Friday, 29 April 2016

What happened to our family from 1851? Generation Four - One:Julia Donoghue and John Carrington


WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR FAMILY FROM 1851?
GENERATION FOUR
ONE: JULIA DONOGHUE AND JOHN CARRINGTON

The generations

One:    Patrick? Donoghue (b.c.1745) & an unknown wife – gggggrandparents
Two:   James Donoghue (b.c.1775) & Julia Boyle – ggggrandparents
Three: Thomas Donoghue (b.1806) & Ellen Connor - gggrandparents
Four:   Julia Donoghue (b.1834) & John Carrington (b.1830)
            James Donoghue (b.1836)
            Catherine Donoghue (b.1839) & James Madden (b.1848?)
            John Donoghue (b.1841)
           Thomas O’Donoghue (b.1844) & Mary Sullivan (b.1845) ggrandparents
           Ellen Donoghue (b.1847)
           Mary Ann Donoghue (b.1852) & William Rochester (b.c.1850)       

 In my last few blogs I wrote about Generation Three: my gggrandfather and his siblings.  Now we can move on to the next generation – my ggrandfather and his siblings who were children during the famine in Ballyduff, apart from Mary Ann who was born in Poplar.

From Ballyduff to Poplar
While migration to anywhere was a major upheaval, at least in relation to England it could be planned in a sensible way as long as you had the resources.  Family members went ahead to reconnoitre the new territory.  I have also been told that those in England stayed in touch and periodically travelled back to see the family in Ireland, funds permitting.

Thomas and Ellen appear in Orchard Place, St Marylebone parish in 1851 in an area totally dominated by Irish including other Donoghues.




But where were Thomas and Ellen’s children?  I suspect they must still have been in Ireland, or somewhere else in England, waiting for their parents to fetch them.  Eldest daughter Julia was 17 in 1851, so old enough to look after them, or perhaps they were staying with their grandmother in Ballyduff.  On a later census (1901) Julia stated that her birthplace was Dublin – I suspect she may have thought she was answering the question ‘Where did you come from?’  I wonder if Dublin was where they took the boat to Liverpool and then travelled down to London by train. I have described before the awful conditions in which they were forced to live. I have no picture of this couple but I think we can get a sense of Julia at least in later life by comparing her grandmother with two of her nieces.

Grandmother




Niece Mary Ann
Niece Kate




The only person I have met who knew Julia was Kate Hosford (née Phillips).  The Phillips family grew up in our Cotton Street and the two families were in and out of each other’s houses.  Kate and I corresponded for many years and I visited her in Leigh-on-Sea.  She was a lovely lady and really interested in what I was trying to do.

Kate recalled visiting Julia with her father on a bus in about 1918-19.  She said that she was tiny (as was her grandmother, Julia) and very religious.  Julia was living in Hackney Wick at that time.
Julia (aged 20) and John Carrington (aged 23) were married in 1854 at St Dunstan and All Saints in Stepney, a very historic church as Wilkipedia relates

 “In about AD 952 the Bishop of London — who is also Lord of the Manor of Stepney — replaced the existing wooden structure with a stone church dedicated to All the Saints. In 1029, when Dunstan was canonised, the church was rededicated to St Dunstan and All Saints, a dedication it has retained.

Up until the early fourteenth century the church served the whole of Middlesex east of the City of London. Then new churches were built at Whitechapel and Bow. The existing building is the third on the site and was built of Kentish rag stone mainly in the fifteenth century (although the chancel dates from 200 years earlier). A porch and octagonal parish room were added in 1872.”

This is an Anglican church so Julia, as we are told a devout Catholic, and the family, must have gone through some adjustment to be married under the Protestant faith. 

At the time Julia was living at 3 Sophia Street which is where the family settled on arrival from Ireland.  She signed the register with her mark so, at least in English, she was illiterate.  In Ballyduff she was almost certainly taught in Irish.  By contrast her brother, Thomas my ggrandfather, when he got married in 1865 was able to read and write in English having been educated mainly in Poplar.

Julia and her three daughters got married at different churches in Poplar so I have shown their history and a picture as we go along.

John Carrington was living at 8 Well Street.  I am unable to establish whether this is Wells Street in Poplar or Well Street in Stepney.   On the marriage cert John’s father, George, is described as a veterinary surgeon.  It does not say whether he was deceased or not.  I can find no obvious reference to George and John prior to this marriage or after.  They are a bit of a mystery. 

At the time of their marriage John was described as a labourer.  In 1858 he was working in the docks but by 1861 he had become an engine driver.  I know no more about him.
I sense that Julia was a formidable woman, as was her grandmother of the same name. 
Disease in East London in the 1860s
The East End of London was a pit of disease from the moment our family got there: poor sanitation, polluted water, crowded dwellings.  Typhoid, influenza, smallpox and cholera were endemic.

During the early 19th century the River Thames was an open sewer, with disastrous consequences for public health in London.  Although the contamination of the water supply was correctly diagnosed in 1849 as the method of communication of cholera, it was believed that miasma, or smell, was responsible right up to the outbreak of 1866.   Proposals to modernise the sewerage system had been made during 1856, but were neglected due to lack of funds.  However, after the Great Stink of 1858 when parliament had to be closed, the government realised the urgency of the problem and resolved to create a modern sewerage system.

Joseph Bazagette, a civil engineer and Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works, was given responsibility for the work.  He designed an extensive underground sewerage system that diverted waste to the Thames Estuary, downstream of the main centre of population. It was finally officially opened on 13 July 1870.  We still use much of it today.

 One of first cholera victims in 1863

In London in June 1866, a localized cholera epidemic in the East End claimed 5,596 lives, just as the city was completing construction of its major sewage and water treatment systems; the East End section was not quite complete.
Cholera hit Britain in October of 1831 reaching London in 1832 with subsequent major outbreaks in 1841, 1854 and 1866.  In 1866 in Britain cholera reached pandemic proportions, with the East End of London being attacked with extreme ferocity. 

The worst affected London boroughs in to July 1866 (deaths from cholera per 10k population) were Stepney 116; St George in the East    97; Poplar 89       

The reason I am relating all this is because Kate Hosford told me that Thomas O’Donoghue said that Julia went into the streets of London and attended the sick and dying during 'the plague'.  I imagine that this was during the 1863-66 cholera epidemic.  My Uncle Len also said that she had nursing skills and Kate that she worked in a mental hospital.  There was a St Andrews Hospital in Bromley-by-Bow so perhaps that was it.

However, HoeHher main occupation, stated in two censuses, was that of a laundress.  Perhaps she actually did that in the mental home and helped on the wards.
In addition, in this period, she lost a daughter in 1862, her father from typhoid in 1863, another daughter in 1864 and then her husband from heart disease in 1866.  Julia lived a long life, dying in 1921.

To go out and help the sick when she was in such pain herself speaks volumes for my ggreat aunt.

I imagine that, as the eldest child, she was actually the family fulcrum.  In 1871, after her father had died, she was living in 3A Market Street with her children, mother Ellen, sister Catherine and brother John.  Her ten years younger brother, Thomas my ggrandfather, was living round the corner in Charles Street with Mary, his wife and two little children.  Where Mary Ann, her youngest sister aged 19, was I have been unable to ascertain, but the family clearly stayed in close proximity.  In 1881 Julia was in 14 Market Street with her mother, sister Mary Ann, her brother and her youngest daughter Christina.  Thomas was still very close in New Street but sadly Mary, his wife, had died.
Their children

John and Julia had five children and all girls.  I remember thinking when I first found them that they had been given really nice names.
There were three civil parishes in Poplar: St Mary Stratford le Bow furthest north, St Leonard Bromley in the middle and All Saints in the south


Clara Julia (b.1856) married Samuel Hayes in 1878 at St Mary Stratford Bow (left).  This is the church that defines a cockney.  It is of the Anglican faith.  Here’s a bit of history…
In 1311, the residents of Bow became sick of trudging through the mud each winter to get to the parish church of St Dunstan’s over in Stepney, so they raised money to build a chapel of ease upon a piece of land granted by Edward II ‘in the middle of the King’s Highway.’ Seven hundred years later, it is still there and now the traffic hurtles past on either side, yet in spite of injuries inflicted by time, the ancient chapel retains the tranquillity of another age.
Samuel Hayes was a boilermaker.  They had eight children, all boys.  I have tried to make contact with a descendant of their daughter, Clara, whose tree I found on Ancestry, but so far without success.

