21 June 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 26 - Halfway

Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?

This week I had a bit of trouble coming up with something creative, so I thought I would keep going on the story I got halfway through the other week, the story of 2 brothers who each married three times. The first time I wrote about William Dempsey, this week I'm following up with his brother Thomas.

Thomas Dempsey was born on May 22nd, 1893 in Hutchesontown, Glasgow Scotland, the 3rd child and 2nd son of Thomas Dempsey and Mary Kennedy

According to census, and various birth, marriage and death records for him and his children, for his whole working life, Thomas was a Contractor's Carter or Carter - driving goods from one place to another. According to one post I read, the modern equivalent would be a "white van man".

I haven't been able to find Thomas in the 1911 census when he would have been 17 or 18, so the first time we meet him as an adult is when he marries Agnes McVicar McPhail on Dec 31, 1913 at St Johns Catholic Church in Portugal Street Glasgow.

Agnes, the daughter of Daniel McPhail and Margaret McKay, was an Iron Bolt Screwer.

Thomas and Agnes had at least 3 children:

  1. Thomas Dempsey, born in May 1914 - he married Mary Wallace. They had a son, also called Thomas (Thomas Andrew Dempsey)
  2. Margaret McKay Dempsey, born in January 1916 - she married Alexander Mathieson. Known to us as Maggie Mathieson, she had 3 children: Margaret, Alexander and Mary - Margaret and her family (the McCartneys) moved to Victoria, Australia. Mary moved to the US and had a family there (the Gyors)
  3. Daniel McPhail Dempsey born in January 1920 - unfortunately Daniel passed away in March 1941 in an accident aged just 21. The information I saw when I visited Scotland in 2010 said his death was "probably injury from High Explosive Bomb". He was a rivet heater and likely involved in the "war effort"

Sadly Agnes died giving birth to Daniel.

In September 1914 Thomas enlisted for a 3 year short service period as a military driver - however, the hard life of carting meant he had a very large hernia - within a few weeks of his enlistment he was discharged as being "unlikely to ever become an efficient soldier" due to this medical condition.

Even though he was discharged in 1914, he is listed as a Carter (Driver Royal Engineers) on daughter Margaret's birth information in 1916

Thomas' 2nd marriage was to Catherine McIntosh on Dec 31, 1921 also at St John's church on Portugal Street Glasgow.

One of the witnesses to this marriage, Annie McIntosh, was Catherine's younger sister - she went on to marry Thomas' brother William in 1924.

Thomas and Catherine had one son, Alexander McIntosh Dempsey who died of measles as a one year old.

Catherine died in 1932 of Lobar Pneumonia.

Thomas then went on to marry Agnes Paton (who was the widow of a man called Robert Bernard) in 1934 at St Francis Catholic Church in Glasgow

Thomas died in 1952. He collapsed at work and was taken to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. He fell off a hospital trolley and fractured his skull which led to his death.

16 June 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 25 - The Old Homestead

Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead: Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?

No homestead in my history that I am aware of. There is a place called Farley Farmhouse in Sussex but it is on the other side of the county from where my Farley ancestors came from, so it is likely not my "ancestral home".

In week 5 I wrote about Abraham Channon and the farm he lived on. But Abraham is part of my former brother-in-law's family, only in my tree in case my nephews ever want to know about the other side of their tree, so that farm is not my "ancestral home" either.

So what I thought I'd feature today are some of my ancestors' graves in an historic graveyard in Scotland.

Cambuskenneth Abbey in Stirling Scotland is the place were James III, King of the Scots, is buried and also apparently where Robert the Bruce had his Parliament, so it was a surprise to find a number of my ancestors buried there.

When I was in Scotland in 2010, my 4th cousin John Robin Hunter took me to see the what was left of the Abbey and the cemetery attached to it.

There are only 25 headstones there - and 25% of them are "Hunter" headstones (somehow related to me though I didn't get a chance then to work out how we all belonged together).

My great-great-great-grandparents Robert Hunter and Agness Wright are both buried here as are 2 of their children - Barbara Hunter and Duncan Hunter and one of their grandsons - John Ross Clarkson Hunter

I'm not sure how they came to be buried in this historic graveyard, but obviously the relation to some of the other Hunters there must be key

Here are some photos from that day.

So who are Robert Hunter and Agness (Agnes) Wright?

Robert, born January 22, 1808 was one of the 5 known children of Robert Hunter and Barbara Alexander

Agness (Agnes), born July 17, 1803 was one of the 7 known children of John Wright and Helen Finlayson

They married in 1827 

And went on to have at least 9 children:
Robert, John, Helen, James, William, Alexander (my great great grandfather), Duncan, Agnes and Barbara

Agness (Agnes) and Robert died within a few months of each other in 1876. Agness of Senile Decay and Robert of Intussesception which apparently remained a fatal medical condition until the late 1800s (too late for Robert).

