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Archive for the ‘James Beatty 1842-1903’ Category

Firstly, I’m making it official that James Beatty of Ballina was in fact the younger brother of Archibald Beatty of Ballina. I ask you, why else would two young men, both from Fermanagh, both of whose father was James Beatty, Farmer, both appear in Ballina, Co. Mayo at about the same time and share a house there if it isn’t because they’re brothers? There just isn’t another sensible explanation, even apart from the name Archibald occurring in the next generation of our family – SO, moving on.

In my last post it was established that the Farmer father of Archibald (and James) was James Beatty of Aghavoory near Fivemiletown, and two other siblings were discovered whose names also reoccurred in the next generation of our family. The Fermanagh experts in Rootschat drew my attention to a Margaret Beatty born 1863 to James Beatty of Aghavoory and his wife Sarah. At first this set me back on my heels – neither of those names is familiar, and Margaret is 20 years younger than our g grandfather James, who is the youngest of Farmer James’s children so far discovered. It occurred to me that James might have married twice. Then I found this entry in RootsIreland:

Second marriage of James Beatty of Aghavoory, WIDOWER in 1859 giving the name of his father

Second marriage of James Beatty of Aghavoory, WIDOWER in 1859 giving the name of his father

Ignore the spelling of the surname, it is certainly James Beatty of Aghavoory, WIDOWER. Ignore the given age of 22 also, couples didn’t usually give their ages, the convention at the time was just to say if you were over 21. The really exciting thing is that since this marriage occurs in the civil registration period it gives the name of Farmer James’ father – long dead no doubt – another Farmer, Archibald Beatty who would certainly have been born in the 1700s 🙂 🙂 No wonder Sarah and Margaret sounded unfamiliar. Our James and his brother Archibald would hardly have known them. I wonder if it was a coincidence that they both left for Ballina the following year? Maybe young James – only about 17 at the time – didn’t feel so much at home at the Aghavoory farm after his father’s remarriage?

Unfortunately we still don’t know the name of Farmer James’ first wife, our gg grandmother, and we may never know. I BET it was either or both of Emma and Matilda though – the name of our James’ eldest daughter!

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I’m going to focus on breaking through the James Beatty of Fermanagh brick wall now. Just because it’s difficult is no excuse not to try. For those of you interested in the Forsters/McLeans though, I did find one more document which casts a little more light on the McLean family, particularly James McLean, in 1858. It’s now incorporated in the McLean family story .

A question for other family historians: How much circumstantial evidence do you need before you conclude that two people are related? Yes, I know. It isn’t proof. It’s certain that James Beatty the Draper, who is first documented in Ballina, Co. Mayo in 1862 and who brought his young family to Melbourne in 1878, was born Co. Fermanagh in 1842. All we know of his parents is that his father, also James Beatty, was a farmer. At about the same times as James, an Archibald Beatty, Merchant, 7 years older than James, also appeared in Ballina. He is first documented there in July 1861. It is certain that he had formerly been a Merchant in Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, but his father, also a James Beatty, was also a farmer. Could this be just a coincidence?  Beatty was not nearly such a common name in Mayo as it was in Fermanagh. Yesterday I found a document showing that Archibald and James Beatty both joined the Freemasons in Ballina on the same day, 16 Dec 1867. Only 2 others joined the same day. What’s the probability that James and Archibald Beatty are brothers? James the Draper named his second son (my Grandfather) Archibald.

The main thing that came out of the DNA testing was finding a fellow researcher whose family are genetically very closely related to ours and who has a detailed family tree of Beattys in Fermanagh, including Archibalds and a James. Thanks Pete! I’m going to work on the area around Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, and follow the names James and Archibald, and hope to work out which Farmer James Beatty is our ancestor!

 

 

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We know a lot about James Beatty, Draper, of Ballina, born Co. Fermanagh c1842, who came to Melbourne with his young family in 1878, but his father James Beatty the farmer/swimmer continues annoyingly elusive. Clutching at straws, I decided to investigate the Archibald Beatty, merchant, “Late of Lisnaskea” who appeared on the record in Ballina in 1861, about the same time as James is first mentioned there. With that name, and also from Fermanagh could he be a relation? It wasn’t hard to find out a lot about Archibald, mainly because he tended to put notices in newspapers, including his marriage to Eudora Tucker (though they misspelled her name)

Archibald Beatty, merchant of Lisnaskea. Marriage 17 June 1858

Archibald Beatty, merchant of Lisnaskea. Marriage 17 June 1858

Another thing that made him easy to track was his move to Liverpool in 1874 after about 15 years as a “well to do merchant” in Ballina. He and Eudora and their son Edward John (born in Lisnaskea c1859 and obviously named after his maternal grandfather) appear in the 1881 and 1891 census in Liverpool, though I don’t know what happened to the daughter whose birth was announced in Ballina in 1861. Archibald and Eudora evidently both returned to Fermanagh from Liverpool in the 1890s as they both died there, he aged 61 in 1897. Archibald left his estate to his son also a merchant. Here’s his will:

