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

Showing posts with label Rushbrooke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rushbrooke. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

David Jones Naval Pensioner

The stern gallery of HMS Implacable, formerly the Duguay-Trouin, on display at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Geni, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

My great-grandfather, David Jones, made much of the fact that he was a Naval Pensioner, especially when filling out official forms, and it seems certain that it was 'useful' in obtaining him the position of Sexton at the Christ Church, Church of Ireland, Rushbrooke, Cobh (Queenstown, as it was then), Ireland. 

My late cousin Margery in Ireland (David's brother Nicholas' granddaughter) had told me that David had "lost a hand in battle". You gotta love a family story. As I keep saying, there's always a grain of truth in them, but usually some self-serving embellishment. We searched high and low for a naval battle in the right era and came up with nothing. "In battle" sounds more heroic, clearly.

It also proved handy (pun intended) in attracting him two wives, it seems!

Margery recounted that her older sister had remembered visiting the family in Rushbrooke and seeing David's 'Sunday Best' gloved hand hanging up in the kitchen (such a creepy image) and continued that, apparently, he had a fork attachment for everyday - from which we may deduce that it was his left hand he lost - that attached to a metal pin that was inserted at his wrist. 

Because David had always claimed to come from Wales, I almost missed his naval record. In fact, I'd dismissed it twice, because, although many other details were close enough, the boy was born in Lincolnshire, which didn't seem relevant at all. Then I found his father's posting to Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire and David's birth there and the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

At the time David was enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class, on 7 July 1865, he would have been just shy of his 15th birthday. His father, Thomas Jones, and mother, Mary, co-signed the papers. David was described as being 4ft 8½in tall, with a sallow complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Once he was 18, his period of engagement was intended to last ten years, obviously intending to follow in the footsteps of his father's naval career. 

David Jones' Naval Record

The rest of David's naval record fits onto one line. At 14 he was assigned to HMS Implacable, which had become the Royal Navy's first training ship at Devonport in 1855. But instead of continuing his service as planned, David was discharged on 17 Oct 1866, when he will have been just 16. The last item on the line, under the Cause of Discharge, is the abbreviation for Invalided.

There not being more detail, nor medical records we can access, we have to surmise the rest of story. That he lost a hand is not in question. Clearly, he was still in training, so there was no 'battle'. But I think that taking into consideration that this was 1866 - general anesthesia was still very much in experimental infancy - and my feeling is that the only place that such a procedure as inserting a metal pin into his wrist was likely to take place was in a military hospital and at that time there was the the former Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. And the fact that they did this and sent him off with a pension at 16, suggests this was certainly not as the result of a boy larking about. Perhaps a faulty gun?

Former Royal Naval Hospital, High Street, Plymouth
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen Richards - geograph.org.uk/p/6083123
The Royal Naval Hospital, East Stonehouse


Sunday, 18 April 2021

Nicholas Jones and Ellen Brennan otherwise White

Lower Glanmire Road, Cork
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Robin Webster - geograph.org.uk/p/6335505

Nicholas Jones, third son of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty and younger brother of David Jones, married Ellen Brennan otherwise White, widow, on 5 Aug 1886, at Christ Church, Church of Ireland, Rushbrooke, Cobh - the church where his brother, David, was Sexton. Nicholas' address at the time of the marriage was given as Rushbrooke and Ellen's as Glenbrook. Witnesses to the marriage were a George Owens and Annie Jones - David and Nicholas' sister. Nicholas' rank or profession is Able Seaman. Records show he was a Merchant Seaman. 

Nicholas had been baptised on 17 May 1853 at the Catholic church of the Sacred Heart, Rath, near Baltimore (Rath And The Islands Parish), Cork. Sponsors were a James Hayes and Ellen Hart (sic) - his mother, Mary's, sister. 

Meanwhile, Ellen White was born in Epsom, Surrey in 1854. The civil record of her birth gives her mother's maiden name as Smith. And on the record of Ellen's marriage to Nicholas, she gives her father's name as William Henry White, a farmer. But it hasn't been possible to find a relevant marriage of a William White and someone whose surname is Smith in the right timeframe and area. Nor has it been possible to locate Ellen's previous marriage to Mr Brennan.

Nicholas and Ellen had one daughter, Annie Jones. On both the 1901 and 1911 census returns the ages given for Annie, 12 and 22, respectively, calculate to a year of birth of 1889. And in both cases, it states that she was born in England. Annie's own daughter could never find a birth record for her, I'm sure I can't.

In 1901, Ellen Jones (47), wife, and Annie Jones (12), scholar, are living in the Lower Glanmire Road, Cork City. Nicholas is not at home at the time of the census, as he will have been at sea. The 1911 census tells us that he is a Ship's Steward, when Nicholas (57), Ellen (57) and Annie (22), now a Bookkeeper, are joined by three Boarders: Samuel Donald Dare (42), James Raynane (22), John Foley (25) and Hannah Healy (40), Domestic Servant, Visitor. 

Records of Shipping agreements and crew lists at the National Archives of Ireland suggest that Nicholas served on the following ships: 

Otherwise, we're left with more questions than answers regarding Nicholas and Ellen Jones. So far, I have no idea when either of them died. But this is a start that will hopefully serve to ferret out more details in time.


Glenbrook from the R624 near Carrigalore
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian S - geograph.org.uk/p/5837006

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).