The early registers of Brooms Church
at Leadgate, the first Catholic Church in the Consett area, contain a
lot on information of interest to the family or local historian.
As my Monaghan and McGerity/Gerrety ancestors came from the
village of Dunamore, in Kildress Parish, between Cookstown and Omagh in
County Tyrone, I was interested to see the marriages of several people
from Dunamore in the Brooms Parish Register.
Below are details of Dunnamore marriages at Brooms, and details
from subsequent censuses about the families in question.
In August 1846 John Murphy, son of
James Murphy and Ellis Conway of Pomroy Co. Tyrone, married Ann
Lockeran, daughter of Patrick Lockeran of Pomeroy.
The witnesses were William McNamee and Mary Larkin, both of
Puddlers Row, near Berry Edge.
Puddlers Row, along with one or two rows in the rear of what became
Front Street was identified as one of the first streets in Consett to be
built by 1844. The entry in the
register by the Rev. A N Dunmock does not specify Pomeroy Parish, the
names are found in Kildress, which is in the locality of Pomeroy, so
either bride or groom could
have come from Kildress but there is no proof that they did.
William McNamee of Berry
Edge, married Mary Anne McGurk,
also of Berry Edge at Brooms on 11 February, 1847.
William was the son of Patrick McNamee and Bridget (Keeney), and
Mary Ann the daughter of P McGurk and Catherine (Donley), both families
of Kildress. The witnesses were
John McGurk and Helen Fox both of Berry Edge. The Kildress baptismal
register records Donley and Fox families related by marriage in
Kildress. Bridget McNany (sic)
was baptised at brooms on 23 February 1848, the daughter of William and
Mary, the sponsors were John McNany and Mary Darcy.
Even allowing for variations in spelling, none of the parties to
these two marriages can be found in the Consett area, or elsewhere in
Durham on subsequent censuses.
As described above a William McNamee, of Puddler’s Row nr Berry Edge was
the witness at the Murphy-Locheran wedding
James Corr, son of John and
Bridget (Hughes) of Pomroy parish, married
Mary O’Brien, daughter of
James and Susan (McClean) of Kildress on 5 August 1847.
Both bride and groom lived in Blackhill.
The witnesses were Nancy Smith of Ushaw College and Jane
Stealford of Brooms. The couple
appear on the 1851 census at 228 Berry Edge as James and Mary Carr
[which is how someone with a Tyrone accent would pronounce the name
Corr]. The presence of John
(17) and Margaret (19) O’Brien in the household (relations) confirms
that this was the couple who were married on 5 August; Michael Kelly
(visitor) completed the household.
On 9th January 1848
William Parks*, son of John
and Margaret (Johnson) of Louth Parish in Co. Louth, married
Susan Grimes, daughter of
Thomas Grimes and Hannah McGurk of Kildress.
The witnesses were Peter Fitzgerald and Margaret Newton.
At the time of the 1851 census William and Margaret Parks, and
their two children were lodgers with Patrick and Margaret McUllah [sic]
at Tow Law Huts, Tow Law.
Census and church records show several of the Consett Irish spent some
time in Tow Law, where coal and iron were the main industries, just as
As described in ‘Weardale, Clearing
the Forest” ’housing the new
labour [for the pits and iron works of Tow Law]
was a pressing problem, often resulting in temporary
accommodation of sods and wooden roofs covering hovels of one room and a
toilet. Their occupants were
described as rude, uncouth drinkers and gamblers thriving on whisky and
cards. Many of them were
Irish’**. While this
description of the inhabitants of the huts follows the easy option of
the stereotype, it gives some insight into conditions of life in Tow Law
in those years. Another
description of the Tow Law Huts is given by Newrick Grant *** ‘There
existed also at Tow Law an old street of huts now demolished, on the
site where the aged miners homes now stand.
They were crudely built of stones, mud and sods and the
foundations rested on peat.
There was a trench cut through the kitchen floor and the people were so
poor that the children used each side of the trench for a seat and their
feet used to dangle over’. William and his host Patrick were coal
*In the register John’s surname name
looks like Packy and his father’s like Parkes.
The online index and later census returns record a Parks Grimes
**Peter Bowes 1990.
***Memoirs of Tow Law Tow Law Local
school inspector who visited Tow Law in 1853 commented on the low number of
children in school, and went on to explain that boys under 13 were earning
seven shillings and six pence, to fifteen shillings a week at the pit. These
high rates of remunerations” said the Inspector “are attended with very
serious evils: they are in fact, the one great hindrance to the elementary
education for the children of the working classes. Employment is so
plentiful and wages so high, that the education of a child is set aside for
the weekly return of his labour.”
Ten years later in 1861 William Parkes
was the head of the house at Leadgate, no fuller address was given.
By 1871, William (48) and Susan (42) were at 216 School Sq
Leadgate. There were five
children in the family, the eldest two boys, working at the pit; Patrick
(13) was already underground as a pony driver.
His younger brother William (10) was too young to work
underground, the Coal Mines Act of 1842 had prohibited such work for
boys under 10, so William was ‘working at screens’.
This means he would have spent his day separating coal from
stone, and perhaps grading different sizes of coal.
So as in Tow Law families could not afford to keep boys in
school, rather than at work.
Other members of the Parks household were Patrick and John, William’s
brother and nephew, both miners.
Margaret (22) and Mary (5 months) Farrell completed the family,
Margaret, William and Susan’s daughter had married Owen Farrell early in
1869, and Mary was their granddaughter.
This census confirms that the William Parks came from Louth, and
the Susan Grimes from Tyrone.
Patrick Lockeran, son of
Thomas Locheran and Mary McCready of Donomow (sic) Co Tyrone married
Ann Newman, the daughter of
William and Ann (Thompson) of Leitrim Parish, Co Leitrim.
The marriage took place on 12 March 1848, both bride and groom
lived in Blackhill, the witnesses were Ralph and Elizabeth Hall of
On the 20 June 1848
Charles Kelly married
Sarah Broadley. The priest,
R Smith seems to have made a mistake in the register, as Charles Kelly’s
patents are listed as Patrick McAvoy and Sarah (Kelly).
I assume they were in fact Patrick Kelly and Sarah (McAvoy).
Sarah was the daughter of Felix Broadley and Sarah (Mucklehatton
sic – McElhatton), both of Kildress Parish.
The witnesses at the wedding were Henry Knowles of Ushaw College,
the Catholic seminary and Jane Stratford of Brooms.
Unusually Henry was English, a cordwainer, or cobbler born in
Yorkshire, he was also old for a witness at a wedding, - forty nine.
His wife Margaret had been born at Stonyhust, Lancashire, the
location of another Catholic College.
The bride and groom both lived in Blackhill at the time of their
wedding, but as with many of these families they do not appear on
subsequent censuses; perhaps they emigrated.
Philip Mohun and
Jane Hacky were married on
5 October 1848; Philip’s parents were Patrick Mohan and Helen
(Mackleroy) of Aughivar (sic) Parish Co Fermanagh, presumably Aghavea
Parish. Jane’s parents were
Michael Hacky and Ann (McClosky) of Kildress Parish.
Both bride and groom lived in Blackhill.
The witnesses were Philip Mohan of Blackhill and Mary Lawson of
Berry Edge. There is some
confusion about the spelling of the groom’s and particularly the bride’s
surname. The online marriage
index lists the bride and groom as Philip Moon and Jane Haggy.
The wedding was conducted by Fr Smith,
a Lancastrian from the village of Woodplumpton, just north of Fleetwood.
The village was a stronghold of old English Catholicism or
‘papist recusancy’. It seems
clear that Fr Smith was not conversant with Irish surnames, or the names
and spellings of Irish parishes, however it is due to the detail in the
registers he completed, and those of his Irish successor, Fr Francis
Kearney that it is possible to pinpoint the origins of many of the
Consett Irish. By the time of the 1851 census Fr Smith was the priest at
By 1851 Philip and Jane had had a baby
girl, Ellen (2). They were
lodging with Patrick Donley, Philip and Jane’s surname is recorded as
Mohan, this is a recognised spelling of an Irish name.
