When I planned this series of posts about my Irish forebears I had in mind S for Snell, my 6th great-grandfather William Snell, born Ballymoney, County Antrim, the son of William Snell of Coleraine, County Londonderry.
S for Scanty might have been better. I didn’t expect to find so few documented facts about him. But that’s genealogy, I suppose: sometimes we’re overwhelmed by information, sometimes there’s almost nothing.
The source for William Snell’s place of birth – and his father’s name – is Stephen Isaacson Tucker (1884), ‘Pedigree of the family of Chauncy’, privately printed, with additions, p. 25. (This can be read at Google Books.) I have been unable to locate any other records of my Snell family in Ireland.
Sometime during or before 1749, William Snell moved to London, and from this point his story is comparatively well-documented. On 12 December that year he married Martha Chauncy, at St Margaret Lothbury, in the City. They had three sons: William, Charles, and Nathaniel. Martha died in 1765. On 8 November 1766, William married a second time, to Mary Snell, daughter of Reverend Vyner Snell, at St George’s Bloomsbury. William and Mary had a son John.
William had been left property in Liffey Street Dublin by his uncle Robert Shaw. This he passed on to his own son William.
While his later career is interesting, it has been frustrating not to be able to find a William Snell associated with Coleraine, County Londonderry, nor a marriage of a William Snell to the sister of Robert Shaw, and although I have found some deeds from the right period mentioning Robert Shaw of Dublin I cannot confirm that this Robert Shaw was William Snell’s uncle.
I have only a few Quakers in my family tree. One was Jane Sarah Russell (1791 – 1879), my fourth great grandmother, a capable and determined woman who separated from her first husband and, after his death, married a fellow Friend.
Her first marriage was to Patrick Cudmore (c. 1778 – 1827). She was his second wife. By his first he had a son, William Christopher, born in Ballyclough in 1798. Jane nee Russell and Patrick Cudmore had two children, Milo Clanchy (1808 – 1900) and Daniel Michael Paul (1811 – 1891), both born at Tory Hill, County Limerick.
In about 1822 at the time Patrick Cudmore and Jane Sarah separated, Patrick went to live with his son William at Manister, County Limerick. He died there in 1827. His death was announced in theLimerick Chronicle of 10 March 1827: “On Thursday, at Manister Lodge, County Limerick, Patrick Cudmore Esq. aged 47.”
Jane Sarah was living in Cork. She seems to have made her first formal request to join a Quaker meeting – the group is properly called the Religious Society of Friends – on 2 August 1822. On 10 July 1823 a meeting in Cork considered a letter from Jane Sarah Cudmore requesting admission. She had been under care for several months; prospective Quakers put themselves ‘under care’ of a Quaker meeting and were expected to follow the guidance and advice of established members.
Around this time, perhaps to improve their prospects, Jane Sarah found places in Quaker homes in England for her sons Milo and Daniel. Between 1822 and 1828 Milo was apprenticed to Levitt Edwards, a baker and flour dealer of High Street, Chelmsford, Essex. He boarded with the Edwards family. Daniel was placed with a relative of the Edwards family named Mary Levitt and her husband William Impey at Earles Colne, a village north-west of Chelmsford. While they were in England the boys saw each other occasionally. In 1830 they returned home to Limerick.
Henry Russell of Dublin son of Nathaniel Russell of Moate in the County West Meath, and Elizth his wife; and Jane Sarah Cudmore widow of the late Patrick Cudmore of Manister in the County Limerick, & daughter of Francis Russell of the city of Limerick and Sarah his wife, both deceased, have appeared in this meeting, and declared their intention of taking each other in marriage and severally that they are clear of all others in this respect; the young man having his parents consent in writing by two friends also a minute from the mo: meeting of Dublin signifying his being a member of our Society this meeting accepts their presentation and appoints Susanna Lickey and Hanh Newsom to have the necessary care of any matter which may arise in the case and report to our next meeting and Hanh Newsom to accompany them to the men’s meeting to wh we refer them.
