18?? - 18??
John Smyth was Calum's and Jamie's four times
Little is known about John just now. Both in his daughter
Mary Jane's wedding record from 1878, and that of his son Thomas in 1888, John was listed
as a farmer.
It is known that John had at least three
CHILDREN of JOHN SMYTH and (UNKNOWN):
b: abt 1852 d: 27/5/1905
Little is known about John, except that he was an unmarried labourer who ended his days at the age of 53 in the
Workhouse in Belfast, having previously resided with his sister Mary Jane Watt at 19 Springfield Village
in the city. The cause of his death was pulmonary tuberculosis, and Mary Jane was the informant to the registrar on 27 MAY
Initially the registrar noted John's age as 39, but this was subsequently corrected on the record by a handwritten note
stating "In Entry No 243 col 6 for '39 years' read '53' years corrected on the 20th June 1905 by me A Morrison Asst Registrar
on production of a statutory declaration made by Mary Jane Watt, sister" - the GRONI site mistakenly transcribes her
surname as Walt. (Source: GRONI D/1905/50/1007/118/243 Belfast Urban 4)
John was subsequently buried on 29 MAY 1905 in Belfast City cemetery in lair L2 class 5 number 296, owned by his younger
brother Thomas. John's religion was noted as Episcopalian, and the cause of death as consumption. His place
of residence was again confirmed as the Workhouse, the fee for the burial was 7s 6d. In this record, brother Thomas signed
with an X, showing that he was illiterate (Source: Belfast City Council burial records, City Cemetery, 6093.29512).
Mary Jane Smyth
b: abt 1855 d: 26/7/1916
Mary Jane was born about 1855 in Co. Antrim, Ireland.
Mary Jane married bleacher John Watt, son of James Watt, bleacher, on 26 JUL 1878 at
Trinity Church of Ireland, Belfast, after license. The residences for both were listed as Belfast, and both their ages were
simply given as being of full age (21 or over). The witnesses were Margaret McKnight and John
Beattie, whilst Mary Jane's father was noted as John Smyth, farmer (Source: GRONI M/1878/B1/464/5/86).
In the 1901 census, Mary Jane was resident at Springfield Village in Belfast's Woodvale ward. She was noted as aged 48,
Presbyterian, able to read and write, and from County Antrim. Her 55 year old husband John Watt was a general labourer,
and also Presbyterian, able to read and write and from Antrim. Three children were also present - 22 year old Mary
Jane, an unmarried linen weaver, 19 year old Eliza, a yarn counter, and 11 years old John,
a scholar. All could read and write, and were from Co. Antrim (Source 1901 Census, National Archives of Ireland).
Mary Jane was the informant for the death of her brother John in 1905, and was noted as resident at
19 Springfield Village (Source: GRONI D/1905/50/1007/118/243 Belfast Urban 4).
In 1911, the census notes that Mary Jane was now 55, and had been married for 32 years, with 4 children born to her and
three still alive. Her 62 year old husband John was still a general labourer, whilst her 22 year old son
John was also a general labourer. All could read and write, all were Presbyterian and noted as having been
born in Belfast City (Source 1911 Census, National Archives of Ireland).
Mary Jane died on 26 JUL 1916 at 19 Springfield Village, aged apparently at 56, and was buried two days later at Belfast
City Cemetery in lair D1 3 (Source: Belfast City Council burial records). Her husband John survived until his own death on
8 JAN 1931, at 338 Shankill Road, Belfast, aged 81. He was buried in the same lair as his wife on 10 JAN 1931.
CHILDREN of MARY JANE SMYTH and JOHN WATT:
Mary Jane Watt
Mary was born on 18 OCT 1878 in Belfast (Source: GRONI U/1878/55/1007/8/282)
Eliza was born on 1 APR 1881 in Belfast (Source: GRONI U/1881/55/1007/10/215)
Annie was born on 16 APR 1886 in Belfast urban district no. 9, Co. Antrim, Ireland (Source: GRONI U/1886/55/1007/14/386
Belfast Urban 9).
John was born on 19 APR 1889 in Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland (Source: GRONI U/1889/55/1007/17/294).
b: 1859 approx
Calum's and Jamie's great great great grandfather
- see below.
1859 (approx) - 19??
Thomas was Calum's and Jamie's three times
It is not yet known when Thomas was born, all
that is known as yet is that he was born in Belfast, Ireland, in approximately 1859.
On January 5th 1888, Thomas married Elizabeth
Bill, daughter of labourer David Bill, at Berry Street Presbyterian Church in Belfast. Thomas was listed
as a labourer, and his father as a farmer. The witnesses to the wedding were George Green and Mary
Green, with the officiating minister being the Reverend J. D. Crawford D.D.
From 1900, the the Smyths were
living at 87 Canmore Street in Belfast, where they stayed until 1904. At the time of the 1901 census, Thomas' age was listed
as 42, and he was born in the City of Belfast. He was a Presbyterian who could read and write, and he worked as a labourer
in an iron foundry. Also present in the house were his 33 year old housekeeper wife Elizabeth, his 12 year
old daughter Mary (a corder in a linen mill), his 3 year old daughter Maggie and 1
year old son William. All the children were from Belfast city, their mother was from County Antrim. In addition, Thomas'
29 year old sister-in-law Martha Jane Bill was also resident with them as a boarder, along with three of
her children - Elizabeth Bill (aged 6), Thomas James Bill (aged 5), and Mary
Jane Bill (aged 10). (Source: 1901 census, National Archives of Ireland).
