Saturday, March 19, 2022

Shaws & Plummers of Raymond Maine

I will try to assemble information about these interrelated old families in Raymond & Windham Maine.

Barbara Plummer (born 1923) was an 'adopted' daughter of Daniel Lamont Plummer (1864-1942) and Leona Proctor-Shaw-Plummer (1883-1965).  Barbara was clearly much younger than her father (almost 60 year age difference), but was potentially the biological mother of Leona (but that would require Leona having a child with another man in 1923 while still  married to Daniel.  

For the 1910 Census, Daniel & Leona had been married about a year, and they had their first biological child, William in 1910.  But living with them were three children:  Milton, Fred, and Edna Shaw, at 9, 8, and 6 years of age, respectfully.  These were likely her children from a prior marriage (to a Shaw?) 

For the 1920 Census, Daniel & Leona had the following children living with them:  Milton Shaw (19 years old, and matches the 1910 Census), Fred Plummer (at 18 years old, and has taken his stepfather's name), and young William (now 10 years old).  Edna had moved out, and married Eldridge York.

For the 1930 Census, Daniel & Leona had the following children living with them:  Fred Plummer (at 28 years old, again having taken the name of his stepfather), William (now 20 years old), Frank Plummer (9 years old - is this a bio child?), and Barbara Plummer (6 years old - we know she's adopted).

For the 1940 Census, Daniel & Leona had the following children living with them:  Fred Plummer (now 38 years old), Frank Plummer (now 19 years old), and Barbara Plummer (now 16 years old).

Now, Leona's parents, according to various sources, were Fred Proctor and Rebecca Gerry.  

So, who were the bio parents of Franklin & Barbara Plummer?

Franklin Plummer's birth record says that his parents were Daniel & Leona.  Daniel would have been a 55 year old father, I guess that's possible.

Barbara Plummer does not have a birth record under that name.  As stated above, if her birth parents were Daniel & Leona, Daniel would have been 60 years old at the time.  It's been stated by the family that Barbara was definitely adopted.  From other records, I've learned that she was born 10 Sep 1923.  I cannot find a Maine Birth Record from that date that has the first name Barbara.

Barbara married Arnold Mayberry (1924-1994) of Windham.  Arnold's parents were Leroy Mayberry and Marion E. SHAW (1901-1982).  No relation to Leona's husband Charles G. Shaw.

Daniel Plummer, Barbara's adoptive father, was brother to William Herbert Plummer of Raymond.  Barbara was a long time 'cousin' and friend to the family next to the Raymond farm, and ended up owning more of the Plummer land in the 70s.  Barbara was known as the lady with the pet capuchin monkey that terrorized the family who came to visit.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Emily Morrill of Portland


(ca 1890)

Emily N. Morrill (1844 – 1900) was my 2nd great grandmother.  She was born in Portland, the youngest of nine children born to Jonathan & Sally Morrill, who were originally from Tuftonboro, NH, but had relocated to Portland to be closer to family (who were the namesake of Morrill's Corner).

Emily grew up in the East Bayside District of Portland, living most of her youth at 62 Washington Street.

At age 21 in 1865, she married William Sanford Morgan, ("Sanford") a Civil War veteran from Winterport, Maine, who had just finished a storied turn of service in the Navy, working on the famed USS Kearsarge.  Just after the wedding, they moved to Peaks Island, and had their first of three daughters, my great grandmother, Hattie Temm, pictured left.

In 1869, Emily & Sanford moved back to East Bayside, settling in next door to Emily's family on Washington Avenue.  There they had their second daughter, Adelaide (pictured left, who married George Simpson and later Presbury Dennison, and had one daughter, Emily Simpson-Pease).

From 1873-1877, they owned a house on 8 Madison Street, around the corner from the previous house.  There they had their youngest daughter, Abigail, pictured left, who never married.

6-8 Madison Street
Portland, ME
(Property was razed for newer residential development)

From 1877-1880, William owned property in Scarborough on West Beech Ridge Road.  Their daughter Hattie later moved to that area when she started her family with John Henry Temm of that area.  I wonder if this three year period is when Hattie met John.

In 1880, they lived at 22 Greenleaf Street.  The building is now a housing project (likely since Urban Renewal).


In 1881, they didn't appear in Portland directories.  It's possible they moved back to Scarborough for the year or two, since they sold the property in 1883.  From 1883 to 1885, they lived at 26 Lowell Street and 49 Green Street in Portland.

By 1886, Emily and William appear to have separated.  City Directories have her living at 46 Hanover Street, with William living at 69 Danforth Street.

In 1887, William & Emily divorced (due to his constant drinking) and Emily moved Addie & Abbie to 27 Everett Street.  Hattie had already moved out a couple years prior, having married her first husband, James Downey, and they were living on 5 Vine Street at the time (now Pearl Street).  Upon divorce, William moved in with Hattie & James for a while.

27 Everett Street

27 Everett Street

Both William and she remarried at the end of the 19th Century.  Emily's 2nd husband was neighbor and childhood friend Joseph G. Hall, a carriage painter (and brother to her niece Naomi's husband Edward Hall from the East Bayside neighborhood).  They married in 1891, and moved on 123 Cumberland Avenue, right around the corner from where her mother (then widowed) was living on 21 Cleeve Street.  

