Joseph McCarey (1864-1936)
Joseph McCarey was born on 15 January 1864 to Margaret Moinah and Patrick McCarey in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. His parents immigrated from Ireland in 1852. The 1881 Census of Canada lists Joseph and five siblings, Bernard (1854), Rose (Sister St. Marie Claire) (1857), Sarah (1860), James (1862), and Harry (1873).
Another sister, Jane, was married by 1881. The obituary of a Mrs. Francis McRory lists Joseph McCarey as her brother. Charlottetown Baptismal certificates from Charlottetown indicate that there were at least four children of Francis McRory and Jane McCarey between the years 1874-1884. There is some evidence of another sister, Mary, married to Francis Eden. Their daughter, Helen Constance Eden, was baptized at St. Dunstan's Cathedral on 24 December 1876. Another daughter, Ethel Mary Eden, is listed as grand-daughter on the headstone of Patrick and Margaret McCarey (Joseph's parents). Margaret Moinah McCarey, died on 27 February 1885. Patrick McCarey, died on 5 December 1900.
Joseph attended Christian Brother’s School until 1877, when he matriculated into Saint Dunstan’s University from 1877-1878. After his year at SDU, he attended the Charlottetown Business College.
Joseph married Helen O’Shea on 14 October 1895. They had four girls together, Florine (9 September 1896), Helen Winifred (3 July 1899), Marie Clare (27 May 1902), and Edna Bernadine (20 August 1905).
On 30 November 1880, Joseph took a job as a clerk in the Charlottetown Post Office. From these humble beginnings, he moved his way up becoming Assistant Postmaster on 2 February 1912, and full Postmaster on 2 May 1918. He was employed in every branch of the mail service by this point.
When Joseph retired from the postmaster position in December 1925, he was considered a “pioneer” of the mailing system on Prince Edward Island. He was the first Postmaster that was selected based on merit, as opposed to one of political gain. Joseph also started air delivery from Charlottetown to Truro, Nova Scotia. An article in The Guardian, called Joseph McCarey, the “best and most efficient postmaster Charlottetown ever had” (1930, pg. 6).
During his time in Charlottetown, Joseph was president of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society and was interested in aquatic sports.
After his retirement, Joseph immigrated with his wife to Baltimore, Maryland. A passenger manifest described him as being 5 foot 7 inches tall, with brown hair, medium complexion, grey eyes, and a moustache.
Joseph’s wife, Helen, died on 22 May 1927. After her death, Joseph travelled extensively around Europe and Canada, making frequent visits home to visit his family on the Island. On one of his travels in Europe, he had sent a box of white heather to the editor of The Guardian with a card saying “Greetings from Auld Reekie” (24 August 1929, pg. 15).
Joseph McCarey passed away on 25 June 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland.
On 16 May 1894, Joseph was gifted the Ecclesiastical History of Newfoundland by the very Reverend M. F. Howely. Inside, is written “With best wishes of Mr. & Mrs. Beruen? To Joseph McCarey A D 1894 May 16.” The book eventually came into the possession of Mgr. J.C. McLean, who also signed the book. Rev. McLean donated the book to Saint Dunstan’s College (now UPEI), where it is housed in the Robertson Library Provenance Collection.
1881 Census of Canada. Census Place: Charlottetown Royalty, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Roll: C_13163; Page: 82; Family No: 353.
1891 Census of Canada.Census Place: Charlottetown Royalty, Queens, Prince Edward Island; Roll: T-6383; Family No: 14.
1901 Census of Canada.Census Place: Charlottetown (City/Cité), Queen's (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island; Page: 3; Family No: 24.
1921 Census of Canada. Reference Number: RG 31; Folder Number: 105; Census Place: Charlottetown (City), Queens, Prince Edward Island; Page Number: 5.
“The City and the Province During 1936.” Charlottetown Guardian. 31 December 1936. Pg. 5. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
“Former Local Postmaster Dies Suddenly.” Charlottetown Guardian. 26 June 1936. Pg. 10. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
"Local and other Items". Charlottetown Herald. 2 December 1885.
MacKinnon, D.A. and A.B. Warburton. Past and present of Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown: B.F. Brown, 1906. Accessed through UPEI Microform collection.
Maryland Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948. Year: 1929. Volume 98-99, 1 July 1929 - 28 June 1931 [NARA T844 roll 127].
“Mr. Joseph McCarey in Edinburgh.” Charlottetown Guardian. 24 August 1929. Pg. 15. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
“Mrs. Francis McCrory." Charlottetown Guardian. 28 February 1933. Pg. 6. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 30 May 2019.
“Personals.” Charlottetown Guardian. 17 August 1935. Pg. 10. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
“A Pleasant Visit.” Charlottetown Guardian. 15 August 1930. Pg. 6. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
Cemetery Transcripts. PEI Genealogical Society Inc. Record #1263, McCarey stone. Charlottetown Roman Catholic Cemetery, Lot 33-14, page 30.
PEI Public Archives and Record Office. Baptismal Record for Helen Constance Eden, Record Book Number 3, Record Book Page 447.
Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island. Year: 1927. Place: Baltimore, Maryland. Source: Patriot Newspaper, 31 December 1927.
“The Queen’s County Guardian.” Charlottetown Guardian. 27 February 1912. Pg. 3. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
“Sees Many Changes During Half Century in Postal Service.” Charlottetown Guardian. 7 October 1930. Pg. 2 & 5. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 July 2016.
The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1891-1943; NAI Number: 4319742; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: T843; NARA Roll Number: 408.
Some information was provided by Sean Vanderfluit. His spouse is a great great great niece of Joseph McCarey.
“Sees Many Changes During Half Century in Postal Service.” Charlottetown Guardian. 7 October 1930. Pg. 5. Accessed through Island Newspapers on 25 October 2016.