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In 1860

The Traynors arrive from Ireland

The only evidence to connect the Traynors with a County in Ireland is where Michael Traynor of Clarendon South Bank  declares  Armagh as the place of his birth in the Census of 1881. The only other connection comes from the family rhyme recited  by Mary Gainford - perhaps in a jocular rebuke to her husband, Michael - and handed down to their grandchildren was : -

From Carrickmacross to Crossmaglen

There are more rogues than honest men

Crossmaglen is almost a border town in County Armagh Northern Ireland about 10 miles away from Carrickmacross, which lies in the Southern part of Ireland in County Monaghan.

1861          Census Records for 2 Stindson Cottages M'bro

Patrick Durkin         Head   mar  36  Labourer                Ireland

Mary Durkin            Wife    mar  32                               Ireland

Maria Durkin            Dau           14    Scholar                 Ireland

Charles McCaddin    Ldgr  unm  28                                Ireland

Arthur McNarny       Ldgr  unm  29                                Ireland

Thomas Traynor        Ldgr  unm  19   Lab in Ironwrks    Ireland


1861               Census Records for 5 Temperance St   M'bro

Lawrence Trainer   Lodger 36    Labourer in Ironwrks   Ireland

is recorded living in the home of the Gittens family

1861         Census Records for 7 Garbutt St Middlesbrough

                    Peter Matthews              Head      35    Lab Steam Navigation Co       Ireland

Julya  Matthews              Wfe       35                                                   Ireland

Matthews                       Son        18     Labourer                                Ireland 

Patrick Matthews            son        16     Labourer                                Ireland

James Matthews              son       13                                                   Ireland

Bridget Matthews           dau        10                                                   Ireland

Mary A  Matthews         dau          6                                                   Durham

Daniel McQuilquin          mar        23     Labourer Ironworks                Ireland

Mary McQuilquin           mar        20     Labourer Ironworks                Ireland

James McQuilquin          unm        27     Labourer Ironworks                Ireland

Thomas Finn                                29     Labourer Ironworks                 Ireland

1865            Marriage of Catherine Trainer M'bro & Patrick Lynch M'bro

Jun 20          Father - Michael Trainer :         Father Martin Lynch

Witnesses - Peter McNally and Ellen McKenna

I am assuming that Catherine was a sister to Thomas - and came over with him and the rest of the family - I vaguely recall a Catherine Trainer living near Thomas in later years.


Thomas Trainer of full age Labourer at Packet Wharf of Mason St M'bro                                                          son of Michael Trainer - a Farm Labourer - married

Bridget McQuilquin aged 23 yrs of Mason St M'bro

daughter of James McQuilquin - a Farm Labourer

in St Mary's Catholic Chapel , Stockton District :  Priest  A. Burn

Signed :   X The mark of Thomas Trainer and

      X The mark of Bridget  McQuilquin

Witnesses - Michael McCaffry and Ann McCann

Fathers not recorded as deceased

1868                          Port Clarence

  During this year Thomas Trainer and his new wife Bridget  were living in Port Clarence as the  census records state that Patrick their eldest child  was born there.   

Perhaps  the R.C church for this area would confirm the baptism .[

1869                  Back to  Middlesbrough

April            Birth of Mary Trainer - marries a Walls of Marsh Rd

daughter of Thomas Trainer and Bridget McQuilquin

April            Baptised in the Cathedral 

Godparents - Michael Trainer and Bridget Matthews.

Michael Trainer could either be Thomas's father or his brother.

Bridget Matthews could be a relative of the Matthews family  householders in Garbutt Street . There is a Bridget Matthews aged 10 yrs in the census of 1861-living in the house with the McQuilquins  and  eight years later she would be 18 years old .

1870            Birth of Thomas Trainer - remains a bachelor - dies in Consett Co Durham

son of Thomas Trainer and Bridget McQuilken

Baptised in St Mary's Chapel Middlesbrough.

Godparents:- Michael Donnily  and Elizabeth Murphy.

Nov 22        Marriage of Laurence Trainer Mbro to Bridget Duffy Mbro

Father- Michael Trainer : Father - Peter Duffy

Witnesses - Patrick Price and Mary Dooley

I assume that Laurence is another emigrant brother from the Traynor family . A Lawrence Traynor is a godfather to Owen Traynor - son of Michael in West Hartlepool in 1875 with a Bridget Traynor- obviously his wife of 5 years - Bridget Duffy. The priest over there just spells differently.

1871            Census records  for 27 Princess St South Bank

       NAME                            REL          AGE            OCCUPATION   PLACE OF BIRTH

                          THOMAS TRAINER     HEAD       30 YRS        LABOURER       IRELAND

                          BRIDGET       "               WIFE        30 YRS                                       IRELAND

                          PATRICK      "                SON          3 YRS                                        PORT CLARENCE

                          MARY           "                DAU           2 YRS                     

                          THOMAS       "               SON            4mths          

                          ESTHER WILKINSON   M.I.L.        68 YRS           WIDOW            IRELAND

It is interesting to find a mother-in law called Esther Wilkinson aged 68 yrs living in the house at  South Bank in 1871- either she remarried a WILKINSON  after her husband James McQuilquin died or the census-taker wrote Wilkinson instead of McQuilquin.

Remember there is no mention of a James McQuilquin being dead  six years earlier .

I wonder if the records of Esther Wilkinson's death is in the South Bank St Peter's Records or the registry office or even her marriage ?- although this would give us very little information regarding her own origins.


In the next section we meet Thomas Trainer's brother Michael who was living in West Hartlepool in 1871.

His information is in smaller print.


1871 Census Records  of 22 John St West Hartlepool  

                          Con Gleeson      Head    m   27    Labourer in Bond Yard    Ireland

                          Helen Gleeson   Wife     m   28                                                 Ireland

                         Michael               son              4                                           Wst Hartlep'l

                         William               son              3                                                  "       

                          Catherine            dau             1                                                  "     

                         William Gleeson   brthr      23   Labourer in Ironworks            

                         Michael Trainer   brdr   u   26   Labourer in Ironworks        Ireland

                         James Donley      brdr   u    50  Labourer in Shipyard          Ireland

                          John Murphy         brdr u   22  Labourer in Shipyard           Ireland  

So here is Michael Trainer a month before his wedding to Mary Duff and his best man, William Gleeson in the same house.`

After checking the records of St Joseph's RC Church West Hartlepool, only recently available to the public,  I find confirmation of the births of James Traynor in 1872 and of Catherine Traynor in 1873 and later of an Owen Traynor in 1875- all born to a Michael Traynor and a Mary Duff. This would suggest that Owen Traynor did not survive, since he is not on the census of 1881 in Clarendon Street South Bank. He would have been 6 yrs old.

Here are the details :- St Joseph's  RC  Church West Hartlepool

1871 May 30th :            Marriage of Michael Traynor  of California West Hartlepool

                          son of Michael Traynor

                          to Mary Duff of  California West Hartlepool

                          daughter of James Duff

                          Witnesses -    William Gleeson of John St  West Hartlepool and

                                          Ann Duff of Middlegate West Hartlepool

Born April 2nd 1872 : Baptised  April 28th 1872 in St Joseph's RC Church

James Traynor son of Michael Traynor and Mary Traynor formerly Duff

Godparents - Daniel Dolan and Catherine Duff


Born Dec 25th 1873 : Baptised Jan 25th 1874 in St Joseph's

Catherine Traynor daughter of Michael Traynor and Mary Duff of West Hartlepool

Godparents - Michael Gleeson and Mary Anne Lynch

Born Jan 27th 1875 : Baptised March 28th 1874 in St Joseph's

Owen Traynor son of Michael Traynor and Mary Duff

Godparents - Lawrence Traynor and Bridget Traynor

At first I thought that this Bridget Traynor was  Bridget McQuilquin  wife of Thomas Traynor of Middlesbrough and an Aunt to Owen Traynor and my mother's Grandmother?

She was 7 months  pregnant with my grandfather Michael at the time, and aged about 34 .

This could be a reason why the name Owen is  remembered by my mother. BUT.....I later found that Lawrence Traynor married a Bridget Duffy in 1870 in Middlesbrough and I have to assume it is her.

1871         Census Records for 13 California West Hartlepool

David Dolan       Head     m   34    Labourer in Timberyard    Ireland

Bridget Dolan     Wife      m   58                                                   Ireland

Mary Duff            dau       m   21    Husband in America           Ireland

John T Duff        grdson         3m                                 West Hartlepool


During my search at West Hartlepool Library and Cleveland Archives Middlesbrough, I noticed that that the Traynor records led to other names,such as Godparents and witnesses, which suggested that these names were very close to the family -possibly relatives or friends which I could not completely ignore. Remember Michael Traynor married Mary Duff.

Here are a list of associated family names in Marriage Records :-

1872      Marriage of William Gleeson* son of Cornelius of West Hartlepool to

Ann Duff** daughter of James and Bridget Duff( of West Hartlepool

Witnesses - Bryan Hanley and Catherine Duff



1873      Marriage of Bernard Hanley Son of Matt to

Catherine Duff * dau of James

Witnesses - Bryan Hanley and Catherine Hanley of West Hartlepool


1877      Marriage of Dudley Hanley )son of Matt ( toAnn Duff* )

              dau of James and Bridget Duff

Witnesses - Bryan Hanley and Catherine Hanley of West Hartlepool



1872          Birth of Catherine Traynor   Kate - marries  Lamb of Blackhill                                                    daughter of Thomas and Bridget Traynor

check records St Peters

                 In this year James Traynor is born to Michael Traynor and Mary Duff in West Hartlepool.

1873 - 74

The electoral roll shows  two Thomas Trainers living in  Linthorpe Middlesbrough.

One living in 19 Florence Street ; the other in 122 Duncombe Street .

We can only speculate which was which-until evidence suggests otherwise.


May 6      ??Birth of Michael  Traynor - marries Mary Gainford in 1908

son of Thomas Traynor and Bridget McQuilquin  

baptism not in St Mary's Mbro records.

The latest info 23 January 2002 obtained from St Marys Index suggests that he was born on June 7th in Spencer Street and his baptism was June 9th. 

His godparents were Patrick Lynch and Mary Ann Lynch  nee Traynor

Address could be ascertained from Birth Certificate -obtainable from Middlesbrough Register Officem Price £6


There is only one Thomas Trainer  living in 91 Spencer Street Linthorpe.


April          Birth of Margaret Trainer of Nixon St M'bro

daughter of  Thomas Trainer and Bridget McQuilagher

Godparents : John Dorsey & Sarah Campbell.

It seems very likely that this was a child of the family  who did not survive.

1880           Birth of  Bridget Ann Traynor - Annie  - marries Harry McNeileY

                   Records to check

1881        Census Records: 12 Stansfield St  Middlesbrough  

Name                            Rel     Age        Occupation             Place of Birth

Thomas Traynor      Head      35         Gen Labourer          Ireland

                    Bridget      "              Wife       42                                             Ireland

                    Patrick                       Son        13            Scholar                   Port Clarence 

                    Mary                         dau        12               "                         Middlesbrough

                    Thomas                     son        10               "                                               "

                    Catherine                  dau         8               "                                               "

                    Michael                      son        6               "                                               "

                 Bridget Ann                  dau          1                                                                      "

Somewhere between these years in Mbro and the year 1891, the family moved to Grangetown - check the e.r. for these years 1882-1890 [

