Author Topic: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast  (Read 811 times)

Offline Peggy13

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William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« on: Friday 09 February 18 20:38 GMT (UK) »
When his father Thomas died in 1878 in Co. Derry, his son  William's address is given as 60 Earl Street, Belfast and that he worked in the shipyards. William was born in 1840 in Co. Derry,probably Aghagaskin.  I don't find William on the 1901 or 1911 censii. Would there be any way to  trace William after 1878? I don't know if he was married or not.
Thanks for any help
Peggy
Meggison-Durham, Northumberland and Canada

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Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 10 February 18 05:05 GMT (UK) »

When his father Thomas died in 1878 in Co. Derry, his son  William's address is given as 60 Earl Street, Belfast and that he worked in the shipyards.


The PRONI Will Calendars index entry for Thomas Johnston describes his son as a Mercantile Clerk. The PRONI 1877 Belfast street directory showed him as a spirit dealer.  Contemporary newspapers reported the licence transfer granted to William Johnston of that address in Nov 1875 and also reported that it was transferred on from him to another person at the end of  September 1878. 


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Offline Peggy13

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 10 February 18 05:38 GMT (UK) »
Well, isn't that interesting. I was just told verbally this morning from a contact in Magherafelt that William worked in the shipyards. I went back and checked Thomas's death and it actually says 60 East Street for William. Then I went to PRONI and it says 60 Earl St. Wonder if William went back to Magherafelt after his father's death, thinking of the spirit license. Did it go to a relative? Can you tell if William was married as my contact said not. I wonder if he died soon after 1878 and that's why I can't find him in 1901. I will look again.
thanks ever so much
Peggy
Meggison-Durham, Northumberland and Canada

Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 10 February 18 06:09 GMT (UK) »
The Belfast Telegraph of 22 June 1878 carried a notice showing the public house at no. 60 Earl Street as up for sale at public auction on 28th June.  The notice started with 'I have received instructions from Mr. William Johnston to sell ... ' and ended with '... it is now offered for Sale solely on account of the Vendor having purchased more extensive premises.'


Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 10 February 18 07:06 GMT (UK) »
For the era and location, one might as well be looking for a John Smith in England, the name William Johnston is just so common, there are hundreds of them in every source one turns to. In that context, here is just one possibility to note for now until it can be ruled in or out... namely William Johnston of 133 Ormeau Road who married Catherine Daily in 1887, William was described as a merchant and his father Thomas was described as in the leather trade:
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1887/10807/5941582.pdf

William's wife Catherine died a year later (from the PRONI Will Calendars 'Letters of Administration of the personal estate of Catherine Johnston late of Belfast who died 18 July 1888 at same place were granted at Belfast to William Johnston of 133 Ormeau-road Belfast Grocer the Husband.'):
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/deaths_returns/deaths_1888/06170/4763642.pdf

William was found dead in December 1890, the death registration described him as a 42 year old grocer and publican: https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/deaths_returns/deaths_1891/06083/4735483.pdf

The Northern Whig of 6 December 1890 reported his drowning: '... Yesterday the body of Mr. William Johnston, grocer and spirit-dealer, 133 Ormeau Road, was found on the bank of the Lagan a little above Ormeau Bridge ... It appears that he was aged about forty-eight years, and was a widower, with no family; that he had been in a rather desponding state of mind for some days past ...' etc.   

The subsequent sale notices for his premises included the following: 'IMPORTANT SALE BY AUCTION OF VALUABLE LICENSED PREMISES WITH GROCERY AND PROVISION BUSINESS ATTACHED, AT 133 ORMEAU ROAD, BELFAST, AND KNOWN AS THE NORTH OF IRELAND BAR ... THE VALUABLE LICENSED INTEREST and ESTATE in and to the extensive Premises situated at 133, Ormeau Road (corner of Essex Street), Belfast, in which the late  Mr. William Johnston carried on a very large and profitable business as Grocer, Wine, and Spirit Merchant. It is a corner house, occupying a fine commanding position ... All the fittings have been recently erected, at great cost ...' etc.

As I said, just a possibility.


Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 10 February 18 07:22 GMT (UK) »
This from the Belfast Newsletter of 6 December 1890, suddenly looking more promising:

JOHNSTON - At his residence, 133, Ormeau Road, Belfast, William Johnston, aged 42 years.  His remains will be removed from the above address, for interment in the family burying-ground, Magherafelt, on Monday morning, at eight o'clock.


Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 10 February 18 07:34 GMT (UK) »
The Northern Whig of 8 December 1890 carried an account of the coroner's inquest, the finding of which was 'Found drowned', the evidence being that William was making his way to some customers at Southview Cottages and had confused the lights of a dredger with some on shore and fallen into the river.

One of the witnesses at the inquest was Jane Johnston, described as '... sister of the deceased, who deposed that the latter was forty-two years of age. On Thursday evening last she saw the deceased in the kitchen of his own house. Soon after that he went out, and did not return ... Miss Johnston ... stated that her brother, the deceased, had some customers at Southview Cottages, opposite which the body had been found ...'     


Offline gaffy

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 10 February 18 07:53 GMT (UK) »
Finally, confirmation by way of a Magherafelt Church of Ireland grave inscription - a pleasing result from such a speculative beginning, though it has to be said that what I've posted already relates to a William Johnston who varies considerably from your contact's William Johnston in respect of  occupation and marital status:

JOHNSTON/BLACK [Limestone headstone with stone surround] Erected by Thomas Johnston, Magherafelt in memory of his beloved Jane Johnston who died 27th December 1876 aged 61 years. The above-named Thomas Johnston died 20th April 1878 aged 66 years. Their daughter Mary Ann, wife of Charles Black, died 28th March 1881 aged 36 years. Their son William Johnston died 5th December 1890 aged 43 years. Also Jane Jackson [?], died 28th August 1896.

Letters of Administration in respect of William's estate were granted to 'Elizabeth Johnston, 123 New Lodge Road, Belfast, spinster, the sister':
http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie/reels/cwa/005014905/005014905_00200.pdf

PRONI has digitised the following will, which presumably refers to the Jane 'Jackson' mentioned in the above grave inscription, in the will there is mention of her family:
Probate of the Will of Jane Johnston late of 6 Southport-street Belfast Spinster who died 28 August 1896 granted at Belfast to Arthur Holmes of Homesleigh Elmwood-avenue Belfast Company Director.
https://apps.proni.gov.uk/WillsCalendar_IE/WillsSearch.aspx


Offline Peggy13

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Re: William Johnston, 1878, living at 60 Earl Street,Belfast
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 10 February 18 09:28 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so very much, gaffy.  You did an absolutely excellent job of tracing William, son of Thomas,who lived on Earl Street. I think  every bit of info you found is correct and all seemed to be going good, until we got to the headstone.  Then I realized the Thomas that died Apr 20, 1878, the date I was given by the family, is not the correct Thomas.  Main reason is that my Thomas was married to Margaret Woodside, and this Thomas was married to Jane. Also my Thomas' son William was born 10 Jan 1840 as per the family tree, so was 50 in 1890. That bothered me somewhat but I thought that sometimes ages are off. And I didn't have a sister Jane but there is a gap of 7 yr in the children so thought maybe she fit in there. But my final conclusion is that this was the wrong Thomas right from the start, whose son was in Belfast. I am glad however to know that this is the wrong date of death for my Thomas and we can work on getting the correct  date. I did have some misgivings that this was the correct date of death as when Margaret died on Apr 6, 1878 in Killyfaddy, she was a widow which should mean that Thomas died before that. But then two weeks later, this Thomas dies as a widower- how can that be? And his address was Rainey Street, not Killyfaddy. I  see a death of Thomas in 1876 in Magherafelt and another in 1877 that I will check out and see if we can get this tree straightened out.
Thank you so much for all your hard work. I think this Thomas is probably connected to the family because of the Magherafelt connection and the information will come in useful yet.I just need to find a Thomas born 1812 married to Jane with children William, Jane Jackson, Elizabeth and Mary Ann Black.
Peggy
Meggison-Durham, Northumberland and Canada