Abt 1790 - 7/2/1879
John was Calum's, Jamie's and Pippa's five times great grandfather.
John was born in Raphoe, Co. Donegal, Ireland, in approximately 1790, as
confirmed by his military service record. He initially trained and worked as a linen weaver, before the Napoleonic conflicts
saw him enlisting with the British Army for a ten year stint of service.
On 16 JUL 1808, and at the age of 18, John was enlisted by Lieutenant Montgomery into the 20th
Regiment of Infantry at Donaghmore in Donegal, initially for a period of limited service. Upon his attestation he was five
feet four and half inches in height, which by the age of 24 had increased to five feet five and a quarter inches. His complexion
was fair, his eyes grey and his hair light brown (Source: TNA WO25/346 part 1, p.13). In the regimental description
book, John was noted as having a swallow complexion, a long visage, grey eyes and dark brown hair, with his occupation stated
to be a linen weaver. Under the Observations column he was noted to have a 'small face'.
In the line under John's entry is a description of a Matthew Holmes, also from
Raphoe, Donegal, who was the same height as John, and five years older at 23 - quite possibly a brother. Matthew was also
a linen weaver, with similar features, with the exception of his face being fresh, rather than swallow. He had a scar on the
forehead and a mark on the left knee. Unlike John, however, Matthew never completed his service, dying on 31 OCT 1813 (Source:
TNA WO25/344, p.38-40).
As a private in the 20th Foot, John served in the Napoleonic Peninsula Wars. Following his
attestation, he likely made his way from Ireland to England, and from there sailed to Portugal. The regiment's first victory
there was at Vimiera on 21 AUG 1808. With French forces soon driven from Portugal, the 20th marched into Spain into a difficult
winter campaign, with various skirmishes with the French. In JAN 1809 the regiment was victorious at Corunna, after which
it was withdrawn to England, arriving in Portsmouth, from there to Colchester and then to Dover. In July an expedition to
the Scheldt in Northern France saw the regiment heavily hit with disease, forcing a return back to England.
From JUN 1810 to SEP 1812, the 20th was based in Ireland, before returning to Portugal again in OCT
1812. In MAY 1813 it made its way through the mountains towards Vittoria, defeating Napoleon's French forces there on 21 JUN.
In the aftewrmath of the victory, the regiment pursued the remnants of the French army over the Pyrenees, before withdrawing
to form a blockade at Pampeluna. Upon being relieved by Spanish forces, the 20th again pursued the French over the Pyrenees
to Roncesvalles. In late August the regiment was involved in the siege of St. Sebastian, under the watchful gaze of the Duke
of Wellington. On 10 NOV the 20th was then a participant at the Battle of Nivelle.
During 1814, John was involved at the Battle of Orthes, in which the regiment suffered heavy losses,
and further action at Toulouse on 10 APR. Shortly after this action Napoleon Bonaparts abdicated the French throne. After
a march to Bordeaux, the 20th made its way back to Ireland, arriving in Cork in July and making its way then to Waterford.
On 20 JUN 1815 John re-enlisted for a period of unlimited service in Waterford. For the next couple
of years John's regiment was involved in peacetime patrols in Ireland, which included the hunt for individuals illicitly distilling
spirits. In JUN 1818, John was amongst troops reviewed in Dublin by the Grand Duke Nicholas, Emperor
On 11 NOV 1818, John was discharged to pension through the Royal Kilmainham Hospital in Dublin, having
completed ten years, one hundred and eight days of service. The reason for his discharge was that he was 'unfit for service'
(Source: TNA WO25/346 part 1, p.13). His description upon discharge was given as five feet five and three quarters inches
in height, brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion, with his occupation given as a weaver. When he signed his discharge
paper he did so with an X, proving that he was illiterate at that time. No money was advanced to him for his march back from
Dublin to Donaghmore in Donegal, his place of enlistment.
Following his return to Raphoe, John married Elizabeth Graham, at some stage between November 1818 and 1827. The couple raised a family in the parish of Raphoe,
being noted as resident in Sandyhill in 1829, Ballyminister in 1836, and then in Bogagh from at least 1842, possibly earlier.
In his children's baptismal records John was noted as a weaver, a labourer and a scutcher.
In Griffith's Valuation of Donegal in 1857, John was recorded as living
at Bogagh, parish of Raphoe, in a house and garden 10 perches in size leased from James Gardiner. The annual valuation
for the land was 2 shillings, and the building 18 shillings, meaning an annual rent of £1.
John Holmes was confirmed as the father of John Holmes,
Calum's Jamie's and Pippa's four times great grandfather, in his wedding certificate from 1861. In this John senior was
noted as a scutcher, working in a mill.
On 16 FEB 1867 John (noted as John Holmes Snr, Bogagh) was cited to appear before the Petty Sessions Court in Raphoe
by William Fenwick Esq., the local JP, along with several other individuals from the parish. The complaint was that he owed
£1, plus a 10d fine - he did not appear at the court (Source: Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers, Raphoe, CSPS1/8193;
National Archives of Ireland/FindmyPast).
John appears to have died on 2 FEB 1879 at Figart, Raphoe. The informant was a
Mary Holmes, of Figart, who was present at death. In an incomplete transcript of the record on RootsIreland
John is noted as a widower, and aged 90.
Children of John HOLMES
and Elizabeth GRAHAM:
b: abt 1824
A birth or baptismal record for Robert has not been found, but his approximate birth year is confirmed from his Presbyterian
marriage record on 10 JAN 1848 which notes him as aged 23 and the son of John Holmes, scutcher of Bogagh,
Raphoe. Robert's bride was 19 year old Nancy Durrain of Carrickbrack near Raphoe, daughter of Hugh
Durrain, farmer. The witnesses were James Gardener and William Hughes.
In May 1889, Robert was noted as residing in Figgart, Raphoe, in his son William's attestation record for the Royal Artillery.
Children of Robert HOLMES and Nancy DURRAIN:
William was born in Figgart, Raphoe, in about 1870.
On 2 MAY 1889, William joined the Royal Artillery at Londonderry, attesting as a gunner. His service number was RA 73075.
In his attestation record he was noted as a labourer, 19 years of age, 5 feet 11 inches in height, 150 lbs in weight, with
a 36 1/2 inches chest measurement, fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes. As well as having a good physical development,
it was also noted that William had been vaccinated in infancy on his right arm, but he was revaccinated on his left arm on
10 MAY 1889, although this attempt was noted a shaving 'failed'. He was further noted as being 'Church of England' in religion
(i.e. Church of Ireland/Anglican), with his next of kin recorded as Robert Holmes, of Figgart, Raphoe, Donegal,
his mother as Nancy, and his elder brothers as David, James and Robert,
the latter of whom was in America at an unknown address.
William travelled to Seaforth, arriving on 5 MAY 1889, but his service was to be short - just 63 days - ending on 3 JUL
1889. Upon discharge at Seaforth his conduct was noted as good, and his intended place of residence on discharge was Figgart,
Raphoe. The cause of his discharge was the payment of £10 (Source: TNA; WO97/3080/39; FindmyPast).
b: abt 5/10/1827
It is believed that Elizabeth, aka Eliza, was baptised as a Presbyterian in Raphoe on 5 OCT 1827, although the baptismal
record, as presented in transcript form on RootsIreland, notes her to be the daughter of Joseph Holmes, rather
than John, who was a weaver at Windyhall, and her mother as Elizabeth Holmes. There is no other baptismal
record for the period noting an Eliza Holmes, however, and so the original needs to be checked to confirm the accuracy
of the transcript.
However, we certainly know that Eliza was a daughter of John and Eliza from another documentary source - autosomal DNA.
A match to our family and Eliza and her descendants was made in late 2016, thanks to an AncestryDNA test cousin connection
to a tree administered by Eliza's descendant Elizabeth Lloyd, to whom thanks is given.
Eliza married Thomas Hindman, labourer, son of William Hindman, farmer, on
26 JUL 1848 in Raphoe. Thomas was noted as being from Raphoe, and Eliza from Bogagh near Raphoe, and the daughter of John
Holmes, labourer. Both were Presbyterian, and both were of full age, meaning over 21. The witnesses were James Gardner
and William Hindman.
b: abt 15/11/1829
Susan was baptised as a Presbyterian on 15 NOV 1829 in Raphoe, Donegal, with her father noted as John Holmes,
weaver at Sandyhill, and her mother as Eliza Holmes.
Susan married William Rolston, son of David Rolston, weaver, on 26 JUL 1850 at Raphoe,
ina Presbyterian service. Both were of full age (over 21), William was from Raphoe, whilst Susan was a daughter of John
Holmes, scutcher, and from Bogagh. The witnesses were James Gardner and Robert Morrow.
