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Archive for the ‘Paget family’ Category

I found and copied out Deed 169-116-112988 when I was in Dublin last year, but have only just got around to incorporating the new information into the Pagets of Mayo story. It’ll take a bit longer before it gets incorporated in my family tree.

Henry Paget of Knockglass  “did thereby deed, assign and make over” Knockglass and all his real estate in Co. Mayo to his nephew Thomas Paget (c1715-c1791) of Fahy in 1754. In return Thomas was to pay Henry an annuity of 13 pounds and 10 shillings for the rest of Henry’s life. Thomas’s own address at the time was another home of the Mayo Pagets, Fahy House. In the deed the surname is spelled Pagett. I’ve updated my tree in Ancestry with the new information, and am a bit startled to discover that there are now about 6 other trees with the early generations of Pagets – I think mostly derived from mine. When I made my tree there was nothing about them at all! Maybe they’re not so forgotten after all.  A couple of the trees have added the information that the father of above Thomas Paget, and therefore the brother of above Henry Paget was a Robert Paget. No source is given for this information although it could well be the case. Thomas’s father probably lived at Fahy too. If anybody knows a source, please let me know.

I knew there would be more to find out about the Pagets of Mayo at the Registry of Deeds in Dublin, but until now it has been a time consuming business getting the deeds on microfilm, or getting to them in Dublin. Miraculously, the entire Registry is now available online (well all the memorials and old indexes as images) indecipherable writing, impenetrable legalese and all! I guess there’s no longer any excuse not to trawl through the few dozen Paget deeds for further clues, though most of the deeds concern Pagets who live in Dublin. While I’m at it I’ll add records to the Registry of Deeds Index Project

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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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I’ve finally written up what I’ve discovered about our Paget ancestors. It’s now the first chapter of “The story”. See the link in the right hand column. It’s really just a first go, and, like the rest of the story I’ll keep updating it as I learn more. One thing that made this study fascinating for me is that, unlike other branches of our family, hardly any other family history researchers appear to be interested in the Pagets of Mayo although so much documentation about them can fairly easily be found, especially at the Registry of Deeds in Dublin. The verdict of professional historians is summed up by Donohoe (rather unkindly I think!) on page 588 of his “History of Crossmolina”, 2003:

The Pagets were a minor family who did not figure much in the political and social life in North Mayo. They were Justices of the Peace, sat on the Bench and served in the army. Their daughters married local landowners but the family died out.

Has this branch of the Pagets died out? In terms of descendants with the Paget surname I think they have, even in Australia. There are dozens of descendants in the Paget Bourke and Paget Beatty and other lines, but no actual Pagets that I know of who are descended from the first Thomas Paget of Knockglass. If you know better please contact me.

We believed we were of Irish descent and were taught how to pronounce “Enniscrone” with an Irish accent, but how Irish were the Pagets or even the Beattys? As far as the real Irish are concerned the Pagets were really English, part of the hated landlord class. Does this contribute to the lack of interest in them? Were they kind or heartless landlords? I can’t tell, although I was told in Enniscrone that the Ormes (closely related to the Pagets) were considered to be reasonably good landlords. It must be nicer to discover ancestors you can be unreservedly proud of though such as First Fleet convicts 🙂

There are lots of things I’d like to add to the Paget chapter such as maps of Knockglass and Kinard from the 1840s, but I can’t link directly to the Griffith’s Valuation maps of the estates themselves and am prevented by copyright from displaying them. Maybe at some stage I’ll draw my own! Also I’ve heard from people who lived at both Kinard and Knockglass, the former especially with wonderful accounts of life there in the mid 20th century some details of which can’t have changed all that much since the Pagets lived there. I might add some of that eventually if my sources agree.

There are tantalizing unresolved issues in this story which I could spend the whole rest of my life trying to tease out. Much more is to be discovered at the Registry of Deeds for example and if there’s a lawyer in the family I’d love to have some help working out what those deeds are actually saying in among all the verbiage.

Now for the Beatty part of our Irish story. They will probably be equally fresh fields but much harder work.

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I’ve just spent days nutting through all the information I gathered in Dublin and am confident that I have figured out the structure of the Paget family in Mayo. It’s lucky that there were so many documents from all the Pagets called Thomas, Robert or James at the Registry of Deeds where the preamble lays out the residence of each at a precise date and the relationships between them. I’m also very grateful to the first Thomas Paget of Knockglass for marrying Margaret Orme since her family history is all in Burke’s – genealogy the easy way. The result is that the Beatty side of Harold Beatty’s family tree now goes back a generation further than the Forster side – well the Orme part does anyway. Our 7th great grandfather William Orme (1614-1665) owned and resided at Hanch Hall, a serious mansion in Staffordshire.

Beatty family pedigree after Ireland visit

The other thing I worked out is our relationship to Mary Robinson (nee Bourke) the former President of Ireland. The local history experts in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo told me that we were bound to be related to her through the Bourkes of Ballina. So we are! She is our 5th cousin for those of the same generation as I am. How thrilled she would be to know that! I think we should all go and visit! 🙂 We share the first Thomas Paget of Knockglass as our 4th great grandfather.

From Thomas Paget of Knockglass (centre) up to Mary Robinson’s grandfather and down to mine.

The Bourkes of Ballina, like the Beattys, are a family where marrying one of the Pagets of Mayo made such a big impact that Paget recurs for many generations as a forename. The Mr. Paget Bourke of Ballina (our fourth cousin once removed) who Aunt Peg Beatty was referred to on her 1953 visit, was later knighted by the Queen. What a shame he was out and she didn’t get to meet him. She was such a monarchist and would have loved following his career.
Considering Donohoe in “The History of Crossmolina” (p.588) describes the Pagets as “a minor family who did not figure much in the political and social life of North Mayo…[and] died out” I think they’ve done, and are still doing pretty well!

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So what did I find out about the Pagets after two weeks of hard work?

Well on the male side our Paget family tree now goes back two generations further than gentleman James of Kinard Lodge (1803-72). I have discovered that he had two brothers who didn’t live to adulthood and four sisters who did, one being another Marcella. They all seem to have been born at Knockglass House.  His father James Paget of Knockglass (1749-1826) was a very conscientious father. For each of his four daughters there is a document at the Registry of Deeds making sure she will be well provided for if she should outlive her husband, and two of their marriages were important enough to be mentioned in Burke’s or Walford’s. One of the missing marriages is his own though. None of his children were born until he was fifty. The mother of two of them is Margaret Cummins, her name appearing after his in the birth entries in the Crossmolina parish register as though they are not married? Surely they must have been though for his daughters to marry so well. Was she the mother of all his children including our James?

They were a very in-bred lot. James of Knockglass’s younger brother married Catherine Orme, his Aunt Margaret had married Edward Orme, his grandmother (I think) was Margaret Orme and his youngest daughter  Marcella (the Aunt of our Marcella) married another Edward Orme. If there wasn’t an Orme to marry they even married each other. His eldest daughter Margaret Paget married her cousin Thomas Paget.

The most annoying missing marriage is the one I was determined to find between James Paget and Hannah Dempsey and I’ve looked everywhere.  James was definitely married in 1829 to Catherine Benson though they seem to have been childless.  I think I mentioned in a previous post the document I found at the Registry of Deeds dated 1849 between James Paget and Charles Benson which I (very roughly and possibly wrongly) translate as “I’ll give you a couple of Townlands if you’ll take your daughter back”. Opinions are divided among the experts I’ve consulted here as to whether James would have been allowed to marry again with a living wife. Divorce as such wasn’t recognised then though I’m told “There were ways and means”. He certainly made up for lost childbearing time with Hannah, married or not. Our Marcella was the eldest of five.

In short I found out both much more and much less than I had hoped. Half an answer leads to two more questions. No wonder people who get sucked into family history spend the rest of their lives at it! Anyway I think I’m over the Pagets for the time being. If I come back to Ireland I’ll try the Beattys.

 

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Very eventful day today. Firstly I’ve discovered a descendant of Alf Beatty (or rather she discovered me) who has more photos that are sure to help us identify the whole James Beatty family. More next week.

This morning I talked to Mrs. Mac Hale the expert on local Enniscrone history, and through her the authors of two of the most useful books about Kinard and Enniscrone, her son Conor Mac Hale and John McTernan. I came to Ireland to find the books – let alone talk to the authors! I feel very privileged and have some new leads to follow up

Since I now know that our James Paget is the son of James Paget of Knockglass, Crossmolina, I drove over there this afternoon and got soaked scrambling around the churchyard of St. Mary’s looking for the Paget graves.

Paget plot at St. Mary's Crossmolina

The old part of the churchyard is an overgrown, slippery mass of roots, stinging nettles and broken and indecipherable headstones. Two of the Paget headstones had collapsed on their faces, and despite being fit from weightlifting “tombstones” at the registry of Deeds I couldn’t shift these.  The standing ones are descendants of James’s cousin Thomas Paget.

Determined to find Knockglass House where James Paget junior was born in about 1803 I drove up and down several narrow muddy lanes until a kind farmer told me to keep driving past a ruined gatehouse for about a mile through a dense, ragged forest labelled “Game reserve”, pretty much the first actual forest I’ve seen in Ireland apart from some pine plantations. It seemed a most unlikely drive for a substantial home, and after about three quarters of a mile there was a very new and businesslike locked gate.

Locked gate on the long track up to Knockglass House, Crossmolina

Refusing to give up having come so far and there being no “No trespassing” sign, I left the car and climbed over the gate in the rain, and continued up the muddy track through the forest on foot, wondering if such an isolated house might belong to a weird cult or drug barons or someone else unsympathetic to my desire for a photo of the ancestral home and hoping it wasn’t guarded by savage dogs. The ivy-draped trees made sinister groaning noises and I jumped out of my skin when a pheasant (or something) suddenly clattered across the track. Around a last corner into the open and to my relief the house was empty and deserted so figured nobody would mind if I photographed it

Knockglass House, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo where Marcella's father James Paget was born in about 1803

I later learned that it is for sale.

I drove back through Ballina where the main streets probably haven’t changed all that much since the Beatty family lived there, the River Moy  practically running a banker through the middle of the town. Too tired to take more photos, camera, car and shoes all very wet and muddy, I went home to Enniscrone to dry out. It gets dark by 4.30 here anyway. Back to Dublin tomorrow.

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Left Dublin at 9.30 this morning in a little Suzuki hatch, switching the wipers on and off instead of the indicators. It was more annoying than usual because I then couldn’t see since it was raining. Drove through several indistinguishable counties, though the scenery got progressively more interesting through the morning with lakes and finally as I reached Co. Sligo, some actual hills. After 4 hours I reached Enniscrone, where Archie Beatty was born.

The first visit was to Kinard Lodge to take some photos.

Kinard Lodge, Enniscrone, Sligo with gate and drive

The nice lady who currently owns it, Mrs. Mary Judge was really interested in the history of the house and invited me in for a chat and showed me around. The inside was completely renovated about 30 years ago and only the windows, deeply inset in the stone walls still look Georgian but the sheds and gates outside look original.

Next I went to Kilglass Church, wrestled open the big cast iron gates and found James Paget’s tombstone. It’s now very hard to read, and like everything in Ireland, covered in moss.

Apparently the person to talk to is a Mrs Mac Hale who knows the whole history of Enniscrone. I might see her tomorrow. Some friendly locals were interested to help trace the Pagets, but quickly concluded “Oh They’d have been the Landlords. The enemy! We wouldn’t know anything about them!” only half joking after 150 years.

Enniscrone is a seaside town, the stone buildings still huddled along the original narrow road through the town,  probably little changed since the Beattys and Pagets left in 1877. The beach is very wide at low tide and pretty impressive even to Australian eyes, and this afternoon a fierce surf was rolling in from the Atlantic driven by a bitingly cold breeze.

Killala Bay from Enniscrone, cold November afternoon

I hope conditions were milder when Captain Matthew Webb swam across Killala Bay from here. According to the story he was accompanied by James Beatty’s father James. I wonder if there’s a grain of truth in that or if it’s another family myth?

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