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McGUNNIGAL, James DNA Linked
HARKEN, Margaret DNA Linked
ROURKE, Francis DNA linked
(About 1806-0007/1883)
CAMPBELL, Margaret DNA linked
(About 1810-)
McGUNNIGAL, Francis DNA Linked


Family Links

1. McCONNACHIE, Helen DNA Linked

  • McGONIGAL, Catherine DNA Link+
  • McGONIGAL, Mary
  • McGONIGAL, James+
  • McGONIGAL, Margaret+
  • McGONIGAL, Henry
  • McGONIGAL, Francis+
  • McGONIGAL, Michael+
  • McGONIGAL, Helen

McGUNNIGAL, Francis DNA Linked 2 3

  • Born: 6 June 1886 at 10 am, High Rows, Chapelhall, Holytown, Lanarkshire, Scotland 3 4
  • Marriage (1): McCONNACHIE, Helen DNA Linked on 12 October 1911 in RC Chapel, Cleland, Lanarkshire, Scotland 1
  • Died: 30 April 1932, Foulshiels Colliery, Stoneyburn, West Lothian, Scotland 5 6
  • Buried: 1932, St Patrick's RC Cemetery, New Stevenson, Lanarkshire, Scotland

   Cause of his death was the severity of the injuries he sustained as a result of a colliery accident.

   Other names for Francis were McGONEGAL, Francis,2 7 McGONIGAL, Francis,8 9 10 McGONNIGAL, Francis,6 McGUNIGAL, Francis 11 and McGUNIGAL, Terrence.12

  General Notes:

Frank's birth certificate of 1886 records that he was born at home to Mary O'Rourke and her husband James McGunnigal, a railway labourer. They lived at High Rows, Chapelhall, in Lanarkshire. James and Mary McGunnigal had been married on New Year's Day 1882. Frank's father, who was present where the birth took place, notified the registrar, William Richard, and signed his name, using the McGunnigal spelling, on 22 June 1886 at the Holytown district office.

Frank's father, James, died on 19 January 1888, when Frank was still under two years old, the youngest of his family. His mother remarried.

The 1891 census recorded Francis McGonegal aged 5 years, a scholar, living in 133 Briggate, Chapelhall, with his mother, now Mary Hammill, his stepfather, James Hammill, and half-brother, John, aged 8 months, and his own brother and sisters, Maggie, James and Sarah. all older than Francis. He was recorded as having been born in the parish of Bothwell, where Chapelhall was situated.

The 1901 census recorded Francis McGunigal, aged 14 years, working as a 'coal miner drawer' and living in Bo'Ness Road, Chapelhall, with his mother, his older brother James, and his three half brothers, John, Patrick and Hugh Hammill. A visitor called Lizzie McInally, aged 15 years, born in Rawyards Airdrie, and whose occupation was that of a general domestic servant, was also recorded there at the time the census was taken. Francis was recorded as having been born in Chapelhall.The family's living accomodation had two windowed rooms.

The 1911 census for Holytown, Bothwell in Lanarkshire recorded Francis under the name of "Terrence McGunigal". There is no doubt that the person named is Francis: his older brother James, before him in the entry list of names, is aged 27 years, and his two half-brothers Patrick, aged 18 years, and Hugh Hammill, aged 16 years, follow in the entry, and of course his mother Mary McGunigal, a widow aged 55 years and born in Ireland, is listed as the head of the house living in Main Street Chapelhall. He is recorded as "Son". He was recorded as 24 years of age, unmarried, and working as a "Coal Miner, Hewer". His birthplace was Bothwell, Lanarkshire. The family's living accomodation had two windowed rooms. The census of that year was taken on the night of 31 March 1901.

Francis McGonigal married at the age of 25 years in 1911. This spelling of his surname, used in his marriage certificate, is the one that his descendants have been called by since then.

Catherine, or Kate, was the first child born to Frank and his wife. Frank notified the registrar, John McFarlane, at Cleland on 23 July 1912, of her birth. He was recorded as a coal miner by occupation.

