Author Topic: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"  (Read 45252 times)

Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,136
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #27 on: Thursday 20 November 08 00:48 GMT (UK) »
bookmarking ... I'm reading it too  ;)

Offline madpants

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,227
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #28 on: Thursday 20 November 08 00:58 GMT (UK) »
Please Sir......can I have some more†? ;D ;D ;D
GREENWELL - Middlesbrough
TURNBULL - Houghton le Spring, Coxhoe, Spennymoor
DEVEY - Pentonville, Stockton, M'bro
MOHAN/HUN - Stockton on Tees
SCRAFTON - Darlington
BROADBENT - Saddleworth, Ashton Under Lyne
HEMSWELL - Grantham, M'bro
SIMPKINS - M'bro
SIMPKIN - Little Wratting, Suffolk
MALLALIEU - Saddleworth, Ashton U L
GOODWIN - Macclesfield Forest
SUTCLIFFE - Heptonstall, Ashton U L
PLIMMER - Pontesbury, Ashton U L
CAMBRIDGE - Goulborne, Ashton U L
SIDDALL - Ashton U L

Offline AnneMc

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,418
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #29 on: Thursday 20 November 08 01:22 GMT (UK) »
Matt:

Can't wait to read the rest of the story. This is wonderful, you have done a good job of writing this story.
Cheers
annemc
Yorkshire - Thompson. Savage, Morris, Richardson, Frankish, Mintoft, Myers, Barker, Hotchkiss
Shropshire - Hotchkiss
Derbyshire - Hardwick, Barker, Marples
Lancashire - Winstanley, Morton


Offline blodwen

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 923
  • Colin
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #30 on: Thursday 20 November 08 07:34 GMT (UK) »

Bookmarking too  :)


Viv
Gywnedd/Caernarvonshire: Roberts, Evans;
Glamorganshire: Griffiths, Thomas;
Middlesex: Sibley, Barnett;
Beds: Sibley
Kent: Jury, Hunt;
Yorkshire/Middlesbrough: Wright, Sullivan;
Irleand/Cork: Donovan, Sullivan;
Northern Ireland (Monaghan): Keefe;

Census information is crown copyright
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline trish251

  • RootsChat Leaver
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *
  • Posts: 9,156
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #31 on: Thursday 20 November 08 12:14 GMT (UK) »
... all agog here ...




Are you going to actually have a blog, on the net, with this ??†

Blogger is good and very easy to use ... and more people would read it ...

I enjoy the blogosphere as well - there are many genealogical bloggers around. Many folks also use these stories as an introduction to their family history websites - it is so much more interesting than just having the names and dates listed online.

I'm probably a blog addict, so many off topic things can be discussed & no-one can complain (except my spouse of course, when I bypass the chores for the blogs)  ;D

Trish
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Matt R

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,241
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #32 on: Thursday 20 November 08 20:26 GMT (UK) »
Nothing But Bad Times: Chapter Two, Part One


As the sun rose above Downpatrick on the morning of March 25 1884, the Owens must have thought a thousand thoughts. At last the day had come, they were leaving their homeland, a homeland that had been blighted by famine, death, and heartbreaking religious prejudice. It is all too clear, why they accepted Catherine and Charlesí offer to hop across the sea for Glasgow.

Everything was in place. Catherine and Charles were to move from their home in Campbeltown, and were to settle in Richard Street, in the Anderston district of Glasgow. Donít ask me how, but Catherine and Charles had managed to find three apartments for Bernard and his family to live in. The plan was that Catherine and her own family would move into 41 Richard Street in Anderston, and her parents and younger siblings were to live in numbers 44 and 45. This was a stroke of luck perhaps, that the family was all together within whispering distance. Number 44 and 45 were in fact one house, separated into two separate living spaces, and number 41 was a house on its own. As the eldest single child, Mary Ann was taken in by Catherine, and obviously there was plenty of room for any man Mary Ann should marry, and in turn, any of their children. Catherine had even arranged for Mary Ann to work in Kelvingrove as a domestic servant, and John and Bernard Jnr also were to work as a shoemakerís apprentice and an errand boy.

Catherine and Charles were good friends with a Mr. Garvie, also of Richard Street, who was a grocer, and he offered to take Bernard on as his messenger boy for four shillings pay a week. Not bad considering he was only thirteen. As you can see, everything was set. All the family needed to do now was get across the Irish Sea.

It was around midday on March 25, when the Owens family arrived at the dockside, waiting on Charles McMillan to appear from the horizon and take them to their better life. You can imagine the scene, and the nervous smile on Bernardís face under his red moustache. This was to be a whole new setting, a new life, completely different from what he had known before. His daughter Catherine had also found him a new job, as the janitor of a Glasgow school. He must have felt very proud of Catherine, and indeed very pleased that his children were now going to have the life that he would have wanted them to have. It wouldnít be easy, but it would be better. He must have turned to his wife Eliza and smiled, whilst she held the hand of her youngest, Joseph, now four. Despite the vicious cold that he had, Bernard must have felt very happy for his family.

The family had just finished eating, when suddenly on the horizon, Mary Ann spotted a grey blob coming towards the docks. There were around ten people standing with them by now, another family also planning to go over the Irish Sea, their bags packed, shivering in the cold spring air. As the vessel (which in itself was no more than twenty five feet in length) came closer, the steam it secreted through the chimney clouded the sun briefly. As it pulled in to the dock, Charles waved out to the Owens family, and greeted them kindly. He took their belongings, little more than old clothes wrapped in sheets, and the Owens family set foot off Irish soil forever. Charles told all of them what they were to expect. He told them about Glasgow and how it was full of all sorts of different people, and the River Clyde that ran through where they were to make their new homes. He told them about all the work there was in the mines and the factories, and the massive railway lines that were being built. A life very different to growing crops and living in damp stone cottages. The youngest of the children must have been completely amazed by his words, and they were looking forward to meeting their sister Catherine, for the first time in three years.

It wasnít long after Charles had finished before he set off across the sea. Bernard would have slept if he could, but the journey was admittedly uncomfortable. He simply coughed his way through the day. It seemed the damp wait for Charles to arrive had brought on a severe cold in him.
The family chatted away and in particular Mary Ann would try to keep her brothers and sisters occupied. It was now over to her to be the head of the children. When they got to Glasgow, it would be time to settle into a new life, perhaps even the youngest kids could even go to school and learnt o write. Mary Ann had managed to learn herself, heaven knows how! So at the point that they left Ireland, she was the only one in the family who could sign any papers or more importantly, and birth or death certificates. And letís not forget, that when they reached Scotland, Bernard and Eliza would see Catherine and Charlesí children for the very first timeÖ

The journey over to Scotland lasted about three to four hours, and it had taken a noticeable toll on Bernardís health. By the time the shores of Scotland were in sight, Bernard was shivering frantically, and hardly spoke a word. It became of great concern to Charles and Eliza, who took to wrapping him in a sheet they had brought with them. It was clear that Bernard was suffering from some form of pneumonia. He was not a well man...


Copyright © Matthew Reay, 2008
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Matt R

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,241
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #33 on: Thursday 20 November 08 20:29 GMT (UK) »
Nothing But Bad Times: Chapter Two, Part Two


As Glasgow came closer and closer to view, the Gothic architecture, intriguingly intertwined with factory chimneyís and scaffolding, made sure that all heads in the boat were firmly fixed facing upwards. It was fascinating to be in such a place, and the Owensí were feeling bittersweet. This was it; this was the place they had left home for. Their new life waited here for them, yet, on the other hand, would Bernard survive. He seemed likely to last the journey, but would he last the week?


Arriving at Richard Street, the family must have been amazed to see two story houses on a cobbled street. It was not a small street at all, it was quite busy, something quite on the contrary to the fields of County Down and Tyrone before that. Sanitary conditions were not desirable at all, but this was better than before. They knew that. Of course they did. They would make do; after all, Catherine and Charles had worked for nearly three years to give them this new life.

When the family met up with Catherine again it must have been a shock for her to see her father in such a frail state, spluttering his words and blue in the face. It wasnít a very good reunion at all. Despite this, she smiled and hugged her parents, and then her husband, and lastly her siblings, John, Bernard, Elizabeth, Ellen and Joseph. Then of course Catherine introduced her family to her children, Charles, who was three, Eliza who was one, and Margaret, only a few weeks old. Catherine and Charles would continue to have more children, John in 1886, Catherine in 1888, Christina in 1890, Thomas in 1894, Peter in 1896, George in 1899, and Bernard in 1901.

Bernard did stay in his new home for the first night. It was decided that if he got some rest, he may get better, after all, they thought he simply had a bad cold. These were the days before hospitals, before the medical profession really took off, in regards to proper diagnosis and treatment. The germ theory had only been published twenty three years previous. Nevertheless when Bernard did not respond the next morning (March 26 1884), he was taken into the Western Infirmary. There was nothing they could do for him, and he died there on March 27, at 00.30. He died aged 45.
For Bernard, the vision was over. The new life he hoped for in Scotland crumbled, and as for the rest of his family, it must have devastated them. All of Catherineís work, and now this? It just didnít seem fair, but nothing really was back then. The familyís faith had taught them not to question Godís will. Things were alot worse than they are today. The family now lost its head just hours after setting up their new life. Bernard was gone, and to this day, I havenít been able to find where he rests, although he may be buried in Lochburn Catholic Cemetery, Glasgow.

Bernardís death must have put quite a strain on his family. Number 45 Richard Street was now home to a widow and her five youngest children. It was the first loss Eliza felt since her two sons, in Ireland. Perhaps, Scotland wasnít going to be the great relief she thought it was.

Moving on from Bernardís untimely death, this is where the story shifts, from Catherine, to Mary Ann, my great, great grandmother. For shortly after her losing her father, she seems to have found some comfort. She began a relationship with a man named Francis McDonald, a seaman of Irish birth, like her. He was from Mullingar and was born around 1860 to a policeman called Henry, and his wife Agnes. Very soon, Francis was seen to be Mary Annís pillar of support, and the two married in St Patrickís Chapel, Anderston, on November 20 1885. After a long period of grief and uncertainty, the family had reason to celebrate. Things were starting to look up...

Copyright © Matthew Reay, 2008
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,136
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #34 on: Thursday 20 November 08 21:29 GMT (UK) »
 :'(

(sad, but what a great story, well told, Reaybo)

What happened next? ...

Offline Matt R

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,241
    • View Profile
Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #35 on: Thursday 20 November 08 21:32 GMT (UK) »
Ahhh that you will find out tomorrow :D

Thanks for reading :D Its good to know peeps are interested.

Matt.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk