Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What happened to our family from 1851? Generation Four - Three: John Donoghue

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)       

Family stories

Like every family ours has its stories.  Like all tales they evolve over time.  In an earlier blog I described the John Donoghue of Ballyduff who is said to have been shot by the British, possibly during the 1848 rebellion. 

Now we have another John, whose story is even more fascinating.  He is said to have ridden with Buffalo Bill. 

Trying to unravel these tales is not easy and one must take a few flyers to make progress. One can never be certain of the ‘facts’, so must interpret them.

Prior to America
John was born in Ballyduff in 1841 and baptised in the village church.  He might have had a few years of schooling at the National School before leaving for London with his family.
He turns up next in the UK 1861 census as a labourer living with his mother, brother, Thomas, and sister, Mary Ann.  They were in 28 Mary Street, Poplar, which I have described in earlier blogs.  This was in one of the poorest and roughest areas and full of Irish.
He stated that he was 17 which would have implied birth in 1844.  Over the years he got proportionately younger.  By 1871 he was 24 with birth in 1847 and in 1881, 33, born in 1848.  He either could not count or was trying to remain younger for his marriage prospects as he was still unmarried in 1881.
By 1871 the family, apart from Thomas, was living with the eldest sibling, Julia, in 3A Market Street, north of the East India Dock Road.  They were still there in 1881.  In 1871 there were fourteen people living in the house.  Market Street was at the west end of Cordelia Street which ran into Chrisp Street at its east end. Charles Booth’s notebooks (the man who prepared the poverty maps of 1889/1890) described it as a heavy drinking area where people came from the Isle of Dogs to do their shopping.
This implies a lot of pubs and in Appendix I have listed those in streets in which our family lived at some point, and in Chrisp Street.  They were all around in 1871-1900.  There were twelve in Chrisp Street, nine in Grundy Street and eight in Upper North Street.  No wonder the area was notorious for its drinking.
With regard to shopping, the departure of street-traders and costermongers to Chrisp Street from Poplar High Street from the late 1860s onwards started the trend that led to its reputation as one of the cheapest middle-class markets in the whole of London. This market place presence was sustained and enhanced by the building in 1951 of today’s trading area – Chrisp Street Market, with its iconic clock tower.  It was the first purpose-built pedestrian shopping area in the UK.
For the younger generation (you decide!), a costermonger bought fruit and vegetables (and other stuff) wholesale and sold them retail. Technically they were hawkers since only a minority had fixed stalls or standings. The rest cried out their wares as they walked the streets with barrows, donkey carts, or shallows (trays carried on the head).  They were at their peak in the Victorian period.
I find it interesting that both his father, Thomas a farrier, and John, are described in the census as labourers.  For our ancestors in the ship building and repair industries occupations are spelt out in more detail: hammerman, riveter, boilermaker etc.  But other skilled jobs such as a farrier or blacksmith are not.  It seems highly unlikely that Thomas and as you will see, John, would have done more basic tasks as from 1859, for the London Sewerage system, and 1860, for the London Underground Railway, the demand for horses and associated skills must have been phenomenal.
After 1881 I can find no record of John in England.  My Uncle Bernie told me that he remembers a sepia photo of him standing by a chair, and that he went to America.

To America

A John O’Donoghue, born 1841, arrived in New York on 12 December 1881 on the Cunard Royal   I believe that this is our John as his birth date is right and he gave the full spelling with the O’ that his brother Thomas put back when he got married in 1865.
Mail Steamer Palmyra.

The Palmyra was built in 1865 and for a few years was on the Liverpool-Queenstown (Cobh/Cork)-New York run.  In 1880 she was used as a war transport for the Zulu Wars, but by 1881 was back on the New York trip.

In 1882 she hit the headlines in The Graphic with a daring rescue of the derelict barque Norton, towing her back into Falmouth.

John would have arrived at Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, within The Battery, the 25 acre waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan. From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America's first official immigration centre.

A John Donoghue took US nationality in 1887 in New York City.  His occupation was conductor.  As most road transport in NYC was horse-drawn, this gives a modicum of comfort that I have found the right man. Unfortunately the US census of 1890 was largely destroyed so I cannot check further.  I have been unable to find him in the 1900 one.

