Monday, 5 December 2011

The Stones of Lurgan - Family Tree Chart

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The family tree chart of the Stone family of Lurgan

The Stone family were recorded at Lurgan in County Offaly from at least the early 1800s.

The records from which this family tree has been put together include census records from 1901 and 1911, birth, baptism, marriage and death indexes and certificates, and also the Griffith’s Land Valuation of 1850.

In these records the spelling of the surname differs between Stones and Stone. In the 19th century it was very common for all surnames in Ireland and the UK to be mis-spelt, some surnames have up to 10 variations, often because the vast majority of the population were illiterate. It is very common that the same individual or their immediate family are named with one spelling in one record (e.g. Stone) and another spelling elsewhere (e.g. Stones).

Taking all of the research evidence into account, I have no doubt that the people in this family tree named both Stone and Stones are related to each other. I hope it does not become confusing if I use both variations.

The earliest members of the Stone family tree I have been able to trace are Timothy Stones who married Elizabeth Cahill around 1834. A search of marriage indexes for the Offaly county (formerly Kings County) does not provide a record of their marriage. My theory is that they married in Westmeath and I am confident that I will be able to locate this record soon.

There is a record of Timothy Stones as a farmer at Lurgan in the Griffiths Valuation of 1850. There is also a record of a farmer named John Stones at Lurgan. Given that Lurgan was a relatively small area of rural farmland, it seems probable that these two men may have been brothers or cousins. The name John Stones occurs as a sponsor at the baptism of one of Timothy and Elizabeth’s children around this time, again we could speculate that this was the same man named in the Griffith’s Valuation.

The Offaly Family History Centre at Tullamore have provided us with an index of baptisms from Tubber Parish Church which includes a list of 12 children of Timothy Stones and Elizabeth Cahill of Lurgan. The 12 children are shown in the green coloured boxes on the family tree chart. The list includes two daughters with the same name, Rose, one born in 1841 and one born in 1852. Research shows that it was a common practice in the 19th century that if a child died the parents would often name a subsequent sibling with the same name in their memory.

The baptism records from Tubber include the names of two sponsors for each of the 12 children being baptised. These include five male and three female sponsors with the surname Stones, who may have been siblings or cousins. In baptismal records it appears that female sponsors were recorded under their maiden names not their married names, so on this basis the women named Stones are more likely to have been sisters of Timothy rather than in-laws (wives of his brothers).

There are other surnames of interest amongst the sponsors including three people with the surname Cahill. We could also speculate that female sponsors with other surnames could have been the wives of Timothy’s brothers using their maiden names. We should not discount that some of the sponsors may have been neighbours and friends, not direct relations.

The records from the Offaly Family History Centre also provide marriage references for three  of Timothy and Elizabeth’s children:

James Stones who married Rose Connaughton

Rose Stones who married Edward Grennan

Daniel Stones who married Mary Duffy

There is further evidence that another of the sons named John married Anne Warburton in about 1886, though their marriage may not have been at Tubber.  

There is also a record for another John Stones of Lurgan who married Rose Malynn. This family are recorded in the 1901 and 1911 census. I am unclear at the moment as to how this family is related to that of Timothy and Elizabeth, though it would seem likely that this John was the son of the John Stones referred to above who was recorded in the Griffiths Valuation of 1850. Therefore he was probably the cousin of the family marked in the green boxes.

One of Timothy and Elizabeth’s sons was Daniel Stones who married Mary Duffy in 1880.

The Offaly Family History Centre records also provided baptismal references for the children of Daniel and some of his siblings. These families are listed in the lilac coloured boxes.

I have not been able to locate records for many of Daniel’s brothers and sisters and the Offaly centre does not have records of their marriages or subsequent families. We should consider that some may not have married such as the first Rose who probably died as a child or they may have married in another county such as Westmeath, or they may have moved further away including emigration, or may have entered a vocation such as the priesthood, or may have remained single, etc.

Various other records show us that some of these children moved away from Lurgan for periods of their young adult lives and later returned permanently. On the birth of his oldest son Edward in 1883, Daniel Stones is recorded as being a publican in Mulligar. However, we know that he returned to live at Lurgan with his wife Mary Duffy around 1885 when his next son Timothy was baptised at Tubber with the Lurgan address.

One of Daniel’s brothers also had children away from Lurgan and moved back around the same time. This could indicate that their father Timothy died around 1885 and some of his sons inherited land about this time.

There are a number of families named Stone and Stones listed in the 1901 and 1911 census records at Lurgan, including the family of Daniel Stones and Mary Duffy. The family of Edward and Rose Grennan (nee.Stones) are also recorded in the census.

The oldest son of Daniel Stone and Mary Duffy, Edward Stone, married Catherine Flannagan in 1924. Catherine’s family, the Flannagans of Raheen are also recorded in the 1901 and 1911 census.

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