Friday, October 26, 2018

Rachel Pearse....found at last!

Back to the Genealogy --  after a long summer of traveling and dabbling in the Family Tree, it's finally Autumn and with the shorter, darker days I've turned to genealogy again.

I have an elusive PEARSE/PEARCE family that seems to delight in changing the spelling of their name, and straddling the Cornwall/Devon border.  Common name, two counties to search, and lots of folks disappearing into the Royal Navy!  It's no wonder I dabble briefly on this line and then get frustrated and move on.

Today I had another look at Rachel Pearse, my 3rd Great Aunt.  She was born in 1827 in Callington, Cornwall.  Her Father William Pearse is my GGG Grandfather, born in 1789 in South Brent, Devon.  Rachel is named for her Grandmother, William Pearse's mother Rachel Codd.

I had some notes that Rachel had married a John Brown in 1850 in Stoke Dameral, Devon.   John was a Royal Marine.  I don't know how or why I decided that this was my Rachel, other than her Father's name is correct on the marriage certificate and she's about the right age and in proximity to her birthplace (most young women at this time headed for Plymouth for work and married military men there). 

I can't find Rachel and John in 1851, so they are likely with the military somewhere outside of Devon.   This is where my dead end was, couldn't find any evidence of them for 1851 or thereafter.

So today in doing some research there was an online tree that had a Charlotte Court attached to Rachel as a daughter.......HMMMM, who was this, and where did the name Court come from?  So in searching for Charlotte, I found her marriage, which listed her maiden name as Bazley. Then found her in the 1871 Census, with Mother Rachel Bazley!!!  Then found Rachel Brown marrying John Bazley in 1858 in East Stonehouse, Devon! 

So it appears John Brown died sometime between 1850-1858, his wife Rachel Pearse goes on to marry John Bazley!  They had four children:  Sarah, Charlotte, Thomas and John William, and lived in Bridgwater, Somerset.  After John's death in 1889, Rachel ends up living with Charlotte and family in Swansea, Wales and dies there in 1904.

The name Bazley (spelled in a variety of interesting ways), comes down through the descendants as a middle name.

Now on to find 2 siblings of Rachel's that have also proved elusive:  Thomas Betty Pearse (b 1831) and Elizabeth Ann Pearse (b 1833).....more common names to work with!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Breaking down Irish brickwalls - Faherty and Nee

For years I've had two primary brickwalls in my Irish family tree.  On two separate lines, I have Great Grandmothers that I can't trace.  Female lines are always a bit difficult to chase -- especially this early in Ireland.  Naming patterns and baptismal sponsors of the children can "help", but alot is guess work and supposition.  Now, with the advent of DNA testing, additional clues are added to the mix.

My brickwall Great Grandmothers are:

Mary Nee born about 1820, married Patrick Walsh of Muckanaghkillew about 1839

Catherine/Kate Faherty born about 1835, married to Patrick Toole of Glantrasna about 1853

Oral history is very important in Connemara (County Galway, Ireland) -- as official records could be scarce due to Irish language, lack of Catholic records, etc.  For a researcher from overseas, like myself, the connection to cousins, still in Galway, is vital to sorting out our families.  Thankfully Facebook and other social media platforms have enabled many of the Irish diaspora to connect. 

From some recent hints, coupled with oral history and new DNA hints, I'm getting closer to connecting all the dots..... it's still a work in process, but I have more and more confidence that I'm closing in on my ancestors on these two lines.

Mary Nee.....from baptismal sponsors, there is a Barbara and Mary Nee (sisters/cousins of Mary?) and Rev Thomas Walsh (the parish priest of Rosmuc).  From DNA matches, it seems the Nees trace back to Rosmuc, and to the Glencoh and Knockadav area.  A local Glencoh cousin tells me that there is a Nee family in this area today, and they are near the fishery across the road from the village of Glantrasna (where I have Connolly connections).  Logically this makes sense.  There are many Nee families in Rosmuc Parish, but other local knowledge states that the Island Nee's had Denis as an ancestor, and the Mountain Nee's (mine, I assume as Knockadav is mountainous) have Dudley as an ancestor.  From the trees I've traced of DNA matches, Dudley appears in the descendants, and Denis does not.

All of this is an educated guessing game.....but about the best you can do with Irish research from this era.  These people survived the famine and emigration, the records are thin, and the Parish priests spelling is often suspect. It is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with lots of missing pieces.

My Faherty family is another story......for years I believed the name was Flaherty, but have recently been told by two different cousins that the name was Faherty, and that the family came from Camp Street, Oughterard.  These two clues have led me in an all new direction. I posted on the Oughterard Heritage page, and a local said there were Faherty children with Toole baptismal sponsors from Tullyvrick, Oughterard.  This was a wonderful clue that led me to look there, and bingo, I had DNA matches to this family and their descendants on!!!

From baptismal sponsors for Kate Faherty and Patrick Toole's children, it would appear that Kate had sisters Mary and Bridget Faherty (as they sponsor several of the children)

There is also some oral history that we have a relation named Mixie McGawley -- and in searching the Faherty's of Tullyvrick, the only other family in this townland is McGawley, and there are lots of marriage between Faherty's and McGawley's.  So there must be something to all of this!  The other common name in this area is Molly -- and we were told years ago by a cousin that we had an ancestor named Mary Molloy.  We were chasing the wrong line at the time, and now I think that possibly Mary Molloy married John Faherty and they are my GGG Grandparents (parents of Catherine/Kate Faherty).  Not sure I'll ever prove this.....

So many puzzles to solve.....

Saturday, November 11, 2017

New discoveries on N H Pearce my Gt Grandfather

Nathaniel Hurrell Pearce is my Great Grandfather -- I have a few photographs of him, and he has always fascinated me.  Maybe it's the name -- (he always uses Hurrell as his middle name),  or maybe it's the fact that with photos I could visualize him and his life.  But it turns out, I couldn't have imagined his interests and involvement in his community.

I've been able to amass a good collection of documents and information on him over time -- and just today stumbled across almost 20 different articles in the Torquay newspapers relating to him. Clearly he was an active member of his community and church.

I knew he was a Shoemaker by trade, and had moved from Eastern Cornwall to Torquay, Devon around 1877 or so.  A second cousin gave me this photo of him, with a group of Sunday School teachers, taken somewhere in Torquay -- so I knew he was involved in his church. 

I had found a few articles previously regarding the death of a son in 1881 in Torquay, where Nathaniel is noted as a Shoemaker.

In the latest articles I've found, he is a prominent community member in the Ellacombe area of Torquay,  is a member and Honorary Librarian for the Torquay Liberal Club, and a member of the YMCA Literary and Debating Society.  He also served in lay minister and Sunday School capacities for the Market Street Primitive Methodist Church in Torquay.  He wrote a very eloquent letter to the editor of the Torquay Times in 1907, regarding another Methodist Chuch member. 

He was also noted as delivering several speeches at both the Literary Society and Church events.

All of this is quite surprising, considering he was born in a small village in St Ive, Cornwall and worked independently as a Shoemaker.  It seems he had a keen sense of duty, was educated more than I thought, and was dedicated to his religion.   It makes me quite proud to discover that I had an ancestor who was involved in his community and church, more so than I ever imagined.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Faherty of Tullyvrick, Oughterard

So, I'm chasing my GG Grandmother Kate Faherty.  For years I thought her name was Flaherty and had no idea where she was from.  Recent messages from 2 different cousins confirm the name was FAHERTY and the family was from Camp Street, Oughterard (which is Faugh West in the Census districts).

I posted her details on the Oughterard Heritage webpage and got an interesting response, showing that there were Faherty children with Patrick Toole as a baptismal sponsor (he was Kate Faherty's husband) -- so this makes sense that he is acting as a baptismal sponsor to his wife's nieces/nephews.  These children are from Tullyvrick, which is just outside of Oughterard near Lough Corrib.

