View Full Version : The Name "Mackal"

Derek Atherton
01-06-2006, 8:05 PM
I'm tryin to track down the origin of this name.

It is the middle name of my Great Grandmother - Ada Mackal Barker - and regrettably for me, when she married in Stockport in 1878, there was no fathers named on her wedding certificate but the entry was Hannah Barker as "Single Mother"! The IGI shows her as being christened on 29 Apr 1855 at Eyam, Derbyshire. Mother Hannah Barker (no father named).

It has not helped that I have been unable to trace her birth cert through 1837 on-line etc - born approx 1855 (out of wedlock?) in Liverpool - away from the family home in Derbyshire. Not registered? Could it be the name of the true father?

Has anyone ever heard of this name? Or any other idea on how to track her down?

Any help appreciated!


Ron Leech
02-06-2006, 7:00 AM
As a quick guide for this sort of trace I use FreeBMD during a quiet period under births put in the surname select a 10 or 20 year period for all counties. I did this for "Mackal" between 1850 and 1890 only one is listed registered 1888 in London. I would have expected to see a several more. Are you sure that is how the name is spelt?

Like you I suspect that the mother used the father surname as a middle name.

Peter Goodey
02-06-2006, 7:25 AM
There isn't a single Mackal in the 1881 census.

If I were you I'd suspect McCall and its variants of which there are many.

Derek Atherton
02-06-2006, 8:00 AM
All I have to go off is the marriage certificate - and it is quite definitely "MACKAL"!


Peter Goodey
02-06-2006, 8:51 AM
it is quite definitely "MACKAL"

I wasn't disputing what you wrote - I was suggesting what it might have meant.

I take it there were no clues in the census?

You mentioned an IGI entry; you'll be wanting to check the Eyam parish register, of course. The chances of finding a clue there are probably low but it should be done.

I think you'd find the book "My Ancestor was a Bastard" useful -

Pam Downes
02-06-2006, 3:14 PM
Hi Derek,
Remember that surname spellings were not standardised until the late 1800s. Prior to that if someone was told a surname they didn't know how to spell they would have spelt it phonetically. Especially if the person whose surname it was didn't know how to spell it either :)
It might be a family surname from a couple of generations further back, but without a birth registration (or any added details in the Eyam baptism PR) I think that you might have to accept that the name of Ada's father and her middle name are two of life's unsolveable mysteries.

02-06-2006, 3:57 PM
Census returns might hold some clues, Derek. Have you located your great grandmother in any of the censuses? I can see one possible match in 1861:

Census: 1861: RG9/2543 Folio 93 Page 3
Address: Cocker's Yard. Townstreet, Eyam, Derbyshire
-- Ann BARKER Head Widow 54 Lead Miner's Widow born Lancashire, Oldham
-- Luke BARKER Son Un 25 Lead Miner born Derbyshire, Eyam
-- John BARKER Son Un 23 Do born Do Eyam
-- Robert BARKER Un 22 Do born Do Eyam
-- Thomas Swails BARKER Son Un 18 Do born Do Eyam
-- Ann BARKER Daur Un 16 General Servant born Do Eyam
-- Ada BARKER Grand Daur 6 Scholar born Lancashire Liverpool
-- Alice ROLLINSON Neice [sic] Un 19 Cotton Weaver born Derbyshire, Glossop
-- Ellen SLEIGHTAM Visitor Un 20 Do born Do Stoney Middleton

I have noticed that the names Hannah and Ann are sometimes used interchangeably. Perhaps the mother of granddaughter, Ada, is living and working outside the home. I'll see if I can find her in 1851...


02-06-2006, 4:07 PM
Ah, yes... a Hannah...