Frank, who had been present where the birth took place, notified the registrar, Robert M. Brown, on 5 August 1914, of his daughter Mary's birth. He was again noted as being a coal miner.

When his first son, James, was born in January 1916, Frank signed the notification of birth, giving his occupation as coal miner.

Margaret, his third daughter, was born in 1917 and Frank gave notice of her birth. His occupation noted then was coal miner.

In 1920 when his son, Henry, was born, Francis McGonigal notified the registrar of the birth, giving his occupation once more as coal miner.

As with all his children's births, it was Frank who informed the registrar at Cleland of his son, Francis' birth. Again he declared his occupation as coal miner. When signing the register for the birth notice of his namesake, however, Frank departed from his usual practice and signed his own name as Frank McGonigal, instead of the usual Francis. Why he did this no-one can now tell exactly. Perhaps he wished to distinguish father and son clearly as separate individuals. He was himself often known as 'big Frank'.

Michael McGonigal, Frank's youngest son, was born in 1924, and Frank signed the birth register, on this occasion giving his own occupation as colliery fireman.

His daughter, Helen, was born in 1927 and Frank notified the registrar then. He gave his occupation as underground fireman.

Francis McGonigal died on 30 April 1932, at the age of 45 years, in an accident at the pit where he worked on the nightshift. It was published at a later date as follows:

April 30 Foulshiels Frank McGonegal FAI record - NAS Accidents by Machinery (Underground)

- At Foulshiels Colliery, West Lothian, on April 30, a machineman was preparing to set a haulage prop to cut in with a bar machine when the rope caught in the picks of the revolving bar, which dragged him (Francis McGunnigal) under the bar, killing him instantly. The bar had been disengaged for the earlier moving of the machine. The primary cause of the accident was the starting switch, which was out of order. The electrician had been sent for and the leading machineman was loth to switch off as the fuse would probably have blown, and the risk of allowing the bar to revolve in such circumstances was taken."

A more detailed and extensive account of this horrible event is available.

Frank's daughter, Helen, died in November 1946. His occupation was given then as underground fireman.

Henry, Frank's 29 year old son, died in October 1950. Frank was noted as having been a coal miner.

In his son, Michael's marriage certificate of 1953, Francis McGonigal was recorded as a 'coal miner deceased'.

On his wife, Helen's death certificate in 1975, his occupation was given as coal miner.

In the death certificate of his daughter, Mary, in 1998, Francis McGonigal was recorded as a 'coal miner deceased'.

It would take a finer writer than this to express all that Francis McGunnigal's coal mining provided for his family, and all that it took away from them. 3 4 8 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

  Research Notes:


Foulshiels Colliery was situated in Central Scotland, almost equidistant between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In 1938, Foulshiels Pit in Stoneyburn West Lothian was owned by United Collieries Ltd., 109 Hope St. Glasgow. The manager was Daniel McPherson and the under manager was John Malcolm. Below ground were 422 men working and 111 above ground.

Adair's map, dated 1691, shows dwellings situated at Wester and Easter Foulshiels. A century later coal was found on the estate in quantities that justified excavation of a mine. From this the village grew. The coming of railway power enhanced this development, providing as it did employment, as well as haulage and travel possibilities.

The coal masters in the second half of the 19th century in this area were the Waddells. They built Crofthead House, a grand building, perhaps the grandest in the district, designed to impress. There were many servants of all types including gardeners among whose tasks was to tend the walled kitchen garden.

In 1919 this property as part of the Bents Estates was taken over by United Collieries. Crofthead House continued to serve the coal mining elite, in the form of two separate houses for the use of the pit managers of Loganlea and Foulshiels. The latter was Thomas Allan, the other Thomas Linton. The property was known as 'the Managers', subsequently shortened to 'the Manny's'. After nationalisation of the coal industry in 1948 the property fell into disuse and was demolished soon after, in the early to mid fifties when Foulshiels Colliery was closed. 24

  Medical Notes:

Francis McGonegal sustained his fatal injuries as a result of a colliery accident while he was on night shift at Stoneyburn in West Lothian: crushed head, fractured spine and ribs, and fractures of both arms. Working as a coal cutting machineman, as the Public Inquiry put it, "he was drawn into the revolving picks of a coal cutting machine and so injured that he died there immediately thereafter."

Charles M. Fleming MB CHB certified the causes of death.

Thomas McConnachie, a 'cousin', informed the registrar, Agnes Hamilton, on 30 April 1932 at Stoneyburn, of Frank's death.

Thomas McConnachie was one of the sons of Michael McConnachie, a cousin of Frank McGunnigal's wife Ellen.

Francis married Helen McCONNACHIE DNA Linked, daughter of Henry McCONAGHY and Catharine VALLELY, on 12 October 1911 in RC Chapel, Cleland, Lanarkshire, Scotland.1 (Helen McCONNACHIE DNA Linked was born 7 July 1887 at 2.00 pm in Spoutscroft, Greenhill, Shotts Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland,25 died 10 June 1975 at 6.00 pm in 5 Fraser Street, Cleland, Lanarkshire, Scotland 26 and was buried in 1975 in St Patrick's RC Cemetery, New Stevenson, Lanarkshire, Scotland 27.). The cause of her death was senility.

  Marriage Notes:

The marriage took place after banns according to the rites and forms of the Roman Catholic Church. The celebrating priest was Peter Murray. The witnesses were James McGonigal, the groom's brother, and Maggie McConnachie, Ellen's sister.

The groom, Francis McGonigal, was resident at Main Street, Chapelhall. He was a coal miner aged 25 years and was unmarried. His father was deceased and his mother had remarried.

Ellen McConnachie, the bride, was resident at Ashfield Place, Parkside, Cleland. She too was unmarried. She was 24 years old. Her mother, Catherine, was dead, but her father was still living.

The marriage was registered on 13 October 1911 at Cleland, the registrar being Robert M. Brown. 1


1 GRO Scotland, Cleland 1911 marriage certificate RDS 655/3 No 28.

2 GRO, Bothwell parish Holytown district Lanarkshire 625/2 en d 14 page 25.

3 GRO Scotland, Births Holytown district 1886 no 199.

4 GRO Scotland, Holytown district.

5 Family gravestone, NS Lanarkshire.

6 GRO Scotland, Deaths Stoneyburn West Lothian 1932 no 6.

7 National Archives of Scotland, Linlithgow Sheriff Court Public Enquiry into Accidental Death 5 May 1932.

8 GRO Scotland, Deaths Motherwell and Wishaw 570 no 430 1998.

9 GRO Index, Births Dalziel 639 no 144 1941.

10 GRO Scotland, Marriages Western District of Shotts 1911.

11 GRO Edinburgh (2002), Holytown Lanarkshire 625/02 016/00 025.

12 GRO, Holytown, Bothwell, Lanarkshire 625/02 Ed 18 page 7.

13 Family gravestone, New Stevenson.

14 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district RDS 655/3 no 144.

15 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, 1927 RDS 655/3 no 74.

16 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, birth certificate 1917 RDS 655/3 no 107.

17 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, birth certificate 1912 RDS 655/3 no 89.

18 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, birth certificate 1914 RDS 655/3 no 95.

19 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, birth certificate 1924 RDS 655/3 no 100.

20 GRO Scotland, Shotts, west district, birth certificate 1922 RDS 655/3 no 132.

21 GRO Scotland, Death certificate 1946 RDS 655/3 no 159/daughter Helen.

22 GRO Scotland, Shotts west district 1950 death certificate RDS 655/3 no 134.

23 GRO Scotland, Marriages 1953 Blythswood Glasgow 644/8 no 58.

24 Internet Site,

25 GRO Scotland, Shotts (West District).

26 GRO Scotland, 1975 Motherwell & Wishaw death certificate RDS 570 no 437.

27 Family gravestone.

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