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Archive for the ‘Paget family’ Category

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 🙂

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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