In the Belfast Street directories from
the early Twentieth Century, we learn that the family remained at Canmore Street until 1904. Their name is recorded in these
volumes as "Smith".
Thomas' wife Elizabeth sadly died on 24
JUL 1908, the cause being tuberculosis. She was aged 40, and resided at 28 Bann Street. She was buried in Belfast's Dundonald
Cemetery in lair Section C2, class 4, lair C2 461, after 2.30pm on the 26th. Thomas was noted as the registered proprietor
of the grave (Source: Dundonald Cemetery and Belfast City Council's burials website).
In the 1911 census, Thomas, by now a widower, was resident at his brother-in-law's
house (James Bell) at 104 Wilton Street, in the Woodvale Ward of the parish of Shankill. In the
record he was noted as a 53 year old Presbyterian labourer, born in Belfast City, single, and able to read and write.
Only his son William was with him, and their surname was again recorded as Smith.
It is not yet known when Thomas died.
CHILDREN of THOMAS SMYTH and ELIZABETH BILL:
Mary Elizabeth Smyth
b: 22/4/1889 d: 16/10/1910
Mary was born in Springfield, Belfast, on 22 APR 1889. Her father was noted as
Thomas Smith, a laborer in Smithfield, and her mother as Elizabeth Bill. Her grandmother Agnes Bill, of 126 Wilton Street,
was the informant to the registrar on 3 MAY 1889 (Source: Geni U/1889/55/1007/17/313 Belfast Urban 9). As a child, she
worked as a corder in one of Belfast's linen mills.
Mary died on 16 OCT 1910 aged 21 at 115 Wilton Street, Belfast. The cause of
death was acute general tuberculosis, as suffered for 3 months. The record notes that she was an unmarried weaver. The informant
to the registrar on 17 OCT 1910 was Agnes Strahan of 130 Wilton Street (Source: Geni D/1910/56/1007/16/40 Belfast Urban
Mary was buried two days later in Dundonald Cemetery (after 2pm), lair number
C2 461. The burial record notes her as a mill worker, and as Presbyterian by way of religion. Her father was the proprietor
of the grave, but was illiterate, and so his signature was given as an X. The cost of the burial was 7s 2d (Source:
Belfast City Council Cemeteries database).
b: 31/10/1891 d:2/7/1893
Martha was born on 31 OCT 1891 at Belfast Urban District no.9, Belfast,
Co. Antrim, Ireland. (Source: GRONI U/1891/55/1007/20/79 Belfast Urban 9).
Martha died in infancy on 2 JUL 1893, aged just a year and 8 months. At the time she was resident
at 136 Wilton Street. She was buried two days later in Belfast City Cemetery in lair number L2 296, a newly purchased lair
by her father Thomas for the occasion. The cause of death in her burial record is noted as whooping cough and diarrhoea. Martha
was noted as having been Presbyterian (Source: Belfast City Council burial registers, record 6335.5461).
Thomas John Smyth
b: 21/7/1894 d: 3/2/1895
Thomas was born at 136 Wilton Street on 27 JUL 1894, in Belfast urban district 5, Co. Antrim, Ireland
(Source: GRONI U/1894/51/1007/41/387 Belfast Urban 5).
Thomas died in infancy on 3 FEB 1895, aged just seven months. At the time he was resident at 136 Wilton
Street. He was buried a day later in Belfast City Cemetery in lair number L2 296(Source: Belfast City Council burial registers,
Martha Jane Smyth
b: 4/2/1896 d: 22/8/1897
Martha was born on 4 FEB 1896 at 136 Wilton Street, Belfast, Co. Antrim,
Ireland. Her father was noted as Thomas Smyth labourer, and her mother as Elizabeth Bill.
The informant to the registrar was her aunt Martha Jane Bill, present at the birth and also resident
at 136 Wilton Street (Source: GRONI U/1896/51/1007/43/355 Belfast Urban 5).
Martha passed away in her infancy at the age of a year and a half whilst resident
at 203 Mayo Street, the cause of death being diahrorea and exhaustion (Source: GRONI D/1897/56/1007/3/440 Belfast Urban 10).
She was buried a day later at Belfast City Cemetery, in lair L2 296 (Source: Belfast City Council burial registers).
Maggie Florence McCartney Smyth
b: 19/8/1897 d: 15/8/1906
Maggie was born at 203 Mayo Street, Belfast, on 19 AUG 1897. Her father was noted
in her birth record as Thomas Smyth, labourer, and her mother Elizabeth Bill. The informant was her aunt, Martha Bill, of
34 Bann Street (Source: Geni U/1897/56/1007/5/318 Belfast Urban 10).
Maggie died on 15 AUG 1906 at 51 Lisburn Road, Belfast, the cause being meningitis and cardiac failure.
Her father Thomas Smyth, of 57 Pernau Street, informed the registrar on the same day (Source: Geni D/1906/50/1007/123/49).
Maggie was buried in Dundonald Cemetery, Belfast, two days later, at some point after 2pm. At the
time of her death she was noted as being 9 years old and her last residence at Union Infirmary and 57 Pernau Street.
Maggie was buried in lair C2 461, where she would sadly be joined over the next three years by her mother and two sisters.
The cause of death on the burial record was 'heart failure'. The burial fee was 10s, and the registered proprietor of the
grave was Thomas Smyth, her father, who was illiterate and whose signature was therefore given as an X. Maggie was Presbyterian
(Source: Belfast City Cemetery burial records).