Griffith’s Valuations for 1855 has a record of a John Faherty being the owner of a garden and buildings in Barrack Street, Oughterard in the townland of Fough West. The house is occupied by Arthur Evans as tenant. This appears to be the only “Faherty” name there which is now known as “Camp Street”.
In the townland of Tullavrick, Oughterard there is a John Faherty recorded as having land to the value of £7.0.0 and buildings valued at £0.10.0.
Kilcummin parish records show a marriage between a John Faherty and a Mary Anne Molloy on October 24th 1842. No address! Witnesses: John Guinan and Mary Heraghty
Children with parents as above:
Margaret Faherty, Baptism September 9th 1852.
Sponsors: Patrick Toole and Ellen Molloy
Michael Faherty, baptism September 22nd 1859.
Sponsors: Patrick Toole and Mary Faherty.
No addresses for either.

It's possible that the family migrated into "town", and Camp Street has Faherty's living there by 1901 Census.

I checked my Ancestry DNA matches and found a connection to a person who descends from a Faherty of Tullyvrick -- so this makes me think I'm on the right track.

Also, a cousin who is now deceased once told us that our GG Grandmother was Mary Molloy -- she had her married to another line of the family, but now I think she may have gotten that confused, but there was a grain of truth somewhere, and the Molloy family relates to the Faherty's.  There is also some connection to McGauley/McGawley families in Tullyvrick.

Still sorting out all the families that I've found records for in Tullyvrick, but I somewhat suspect that based on naming patterns, Kate Faherty's father may be a John Faherty.

Stay tuned......

Saturday, January 7, 2017

5 more generations!!! Skipwith Family of Lincolnshire

I get lots of Ancestry notifications, and usually do a cursory glance at them......well, last night I saw in my email a notification of new comments (not hints) on my Family Tree.

The comment was on my SIMON family -- which had been a dead end.  My GGG Grandmother was Jane Simon.  She was the mother of Jane Mell who married Michael Toulson.

All I knew was that Jane married William Mell in North Cockerington in 1805, had a son Thomas there in 1806, and then for an unknown reason, they moved to Aunsby, where my GG Grandmother Jane Mell was born in 1809.   Aunsby is quite a distance from North Cockerington, so I suspect he must have moved for a job (possibly a Farm Bailiff or some such).

Jane Simon was my dead end -- common name in the northern part of Lincolnshire, where I wasn't as familiar with the villages and families.   Luckily, the comment on my Family Tree said:

First name(s) Jane

Last name Symonds

Sex Female
Baptism date 19 Dec 1772
Baptism year 1772
County Lincolnshire
Place Alvingham
Mother's first name(s) Rebecca
Father's first name(s) William

Aha!!! The name should be Symonds!! And the village of Alvingham is the next village north of North Cockerington. These villages are very small, so there aren't alot of families to sort out! A genealogist's dream!

The second comment on my tree gave me hints as to the parents William and Rebecca:
William Symon married Rebecca Burman (1762) widow of John Burman, maiden name Skipwith (1st marriage 1760)

OMG, what a bonanza of new names and clues! I started on the SKIPWITH name, as that seemed easiest to follow, and quickly found SIX generations of SKIPWITH's --- going back to 1535 in Theddlethorpe All Saints, Lincolnshire. The family had lived in this area of North East Lincolnshire between the North Sea and the Wolds of Lincolnshire for almost 250 years (that I can document).

And Rebecca's father Thomas Skipwith is actually memorialized in the Alvingham Cemetery with a headstone (a rarity in my family that never seemed to have money to leave a headstone!). Thomas lived to the age of 93! He was born in 1711 and died in 1803. I descend from his first wife, and after her death he remarried and was married for 60 years to his second wife! A remarkable life for that time period!

Now to work on the siblings of the Skipwith's and flesh them all out. There is a famous Skipwith' family that originated in Skipwith, Yorkshire and relocated to Lincolnshire in the 14th Century. At first glance I don't see a connection with my branch (of course, I'm the poor relation!) -- but will keep searching.

And also, need to see if I can make any headway on William Symond's, Rebecca Skipwith's husband.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A slew of new Irish family tree hits and messages.....

Several goldmines on the Irish Genealogy front:

A cousin messaged me via Facebook and gave me information that our Gt Gt Grandmother Catherine/Kate Flaherty was really a Faherty -- and was from Camp Street in Oughterard.  All this is new information, and corroborated by another cousin who said our Gt Aunt always said she was from Camp Street Oughterard.   I've posted a query to the Oughterard Heritage webpage asking for any info.

This cousin is also related to me doubly, through the Toole's and the Walsh's of Muckanaghkillew!

Another message via Ancestry from a Hernon who lives in Lettercalla -- she was asking about any connection I might know between my Walsh family and her family of Hernon's and Burkes.  Her Gt Gt Grandmother Mary Burke was a baptismal sponsor for a couple of Paidin Walsh's children, and Thady Walsh (his brother) served as baptismal sponsor for one of Mary's nephews (Tom, son of Robert Burke).  The Burkes lived near the Walsh's -- and supposedly came from Carna, but were evicted, went to Inis Bearachin, then settled in Lettercalla.

So possibly my Maggie, wife of Michael and mother of Paidin, Thady, Michil, Mary, Nuala, et al, was a Burke???? She would be a generation above Mary Burke, so possibly an Aunt of hers -- which would make Mary a 1st cousin of Paidin and Thady et al???

She also said that the photo I had of the old Walsh cabin in Lettercalla was really a Reaney house. She was going to take a photo of the Walsh house.  She said the Walsh and Folan families still don't like each other much, to this day!

And finally, a Connolly DNA hit at 2-4th cousins -- possibly via a brother of Podgeen -- still sorting that out, as the message came through FamilytreeDNA.

When it rains it pours....

Henry Pearce and sons

A recent email from the British Newspaper Archive said they'd posted a newspaper called the Cornwall & Devon Post -- so I had a look through with my usual searches of Hurrell and Pearce.  Lo and behold, I found an article all about my Pearce family of Callington/St. Ive!!!

The article refers to a Henry Pearce, son of Henry Pearce.  In reality this is John Carew Pearce. He is one of the 4 sons of Henry Perace -- the others being Thomas Pearce (of Landrake), Samuel Pearce (of New Zealand), and Nathaniel Hurrell Pearce (my Gt Grandfather - of Torquay). 

Initially I couldn't figure out if this was my family -- as the name Henry Pearce and Army Pensioner didn't seem to fit.  But the other sons and father definitely fit with what I knew.  So, I set out to do some searching on John Carew Pearce (aka Henry).

Turns out I had a missing 1881 census for him -- he was in St Ive in 1871 and 1891, but where was he inbetween?  I had a quick look at, and searched the British Army records, as he was listed as a pensioner.  This was most unusual, since most men in the area joined the Royal Navy in Plymouth, if they were going into the military.  

Sure enough, there was a John Pearce, born 1853, joining in Burley!!  A huge file for him, with all the corroborating details -- born in St. Ive, Father Henry Pearce of Callington, etc.  Turns out he had been part of the Royal Marines Artillery Militia initially, and then joined the regular Army 2 years later.  Lots of correspondence regarding this....

From his service record, he served a total of 21 years, with 3 years in India, and some Reserve time in Guernsey (where he must have met his wife), and was discharged in Belfast, due to being medically unfit as he was suffering from Brights Disease.

His discharge said his intended place of residence was St Ive, so he returned home just before the 1891 Census.  This article is in 1892, and essentially the Local Authority wanted him to contribute more towards the maintenance of his Father, but he argued the burden should be shared between the 4 sons.  Henry Pearce died later that year, so the case was probably dropped.

Fascinating to see an article from 1892 talking directly about my Pearce family, and leading me to discover a whole British Army career that I knew nothing about!