Mary Eugenie (b.1858) married James Hopkins in 1880 at the Anglican St Mary’s Bromley St Leonard. They had two children, a boy and a girl.  James was a dock labourer and in 1891 they were living in 34 Flint Street, very close to the rest of the family
Saint Mary's originated as the Lady Chapel of the Benedictine convent of St Leonard, which had been established by the reign of King Stephen (1135-54). The convent was disbanded in 1541 but the chapel remained in use, becoming a parish church. The building was reconstructed during the nineteenth century but was subsequently damaged during the Second World War. The ruins were demolished to make way for the Blackwall Tunnel approach road.
Julia Ann (b.1861) died in 1862

Catherine Ellen (b.1863) died in 1864.

Christina Laura (b.1864) married William Kennedy (b.1859 in 1886 in the Catholic Our Lady and St Catherine of Siena, Bow. The parish of Bow was founded in 1868. The church was built in 1870.

Christina was the only member of the Carrington family to be married under the Catholic faith.  The Kennedys must have been good Irish Catholic stock, who I am told were from County Mayo.

They had eight children with three boys William (b.1892), Samuel (b.1896) and Peter (b.c.1904).  The photo right is Christina and William with Samuel.
Since I started this blog I have made contact with a descendant, Jeannette Bell, great granddaughter of Christina and William Kennedy and what follows includes what Jeannette has told me.  Our dialogue is ongoing.  We believe this photo is of Julia’s three daughters: Clara, Mary and Christina.
Kate Hosford remembered the Kennedys as cousins of her mum, Mary Ann, or at least she recalled a Will Kennedy.  In 1891 they were living in Morris Road, Bromley St Leonards and Julia was with them, but by 1896 they had moved to Hackney Wick and by 1911 they were living in 30 Prince Edward Road.  In 1914 war broke out.
William would have been 22 and Samuel 18.  Kate Hosford gave me these two photos years ago and I wondered who the soldiers were.  The one on the left has Mrs Cosson, 30 Prince Edward Road on the back.  Their sister, Catherine (shown as Mary Katherine on the census), married William Cosson, and in 1911 they were all living at the same address.  This is Samuel.
The soldier on the right is Will, as he was known, as there is a signed message on the back.  He was a stretcher bearer and in Egypt at the time.
Jeannette was told about the war by her grandfather, Samuel “He talked about rats which were as big as cats and that they used to gnaw at the men’s feet. They couldn’t feel this as they had gangrene.  He worked behind the lines mending the telephone wires.  He used to have to ride a horse, which he had never done.  This is why he survived really as he never went over the top.  He was always good with his hands, mending and building wireless sets as well as carpentry.  He was nearly shot by an officer as they ordered him out again to do something (not sure what) and he had only just got back, had had no food and obviously said what was equivalent of no to the officer.  The latter then drew his pistol as I presume that was seen as an act of disobedience to a direct order.  Needless to say my grandfather did as he was told and lived to tell the tale.”
Christina died in 1941 at the age of 77.

Samuel married Jenny Southgate (b.1899).  This is thought to be an engagement photo.  Samuel worked for Clarnico in Hackney as a carpenter for fifty years. 

Jeannette is in touch with someone who may tell us more about William's family.  I have made contact with his sister, Catherine’s, great granddaughter.  More history will follow.....


Sources and acknowledgements:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1081893/?page=1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera_outbreaks_and_pandemics
http://spitalfieldslife.com/2014/03/16/at-st-mary-stratford-atte-bow-church/
http://www.mernick.org.uk/thhol/p_stmbro.html
http://parish.rcdow.org.uk/bow/about-the-parish/

Friday, 14 August 2015

What happened to our Ballyduff family at the time of and after the famine 1845-50? Three: Thomas Donoghue and Ellen Connor; Mary Donoghue and Thomas Ryle; John Donoghue and Joanna Boyle


What happened to our Ballyduff family at the time of and after the famine 1845-50?

Three: Thomas Donoghue and Ellen Connor
Mary Donoghue and Thomas Ryle
John Donoghue and Johanna Boyle
Recall
This is the third in a series of articles about the family which I have published over recent months.

