Yorkshire Chess History



Francis McCarthy and Eugene McCarthy











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Francis McCarthy


Eugene McCarthy


1858, Dennis Park, Amblecote, Staffs



24/09/1855, Southwark







19/10/1921, Stechford, Birmngham










Non-Chess Life


Francis McCarthy and Eugene McCarthy


The parents of chess-playing brothers Eugene and Francis McCarthy were glass-cutter Eugene McCarthy (born 1829/30, Cork, Co. Cork, Ireland) and dress-maker Mary A McCarthy (née O’Neill, 1831/32, Cork, Co. Cork, Ireland), who married at some time from 1851 to 1855, and had the following children:


Eugene McCarthy

born 24/09/1855, Southwark

bap. 11/11/1855

Francis McCarthy

born 1858, Dennis Park, Staffs

Margrette Ann McCArthy

born Sep/Oct, 1860, Amblecote


The parents had married probably in the London area, where first son Eugene was born and baptised [RC baptism register], and then moved to Amblecote in Staffordshire.  The birthplace of Francis is variously given as Dennis Park, Amblecote, Old Swinford and Kingswinford.  Dennis Park was part Amblecote, which in turn was in the parish of Old Swinford.  Kingswinford, further to the north, was simply wrong.


The 1861 census had found father Eugene, a flint glass cutter, and mother Mary, a dressmaker, living with three children in Dennis Park, Amblecote, Staffs., near Stourbridge, which is on the edge of the modern built-up area around Birmingham, and to the WSW of central Birmingham. 


Mother Mary evidently died at some time from 1861 to 1871.


The 1871 census found widowed glass-cutter Eugene and his three children living as lodgers in the household of his father-in-law, glass-cutter Edward O’Neill (born 1814/15, Ireland) in King William Street, Old Swinsford.  Sons Eugene junior and Francis were also glass-cutters.  They probably all worked at the Parkfield Glass Works, Dennis Park, Amblecote.


Father Eugene McCarthy died in 1874 in the Stourbridge registration district, and maternal grandfather Edward O’Neill died at some time from 1817 to 1881.


The 1881 census found older brother Eugene still living at King William Street, Old Swinsford, which was the household of now-widowed maternal grandmother Frances O’Neill.  Francis McCarthy is elusive in the 1881 census, but had evidently left the grandparental home.


In 1888, in Aston, Birmingham, Francis McCarthy married Florence Mushen (born 1864/65, Handsworth, Staffs.) They had at least the following children:


Francis McCarthy

born 1888/89, Aston, Warks.

Leonie Dorothy McCarthy

born 1891/92, Aston, Warks.

Blanche Ida McCarthy

born 1893, Aston, Warks.

Cyril McCarthy

born 1894, Aston, Warks.

Doris McCarthy

born 1897, Aston, Warks.


Older brother Eugene is elusive in the 1891 and subsequent censuses.  A number of deaths in various parts of the country may have been his.


The 1891 census found Francis and wife Florence living with son Francis junior at 340 Milton(?) Road, Aston, Birmingham.  Francis was described as living on his own means.  He had clearly acquired money somewhere along the line.


The 1901 census found parents and five children living at 258 Frederick Road, Aston Manor, Birmingham.  Francis was now described as a journalist.


The 1911 census found Francis, his wife and five children living in Walmley, Warks., about six miles NE of the centre of Birmingham.


Later on, Francis McCarthy moved to “South View”, Albert Road, Stechford, Birmingham, about 4 miles to the east of the city centre.




Francis McCarthy died on 19/10/1921 (not 1922 which Gaige gives despite citing a BCM obituary in 1921 - unseen), at the above address, he being described as a “gentleman” [probate record].  The death of older brother Eugene is difficult to pin down.




Newspaper references to the chess activities of “F. McCarthy” in the Birmingham area appear over the period 1876 to 1914 and possibly before and/or after.  “E. McCarthy”, on the other hand, is conspicuous by his absence, and he was presumably a much weaker player.


In 1876, Francis an assistant librarian at Birmingham Chess Club (part of the Mechanics Institute), while both Eugene and Frances were on the committee.  Thereafter chess references to Eugene are hard to find.


In the mid to late 1870s, Frances played team chess for Stourbridge chess club.  Later he appears playing for Birmingham and Warwickshire.  He contested both the Birmingham and Warwickshire championships, presumably winning each from time to time.  He certainly won the Warwickshire championship as late as 1914.


In 1885, Frances entered Class II in Counties’ Chess Association congresses of 1885 at Hereford, and in 1891 at Oxford.


One inter-team match he played in, among many, was the 1890 Birmingham St. George v Sheffield Athenaeum.


In October 1891, Frances was one of 12 opponents taken on in Birmingham by Blackburne.


He played in both North of England v South, or 1893 and 1894.





Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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