Daniel Toy of Donegal (1832)

By | 27 April 2013

Daniel Toy 1832

We found something long thought unfindable today. The tombstone of Marianne’s great-great-great grandfather. Marianne was born Marianne Toy.  Six generations ago, Daniel Toy left Donegal for America and came to work in the E.I. du Pont powder mills. He lived in Henry Clay Village on the Brandywine with his wife Rosanna (Coyle).  Twelve years later, he was killed in an explosion at the mills.

A family genealogy completed in 1941 says that he was buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Wilmington, but a bit of research turned up the fact that St. Peter’s (now St. Peter’s Cathedral) long ago built over the old cemetery during a period of church expansion.  All this is true, but we contacted the cathedral archivist, George Callahan, and found out that many of the old tombstones had been saved and were stored in the church basement.  Mr. Callahan offered to give us a personal tour and of the cathedral and show us the salvaged grave markers.

 

George Callahan

George L. Callahan, Archivist

In the basement of the cathedral are the original basement windows from the 1818 church, leading to the old burial grounds.  Many of the stones have been pulled forward and are quite easy to view.  Daniel’s was found in a convenient location and largely intact.

Catacombs

This stone does present some new mysteries to solve, like the name of Daniel’s wife, an implied birth year different from what I found in earlier research, and a Parish name that doesn’t appear with this spelling in Donegal, but I love new mysteries…

This is a significant piece of family history!  Thank you Mr. Callahan and thank you St. Peters for maintaining this historic site.

30 thoughts on “Daniel Toy of Donegal (1832)

  1. Stacey Toy

    Could you please send me an email? I just found your site and I’m pretty sure I have one of the same James Toy photos from a previous post and I have an envelope with the “Toys Inn” address…I was trying to find your email to send you pictures of my things! I think we could help each other out!! 🙂
    Thank You!
    Stacey Toy

    Reply
  2. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

    The tombstone is a bit difficult to read. Can you send via my e-mail address a transcription? What a treasure to have discovered this. My e-mail is nancyjd@wavecable.com.

    Reply
  3. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

    This verifies the Toy names on the Moville Ireland Irish Flax Growers List of 1796: James, Neal, Francis, Daniel, Charles. Though I still don’t know the relationship of one to another.

    Reply
    1. Rhys Post author

      I agree. Have you seen research others have done that identifies Alexander Toy as the father of Daniel? It’s interesting that you don’t find this name on the Flax Growers List. I’ve made a couple of attempts to trace the Toys back to Ireland, with little success.

      Reply
      1. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

        My information gleaned from a distant family member (Schueller I believe) is that Daniel’s father was Alexander Toy and his mother Jane O’neill. Alexander was Scottish and Jane, of course, Irish. Apparently the information was found in a church register by an Irish genealogist. This couple had two sons, Daniel and Alexander. However, I have no personal confirmation of this, except I did find an Alexander in Ireland near where Daniel was born. I sometimes wonder if James F. Toy stands for Francis instead of Frederick. That would tie the family to the one on the Flax Growers List. Perhaps James did not like “Francis” and changed it to “Frederick.” Only pure speculation of course.

        I am off to Christmas shop so I will get back to you on your other message.

        Nancy

        Reply
        1. Rhys Post author

          If it helps, I have two James F Toys on my branch of the tree where the middle name was Francis and one where the middle name was Frederick.

          Reply
          1. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

            That is most interesting. I saw no Frederick on the Weavers List so Francis makes more sense. This will probably remain a mystery.

  4. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

    WhoopsII I did get a notification of messages after all. Sorry about that.

    Reply
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  7. Mary Anne Graham

    Hi, I just got some info on my family via the Hagly Museum. In it my cousin related that my great grandfather Patrick McDade was helped to America by the Toy family in Donegal around 1872. Unfortunately he was found in possesion of a gun on rental property. He also worked for the Duponts at the powder mill and lived at Walkers Banks. Interesting how lives can intertwine.
    Thanks,
    Mary Anne Graham

    Reply
    1. Rhys Post author

      Hi Mary Anne,

      This is very interesting! I’ve never come across “McDade” in my research. Do you know how your great grandfather was helped by the Toy family? What exactly was found?

      The Henry Clay and Walker’s Bank area was a pretty close community during the 1800s, so you often see some intertwining of families. FYI, I visited Walker’s Bank a few months ago to take pictures of the last remaining workmen’s home.

      Reply
      1. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

        Could that date have been 1827 instead of 1872? That would fit in with the information found for Daniel Toy sponsoring a family in 1827 as found by Reese.

        Reply
        1. Rhys Post author

          Excellent point, Nancy. I don’t believe there were any Toys working in the powder yards by1872.

          Reply
        2. Mary Anne Graham

          Hi Nancy, thanks for your reply.

          Haven’t had time to devote to this. Both our families are listed as residing qt DuPont Banks in the 1900 Census. Hope to track it back further. According to records from my cousin, a Toy family member helped Patrick McDade escape from Ireland after being found in possesion of a firearm.

          Happy New Year,

          Mary Anne Splane Graham

          Reply
      2. Mary Anne Graham

        Hi Rhys,

        Just saw the papers where Thomas Toy was a sponsor for my great grandfather Patrick McDade’s naturalization.So it appears that there was some kind of connection between the two families.I wonder which Toy gentleman helped him out of Ireland. Small world isn’t it?

        Mary Anne Graham

        Reply
        1. Rhys Post author

          Very interesting Mary Anne. Where did you find those records? If they’re online, I’d like to take a look at them!

          Reply
          1. Mary Anne Graham

            Hi Rhys, got them from a relative recently in a document . I may have seen it online. Things are chaotic here because of moving. If you don’t hear from me by the end of July remind me . I’ll copy it.

          2. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

            This is just a general comment to Toy descendants. My daughter was in NY recently, went to Ellis Island and saw the name “Thomas Toy” on the wall of names. Unfortunately, no other identification other the name.

    2. Rhys Post author

      Mary Anne,

      I wasn’t able to find out anything concerning how your great grandfather was assisted by the Toys in coming to America, but I thought I would share what I did find. I’m sure you’re aware of most of this, but i would appreciate any corrections.

      Patrick McDade was born in Malin Head, Donegal, Ireland on June 20, 1851, the son of Patrick McDade and Mary Gallagher. He immigrated to the United States in 1872 and was naturalized October 13, 1882. Since he appears in records of the powder mills soon after his arrival, it is likely that he was sponsored by someone at Hagley. However, I’ve been unable to find any records of this sponsorship.

      In 1879, he married Mary McKenney, also from Ireland, and the daughter of Daniel McKenney and Mary Dougherty. They went on to have a large family of at least ten children, the oldest of which was also named Patrick.

      Patrick first appears in the 1880 census working in the powder mill and living at Brandywine Banks. As a note, Thomas Toy was the enumerator of that census. He appears in the 1900 census, still working in powder and living in Henry Clay. In 1910, he is working in powder and living at Walker’s Banks. His wife Mary died in 1916 and Patrick is shown as a widower in the 1920 census, living with several of his children on Rising Sun Lane, also in Henry Clay. He eventually retired and received a pension from duPont.

      According to oral histories maintained at Hagley, Pat McDade was in charge of the Birkenhead mill. In an interview with Joseph Campbell, Campbell remembers “Pat McDade, the Irishman, had charge of the mill. He had a sort of stiff leg. Every time it went off they’d say, “Here comes Pat.” He’d come hobbling down. He had a boat down there at the Gate; he lived across the Creek in a house over there. He’d go over and his wife would be out in the back looking for him. He’d go over there and stay the whole day.”

      I agree with Nancy that figuring out which Toy was the 1872 benefactor is just speculation last this point, but my guess would be James A Toy (1816-1881). He had the resources to do it at that point in time. Another candidate would be James’ oldest son John Thomas (1844-1919), who was also well to do.

      Let me know if you would like citations for any of this information.

      Reply
  8. Nancy Van Dyke-Dickison

    Mary Anne, this is a most interesting story and a new one to me. Since there were so many Toys at du Pont, it would be impossible to attribute it to any particular Toy unless we had a definite date. It could have been Daniel Toy was the sponsor if the date was 1827. Otherwise, it is pure speculation.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth K

    Love all the new information! We have a James Toy Marsh, James Toy Marsh, jr. and a Harris Toy Marsh, in our line, are any of these related to Daniel Toy? Thank you, Elizabeth Kelly

    Reply
    1. Rhys Post author

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I’ve been asked this question before, and can’t find a relationship to Daniel. If I remember correctly, James Toy Marsh was born around 1814 in New York. This would mean that his parents arrived in the US before then. Daniel arrived in 1817. If their is a connection between the families, that connection must have occurred back in Ireland. So far, I haven’t had much luck tracing the Toys in Ireland.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth K

        Thanks so much, I appreciate the information regarding them. My mother-in-law went back to Ireland. I will ask her if she did some research on him there!
        Great information on your website…Thanks once again. Elizabeth Kelly

        Reply
  10. Chris Clark

    I am a descendant of Daniel Toy- great grandmother was Ida Toy. I just attended a grade school reunion at St Joseph on the Brandywine- the parish established by Irish DuPont workers and have become interested in this family. Any info you have from Ireland would be much appreciated. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Rhys Post author

      Nice to make your acquaintance, Chris! I’ve been working quite a bit with other Toy cousins on the Ireland connection, but haven’t been able to find much definitive at this point. I am working on an article about this line of research but keep waiting for a breakthrough before publishing it…

      Ida was your great grandmother – who were your grandparents and parents? I always like to be able to update my Toy family tree.

      I take it you attended St, Joseph? What years? My wife attended as well.

      Reply
      1. Chris Clark

        My grandparents were Eleanor and Janes W. My mother was Eleanorann- b 1925 d1976 and my father was Earl J Smith b 1926 d 2006. I was born 1951 and my sister Suzie and Sally in 1954. I married Stephen R Clark 1976 in Tehran Iran and have a daughter Amalua (Molly) b 1976. My sisters never married.
        My mother had three brothers- James, William and Robert- all born in Wilm. James is still alive. James married Margaret Moore and had 6 kids- Christopher, Casey, Kevin, Margaret Mary, and twins Matthew and Andrew. William never married. Robertarried Zanna Whheler and had two children- Brooke and Brynne. They were divorced and he remarried, but I do not have info on this.
        I do not have all the details on the cousins but will email to one of my cousins to fill in that info.
        My sisters and I went to St Jos- I was 1957-1965 and my sisters were 1960- 1968.
        Everyone but I is still in the general area- some in PA, one in MD and one in VA. I moved away in 1974 so am less knowledgeable about cousins’ spouses, kids etc.
        I am very excited to have made the connection with you.

        Reply
        1. Rhys Post author

          Chris,

          My wife remembers your sisters from elementary school! I’m sending you a follow-up email.

          Reply

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