As there can be long intervals between my blogs, I need to restate earlier information if you, members of the extended family, are to make sense of all this.  In my last blog I described what happened to Sylvester Donoghue (b.1821), who was the grandson of another Sylvester the older brother of my ggggrandfather, James Donoghue and the Sylvester of the tomb in Rattoo.
James and his wife, Julia Boyle, had at least six children: Patrick, Ellen, James, Thomas, Mary, John.  They lived in Ballyduff, north Kerry.  It is their story and that of some of their children that I will tell in this series of articles.
The main Donoghue players and their partners in this story are shown below
James and Julia - ggggrandparents
                       Patrick and Catherine Dee
                                  Patrick and Anastasia Boyle
                       Ellen and Daniel Costello
                       James and Elizabeth Boyle
                      Thomas and Ellen Connor – gggrandparents
                      Mary and Thomas Ryle
                                And their children
                      John and Joanna Boyle

As guidance, when I show (b. with a year) it will be either birth or baptism and should in most cases be regarded as approximate.

Thomas and Ellen Connor
Thomas, my gggrandfather, was born in 1806 and Ellen in 1808.  I believe that she was the daughter of John Connor who rented land in Ballyduff between the holdings of Sylvester and his brother Bartholomew in 1825.
They had seven children: in Ballyduff, Julia (b.1834), James (b.1836), Catherine (b.1839), John (b.1841), Thomas (b.1844, my ggrandfather), and Ellen (b.1847), and in Poplar, Mary Ann (b.1852).  The stories of these children I will save for a later article only referring to them now as they affect their parents’ stories.
Thomas had a smallholding in the east of Ballyduff from 1846, which he had given up by 1848. 
He was a farrier and as horses were the main mode of transport and haulage in the mid-19th century it makes sense that he would have gone to London where an awful lot of construction was taking place: railways, docks and sewers.  The fact the family settled in Poplar suggests the docks for Thomas.  He is never described as anything other than a labourer in the census; it is on his son Thomas’s marriage certificate that farrier is shown.  Ballyduff had two blacksmiths in Thomas’s time, one run by a Carroll family and the other by Paddy Connor, who may have been part of his wife’s family.  If he was, that is where Thomas would have received his training.
While migration to anywhere was a major upheaval, at least in relation to England it could be planned in a sensible way as long as you had the resources.  Family members went ahead to reconnoitre the new territory.  I have also been told that those in England stayed in touch and periodically travelled back to see the family in Ireland, resources permitting.

Thomas and Ellen appear in Orchard Place, St Marylebone parish in 1851 in an area totally dominated by Irish including other Donoghues.  Whether they were all related I cannot yet say (another project!); some of the first names are not traditionally ours.  The spelling variations are interesting but do not mean anything.  They were all born in Ireland.
8 Orchard Place: John Donough (b.1816).
13 Orchard Place: Thomas and Ellen Donohoe, almost certainly my gggrandparents, with a lodger J.Connors (b.1834), who was probably Ellen’s nephew.
There were forty-one people living in No.13.  There was a No.13 ½ listed in this location as well with another sixteen residents.
 
17 Orchard Place: Margaret Donohue (b.1806), a widow, with five children: Denis, Catherine, Bridget, Mary and Michael, all born in Ireland.  Margaret appears as a family name two generations later but I cannot be sure that she is one of ours.
18 Orchard Place: Thomas and Mary Donuhue (b.1811) with a son, Denis.  Patrick and Jeremiah Conners (read them as Connors) are shown as lodgers; they might be more of Ellen’s family.
19 Orchard Place: Kate Donohoe (b.1802), a widow.
26 Orchard Place: Stephen Donahue (b.1830).

Orchard Place was at the convergence of today’s Baker Street and Oxford Street.  There were a lot of people living in each house and it must have been a bit of ghetto, certainly the census enumerator had a lot of trouble

‘In Orchard Place and Grays Buildings are about 450 [people]. 100 rooms occupied by separate families, one half of whom were unable to make out their returns or schedules which the enumerator had to complete without a table to write on or a chair to sit on…’

But where were Thomas and Ellen’s children?  I suspect they must still have been in Ireland, or somewhere else in England, waiting for their parents to fetch them.  Eldest daughter Julia was 17 in 1851, so old enough to look after them, or perhaps they were staying with their grandmother in Ballyduff.  On a later census (1901) Julia stated that her birthplace was Dublin – I suspect she may have thought she was answering the question ‘Where did you come from?’  I wonder if Dublin was where they took the boat to Liverpool and then travelled down to London by train.  If they did, they would have travelled on the London & North Western Railway and arrived at Euston (see above right in mid-19th century).


