John McGoey who was he ?

John McGoey has always been a shadowy figure, claimed by some to have been the first myrter of the Easter Rising, shot by the British in April 1916. But nobody has been able to find out what has happened to McGoey. I believed I have cracked the puzzle by firstly tracing him back to his birth in Glasgow from key pieces of information that he gave while in Zossen, and secondly linking in information on the John McGoey who emigrated to the USA in 1920. Put these two together and one can follow his life from cradle in Glasgow in 1883 to his death in Chicago in 1924.

1. The John McGoey in Zossen gives away enough information to track him down

So I have, I believe linked John McGoey at Zossen to birth on 3 Jun 1883 in Glasgow to Patrick and Mary McGuay

2. The John McGoey who emigrated to the USA in 1920 with his family can be shown to be the same man

This man has he same date of birth in Glasgow, and is a bricklayer

1883 Jun 3. born Scotland from his emigration record - this is the same date as the man above

1916 Sep 26. John McGoey married in West Ham, London to Ethel Edith Maud Wells

1918 Dec 7. Child born Anne Elizabeth McGoey

1920 Jul 9. Emigrated to USA, arrived New York. I have the story of this man here from Ancestry tree

1920 Jul 22. Document called  “Statement of Master Vessel Regarding Changes in Crew Prior To Departure”.  This shows 5 crew members as ‘deserters’ not reporting back to duty to go back to London on the vessel Huronian.  One of these men was John McGoey, age 34. 

1921 Jan 17. Living in Detroit, Michigan. His US Naturalization application dated Jan. 17, 1921 shows that he immigrated into New York on July 14, 1920.  He was living in Detroit, Michigan at the time, and he claimed his occupation was a bricklayer.

1924 Child born John McGoey

1924. John McGoey died in Chicago while working on the Chicago Tribune building, which was one of the first high-rise buildings being built.  Grandma always said that he fell and died.  I have tried to find a death cert or an old obituary or newspaper report about this to get a firm date, to no avail. 

There is a Cook County death record for a John McGoey who dies 16 Nov 1925 at Evanston, Cook County

1926 Jan 25. His widow Ethel Edith Maud Wells marries Louis Edward Dorfman in Cook County, Illinois

3. He appears to have visited the USA in 1904 and stayed for 3 years before returning to Scotland

John McGoey