In 1890, even after electrification had already begun, twenty-two thousand horses and mules were still required simply for pulling streetcars in New York City and in Brooklyn. Ten years earlier, when New York and Brooklyn had no electric railways and 1,764,168 souls, they had a total equine population of 150,000 to 175,000.  It must have been chaos.  The health hazard from the manure was awful and became a crisis by 1894.

My Uncle Len said that John was Buffalo Bill’s mate and was in his roadshow.  I have also been told that he returned to England with the show when it was put on at Premierland, the venue in Whitechapel owned by his niece, my Aunt Ada’s husband anny Lyttlestone.

William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody and his Wild West Show

So, did John work with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (WWS)?  And the answer is….I think he did.

In 2009 I contacted the Buffalo Bill Historical Center asking if they had any knowledge of John; they didn’t.  As I set out to write this blog I thought I would try again.  This time I struck lucky because their records have expanded enormously. 

They have a Donohue, a WWS Employee as a blacksmith on the Salary List from October 1894 to January 1895.  While a first name would be helpful, the fact that the person is a blacksmith makes it a strong possibility that this is John. 
There is another Donohue listed in the 1899 Route Book: William Donohue, WWS employee as four-horse driver in 1899-1900.  It is unlikely he was one of ours as William is not a recognised family name.
So the next question is did the Wild West Show come to London?  The WWS toured from 1883 to 1916 all around the world and when in England and Wales in 1902-3 went to every major town, covering 9,361 miles.  It was enormously popular.
The London tours were in May 9 – Oct.? 1887, May 7 – Oct. 12, 1892 (billboard left), Dec. 26, 1902 – April 4, 1903 and again in 1904.

The first tour was to be the top act at the American Exhibition and the performance was attended by Queen Victoria, an unheard of circumstance as entertainers were usually expected to go to her!  It was her Golden Jubilee year.
The scale of Cody’s undertaking amazed the press on both shores of the Atlantic. When the show’s company boarded the State of Nebraska steamship (see above) for London, its entourage included ‘83 saloon passengers, 38 steerage passengers, 97 Indians, 180 horses, 18 buffalo, 10 elk, 5 Texan steers, 4 donkeys, and 2 deer’. As the ship steamed across the ocean, Major John Burke (one of the show’s managers) and an advance party plastered London with posters and drummed up anticipation in the press.
During the Wild West’s run at the American Exhibition at Earls Court, Cody’s managers rarely missed a beat.  They organised twice-a-day performances that played to crowds that averaged around 30,000.  This meant that, since the grandstand could seat about 20,000, the show played to standing-room only crowds who thrilled to the performances based on ‘The Drama of Civilization’ and to the stage effects, which included sweeping painted backdrops of the American West illuminated by electricity.  By the time the American Exhibition closed in October 1887, well over a million people had witnessed Buffalo Bill’s performances.
What seems unlikely is that the show appeared at Premierland. 

The People's Arcade was built at the top of Backchurch Lane around 1906 on the site of a former fish market, and was a centre of immigrant life and activity.  When licensed in 1910, it had a seating capacity of 748.  In December 1911 it was renamed Premierland ('Pree-mier-land') and it incorporated a boxing ring, where many East End boxers began their careers, many of them Jewish (among them Ted 'Kid' Lewis at the opening match, and Jack 'Kid' Berg).

The dates do not work if the Wild West Show’s last visit to London or Great Britain was in 1904, unless there was something before the People’s Arcade.

What happened to John after the WWS?

It is, of course, possible that John stayed with the show longer than the employment record states.  By 1895 he will have been aged 54 and so, if his smithy skills were in short supply, he might have gone on longer. 

I have been unable to find him in either the 1900 US Census or the 1901 UK version.  This implies that he had died before 1900.

There are three deaths in the USA before 1900: John O’Donohoe in 1897 in Chattanooga, Tennessee; John Donohue, on 4 July, 1896 in Brooklyn, NYC; John Donohue on 20/4/1898 in Manhattan, NYC

In the UK, there is a John Donoghue who died in Poplar in 1898 but, having got the certificate, he is not our man.  I think Bernie or Len would have known if he had come back home.

So my current assumption is that John died in NYC in 1896 or 1898.  

As it takes 4-6 weeks to get a NYC death certificate and costs $15, I will put this job on the back burner until I have done some more research.


Pubs in our ancestors’ streets plus Chrisp Street from

The dates are when the establishment appeared in trade directories.  They may have remained open sometime beyond the last date below.

This web site has lots of pictures so if you want to have a gander go there…

Alexander, 25 Upper North Street: 1869-1934
Alma, 96 Grundy Street: 1869-1944
Anchor, 162 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1861-1938
Builders Arms, 162 Grundy Street, Bromley: 1861-1991
Byrons Head, 17 Railway Street, Bromley: 1861-1921
Childe Harold, 17 Railway Street, Bromley: 1861-1901
160 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1898-1921
City Of Canton, 4 Upper North Street: 1842-1938
Coach & Horses, 132 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1869-1921
Coat & Badge, 10 Chrisp Street: 1869-1921
Duke of Clarence, 135 Grundy Street: 1834-1931
Duke of Edinburgh, 27 Grundy Street: 1869-1911
Early Bird, 50 Chrisp Street: 1876-1911
Elder Tree, 119 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1837-1938
Enterprise, 69 Grundy Street: 1869-1991 – became Festival Inn
Grundy Arms, 83 Grundy Street: 1836-1933
Guy Earl of Warwick, 5 Chrisp Street: 1841-1944
Hind Arms, 61 Upper North Street: 1869-1915
Horn of Plenty Arms, 10 Market Street: 1864-1921
London Stores, 28 Chrisp Street: 1876-1921
Lord Raglan, 100 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1869-1934
Mariner's Arms, 47 Grundy Street: 1869-1911
Nags Head, 70 Cotton Street: 1833-1938
Norfolk Hero, 92 Canton Street: 1865-1935
Old Red Lion, 81 Kerbey Street, Bromley: 1832-1934
Princess Mary, 67 Kerbey Street: 1881-1934
Princess of Wales, 144 & 146 Grundy Street, Bromley: 1881-1991
Prince of Wales, 61 Chrisp Street: 1869-1991 – became Callaghans
Prince of Wales, 155 Upper North Street: 1856-1944
Royal Charlie, 116 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1871-1934
Sabbarton Arms, 99 Upper North Street: 1869-1901
Sir John Barleycorn, 39 Upper North Street: 1869-1921
South African Tavern, 46 Grundy Street: 1874-1991 – in 1993 name changed to The African Queen
Stanley Arms, 134 Kerbey Street, Bromley: 1882-1991
Sussex Arms, 71 Upper North Street: 1863-1944
47 Upper North Street: 1895-1934
Young Prince, 77 Chrisp Street, Bromley: 1859-1944


Friday, 2 September 2016

What happened to our family from 1851? Generation Four - Two: James Donoghue; Catherine Donoghue & James Madden



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)       

What happened to James?
This James was baptised in Ballyduff on 22 December 1836.
There is another James (bapt.1832) in our extended family.  He was the son of Bartholomew Donoghue (b.c.1800) and Bridget Ferris.  There is also a later James (bapt.1843) to John Donoghue (b.c.1810) and Joanna Boyle.  It is a common first name, in Irish Séamus.  This adds confusion to any search for one specific person of this name.
Our James does not appear with the family in London.  When they left in 1850/1 he would have been about 15.  His elder sister, Julia, left with her parents as did his younger one, Catherine.
When the famine struck in 1845 he was 9, perhaps he didn’t survive? 
Did he marry locally?  An individual was regarded as having reached marriageable age at 14 years, if a male, and 12 years, if a female.  Parental permission was required up to 21.  There are some potential couples which might be our James, but none convince me.
I have looked for him in the UK and the USA.
It is my belief the rest of the family came to England via Liverpool and there is a James Donohoe age 30 (so not born in 1836; but people lied about their age) with his wife Julia living in Liverpool with Conors and Boyles in 1861 – two children: Mary Ann (our James’s parents’ last child also was given this name) and Catherine (his younger sister’s name).  But they are not there in 1871.
One possibility is that he joined the British Army.  While there must have been some age limitations I doubt it was much of a bar to enlistment.  In 1871 a James Donohue (b.1837) was a soldier in the 95th (Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot stationed at the New Military Barracks, Alverstoke, Hants. 
As far as the USA is concerned James Donahue, a shoemaker, arrived in 25/10/1854 aged 18 on the ship New World from Liverpool.  Also on the vessel were an Ellen, 20, John, 21, Catherine Donoghue, 19, and Patrick, 32, & Mary Boyle, 30, plus Connors.

