Roughan is very much a County Clare name. You will find Roughans in every corner of the world, partly due to the emigration from Clare during the mid-19th Century potato famine. Many of these were young females who set sail for Australia and America and married when they got there. Hence the name changed but not the Roughan blood. Many young men also left Clare,before and around the turn of the century,to seek employment. Martin Roughan was such a man and his story you will meet in these pages. Another Clare man,from nearby Ennis, Abe Grady, left in the 1860s and married a freed African-American slave. Their son also married an African-American, and one of the daughters of that union was Odessa Lee Grady, who married Cassius Clay Sr. Their son, of course, was Cassius Marcellus Clay who became Muhammed Ali.
The name Roughan is of early medieval Irish origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O'Ruadhachain, O'Ruadhain", descendant of Ruadh(ach)ain. "Ruadh" means red and was originally given to one with red hair or a ruddy complexion.
The County Clare Roughans were an ecclesiastical family connected with monasteries as far afield as Swords and Lismore. Felix O'Ruadhain was of the Ui Fiachrach or Ui
Before I discovered the Clare connection, I had always thought the Roughans came from Cork. In fact the actual spelling of the name indicates which county the person is from. Rohan or Rohane is Cork and Kerry. Ruane is Kerry.Rowan is from all provinces but mainly Galway. Roughan,itself, is Clare and Limerick. Whatever the spelling, it is a West of Ireland name. Elinor Roughan’s marriage to John Launders in Limerick in 1765 is the first recording of the exact spelling ‘Roughan’.Felix O'Ruadhain, Archbishop of Tuam,
There is an interesting account of a siege that took place in 1641 which mentions the Roughans:
He then returned home. The besieged, thinking all was safe, ventured forth to obtain provisions, but the O’Gradys and Roughans falling upon them, killed nine, suffering only one, Newman, to return with news. Now Gilladuff and the rest came against the castle again, and compelled Heathcot to throw it open and pay him twenty pounds. Heathcot, with his adherents, retired to Ballyallia and Clare castle, in a state of utter destitution.”
There is a townland in
So we start our adventure with the man who introduced me to the name back in the early 50s. My birth certificate said Williams and my name was never officially changed to Roughan. I was just registered at school,college and work as Roughan because mum and dad were Roughan. Obtaining my first passport in 1989 was not easy and without a letter from Bernard, I’m not sure where I stood.
My real paternal ancestry is American and what stories and people that might bring, I’ll never know. Bernard’s ancestry is rich enough to compensate, and as it is the one I grew up with, I regard it as my own and am delighted to present it here.
THE ROUGHANS OF PONTYPRIDD,WALES.
This history would not have been possible without the work that Kathleen Roughan's grandson Eugene Godden has carried out at Genes Reunited. His valuable research gave me the foothold that I needed in order to proceed further. In March, 2012, this history received a huge boost, when Eileen Roughan's daughter, Helen Holbrook, came across the website. Helen's valuable information and recollections have added considerably to each section. So, considerable thanks to Eugene and Helen for their telling contributions.
Bernard Roughan 1919-2003
Bernard and Jane Wedding of Bernard and Ina (her brother Alastair to her right) Glamorganshire Canal, Pontypridd
Bernard Roughan was born on the 11th of March 1919 in the Pontypridd area of
Bernard left school at fourteen and became a tailor’s assistant. He joined the army at the outbreak of World War Two and amongst other places, served in
I recall him telling me about following both Arsenal and Tottenham despite their intense rivalry. One week, Highbury, the next week
In 1952, Bernard met Ina Hunter, a single mother, and they were married later that year. The reception was held at
Bernard turned his hand to gardening, growing most of his own vegetables in our back garden which backed on to Severalls. Echoes of his grandfather Michael, who was a farmer in
Bernard was a very energetic man who enjoyed life to the full. Working at Severalls, there were many social opportunites and functions. He mainly worked night duty, but still found time during the day to work for Securicor, and as a delivery man for a Bakery. He liked a flutter on the horses. Although his step-son, he treated me as his own, and Christopher Williams had long since become Christopher Roughan.
His second daughter, Jane Elizabeth, was born on News Day. She just made it as a New Year’s Day baby by thirty minutes and thus got her picture into the Essex County Standard to the family’s great excitement.
Bernard took his children to
As 1965 dawned, changes were afoot in our family. Mum was now working at the
Within weeks of the move to Rushbanks in the July, Bernard had left and returned to
1971 was a turning point in his life. Earlier that year, Ina’s father, Franz had passed away. Bernard and Franz had never got on, though Bernard did say to me, at the time, that he was sorry ‘the old man’ had gone ... words I was pleased to hear because both men were important to me in my life. Bernard’s mother died on the 19th March that year, and his sister May in the August. Bernard was now fifty-two with both parents passed on and four siblings too. Into his life came Laura Frederick but known as Ann. She had two daughters from a previous marriage, Liz and Louise, and was twenty years younger. This was to be a lasting relationship and marriage up to his death in 2003. Ann had several siblings, and Bernard got on well with them all and their partners. He was always at ease in company, and there was plenty of that in a close-knit family. I also got on well with Ann's sisters and daughters.
Ann’s daughters went on to have families of their own, and Bernard became a much-loved figure in all their lives. I enjoyed my visits to 132,
One of the things I learned about him was that he had psychic abilities, and he frequently saw ghosts, particularly on night duty at Severalls. He would describe vividly the Centurion who stood at the top of North Hill,
Eventually, I moved to
My motor-bike journeys to Ramparts Close were replaced by train journeys as the 80s moved into the 90s. There was no better sight than seeing him, in his car, waiting at Colchester North Station ready to make the short journey to Great Horkesley. He and Ann were at my wedding in 1995 in
Bernard passed away in December 2003. His twin-sister Pat survived him by two weeks, and his brother Bill died in the February of the same year.
I hadn’t seen Bernard for a couple of years. One of those things one can’t explain but live to regret. However I was at his hospital bedside, hours before he died, and was able to say a quiet goodbye, although he was in a coma by then. His funeral showed how much he was loved, and how much he would be missed.
He had packed a lot into his eighty-four years, and he was a clear-thinking, active man well into his eighties.
Bernard was the only one of Martin and Christina Roughan’s sons to have children. His daughter Sharon has kept the name Roughan, and her daughters, Holly and Rebecca continue the name too. I have no children myself. It looks as if Roughan, as a name on their branch of the family, may be lost in due course with no males to keep the name going. But you never know ...
Patricia Roughan 1919-2003
Pat was born on the 11th March 1919, along with her twin brother Bernard. When her mother Christina moved to
She was the second of her family to be wed when she married George J Stone of
Following Bernard’s divorce from Ina, Pat was the only one of his brothers or sisters that I met again. This was at Bernard and Ann’s house in
Pat worked most of her life at WH Smith, and lived with her mother until her death in 1971. After the 1970s, I lost touch with her. She moved to Colchester at one time, and then back to
Grace Roughan 1923-2009
Grace was the youngest of Martin and Christina’s children, born in 1923 in Pontypridd. She married Arthur Burnell in the summer of 1946 in Pontypridd. Interesting to note that Grace may have known some Pontypridd Arthur Burnells already because records show that two were born there in 1814. However she married another Arthur Burnell who came from
Arthur was born on the 31st of October 1915, the son of William James Bennett Burnell of Kensington,
Arthur and Grace’s only child was born the year after their wedding, in
Grace and Arthur lived in Surbiton for years, before moving to Chalfont St Giles. They eventually settled in Leigh on Sea. Grace went on to become the second longest living Roughan and died in June 2009, aged eighty-five. She was the last born of Martin and Christina’s nine children and the last to pass away. 2003 was a very poignant year for her. Arthur passed away at the age of eighty-seven, and her brothers Bill and Bernard, as well as her sister Pat, also died.
