Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jacksons of Grange, Kings County, Ireland

NOTE: In the old deeds, Offally was named King’s Co. I am using the old name in this piece because that is what is in the old records.

In like a lion, out like a lamb. Or vice-versa. My blog in the month of March felt as if it was more like in with the Broad-faced Potoroo and out with the Galapogus Mouse. Both animals are now extinct,  which is what my blog felt like in the month of March. It was the first month since I started a year and a half ago that I didn’t manage a single post. If you deduced that my attention had been elsewhere, you would be right. It is also why this post will be indecently long. For those who are not interested in this topic, the Jacksons of Grange, Kings County, Ireland, it will also be infinitely boring. For the rest of you, parts of it may be more riveting than the tradesmen’s work done on the Titanic, which may not be saying much.

So why did I decide to interrupt this lengthy silence with a piece on the Jacksons of Grange, Kings Co., Ireland? Good Question. It was because I still can’t figure out if these Jacksons fit in with my Jacksons, or even whether that matters to the outcome of my particular quest.

It did help that two brothers, Robert and Henry, got into a legal slug fest over land, and left documentary traces of the whole kafuffle. After this, it seems that Henry retreated east and set up a life for himself in Co. Wicklow. This is not unusual. Jackson families did not stay within carefully delineated County bounds. They popcorned all over the place, including as far as America.
Birr Castle. SOURCE: Wikipedia, licensed under Creative Commons.

Now, when it comes to Kings Co. or anywhere else, just because a number of Jacksons lived cheek by jowl doesn’t mean that they are related. This caution, along with many others, is engraved on the inside of my forehead. It is equally true that if a family lives consistently over time in the same townland, this is nonetheless worthy of notice. The Jacksons of Kings County are the latter. There were clusters in a number of parishes, and I had already linked some of them in known trees. The links for these trees will be at the bottom of this post.

I have also posted references to all the deeds that I have found so far that mention Jacksons in Kings Co.. This adds up to about 8 pages worth of references. Again, the link will be at the bottom of this post.

 In order to take this any further, it is definitely worth getting picky and naming the particular townland, parish and barony where various Jacksons lived and/or held leases. Deeds and wills and such often refer to a particular land designation one way, and then sometimes another. To make things worse, the boundaries of counties, parishes and townlands shifted over time. It is easy to make the mistake of looking in one county, when you should be looking in a neighbouring one. I know it gets boring when the string of place names gets too arcane, but it does help if you use the ordnance survey map site to get yourself oriented. 

Let me give an example. Recently, I finally made sense of one of the Quaker Jacksons who emigrated to America. The Quaker records said that he was a Thomas Jackson born in 1710 at Drechet, Kings Co. So far, so good, but I could not find Drechet for love nor money. A chance encounter with a fellow researcher “Betty” pointed out that another record gave his birthplace as Dreighet, Co. Kildare. A quick dip into the IreAtlas Townland database made it clear that this townland was probably Drehid, Parish of Arkill, Barony of Carbury, Co. Kildare. It is in the north-easterly part of Co. Kildare. A quick peek at the ordinance survey maps, and Bobs your uncle. This barony is on the border of Kings Co., and Co. Kildare, and there are tons of Jacksons in the surrounding parishes on both sides of the border.

It turned out that this particular Thomas wasn’t included in the line of Quaker Jacksons that I had already assembled, because he was from another line of Quaker Jacksons, even though he was living in the same part of Ireland. Just to keep us on our toes, his line married with the ones I had already posted in my original Quaker Jackson tree. 

This new lot of Quaker Jacksons, that this Thomas of Drehid belonged to, descended from Nicholas Jackson of Kilbank, Seawaite, Lancashire, England. His son, Thomas, was also born at Seawaite, and married an Ann Man of Mountmellick, Queens Co (aka Leix aka Laois). They had a son named, guess what – Thomas – who was born in 1710 at the aforementioned Drechet aka Dreighet aka Drehid. Pretty much every citing of his ancestry is based on the mention in the appendix on page 285 of Proceedings ofthe Sesqui-centennial Gathering of the Descendants of Isaac and Ann Jackson.