Samuel's birth or baptismal record have not been found, but in his Presbyterian marriage record from 12 NOV 1850 he is
noted as being of full age (i.e. over 21), and the son of John Holmes, scutcher of Bogagh, Raphoe. Samuel's
bride was Jane Wilson, also of full age, daughter of Robert Wilson, labourer, and from Cooladerry.
The witnesses were Thomas Hindman (Samuel's brother-in-law) and Samuel Huston.
b: abt 25/5/1834
Calum's Jamie's and Pippa's four times great grandfather - see below.
b: bef 1836
David's birth or baptism could not be found, but he was noted as being of full age (over 21) on his Presbyterian wedding
record dated from 4 DEC 1856. David was a weaver, son of John Holmes, labourer, and from Bogagh, whilst his
bride was Eliza Marshall, daughter of John Marshall, weaver, from Churchminister, and also
of full age. The witnesses were Robert Wilkie and Samuel Brown (RootsIreland).
Mary was born on 18 JUN 1836 in Raphoe, Donegal, and baptised as a Presbyterian on 5 JUL. Her father was noted as
John Holmes of Ballyminister, and her mother as Eliza Graham.
b: abt 17/5/1842
Sarah was baptised as a Presbyterian on 17 MAY 1842 in Raphoe, Donegal, with her parents noted as John Holmes and
Elizabeth Graham of Boggagh.
abt. 25/5/1834 - 19/7/1914
John Holmes was Calum's and Jamie's four times
John is believed to have been baptised on 25 MAY 1834 by the Church of Ireland in the parish of Raphoe,
in Donegal, Ireland. His home was noted as being at Sandy Mills, and his parents as John Holmes, labourer, and Elizabeth
John married Sarah Strain on January 10th 1861, in Raphoe, County Donegal. In the
record he was noted as a full aged (over 21) tradesman from Bogagh, Raphoe, with his father noted as John Holmes,
a scutcher. Sarah was from Bighill, and the daughter of Robert Strain, a labourer. Both were Presbyterian,
and the wedding was performed in the Presbyterian Church in the town, with the witnesses noted as Samuel Brown
and Andrew Allen. It is believed that Sarah died between Jul-Sep 1886, although the record has as yet to be checked.
On 7 NOV 1877 John was reported in the Derry Journal attending the Petty Sessions Court:
John Holmes, Raphoe, summoned William Nelis, Cooladerry, for assaulting
him in his own house, at Raphoe, on the 20th October last. The case was dismissed.
In the 1894 Slater's Directory for Ireland, John Holmes is listed as a boot maker, resident at Guest
House End, Meeting House Street. (In the 1881 Slaters's Directory, a James Holmes is also listed as residing
at Meeting House Street. James is also noted there in the 1870 edition of Slaters, described as a boot and shoe maker, a grocer,
and a leather seller. In the same directory, a Joseph Holmes is noted at Meeting House Street as operating
a Posting House.)
In the wedding certificate of his daughter Lizzie
in 1900, John is described as a shoemaker. A year later, in the 1901 census, John is listed as a 60 year old cordwainer (i.e.
shoemaker). He was Presbyterian, born in County Donegal, a widower, and able to read. No-one else was present in the house.
From form B1 we learn that his house was in the parish of Raphoe, the barony of Raphoe north, the townland of Raphoe Townpark,
the district electoral division of Raphoe, the poor law union of Strabane, the parliamentary division of East Donegal,
and the county of Donegal. John leased his house from James McCobb of Raphoe Town, and shared the house with 81 year
old widow Martha Allison, a Presbyterian originally from County Tyrone. The property had two rooms, had two
front windows, and was rated as '3rd class'.
The 1911 census for Raphoe shows us that by
this time John as a retired bootmaker aged 73, and from County Donegal. He was Presbyterian by religion and
again noted as residing at Raphoe Town Parks.
It would appear that John moved to Belfast shortly after this to stay with his daughter Lizzie.
He died at 41 Groomsport Street on 19 JUL 1914, with the cause being myocarditis mouth and heart failure. His occupation was
noted as shoemaker, and he was a widower, but his age was out by a good decade, being noted as just 63. The informant was
his son-in-law, Robert H. Stevenson, present at death and resdent at 41 Groomsport Street. (Source: Geni D/1914/49/1007/89/36
Belfast Urban 3).
John was buried in the same lair as his daughter Lizzie would later be, at City Cemetery, C3 553,
on 21 JUL 1914 (Belfast City Council burials site).
DAUGHTER of John HOLMES
and Sarah STRAIN:
b: 24 FEB 1862
The name and sex of this child is not known as yet, the transcription on RootsIreland merely noting
it as 'Ng Holmes'. The child was born at Bighill, Raphoe, Donegal, on 24 FEB 1862 and was baptised there as a Presbyterian
on 7 MAR 1862. The child's parents are recorded as John Holmes and Sarah Strane.
Catherine was born at Craigstown, Raphoe, on 14 APR 1864, and later baptised as a Presbyterian on
25 AUG 1864 (RootsIreland).
Robert was born in Milltown, Raphoe, County Donegal, on 19 APR 1866. His father
was described as John Holmes, labourer, and his mother Sarah Strain informed the local registrar
in Raphoe on 19 JUN (Source: GROI B 1866 Group Reg ID 7916171 SRD Strabane). Robert was baptised as a Presbyterian in Raphoe
on 9 JUN 1866 (RootsIreland).
It is likely that Robert was the person named in the Derry Journal of Friday 30 OCT 1885
as having been assaulted, along with a Catherine and John Holmes (likely his siblings), in
William Flynn and Arthur Quinn pleaded guilty to an
indictement charging them with assaulting John Holmes, Robert Holmes and Catherine Holmes, so as to cause actual bodily harm,
and to a common assault on the 20th September 1885. Wm Flynn also pleaded guilty to an indictment for feloniously stealing
a heifer, the property of Robert Holmes and for receiving her knowing her to have been stolen. The particulars of the cases
have been already reported from the hearings at Petty Sessions. Mr. Gregg, solicitor, who appeared for the prisoners, submitted
testimonials as to the previous good characters of the prisoners, signed by the clergy and merchants of Raphoe. The assaults,
he said, originated in drink. The prisoners, being willing to make compensation for injuries done (Mr. Mackey consenting),
they were discharged on their own recognizances of £10 each to come up for judgment if called on.
John was born at Milltown of Raphoe on 20 DEC 1868, with his father noted as John Holmes,
shoe maker, and his mother as Sarah Strain. Sarah was the informant to the registrar on 30 JAN 1869 (GROI B
1869 Group Reg ID 7447022 SRD Strabane RD Raphoe).
John was subsequently baptised as a Presbyterian in Raphoe on 14 JUN 1869, with his parents noted
as John Holmes and Sarah Strene, of New Row (RootsIreland).
b: 13/8/1871 d: 19??
Elizabeth was Calum's and Jamie's three times great grandmother - see
Sarah Ann Holmes
b: 14/10/1873 d: 18/11/1876
Sarah Ann was born on 14 OCT 1873 at Raphoe, with her father John Holmes noted as
a shoemaker, and her mother as Sarah Strain. Sarah acted as the informant to the registrar on 8 NOV 1873
Sarah Ann died on 18 NOV 1876 at Raphoe, the death record noting her as a shoemaker's child. The
informant to the registrar was Margaret Holmes of Raphoe (RootsIreland).
Martha was born in Raphoe, County Donegal, on 14 JAN 1876. Her father John Holmes
was noted as a shoemaker, and her mother as Sarah Strain. John informed the Raphoe registrar on 25 FEB 1876
(Source: GROI B 1876 Group Reg ID 10452486 SRD Strabane).
Sarah Ann Baird Holmes
Sarah was born in Raphoe, County Donegal, on 20 MAR 1878. Her father John Holmes
was noted as a shoemaker, and her mother as Sarah Strain. John informed the Raphoe registrar on
13 APR 1878 (Source: GROI B 1878 Group Reg ID 10774876 SRD Strabane).
In the 1901 census, Sarah was noted as a boarder in the household of English born 42 year old
Colour Sergeant Major William Underwood and his wife Jane Ann. The house was 1 Elrington terrace in Londonderry's Waterside
district, and Sarah's job was listed as 'ironer in laundry'. She was further noted as being from County Donegal, aged 25,
unmarried and able to read and write (Source: National Archives of Ireland).
Just a week after the census was recorded, Sarah married Joseph James Wade, son of
labourer Hoption Wade, on 8 APR 1901 in the parish of Ebrington, County Londonderry. Joseph was a soldier
at the time, whilst Sarah was a servant, and her father John noted as a shoemaker (Source: RootsIreland).
Between then and the census little is known of their movements, although the family moved to Belfast fairly soon after and
for a time to Dublin, as noted by the birth of daughter Sarah in 1903, before they returned to Belfast.
In the 1911 census the couple were based at 31 Rathmore Street in east Belfast, located in the parish
of Knockbreda and in the barony of Ormeau (urban district no.11, sub-district of Mountpottinger). In this record Joseph is
now noted as a 32 years old Presbyterian, a gas stoker and as having been born in Port Glasgow in Scotland. Sarah was a 30
year old Presbyterian from County Donegal, who had three children, all still alive. The three children were all scholars
- Joseph Holmes Wade (aged 9), Sarah Ellen Wade (aged 8) and Frederick Graham
Wade (aged 6). All bar Frederick could read and write, and all were Presbyterian.
In 1912 Sarah signed the Declaration of Loyalty in opposition to Home Rule in Ireland. At the time
she was resident at 43 Glenwherry Street, and she signed the document at Albert Bridge Road.
With the outbreak of war, Joseph signed up on 26 AUG 1914 for the Royal Irish Rifles. His service
record on Ancestry.co.uk confirms that he was 34, born in Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire, and a stoker by trade. He was 5 feet
5 3/4 inches tall, had brown hair and eyes and had a scar on his chin. he was promoted from private twice - the first time
to corporal on 5 SEP 1914, and again to sergeant on 14 May 1915. He was discharged on 20 SEP 1916, his home address again
given as 43 Glenwherry Street, Belfast, and was subsequently given the Silver War Badge (badge number 9448), having been shot
in both the face and in his left hand, although a letter from him to the army shows that he had to chase this up:
22nd Sept 1916
GSW Face and L. Hand
I would thank you if you would send me the King's War Badge which all discharged soldiers are supposed to wear
after they receive their discharge from the service as being medical unfit through active service.
I remain your obedient service
Sgt J. J. Wade
Joseph was treated at the 1st Scottish General Hospital in Aberdeen, having been admitted on
6 MAY 1916 and upon discharge was subsequently given a pension of 29 shillings a week from 20 OCT 1916. During the war he
served with 2nd Royal Irish Rifles in two expeditionary forces to France, from 11 DEC 1914 to 24 DEC 1914, and again
from 21 APR 1915 to 5 MAY 1916. His regimental service number was 3/9211.
Joseph's service record also confirms his wife's name as Sarah A. Baird Holmes, and
the marriage at Ebrington Church, Derry on 8 APR 1901. The record also indicates that he had a fourth child in 1915 - John Wade
(see below). Joseph was later awared the 1914-15 Star on 25 NOV 1921 and the British War Medal and Victory Medal on 5
DEC 1922. The records show ther family still at Glenwherry Street in September 1918.
By now, however, Sarah had tragically died at 43 Glenwherry Street, Belfast, aged just 40, on 4 MAR
1918. Two days later she was buried in the same lair at City Cemetery as her father John and later her sister Elizabeth, niece Helen and nephew William
(Befast City Cemetery burials database).
The 1918 Belfast Street Directory notes Joseph Waid, labourer at 43 Glenwherry Street
CHILDREN of SARAH HOLMES and JOSEPH WADE:
Joseph Holmes Wade
Joseph was born on 3 APR 1902 in Belfast, as noted on his father's military service record. The record
was registered between April and May 1902 in Belfast (1902 Q2 Vol. 1 p.217).
In the 1911 census he was listed with his parents at 31 Rathmore Street in east Belfast.
Sarah Ellen Wade
Sarah was born on 10 JUL 1903 in Dublin, as noted on her father's military service record. The record
was registered between July and September 1903 in Dublin South (1903 Q3 Vol 2 p.683).
In the 1911 census she was listed with her parents at 31 Rathmore Street in east Belfast.
Frederick Graham Wade
b: 29/3/1905 d: 13/1/1923
Frederick was born on 29 MAR 1905 in Belfast, as noted on his father's military service record.
The record was registered between April and June 1905 in Belfast (1905 Q2 Vol. 1 p.402).
In the 1911 census he was listed with his parents at 31 Rathmore Street in east Belfast.
Frederick tragically died in the Royal Victoria Hospital aged just 17 on 13 JAN 1923, cause as yet unknown. he was buried
on 16 JAN in the City Cemetery, plot number G2 377. His residence at the time of death was still noted as 43 Glenwherry Street.
The burial plot was obviousy one belonging to the Wade family, with three others present alongside - Mary Jane
Lynn died 27 AUG 1906 aged 23, Ellen Wade died 17 SEP 1902 aged 13 and Hugh Wade
died 28 OCT 1907 aged 17.
