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Messages - Mary G.

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Ireland / Re: William John Heaney - Shoemaker
« on: Monday 05 February 18 23:23 GMT (UK)  »
Hi, my great grandmother was Elizabeth Brymner, a domestic servant who shows up working at the home of William John Heaney in 1901 at 6 Ardgowan Street West. Have you ever had your DNA done? I ask because Liz had a baby in November of 1901 at the Greenock Poor House, and named him William. I just found out about him this week via Ancestry DNA - his granddaughter and I found we were linked as cousins and had to figure out the connection, which surprised us. She subsequently married in 1906 and emigrated to Canada. Contact me at (*)

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to avoid spamming and other abuses.
Please use the Personal Message (PM) system for exchanging personal data.

Derry (Londonderry) / Re: HELP NEEDED John CASSIDY b1869-1870
« on: Monday 03 February 14 02:25 GMT (UK)  »
There were lots of Cassidys in the Kilrea area. Two from extracted Irish births (
16 May 1869 Kilrea district parents- James Cassidy/Elizabeth Watt
31 May 1970 Kilrea district parents- Hugh Cassidy/Sarah Jane McCoey
The database is not complete so there could be others in this period.
Just a note, James Cassidy and Elizabeth Watt went to Greenock Scotland where Elizabeth passed away prior to 1875. I know this because he then married Mary Leech (also from Ireland) and became stepfather to my great grandfather. Of James and Elizabeth's four children born in Ireland, I've seen no evidence that the first three Mary, Nancy Jane or John lived out childhood. James and Elizabeth show up in census data with only the fourth child, Elizabeth, and my great grandfather, Thomas White.

Renfrewshire / Re: Ragged School/Bank St Boys Home
« on: Sunday 20 May 12 00:02 BST (UK)  »
My great grandfather, Thomas Leitch White (1874-1967) spent several years as an inmate in the Ragged school on Captain Street. He was born in Ireland to Mary Leitch in 1874, and his unmarried mother brought him to Greenock when he was a year old. She married a widower named James Cassidy, who was a sugar house worker, and apparently unemployed frequently. I know from family stories, he was a drinker and abusive. During parts of his childhood, my great grandfather used the surname Cassidy. He shows up on the 1891 census living at the school, although he is then 15 and supposedly over the allowable age. He was very tiny from his poor diet as a child. For him, the Ragged School was a haven compared to his home. He got fed, he wasn't beaten or neglected or abused. They taught him to read, play the organ (!), and I truly believe saved his life. James Cassidy had four children from his first marriage and they all died young. Seems odd to look at a street view of Wellington and Captain and see an apartment complex on the site where there must have been so much young misery and heart break.

East Lothian (Haddingtonshire) / Re: Bertrams
« on: Saturday 08 May 10 19:19 BST (UK)  »
We are Bertrams from East Lothian. My husband's 2G grandfather was Hugh Bertram, farm steward at Fenton Barns, the farm of George Hope, near Dirleton. Hugh (born 1809 in Dirleton) was the son of John Bertram and Ann Walker of Whitekirk and Dirleton respectively. Hugh married Isabella Mack in Dirleton in 1835. His 9 surviving children emigrated in a slow 30 year trickle to Canada starting in 1860. He and Isabella came as well in the 1880's.
Two sons, George and John ended up as federal MPs.

Renfrewshire / Re: Ragged School/Bank St Boys Home
« on: Monday 28 September 09 23:06 BST (UK)  »
I'm certain it was residential - the census certainly seems to indicate the boys were living there as inmates.

What little I know is that my great grandfather was born on the "wrong side of the blanket" in Ireland. When he was less than a year old, his mother came to Greenock and married a widower, James Cassidy, who by that point, only had one other child at home (out of the four he appears to have had with his first wife). James was a sugarhouse laborer. I don't know if he was a drunk - but I do know from some family stories that he was very cruel to Tom and that my great grandfather hated him.

Net result was that Tom ended up in the ragged school, which seems to have done him some good, in terms of keeping him alive, fed and at least given basic care - and getting him a bit of an education - he could read and write, which HIS parents couldn't. Somehow he even came away able to play the organ well enough to be the substitute organist at his church in Canada. In the 1891 census, his age is given as 15, but he was actually 17, so doubtless small enough to get away with fibbing about his age so to keep a roof over his head a bit longer. 

He must have been terribly starved and neglected as a child - both he and my great grandmother who came from a similar deprived background were very small - he was less than 5' 3" as a man and all of his children towered over him by many inches, so you know poor diet must have been the culprit. I have his WWI service records (he signed up in his 40's when he was the father of 6 as an ambulence driver), and he apparently had foot problems occasioned by improper footwear as a child (the medical records make mention of his foot deformities due to ill fitted shoes and that he couldn't walk far or march).

And for all of that, he ended up as just a lovely sweet man, father of 9, and very gentle, kind and even tempered.

I just can't imagine the poverty. I have a picture taken in Greenock of a school class in 1911 - my great grandmother's first child is in the picture. This little girl was left behind when my great grandmother went to Canada. What is remarkable about the picture is how ragged and dirty all the children are. Most of them look very thin and worn, many are quite dirty, clothing ill fitting, worn, patched and ragged - most of the boys look like they are wearing items made from worn out adult clothing. All of the little boys in the front are barefoot, although it is clearly NOT warm or dry.

It's like something out of a Dicken's novel.



Renfrewshire / Re: Rhoderick White - Paisley
« on: Saturday 26 September 09 02:32 BST (UK)  »
Thanks for looking. I couldn't understand why he would have been born anywhere but within Renfrewshire, but I wonder why there was such a specific location given in the census.

My great grandfather may have been a rascal - and may even have been a bigamist, but he was a very kind and attached father (he went on to have another nine children). I can't imagine him leaving a son behind when he emigrated if the child was still alive.


Renfrewshire / Rhoderick White - Paisley
« on: Saturday 26 September 09 01:07 BST (UK)  »
My great grandfather was Thomas Leitch White, born in Ballymena Ireland in 1874 and brought to Greenock as a baby. He married Mary Carr in Greenock in April of 1899, daughter of Roderick Carr and Mary O'Donnell.

Tom and Mary had a son born Jan 1 1900 who they named Roderick or Rhoderick after Mary's father. Little Roderick shows up in the 1901 census living with his parents in Paisley. The census gives his birthplace as Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire.

Five years later, there is no sign of Roderick and Tom and Mary appear to have separated. Not sure if they were ever legally divorced. By May of 1906, Tom had a child by, and then married, my great grandmother Lizzie Brymner - and then hopped on a boat to Canada.

Mary Carr married a George McMahon in 1911 in Glasgow, and then passed away in 1916 in Greenock. Interestingly, she lists herself as a spinster at this second marriage. Hmmm. Definitely her, same parents, same date and location of birth.

I have been back and forth through the records and cannot find a sign of what could have happened to Roderick. My presumption is that he must have passed away between 1900 and 1905 - and one assumes in Renfrewshire - either in Paisley or Greenock. However, no death registration can I locate. I'd love to know a date and location, if this is indeed what happened to him.

Anyone out there with any bright ideas or sources ?

Renfrewshire / Re: Ragged School/Bank St Boys Home
« on: Friday 25 September 09 23:52 BST (UK)  »
My great grandfather was an inmate at the Captain Street facility. He shows up there under his step father's name on the 1891 census. Our family was shocked to discover this. We knew he had a very rough childhood and emigrated to Canada in 1906, but we had no idea he'd ended up in a ragged school. Given that his step father only had two children to support, things must have been bad.

At that point, about 100 children, all boys. Youngest was 7. Most of them are 11-15 or so.


Completed Leicestershire Lookup Requests / Re: 1891 lookup please! Gordon
« on: Wednesday 11 October 06 02:14 BST (UK)  »
I'm descended from Robert Pykett and Mary Peet's son William, born 1706 in Easthorpe, who later married Sarah Gragg.
Which of their children is your partner from?

Mary Gordon (Toronto)
Robert Pykett and Mary Peet married 1705 Bottesford
  William Pykett and Sarah Gragg married 1735 Bottesford
     Daniel Pykett and Alice Chambers married 1772 Orston Notts
        Richard Pykett and Mary Wall married 1810 Oakham
          William AKA Reubin Pykett and Mary Jane Cox married 1831 Ashwell
             Jane Pykett and George Clark Wooley married 1870 Ashwell
                Mary Ann Wooley and Colin Campbell Gordon married abt 1897 Leicester
                   George Edward Gordon and May Smith married London, Ontario 1926
                      John Colin Gordon and Thelma Margaret Smith married Kingston Ontario 1953
                         Mary Gordon and John Bertram married Toronto 1988


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