I am looking for information on a McShane family who lived in County Down, Ireland in the 1815 - 1860 time period. Their son Peter was b. bet. 1825 - 1833 (depending on what record you look at) and left Ireland after his marriage to Lucy Toman. The young couple settled for a few years in Durham, England where Peter worked in the coal mines. In 1858 they took their four young boys and moved to the United States. They arrived in New York in July 1858, and made their way to Belleville, St. Clair County, Illinois by the time the 1860 census was taken.
I have spent years trying to find this couple in England and Ireland to no avail. Today I found that even though they used the name Johnston or Johnson in the U.S.A., they appear as Peter and Lucy McShane on the ship's list! I understand Johnston is an Anglicanized version of the name McShane.
They became the parents of eight children - 5 boys and 3 girls before Peter was killed in a coal mining accident in 1867 when he was reported to be 41 years of age. All of his sons were coal miners and the majority of his grandsons. One of his grandsons was my grandfather William Lee Johnston, b. 1878, who entered the mines when he was 13 years of age.
I am especially interested in information about the family in County Down.
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