 There were other potential family scouts in Poplar in 1851 at 5 Sophia Street (see map above): John Donohou (b.1820) and Honoria Donaghua (b.1835).  As Thomas & Ellen were living in 3 Sophia Street in 1854 this became the chosen future home area and they were in nearby 28 Mary Street (became Rook Street) in 1861.  Both of these streets have been described in earlier blogs.  Thomas died in 1863 of typhoid fever and was buried at St Patricks, Leytonstone, which was opened in 1861.  There was a pandemic from 1863 to 1868 and an epidemic in Britain from 1866-8 so he was unlucky to get it so early, but I wonder if his work in the docks exposed him to infection on boats from other parts of the world.

Ellen went to live with her daughter, Julia, who had been married in 1854 to John Carrington.  She died in 1889 and was buried with Thomas.

Ellen was unable to read or write in English.  Their children would have gone to the Wade Street School (two blocks east of Sophia Street, see above left for a photo I took in the 90s and Note 1), which was run by their local church, St Mary and St Joseph’s.  This was originally just a chapel attached to the school, but in 1855 a Kentish rag-stone building was completed in Canton Street (see right) to accommodate the growing Catholic community of which our family was clearly part.  It was a very familiar place to the later generations.

Mary and Thomas Ryle
Mary and Thomas were married in 1839 in Ballyduff and had at least six children: Julia (b.1840), Michael (b1842), James (b.1846), Ellen and Thomas (b.1852) and a daughter, Mary, who was present at her mother’s death but for whom I have been unable to trace a baptism record. 

I have been lucky enough to be contacted by Gerard and Sean Ryle, descendants of Thomas’s father Michael, who have provided valuable information.
Thomas is thought to have been the son of Michael Ryle and Julia Leahy, who lived initially in Ballinoebeg and later moved to Bishopscourt, very close to Ballyduff, where he is recorded as renting 24 acres in 1825.  They are living right next door to John, my ggggrandfather’s brother, who was renting 14 acres.  This is the current working hypothesis supported by the names they gave their children, but I have not found a birth or baptism record for a Thomas born to these parents.

From 1848, Thomas was renting the house and garden next door to Julia, my ggggrandmother.  By 1851, Mary is living just down the road from her mother in a house with an acre of land.  Julia, by now well into her 80s, was no longer in her house in 1860/1 and the property appears to be split between Mary (house & garden) and her husband (house).  Mary is still there at least until 1876, but Thomas has let his go by 1868/9.  Perhaps he had died, Mary died in 1885.
It seems that Mary, presumably helped by her sister Ellen in Ballincrossig, must have looked after her mother, Julia, for many years after Julia’s husband, James, died.

Their son, Michael, moved to Poplar where he joined up with Patrick Donoghue and Ann Boyle as described in an earlier blog.

John and Joanna Boyle
They were married in 1839 and Joanna was from Sleveen close to Ballyduff.  They had at least three children: Julia (b.1840), James (b.1843) and Mary (b.1845).
John is such a common name that it is hard to track this couple down.  If there is truth in the family story that an ancestor, called John, was shot by the British as part of a rebellion then it might be that this John was involved in the Young Irelanders revolt in 1848 and was killed.  I have, however, found no record of this.
The Poplar electoral registers from 1880 to 1885 show a John Donoghue at both 7 Market Street and 2 Upper Grove Street, Poplar, both addresses are very close to our family.  Thomas’s widow Ellen was living with her daughter, Julia, at 14 Market Street in 1881 and at 49 Bygrove Street in 1886, so this does seem a good fit.  Unfortunately I cannot find this John in the 1881 census.

I have searched locally in north Kerry for the marriage of their daughter, Julia.  While there is a couple in the right timeframe very near to Ballyduff, none of their children’s first names help the case.
This couple has defeated me so far….but I will keep plugging away. 

What have we learnt?
…apart from an intense sense of gratitude and respect for what our ancestors endured to enable us to have our much more comfortable lives!