With respect to all sorts of Jackson families in Kings Co., we can see from the deeds that some of them farmed in the townland of Jonestown, in the parish of Ballymacwilliam, Barony of Warrenstown; others were in the townland of Ballychristal, Parish of Geashill, Barony of Upper Philipstown, Kings Co.; while still others clustered at Edenderry, in the parish of Monasteroris, Barony of Coolestown. In short, when it came to Kings Co., and nearby counties, there were Jackson families here, there, and everywhere.

So far, I have not been able to link this latest batch to any other group of Jacksons. They could be connected to the Quaker lot, or else they could be a branch of the Ballyboy lot, or the Ballybritt lot, they could be some other group all together. I would love it if someone out there actually knows.

One aspect of their tree that makes me curious is the marriage in 1785 between Robert Jackson and Mary Carroll. The Carroll name is a significant name in Birr. Perhaps she was related to the famed Charles CARROLL(1661-1720) a wealthy Catholic settler in Maryland who in later life became Attorney-General in Maryland.   His family came from Aghagurty, Parish of Seirkieran, Barony of Ballybritt, Co. Offally. This is the same parish that Birr is in, so it is not unlikely that there is a connection here.

It is also worth noting that when you are looking for the townland of Birr, that it was also referred to as Parsonstown. This is not because a parson lived there, but because of the family of Sir William Parsons of Birr Castle (1731-1791). I have never been there, but from what I can see it looks like a lovely place to visit, at least these days. Aspects of it may be familiar to North American viewers of “Who Do You Think You Are?”. The workhouse, a relict of a harsher time, was toured by Rosie O’Donnell because the one from neighbouring Kildare which was connected to her family no longer existed.

One of the other things that I am curious about with respect to these Jacksons from Seirkieran, Kings Co. is why Arthur Tenison Groves spent so much time documenting them. Perhaps someone had hired him to piece this tree together. Maybe this post will find them. Groves was an antiquarian/genealogist working in PRONI (Public Records Office of Ireland), and did do work for hire. Thankfully, he had also a thing about making lists, and many of them were completed before much of the public records of Ireland went up in flames in 1922.

I don’t claim to have found all of his mentions of Jacksons noted under T808 in PRONI, but the ones that I transcribed after a recent trip to Belfast add up to 16 pages of single page typing. The deeds references have all been posted on my site. This gives some sense of the scope of this resource, but I should also note that is only a tiny taste of one part of the 9,000 documents that Groves left us. It was thanks to him that I discovered the details of the legal battle between the two brothers Robert and Henry.

Although Henry ended up in Co. Wicklow, some of this family seemed to have remained in Seirkieran parish and elsewhere in Kings Co. for some time. Decades later in Griffiths Valuation, there were still 207 mentions of Jacksons in Kings Co., and 11 Jacksons were mentioned in the 1870 Landlords lists. All told, they held leases to a few thousand acres. Not chump change when it comes to land values.

I can’t claim to have run them all to ground, but I have at least made a start. The deeds page that I assembled on Jacksons of Kings Co. will overlap with many of those mentioned in Griffiths and the landlord records. Although this quest is incomplete, I am hoping that it is helpful. Just let me know where it takes you, so we can all learn together. Otherwise, enjoy, and as a result of our sharing may fewer Jackson lines end up in the pile of endangered species. No more Broad-faced Potoroo and Galapogus Mouse.

A deed on my site whereby Robert JACKSON leases the lands of Tulla aka BallymacMurra

 A deed of Marriage of Mathew Jackson of Edenderry, Kings Co.

Albert Cook Myers. Immigrationof the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750 : with their early history inIreland The Edmundsons of Ireland were originally from Westmoreland. Perhaps not coincidentally, a significant number of Jacksons also from Westmorland settled in Coleriane in the mid-1600s. Edmundsons emigrated to Pennsylvania soon after the first lot of Quaker Jacksons.

An excellent blog by Arlene H. Eakle about the records of Arthur Tenison Groves.

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