Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Dog that Didn't Bark

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Silver Blaze.

Sherlock Holmes - Wiki - Creative Commons.
Why did Rev. Richard Jackson (1602-1681), who sired at least 21 children by his three consecutive wives, not name one of his sons Richard? After all, the family did have a tradition of naming children after parents, and ancestors. One of his daughters was named after his wife, and at least one of his grandsons was named Richard. The answer probably lies in the fact that only 17 of his known children have so far been identified, so there are clearly 4 more to be found. My hunch is that one of them was a Richard.

Recently, the Beetham Funeral Entries came to my attention. This document was drawn up just after the death of Rev. Richard Jackson’s son William, and it mentioned a Nathaniel Jackson, a brother of William’s still alive in 1688 at the time of William’s death. Nathaniel’s place in the family is corroborated by notes from the 1705 will of another brother, Samuel Jackson, who includes mention of my dead brother Nathaniel of Leeds in Yorkshire. In these notes, recorded by Arthur Tenison Groves, Nathaniel has a son, although the wording of Groves’ notes is a little ambiguous on this score.

Obviously, even though no Richard was mentioned in this 1688 document, it does not mean that he didn’t exist. It may mean that he had died before 1688, or perhaps had been disinherited. Two other known brothers, Thomas and Francis, are also not mentioned in this document. We know from the Biographical Register of Christ’s College that Francis was recorded as dead in his father’s 1682 will (which I have not seen). About Thomas, we have no idea so far, but let’s assume that he had died before 1688. That would fit.

If there is indeed a missing son named Richard, it is then quite likely that he joined his brothers William and Samuel in the north of Ireland (or else, they joined him). One man worth looking at in this regard is the Richard Jackson (1626-1678) who headed up one of the significant Quaker Jackson families in Ireland. He started in the north, and found his way south, as did several other men in the family. Conveniently for this line of thinking, he died two years before this 1688 document where he is not mentioned.

What else do we know? There is proof that in 1645, Rev. Richard Jackson already had 14 living children. The birth of his son, Rodger Jackson, was imminent, and yet Rodger is only the 11th child that I have found a record for, and that includes the three more that were added from the Beetham Funeral Entries.

The passage which includes the mention of the numbers of children is worth reading (and the word Lord is indeed rendered as Lorp in the original). The passage is from a letter dated February 28, 1645 to Right Honorable Col. Benson of Kendal as recorded in The Ejected of 1662 in Cumberland and Westmoreland :

First one Mr. Jackson ministr of Whittingham neare Kyrby Lonsdall, a vry pious & honest able man haveing heretofore entred bond as surety wth a popish recusant (I psume it was wth hopes to gayne him to or Church) principall for the sume of 100li, this was donne before these troubles, & the popish gentleman proveing a Delinquent all his lands & meanes beinge sequestred, is utterly disabled to satisfy that debt, whereuppon honest Mr. Jackson is like to beare the burden, but I feare it will breake his backe & the creditours (now tyme begineing to be open (?) in Lancashire where Mr. Jackson lives that suites may be tryed) doth labour to pursue Mr. Jackson & recovr his 100li of him wch indeed is easyly done for the bond is cleere. Yet if lawe pceede agaynst Mr. Jackson & compell him to pay it as it will do, he will be undone, and not able to subsist haveing wife & many children, 14 children he hath & the 15th (is by this tyme borne for every houre his wife lookes for it) this is this honest ministrs desire & I earnestly desire the same, that yor Lorp be pleased to advise his friend (that will repaire to yor Lorp) what course may be taken that Mr. Jackson may have satisfaction, if any be to be had out of the delinquents estate of lands or woods, or any way whereby himselfe & the publike be not priudiced, we leave it to yor Lorps wisdome, & information of any that shall be imployed to come to yor Lorp. I am sure if yor Lorp can help him you shall not neede repent of it he is so honest a ministr.

There were still 5 more children who came after Rodger, which leaves us still short four names, but at least, thanks to the Beetham Funeral Entries, we have found Nathaniel, alive in 1688, but dead by 1705, and a known brother to the Jacksons of Coleraine. Hopefully, we will soon learn more. Nathaniel is a tantalizing name for Jackson researchers in Ireland. It shows up less frequently in the early settlements than names such as William, John, Thomas, or Richard, and is therefore easier to track.

