Saturday, 25 January 2014

Jane Place Lower ~ no longer extant

Jane Place is gone now! If you have any memories of it, I’d love to hear them.

Granny’s relatives were amongst the first residents of Jane Place and lived there for over one hundred years. Her Aunt Kate was born there in 1864. Jane Place Upper and Jane Place Lower were two parallel streets running off Oriel Street, in Seville Place, Dublin, just behind Connolly Station. It seems the area was originally built in the 1850s.[1]  It has been knocked down in recent years, as part of the city rejuvenation and the development of  Dublin’s Financial Services District.  You can see the location of the two streets on this ordnance survey map, in the upper right-hand quarter.

http://blackravengenealogy.blogspot.ie/
Jane Place Upper and Jane Place Lower, Oriel Street, Dublin.

There were thirty-one terraced, single-storey cottages in Jane Place Lower and twenty-six in Jane Place Upper.[2] I read somewhere once that the street numbers ran 1, 2, 3… consecutively along one side of the street and then continued back down the other side, so that number 1 was across the road from number 31, etc. 

Can anyone place ‘3 Jane Place Lower’ on the map?

I do have some very vague memories of the little cottages, as a family friend once brought me to visit relatives there.  However, Jane Place was in the inner-city and coming rural county Dublin, it was all very alien to my seven-year-old eyes.  I certainly didn’t have any sense of coming home. I half remember a plot of ground, all boarded up - ‘That was your shop’, my friend said, pointing to it.  ‘Your Granny’s shop’, she added.  I also remember that the living room in my relative’s cottage was very tiny, so it truly must have been small.

Can anyone place Granny’s shop on this map? Was it attached to ‘3 Jane Place Lower’?

Did you know? - not only did Granny’s parents run a grocery shop in Jane Place, but her paternal grandmother had one too and her great-grandmother – though theirs may have been in Lower Oriel Street. 



[1] The first baptism listed on www.irishgenealogy.ie showing this address is dated August 1858.
[2] 1901 Census of Ireland, North Dock, Dublin.

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© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Child mortality, the Devine family of Dublin

Something that often strikes me in my research is the high child mortality rate in the nineteenth century. In the era before vaccinations and antibiotics, overcrowding, disease and poor sanitation all impacted on the death rate of young children, as well as adult children. Losing a child is against the natural order today, but in the past, it was an unavoidable fact of life.
My great-great-grandparents, John and Maryanne Devine, had more than their fair share of sorrow, burying five of their seven children. All seven survived their first birthdays, but three died as toddlers and two predeceased them as adults. This must have been a very heavy cross for my great-great-grandparents to bear.

John Devine and Maryanne Keogh were married in St Lawrence O’Toole’s church, Seville Place, Dublin, on 18 September 1859. Their seven children were born in quick succession, all during the 1860s. This was in the aftermath of the Great Famine, which saw Dublin’s population soar. John Divine was a labourer, an unskilled worker in a city then full of unskilled workers. He most probably worked in the Dublin Dockyards, close to where they lived. Likely, he was a day-labourer and had to get up very early every day to look for work to keep the roof over their heads.  Times were surely hard.

Their first and only recorded son, Jeremiah (Darby) Devine, a honeymoon baby, was born on 12 June 1860. Jeremiah was named for Maryanne’s father, Jeremiah Keogh. Anne, their eldest daughter was born on 22 July 1861 and then Jane on 18 January 1863. Jane was named after Maryanne’s mother, Jane Crosby. Kate, christened Catherine, was born on 22 July 1864 and Mary Jane was born on 2 December 1865. My great-grandmother Christina arrived on 19 December 1867, in time for Christmas, and, finally, baby Margaret was born on 21 September 1869.  They were all were baptised in St Lawrence O’Toole’s church.

Jane was the first of Maryanne’s babies to die. She died of bronchitis on 25 October 1864, aged one year and nine months. Her little sister Mary Jane died on 23 February 1867. She was only one year and three months old.  Baby Margaret then died on 31 October 1872, aged just three years. She died of pneumonia, having caught the measles.  All three tots were buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Mary Jane and Margaret in the same grave.

These three babies, Jane, Mary Jane and Margaret died so young they were probably not spoken about afterwards. Such were the customs of the time. Christina may never have even known of Jane and Mary Jane, although she probably remembered her little sister Margaret.

Jeremiah died of an abscess, following a seven-day illness, on 14 July 1888 in the Richmond Lunatic Asylum. He was twenty-eight years old and a labourer by occupation. His father organised his burial in Glasnevin cemetery, listing his cause of death as ‘insanity’. I don’t know how long he was in the hospital or the nature of his illness. The records of the RDL Asylum are temporarily unavailable, while they are being cleaned and catalogued by professionals in the National Archives. The hospital admission records are being ‘computerised’. Jeremiah may be included in these records, which I have heard often even contain photographs of patients.

John and Maryanne buried their eldest daughter, Anne, just two months before Maryanne herself died. Anne caught typhoid fever and died on 13 March 1893, aged thirty-one years.  Kate lived until she was fifty-two, sharing a house with my great-grandparents for many years. She died of an ‘ulcerated stomach’ on 1 July 1917. Both Kate and Anne are buried with their parents in the Garden section of Glasnevin Cemetery.

My great-grandmother, Christina, outlived them all. She christened one of her sons Jeremiah (Jerry) after her elder brother and named two of her daughters after her elder sisters, Anne and Kate. Thus, the names Jeremiah, Anne and Kate are still remembered today, while Jane, Mary Jane and Margaret can now be remembered here.

Sources include - St Laurence O'Toole's church records on Irishgenealogy.ie; BMD registrations, General Register Office; Glasnevin Trust online burial records. 

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© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The girl next door

James Byrne, son of Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane, was my great-grandfather. From the time he was a small child, he lived in Lower Jane Place, Seville Place, north of the river Liffey in Dublin.  My great-grandmother was Christina Devine, the daughter of John Devine and Maryanne Keogh. She was born on 19 December 1867, more than six years before James, who was born on 18 May 1874. The age gap did not keep them apart and their marriage took place in their local St Lawrence O’Toole’s church, Seville Place, on 29 August 1897. In the late 1890s, the Devines lived at number 31 Lower Jane Place and the Byrnes at number 30. James had fallen for the girl next door.

General Register Office, Byrne-Devine marriage register, 1897 

The witnesses to the marriage were Michael McGrane, James’s maternal uncle, and Mary Anne Keegan. Mary Anne Keegan was also bridesmaid for Catherine Devine, Christina’s elder sister, the following year.   Thinking she could be a close relation of the Devines, I did a little digging into Mary Anne’s origins.  While her relationship to the family, if any, has not yet been established, interestingly, it seems that Mary Anne also married the fella next door.

At the time of the 1901 census, Mary Anne Keegan, age 24, was living with her parents at 9 Storeys Cottages, Mayor Street, not too far from the Devines. Patrick Gain’s family were living next door, at number 10. Findmypast’s ‘MarriageFinder’ tool allowed me to identify their potential marriage in Dublin North in the final quarter of 1903 and the 1911 census showed Patrick and Mary Anne Gain, living at 9 Storeys Cottages, with their seven year old son, John.

So the genealogical moral of this story is, if you do not know who someone married, check out the neighbours!

Sources available on request.

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© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy

Friday, 3 January 2014

Funeral Card Friday ~ Myles and Elizabeth Byrne

Not long ago, I received a copy of the memorial card for my great-granduncle Myles Byrne and his wife Elizabeth. It was found in a bible belonging to Elizabeth's God-daughter. Her daughter was kind enough to send a copy to me. Genealogically speaking, memorial cards often provide clues as to the subject’s date of death, their respective ages and their last place of residence, but it is those with photographs that I especially love! This card shows a picture of my Granny's Uncle Myles and Aunt Elizabeth.

Myles and Elizabeth Byrne, Memorial Card
Myles Byrne was the eldest child of Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane. He was born on 15th January 1873, sixteen months before his brother James. James Byrne was my great-grandfather. Myles lived in Upper Mayor Street in Dublin’s north city for the first six years of his life. The family then moved to nearby Jane Place, off Oriel Street, where they lived for more than half a century.

In October 1897, Myles married Elizabeth Bethel in St. Agatha’s, North William St., Dublin. Myles was twenty-four years old and Elizabeth was twenty-three. Elizabeth was also the eldest child born to Patrick Bethel and Margaret Doyle, in 1874. For the first few years of their married life, they lived with Elizabeth’s parents in Clarence Street. By 31 March 1901, they had moved to 25 Upper Jane Place, where they occupied one room in a three-roomed cottage, sharing the house with another family. 


In 1911, they lived at 25 Lower Jane Place in a four-roomed cottage, where they and their growing family occupied two rooms.  Records show that Myles and Elizabeth had six children, five girls and a boy; Margaret, Elizabeth, Mary, Patrick, Kathleen, and Sarah.

Myles was a general labourer and carter by occupation.  He would have worked in the Dublin Docklands, which was then the chief port for trade between Ireland and England.  No doubt, times were poor, but the little cottages in Jane Place must have been better than the tenement conditions that many Dublin labourers found themselves in, at the time.

Myles died on 2 November 1928, aged fifty-five years, and was buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery. He had suffered from 'cancer of the tongue' for five months before his death. Elizabeth died on 21 February 1954, just short of her eightieth birthday. She was also buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam / Rest in Peace.


Sources available.

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© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy