The CURRY/CURRIE family in Ulster
It is not known yet known who the earliest member of our Curry family was to settle
in Ulster. The earliest identified likely ancestor we have is Jackson Curry who died in Magherafelt in 1867,
aged 91, though this has to be formally confirmed. However, considering the rarity of the name and the fact that all others
with the name are within our tree, it seems incredibly likely.
The following people are noted in the barony of Loughinsholin, where our Curry ancestors were
based, in Griffith's Valuation of 1859:
Hugh McCurry, Ballyscullion
James Curry, Desertmartin
Jackson Curry, Kilcronaghan
John Curry, Kilcronaghan
James McCurry, Maghera
Edward Curry, Magherafelt
Matthew McCurry, Magherafelt
Samuel Curry, Tamlaght
Jackson Curry, Termoneeny (confirmed as our ancestor)
In the 1831 census however, there were only five Curry households in Loughinsholin:
Jackson Curry, Desertmartin
John Curry, Maghera
James Curry, Magherafelt
Jane Curry, Tamlaght
James Curry, Tamlaght O'Crilly
There are no Currys listed in the 1796 flaxgrowers list for Loughinsholin, nor in the 1766 Religious
Census for the barony. Only one Curry appears at all in the county for the latter, and that is Robert Curry,
a Protestant Dissenter in the barony of Keenaght (parish of Bovevagh, townland of Camnish).
In the 1740 Protestant Householder's Return, a Widow Curry appears in Loughinsholin,
in the parish of Ballyscullion. Prior to this, in the 1663 Hearth Money Roll there are only two Curry members in the county
listed - a John Curry of the barony of Keenaght (parish of Dungiven, townland of Derryork) and Adam
Currey of Loughinsholin (parish of Ballyscullion). No members are listed in the Co. Derry subsidy roll of the previous
year 1662, though there is an Edward Carey in Keenaght (Dungiven) in Pender's Census of 1659.
In the muster roll of the Garrison of Londonderry on July 18th 1643, there was a Daniell Curry
in the the company of Sir Thomas Staples Knt., Baronet, Captain (PRONI T808/15176/203). In 1630, a John Curry
was noted in the barony of Coleraine, resident on the Churchlands of Lady McClelland (PRONI
D1759/3/C/2 or MIC637/10).
This is the earliest reference found yet for a member of the Curry family in Derry, but whether John
Curry is a direct ancestor cannot be confirmed.
b: 1776 d: 6/12/1867
This earliest section is a stab at a theory of everything concerning the Currie
family, based on several records in existence, and absolutely remains open to challenge in its current form.
A Jackson Curry in the townland of Rosgarron, parish of Desertmartin, Co.
Londonderry, died on 6 DEC 1867, the cause being old age and debility. No medical attendant was present, though a James
Curry of 'Rosegarland' was noted as being at his side when he died - believed to be his grandson James (husand of
Margaret McCombes, and son of Jackson Curry of Termoneeny). Jackson was noted as a farmer, and as a widower, and as being
aged 91, placing his birth in 1776 (Source: 1867 Magherafelt, vol. 16 p.482, Magherafelt).
Only one Jackson Curry is noted in the surviving 1831 census for County Londonderry,
and he was also based in the parish of Desertmartin (within the barony of Loughinsholin), although in the townland of Dromore
(Source: www.billmacafee.com/1831census/1831derrycensusindex.pdf). In 1850 it seems that Jackson was still in Dromore, with a Marianne Curry
resident there when she married, noted as the daughter of Jackson Curry, farmer (see below).
A record found in Glasgow concerning a John CURRIE, who died in 1855 aged 39,
places his birth at around 1816. His father was listed as Jackson CURRIE (see below), and John was most definitely
Irish, as noted in his death cert.
It is also posited that Jackson and John may have had a brother called William.
Again, this has still to be confirmed, but as the name Jackson Curry is quite rare, it is once more quite a coincidence
that this William's son should also carry the name and come from the same area.
Posited Children of Jackson CURRY:
CURRIE - unconfirmed brother
William CURRY - unconfirmed
The only records known so far concerning William is the birth and marriage
records of his son Jackson, in which he is listed as a farmer. From Jackson's birth records William's wife
is noted as Mary.
Children of William CURRY:
b: 1832 d: 21/5/1921
It is believed that Jackson was born in Termoneeny, Co. Londonderry, in 1832, as noted in his burial
record in 1921, which noted him as 89. It is possible he was born late as 1836, however, going by census records (see below).
Jackson Curry married Nancy
Harris (b. abt 1839) on November 22nd 1853 at Kilcronaghan Church of Ireland, parish of Kilcronaghan,
Magherafelt. He was the son of William Curry, a servant, and resident at Balliderry - no age listed; she
was 19, daughter of James Harris, and resident at Termoneeny. The witnesses were James Henderson and
In the 1859 Griffith's valuation, Jackson
was found to be residing at Gortamney, Kilcronaghan, leasing a house and land (just over 4 acres) from Margaret Henderson,
for an annual rate of £2 (Irish Origins).
Jackson was also a church warden at Termoneeny
Parish Church (Church of Ireland), in the townland of Cabragh, as evident from the following story from the Belfast Newsletter,
dated April 18th 1895:
The annual Easter
vestry meeting was held in the the church of the above parish on the 16th April - the Rev. Thomas Fisher presiding. The minutes
of last meeting were read and confirmed. The churchwardens presented their reports, which were passed, as well as thanks for
their past services. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year:- Churchwardens - Mr. R. Lennox (people's) and
Mr. Jackson Curry (minister's). Select Vestry - Messrs. George Martin, James Haw, James Martin,
Samuel Campbell, Robert Taylor, Archibald Morrow, Joseph Simpson, Daniel McCready, Andrew Averell, John
Curry, Hugh Patterson, and James Mayberry. Secretary - the schoolmaster of Curran National School. Treasurer - Rev.
Thomas Fisher. Respecting the anonymous letter to the venerable Archdeacon of Derry the following resolution was proposed
by Mr James Haw, seconded by Mr. Robert Lennox, and carried unanimously:- "That we, the members of the general vestry of the
parish of Termoneeny, assembled on Easter Tuesday, 16th April 1895, take this opportunity of protesting aginst the practice
of annonymous letter-writing with a view to injure the character and standing of our clergyman, in whom we gladly express
our utmost confidence as an earnest, zealous, and conscientious, hardworking clergyman, under whose ministrations the parish
has considerably improved during the past seven years and a half, and we earnestly pray that God may still continually be
with us and bless us more abundantly." - The resolution was carried unanimously.
In the 1901 census for Broagh, County Londonderry, Jackson was recorded with his
wife and two children, as well as a niece, Annie Wolfe, aged 14. He was a farmer, born in Co. Londonderry,
was an adherent of the Church of Ireland, could read and write, and was aged 64.
There is a bit of a question mark on Annie being his niece however. A Bessie Jane
Curry married Abram Wolfe in Apr-Jun 1884, and the couple did reside in Broagh and raise a family - Jennie (b 1886), Robert
J (b. 1887), Minnie (b. 1890), Lizzie (b 1892) and Jackson (b. 1893) - and of course Annie (b. 1886). Bessie was aged 38,
however, in 1901, placing her birth year at abt 1862. She later died in larne, Oct-Dec 1908, aged 49, placing her birth year
at approximately 1859. Her husband and family are later found in Larne in the 1911 census. It seems more likely that Annie
was a great niece, rather than a niece. More light should be shed on this once Bessie's father's name is determined.
Jackson's wife Nancy eventually died in March 1906, aged 67, and was buried at Termoneeny Parish
Church on March 24th.
In 1912, on 'Ulster day', a Jackson Curry from Curran signed the Solemn League and Covenant against
Irish Home Rule at the Knockloghrim Temperance Hall, in the District of Knockloghrim and Curran. This may have been this Jackson,
or quite possibly his son.
Jackson eventually died in Broagh in 1921, aged 89. He was buried on 28 MAY 1921 in
Termoneeny Parish Church (Source: PRONI MIC1/61, Termoneeny).
CHILDREN of JACKSON CURRY and NANCY HARRIS:
Mary Ann Curry
Mary Ann was born on May 29th 1867 at Maghera, County Londondonderry, Ireland. It is possible that
she died in infancy, or that the Mary Ann below was less than honest with her age at the 1901 census! (Source: IGI)
Mary Ann Curry
b: abt. 1874
Mary Ann was born about 1874 in County Londonderry. In the 1901 census for Broagh, Mary Ann was
resident at her parent's home, an adherent of the Church of Ireland, could read and write, was unmarried and listed as
Jackson was born on February 4th 1875 at Ballynahone More, County Londonderry, Ireland (Source: IGI).
Jackson unfortunately got himself and his brother John into a bit of trouble
as a youth. The Belfast Newsletter of Thursday, November 1st 1888, records what happened and their punishment:
MAGHERAFELT PETTY SESSIONS
This court was held yesterday,
the magistrates present being - Mr. Garret Nagle, R.M. (in the chair); Dr. Auterson, Mr. James Harbison , Mr. Thomas
Wilson, Mr. J. Kelly, and Mr. H. C. Mann. John Patterson, George Patterson, Wm. Stewart, John Stewart, jun., Jas. Stewart
and Robert Kennedy, of Curran; Adam Sturgeon, Dawson McCleery, and John McCleery, of Toberhead; Jackson
Curry and John Curry, of Broagh; and Robert Curry, jun., of Calragh
(sic), were charged at the suit of District-Inspector Bain, Magherfelt, with conduct calculated to lead to a breach
of the peace towards William O' Neill and others, and requiring them to show cause why they should not be bound to the peace.
Mr. Brown appeared for all the defendants. William O' Neill, blacksmith, proved that a crowd with drums had assembled in Curran
on the 23rd October and burned effigies composed of some inflammable material. Cross-examined - Witness was not frightened;
he was only agitated. Other witnesses were examined who gave similar evidence. It was in his house the lodge met. A crowd
assembled as usual to amuse themselves, but they interfered with no-one. Saw O'Neill on the street with his coat off. Other
evidence having been given, Mr. Brown addressed the Court for the defendants. The magistrates bound all the defendants, except
Robert Lemon and Jackson Curry, to keep the peace - themselves in £10 and two sureties in £5 each.
It is possibly this Jackson who signed the Solemn League and Covenant in 1912 at Knockloghrim
b: abt. 1876
John was born about 1876 in County Londonderry. In 1888, as a 12 year old youth, he was brought
up before the Magherafelt Petty Session with his brother Jackson and cousin Robert Curry
of Cabragh (Calum's and Jamie's great great grandfather). See above.
In the 1901 census for Broagh, John was resident at his parent's home, an adherent of the Church
of Ireland, could read and write, was unmarried and listed as a farmer.
A John Curry from Gortamney signed the Ulster Covenant on September 28th 1912.
Jemima Curry - unconfirmed
A Jemima Curry married Thomas Kirkwood at Tobermore Presbyterian Church in Kilcronaghan
on January 2nd 1902 (Source: Emerald Ancestors). It is not known if she was related, but it remains a possibility. Whilst
she signed the Ulster Covenant as Jemima Kirkwood, another Jemima Curry from Gortamney was found to have
signed the Covenant on the same day. It is possible that either one of these, or both was related to our line, though it remains
unconfirmed for the moment.
Early 19th C - after 1853
Jackson Curry was Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandfather.
In his daughter Marrianne's wedding in 1850, Jackson Curry was listed as a farmer, his daughter residing
at Dromore in the parish of Desertmartin. In his son Robert's wedding entry in 1853, he was again listed as a farmer,
with Robert resident at Lemnaroy in the parish of Termoneeny (see below).
Jackson also pops up in the 1859 Griffith's Valuation at Lemnaroy, which is stated as being in the
parish of Termoneeny. In this, he is listed as being resident beside the National School-house, in a house with land comprising
of some seven acres leased to him by a James McWhinney. The annual rateable value of the land and property
(no.25) was £3 15s (Source: Ask About Ireland).
The subsequent annual revision books for Lemnaroy, from 1860-1863 and 1864-1878 list Jackson as still
resident at the property, but his name is cancelled out in 1878 (Source: PRONI VAL/12/B/34/23/A and VAL/12/B/34/23/B).
CHILDREN of JACKSON CURRY and (UNKNOWN):
b: 1827 d: aft 1850
Marianne married Robert Wilson on 13 DEC 1850 at Currin Presbyterian Church. Robert
was aged 23, and the son of William Wilson, labourer, with Marianne also noted as 23 and the daughter of Jackson Curry,
farmer. Both were resident at Dromore, in the parish of Desertmartin. The witnesses were James Curry
and Robert Curry. It seems likely they were her brothers - we know Robert was certainly a member of
Currin Presbyterian also (Source: PRONI MIC1P/338 Curran, Maghera).
b: abt 1831 d: 17/3/1892
Calum's and Jamie's great great great grandfather - see below.
b: bef 1831 d: aft 1893
James Curry married Margaret McCombes at Termoneeny Church of Ireland on 22 AUG 1845.
James' father was noted as Jackson Curry, farmer (RootsIreland has a transcription error here with Joseph
Curry named instead), with Margaret's father given as James McCombes. James was from Dromore townland in
the parish of Desertmartin, whilst Margaret was from the townland of Luganagoose. The witnesses were a Jackson Curry
and William Avrill or William Smyth (to be checked).
James was noted in 1850 as a witness at Marianne's wedding to Robert Wilson (as was Robert Curry),
and three years later as a witness at Robert's wedding to Eliza Henderson.
James Curry is noted as the informant to the death of 91 year
old Jackson Curry in 1867 in Rosgarland. In the Revaluation
books he is noted from 1860-63 as the tenant at Rossgarron's plots 26b and 27, with a house and land of 4 acres 1 rood and
20 perches rated annually at £2 15s (Source: PRONI VAL/12B/34/11A). He is there still from 1864-74 (Source: PRONI VAL/12B/34/31A),
from 1874-1881 (Source: PRONI VAL/12B/34/11B), and from 1881-83 (Source: PRONI VAL/12B/34/11C). The final time James is mentioned
is in the books from 1884-1898, although the property is noted as having been taken over by a John Kelly in 1893 (Source:
Jackson CURRY - unconfirmed
b: bef 1833
This Jackson CURRY was a full aged servant at Ballyscullion upon his wedding
in 22 DEC 1854 at Castledawson Presbyterian Church. His father was noted as Jackson Curry, a Labourer. Jackson married Jane
ORR, a full age spinster from Magherafelt, and her father was George Orr, a farmer. The witnesses were William
CURRY and Tressa KENNAN.
It is known
that this Jackson emigrated to Brisbane in Australia shortly after his marriage to Jane.
(Thanks to several good folk at Rootschat, including Matimac, for the above information.)
abt 1831 - 17/3/1892
Robert was Calum's and Jamie's three times
Robert was born in approximately 1831, most likely in the parish
of Termoneeny, County Londonderry, Ireland.
On January 29th 1853, Robert married Eliza
Henderson, at Currin Presbyterian Church in the parish of Maghera. He was noted as a 25 year old labourer
from the townland of Lemnaroy, and his father was listed as a farmer called Jackson Curry (see above). Eliza
was the daughter of Robert Henderson, a Currin based Pensioner, most likely meaning an army pensioner
of the Royal Kilmainham Hospital, Dublin, or the Chelsea Hospital in England (source: Emerald Ancestors website, uncited). There were two witnesses to the wedding, James Curry, most likely Robert's brother, and
a William Brown, whilst the minister of the Meeting House at Currin was the Reverend James McKee.
The revision books to Griffith's valuation show that Robert took possession of the Schoolhouse of Cabragh
in 1887. The building had been rated as worth £11 annually from the original valuation by Griffith's.
Robert eventually died on March 17th 1892 at his home at Cabragh. He was noted as aged 61 and as
married, and as an 'overseer of farm'. The cause of death was heart disease, from which he had been suffering for 3 months.
The informant to the registrar was his daughter Mary Ann Currie, also noted as residing in Cabragh, who was
illiterate and thus signed the record with an X. March 1892 (Source: GRONI D/1892/179/1022/12/274 Bellaghy; GROI ref
is D 1892 Q1 Vol 1 p.732 Magherafelt). [Robert was later referred to as a gamekeeper by
trade, on his son Robert's death certificate in 1940.]
Robert was buried at Termoneeny Parish Church (Church of Ireland) on March 19th, with the cost
of burial being five shillings. This record again notes he was resident at Cabragh, and aged 61 at death, but that as he was
a Presbyterian, there was no service performed in the Anglican church (Source: PRONI MIC583/7, C.I. Termoneeny burials).
Following his death, Eliza was shown as taking possession of the Schoolhouse in 1899, and it appears
she may have taken on the role of caretaker there, for this was her occupation as recorded in her death certificate. Eliza
passed away on 24 AUG 1912, the cause being cardiac disease, as suffered for months. She was noted as a wiudow and aged 88.
The informant to the registrar on 2 SEP 1912 was her grandson Samuel Martin, present at her death and also
resident in Cabragh (Source: GRONI D/1912/179/1022/18/457 Bellaghy - GRO ref is GROI D 1912 Q3 Vol 1 p.436 Magherafelt). She was
subsequently buried on the 25th in the same plot as her husband, the church record again noting she was aged 88 (Source: PRONI
MIC583/7, C.I. Termoneeny burials).
CHILDREN of ROBERT CURRY and ELIZA
b: abt 1854 d: 25/11/1891
It was not until March 2012 that I discovered that this Jackson Currie was in fact related to my
line, thanks to Becky Johnson via the Your Family Tree magazine forum, to whom thanks is given.
Jackson was born in approximately 1854, and was almost certainly Robert's and Eliza's first son,
named after Robert's father Jackson. An exact date of birth has yet to be confirmed, and may never be - if born in Currin
there are are no surviving baptismal records pre-1900. His age in his marriage record from December 1878 was given as 24,
and it is known that his parents were married in 1853.
Jackson, noted as Jackson Corry, married Eliza Jane Armstrong
on December 20th 1878 at Loughgilly Church of Ireland in County Armagh, Ireland. The marriage was performed under license
by N. F. Dudley, and the witnesses were William Leatham and Agnes Armstrong. Jackson was noted as a 24 year old millworker
resident in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, with Robert Corry, labourer, as his father. Eliza was noted as
a 31 year old millworker resident at Drumgane, Armagh, and whose father was George Armstrong.
In the 1881 census Jackson was noted as residing at 15 Sydney Street in the Glasgow suburb of Dennistoun,
and as a furnaceman in a public works, aged 26 and born in Ireland. Also present was 33 year old wife Eliza Jane,
and one year old daughter Mary Jane, born in Glasgow (NRS SP 1881 644/3 2 p.3 Dennistoun).
In 1891 Jackson was noted as residing at Cubie Street in Glasgow, and as a 36
year old stationary engine driver, again from Ireland. His wife Eliza was aged 43, and there were three children also present
- 11 year old Mary Jane, a scholar, 8 year old Robert, a scholar, and 2 year old George.
All were born in Glasgow (NRS SP 1881 644/6 6 p.1 Camlachie).
Jackson died in an accident on November 25th 1891 at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, with his usual
residence noted as 6 Cubie Street. He was aged 37, an engine keeper, and married to Eliza Jane Armstrong.
His parents were confirmed as Robert Currie, general labourer, and Eliza Henderson. The
cause of death was avulsion of right arm at shoulder and compound fracture of left scapula, as well as shock. The informant
was Calum's and Jamie's great great grandfather, Robert Currie (GROS SP D 1891 644/3/1921). The Register
of Corrected Entries adds that the death was as the result of an accident, but nothing more.
Eliza herself lived only for another seven years. She passed away on May 19th 1898 at 67 Old
Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow, and was noted as the widow of Jackson Currie, an engine keeper. Her parents were recorded as George
Armstrong, farmer, and Mary Jane Gordon. The cause of death was noted as bronchitis and cardiac
syncope, but the Register for Corrected Entries adds more, stating that she was found dead at her home at 6.30pm, having last
been seen alive at 10am that morning. Her father was also deceased by this point. The original registration for the death
was by her daughter, now simply styling herself as Jane Currie, rather than Mary Jane (NRS SP 1898 D 644/01
It would seem that following the death of both parents, Jane took her two brothers with her to Canada.
CHILDREN of JACKSON CURRIE and ELIZA ARMSTRONG:
Mary Jane Armstrong Currie
Mary Jane was born at 5.30am on October 2nd 1879 at 145 [??] Street, Parkhead (Glasgow), Lanarkshire,
Scotland. Her parents were noted as Jackson Currie, railway labourer, and Eliza Jane Armstrong, who had married in Loughgilly,
Armagh, on December 20th 1878. The informant was her father, who was illiterate and hence signed the certificate with an X
(GROS SP B 1879 644/02 1327 Camlachie).
In 1891 Mary Jane was recorded in the census as an eleven year old scholar at 6 Cubie Street in Glasgow's
Camlachie district (NRS SP 1881 644/6 6 p.1 Camlachie).
Mary Jane was later known variously as Jane and Jeanie. In the 1901 census she is found at 35 Dunn
Street as a 21 year old clerkess in a linen warehouse with her 18 year old brother Robert, now a clerk. Their younger
brother George is absent, adding weight to the theory he may have been on board on industrial ship in the Clyde.
On December 17th 1903 she married Thomas Holmes at 216 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow,
by declaration in front of Samuel Hamilton, furnaceman from 36 Adelphi Street in Bridgeton, and Patrick
Finn of 9 Rumford Street in Bridgeton. Noed as Jeanie, she was described as being 24 and residing
at 35 35 Beechgrove Street, Glasgow, the same address as Thomas, a 32 year old tubework filer. Jeanie's parents were Jackson
Currie (decaesed), engine keeper, and Eliza Jane Armstrong (deceased), whilst Thomas's parents were
Thomas Holmes (deceased), farmer, and Ellen Elsley (deceased). The ScotlandsPeople website mistaskenly has Jeanie indexed
as Jessie on its system (NRS SP M 1903 644/01 0387).
Twenty six year old Jeanie, and her daughters Jeanie and Alice emigrated to Canada on July 31st 1906.