Report is made that the publication of the intention of marriage between Henry Russell & Jane Sarah Cudmore was made in our meeting for worship on two first day mornings & that nothing had arisen to prevent their proceeding; the Women’s Meeting has also informed that no obstruction has arisen with them, & a letter has been received & read from two friends on behalf of Dublin Mo Meeting, informing that due publication had been made there, & that nothing has arisen to obstruct: this Meeting therefore leaves the said parties at liberty to prosecute their said Intention & appoints John Newsom to see the orderly accomplishment of the Marriage.
Report is made that the Marriage of Henry Russell with Jane Sarah Cudmore was accomplished in an orderly manner in our Meeting for Worship on the 18 of last month: two Certificates for Registry thereof have been handed in, one of which the Registrar is desired to record, the other the Clerk is to forward to the Quarterly Meeting.
Jane Sarah Russell (late Cudmore) having on her Marriage with Henry Russell of Dublin, which took place on the 18 of 9 month last, removed into the compass of Dublin Mo Meeting, the Clerk is desired to communicate that information to said M Meeting, by sending thereto an authenticated copy of this minute.
Henry and Jane Sarah Russell had two children Elizabeth born 1829 and Henry Cashell born 1831. Both children were brought up as Quakers, both emigrated to America and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth died in 1896 and Henry in 1919.
William Mitchell, one of my fourth great grandfathers, was born in County Monaghan, Ireland, on 20 November 1803. There is a family story that William and his three brothers were orphaned as young children when their father, also called William, was killed in a Dublin riot. The boys grew up in the care of a nurse in “Stackallen House“, County Meath, the home of their uncle. In 1810, at the age of seven, William was sent to Dublin to live with his grandfather, Blayney Owen Mitchell, a well-known attorney. William was apprenticed to a Dublin apothecary for about a year. He was released from his indenture and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, but did not graduate. He then moved to London to become a missionary.
I have been trying to find sources for these stories without much success. I have, for example, been unable to find any reference to the death of William’s father in a Dublin riot.
In 1797 Blaney Owen Mitchell and William Owen Mitchell, attorneys at law of Dublin City jointly witnessed a deed. (Memorial 329391 index; image) It seems very likely that these were father and son, with this Blaney Owen Mitchell young William’s grandfather.
In 1802 there is a Memorial of an indenture deed of settlement bearing the date 12 April 1802 made between William Owen Mitchell of the city of Dublin attorney at law of the first part Jane Bartley of the town of Monaghan spinster of the second part. The deed, 384305, has been transcribed. I think these might be the parents of William. William Mitchell’s oldest son born 1829 was named William Owen Mitchell. However, William did not name any of his daughters Jane.
In 1807 Blaney Owen Mitchell was the victim of a robbery at Stackallen House. A trial at the Trim Assizes was reported in Saunders’s News-Letter of 13 April 1808. At the time of the robbery Blaney Mitchell was visiting Stackallen House with his two sons. They were there to collect the rents of the estate for Lord Boyne; it seems Mitchell did not live there at the time. The Dublin Evening Post of 11 August 1808 reported that “At Trim assizes, Richard Fotterall was convicted of a robbery at Stackallen-house, the 26th December, on the person of Blaney Owen Mitchell, Esq. and received sentence of death.”
According to the Alumni Dublinenses, William Mitchell was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity College Dublin on November 3 1823 aged 22, son of William defunctus [deceased], born Monaghan. He did not receive a degree. His brothers are not in this list of alumni.
I find it frustrating not to be able to verify more of the story of William Mitchell, in particular not to have found out more about his parents and brothers.
Ellen Murray, one of Greg’s great great grandmothers, arrived in Victoria in 1854 as an assisted immigrant on the ‘Persian‘. Also on board was her sister Bridget. The passenger list records Bridget and Ellen Murray as both from Dublin. Their religion was Catholic; both could read and Ellen could also write; Bridget was twenty-four (which means that she was born about 1830) and Ellen was eighteen (born about 1836).
Ellen married James Cross, a gold digger, at Buninyong in 1856. The marriage certificate states her father was George Murray, a glassblower, and Ellen nee Dory.
