Author Topic: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"  (Read 45254 times)

Offline IndisVanyar

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:36 GMT (UK) »
Feels like circle time - I am waiting with baited breathe.

Nell
Kitching Elsbury Lawrence Last Ellington Govier Pawsey Rice Nevitt Napier Seymour


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Offline Lydart

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:37 GMT (UK) »
Me too ... tell us where we can find the blog please !


I like blogs !    Especially those of people I know ... you see a whole different side to them ...
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Offline Matt R

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:48 GMT (UK) »
Here goes guys...


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Offline cheekylauren

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:52 GMT (UK) »
Hello,

What a great way to honour your family and make great use of your research.

Looking forward to the story that awaits.

Lauren

Offline craizi daizi

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:54 GMT (UK) »
Hey Matty

Just marking my spot to ,  for the story ....

Daizi
Flisher : UK and Sth Africa and Australia<br />Munro† : Scotland,† Inverness, Ross and Cromarty and Australia<br />Prust†† : Bristol, UK, and Australia<br />Woodburgess/Wood/Burgess/Wood-Burgess,† Adcock/Brudenall in Lincolnshire UK and Australia<br />Taylor :Yorkshire,† Nottinghamshire and Australia<br />Mathers† : Montrose , Scotland and Australia<br />Johnson† :† ?? and Australia
Dixon Australia and Cumberland

Offline Matt R

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 20:55 GMT (UK) »
Nothing But Bad Times: Chapter One, Part One

This story starts in 1858, in a small Irish farming village in County Tyrone, called Aghaloo. In the small, stone church there on the third of November, a Roman Catholic couple made their vows in front of God to live the rest of their lives together. Their names were Bernard Owens, a farm servant born in the neighbouring parish of Carnteel around 1839, and his bride Elizabeth Ann (Eliza) Fox, born in Cravanagh, in 1842. It was a very small ceremony without any celebration. The great famine of the 1850ís and the events that followed had claimed both of Bernardís parents (Richard and Margaret) and Elizaís father William and his wife Ann also perished.

This marriage is the start of a story that spans 150 years and will continue long into the future.

Soon after the marriage, Eliza fell pregnant and on March 22 1860, she gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Catherine. Baby Catherine was baptized in the church her parents married just hours after coming into the world. It was custom to have a child baptized very soon after birth, for if the infant died after, it would be religiously entitled to a formal burial. Bernard and Eliza now had begun to make a family of their own. The families they had been born into had all but ceased to exist.

Catherine was followed two years later by another daughter, named Mary Ann, born on the eight of May 1862, also in Aghaloo. It is Mary Ann that the later chapters will concentrate on, as she is my great, great granny, and it is her story that is the most interesting to tell. It was around this same time in 1862 that Bernard became unemployed and the family decided to move on and attempt to resettle. Bernard found work and shelter in a farm just outside of Dungannon, in a place called Clonavaddy, which exists now in 2008 as a street lying below 10 houses and a petrol station. The name Clonavaddy is barely recognized in the area, as I found when I visited in August 2007.

Life must have been unimaginably hard going for Bernard and Eliza, who, by late 1864 was heavily pregnant with her third child. Early in the New Year of 1865, Eliza once again gave birth, this time to a son. The first born son was Peter, named after the biblical disciple, who later became the first Pope. Bernard now had the task of having to provide for his wife and three children. As one can guess, being a farmer in 1860ís Ireland must have been an extremely difficult job. Bernard had to play his part to try and at least, in some way, rebuild a country devastated by famine and starvation. Religious persecution also began to grow, tensions between Catholics and Protestants flared up in violence up and down Ireland. My granny tells me that Bernard and his family were thrown out of the farm, after it was taken over by a Protestant man and his family. I donít know if this occurred at this point in the story, and I have no reason to doubt my granny, for she has been correct in most of the information she has given me about her own granny, and her parents. I personally think that the eviction happened sometime here in the 1865-67 bracket, for Bernard, Eliza, along with their children Catherine, Mary Ann and of course Peter, had moved out of County Tyrone altogether by 1868. This was the time when perhaps Bernard thought that the place that had been his home for 30 years was no longer a place he wanted to raise his children in. The Owens family moved out of County Tyrone, and seemed to head any direction that favoured them most. They chose East, and headed for County ArmaghÖ

Copyright © Matthew Reay, 2008
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Offline Matt R

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 21:01 GMT (UK) »
Nothing But Bad Times: Chapter One, Part Two

The journey to County Armagh was a long one. They walked and walked everyday through the tracks and conditions seen before only in the Middle Ages. Eliza cradled Peter in her arms and Bernard stumbled in front with a stick in one hand attached to a bread filled bag that hung over his shoulder, and holding Catherineís hand with his other. Catherine in turn held Mary Annís hand as they made their ways out of County Tyrone, never to return.

