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yopres-deactivated20120112 asked: I am finding that writing a blog is helping me organize my thoughts too!

Thanks for the follow!  The whole point is to get connected to people like yourself, who are already participating in research, to swap notes and to talk about our shared interest.  I also have a Canadian connection - my grandfather William moved over to Canada sometime in the 1920s and was married in Oakfield Oakville, Ontario in 1932.  The reasons for leaving are not clear but I think you have to look at the prevailing situation in Ireland at the time - the country was trying to heal itself after the War of Independance and the Civil War, the country was poor and the hungry thirties were just round the corner.  There were other members of the family settled in Brooklyn, so I have an idea that William may have gone to Canada in the hope of sneaking across the border to the U.S. as the immigration laws were less stringent (I think) than the U.S. which had started to put up immigration barriers because of the depression.  However, I have no way of knowing this for sure - he doesn’t appear on any documents relating to customs at the Canada - U.S. border, and if he sneaked across, then there would be no records!  Anyway, he ended up settling in Scotland, first in Currie, near Edinburgh, where my dad William James was born, then in Glasgow where he ended his days.  I never knew him, which is a pity because I think there are some untold adventures there.  Good luck and I will keep looking in on you.

Location: Boa Island, Lower Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh

Boa, or Badhbha, Island is the largest of the islands of Lower Lough Erne and is situated to the north of the Lough close by the modern border with the Republic of Ireland.  Until the late 1920s the island was not connected to the mainland and the only way to travel was by boat, with farmers swimming their cattle and horses to markets and grazing on the mainland.  Today, the main A47 Boa Island Road connects the island to Kesh and Enniskillen in the east and Belleek in the west of Fermanagh.  The road was built out of political expediency, connecting Enniskillen, the county town of Fermanagh with the north-west part of the county, without having to traverse Irish Free State territory.  It also meant that troops could be moved by road instead of an amphibious landing which had taken place at the Battle of Pettigo in 1922.

Boa Map Boa Island before the A47 bridges were built

I have traced the O’Donnell family back to around 1850 on Boa Island - it could go back generations further, but there are so many brick walls when you are searching for records in Ireland.  They either don’t exist, were never recorded in the first instance, lie in private collections or are split between the authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic.  The farmstead stands on a promontory called Gubbakip (more of which I will write at a later date) and is still in the hands of the family in the shape of Desmond O’Donnell my 1st cousin 1x removed and his wife Breege.

The passage below is from volume 3 of an edition of The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by The Four Masters (from the earliest period to 1616) edited by John O’Donovan.  This edition was publsihed in 1853 and is out of copyright and available for free on Google Books.  The Annals were compiled between 1632 and 1636 in the Franciscan Priory in Donegal Town by Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (a Franciscan friar), Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Peregrine Ó Duibhgeannain.  The work was commisioned by Fearghal Ó Gadhra, a lord in Co. Sligo and they are important in giving the Gealic view on important events in Irish History.  The O’Donnell activity described in the small passage would be nothing unusual; they were styled Princes of the neigbouring territory, Donegal and would have had extensive rights and claims stretching into Fermanagh, Sligo and Tyrone amongst others.  The translation and notes are O’Donovan’s.

Part of the Annals

THE AGE OF CHRIST 1369

O’Muldoon (Donnell), Lord of the territory of Lurg, was slain by the sons of Niall O’Donnell, who carried the spoils of his territory with them to one of the islands of Lough Erne which is called Badhba (1).  Phillip Maguire, Lord of the Seven Tuathas (2), set out with a large fleet to take revenge upon the sons of O’Donnell for the death of his Oglach (3); and a naval engagement took place, in which Niall Oge, son of Niall Garv, the son of Hugh, son of O’Donnell Oge [O’Donnell], was slain on Finn-loch (4), close to the island.

(1) Badhbha. - This island still retains this name, but it is generally anglicised Boa Island.  It is usually called by the natives of Tuath Ratha dwelling on the south side of Lough Erne, opposite this island, who speak Irish well.  It is the largest island in Lower Loch Erne, and is situated not far from its northern shore, a short distance to the south of the village of Pettigoe.

 (2) The Seven Tuathas, i.e. the seven Tuathas, or districts, comprised in the principality of Fermanagh, of which Maguire was, at this period, the chief lord.

(3) Oglach. - This word literally means, a young hero or soldier; but it is often used in the sense of vassal, such as O’Muldoon was to Maguire.  From Oglac, in this sense, is derived oglacar, vassalage, servitude.

(4) Finn-Loch. - i.e. the white lake.  This was evidently the name of Lower Lough Erne, which might have been locally so called to distinguish it from Upper Lough Erne, as being a brighter sheet of water, and less studded with islands.

Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Google Books)

People: Dreadful and Fatal Accident

I think this headline understates the matter somewhat.  Robert Nelson was born in Leyland in October 1821 and is my 3rd great grand uncle and the son of the Robert Nelson in my last post.  He was 18 years of age when he perished - the clipping states his age as 19, but he was still a few weeks short of his 19th birthday. Robert was buried 16th September 1840 at St.Andrew’s, Leyland by the Vicar, Gardner Baldwin.  There would have been very little that could have been done for him at the time.

The bleachworks in question were most probably what became Stannings bleachworks which stood on Broadfield Drive opposite Haig Avenue.  The works no longer exist, but the old entrance to the works is now named ‘Bleachers Drive’, and there are what seem to be old water pits / lodges still on the site.  The Mr.Fletcher referred to was the first proprietor from 1837 to 1871 when Stannings took over.

Newspaper Clipping

DREADFUL AND FATAL ACCIDENT.- On Monday last, an inquest was taken at Leyland, before M. Palmer, coroner, on the body of Robert Nelson, a young man about nineteen years of age. It appears in evidence that the young man was a bleacher, at Mr. Fletcher’s bleach works, Leyland, and that on the Friday preceeding he was leaning through a window, when the framework gave way, and he was precipitated into a pool of boiling water. The unfortunate man was extricated in about a minute and a half, but he was then dreadfully scalded. He lingered in great agony until early on Monday morning, when he expired. Verdict, “Accidental Death.”

Preston Chronicle (Preston, England), Saturday, September 19, 1840; Issue 1464.

Also, thanks to everyone at Leyland Forum.

This is the grave site of my maternal Great x4 Grandfather, Robert Nelson who was born 1782.  He was buried in the graveyard of St. Andrew’s Parish church, Leyland, Lancashire.  He came to Leyland in about 1800 and worked as a blacksmith.  There were other Nelson families in Leyland at the time, but this was probably the first from Scotland.  As my notes suggest, I am not sure at the time of writing whether Robert came from Leith (now part of Edinburgh) or from some other place, but the research is pointing more and more to Leith and to his possible father, Brown Neilson, a sailor.

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
Robert Nelson, He was a native of
Scotland, for 46 years carried on the
Business of a Blacksmith at
Rose Whittle, Leyland. He died on the
23rd day of August 1851 in the
70th Year of his AGE.
ALSO ELLEN WIFE OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED
JANUARY 20TH 1868 AGED 87 YEARS
ALSO THOMAS SON OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED
JANUARY 28TH 1866 AGED 39 YEARS
ALSO MARY WIFE OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED
NOVEMBER 3RD 1875 AGED 66 YEARS.
Also of Robert, Grandson of the above
Robert Nelson, of Irlam who died
Nov 19th 1886 Aged 49 Years.
Also of John son of the above Thomas Nelson
who died April 14TH 1888 Aged 55 Years.
Also of William son of the above John Nelson
who died January 18TH 1872 aged 2 years
ALSO MARY, WIFE OF THE ABOVE JOHN NELSON
WHO DIED SEPTEMBER 20TH 1923 AGED 83 YEARS
ALSO JANE DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE,
JOHN & MARY NELSON, DIED SEPT 1ST 1937
AGED 70 YEARS.

This is the grave site of my maternal Great x4 Grandfather, Robert Nelson who was born 1782.  He was buried in the graveyard of St. Andrew’s Parish church, Leyland, Lancashire.  He came to Leyland in about 1800 and worked as a blacksmith.  There were other Nelson families in Leyland at the time, but this was probably the first from Scotland.  As my notes suggest, I am not sure at the time of writing whether Robert came from Leith (now part of Edinburgh) or from some other place, but the research is pointing more and more to Leith and to his possible father, Brown Neilson, a sailor.

SACRED

TO THE MEMORY OF

Robert Nelson, He was a native of

Scotland, for 46 years carried on the

Business of a Blacksmith at

Rose Whittle, Leyland. He died on the

23rd day of August 1851 in the

70th Year of his AGE.

ALSO ELLEN WIFE OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED

JANUARY 20TH 1868 AGED 87 YEARS

ALSO THOMAS SON OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED

JANUARY 28TH 1866 AGED 39 YEARS

ALSO MARY WIFE OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED

NOVEMBER 3RD 1875 AGED 66 YEARS.

Also of Robert, Grandson of the above

Robert Nelson, of Irlam who died

Nov 19th 1886 Aged 49 Years.

Also of John son of the above Thomas Nelson

who died April 14TH 1888 Aged 55 Years.

Also of William son of the above John Nelson

who died January 18TH 1872 aged 2 years

ALSO MARY, WIFE OF THE ABOVE JOHN NELSON

WHO DIED SEPTEMBER 20TH 1923 AGED 83 YEARS

ALSO JANE DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE,

JOHN & MARY NELSON, DIED SEPT 1ST 1937

AGED 70 YEARS.