The McAllister Family

The McAllister family is on my maternal grandmother side of her family, her mother was Anna Gertrude McAllister, who married Charles Berdeaux Griner on October 14th 1917 at Scared Heart Church in Albany, New York. I have no wedding pictures of them (sadly), however I do have my grandmother wedding album, which I will post later on.

I have been researching the McAllister family for many years and I can only go back to my maternal 2nd great-grandfather Henry Francis McAllister up until recently. When I was growing up I already knew that the McAllister family do sometimes spell their name as McCallister. Anyway,  One day I was randomly browsing in the history room at a local neighborhood library and I came across and found a few books that was published by the American-Canadian Genealogical Society titled “ Saint Joseph Albany , New York – Burial and Marriages from June, 1843-1992” and “Saint Joseph Albany, New York -Baptism: volume 1 and 2” and “Scared Heart of Jesus – Marriages and Burial: November 1874 to September 2009 “and ” Scared Heart of Jesus Baptism: August 1874 to March 2010”  (I do have those copies of the book that I ordered from the historical society). I ordered them cause I keep going back and fourth to the library too many times to use these books theses books to me is Holy Grail of information that I never thought to this day that I will ever find! and without these books the McAllister line will still be a brick wall.

When I found these books ‘I thought well there goes nothing..’ Not expecting to find anything.. period. So I decided to see if I can locate the marriage of Anna Boyle to Henry McAllister and I found it they were married at St Joseph Church in Albany, NY on August 10th 1886! Henry’s parents were listed as Daniel McAllister and Agnes Cone/Coan. Henry’s wife Anna Boyle parent’s were listed as Michael Boyle and Bridget Molloy (Maloney), I cried like a baby and had to do a double check on my reading at least 20 times to believe it.. when I was reading it, I remembered one night when I was no more than 12 years old and I was staying at my grandmother’s for the weekend and as usual I was sitting on the floor in-front of the television, and I glance back to my grandmother , who was sitting in her couch reading the newspaper and smoking her Paul Mall cigarettes  and having her Manhattan and she looked happy and at peace then a thought came to mind, “who was Henry McAllister parents?” So I decided to ask her.. I was like “Gram! I got a question for you.. You know how mom sometimes does her genealogy research at work right?” And she goes “yes?” And I was like “do you know who was Henry McAllister parents were?” and she said “yes, Daniel and Agnes” and I thought.. hmm interesting, but I never asked her anymore questions after that, but I did keep wondering about it. And to this day I never forget having to ask my grandmother that question and for now, years later after she died in 1998 and finding those records in these book Is just a confirmation to what grandmother had told me and it turned out that she was correct! I decided to post the family records from my maternal grandmother’s death to the death of her maternal great-grandfather Peter McAllister.

(The Death Certificate of my maternal grandmother Mabel Emily Ognan)

My grandmother Mabel Griner was baptized  and married at Scared Heart Church in Albany, New York on March 28th 1920 and she married my grandfather George Ognan on June 3rd 1950.

(The marriage record of my maternal grandmother Mabel Emily Ognan)
(The baptism record of my maternal grandmother Mabel Emily Griner)

(The Birth Certificate of my maternal grandmother Mabel Emily Ognan)

Here is the next records of my maternal great-grandmother Anna Gertrude McAllister, (my maternal grandmother’s mother):

(This is my maternal great grandmother’s Anna G. McAllister death certificate record. She was actually a year older than what is stated on her death certificate)
(This is my maternal great grandparents Charles Berdeaux Griner and Anna G. McAllister marriage record. I found this record at the The New York State Archives Department.)
(The baptism of my maternal  great-grandmother Anna G. McAllister)

Here is the next records of my maternal 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle, (my maternal grandmother’s grandmother):

My 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle McAllister’s death certificate (my maternal great-grandmother’s mother)
  • The front burial card of my 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle
  • The back burial card of my 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle

My 2nd maternal great-grandmother, Anna Boyle was not in fact illiterate she had some schooling under her belt. There has been other records which have indicated that she was well educated.

This is the marriage record of my maternal 2nd great-grandparents, Henry Francis McAllister and Anna Boyle McDonald they were actually married at St. Joseph Church in Albany, NY on Aug 10th 1886, this records was typed and published by the American-Canadian Genealogy Society in New Hampshire. The McDonald surname actually belong to her 1st husband, John McDonald, who died in 1885. (More on him later) there as you can see that there is some typos in some of the spellings. Anna’s parents were actually Michael Boyle and Bridget Moloney. And Henry McAllister’s parents were actually Daniel McAllister and Agnes Coan, In reference to her death certificate and baptism record and of her husband’s Henry McAllister baptism record.

The birth record of my 2nd great-grandfather Henry McAllister
The birth record of my 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle

(The birth and baptism of my 2nd great-grandparents Henry F. McAllister and Anna Boyle, they were recorded at St. Joseph Church in Albany, New York)

My 2nd great-grandfather, Henry Francis McAllister is actually 4 years younger than my 2nd great-grandmother, Anna Boyle and they were both baptized at St. Joseph Church in Albany, NY

I have not been able to locate Henry McAllister death certificate or where he was buried at to this day however by the 1910 city directory of Albany and The New York State census, his wife is confirmed and listed as a widowed, however on my great-grandmother Anna Boyle Death certificate she was listed as married and the informant on her death certificate was her youngest daughter, my great-grandmother Anna McAllister Griner, the wife of my great-grandfather Charles Griner. And again on Anna Boyle burial card recorded at Albany Rural Cemetery she is listed as widowed. My 2nd great-grandmother Anna Boyle died in 1927 when my maternal grandmother Mabel was 7 years old.