William Roughan 1916- 2003
Father Roughan St.Mary's College, Oscott, Staffordshire St Francis RC Primary School
Uncle Bill, as we knew him, was truly a larger-than-life person ... Sagittarius Fire Dragons usually are. Born on the 24th of November 1916, he went on to serve his country in many different ways. First as a soldier in World War Two, then as a policeman in the West Midlands until 1955, when he was ordained as a Catholic Priest in Westminster Cathedral. An extremely convivial post-ordination luncheon party was hosted for 11 of his brother priests at his sister Eileen's house in Whetstone!
Bill liked to keep in touch with his nieces and nephews' spiritual progress, and it wasn't unusual for him to say mass at their schools. Nothing gave him greater pleasure. My cousin Helen recalls such occasions vividly. I didn't attend a Roman Catholic School, but I do remember his attending my own Confirmation in
Bill went through a lot during the war, and the family believed that these experiences were instrumental in his becoming a priest. He was known to be an exceptionally brave man, who rescued a child from a burning house in
The Headmaster of Bedworth's St Francis RC Primary School, Seamus Crowe, described him as a “giant”, and local R.C. schools were closed for a day in memory of him. Seamus went on to say "As is all too often the case, his going was a blessing, a happy release, because this large man was brought low by his illness. Now, in death, he has regained that stature and dignity that was rightly his. He loved the school, and he loved the children. Indeed there was one occasion he came into the school and went to the reception class, and one beaming happy child said 'Oh, here comes God'. "That tickled and delighted him, and in one sense she was right, because he lived and breathed in the Lord's service. He was at one with God."
As a young boy I recall Uncle Bill as a beaming, powerful man who had great impact upon those around him. I also recall his sense of humour which Mr Crowe went on to illustrate: "I remember when
Uncle Bill was diagnosed with cancer a year before he died, and requested no flowers at his funeral, but that donations should be made to the Leprosy Mission. He was buried at St.Mary's College, Oscott in Staffordshire, where he studied for the priesthood. His nephew, John Godden, was instrumental in arranging for his medals to presented to his regimental museum – the
Later that year his brother Bernard, and his sister Pat also passed away, as well as his brother-in-law Arthur Burnell.
Eileen Winifred Roughan 1914-1963
Eileen Kathleen, May, Eileen Eileen at Christmas 1963 Richmond Ice Rink
This part of the history has been considerably expanded due to the reminiscences and information sent to me by Eileen's daughter Helen.
Eileen was born on the 18th November 1914 in Penycraig, Rhonda, Glamorgan. She was the middle child of the family, with four older siblings, and four younger ones. Like May and Kathleen, she was trained as a nurse, but at the age of nineteen, she broke her ankle playing hockey, which curtailed her nursing career.
Helen recalls: "She moved to
Eileen married Don Burgess in
"They had met at Richmond Ice Rink before the war when Daddy literally picked her up when she had fallen over on the ice! He raced over to help her to her feet before anyone else! His great friends, the Turners, who came from
Mummy lived with Grandpa Burgess and Auntie Win in
Don served in the Middle East and
After the war, Eileen and Don lived in the family home in Arnos Grove,
Visiting them was always a special experience. Eileen was as lovely a person as you could ever meet, but it was her two daughters that held a young cousin spellbound. They were as striking a pair of young ladies as I ever recall. I can still picture Helen playing 45s by those early '60s male hearthrobs, and just gazing in wonder. Sadly, I never knew my cousins beyond the mid-60s.
I did an astrological study of the household and a more positive, electric, vibrant environment you could never meet. It’s no wonder that a young metal tiger like myself was so stimulated by my visits there. Helen recently confirmed my impressions, remembering her mother: "She was a vital woman, full of fun and mischief - the first up on the dance floor - and went far too young. I can remember her doing Irish jigs dancing round the kitchen, and coming downstairs one night, after hearing music turned up loud, to see Mummy jitterbugging with a family friend and being thrown over his shoulder!"
Tragically, Eileen died in November 1963 aged just forty nine. A terrible loss to all who knew her. Don moved away to Bildeston in
THE BURGESS FAMILY
As with the Procter Family - who married into the Horners - this section has become an extensive part of this website, and disproportionate to other family branches and sections here. Genealogy is all about information and research. Births, Marriages and Deaths - BMD as they say - is at the very heart of it. Some Family History websites focus only on dates and names. This is understandable, given the lack of personal information and stories available on distant ancestors. I wanted this website to be so much more than that. I wanted it to be a living 'entity'. One close relative - upon receiving an A-4 sheet with only 'names and dates' recorded - remarked that this was much more 'accessible' than the extensive document I had sent months before. That document - in essence an ebook - was sent to ten key relatives, and only one person has given any feedback in the three years since. That ebook became this website, which has doubled in length since 2009.
When Helen chanced upon this website recently, she became the very first 'direct' relative to leave a guest book entry. I had asked others to help me with information on their own particular branches of the family, but to no avail. Fortunately, several very distant relatives, and others such as Niall Brannigan, have made it possible for this website to be much more than a list of names and dates. Helen's input has been such that I found myself adding to it rather than condensing it. Having not added to the website much since 2010, this has been an opportunity to once again visit Ancestry.com and other such places, and do what I love doing ... research!! I make no apologies to those who find this amount of information and detail too much. Nor will I list essential dates of birth etc at the start of each page or section. If it is only 'accessible' to those with more than a few minutes to spare ... so be it.
Donald Eric Burgess 1906-1978
Don was born on the 27th of March 1906, the son of James Burgess and Lucy Holmes. The latter had married in the spring of 1892 in Froxfield, Lucy’s home village in Wiltshire. James had learned carpentry as a trade ... ideal for marrying into a family of bricklayers and builders! Much more of the Holmes later.
James and Lucy started their married life in Froxfield where James Reginald Holmes Burgess was born in the third quarter of 1893. They soon moved to
The 1911 Census shows the family now at
"In those days,
He was a gifted sportsman, I once met his former badminton partner on the other side of the world who recognised me as Don Burgess' daughter and told me Daddy was the finest badminton player he had ever seen! (We were never sure which of his tall stories were true - it was good to get some confirmation!) He also beat Fred Perry playing tennis before the War - the Daily Mail considered Daddy to be the great hope of English tennis apparently .. he used to babysit the McWhirter twins of Guinness Record book fame, their father being editor of the Daily Mail at the time. His tennis career was curtailed when Grandpa Burgess deemed it not the thing to be racketing around the country playing tournaments when he should be working in the family firm – he should have played at
James was still very much involved in the building trade in 1911. Between the wars, he was managing director of one of the largest building firms in
"Daddy went into the building trade too, Grandpa made him first learn a trade, carpentry, and the day that was completed, he went straight into the drawing office at Grandpa's firm. He had one building company of his own before the war, then started another in High Road New Southgate with a partner -
James Reginald Holmes Burgess 1893-1915
Magazine Summer 1908 in front of Broomfield House Fox Lane, Palmers Green September 1910 - July 1960
It is rare to find a resource such as the Southgate County School Magazine. Therefore I felt it appropriate to devote a large part of this section to what they tell us about Reg's time in the sixth form. Reginald was thirteen years older than his brother Don. He attended the school from 1907 to 1911, and saw it move from its temporary Broomfield House home in 1907 to
From the second issue in March 1911:
ENGLISH LITERARY AND DEBATING SOCIETY. The first meeting this term was held on January 23rd, when the motion that we should have conscription in
Pond seconded Burgess, saying that the Territorial scheme had not succeeded well, and that conscription was necessary if we wished to guard our Colonies. Conscription would rouse a spirit of enthusiasm and patriotism. The motion was opposed by Best. He said there was no need for conscription yet, as the navy and not the army was the defence of
Mr. Neely spoke of the bad system of the French conscription. The conscripts were badly clothed and paid, and their families had to help to keep them. Several other members spoke, and after the leaders had summed up, the motion was put to the vote and was lost by 8 votes against 22. MARGARET LACEY (Secretary).
