My next clue came about from the fortuitous 1855 birth of my great-granduncle James McKinlay in Scotland. That was the first year of the Scottish civil registration and the form used gathered more information than in subsequent years. From that document I learned that my 2nd great-grandfather James McKinlay was born in Londonderry, County Derry, Ireland around 1823.
I searched various sites until I came across the Irish Family History Foundation. I searched for each child I knew about but too many results came back so I got a little creative in the searching. I searched baptisms using the first name of the father, James, the last name of the mother, Orr, the county Derry, and finally a 10 year date range centered around 1825. A transcription of a baptism record for a Rebecca McKinley was listed. Rebecca is the sister of my 2nd great-grandfather James McKinlay. The transcription matched what I had found in the census records:
Name: Rebecca McKinleyJust today I came across October 2013 edition of "Irish Lives Remembered" magazine. Normally I have time just to quickly glance through the index but I noticed they had a focus on Londonderry. This time I took a bit more time to read the articles. One of them mentioned the 1831 census abstract of Londonderry. A quick Google search brought me to Bill Macafee's transcription of the microfilms. A download of the Excel version of his transcriptions resulted in finding a James McKinley living in Templemore parish (guess where St. Columb's is located?) in N. W. Liberties Barony in Londonderry, Bishop Street [outside]. Could this be my 3rd great-grandfather? Even better there is a John McKinley in the same location and next record number. Could this be a brother of my 3rd great-grandfather?
Address: Back Mountain
Date of Baptism/Birth: 25-Apr-1830
Parish/District: ST. COLUMB'S
County: Co. Derry
Denomination: Church Of Ireland
Father: James McKinley
Mother: Margaret Orr
I still have much work to do but the tip for today is don't stop looking for information on your ancestors. More records are coming online everyday and you will continue to learn about new resources.