William McKeever Smyth
b: 10/7/1899 d: 18/5/1980
Calum's and Jamie's great great grandfather
- see below.
Martha Jane Smyth
b: 26/1/1901 d: 11/5/1905
Martha was born on 26 JAN 1901 at Belfast Urban district no.10 (Source: GRONI
U/1901/56/1007/11/348 Belfast Urban 10).
Like her two sisters before with the same name, Martha tragically passed
away in her infancy on 11 MAR 1905, aged 3 years and eleven months, at 26 Bann Street, Belfast. She was buried two days later
in Belfast City Cemetery, in lair L2 296 (Source: Belfast City Council burial registers).
Mary Jane Smyth
b: 22/1/1903 d: 12/5/1904
Mary Jane was born on 22 JAN 1903 in Belfast Urban district 10. (Source: GRONI U/1903/56/1007/14/354).
Mary Jane passed away at the age of 16 months on 12 MAY 1904, at 34 Lanark Street, Belfast. She was
buried in Belfast City Cemetery a day later, in lair L2 296 (Source: Belfast City Council burial registers).
b: 19/6/1906 d: 30/11/1910
Agnes was born at 57 Pernau Street in Belfast on 19 JUN 1906,
and baptised 6 JUL 1906. Her father, Thomas Smith (sic), was noted as a labourer and her mother as Elizabeth
Bill (sic). The informant was a Mary Mullen. (GROI Belfast Urban District No.3).
Agnes sadly died on 11 NOV 1910. At the time of death she was listed as
residing at 115 Wilton Street. She was buried on 1 DEC 1910 (after 2pm), alongside her sister Maggie
and her mother in lair C2 461, and would sadly be joined just two and half weeks later by her sister Mary.
The cause of death was decline of the bowels, and the registered proprietor of the grave was Thomas Smyth, her father, who
was illiterate and whose signature was therefore given as an X. Agnes' religion was given as Presbyterian. The burial fee
was 7s 6d. (Source: Belfast City Council burial registers).
b: 8/3/1908 d: 8/3/1908
This unnamed male child was born on March 8th 1908 at 28 Bann Street. The birth record notes his father
as Thomas Smith, a labourer, and the mother as Elizabeth Bill. The birth was registered in Belfast urban district no. 3. The
informant was Mary Mullan, Elizabeth's sister.
Sadly, the wee boy died at 28 Bann Street on the same day. His burial record notes the cause as 'debility
from birth', with no name, simply the designation 'child of Thomas and Lizzie Smith'. No lair number is given. The fee was
2/6. The only other detail that can be gleaned is that Thomas was illiterate, signing the record with an X. (Source: Belfast
City Council burial lairs).
William McKeever Smyth
10/7/1899 - 18/5/1980
William was Calum's and Jamie's great
William was born in Belfast, Ireland, and in 1901 is listed in the census as living at
87 Canmore Street in the north of the city. On 19/6/1905 he started attending Wilton Street School, as evident from the surviving
school register held at PRONI.
William's mother died between 1901 and 1911, and
in the 1911 census, along with his father, he was found at 104 Wilston Street, Belfast, the house of his uncle,
James Bell. In this record, William was noted as a 12 year old scholar, and as being able to read and write.
James' wife was called Martha, and also present were the following Bell children: Elizabeth (17), Thomas
(15), William (7), Mary (6) and Samuel (3). This record corroborates a statement by William's daughter Margaret in February
2010, when she recalled that her father had been raised by his aunt Martha after one or both of his parents had died when
he was young.
During the First World War, at some point after
July 1915, having reached the required minimum age, William joined the British army. From the medal card at the National
Archives in London, it is known that William signed on as a private in the Royal Irish Rifles, and later did duty
as part of the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the Royal Irish Regiment. For his services to his country, William was later
awarded the Victory Medal. According to his son William, there is somewhere in existence (still to be traced)
a photograph of him with two horses and a uniform that includes two ammunition belts worn across his upper body.
After the war, William settled into civilian life,
and on Christmas Eve 1920 he married Annie Evelyn Lesley Watton in Belfast (GROI: Belfast 1 295 - 4th qtr 1920). The wedding took place at St Anne's parish church in
the city, the officiating minister was Reverend A. George Johnston, and the witnesses were Archie Mullen
and Mary Bill (these were likely William's cousins - Archibald Mullan, son of his aunt
Mary, and Mary Bill, daughter of his aunt Martha). William in fact
worked as a decorator for Annie's father, Cochrane McLaughlin Watton, along with Cochrane's brother William.
In 1922 the couple had their first child, Martha,
who later became Calum's and Jamie's great grandmother.
From 1927 to 1944 William and his family lived at 25 Liffey
Street in Belfast. Whilst here, the couple ran a grocery business from the front room of their house. William used to order
up all the produce (vegetables and the like) and at weekends used to make deliveries of these throughout the Old Park area
of Belfast using a horse and cart. William's main job though was working as a house painter and interior decorator, working
for a small local firm called Nelson's, whilst Annie looked after the day to day running of the shop. Their youngest
daughter Margaret recalls that her father closed the shop after complaints from the neighbours
that he was using this as a main source of income.