John Mervelie Wade
John was born at 43 Glenwherry Street on 4 APR 1915, and baptised by the Reverend W. I. Hanson on 14 APR 1915 in Belfast,
as noted in his father's military service record with the Royal Irish Rifles. The birth was registered between April and June
1915 in Belfast (1915 Q2 Vol. 1 p.340)
Mary was born in Raphoe, County Donegal, on 10 DEC 1880. Her father was noted
as John Holmes, shoemaker, and her mother as Sarah Strain. John informed the Raphoe registrar
about his daughter's birth on 28 DEC - his signature was given as a certified 'X', meaning that he was illiterate. (Source:
GROI B 1880 Group Reg ID 9649324 SRD Strabane). She was baprised as a Presbyterian in Raphoe on
b: 13/1/1883 d: 3/6/1953
Rebecca's existence first came to light in January 2013 thanks to contact from Debs Simkins
in the US.
Rebecca's death record (see below) noted that her birthdate was 22 JAN 1884. However, it has since been
established that she was actually born on 22 JAN 1883 in the civil parish of Raphoe in County Donegal, Ireland. She was baptised
10 days later on 23 JAN. In the record her address was given as Raphoe, and her parents as John Holmes and
Sarah Strain. John was noted as a shoemaker.
|Rebecca Stevenson (nee Holmes) in Ohio, courtesy of Gladys May Stevenson (Collom)
In the 1901 census, it seems likely that Rebecca was working as a domestic servant in the city of
Londonderry. Only one 17 year old Rebecca Holmes is found in Ireland, and she is noted here as working for a Herbert and Gertrude
Cattley. She is described as a Presbyterian, as having been born in the city herself, being unmarried and able to both
read and write (Source: 1901 census, NAI).
Rebecca married Robert Henry Stevenson on 12 JUL 1907 at Newington Presbyterian Church
in the Shankill parish of Belfast, Co. Antrim (Source: EmeraldAncestors.com). In the 1911 census,
Rebecca and Robert were living at 41 Groomsport Street in the Shankill parish of Belfast, the same home as Rebecca's father
John. Rebecca was recorded as being 25, described as Church of Ireland and as having been married for four years, with
one child, still alive. That child was Sarah Stevenson, aged 10 months, and born in Belfast. The record states
Rebecca to have been born in Belfast herself, but also remarkably states that she could speak Irish. Her husband Robert, who
was a 25 year old painter, was also said to be an Anglican from Belfast, and also able to speak Irish. There are errors on
the page (such as fertility census question answered for Robert and then copied into Rebecca's line after), so there could
be errors in this record. However, Rebecca's family was from Gaelic speaking Donegal, and so despite being Protestant, it
may have been possible (Source: 1911 Census, NAI).
In the 1912 Ulster Covenant, Robert signed his address as still being at 41 Groomsport Street. It
is not known if Rebecca signed the women's equivalent, the Declaration of Loyalty, in Belfast, but a woman of that
name did sign it at the Old Town Hall in Saint Anne's, with her address given as 16 Martin Street. However, an Edward Stevenson
of the same address also signed the Covenant. Alternatively, a Rebecca Stevenson also signed the document in Ballylennon,
in the parish of Raphoe in Donegal. With the Holmes family originating from Raphoe, it remains a possibility that this may
also have been her signature.
Robert emigrated to the United States in 1920, setting sail for New York on board a White Star
Line vessel, the Baltic, departing Liverpool on April 1st. He was noted as a 36 year old painter, with the US his country
of intended permanent residence. He arrived in New York on April 10th, and was processed at the Ellis Island immigration facility.
The Ellis Island records show that his intention was to stay with his brother George Stevenson, who lived at 326 West Tremont
Street, Massilon, Ohio, and to stay in the US permanently. Robert was a house painter, and his description notes him to have
had sallow skin, black hair and brown eyes. It also notes he had been born in Dungannon - again flagging up the inaccuracy
of the 1911 census. His wife was Rebecca Stevenson, resident at 41 Groomsport Street, Belfast.
Rebecca and the children joined him two years later, sailing on board the White Star Line's vessel
Cedric from Liverpool on April 8th 1922, again with New York as her destination. The family had now considerably grown. In
addition to 39 year old Rebecca was 11 year old Sarah (noted now as Sadie), 10 year old William, 8 year old John, 6 year old
Lilly, 4 year old Harry and 2 year old Ruby. The eldest three children were all scholars, and again the US was the intended
place of permanent residence. Their address in Belfast was 41 Groomsport Road.
As with Robert, the family was processed by the Ellis Island immigration centre, but was in fact recorded
twice in two separate ships' manifests. The first notes their intention to travel on the Baltic on April 10th 1922. All the
family were listed, however, their details were then all crossed out. Interestingly their relative in Belfast was noted as
Mrs E. Wadden (sic), a mistranscription of Mrs E. Watton, Calum's and Jamie's three times great grandmother, who was noted
as residing at '35 Barr Street' (it should have been Barrow Street). Rebecca's husband was noted as residing at 1572
East 23rd St, Cleveland, Ohio. Crucially, the manifest also notes that Rebecca was born in the parish of Raphoe. For
some reason the details from the Baltic's manifest were removed, and the family's details then entered into the manifest of
the Cedric, which arrived at New York on April 17th. On this occasion, Lizzie Watton was again recorded as Rebecca's sister,
but once again mistakenly noted, this time as Mrs E. Watson, from 35 Barrow Street. A physical description of Rebecca is also
given - fresh complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. In this record, Rebecca is now erroneously noted as having been
born in Co. Derry.
Robert appears to have attempted to naturalise in Ohio in 1927. A record dated May 13th 1927 from
the Court of Common Pleas in Canton, Ohio, notes him as aged 43 and from Ireland. His declaration of intention to naturalise
had in fact been lodged on June 7th 1920, a couple of months after he had arrived in America. His children were also listed
- Sarah (16), William (15), Jack (13), Lilly (12), Robert (10), Rebecca (8), Helen (3) and Ilene (1). Rebecca's details are
not recorded, however (Source: Ancestry.co.uk, US Naturalisation Records Indexes 1794-1995, petition 26898, 13/5/1927 Canton,
Ohio). His petition appears to have been successful, with the Fold3.com website hosting his oath of allegiance and other
records from that year and the earlier application process.
In the 1930 US Federal census, Rebecca is noted at 1588 Crawford Road, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.
She is described as being 43 years old, but crucially is noted as having been born in the Irish Free State, as opposed to
North Ireland, the birthplace given for her 43 year old husband Robert, recorded on the preceding line. Rebecca's parents
were also stated to be from the Free State, and Robert's from Northern Ireland. Robert was noted as a painter and decorator,
and as having naturalised, though Rebecca was still noted as an alien. Curiously their years of immigration are out by one
year - Robert's noted as 1919, and Rebecca as 1921. Also present were the following children - William (18), John (16), Lillian
(14), Robert H junior (13), Rebecca (11), Helen J (6), Eilene (4) and Ruth E (2). (Source: Ancestry.co.uk; 1930 US Census,
Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, Roll 1774, p.18A, ED 374).
In the 1940 Federal Census, Rebecca is still in Cleveland, and now noted as 54, but from North Ireland
(Northern Ireland), the same as her 55 year old husband Robert. They were noted as having been in the same house, 638 103rd
Street, on April 1st 1935. Robert was now a maintenance man, in a downtown building, and earning $240 in the previous
year. Also present were the following children - 28 year old William, a house painter, painting for himself (earned $400 in
1939), 24 year old Elizabeth, 21 year old Rebecca E, a clerk in a dime store (earned $450 in the previous year), 16 year old
Helen, 14 year old Ilene, and 12 year old Ruth E. (Source: Ancestry.co.uk; 1940 US Census, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio,
Roll T627_3227, p.4A, ED 92-594).
Rebecca died on June 3rd 1953 at Huron Road Hospital in Euclid, Cuyahoga
County, East Cleveland, Ohio. Her death record notes her as having been widowed at this stage - it appears from an Ohio
death index on Ancestry that Robert died in Cuyahoga on January 16th 1943. Rebecca's death record also suggests that
her date of birth in Ireland was January 22nd 1884. The causes included coronary problems, arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular
disease. She also had diabetes. Rebecca was buried on June 6th at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland.
Children of REBECCA HOLMES and ROBERT STEVENSON:
Sarah (Sadie) Stevenson
Sarah was born in Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland, on 6 JUN 1910 (Source: GRONI U/1910/49/1007/135/20
She emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
William (Willie) Stevenson
William was born on 15 NOV 1911 in Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland (Source: GRONI U/1911/49/1007/138/455
He emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
John H. (Jack) Stevenson
John was born on 30 JUN 1913 in Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland (Source: GRONI U/1913/49/1007/143/310
He emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
Elizabeth (Lillie) Stevenson
b: abt 1916
Born in Belfast, Ireland, emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
Robert Henry (Harry) Stevenson (jr)
b: abt 1918
Born in Belfast, Ireland, emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
Rebecca E. Stevenson
b: abt 1920
Born in Belfast, Ireland, emigrated to Ohio, USA, in April 1922.
Helen J. Stevenson
b: 2/8/1923 d: 20/12/2010
Heen was born in Euclid, Ohio, USA on August 2nd 1923. She passed away on December 20th 2010 in Euclid.
She was married to John O. Blassinghame (1921-2003). (Source: Ancestry.co.uk Public Trees)
b: abt 1926
Born in Ohio, USA.
Ruth E. Stevenson
b: abt 1928
13/8/1871 - 3/4/1937
Elizabeth was Calum's and Jamie's three
times great grandmother.
Elizabeth's mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) profile has been established following analysis of her great great grandson Christopher's DNA in 2007. This form of
DNA was passed to her from her mother, and further back along the maternal line. Her haplogroup was H, meaning that her maternal
ancestors eventually went as far back as an ancestor that the boffins in white coats have named Helena. Chris's sample
of DNA was matched against the Cambridge Reference Sequence by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation, and the following
differences (mutations) to the sequence were noted:
HVR1: 16519C HVR2: 263G HVR3: 315.1C
If anybody has the same mtDNA mutations as Elizabeth and her
maternal line descendants, it will be extremely likely that they shared a common maternal ancestor somewhere in the last 500
years. Elizabeth's mtDNA profile was shared by all of her children, and any siblings she may have had.
Elizabeth was born at Nursery, Raphoe,
County Donegal, on 13 AUG 1871. Her father was John Holmes, shoemaker, and her mother Sarah Strain - Sarah acted as the informant
to the Raphoe registrar on 24 AUG (Source: GROI B 1871 Group Reg ID 8665331 SRD Strabane).
In the second quarter of the year 1900, Elizabeth
married Cochrane Watton, a painter/decorator from County Derry (GRO Dublin: Belfast 1 299 - 2nd quarter/1900). At the time of
the wedding, Lizzie was actually living in the Rosemount area of Derry in Ireland, and moved down to Belfast for the wedding,
which took place at the Mariners Chapel in the city. The witnesses were James Shaw and May Wilson, and the minister was Reverend
John F. McLat (?).
The newly wed couple moved to 54 Groomsport Street in
Belfast, where they are recorded in the 1901 census, at the time which Lizzie was eight months pregnant.
In the 1911 census for Belfast, Lizzie, as she was recorded,
was noted as coming from 'Rafoe' in County Donegal, and as being a member of the Salvation Army by way of religion. She
had had five children, of whom only three had survived, and she could read and write.
Lizzie died on April 3rd 1937. Her death entry notes
her as a 52 year old married housekeeper, who passed away at 21 Ballynure Street from cerebral thrombosis, as suffered
for 14 days, and cardiac failure. Her husband, Cochrane Watton, present at her death, informed the registrar two days later
(Source: D/1937/49/1007/121/359 Belfast Urban 3).
Lizzie's burial register also incorrectly lists
her age as 52. She was buried at City Cemetery on the 6th in lair C3 553, and at the time of her death she had been resident
at 21 Ballynure Street, Belfast. The burial papers show that her cause of death was a cerebral haemorrhage, and confirm her
religion as Presbyterian. The person listed as managing the interment was Cochrane Watton of 21 Ballynure Street (Belfast
City Council: Burial registration papers).
CHILDREN of ELIZABETH HOLMES
and COCHRANE WATTON:
Annie Evelyn Leslie Watton
b: 11/5/1901 d: 7/10/1981
Annie was Calum's and Jamie's great great grandmother - see
Sarah Strane Beckwith Watton
b: 15/3/1903 d: 31/10/1989
b: 15/12/1905 d: 16/5/1906
Kathleen Wade Watton
Alice Beatrice Evengelina
William Atkinson Watton
Connecting to Calum and Jamie
Elizabeth Holmes married Cochrane Watton in
Daughter, Annie Eveline Leslie Watton, married William McKeever Smyth between 1918 and 1922
Martha Jane Elisabeth Watton Smyth, married Ernest Graham in 1943
Daughter, Charlotte Harper Graham, married Colin
Paton in 1969
Son, Christopher Mark Paton, married Claire Patricia Giles in 2000
Sons, Calum Graham Paton
and Jamie Christopher Paton