Saturday, 10 December 2016

Mummery and Trumpery ~ John Crosbie, Lucan, 1834

Further to last week’s post, I came up with another possible reason why my ancestors, Darby Keogh and Jane Crosbie, may have obtained a marriage licence in 1833. Perhaps, Jane was Protestant or 'known' within the Protestant community. Perhaps, a marriage licence, issued by a Church of Ireland bishop, was deemed the best insurance policy to ensure the validity of a potential 'mixed' marriage, scheduled to take place in the Roman Catholic parish of Lucan, Co. Dublin. 

You see, prior to 1870, marriages between Catholics and Protestants were invalid under Irish civil law, unless celebrated by a Church of Ireland minister. So, if Darby or Jane was a practising Protestant, a second ceremony probably took place in the Church of Ireland. Unfortunately, though, as far as testing my theory goes, we’re at a loss – Church of Ireland records for Lucan seemingly only survive post-1845.

There is little basis for this theory, it must be said. The priest made no such notation beside their marriage in the register and there was no hint of it in subsequent records relating to their lives. Still, it makes for interesting speculation when you hear the story of John Crosbie, a man who posthumously created pandemonium in Lucan, the following year.

First, bear in mind, Crosbie was an uncommon surname in Ireland and, at the time, as few as seventeen hundred people lived in Lucan.[1] There’s a good chance everyone in the town bearing the Crosbie name was related. And, remember also, a John Crosbie witnessed Darby and Jane’s marriage. He could have been Jane’s father. 

Anyway, according to this story, John Crosbie, a practising Protestant, married a Catholic woman. And, on his deathbed, much to the chagrin of his Protestant minister, he 'converted' to Catholicism. The minister delivered a mighty sermon in Lucan Church afterwards. The intolerance he expressed towards his Catholic neighbours may border on paranoia, but, don’t’ forget, it occurred just five years after Catholic Emancipation, an alarming time for any Protestant minister in Ireland. 

The question that may never be answered is, was Rev. Ould talking about my GGGG-grandfather?

Death of John Crosbie, Lucan, 1834
Cork Constitution19 February 1835, p. 3

The full text of Rev. Ould’s sermon:-[2] 

The True Nature of the Church of Rome and the Duty of Protestants towards her
'There is no parish minister but must expect, there is no faithful one that will not be prepared against, such conversions as have given risen to this Sermon. The truly useful, pious and devoted clergyman who now comes before the public, has never been afraid, and never, under God’s blessing, will be ashamed to show himself watchful in his great Master’s cause; and however liberals and latitudinarians may sneer and say, he need not have thrown away voice or type in making such a pother about an old besotted pensioner, whose soul might have gone to purgatory, and his carcase might have been bandied about by the Papists, with all their mummery and trumpery, without a minister troubling himself about the matter; 
yet we deem that Mr Ould was called on to make this exposure of the mean arts – the stern bigotry – the untired persecution with which such a poor Protestant, stupified by illness, was besieged, when married to a Popish wife, and when surrounded by none but those who think that all who do not confess to a priest must inevitably go to hell – that these poor ignorant creatures that surround a dying Protestant’s bed, should thus unite in giving him no rest until he consents to surrender to their good intentions, is most natural, and we would be almost inclined to place it to the account of their good nature, were we not assured that it is more to gain a triumph for their cause, more to confound their Protestant neighbours with the sight of a living Protestant being turned into a dead Papist, than any concern whatsoever for the state of the departing soul. 
But that a priest, an educated man, should be found lending himself to all this bigotry and delusion that he should administer to this malignant triumph of his flock, and dare to bolster up the hope of the dying man, by putting him through the exercise of a momentary confession, and the anointing with a bit of grease. We say this is monstrous, and we announce that the man who practiced such delusions must, indeed, be part and parcel of that mystical Babylon and mother of abomination, which, for all her harlotry with which she has deceived the nations, the Lord will destroy with the breath of his mouth in the brightness of his coming, - Mr. Ould, in this discourse, in a very animated and feeling way warns his young Protestant hearers, of the ruinous consequences of marriages with Roman Catholics.' 
Rev. Fielding Ould, A.B. Perpetual Curate of Lucan. 

[1] Comparative Extract of the population of Ireland, 1821 and 1831, p. 4, HC, 1833, accessed on EPPI
[2]The true Nature of the Church of Rome...', a sermon by Rev. Fielding Ould, A.B. Perpetual Curate of Lucan, published in The Christian examiner and Church of Ireland magazine for 1834, v.iii, p. 938, by William Curry, Jun. and Co., Dublin, 1834, accessed on Google Books.