And according to his son William, if his mother
mentioned to his father that the front room could do with redecorating, when she would get up the following morning, she would
find that the room had been done overnight. William junior also recalls how when working with his dad, they would occasionally
go for a drink after work. His father would order himself a pint of Guinness, 'a working man's pint', and would order his
son a bottle of Guinness to wind him up, i.e. not a working man's pint! His sister Margaret further remembers that
her father would only have a drink on a Friday night, and on no other day of the week.
According to his son William,
William senior may have rejoined the British Army during the Second World War, as a member of the Royal Ulster Rifles, and
it is believed that he may have been at Dunkirk, although this still needs to be confirmed.
In 1944 the family moved again to 25 Roe Street
in Belfast, where William continued to live until his death in 1980. Whilst living here, he continued to work in his job
as a painter.
William was in the Orange Order in Belfast and was a member of the Royal Black Preceptory, and a grand
master of one of their lodges. According to his son Tommy, William also was responsible for the setting up
of the Ulster Accordion Band in Belfast, as part of his work in the Orange Order. But William was apparently asked to leave the order
at some point, though the reaosn for this is not clear. William's
daughter Margaret does not recall her father walking on an Orange march in her childhood at all, so presumably
his exit from the lodge happened prior to 1947.
Margaret recalls also that when she married her husband,
her father was 72, and suffering badly from arthritis at this point. She also described him as being a very private person,
who never would, for example, talk about his involvement in the war.
William's granddaughter Cherie, Calum's
and Jamie's grandmother, recalls her grandfather fondly, describing him as the salt of the earth. He always made a point of
referring to her by her proper name of Charlotte, saying that Cherie was a name for a dog! Cherie also remembers that he used
to make the Sunday soup every Saturday night, and that he loved his bottles of baby stout, which she also remembers
having to go to an off license in Belfast to get refilled for him (and for which she earned two bob at a time!). Cherie
also remembers that he was the kind of man who would always encourage people, telling her that if she worked hard for what
she wanted she would get it. The kind of man you would always run to meet - unlike his wife, who you always wanted to run
passed away in 1980, and was buried in the old cemetery of Carnmoney Church of the Holy Evangelists (Church of Ireland),
Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim. His wife Annie died the following year and was buried alongside him. Their graves do not
carry a headstone, and in 1997, they were joined by their daughter Beatrice.
The Belfast Telegraph recorded the
following tributes from friends and family:
Monday, May 19, 1980
SMYTH, William - May 18, 1980, at his residence, 32 Roe Street, dearly loved
husband of Annie. House private. Internment notice later.
Tuesday May 20, 1980
William - May 18, 1980, at his residence, 32 Roe Street, dearly loved husband of Annie. House private. Funeral from his residence
, tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10.30am to Carnmoney Churchyard. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing wife Annie, Daughter Sadie, and
son Christopher, abroad. A bouquet of beautiful memories, sprayed with a million tears, wishing God had spared you just for
a few more years.
SMYTH, William McKeever - May 18 1980 - deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter Martha and grandchildren,
Carrickfergus and Australia. Softly from the shadows he heard a gentle call, taking the hand of Jesus, he quietly left us
SMYTH, William McKeever - May 18 1980 - Deeply regretted by his sorrowing son Tommy and daughter in law Margaret
and grandchildren; also great grandson. Two tired eyes are sleeping, two willing hands are still, the one who worked so hard
for us is resting at God's will; what he suffered he told so few, he didn't deserve what he went through, tired and weary
he made no fuss, but he tried so hard to stay with us; forever in our thoughts, God bless, Dad.
SMYTH, William - May
18 1980, beloved father of William McKeiver Smyth - deeply regretted by his sorrowing son and daughter-in-law, William and
Betty, Scotland. Also his granddaughters and husbands. Never selfish, always kind, these are the memories he left behind.
SMYTH, William - May 18 1980 - deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Benny; also
grandson Bernard. If roses grow in Heaven, Lord please pick a bunch for me and place them in my father's arms and tell him
they are from me.
SMYTH, William McKee - May 18 1980, at his residence, 32 Roe Street, loving memories of my dear
father. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter and son-in-law, Evelyn and Gerald and grandchildren. Rest after suffering,
peace after pain, we would not waken you dear father to suffer again.
SMYTH, William - May 18, 1980, at his residence
32 Roe Street. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter and son-in-law Beatrice and Jim Cahoon, also his granddaughter Phyliss.
He sleeps in a beautiful garden, free from all sorrow and pain and when life's journey is ended please God, let me meet my
SMYTH, William - May 18 1980, beloved grandfather of Christine - deeply regretted by his sorrowing granddaughter
and husband, Christine and Alan Haskins; also great grandson. You were someone special, grandad, someone kind and true, you
will never be forgotten, for we thought the world of you.
Wednesday May 21, 1980
William - May 18 1980, deeply regretted by his his sorrowing daughter and son-in-law, Lesley amd Tommy Morgan and grandchildren,
Carrickfergus. I hold back the tears when I speak your name, but the ache in my heart is still the same, my voice is sad and
I whisper low, God bless you dad, for I love you so.
On the first anniversary of William's death, further notices were placed
in the Belfast Telegraph by his wife Annie, daughters Evelyn and Margaret and sons-in-law Gerald and Benny, as well as from
his daughter Lesley Morgan, husband Tommy, and their children Andrea, Thomas and Zoe.
CHILDREN of WILLIAM McKEEVER SMYTH and ANNIE
EVELYN LESLIE WATTON:
Martha Jane Elisabeth Watton Smyth
b: 4/3/1922 d: 22/7/2001
Calum's and Jamie's great grandmother - see below.
b: June 1923 d: 22/4/1924
Helen sadly led a very short life. She was born in Belfast in approximately June 1923, but sadly died
in the city aged just ten months old at the home of her grandparents Cochrane and Lizzie Watton, at 35 Barrow Street. She
was subsequently buried in the Smyth plot at lair C2 461 in Dundonald Cemetery.
William Cochrane Smyth(e)
b: 1/8/1924 d: 21/11/2010
William was born on 1 AUG 1924 in Belfast (Belfast Urban 3, p.190).
|Willy Smythe at home in Ayr, Scotland, April 2001
As a young man, William worked with his father in the painting firm, but
left to join the RAF in 1945, where he worked for 12 years as a member of the RAF police. Willy changed his name to Smythe
after he joined the RAF, as there was apparently another gentleman with the surname Smyth in his squadron. He pronounces it
'Smithe', but we all know he is a Smyth!!!
Whilst serving as a corporal in the RAF, William married Elizabeth
McKie, a departmental stores supervisor living in Ayr, Scotland, on December 12th 1955. Elizabeth was the daughter
of farm labourer Thomas McKie and his wife Agnes Miller, a farm servant. The wedding took place at St Quivox Parish Church
in Ayr, with the witnesses being T. Curran and Isabella D. Bryson.
Willy then left and worked as a hamcurer's boner, and later in a hospital
in Ayr as a porter.
Willy sadly passed away on Sunday, November 21st 2010.
CHILDREN of WILLIAM SMYTHE and ELIZABETH McKIE:
Janet Elizabeth Sim Smythe
Janet (aka Janice) married James, and has two children.
CHILDREN of JANET SMYTHE and JAMES:
Ann Evelyn Smythe
Ann is married to Archie, with whom she has two sons.
CHILDREN of ANN SMYTHE and ARCHIE:
Darren Archibald Smythe McDonald
b: Feb 1925 d: abt Oct 2001
Sadie is believed to have married on three occasions.
The first gent was called Cyril, surname unknown, the second had the surname Owens and the
From the three marriages there are three children
- Maureen, Steven and Lesley.
Sadie's last known whereabouts were in Liverpool,
England, several years ago. She died about six months after her eldest sister Martha in 2001.
CHILDREN of SADIE SMYTH:
Lesley married twice, the first time to a gent as
yet unknown, and the second to Thomas Morgan.
CHILDREN of LESLEY (UNKNOWN) and THOMAS MORGAN:
4/5/1930 d: 16/12/1997
Beattie was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on May 4th 1930.
Beattie married James Cahoon in the first quarter of 1951 (1951, Q1/0/424).
Beattie's bridesmaid was her sister Martha, Calum's and Jamie's great grandmother. The couple went on to
have two daughters, Phylis and Christine.
Beattie died on December 16th 1997 after developing cancer, and was buried in the old
Church of Ireland Cemetery at Carnmoney Church, Newtonabbey (1997/Q4/Death Ref D1997/B1/3001).
CHILDREN of BEATRICE SMYTH and JAMES CAHOON:
Christine was born in Belfast.
CHILDREN of CHRISTINE CAHOON and ALAN:
Phylis was born in Cookstown.
|Phyliss & Christine Cahoon with their aunt Martha (Calum's & Jamie's great granny) & cousin Nicole
b: 29/8/1931 d: 17/2/1932
Minnie was born in Belfast on 29 AUG 1931 (Source: GRONI B 1931 U/1931/49/1007/187/149)
Minnie died a few months later on 17 FEB 1932 (Source: GRONI D 1932 D/1932/49/1007/115/335)
|Tommy and Margaret on Colin Paton's wedding dayin 1969
As a youngster, Tommy worked at Edenderry
Mills in Belfast, and then joined ICI in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He married Margaret in Belfast,
and the couple went on raise a family of eight children.
1981, after many years employment at ICI, Tommy was made redundant. Shortly after, he was responsible for setting
up the Snooker Club in the Northgate Bar in Carrickfergus, and is currently the chairman of the club.
Tommy and Margaret still live in Carrickfergus
to this day.
CHILDREN of THOMAS
SMYTH and MARGARET:
Jacqueline has at least one son.
CHILDREN of JACQUELINE SMYTH and (UNKNOWN):
Linda is married to Roy and has at least one son.
CHILD of LINDA SMYTH and ROY (UNKNOWN):
Nigel is partnered by Valerie with whom he has one son.
CHILD of NIGEL SMYTH and VALERIE (UNKNOWN):
Glenn is married to Lesley-Ann and has at least two children
(Belfast Telegraph obits 24/7/2001).
CHILDREN of GLENN and LESLEY-ANN (UNKNOWN):
Joyce is married to William and has at least two children (Belfast
Telegraph obits 24/7/2001).
CHILDREN of JOYCE SMYTH and WILLIAM:
Stephen is either married to, or partnered by, a woman called Mary
(Belfast Telegraph obits 24/7/2001). They have at least one daughter.
CHILDREN of STEVEN SMYTH and MARY (UNKNOWN):
In 2001 Darren was partnered by a woman called Linda (Belfast
Telegraph obits 24/7/2001).
Graeme is married to Alison and has at least two children (Belfast
Telegraph obits 24/7/2001).
CHILDREN of GRAEME SMYTH and ALISON (UNKNOWN):
b: 15/7/1936 d: 23/1/1937
Iris was born on 15 JUL 1936 at 25 Liffey Street, Belfast. Her father, William Smyth, was noted
as a painter, and her mother as Annie Watton. William was the informant to the registrar on 30 JUL 1936 (Source: GRONI
B U/1936/49/1007/195/440 Belfast Urban 3)
Iris died on 23 JAN 1937 (Source: GRONI D 1937 D/1937/49/1007/121/227 Belfast)
As a youngster, Christie and his brother
Tommy were in the TA together, training at the weekends. At one point the two of them were sent off on an expedition. Upon
their return, Tommy returned to Ireland, but Christie remained in Britain, where he joined up with the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
He was soon sent to Malaya on a tour of duty, and upon his return he settled in Essex and married a woman called Christine,
with whom he had a daughter. His family in Ireland have not heard from him since, and hence his current whereabouts are
of CHRISTOPHER SMYTH and CHRISTINE (UNKNOWN):
Christine (or Karen) Smyth
Evelyn married Gerard and went on to have four children.
CHILDREN of EVELYN SMYTH and GERRY:
Shirley's cousin Cherie McKeown (formerly Paton, nee Graham) recalled that her nickname as a baby was "Bubbles"!
b: 8/10/1942 d: 12/5/1943
Edna was born in Belfast on 8 OCT 1942 (Source: GRONI B 1942 U/1942/49/1007/204/402
Edna died in infancy on 12 MAY 1943 (Source: GRONI D 1943 D/1943/49/1007/128/54
Margaret was named after her aunt, Margaret Smyth, who died
at a young age from an accident involving a horse.
Born and raised in Roe Street, Belfast, Margaret also stayed with her
sister Martha for a time in Carrickfergus. Her niece Cherie McKeown (formerly Paton, nee Graham) recalls how she would have her beehive hairstyle done by her aunt Margaret before heading to the local YMCA disco.
Margaret returned to Belfast and worked in Edenderry Mills as a flax and yarn
spinner. In the first quarter of 1971 she married Bernard (Benny) in Belfast, and had one son
with him. She continues to live in the city, in the Ardoyne area.
In August 2004, Margaret's great nephew Chris Paton contacted her for the first time and was able to find out much from her about the Smyth side of the family, and
for this he is eternally grateful, as well as for the further contact in Feb 2010.
CHILDREN of MARGARET SMYTH and BENNY:
In December 2000, Bernard successfully underwent a kidney transplant.
Bernard is married and has one son. He continues to live in Belfast. A big thanks
to Bernard for getting in touch through this website, and for facilitating contact with his mother Margaret.
CHILD of BERNARD LYNCH and (UNKNOWN):
Martha Jane Elisabeth Watton Smyth
Martha was Calum's and Jamie's great grandmother.
Martha's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
profile has been established following analysis of her grandson Christopher's DNA in 2007. This form of DNA was passed to
her from her mother Annie Watton, her granny Elizabeth Holmes etc, along the maternal line. Her haplogroup is H, meaning that
her maternal ancestors eventually go as far back as an ancestor that the boffins in white coats have named Helena. The 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 Martha, it will be
extremely likely that they shared a common maternal ancestor somewhere in the last 500 years. Martha's mtDNA profile is shared
by her five surviving children, and her seven brothers and sisters. The children of her sisters also carry this same DNA profile,
though not those of her brothers, as men cannot pass on mtDNA to their children (it is inherited from the mother only).
Martha was born in Belfast in 1922, the eldest daughter in the Smyth family.
|Martha Jane Elizabeth Watton Smyth, 1953
As a child, she attended school in
Belfast until the age of 14, after which, like most young working class girls at that time, she took up work in the Edenderry linen mill, just off the city's Crumlin Road. Also working
alongside her at the mill was her sister Beattie and brother Tommy. Martha's job was
to work as a doffer, one of the many young girls whose job it was to clear the frames of the empty bobbins, with a doff
being the term used for a bobbin that was full of yarn. Martha remained at Edenderry for about six years, eventually leaving
when she got married in 1943.
To hear more about life as a doffer in Belfast, the BBC's Legacies website
has recorded a series of audio interview of various mill workers. Click on the following link (requires Real One Player):
The linen processes and the doffers routine
And a traditonal doffer's song can be found at the following link:
You will easy know a doffer
During the Second World War Martha was also a songster
in the Salvation Army, and learned how to play the harp as a hobby on the Shankill Road.
|Martha dn Ernest, with kids Edna and Billy, Belfast, approx 1946
On 10th July 1943, Martha married boilermaker Ernest
Graham, son of Ernest Graham and Charlotte Harper Montgomery, in Belfast, and after returning from their Dublin honeymoon, the couple went on to raise a family. Tragically,
Martha's pregnancy with her first son ended prematurely when she miscarried. The child was named Ernest
Graham, and was buried in the Smyth family plot at Carnmoney Church of Ireland Cemetery, near Whiteabbey.
Happily, Martha then went on to give birth
to Edna and Billy in the city, and just prior to 1950, the family moved to Carrickfergus,
County Antrim, where they set up home at Salia Avenue in the Sunnylands estate. Settled in Carrick, Martha further extended
the family by giving birth to Charlotte and Michael.