Little did these sixth formers know what was on the horizon.
On February 20th the Society met to hear a paper on Astronomy read by Day. This paper was very highly appreciated by all the members present ... The vote of thanks proposed by Burgess and seconded by Petty was passed unanimously.
From the same issue we find the following, which like the Conscription Debate has sad future undertones.
SOCIETE LITTERAIRE FRANCAISE. President Monsieur Neely. Vice-Presidents Mile. Miller et M. Bloomfield. Comité:
Finally in this issue, a moment of school humour:
OXBRIDGE EXAMINATION WID-WINTER, 1911. Regulations which may be observed by Candidates:
1. Rule carefully three wide margins—one on the left side of the page, one on the right side, and a third in the middle.
Write in the space left—if there is any.
2. At the head of each sheet write: Name, colour of hair, height in plain socks, height and weight in fancy socks.
3. The Examiner does not insist on English full-stops; French ones may be used. Illegible answers may not score full marks.
... (more toomfoolery)
GENERAL IGNORANCE PAPER.
Time—From Eight Bells to Doomsday. (This paper cannot be taken at the same time as Languid Latin or Seedy Science).
... ( more tomfoolery)
3. If an Old Master is sold for £100,000, what would be the value of a young, well-dressed student-teacher at the same rate ?
4. What is the difference (if any) between: (a) Burgess and Hole, and holy burgesses ? (b) Brooking insults, and insulting Brookes ?
... (more tomfoolery)
8. Multiply the difference between one and decimal nine recurring by Pi, and make a list of subjects of which your knowledge is represented by the answer.
Try http://www.southgatecountyschool.co.uk/magazines.php if you wish to read more of this and other school affairs, including names of those representing the school in football and netball matches. Also there is a beautiful centenary video lasting thirteen minutes at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=felLjOfJo1s with the school song sung at the beginning and end. I think I'm loving this school. Anyway, I digress ... There are no references to Reg in the July 1911 issue, so on to the Dec 1911 one.
As three of the Editors of the Magazine left last term it was necessary to appoint new officers. The present Editors are R. Burgess and Doris Varley, with N. L. Day and Nellie Sauer acting as Sub-Editors.
I'm not certain, but I think Reg was the Head Boy or the 'Dux' as they say.
The Prefects for the term are :— Boys.—R. H. Burgess, N. L. Day, A. J. Brookes, W. D. Makins, W. E. Hole, E. R. Brown, D. Archibald. Girls.—Doris Varley, Kathleen Finlayson, Cissie Glyn-Jones, Gladys Hayward, Olga Miiller, Ada Rowe, Kathleen Clark.
The Heads of the Houses for games are:—White.—N. L. Day, W. E. Hole, Ada Rowe. Blue.—R. H. Burgess, W. D. Makins, Doris Varley. Red.—A. J. Brookes, Cissie Glyn-Jones. Black.—D. Archibald, E. R. Brown. Green.—Kathleen Finlayson.
Finally ... from the July 1912 issue: We must congratulate R. Burgess on having obtained a very good Civil Service Clerkship in connection with the
This photo is from the Summer of 2008. Reg was 15 at the time, and he will be here somewhere. The photos are about a 3rd of their original size
The December 1914 issue mentions Old Boys "serving with the colours", including: Burgess, Reginald (1907-11), 9th Royal Highlanders and the 1915 issue mentions that Reg was one of the Old Boys who had recently visited the school. A very poignant entry, because Reg died a month later. He had joined the Artists Rifles division of the Territorials before the war. He was an exceptional shot and joined the Royal Scots (Highland Lothian Regiment) 9th Battalion as a Corporal. He died from war wounds on April 10th, 1915, and is laid to rest at
I visited his grave last year (2011), knowing I was the first family member to have done so since 1919. The military cemetery is in a very small part of the
Apparently Uncle Reg had been wounded, then the Germans shelled the Red Cross train on which he was being evacuated from the front - I was always told if he there had been blood transfusions available the outcome would have been very different. After he died they sent my grandparents a parcel of his effects including his kilt covered in blood. My grandmother, Lucy, was naturally never the same afterwards. Uncle Reg was engaged and his fiancée never married - what a tragedy that war was.
A tragedy indeed, and this family history, along with so many others, bears testamony to that. Reg's old school remembered their ex-students who had fallen. At an impressive service on 29th April (1920) the Memorial was unveiled in the presence of the School and of those parents who had lost their sons. The following names appear on the Roll of Honour :— ... Burgess, J. Reginald H. 9th Batt. Royal Scots (Highlanders)
Lucy Marguerite Irene Burgess 1896-1982
Marguerite, always known as Margay, was born on July 26, 1895. She married twenty-four-year-old John Stirling, son of William Stirling, on December 2nd, 1916 at
Margay and John lived in
I would be most grateful for any help with the following soldier. In conversation with a neighbour after attending the local Service of Remembrance she stated that her Father had served in the Great War. He (John Stirling with no middle name) was commissioned from the ranks and served with the Royal Scots Regiment. He was severely wounded in the head and was invalided to a hospital in
Searching through the MIC cards there is a card for a John Stirling who was commissioned as a Lt in the Ryl Scots and a Lt in the King's African Rifles finally being promoted to Capt. in the Ryl. Scots.He went to
The response from other forum members was immediate and informative. I have correlated their research on John with some background information of my own. John was in the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers ... the very battalion that Winston Churchill commanded for five months up to May 1916.
The Royal Scots was the oldest, and therefore most senior, infantry regiment of the line in the British Army, having been raised in 1633 during the reign of Charles I of
On August 12th, John became a 2nd Lieutenant, and was promoted to a full Lieutenant on May 26th 1916. He became temporary Captain on August 1st 1917. On ceasing to be employed with a service battalion, he relinquished this rank on January 28, 1918. This was just before the 6th Royal Scots were transferred to 59th (2nd
At some point, he was transferred to the King's African Rifles as a lieutenant, and went to
John may be the Captain involved in the following extract, because the Army lists confirm that a Lt J. Stirling of the 6th RS was attached to the 16th RS, and we know he was a temporary Captain from August 1st.