Also in the household was Anne Haughley (60), an Irish widow, and
surely Jane’s mother, the last member of the household was Patrick
Haughey (21) and like the other two men in the house an Irish labourer.
With Patrick Haughey I think we have
arrived at a spelling which reflects the actual sound of the surname.
The church register of St Mary’s Dunamore, Kildress shows that a
Nigel Donley was the husband of a Janet Haughey in the townland of
Tulnacross, the next townland to Dunamore.
This may explain why the Mohan family were lodging with Patrick
Donley; it’s likely that Patrick was a relative of Philip Mohan’s wife
and mother in law. Even in the
St Mary’s Dunamore parish register Donley and Haughey are spelt in two
or three different ways; this is explained by the fact that the Kildress
was in transition from being a Gaelic speaking to an English speaking
society, and from an illiterate society to one where the skills of
reading and writing were becoming more common.
There were Haugheys in Kildress in 1827, at the time of the TAB*
land survey, but by the 1860 GVI** survey they had gone, driven out it
seems by the famine..
The Mohans appear on the 1861 census
in Middlesbrough at Green’s Yard, Commercial St, their surname spelled
phonetically as Moan. The birthplaces of the Mohan children suggest the
family moved from Consett to Middlesbrough between 1851 and 1855.
*The Composition Act of 1823 specified
Tithes to the establish (Anglican) church should be paid in money,
rather than in kind (i.e. in goods, potatoes, flax etc).
Tithe Applotment Books survey was undertaken to establish how
much each landholder would pay.
The tithes were resented by Catholics and Dissenters.
Kildress was surveyed in 1827; the names, addresses and land
holdings of all tenants and owners were recorded.
The books survive and in the absence of the census returns from
1821 to 1891, they offer the only record of the Irish population in the
**Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland, a
similar exercise to the Tithe Applotment Survey, was undertaken between
1848 and 1864. It offers a
snapshot of those holding land, in the case of Kildress in 1860.
The purpose of this survey was to fix the level of local taxes to
be paid by those on the land.
William Killen was the son
of James and Ann (McGuire) of Drumaroad Parish Co Down.
He married Anne Meloy,
daughter of John and Sarah (Small) of Kildress on 26 June 1849.
Both bride and groom lived in Blackhill and the witnesses were
Richard McGiven and Margaret Conway of Blackhill.
Two years later William (25) and Ann (21) were at 97 Berry Edge
in 1851. They had had a
daughter, Sarah who was 11 months old.
William was an iron works labourer.
Their lodger, John Garling (16) was a coal miner.
A 20 year old Margaret Conway, presumably the witness at the
wedding was the eldest of the eight children of Francis and Mary Conway
of Blackhill at the time of the 1851 census, lodging in the Conway
household was Peter McGeraghty a labourer.
The entire household was Irish born.
On 26 November 1850 Fr Francis Kearney
officiated at the marriage of
Thomas McKew, son of Lawrence and Mary McKew of Berry Edge, to
Margaret Malone, daughter
of Hugh and Anna Malone of Dunamore.
The bride and groom lived in Berry Edge. A Thomas (28) McCue and
his wife * Margaret (30) were at Stobbs Wood Head, in Ebchester Parish
with mother, Margaret (60) a widow and brother Patrick (23). In fact the
1st Ordinance Survey Map of Conside/Consett, shows Stobbs
Head Wood was in the middle of the modern Consett at the corner of
Delves Lane and Sherburn Terrace.
Thomas and Thomas Hines (23) his lodger, were both Iron stone
labourers. These occupations
are interesting as though iron making in the Consett area began on the
basis of local coal and ironstone it was soon realised that better
quality ore could be bought at a lower price from workings in the
Cleveland Hills. At first ore
was brought across the dry ravine at Hownes Gill by an inclined plane
system, designed by Robert Stephenson, powered by a stationary engine.
The bridge at Hownes Gill was designed by Sir Thomas Bouch, the
designer of the ill-fated Tay Bridge.
Unlike Sir Thomas’ infamous Scottish project, the 750 ft long 12
arched viaduct has stood the test of time, perhaps because of amendments
to the original design suggested by Robert Stevenson!
