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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:38 pm
by 2Strangers7
This message may be redundant, since I'm not certain if I lost or deleted the message I previously wrote. I am looking for my paternal roots. My father's surname is O'Drain. He is not aware of any family history other than his father and mother were born in Ireland in the mid-1800s. They emigrated to Canada from Antrim, Northern Ireland but where in Antrim he does not know. In my search, I have found that the name was one that was used by a sept of Clan Donald and that it was only used in Kintyre and/or Islay. If it is of any help, the names Alexander, Lawrence, John and Archibald seem to be very popular first names in his family.

From what I have read, I note that Kintyre is only about 15 miles from Antrim. I'm hoping that I can prove that his family was originally from Kintyre and where they were settled. Any information that I may receive will be greatly appreciated.



PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:22 am
by Iain
HI Kod ! I had a look at Ancestry and found very little using the first names. Quite a few O’Drains in the USA and Canada..., and a couple in Antrim.
If you have no success here..., I’d try posting the same message in : ... board=50.0

Good luck..., Iain.

PS Don’t forget that it’s very difficult to find living people. And I’d also be inclined to Google the name and study before posting. ... 98&bih=628


PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:45 pm
by 2Strangers7
Hi, Iain!
Thanks so much for checking the O'Drains for me. I also want to thank you for the suggestion and for the site to go to. I definitely will try it out. All of the O'Drains in the Philadelphia area are related to me, but none seems to have any more information on our ancestors than I do.

Have a good day!



PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:56 am
by Iain
Hi Kod..., if you are really sure that Philadelphia is important..., here’s one Alexander: Don’t forget..., this could have nothing to do with your family:

Alexander L. O'Drain
Birth 1 Jan 1857 in Philadelphia, Pa
Death 23 Dec 1906 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wife...Catherine (Katie) E. Cuniff (Kenoff, Keniff) (or... Margaret)
Birth 1860 in Pennsylvania, United States
Death 1899

Charles J O'deain 1877 –
Margaret Odrain 1879 – 1900
Howard Joseph O'Drain 1882 –
Alexander Lawrence Odrain 1885 –
Harry Joseph Odrain Sr 1888 – 1977
Regina O Drain 1890 –
Kate O Drain 1892 –
Eugene Alexander Odrain 1894 –
Edmund Francis Odrain 1896 –

Alexanders’ parents:
Patrick O’Drain.
Mary unknown.

Catherines’ parents:
Owen Cuniff (Kenoff, Keniff)
Birth 1845 in , , , Ireland
Death 1890 in Philadelphia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, United States
Margaret Kenneff
Birth 1830 in , , , Ireland

This Alexander was an assistant fireboat foreman. (L’dwin S. Stuait) Died 135 Cherry Street after a year’s illness. Saved many peoples’ lives.



PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:17 pm
by 2Strangers7
Hi, Iain!

The O'Drain Family you mention is my family. Alexander L. was my grandfather. He was the youngest child of Patrick and Mary O'Drain. When they emigrated from Ireland they first settled in Upper Canada. They had six children born in Canada (John, Alice, Mary Anne, Charles, Edward and Patrick) and one child (Alexander) born in the USA (Philadelphia, PA). Alexander and Catherine Cunneff (my grandparents) had twelve children together (Florence, Charles, Margaret, Howard, Alexander, John, Harry, Regina, Catherine, Eugene (my father), Edmund and Thomas. I am the youngest child of Eugene and the youngest grandchild of Alexander and Catherine.

As mentioned, no other members of my family beside a cousin (Joseph, who recently passed) seem to have any idea about about the family ancestry. I'm hoping to find information on where in Antrim Patrick and Mary emigrated from before settling in Canada and possibly where their families were settled before that. Should you hear about any O'Drains I would be delighted to see any information they may have and I have no problem sharing what I do know about my family with them.

Thank you so very much.



PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:15 pm
by Iain
Hi Kod !

Now we’ve a fixed name, this is what I’ve found for your grandfather:

Alexander O'Drain
Birth 1 of January 1857 in Philadelphia, Pa: 3 sources 1880 / 1900 US Federal Census plus Death certificate.
Death 23rd of December 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Catherine Cuniff.
Birth abt 1858 Pennsylvania.
Death August 9, 1899.
Her Parents were Owen Cuniff (Cunnoff, Kenoff, Keniff) 1845-1890 and Margaret 1841-1906.
Owen was born in Ireland and died in Philadelphia. Perhaps important for you is that he left Ireland at the age of 3 years old from Liverpool docks on the ship Pacific. (209 passengers) Arrival date in New York on the 20th of January, 1847. Note, the name confirmed on the “Irish Immigrants New York Arrival Records 1846 to 1851” is Cuniff, Owen. (parents know best !)
Seems Owen was married twice... Margaret Kenneff b1830 with a daughter called Margaret b1866, and another Margaret 1841-1906 with another daughter Catherine 1858-1899.

Children of Alexander b1857:
Charles J O'Drain 1877 –
Margaret O’Drain 1879 – 1900
Howard Joseph O'Drain 1882 –
Alexander Lawrence Odrain 1885 –
Harry Joseph ‘Drain Sr 1888 – 1977
Regina O Drain 1890 –
Kate O Drain 1892 –
Eugene Alexander Odrain 1894 – With a certain Helen... LOL ! (Sources WW1 and WW2 registration cards)
Edmund Francis O’Drain 1896 –
Thomas J O’Drain 1899 – 1919

From here on, please be very careful as it could be a genealogical trap.
I surfed the 1841 census for Owen but I didn’t have enough info. On the other hand, I found another Owen but with a birth date of 1827. As with the above, he also died 18 November 1890 and has also a wife called Margaret..., Margaret Stafford. 1830-1906.
He, is indicated as having a father called Peter, 1810-1860 and died in October 1860 in Luzerne Pennsylvania. This Owen is indicated as having a mother called Ann b1823 in Ireland and she died in Delaware.

Obit Margaret:
O’Drain – On January 18, 1900. Margaret M. beloved daughter of Alexander L. and the late Katie E. O’Drain and granddaughter of Margaret and the late Owen Cunniff. Also League of Sacred Heart of St. Joseph’s Church are respectfully invited to attend the funeral on Monday morning at 8.30 o’clock from her father’s residence, 135 Cherry Street (formerly Elfreth Street) Solemn high mass of requiem at St Augustine’s Church. Interment at Cathedral Cemetery.

Children of Owen 1827-1890:
Patrick Cunneff Kenoff 1849 – 1928
Catherine Cenneff 1856 – 1899
Margaret Cunneff 1866 –

Photo of Patrick:

Details: In 1900 Irishman Patrick Cunniff, his wife (born in Pennsylvania), and six of their seven children lived in house #121. Patrick worked as a fire department hoseman, possibly just around the corner at Engine Company Number Eight (now Fireman's Hall Museum). He was on of twelve firemen who lived on the Alley between 1800 and 1920.
Nineteen-year-old Florence worked as a cler; her 14 year-old sister, Clara, worked in a suspender factory. Vincent (the eldest boy) attended school, and three younger boys stayed at home with their mother. By 1920, Patrick and Catharine Cunniff and two of their sons had moved to house #113 and Vincent had moved into house #138 (now demolished) with his own family.

Wife of Patrick b1849... Catherine S. Walters 1859-1922 and 6 children.
Florence R. Cunneff 1881 –
Clara Cunneff 1885 –
Vincent D Cunneff 1888 – 1939
Joseph A Cunniff 1890 –
Raymond Leo Cunneff 1892 – 1980
Harold Stanley Cunneff 1895 – 1969

Phew ! Now you’ve got something to work on ! Lol ! If I were you I’d surf the NI genealogical sites and ask a friendly question or two on RootsChat.

..., Iain.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:32 pm
by 2Strangers7
A big thank you,Iain. You're a love to have done this for me! I do appreciate it.



PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:17 pm
by Iain


PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:24 pm
by MichaelDrain
The name O'Drain is Irish, not Scottish: It is native to the southwest corner of country Antrim, near the towns of Antrim and Randallstown (Irish surnames are very territorial). the reason that you have been unable to find many of us is that it became fashionable about 100 years ago to write it 'Drain' (catholics) and 'Adrain' (protestants). In the medieval period a small branch moved to Scotland where they became affiliated by marriage to the clan McDonald (everybody spoke Gaelic then). Hope this is of help

-Michael Drain


PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:06 pm
by 2Strangers7
Hi, Michael!

Thank you for the information on the O'Drains, Adrains, Drains. At last I have a location in County Antrim to start looking. By any chance do you happen to know the parishes in the two towns - Antrim and Randalstown? If you do, would you be interested in sharing them?



PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:59 pm
by MichaelDrain
Depends on the religion. The records of births, deaths & marriages only go back to the 1840's after the end of the famine.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:02 pm
by MichaelDrain
The parish of Saint Macanisius, Randalstown (Catholic)


PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:50 pm
by 2Strangers7

Thanks so much for your recent posts. Our family is Roman Catholic. The "O" in O'Drain was never dropped and we still use that form for our surname. I appreciate the information regarding the Catholic parish for Randalstown. My Great Grandfather was born in 1822, but was married when he and my Great Grandmother emigrated to Canada. Since only records from starting in 1840 are available and supposing they married about the age of twenty or older and their oldest child was born in 1842 in Canada, there may be some information I can gather.

I really do appreciate the information you have sent to me. If there is any additional you have or come across, I would be more than happy to have it.

Kay O'Drain :D


PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:54 am
by MichaelDrain


PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:56 pm
by 2Strangers7

Sending you another "Thank You" for the information you sent to me earlier this year. My daughter was visiting a friend in Craigavon earlier this month and was able to visit Randalstown. While there, she found the gravesites of two "Drains" in the newer cemetery, which was exciting for her(and me). The headstones in the older cemetery were covered with moss and growth, so she was not able to look there to see if there were any "O'Drain." sites She tried to see if she could find someone who could look up records, but the priest was not there and she was told by a parishioner who happened to be there that the priest was only there on weekends. She is planning to return again soon and she will be better prepared the next visit. Just wanted you to know how helpful your information was.

Kay O'Drain