Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Family History’

I’ve now updated the chapter: “The Beattys out of Ireland” in the family story to include all the latest information I have about the early generations of our Beatty family. The Colebrooke Estate records at the Public records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) didn’t go back quite far enough to tell me where our ancestor James Beatty (1797-1873) came from before taking up farming at Aghavoory townland just south of Fivemiletown, Co. Fermanagh, sometime before 1829. They did tell me the year he died, so here is his death record.

James Beatty of Aghavoory, co. Fermanagh. Death record 1873

James Beatty of Aghavoory, co. Fermanagh. Death record 1873

They also showed that the land which James later farmed was leased in 1787 to a Robert McKnight, then aged 32, and that that name remained against James Beatty’s Aghavoory land in the Colebrooke Estate rent book until November 1865 even though James Beatty paid the rent. The original Robert McKnight would have been aged 105 by then. Maybe it was sublet to James by the McKnight family all that time? There seems to be no surviving lease for Aghavoory in James Beatty’s name, even from 1865.

So who was Archibald Beatty, Farmer, who was given as James’s father at his (second) marriage?

We know from genetic testing that we are very closely related to the Beattys of Farnamullan. The YDNA tests indicated a 70% probability that Charles Beatty (1725-1798) of Farnamullan was the common ancestor between our family and descendants of the Farnamullan Beattys. I’m told that analysis of “BigY” tests using the same DNA samples gives an even stronger indication that either Charles or his father must be the common ancestor. I confess that I don’t really understand “BigY”.  As mentioned in earlier posts, Charles Beatty of Farnamullan had a son Archibald Beatty (1758-1831), who married Martha Moore of Aghavoory in 1792. Their second son was a James. It was the coincidence of Martha Moore being from Aghavoory that compelled me to visit PRONI in Belfast. It’s now confirmed that our James was born in 1797. This is the perfect date to be the second son of a couple who married in 1792 and had 8 children right? The order of Archibald’s children (but not their birthdates) is given in a transcription of a document whose original is lost. The birthdates of the two youngest children are known from tombstones, indicating that Martha had at least 2 children in her forties. The ages at death of Archibald, his wife Martha and their eldest son Charles who died young come from the transcription of a tombstone, very faint when transcribed, which has since been lost. According to the transcription, eldest son Charles would have been born in either 1805 or 1800 – too late for our James to be his younger brother. But if this birthdate is correct, Archibald and Martha had no children for at least 8 years after their marriage and then had 8 children when Martha was aged 36 to 48. It makes much more sense to me that a date on a barely legible tombstone was transcribed wrongly and they began having children soon after marriage as is normal! There was no mention of their second son James having died young, so where did he go then??

In short, I haven’t given up on Archibald Beatty (1758-1831) of Farnamullan as the father of our James after all, although there is still no proof. If this Archibald is not the one, and we take the genetic test results seriously, then we’re probably looking for a son Archibald of a hypothetical brother of Charles Beatty (1725-1798) of Farnamullan who would need to have been about the same age as the above Archibald; have married at about the same time and also have a son James. There weren’t as many Archibald Beattys as there were James Beattys, but of course he could have lived at any townland in Fermanagh, and the further back you go the sparser the already sparse Irish records get. Sigh! I think I’ll leave it at that for a while!

Read Full Post »

Today was the sunniest day since I arrived in Ireland, and a lovely day to be driving around in Fermanagh. I was determined to find Aghavoory townland where James Beatty of Ballina/South Yarra must have been born in 1842. I drove over to Fivemiletown, found a house on what would once have been Farmer James Beatty’s land in Aghavoory, and knocked on the farmhouse door, not sure what to expect. To my astonishment, our relations are still farming there! James’s half sister from the second marriage of Farmer James, Eliza Ann Beatty, married Samuel Hall in 1886. Today their descendants were very kind and interested. They showed me an aerial photo of the old house (demolished in the 1990s) and fed me tea and pikelets.

The homes (both new and old) are beautifully situated on a hill with pleasant views over Aghavoory and neighbouring townlands. I forgot to ask the current farmer about farming on the townland, but you can see the Friesians in the photo.

This afternoon I couldn’t resist a tour of Coole Castle, built and furbished about 1800. The servant’s quarters were fascinating! Very Downton Abbey! Off to Dublin tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been crook with a pretty savage flu for the last few days, and even spent the weekend in bed watching silly movies on TV! Today I feel better enough to venture forth, albeit with a lot of coughing and trying to keep away from others as I’d hate to pass it on. Luckily today is Monday when the archives are open again. Belfast continues bleak and rainy. I’ve given up trying to find good coffee – I can’t taste anything at the moment anyway, but the pubs are warm, friendly and very atmospheric.
No, I haven’t been able to prove that our James Beatty of Aghavoory is the same person as in Pete Beattys’ tree, although it’s still highly likely that he is. I’ve learned a couple of other things about him though.

