Saturday 28 December 2013

Daughter of Eve…

Well ok, I have not traced my matrilineal ancestors back to Eve. I have only traced it back about 200 years, but without the assistance of DNA testing.

My grandmother, Annie Byrne, was born on 26 August 1910, the youngest in her family. 

Her mother was Christina Devine, born on 19 December 1867, at 2 St. Laurence Place, North Strand, Dublin. Christina was the sixth child of John Devine and Maryanne Keogh. She married James Byrne, a carter, on 29 August 1897, in their local church, St. Lawrence O’Toole’s, North Strand. James and Christina had eight children, two of which died as infants. On 16 May 1947, aged seventy-nine years, Christina passed away, having had a stroke the previous month. Her husband James died the following year. Both are interred in the St. Patrick’s section of Glasnevin Cemetery, with their son Frank and their daughter Kathleen.

Christina’s mother was Maryanne Keogh. Maryanne married John Devine in September 1859, in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin. They also lived in the North Strand area of Dublin city. John Devine was a labourer. He worked in the Dublin’s docks, situated close to their home. They had seven children that I know of, but three died as infants and only one, my great-grandmother, lived to old age. Maryanne died of jaundice in May 1893, aged about fifty-three years. She was buried in the Garden section of Glasnevin Cemetery, with her husband and their two daughters, Catherine and Anne.

Maryanne’s mother was Jane Crosby (Crosbie). Jane married Jeremiah Keogh on 26 April 1833, at Lucan, Co. Dublin.  Jeremiah was a bricklayer. He probably died fairly young as Jane had to work in her later years. Her occupation was given as a room-keeper on her death certificate. Jeremiah had died by 1866, according to the marriage certificate of their son Thomas. Jane died of old age in March 1891, aged eighty-six years, putting her birth at about 1806. At the time of her death, she lived with her daughter, Maryanne Devine. Jane’s son Thomas Keogh organised her burial, in the Garden section of the Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.  Jane’s origins remain obscure.

Unfortunately, Jane’s parents are not recorded on her 1833 marriage record and it is proving difficult to identify any further documentary sources that might help establish the name of Jane’s mother. For Christmas, Santa Clause brought me two DNA test packs (Family Tree DNA’s Autosomal Family Finder) and both Mam and Dad have promised to take the tests. DNA testing may be just the tool to help extend my matrilineage back in time.  

Results to follow! 

Update: Not yet traced back to Eve, but traced back about 20,000 years ago, to Isha.

Sources available.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Beannachtaí na Nollag / Christmas Greetings

Nollaig shona agus Athbhliain faoí mhaise
(Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to you)

Saturday 21 December 2013

The Malahiders

Not long ago, I came across a book called West Briton, an autobiography by Brian Inglis, who grew up in Malahide in the 1920s. Malahide was then a small village in north County Dublin, the home of my ancestors. In his first chapter, entitled ‘Our Set’, Inglis talks about his early years. He describes his ‘set’ as the ‘old Protestant Ascendancy’, which was ‘so firmly established there [in Malahide], they could live their lives almost as they had before the Treaty of 1921 [creating the Irish Free State]’.1

My own family were Roman Catholic and of nationalist stock – small farmers, labourers and tradesmen – most definitely not part of this ‘set’. In his book, Inglis tells of his family’s attitude towards my ancestors and their neighbours. His description is hilariously inciteful:
‘these, we would point out to visiting friends as really Irish – Murphy the gardener, Christie the post-man, Vincie the ferryman – with their fine flow of language, their gift for casual repartee, and their instinctive ability to put a stranger at his ease by making him feel intelligent and perceptive and popular. [Stop reading now if you might be offended by old racial or class prejudice!] We loved them as a landowner in the deep south loves his negro servants, because they knew their place and stayed in it; but we did not think of them as people; pets, rather.’2
Two of the men mentioned by Inglis can be found in Malahide at the time of the 1911 Census: Christopher Dunne, postman, Yellow Walls, Malahide and Vincent Patrick O’Brien, boatman, Strand Street, Malahide.3

While Inglis himself seems to have had a genuine regard for ‘his countrymen’, thankfully, this social structure disintegrated before my grandparent’s time and economic growth in Malahide ensured they were no longer ‘content to be pushed around by the old ascendancy.4

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

1 Brian Inglis, West Briton (London, 1962), p. 13.
2 Ibid., p. 15.
3 National Archives of Ireland, 1911 Census
4 Inglis, pp 31-2.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Peter Radcliffe seeks a fair rent, Malahide, 1882

After the Famine, the main objectives of the land struggle in Ireland became known as the ‘three Fs’ – fair rent, freedom of sale and fixity of tenure. Legislation in 1881, based on these principles, transformed the relationship between Irish tenants and landlords and newly established Land Courts gave tenants access to a judicial rent review. We learnt all this in school, but it never held any real context until I could apply it to people that I ‘knew’.

My 4th great-grandfather, Peter Radcliffe, and a number of his neighbours in Malahide, Co. Dublin, were tenants of Lord Talbot de Malahide. In October 1882, they applied to the Land Courts to have a fair rent set.  Peter was well into his eighties at this time, but it was not the first time he had taken Lord Talbot to court.
Irish Land Courts, 1882 (Freeman’s Journal)
The case was heard by the sub-commissioners in Balbriggan Co. Dublin, headed by Mr. R. Kane. While a reduction in rent was granted, it was not without controversy and it is unlikely that Peter and his neighbours felt they had received a fair deal. The sub-commissioners set the ‘fair’ rent at a figure exceeding that which Lord Talbot’s own appointed agents had argued was fair.  The controversy was reported in the Freeman’s Journal on 11 October 1882. 

The sub-commissioners’ ruling was also published in the House of Commons sessional papers in 1882.[1] Peter Radcliffe was said to have leased just over 4 ½ acres in the townland of Yellow Walls, Malahide. His annual rent was reduced by over one pound a year, but nevertheless, Peter still had to pay one pound and eight shillings a year more than Lord Talbot’s agent had determined was a fair rent.
(Freeman’s Journal, 1882, Malahide tenants)

The Land Commission report also shows that Peter Radcliffe’s rent had previously been increased in 1850 and in 1855. Talbot had increased the rent by 11 shillings a year in 1855, when a drainage system was installed on the land – not exactly an incentive for tenants to make improvement to their holding. At least with the land court decision, Peter’s rent was fixed for a further fifteen years, even if he did make improvements.

[1] Irish Land Commission, return according to provinces and counties of judicial rents fixed by sub-commissions and Civil Bill courts, as notified to the Irish Land Commission during the months of September, October, and November, 1882, specifying dates and amounts respectively of the last increases of rent where ascertained, H.C. 1882 (c. 3451), lvi, 889, pp 72-3.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Sunday 8 December 2013

Petty Sessions Records, Swords Court
Scales of Justice
The Petty Sessions, were a prelude to the District Courts in Ireland, where Justices of the Peace (usually local landlords) had summary jurisdiction in minor criminal and civil matters. The petty sessions order registers for the court in Swords, Co. Dublin, which covered the parish of Malahide, have recently been released online by genealogy vendor Findmypast.
The registers released span the period 1872 to 1913, the time of my great-great-grandfather, James Mahon (1823 – 1903), as well as his son-in-law, my great-grandfather, Michael Byrne (c1865 – 1929).  So the search began…
An Irish goat
There was only one possible reference to my great-great-grandfather in the Swords registers. Sergeant William Sandes charged James Mahon of Yellow Walls with… wait for it… allowing one of his goats to wander on the public road near his home. On 11 June 1887, the case was heard and James was fined six pence, plus costs.

This story reminded my Dad of another time a goat got loose. Until the 1960s, my family's nearest water supply was from a pump at the top of the road. One day, during the rut season, my grandfather, James Byrne, went out with his bucket to get water. Half-way up the road, a billy goat forced him into retreat. My grandfather backed up, all the way home, keeping the bucket in front of him, for protection against the goat's long horns.  

My great-grandfather also featured in the Sword's court records. On 26 July 1913, Michael Byrne of Yellow Walls was charged with keeping his son, also Michael, home from school, without excuse, contrary to an attendance order. He was found guilty and fined three shillings. Young Michael was born on 18 October 1899, so being three months shy of his fourteenth birthday, he was still obliged to attend school.
Michael Byrne in the Swords Petty Sessions, 1913

Compulsory school attendance, for those aged between six and fourteen years, was introduced in Ireland in 1892, but only in urban areas and many rural local authorities delayed its introduction. Compulsory attendance was presumably a fairly recent requirement in Malahide in 1907, when the attendance order was issued to my great-grandfather. Traditionally, parents kept children home from school for any reason and the majority of children had left school by Michael’s age, so my great-grandfather probably resented the state's interference in what had always been a family matter. My young granduncle was quite likely out picking potatoes or doing other summer jobs to help feed the family, when he should have been in school. He may even have started in paid employment.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday 30 November 2013

Sibling Saturday ~ Mary Wynne, a woman of many names
Mary Wynne 1860-1934
Mary Wynne was born on 24 May 1860 at 23 Thomas Street, Dublin, the daughter of John Wynne and Bridget Hynes. She was an elder sister to my great-grandfather, Patrick Wynne. 

On 31 May 1885, Mary married Michael Finegan, in St Andrew’s church, Westland Row, Dublin.  Michael worked as a ‘range setter’ or stone mason and Mary as a dressmaker.  They had two sons born in Dublin, John James in October 1886 and Francis (Frank) Edward O’Brien Finnegan in April 1889.

This was the last mention of the family found in the Irish records, but it was known that they had left Ireland for Colorado Springs, so I started to search for them there. The surname Finegan has many variants, including Finnigan and Finnegan, all of them used by Michael and Mary at different times.  It was the name change to Finley though, that was most unexpected.  

It seems that Michael had already left for the U.S. when his second son was born. The Colorado Springs city directory recorded M. Finnigan living at Cascade House in 1890. Nearly three years later, on 18 March 1892, Mary Finnigan and baby Frank arrived at Ellis Island, on route for Colorado. The 1900 U.S. federal census finds them all living in Colorado Springs, now with four sons; Joseph was born in Colorado Springs in April 1895 and Gerald in May 1898. They remained there until about 1903. In 1904, the Colorado Springs city directory helpfully advises that the family moved to Pueblo City, Colorado.
Mary Agnes (Wynne) Finley
It was shortly after moving to Pueblo that the Finnigan family changed their name to Finley, a surname of seemingly Scottish origin. Mary also adopted the second name, Agnes. Perhaps they met with anti-Irish prejudice in Pueblo and the name change was an effort to appear more ‘American’.  In the 1910 census, Michael, Mary and three of their children, John, Joseph and Gerald, were living in Peublo, under the surname Finley.

Sadly, after thirty years of marriage, it seems Michael and Mary separated, shortly before Michael’s death. The city directories clearly show them living apart. Michael reverted to using the surname Finnigan, but Mary and the boys kept the name Finley, Presumably the name change was more Mary’s idea. Michael was working as a janitor at the Saving Heart Church, when he died of heart issues on 20 April 1917.

Mary married Charles W. Walker on 6 January 1920 in Colorado. Charles was an American, born in Missouri and worked as a carpenter. Mary, having disappeared from the city directories for ten years, was back living in Pueblo by 1930, without Charles, and had reverted to using the name Finley. However her death, at St Mary’s in Pueblo on New Year's Day in 1934, was registered under the name Mary Agnes Walker. A widow, she died of Myocarditis/Pericarditis and was buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Pueblo, Colorado on 3 January 1934.

These lovely photos of Mary were kindly sent to me by Mary’s great-granddaughter and my newly found third cousin.  Thank you, Phyllis!

Sources: Birth, marriage and death registrations; U.S. census records and Colorado city directories, available on request.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Sunday 24 November 2013

Pick of the week ~ Pyke

My favourite resource this week was a book written by Noel Kissane and published by the National Library of Ireland, back in 198. The book is entitled The Irish Face.  I recently purchased a copy for less than €5. It is not exactly a genealogical source, but family history can be found anywhere and in it I came across a name I recognised - Bobby Pyke. My aunt had once mentioned his name.
This little book is about the portrayal of Irish faces down through the ages, starting with the pre-historic stone-carved faces from the period 3000-2500 BC and ending with modern photography. One of my favourite chapters was the ‘Illuminated Manuscripts’, including an illustration of a golden-haired, fair-skinned, Christ from the famous Book of Kells. According to Kissane, there is no evidence that hair was dyed in ninth-century Ireland, but it was sometimes lightened with a bleach of ‘stale urine’ (p. 16).  From someone who occasionally lightens my hair, ‘Thank God times have moved on’!
Austin Clarke, by Bobby Pyke (NGI), 

Kissane, ‘The Irish Face’, p. 53.
It was the chapter called ‘Alternative Perspectives’, featuring the work of prominent Irish cartoonists, where I found reference to an item of interest to my own family history research.  My father’s first cousin, Bobby Pyke, was a cartoonist. His sketch of the famous Irish poet, Austin Clarke, hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland and a copy if it is included in the booklet (p. 53).

To be continued one day…

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday 16 November 2013

Tracing my Irish ancestors in 19th-century tax records

Elizabeth Mahon, who married Michael Byrne in 1894, was my great grandmother and the only child of James Mahon. James was born in 1823 and died in 1903. His father was Patrick Mahon, who was born about 1784 and died in 1865. They came from Yellow Walls, a townland in Malahide, Co. Dublin. I grew up in the same house that Elizabeth lived and died in; a house that has allegedly been passed down in our family since the mid-nineteenth century. While the lineage back to Patrick has been ‘proven’ by ‘conventional’ means, it was still interesting to trace it through Irish property-tax records.

Griffith’s Valuation is a mid-nineteenth century survey of property occupiers in Ireland. It was a taxation scheme, implemented to calculate how much a person should pay, based on the value of their holding. For each holding, it recorded the occupier’s name, the immediate lessor’s name, the acreage and the annual valuation of the buildings and land. The Valuation, with accompanying maps, is now freely available online and the lists for Malahide date to 1848 and 1850.
[1] Griffith listed a number of people named Mahon in the townland of Yellow Walls, all tenants of Lord Talbot, of Malahide Castle fame:
Yellow Walls Mahons, listed in Griffith’s Valuation, 1850

Knowing the area well, it was easy to pin-point our exact location on the ordinance survey map. Plot number 50, as highlighted below, was definitely ‘ours’.
Mahon property, Yellow Walls, Malahide, mid-1850s

I expected to find my great-great-great-grandfather listed and, sure enough, in 1850 a Patrick Mahon rented three acres, two roods and sixteen perches, roughly the expected sized plot. (There are forty perches in a rood and four roods in an acre.) The holding included a house and shed. However, Griffith indicated that Patrick was at map number 44, not 50 as expected. An unknown Francis McCann rented our plot 50, which made little sense.

Until the 1970s, regular revisions were made to the lists for each townland, to update them for changes in occupier, lessor, acreage and valuation. These handwritten changes, colour-coded by year of amendment, were recorded in manuscript books.  New books were opened as necessary and the Cancelled Valuation Books for Malahide are now held in the Valuation Office in Dublin. It is therefore possible to trace the chain of ownership, from the time of Griffith’s Valuation to near enough the present day.

The earliest Cancelled Valuation Book for Malahide commenced in 1855, five years after Griffith’s Valuation. It recorded Patrick Mahon’s holding of three acres, two roods and sixteen perches, but referenced it to map number 50 in Yellow Walls.  This better matched expectations, indicating that the map itself had been revised after Griffith’s Valuation had been published.

In this oldest book, ‘Sen.’ (senior) had been inserted after Patrick’s name, sometime after 1855. Later still, James Mahon Jun. (junior) replaced Patrick as occupier of this plot. According to the key at the start of the book, the red ink indicated this occurred in 1868. Patrick’s death certificate confirmed he died on 6 December 1865.
Mahon, excerpt from Cancelled Valuation Book, 1855-1902

The Cancelled Valuation Book for 1902-1945 recorded that Michael Byrne replaced James Mahon Jun., in 1905. James Mahon had died on 2 February 1903, according to his death certificate. Michael Byrne was his son-in-law. Michael died in 1927, around the time his eldest son, my grandfather James Byrne, was recorded at plot number 50.
Byrne, excerpt from Cancelled Valuation Book, 1945-1960

From a precursory look at the other Mahon holdings in Griffith’s, it is most unlikely that James Mahon Jun., with 5 acres, 3 roods and 37 perches, was Patrick’s son. It is also unlikely that James Mahon Sen. was Patrick’s father, as he was replaced by a Patrick Jun. after 1855. They were all probably related somehow and another trip to the Valuation Office may enable their relationship to be established.

Sources available on request.


© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Sunday 10 November 2013

Philip Camillus Wynne – Killed in Action in World War I.

Kevin Wynne had a first cousin who served in World War I, so as tomorrow is Remembrance Day:

Philip Camillus Wynne was the youngest of ten children, born to John Wynne and Margarita Armstrong. He was born on 21 May 1895, in Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland. Philip sometimes went by the name of Camillus. His mother died of tuberculosis in October 1900, when he was only five years old and he was raised by his father and elder sisters. In 1911, Philip lived at 4 Annaville Terrace, Dundalk Town, with his sister Frances Stowell.

Copyright © 2013, Dara McGivern,
Poppy field
During World War I, Philip Camillus enlisted as a rifleman for the British Army at Dundalk, Co. Louth. He served in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, under regiment number 15706.  He fought in the Western European Theatre, in northern France and Flanders. He was killed in action in Flanders, on 16 June 1915, aged twenty years.

He lost his life during the Battle of Bellewaarde, which proved to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war. More than 1,000 men died that day, fighting on a battlefield measuring only half a square mile. For more information about this battle, see Bellewaarde 1915 where Phillip’s name is remembered.
WWI medals (Ancestry)
After his death, Philip was awarded the following medals: the 1914-15 Star, also known as 'Pip'; the British War Medal, 1914-18, also known as 'Squeak' and the Allied Victory Medal also known as 'Wilfred'.

Were Phillip’s medals treasured by his family? A baby brother lost, I’m sure they were. Although, perhaps quietly. The political climate in Ireland changed so much during the war years. Yes, War Gardens at Islandbridge were built and dedicated to the memory of the Irishmen killed, but over the years veterans were not celebrated here, like in Britain. Despite any noble or nationalistic intentions, by the end of the war, p participation in the British Army was seen as almost shameful by many, running contrary to the quest for Irish independence. In recent years, this stigma has diminished considerably. I wonder where Phillip’s medals are now.

Philip is remembered, with honour, at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium, his name being listed at panel 40. The memorial commemorates more than 54,000 ‘Commonwealth’ soldiers, who were missing in action and have no known grave.

He is also remembered, under the name Cameltus Wynne, in Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918, an 8 volume set, originally published in Dublin in 1923. This work commemorates over 49,000 'Irishmen' who were fatally injured in the Great European War. Harry Clarke, better known for his work in stained glass, designed the decorative page borders.  More recent editions are available in the main reading room of the National Library of Ireland, in Kildare St., Dublin.
Ireland's Memorial Records 1914-1918, xiii, p. 389 

Sources available on request.

More about Philip Camillus Wynne here and here.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Sunday 3 November 2013

Aunt Annie’s Will

Anne (Annie) Carroll was Kevin Wynne’s maternal aunt. She was the second daughter of Maurice and Anne (Ratcliffe) Carroll. On 6 September 1894, aged only nineteen years, Anne married William Smith Singleton, in Rathmines, Dublin. William was born in Manchester, England,in 1869, the son of John and Betty Singleton. He was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church on the same day as his marriage to Anne.

Then, William and Anne disappeared. No baptism records were located for their children, and they were not found in the 1901 census, either in Ireland or Britain.

Anne was next located in the 1911 Census of England and Wales, at 3 Ethel Street, Benwell, Newcastle on Tyne, in England’s north east region. She appeared to be living incognito, under the name Annie Smith. She was the head of the household and William’s whereabouts are unknown. The census confirmed that she was aged thirty-five, had been married for seventeen years and had no children. It also stated that she was a grocer by occupation, born in Dublin, Ireland. The only other occupant of the house was her domestic servant, Katie Rooney, a single, eighteen year old girl from Carlisle, England.

Annie Singleton’s will was written in 1925, when she was residing at 21 Upper Rutland Street, Dublin, the home of her elder sister Mary Carroll. At fifty years of age, she was relatively a very wealthy woman, owning the two properties, 1 and 3 Ethel Street, in Newcastle on Tyne. The terms of her will suggest that something was amiss with either her marriage or with her husband; rather than leaving her estate to William, she bequeathed it to him at a rate of two pounds per week for his lifetime.

