The McGahey, Beckingham, Bovingdon, Fitchett and Whitebread pages

incorporating the Beckingham One-Name Study


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Wiltshire map c. 1773

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The McGaheys

The McGahey family traced so far come from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Alex's father left there when World War II commenced and joined the Royal Artillery, (under age), and only went back for holidays thereafter.

He was born in Ballycastle, a small town on the North Antrim coast, and many years ago there were a lot of relatives still living in the town. Most have moved elsewhere now, but we are still in touch with a few of them. The pedigree that I have goes back as far as the early 1800's and a John McGaughey marrying Mary Jane McAuley on the paternal side, and to a Henry McGaughey and his (now) seven children on the maternal side. Other researchers and I have come to the conclusion that John and Henry were brothers and have now shown this in our charts. There is also a DNA link to an Andrew McGaughey family in Ballycastle in the 1911 census,  and we have now placed Andrew as a son of Henry.

My maternal grandmother married a James Norman Coyles in 1921 at Ballycastle but he then vanishes as Margaret remarries in 1942. If you can help, please let me know.

Similarly, it appears that Margaret also had a daughter, Kathleen born 23 Feb 1919 but I cannot find what happened to her, I cannot see that she married or died, perhaps she was informally adopted. Again, if you can help, please email.

Descendants of the families are to be found not only in Northern Ireland but in the USA and Canada.

Fairhead, Ballycastle, Co AntrimThe picture (right) is towards Scotland from Ballycastle with Fairhead in the centre in about 1953 (the view is the same today).

I have been approached by many McGaheys from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and always try to put them in touch with each other.

Headstone of Tobias McGahey I have learned that there is a town in Virginia, USA, called Mcgaheysville that was founded by a Tobias Randolph McGahey in 1801, not a fact I knew but something worth passing on. I have now been told by a John McGahey who has visited the town in 1999 that Tobias was a surveyor from Scotland who arrived there that year, married and settled down as the first postmaster.

Photo of Tobias' headstone - © John McGahey 1999

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