After her husband left
his employment at Harland and Wolfe in Belfast, disgusted at their policy of sectarian employment which discriminated
against Roman Catholics in favour of the country's larger Protestant community, Martha and Ernie moved to South Africa in
approximately 1953, where Ernie had gained employment with a company called Wesso. They lived there for six to eight months,
but when unrest in the country over apartheid became too much, they left the country and returned to Ireland.
|Martha with her 2 children and a neighbour at Chichester Square, Carrickfergus - approx 1953
In the following year, Ernie got another contract to work as a boilermaker on the oil fields of Yemen, at Aden. He
again asked Martha to accompany him with the children, but at this point, according to her eldest son Billy,
Martha refused point blank when she was asked to go, as she really didn't like the time that she had spent in South Africa.
(And knowing how Calum's and Jamie's own grandmother Cherie gets on, Martha also probably had serious
problems with eating that "foreign muck"!!!)
Martha sent her children every week to Joymount Presbyterian Church. She was particularly strict about their religious
upbringing, and made sure that they all went to Church in the morning, Sunday School in the afternoon, and back to Church
again in the evening for the late service. According to her daughter Cherie (Charlotte), Martha's
eldest son Billy apparently used to open his offering envelope up every week, lift out the money and put
back in a penny, making sure that both he and God were well catered for!
On returning from the Yemen, Ernie took up work on another contract in Carlisle, but whilst there was
to have an affair, which was soon discovered by the lady's own husband. The angry husband got in touch with Martha in
Ireland to tell her about the affair, and that was to be the end of her marriage to Ernie. With Ernie duly remaining
over in the English Lake District, Martha once more set about raising their children on her own.
In the 1960s, Martha had two further children,
Mark and Nicolle. Mark was born severely handicapped at birth, and required constant care
and attention throughout the day in case he took an epileptic fit or had seizures.
To support her family, Martha worked briefly in Larne at the Pye electronics factory,
and then took up work at the Carreras cigarette factory in Carrickfergus.
In August 1969, Martha had to say goodbye to
her son Billy, who had decided to emigrate to Australia. Billy did however return on several occasions to
visit his mum back in Ireland, and she always looked forward to his visits with great excitement.
Just a few days after Billy emigrated, Martha's
daughter Cherie (Charlotte) also left Ireland, having married a submariner from Carrickfergus
called Colin Paton. The couple moved to Barrow on Furness in England and then to Helensburgh in Scotland to where Colin was based.
On June 6th 1976, Martha's son Mark, who had been born
severely handicapped, sadly died in hospital after a severe epileptic fit, at the age of thirteen. Living at 10 Chichester
Square at the time, in Carrick's Sunnylands estate, Martha and the family were completely devastated.
In 1977, Martha visited her daughter Cherie in Plymouth,
and ended up staying for several months with Cherie and her four grandchildren, Chris, Colin,
Dawn and baby Robert, as well as her daughter Nicole and granddaughter
Cheryl. Nicole and Cheryl in fact spent a year with the Patons, and enrolled at the local school, Laira Green
Primary, which they attended alongside their cousins.
|Martha in fits of giggles! Plymouth, England, 1977
To give an example of how mad a sense of humour Martha had, on one occasion in Plymouth, her grandsons
Chris and Colin were seated in the sitting room depicted in the above photo. Suddenly Martha
came running in, naked as the day she was born, except for a pair of tights she had on. She ran around the living room
twice, mischievously shouting out "Yeehaa!!" laughing her head off, and then ran back out the door again. To this day,
Colin and Chris have no idea what was going on...!
In subsequent years, Martha moved house back in Carrickfergus on several occasions, living at 10 Chichester
Square, Oakwood Road, and ultimately Castlemara Drive.
In 1979, Martha's daughter Cherie moved back to Carrickfergus
after separating from her husband Colin Paton. Cherie took her two youngest children, Dawn and Robert, back with her, leaving the two eldest boys, Chris
and Colin, behind in England to be raised by their father, although six months later they too returned to Carrick. With
the family split, Dawn and Robert were regular visitors to their grandmother, but Chris and Colin were initially not allowed
near their mother or her family by their father. This lasted for a couple of years, although when they moved to Castlemara,
being only a few yards away from Martha's house, this soon mellowed. On one occasion in the mid 1980s, Chris was even asked
to take a lump of coal to his granny's at New Year's Eve, to first foot the new year in, despite the fact he was blonde and
blue eyed, going against centuries of established Scottish tradition!
|Martha with grandson Robert Paton, approximately 1984.
In the late 1990s, Martha suffered a series of strokes
in her house at Castlemara, which she shared with her youngest son Michael. Having the constitution of an
ox, after each stroke, she kept getting back up, and was able to recover her speech ability within months. Alterations were
made to the house to help her, including the addition of a small chair lift in the corner of her sitting room that led to
her bedroom, and a ramp to help her with wheelchair access.
In 1999, Martha was visited by her two granddaughters Alison and Roslyn
from Australia, with their father Billy, a visit which she thoroughly enjoyed.
In April 2001, Martha got to meet her great grandson Calum Graham Paton for the one and only time, just a couple of days after his christening in the Republic of Ireland.
In July, just a few months later, Martha underwent
a life saving operation to have her left leg amputated from beneath the knee, after developing serious bedsores on it whilst
staying in Whiteabbey Hospital after yet another stroke. Tragically,
two weeks after the operation, Martha passed away, but not before receiving a visit from Calum's father, Chris,
who had travelled over from Scotland to see her. Her leg may have left her, and even her strength, but at the end she still
had her mad sense of humour about her!
