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.