James Beatty's land, Aghavoory townland 1863

James Beatty’s land, Aghavoory townland 1863

His land in Aghavoory had originally been leased to Robert McKnight in 1787, so it did not belong to the Moores although it adjoins their land. It has been suggested to me that (if it is the James Beatty born in Farnamullan) he could have married and needed land of his own before his father Archibald was ready to hand over Farnamullan and no leases were available near Farnamullan. However, if a parcel of land came available next to his uncle’s farm in Aghavoory, the Moores could have recommended him for it. James Beatty paid the rent on that parcel of land without the name being changed from McKnight and I don’t know why, but I can’t find a lease in his name. James also had 33 acres in Agheeter townland. When James’ own eldest son Joseph married in 1855, James gave him the Agheeter land – well in the rent books the name changed from James to Joe Beatty. His younger sons, Archibald and James (that we know of) must have been encouraged to make their own way. They certainly did. Unfortunately Farmer James wasn’t a noticeable tenant. He paid the rent exactly on time every time. The Estate Manager’s note book is occasionally entertaining reading as he threatens to evict miscreants who mistreat their wives, take over land without the Estate owner’s permission, build houses other than where they were told to, or (horror!) with thatched roofs. On the Colebrook Estate everything has to be “slated”! James Beatty never gets a mention, presumably because he never did the wrong thing. We now know that he remarried in 1858 though I still haven’t found out the name of his first wife.
In the Colebrook Estate rent book for May 1873, there was a note against his name “dead”. Even knowing the year of his death, I still can’t find a will.
Enough for today. I’m off to the pub for dinner!

Read Full Post »

Firstly, I had a good look at James Beatty, Farmer of Aghavoory, Fermanagh (c1810-Aft 1875) now that we know more about him (for example that his father was  a Farmer called  Archibald Beatty), and can see that he must have been born about 1807, earlier than I had thought. The earliest mention of him (so far) at Aghavoory is in the Enniskillen Chronicle 14 May 1829, listing persons in Fermanagh who have registered their freeholds to establish their qualification to vote at elections. Probably at the time you’d also need to be over 21.

Secondly, on the basis of our YDNA111 tests, there’s a 70% probability that the Grandfather  of James above will be our common ancestor with the person whose test results are closest to ours of those tested so far. We* both also carried out “Big Y” tests whose significance I don’t really understand, but am told that we share a mutation that makes the relationship even more likely. Pete has been researching this family for many years and has an extensive tree of Beattys in Fermanagh. In his tree is a Farmer Archibald Beatty of Farnamullan townland (1758-1831), whose son James Beatty born c1807 disappeared off the genealogical radar. Pretty interesting eh? Furthermore, Archibald of Farnamullan in 1794 married Martha Moore who was from Aghavoory townland! It’s hard to believe this is a coincidence –  there are 2,294 townlands in Fermanagh!  I’m guessing that James, who was the eldest surviving son of Archibald, inherited the lease on the farm at Aghavoory from his mother’s family –  I understand that leases could be inherited? Leaving his younger brothers to inherit the Farnamullan lands. I spent a few hours spreadsheeting all the Archibald Beattys in Fermanagh at the time, using every mention from the usual online sources, and as far as I can tell, only two are likely candidates to be the Farmer father of James of Aghavoory, one of whom is Archibald of Farnamuallan.

This is so exciting after all these years of facing our Beatty brick wall that I’m booking plane tickets to Belfast for next week. Aghavoory townland was on the Colebrook Estate of the Brooke family, one of the few estates whose papers survived. The papers are in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. I’m hoping to spend a few days combing through them for clues about our family, and hopefully some proof that Archibald Beatty of Farnamullan was the father of James of Aghavoory. I’m sure to end up very knowledgeable about 19th century farming practices in Fermanagh at least!

And the common ancestor, if all this can be established, the father of Archibald Beatty of Farnamullan, was Charles Beatty (1725-1798). We know that name!

