Small updates to Clare, Gaule, and Hegarty pages

I’ve been too busy at work to really delve into my genealogy hobby, but a few new things have come to my attention and I’d like to share them. I’ve made small updates to the following pages:

Clare research

I found a civil death register at Newfoundland Grand Banks that included the death of my great-great-grandfather John Clare in Harbour Grace in 1892. The register also gave his age which allowed me to figure his birth date as about 1836. Best of all, the register included his place of birth as ENGLAND. I don’t know where in England, but at least I have traced another Newfoundland ancestor back to Europe. I remember my grandmother telling me that her grandfather had come from England. Often family stories end up as just stories, so I was pleased to see that one work out.

Gaule research

Another researcher contacted me on Ancestry.com to insist that my great-grandmother Anastasia Gaule had a sister named Anne Gaule who also emigrated to Cambridge, MA. I had heard this rumor before, I think back in my days on AOL, but I had dismissed it because the names seemed too similar and I thought my father would have heard of a whole group of relatives living so close. However, this researcher had lots of matching info about Anastasia’s parents whom she claimed were also Anne’s parents. I managed to find a marriage record for Anne on AmericanAncestors.org that gave her parents’ names, which matched, so now I’m convinced. I added Anne into the Gaule family.

Hegarty research

There was a family story that my great-grandfather John James Hegarty served in the British Army before emigrating to Massachusetts in 1890. He was supposed to have served in the Boer War with the Royal Munster Fusiliers, but the dates that the RMF were in South Africa didn’t work with John’s age and emigration dates. Recently, though, Ancestry.com turned up a record for a Private J. Heggarty serving with the Royal Malta Artillery in the Sudan, with dates that actually work. I am supposing this is him, since it’s a Royal M-word regiment and it’s in Africa. If I find better or different evidence going forward, I’ll revise. Meanwhile, here is a photo from Wikipedia of the campaign medals John would have received after the Suakin Expedition, though his medals would likely not have had a date.

Newfoundland book review: Galore by Michael Crummey

GaloreGalore by Michael Crummey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Galore combines history and folktales with a bit of magical realism to tell the fantastic and cryptic stories of several generations in a fictionalized Newfoundland outport called Paradise Deep. I loved how this book created a sense of tradition all around the eruptions of the weird. The characters were great. The dialogue was perfect. The writing was beautiful.

I am working on a genealogical/family history project tracing Newfoundland ancestors, and I felt like the specific issues I see there show up here in this novel, so maybe that made it more plausible for me: all the religious rivalry, the disowning, the shunning, the interwoven families. The melodrama of personal feuds in a small isolated village is intense in reality, and intense in this book. Crummey grounds everything in a detailed historical sense of place, so that the beliefs and actions of the characters are seen in their context of extreme deprivation and poverty.

For all of that, there’s a lot of humor, even when it’s dark humor, but I think that’s cultural too.

View all my reviews

Two Dead Christs

I’ve been cleaning up some sloppy citations I made to the records of St. Finbar’s South Church in Cork, Ireland. St. Finbar’s South, dating back to 1766,  claims to be the oldest Catholic church in Cork which is still in use. The church is famous for a marble sculpture by John Hogan of Dead Christ, which is installed under the altar.

St. Finbar's South (Wikimedia Commons)

This was Hogan’s most famous statue, and he made three versions of it. There was the one above in Cork, another one in Dublin, and the last one is in, of all places, St. John’s Basilica in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John's, Newfoundland (Wikimedia Commons)

I have records of both churches in my files, and I like that they’re also linked by this sculpture.

From my scant Wikipedia reading, it seems that these sculptures were highly valued during a 19th-century boom in church building following the upheaval of Catholic emancipation.

Pirates!

pirateJust a quick entry of amusement. I was looking at the official town homepage for Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. Their short town history devotes several long paragraphs to the town’s historical pirates, giving them more prominence than Amelia Earhart. The seventeenth-century pirates who hung out in Harbour Grace were Peter Easton and Henry Mainwaring. Apparently piracy could be a lot more profitable than fishing. For more information, see this page on the early pirates of Newfoundland or this list of Canadian piracy resources.