Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last Day in Ireland – This Time

A couple of days ago, I was beavering away in the Dublin Deeds Registry, working solo as  is sometimes the case on days when the weather is lousy, when I noticed that my V-neck sweater was on backwards. The label, now beneath my chin, had become itchy. An hour of climbing ladders and hauling down tombstones – the 20 pound, bound books of parchment memorials of deeds – will have that effect on a misplaced label. It crossed my mind that I could just whip my arms out of my sweater and fling it around, but then I remembered the surveillance cameras.  

Kings Inn built in 1800 – home of the Registry of Deeds as well as where barristers hang out doing what barristers do.

I am fully aware of these cameras because years ago, I got busted for taking flash-free photos of memorials. This was common practice by many others at the time - in spite of the occasional sign saying not to.

With these new surveillance cameras in mind, I still regret that I didn’t take a picture of page 187 of the Carlow townland Index #16 before I got busted. On that particular page there is a crude drawing of a man in uniform, with a tall, flat-topped hat and visor, facing a woman in a long dress. He has one leg up as if marching, and is sporting an erect penis about the length of his thigh.

There is a speech bubble above his head: How dare you, seeing I married you?
"Mrs.” replies,   So you did, you villein.

This is just one instance of what gets unearthed when we travel and can see the actual records in the flesh, so to speak. This particular one made me feel that I had glimpsed at least something of a window into the life of a poor bored clerk who day after tedious day had done work that now made my work possible. Surprises, though rarely of this ilk, are a part and parcel of the adventure.

 On the shoulders of others ....

One more thing to note: When it comes to helping out the Irish economy, Ireland and her archives need our help. Many countries, and Ireland is no exception, find it challenging to fund archives, libraries and such. Cost-benefit analyses done by governments tend to get ignored in favour of spending priorities that elected folk think have more sizzle. Sporting events come to mind.

This year, Ireland initiated an outreach program -The Gathering - inviting tourists to come check out their ancestry.  As a result, Aer Lingus flight bookings are up, and I also know that The Fleet Street Hotel – where I have stayed three times on this trip – was fully booked this past week. People like me are booking these flights, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and buying local books and such, and some like me, do it year after year. It isn’t a case of been there, done that.  There is always more to see, more to learn.

My only wish as I wrap up another trip is that some of those tourist dollars could help fund the very museums, art galleries, and archives which bring so many of us to Ireland. Is anyone listening out there? Here’s hoping.

PS This is being written and posted as I am on the homeward leg of my trip – but I do plan to return.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jacksons of Drogheda & Creggan

For those of you have been watching me stumble about trying to make sense of various Jackson families, you should know that I am still stumbling - especially when it comes to nailing down the probable links between the JACKSONs of late 1600s Drogheda, and those in southern Armagh in the mid-1700s. I suspect that I will soon have more to add, but in the meantime, here are the results of some recent baby-steps

In the graveyard at St. Peters - probably not JACKSONs (joke!)

According to the Parish Registers of St. Peters, Drogheda, Church of Ireland, a Richard JACKSON, described as a “carpenter”, was buried on September 4th, 1683. I have written about him before, and will include links at the bottom of this post.There are a number of JACKSONs who are possibly children of this Richard JACKSON. They include:

1663 August 15 - Sarah JACKSON who married Hugh WHORNOCK
1670 Aug 14 Richard JACKSON & wife Alice’s daughter Joane christened.
1675 January 25 John JACKSON’s son Hans was baptised at St.Peters.
1679 April 22 Dorothy JACKSON married Joseph CLOUGH
1680 March 24 Samuel JACKSON’s daughter Susanna was christened
1684 August 3. Joseph JACKSON married Sarah MARTIN He was buried 1690 April 1. A daughter Sarah buried 1689 August 4. It may be that his widow remarried 1691 January 26 a John BLAND [The surname is unclear and looks like BLAZO or BLARO.]

The birth dates of these people likely predate the arrival of this JACKSON at Drogheda, hence the search is on for where they came from. The constellation of names may be a help. Or not. They could just as easily have come from England, France, or from elsewhere in Ireland. NOTE: One clue may be in the baptism of Jeain JACKSON daughter of Richard JACKSON 6 April 1629 in Dublin. It is in the  Church of Ireland Records that I have transcribed.

Richard JACKSON, the son of the “carpenter” Richard JACKSON, had a significant number of children christened at St. Peters, Church of Ireland, in Drogheda, and he may also have had other children born elsewhere. They may or may not have involved the same wife named Alice. This 2nd Richard JACKSON was a merchant involved in exporting, who then became an Alderman, and then Mayor of Drogheda. 

1670 Aug 14 Daughter Joane christened
1672 May 27 Daughter Anne christened
1673 March Son Hans christened
1674 February 8 son William christened
1676/7 son Richard christened. NOTE: This Richard JACKSON b. 1676 may have become an Alderman following in the shoes of his father, and may have married Eleanor CONLY alias PIPPARD mentioned in a marriage settlement 1699 August 23.
1678 Dec 12 daughter Jane Christened NOTE The father Richard is now referred to as both Mayor and Alderman – this was the year he became Mayor.
1679 Jan 1 son Francis christened
1682 November 26 son Thomas buried
1684 Jan 19 son Charles christened
1686 May 18 daughter Alice christened
1690 Aug 16 infant son buried
NOTE: There is also mention of a James JACKSONas  the son of Alderman JACKSON, in the Dublin Scuffle, and yet there is no record of such a christening. He seems to already be an adult in 1699.

The first Richard JACKSON is mentioned in 1657 in the Council Book of the Corporation of Drogheda.  The timing of this first mention is a rather neat fit with the story that the JACKSONs of Creggan, Co. Armagh came to Ireland (if not for the first time) with Cromwell. The records of St. Peters precede Cromwell’s time, and yet there is no earlier mention of JACKSONs. This is also telling. Just as significantly, it seems that the family moved to the Parish of St. Mary’s on the Co. Meath side of Drogheda in the late 1600s, early 1700s. Unfortunately, St. Mary’s records start in 1763, and no JACKSONs remain by then, so they had probably already moved on.

OTHER Links: