Joseph Charles Lavery 1845

Joseph Charles Lavery 1845

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Joseph Charles Lavery 1845 - 1937

Joseph Charles Lavery was born to William and Margaret nee Corrigan Lavery in 1845. Joseph was Baptised at St Patrick’s, Aghagallon, Antrim, Northern Ireland on the 13 October, 1845 with his Sponsors being Joseph Lavery and Debra McIlroy.

Little is known about Joseph’s early life however from family history and various records we know he was married twice. His first marriage to Margaret Green was registered in Craigavon, Lurgan on 5 February, 1869. Joseph and Margaret had six children, Peter Green, Joseph Henry, Charles William, Mary Ann, Agnes Christina and Elizabeth Teresa. 

After the death of Margaret, in 1882, Joseph must have struggled to raise his young family and married Agnes Barnett Anderson a little over two and a half years later.  Agnes brought her own young family of four into the household and soon afterwards, yours and mine turned into 'Yours, Mine and Ours' with Jocelyn Catherine, Frederick George, Nora Margaret, Agnes Josephine, Gerald Leo Gregory, Isabella Veronica and Winifred Mary joining the already busy household.

As time passed several of Joseph’s children from his marriages and step children emigrated to the United States, joining their two Uncles and an Aunt. New Zealand also became a destination for one of the Barnett/Lavery offspring and more of Joseph's family were to leave Ireland with the loss of Frederick George at sea, during WWI. In the early days of the 1920's Fred's widow watched with horror as her two young sons were shot at on their daily journey to school and  so decided to join her Sister-In-Law and family in New Zealand.

Family history notes that Joseph Charles was a very strict father but considering the era, the raising of so many young children under the one roof, it was to be expected.  Joseph worked conscientsiously at a number of jobs during his working career including being a publisher. He also wrote and published books about St Patrick as well as writing poetry.

Having read a little of his poetry, he may have been a deeply emotional man but as the times dictated men did not openly display their feelings. His youngest daughter wrote the following in a church bulletin, under the pen name of Una Wan and described him as a very odd man.

“This very odd man was proud, stern and very uncommunicative with no vices, drinking, smoking, gambling or playing cards were foreign to him, slang was not permitted in his home and a breach of propriety was almost an original sin, he was not a lonely man, yet his home was comparable to that of the Barrett’s of Wimpole Street.

The family feared him and treated him with the utmost respect, his wife saw to that but with her sense of discipline and beautifully balanced nature, she could have managed a regiment or coaxed a bird of a bush. ”

Joseph was a charitable man, as each Christmas gifts were purchased for orphanage schools and or dispatched to the poor along with parcels of tea and sugar. Instilling in his children that charity begins with what we do at home.

To me, his Great Granddaughter, the following found amongst his writings shows there was a deeply emotional and loving man under that stern exteriour. 

“In the year 1902 I was travelling all over Ireland and being in Kildare town, I went out to see St Brigid’s Well, which is adjacent and I saw the little shamrock described below, I brought it with me to my Hotel, wrote this manuscript and posted all to my sister the same evening."

St Brigid’s Shamrock

One pleasant evening lately in the town of sweet Kildare,

A little ‘ere the shadows fell
My business was concluded and as I had time to spare
I visited St Brigid’s Holy Well.

I saw a sprig of shamrock just the blessed spring beside
And raised it from its little emerald bed.

Then I sent it to my sister across the ocean wide
And this is just unto her what I said.


Accept this little token, of friendship ties unbroken.
I know you will it tend with anxious care
So now make haste and set it for with my tears I've wet it,
A shamrock from the County of Kildare.


This little sprig of shamrock which has graced the holy soil
Where dear St. Brigid often knelt to pray
Will draw your thoughts to Ireland and raise your heart to God.
While looking at it growing day by day.


And when this dear little emblem of faith and fatherland
Shall spread it’s triple leaflets o’er the lea
Will you share it with my dear ones as coming from my hand
T’will cause them to remember home and me.





Additional Information
Date of Birth Oct 1845 (circa)  
Date of Death 1st Mar 1937  
Father (First Name/s and Surname) William Lavery  
Mother (First Name/s and Maiden) Margaret Corrigan  
Place & Date of Baptism Aghagallon and Ballinderry, County Antrim, 13 Oct 1845  
Names of Siblings Ellen Jane (1834), Margaret (1836), Anna (1837), William James (1839), Lucy (1841), Michael (1843) and Isabella (1848)  
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