123 Cumberland Avenue

Emily's husband Joseph died in 1895, and then Emily died in 1900 of hemiplegia.  Her first husband William lived until 1920.  Everyone is buried at Forest City Cemetery in South Portland.

Forest City Cemetery
Left to Right:
Unknown Baby Grave
Abigail and Adelaide
Emily N. Morrill Hall
Joseph G. Hall

Below is a pedigree for Emily.

Unfortunately, due to New Hampshire's lack of records, I've yet to go back three generations for her.  She appears to be fully English.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Hewlets of New London Connecticut

This post will cover collected research on the Hewlet family of Groton and Stonington, Connecticut.  This family name has also been written as Hewlett and Hewitt.


Nathaniel Hewitt (1721-1784) was born and raised in North Stonington Connecticut.  He and his family were members of the North Stonington Congregational Church.

According to official Mayflower Society research volumes (the Silver Books), Nathaniel was a 4th generation descendant of John Alden of the Mayflower.

Nathaniel and his wife, Rebecca Grant, had two sons of note (there may have been as many as 8 children):

1. Josiah Grant Hewitt (1742-1824), married Mercy Williams in 1763, and had at least one son, Josiah, Jr..

2. Nathaniel Hewitt Jr. (1746-1823) fought as a Private in the Army during the Revolutionary War, while in his 50s.  He was badly injured in the War, in his leg, thigh and breast, on Butt's Hill, during the Battle of Rhode Island, of 1788.  He received pension and moved to Vermont for the rest of his years.

For a while, I was under the impression that the Josiah above (of Stonington) is the same as the Josiah (of Groton) that was father to my ancestor, Stephen Hewlett/Hewitt (1771-1812), who was a Corporal in the War of 1812.  I learned from the Mayflower Society that they cannot be the same person, because they were having children at the same time in these two different towns.  Perhaps they were cousins?

Anyhow, according to the Providence Gazette, Josiah of Groton had 27 children by one wife.  Not sure how accurate that is!

Anyhow, Josiah's son, Stephen, my ancestor, was married to Mary Anna Daniels, of Groton, CT.


Stephen and Mary had five children:

1.  Phebe (1795-1875), married Henry Bunnell around 1835, and had at least two children, and lived in Groton.  She may have married an Amos Benham earlier, in 1828.

2.  Abby (1802-1876) married fisherman William Bogue, and had at least ten children, and also lived in Groton.

3.  Comfort (1803-1873) married a woman named Abigail Andrews, and had one daughter, Myra.  They settled in nearby New Britain, CT.

4.  Sarah ("Sally") (1805-1895), potentially first married someone named William Mott, and may have had one daughter, Francina.  She later married Harvey Hall of nearby Colchester, and settled in Lyme, CT.  They had at least seven children, including my Great Great Grandmother, Nancy Hall-Tooker.

5.  Edwin (1811-1890) married Francina Mott, who was 14 years his junior, and they had at least nine kids together.  Francina was the daughter of William Mott and, potentially, Edwin's own sister Sally, based on comparing various records.  But, Francina's death certificate does show William as her father, and the mother's maiden name is rather illegible (but doesn't appear to say Hewlett).  What is also interesting is that in 1825, there is a Groton marriage record between William Mott and Sarah "Hulet".  Francina was born in 1825.  So, it's very possible that Edwin had nine children with his own niece.  This kind of thing did happen occasionally back in the day.

Stephen died during the War of 1812, on board a man-of-war (type of battleship).  Mary remarried to Austin Goodale, and lived to be 104.  Mary's obituary appears below:



U.S. Federal Censuses

Barbour Collection, Connecticut

Find a Grave

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Charles & Thomas Leonard (18th Century Migrants to the Burrow)

By 1788, brothers Charles and Thomas Leonard were the first of my Leonard family to have migrated to the Burrow Townland (then called the "Warren," due to the large number of rabbits on the land prior to human settlement).

Their lease for the Leonard lands, the farming of the lands, and the initial building of the Leonard houses (Century Cottage and Rose Cottage), was all held in ownership by Charles, on land leased to them by the local Evans Family of Portrane Demesne (just south of the Burrow).  The original landowner was Eyre Evans (1682-1750), who had relocated from Cork.  Such land was granted to him by the Archbishop of Dublin around 1722, and was kept in the Evans family until 1946, when it finally was conveyed to Frank Leonard's widow Maggie.

According to various parish registers, Charles Leonard (born approximately 1765) appears to have been married three times, and had four children:

  • With first wife Elizabeth, Charles had two boys Thomas (1788-) and Richard (1792-).
  • With second wife, Eleanor Tallon, Charles had Mathew (1795-) and Mary (1797-).
  • June 1800 marriage record shows Charles marrying an Anne West.  No subsequent children.

See below 1804 map of the Burrow lots.  The land that on the right side of Burrow Road is labeled Charles Leonard (that's the house lot), as well as across the street (that's the farm lot).  These farmlots were called "Burrow Gardens".  These were narrow stretches of gardens which locals leased and grew vegetables for their own use. It was probably because of this that there were few deaths if any during the Great Famine of the mid-19th Century. You can see that Charles Leonard possessed over 3 acres in the area.