The ship was the Lake Erie, and it was bound for Montreal. Thomas was not on board with them (Source TNA/FindmyPast
BT271499). The passenger list available for the vessel on the Library and Archives Canada website shows that they were in
fact travelling out to meet Thomas, who had gone ahead. The final intended destination on the document is hard to make out,
but looks like it was in Winnipeg. The family arrived in Montreal on August 11th 1906.
CHILDREN of JEANIE CURRIE and THOMAS HOLMES:
Jean was born on November 4th 1902 at 35 Beechgrove Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Scotland. Her birth
is marked as illegitimate on the certificate, with her parents not formally marrying until a year later. A stamp is on the
left of the certificate, faint, but apparently noting the birth had been legitimated in August 1976. In fact, under Scots
Law, the birth will have been legitimised by the subsequent marriage of her parents the following year after her birth, though
this may not have been aware of in Canada, where Jeanie and her parents shortly after emigrated.
Three year old Jeanie, her mother and sister Alice emigrated to Canada on July 31st 1906. The ship
was the Lake Erie, and it was bound for Montreal (Source TNA/FindmyPast BT271499).
Jeanie is noted as being 8 years old and in the house at Kenora in the 1911 census for Ontario, and
also as Presbyterian (Source: Library and Archives Canada).
Alice was born at 5.30am on February 13th 1904 at 35 Beechgrove Street, Glasgow, Scotland. Her father
was Thomas Holmes, tubework filer, and mother Jeanie Currie, the couple having married on
December 17th 1903 at Bridgeton. Thomas was the registrar informant on March 4th (NRS SP 1904 B 644/1/1904).
Two year old Alice, her mother and sister Jeanie emigrated to Canada on July 31st 1906. The
ship was the Lake Erie, and it was bound for Montreal (Source TNA/FindmyPast BT271499).
Alice is noted as being 7 years old in the house at Kenora in the 1911 census for Ontario, and
as Presbyterian (source: Library and Archives Canada).
Martha Armstrong Holmes
Martha was born at Kenora, in the district of Rainy River, a divison of Kenora, Ontario, on August
18th 1907. In the record her mother is noted as Jennie Currie and her father as Thomas Holmes,
labourer. No physician was present at the birth in Kenora. The birth was registered by Thomas on September 9th 1907 (source:
Martha was Presbyterian by religion and at the family home in Kenora for the 1911 census of
Ontario (source: Library and Archives Canada).
Agnes was born on September 27th 1910 in Kenora, Ontario. Her parents' marriage date was listed as
being on September 17th 1901 in Scotland, and her address as Norman, Ontario. Her mother was Jean Armstrong Currie
Holmes and her father Thomas Holmes, a plasterer. The birth was registered on October 10th 1910.
Agnes is noted as being in the house at Kenora in the 1911 census for Ontario, and as Presbyterian
(Source: Library and Archives Canada).
b: 8/6/1882 d: 16/9/1918
Robert Currie was one of the most heroic members of our family to have ever lived.
|L/Cpl Robert Currie
Robert was born at 7.30am on June 8th 1882 at 15 Sydney
Street in Dennistoun, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. His parents were noted as Jackson Currie, engine keeper, and Eliza Jane
Armstrong, who had married in Loughgilly, Armagh, on December 10th 1878. The informant was his father, who was illiterate
and hence signed the certificate with an X (NRS SP B 1882 644/03 1061).
In 1891 Robert was recorded in the census as an eight
year old scholar at 6 Cubie Street in Glasgow's Camlachie district (NRS SP 1881 644/6 6 p.1 Camlachie).
In the 1901 census 18 year old Robert is found at 35
Dunn Street, Glasgow, as a a clerk, along with 21 year old sister Jeanie, a clerkess in a linen warehouse.
Their younger brother George is absent, adding weight to the theory he may have been on board on industrial ship in the Clyde
Robert joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the
First World War, having emigrated to Canada prior to 1916. It is not yet known when he did this, but he did not travel with
his sister in 1906. He signed up to the army on March 22nd 1916 at Kenora, Ontario, listing his sister Janie Holmes
as his next of kin, and listing Norman, Ontario as his residence. The Kenora Daily News recorded his enlistment:
A day's work is not complete apparently in Kenora without an addition
to the local unit of the 94th Battalion. The manner in which the men of Kenora, Keewatin, and district, are responding to
the call for recruits is evidence that they are possessed of a strong sense of responsibility in this time of the Empire's
trial, and that they are willing to do their "bit". Though recruiting here has been entirely devoid of the blaring methods
adopted in many places both east and west, the results we are confident have been exceeded in but few places, if any. The
men are not carried away by the enthusiasm engendered by stirring appeals, bands playing and cheering crowds, but
only by a stern sense of duty.
In addition to nine officers from here in the 94th, 158 men have enlisted
in Kenora, and Capt. Thompson is confident that the number will reach 200 in a few weeks. The following have enlisted since
our Wednesday's issue:
William Edward Lodge
Robert's trade upon attestation was given as a 'labourer',
and he was unmarried. William Wood was the witness to his signing up. Robert was described as 33 years and 9 months old, having
been born on June 8th 1882, and was five feet seven and a half inches in height. His girth when fully expanded was forty inches,
with a range of expansion of four inches. His complexion was also noted as clear, his eyes blue and his hair as brown, and
he was described as a Presbyterian. The medical certificate in his service records also notes that he was vaccinated in Scotland
as a child, and that he weighed 172 lbs. His service number was 199201.
On March 23rd Robert was declared fit to serve
overseas with the Canadian Expeditionary Force's 94th Battalion, and on June 11th was sent to Valcartier station in Quebec. His
service record then picks up the story, with the document noting at the top that Robert was a qualified blacksmith. He sailed
for France on the S.S. Olympic with the 94th on June 28th 1916, and arrived at Liverpool in England on July 6th. On July 17th Robert was then transferred to the 17th Canadian
Reserve Battalion at East Sandling camp in Kent, and on August 27th to the 16th Battalion Overseas, with a separate document
listing his permanent address in Canada at this point as that of his brother George in Norman, Ontario.
Arriving in France, Robert joined the 16th in the
field on September 22nd 1916. He appears to have had some service with 176th Tunnelling Company of the Royal Engineers from
November 10th, with this particular unit having been based at Neuville St. Vaast/Vimy, between Arras and Armentieres, from
April of that year.
On August 12th 1917 Robert was granted ten days leave to Paris, and rejoined his unit on August
23rd. On January 20th 1918 he was then sent to the Corps Gas School, having been previously promoted to the rank of lance
corporal on January 11th. On January 26th he rejoined his unit, with whom he remained for a further two months.
March 22nd Robert left to attend an NCO's course for five days. On April 10th 1918 he was awarded
the Military Medal, and was duly gazetted in the London Gazette. After a further four months, on August 19th, Robert was
promoted again to the NCO rank of Corporal. Just two weeks later, on August 19th, he was killed in action in France.
The following articles on how Robert met his end,
and on why he was awarded the Military Medal, come from the Kenora Miner and News (with thanks to Becky Johnston). The first
is from the front page on Wednesday September 18th 1918:
CORPL. ROBERT CURRIE
Mrs. Jane Holmes, Norman, was informed by the Director
of Records, Ottawa, yesterday that her brother, Corpl. Robert Currie had fallen in battle on Sept. 2nd. Pte Currie enlisted
and went overseas with the 94th battalion and was afterwards drafted to another battalion. Corpl. Currie had been awarded
the Military medal in recognition of the part he had taken in a raid on the German line on February 1st. He was in the employ
of the C.P.R. before going overseas and made his home with his sister at Norman.
Then a more detailed account from Saturday, October 3rd, again from the front page:
HOW LATE CORP. CURRIE WON MILITARY MEDAL
Mrs J. Holmes, Norman Receives Medal Won by Her Brother
and An Account of Gallant Action
Mrs J. Holmes, Norman, this week received the Military
Medal won by her gallant brother the late Lce.-Cpl. Robert Currie, in action in France. It was forwarded to her through the
General Officer Commanding Military District No. 10, who says "In forwarding this decoration I desire to express my appreciation
of the gallant conduct displayed by your brother on the field of battle, which merited the award of this military medal."
The following extract from the London Gazette, gives
a short account of his conduct for which he was awarded the decoration:
"Lnc-Corpl. Currie, 199201, 16th Can. Infantry battalion
- For his great bravery and personal initiative on Feb. 13. 1918. He commanded one of the leading sections of the raid and
when unanticipated wire was encountered wire was encountered he showed great pluck in getting his men through the three lines
of wire and rushing the German trench.
"With a shower of rifle grenades the gunners were chased
to their dugouts and the way made clear for the whole party. Lnce.Corpl Currie then led his party down the German front line
bombing dug-outs and inflicting a great many casualties. He brought back one prisoner. His section and the wounded were withdrawn
with the utmost precision under his direction."
Mrs Holmes also received the following letter from Lieut.
Elliott, giving an account of the death of her brother in action on September 2nd:
16th Batt. Can. Scottish, B.E.F.
Sept. 11th. 1918
Dear Mrs Holmes - I thought you might like to hear about
your brother Robert Currie from his platoon officer. I have just got back to the regiment from the hospital as I was wounded
in the previous action on the 8th. Since my return I have been making enquiries so as to get some information. I find that
Bob went over with his section and just before half way to the objective the platoon was stopped for a few minutes by a burst
of machine gun bullets. Sgt. Earwaker says that Bob was killed instantaneously. I am glad to find that he had no suffering,
it must have been just like stepping into Heaven. Bob was one of my best N.C.O.s was a clean lad in every way and was noticed
amongst the brave lads for his coolness. he was always in good humour and knew how to take the rough with the smooth. It is
very hard to lose him, and you have my deep sympathy as you have lost a very gallant brother. I was mighty proud of the platoon,
even if the place was warm, they allways followed without hesitiation. Bob has done his big share towards the peace of the
Yours very sincerely
ALECK G. ELLIOTT, Lt
Robert was buried at Dominion
Cemetery, Hendecourt-Les-Cagnicourt in Pas de Calais, France, and at grave IB 19. The Library and Archives Canada website
(http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/) hosts the Commonwealth War Graves register listing his burial. This shows that Bob was buried
in the Dominion British cemetery some 9 3/4 miles south east of Arras. The next of kin, in this case George A. Currie
(his brother), was notified in Norman, Ontario, on February 1st 1919. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website shows
that Robert was buried in grave number I. B. 19. at Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt, in the Pas de Calais, France. The site also
notes the following: Dominion Cemetery was made by Canadian units in September, 1918, after the storming by the Canadian
Corps of the Drocourt-Queant Line.
Upon his death Robert's sister was paid a $104 war service gratuity as
a dependent of a deceased soldier, being the full amount of $180 minus $76 of Special Pension Bonus paid. In this Jean Armstrong
Currie was noted as a mother and guardian of foster children.
George Armstrong Currie
George was born at 3am in Glasgow (Scotland) on April
22nd 1888, at 6 Cubie Street. His parents were noted as Jackson Currie, a pottery engine keeper, and Eliza Jane Armstrong,
who had married in Loughgilly, Armagh, on December 20th 1878. The informant was his father, who was illiterate and hence signed
the certificate with an X (NRS SP 1888 D 644/02 0637).
In 1891 George was recorded in the census as a two year
old child living with his family at 6 Cubie Street in Glasgow's Camlachie district (NRS SP 1881 644/6 6 p.1 Camlachie).
At the moment it looks very much as if in 1901 census
George was actually under detention on board HMS Empress, an industrial school ship on the Clyde, based in the Gareloch. This
is the only George Currie so far found of the right age and born in Glasgow - and crucially, he is not present with his brother
in sister whose census record has been found. More work needs to be done to stand this up.
In the 1911 census, George is to be found in the English census, by now a member of the Royal
Field Artillery. He does not appear to have been in England, however, with his enumeration district, institution or vessel
noted as Mauritius, South Africa. He was listed as a soldier, aged 22 and as having been born in Barony, N.B. (North Britain).
(Source: RG14 piece 34976 RD 641 p.5). It is unclear as yet if George saw service in the First World War, though it seems
George was the person to whom the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission notified about the burial of his brother Robert, following his death in France. His address was noted as Norman,
Ontario, though this appears to be a late addition to the Form E13 carrying details of Robert's death. An additional
card in Robert's service record, carrying details of Robert's medals entitlements in 1921 and 1922 has George down as
the recipient, but with two addresses noted. The first - Ingatestone, Essex - is crossed out, and replaced with Norman, Ontario
and a date stating 17/5/22 (the date is also recorded in a separate document). This appears to suggest that an attempt
was first made to contact George in England, before his own migration to Canada. This is further supported by the fact that
when Robert was first killed, his next of kin in documentation was noted as his sister Jeanie Holmes in Norman, Ontario.
George had in fact sailed for Canada at the age of 32, arriving in Quebec on May 29th 1920 on board
the Scandinavian, which had set off from Antwerp, Belgium. The occupation given for the country he had
set off from was 'groom', and his future intended job as 'railway'. He was noted as going to stay with his sister Mrs J. C.
Holmes in Norman, and as being Presbyterian (Source: Canadian passenger lists 1865-1935, Ancestry.co.uk). It would seem that
Robert's death was the reason for his travel to Canada, most likely to take over from his sister in handling their brother's
affairs. When George arrived in Canada he had to fill out a Form 30A document, which again noted that he intended to work
in the railways, and that his object in coming to the country was "to join relatives", listing his sister's residence as his
destination. George had $50 in his possession and had paid for his fare himself. Also of interest is that a cousin was noted
as his nearest of kin in the country he had departed - this was a W. A. Armstrong of 690 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow. The record,
dated 3 APR 1920, also notes that he had never been in an asylum, nor had tuberculosis or epilepsy (Source Ancestry.co.uk:
Form 30A Canadian arrivals).
George remained in Canada until June 19th 1931, at which point he briefly returned to Britain, sailing
from Montreal on board the S. S. Duchess of Richmond, which arrived a week later at Greenock on June 26th (Source:
Ancestry.co.uk). After a stay of just over ten weeks he returned to Canada, sailing on September 12th from Southampton for
Montreal again, having previously stayed at Bretts, Runwell, Battlesbridge, in Essex. He was noted on the passenger manifest
as a 43 year old tourist, with his profession noted as a baggage checker. Canada was noted as his country of permanent future
residence (Source: FindmyPast.co.uk). He arrived in Quebec on the 19th 1931 on board the Duchess
of York and in this record he is noted as having previously been in Canada from June 1920 to June 19th 1931, having
previousy settled in Kenora (incorrectly noted as 'Kenord'). The address he was returning to was noted as Kenora, Ontario,
P.O. Box 918. He had $180 with him when arriving at Quebec (Source: Canadian passenger lists 1865-1935, Ancestry.co.uk).
Sarah's existence came to light in July 2008, with a phone call from a relative.
It is not known when Sarah was born, but in 1881 she had made her way to Glasgow in order to give
birth to an illegimate child, fathered by Samuel Martin. The child, also named Samuel, was born on July 31st
in Glasgow's Camlachie district, but at the time Sarah's usual residence was in fact noted as 645 Gallowgate, and she was
described as a domestic servant. This address was believed to have been that of a sister.
Sarah later married, it is believed to a gent by the name of McBride, and emigrated
Children of SARAH CURRIE and SAMUEL MARTIN:
Samuel Martin (Currie)
Samuel was born at 107 East Neilson Street, Glasgow, on July 31st 1881. He was illegitmate, and was
initially christened as Samuel Martin Currie, though in later life dropped the Currie name. The birth was registered twice
in Glasgow, at Camlachie (GROS B 1881 644/02 1058) and at Dennistoun (GROS B
1881 644/03 1363).
In the 1901 Census for Cabragh, County Londonderry, Samuel was in the house of his grandmother Eliza,
and was unable to read or write. He worked as a farm servant, was unmarried, but was incorrectly listed as having been born
in Derry, as opposed to Scotland. He was listed as a Methodist by religion.
Two Samuel Martins from Knocknakielt were listed as signatories of the Ulster Covenant in 1912. Knocknakielt
was where Samuel's father was found in the 1901 census for Ireland, as a 45 year old farmer, along with his 82 year old housekeeper
and mother Mary Ann Martin, and two servants, so it is likely that the two Samuels in 1912 were father and
Annie Jane Curry - unconfirmed
b: abt. 1882
In the 1901 Census for Cabragh, County Londonderry, Annie was in the house of her grandmother Eliza,
and was unable to read or write. She was unmarried, listed as having been born in Derry, and listed as a Methodist by
It is unconfirmed that she was was Sarah's daughter, but from the position in the 1901 census entry alongside Samuel,
and being a Methodist also, with both listed immediately under Sarah and both listed as grandchildren of Eliza, it would seem
that she was likely his sister.
Eliza Jane Curry
b: abt 1860
Eliza's birth year is not yet known, but she married Joseph Bell on 6 MAR 1879 at
the Magherafelt Church of Ireland parish church. She was noted as being Anglican herself, from Cabragh, and the daughter of
Robert Curry, labourer. Joseph was from Tullylinkisay, a scutcher and the son of James Bell,
also a scutcher. Their ages have yet to be discerned. The witnesses were William Crawford and Anne Curry.
Children of ELIZA JANE CURRY and JOSEPH BELL:
Margaret was born at Killinkisay, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, on 15 JUN 1891. Her parents were noted
as Eliza Jane Curry and Joseph Bell, labourer.
b: abt 1864 d. March 1922
Isabella's existence first came to light after a phone call from a helpful
In the 1901 census, Isabella was noted as a 36 year old farm servant at
the home of her mother Eliza in Cabragh, County Londonderry. She was unable to read or write, was unmarried and a member of
the 'J. C. Church'. This church has yet to be identified.
Isabella was noted as having been buried in the the same plot as her
parents at Cabragh on March 23rd 1922.
Robert was born in Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland, on April 2nd 1864. It is believed that he
died in infancy.
William was born in Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland, on October 4th 1865.
Robert was Calum's and Jamie's great great grandfather - see below.
Arthur James Curry
Arthur was born in Bellaghy, Ballyscullion, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, Ireland, on June 22nd 1869,
and also christened in Bellaghy (source: Emerald Ancestors website, uncited).
In 1890 Arthur emigrated to the United States, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1898 he
sponsored the further migration of his brother Clarke from Derry to Philadelphia, the passenger manifest
for Clarke noting that Arthur was resident at 64 William Street, Kensington, Philadelphia (Source: EllisIsland.org).
In the 1900 US Federal census, Arthur is noted as being resident in Philadelphia at 2208 Adams Street.
He was listed as Arthur J. Curry, aged 29, and as an Irish carpet weaver. He had been in the US for 10 years, having arrived
in 1890, and had been married for eight years to an Irish woman by the name of Ester (Esther)
Hudson. Their parents were both Irish also. Ester was aged 32 and had arrived in the US in 1885. The couple had had
five children, but only one of them was still alive in 1910, 3 year old Robert J. Curry, born in Pennsylvania.
(Source: 1900 US census, Philadephia, ward 31, Roll 1473, p.4B, ED 0787, FHL film 1241473;
accessed via Ancestry.co.uk 27 Feb 2014).
Esther died at the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia on 20 MAY 1910. Her
death record notes that she was a married housewife aged 44, and was born in Ireland, her parents being John Hudson and Margaret
Marks, both Irish. The cause of death was acute anaemia and uterine haemorrhage. She was buried on 24 MAY 1910 at N. Cedar
Hill Cemetery. (Source: Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, index and images, FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JKSB-54V: accessed 27 FEB 2014)
Children of ARTHUR CURRY and ESTHER:
Robert James Curry
Robert was born on 30 APR 1897, as noted on his First World War draft papers (Source: FamilySearch.org).
Robert was noted as being three in the 1900 US Federal Census for Philadelphia. He resided with his
parents at 2208 Adams Street in the city's ward 31. (Source: 1900 US census, Philadephia, ward 31, Roll 1473, p.4B, ED 0787,
FHL film 1241473; accessed via Ancestry.co.uk 27 Feb 2014).
At the age of 21, Robert was drafted into the US Army, on 5 JUN 1918. His draft registration card
notes that he was born in Philadelphia on 30 APR 1897 and was self-employed, working in Montgomery County. He was an American
citizen, resided at resident at R7P No. 1 Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, and was the son of Arthur James Curry
of Knockloughrim, Co. Derry Ireland. Arthur was himself noted as his nearest relative and was also resident at R7P No.
1 Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania. Robert had blue eyes and brown hair. (Source: US WW1 Draft Registration Cards 1917-18, FamilySearch,
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K6VR-ZYV accessed 27 FEB 2014; NARA microfilm M1509, FHL microfilm 1907294)
Margaret Anne Curry
Margaret was born in Bellaghy, Ballyscullion, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, Ireland, on March 6th
1871, and also christened in Bellaghy (source: Emerald Ancestors website, uncited).
Hannah was born in Bellaghy, Ballyscullion, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, Ireland, on October 18th
1872, and also christened in Bellaghy (Source: Emerald Ancestors website, uncited).
Hannah married John Wylie at Currin Presbyterian Church (parish of Currin),
Maghera, Magherafelt, on 22 NOV 1893. She was noted as of full age, resident at Broagh, and the daughter of Robert
Curry - his occupation was caretaker (presumably of the National School next door to his home). John was also of
full age, the son of Joseph Wylie, and a coachman from Wallhook. The witnesses were a James Marshall and
Mary Kelso (Source: PRONI MIC 1P/338, Curran, Maghera).
In the 1901 Census for Cabragh, County Londonderry, Hannah was listed with her family of four children,
though without her husband, at the home of her mother. She was described as a 25 year old married woman, who could read and
write, and who was a member of the Church of Ireland.
Child of HANNAH CURRIE and JOHN WYLIE:
b: abt. 1893
Maggie was born in about 1893 and was recorded in the 1901 census for Cabragh, County Londonderry,
at her grandmother's house. She was born in Co. Derry, was a scholar who could read, though not write, and was an adherent
of the Church of Ireland.
William J. Wylie
b: abt. 1895
William was born in about 1895 and was recorded in the 1901 census for Cabragh, County Londonderry,
at his grandmother's house. He was born in Co. Derry, was a scholar, could neither read nor write, and was an adherent of
the Church of Ireland.
b: abt. 1897
Joseph was born in about 1897 and was recorded in the 1901 census for Cabragh, County
Londonderry, at his grandmother's house. He was born in Co. Derry, was a scholar, though could neither read nor write, and
was an adherent of the Church of Ireland.
b: abt. 1900
Herbert was born in about 1900 and was recorded in the 1901 census for Cabragh, County
Londonderry, at his grandmother's house. He was born in Co. Derry, and was listed as an adherent of the Church of Ireland.
Clarke was born in Londonderry, County Londonderry, Ireland, on August 5th 1875.
Thanks to Clarke's great great granddaughter Stephanie for contacting me in the February 2014
to let me know that Clarke emigrated to the United States in February 1898. The Ellis Islands records in fact noted that he
was aged 21 (in fact 22) and sailed to New York on board the S.S. Anchoria from Londonderry on January 28th 1898. He was noted
as a farm labourer last resident at Derry, able to read and write, and single. His final destination was to be Philadelphia,
with his passage there paid by his brother Arthur, resident at 64 William Street, Kensington, Philadelphia (source:
Clarke married Jennie M. Wilson in Philadelphia in 1900 (Source: FamilySearch.org,
Philadelphia Marriage Index, year: 1900, license number 120746, image 00371). Jennie appears to have also gone by the name
Minnie, as noted in the 1910 US Federal census. Jennie was the daughter of James Wilson
and Margaret Anderson, and was born in Ireland on 22 FEB 1876, as noted in her death record in 1911. (A James
Wilson and Margaret Anderson did exist in Co. Tyrone at this point, and raised a family there, but more work needs to be carried
out to establish if this was them, as no Jennie is noted amongst their children on RootsIreland.ie).
In the 1910 census, Clarke was noted as aged 32 and had been married for 10 years. He was born in
Ireland, as were both parents, and arrived in the US in 1898 (mistakenly indexed on Ancestry as 1892). He resided at Glenwood
Avenue, was a fireman in a Power House, and was in employment at the time. He could read and write. Also in the house was
his 33 year old wife Minnie, who was noted as also being Irish, having arrived in the US in 1883, and who
had given birth to 6 children, of whom four were still alive. The couple had four children with them in the house, all born
in Pennsylvania - Jennie, aged 10, Marion, aged 8, Edith G Curry, aged
2, and Sadie ("Saddie") aged less than a year. Jennie and Marion could read and write. Also present was Clarke's
28 year old nephew from Ireland, Samuel Curry, who had also arrived in the US in 1892, and who worked as
a labourer in a factory (Source: 1910 US census, Philadephia, ward 33, Roll T624_1405, p.20B, ED 0806, FHL film 1375418;
accessed via Ancestry.co.uk 27 Feb 2014).
At 2.40am on March 24th 1911, Jennie passed away in the Philadelphia Hospital for Contagious Diseases,
some fourteen hours after admission. The cause of death was scarlatina (haemorrhagica). Clark was the informant,
and was noted as resident at 200 Glenwood Avenue. Jennie's parents details were also noted, as well as her birth date (see
above). She was buried at North Cedar Hill Cemetery on March 25th. (Source: Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915,
index and images, FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11865-25113-98: accessed 28 FEB 2014)
Little more is known about Clarke save that it is believed that he died in Chicago, Illinois, in the
1930s, though this has still to be confirmed. A Clarke Curry was certainly found to have naturalised in Chicago on 1 MAY 1928,
his place of origin noted as being "Gt Brit. & Ireland". The date of birth on the record is given as 4 AUG 1877, rather
than the correct 5 AUG 1875. The witnesses were Rupert Hanlon McIvor and Arthur McMahon. Charles address was given as
4201 Emerald Avenue, Chicago (the same address as Arthur McMahon). (Source: Illinois Northern District 9 Naturalizations 1850-1950,
NARA publication M1285, roll 35; accessed FindmyPast.com on 27 FEB 2014).
Children of CLARKE CURRY and JENNIE WILSON:
b: 14/11/1900 d: 1972
Jennie was born on 14 NOV 1900 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The record mistakenly has her surname
recorded as Currey (Source: Philadelphia City Births 1860-1906 index, FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VB19-DDF: accessed 27 FEB 2014).
Jennie died in Florida in 1972 (Source: Stephanie White, Feb 2014)
b: abt 1902
Marion was born in Pennsylvania in about 1902. She was noted with her parents in Glenwood Avenue in
the 1910 US Federal census for Philadelphia, Pennylvania.
Marion died in 1912 (Source: Stephanie White, Feb 2014)
At 10pm on 13 JUN 1909, Clarke died at the age of 3 years and 10 months of acute endocarditis,
at 200 W. Glenwood Avenue, Philadelphia, 33rd ward. He was subsequently buried on 16 JUN 1909 at N. Cedar Hill, Philadelphia.
The record notes that his father was Clarke Curry Sr of Ireland and his mother Jennie Wilson, of Philadelphia. The undertaker
was Joshua L. Wildey. (Source: Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, index and images, FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JD5Z-ZZ6: accessed 27 FEB 2014)
Edith Gertrude Curry
b: abt 1908
Edith was born in Philadelphia in about 1908, according to the 1910 US Federal census for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She was resident at Glenwood Avenue in ward 33 of the city, alongside her family. (Source: 1910 US census, Philadephia,
ward 33, Roll T624_1405, p.20B, ED 0806, FHL film 1375418; accessed via Ancestry.co.uk 27 Feb 2014)
Edith married Richard Lansing, and had at least one son.
CHILDREN of Edith CURRY and Richard LANSING:
Sarah (Sadie) Curry
b: abt 1910
Sadie was just a few months old when recorded in Philadelphia in the US Federal census of 1910. She was resident at Glenwood
Avenue in ward 33 of the city, alongside her family. (Source: 1910 US census, Philadephia, ward 33, Roll T624_1405, p.20B,
ED 0806, FHL film 1375418; accessed via Ancestry.co.uk 27 Feb 2014)
Sadie later married Eugene White Sr and had three children.
CHILDREN of Sadie CURRY and Eugene WHITE Sr:
Eugene White Jr
b: 20/3/1911 d: 31/3/1911
This second child named Clark led a tragically short life. He was born in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, on
20 MAR 1911, but passed away at 11am on 31 MAR 1911 at 200 W. Glenwood Avenue in the city (33rd ward), the cause being intestinal
indigestion, and cardiac failure. The record notes that he had been fed artificially, rather than by breast, and that his
parents were Clark Curry and Jennie Wilson, both of Ireland. As with his older brother, Clarke was also buried at N.
Cedar Hill, Philadelphia, on 3 APR 1911. (Source: Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915, index and images, FamilySearch
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JD5P-1Y3: accessed 27 FEB 2014)
30/7/1867 - 17/7/1940
Robert was Calum's and Jamie's great great grandfather.
Robert was born in Cabragh
in the parish of Termoneeny, Bellaghy, Londonderry, Ireland, on July 30th 1867.
The first record we have of Robert after his birth is from the Belfast
Newsletter of Thursday, November 1st 1888, where Robert had basically gotten himself into a bit of trouble alongsiden his
cousins Jackson and John Curry of Broagh:
MAGHERAFELT PETTY SESSIONS
This court was held yesterday, the magistrates present being - Mr. Garret Nagle,
R.M. (in the chair); Dr. Auterson, Mr. James Harbison , Mr. Thomas Wilson, Mr. J. Kelly, and Mr. H. C. Mann. John Patterson,
George Patterson, Wm. Stewart, John Stewart, jun., Jas. Stewart and Robert Kennedy, of Curran; Adam Sturgeon, Dawson McCleery,
and John McCleery, of Toberhead; Jackson Curry and John Curry, of Broagh; and Robert
Curry, jun., of Calragh (sic), were charged at the suit of District-Inspector
Bain, Magherfelt, with conduct calculated to lead to a breach of the peace towards William O' Neill and others, and requiring
them to show cause why they should not be bound to the peace. Mr. Brown appeared for all the defendants. William O' Neill,
blacksmith, proved that a crowd with drums had assembled in Curran on the 23rd October and burned effigies composed of some
inflammable material. Cross-examined - Witness was not frightened; he was only agitated. Other witnesses were examined who
gave similar evidence. It was in his house the lodge met. A crowd assembled as usual to amuse themselves, but they interfered
with no-one. Saw O'Neill on the street with his coat off. Other evidence having been given, Mr. Brown addressed the Court
for the defendants. The magistrates bound all the defendants, except Robert Lemon and Jackson Curry,
to keep the peace - themselves in £10 and two sureties in £5 each.
At some stage after
1891, Robert travelled to Scotland and on October 27th 1899, whilst working as a saw mill labourer, he married 32
year old steam loom weaver Lizzie Morrow, daughter of labourer George Morrow and Jane Mitchell (both deceased), in
a ceremony at Emmanuel Church, Camlachie, Glasgow, performed according to the rites of the Free Church of Scotland. At
the time, Robert was living at 19 Marquis Street in Glasgow, whilst Lizzie was resident at 136 Bernard Street in the city's
Bridgeton district. The witnesses to the wedding were Jane C.Neil and William Patton, with
the minister being the Reverend James H. Toody Ruison (?). The marriage was subsequently registered in Glasgow on October
In the 1901 census, Robert is listed as being at 35 Dunn Street in Dalmarnock (GROS: 1901/644/1/17
p.21). He is described as a 33 year old saw mill labourer, married to Lizzie, now listed as a col ed weaver,
and his mother in law Jane, now widowed, and his sister in law Ellen, also working as a
col ed weaver. The tenement they all shared had two rooms with one or more windows.
October 1909, Robert was listed as a lorryman in his daughter's birth register entry, and resident at the Dalmarnock Road
1911, Robert is again listed at 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road in the Glasgow Valuation Rolls. In the 1911 census, recorded on April
2nd, he is noted as a 44 year old lorryman working at a sawmill, Irish, and married for eleven years, with three children
all still alive. Also presenty were his wife Lizzie, aged 42, son Robert aged 8, and daughters
Jennie (i.e. Jean), aged 6 and Margaret V. Currie Elizabeth Morrow (sic), aged
1. His mother in-law Jane Morrow was also present, aged 87 and living on private means, and his sister in
law Ellen Morrow, a 36 year old charwoman working for the school board and also Irish (SP 1911 644/01 008/00
the following year, Robert signed the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant on Saturday, September 28th (Ulster Day), at 100 Wellington
Street, Glasgow, in which he declared that he was from Knockloughrim in County Derry. By 1918, both Robert and Elizabeth were
listed in the electoral register at the same address, with Robert working as a porter.
It is possible that Robert was
a Mason, possibly Lodge 245 (see below), and was also a grand master of a Royal Black Preceptory Lodge in Glasgow. His grandson
Colin Paton, born five years after his death, was always told by his mother that when the 12th July came
every year, the order would arrive at Robert's house and escort him to his horse and coach, and would fall in behind him prior
to their march. When Robert's daughter Jean turned 18 years of age in 1918, he got her to sign up to the woman's equivalent
to the masons, the Order of the Eastern Star.
By the time of his son's wedding in 1927, Robert had changed careers
and was working as an electric pillar box inspector. The next mention we have of Robert is the tragic fact that he was present
at the death of his son Robert two years later in 1929.
Both Robert and Elizabeth are both found listed every year
up to the 1939/1940 register at the house on Dalmarnock Road. It was here that Robert died on July 17th 1940, at 5pm, of paralysis
and prophic ulceration cardiac syncope, as certified by Doctor L.L.Fotheringham. At the time of his death he was described
as a Corporation Labourer, presumably meaning that he worked for the Glasgow Corporation. His death was registered by his
widow Elizabeth on the following day (GROS:1940/644/2/325).
Robert left no will, and upon his death
the following notices appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times:
Thursday, July 18th 1940
CURRIE - At 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road,
Bridgeton, Glasgow, on 17th July (after a lingering illness), Robert Currie, beloved husband of Elizabeth Morrow - Funeral
Tuesday, 23rd July 1940
CURRIE - Mrs Currie and family desire
to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for letters of sympathy and beautiful floral tributes received in their recent
sad bereavement: also doctor and Major Thomson for kind attention; and Taylor Bros for efficient funeral arrangements - 187
1/2 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow, SE.
CHILDREN of ROBERT CURRIE and ELIZABETH MORROW:
b: 19/12/1902 d: 10/2/1929
Robert was born at 2.00am on December 19th 1902,
at 121 Old Dalmarnock Road, Camlachie, Glasgow, Scotland. His mother informed the registrar on January 5th 1903 (GROS:1903/644/1/027).
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, Robert was noted as living at 187 1/2 Dalmarnock
Road with his parents, siblings, aunt Ellen Morrow and maternal grandmother Jane Morrow (nee Mitchell).
He was aged 8 and attending school (SP 1911 644/01 008/00 021).
Robert took up work as a joiner, presumably having gone through an apprenticeship prior to working
full time on his own. On March 25th 1927, Robert married 29 year old biscuit packer Elizabeth Woods Harvey, daughter
of telephone linesman Thomas Harvey and Mary Wilson, at Gillespie United Free Church, Glasgow, in a ceremony perfomed according
to the rites of the United Free Church of Scotland. At the time of the ceremony, Robert lived at 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road,
whilst Elizabeth was resident at 612 Gallowgate. Robert's father, also Robert Currie, was listed as an electric pillar box
inspector. The service was performed by the Reverend John Gillespie, and the witnesses were John Harvey of 612 Gallogate and
Robert's sister Jean, of 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road. The service was registered in Glasgow on the 28th (GROS:1927/644/03/148).
however, was never to enjoy a long married life with his new wife. At 12.45am on February 10th 1929 he died at home
of 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road, Bridgeton, at the age of 26, the cause being nephritis cardiac syncope, basically a kidney
related heart disease. His father, listed as an electricity boxman, was present at his son's side when
he died, and duly informed the registrar on the 11th (GROS:1929/644/1/272).
Robert did not leave a will, and upon his
death, the following notice appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times of February 15th 1929:
Mrs Currie and family desire to thank Rev.A.L.Bennett, the doctor, Nurses Craig amd Watson, and Lodge 245, Masonic V (Masonic
Veterans) Association for their kind attention; also Todd's Pipe Band and Taylor Bros, undertakers, for the admirable way
everything was conducted and relations and friends for their kind expressions of sympathy and floral tributes in their recent
sad bereavement - 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow, SE.
Robert's nephew Colin Paton was told as child by his mother
that his uncle Bobbie was a master of a local Bridgeton Orange Lodge, following in his father's footsteps, though this
has still to be confirmed.
Elizabeth Margaret Morrow Victoria Currie
b: 17/10/1909 d: 5/7/1975
Elizabeth was in fact known throughout her life as 'Vicky', and was born
at 9.00am on October 17th 1909, at 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow (GROS:1909/644/1/1608). At the time of her
birth, her father was described as a lorryman, and he registered her birth on November 5th. She was initially christened
Elizabeth Morrow Henderson Victoria Currie, but her name was changed on December 13th to Elizabeth
Morrow Margaret Victoria Currie in the baptismal register, which states:
Alteration made at baptism. The above alteration is
made on the authority of a certificate in the form of schedule under the hand of the Reverend Robert Turnbull, Minister of
Barrowfield Parish, Glasgow. Dec 13th 1909 at Glasgow.
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, she was noted as Margaret V. Currie Elizabeth
Morrow, and living at 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road with her parents, siblings, aunt Ellen Morrow and
maternal grandmother Jane Morrow (nee Mitchell). She was aged 1 (SP 1911 644/01 008/00 021).
On November 10th 1931, Vicky married Angus MacDonald Gray
at the Church of Scotland in east Bridgeton, Glasgow. Angus was the son of former journeyman George Coghill Gray,
and Jessie Wilson MacDonald, and was a former journeyman himself at the time of the wedding, living at 222
Dunn Street. Vicky was herself still at the family home of 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road, and was working as a domestic servant.
The minister to the wedding was the Reverend David Horner Phillips, whilst the witnesses were Thomas Gray
(presumably Angus' brother) and Calum's great grandmother Jeanne Currie (as the name was spelt on the register).
The marriage was registered on November 13th, two days later (GROS:1931/644/1/202).
The couple went on to have three children, Betty, Joy and Vicky, and continued
to live in Bridgeton, settling at 1089 London Road, close to the Celtic FC ground.
Vicky died at 3.30am on July 5th 1975 at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow,
the cause being myocardial infarction and coronery artery thrombosis. At the time of her death she was listed as a widow,
still living at 1089 London Road. The informant to the registrar was her grandson, James A. Burn, who was living at 2 Heston
Avenue, Heston, Middlesex (GROS:1975/611/#488). Vicky did not leave a will. On Monday 7th July, the following notice
appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times:
GRAY - At the Royal Infirmary Glasgow om
5th July, 1975 - VICTORIA CURRIE GRAY, dearly loved mother of Betty, Joy and Vicky, 1089 London Road, Glasgow - Service at
Taylor Bros Parlour, 517 London Road, Glasgow tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12.50pm, funeral thereafter to Riddrie Park Cemetery.
CHILDREN of ELIZABETH CURRIE and
(i) Jessie MacDonald Gray
Jessie was born in Glasgow.
Jessie married stereotyper James Ferguson, son of furnace man
James Durkin Ferguson and Margaret Gardner. At the time of the wedding Jessie was a clerk
living at her family home of 1089 London Road, whilst James lived at 12 Risk Street. The wedding took place in Bridgeton,
with the witnesses being Neil Bell from 87 Parson Street and M. Kerr from 11 Braidfauld Street, both in Glasgow.
Jessie and James went on to have two children, James and
Bruce. But tragically, in 1961, Bruce, at only two years of age, was killed in a car accident on the London
Road in Glasgow, an incident which must have been devastating for them. The marriage
was not to last, and the couple soon after separated and divorced.
Jessie remarried, to 30 year old radio technician David Burns,
son of widowed labourer David Burns, and Isabella McNulty (deceased). The witnesses this
time were David's brother Joseph Burns, from 19 Edmonton Terrace in East Kilbride, and Jessie's sister Victoria.
Jessie and David had a daughter called Amanda.
It is not known where Jessie and David currently reside, although no death entries
have been found for them inScotland, so it is assumed that they are alive and well - if so, please get in touch!
CHILD of JESSIE GRAY and JAMES FERGUSON:
(a) James Angus Ferguson
James was born at at his mother's home of 1089 London Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow.
His father registered the birth on the 8th.
James informed the Glasgow registrar of his grandmother's death in July 1975.
At the time he was listed as living at 2 Heston Avenue, Heston, Middlesex, with his name now written as James A. Burns,
suggesting that his name was changed when his mother remarried.
James' whereabouts are currently unknown.
(b) Bruce MacDonald Ferguson
b: 15/1/1959 d: 22/8/1961
Bruce was born at his granny's home of 1089 London Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow,
on January 15th 1959, at 5.20am. The family address at that point was 41 Blairdardie Road, Glasgow. Bruce's father informed
the registrar on the 21st (GROS:1959/644/2/66).
Bruce was tragically killed when run over by a car. His death was registered
on November 30th 1961 by his father, and the cause of death is listed as a compound fracture of the skull and cerebral laceration.
He died in an ambulance somewhere between London Road and 255 Duke Street in Glasgow. In the ensuing report for the
Register of Corrected Entries the cause of death is listed as "multiple injuries sustained as a result of being struck
and knocked down by a motor vehicle", the death occurring "at about 4.45pm on 22nd August 1961 in London Road, Glasgow, at
or in an ambulance between there and 253 Duke Street, Glasgow" (NRS SP: RCE-Vol12/41/1088).
Although there was no death notice in either the Glasgow Herald or the Evening
Times, a note of acknowledgement was placed in the Evening Times on Tuesday, August 29th 1961 (p.24):
FERGUSON - Mr and Mrs FERGUSON and FAMILY
sincerely wish to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours, Bridgeton and Knightswood, for lovely floral tributes, cards,
letters, and kind expressions of sympathy received in their sad bereavement; also Glasgow Police; the Rev. Mr Harrison for
sincere sermon; and Taylor Bros for all arrangements - 41 Blairardie Road W3.
(c) David Bruce Ferguson
David was born at 1089 London Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow.
CHILDREN of JESSIE GRAY and DAVID BURNS:
(d) Amanda Joy Burns
Amanda was born at 703 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow. Her father informed
the Glasgow registrar on April 5th.
(ii) Victoria Currie Gray
Vicky was born at Robroyston Hospital in Glasgow. At the time of her birth,
the family home was still 1089 London Road. Her mother informed the Glasgow registrar.
|Vicky and her cousin Colin in Carrickfergus, October 1961
In 1961, Vicky made a trip to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland to see her aunt
Jean and cousins, at their home of Robinson's Row, in the Joymount area of the town.
Vicky married 20 year old joiner Francis John McCrindle on June
17th 1967. Francis was the son of joiner John McCrindle and Ruth McGregor, and at the time
of the wedding he was living at 10 Wood Street, whilst Vicky was herself working as a carpet weaver. The witnesses to the
wedding were James and Isabel Wilson, from 51 Fairburn Street. But the wedding did not last long, for on January 21st 1971
a divorce decree was granted to the couple.
It is not known where Vicky is at present, but it is presumed that she is still
CHILDREN of VICTORIA GRAY and FRANCIS McCRINDLE:
(i) Michelle Jennifer McCrindle
Michelle was born at 5.25am on December 4th 1968, at Belvidere Hospital
in Glasgow. At the time of her birth, Michelle's parents were resident at 137 Petershill Road in Glasgow. Her father informed
the registrar on the 26th (GROS:1968/644/3/1715).
There are no death or wedding entries listed for Michelle in Scotland, and
so it is assumed that she is either single and still resident in the country, or that she has left Scotland.
If you're reading this Michelle, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from
b: 26/9/1904 d: 2/2/1978
Calum's and Jamie's great grandmother - see below.
Jane (Jean) Currie
26/9/1904 - 2/2/1978
Jane was Calum's and Jamie's paternal
|Jane Paton (Currie) - Belfast 1938
Jane Currie. more colloquially known as Jean, was born at her
tenement home of 187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow, Scotland, at 07.50, 26th September, 1904, the second eldest in her
In the 1911 census, recorded on April 2nd, Jean was noted as Jennie, and living at
187 1/2 Dalmarnock Road with her parents, siblings, aunt Ellen Morrow and maternal grandmother Jane
Morrow (nee Mitchell). She was aged 6 and attending school (SP 1911 644/01 008/00 021).
Jean's home at Dalmarnock Road was situated in Glasgow's Bridgeton district, and she
would therefore have attended school in Bridgeton. With her family's Ulster origins, they would have been Unionist in their
political persuasions, and Protestant to the core.
With her father in the Royal Black Preceptory, Jean, her sister Vicky,
and her brother Robert, would undoubtedly have enjoyed the big Orange parades in Glasgow every July 12th,
watching her father march alongside his lodge's brethren. Her father was also a mason, and obviously made such an
impact on his daughter that shortly after her 18th birthday, on November 14th 1922, Jean became a life member of
the Order of the Eastern Star in Glasgow, the women's version of the Masons. The following is the transcript of her ordination
The Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland
Order of the Eastern Star
Having Jurisdiction Over the British Dominions except
on the Continent of America
To the members of the Order wheresoever dispersed,
Whereas, Chapter The Bridgeton, No. 88, on our Roll,
and under our jurisdiction, hath craved us to issue a Diploma in Testimony of legal admission into the Order in favour of
the Person herein after mentioned._
These are to witness that Jean M. Currie whose signature
is adhibited on the side hereof was regularly admitted a Member of said Chapter upon the Fourteenth day of November,
1922, and is duly enrolled in our books.
As such, we commend her to the fraternal regard of
all Members of the Order.
Hannah M. Millar, Most Worthy Grand Matron
William Whyte, Most Worthy Grand Patron
William Bryce, Worthy Grand Secretary
Register No. 55,500
According to her youngest son Colin, Jean always carried this document with her in her
handbag everywhere she went, as it could open doors for her! Ad any time she would see a masonic trinket in a thrift shop,
she would buy it and return it to the lodge from whence it originated. Also contained inside the wallet housing her induction
paper is her life membership card:
|Jean's Eastern Star membership card
Life Membership Card
"The Bridgeton" Chapter, No. 88
We hereby Certify that
Jeannie M. Currie
has been enrolled as a LIFE MEMBER
12th December, 1922
Agnes Barrie, ...W.M.
Jean P. McDowall ...Secy.
Kate L. Manson ...Treas.
Signature,... Jean M. Currie
On 25th March 1927, Jean was a witness at her brother Robert's wedding to Elizabeth
Woods Harvey, a biscuit packer from the Gallowgate. But tragedy hit her and her family, when less than two years
later, Robert died at the young age of 26 of a liver disease. Jean was only 25 at the time.
On the 10th November 1931, Jean was again a witness at her sister Vicky's wedding
to Angus MacDonald Gray, signing her name as Jeanne in the wedding register.
|Jean Paton - Carrickfergus 1961
On 28th September 1934, Jane married 29 year old wireless salesman Charles Paton, son of deceased shopkeeper David Hepburn Paton and his
widow Jessie MacFarlane. The wedding took place at St. Johns Chalmers Parish Church, and the minister was the Reverend Robert Jack.
The church, located at Charlotte Street, between Glasgow Cross and Bridgeton Cross, is no longer there, having closed 23 years
ago. The wedding was registered a few days later on October 1st at the Rutherglen Registrary Office. The witnesses to the
wedding were Jane's sister Vicky Currie, and James Glen Mason (GROS:1934/654/215).
After getting married in Glasgow, the couple moved to Belfast in Northern Ireland around 1936. They
stayed initially at 40 Whitewell Crescent in Greencastle, on the northern outskirts of the city, but little did they know
of the frying pan that they had just leaped into, with war declared between the UK and Germany in 1939. Just three weeks into
the war, on September 29th, a national register was compiled by means of a special census. Jean was noted with her husband
Charlie and son Robert at 40 Whitewell Crescent. Jean's date of birth was noted as September 27th 1904 and she was noted as
a housewife. Her national register number, later to become her national health number, was noted as UAFH/849/2.
|Jean's identity card from World War 2 (stamped 3 Jun 1943)
Initially Northern Ireland endured a quiet war, almost
to the point where its government and population had become completely complacent. But then, on the night of April 15th 1941,
Easter Tuesday, the German Luftwaffe blitzkrieg attack of Belfast began. The following is taken from Brian Barton's book
The Blitz: Belfast in the War Years (p.109):
At Greencastle the raid erupted with dramatic suddenness and ferocity.
After the siren had sounded, local air raid precautions wardens had been warning residents to take cover during the delay.
Then suddenly they caught site of a parachute mine coming down nearby. They had just time to fling themselves to the ground
when it fell in the middle of Veryan Gardens with a vibrating crash that seemed to shatter the neighbourhood. Almost immediately
afterwards, it was followed by another, coming from the direction of the Whitewell Road. In a matter of seconds the whole
area had been devastated. Almost 130 homes in Vandyck Gardens and Veryan Gardens were demolished or severely damaged. A woman
who was taking a bath was blown thirty feet into the Serpentine Road and died from her injuries. At number 45 Veryan Gardens
eight members of the Danby family were killed instantly by the first blast; twenty-five residents in the street died. James
Makemson, a member of the Local Defence Volunteers, remembers bricks from houses 250 yards away being hurled through the roof
of his home in Whitewell Park.
Scarcely had the wardens recovered their faculties when they witnessed
an 'appalling sight'. Several hundreds of terrified, screaming people came rushing from their wrecked houses, and began running
down the Whitewell Road. Some of them were seriously injured. Police Constable James Hawthorne later recalled: 'All had one
objective - to get away from it.' Unfortunately there was nowhere safe to go: no shelter had been built in an area so remote
from any identifiable target. There were 170 casualties, 46 of them fatal. they were tended wherever cover could be found
- houses with rooms still intact, fields and ditches; many, a warden recorded, 'were too dazed or distracted to understand
Veryan Gardens was in fact a continuation
of Whitewell Crescent; Vandyck Gardens and Serpentine Road the next streets along from them. What the book does not record
is the fact that Jean's house, at 40 Whitewell Crescent, was also hit. Her son Robert was just two and a
half years old at that time, but still recalls the night vividly. When the house was blitzed, Robert recalls his father grabbing
him and getting himself, his wife and his baby brother Charlie out through the back door,
and running up the road to an air raid shelter - possibly with the very crowds described in Barton's book. Robert particularly
recalls this, because en route to the shelter, his father dropped him accidentally, and he landed on his head! For the
next few days, the family slept in a barn, until they were eventually given the house next door to live in, at 42 Whitewell
Crescent, a fact which is confirmed in the Belfast directories for that period. They were now to
remain here until 1951.
Having moved next door, Jean and Charlie continued to raise
their family comprising of four children, with Robert and Charlie soon joined by Sheila and Colin.
Jean's husband worked during the war for the RAF, and afterwards became the manager of a radio shop in Belfast. Their youngest
son Colin, later to become Calum's and Jamie's grandfather, remembers that they were the first household on their street to
get a television, and that they were a relatively prosperous middle class family at that stage.
After the war, and perhaps during as well, Jean and
the kids travelled occasionally with her husband Charles over to Scotland on holiday.
In approximately 1950, Jean and Charles went through
a traumatic time when their daughter Sheila was diagnosed as having contracted polio. She was treated at
Purdysburn Hospital in Belfast, and Sheila remembers that at one point, when it was feared that the virus had spread its way
to her brain, one of the nurses suggested that it was time to fetch her father, as it was not believed that she had a strong
chnace of surviving. However, Sheila pulled through, and for a few years after would wear calipers to help her when walking.
Around 1951/1952 Jean and Charles separated, with Jean leaving
her three sons with Charles, and taking their daughter Sheila with her back to Scotland. Their youngest
son Colin remembers his mother coming into his bedroom just before she left, kissing him on the cheek, and saying
"Remember Colin that you're mother loves you", and then watching as she left the room, not to see her again for
nearly two years. Sheila remembers being awoken that night by her mother, dressed and told to go outside to
the fence, where a bag had been packed and left under a hedge. Jean was making an exit from the house without her husband
knowing. They fetched the bag and secretly made their way to the Shore Road near Greencastle, to the house of a woman
that Sheila remembers as being called "Aunt Lilly", and from there they made their way to Larne where they got a
North Sea ferry across to Scotland. Arriving in Scotland, both Jean and Sheila then made their way north to Auchterarder
in Perthshire, where Jean had already obtained work as a domestic servant at the huge Gleneagles Hotel, her job being to supervise
the laundry in the hotel etc.
Whilst Jean stayed in a servant's room at Gleneagles, Sheila
had to stay in Auchterarder village with an elderly lady called Mrs. King, and her son, Charles,
who she remembers made her life hell!!! Jean enrolled Sheila into a local school in the town. Sheila remembers how
she had to sneak into the back door of Gleneagles Hotel, and up a small stone, spiral staircase to secretly meet up with
her mother whenever she could.
Two years after Jean moved to Scotland, both
she and her daughter returned to Northern Ireland, with Jean obtaining digs for them at Gainsborough Drive just off the
York Road area of North Belfast. Sheila remembers that both she and her mother went looking for the three boys, Robert, Charlie
and Colin on the Sandy Row (they had moved whilst Jean was away), and when they got to the street, found them playing outside. Jean
did not want them to reveal their presence at that point, and the two of them just spent several minutes watching them all
playing together on the street.
Jean subsequently regained custody of all the
children, and the five of them moved to Carrickfergus shortly after. From this point on, Sheila and her mother did
not get on too well, her blond hair and looks marking her out as her father's daughter, and she remembers how her mother would
often blame her or Charlie if their father did not turn up with the shilling he was supposed to pay as alimnony to her mother
- Jean used to call them both a jinx!
|Jean inside her house at Joymount, Carrickfergus - 1965
According to her son Charles, it was not to be until
some two years later that Jean returned to Northern Ireland, whereupon she took custody of all of her children again. It is
not known what prompted her to return to Belfast, it may be that she was feeling guilty about having left her three sons behind,
or it may be that her husband Charles had contacted her to do so, as shortly after he moved to Liverpool in England.
Jean moved to 115 Loughview Drive in Eden, just outside
Carrickfergus, a small cottage which was a holiday home. When the owner asked her to leave just prior to the holiday season
kicking in, she took the family to another cottage in Eden called The Drift, based at 77 Larne Road. In Eden, Jean's children
attended Eden Primary School. Later, the family moved to 2 Robinsons Row in Joymount, on the sea front at Carrickfergus,
and her children attended Carrickfergus Technical College for their secondary level education.