*Thomas’ McCue wife was Mary, and his
mother Margaret. Were they the Stobs Wood family?
Peter Duffy was the son of
James and Anna Duffy of Killarney; on 25 January 1851 he married
Bridget Grimes, the
daughter of John and Hannah of Kildress.
The couple lived in Blackhill at the time of their marriage.
The witnesses were Michael Small and Margaret Conway of
Blackhill. Michael (17) and
John (50) Small were lodgers at the home of Terrance and Mary McCardle
in Blackhill; all the men in the household were Irish. The other witness
Mary Conway was likely the woman who was a witness at the William Killen
- Ann Maloy wedding detailed above.
Peter and Bridget appear on the 1851 census at Blackhill.
Peter (27) was a labourer and Bridget was (24) another Peter
Duffy and (22) Thomas Duffy (18) were lodgers, Matthew Byrne (26) – the
third lodger completed the household.
John Brady married
Frances Delaney, on 23
August 1851. John was the son
of John and Anne Brady; the family may have come from Dunamore, Fr
Francis Kearney’s entry in the Brooms register is hard to read.
John may well be the John Brady (30) who was lodging with his
brother, Patrick at 93 Berry Edge in 1851; there were several other
lodgers in the house several with names common in Kildress*.
The bride was Francis Delaney, the daughter of William and Ann
Delaney of G…. Lifford? Ireland.
The witnesses at the wedding were Marianne Hughes of Crookhall.
So far the couple do not seem to figure on later censuses.
*Brady, Mallon, McElhatton, McGee
A wedding, on 11 February 1851, which
likely had Kildress connections, was that of
Patrick McGeratty, son of
Thomas and Mary McGerratty of Tyrone, to
Sarah Ann Conway, daughter
of Francis and Mary Conway of Blackhill.
Sarah’s sister Margaret was a witness two weddings of Kildress
people at Brooms, and family is likely to have come from Kildress, where
there were Conways listed in the surveys of 1827 and 1860.
There were also several families of McGerrattys
in Kildress (including that of my gt gt grandmother) and a Peter
McGerraty was a lodger with the Conways in 1851.
Patrick Geraghty (20) and his wife Sarah (20) appear in their own
household at Blackhill on the 1851 census.
A witness at the wedding was Peter Brady of Blackhill, such a
man, aged 26, was a lodger in the household of Francis and Fanny Walker
at Blackhill in 1851; the entire household was Irish.
The other witness was Catherine Clifford, also of Blackhill,
likely the 20 year old daughter of William and Ann Clifford who appears
on the 1851 census. So far
Patrick and Sarah McGerraty/Geraghty have not come to light after 1851.
James Steele does not
appear on the 1851 census, but
Isobel Logan does appear as a visitor at 151 Berry Edge, the home of
Joseph and Mary McGoghey (McHaughey?) and family. There was also a house
servant Jane Wilson (15) [servants in working class houses were often
nieces or other relatives].
With Isobel were Barnard [Bernard with an Ulster accent?] (25) and
Joseph Logan (42) [an uncle?].
The entry in the Brooms marriage register of 9 July 1852 records that
James Steel’s parents were
Robert and Sarah Steel of
Donamore[?] and Isabella was the daughter of
Neill and Margaret Logan of Kildress.
The witnesses were Joseph McGahan of Berry Edge and Margaret
O’Brien of Lanchester.
Nine years later, at the time of the
1861 census James and Isobel (Logan) Steel were one of several
Kildress/Consett families living in Port Clarence, a small industrial
village centred around a newly opened iron works on the north bank of
the Tees. James (29) blast
furnace labourer (BFL) and Isobel (29) Steele’s first three children
John (7) Barnard (6) and Patrick (2) were born in Consett. Their
youngest Joseph had been born around Christmas 1860 in Port Clarence;
four Irish BFLs completed the household.
By 1871 Isobel (45) was a widow, and living at Long Row,
Thornaby. Isobel’s four sons
were still living with her, and John (15) and Bernard (14) were puddlers
at the iron works. Perhaps just
coincidently next door to Isobel (Logan) were Bernard (47) and Ellen
(45) Logan, born in Scotland.