I’ve been cross with our g grandfather James Beatty of Ballina/South Yarra (1842-1903) for passing on virtually nothing useful about his family in Ireland – not even the name of his mother! Yet he did in a way – by leaving little clues scattered among the names of his children 🙂

*Not my DNA of course! I borrowed some from a sibling with a Y chromosome!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

We now know a lot about Archibald Beatty, Merchant of Lisnaskea/Ballina/Liverpool (c1836-1897), almost certainly the older brother of our James Beatty of Ballina/South Yarra (1842-1903). Both were born in Fermanagh with father Farmer James Beatty. In an earlier post we established that Archibald had a nephew Joseph Beatty who was keeping an eye on Archibald’s pork/bacon factory in Enniskillen, Fermanagh after his uncle’s death in 1897. In an attempt to encircle the elusive farmer James, I’ve spent the last few days spreadsheeting every mention of a Joseph Beatty in Fermanagh in the late 19th century that I can find anywhere on the record. Luckily there were fewer Joseph Beattys than James Beattys in Fermanagh at the time and this one was probably alive at the time of the 1901 census (the earliest Irish census to survive intact!). Only one Joseph seemed the right age and to have reason to be in Enniskillen in 1897. He is Joseph Beatty, Egg and Butter Merchant, the son of Joseph Beatty, Farmer of Agheeter townland just south of Fivemiletown. His paternal grandfather is (YES!) James Beatty, Farmer.

Capture

Archibald Beatty of Lisnaskea/Ballina/Liverpool/Fivemiletown family tree

I tried not to get too excited. There were over a dozen James Beattys in Fermanagh in the late 19th century, and 90% of them were farmers. To save a lot of time I lashed out on a subscription to RootsIreland.ie -very expensive, but it gives every detail from birth and marriage records including addresses, even names of witnesses at weddings. Joseph Beatty senior married Margaret Mulligan in 1855. His father was James Beatty, Farmer, and his address at the time was not Agheeter, but the nearby townland of Aghavoory. Since at least 1829, Aghavoory, near Fivemiletown had been the address of a farmer James Beatty. Surely Joseph was still living at home at the time of his wedding! A witness at the wedding was Archibald Beatty. Then I found another Beatty whose address at the time of her marriage was also Aghavoory. She was Matilda Beatty (father Farmer James Beatty), married in 1853, again a witness at the wedding was Archibald Beatty. She has to be Joseph’s sister, right? Her husband was William Robinson a farmer at Breandrum townland near Brookeborough, not far from Fivemiletown. Both were still there at the 1901 Census many years later.

Now Archibald Beatty, with his wife Eudora and son Edward John had left Ballina, Co. Mayo for Liverpool in 1874, and all still had a Liverpool address in 1897 at the time of Archibald’s death. So how come the widowed Eudora, whose own family were from Belfast, died at Breandrum near Brookeborough, Co. Fermanagh? Yes! Her sister-in-law lives there 🙂

Eudora Beatty probate

Eudora Beatty of Liverpool, widow, died at Braindrum (Breandrum), Brookeborough, Fermanagh 19 Nov 1900. Probate to Edward John Beatty

 

Furthermore, Edward John Beatty of Liverpool, England, who must have been a well-off young man after the death of his father Archibald in 1897, in 1898 married Martha Eleanor Beatty, daughter of the above Farmer Joseph Beatty of Agheeter, at Brookeborough, Fermanagh. First cousin weddings were pretty common in 19th century Ireland. She went to Liverpool with him where they raised a family.

Archibald Beatty burial at Fivemiletown 1897

Burial of Archibald Beatty at Fivemiletown, 1897 from the Fermanagh Times 18th March 1897

Finally, thank you Sean at the Enniskillen Library who looked up some local papers not yet digitised and found that Archibald Beatty wasn’t buried at Lisnaskea, Ballina, Liverpool or even Enniskillen, but at Fivemiletown. Well of course he was, having come full circle from his birthplace 🙂

I think the above family tree is proven. Now if only I could prove that Archibald was indeed the older brother of our James Beatty of Ballina/South Yarra. Our James certainly had children named Archibald, Matilda, and Joseph! Hmm… Back to Ballina.

 

Read Full Post »

1905 Alfred J. Craig of Leura

Alderman Alfred James Craig of Leura, 1905. Photo by Mr George Kitch from Blue Mountains Historical Society Archive

It turns out that people from the Central Mountains History Community are interested in our McLean branch too! See the comment from Kate at the bottom of the McLean chapter of our family story. I’ve quickly updated the chapter with some information she provided, and suspect there would be still more to find out about the McLeans in the archive at Wentworth Falls if anybody is keen enough to visit. The family lore in the James McLean branch about John Sheils being an Alderman on the Leura or Katoomba Council turns out to refer to his nephew Alfred Craig instead, brother of Florence Craig who married WCD Forster – unless there were indeed two Aldermen in the family.

 

Also I’ve sent for 2 more death certificates for Eliza McLean (nee Boak or Bolk). The results of this will be found as a footnote to my original post about Eliza and will hopefully save others from wasting time and money on our mysterious appearing-from-and-disappearing-to-nowhere Great Grandmother. Of course if I actually found her you’d hear soon enough 🙂

And NOW I’m getting back to the James Beatty of Fermanagh brick wall!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »