Canadian visitors trace Magheramorne roots

Kathleen and Shannon Critchley from Edmonton and their cousin Maud Hamill during a visit to the Andrew Jackson Centre in Carrickfergus.  INCT 40-723-CON
Kathleen and Shannon Critchley from Edmonton and their cousin Maud Hamill during a visit to the Andrew Jackson Centre in Carrickfergus. INCT 40-723-CON

The descendant of a former schoolteacher who left Magheramorne for Canada in 1910 has come back to visit the landscape he left behind.

Kathleen Critchley and her daughter Shannon, who are from Edmonton in Alberta, traced the footsteps of Kathleen’s grandfather Samuel McCready and his wife Edith.

Samuel left Ulster with his family in the spring of 1910 after serving as principal teacher of Blackhill National School, Magheramorne for 14 years.

Kathleen previously visited the area back in 1963, and this time around met up with a cousin, Maud Hamill of Jordanstown.

Many years ago an article in the Larne Times proved a guide to Maud, when she read an account of how Samuel, Edith and their three children left for Saskatchewan.

Following on from that, Maud made contact with Kathleen, although the trip was the first occasion that they had actually met.

Prior to Samuel and Edith’s departure, a presentation was held on a Monday evening in Magheramorne Presbyterian Church for the couple, who lived at Aldfreck House.

A pocket watch which was given to Samuel McCready is still in the family possession and continues to tell the time, according to Kathleen.

Her grandfather died at the age of nearly 100 years in 1970, his wife had passed away in 1961.

The Larne Times of April 23, 1910, detailed the farewell presentation, which was chaired by local minister Rev JT Doherty.

Rev Doherty told the gathering of the high esteem in which both Mr and Mrs McCready were held.

The family made a new life in Saskatchewan, but contact was maintained with County Antrim.

Kathleen and Shannon stayed with members of the Calwell family in Ballycarry during their recent visit.