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Archive for the ‘James Paget (1749-1826)’ Category

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 ūüôā

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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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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