Ballyduff was not as badly hit by the famine as some other adjacent areas but there was no future for people afterwards because the landlords had left and the work had gone with them.  So our ancestors left – at least the male ones did.  The Donoghue daughters married well and stayed…and looked after their mother.
If any of our family died, it was most likely the children actually born in the famine years, who would have had the least resistance to the cholera that was rampant.  Thomas and Ellen’s daughter, also Ellen (b.1847), was born in the worst year of the famine.  Patrick and Anastasia’s Mary (b.1844) and James (b.1847) are similar cases.

Society in Ballyduff and the surrounding townlands was very close-knit and people did not go far to find a spouse.  As I have explained in an earlier blog many marriages were arranged by the couple’s parents. 
This closeness was carried to the places families went to outside of Ireland and lasted for at most two generations.   Communications within the family and their spouses’ families, wherever they were, was actively maintained and home trips made, at least from England. 

Families sent out scouts to have a look for potential work and places to live in the target area.
The conditions in which those who went to Poplar lived were awful, but I guess everything’s relative as it was not much fun in Ballyduff either.

Proximity to water seems to have been a feature of all the Donoghue men’s destinations.
On the whole the traditional Irish naming practice seems to have lasted no more than one generation.

We almost certainly have many more family members in the UK and the States.

Rod O’Donoghue

August 2015


Note 1
The parish
In 1729 the local Anglican clergy reported to their Bishop that there were “a number of Catholics living in Poplar, one of them, Owen Fitzgerald, lived in North Street (near the present Church) who was suspected of being a priest’. In 1816 there were enough Catholics in the area for a school to be built in Wade Street.
Poplar was established as a Parish in 1818 and the first parish priest Fr. Benjamin Barber took lodgings in Hale Street. The first Baptism was recorded on 4th October 1818 and the first Marriage on October 10th the same year. By 1819 there was a small chapel and in 1835 a larger chapel connected to the school was opened.

The school
Originally the school comprised a chapel, house and school erected in Wade Street in 1818.  Until 1908 it was known as the Wade Street School and from 1908 until 1983, SS Mary and Joseph's Roman Catholic School.  The mid-nineteenth-century buildings were remodelled in 1905 and extended in 1922. A separate building was erected in 1929, bringing the capacity of the school up to 1,000 places for boys, girls and infants.  The present buildings consist of the two-storey 1929 block, designed by Thomas H. B. Scott, with additional classrooms constructed in the mid–1970s.

 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

What happened to our Ballyduff family at the time of and after the famine 1845-50? One: Patrick Donoghue and Catherine Dee



What happened to our Ballyduff family at the time of and after the famine 1845-50?
One: Patrick Donoghue and Catherine Dee
Recall
This is the first in a series of articles about the family which I will publish over the next few months.
As there can be long intervals between my blogs, I need to restate earlier information if you, members of the extended family, are to make sense of all this.  In my last blog I described what happened to Sylvester Donoghue (b.1821), who was the grandson of another Sylvester the older brother of my ggggrandfather, James Donoghue and the Sylvester of the tomb in Rattoo.
James and his wife, Julia Boyle, had at least six children: Patrick, Ellen, James, Thomas, Mary, John.  They lived in Ballyduff, north Kerry.  It is their story and that of some of their children that I will tell in this series of articles.
The main Donoghue players and their partners in this story are
James and Julia - ggggrandparents
            Patrick and Catherine Dee
                        Patrick and Anastasia Boyle
            Ellen and Daniel Costello
            James and Elizabeth Boyle
            Thomas and Ellen Connor – gggrandparents
            Mary and Thomas Ryle
            John and Joanna Boyle
                       
As guidance, when I show (b. with a year) it will be either birth or baptism and should in most cases be regarded as approximate.
Ireland went through some bad times during their lives so first I will set the scene.
Ireland 1750 – 1850
In 1754, shortly before Sylvester was born the population of Ireland is estimated to have been around two million.  By 1821 it was 6.8 million and by 1841, 8.1 million.  What caused such rapid growth is still a matter of controversy, but at least some of the reasons are clear: traditionally, the marriage age was relatively low (even 12), which led to very large families; and the subdivision of holdings, enforced by the Penal Laws, permitted increasing numbers to marry and stay on the land, albeit at the cost of increasingly poorer standards of living.
In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, from 1814, came an immediate and dramatic economic slump: prices fell dramatically, major industries collapsed, investment and growth stagnated, and unemployment and destitution became widespread. The depression lasted for almost two decades, and was accompanied by a series of natural catastrophes. In 1816-1818, bad weather destroyed grain and potato crops, and smallpox and typhus killed over 50,000 people.

