Showing posts with label Limerick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Limerick. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 April 2021

David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White

Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

My great-grandparents, David Jones, son of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty, and Laura Elizabeth White, daughter of Walter White and Hannah Blazey, married at Christ Church, Church of IrelandRushbrooke, Cobh (Queenstown, as it was then), Ireland on 17 Feb 1892. David Jones was Sexton of Christ Church.

This was not David's first marriage, however, so we have to rewind for the story that led to this point: David was born at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire on 10 Jul 1850 and baptised, on 1 May 1851, at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. That last part certainly wasn't ever common knowledge!

After being pensioned off from the Navy in 1866 - which I'll cover separately - David was at Castle Oliver in Limerick at the time of his father's death in 1873. Records of his Dog Licences place David at Castle Oliver in 1874 to 1877 too and, from 1878 onwards, man and dog were listed at Rushbrooke.

Then on 5 Oct 1880, he married Johannah Anne O'Callaghan at the Parish Church in Inchigeelagh, Cork, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the United Church of England and Ireland, By Licence. Johannah's father, Cornelius O'Callaghan was a Schools Inspector and on a later census return listed himself as Church of Ireland and made a point of stating that he was a member of the 'Irish Truth Society - Protestant'. I'd call him a pedant! :) Interesting choice of father-in-law for "a nice Catholic boy" and hence probably why, from then on, excessively staunch CofE or CofI views were promoted in the family.

For David, however, this appears to have represented an opportunity.

Because, by the time of the baptism of David and Hannah's first child in 1881, David was listed as "Sexton of Church". Rushbrooke had docks, a tradition of ship building and the Irish Naval Service nearby, so I don't suppose it hurt that he was a Naval Pensioner, but the timing and the fact that the pedantically detailed school records were held in the church, lead me to believe that it was his father-in-law's contacts that secured David this position. Taking the daughter's hand in marriage, was that a bonus or the price? 

From the records in the church, I was able to ascertain that David and Hannah had five children, all baptised at Christ Church, Rushbrooke: 
  1. Thomas Jones born 19 Oct 1881, bap. 19 Nov 1881. (Died 8 Jan 1891.)
  2. Marcella Jones born 10 May 1883, bap. 2 Jun 1883
  3. Helena Jones born 4 Mar 1885, bap. 14 Mar 1885 [1]
  4. Anna Jones born 14 Feb 1887, bap. 19 Mar 1887. (Died in 1902.)
  5. Marion Jones born 27 Aug 1889, bap. 21 Sep 1889 (Died 8 Mar 1891.)
And so things might have continued, but Johannah Jones (35), wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died of Typhoid fever, on 18 Feb 1891. 

Johannah was buried, on 20 Feb 1891 in the same plot as David's father, Thomas Jones (Section S, Row 9, Position 76), at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), where her son Thomas (9) had been buried little more than a month earlier, on 10 Jan 1891. One assumes from the same cause. Youngest daughter, Marion (2), also died on 8 Mar 1891. There's no record of Marion's burial, but I imagine she'll have been buried with her mother, brother and grandfather.

The inscription on the grave reads: 
Erected by David Jones In memory of his beloved father Thos. Jones Who died Jan. 8th 1873 aged 56 years Also his beloved son Thomas Who died Jan. 8th 1891 Aged 9 years and 3 months And his beloved wife Johanna Who died Feb 18th 1891 Aged 35 years.
Interior of the Sanctuary at Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

And so it was, on 17 Feb 1892 - one day less than a year after Johannah's death - that David Jones married Laura Elizabeth White, 20 years his junior, my great-grandmother. Surely, scandalously soon? Well, at least by a day! Witnesses were Ellen Jones (David's brother Nicholas' wife) and Annie Jones, David's sister.

Then David and Laura got on with adding yet another six children: 

Here I should mention that prior to going to Cobh in 2014, I'd only known that my grandmother had lived in Ireland growing up: we didn't know where she was born. There had been some mention of her father marrying twice and I'd known of a younger sister. That was it. Getting to the church and being let loose with all the original records was a huge surprise. As the day went on, finding record after record until I had various marriages, all eleven children, every relevant baptism, school record and, where appropriate, burial, was quite a shock.
  1. Cornelius Walter Jones (Con) born 2 Jan 1893, bap. 22 Jan 1893
  2. Ellen Jones (Nell) born 23 Apr 1894, bap. 13 May 1894
  3. Laura Mary Jones (Queenie) born 2 Aug 1896, bap 28 Aug 1896 [2]
  4. David Jones (Young Dave) born 10 Nov 1898, bap. 9 Dec 1898
  5. Alice Jones born 26 Jul 1903, bap. 14 Aug 1903 [3]
  6. Agnes Jones (Daisy) born 27 Feb 1907, bap. 15 Mar 1907
It's interesting that the first son by the 2nd wife is named after the 1st wife's father first and the 2nd wife's father second. (Irish logic?) David appears to be more or less - less strictly with the girls - following the traditional naming pattern that was often used by Irish parents until the later 19th century, but it's clear that this is in the order of the father's 1st, 2nd, etc., child irrespective of which wife produced it. Did wives not matter? That's probably rhetorical.

In 1901, David Jones (50), Laura (30), Helena (16), Cornelius (8), Ellen (6), Laura (4) and David (2) are living at Queenstown Urban, Cork. Marcella had already left home and was working as a servant in the household of Edward Gibbings, the Rector of Kinsale, at Rampart's Lane (Kinsale Urban, Cork), while Anna (or Annie) (13), was staying with her grandfather O'Callaghan.

Then on 13 Apr 1902, Annie Jones (14), Daughter of a Naval Pensioner, died from Tuberculous meningitis. Her grandfather was present when she died.

In 1911, the household, still at Rushbrooke, includes David (58), Laura (40), Cornelius (18), Ellen (16), Laura (14), David (12), Alice (7) and Agnes (4). 

On both census returns, David lists his birthplace - wrongly - as Wales.

Laura Jones, wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died, aged 46, on 17 Jan 1917 from Splenic Leucocythemia (or Leukemia) and Influenza. Laura was buried, on 19 Jan 1917 at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50. So David was widowed again. Daughter Ellen (Nell), then 23, had to look after the house and younger children - a job she resented - until she married, after which David's sister, Annie, took over as his housekeeper. 

On 7 Aug 1935, David Jones, widower, 79, Sexton of Church, died at Church Lodge from Hemiplegia 2 years (from which I'm reading that he'd probably had a stroke in 1933) and Cardiac failure. David was buried, on 10 Aug 1935, at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50, along with his second wife, Laura, and their son Cornelius, who had died in 1926.

The Jones Family Church Lodge Rushbrooke at Rest, Section D, Row 6, Position 50
Old Church Cemetery (Cobh). Resting place of David Jones (1850-1935), Laura Elizabeth Jones (1870-1917), Cornelius Walter Jones (1893-1926) and David Jones (1898-1966).

[1] The last record I have that mentions Helena Jones is where she was witness to the marriage of her sister, Marcella to Edward John Bicknell, in Portsmouth, in 1906, so we know she was in England then. There are a couple of records of possible voyages to America for a Helena Jones of the right age, but nothing that absolutely confirms this and small details on each that make them unlikely.

[2] Laura Mary Jones was alive and unmarried in 1942, when she and her sister Alice Jones (below) were both witnesses at their brother Dave's wedding.

[3] As with her sister, Laura Mary, I've found no records that I can definitely attribute to Alice Jones beyond 1942. My belief is she stayed in Ireland, as when I was a child, my gran used to have shamrocks sent to her for St. Patrick's Day and I'm sure I remember them coming from Alice, in Ireland. Family stories - we know how reliable those are - alleged that Laura and Alice had been thrown out of the family home and sent to the workhouse as they both had children out of wedlock. We were unable to find records of them entering the Cork workhouse. My cousin said they had lived at the Cork County Hospital for years and visited them there in 1946. Unfortunately, without an admission date, the Health Service in Ireland couldn't make a search of the records for me.