However, I can definitely confirm that Henry’s parents Daniel J. McAllister and Agnes Coan are indeed my 3rd great-grandparents. My grandmother Mabel was correct. My 3rd great-grandparents Daniel and Agnes McAllister (nee Coan) was married at St. Joseph Church in Albany, NY on May 7th, 1848

My 3rd great-grandparents Daniel and Agnes Coan  in the 1892 New York State census:

My 2nd great-grandparents Henry Francis McAllister and Anna Boyle McAllister in the 1892 New York State census:

My 2nd great-grandfather Henry Francis McAllister with his mother, Agnes in the 1900 New York State Census for Albany:

According to the 1900 New York State census for Agnes McAllister aged 75 years old, she is listed as a widow and she had 10 children, but only 4 of her children were living in 1900, her husband Daniel McAllister died in 1894.  I went ahead and ordered the death certificate of my 3rd great-grandfather at the Albany City Hall and a few weeks later I received it

(My 3rd great-grandparent’s death certificates: My 3rd great-grandmother Agnes McAllister (nee Coan) died in 1915, and Her husband Daniel McAllister died in 1894.)

After I got my 3rd great-grandparents death certificates, I then contacted a genealogist that works at the St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, NY and requested by email for the burial information for Daniel McAllister and his family, when I got an email from Kelly I noticed that this burial card is the correct one and not all of his children are recorded on the burial card so I had to work painstaking slow gathering all of the known children from the census records, baptism records from St. Joseph Church in Albany, looking up obituaries of the children of Daniel McAllister and Agnes Coan (that was fun! Had to go though a lot of newspaper reel at the State Library in Albany) it was a very painful and lengthy process, but it is worth it! After  then that I created the profiles for my 3rd great-grandparents and their 10 confirmed children on, even though my 2nd great-grandfather has his profile up his burial and death is still unknown.. in hoping that one day his death certificate and burial location can be found and later burial information will then be added to his profile.

Here is the profile of the profile of Daniel J. McAllister and his wife, Agnes Coan. His Find A Grave profile is # 107493206

According to my 3rd great-grandfather death certificate his parents is listed as Peter McAllister and Ann McAllister (surname unknown) I found my 4th great-grandmother, Ann McAllister in the 1875 New York State Census with the family on :

Daniel’s death certificate confirms that his parents is indeed Peter McAllister and Ann McAllister. So I went on the newspaper website called and I found the obituary of my 4th great-grandmother Ann McAllister in 1876 and I found it.

When I discover that my 4th great-grandmother obituary it mentioned Daniel, my 3rd great-grandfather and Daniel has a brother names Charles McAllister (he had issue)

I was thrilled and decided to order another death certificate this time for my 4th great-grandmother Ann and I remember that the lady at the vital statistic office told me that the city of Albany doesn’t start requiring death certificates until March of 1870, so I decided to take a gamble and ordered the death certificate. It took me 4 weeks to get it. And I got it, but the information on the certificate is lacking but it did provide more clues and it confirms some of the matches on Ann’s son Daniel death certificate:

When I saw her death certificate I was bummed out because it basically listed no one not his sons or husband or her parents, however there was one important clue to the puzzle and it mentioned that she was at St. John’s and I thought oh Lord here goes nothing! I started looking St John’s cemetery in Albany on Google and only one listed was St. John Lutheran Church and in my mind was like Gram was NOT lutheran definitely not Lutheran. She was definitely Irish and catholic then a light went off in my mind telling me to go over to the Troy Irish Genealogical Website to see if I can find anything and I was like blah! Believing I will not find anything so I prayed that there is a listing for St. John cemetery in Albany and sure enough it was there and I found it!  sure enough she was buried there with Charles, her other son and her husband Peter McAllister. I was excited not only that it provided with a tons of new information not about just her, but her son  Charles. and her husband and two grandchildren, who is the son and daughter of Daniel and Agnes McAllister. (who were then later moved to St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, NY unfortunately the cemetery itself does not exist anymore 🙁 (the arrows in red is our relation)

Here is the modern headstone of Daniel McAllister Jr and his 7 children, his 3 other children is not listed , and his son Henry McAllister disappeared in thin air! Here is the St. Agnes Cemetery burial cards that mentioned Agnes and Daniel McAllister.

The oldest documented McAllister ancestors are currently my 4th great-grandparents Peter McAllister and Ann McAllister, according to the St. John’s cemetery burial records that was rediscovered in 2014. Peter McAllister died in 1851 at the age of 75 and his wife, my 4th great-grandmother Ann McAllister (surname is currently unknown) died in 1876 aged 91 years.  According to the burial records, Peter McAllister was born in County Down, Ireland in 1776 and his wife, Ann was born in Galway, Ireland in 1785.

 In 2014,  the Times Union newspaper interviewed and wrote an article about the rediscovery of the old St. John’s cemetery burial records it was rediscover by a caretaker’s residence at Calvary Cemetery in Glenmont, New York, the successor to St. John’s Cemetery of Albany.

Here is the newspaper article about the rediscovery – (click here)to read about it.

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