The potato failed again in Munster in 1821, and people starved to death in Cork and Clare.  After further crop failures in 1825-30, famine was averted only by the import of large amounts of Indian meal from America, and in 1832 ‘stark famine’ struck Munster and south Leinster.  Throughout the early 1830s, cholera repeatedly ravaged the poorest classes, and, in the decade as a whole, the potato crop failed on a local level in eight out of the ten years. 1838 saw a savage winter, and ‘on the night of the big wind’ (about which more in a future blog), snow buried the cottages and cattle froze to death in the fields.  Finally, in 1840-1844, the potato crops partly failed three more times. Small wonder that the Irish should feel God had abandoned them. "There is a Distruction Approaching to Ireland", wrote one emigrant, "their time is nerely at an end".

The period known as ‘The Great Famine’ of 1845-8 is the focus of this blog; it and the laissé faire behaviour of the government in London will remain in Irish folk memory for centuries. 
By 1851 the country’s population had reduced to 6.6m (from 1841 8.1m) and by 1881 it was down to 5.1m.
So it is clear that our ancestors could have vanished from the records for many reasons of which death and emigration are the most obvious.  Death records in the first half of the nineteenth century are sparse.  So we must mainly turn to emigration to see what can be discovered.
Around 1848 a ticket to England cost five shillings (25p) or half a crown (12.5p) and to America around £5.
Mid-nineteenth century conditions in Ballyduff
Ballyduff lies in the RC parish of Causeway.  Causeway’s townlands lie in both Rattoo civil parish (an administrative division) and Killury parish.  All of these parishes were part of the barony (another administrative division) of Clanmaurice. 
During the famine another division was set up, the Poor Law Union (PLU), to organise public works (mainly roads), administer and distribute relief for the poor and run the workhouses.  For Ballyduff, Listowel was the relevant PLU.  In Kerry 28k people out of a population of 294k were employed on relief works.
Between 1841 and 1851 the population of Kerry dropped 19% from death and emigration but for Clanmaurice barony the decline was 36%.  Killury and Rattoo civil parishes declined 46% and 44% respectively so worse than the barony as a whole.

Listowel PLU (with a population of 79k in 1841) was closer to the county average at 19%.  Ballyduff itself, within Listowel, went from a population of 331 in 1841 to 269 (also 19%) in 1851, but in the next three decades the decline was very steep from 214 in 1861 to 101 in 1881. 
The behaviour of the landlords, many of whom were absentees, varied considerably from those who left their communities to their fate to those who did all they could to support them, in some cases bankrupting themselves. 
The three main Protestant landlords in Ballyduff and the adjacent townlands were Stoughton, Gun and Rice and I have been told that they were good men with good working relationships with their communities.  The Stoughtons moved back to England but appeared periodically; the Guns moved but remained in the area.  Their workforce was decimated and, if they had stayed, they might have been ruined.
That meant for those local people who survived there was no work; disillusioned, they thought that the bad times would never end.  For Thomas, my gggrandfather and a farrier, land usage was moving to tillage with less horses used.  Landlords who survived were consolidating as many sold up, and local people had difficulty getting a bit of land.  As the Ballyduff population in 1881 shows, people just left.
There are no Donoghue entries in the parish register from 1847 until 1895.  Julia, my ggggrandmother, however, stayed in the village until her death.  This was the view from her house’s position in 1901.