On 1 May 1825 George Murray married Eleanor Doyle at St Mary’s (Pro-Cathedral), Dublin. Witnesses to their marriage were Joseph Carolan and Margaret Ryan. I believe these are Ellen Cross nee Murray’s parents and that Doyle was mistranscribed on the marriage certificate.
George and Ellen (Eleanor) Murray had the following children baptised mostly at St Mary’s
Mary, baptised 18 March 1826
Peter, baptised 17 May 1827 at St Michael and John’s, Dublin
Bridget, baptised 12 November 1828
Peter, baptised 21 February 1831 (2 records for same name and date)
Joseph, baptised 3 April 1834
Ellen, baptised 21 May 1836
In 1826 at the time of Mary Murray’s baptism the family were living at McLinburg Street. This is probably Mecklenburg Street which later had an unsavoury reputation.
The back gate of the Gloucester Street laundry, where the delivery vans once came and went, is on Railway Street, formerly called Mecklenburg Street. In 1904, Mecklenburg Street was a terrace of grand but fading Georgian houses, and it was here that James Joyce set the “nighttown” section of his novel “Ulysses,” a phantasmagoric visit to a brothel run by “a massive whoremistress” called Bella Cohen.
She was a historical figure. And Mecklenburg Street was the heart of a square mile of brothels, speakeasies and slums that took its informal name — Monto — from Montgomery Street, the next street over. It was here, when southern Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom, and when Dublin was a major garrison town of the British Empire, that the authorities tolerated, even encouraged, what was often described as the biggest red-light district in Europe.
Monto was a last resort for runaways, widows and abandoned wives. Madams like Bella Cohen controlled them with violence and money, keeping them in debt to pay for clothes and lodgings. As they left their prime teen years, lost their health and their looks, the women passed from “flash houses” for the wealthy to the cheap “shilling houses” and then to the alleys. Those who became pregnant were dumped on the street.
Georgian houses in 1826 of course would have been relatively new and perhaps the neighbourhood was not so run down at the time.
Glassmaking in Dublin probably began about 1675. There were many glass houses in Dublin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many products were produced in Dublin including bottles, cut glass, decanters and goblets, looking glass, plate glass for coaches.
Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 retrieved through ancestry.com
Westropp, Michael Seymour Dudley (1920). Irish glass : an account of glass-making in Ireland from the XVIth century to the present day. Herbert Jenkins, London. Retrieved through archive.org.
I have quite a number of Huguenot forebears, among them the Champion de Crespignys and Fonnereaus. Recently, pottering about in a different branch of the family, I came across several more, including a group of gunpowder manufacturers.
One of my 3rd great grandmothers was Charlotte Champion Crespigny née Dana. Her great grandfather was an Irish cleric, the Rev. Dr Grueber. Tracing his family led me to Huguenot refugees from Zurich to merchant bankers of Lyons, and from these to gunpowder manufacturers, with factories near London and in Ireland.
Thus through the Dana line, my eighth great grandfather was a Frenchman called Daniel Grueber, the son of Jean Henry Grueber (1585 – 1683), a merchant banker of Lyons and Anne Grueber née Theze. Jean Henry was the son of Jean Grueber, described as ‘Marchand banquier allemand à Lyon, Bourgeois de Zurich’, who married Jeanne Barrian in Lyons on 22 May 1576.
At Lyons on 3 December 1657 Daniel Grueber married Suzanne de Montginot. Their children, all born in Lyons, were:
Francis Grueber 1658–1730
Anne Grueber 1660–
Suzanne Grueber 1661– 1737
Daniel Grueber 1664–1670
Jean Henry Grueber 1666–
Francoise Grueber 1669–
Marguerite Grueber 1669–
Nicholas Grueber 1671–1743 (my seventh great grandfather)
On 21 November 1682 Daniel Grueber, Susanne his wife, their sons Francis, John Henry and Nicholas, and their daughters Susanna, Margarita and Frances, received formal letters of ‘denization‘, conferring on them the status of ‘denizen’. This was similar to present-day permanent residency. A denizen was neither a subject (with nationality) nor an alien, but had the important right to own land. On the same date Philip le Chenevix and his sister Magdaelena Chenevix also received letters of denization; Philip Chenevix married Suzanne Grueber in 1693.