Michael Traynor ]1875[ always maintained that the family moved to Grangetown  in the early years of its creation. ] see cutting from Daily Exchange 1882 [

Thomas Trainer's brother was living in :

1881         Census Records for 11 Clarendon Street South Bank

Name                      Rel        Age      Occupation      Place of Birth

Michael Trainer                    46        Labourer          Armagh

Mary         "             Wife       33                

Thomas                                 10            Scholar

James                                      9             Scholar         West Hartlepool

Catherine                                7             Scholar

Patrick                                     4

Walter                                      9mths

There is no sign of Catherine Traynor  ten years later in 1891- who should have been 17-possibly a domestic servant somewhere else?

*This appears to indicate the origins of the TRAYNOR brothers as ARMAGH-

the only evidence to date to link them with  County ARMAGH in Ireland - although

my mother always assumed that her father came from the South.-unless Armagh is regarded as a Southern County to distinguish it from the hated Northern English Region.

Grandfather was a strong supporter of a United Ireland. - a framed certificate used to hang proudly in the lobby at 111 St David's Rd Grangetown for many years.

Perhaps the suggestion that the Traynors came from Cork is because Grandfather Traynor's mother - Bridget Callahan may have come from Cork - a stronghold of Callaghans.


Jun 17         Birth of Peter Traynor - in danger of death

son of Michael and Mary Traynor nee Duff

Jun 19         Baptised by J Doud &

hodie ceremnia complantur 9July 1887 JJNolan

Godparents - John O' Connor and Sarah O'Connor


Nov 24       Birth of Stephen Patrick Traynor - unlikely to have survived

son of Michael and Mary Traynor formerly Duff

Dec 6          Baptised by J J Nolan

Godparents - Patrick Traynor and Elizabeth McNamara

Patrick aged 22 - eldest of Thomas and Bridget and brother of Michael.

Did he possibly marry Elizabeth ? 


1891         Census Records 1 Holden St Grangetown

Name                      Rel            Age      Occupation         Em          Place of  Birth      

Thomas Traynor  Head   m      49       Gen Labourer                           Ireland

Bridget      "           Wife    m      48                                                    "

Patrick      "            Son    s         23        Railbank Lb            x         Port Clarence

Mary                       Dau    s        21                                                              Ireland

Thomas                   Son     s       20     Stationary Eng Drvr               South Bank

Catherine               Dau     s       18     Domestic Serv                   Middlesbrough

Micheal                   Son     s       16     Lab Steelwks                    Middlesbrough

                                                    Sleeper Dept.       

Ann                         Dau     s      11     Scholar                                 Middlesbrough


The  x  mark   appears to indicate only Patrick as employed  at this time

Was this a time of limited employment? It might explain the period that Michael spent in the Durham Light Infantry -aged 19. c 1894 ? My mother said that when he came home from the army - with his pay. The following day, the sofa was filled with brown paper parcels redeemed from the pawnshop. So  times were bad for those in the eight streets.

A few streets away  Thomas Traynor's brother is living with a family of children with remarkably similar names -

1891            Census Records for 11 Vaughan Street Grangetown

Michael Traynor     52             General Labourer         

Mary Traynor          41             Wife                               

Thomas Traynor     20             another one?                        

James  Traynor        19             Boot & Shoe maker

Patrick Traynor       14             another one

Walter Traynor       10,

Mary A Traynor                  another?

Laurence Traynor    5mths. 

                        Catherine Traynor is missing from the records & would have been 17 and also  Stephen                        Patrick Traynor born previous year Nov 24 1890

1894           Michael Traynor:     In the army - and a little of his life story

                                                       click on the link above to see more

This is about the time that my mother says her father was in the army- aged about 19 yrs- see photo Perhaps unemployment was a problem even then. } Uncle Mick claims that his dad served in Ireland, India and South Africa

He was  Private M.Traynor 5284 1st Battallion Durham Light Infantry and he received the Queen's South Africa Medal  Transvaal  in 1902-

                  See Soldiers' Documents w/o 97. Richmond Surrey

1896         Moved house to 7 Laing Street? 

Thomas Traynor  is recorded as  only living in  1 Holden Street up to 1895-so we must assume that the family either moved about this time or that he died-aged  52. However there is a Thomas Traynor recorded on the electoral register  living in 7 Laing Street  in 1900. This is probably the same Thomas - although he does have a son Thomas now aged 29 )in 1900(  this Thomas later moved to Consett , County Durham - but never married .

