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Hi everyone, I have searched high and low to try and find the baptism and parents of my ancestor Johnathan WHALEY (also referred to as John during his life) who was born around 1806 and died in Hacknahay, County Armagh, on 8th March 1884 aged 78. 

Jonathan’s father was possibly Edward Whaley. In Tithe Applottment book  1834 (same place as Jonathan, perhaps his brother):

  “Whaley, Edwd. Townland: Breagh Year: 1834  Seagoe  Armagh”. He had a known brother Thomas, mentioned in his Will.

He married Jane GARDNER b1816, in 1841 in Armagh; because of his age then, he may have been previously married. There is the marriage of a John WHALEY to Ann SANDFORD in 1831 - possibility?

In 1848 he is listed in the Dublin Almanac as Jn.Whaley Esq of Carrick.

Jonathan is recorded as renting a house, offices and land in Breagh in the Griffith’s Valuation of 1864,  rented from the Carrick Blacker estate. When he died his daughter Lucinda  inherited all his ‘houses and lands’ in Breagh. He had a number of other children between 1843 and 1865, most of whom migrated to New Zealand.

Wednesday 22nd Apr 2020, 02:35AM

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  • There would be a slight question in my mind whether the John Whaley Esq of Carrick in 1848 is the Jonathan Whaley who rented a small 3 acre farm in Breagh in Griffiths in 1864. The term Esq usually indicates that a person was of considerable independent means, so someone living off investment income, for example. (Generally just below nobility in terms of public prestige). I also note that, according to the Dublin Morning Register of 11th Aug 1829, John Whaley was a member of a Grand Jury in Armagh. To be eligible to sit on a Grand Jury, you needed to be eligible to vote, and that normally required much more than 3 acres of land.  There’s the possibility that the John of Carrick experienced a significant downward change in his domestic circumstances between 1848 and 1864, but I suspect they are 2 different people.

    Judging by Lucinda’s marriage in 1884, she was a Methodist then (tradition being to marry in the bride’s church). However in the early 1800s the family would likely have been Church of Ireland. (Methodism didn’t get going in Ireland as a separate denomination till around 1818). So if looking for Jonathan’s parents, I’d search Seagoe Church of Ireland records.  They go back to 1672 (with some gaps). There’s a copy in PRONI.

    If you think Jonathan was married before, you could search Seagoe burial records up to 1841. Likewise you could search for Edward Whaley’s burial 1834 to 1864. It might contain his age and that would help resolve whether he was Jonathan’s father or not.

    Lucinda in 1901:

    There’s a possible death for Jane Whaley, aged 54, on 17.12.1871, regd in Lurgan. Thomas Whalley died at Breagh 24.5.1881 aged 66.  He was a bachelor. Daughter Caroline Holland (nee Whaley), a widow, remarried to James Holland on 23.9.1893. Family in 1901:

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 22nd Apr 2020, 07:44AM
  • Thankyou ever so much for your help, Elwyn, much appreciated. 

    As far as I know the family was Church of Ireland, Lucinda's husband-to-be could have been Methodist? None of Lucinda's family were around. I would love to peruse the records in PRONI, but as I live in Australia sadly it is not possible.

    Edward Whaley could be Jonathan's father,  Johnathan did name his first son Edward.  You do raise valid doubt that John Whaley was his father. There was a John Whaley in Dublin in 1802 of Stephen's Green, that part of the family was more wealthy, John from Dublin was still there and listed as gentry, in 1841 in Crossle Genealogical Abstracts Transcription. He will probably be the one in the Grand Jury etc you quote.    My question is, why was that John in Breagh if he was wealthy?

    I know from family knowledge that Johnathan Whaley was in Breagh, also that his wife Jane did die in 1871. He was called John when he married Jane Gardner in 1841, also John (if it was him) if/when he married Anne Sandford in 1831.  Johnathan and Jane’s first child was named Edward   Jane Gardner came “ from Dromore Parish” when christened.

    I have a question over Thomas Whaley. Johnathan died in 1884 and in his Will he says “First I give and bequeath to my brother Thos Whaley a loom and bed and said Thomas Whaley to live and have his board and lodging in the house during his natural life”.  If Thomas had already died in  1881, then the Will must have been written before that, but I made a note that the Will was written just a few weeks before Johnathan died.  He also wrote “I give and bequeath to my—daughter Lucinda Whaley all my houses and lands situate in Breagh all my goods and Chattels...”   This sounds as though he had multiple lands and houses in Breagh?   If his brother Thomas was older than him, that could possibly lean towards their father being a Thomas from the common naming pattern?

    Yes, Caroline Whaley/Holland/Holland was Johnathan and Jane’s 4th daughter. My gt grandmother was Letitia Whaley, their 3rd daughter and older than Caroline. Three children from Caroline’s first marriage to Robert Holland migrated to New Zealand.  We haven’t found Caroline’s death, James died in 1913 in Bleary. She may even have gone to New Zealand.

    Sunday 26th Apr 2020, 04:57AM
  • Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church, so I’d favour Lucinda being Methodist (her husband might also have been too of course). If she were still Church of Ireland, I’d have expected her to marry there.

    There are 2 Methodist Meeting Houses in Seagoe. Both were Wesleyan. (I see from the 1911 census that the Lutton family were Wesleyan). Ballinacro has baptism records from 1845 onwards, Bluestone from 1839.  (Copies of both sets in PRONI). Prior to those years the congregations would have used the Church of Ireland for their baptisms.

    If you are unable to go to PRONI yourself, you could employ a researcher. Researchers in the PRONI area:

    The property in Breagh that Jonathan had is quite interesting. Anomalous really. It was quite a big farmhouse, with plenty of outbuildings, but on a tiny piece of land (just over 3 acres). Most farmers would struggle to feed a family off 3 acres. That was subsistence farming. (The property today is on the Gilford Rd. Tyremaster have premises on the land, judging by the modern map). Jonathan’s death certificate describes him as a farmer, rather than “Gentleman.” The value of his estate when he died was £50 5 shillings. So not penniless, but not a really wealthy man either. If you go to the 1901 census and search the house & building return, you will find that the farm had solid walls and a slate or tile roof (as opposed to mud walls and thatch for example). There were between 7 and 9 rooms, and there were 8 windows at the front.  There were 14 outbuildings. The enumerator assessed it as a 1st class building. The page with the details of the outbuildings is missing but it’s there in the 1911 census. There was a stable, a coach house, cow house, calf house, dairy, piggery, fowl house, boiling house, 2 barns, turf house (ie a shed for storing peat for burning on the fires), potato house, workshop, shed and a store. The farmhouse looks to have been one of the biggest in the townland.

    My interpretation of the will is that all these buildings are the lands etc that are referred to in the will. If he had lands in other townlands it would have been normal to specific them.

    Answering your query about Thomas Whalley, I made a mistake with the year of his death. He too died in 1884, just outliving his brother by a couple of months:


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 26th Apr 2020, 12:13PM

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