Major Ewing's book on the Royal Scots mentions a Capt J. Stirling of the 16th Royal Scots being wounded during an attack that lasted between the 26th & 28th August 1917. The battalion was part of the 101st Brigade, 34th Division which "took over the line in front of Hargicourt" during July 1917.The battalion formed in a sunken road to the west of Cologne Farm. The 16th RS then fought their way along systems called
Returning to Bob Norman's original 2007 enquiry, I presume that the neighbour in question was Jack's daughter Lucy. Her married name was Riegler. However, Bob's enquiry does tell us that she lived to a very good age like both John and Marguerite.
Winifred Ivy Burgess 1903-1964
Win was born in the first quarter of 1903 in
She endeavoured to cultivate her nieces to become art lovers – with regular visits to the
I found Auntie Win too hard to say as a small child and the nickname stuck ... Both Aunty Margay and Ninny were tall and enormously elegant. Ninny would come for Sunday lunch, and we used to see her hats sailing down Oakleigh Park South over the front garden before we could see her!
This brings us full circle back to the children's parents James and Lucy. James' business continued to expand, and he lived long enough to see both Margay and Don married, and meet three of his four grandchildren ... all granddaughters. The one he didn't meet inherited his flair for building and renovating. James died in the summer of 1943 at the age of eighty-one. Lucy had passed away in the summer of 1928 at the age of fifty-eight.
Time to travel to Wiltshire and meet Lucy's ancestors.
DON'S MATERNAL ANCESTRY - THE FROXFIELD HOLMES
Froxfield is a village on the Wiltshire-Berkshire border, eight miles east of
The Kennet and
Lucy Holmes was born in Froxfield in 1869, and christened on Nov 7th. It is Lucy who brings the Holmes to this family history. See the previous section for her life with James Burgess. Her parents - Charles James Holmes, a bricklayer, and Eliza Jane Broad - had married during the first quarter of 1869.
Eliza was born in Bitton in Gloucestershire in 1846, the youngest daughter of William Broad and Mary Ann Watkins, who had married in 1841. William was the son of Stephen Broad and Mary Hunt, and had been born in Abote Leigh,
William and Mary Broad had just one other child, Mary Ann, who was born in 1844. Her life was to be a short one. After being in service, during her teens, in the Swan's household in Hanham, she married Jacob Long in 1870, the year after her sister's marriage. Sadly, she died during the second quarter of 1872, aged just twenty-eight: she had no children. Her mother, Mary, had died two years previously at the age of sixty-two, and her father, William, in 1869. In the space of three years, Eliza Jane Holmes had lost both her parents and her only sibling. It can't have been easy for her husband Charles either, seeing such loss in Eliza's life.
Charles Holmes was born in 1845, the youngest of four children born to Henry Holmes and Maria Church. More of Charles and Eliza's family later, after we have looked at Charles' father.
Henry Holmes was also a bricklayer, christened on September 25, 1814, and Froxfield born and bred. He was the eldest child of William Holmes and Mary Billet, and the grandson of John Holmes and Ruth Ward. Henry's brother Charles was born in 1819, and emigrated to
William was born in 1828, and moved to
Henry Holmes and Maria Church were married on July 18, 1835, and Sarah Elizabeth was born the following year. The 1851 Census shows her in service at the residence of William Hogsflesh. The 1861 Census finds her living or staying with her paternal grandmother, Mary. 'Eliza' is now married to thirty-year-old William Dixon, who came from a large family in Ramsbury, Wiltshire. William has followed in the footsteps of his father Zeceriah Dixon, and become a bricklayer ... the perfect vocational credentials to become a 'Holmes'. He had seen the previous error of his ways because the 1851 Census had recorded him as an artificial flower maker in
Edwin Dixon came into the world in 1863 - Elizabeth and William's only living child - and was christened on November 8th. The family eventually moved to Hungerford, where William died in 1884.
Mary Ruth Holmes was born in 1838, and named after her great-grandmother Ruth Ward. She tragically died at the age of two when she was hit by a road vehicle.
The Story of Edward Albert Holmes
Henry and Maria's third child was christened Ann Holmes on March 7th 1841. She had a son in 1860, who was christened Edward Albert Holmes on November 4th. The 1861 census records him as
Edward was still living with Ann's parents Henry and Maria at the time of the 1871 census, but Ann is not there. I have found no further records of her as Ann Holmes. She may have died, but she may be the Ann Giles, born in Froxfield, and married to Tom Giles, a farrier, born in Froxfield in 1840, at the time of the 1871 Census. They are living in
If Edward Albert's early years were complicated, his married life was equally so. He married twenty-eight year old Susan Humphries, also from Wiltshire, during the first quarter of 1883. She died almost exactly a year later, and once again, Edward experienced loss in his young life. 1884 was to be a year he would never forget. Still only twenty-three, he married Mary Maslin in the third quarter of that year. She was twenty-one, from Moulsford in
At the age of fifty his life was to take another turn when he met Mary Eliza Sawyer. She was living in Newbury Union Workhouse with her daughter Mary Kate who had been born on July 18th, 1910. Mary was born in 1883 in Bright Waltham,
He married Mary Eliza in Hungerford during the last quarter of 1912. As a bricklayer all his life, building foundations was something Edward was good at, and very soon he started his second family. Arthur L Holmes was born during the first quarter of 1913, and Winifred M Holmes followed in 1914. Phyllis Irene Holmes was born on the 18th of February, 1915 in Lambourn,
So, at last, we return to Charles James Holmes, and his family, which James Burgess was to become part of. Charles had followed in his father's footsteps and become a bricklayer, and eventually a builder. Lucy was their eldest child, and we will return to her later. First we must look at Lucy's younger siblings, who would become Don Burgess's maternal aunts and uncles.
Charles' eldest son was William Henry Holmes, born in 1871, and christened on October 29. I was unable to find any records for him after the 1891 Census which recorded him as a railway porter. Catherine Mary Holmes was their third child, born in 1873. She went on to become an assistant schoolteacher. The 1911 Census records her as single, and living with her widowed father Charles. She probably came to back to live with her father following the death of her mother in 1904. No further records for Catherine.
Charles and Eliza's fourth child was Charles Reginald Broad Holmes. He was born in 1876, and christened with a bang on November 5th. Like his elder brother, he broke with family tradition and became a builder's carpenter. Perhaps there were just too many bricklayers now living in Froxfield. The 1901 Census shows him lodging with the Deakins in Kensal Green together with twenty-year-old James Holmes. This is probably his younger brother, Walter James Holmes, who died later that year.
On the 10th July 1909, Charles Holmes married thirty-three-year-old Ellen Louise Holmes at St Stephen The Martyr Church in Hampstead, where she had also been christened on April 16 1876. She was the daughter of William and Ellen Holmes of Marylebone,
Frederick Charles Holmes was Charles and Eliza's fifth child born in 1878. He was the last to leave the family home, when he decided that the Holmes needed Welsh representation. He duly moved to
Greta Annie Broad Holmes was born in the second quarter of 1909.
Catherine Vida Broad Holmes was born on January 12, 1911, and married Clifford Perkins in
Walter James Holmes was Lucy Holmes youngest sibling, born in 1880. Sadly he died at the age of twenty-one.
Eliza Holmes passed away in 1904 at the age of fifty-eight. Charles was therefore a widower for thirty years before passing away in 1934 at the age of eighty-nine. This completes our journey through Froxfield, and Don Burgess's maternal ancestors. Now we must visit his paternal ones.
William Tanner - (1800) - and Mary Richardson - (1800) The Paternal Great-Grandparents of Don Burgess
Rosanna Tanner was the mother of James Burgess, and the grandmother of Don. She was born in
However, after examining the 1841, 1851, and 1861 censuses, this William is the only one of the three possibilities who fits. This being so, her father was a blacksmith from Rotherfield, and her mother was from
The Siblings of Rosanna Tanner - all were born in Brighton except Lucy, who was born in
Lucy Tanner, born 1822, married thirty-four-year-old silversmith Daniel Deacon of Cripplegate,
Emily Tanner, 1828, married Thomas Masters of Southampton in 1850 in
Elizabeth Tanner 1830. On March 30th 1851, the night of the census, twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth Tanner was a single young lady living in
Within a year, Elizabeth and William were settled in
Eliza Tanner, 1832, was a milliner and dressmaker. She waited until she was thirty-two before she tied the knot. The chosen man was forty-two-year-old widower Arthur Deacon, who was the younger brother of her sister Lucy's husband Daniel. He was a compositor by trade. Eighteen years earlier, Arthur had married Mary Elizabeth Dean on January 11th, 1847 at Finsbury. She was born in the
Who better to compensate for Arthur's loss than an unmarried sister-in-law; and they duly married on January 7th, 1865 in
John Stephen Tanner, 1834, married eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Woods of
Jane Tanner, 1836, was still living at the family home in 1861. She may be the Jane Maria Tanner in service in
Naomi Tanner, 1839, was the last to leave the family home when she married thirty-five-year-old George William Newman on April 29, 1865. He was a blacksmith from Northwood in Hampshire, the son of David and Harriet Newman. Sadly Naomi died less than a year later in Northwood. She was only twenty-five. George remarried in 1870, and lived to be seventy-four.
Sarah Ruth Tanner, 1835, married William Henry Twine on August 15th, 1863. He was from
I have verified all but Daisy and Catherine as being William and Sarah's children. By naming her ninth child Mary Richardson, this confirms her mother's maiden name. It also confirms that she is the correct Sarah Tanner, because there were two candidates. Sarah died following the birth of her last child in 1886. She was forty-six. A terrible situation for William, who lived until 1907. No census records found yet for William for 1891 or 1901. They would shed light on how he coped.
Late 19th Century Brighton St Nicholas of Myra Church in Brighton
ROSANNA TANNER ( 1826-1892 ) AND JOHN BURGESS ( 1821-1880 )
On March 2nd, 1848, Rosanna married John Burgess at St Nicholas of Myra Church in
John had four younger sisters; Martha born 1823, Sarah born 1826, Fanny born 1827 and Maria born 1831. Fanny and Maria were still with their parents in 1851; but with William and Martha's deaths in 1859 and 1858 respectively, they moved to
John Burgess had one brother, William, christened on August 18, 1833 in Bromley. The 1851 Census shows a William Burgess, aged eighteen, in service at the John Wells' household in Bromley. Burgess was a common name in Bromley, and there were several Williams too. For the 1861 Census, our William was either in service at Mary Blackden's household in Paddington, or he was living at Bromley Common with his wife Eleanor, and his son William aged three months. If our William is the latter one, then the Catherine Martha Burgess above is his daughter, born in 1863. Our William's mother was called Martha. This would fit in with her being Martha and Fanny's niece, because their other brother John had no daughter called Catherine. Unfortunately, William died in 1864, and Eleanor married Thomas Howard a year later, and moved to Islington.
John Burgess and Rosanna Tanner's first child, William John Burgess, was born in 1849 in
The 1871 census shows Edith, Charles, James and Emma now living in Rotherhithe with twenty-nine year old George Powers given as their father, and twenty-six year old Mary Powers as their mother. The Powers, who come from
But where was Rosanna, and where was her husband John? From 2009 until March 2012, this was an unsolved mystery to me. However there was no mystery really once the censuses were examined more carefully. John Burgess was not absent from either the 1851 or the 1861 censuses. He just happened to be in a different house on both occasions. He was still head of the family and providing for them as any father would. But he couldn't be there as much as he would have liked, because he was a butler! He was butlering for tea dealer Thomas Ridgeway in Paddington at the time of the 1851 census. Then he moved on to
John's father had been a grocer, and John could resist his true vocation no longer. It was time to sell food not serve it. He put away his butler's gloves, rolled his sleeves up, and took his family to Bermondsey where he finally followed in his father's footsteps. This would have been circa 1863, because Emma was born in Bermondsey that year, and James was born in
Sadly their time together was short, because on July 9th 1880, John Burgess died at the age of fifty-nine. The 1881 Census records Rosanna living with two of her children. James was now a carpenter, and Emma a fancy hat and cap maker. Rosanna is still living there in 1891, but was now alone. Well not quite, because her married daughter Emma's was living just two doors away, together with two granddaughters for Rosanna. On December 14th, 1892 she passed away at the age of sixty-six. She had moved to 38,
The Children of Rosanna and John Burgess
William John Burgess 1849 had been the first to leave the nest. He married twenty-two-year-old Jane Isted of
Edith Mary Burgess, 1853 left Rotherhithe, but didn't travel far. Still only nineteen, she married William Phillips in Bermondsey on Christmas Day, 1872. Even that was too far, because they eventually set up home at 40,
Herbert Tanner Burgess, 1850 married twenty-year-old Harriet Jane Hurn on April 26th, 1875 in Bermondsey. She was the daughter of James and Harriet Hurn of Camberwell, and had been in service in Peckham. Herbert had been a plumber, but was now a house decorator. They began married life in Rotherhithe, and then lived at 4, Rayleigh Terrace in Camberwell, before moving to nearby 1,
Sadly, in 1893, Harriet's life was cut short at the age of thirty-nine, leaving behind her young family. Three years later, tragedy struck again when
Henry Stephen Burgess 1855 married twenty-one-year-old Mary Ann Kern in Hounslow Heath on May 15, 1875. Mary Ann was born in Haselmere,
There is an excellent Family Tree at Ancestry.com which has many photographs of Henry Stephen Burgess Jr and his descendants. He lost his first wife Emma Laura Allen at the age of twenty-nine, but his second marriage to Elsie May Wilde saw them both live into their seventies. Henry lived and worked in my own area of
Charles Ernest Burgess 1857 married Lydia Fox on September 2nd, 1883 at
James Burgess 1862-1943 married Lucy Holmes in 1892 in Froxfield, Wiltshire. See earlier for details of their life together. It was the birth of their son Donald, and his marriage to Eileen Roughan, which brought the Burgesses to this family history.
Emma Rose Burgess 1863, together with her brother James, lived with her widowed mother until August 2nd, 1886, when she married twenty-six year old John Sillifant at South Bermondsey St Augustine. He was from
The 1911 Census records Rose living with her parents at
George Burgess 1865 was the youngest child of the family. He was born in 1865, but died early in 1869. His existence came to light because of a baptism record I found for Emma Rose and James Burgess. They had a joint baptism on June 7th 1868 at Bermondsey St James Church, and there with them was George! This record also tells us that they are living in
This concludes the Family History of Don Burgess. We now return to the siblings of Eileen ... the Roughans of Pontypridd.
May Roughan 1906-1971
Until recently, I knew very little of the genealogical details of my Auntie May and Uncle Reg. Lots of childhood memories but no facts and figures. Now, following more recent research (and a bit of luck) the mystery has been unravelled. May was born Mary Margaret Roughan in 1906 in Pontypridd,Glamorgan. She was Martin and Christina’s first child, living in 14,
May married Herbert Reginald Ratcliffe towards the end of 1942 in
Walter and Anna Elizabeth were married in the summer of 1905, so Reg was their eldest child, just as May was the eldest Roughan. Reg had four brothers that I know of ... Albert, Arthur, Frank and Mitchell, as well as a sister called
May and Reg only had one child, Christina, born early in 1944 in Barnet. I didn’t know her very well, but I do recall rather beautiful eyes and a far-away expression. She may have been an only child, but she couldn’t have had more wonderful parents. May named her after her own mother, Christina. She attended the convent of Marie Auxilatrice in Finchley during her youth.
They lived at East Lodge just inside the grounds of
May died on the 23rd of August 1971, just five months after her mother had passed away. I don’t know when Reg died, but Christina eventually moved to
Kathleen Roughan 1912-1982
Kathleen was born during the early part of 1912 in Pontypridd. She married William Henry Godden of Folkestone, Kent in early 1936. Uncle Don, as we knew him, was born on the 23rd of July 1907, the eldest of four children born to cab-driver William Henry Godden and Florence Stapley of Elham, Folkestone. Frederick was eight years younger than Don, while Percy was fifteen years younger. Don outlived them both but his sister Florence Edith Godden, five years his junior,went on to reach eighty eight years of age. It was probably the Australian sunshine that did it. Don took up psychiatric nursing as a profession,and worked with Bernard Roughan at Severalls Hospital in Colchester. He was probably the catalyst in Bernard moving to Mill Road where Severalls provided its staff with excellent semi-detached houses.
Kathleen had that same rich, individual Welsh accent that her sister Pat had and had a very bubbly personality and energy. She also worked as a nurse at Severalls. They lived just a few houses away from us in Mill Road, Colchester. Kathleen was the only one of Martin and Christina’s children to have sons. Her eldest son was born around 1938 and Anthony in 1944. Bernard was particularly fond of his nephew Anthony. He married Linda Rose Douglas in 1970, and their son Eugene has gone on to share my own interest in family history, doing some great research into his family roots. His own research on the Roughans has been of great assistance to my own, without which, this part of my family history would not have been possible. Anthony, remembering his grandfather, gave Eugene the middle name of Martin.
Kathleen passed away in 1982 and Don in 1984. Bernard and I visited him just before he died, and I recall a man with a very acute mind. Bernard had told me that Uncle Don had been active in trade unions for much of his life. As a soldier, serving in Palestine and India, he would have gained quite a world perspective. I certainly found him a very interesting and inspiring person to talk to.
Thomas Roughan 1910-1936
I met seven of Martin and Christina’s nine children but not their eldest sons. Thomas was named after Martin’s elder brother, and was born in the Spring of 1910 in Pontypridd. He died on the 30th March 1936, of ventricular heart disease. His parents had just seen their first daughter, Kathleen, marry William Godden. In the space of weeks, the family went through such mixed emotions. His sister Eileen could never bear the smell of chrysanthemums for the rest of her life as so many had been sent for poor Tom, who she was very close to.
Patrick John Roughan 1908 -1929
Patrick was born in the summer of 1908, the eldest of Martin and Christina’s children. Always known as John, like Thomas, he didn't go down the mines. His father had had a brother called Patrick, who was known as 'Paddy', and of course, there’s also Saint Patrick! His middle name is that of Christina’s father, John Maher and also Martin’e eldest brother, as well as Martin’s grandfather. Sadly, like Tom, he died of ventricular heart disease during the last quarter of 1929.
Pontypridd, Rhonda Valley Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey Dalkey
THE ROUGHANS OF IRELAND
Martin Roughan 1876-1948 and Christina Maher 1886-1971
Martin was born on the 5th November 1876 in the rural townland of Bunnow in
On the 9th of December 1905 he married eighteen-year-old Christina Helen Maher at St Albans on the
Christina Ellen Maher was born on the 22nd December 1885 in
With Christina still in her teens, her father died. Without notice, her stepmother suddenly took off with her own children, and Christina was pulled out of the private school, where she was being brought up as a young lady. Now she found herself working as a servant in the hotel where her family had been living. Fortunately, her brother came over from the
Martin and Christina started their family in 1906 with the birth of Mary M Roughan in Pontypridd, Glamorgan. She became known as May, and is the only one of their children not to have her birth, as yet, available on the internet. She led me a merry dance for some time until I located her marriage to Uncle Reg, and the 1911 census gave me further information. All of their nine children were born in and around the town of
One wonders what Martin, having served as a policeman, made of the Tonypandy Riots of 1910 and 1911,where the miners clashed with the Glamorgan Constabulary.
How different this environment was, compared to his farming upbringing in Clare. He must have lived a very hard life as a miner, and Christina would never have known whether her husband would be coming home from day to day. Two years after Mary’s birth, Patrick (John) was born, and two years later Thomas. This neat two year symmetry continued with Kathleen, Eileen and William. It stretched to three years when the twins Patricia and Bernard were born in 1919. Finally it was four years' later when their last child, Grace, saw the light of day. Interestingly, the four youngest children went on to live the longest lives by far ... all reaching their 80s.
Martin died on the 8th November 1948 but not before five grandchildren had been born. He had outlived two of his sons, Patrick and Thomas. It’s interesting to note that although they came from a large family, none of Martin and Christina’s children had large families themselves. Only Bernard, of their four sons, married, and he had only two children. Similarly, Eileen and Kathleen had two each, and Grace and May had only one child each. Pat married but had no children. A total of only eight grandchildren for Christina and Martin.
Christina lived at 22,
Helen recalls: Granny never voted Conservative after Churchill sent the Black and Tans into
Christina had outlived three of her children and May died later the same year. I got to know her quite well during my boyhood visits in the late '50s and early '60s and thought she was a grand old lady! It was also convenient to have Eileen and May’s family so close by, and of course, Pat,who shared
MAHER FAMILY ROOTS IN DUBLIN
John Maher c.1845 and Catherine Early
These were the parents of Christina Maher and therefore, Bernard Roughan's maternal grandparents. John was a master stonemason from
I'm looking for information about John Maher b.c.1822 who lived in the cottages at
His John will not be our John, but there will be connections somewhere. Perhaps he was the brother of John's father James. Since my cousin Helen enlightened me as to John's second marriage and his days in
He married twenty-two-year-old Catherine Early, also from
Once I had been informed that Catherine died when Christina was quite young, I was soon able to locate the date of her death. She died in Rathdown during the first quarter of 1889. Her birth was given as 'about' 1853, so she was only thirty-six. I wasn't able to find John's second marriage or the name of his wife. However now that I knew that I needed to search in
A second birth entry for
Fortunately, she did have brothers, and one of them came over from the
So far, we know that John Maher had three children (or more) from his first marriage. Christina, James, and the brother who lived in the
The following children I believe to be from his second marriage. Mary Maher was born in the first quarter of 1897 in
After his death, his wife left their residential hotel, and one can only speculate where she went with the children. William Early Maher would only have been a few months old, and she was with child again, Edith Louise. A William E Maher is recorded in the 1911 Census as living in Cardiff, but no sign of his siblings there or in the 1911 Irish Census or t
Edith married twenty-five-year-old William Henry George Humphrys in
William Early Maher married twenty-three-year-old Mary Emma Hagerty in
Nothing further has been found for Rose or Ellen Maher, but a Mary Maher, born in 1897, married Harry Skinner in
So John Maher leaves us with a few loose strands to be tidied up, and his second wife remains a mystery for the time being.
