Saturday, 20 May 2017

Finding ‘Wynholm’ for Aunty Anne

My Aunt Anne often tells fascinating family stories, passed down to her by my grandmother. Sometimes, I even find evidence to prove the stories true. Several years ago, my aunt recalled ‘Wynneholme’ as the name of our Wynne family home in Newcastle upon Tyne in England and asked me to locate the house. It was certainly an apt name for the family home, but, try as I might, I never could find it.

The only address uncovered for my great-grandparents in Newcastle was their home at 297/9 Two Ball Lonnen, in Fenham. This is where Patrick Wynne died on 21 December 1937.[1] The family operated a successful grocery business there for many years and lived in the rooms above the shop. The shop was still in business when Teresa (Carroll) Wynne died there, some twenty years later, on 9 July 1958.[2] 
297 Two Ball Lonnen, June 2016, Source: Google Street View

The electoral registers for Newcastle upon Tyne are now available online and they have thrown further light on my great-grandparent’s various residences in the city.[3] We ‘know’ Patrick Wynne first settled in Newcastle when he returned from Australia about 1915, but the registers were not kept during the war years, so I can only track his movements from 1918 onward. 

Between 1918 and 1925, Patrick and Teresa Wynne lived at 136 Violet Street, Benwell, close to the River Tyne. These houses were built during the nineteenth century for workers in the successful Armstrong armaments factory. It is where the family lived when they had their children Brian Patrick Wynne in 1918, Nora Teresa Wynne in 1920, Terence McSwiney Wynne in 1922 and Laurence Wynne in 1924. I don’t know yet where they were in 1916, when Eileen Mary Wynne was born, but perhaps they were already in Violet Street. 
Violet Street, Benwell, when the houses were being demolished, 1967/8
Source: Newcastle Libraries, Local Studies Collection. (Public Domain) 

Then, for eight years, between 1926 and 1933, Patrick and Teresa resided at 13 Riddell Avenue, Fenham. They were at this address when their sons Maurice O’Carroll Wynne and Brendan Patrick Wynne, both born in Dublin, joined the electorate in 1928 and 1932, respectively. 

From Riddell Avenue, they moved to Two Ball Lonnen, also in Fenham. And, in 1934 and 1935, for two years only, before my Aunt Anne was even born, the Wynnes lived in a house called ‘Wynholm’ on Two Ball Lonnen. Beginning 1936, their address was shown as ‘297/299’ along the same road.

It is difficult to tell if ‘Wynholm’ and ‘297/299’ were the same property, or not. The houses follow an unusual numbering pattern. There were many gaps, perhaps arising because some of their neighbours did not vote. Still, by examining our family’s position in relation to their named neighbours, it seems they may well have moved to a new house between 1935 and 1936. What do you think?

Two Ball Lonnen, Fenham Ward, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1935 and 1936

So, it’s not entirely clear if I’ve located the actual house known as ‘Wynholm’, but I have definitely found evidence it existed and was situated on Two Ball Lonnen.

[1] Death certificate, Patrick J. Wynne, Dec. 1937, General Register Office, England and Wales.
[2] Death certificate, Teresa J. Wynne, Sep. 1958, General Register Office, England and Wales.
[3] ‘Newcastle Upon Tyne, West, Register of Electors’, for years 1918 through 1937, Tyne and Wear Archives, Newcastle Upon Tyne, accessed on (subscription site). 

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Clinch family of Aurora, Illinois, continued

The Aurora Daily Express [1] told of the horrible death suffered by Edward Clinch, on Thursday, 16 January 1890. Edward was originally from the tiny village of Athgarvan, in Co. Kildare, same as my third great-grandmother, Anne (Clynch) Byrne. I’m investigating just how they may have been related.

‘The fate of Edward C. Clinch, whose body was brought here yesterday was another illustration of the great risks which a man takes when he enters the employ of a railroad company. Mr. Clinch, a man about fifty-five, had been in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy company for some time. He was formerly an oiler in the Aurora yards but has lately been acting as flagman at the crossing between Clyde and Hawthorne. He boarded at 803 Jefferson avenue, going to work on an early train and out again at night.’
The death of Edward Clinch, Aurora Daily Express, 17 January 1890

The morning after he was killed, an inquest was held into his death and the verdict was published in the newspaper:

‘After hearing all the evidence the coroner’s jury returned a verdict “that Edward Clinch came to his death at LaVerne, Cook County, on Thursday morning, Jan. 16th, by being run over by the forward section of freight No. 61, which had broken in two. That said death was in great part the result of his own carelessness, but we further find that the head brakeman was not at his post, at the rear of the forward section, as required when a train breaks in two, and this may have contributed, in a measure, to the fatality.”’
Verdict of the Coroner's Jury, Aurora Daily Express, 18 January 1890

Edward’s funeral was held that Sunday afternoon at St Mary’s church, Aurora. He was buried in the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery nearby. A photograph of his headstone, found online here, shows he is buried beside a ‘Mary Murray 1837-1897’. Although I’ve yet to find concrete proof, and despite the understatement of her age by about twelve years, I suspect Mary Murray was Edward’s sister. Mary Clynch was baptised in Athgarvan, in 1825. It would be strange for them to share a grave, if they were not related.

These articles help connect Edward to an 1880 federal census enumerated in Aurora, where he was working as an 'oiler'. Here, Edward Clinch was named as the brother of Mary Murry’s husband, John Murry. But, given he doesn’t share John’s surname, it’s possibly more likely he was John's brother-in-law, and Mary’s brother. 

The Murry-Clinch household in Aurora, Illinois, in 1880 

If I’ve identified the right family, Mary’s age was understated by about twenty-five years. This may be a stretch, even for the nineteenth-century Irish who often had little clue when they were born, but another factor connects the household with my target Clinch family:-

Also, living with John and Mary Murry in 1880 were their ‘adopted’ sons Ed and Pat Clinch and daughter Clara Clinch. These were in fact some of the children of Martin Clinch, Mary and Edward’s suspected brother, who died in Aurora in 1871. Edward, Martin and Mary Clinch had all sailed to America together in 1854. 

So, while there’s plenty to suggest Martin, Edward and Mary were closely related, and probably siblings, apart from their mutual origin in Athgarvan, nothing seems to link them directly to my third great-grandmother. So, I'm back to hoping a DNA match will come to the rescue and confirm a relationship.

And, as far as I can tell at this point, only Martin Clinch and his wife Catherine Fox had descendants. Their eldest daughter Maria was born in Athgarvan before the family emigrated, while the rest of their children were born in Illinois - Edward about 1859; Katie about 1860; John about 1862; Pat about 1865; Laurence about 1867 and Clara about 1869. 
Clinch household, 1870 Census, Aurora 

Katie married Hugh McNally in 1882 and had six children with him, adding the McNally surname to Dad’s list of potential DNA matches. Clara married Ole Arneson in 1908, but the couple seemingly had no children.  Sadly however, there are no likely Clinch or McNally matches appearing among our DNA cousins, just yet.

If you descend from Martin Clinch (c. 1816-1871) of Aurora, I would love to hear from you! blackraven.genealogy(at)gmail(dot)com.

Continued from The Clynch Connection.

[1] Aurora Daily Express, 17 January 1890, 18 January 1890.

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Clynch Connection

The goal this week was to ascertain who, if anyone, my Dad’s great-granduncle, Andrew Byrne, followed to Aurora, Illinois, when he left Ireland for America around 1887. Immigrants often sought out the support of relatives who had already established themselves.

My objective was twofold. First, if an earlier generation of Andrew’s family was found, I wanted to check and see if their descendants were listed among Dad’s DNA matches. Secondly, any information gleaned about Andrew’s aunts and uncles might help reveal the identity of his grandparents - my fourth great-grandparents - whose names remain unknown.

And, I believe I now know who Andrew Byrne followed to Aurora, if indeed he spent time there. It’s a probable family connection I’ve pondered before.

The early emigrants
On 12 May 1854, before Andrew Byrne was even born, the Ticonderoga docked in New York having sailed from Liverpool, England. Its passengers included Edward Clynch, aged 33 years; Martin Clynch, aged 35; Catherine Clynch, aged 25; Mary Clynch, aged 30; and an infant Mary Clynch. They were accompanied by Rose Darcy and Ellen Keally, both 26 years old.  I recognise all these names from Andrew’s birthplace in Athgarvan, Co. Kildare. Andrew’s mother was a Clynch from Athgarvan!

Passenger list from the Ticonderoga, arriving in New York, 12 May 1854

Martin and Edward soon made their way to Aurora, Illinois, where their surname morphed permanently to Clinch. The both claimed U.S. citizenship at Aurora courthouse on the same day in 1860 and in the census that year, Martin was found living in Aurora with his wife Catherine, daughter Mariah (aka Mary), born in Ireland, and an infant son Edward, born in Illinois.

Why do I recognise these emigrants?
Andrew Byrne was the youngest son of Andrew Byrne and Anne Clynch, my third great-grandparents. Edward Clynch was Godfather to Andrew and Anne’s son Thomas Byrne, baptised in August 1838. Mary Clynch was Godmother to their first son Andrew in November 1843. Ellen Kealy was Godmother to their son Edward in November 1850 and Rose Darcy was Godmother to their daughter Anne in May 1853.

Plus, Martin Clynch of Athgarvan married Catherine Fox in the parish church in Newbridge, on 28 August 1853. Their daughter Maria was baptised on 22 January 1854, just a few months before they all up and left the country. Maria’s Godfather was John Byrne, possibly Andrew’s elder brother and my great-great-grandfather John, born in 1841. And, subsequent records for Catherine in Aurora confirm her maiden name was Fox.

Does this help identify my fourth great-grandparents?
Athgarvan was a tiny village back then, and the Clynch surname was relatively rare in Ireland, so there’s little doubt my Anne Clynch was related to this Clynch family. And, although her son Andrew wasn’t born until March 1855, after the emigrants had all departed, and despite not having any 'proof' he contacted them in Aurora, Andrew surely followed in their footsteps.

I’m thinking the three passengers, Martin, Edward and Mary, and possibly my third great-grandmother Anne, were the children of Patrick Clynch and Catherine Murphy. No other Clynch family has been found in the village around the time. Their daughter Mary was baptised in February 1825. She would have been in her thirtieth year when the Ticonderoga crossed the Atlantic.

Regrettably, there is a gap in the Newbridge parish registers between 1795 and 1819, around the same time Martin, Edward and Anne were likely baptised. So, it may not be possible to ever link them directly to Patrick and Catherine.

Still, when Griffith published his Valuation in 1853, Patrick Clynch and Anne’s husband, Andrew Byrne senior, were near-neighbours at Athgarvan Cross. And, a few years later, possibly in the immediate aftermath of Patrick’s death, Andrew Byrne senior took over the lease on Patrick’s cottage and garden. 

I mentioned this last year in my post entitled ‘Succession Rights’. It suggests a close familial relationship, although it also suggests traditional inheritance practices were disregarded - ‘the land’ passed out of the Clynch family name. Perhaps this occurred because the rest of the family had already emigrated, or maybe it’s what prompted them all to leave.

Excerpt Griffith’s Valuation, Athgarvan, 1853

But, I have some niggling doubts regarding Anne's precise relationship to Patrick and Catherine. In 1833, Andrew and Anne married in the neighbouring parish of Suncroft, not in Newbridge, and marriages traditionally took place in the bride’s parish. Also, while their eldest daughter was called Catherine, in line with traditional naming patterns, Andrew and Anne did not name a son, Patrick.

So, there’s still much to do to prove Patrick and Catherine (Murphy) Clynch were Anne’s parents. Patrick may have been her elder brother, or perhaps even her uncle or cousin.

Granda’s proposed path to Patrick and Catherine Clynch

Sources consulted: 1854 Passenger List; Edward and Martin Clinch, Naturalization Index; Martin Clinch houseshold, 1860 census; Newbridge, Catholic Parish Registers; Griffiths Valuation, Blackrath and Athgarvan

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Update on Andrew (Byrne) Burn’s descendants in Chicago

Before my holidays, I admitted not being able to locate Anne Mary Byrne, my first cousin three times removed, who was born in Dublin city in September 1886, and ‘went missing’ in Chicago. I’d hoped to identify her descendants to see if any of them were listed among Dad’s DNA matches.

She’d last been located as a fourteen-year-old, in 1900, living with her parent’s, Andrew and Annie Burns, at 3402 (all other records suggest they lived at number 3400) Irving Avenue, Chicago.

Now, I’ve found her.

In fairness, she hadn’t moved. Ten years later, she still lived with her widowed mother in the family home, at 3400 Irving Avenue. Admittedly, Anne Mary was easy to miss. Whereas, in 1900, she had been listed as Annie Burns, born in Ireland in September 1886 - by 1910, she had married and was going by the name Mary Coughlin, born in Illinois about 1888. Still, there’s little doubt this was the same woman.

For some reason, I didn’t spot her mother in the 1910 census either. Then, while reading Marian’s ‘Tuesday’s Tips’ at Climbing My Family Tree, I found a new-to-me website – One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse. I entered Annie’s details in the census search engine and she showed up in the results, bringing her daughter with her. Granted, Annie Burns had knocked seven years off her age since the 1900 census, possibly explaining the difficulties tracing her.  

Burns Household, 1910 Census, Chicago 

Mary Coughlin, who during her lifetime was also known as Anna, May and Anna May, married James Ellsworth Coughlin. The couple went on to have at least eight children in Chicago.  When their daughters later married, they added the surnames Gough, Alston, Eble and Blake to my list of Coughlin cousins. Any one of them may one day turn up among our DNA matches, though it seems that day has not yet arrived.

Interestingly, the birth records for some of James and Mary’s children claim Mary was born in Aurora, another city in Illinois. This is clearly incorrect. Irish birth and baptism records place her birth firmly in Dublin city. But, she was taken to America within the first few months of her life. Perhaps, she desperately wished to be 'more American' and her earliest memories were of Aurora?

Birth of Marguerite Coughlin, 1926, Chicago

In 1892, as soon as ‘Andrew Byrnes’ was granted citizenship of the United States, he registered to vote. This was probably Mary’s father, my great-great-granduncle. And, although other records confirm he didn’t go to America until 1887, the voting register says he’d lived in Illinois for seven years, and moved to Cook County four years previously. So where did he live when he first arrived in Illinois?  Aurora, in Kane County, perhaps.

Andrew Byrnes in the Voter Register, Chicago, 1892*

When people emigrate, they often go where they’ll have support, i.e. where their older siblings, or their aunts and uncles, have already set up home. So, while I found no record of any earlier generations of my family in Chicago, maybe that’s because my great-great-granduncle initially followed his family to Aurora.  

And, that’s where I’m going to look next. 

Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, 1892, accessed by subscription at (click on image to enlarge).

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 22 April 2017

On Holidays…

In case you wondered at my recent absence from the blogosphere, for the past couple of weeks, instead of hunting dead people and telling their stories, I’ve been away on holidays. And not in a part of the world where my ancestors likely visited much either, but in Jordan, a spectacular Arab kingdom in Western Asia. 

That’s not to say none of my progenitors ever visited the region. Chances are some did. Remember Isha, my ‘clan mother’ – well, 21,000 years ago, give or take, research suggests she probably lived in the Near East. So, perhaps I did walk in the footsteps of my (distant) forefathers. 

Here’s a taste of where I’ve been:

Discovering the lost city of Petra (Jordan)

Horse-riding through the Wadi Rum desert, for six days

Sight-seeing in Amman and floating in the Dead Sea

What an amazing trip! 

And, next week, hopefully, I’ll be back on the trail of my ancestors…

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A new approach to our DNA results

This is the beginning of a new approach to my genetic genealogy research.  The aim is to trace forward the lives of known ancestral relatives, who emigrated to America and Australia during the nineteenth century. Presumably, it’s their descendants who account for most of our ‘third cousin’ DNA matches at Family Tree DNA. So, if I can figure out the names of their children and grandchildren, I may be better able to recognise them among the list of matches, or so the theory goes. 

DNA Diary, Black Raven Genelaogy

Starting with my paternal lineage and the children of my third great-grandparents, Andrew Byrne and Anne Clynch - their youngest son Andrew was born in Athgarvan, Co. Kildare, in March 1855. He grew up to become a carpenter and married Anne Cunningham in Kingstown, Co. Dublin, on 21 July 1884. Their daughter Anne Mary Byrne was born in Townsend Street, in Dublin city, on 26 September 1886, before the whole family promptly vanished from the Irish record.[1]

It wasn’t long before I picked up their trail in Chicago, Illinois. A global search on the FamilySearch web-site revealed their son, John Patrick Burns, was born in that city, just a few years later, on 8 March 1889. The name change didn’t concern me much, as several of my proven Byrne relatives, on both sides of the family tree, morphed into ‘Burns’ following a brief spell in the U.S. But, my Irish relatives typically moved to New York, and it’s not clear yet what brought Andrew to Chicago. 
Death of John Patrick Burns, 1943, Chicago
Death of John Patrick Burns, 1943, Chicago

Still, at the time of the U.S. Federal Census in 1900, the family were found all living together at 3402 Irving Avenue, Chicago. There was Andrew Burns, a house carpenter by trade, along with his wife Annie, their daughter Annie, born in Ireland in September 1886, and their son John, born in Illinois in March 1889. It certainly looks like my great-great-granduncle’s family.

Andrew Burns family, 1900 Census, Chicago
Burns family, 1900 Census, Chicago

Sadly, however, Andrew Byrnes died shortly after the census was taken. He was said to have been forty-three years old when he passed away on 19 December 1900. He was really forty-five, though the cause of his untimely death is not apparent.

Death of Andrew Byrnes, 1900, Chicago
Death of Andrew Byrnes, 1900, Chicago

It's easy to conclude this death relates to the same Andrew Burns found in the census. On 22 December 1900, the Chicago Tribune published details of burial permits issued the previous day, and they included one for Andrew Byrnes of 3400 Irving Avenue, who died on 19 December, aged forty-three years.[2] And, on 21 January 1901, Annie Byrnes was appointed the administrator of his estate, which was valued at not more than $1,950.[3]

Annie survived her husband by more than twenty years. She died on 25 September 1922. She was buried in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Chicago, same as her husband.[4] I searched for Andrew's and Annie's obituaries in the Chicago Tribune, to see if they would shed a light on what brought them to Chicago, but there was nothing doing.

My resolve to trace forward Andrew’s children fell short at the first hurdle too - I found no further mention of his daughter Annie, after the census record in 1900. She may have died, unmarried, or her descendants may continue to form part of our numerous unknown cousin matches. [Annie married James Ellsworth Coughlin - see update here]

The search for her brother, John Patrick Burns, was more successful.  He married twice. His first wife was Katie Bauer, who he married in 1913, and after Katie died, he married Sigrid Wisten. John died on 10 October 1943, and according to a notice of his death, he left three surviving daughters. One may still be living, so suffice to say two of his daughters married – their husbands' surnames being Lee and Naughton.[5]
Death of John P Burns, Chicago, 10 Oct. 1943.
Death of John P Burns, Chicago Daily Tribune, 11 Oct. 1943, p. 22

None of these names are jumping out at me from our list of DNA matches!

© Black Raven Genealogy  

[1] Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI.
[2] Chicago Tribune Archives.
[3] Andrew Byrnes in the Illinois, wills and probate records, 1772-1999 on
[4] Anna Burns in the Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994, database, on FamilySearch.
[5] Various records at FamilySearch

Sunday, 26 March 2017

What happened to the Leahys?

This week, I continued the search for my third-great-grandparents, Michael and Bridget Leahy, the known parents of Alicia (Leahy) Byrne and her sister Mary. I discovered a likely couple living in Dublin city, and am now attempting to trace them forward via a son Michael, born in January 1835.

As mentioned last week, Michael married Ellen Hyland in 1854. He worked as a servant, just like his father. There is no indication my third great-grandfather was a servant, but it cannot be ruled out. He was once said to have been a clerk, except two other records indicate he had ‘no trade’. So, there’s confusion surrounding his occupation, and in most other respects this Leahy family closely matches mine.

The trouble is, the very last record discovered relating to Michael and Ellen was the baptism of their son Michael, in 1865. And, even though BMD (birth, marriage, death) registration commenced in Ireland in 1864, no further mention of them was found anywhere, not in Ireland, not abroad. They seem to have just vanished, without leaving any trace!

I may have found another record of Michael Leahy, the father - my would-be third great-grandfather. But, the news is not good. He was admitted and discharged from the South Dublin Union Workhouse – twice - once in 1867 and again in 1868. Then, he too vanished without a trace.

Map of Dublin City 1863, Thom's Directory

Here’s the information gleaned from the Workhouse Admission and Discharge Registers[1]:

Pauper number:
Pauper’s name and surname:
Michael Leahy
Michael Leahy
60 [born c. 1807]
60 [born c. 1807]
Religious denomination:
Electoral division / townland:
Union/123 Francis St.
Union/25 Meath St.
Date admitted:
9 Nov 1867
1 Jan 1868
Date discharged:
16 Dec 1867
19 May 1868

So, if this was my ancestor, his wife Bridget, my third great-grandmother, was already dead by November 1867.

Michael’s stay in the workhouse came not long after his son’s apparent ‘disappearance’. And came just after my relatives married their husbands - Alicia Leahy married John Byrne in January 1867 and moved to Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) in south Co. Dublin. Their son Michael Byrne was born there on 2 December 1867. Mary Leahy married Christopher Radcliffe in May 1866 and moved to Malahide in north Co. Dublin. Was Michael Leahy left alone in the city, leading to his spell in the workhouse?

And what happened to him after he was released the second time? Did he move to Co. Meath, where another source dated 1873 indicates he lived (or once lived)?  No likely death record has yet been found.

This search may be better left until the General Register Office release the rest of the copy BMD registers, for free, online. Those with an inside source suggest they’ll be available ‘in a couple of months’, but I’m not holding my breath.

See previous posts: Homing in on Alicia and More Leahy Family Research.

[1] Accessed on Findmypast.

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 18 March 2017

More Leahy family research

This month I was hoping to prove our family connection to the Michael and Bridget Leahy living in Dublin city in the 1830s and 1840s. They christened a daughter Alicia Lehey in the Pro-Cathedral in January 1833, before moving to St Andrew’s parish, where Michael Lahey was christened in January 1835, followed by Timothy Lahy in January 1840 and Mary Leahy in March 1842.

Alicia Leahy was my great-great-granny’s name and she had a known sister, Mary. Their parents were Michael and Bridget Leahy. Mary claimed she was born in Dublin city about 1842.[1] So, on the surface at least, this family looks like a shoo-in.

And, on the plus side, there was only one marriage of an Alicia Leahy found in the online church records for Dublin city, and that was my great-great-grandmother’s marriage to John Byrne in 1867. And, when paired with parents Michael and Bridget, the only marriage of a Mary Leahy found was that of my great-great-grandaunt to Christopher Radcliffe in 1866. Sometimes, what you don’t find is as informative as what you do, and I didn’t find another potential Leahy family in the city.

There was no sign of a subsequent marriage for Timothy christened in 1840, but a one-year-old infant with the same name, and an address in Leeson Lane in St Andrew’s parish, was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in 1841.[2] Which leaves only Michael to trace forward…

And, a Michael Leahy of 26 Cuffe Street, Dublin, married Ellen Hyland on 6 December 1854, in St Peter’s Church of Ireland. His father was also Michael Leahy. They both worked as servants.  

However, Michael claimed he was ‘of full age’ when he married Ellen, i.e. over twenty-one years old, and the Michael christened in 1835 would have been barely twenty. Still, he could have overstated his age. Minors required parental consent to marry and it might not have been forthcoming. Perhaps his parents were already dead, or maybe they objected to him marrying a Protestant.

It wasn’t uncommon in mixed marriages then for some of the children to be baptised Protestant and others Catholic, and this was the case here. I’m not sure yet quite what to make of the delayed baptism dates.

Birth date
Home Address
23 Mar 1857
27 Mar 1857
27 Cuffe St
St Nicholas, RC
27 Aug 1860
26 Sep 1862
19 Albert Pl
St Andrew, RC
Mary Bridget
1 Feb 1863
16 Feb 1863
35 Erne St
St Andrew, RC
Mary Anne
15 Mar 1862
6 Dec 1863
35 Upper Erne St
St Mark, COI
24 Nov 1865
6 Dec 1865
35 Upper Erne St
St Mark, COI

Nonetheless, their Godparents’ names suggest Michael belonged to my target Leahy family - Maria Leahy sponsored Elisha’s baptism, while Alice Leahy sponsored Mary Bridget’s. If these children were baptised later, after my Alicia and Mary had taken their husband’s surnames, they’d have been easier to claim as my family – or not.

More tellingly, perhaps, my great-great-grandmother was generally called Alicia, pronounced a-LEE-sha – not usually Alice - and not just in church records known to favour a Latinised form. Perhaps Michael and Ellen chose this name for their eldest daughter too, and the priest wrote it as Elisha. Both names sound similar. Plus, it’s doubtful the priest meant it as a Latinised form of Elizabeth, given the next child in that register was named Elizabetha. Maybe this is indicative of a familial relationship.  

Fathers’ occupations are normally recorded in civil marriage registers. But, when Mary married Christopher the information was omitted entirely. He was expressly described as having ‘no trade’ when Alicia married John. And on Mary’s marriage to Michael Power, in Co. Dublin in 1873, he was listed as a clerk. He was never described as a servant, like in Michael’s marriage. Yet, you must admit, my third great-grandfather’s occupation is uncertain. And, my Leahy family worked in domestic service – Alicia’s husband was a butler, and before her marriage, Mary was a servant.[3]

Finally, for now, Michael’s address in Cuffe Street at the time of his marriage creates another ‘coincidence’. The address given for my third-great-grandparents in 1867 was also Cuffe Street, though by 1873, they were supposedly in ‘Co. Meath’.

There are still too many question marks hanging over my Leahy family to offer a conclusion, but I do know, it’s the absence of these ‘little coincidences’ that usually signals the death-knell for my genealogy theories. So, I’ll keep on trucking…

Main source: Church records on IrishGenealogy.ieIreland Roman Catholic Parish Marriages', Findmypast.
[1] 1911 Census of Ireland, National Archives.
[2] Genealogy index, Glasnevin Trust.
[3] Copy marriage registers, General Register Office.

See previous post: Homing in on Alicia

© Black Raven Genealogy