John Pettit (1857-1909) came from a long line of merchants in Granard (dating back to 1708).
Piggot’s Directory of 1824 lists his grandfather, Patrick Pettit, there as a Grocer and Ironmonger. A Thomas Pettit, due to retire, advertised his ‘hardware, grocery, wine & spirit trade’ for sale in 1838. This business had been thriving for 30 years with an annual turnover of £5,000.
Back in 1846, his parents, Thomas Pettit (d.1870) & Anne McGirr (d.1873) are listed as grocers, ironmongers & hardware merchants at 24 Main St., Granard (directly opposite the Greville Arms Hotel). They also had a farm in Granardkill, and land in Rathcronan and Teemore.
Slater’s Directory 1846 also lists a Pettit Bakery – Michael & Winifred (1803–1870) – further up the street at #78). Michael was very likely an uncle of John’s.
The will of Thomas Pettit, late of Granard Co. Longford, Merchant, who died 3 Feb 1870, at same place, was proved at the principal registry, by the oath of Anne Pettit of Granard, aforesaid widow, and Denis McGirr of Jenkinstown, Kilcock, Co Meath, Grazier, the executors. Effects under £10,000The will of Anne Pettit, late of Granard Co. Longford, widow, who died 13 April 1873, at the same place, was proved at the principal registry, by the oath of Denis Pettit of Granard, aforesaid ecclesiastical student, one of the executors. Effects under £4,000.
In 1879, John Pettit, their third son, inherited the family business when his brother Dennis (b.1851) joined the priesthood. This put John Pettit in a favourable position to request the hand of Miss Nannie Barrett. It may well have been a love match as they were both the same age. (Rev. Denis Pettit went on to become chaplain to the Archbishop of Dublin in 1904 and lived in Fairview Strand).
Circa 1880, John Pettit built a well-crafted, three-storey house and shop, with an integral square-headed carriage arch. It still retains its early character and form today (see photo above). Of particular note are the sash windows with ornate timber pilasters (an arrangement unique to this building in Granard).
This construction work might explain why, in 1881, their first two children were born in Carrick-on-Shannon. On both birth certs, John’s occupation is recorded as “grocer”. However, the informant (present at both births) is Dorothea Shannon. By 1897 “Pettits” had become a licenced premises and John was recorded as a “Publican & Farmer”.
Children of Annie Barrett & John Pettit:
BORN IN CARRICK
Thomas Dillon Pettit 26 Jun 1881–1916
Patrick Stanislaus Pettit 13 Nov 1882–1957 emigrated to Canada
BORN IN GRANARD
John A. 'Jack' Pettit May 1884 – 1932 a solicitor in Carrick on Shannon
Dennis RIP Aug 1885
Christina RIP Sep 1886
Agnes Mary Pettit Jan 1888–1960 late of Dunloe Castle Killarney
Cecile RIP June 1889
On July 5th, 1889, Nannie (née Barrett) ‘dearly beloved wife of John Pettit’ died age 30. Her untimely death seems to have followed soon after the birth of her 7th baby, Cecilia. Her death notice was published in the American-Irish newspaper. She was buried with the Pettit family in Granard Old Graveyard (plot 316, Section A). Baby Cecilia Pettit died from Diahorrea, age 1 year and 5 months. She died in Cortobber in the care of her relatives there it would appear. Dora Shannon was present.
John Pettit, now a widower with 4 young children, soon remarried. His new wife, Catherine, could have been no more than 18 when they wed. By 1901, his youngest child (by his first marriage to Annie Barrett) Agnes Mary Pettit, age 11, was boarding at Sion Hill Convent School, Blackrock. John went on to have an additional 5 sons and a daughter, by his new wife Kate, before he died in 1909.
Admin (with the will) of the estate of John Pettit late of Granard Co Longford, Merchant, who died 6 Aug. 1909, granted at Cavan to Catherine M. Pettit, the widow. Effects £4,883 10s 2d.
Strangely, the 1911 census has no record of John Pettit’s widow and children anywhere. However, a 1932 record reveals the names of his children (by this second marriage):
Joseph A. (d.1891), James Vincent (b.1896 m.1933) and Denis II (1897–1978) Pettit were living in Granard; and his daughter, Sr. M. Wineclaus, was a Sister of Charity in Dublin. (His other sons William F. (b1899) and another born 1902 are not mentioned in Jack’s 1932 obituary).
Their shop is still a Grocers & Off Licence to this day under the name of the original “John Pettit” (proprietor: Joseph A Pettit).
Thomas Pettit from Granard died February 1870 aged 63 (John’s father)
Anne Pettit from Granard died April 1873 aged 47 (John’s mother)
William Pettit from Granard died April 1866 aged 11
Patrick Pettit from Granard died May 1868 aged 6
Nannie Pettit from Granard died July 1889 aged 30 (=John’s wife: Anne Barrett)
John Pettit from Granard died August 1909 aged 50 (Anne Barrett’s husband)
Catherine M. Pettit from Granard died January 1953 (John’s 2nd wife)
|Date of Birth||1857|
|Date of Death||Aug 1909|
|Associated Building (s)||Pettits GRANARD|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Anne McGirr (d.1873)|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Thomas Pettit (d.1870)|
|Townland born||Main Street, Granard, Co. Longford|
|Names of Siblings||Rev. Fr. Dennis Pettit|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Anne Barrett of Carrick on Shannon (daughter of Patrick Barrett Esq.)|
|Names of Children||Thomas Dillon Pettit 1881–1916 | Patrick Stanislaus Pettit 1882–1957 | John A. 'Jack' Pettit 1884 – 1932 | Agnes Mary 'Addie' Pettit 1888–1960|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Catherine ?|
|Names of Children||Joseph A. (d.1891) | James Vincent (b.1896 m.1933) | Denis Pettit II (1897–1978) of Granard | Sr. M. Wineclaus, Sister of Charity in Dublin | William F. (b1899) and another born 1902|