Archibald Beatty death, 1897 from Index of Wills

Archibald Beatty death, 1897 from Index of Wills

Archibald was about 6 years older than draper James, and his father was also a James Beatty. Could they be brothers? I even lashed out $40 to get Archibald’s marriage details as that would give the profession of his father. Now you’d think that someone who was a “merchant” by age 22 was probably the son of a merchant right? Well no. His father James Beatty was a farmer! Another coincidence?
A few months after Archibald died, his bacon factory in Enniskillen (near Lisnaskea) was broken into:

Archibald's nephew is a Joseph Beatty - Belfast Newsletter 9 July 1897

Archibald’s nephew is a Joseph Beatty – Belfast Newsletter 9 July 1897

According to this news article he had a nephew Joseph Beatty. Joseph is another name that has occurred in our family – Alfred Joseph was the youngest son of James the draper. I think this is too many coincidences. I’m going to track down Joseph now, in case he eventually leads back to the mysterious farmer James.

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Kinard at Landed estates Court from Belfast News-Letter, 27 June 1874

Oh Dear! No wonder the Pagets and Beattys emigrated in 1878. I have found James Paget’s will. He made our gg grandmother Hannah Dempsey (note use of her maiden name) the sole executor. Subsequently she sold all his remaining land in Ireland at the Landed Estates Court in 1874 to one of James’s second cousins John Paget Bourke for £6,225. Hannah continued living at Kinard Lodge with the children until they emigrated 3 years later. It’s pretty clear now that James and Hannah were not technically married.

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From Freeman’s Journal – Dublin, 16 February 1877

Also, I had wondered why James Beatty didn’t set up as a Draper in Melbourne and instead worked in clerical or travelling salesman jobs. Well he evidently wasn’t such a great businessman since his Ballina drapery business went broke! This fire sale was just a couple of months before Archie’s birth. I wondered why Archie was born at Kinard Lodge and not in Arran street, Ballina like his siblings James and Emma.

Anyway, on the far side of the world nobody knew  (until now!) about illegitimate births or bankruptcies. Hannah was the widowed Mrs. Paget for the rest of her life and she and her eldest son James Paget both bought farms at Baddaginnie in Victoria while James Beatty and Marcella (nee Paget) were friends of the bishop in South Yarra, Victoria and all highly respectable.

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From Belfast News-Letter late July 1861

I did find out something that might be a good lead on the elusive Beatty ancestors though. At about the same time as our g grandfather James Beatty the draper (who was born somewhere in county Fermanagh) appeared on the record in Ballina, Mayo, an Archibald Beatty, merchant, appeared there too. Of course his name (Archibald) made me wonder if they were related even apart from their sudden appearance in Ballina at about the same time. The earliest mention of this Archibald in any source I’ve found so far was 1861 and he isn’t mentioned in connection with Ballina after 1871 and I don’t know where he went. [Update Apr 2015: He moved to Liverpool in 1874]. Anyway, look at this notice about the birth of his daughter in 1861. It would have been more useful if it had named either his wife or daughter, but it does have three VERY interesting words “late of Lisnaskea”. Where is Lisnaskea I wondered? Have you already guessed? It’s in County Fermanagh 🙂 The plot thickens!

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This is a bit weird. After much fiddling I worked out how to get the photo out of Marcella’s locket. Naturally it contains a photo of her husband James Beatty which you can now see under “Image gallery– Beatty, James and family”. The tiny photo may have been taken the same day as our earliest photo of him (around 1873?) as he appears to be wearing the same suit. The locket itself is decorated with the intertwined letters AEI (Amity, Eternity and Infinity) in decorative red and white enamel, the enamel now much damaged. It has a case which was obviously made to fit it, which is labelled “Waterhouse & Compy, The Queen’s Jewellers, Dublin”. Presumably it came from Ireland with the family in 1878. I wonder if it was an engagement or wedding present from James to Marcella? The weird thing is this photo (here very much enlarged) of a very young man – a boy perhaps – which was hidden underneath James in the locket. Who the heck is this?Image

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A few leads have emerged which I haven’t got around to documenting here yet but I’m too impatient to keep on waiting to get information out of Ireland page by painful page when I can see how much of  it is right there in the National Archives and National Library in Dublin. Good grief I could spend the equivalent of the airfare in dribs and drabs before getting noticeably further so why not just go? Good excuse eh? I booked the flights this morning.

We knew that James Beatty had a drapery business in Ballina, Mayo in 1876 and that his two eldest children were born in Arran street Ballina in 1874 and 1875.  No James Beatty owned or leased land in Ballina, or anywhere in Mayo for the Griffiths Valuation, but somewhere between 1857 and 1863,  No. 5 Arran street was leased by, not a James, but an ARCHIBALD Beatty.  Now there’s a familiar forename.  Slater’s directory of 1870 has the following business addresses for Beattys in Ballina:

Under Linen & Woollen Drapers & Haberdashers:  James Beatty, Knox street

Under Grocers; Leather sellers and as an Auctioneer: Archibald Beatty, Arran street

As there’s no James Beatty leasing in Arran street where his children were born, and his business is in Knox street, it’s quite likely that the family lived at 5 Arran street with Archibald. Living with extended family was quite common back then. Was Archibald James’s uncle or his brother perhaps?

My other lead is about the Pagets. One source I’ve seen recently has Kinard being originally purchased in 1810 by “James Paget of Knockglass”. Our James Paget was only 7 in 1810, so who is this James Paget? His father? His Uncle? I think at least it does prove that our Pagets are the same family as the Pagets of Knockglass, Crossmolina.

Remember the Beatty brother and three sisters who lived at Enniscrone, County Sligo, the last of them dying only 3 years before Peg Beatty went looking for our forebears there in 1953? Someone posted here who is definitely related to them, and to most of the other Beattys of Mayo and Sligo of the late 19th century and we’re exchanging information. Whether we are all related to each other or not remains to be established, but the more researchers trying to sort out the Beattys the better. Thanks for your help new contact!

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It’s becoming clear why the Pagets left for Australia. Not sure what it says for my research skills that my best discoveries are through serendipity though.  I was on HAGSOC duty the other day (that’s my local family history society), filling in a spare minute or two browsing a recent issue of  “Irish roots” when an article caught my eye: “The rise and fall of County Sligo landowning families” by John C. McTernan. The Pagets are not mentioned by name as some of the larger landowners are, but the following quote very likely applies to them:

“As the 19th century progressed several estates found themselves in serious financial difficulties arising from extravagant living, over ambitious house building activities and more especially a loss of rental revenue in the aftermath of the famine. The introduction of the Encumbered Estates Court in 1849 and the Landed Estates Court a decade later facilitated the sale of encumbered estates. Between 1850 and 1876 a total of seventy-seven estates or portions thereof changed hands within the county.”

Following the death of our James Paget, first his elder son James Reginald in 1876, followed in 1878 by his wife Hannah, second son Charles Thomas Stavely and his eldest daughter Marcella with her husband James Beatty, all emigrated to Australia, and parts of their County Sligo property, at least, were offered for sale in the Landed Estates Court in 1874:

http://www.landedestates.ie/LandedEstates/jsp/estate-show.jsp?id=218

You can see Kinard Lodge on the satellite version of the map link provided by this document, but in maps with historic overlays (links on rh column of this page) you can see that in 1840 it had extensive formal gardens.  In 1814 there appears to have been no landowner’s residence at Kinard. The earliest reference  to Kinard as a residence that I can find is 1834, when it is the residence of James Paget.  He may have built Kinard Lodge sometime in the 1820s.  I don’t know about the “extravagant living” described in the article, though maintaining that garden may have cost a bit. The rest of it fits pretty well though. It would have taken a hard landlord to expect starving tenants to keep paying full rent, no matter what the debts. Spurred by a few high-handed landlords in Mayo, by the 1870s the Fenian movement was gaining ground too.  I enjoy imagining the young Paget boys saying “Dad, let’s cut our losses and emigrate. Every one else is!” and him saying “Over my dead body!” Which it turned out to be. It was probably considered a shrewd move on Marcella’s part to have married a  merchant like James Beatty.

Who were James Paget’s parents?  Since he’s a “Gentleman”, it should be much easier to figure out his ancestry than it will be to get any further back with the Beattys.  The Landed Estates database (link above) refers to James and Thomas Paget as though they’re related, as they almost certainly must be. Unfortunately all the references that might confirm this are unobtainable in Australia, although Thomas Paget of Knockglass, being the senior family member of their generation is mentioned in such sources as “The Country families of the UK” by Edward Walford, 1860:

Entry for Thomas Paget of Knockglass, Crossmolina, Mayo in Walford’s “Country families of the United Kingdom and Ireland” 1860

Neither of the James Pagets mentioned here are our GG Grandfather. Our James (born 1803) is most likely the younger brother of Thomas. It’s interesting that Thomas seems to have married his cousin. That could have been to consolidate the Estate. The fragmentation of the estates due to the inheritance laws was a problem at the time. The father of our James was probably either the father of Thomas (Robert Paget)or of his wife Margaret (James Paget of Knockglass).
Kinard Lodge was taken over by a Captain John Paget Bourke after our Pagets left. I think he was a nephew of Thomas Paget, whose sister married a John Bourke. When our Aunt Peg Beatty went to Enniscrone and Ballina in 1952 in search of Beatty and Paget relations she was sent to see a “Mr Paget Bourke” of Ballina. Sadly he was not at home or all of this might have been easier!
To get much further I probably need to consult books and records which are only held in Dublin, especially at the National Library of Ireland. Anyone want to come with me?

Added 9 May 2012: My most up-to-date information on the Pagets is now part of The Forgotten Pagets of County Mayo – see the link to other chapters of the family story in the right hand column.

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