1804 Map of the Burrow of Portrane
(formerly known as the Warren)

Charles' brother, Thomas (1773-1865) (my 5th Great Grandfather), was, according to oral tradition, has married to a woman by the last name of Byrne.  Thomas had three children in the Burrow:

1.  Patrick Leonard, my ancestor (1795-1865), who took over the house lot and farming from his uncle Charles.

2.  Mary Leonard (1804-_____) married Thomas Finegan, and had six children in the Burrow.

3.  Thomas Leonard, Jr., who drowned (according to Patrick's great grandson, Thomas).

Thomas died of dysentery, a widower, at age 92, at home in the Portrane Cottages.


Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers

Ireland, Civil Registrations (Deaths)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Patrick Mullarney of Glencullen

Patrick Mullarney (1844-1906) was brother to my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Mullarney-Howlett.  He was born in Ballymanus, County Wicklow to Thomas Mullarney and Elizabeth Ellis, on land rented from Daniel Tighe, a prominent local landlord.

Patrick had ambitions to become a national schoolteacher, and I believe that he idolized and was mentored by Thomas Howlett, who ended up marrying his sister Sarah.

In 1863, Patrick worked at Rathnew National School in Wicklow, not too far up the road from Ballymanus.

In 1867, Patrick started working in County Dublin (where the money and opportunity may have been better) at Lucan National School as well as Raheny School.

In 1873, he married dressmaker Ellen Flyght at St. Patrick's Parish in Wicklow, and they ended up having seven daughters together.

By 1874, Patrick had officially left Wicklow, to begin work as a national schoolteacher in Glencullen, Dublin.  By 1881, he ended up being promoted to schoolmaster, a position he kept until at least 1894.


In 1882, Patrick was charged by the Rathdown Union with failure to vaccinate his children.  It's unclear which vaccine was available at this time.  There weren't many, only the ones for cholera and smallpox, to my understanding.  

In 1884, a dog bit one of his daughters, and Patrick pressed charges against Dr. Mackay for failing to treat her.

In 1892, a few months after his mother Elizabeth died, Patrick accused John Cullen of Glencullen of kicking his dog, causing a broken leg and shoulder, but the case was dismissed.  In 1895, he was arrested for public drunkenness, and in 1897, he lost his two youngest daughters to diphtheria (they were only ten and twelve years old).  To add insult to injury, his house was inspected by the local doctor (Mackay), and he was ordered to clean up and sanitize the room, to prevent the spread of the disease.

Late in 1905, Patrick contracted tuberculosis.  He checked into the Rathdown Union Workhouse for treatment for his sore eye in December of that year, a complication of his TB.  He was released a month later, in January of 1906.  He was dead by March of 1906.

His wife Ellen remained at their house until her own death in 1932.

Of his seven daughters, only four appear to have lived to adulthood, but I don't believe any of them had any children of their own.  His eldest daughter Elizabeth ended up in Mountjoy Prison for a week in the summer of 1915 for stealing a box of polish.  She married a few years later, and I think she was the only child of Patrick's to do so.



Dog License Registers (Dublin)
Petty Court Sessions (Wicklow and Dublin)
National School Teacher Salary Books (Dublin)
Slater's Royal National Directory Of Ireland (Dublin)
Catholic Parish Registers (Wicklow and Dublin)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records (Wicklow and Dublin)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Thomas Howlett of Dublin

This is a post about my third great grandfather, Thomas Howlett (1828-1878).  Thomas was a National School Teacher in Wicklow and Dublin counties.

A National School was, and still is, a secular elementary school, or public primary school, fully financed by the government.  It was set up in the 1830s to accommodate the need for a non-religious schooling, an alternative to parochial schools administered by the Roman Catholic Church or the protestant Church of Ireland.

Thomas appears in the salary books ("pay books"), which I was able to locate at the National Archives in Dublin, October of 2019.  I learned that from 1860-1862, Thomas was employed at Glenealy National School in Wicklow.

Patrick Mullarney, Thomas' brother-in-law, was also a National School Teacher in Wicklow and Dublin during the same time as Thomas.  I suspect that this might be how Thomas met his wife Sarah, Patrick's older sister, in Wicklow.

From a variety of records, it's clear that his parents were Jacobi (aka James) and Elizabeth Howlett of Wexford.  The one baptismal record that seems to match is from Ballyculane, Wexford, dated 1840, with parents Jacobi Howlett and Margarita Commins.  However, his marriage and death records declare him to have been born in 1828.

Dublin City
It's interesting that Thomas and Sarah were married in January 1863, at St. Mary's Pro in Dublin City, and that they baptized their daughter there in August of the same year.  It's quite possible that this was a shotgun wedding, with Sarah being two months pregnant at her wedding, and also being 11 years younger than her groom.  This might have invited a variety of scandals.

Sadly, though, in 1865, about a year and a half after the birth of their daughter Lizzie, young Sarah died of tuberculosis, back at her home in Ballymanus.  Her death record states she had the disease for ten months before dying.  That must mean that she contracted it when her daughter was exactly one year old.  At the time of her death, she was under the care of her brother Patrick, who was the informant on her death record (and not Thomas).  It isn't very clear to me that Thomas and Sarah had any kind of strong relationship.  They likely met through the School connection, had an evening of intimacy and were forced to be married because of it, probably only knowing each other 2 or 3 years total.  Given that Sarah was highly contagious, it's also quite possible that she left Dublin City to go back home to Ballymanus, leaving her daughter and husband behind, so she wouldn't infect them.