Another reason for suspecting that the Quaker Richard Jackson is connected to this family is that he had a grandson named Nathaniel. The property transactions of this Richard’s descendents, the Jacksons of Mountmellick in Queens Co., include several Nathanial Jacksons, and the family naming patterns also echo many of the other names in Rev. Richard Jackson’s line. Mind you, with 21 children, the old reverend did use up a lot of names. No wonder his last known child was named Vigesima. It means twentieth, so I assume that her father did not count the infant Maria who did not make it to her first birthday.

If the Quaker Richard Jackson (1626-1678) turns out to be a son of the Rev. Richard Jackson (1602-1681), then he would have been 19 years old at the time of his father’s financial distress, and a likely candidate to serve with Cromwell. His step-mother, the mother of baby Rodger likely died in childbirth, since Rev. Richard married his 3rd wife a year later.

If my speculation is valid – and it will take more work to nail it down – it upsets many earlier assumptions. The received wisdom amongst many when it comes to the history of the Quaker Jacksons is that two brothers Richard and Anthony Jackson left England and settled first at Carrickfergus in Antrim. Some sources are unsure whether Anthony and Richard were in fact brothers, so we can set that aside for now. It was in Ireland that this Richard met and married Margaret Keete. His birth date was found in the minutes of the Quaker Mountmellick Meeting, but his father was not named. It seems clear that this Quaker Richard was a soldier in the Parliamentary army in 1649 and was amongst the first of the Quakers to settle in Lurgen, Co. Armagh and then later in Co. Cavan and elsewhere. He then uprooted to Mountmellick, where his son Robert, grandson Nathaniel, and great-grandson Nathaniel, as well as numerous other descendents continued to reside. These are some of the known facts.

I am not alone in questioning the supposed ancestry of these early Quaker Jacksons, which has them descending from Sir Anthony JACKSON (1599-1666) of Killingwold Grove. That link was debunked by Sir Edmund T. Bewley as early as 1903: The Ancestor; a quarterly review of county and family history, heraldry and antiquities No. 7, 1903. pp. 66-71.

Sir Anthony Jackson was a man of good family, a church- man, a courtier, and an ardent Royalist; while the Anthony Jackson in question was a small farmer, a Puritan, and a Cromwellian. Any one who has studied the early history of the Society of Friends knows that the Society was at this time recruited mainly from yeomen and the lower middle class, and not from the landed gentry. Few would be likely to join its ranks who were not already imbued with Puritan principles.[NOTE: The sons of Rev. Richard Jackson were of yeoman and merchant class.]

Not only is there an entire absence of any evidence of a descent of this Anthony Jackson from the Jacksons of Killingwoldgraves, but there is a strong presumption against any such descent.

It will be found, I think, that the first suggestion of this descent came from ' George Henry de Strabolgi Plantagenet ' Harrison or whatever his proper designation may be whose unscrupulous conduct in pedigree mongering is dealt with by Mr. Walter Rye in his Records and Record Search in Portions of the Greer pedigree as given in the early editions of Burke's Landed Gentry were severely handled by 'Anglo-Scotus ' in the Herald and Genealogist (vi. 137) ; and I think the alleged descent from the Killingwoldgraves Jacksons is almost worthy of a place in the Ancestor under the heading of ' What is Believed.

Bewley (1837-1908), whose family were Quakers from Cumbria, was not some crank who can be readily dismissed. He was a much-published researcher, who was well  respected in Ireland, England and America. Over and above what he mentioned, there is one more clue that makes me side with his suspicions.

According to the Memoir of Halliday Jackson, Thomas GREER of London, one of the descendants of the Jackson family, discovered the genealogy of the family extending back four generations beyond the published record, as well as the coat of arms confirmed to Richard Jackson in 1613 in the British Museum. I do not know what he discovered with respect to the four generations of Jacksons, but I do know about the Coat of Arms awarded posthumously to Richard Jackson (1560-1610), husband of Ursula HILDEGARD, son of Anthony (1540-1560) and a grandson of Richard (1505-1555). This crest contained the elements of three golden suns.

I have never seen a Jackson crest with three suns being associated with any of the Jacksons in Ireland. The crest that does show up in association with them – repeatedly - is a crest that features three birds, not three suns. Sometimes, these birds are cormorants, sometimes eagles, sometimes ducks. You can see many of them on an earlier post on my website: Jackson Crests.

In understanding the history of the Jacksons, it also helps to follow where people like them were likely to start from and then move to.  The recent posts by Dublin’s Trinity College about the Down Survey of Ireland include maps of the Cromwellian Conquest. They are a great help. One map, from 1649, shows which parts of Ireland were and were not under British control. It is clear that the lands in Co. Cavan, where some Jacksons had been “planted” in the early 1600s, were beyond the pale. Otherwise, the pre-Cromwellian Jacksons primarily resided and conducted business in the Protestant strongholds of Londonderry, Drogheda, Dublin and Co. Cork. The post- Cromwellian lands, where Jacksons took up leases in the mid-1600s and afterwards, were primarily reserved for Adventurers and Army. In short, these Jacksons were either leasing from the supporters of Cromwell, or were owners because of their support of Cromwell.

Scientists and detectives use the word hunches rather than guesses but it amounts to the same thing. Everything in this post is a guess, but it is part of the necessary imagining that helps us to move past brick walls. No matter whether time proves me right or wrong, I promise to keep you posted. In the near future, I will also be posting more data that may help us to suss out where we should look next.

  • For the genealogy of the known members of this family, SEE: The Silver Bowl Rootsweb Tree
  • The documentation that I have posted on my web site which has lead me to this hypothesis includes dozens of documents -  too numerous to mention.  There will also be many more to come. One place to start is by looking on my page: What’s NEW.
  • There are two researchers who shared key documents that were key to me being able to form this hypothesis: Jan Waugh and Iain MacRae. My profound gratitude to them, as well as to all the other researchers on whose shoulders I stand on as I peer into the murky past.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jacksons of Co. Cavan

Years ago, when out walking late at night, I came upon a twenty dollar bill on the road. I picked it up, and immediately saw by lamplight that it wasn’t real. It was a half-completed counterfeit bill with only one side printed. So, I had a story, but no real money. Sometimes, I think of that experience when I read on the Internet that all the Jacksons of Co. Kildare are related to the Jacksons of .... 

Unlike the one-sided twenty dollar bill, it isn’t that these stories are counterfeit nor that they are necessarily untrue. It is just that they have as much currency as that bill did. There is never any source material to back the claim. I recently saw a version of this when Googling something else:
The Jackson family of Kildare were related to most of the big Quaker families. ...... Armagh ; at Lisna- garvey or Lisburn ; at Belturbet in Co. Cavan ; at Grange ...
I have not included this as a hyperlink because it won't take you where you think it should, not that it is an evil virus or anything like that. Please get in touch with me if you know what it was supposed to link to. I am beyond curious.

Even so, I do suspect it is true that The Jackson family of Kildare were related to most of the big Quaker families. ...... but the path to proving it continues to be elusive.My most recent focus is to document the Jacksons of Co. Cavan. This is because of a sentence written by the daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON (1841-1915) in the early 1900s:

My Father came of an English family, one of whom went to Ireland as an officer in the Army in Queen Elizabeth's reign- was given a grant of land in County Cavan.

Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603. I mention this as someone who failed history in High School. Belatedly, I have learned that dates matter. They really matter.

From here, my quest gets more arcane. This failed history student has had to do penance and learn hundreds of dates, as well as hundreds of names of townlands and landlords. What makes it worse is that the records of so many of these townland names are like that childhood whispering game - the one where one person whispers a word in the ear of the person to her left, for example the word: breakfast. The next person whispers it to the person on her left, and so on until it comes back to first person who started it. By the time it has gotten back to her, the word has become: beetle.  

With townland, parish, and barony names, the vowels change most often, and the rest depends in part on local accents or a legal clerk who can’t spell. At least, that is my theory. It is also how I go about making sense of the following.

In the early 1600s, according to the report done by Sir Nicholas Pynnar in 1618, Sir George Mainwaring from Shropshire, England was granted 2,000 acres in The Precinct of Loghtee, allotted to English Undertakers. Loghtee is now known as Upper Loughtee and Lower Loughtee.  The boundaries of this barony were not quite the same as today, but even so, it is an important land unit to bear in mind. It helps to avoid the error of choosing the wrong townland. There is often more than one townland sharing the same name within a given County.

In this Precinct aka Barony, Mainwaring erected a brick house, a stone bawn, and a village of 7 houses. This represented a significant investment. Permanence was clearly the plan. Three freeholders and 21 lessees lived there, including Thomas Jackson and Bartholemew Jackson. On August 20, 1616, Sir Mainwaring demised to Thomas Jackson the poll of Agharaugh, and two acres of Gortnecoshe, with a messuage for a term of 41 years. He also leased to Bartholomew Jackson and his assigns the pole called Pollybrally for 41 years. NOTE: pole and poll are spelled as they were in the original document – one footnote, two versions. A poll or pole – no matter how you spell it - refers to a townland.

This is where the Circle Game comes into play again. Agharaugh is clearly Agharahan and Gortnecoshe is now the townland of Gortnekesh. Both townlands are in the parish of Annagelliff,  in the Barony of Upper Loughtee. They are also within a short walking distance of each other. As for Pollybrally? My best guess is that if Thomas and Bartholomew Jackson were related – and they probably were - it is most likely that they lived in nearby townlands. This leads me to consider the possibility of Pollamore Near and Pollamore Far. 

 Parish of Annaghelliff Jackson Cluster

1.     Cullies: 1875 John JACKSON died
2.     Poles: 1770 Mary JACKSON married John WHITE
3.     Gorthakesh: 1616 Thomas JACKSON lease
4.     Reask: 1729 Rev. Robert JACKSON of Tatham, Lancashire Memorial of land transfer
5.     Agharahan: 1616 Thomas JACKSON lease
6.     Lisreagh: 1826 Unnamed JACKSON tithe
7.     Pollamore Near: 1616 Bartholomew JACKSON lease – possibly if it was actually called Pollybrally in earlier times. My current guess.
8.     Pollamore Far: as above

From here, it is like throwing a stone in the water and then following the pattern of the ripples. These are the kinds of questions I often ask myself:
  • What are the adjacent townlands?
  • Were there any major roads nearby?
  • Was there a nearby river?
  • Where might these roads and rivers take them?
  • Were there any subsequent Jackson settlements nearby?

It may turn out that it is no coincidence that Richard Jackson, the buttonmaker who lost his crops, animals and household goods during the Rebellion of 1641, lived in Ffarnham aka Farnham, Urney, very close to where the Jacksons first leased land in 1616. (SEE: the 1642 depositions)

The next wave of Jacksons, in the 1650s, were the Quakers who settled at Belturbet, Co. Cavan. Belturbet is north of the parish of Annagelliff with the parish of Castleterra in between them. It would be an easy walking distance from where the first Jacksons settled. A hundred years later, Jacksons were still living there, and continue to do so into the 21st Century.

Half a century after these Quakers arrived in Co. Cavan, a will of Samuel Jackson dated 1705 mentions his lands in Co. Cavan in the townland of Drumgola, Urney. Samuel was a wealthy merchant, living in Dublin, with extended family in Kirby Lonsdale, Westmorland, Coleraine, Londonderry, and Tatham, Yorkshire. He also owned forfeited lands in the townland of Lisnagroat, which – once again playing the Circle Game – I suspect is Lismagratty, Parish of Castleterra, Barony of Upper Loughtee. Lismagratty and Drumgola are in different parishes, but they are on the borders of these parishes, and butt up against each other. Cows probably grazed in both fields with no clue as to the difference.

Samuel Jackson also held land in the townlands of Bratley, Co. Carlow, but a townland of that name no longer exists in Cavan. One farfetched guess is that it could be the townland of Pollybrally. This is because it borders the lands granted to Jacksons in 1616. Obviously, I need to defer to townland experts on this one. Perhaps someone can set me straight here.

Finally, one last bit about Samuel Jackson and his 1705 will. The Rev. Robert Jackson of Tatham, Lancashire whose uncles are mentioned in his will, is likely the same Rev. Robert Jackson mentioned in a 1729 transfer of 50 acres in Reask, Parish Annagelliff (or else he is his son). Reask is a townland that is cheek by jowl with the townlands granted to Jacksons in 1616.

By now we have a veritable posse of smoking guns. The clusters of land holdings that were held over time by various Jacksons, many with the same names, are quite striking. More work is needed. I have prepared a number of documents to help others follow this in more detail, and will leave it at that for now. Whew!

Jacksons of Cavan – my 3rd version. This includes more research data including copious paragraphs of me thinking out loud.