The bulk of her estate was left to her sister Mary, subject to the payment of William’s salary over his lifetime. Annie also left £200 to her sister, my great grandmother, Teresa Wynne, £200 to her former servant Catherine Rooney and £200 to an unknown friend, Mary Magennis.
Anne (Carroll) Singleton’s will, 1925

Annie died on 7 August 1926. Her will was probated in February 1927. She left an estate valued at over £6,000, a tidy sum in 1926.
Probate of Anne (Carroll) Singleton’s will

The above reads: ‘Be it known, that Annie Singleton of Chestnut Villa, Greenhalgh, Kirkham, in the county of Lancaster and formerly of Benwell, Newcastle on Tyne, in the county of Northumberland and of 21 Upper Rutland Street, Dublin in the Irish Free State (wife of William Smith Singleton) died on 7th day of August 1926 at Chestnut Villa aforesaid.’

The copy of the will and probate document were gratefully received from a descendant of the Singleton family. 
Other sources available on request.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Sunday 27 October 2013

John Wynne - Nonagenarian or not?

John Wynne was my great-great grandfather. He was Patrick Wynne’s father.  His place and date of birth remains a mystery today. The first identified record of him places him in Thomas St., Dublin around 1848. Both the 1901 and 1911 Censuses of Ireland state that his birthplace was Dublin city.

When Agnes Fegan registered the death of her father, John Wynne, she confirmed that he was sixty-seven years old and died of ‘senile decay’ on 5 September 1911.
John Wynne, 1911, excerpt from copy death register

A few days later, Agnes’s husband, John Fegan, organised his burial at Glasnevin Cemetery and again stated that John Wynne was sixty-seven when he died.
John Wynne, 1911, excerpt from burial register (Glasnevin Trust)

This indicates he was born about 1843-44. 

However, in April 1911, John Fegan filled out the household return of the 1901 Census and reported that his father-in-law was ninety-one years old. This suggests that his birth was about 1819-20. Why did Agnes and John Fegan then knock twenty-four years off this age, when he died only five months later?  Were they aware of the inconsistency? Did they discuss it and agree that he was not as old as reported in the census?
Fegan household, 24 Haliday Square, Arran Quay, Dublin (1911 Census)

A cynical person might suggest that John over-stated his age in the 1911 census, in an attempt to claim the old age pension before his due time. The pension was first introduced in Ireland in January 1909 and a general unexplained ‘ageing’ of the population between 1901 and 1911 has sometimes been attributed to its introduction. Civil registration of births did not commence in Ireland until 1864 and the authorities acquired a reputation for relying on census records, i.e. 1841 and 1851 records, as proof of age for pension entitlement. 

Yet, John’s age recorded in the 1901 census confirms the estimate birth year as 1820-21 and the 1901 census was completed long before the pension was ever contemplated in Ireland. John Wynne filled in and signed the 1901 census himself and he said he was eighty years old, at the time.
Wynne household, 11 Upper Ormond Quay, North City, Dublin (1901 Census)

So when was he really born?, which freely provides transcriptions and images of many Dublin church records, includes the register of John's marriage to Bridget Hynes. They married in St Catherine’s, Thomas St., Dublin on 16 September 1849. Their first child, Margaret, was baptised in St Catherine’s on 2 July 1850. John could not have been only six years old at the time!

John was surely born at least ten years earlier than 1843-44 and probably closer to twenty years earlier.   John’s own estimate of being born about 1820 seems much more reasonable than the estimate of 1844. 

Was John Wynne a nonagenarian when he died?  Why did his daughter get it so wrong when she registered his death?

Sources available on request.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday 26 October 2013

Terrazzo Byrne!

My great grandfather Michael Christopher Byrne was born about 1865 and died on 22 December 1927.[1] He worked as a labourer in rural Malahide, Co. Dublin.   According to my Dad, Michael’s nickname was ‘Terrazzo’. He first earned this nickname when he was working as a general labourer with two foreign tradesmen, who were laying a new floor in Hogan’s Pub and Grocery on Main Street, Malahide, probably where the Credit Union is now.   They were laying a Terrazzo floor, which was a type of flooring that none of the locals had even seen or heard of before. They asked Michael what it was and when he told them it was called Terrazzo, they started calling him Terrazzo. The name stuck.
Michael (Terrazzo) Byrne (c.1865-1927), Malahide.

[1] General Register Office, copy death register.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy