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). 

Do you wonder how 'Two Ball Lonnen' got it's name? - see here.

© 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.

Update: I met a descendant of Martin Clinch, who has tested her DNA, but unfortunately she shares no detectable DNA with my Dad, here.

[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.

Read about the fate of the Clynch/Clinch family in Aurora, here and see some further reflections on Andrew and Anne's relationship to Patrick Clynch here.

© Black Raven Genealogy