More about David Jones: 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Irish Roots: Thomas Jones and Mary Harty

St John the Baptist Church, Cobh (Queenstown) Via: Cobh Heritage Centre

In the last year I've obtained my certificate of entry on the Foreign Births Register, so I'll be celebrating (using the term loosely under the current pandemic) St Patrick's Day for the first time as an Irish Citizen. 

Growing up, I knew my grandmother had lived in Ireland, but her father had always claimed to be Welsh (nope, English) and we had no idea where she was born until I began this research. Having now obtained her Irish birth certificate, I was able to apply, but we still thought that my family were just immigrants in Ireland. However, in a somewhat circular story, the family had settled in Ireland, because we already had Irish roots, through my 2x great-grandmother. 

Having contacted Cobh Parish Office, they were able to tell me that my 2x great-grandparents, Thomas Jones and Mary Harty had married, on 7 January 1844, at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cobh (Queenstown). St John the Baptist was the Catholic Church for Cobh from 1810 to 1868, when it was demolished to make way for the bigger St Colman's Cathedral

Thomas Jones, we can be fairly confident was born in 1817 - he gives the same information on the census and his naval record at least. Thomas was a sailor with a long career in the Navy - which I'll cover in detail in later posts because it requires so much more research - and as a Coastguard. As I've previously covered, he was posted to Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire until 1851

On the 1851 census in England, Thomas is listed as having been born in Swansea, Glamorganshire, but looking for a Jones birth there redefines the meaning of looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. He's mostly consistent and truthful, so I have no reason to disbelieve it, but see no way of either proving or disproving it, nor of discovering who his parents were.

(The 1844 parish marriage record is very scant in detail and does not include the names of the bride and groom's parents and there wasn't civil registration in Ireland at that date, so there aren't the usual hints to follow.)

But briefly, having been promoted from Able Seaman to Captain's Guard - presumably, a handy sort of bloke - while on HMS Belleisle (during the First Opium War) in 1842, Thomas transferred back to HMS Caledonia (he was on this ship previously in 1841), also as Captain's Guard, in late 1843 and was still serving on that ship at the time of their marriage. One assumes that it was this promotion that gave Thomas the salary necessary to afford a wife. 

Mary Harty, according to what records there are for her, must have been born around 1821. Although she married in Cobh, I see no reason to assume that she was from there originally. My late cousin in Ireland had said that Mary later went "up country" to where her people were from, so perhaps she may have come to Cobh for work and met Thomas there. What we do know from that 1851 English census is that Mary was born in Ireland and, later from the 1901 Irish census, that she spoke both Irish and English. But I've found no records that tell me where her exact place of birth nor original parish was though.

We do know that Mary had a younger sister, Ellen Harty (b. 1825), who was visiting them in Sutton Bridge, England in 1851, but who was also one of the sponsors at Nicholas Jones' baptism, in Rath, Ireland in 1853.

Having married in the January, from 1 Mar 1844, Thomas transferred to HMS America, also as Captain's Guard. Just enough time to start a family: 

  1. Mary Ann Jones, born in Ireland in 1844
  2. Rees Jones, born 25 May 1849 in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire
  3. David Jones, born 10 Jul 1850 in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire
  4. Anna Jones, bap 4 Oct 1851 at Sacred Heart Church, Rath
  5. Nicholas Jones, born 10 May, bap 17 May 1853 at Sacred Heart, Rath
  6. Thomas Jones, bap 17 Sep 1854 at Sacred Heart, Rath
Rath and The Islands Parish is the Catholic Community of Baltimore, Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island and surrounding areas. This explains why my late cousin drew a complete blank when she'd gone down to Baltimore to try to find records of the family: she'd been looking in the Church of Ireland.

Nobody in the family ever spoke of Mary Ann, Rees, nor Thomas Jr. David was the one who did things that one would associate with the role of eldest son. Of those children, the only mention I've seen for Mary Ann is on the English 1851 census. One month before they moved back to Ireland, both Rees and David were baptised, on 1 May 1851at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. That's the last record I have for Rees. David was my great-grandfather. Anna still lived with her mother in 1901 and later became David's housekeeper. She never married and died on 8 Mar 1934. Nicholas was my cousin's grandfather. The baptism is the first time I heard of son Thomas. 

The only other record I've found [so far] for Thomas Jones Jnr is when he was enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 14 Apr 1871. On it, there's a reference provided by a John Lombard, which states, "Thomas Jones is a Protestant Parishioner of Queenstown, and son of a Naval Pensioner. He is a steady, well conducted lad." Emphasising Protestant for what purpose? 

Also attached to the record is a Declaration Before a Magistrate in Thomas Jones (the father's) own handwriting - I recognise his signature - stating that, "I hereby certify that my son Thomas Jones was born in Baltimore, Cork on May 25th, 1855." Not when he was baptised in 1854, he wasn't! 

Clearly the date wasn't a mistake and can only have been a deliberate falsification, because later on the form, it states that, "Boys for the Navy must be over 15 and not above 16½ years of age ..."  He was 17. The most curious part of this record however, is that his service record is blank. He's not even assigned to a training ship: it's like he didn't even turn up. And disappears.

Coastguard station and coastguard cottages: Mariner’s Row, the terrace of
coastguard houses on the edge of the Cove in Baltimore, Cork

From Thomas' Pension Record, we know that he'd joined the Coast Guard service as a Boatman on 28 Dec 1847. That may have been when they went to Sutton Bridge. The Coastguard Establishment Books for Ireland (ADM 175/19) at The National Archives at Kew show that Thomas Jones was posted to Baltimore, West Cork on 2 Jun 1851 and I can only guess that this was a request to be posted back to Ireland because Mary wanted to be in her own country and nearer family. Griffith's Valuation of 1853 shows that Thomas rented a house and office in Tullagh civil parish from John Goodchild.

On 14 Feb 1854, Thomas joined HMS Duke of Wellington as Petty Officer First Class and went off to the Crimean War. On 6 May 1856, he re-joined the Coast Guard, where he served until 31 Jan 1868, when he retired. 

Born in the reign of George III near the end of The Regency, Thomas Jones lived through the reigns of George IVWilliam IV and much of Queen Victoria

He served in the First Opium War and the Crimean War; emigrated TO Ireland during the Great Famine and lived through the first four Cholera pandemics

Thomas Jones died, aged 56, on 8 Jan 1873, at Castle Oliver, from Morbus Cordis (unspecified heart disease) 4 years certified (which ties in with his date of retirement) - presumably in the surrounding village, rather than Kim and Kanye's honeymoon castle itself. Could that be the "up country" area Mary had originally come from? Can't think of another reason for them to be in Limerick.

Section S of the Clonmel Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), Cork

Thomas Jones is buried in the Clonmel Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), Cork in section S, row 9, position 76. The inscription on his grave reads, 
Erected by David Jones In memory of his beloved father Thos. Jones Who died Jan. 8th 1873 aged 56 years”.
In 1901, Mary Jones, widow, was living with her daughter, Annie (who claimed to be 30, but was 50) at The Glen, Passage West (Monkstown, Cork). Mary Jones (81), Widow of Thomas Jones a Coastguard Pensioner, died of senile decay on 14 Aug 1903 at The Rock, Queenstown, Cork. 

Please expect changes to these pages from time to time as we find new data or new records become available. You may like to use Follow That Page, a change detection service that sends you an email when web pages have changed.

If you're related to any of the people written about, I'm guessing you'll recognise them from the surnames. If you are, do please get in touch.