Archive for the ‘March 2010’ Category

Barnard was the father-in-law of Patrick McEvoy.  He was born somewhere in Ireland around 1801. He married Jane and by the census of 1841 was living in Gateshead with three children. The family grew and by the census of 1851, he and Jane had seven children, six girls and a boy. Sadly their boy died of pneumonia in 1851 aged two.

I still haven’t found the marriage record of Barnard and Jane, in fact it wasn’t until 2008 that I managed to find Jane’s maiden name. Fortunately on one of the census returns, her birth place was recorded as Gretna North so I at least had some idea that she was from Scotland.  I was foxed by the Gretna North though. I tried for ages to find Gretna North only to realise that the North was something the enumerator must have added. Gretna is simply Gretna. http://www.british-genealogy.com/census-sources/british-censuses.html

The only way I would find Jane Hart’s maiden name would be to obtain a birth certificate of one of her children as it would be recorded there. Two of the children were born before the statutory registering of births in 1837 so I set about looking for the births of those born after this date.

Oh my, this was difficult. I could only find two births recorded, so I sent for one only to be informed that it didn’t match my criteria, the mother and father were not Barnard and Jane. So there must have been two Dorothy Harts in Gateshead born around the same time.

Apparently many people believed that if their children were baptised it was the same thing as registering.  I have yet to examine the baptism records but it’s on my list.

I had better luck when I sent for Martha’s birth certificate.  Martha was born on the 29th of March 1844 and her birth registered by her mother, Jane on the 8th May. There was Jane’s illusive maiden name written in  very scrawly handwriting, not by her I might add.  Jane couldn’t write her name as the signature box on the certificate states ‘the mark of Jane Hart, Mother’.

It was difficult to decipher. The first letter of her name was so sqiggly but  Monelly was what I went with.  However I could find no Jane Monelly in my further searches.  Was it a M? or what else could it be? I asked my family to look at the birth certificate and tell me what they thought. Then one day B was suggested, could she be Jane Bonelly?

I put this name into “family search’ (IGI) and Bingo! there she was Jane Bonelly Christened 26th May 1808, Graitney, Dumfies, Scotland.  Graitney is better known today as Gretna. Father, George Bonelly, Mother, Jane Gordon. I was so excited, well I expect you know the feeling.

This led me to finding a record of her baptism on Scotland’s People.  The baptism record gave even more information, it informed me that George Bonelly was a native of Fife-shire and Jane Gordon a native of Bof. shire….  Bof. shire where’s Bof. shire?  Again the squiggly handwriting. I think the B might be a R and it’s Renfrewshire.  The full stop being a indication of a shortening of the name.

Jane Gordon was born and baptised in Greenoch in 1793, traced via Scotland’s People.  Her father was John Gordon and her mother, Agnes Brown. Greenoch, by the way is in Renfrewshire. More about them later.

A few ays ago I had another stab of searching for a record of Barnard and Jane’s marriage in Scotland. I didn’t find it but I did find a record of their daughter, Jane’s baptism. Scotland’s People must have been working hard as it wasn’t there a few months ago.

Jane Hart was baptised on the 17th August in 1834 in Greenoch. She was baptised at St Mary’s, a Catholic church and I now have the name of her sponsors (god-parents) or I will have, once I’ve deciphered the record, it is like a negative – black background and white writing! Interestingley her mother’s name was written Bonelli. Another example of the spoken word written in many forms.

So I now know that Barnard and Jane must have been living in Scotland before they moved to Gateshead in Durham.  I have made some progress.

The catholic register unlike the church of Scotland did not record the birthplace of the parents.  I was a tad disappointed as you can imagine as I had hoped to be a step nearer in finding from whereabouts in Ireland came Barnard.


Read Full Post »

It is good to jot down ideas and hunches that come to mind whilst searching your family tree.  All too often those exciting thoughts follow the majority of our everyday musings into the ether unless recorded in a detailed fashion. I can’t count the many occasions that I’ve come across a scribbled note in my box of jottings, confidently written in a way that I would easily recall. Hmm, how wrong could I be?  So here’s hoping my blog will keep me on track.

I would dearly love to know how Patrick met Jane.  I daydream how they met and fell in love.  They were married in 1854 at a Roman Catholic chapel on Pilgrim Street, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Patrick was 26 and Jane 20. Bearing in mind that clues can be misleading and turn out not to be clues at all I find a huge one in their marriage certificate. Both Patrick and Jane’s father, Barnard, were quarrymen. Had Barnard and Patrick worked together I wonder? Had Barnard invited the young Patrick to share a meal with his large family in his rented terraced house in Gateshead? It must have been difficult; a family of nine in a two up and two down. There are photos of Leonard’s Court taken in the 1930s before it was demolished.




Barnard’ family lived at number 144.

Tram stop number 4 shows Leonard’s Court. If you move your mouse over the map you can see Leonard’s Court.  Click on number 4 to see more photographs. http://www.asaplive.com/tram/tramroute/interactive/index.html

A neighbouring street was Nun’s Lane which still exists.  By 1861 Barnard and Jane had moved to neighbouring Swan Street number 17.


Or perhaps Patrick had met Jane at church or at a church function both being Roman Catholics? Did they have church functions in the 1850s? But Patrick lodged in Newcastle upon Tyne and that’s a fair journey across the river in the 1850s. Even the horse drawn trams didn’t operate until 1883.  I believe there was a ferry to cross the Tyne Gorge from Gateshead to Newcastle. Stephenson’s two tier high level railway and road bridge was opened in 1849 but a toll had to be paid so I’m not sure they could afford to use it. http://www.newcastle-arts-centre.co.uk/high-%20level.htm

The old Georgian bridge was probably their option.  This was a low level stone bridge demolished in 1868 to be replaced by the the Swing bridge that still stands.

Today another penny drops.  Why I hadn’t made the connection before?  I examine Patrick and Jane’s marriage certificate again for the umpteenth time. Had I missed something? Then there it was, another clue staring me in the face. Patrick and Jane were married in Newcastle upon Tyne, why not in the bride’s parish?

I Google Catholic church, Gateshead, and find that the first purpose built Catholic church wasn’t built until 1859.


There were Catholic missions with a priest in attendance in makeshift chapels. Some were over public houses or in private homes owned by rich catholics. Many people made the journey over the river to Newcastle for mass on a Sunday. So it appears that I might have been on the right track after all.

Read Full Post »