Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Updates on the Finn research

A family evicted from their land during the Irish Famine of the late 1840s

Did the Finns, Flynns, Hogans, McKiernans, Duffys and Ratchfords arrive in Birmingham from such scenes?  

Thank you to my fellow genealogical detectives, Ian Payne and Jamie Evans for these further contributions towards our research into the extended Finn and Flynn family of 19th century to mid 20th century Newtown and Ladywood.

Firstly, Ian reminds us that his father recalls that Mary Jane Payne (Ian's g-grandmother and the first cousin of my g-grandmother - both named Mary Finn when born) visited a relation in Cleveland who was a doctor. I don't think we have come across this person yet, although it might come up in the death records of Ohio relatives which Jamie Evans is researching.

Ian also tells us:

"I have a few records of baptisms from Saint Chads of the Mckiernan family and the Ratchford family, I think Mary Jane was very close to this part of the family. Mary Jane also had other sisters, Eliza born on 30/11/1873 (who sadly died a month later), Elizabeth born 21/10/1874 and Ellen (Helena) Finn born 05/03/1876.

"All of these sisters were baptised at St Chads, Eliza on 04/12/1873, Elizabeth on 01/11/1875 and Ellen on  07/08/1876. All were born at 9 court Weaman Street surprisingly, it seemed to be a real family house.

"Their father James Finn died on 23/03/1916 at his home address of 131 Francis Street, Nechells.

"All I have on John Finn is that he was married to a woman named Catherine, but I have not found any record to back this up as such, I only have the census information on him. It seems strange that his wife wasn't mentioned on the burial records either. Perhaps she died young?"

"I have reason to believe that Martin Finn also went to America, I found a record of a Martin Finn born in Galway in 1820, living in Ohio, after passing through Ellis Island, New York. Though if this was him he may have remarried".

Jamie Evans also emailed today with some background information into the origins of his grandparents, John and Martha Walton. Visitors to this blog will recall that Martha and John lived near John and Catherine Finn for many years, even moving with them. Following John Walton's death in 1918, his widow Martha visited relatives in Cleveland and even attempted to take her daughters there with her in 1922 but was prevented by her mother-in-law.

There was clearly a blood connection between the Waltons and the Finns, but after extensive research, Jamie is still attempting to make the link. He believes the connection is through his grandfather John Walton whose mother's maiden name was Hogan. Mary Hogan (the lady who took her grand daughters off the New York bound liner in 1922) lived for many years in Weaman Street and came from Galway. We may therefore be looking for a marriage link to the Finns, or indeed the Flynns, going back another generation or two.

Jamie fills us in here with some background: 

"I have my great grandmother Mary Hogan on a marraige certificate dated 31/7/1882, at St Chad's, she gives her age as 22 so born 1860, I also have her birth certificate and her death certificate, she died in 1946 at the St Josephs Home, Harborne which says she was 86. She lived for many years in Great Russell Street near all the other Irish families. She went into the home in about 1930.

"Mary's husband was Thomas William Walton, born 1859 Birmingham and was dead at the age of just 28(December 1887). The first child was born in 1883, the 4th he never saw as he was born after Thomas died in 1888. Thomas was a Brass founder Journeyman, he died of Enteric Fever which I think was Tyfoid, he must have drank the water! Thats why there was a pub on every corner down Summer Lane - to get a drink that would not kill you!!

"Mary never married again and lived a long life, she was very poor I would say and supported by the Church and the local community.

"I have Mary Hogan aged 21 (born 1860) in the 1881 Census, living with her Aunt, Bridget King aged 37, her husband Thomas King aged 35, born in Bham and their daughter Mary King aged 6, born Ireland. They are living at, would you believe, 45, WEAMAN STREET.
"The marriage certificate of Thomas King 22 and Bridget Hogan 27 is dated 12/2/1871 at St Chads, he is a Labourer and Bachelor, she no trade and a Spinster. It looks like Mary must have been born in Ireand".

"Thomas at the time of the marraige was living at 11 Court Steelhouse Lane, Mary 8 Court, Hospital Street. City, next to Weaman Street. My mother was born in Weaman Street in 1913 so the family didn't stray far from that area in over 30 years. Their fathers were James King Labourer and Michael Hogan Labourer".

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