This year I am going to take part in a fun genealogy meme called 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, promoted by Amy Johnson Crow. The idea is to get everyone getting the stories about our ancestors out there, and involves writing a blog, Facebook post, tweet, email – whatever gets the information out to our relatives.
I’m going to be putting my weekly ancestor on Twitter, as I figured that I should be able to manage 140 characters. Amy has weekly themes which my posts might or might not match. Generally, over the next year I’ll be posting about 16 of my 2x great grandparents, 16 of my husband’s 2x great grandparents, and the same for each of our 8 great granparents. The remaining 4 posts will be made up of our grandparent couples (grandfather and grandmother together).
Mary Finn was born about 1826 and married John Barrett in 1850. She died in 1886.
Mary Barrett née Finn death certificate
I know very little about Mary’s background, but I do know that she had a relative, Matthew Finn, who was a Dean in the Catholic Church in Swinford, Mayo, Ireland. In various newspapers, he has been described as an uncle to some of Mary’s children. Because of the uncle references and the fact that he was a similar age to Mary, I have presumed he is her brother.
Dean Finn was a popular priest, so it isn’t difficult to find information on him. One thing I have discovered about Irish obituaries is they often include a family history, and if someone is related to a Catholic priest or nun, this always gets a mention.
John Finn, parish priest of Killasser was Matthew’s brother. From research I have discovered that John’s mother was Bridget Durkan.
The Finn family was from the Gorteen-Ballymote area of County Sligo (one obituary for Matthew says Gurteen/Gorteen and another says Ballymote).
By researching Mary’s newsworthy brothers, I hope to glean more information on Mary herself.
Funeral of Dean Matthew Finn 1891 listing those present
I’ve written about Ann before.
Ann was born in County Galway, Ireland and baptised at Portumna, Galway in 1841, daughter of Thomas Willis and Margaret Grealy. Until the Catholic registers became available at the National Library of Ireland, I didn’t know Margaret’s maiden name. The images are browse only at the NLI, but the popular genealogy sites have indexes.
The following photo has been handed down to descendants. On the back is written Sheilds Hindmarsh. Hindmarsh is in Adelaide, where Ann lived, and Sheilds was Ann’s married name. It isn’t certain, but we think this is the only known photo of Ann Willis.
John Barrett was the fifth son and sixth child of John Barrett and Mary Hanley. The Barretts were a well-to-do family who leased a large amount of land in the townland of Finnor, Roscommon, Ireland. John was born in 1821 and John and Mary had another six children after him. They lived in “Finnor House.”
Finnor House and Outbuildings Roscommon, Ireland
John Barrett followed his older brother Martin to the Balla area of County Mayo. He married Mary Finn in 1850, and they Had a farm at Lisnolan, Mayo.
John Barrett supported land reform in Ireland, and at one stage during the Land War he was chairman of the Balla branch of the National Land League. His family was evicted from their Lisnolan farm and were living at Prizon townland when John died in 1884.
Lisnolan – Griffiths Valuation – Barrett No 5
There is some information on John Barrett in an article I wrote about one of his sons, Michael F Barrett. Have a look here in the section under Land War. I submitted the article as part of the 101 Mayo People project.
There is some mystery surrounding the birth and baptism of Elizabeth Jessie Bainbridge, my 2x great grandmother, daughter of John Bainbridge and Elizabeth Short. She wasn’t baptised until 1852, but she appears in the 1851 census, aged 4, with her mother. When Jessie (the name she was known as) was baptised in 1852, there was another child, Eliza Jane Bainbridge, parents Elizabeth and John, baptised at the same time.
Baptism 1852 Newcastle Northumberland Elizabeth Jessie and Eliza Jane Bainbridge
From the UK Government Record Office, a birth for Elizabeth Bainbridge was registered in Newcastle Upon Tyne Union in the June quarter, 1847 and a birth for Elizabeth Jane Bainbridge was registered in Tynemouth Union in the September quarter 1848. The mother’s maiden name for both registrations was Short. Now, brothers John and Ralph Bainbridge married sisters Elizabeth and Mary Short. So that could be the explanation there. Could Elizabeth Jane belong to Ralph and Mary and the baptism registration in error? Perhaps it should have Ralph and Mary as Eliza Jane’s parents.
Elizabeth Bainbridge births 1847-48 UK Government Record Office
No more records have been found for Eliza/Elizabeth Jane Bainbridge to solve the mystery.
John Urry was born in Clifton, Lincolnshire, about 1813. I don’t know who his parents were.
In the available English census documents he is recorded as living in the Stow Park area of Lincolnshire and then later in Saxilby. His occupation was variously listed as Agricultural Labourer, Farm Foreman, Groundkeeper and Farmer of 13 acres.
In the 1871 and 1881 censuses he has a grandson, John Urry, born about 1864, living with him. I haven’t been able to track this John down to find out who his parents were.
John Urry (b 1813) died about 1891.