The goal of this project is to identify my paternal line through my grandfather Albert Richard McMeiken (aka AR Thomas). I have limited knowledge of his mother's line (McMeiken) and as far as I can tell he appears to be illegitimate being born in Bessemer Michigan about 1893. Other than the fact is family folklore, I have no evidence to support this statement. I would like to find as much about his ancestry as I possibly can. Perhaps those with knowledge of the McMeiken family have some details that may offer some help. His mother Agnes, appears (if Albert's birth year is correct) to have left Whitehaven and travelled to the USA where she apparently worked as a housekeeper/maid for a "well to do" family. Albert does have an elder sister Elizabeth and there appears to be some indication that Agnes travelled to the USA on one occasion with Elizabeth as an Agnes McMeiken is registered on arrival at Ellis Island. However, I'm not certain this is her. She may, of course, have made several visits to the USA?
Agnes married a John Thomas probably between 1896 and 1900 and they went on to have several more children Sarah, Georgina, Mary, Warwick & Edna. Hence Albert's apparent change of name. There are records that show him being married to my grandmother (Margaret) as Albert McMeiken and indeed this is also the case on his son John's birth certificate in 1925. However, by the time of my father's birth in 1936, he is recorded on my father's birth certificate as Albert Richard Thomas. It would appear that he is generally known as "Mr. Thomas" and is acknowledging that fact or is he simply trying to forget the illegitimacy?
Right now this project just has one member, me. I am Nick Thomas.
Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.
- Confirm the dates for Agnes' arrival(s)/departure(s) from the USA
- Details of Albert Richard McMeiken's birth (i.e. date/place/time in the USA)
- Details of Albert Richard McMeiken's father - this has eluded me for several years
- Details of John Thomas - although he married Agnes several years after Albert's birth, could it be that he is in fact Albert's father?