Patrick and Catherine Dee
Patrick was born around 1800.  The fact that he, as the first son, was named Patrick suggests that his grandfather and my gggggrandfather may also have been of that name. 
Catherine was from the townland of Knoppoge immediately north of Ballyduff..  They had at least three children: Patrick (b.c.1821), Mary (b.1823) and John (b.1826).  Patrick was living in a house and garden next his mother, Julia, in the middle of Ballyduff prior to 1848.  By that year his sister Mary’s husband Thomas Ryle had taken it over.  So did he die or emigrate and what happened to his wife and children? 
Their son, John, married Joanna Costello in 1847, for which Ellen Connor was the witness.  I do not yet know what happened to their daughter, Mary.
I have found a Patrick and Catherine of the right ages in Prescot, Lancashire on the east side of Liverpool in 1851 but cannot be sure they are ours.  No relevant cases were found in the US, Canada or Australia.  As I will describe in a later blog, I do suspect that our family left Ireland from Dublin for Liverpool.
My focus in this blog will be on their first son, Patrick.
Patrick Donoghue and Anastasia Boyle
Patrick, their eldest son, was born in c.1821 and married Anastasia in c.1840.  It is amazing, at least to me, how many Boyles figure in the marriages of our Irish ancestors of this generation. 
Anastasia seems an unusual name for 18th/19th century Ireland, but it is not actually, as I have found quite a few in Kerry from 1750 to 1850.  There was a saint of the name who was mentioned in the Litany that folk heard in the Mass every Sunday so that must explain it.  As an aside, my gggrandparents, Thomas and Ellen, gave this as a second name to their last born. 
Our Anastasia also went by the name Nanet, and by the time she got to Poplar she was called Ann – they would have had great trouble being understood, so this was a good move!
They had two children in Ireland: Mary (b.1844) and James (b.1847).  Our Julia (called Jude on this occasion) was once again a sponsor at the baptism of Mary.
And then they turn up in Poplar…with an 8 month-old child, Juliana, which strongly supports them as our family, but without Mary and James, which suggests that they had died as they were born at the height of the famine.

Members of their mother, Catherine’s, Dee family had already moved to London and around 1850 Patrick and Ann had joined them.  They are shown as lodgers with Thomas and Hannah Dee in 9 Salters Buildings, Bow Creek.  Salters Buildings is the last block on the left before the Thames Plate Glass factory at the end of the main street, Orchard Place also known as Orchard House, on the 1867 Ordnance Survey map below.



This area was known as ‘the lost village of Poplar’ because it was an isolated hamlet situated on the banks of the River Lea as it approached its confluence with the River Thames.  It was cut off from the rest of Poplar in 1803-6 by the building of the East India Docks, on part of Poplar Marsh. The only access was by a long walk from the East India Dock Road down Leamouth Road which was lined by the tall brick walls of the warehouses which were on either side of Orchard Street (later renamed Leamouth Road).

The Thames Iron Works, on both sides of the river, was a later employer of our family; perhaps this is where Patrick worked.
Charles Booth, a philanthropist, surveyed London to create his Maps of London Poverty in 1889.  This is what he said about Orchard Place

But thirty-eight years earlier, in 1851, the area would have been much less densely populated and other commentators have said the Booth was too harsh.  In Ballyduff they lived close to a river and I wonder if this is what attracted them to Bow Creek. 
An Edward Donohue (b.1814) and his family were living in 2 Salters Buildings.  He was a boilermaker, our family’s trade, but was born in Manchester.  Edward is not a family name but I do wonder if an earlier generation had come to England and whether this might explain the Patrick and Catherine couple in Prescot, Lancashire.
By 1861 Patrick and Ann had moved on to Sophia Street just round the corner from his uncle and aunt Thomas and Ellen, my gggrandparents, in Mary Street, which by the time of Booth’s survey was renamed Rook Street. By 1861 they had three children Julia (b.1851), Daniel (b.1852) and Anna (b.1860).  See the map below for the location of these streets.

It was not a great place to live according to Booth

If I needed any further confirmation that they were our family, their lodgers say it all: James Boyle (b.1811) and his son, also James (b.1854) who was born in St Giles, Middlesex which suggests this may be another area where a related family settled.  The elder James was probably Ann’s brother.

Moving on to 1871, the family had moved a little further east to 4 Oriental Terrace, just south of the East India Dock Road and north of Pennyfields.  There is another child, James (b.1864).  Lodging with them is Michael Ryle shown as b.1846 but almost certainly the son of Patrick’s sister, Mary, who was baptised in 1842 in Ballyduff.  Do not worry about the date disparity.
Patrick died in 1875 of bronchitis in the Sick Asylum, Bromley.  By 1881 Ann, Daniel, Anne and James are living at 24 Grove Street.  Once again the family stayed together because Ellen is living with her daughter Julia in Market Street within no distance at all.
Unsurprisingly, Patrick appears to have worked in the docks as a labourer all his time in Poplar.
I imagine there are descendants out there, perhaps I can track them down…
Rod O’Donoghue
July 2015