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Jeremiah Keogh & Jane Crosby - Married by Licence in 1833

My biggest genealogical discovery this week was the baptism record for Mary Anne Keogh, my great-great-grandmother. Her parents, Darby and Jane Keogh, organised the event on 9 February 1834, in the Roman Catholic Parish of Lucan, in Co. Dublin. Her christening took place six years earlier than might be expected based on her reported age at death, but that’s nothing unusual. 

Baptism of Mary Anne Keogh, 9 February 1834, Lucan, Co. Dublin.

When Mary Anne later married John Devine in Dublin in 1859, her parents were named as Darby Keogh and Jane Crosby, so this baptism fits nicely. Especially since Darby Keogh and Jane Crosbie married in the same church in Lucan on 26 April 1833, not ten months before Mary Anne's birth.

Curiously, Darby and Jane applied for a marriage licence prior to their wedding. The copy of the licence itself perished during the Irish civil war, but an index record survives and clearly shows Jeremiah (a common variant of Darby) Keogh and Jane Crosby applying for a licence in 1833.

To obtain a marriage licence a couple provided a sworn declaration confirming there was no legal obstacle to their marriage. The alternative was marriage Banns, where the proposed marriage was announced in advance at Mass on three consecutive Sundays. As a result, the licence was beneficial to those who wished to marry quickly or without public notice.

But, it was relatively expensive to get a marriage licence. Most people could not justify this cost without good reason. So, I did a bit of digging to see why Darby and Jane might have needed a licence, in 1833 and here's what I found out:-

  • Members of the gentry class were far more likely to obtain a marriage licence than the rest of the Irish population. And, for the most part, they were wealthier, but it even became a status symbol of sorts. This did not apply in the case of my ancestors.

  • Often, a couple applied for a licence if the intended groom was home on leave for a short period only, say like a soldier or a seaman. Such a couple might wish to marry in a hurry before he returned to work. However, all records indicate our Darby was a stone mason, equivalent to a modern-day bricklayer, so this did not apply either.

  • They may also have required privacy if Darby and Jane were from different social classes, though there is no evidence to support this scenario and it seems unlikely.

  • If their families opposed the marriage, they might not have wished to draw attention to their impending nuptials.  But, this was unlikely too. John Crosbie and Mary Anne Keogh, presumably representatives from both families, stood as witnesses to their marriage.

Marriage of Darby Keogh and Jane Crosbie, 1833, Lucan

So, after much researching, the most obvious reason for their prompt marriage was that Jane discovered she was pregnant. And now, while it appears Mary Anne was a honeymoon baby, she was born more than nine months after her parent’s marriage. 

And, I don’t know what to think.

Granny’s path to Darby and Jane Keogh

Source: Catholic Parish Registers, NLIAn index to the act or grant books and original wills of the diocese of Dublin from 1800 to 1858, H.C. 1900 (Cd. 4), xliv, 1, pp 238, 589, National Archives.

More about Mary Anne (Keogh) Devine: Child Mortality, the Devine family of Dublin

© Black Raven Genealogy

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Teresa Corless – Death from Misadventure

Last week, I discovered my grandmother’s Aunt Teresa in the 1911 census, in Manchester, England. She lived there with her husband William, a tailor, and their nine-year-old daughter, Mary Teresa. The curious thing is they were all listed under Teresa’s maiden name ‘Donovan’ and not under William’s surname ‘Corless’. 

The reason for their charade has not yet come to light. There’s a chance it never will. But, whatever the reason, it seems to have been a temporary gambit. When Teresa died on 10 February 1944, she was back using the Corless surname.

Teresa Corless spent the remainder of her days in Manchester. In fact, she lived at 8 Craig Street in Miles Platting right up until her admittance to the hospital. The ‘Donovan’ family had lived in this same house in 1911, eliminating any doubt they were my relatives.

Teresa was nearly eighty-two years old when she died, though her death certificate claims she was only seventy-six. Her husband William predeceased her.

A most unfortunate occurrence led to her death. In December 1943, something lodged under the thumbnail of her left hand. It doesn’t say what – presumably a splinter of some sort. Her finger became infected, leading to cellulitis in her left arm, which resulted in renal failure and caused her death.  How tragic is it that a minor wound could instigate the sudden death of an otherwise physically fit woman. The Manchester coroner held an inquest and ruled her death from misadventure.

Source: Copy death register for Teresa Corless, 1944, Manchester, General Register Office.

© Black Raven Genealogy