James Eccles (26), a
labourer, the son of John and Ellen Eccles of Kildress, married
Clarke (19)*, the daughter
of John and Sarah Clarke of Berry Edge, on 23 January 1854. Both bride
and groom were living at Berry Edge at the time of the wedding.
At the time of the 1851 census there
was a Sarah Clark (50), a widow, living at Conside Fell Hutts, she had a
daughter Mary aged 17, about the right age to be the Mary Clark in
question. Sarah was an
agricultural labourer and she had sons John (25) and Andrew (19).
There were two lodgers in the household, Francis McQuin and Mary
Anne Woods (both names which are found in Kildress.
The witnesses at the wedding were Mark O’Brien and Margaret
Coglin of Brooms. The fact that
Marianne Wood was a sponsor at the baptism of James and Mary Eccles’ son
James in 1858 suggests Mary (Clarke) Eccles was the girl living at
Conside Fell Hutts [sic] in 1851.
Seven years later James (28) and Mary
(26) appeared on the 1861 census at Consett. They were recorded as
Accles, due no doubt to James’ Tyrone accent.
They had had five children. In addition to James’ brother Robert
Accles (18) there were four Irish lodgers, all iron workers; Michael
Hand (26), Philip Kelly (26) Thomas Murphy (21) and
Patrick Rafferty (28).
James (40) and Mary (34) Eccles appear
at 77 Iron Company Cottages, Consett on the 1871 census.
The census reveals that Mary, as well her husband came from
Tyrone, the couple had four children, all born in Consett James McElhone
(40) a shearsman at the works and William Eccles (32), like James, who
was likely his brother, a labourer at the iron company.
*I know the ages of bride and groom,
because I obtained a copy of the marriage certificate in the mistaken
belief that Mary was a relative on my Co Louth Clark ancestors.
Sarah Clarke of Conside Fell Hutts
Sarah must have had a hard life, and died of bronchitus asphyxia aged 60
in December 1859. Sarah was the
widow of John Clark a labourer.
Her death was reported by her daughter Mary Eccles, whose name
was recorded as Arkless. Such
remind us how strange and incomprehensible
the broad northern Irish accent
must have sounded to the
in those days.
By 1881 James Eccles had been widowed,
and his eldest son James (20), a puddler, was lodging in Escomb, near
Bishop Auckland at 8 Viaduct Terrace, boarding in the house of Margaret
J Morgan (25) formerly the wife of a blast furnace man, born
Middlebrough*. Another lodger
in the household was Steven
Boyle (21) iron worker, born Consett (possibly the boy of the same name
(13) at 11 Harvey St Consett in 1871).
James (60) senior and his daughter Mary (16) were at 41 Princes
St Consett; their lodgers were Patrick O’Neill (40) and Mary (20) [his
wife?] born Consett .
Michael Loughran married
Ann Graham at Brooms on 30
January 1854. Michael was the
son of Charles and Mary Loughran of Kildress, Ann was the daughter of
Henry and Sarah Graham of? In the Brooms marriage register there is a
line rather than a location for the birthplace of the parents, perhaps
unknown. Both Michael and Ann
lived in Leadgate at the time of their marriage.
There was a John Locheran, 25, a furnace keeper, lodging with
John and Ann McGurk at 39 Berry Edge in 1851, perhaps this was Ann
Graham’s groom. James Lochran,
one of the witnesses at the wedding, presumably a relative of John, may
have been the James (24) colliery labourer who was lodging in an Irish
household at Dan’s Castle Tow Law in 1851.
The other witness was Margaret Monaghan of Berry Edge, likely the
girl of that name (17 – ‘working at bricks’) living with her mother and
siblings at 167 Berry Edge in 1851, this family which subsequently moved
to Port Clarence were from Kildress.
I have been unable to find Michael or Ann so far in any census
after 1851, raising the possibility that they emigrated.
*Also lodging with Margaret Morgan was
Michael Monaghan (19) puddler born Middlesbrough; not a Kildress
Monaghan, but the son of Dennis (30), an
ironworker and Julia (30) who appears on the 1871 census at
Linthorpe Middlesbrough, Denis came from Kerry, and his wife from
Thomas Woods and
Bridget Grimes married at
Brooms on 24 April 1854. Thomas was the son of John and Ellen Woods of
Crookhall. There were several
Irish Woods in the area in 1851, but there was not a Woods family that
matches the details given at the marriage.
The groom may have been the Thomas Woods (20) ironworks labourer
from Monaghan who was one of many lodgers at a house in Tow Law in 1851.
The household consisted of Robert Stackley, a stone mason born in
Tow Law, his family and five Irish lodgers.
Unusually the counties of origin of the lodgers was recorded, one
from Dublin, three from Monaghan, and two from Armagh.
Bridget was the
daughter of Thomas and Hannah Grimes of Kildress, I assume the Susan
Grimes who married William Parks in 1848 (see page 2) was Bridget’s
sister. If so Hannah Grimes of
Kildress was formerly Hannah McGurk.
Bridget does not seem to have been in the Consett area in 1851.
A Thomas and Bridget Woods
appear on the 1871 census at Hill Top, Tanfield, I need to check the
baptism records to check if this is the family in question.
The witnesses to this wedding were Michael Tumilty and Catherine
Welsh, both of Berry Edge.
On 24 July 1854
John Maley of Leadgate, son
of William and Susan Mally of Leadgate married
Mary Conway of Blackhill,
daughter of Francis and Mary Conway of Charnon [?] Tyrone.
In fact it seems that whilst Francis and Mary Conway had been in
Ireland up to C1845, the time of their son Francis’ birth, they were in
Blackhill by 11 February 1851 when, as described on page 8, their
daughter Sarah Ann married Patrick McGeratty.
I assume the Conways came from Kildress because of the Conway
girls’ involvement as witnesses at Kildress weddings at Brooms, and the
appearance of the surname in Kildress parish in 1827 and 1860.
So far I have not found this couple or their witnesses Sarah
Duighnan and John McCormack on censuses after their wedding.
Patrick Garvan, the son of
John and Elizabeth Garvan, married
Ellen Foy on 30 July 1854.
Ellen was the daughter Michael and Ann Foy, both sets of parents
were from Kildress and the bride and groom both lived in Berry Edge at
the time of their wedding. One
of their witnesses, David Barry may well have been the iron work
labourer (25) of that name who was a visitor at 52 Berry Edge in 1851.
So far neither the couple nor their witnesses have come to light
on censuses after their wedding.
12 February 1855 saw the wedding, at
Brooms of Neil McGurk, son
of Owen and Bridget McGurk of Kildress to
Catherine Mohan, daughter
of John and Rose Mohan (the register records McGurk, presumably a slip
of the pen, the online marriage index had Moghan) of Blackhill.
On 18 April 1855
John M’Creton (or McCretion,
as the wedding is recorded online) son of Patrick and Margaret of
Kildress, married Margaret
M’Graine (or as above,
McGrahan) daughter of Pat and Margaret M’G of Dungannon.
The bride and groom lived in Blackhill.
Margaret (20) a house servant, appears on the 1851, as one of a
household of McGrahans at 121 Berry Edge in 1851.
The witnesses were Pat Falkland and Jame McMullen, both of
Blackhill, Jane (12) appears in her parents’ household at Blackhill in
Charles McGinn, son of
Francis and Isobel McGinn of Chamont (?) Co Tyrone married
Sarah McElhatton, daughter
of Bryan and Rose of Kildress.
The witnesses were John McGeratty of Blackhill and Catherine McGurk of
Berry Edge. I wonder if the
male witness was the John McGarity (31) labourer, who was lodging with
Patrick (26) and Mary (20) McGarity at Red Row Crookhall in 1861.
Mary McGarity’s maiden name was McGurk (her mother was also in
the household, as was her uncle Michael McGurk.
All the adults in the household were from Tyrone.
The couple had just had a son, Patrick, who was baptised at
Brooms on 16 March 1861 with witnesses Helen O’Neill and Michael
McDonnell (the English born son of Louth couple Owen and Bridget)
No more Kildress weddings were
recorded in the Brooms parish register that year, and from the 1st
of January 1856 a new register was introduced which recorded much less
detail of interest of historical interest.