The family stopped in Armagh briefly, for about five or six months. I donít know this for sure but again a family member tells me that the family had a farm in Armagh, which a descendant of Mary Ann visited in the 1950ís, the farm still being in existence. For an unknown reason, the family left Armagh too. Armagh was the Roman Catholic capital of Ireland, so I am taking an educated guess that they were safe there, in other words it seems that persecution had not yet reached them there. It is likely they moved again due to the need for more money and a more secure job for Bernard. Therefore, the family headed for County Down.

Travelling through night and day in the winter months almost killed the Owens family, but they survived. I donít know how they did it, but they survived. However, fate was to deal a cruel blow to Bernard and Eliza. One evening in 1868, Peter, now nearly four years old, was starting to fall ill due to the worsening conditions and the cold nights spent on the dirt ways. Bernard carried Peter and searched for help, the first he could find out on the roads, but it was too late. Peter was not breathing. We donít even know if he found anybody. Even if he had, it was hopeless. Peter died aged three in County Armagh, somewhere along the roadside. He is buried somewhere in the county, unlikely the family could afford a proper burial for him. Weíll probably never know where Peter is buried.

At the ages of eight and six, Catherine and Mary Ann probably had no understanding of what was happening. They knew no different than the awful conditions beset on them. The knowledge that their brother had died probably didnít really register until they saw Elizaís arms were empty, and wondered where he had gone. The fact too that they mustíve seen their parents bury their brother, is something I personally struggle with.

The seemingly ghoulish concept of naming a future child after a previously deceased one is never seen nowadays. However, back in these times it was quite common, if the father or mother wished for the name to be passed down. By the time the Owens family had reached County Down sometime in mid 1869, they had to stop there for a while, for Eliza had become pregnant again. After Peterís death just months before, it was perhaps a blessing that Bernard and Elizaís fourth child was a boy. Of course, in memory of their dead son, they named the new born Peter. Tragically however, Peter later died at just a few weeks old, and is buried in Downpatrick. He died sometime in 1869. It seems the name Peter was cursed.

The Owens stayed in Downpatrick for more than a decade, and as Bernard began to find work, it seems that the family had left the worst behind them. Bernard and Eliza now settled down with their three surviving children, and there were more on the way. In 1870 Eliza gave birth to John, followed by Bernard in 1871, Elizabeth in 1874, Ellen in 1876, and Joseph, who was born two days after the Christmas of 1879.

By this time (1879), Catherine and Mary Ann had also found work as Domestic Servants, working in a manor house on the outskirts of Downpatrick. It was here that the people who owned the house taught Mary Ann how to write, and they grew particularly fond of her, as they did with Catherine, so much that they paid the two sisters very well, or so Mary Ann later told her children. It was around this same time that Catherine met a ferryman called Charles McMillan. He was born illegitimate in 1858 in Campbeltown, Scotland, and took passengers in and out of Ireland. He was based at the River Clyde. He was the master of a boat on the Clyde called a Cluthaís, one of 12 built in total. On March 10 1880 at Belfast, Catherine married Charles, and immediately, she decided that there was a better life for them over in a bustling Scotland. Catherine and Charles left Ireland for Charlesí hometown Campbeltown, and arrived there in early 1881, early enough to be recorded there with no children, on the 1881 census. Bernard, Eliza† and there remaining six children remained in Downpatrick.

However, this was not the last Catherine would see of her family. One day, Catherine arrived with Charles, back in Downpatrick from across the sea, and offered her parents and siblings the chance to come over to Scotland, and break free from Ireland altogether. After all, there was nothing left for them on the Emerald Isle, and like so many others, they had had enough. They agreed. It seemed that this really was the turning of their fortunes. The Owens family packed what little they had with them, and left their farm in Downpatrick, and headed for the boats leaving for Scotland. It seems at last, they had some hope to cling ontoÖ

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

Offline Lydart

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 21:07 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 ...
Dorset/Wilts/Hants: Trowbridge Williams Sturney/Sturmey Prince Foyle/Foil Hoare Vincent Fripp/Frypp Triggle/Trygel Adams Hibige/Hibditch Riggs White Angel Cake 
C'wall/Devon/France/CANADA (Barkerville, B.C.): Pomeroy/Pomerai/Pomroy
Som'set: Clark(e) Fry
Durham: Law(e)
London: Hanham Poplett
Lancs/Cheshire/CANADA (Kelowna, B.C. & Sask): Stubbs Walmesley

WRITE LETTERS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO TREASURE ... EMAILS DISAPPEAR !

Census information Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Matt R

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Re: Blog: "Nothing But Bad Times"
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 19 November 08 21:14 GMT (UK) »

I havent done anything with this yet apart from posting it here...its not long enough really to put on the net anywhere else but here.

I just thought its a good piece to show rootschatters, and share what I have found...me putting this together is sort of a "success story" on just what i have found out...

Hope you found it interesting, part two next week :)
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