William Lunney (1821-1901)

William Lunney, the Irish ancestor of the Lunney family of Maine, and the Lunnie family of New Brunswick, Canada, was a man of mystery. He was born in Ireland, probably in 1821, but all civil records of him in Ireland were likely burned at Dublin in 1922. Public records in New Brunswick list the assumed year of his birth variously as 1821, 1823 and 1825. His surname appears in New Brunswick records variously as Lunney, Lunny and Lunnie.

William Lunney married Matilda Kennedy in a Wesleyan Methodist ceremony in May 1847 at Waterborough, New Brunswick. In 1853, William Lunney received a land grant of 60 acres at Waterborough. The 1865-6 Hutchinson Directory listed both Thomas Lunny and William Lunny as farmers at Cumberland Bay, Waterborough. William’s brother, Thomas Lunny,  had previously received a land grant for 100 acres at Petersville, New Brunswick in 1844. In 1866, William Lunney received a second land grant of 100 acres at Cumberland Bay, Waterborough. In 1871, the Census for Waterborough Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick listed him as William Lunny, as a married Methodist farmer, living alone with a single female servant named Charlotte Dross. The adjoining household was that of Thomas Lunny and his large family. In 1881, the Census for Aberdeen Parish, Carleton County, New Brunswick listed him as William Lunnie, a Methodist farmer, living at Glassville with wife Charlotte Lunnie and four young sons. New Brunswick cemetery records list William Lunnie as having been born in 1821, died in 1900 and buried at Glassville United Church cemetery.

I recently found the original death certificate for William Lunney:

William Lunney apparently died at “East Glassville” on “January 1, 1901” at age “78” from “asthma”, from which he had been suffering for “between eight and nine years”.  The death certificate implies yet another birthdate of 1822. William’s son, Thomas Lunney, stated on his marriage license in November 1900 at Easton, Maine that his father William Lunney was then a resident of Easton, Maine, and that his mother Charlotte Dross was a resident of Glassville, N.B..

There is no question that William Lunney, William Lunny and William Lunnie were the same person. That William Lunnie was buried in Glassville United Church cemetery in 1900 and then died in 1901 is the biggest mystery of all.

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