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James Mack - South Mayo Militia / Irish Constabulary


This is the first time I have posted a message and I hope that someone can help me find out a bit more about my GGG Grandfather James Mack.

He enlisted with the South Mayo Militia in Charleville, Co. Cork on 25th March 1804 at the age of 12, and served with them until 24th June 1829, by which time he was a corporal.  According to his Statement of Service he was born in the parish of what looks like "Aglish", "in or near the town of" Charleville, Co. Cork.  He was a musician, so a drummer or trumpeter?

He joined the Irish Constabulary in December 1829, and was married to a County Mayo girl.  They had two sons born in Mayo, Robert (about 1819) and John (about 1824).

On his Irish Constabulary record it states that he was recommended by the Lord Lieutenant. A letter of petition that James wrote to the Lord Lieutenant is in the National Archives in Dublin:

"Petition of ex-militia man James Mack, Westport, seeking position in the police force" Ref: CSO/RP/1829/1669.

I have never been able to go there to see this document, and with the current Covid-19 situation it appears unlikey that I ever will!

Anyway, would anyone be able to guide me as to how I could possibly discover:

  • what James did in the Militia
  • where he was stationed
  • the name of his wife
  • where he got married
  • where his sons were born

Any help, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Ian Mack



Thursday 15th October 2020, 07:31PM

Message Board Replies

  • Ian there are 4 Mack births in Mayo, Westport father Sgt George Mack of the 4th Mayo Staff, in the other 3 he is just George, Children to mother Catherine are George; James; Jane and WIlliam. 

    period 1821 to 1831. There is no sign of a marriage record.

    The milita were formed by those loyal to the King which gave them the right to bear arms etc, the local one where I lived had two comings and even went overseas. I would try the Mayo library for information on the militia, there may be a book or some information, look at the local history section of the site.

    If you are on Facebook there is an excellent private Facebook page called the Royal Irish Constabulary 1816 to 1922 A Forgotten Irish Police Force, it is well run and apply to join, the knowledge is staggering and one of the members has written the history of the RIC.

    Good Luck


    Saturday 17th October 2020, 11:41PM
  • Hello Pat,

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply with fascinating information.

    George, James and William appear frequently in my tree.  In my line William has appeared in four of the last five generations, including me!  Could you tell me where you found this information please as I wouldn't have a clue where to search for records that far back?

    I have joined the Facebook page you recommended and did a quick search for "Mack". Within a couple of minutes I had found a detailed history of one of my 11 Mack family RIC members - John Mack (6020)!  He is my 3x great uncle.  It contained much detail to add to the basic facts I already knew. I am "over the moon" with this one post alone!  What else will I discover in this site?

    Once again Pat, thank you so much for contacting me.  I really appreciate it.

    Kind regards,

    Monday 19th October 2020, 09:31PM
  • Hi Ian, glad the FB page turned up trumps, pages like it and some of the private genealogy ones are the only reason I stay on it, I used Roots Ireland a subscribtion site, it is easy to use I find but really only deals with Ireland and has a lot of records for Ireland but recently I found a birth on Ancestry and not on Roots which surprised me. If you have plenty of spare cash, you probably have plenty of time if you get locked down for a 2nd time like we have, the British Newspaper Archive may be worthwile, I have not tried it but experts tell me it is better for older papers than the Irish Newspaper one. Try the library to see if newspaper access is possibly even to see excerpts, also FInd My Past carries lots of court reports and you should see the names. 

    My ancestor was on the other side of the fence as he was in court in the 1860s for decking a sub constable when the pub was raided, apparently not been able to see in the dark is not a defence. One good thing was in his pleadings he said he served in the military in the West Indies which may explaing why I cannot find births.

    The knowledge on the RIC page amazes me, someone will post a shot and say  taken in 1890 in wherever and some one will say cannnot be right those buttons did not come in until 1897 or some such piece of info and you go "Wha"

    Good Luck and Stay Safe


    Tuesday 20th October 2020, 12:01AM