Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mathew Leonard from The Burrow

Mathew Leonard (1821-1904) was my 3rd great grandfather, and born to Patrick Leonard (a tenant farmer in the Burrow of Portraine, County Dublin) and Lizzie Horish.  Mathew inherited the land rights from his father Patrick, and eventually saw the Leonard family owning the land in fee by the end of his life (thanks to the Wyndham Land Purchase Act). 

Around 1850, during the height of the Famine, Mathew married Anna O'Brien (aka Anne Brien), and had eleven children, some of whom migrated to Portland Maine:

-Mary Leonard (1851-bef 1939) never married.  No further information.  However, the 1901 Dublin Census has a Mary Leonard who was a 49 year old servant.

-Patrick J. Leonard (1852-1853) died as an infant.

-Mathew John Leonard (1854-1939) is my paternal 2nd great grandfather, who emigrated to Portland Maine in 1881.

-Elizabeth Leonard (1857-1894) emigrated to Portland and married a railroad fireman named John H. Devine (1858-1894).  Elizabeth's godfather was old family friend Patrick Wade, who also emigrated to Portland Maine.

-Francis Leonard (1859-1961) sailed to Maine with his brother Mathew John in 1881, but only lived there three years.  He lived to be over a century old, and has many descendants, some who still live in The Burrow.

-Ellen Theresa Leonard (1861-1893) was nicknamed Nellie.  She arrived with her brothers in 1881.  In 1888 in Portland, she married James Joseph Smart (who born in the Burrow to Charles Smart & Jane Dockrell).  James had recently arrived from living with his grandparents in Lancashire England and had been working in a copper mill lab.  James got a job in Portland as a telephone worker for NET&T.  They lived on 24 High Street, 5 Stevens Place, then later 2 Martyr Street (with other Smarts).   Both Ellen & James died young of pulmonary tuberculosis in Portland, and are buried in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland Maine.  James' cousin Charles, also from the Burrow, lived on 16 Briggs Street with his wife, Nellie Curran, and Nellie's parents, James and Rose Curran.  This was one of the row of houses on Briggs Street owned by Nellie Leonard's uncle Prod.  Ellen is the only child of Mathew's for which I cannot find a baptismal record, so I wonder if she might actually be Alice or Agnes below.



-Annie T. Leonard (1863-1948) was baptised in Donabate Parish, just like her siblings. She married William Quinlan in Dublin, but divorced him and migrated to Portland in 1913 upon hearing that Prod had left her money from his will. She remarried soon after arrival in the US, to a Willard Harland Batchelder. When her brother Mathew John was suffering from dementia in the mid 1930's, Annie took the opportunity to get his will changed so that she received the entire estate, minus $1.00 apiece for his sons Matthew Jr. and Thomas Matthew (so they couldn't contest the will). There was much ill will toward Annie after that family drama, and to this day the mention of Aunt Annie to any Leonard descendant produces an unfurled lip. She was a live-in housekeeper for the church for the remainder of her life. Not sure what she did with the money.
-Alice Leonard (1865-bef 1948) also never married. No further information.  She may be the same person as Ellen above.

-Agnes Leonard (1867-bef 1948).  No further information.  She may be the same person as Ellen above.

-John Leonard (1870-before 1948).  The only data I can find about John is his dog license from 1897 (showing him living in the Burrow).  I did find a John Leonard of appropriate age buried at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin on the FindAGrave website, his birth date is a few years off, though.


Back Row: Patricia Leonard, "Charles," Grace Mary Liversage
Front Row: Annielena Leonard, Patrick Leonard, Mary Elizabeth Roberts-Leonard, Christine Leonard
(About 1940, England)
Photo Courtesy of Diane Rollins


-Patrick J. Leonard (15 Feb 1872-after 1948) (named after his deceased infant brother Patrick) was nicknamed "Patsy".  Patrick married once when he was young, for a short time (according to the 1901 Census - no name given).  In 1909, he moved to Portland Maine to live and work near his brothers, around the time he was named a successor executor to his uncle Prod's estate.  He married Mary Elizabeth Roberts-Liversage there in July 1910.  Mary was a widow from Brighton, England, with two daughters (Ruth & Grace Liversage).  Patsy didn't enjoy America, and missed his home.  By March of 1911 he had brought Mary & her daughters back with him to live in The Burrow.  Mary's daughter, Ruth Liversage-Davis, remained in Portland with her new husband (and apparently one of Mary's brothers - Joseph Roberts - was living in Portland at the time as well).  In the 1910s in the Burrow, Patrick and Mary had three daughters of their own:  Annielena, Crissie and Bertha (Patricia).  Patrick later moved the whole family to England (possibly Brighton), where all three girls married Englishmen.  According to Mary's brother's obituary in 1951, Mary was alive and well and living in England, but English Probate Records show Mary to have already died in 1943.  *** I did find a Dublin-born Patrick Leonard of the right age working as a gunner for the Royal Artillery in Lancashire England, 1891 (coincidentally where his brother-in-law James Smart lived in 1881).  It's entirely possible that Patsy met Mary in Lancashire initially, then moved with her to Maine temporarily, back to Dublin, then to Brighton, England.

Friendship with the Riley Family of Donabate

  • In a baptismal record from September 17, 1843, Mathew appears as godfather to Nicholas Riley, son to John and Ellen Riley.
  • In a baptismal record from December 6, 1846, Mathew appears as godfather to Margaret Riley, daughter to Patrick and Sarah Riley.
  • In Mathew's son Patrick's 1872 baptismal record from Donabate Parish - his godparents were Richard and Margaret Reilly.


Dog License Registers

Below are some dog license applications of Mathew.  Apparently he owned one brown terrier in 1888, and a brown one in 1895, and paid $6 per year for it:



Court Cases

On July 23, 2887, Mathew filed a complaint against his neighbor, James Wade, for the charge of seven fowl (chickens?) trespassing on his cropped land.  Wade paid the charges, but it's a strange complaint.  Mathew's brother, Thomas D. Leonard, would marry Wade's daughter, Alice, so I wonder if the complaint was really about chickens...



On May 18, 1895, Mathew filed a complaint against Terence Dougherty, also of Portraine, on a charge related to goods sold.  The case was dismissed:



Census Records

The 1901 Census of The Burrow has Mathew & Anna Leonard living at Burrow House #5, with Patrick and Francis.  They had a chicken coop, horse stable, and cow house.  By then, Francis was already a widower, and had yet to marry Margaret Byrne.  Not sure yet where the others were living who stayed in Ireland (Annie, John, Mary, Alice).  (All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.)




The 1911 Census of The Burrow has Francis and Patrick with their own families, living at Burrow House #15 and #16.  According to the Farm House exhibit, Francis & Patrick had a farm with two cow houses, one chicken coop, and a horse stable.