8 June 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 24 - Heirloom

Week 24 (June 11-17) – Heirloom: What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?

During the #FearlessFemales challenge I wrote a post about Inheritance which you can read here. That blog covered 2 rings - one my sister inherited and one I inherited, so there isn't really much left to list as Heirlooms....

Apart from my Dad's ceramic horses that is, so today's post is about them as told by 
my Special Guest blogger - my sister, Kathleen:

Dad's sister, Aunty Janet, brought back a horse & cart on one of her trips to Scotland.

Dad wanted it 'cause he really liked it. It reminded him of his childhood (not all of it was bad!) and he really loved working with the milkman's horse, even though he stole it. (see that story here)

Aunty Janet wouldn't give it to him - he asked every time he was at her house.

Eventually she said to him he might as well have it because she was sick of looking at it and was going to get rid of it anyway.

He was so pleased with himself when he brought it home. Maureen adds - If you knew him, you could just imagine his belly jiggling as he laughed about it

Then Aunty Janet kept telling him she wanted it back, but he would tell her she gave it to him, it was his now & she couldn't have it.

The first time I went to England, Dad told me to bring him another one. Getting one there wasn't the same as bringing one from Scotland, but I found one - and then I had too much stuff to bring home so I left it with Mum's Aunty Molly and told her to give it to Mum to bring home when Mum came to visit.
Mum was so annoyed! lol

But it eventually made its way home, so that was how he got the second one.

I don't know where the third one came from. Maureen adds - possibly Mum and Dad brought it home from Scotland when they went over to visit.

I have the horse Aunty Janet gave him. 
Nearly every time she saw me she would say she wanted it back and I would say no, she gave it to dad it was his, and he left it for me so now it was mine and she couldn't have it.

1 June 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 23 - Weddings

Week 23 (June 4-10) – Wedding: June is time for weddings. Write about a June bride in your family or highlight a favorite wedding photo. Maybe there’s a serial marry-er in the family — that could be a fun post!

My most married family member is still alive - he has had 6 wives or partners that I know of, so today I'm going to focus on one of 2 brothers each of whom had 3 marriages:
William and Thomas Dempsey, my great uncles, the sons of Thomas Dempsey and Mary Kennedy.

William will be first, seeing as he is the oldest brother. Thomas and his 3 wives may feature in a post later in the #52Ancestors challenge.

William, born January 20, 1889 in Hutchestontown, Glasgow, Scotland married Elizabeth Poye on December 10, 1909.

William was a member of the 2nd Battalion of the Kings Owns Scottish Borderers and Elizabeth was a Skin Dresser.

John and Bridget McGhee, the witnesses, are William's Aunt (his mother's sister) and Uncle.

William is absent on the 1911 census (assuming away with his unit), but Elizabeth is listed on it living with her mother, brother and sister.

The 1911 census was taken on the night of April  2nd, 1911. Elizabeth's record says that she had been married for 2 years and had had 1 child born living that had passed away.

I'm still trying to find that child, but William and Elizabeth suffered the same fate at least twice more:

  • William Robert Dempsey born Oct 31, 1911 and passed away Nov 2, 1911 - born prematurely
  • James Dempsey born Nov 17, 1916 and passed away May 2, 1917 of whooping cough and bronchitis
Another son, Thomas, was born July 4, 1918 - I haven't been able to trace what happened to him yet. Perhaps I'll have some success when I am in Scotland at the end of this year.

Elizabeth Dempsey (Poye) died of Pulmonary Phthisis (Tuberculosis) on December 16, 1923

William then married Annie McIntosh on February 29, 1924.

They went on to have at least 5 children - sadly, 3 of those children also died early
  • Jane McIntosh Dempsey born Nov 30, 1924 and passed away Nov 5, 1925 of Enteritis and Broncho-pneumonia
  • William Dempsey born Mar 29, 1927 and passed away Jul 30, 1928 of Broncho Pneumonia Enteritis Convulsions
  • Catherine Dempsey born May 14, 1928 and passed away Dec 13, 1930 of Pneumonia
They had 2 other children - a daughter who was born in 1930 and who this year will celebrate her 85th birthday. And a son, Alexander McIntosh Dempsey who was born Oct 8 1936 and died on July 2, 1994

Annie Dempsey (McIntosh) died of Phthisis on January 15, 1947

William married for a 3rd time - Catherine Jane Roberts Hendry Brown (Cissy) on March 30, 1957

He passed away of Cerebral Haemorrhage on March 24, 1963.