: : As I am informed the McGrails moved with 4 other families
: : from Ireland to the Island of Barra (outer Hebridies) around 1030 ad.
: : A Niall was elected among the families and his family was
: : named McNeil (later McNeil of Barra) and this is also our
: : Tartan.
: : My grandfather Thomas McGrail was born in Edinburgh and
: : married my grandmother in Denmark just after WWII.
: : Later he moved to PNG and from there to Australia where
: : he died 2 years ago.
: : I have never heard of any relation to the McReals.
: It's always good to see other McGrail's posting on this page!
: The name "McGrail" and "McGreal" were interchangable in Ireland, as both were pronounced the same. They were anglicized transliterations of the Gaelic "Mag Reill", which itself was a rendition of "McNeill". There are various other phonetic spellings of the name such as "McGraile", "McKrall", "Magrell", many of which were the result of over-taxed immigration officials at the various ports of entry. My gr. grandfather was born "McGreal" and died "McGrail".
Subj: McGrail's in Leitrim/Roscommon
Date: 97-12-30 21:39:11 EST
My paternal grandfather came from Ireland in 1898. His natualization records show that he was born in Alphine, Ireland. I have been unable to find Alphine on the map, but there is an Elphine in County Roscommon. This would make sense, especially if the person taking down the information was not used to hearing a brogue.
According to my father, his father never spoke about Ireland much, although old acquaintances would come by the house. There was no talk of relatives back in Ireland.
My father took several trips to Ireland, checking birth records in Dowra and Droshambo. He found numerous "McGrail's" and "McGreal's". He checked the baptismal records in St. Hugh's in Dowra, but the records prior to 1885 had been burned by he British. According to his naturalization records, John Lawrence McGrail (my grandfather) was born on March 4, 1879. My grandfather's marriage certificate listed my great-grandfather as James McGrail and my great-grandmother as Mary McGuire, although my grandfather's death certificate listed my great-grandmother as Bridget McGuire. According to my Aunt Anne, James was supposed to have been a tailor
When my father checked the birth and baptismal records in Roscommon he was unable to find any McGrail's or McGreal's. My father was also able to determine from my grandfather's naturalization records that he arrived from Ireland on 6-13-1898 aboard the SS Ethopia out of Londonderry. A check of the passenger list in the US National Archives revealed no John McGrail. We have not been able to determine if he was crew member because we have been unable to determine which ship line ran the SS Ethopia to look up crew lists.
John Lawrence McGrail settled in Jersey City, New Jersey where he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and married Catherine Feeley from County Cork. They had 7 children, my father being the youngest.
Do you have any suggestions as to where to look next?
Edward Hugh McGrail, Jr.