From 1684 Daniel Grueber was leasing both gunpowder and leather mills along Faversham Creek in Kent, 48 miles east of London. Explosives had been manufactured at Faversham since at least the 1570s. There is a connection between gunpowder and leather: considerable quantities of leather were needed to protect the gunpowder from accidental detonation during its production, transportation and storage.
Daniel had possibly gained experience in gunpowder manufacture in Lyons though his immediate relatives, including his father, seem to have been merchants and bankers, not manufacturers.
Daniel had a contract to provide gunpowder to the British government’s Board of Ordnance, in partnership with James Tiphaine, another Huguenot refugee. Besides those at Faversham, Daniel had mills at Ospringe and Preston, both places within a mile of Faversham.
Daniel Grueber was naturalised on 2 July 1685 together with his three sons. Daniel was described as born at Lyons in France, son of John Henry Grueber by Anna These, his wife. ‘Naturalisation’, requiring an act of parliament be passed, granted all the legal rights of English citizenship except political rights (for example, the right to hold political office).
Daniel Grueber died in 1692 and his will was probated 15 February 1693 by his sons Francis and Nicholas. Francis continued the gunpowder business in Kent. In 1745 his son went bankrupt and eventually the mills were purchased by the Ordnance Board in 1759.
Nicholas Grueber emigrated to Ireland and had arrived by Michaelmas 1698 when he became a Freeman of Dublin under the terms of the 1661 Act of Parliament to encourage Protestants to settle in Ireland.
Nicholas Grueber’s occupation on his arrival was merchant. However, in 1717 he was awarded a 21-year contract to supply gunpowder to the government. In 1719 he established Dublin’s first large-scale gunpowder manufacturing business at Corkagh in south Dublin.
On 19 May 1703 Nicholas Grueber (the record has ‘Grubert’) married Marguerite Moore at L’Eglise Française de St Patrick (part of St Patrick’s Cathedral set aside for the use of Huguenots).
Nicholas was a merchant, son of Mr. Grubert and Madle Monginot, Marguerite was the daughter of the Reverend Moore, a minister of the English church.
Nicholas Grueber and his wife Marguerite had six children baptised at the Nouvelle Église de Ste Marie:
Nicholas Grueber 1704–1705
Elizabeth Grueber 1706–
Susana Maria Grueber 1707–
Nicholas Francis Grueber 1709–
Arthur Grueber 1713–1802 (my 6th great grandfather)
William Grueber 1720–
Of the four sons of Nicholas, one died in infancy, one followed him into business and the other two attended university and became clergymen in the Protestant Church of Ireland.
My sixth great grandfather Arthur Grueber was a pupil of the Anglican divine Thomas Sheridan, one of Jonathan Swift’s friends. Grueber studied at Trinity College, Dublin, gaining his MA in 1737 and DD in 1757. He was ordained as a deacon in 1736.
Today on my Ancestry.com family tree today I noticed a new hint for my husband’s 3rd great grandmother Ellen née Dony or Dory, wife of a glassblower named George Murray. (Their daughter Ellen Murray provided information about her parents when she married James Cross, a gold digger, at Buninyong in 1856.)
To date I have had no luck in finding what happened to Bridget, nor have I been able to track down their family in Ireland.
Today’s hint for Ellen Dony or Dory was a baptism record for a daughter called Ellen with parents George and Ellen Murray. The baptism was in 1836 in Dublin. The father’s occupation is not given.
At first I didn’t feel completely confident that these were Greg’s forebears. Murray is a common surname in Dublin, and I thought that at the time there was probably more than one couple called George and Ellen with a child named Ellen.
So I decided to search the Ireland Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 for all children born with the surname Murray, father George and mother Ellen. I did not restrict the search by place or time. If there were many children belonging to many couples with the same names it would be a mistake to assume that the baptism belonged to Greg’s great great grandmother and her parents.
