Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Naval Pensioner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Naval Pensioner. 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
  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.

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 born 2 Jan 1893, bap. 22 Jan 1893
  2. Ellen Jones born 23 Apr 1894, bap. 13 May 1894
  3. Laura Mary Jones born 2 Aug 1896, bap 28 Aug 1896
  4. David Jones born 10 Nov 1898, bap. 9 Dec 1898
  5. Alice Jones born 26 Jul 1903, bap. 14 Aug 1903
  6. Agnes Jones 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 at the 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).