Cliff Castle, Dalkey St Patrick's Church, Dalkey Bullock Harbour
James Maher 1876
James Maher was the brother of Christina Maher. He was the eldest child of John Maher and Catherine, born in 1876 in Dublin. He had at least one sister, Christina, who was born ten years later. James was a general labourer who married Mary Ellen Barrett on the 20th September 1896. The 1911 Irish Census tells us that they lived in Boyne Street, Dublin. They had five children but only May, born in 1902 and Christina, born in 1909 survived. Mary couldn’t read or write, and James could read but not write. They employed one servant, Bridget Higgins, a widow,aged sixty-eight. He named his youngest daughter after his sister Christina, who named her eldest daughter May.
Christina Maher 1886
THE ROUGHANS OF CLARE
“It’s a long, long way from Clare to here” as Ralph McTell wrote and sang.
Clare is one of 26 counties in
Ennis is the county seat and largest town with a population of 24,253. In 1841, before the Irish Famine, the population of Clare was 280,000. Ten years later it was down to 212,000. A decrease of 25%. The most recent census, in 2006,has the population now at just 110,810 people. A loss of 60% of its population since 1841. Nowhere was the famine more prevalent than in the West of Ireland.
Bunnow is in the Union of Ennis and the civil parish of Doora. It’s just over a mile from Ennis Town, on the Quin Road. The map on the left shows the parishes in Clare. Parish number 10 is Doora which is enlarged on the right, showing the townlands. Number 7 is Bunnow which borders Drumcliff parish(no.11) to the west and Clareabbey(no.4) to the south.
The Parishes of Clare The Townlands of Doora parish
Michael Roughan 1838-c.1903
Michael was the father of Martin Roughan and therefore Bernard’s grandfather. With Michael, it’s the mixture of the known and the unknown. We know that he was born in 1838 or 1839 because the 1901 Irish Census gives his age as 62 ... however his marriage certificate, dated 1865, says he was twenty-four ... making his year of birth 1841, or 1840. We know that he was born in County Clare from the same source. His father’s name was given as John Roughan on his marriage certificate. It is possible that his mother was Mary Macnamara, but this cannot be confirmed. He grew up during the height of the famine and may have had sisters who emigrated to Australia. Again,it depends on which John Roughan was his father.
He married Mary Clune on the 19th February 1865 at the Catholic Chapel of Doora and proceeded to farm in the rural townland of Bunnow in the civil parish of Doora. Bunnow was a small farming community, numbering less than thirty people in 1901,where Mary, herself, was raised. Her father was Thomas Clune, a local farmer and it’s more than likely that he gave Michael the land which he farmed. Mary was born in 1844 according to her marriage certificate. There were over thirty Mary Clunes listed in the 1911 census for Clare. So a very common name in the county.
Michael was not from Bunnow but from a neighbouring townland. There are a few candidates as to which one, with Clonroadbeg in Drumcliff Parish looking a strong possibility. Having married Mary, he stayed in Bunnow and farmed alongside the Clunes, raising eight children.
Michael died some time between the census and Martin’s marriage in 1905. Mary had died earlier because Michael is listed as a widower in the 1901 census. Ennis district records have a Mary Roughan, born in 1842 and dying in 1884, and I believe this to be Mary. She would have therefore died just a year after the birth of Margaret, leaving Michael to raise the family as a single parent.
It’s interesting that the 1901 census shows four of the five farmers in Bunnow as widowers or widows. The exception being John and Bridget Clune.
Doora Bridge over the River Fergus in Bunnow Doora Church in Bunnow
John Roughan 1866
He was born on the 10th May 1866, named after Michael’s father. No further information on him except that he is no longer in the household in 1901.
Bridget Roughan 1867
She was born the following year on the 18th October 1867. Mary Clune’s paternal grandmother was called Bridget Frawley. Perhaps Mary’s mother was Bridget too. By the time of the 1901 census, Bridget is no longer at home.
Thomas Roughan 1869
Two years later, on the 30th December, Thomas Roughan became Michael and Mary’s third child. Like, his two elder siblings, he isn’t in the 1901 census. No more is known about him other than he was named after Mary’s father.
Maria Roughan 1875
Six years elapsed before their fourth child, Maria, although the mortality rate was such in those days that there may well have been others born in that period. Indeed, the three eldest children above, may have died young, explaining why none of them were still at home in 1901. Being that much older than their siblings, they may just have moved on.
Maria was born in 1875 which we know from her entry in the 1901 census. She moved from Bunnow before 1911.
Martin Roughan 1876-1948
The following year, Martin was born on the 5th of November and made a new life for himself across the seas. He left
Michael Roughan 1878
Michael was born on March 31, 1878, and was still living at home in 1901. He eventually left Bunnow for
Alfred J Roughan was born on April 25th, 1909 in Glamorgan, and although I can't confirm it, I take him to be Michael and Florrie's first child. He married Dorothy Mary Pearson in the summer of 1956. Dorothy was born in November 13th 1916, and I don't think they had any children. They started married life at
Joseph Michael Roughan was definitely the son of Michael and Florrie. He was born in 1911, and married thirty-four-year-old Lillian Joyce Clinnick on June 8th, 1942 in Newlyn,
Cheridah Roughan was Michael and Florrie's third and last child, born on July 25, 1914. She married William Trevor Stansbury in
William had only one sibling, Gwenllian, who was thirteen years younger. He and Cheridah stayed in
Michael and Florrie Roughan were married for forty-seven years. Michael died in
Patrick Roughan 1880
Patrick, the youngest son, was born in 1880. Until the 1911 census for Bunnow was released, I believed Patrick to be the Patrick who emigrated to New Zealand and married Martha Annis, a Polish immigrant. But our Patrick did nothing of the sort. He watched the family unit dissolve, following the passing of his father Michael and found himself alone to run the farm.
The 1911 census tells us that he is still single and gives details of the house and outbuildings. It has three rooms with three windows at the front of the house. It has brick walls with a non-tiled roof, classified as a perishable one, being of wood or thatch. It is rated a second class house as opposed to a third class dwelling which Patrick Clune’s was, having just two rooms.
Patrick Clune, a relation of Patrick's by marriage, was also alone now, his parents both dead since the previous census, and his twenty-two year old son Patrick having presumably moved on. He is still listed as married but his wife not present at either census. He has just two cow houses whereas Pat Roughan has one pig house, one stable and one cow house. Neither have a fowl house. There are twenty-nine people living in Bunnow ,the same as in 1901, including James O'Loghlin, the publican farmer.
Margaret Roughan 1883
Michael and Mary’s youngest child was Margaret Roughan born early in 1883. She was present for the 1901 census but not the 1911 one. Like her siblings she had left Bunnow after her father’s death with only Patrick remaining in Bunnow.
Michael died some time between the census and Martin’s marriage in 1905. Mary had died earlier because Michael is listed as a widower in the 1901 census. Ennis district records have a Mary Roughan, born in 1842 and dying in 1884, and I believe this to be Mary. She would have therefore died just a year after the birth of Margaret, leaving Michael to raise the family as a single parent.
It’s interesting that the 1901 census shows four of the five farmers in Bunnow as widowers or widows. The exception being John and Bridget Clune.
Cottages in Burren, County Clare A Clare sunset Green is Clare
The father of Michael Roughan and Bernard’s other paternal Great Grandfather. There are a number of candidates called John Roughan who might be our one. One was born in 1799, another in 1801, and the other in 1811. The County Clare Tithe Applotment Books of 1825 show John Roughan occupying land in Clonroadbeg and Clonroadmore. This part of Drumcliff borders Bunnow which is the furthest west of Doora’s townlands (see earlier map)
John is working in harness with Michael Roughan, as well as others. I take John to be in his mid-twenties at the time, with Michael an older brother, or possibly his father. There is also a ‘John Roughan Snr. & son Roughan’ occupying land in Knockandira, Templemaley which is also close to the Bunnow area. Our John Roughan would be the son not the father and would be the John Roughan born in 1811.
Piecing together the evidence available, I believe Michael’s father to have married Mary Macnamara in 1835. Macnamara was one of the area’s most common names and they are holding land in the Clonroads as well as Doora and Templemaley.
So they would know John Roughan well. Mary was the daughter of James Macnamara and Mary Meer who had married in 1815 in Moghery,Cloony Par. She was christened on the 17th of April 1816 and had a younger brother, James, christened on the 24th of May,1819. Cloony is close to all of the aforementioned places. The 1811 John is at a more realistic age to be marrying Mary but the 1799/1801 John’s should not be ruled out.
Mary and John had their first child, Ann, in 1835 with Mary just nineteen. There has been extensive research done by the Australian Roughans which reports Ann as being the daughter of John Roughan and Mary Macnamara. Hence the original link between the two.
If our John, Michael Roughan’s father, is their John, then Ann is Michael’s elder sister. She left Clare for
Ann married James Lyle at Sofala,NSW in 1859. She died at Waverley,NSW on 5 October 1884.Both Ann and Maria told the Sydney authorities that their mother, Mary, was dead, but that their father John was still living. This would mean that Mary Roughan, nee Macnamara, died before 1855, making her just thirty nine or less. Michael Roughan was now seventeen with his mother deceased and two sisters emigrated. For the next decade he remained in the Drumcliffe area, farming the land with his father John and whatever brothers he had. The Griffiths Valuation of 1855 shows a number of Roughans active in the area. James, Thomas, Timothy, Patrick, Matthew, Daniel,Joseph amongst male Roughans and Margaret, Catherine and Ellen amongst.Any of them could be sons or brothers of John.
Only a visit to Drumcliffe cemetery might piece the jigsaw together or perhaps local enquiries. The questions that need to be answered are : In which year was Michael Roughan’s father born, or in which year did he die? Was Michael’s mother Mary Macnamara? If she was then he did have sisters called Ann and Maria who emigrated to Australia. Quite straightforward really.
John Roughan died in 1864, 1875 or 1891, depending on which John married Mary. We know that his son Michael moved on to Bunnow where he married Mary Clune and started to farm alongside Thomas Clune, his father-in-law and James Clune, brother to Thomas. This would be around 1865. For the rest, return to Michael Roughan’s section.
THE CLUNES OF CLARE
Thomas Clune 1817
Thomas Clune was Michael Roughan’s father-in-law and one of Bernard’s paternal Great Grandfathers. He was born in 1817 in Ballyvergen,Clooney and christened on the 13th of July. This is close to Bunnow where he went on to farm. He is listed in the Griffiths Valuation of 1855 as owning land in Bunnow. John Clune also owns land there and is almost certainly his brother. The 1911 census shows just seventeen people living in Ballyvergen, but five of them are Clunes with Catherine Clune, widowed, running the farm. Thomas had moved on to Bunnow years earlier but died before the 1911 census. The only Clune farming in Bunnow is John Clune. No details are known of Thomas’ wife or children, other than Mary.
Mary Clune c.1842-c.1884
She was the only child of Thomas that I have traced and the wife of Michael Roughan. As such, she is Bernard’s paternal grandmother. She died before the 1911 census and possibly is the Mary Clune who dies in 1884, just after her daughter Margaret’s birth. Find her also in Michael Roughan’s section.
Patrick Clune c.1790 and Bridget Frawley 1794-1864
Thomas’ parents were Patrick Clune and Bridget Frawley who married in 1815 in Balleyvergen. They are the only great-great-grandparents of Bernard’s that I have so far traced. As well as Thomas, they had a son called John who was born in 1821 in Knockanoura and christened on the 23rd of August. The John Clune who farms Bunnow alongside Michael Roughan appears to be a different John Clune,being four years younger than this John Clune. However I suspect him to be the same (with a few years lost in translation) and therefore he is both Thomas’ brother and Michael’s uncle.
I am indebted to Eugene Godden,whose own research opened the door for me to explore the Roughans in the detail that I have
With the Roughans of Clare and
Our family, in general, haven’t encompassed a great deal of the Globe, though, personally-speaking, having an American father, my own family tree would be spread wider. However this family tree is only half of mine and tends to be centred on the British Isles. Here, we have left considerable footprints and traces in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. When Ina Hunter married Bernard Roughan, mum brought England and Scotland to the union, and dad brought Ireland and Wales. From the West of Ireland to the North East of Scotland and down to Cornwall. From South Wales to the East of England. From the Cheshire Plain to Lancashire and Yorkshire.
I have visited the lives of so many ancestors, it’s as if I have met them personally. As I sifted through the censuses, lives and stories unravelled before me, and the joys and sorrows some of them went through touched me deeply. Some were distant relatives who suddenly became closer, such as Jane Stringer and Hannah Race. Others were more direct ancestors such as William Race and Elizabeth Lowndes. I found myself lighting many candles which is a custom I inherited from my wife, as one remembers those who have passed before. No story was more poignant than Kenneth Rickwood’s and no story more wondrous than George Hunter’s when he became a father for the first time at seventy.
There are still mysteries to be solved and a few loose ends to be tidied up. The biggest puzzle of all is what motivated me to write it all down in the first place,given that I am not a family man, nor have I really kept in touch with my family as one might. I’m a solitary individual who for reasons I don’t fully understand, chose to embark upon this venture. Perhaps not knowing my paternal roots or ever likely to, made me determined to know my maternal roots. The detective in me also had the chance to express itself, and in genealogy one is constantly facing the unknown and dead ends. Trying to open locked doors was a great challenge and very satisfying when achieved.
Perhaps, not having produced a family of my own or truly connected with relatives who have, I needed to find another family and it would seem that I chose one that was no longer living. Perhaps they have come alive again in these pages and there are people here who were not known to their descendents as well as they might have been. None more so than Irene Procter who painted the Ramsdell Hall pictures.
Bernard Roughan and Ina Hunter get big mentions, of course, being mum and dad, and because I knew them well. There are others meriting much more space than has been given, and I would be delighted to expand their sections given the appropriate information.
The most important thing has been to only write positively of those contained in these pages. This I hope I have done, and if it has meant omitting little things here and there, then so be it. Certain facts and information have to be included, there is no other way. My aim was to be objective and impartial throughout. Of course there had to be personal touches and an element of subjectivity but in the main, this is a family history, written with warmth and empathy.The saying ‘Judge not others, lest ye be judged yourself’ runs throughout these pages, and that’s a good point to end on.
October 2009 but an ongoing project since February 2009.