than likely the one mentioned in Vere Langford Oliver's History of Antigua: Sacred to the memory of/Celia Margaret/the beloved wife of/Brodie George McNish/merchant St Johns Antigua/born1804.died December 16th 1857, or it could be one on findagrave.com which has several other members of the McNish family.
I am going to try to obtain the e-mail address for the Director of Archives in Antigua (had it at one time), will see if I can get a copy of the Bapt/Birth certificate for Walter Leopold McNish. Several years ago the Director was very helpful in my getting most of the information on the Bladen & Johnson family (my Dad's side), she always went the extra mile in the search for me. Today, I understand, the Archives is not as helpful, and you have to have exact dates...they will not extend themselves to "search" on an approximate date. We will see what happens, if I am successful in getting an e-mail address...maybe things have changed there.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:03 pm

I have a little "history" on the McNish hill from a contact I have in Antigua; e-mailed the following: I have climbed McNish Hill twice recently from both the east and the west side. Rugged country, and quite a climb, probably our second highest hill. Whatevr induced the crazy Scotsman to ever build atop this place is a mystery - everything would have to be hauled up. The mill is still there (Allen's mill after the original owner)...The Observer group have recently purchased the top of McNish...to place a communications antenna. (May 18, 2003).
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby johnlane » Fri Oct 09, 2015 2:30 pm

I am pretty sure that the Robert B McNish, listed in the 1910 Census as living with Walter L B McNish, is the same person that Florence referred to in her letters as her brother Brodie R McNish.

I also haven't had much luck in getting certificates from Antigua, but I am about to try again.

They did advise me that the civil registry housed at the High Court of Justice holds records from approx. 1905. Records before that are held at the National Archive.

National Archive holds Births from 1856 (approx). Earlier records are held as baptism certificates held at the individual churches. Archive holds marriage certificates from 1886, earlier records are again with the individual churches. (they didn't mention death certificates).
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:50 pm

Have tried that e-mail address you sent, as well as another which I had previously archives@candw.ag. Both have bounced back. Just found Register of MacNish, Florence Brodie, living at 424 Clermont Ave, Brooklyn, Age 66, Date of order of admission (Citizenship) Apr. 2, 1940, Date certificate issued Apr2, 1940, US District Court at Brooklyn, New York. Petition No. 271958. Signed Florence Brodie McNish. Sounds like my Aunt...took a while to take the step.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby bimjim » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:40 pm

I just - literally in the last three minutes - saw an email on the Caribbean mailing list with a new email address for ther Archives, and posted it on my genresources page. I will PM both of you privately with it.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:49 pm

Phillip Abbott in Antigua sent me the new Antigua Archives e-mail with the name of the current Director. I "forwarded" to Jim Lynch & I believe that he then added it to this McNish discussion. I have sent a request to Archives for possible info on Walter. Phillip said in his e-mail that the current Director is much more responsive.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:04 pm

Reading one of your previous post again I don't understand about birth/bapt being held by Parish churches & marriages by Archives. Things must have changed. When I was first researching the Bladen/Johnson families on my Dad's side, this was in the late 1970s - early 80s, the Director at that time was holding all Parish Registers in Archives...I have Xerox copies of pages from those Registers - Marriage & Baptism. Now, any vital statistics of members of the Moravian church, those records I was told by Archives in Antigua that they had all been shipped to the main headquarters of the Moravian church in Pennsylvania. I got in contact with them several years ago, the Johnsons I had reason to believe were Moravian, and they didn't have anything that I needed, and they said that the records they did receive were in bad shape, also large gaps (many possibly missing.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby johnlane » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:41 pm

This is the response I received I received from the Civil Registry, approx. 2 years ago, when I was applying for some records:

"The Civil Registry housed at the High Court of Justice provided civil records for the period of approximately 1905 to present date. Records before that period are mainly housed at the National Archives.

I have forwarded your correspondence to the Archives and I am advised that they do not house birth records before the period 1856. Births before that period are in the form of baptismal certificates which you must request directly from the church where the person was baptized. Likewise marriage records before 1886 are also kept by churches where the individual was married"


This differs from what is on the form on their web site.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:03 pm

I am very glad that I did my Bladen/Johnson research back in the late 1970s up until early 80s. I have copies from Marriage & Baptisms Registers (actual page entries Xeroxed) which I got at that time by "snail mail" (had no computer in those days). The earliest marriage was Jan 6, 1826 which produced 8 children, eldest 1827 & youngest 1848...documented all with the Archives. Also documented all subsequent marriages on Bladen side, and baptisms. The earliest Johnson baptism documented was in 1808. Never had to deal with the individual churches involved...in this case it would have been the Anglican Cathedral in St Johns. I even got an extract from a Will made by my 2nd great-grandfather who died in 1890; at that time the Director told me she could hardly handle the Will the paper was so brittle...by now I imagine the document no longer exists, I have been told that overall the records in Antigua are in very bad condition. Barbados has managed to preserve their records much better.

The Archives have evidently given the old Registers back to the churches...as I mentioned earlier all the Moravian records were shipped out of the island to the Moravian main headquarters in Pennsylvania. It will more than likely be a real "trip" getting info for those earlier dates...if they even exist.
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:55 pm

Meant to mention. LDS was able to film some of the records in Antigua. A few years ago I had some success with one that I rented...have to get back to them again. I have been unable to find any mention of these films on familysearch, but I was provided a list of films which do exist, if you have a LDS Family Center Library nearby you might want to take a look at some of the films available: Registers of marriages, records of all parishes and denominations; includes Barbuda; 1895-1918 & 1925-1935 Film #1933445. Register all births, all parishes of Antigua 1856-1865 - some 1862 records follow 1865 Film #1933453. Register general of deaths all parishes of Antigua 1856-1862 Film #1933453. Register general of deaths in the parishes of Antigua 1862-1865 Film #1933449.
The URL for ordering the films is: www.familysearch.org/films
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby bimjim » Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:17 pm

I have a short index of the Antigua LDS microfilms and their numbers here...
http://www.candoo.com/genresources/anuleewards.htm
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Re: MCNISH - Antigua

Postby valdemar » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:21 pm

I got a very prompt reply from Mr. Prosper, Director of Archives in Antigua. A copy of a birth certificate cost $5.00 (US), and can be obtained from the Civil Registry. High Court, Parliament Drive, St John's, Antigua. He did not say as to whether or not he was able to locate Walter Leopold McNish... just said it would be helpful if I gave him the Parish Walter was born in. I guess I will now have to write to the Civil Registry.

By the way your wife and I are 4th cousins, common ancestors being William Johnson & Margaret (not Margaret Baker). Margaret Baker McNish and I are 1st cousins 3 times removed; the same common ancestors.

Should you be interested, or you might already have this info, I can give you the descendants from William & Margaret McNish up to Margaret Baker McNish.
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