I have searched the 1860 and 1870 USA censuses but there are not enough clues to pinpoint anyone precisely enough.  Many folk from North Kerry went to Hampden County, Massachusetts.  In the 1855 Massachusetts State Census in Holyoke, Hampden County there is a James Donahue b1836 with a Catherine.  There are lots of other Donoghues and Connors, Sullivans, Harringtons and Fitzgeralds, all good North Kerry names.  But no Boyles. I know an O’Connor with Donoghue in his heritage whose ancestor came from Drommartin just down the road from Ballyduff and settled in Holyoke.  We think our two families must have a connection at some point too early to verify.

So the reality is that I have, as yet, no firm evidence of what happened to James…to be continued.

Catherine Donoghue and James Madden

Catherine was baptised in Ballyduff on 21 June 1839.   She would have been known in Irish as Caiterína or Caitrióna.  There was one other of the same name in the extended family baptised in 1844.

She presumably left Ireland in 1850/1 with her parents and siblings as they journeyed to London, but she does not appear in the records until 1867 when she was godmother to her niece Catherine, who we know as Aunt Kate; the latter lived on the top floor of 60 Cotton Street for many years.

In 1871, Catherine, her mother and brother, John, are living with her older sister, Julia Carrington, at 3A Market Street, Poplar.  She consistently understates her age: 26 in 1871 when she was in fact 32. She is described as a servant which may explain why I have been unable to find her in earlier records as she may have been living in her employer’s house (but should still have been covered in the census) or perhaps came to England later.  She was unable to write her name in English.
The marriage took place in the family’s local Catholic church, St Mary & St Joseph’s, Canton Street.  There is a splendid modern church on the site now but in 1872 it looked like this and had been built in 1856.  A Catholic journal, ‘The Lamp’, in 1894 described it as one of the most beautiful in England.  Back in the 90s I got to know a lovely lady at the Presbytery who supplied all sorts of useful information.  I still have all her letters on file.

James Madden gave his age as 25 and was a labourer.  Perhaps Catherine felt that she had to be one year younger?

He was living at 21 Charles Street, just along from Thomas Donoghue, Catherine’s brother and my great grandfather at No.2.  This must have a temporary address just for the wedding because he was not there in 1871.  His father was named Michael and is described as a farmer, but then everyone was a farmer of some sort in Ireland.  Interestingly both witnesses are from Catherine’s family, her brother Thomas and his wife Mary.  This suggests that James did not have family in London or that he was distanced from them.

In 1881 they were living in 29 Rook Street, a house with three families and 15 occupants.  I have shown how this street was described by Charles Booth, a philanthropist, in 1898/9 before, but repetition may help

When our family first came to London they were living in Sophia Street.  By 1881 the rest of the family had moved north of the East India Dock Road and were living in what Booth described as ‘Mixed. Some comfortable others poor’.  Rook Street was classified as ‘Lowest class. Vicious, semi-criminal’.  So life for Catherine, a charwoman, and James, a labourer, must have been very difficult.
James and Catherine had four children: Michael (b.1873), Richard (b.1875), Catherine (b.1876) and Mary Ann (b.1879).  Michael was baptised at St Mary & St Joseph’s, his godparents were my great grandparents, Thomas and Mary.  Mary Ann’s godmother was Christina Carrington, the daughter of Julia and John Carrington who I wrote about in the last blog.  My Uncle Len told me that the family used to talk about the Carringtons and the Maddens a lot.  So it appears that the families remained very close.
There is, however, no record of the Maddens in the 1891 census or later ones.  They seem to have left Poplar, and I would go as far as to say that they had left the country.  I have found no evidence after 1881 of James and Catherine’s deaths or of their children’s marriages in this country.  Catherine’s younger brother, John, also does not appear in the 1891 census and I was told that he had emigrated to the USA.  I have checked censuses for America, Canada and Australia, and even the Irish one for 1901, with no success.
So the family has vanished…to be continued

Friday, 29 April 2016

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.


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:

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
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.