There were only five records, with two belonging to the same child. All baptisms were at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin.
Bridget, baptised 12 November 1828
Peter, baptised 21 February 1831 (2 records for same name and date)
Josh, baptised 3 April 1834
Ellen, baptised 21 May 1836
I have not found any other couples named George and Ellen Murray having children baptised in Dublin at this time. I was very pleased that Bridget’s baptism turned up in the results, for she appears to have been roughly the right age to be the Bridget recorded on the Persian‘s passenger list.
I have concluded that there is a strong chance the Bridget and Ellen of these baptisms are indeed Greg’s relatives and that they had two brothers, Peter and Josh, probably Joseph.
I have decided to accept the hint and use the information to try to make make further progress on this branch of the tree.
Ellen Murray (1837 – 1901) and Margaret Smyth (1834 – 1897), two of my husband’s great grandmothers, sailed from England to Melbourne, Victoria, on the Persian, arriving on 9 April 1854. Ellen’s sister Bridget and an infant surnamed Smyth traveled with them.
The Persian left Southampton on 2 January 1854 with 448 government immigrants, of whom 200 were single women. Eight people died on the 97 day voyage and five babies were born. The Croesus, which sailed from Southampton more than a week after the Persian, arrived the same day.
From the passenger list of the Persian, Margaret Smyth and infant are at the bottom of the screenshot , record retrieved through ancestry.com (click to enlarge)
Margaret Smyth was recorded as having given birth on board. She was from Cavan; her religion was Church of England; she could read and write; and she was 20 years old. She did not find a job immediately on landing, but went to stay with her cousin. His name on the record appears to be ‘John Hunter’, though the surname is not clearly legible.
I know nothing more about this cousin, nor have I have discovered anything more about Margaret’s baby. There seems to be no death certificate, but the baby may have died without its death registered, for in 1854 civil registration of deaths was not yet in force in Victoria.
From the passenger list disposal summary Margaret Smyth and infant went to her cousin.
On 19 November 1855 Margaret Smyth, dressmaker from Cavan, aged 22, married John Plowright, also 22, a gold digger. Their wedding was held at the residence of John Plowright, Magpie, Ballarat. On the certificate Margaret’s parents are given as William Smyth, farmer, and Mary nee Cox.
1855 marriage certificate of John Plowright and Margaret Smyth (click to enlarge)
Passenger list from the Persian showing Bridget and Ellen Murray at the bottom of the image. Retrieved through ancestry.com (click to enlarge).
Bridget and Ellen Murray were both from Dublin. Their religion was Catholic; both could read and Ellen could also write; Bridget was 24 and Ellen 18. Both found jobs on 15 April, within a week of their arrival. Bridget was engaged by S. Marcus of Prahran for a term of 1 month with a wage of 28 shillings and rations. Ellen was similarly employed by Mrs Ireland of St Kilda, with a wage of 30 shillings.
I have not been able to find anything more about Bridget Murray.
On 28 March 1856, two years after her arrival in the colony, Ellen Murray married James Cross, a gold digger, at Buninyong . Their wedding was at the residence of John Plowright, Black Lead Buninyong, in the presence of John and Margaret Plowright. Ellen gave her residence as Buninyong and her occupation as dressmaker. She was born in Dublin, aged 21, and her parents were George Murray, glass blower, and Ellen nee Dory.
1856 marriage certificate for James Cross and Ellen Murray (click to enlarge)
It seems that Margaret Smyth and Ellen Murray, who had emigrated to Victoria on the same ship, remained friends. Later the son of Ellen Cross nee Murray, Frederick James Cross, married Ann Jane Plowright, the daughter of Margaret Plowright nee Smyth.
Hunter Smyth connection? I think I have found a connection between the Hunter and Smyth families but I can’t link Margaret Smyth to it, at least not yet.
On other certificates Margaret Smyth states she was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan. I found a John Hunter associated with Bailieborough.
I have not been able to find a death of this John Hunter.