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Archive for the ‘James Paget (1802-72)’ 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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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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I went on a bus tour on Sunday when the Libraries and Archives were closed, and I hiked right across town via Dublin Castle and Chester Beatty Library with books and manuscripts from antiquity which should be really interesting some other time. I was thinking Dublin is a very grey place, until for a few hours the sun came out one day, and then I discovered the Registry of Deeds.

I’m glad I did so much homework before leaving because the amount of genealogical resources here is astounding. Given sufficient time here I could probably even work out the Beattys. This trip I’m focussing on the Pagets though, and since they were landholders, there’s an unexpected place that I’ve found out quite a lot more about them, although not always what I was expecting to find. All the stuff in the Registry of Deeds escaped the Four Courts fire of 1922 which destroyed so many Irish records. ¬†It’s mostly about Land purchase and agreements to do with property, marriage settlements etc. going back to 1705, all couched in abstruse legalese, but full of genealogical information all the same. What’s really fun is the place itself though.

The indexes to the deeds, and hand written copies of every one are in thousands of enormous books referred to as “tombstones” – giving you an idea of their size and weight. The earlier ones are written on skin of some kind, and many are leather bound, once beautiful but suffering badly from over-handling. Most have been given hessian covers with their numbers stencilled on them like wool bales. The “tombstones” are arranged in special pigeon holes all around the walls of several large rooms up to about 4 metres high. It’s all self serve once the system is explained, so you have to climb up and down tight spiral staircases and lug these things up and down ladders to consult them. You sit on high stools to read them like Uriah Heep in illustrations by Phiz. I’d have loved to take photos, but it isn’t allowed.

I’m sure now that ¬†James Paget of Knockglass who purchased Kinard townland in 1810 is the father of Marcella’s father James Paget who built and lived in Kinard Lodge. Two documents that I’m having copied make this clear, though I still don’t know his mother ‘s name. Also, James Paget of Kinard Lodge married a Catherine Benson in 1829, who was still alive and married to him 20 years later only 4 years before Marcella was born whose mother, and the mother of all James’s children was Hannah Dempsey, not Catherine. There’s a particularly abstruse document from 1849 that might be some sort of separation agreement between James and his first wife. In 1867 James seems to be entailing Kinard to others ¬†because he has no legitimate heirs, at a time that Marcella and at least two of her brothers were well on the scene. Not sure what to make of that yet. I could go off on a tangent researching Irish marriage and heredity laws but might shelve that issue until I get home.

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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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This was one of those exciting discoveries that keep us family historians hooked. It happened a few weeks ago now, before I had a website, but I thought it deserved a post. We knew the name Paget mainly because Beatty boys kept getting it as a middle name through a family tradition based on it being an ancestral connection with some social pretensions, and we vaguely understood it to be the maiden name of Marcella, the wife of Jas. Beatty who brought his family to Australia in the late nineteenth century. Both the index records and Marcella’s death certificate named her parents as James Paget and Hannah Dempsey which pushed the family tree back another generation. A Google search then found those names connected in this record of a Paget estate called Kinnard (or Kinard) Lodge near Enniscrone, County Sligo.

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

Archie Beatty’s descendants all knew that he had been born at Enniscrone shortly before his family left for Australia. ¬†A bit of collaboration discovered James and Marcella’s marriage certificate where the occupation of her father, James Paget is given as “Gentleman” whereas his father (also James Beatty) is a “Farmer”.

Another connection was made while scouting through digitised Argus pages in TROVE (surely the cleverest thing that the National Library of Australia has ever done!). Look what the Beattys call their house in Caroline St., South Yarra at the time of Charles Gordon’s birth.

From The Argus, Melbourne, Weds 25 Feb 1885

But the real breakthrough was discovering this announcement in TROVE:

Paget-Beggs marriage from the Argus Thurs 19 Nov 1885

What the heck is someone claiming to be a son of “James Paget of Kinard Lodge, Ireland” doing in Violet Town, Victoria? Our Pagets are all supposed to be in Ireland being gentry!! I spent an afternoon checking all the Paget births, marriages and deaths in the indexes forVictoria. A high proportion of them took place around Voilet Town and Baddaginnie. It became clear that two sons of James Paget had come from Ireland to Victoria, married two Beggs sisters and had many children, later losing most of their sons in the First World War. In fact at one stage, half of the Pagets in Victoria were certainly relations of ours.

The most interesting entry of all was for a “Hanorah” Paget who died at Baddaginnie aged 75 in 1897. ¬†Surely it couldn’t be Hannah herself? Another $30 for the death certificate and YES! She is our Hannah, wife of James Paget, born in Ireland having arrived in Victoria the same year as James and Marcella Beatty, with her children listed with ages given including Marcella, James, and Charles. Yay for informative Victorian death certificates. If she hadn’t come to Australia we’d have been lucky to find a death certificate for her at all, and even so it would have had far less information.

And yes, the name of her father, John Dempsey, pushes the family tree back another generation. It’s a shame that Charles Paget who was the informant didn’t know his grandmother’s name. ¬†Oh well, the hunt continues.

Added 9 May 2012: My most up-to-date information on the Pagets is now part of “The story” – see the link to it in the right hand column.

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I had a great weekend with descendants of Charles Gordon Beatty who I was thrilled to discover a couple of months ago. Wonderful food was eaten and much fun was had. We examined old documents from¬†the “Jas. Beatty” box, ¬†speculated about the identity of people in old photos and took a few new ones which we plan to label more carefully so that future generations have a better idea who we are ūüôā

Many new anecdotes can now be added to the Beatty family story so I couldn’t resist immediately rewriting the 19th century part of it. Find it on the side menu it’s called¬†“The Beattys out of Ireland” under “Our family¬†story”

https://taggerty.wordpress.com/the-story/the-beattys-out-of-ireland/

One wonderful new (to me) anecdote gives a whole new meaning to this photo of young Archie (centre right) and friends

The Beatty boys of South Yarra used to get into altercations with boys from Richmond at the boundary of their territories, the Punt Road bridge across the Yarra. The eldest, Jim was very big and used to sit on the most troublesome of the opponents while his 3 younger brothers and friends dealt with the rest. Jim certainly isn’t in this photo, and we don’t think Charles Gordon is either, but if this lot of likely lads were defending the South Yarra end you’d think twice before crossing the bridge! I wonder what the Forsters of Toorak would have thought?

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