Census: 1841: HO107/184/9 Folio 9 Page 12
Address: Eyam, Derbyshire
-- Luke BARKER 40 Wheelwright Y [for born in same county]
-- Ann BARKER 35 No
-- James Do 14 No
-- Mary Do 12 No
-- Hannah Do 10 Y
-- William Do 8 Y
-- Luke Do 6 Y
-- John Do 3 Y
-- Robert Do 1 Y

but she's not living at home by 1851:

Census: 1851: HO107/2150 Folio 446 Page 18
Address: Main Street, Eyam, Derbyshire
-- Luke BARKER Head Mar 54 Journeyman Carpenter born Derbyshire, Eyam
-- Ann BARKER Wife Mar 46 born Lancashire, Oldham
-- Mary BARKER Daur U 22 born Do Do
-- William BARKER Son U 18 Lead Miner born Derbyshire, Eyam
-- Luke Do Son U 15 Do born Do Do
-- John Do Son U 13 Do born Do Do
-- Robert Do Son U 11 Do born Do Do
-- Thomas Do Son 8 born Do Do
-- Ann Do Daur 5 born Do Do
-- Henry Do Son 1 born Do Do


Derek Atherton
02-06-2006, 4:10 PM

Many thanks - this is indeed her.

I found Hannah (Ada's mother) on the 1851:

1851 census living at "Heigher" Buxton, Buxton was William Woodruffe Head M 25 Painter b. Ashford, Derbys, Elizabeth Woodruffe 25 b. Rochdale, Lancs, Mary Elizabeth Woodruffe 5 (months? - census shows years!), b. Buxton, Derbys and HANNAH BARKER Unm 20 House Servant b. Eyam Derbys.


02-06-2006, 4:49 PM
...Mary Elizabeth Woodruffe 5 (months?...Derek, you're right, I think the enumerator intended it to read as "5 months".

There is another, quite interesting 1841 census entry -- have you seen this one?

Census: 1841: HO107/185/9 Folio 14 Page 22
Address: Hadfield, Glossop, Derbyshire
-- Mackal CURLEY 35 Labourer I [for born in Ireland?]
-- Catherine CURLEY 45 I
-- Thomas WINNE [or MINNE] 15 Cotton ?Mo? I
-- Edward WOGAN 15 Do I
-- John do 15 do I
-- Mackal [could also be Michal or Muhal] do 14 do I
-- William do 5 do [sic] Y [for born in same county]

In this instance, "Mackal" could be an enumerator's version of Michael...


Derek Atherton
02-06-2006, 5:29 PM

In this instance, "Mackal" could be an enumerator's version of Michael...


I haven't seen it before - but it fills me with dread - Michael! - must be thousands of 'em!

Thanks anyway!


02-06-2006, 6:23 PM
Have you tried putting Mackal into Google (if you see what I mean)?

It comes up with an awful lot of hits (194 on UK search, 46,100 on web search) many of which seem to be concerned with one Roy Mackal who searches for things like the Loch Ness Monster!

However, there are references to other people with the name, and no, I didn't look at all 46,000 of them....... :cool:

Derek Atherton
02-06-2006, 6:43 PM
Have you tried putting Mackal into Google (if you see what I mean)?

However, there are references to other people with the name, and no, I didn't look at all 46,000 of them....... :cool:


No committment then! (tongue in cheek!)


02-06-2006, 6:50 PM

No committment then! (tongue in cheek!)

Only where my own family names are concerned |biggrin|

And I bet you don't plough through all 46,000 ;)

Best wishes

Peter Goodey
02-06-2006, 7:26 PM
I would advise you not to get too hung up on Mackal. It may be the putative father's name; it may not. If you're going to find out the father's name, you are going to have to do some proper research. Possible areas to research might include the parish register (as I've already suggested); the Bakewell Poor Law Guardians records (if anything useful has survived) and petty session records. The book I recommended earlier will help you.

Derek Atherton
02-06-2006, 11:11 PM
Very many thanks for all your efforts - much appreciated.

I will pursue as suggested, through PR's initially, and then the book, I'll bet that is a good read!

Once again, many thanks!