Around the same time  his brother Michael appears to have moved from 11 Vaughan Street to  106 Vaughan Street  up to the year 1899 at least. He is not mentioned in the records for 1900.

1896:         Birth of Patrick Walls

   son of Patrick Walls and Mary  Trainor

   Godparents - James Trainor 24 and Mary Gainford - aged 22

   Gt Gt Gran ? -obviously knew the Traynor family  before marrying Michael Traynor in 1908 -

   perhaps a  close friend of Mary aged 26 yrs

1898:           Birth of Catherine Walls

   dau of Patrick Walls and Mary Trainor

   Godparents - John McElvaney and Ann Trainor

1899:                         The Boer War starts


1902         The McNeilly Connection   

Click on this link to view this excellent website

June 5          Birth of James McNeiley

  son of Henry McNeiley and Anne Traynor

  Godparents - James Traynor and Ann Jones


Feb 29        Birth of Daniel McNeiley 

    son of Henry McNeiley & Ann Traynor

   Godparents - Thomas Traynor  and Elizabeth Jones/James ?

Oct             Birth of Elizabeth Traynor

   daughter  of ?

Oct 21           Baptism

1905           Thomas Traynor Householder in 7 Laing St

1906          James Traynor born

  son of ?

Oct 10          Baptised 


Jan 11         Birth of Catherine McNeiley

daughter of Harry McNeiley and Anne Traynor

Godparents - Michael Traynor and Mary Gainford

So they were still single in January 1908 - but were obviously a couple.

1908           Marriage of Michael Traynor   1875 -1951 to

    Mary Catherine Gainford         1874 -1941

It is my guess that this is the year of the marriage -because Mary is still classed as single on the postcard of 1906  see Gainford history [ *

Since  Mary gave birth to Johnny Traynor  on October 23rd  1909, after an earlier miscarriage we can assume the marriage was celebrated  about 1908  - almost certainly at St Mary's Grangetown  - Michael would have been 33 yrs old and Mary 34 yrs.

1909 :               74 Vaughan Street

Oct 23            Mary gave birth to John Traynor  Uncle Johnny ( bachelor

Oct 30                 Baptised in St Mary's RC Church Grangetown

          Godparents - Patrick Lagan & Annie Bradbury


Jan 6         Birth of  Thomas Anthony  Traynor - marries Mary Murray of Scotland

  Godparents : Thomas Traynor and Bridget Gainford.- gran

  Children - Dennis, Mary, Bernard, Anne, Paul, Eileen


Jan 23       Birth of Winifred Traynor   - marries Our Dad John O'Neill 1935

Godparents : Thomas Traynor and Katherine Bennett.

                   confirmed  27th January 1924

                   Children - Kevin, Brian, John, Michael, Patricia, Francis

THE GREAT WAR 1914 - 1918


Feb 4       Birth of Michael Traynor - remains a bachelor

son of Michael Traynor and Mary  Gainford

Feb 12        Baptised at St Mary's Grangetown

Godmother - Anna Bradbury

c1927       Adoption of John McElvaney - marries Helen Terry ....Sean

son of James McElvaney and Julie McAuliffe

by Michael Traynor and Mary  Gainford

John was one of twin boys adopted by Mary Traynor; and Julie's sister Maggie Dooley formerly McAuliffe adopted the other twin James, who sadly died of measles when about 2 years old. My mother Winnie was away in service at this time - aged 15 yrs app.