Definitely related

I will start with the earliest known relatives in Roscommon and work forward in time.

  • My great, great grandfather (GGGF) was called John. This information comes from the marriage records of two of his sons. His date of birth is unknown. Working from the ages of his sons, I estimate it to be sometime around 1800. It could, however, be 20 years earlier. Neither the identity of his wife nor the date of marriage are known.
  • My great grandfather (GGF) was also called John. If the pattern seen in subsequent generations is any guide, then he was probably the eldest son. He was born between 1823 (calculated from the age given at death) and 1825 (calculated from his age given at his second marriage). He died in 1898 in Clooneenbane, Roscommon. There is no evidence that he ever left a relatively small corner of Roscommon.
  • GGF John had a brother called Thomas, born in 1829. This date comes from the record of Thomas’s wedding in October 1854 to Maria Mannion in Dewsbury, Yorkshire. Thomas does not appear on the 1851 UK census, and died before the 1861 census. Maria, who was born in Ireland, was already in Dewsbury in 1851.
  • Thomas and Maria had one son who survived into adulthood. John was born in January 1856 in Dewsbury. Subsequent census returns suggest a slightly later date of birth, but I have a copy of his birth certificate. Another son, Michael, died in December 1859 at the age of one. The death was reported by his father. This narrows down the date of death of Thomas, but I have yet to find it.
  • GGF John and Thomas had another brother. I do not know his name, or anything more about him. A descendant of Thomas and Maria says that the story passed down to him is that two brothers, of which Thomas was one, came over from Roscommon together.
  • It is quite possible that there were other siblings of GGF John and Thomas. This supposition is based purely on the average size of families at the time. The pattern was for a child about every two years. Nothing more is known about any of them. I don’t know the sex, the dates of birth, or whether they survived infancy. Given the scarcity of Irish records from the period (first half of the 19th century), the most likely source of any further enlightenment will be DNA, supported by records from other countries after emigration.
  • The date of GGF John’s first marriage is not known. I estimate it to be between 1845 and 1855. These dates are calculated from his age, and the age of his daughter Catherine (Kate). She appears on census returns in Dewsbury. Her date of birth is between 1851 and 1857, depending on which census return is accurate. Kate married Uriah Senior in 1879 in Dewsbury. Senior is a relatively common name in Dewsbury. Uriah is not a common name! This is just as well, because some of the census transcriptions are poor.
  • The identity of GGF John’s first wife is not known, nor is the date and cause of death. There may have been other siblings. The late 1840’s coincides with the worst period of the Great Famine.
  • GGF John married again in May 1865 in Kilbride Church aged about 40. His wife was a 25 year-old spinster called Bridget Ormsby.
  • GGF John and Bridget had four children in seven years: John (born June 1866, in Cams, Fuerty), Mary (born July 1868, in Rockfield, Fuerty), Michael (born September 1870, in Rockfield, Fuerty) and Thomas (born July 1873, in Rockfield, Fuerty). Rockfield is in the townland of Clooneenbaun, about five miles west of Roscommon town.
  • John (born 1866, son of GGF John) is staying in Dewsbury with Catherine (b 1851-1857 – his half-sister) at the time of the 1891 census. He married Catherine (or Kate) Delaney in Dewsbury later that same year. She was born in Ireland. Apparently they met on the boat coming over from Ireland. She was heading for London but changed her plans to stay with John. She died in 1901. He died in 1932. There were three children, only two of which lived into adulthood. John (born 1898) was killed in September 1918 serving in the Army (5th Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry). Bridget, more commonly known as Delia, born 1897, lived until 1964. Edward was stillborn (1900). Catherine died in childbirth. Many of Bridget’s direct descendants still live in the Dewsbury area. I am in contact with them. We have exchanged information.
  • Mary (born 1868) married Patrick Malone in March 1887 in Roscommon. They had five children, only one of which (William, born 1892, in Dewsbury) was still alive in 1911. In 1891 they are also living in Dewsbury, close to other family members. Patrick Malone was drowned in 1900 attempting to save the life of a young boy. Descendants from this line are still living in the Dewsbury area.
  • Michael (born 1870, son of GGF John) died in 1879, in Roscommon, of a respiratory illness.
  • Thomas (born 1873, son of GGF John) died in 1908, in Roscommon, of asthma. He never married. The death was reported by his Mother, Bridget. She died, in the workhouse, the following year.
  • My Grandfather (GF) Patrick was born in 1883. GGF John would have been about 60 at the time. Patrick next appears on official records in Dewsbury in 1902, where many other members of the extended family had clustered. His sister Mary (born 1868, and by this time widowed), is cited on his enlistment papers when he joined the military in 1902. He is staying with her when the 1911 census was taken.
  • There is a problem with GF Patrick’s records. His birth certificate clearly records his Mother’s name as Bridget Scott. A ten-year gap between children was unusual at that time. If Bridget Scott is the same person as Bridget Ormsby, then she was 43 at the time of his birth. This may account for the lack of children in the intervening period. The Bridget Stanley who recorded the death of Thomas in 1908 and died the year afterwards was exactly the right age to have been born Bridget Ormsby. There is no evidence of the death in Roscommon of a Bridget Stanley of child bearing age between 1873 (birth of Thomas) and Patrick in 1883. Furthermore, there is no evidence of another marriage between GGF John and a lady called Bridget Scott.
  • My conclusion is that either Bridget Scott and Ormsby are the same person, or that Patrick was the illegitimate product of a liaison between GGF John and a (probably unmarried) woman called Bridget Scott. If it was the latter, then he appeared to have been raised within the family as if he was a full member. The only way to determine the truth would be via mitochondrial DNA testing.
  • John (born 1856, the son of Thomas and Maria Mannion) married Ellen Kenny in Dewsbury in 1884. According to the 1911 census, they had nine children, of which five were still alive. The names that I know about are as follows: Michael Joseph (born 1885), William (born 1888), Thomas (born 1889), Ann (born 1891), Frank (born 1893), Edward (born 1895) and Patrick (born 1900). The 1901 census records that Thomas, Frank and Edward were all born in New Street, Dewsbury. Presumably other members of the family provided maternity care.
  • Edward was killed in July 1916, serving in the 8th Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry regiment (Service Number 17069).
  • Michael Joseph (born 1885) married Annie Lee in Dewsbury in 1904. A son, also called Michael, was born in 1914.
  • Michael (born 1914, son of Michael born 1885) has descendants still living in the Dewsbury area. I am in contact with his descendants.