After Sarah's death, Thomas worked briefly at St. Peter's National School in Dublin in 1867, but soon afterward was working as a school teacher at Kinsealy School, and there he met a farmer's daughter by the name of Bridget Campbell.  They were married at Baldoyle Chapel in 1870.

Thomas had been promoted to schoolmaster at Kinsealy by 1877.  He died of accidental drowning in Artaine, North County Dublin, on 2 Jan 1878.

In 1889, his daughter Sarah had sailed to New England, and in the same year married my 2nd great grandfather, Mathew John Leonard of Portland Maine (originally of Dublin).  I wonder if they knew each other in Ireland.  Her father had spent many years working in Kinsealy, about five miles south of Portrane, where Mathew John grew up...



National School Teacher Salary Books (1868-1890)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Catholic Parish Records (Marriage and Baptism)
Maine Death Record of Elizabeth Howlett-Leonard

Friday, November 1, 2019

Thomas Mullarney of Wicklow

My 4th great grandfather was Thomas Mullarney of Ballymanus Upper Townland, in the Glenealy Parish of County Wicklow.  He was born around 1808 and died around 1877. 

In 1835, in Old St. Michael's of Rathdrum (church is no longer there), he was married to Elizabeth Ellis, and they were both living in Garrymore, Ballinacor, Wicklow at the time. 

It's unclear when they moved to Ballymanus, and became caretakers of one of Daniel Tighe's properties there, but it was certainly between 1835 and 1841.

I learned of this ancestor upon a trip to Ireland in October 2019, by procuring the death record of known ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett, who was mother to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard.  On Sarah's death certificate, it stated she died in Ballymanus Townland, and was wife of schoolteacher (Thomas Howlett).  This was a revelation to me, as all my Irish ancestral research had, up to that point, been confined to North County Dublin.

Once I studied a bit more about Sarah, I learned that her parents were Thomas Mullarney and Elizabeth Ellis, also of Wicklow.  The 1852 Griffith's Valuation matched up the name Thomas Mullarney, at House Lot 3 of Ballymanus Upper:

I paid a visit to the Valuation Office in Dublin, and managed to get a nice copy of the Valuation Map for Glenealy Parish, which was used for the above valuation document:

Griffith's Valuation Map
Thomas Mullarney Lot (See Arrow at the bottom)
Click to Enlarge

Ballymanus Upper/Glenealy
2019 Aerial
(See Yellow Pin for Mullarney Lot)
Is an old house still there?

I was also able to look through the old cancellation books, to run the full chain of title from 1842-1978.  The landlord for the Mullarney House was Daniel Tighe, who was also a neighboring landowner/tenant (as you can see from the above roster).  The Mullarney lot was measured at 9 acres, 3 roods, and 0 perches (about the size of ten football fields).  The 9 acre land was long valued at 5 pounds sterling (inclusive of house).  The house situated on it was always known as the "Woodranger's House" in these cancellation books.  I would be very curious to learn which house this is, and if it's still there.  As of 1978, the house lot had been subdivided onto a smaller land, and was then owned by a Bernard Kelly.

In researching the other small number of Mullarneys living in Glenealy Parish during this time, I've come to believe that Thomas had brother named James (1823), and a daughter or niece named Eliza (1845).  Eliza had her own child in the Rathdrum Workhouse, named William in 1868 - no father listed, and Mullarney was listed as Eliza's maiden name.

Thomas was listed as caretaker of this particular property of Tighe's, and he appears in many petty court sessions in Ballymanus/Glenealy, where he complained of trespassers and thieves:
  • In March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Francis and Dennis Toole trespassing on his tenant property, breaking a fence, and apparently stealing holly crops.
  • Also in March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Phillip Doolin breaking a fence and stealing oak crops.
  • In January of 1842, Thomas witnessed Mary Toole and Elizabeth Dowdall breaking the fence and stealing oak plants.
  • In June of 1842, Thomas witnessed Luke Cullen stealing sod and a horse from his tenant property.
  • October 1842, Thomas witnessed John Fitzpatrick stealing oak trees from his tenant property.
  • In 1851, Thomas witnessed Keven Develin stealing heath from his tenant property.
  • March of 1854, John Beety stole oak trees
  • Sept 1857 and in June of 1862, Thomas was charged for allowing his mare to wander out into the street.
  • October 1857, Thomas was accused by a local tailor Richard Byrne of threatening his life.
  • April of 1860, Thomas witnessed the trespass of cattle onto his tenant lands, said cattle owned by James Bradshaw
  • In January of 1865, Thomas owed Joseph Cowley for goods.
  • June of 1866, Thomas stood up as witness for his son William Mullarney, who was accused of assaulting Mary Kerwin.  William served a week of hard labor.  William was also charged with assaulting George Booth in March of that year, and George Byrne in October of that year.  This may be the same William who died in Rathdrum 1871.
  • August of 1867, Thomas was charged with public drunkenness, and had to pay a fine of one shilling.
  • July 1868, Thomas was charged with having an unlicensed dog.  He licensed a male greyhound two days later
  • March 1869, licensed a slate mongrel.
  • July 1871, licensed a black sheepdog.
  • June 1873, public drunkenness again.
  • March 1874, licensed a brown mastiff.
  • March 1876, licensed a black sheepdog
Whom I believe to be Thomas' brother or father, James Mullarney of Ballymanus, had a few run-ins with the law:
  • In May of 1842, James trespassed onto Daniel Tighe's woods property in Ballymanus, and was convicted.  He had to stay in prison for a fortnight and pay a fine.
  • In July of 1864, he struck Martin Cullen on the public road in Glenealy, and had to stay in jail for a week and pay a fine.
  • In 1866, he landed in prison (unknown charge)
William Mullarney, mentioned above, who had spent a week in jail for assault, and who might be little brother or nephew to Thomas, also had a record:
  • One Eliza Mullarney had a child named William in the Rathdrum Workhouse on 19 Feb 1868.  No father listed.  Was this a child of William's?  Or was this Eliza the same who was wife to Thomas?
  • April and May of 1869, William was arrested twice for assaulting George Loftus Booth, although the cases were dismissed.
By 1877, Daniel Tighe's son, James, acquired title to the land, and most all other land in the Parish,  and at that point, Thomas Mullarney drifts off of title.  He had clearly lost the lease by then.  What is not so clear is what happened to him after that, or when he died.

Thomas Mullarney and his wife Elizabeth had five known children:
  • My ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett (1836-1865).  Sarah died quite young, of tuberculosis, about two years after giving birth to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard (pictured below).
  • Patrick Mullarney (1844-1906).  Patrick was a national schoolteacher, just like Sarah's husband, Thomas Howlett.  Patrick was also schoolmaster of Glencullen National School in South Dublin from 1881-1894.
  • William Mullarney (1850-1871).  William was a troublemaker, and often accused of assaulting people.  He died quite young at Rathdrum, after one year of decline, and the informant on the death record was his brother Patrick.
  • John Mullarney (1852-1901).  John had a large family and lived in Georges Quay of Dublin City.
  • Thomas Mullarney (1854-1873).  Died as a teenager.

(ABOUT 1883)

Given that his wife Elizabeth died in 1892, a widow, at aged 82, it seems reasonable to believe that Thomas Mullarney was born around 1808 (Wicklow parish baptismal records from that period are hard to find online), and could have died around 1877, some point after he lost the lease to the Tighe family.

Thomas was born about ten years after the execution of Billy Byrne of Ballymanus, who put this townland into history.  I wonder if his parents knew Billy (or were somehow related to him)?

Patrick and his family lived in Glencullen, Rathdown, South County Dublin (just a bit north of Wicklow), so perhaps Thomas died in that area too.


1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses
Wicklow Cancellation/Revision Books
Griffith's Valuation
Catholic Parish Registers (Wicklow and Dublin)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Petty Court Sessions (Wicklow)
Dog License Registers (Wicklow)
National School Salary Books (Wicklow and Dublin)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Francis Leonard (1859-1945)

Francis Leonard (1859-1945) was baptized in April of 1859 at Donabate Parish.  He was son to Mathew Leonard and Anne Brien, of the Portrane Cottages, Burrow Road, Portrane, Donabate, Dublin.

Frank (known by his loved ones as Fransheen), was a great believer in Irish fairy culture, according to old Paddy Lynders who lived in the Burrow near Frank.

As mentioned in his father's blog post, the Leonards, although they didn't suffer as much as other families in Dublin during the Famine, they were certainly hit hard enough that many of the family sought employment overseas.  Thomas D. Leonard was the first to leave the Burrow of Portrane, in 1850, and started a successful florist business in Portland Maine.  After a couple decades there, Thomas had purchased an entire block of the West End of Portland (Briggs Street), built houses there, and summoned his family over.  His nieces and nephews heeded the call, and Frank sailed to Maine with his brother Mathew John in 1881, along with other siblings.  Frank lived in Portland for three years, having worked at JB Brown's sugar mill in Portland.  But, he missed Portrane, and moved back in 1884, living at the old family homestead at House 15 in the Burrow, eventually taking over the lease upon the death of his father Mathew in 1904.

According to Paedar Bates' Donabate and Portrane, a History, Frank was a member of the Gaelic Football Club of Donabate at some point.

Frank first married to a Catherine Kent of Rush, in 1898, and she died in Portrane of tuberculosis at age 27, in 1901.  They had no children.

(courtesy of Peadar Bates)

On August 11, 1904, he married 17 year old Margaret Byrne (1887-1961), by pastor Anthony Murphy, at the newly erected St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Donabate (which had replaced the older and smaller one just across the street).  Margaret was born in Dublin, daughter of Joseph Byrne and Margaret Reilly of Balcunnin.

Frank and Margaret had eight children:

1.  Thomas Leonard (1905-1993) married Alice Cowley of Swords, and had three children, and at least 16 grandchildren.

(ABT 1980)

2.  Maria (1907-1909), died as a toddler.

3.  Margaret Mary Leonard (1910-2001), who married Michael Hoey (1900-1986) from Meath.  They had seven children.  Margaret and her family moved into the Rose Cottage owned by the Leonards.

4.  Elizabeth Agnes Leonard (1911-___), likely died young.

5.  Ellen (Nelly) Leonard (1914-____), who married Edward Willett.  Ellen is pictured above, second row, last girl on the right in this 1927 picture.

6.  Catharine (Kathleen) Leonard (1914-_____), never married.  She was a twin to Nelly.  Kathleen is pictured above, front row, first girl on the left in this 1927 picture.

7.  Agnes Leonard (1916-____),  who married a Daniel O'Rourke, and had two sons

8.  Alice Rosaline Leonard (1917-2004) (named after Frank's sister).  She married William McLoughlin in 1939, and had a daughter Ann.  She made a visit in 1964 to the Portland family, and she hosted her brother Mathew's and Elizabeth's children when they visited her in Donabate, Dublin.

Petty Court

On December 15, 1877, when he was 18, Frank filed a complaint against Charles Teeling, for failure to pay him his due wages (£13).

On March 1, 1913, the School Committee brought Frank to court because his son Tommy failed to attend school.

On June 19, 1915, Frank brought his sister-in-law (and neighbor) Mary into court because she hit him in the face with a shovel.  But she also brought a counterclaim against him for grabbing her by the back of the neck and throwing her violently against the hedge.  The case was adjourned until August, where neither of them appeared in court.

On November 4, 1916, neighbor Margaret Kelly assaulted Frank's wife Margaret, by pulling her by the hair across the floor.  Mrs. Kelly failed to appear in court.

On June 15, 1918, Frank brought his neighbor, Joseph Fulham, into court for hitting his son Tommy (aged 12).

Dog Licenses

Frank applied at least twice for dog licenses, in 1896 and 1898.  He owned red terriers (his father Mathew owned terriers as well, so Frank had grown up with them).

Based on the fact that Frank had marked "X" as informant of his father's death certificate (1904), his marriage license (1904), and also on his son Thomas' birth certificate (1905), it stands to reason he wasn't able to write - either during that time period, or permanently.

Frank farmed the land for most of his adult life.  At some point, the land was deemed unsuitable, though, and his son Thomas had to find other work.

In 1922, Frank and his family likely celebrated the liberation of the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom.  In the 1940s, about a year or two before he died, Frank acquired title to the Portrane Cottage that had been so long in the hands of the Estate of George Evans.  Upon his death in 1945, the fee land passed to his son Tommie, and is still in the hands of this family today.

Frank and Margaret are both buried at Old Donabate Parish Cemetery, next to an old limestone gravesite that may in fact be where his father Mathew is buried, and surrounded by grass (also potential other Leonard burial sites).


  • Donabate and Portrane, a History, by Peadar Bates
  • 1901 Census of Ireland
  • 1911 Census of Ireland
  • Baptisms, Parish Registers, Donabate
  • Civil Birth Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Civil Marriage Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Civil Death Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Memorials of the Dead, by Brian Cantwell
  • Petty Sessions Dog Licenses

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Patrick Leonard of the Burrow (1795-1865)

Patrick Leonard was born in 1795 at the Portrane Cottages in Burrow Townland, son to Thomas Leonard (who was the first Leonard to arrive in the Burrow, along with his brother Charles).

Patrick was a tenant farmer to Irish landowner Joshua Evans, and had at least seven children with his wife Elizabeth Horish:

1. Mathew Leonard (1819-1904) (my 3rd great grandfather), who inherited the land from his father Patrick upon his death in 1865.  Mathew married Anna O'Brien of Blanchardstown, and had eleven children, most of whom migrated to Portland Maine in the 1880s to be with their uncle Prod (see below).  Two of these children (Frank and Patsy) came back home to Portrane to take over ownership of the houses upon Mathew's death.  During the time of Mathew, according to the 1901 Census, the family house had only two rooms, and outside there was a cow house, a stable, a fowl house (referred to as out-offices by the Census).  By the time of the 1911 Census, Mathew's son Frank had the homestead, and had added a second cow house to the out-offices.

2. Elizabeth Leonard (1824-__), who married a John Harrison.  I wonder if John was a relative of Eleanor Harrison, the wife of the landlord?  There was a James Harrison in Donabate Parish records whose son Nicholas had Mathew Leonard as his godfather in 1850.  Elizabeth had some issues with her elder brother, Mathew, according to court records.  Apparently Mathew was often litigious against his sister, and others in the Burrow, for letting her chickens onto the crops on his property.

3. John Leonard (1826-after 1897) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on April 16, 1826.  He may be the same John Leonard of South Dublin who married Lucy Dunne in 1867, since on this marriage return, he named his father to be Patrick Leonard.  He may also be the father to a John Leonard (1854-1906) who died at Portrane Mental Asylum (St. Ita's).  John appears in at least five Burrow dog license registers:

  • March 1878, black and tan terrier
  • March 1894, blue terrier
  • May 1895, red terrier
  • March 1896, grey and white terrier
  • March 1897, two red and white terriers (one male, one female)

4. Thomas D. Leonard, (1828-1912) nicknamed "Prod," a gardener who emigrated in 1850 to Portland Maine, and married Alice Wade.  Prod started the wave of Leonards in his family moving to Portland from Portrane.

5.  Ellen Leonard (1829-___) (and her husband Thomas Keane) are offering their son Patrick for baptism September 10, 1848.  Mathew Leonard is listed as godfather, so it's quite likely that Ellen is another daughter of Patrick.

6.  Mary Leonard (1831-___) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on April 9, 1831.

7.  Charles Leonard (1834-____) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on November 25, 1834.

Patrick (aka "Pat") appears on the Burrow tithe books in 1833 below:

A word about the tithe system from above:

From 1823 to 1838, there was a law called the Tithes Composition Act.  This required all Irish citizens to pay a monetary compensation to benefit the Irish Anglican Church (instead of an amount representing a portion of fee land holdings), regardless of whether the citizens attended this church.  I believe my ancestor Pat Leonard was a Catholic, so it's likely that he is listed above as having paid money to a church he didn't attend.  There was a rebellion in the 1830s whereby the peasants refused to tithe the church.  The rebellion was so popular that Great Britain couldn't enforce the Act.  In 1838, the Act was repealed, and a new law was put in place, requiring all Landlords to do the titheing.  Of course, Landlords simply raised the rent on their tenant farmers in response.  But it calmed the masses, as they didn't feel robbed by the Crown.

See Patrick's listing below on line 22 and 34 of the Burrow section of the 1847 Griffiths Valuation, where it shows the Burrow's majority landlord to be Joshua Evans, Esq. (who was also then a Commissioner to the Court of Bankruptcy).

Also below are the Wade and Smart families, also figuring into the Leonard family:

Patrick died in the Balrothery Workhouse in 1865 (just a few months after his father Thomas died at the Portrane Cottages).  I have yet to review the Minute Books from this place, now available online, to try and learn more about Patrick's time there.  While none of the Leonards died of starvation, it's clear that there were financial troubles stemming from the Famine, and the Workhouse was often a place for people to go when they needed care or a place to live.  It's interesting to me that Patrick had still owned the houses in Portrane at the time, which passed to his son Mathew after his death.  Was the house too crowded for Patrick?  Was there a disagreement with his son?  Did he need some kind of care that Mathew couldn't provide?  I may never know.

Across the road from the Workhouse is a mass grave with a single tall Celtic cross, bearing no names, but erected in 1918 "to the memory of the many unfortunate people who lie buried in this sad place."

I wonder if Patrick is buried in this mass grave, or if he is buried alongside his other family at Old Donabate Cemetery?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joseph Martin of East Haddam

My 3rd great grandfather was one Joseph Martin (1791-1872), who lived his entire life in East Haddam, Connecticut.

Joseph was born to Jonathan and Hannah Martin, who had emigrated from England (possibly Suffolk) at some point prior to 1777 (which was the date of his brother Jonathan's birth in East Haddam).  There is some confusion online about Hannah's maiden name being either Huxford or Fuller.

When Joseph was 4 years old, his father died, leaving him (and five siblings) to be raised alone by Hannah.  Joseph was of appropriate age to have fought in the War of 1812, much like other East Haddam residents.  There wasn't a draft at that time, so it's clear that Joseph didn't feel incentivized to join.

Joseph married Livia Phelps, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Phelps, on October 1, 1817 in East Haddam.  They had a great deal of farmland up until around 1850 (lived in the Poor Farm), but recovered and secured land next door to Livia's cousin Hiram Phelps.

Joseph and Livia had seven children in East Haddam:

-Mariette Clark (1819-??)  One girl appears on the 1820 Census, so it's clear she lived that long, but since no girls appear on the 1930 Census, I'm inclined to believe that she had died by then.

-Niles Martin (1820–1893)  Niles moved 200 miles away from home, to start a farm in Bucks County, PA.  He enlisted in the Civil War in 1863 (same time as two of his brothers).  On this record, his occupation was listed as a "Drover" (one who moves animals long distances, like a cattle driver).  He and his wife Elizabeth had a son named Joseph, after his father, and a daughter Sarah.  For the 1860 Census, he was listed as (either a "Tinkerman" or a "Gentleman"), and for the 1870 Census, a "Lumber Merchant".

-Ephraim Martin (1824-1915) Ephraim married Elizabeth Harris and moved to nearby Hartford, where he also ran his own farm.  They had at least one child, Anna.  Ephraim enlisted in the Civil War in the summer of 1863, with two of his brothers.

-Esther Phelps Martin (1826–1901)  Esther married carpenter Leonard Sherman Clark, and they were my 2nd great grandparents.  No girls appeared living with Joseph for the 1830 Census, when she would have been four years old, so I wonder where she may have been at that time.  Legend has it that Esther was the "ugliest woman in East Haddam", and that Joseph was so grateful to get her married in 1843, he gave Leonard a lot of farmland as dowry.  Interestingly, however, Joseph and the rest of his family were the keepers of the East Haddam Poor House as of the 1850 Census. Esther bore Leonard 12 children.  Several hundred of her descendants still live in East Haddam and surroundings to this day.

-Edgar Mandlebert Martin (1830–1894)  Edgar married Azubah Wright.  Not long after Livia died in 1860, Edgar took over the family farm, keeping his father Joseph living with him.  Unlike his three brothers, he did not enlist in the Civil War.

-Catherine Isabella Martin (1834–??)  Isabella appears to have married a Charles Clark in 1857 (in Belfast, Northern Ireland - wonder what the story was there).  Can't find any additional records on her, though.  However, this record may instead match to a different couple (one lawyer named Charles A. Clark and his wife Isabella, both born in Ireland, and living in NYC in 1880).

-Datus W. Martin (1836–1874) Datus enlisted in the Civil War in 1863, fighting in the CT __.   When he returned from the War, he married his wife Adelaide, and started a farm in East Haddam.  They had three children together.  He died at the very young age of 37.  I believe Adelaide may have remarried afterwards, since I cannot find her in any subsequent records.  The 1880 Census has Datus' son Frederick managing his father's farm as a single farmer, at age 16.

Grave of Joseph Martin
Parker Cemetery
East Haddam, CT

Connecticut Town Records (Barbour Collection)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Martha Fuller Sheffer

My 2nd Great Grandfather, Charles Samuel Fuller, was the eldest of seven.  His eldest sibling was his sister, Martha Ann Fuller-Sheffer (1838-1918), who lived in Maine, Iowa and Missouri, but who had a connection to Australia that I would like to write about.

First, here is a picture of the eldest four of Charles' siblings, The photo appears to be dated just before 1900, a time after their brother Charles and their parents (Samuel and Ann) had died, after which they moved from Ottumwa, Iowa to Chicago.  Martha soon thereafter moved to Blue Mound Missouri with her husband George Sheffer, to retire and operate a hotel business.

Martha was born in 1838 in Maine to Samuel Bean Fuller, a railroad worker with Mayflower roots living in Waterville.  This is the house Samuel's kids grew up in on Front Street, just down the road from St. Joseph's Church.  Their house which was razed at some point before the 1970s, to build the post office:

Martha married George Henry Sheffer in January of 1859 in Waterville, Maine (where Martha and family were living at the time).  George, originally from Nova Scotia, had come from a lumber family, and it is believed that he may have met Martha when he moved to Maine to work.

In 1863, George and Martha moved to Ottumwa, Iowa to start up a dry goods mercantile business. Martha's parents and siblings followed them in the following years.  Her father, Samuel Bean Fuller, worked in the dry goods business as well, but after ten years his business was destroyed by a Town fire.

George and Martha had four of their own children, and adopted Martha's niece (also named Martha), when her sister Eva died in childbirth, and raised young Martha as her own:

1.  George Henry Sheffer, Jr. (1863-1908) - George was born in Ottumwa, and worked as a store clerk as a young adult (most likely his father and grandfather's dry goods store).  He moved to Missouri with his parents around 1900.  In 1906, after his father died, he took a trip to Australia (sailing from San Francisco and back) to visit his brother Samuel.  George caught a tropical fever while there (potentially on the ship back to SF).  He suffered with this for two years after he came back from the trip, and died in St. Joseph, MO, at the age of 44, leaving behind a wife (a typist named Dora) and a seven year old daughter.  Dora remarried 16 years later.

2.  Etta W. Sheffer (1869- died between 1870 and 1880) - Young Etta was named after her aunt Julietta Fuller, and died as a child.  She is buried with the family at Ottumwa Cemetery, but the cemetery has no birth or death date information available.


3.  Samuel Fuller Sheffer (1875-1929) - Named after his grandfather, Samuel Bean Fuller, young Samuel Fuller Sheffer was born in Ottumwa, and married his wife Alice there in 1895.  In December of 1899, they had their first of two children (Mary), and very soon thereafter, in 1900, when his parents moved to Missouri, he made the bold move to Melbourne Australia for a new life in merchant business at Chamberlin Medicine Company.  In Australia, Samuel and Alice had their second and last child, Howard Melbourne Sheffer (nicknamed "Mel").  Samuel declared his residency to be San Francisco (according to a passport application from 1917), while residing primarily in Sydney (where he named his home "Wapello", the County in Iowa he was born in).  Mel carried forward his father's entrepreneurial spirit and worked as Managing Director of Sheldon Drug Company in Sydney.  See advertisement and photo below from 1937:

Sheldon Drug Company was where the "Rexona" brand of soaps and antiperspirants were developed, and, in particular, Samuel's wife Alice gets the credit for the invention!

Rexona enjoys a long business history worldwide, and is now owned by Unilever.  More on the history of this brand, and the Sheffer's early business, can be read here.  Samuel's son Mel had six children, and many grandchildren, all of whom are happily residing in the Sydney area.

4.  Frank Merriwell Sheffer (1882-1949) - Frank worked in several odd jobs and also pursued his photography passions.  After the death of his father, he and his brother and mother sailed to Australia to visit his brother Samuel.  Not long after his return, his brother George died, and Frank was later drafted into both WWI and WWII.  On his draft card it stated he had blue eyes and brown hair.  At the end of Frank's life he worked as a studio portrait photographer.  He died in Humansville, Missouri in 1949 of myocarditis, leaving behind his wife, Agnes May Fisher.  I don't believe they had any children.

As mentioned above, in addition to having her four children, Martha raised her niece Martha Ann Foland (1889-1961) as her own.  Young Martha was born to Martha's youngest sister, Evalyn Edith Fuller-Foland (1856-1889) who died giving birth to her.

Below is the last known picture of Martha, and I believe this was taken during her visit to Australia in 1915, after the deaths of her husband George, and her eldest son George, Jr., and it was a couple of years before her own passing.

ca. 1915 (Blue Mound, Missouri)
Back Row:  Mary Alice Sheffer (Samuel's Daughter, later Mary Evatt), Alice Maude Holt-Sheffer (Samuel's wife), Samuel Fuller Sheffer, and Frank Merriwell Sheffer and his wife Agnes Fisher-Sheffer
Front Row:  Howard Melbourne "Mel" Sheffer, Martha Fuller-Sheffer, young Agnes (daughter to Frank & Agnes)
Here are gravestone pictures from the Sheffer lot at Ottumwa Cemetery:

ETTA'S GRAVE (and another child's)