Whilst living in Carrick,
Jean had a variety of jobs. She worked for Dr. W. F. Green as his housekeeper, in the surgery which was later to become the
Four Seas Chinese Restaurant on the Marine Highway. She also cleaned for Squadron Leader Tommy Hutton on the Larne Road, and
at Dobbins Inn Hotel on the High Street. Jean also worked at the Albion factory by Shaftesbury Park in Joymount.
Jean's deep rooted Scottish Presbyterian nature
is well illustrated by a story concerning her eldest son Robert. On one particular Sunday, Robert arrived at the house with
a new girlfriend. Jean invited her in, called her son Colin and asked him to take the young girl's coat off her, whilst
she started to make some tea. In talking to the girl, Jean asked if this was her first time out today? The girl replied
that it was not, as she had previously attended mass at the Roman Catholic chapel earlier that morning. Without hesitation,
Jean called her son Colin again, and told her to fetch the girl's coat, as she was now leaving...!!!
|Jean with her son Colin at the commissioning ceremony of HMS Warspite - April 4th 1967
Another quirky story showing Jean's personality occurred just after the
launch of the Royal Naval submarine, HMS Warspite. As part of the submarine's commissioning, and whilst it was docked at base, a
reception was held on April 4th 1967 to celebrate the achievement of her having entered service in the Royal Navy. As
a part of this ceremony, Jean had the honour to be invited to come on board the vessel as a guest in the Ward
Room (the officers' mess), along with many other relatives of the crew. The guest of honour for the ceremony was the
wife of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who was also present in the Ward Room. At one point in the reception, Colin took his
mother to introduce her to the Prime Minister's wife, saying "Mum, I'd like you to meet Mrs Wilson". She replied
"And which Mrs Wilson is this son?". "This is the Prime Minister's wife, mum". "Oh, that
Mrs Wilson", and immediately turned round and walked away, refusing to speak with her! Jean was not only against
the Labour Party, being politically a Unionist, she was also fervently anti-English! (See below!)
In 1968 Jean must have been worried beyond belief about
the fate of her son Colin, a submariner by now with the Royal Navy, who was involved in a collison in the Barents Sea between
a British and a Russian submarine. Fortunately Colin survived the incident, and she soon had a lot to talk
about in the town for a few weeks when the incident made the front page of the Carrickfergus Advertiser in October.
In August 1969, Jean attended the wedding of her youngest
son Colin to Charlotte Harper Graham at Joymount Presbyterian Church. With Colin shortly due to go back to sea, the wedding was arranged
at short notice. In his naievity, Colin visited the Presbyterian minister at the manse at the top of Robinson's Row, and asked
that he take a pound from him to buy some flowers and chocolates for his wife, as a thank you for the work she had done in
preparing the church for the wedding at such short notice. The minister was angered at such a small donation, and went to
see Jean at her house, complaining that he had been expecting more than the amount given, and how affronted he was by it.
But if the minister thought he had Presbyterian blood flowing through his veins, it was nothing compared to what was pouring
through Jean's veins at that point. With the vengeful fury of John Knox himself, in defence of her son, she tore strips off
the minister, "My son risks his life, day in and day out, sailing the waters in a submarine to defend the United Kingdom
against her enemies, and all you can worry about is a few pounds? How dare you!" The minster made good his escape...!
In 1969, Jean became a grandmother for the first time,
with the birth of Sean Nicholas Paton in London, to her second son Charles.
In January 1975, Jean, having turned seventy, decided to make a will. It was to
be the last will that she would have recorded, and was quite brief:
I, JEAN CURRIE PATON of 2 ROBINSON'S ROW, CARRICKFERGUS,
in the County of Antrim hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions at any time heretofore made by me and
declare this to be my last Will and Testament which I make this sixth day of January in the year of grace one thousand nine
hundred and seventy five.
1. I APPOINT as sole executor hereof my son Colin Paton
2. I LEAVE DEVISE AND BEQUEATH all my estate of every
nature and kind both real and personal and wheresoever situate of or to which I may die seised possessed or entitled to my
said son Colin Paton for his own use and benefit absolutely.
3. I authorise my executor to offer my body to The Queen's
University of Belfast for the purposes of Medical Research.
IN WITNESS whereof I have hereto set my hand the day
and year first herein written.
SIGNED AND ACKNOWLEDGED by the said Jean Currie Paton
the Testatrix as and for her last Will and Testament in presence of us who in her presence at her request and in the presence
of each other have hereunto set our hands as witnesses.
Elizabeth Young, Receptionist, Carrickfergus;
R. Seymour, Solicitor, Antrim.
As well as sorting her will out, Jean was also keen to know if there would be any
demand for ground rent for her house after she had passed away. Mr Seymour, her solicitor, wrote back to her on February
13th 1975 to allay her fears:
Dear Mrs. Paton, Your Will
I enclose herewith photocopy of your Will as requested.
I confirm that a copy has been sent to your son in Plymouth.
I am pleased to confirm that having inspected your
title deeds under which you hold the premises at 2 Robinson's Row only reserves a rent of 5p a year if demanded and the premises
could therefore be regarded as being freehold although legally that is not strictly the case. For all practical purposes however
there is no ground rent to pay.
In summer 1975, Jean visited
her son Colin in Plymouth, spending time with her grandsons Colin and Christopher,
and granddaughter Dawn. Her grandson Chris, Calum's and Jamie's father, recalls one incident where he
and his brother Colin were out playing on the street. A labrador dog approached them and the two boys ended up fighting it
off them for several minutes. Eventually managing to break away from the dog (which may in fact have only been playing with
them), the two boys ran screaming back to their home on Wycliffe Road, and straight into the arms of their Nanny Paton, who
comforted them about the incident.
|Jean with grandson Chris on his first day at school - Plymouth, September 1975
Jean was also there for the first day of her grandson Chris attending school, and
was photographed with him in the front garden in his new school uniform. Chris was a favourite grandchild, and when she bought
him his first school satchel, her son Colin felt it only fair that her other grandson Colin should also get a bag of some
sort, the two boys only being a year apart in age. When he bought a bag for Colin, she was apparently not too impressed, saying
that it was Chris's big day, not Colin's, and tore strips off her son. (Go on Nanny!)
Jean remained in her house at Robinson's Row until the
point of her death in 1978. In her last year, she set up an arrangement with a local friend, Esther Brown,
wife of Councillor Jim Brown, that every morning Esther should look to see if Jean's curtains had been drawn open, and
if they had, everything would be fine. On February 5th, Esther noticed that the curtains had not been drawn and checked to
see if Jean was alright, only to discover that she had fallen down the narrow stairs inside her house, and had died as a result.
A memorial service was subsequently held at Joymount Presbterian church for her on the 8th, although no burial ensued, as
Jean donated her body to Queen's University in Belfast for medical research. It was not to be for another couple of years
that her remains were to be cremated in Belfast.
The following are the notices placed in the Carrickfergus
Advertiser and the Belfast Telegraph after Jean died:
Carrickfergus Advertiser and
East Antrim Gazette
Thursday 8th February 1978 p.11
PATON - Jean Currie, died suddenly at home, 2 Robinson's
Row. Body by her request donated to medical research. Memorial Service Joymount Presbyterian Church today (Thursday), 7pm.
Deeply regretted by her son Colin, daughter-in-law Cherie, and children, Plymouth.
PATON - Jean (suddenly), at her
residence, 2 Robinson's Row, Carrickfergus. Deeply regretted by her friend, Margaret. At rest.
February 5th 1978
PATON, Jean - (suddenly) at home, 2 Robinson's Row, Carrickfergus - deeply regretted by her daughter
Sheila, son-in-law Alan, and granddaughter.
Tuesday February 6th 1978
PATON, Jean Currie - at her home, 2 Robinson's
Row, Carrickfergus, in accordance with her wishes her body has been donated for medical research. Memorial service will be
held in Joymount Presbyterian Church on Thursday 8th at 7pm. All friends are invited to attend. Donations, in lieu of flowers,
may, if desired, be donated to the Heart, Chest and Stroke Association, Bryson House, Bedford Street, Belfast - deeply regretted
by her sorrowing son and daughter-in-law, Colin and Cherie and family, Plymouth.
PATON, Jean Currie - deeply regretted
by her friend Tommy Hutton, 25 Larne Road, Carrickfergus.
PATON, Jean - (suddenly) at her home, 2 Robinson's Row,
Carrickfergus - deeply regretted by her sorrowing friends, Jim and Esther Brown and baby Louise. Absent from the body, present
with the Lord.
Jean's children are divided in their opinions
of their mother. Her son Charlie and her daughter Sheila constantly had run ins with her, and Charlie in fact left home after
turning fourteen years of age, as soon as he had finished his schooling. But her eldest son Robert and her youngest Colin
idolised her, and Colin often tells his grandsons Calum and Jamie with some pride that "Mrs Paton never raised stupid
kids"! Colin and Bob also recall how nobody ever called Jean by her Christian name, she was always known as "Mrs
From the photographs that Jean gathered through her lifetime, we get a sense
of how she viewed her family. On the back of a photo of her husband Charles standing outside his wireless
shop in Belfast, are written the words "Happy days". A 1955 photo of her son Robert is captioned
twenty years later with "He's kind to me. Had a lovely time with him 1975. God Guide you son". In 1960, a photo of
her son Colin is captioned "Colin: always happy go lucky", whilst another photo of Colin with a
girlfriend is captioned "Colin and girlfriend. Very nice girl. No rushing him there"! Of her eldest grandson Sean,
"My other wee grandson, Sean - Love, God bless", and of another with Sean and his mother Jenny, wife
to her son Charles, there is written "Sean, the one and only - I hope he gets in with the right company when he's a teenager.
Thanks Jenny - God bless". A further comment on Jenny in another photo states "1965 - she waited for Charlie,
nothing rushed with her. Jenny, a nice girl you've xxx". Regarding Colin's wife Cherie, she writes in
1969, "Cherie, Colin's wife - she's good to me". Of her grandson Chris in 1971, "Jan 1971 -
Nanna's boy, God bless. The one and only, I miss him", whilst another in September 1975 of Chris's first day at school,
simply states "I love Christopher".
But two photos in particular have hilarious comments that especially showcase her somewhat Scottish
presbyterian personality. When her son Charlie had a run in with the local authorities in London in 1965, Jean wrote on
the back of a photo of him the phrase "He never was known as the 'Mad Irish' but the English are the master
race. London needs brimstone and fire". And in 1967, a photo was taken of Jean and her son Colin, with girlfriend Lynne, on
the day that his new posting, the submarine HMS Warspite, was commissioned. She evidently did not have much time for Lynne,
as on the back she later wrote "We were happy in those days - even with Lynne" !!!
CHILDREN of JANE CURRIE and CHARLES PATON:
(1) Robert David Paton
(2) Charles Currie Paton
(3) Sheila Elisabeth Paton
(4) Colin Paton
Colin is Calum's and Jamie's grandfather - see
Paton - Part 5 page.
Connecting to Calum and Jamie
Jane Currie married Charles Paton in 1934
Colin Paton, married Charlotte Harper Graham in 1969
Son, Christopher Mark Paton, married Claire Patricia Giles in
Sons, Calum Graham Paton and Jamie Christopher Paton