James Woods who is my great great grandfather, was born in 1834 in Strabane, Co Tyrone and in 1864 he died from an unknown disease, possibly Typhoid. I have tried to find exactly where he lived in Strabane, but have had no success, seemed to have hit a brick wall. I have researched for his parents and cannot find them either. Round about 1859 James married Jane Gordon who was born in Scotland and according to a family story, Jane had come over to Ireland with her father, who was a Scottish Wool Trader, then she met James and fell in love with him. Because of Jane's father dissapproved of them getting married, they ran away and married any way. It was about this time when I was trying to find where they lived. A year later their first baby was born and her name is Sarah Jane Woods, born 1860, then in 1862 a son was born who they named James. Jane was having their third child when James Woods died in January 1864. She was distitute and desparate with no place to live, two young children and another one on the way. She ended going into the Strabane Workhouse and this is where the third child was born on the 3rd May 1864, his name is John Woods.
In May of 1874 Sarah Jane Woods left Ireland and travelled on the Eastern Monarch which was bringing immigrants paid for by the government under the Vogel Scheme who were to make roads and infrastructure as well as fill the need for all types of workers The ship left Ireland in May 1874 and arrived in Lyttleton, New Zealand in July 1874. On the voyage Sarah was befriended and taken to live with a Minister of Religion, his wife and family who took care of her.
Sadly, Jane (Gordon) Woods died in October 1874 of Pleural Pneumonia which she had for six weeks, the Chief President Officer of Strabane Workhouse, Robert J. Craig, was present at her death. I do not know if James and John stayed in the Workhouse or not or what happened to them in the next few years that followed. However, I do know that John ran away in 1878, boarded a ship as a cabin boy and arrived in Otago, New Zealand that same year. Further research showed that James married a Matilda Melon in 1886 in Drumragh, Co Tyrone and they both became farmers. Sometime after 1912 James, his wife and family immigrated to New Zealand.
|Date of Birth||1834||VIEW SOURCE|
|Date of Death||27th Jan 1864|