Martha was buried on Wednesday 25th July in Victoria
Cemetery, Carrickfergus, beside her son Mark, who died in 1976. The following notices were recorded in the Belfast
Tuesday, 24th July 2001
MARTHA - died July 22, 2001. I loved you mum and always will, I did in life, in death I do still, tender Lord, in your garden
of rest, for while on earth, she was the best. From her daughter Cherie, partner Jim, grand-daughter Dawn and grandson Colin.
|Martha's last photo, in Whiteabbey Hospital, with daughter Cherie - still smiling!
GRAHAM, MARTHA. - Died July 22, 2001. Deeply
regretted by her loving sister Lesley. A golden heart stopped beating, two willing hands at rest, God broke our hearts to
prove to us, He only takes the best.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital
- Deeply regretted by her sorrowing brother Tommy, sister-in-law Margaret. We cannot bring the old days back, when we were
all together but loving thoughts and precious memories remain with us forever.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - 171 Castlemara Drive,
Carrickfergus, died July 22, 2001 at Whiteabbey Hospital. - Deeply regretted by her grandson Chris, wife Claire, and great
grandson Calum (Glasgow). Also by her grandson Robert (Glasgow). We will miss you Granny and never forget you.
MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001. - Deeply regretted by her sorrowing nephew Stephen and Mary. The Lord is my shepherd. Gone but
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deeply regretted by her niece Linda, Roy and son David. The Lord is my shepherd.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deeply sympathy from her Nephew Nigel, partner Valerie and son Darryl. Precious memories.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deeply regretted by her nephew Glenn, wife Lesley-Ann and family. Peace, perfect peace.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deepest sympathy from her nephew Darren and partner Linda. The Lord is my shepherd.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deeply regretted by her nephew Graeme, wife Alison and family. No more suffering, at peace now.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001 at hospital.
- Deeply regretted by her niece Joyce and husband William and family. Along the road of suffering, she found a little lane,
that lead her up to heaven and ended all her pain.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22 at hospital.
- Will be sadly missed by her niece Jacqueline and son Ryan. Your restless days are over, your sleepless nights are past.
God put his arms around you and gave you peace at last.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - The members of the Northgate
Snooker Club regret to learn of the death of the sister of their esteemed Chairman Tommy and tender deepest sympathy to him
and the family circle.
GRAHAM, MARTHA - Died July 22, 2001. - Deepest
sympathy to Nicole and family on the death of her dear mother from Meta, Tommy and family. At Rest.
Wednesday, July 25th 2001
MARTHA - Passed away (peacefully), July 22, 2001. Much loved mother of Billy and Beth and grandmother of Brad, Roslyn and
Alison - Forever in our hearts.
On the day before, there were a further thirteen
notices from other members of the family circle.
Martha's death was also noted in the Carrickfergus Advertiser
and East Antrim Gazette, Wednesday 25th July, by Calum's father.
GRAHAM - MARTHA 171 Castlemara Drive,
22nd July 2001 at Whiteabbey Hospital. Deeply regretted by her grandson Chris, wife Claire and her great grandson Calum, Glasgow.
Also by her grandson Robert, Glasgow
will miss you Granny and never forget you.
|Martha's grave in Victoria Cemetery
Martha's headstone at her grave in Victoria Cemetery reads:
In loving memory of
My Darling Son MARK JAMES
Died 14th February 1976 aged 13 1/2 yrs
Always remembered by
His loving mummy and family
Also our dear mother
Died 22nd July 2001
Until we meet
To hold you in my arms again
Following Martha's death, a letter of administration
for her estate was granted the following year, a copy of which was located at PRONI. The text is as follows:
In the High Court of Justice in
Family Division Probate and Matrimonial
Be it Known that Martha Jane GRAHAM
of 171 Castlemara Drive Carrickfergus County Antrim
Died on the 22nd day
of July 2001
Domiciled in Northern Ireland
AND BE IT FURTHER KNOWN that on
the date hereunder written Letters of Administration of all the estate which by law devolves to and vests in the personal
representative of the said intestate were granted by the aforesaid Court to
[.... of ....]
AND IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that
it appears from information supplied on the application for this grant that the gross value of the estate in United Kingdom
does not exceed £10,000.00 and that the net value of the estate does not exceed £10,000.00
Dated the 17th day of
CHILDREN of MARTHA SMYTH:
b: 1943 d: 1943
See Graham (1) page.
Edna Smyth Graham
William Smyth Graham
Charlotte Harper Graham
Calum's and Jamie's grandmother - see Graham (1) page.
Ernest Michael Graham
b: 6/6/1962 d: 14/2/1976
Mark was born on June 6th 1962, weighing in at
twelve pounds at birth. He was born mentally handicapped and disabled.
|Calum's and Jamie's grandmother Cherie with her brother Mark
Mark was christened in the house at 2 Chichester Square,
by the Reverend Tommy Carlisle from Joymount Presbyterian Church, with his godfather being his uncle Jimmy Cahoon,
and his godmother being his aunt, Beattie Cahoon (nee Smyth).
In 1966, because of Mark's disability, his mother moved the family into a new house at 12 Salia Avenue, which had the luxury
of full central heating. His sister Cherie fondly remembers him calling to her as "She", being unable to say the name Cherie
properly. All the family loved Mark to bits, and both Cherie and her brother Billy gave their sons Chris and Bradley
the second Christian name of Mark, named after their brother.
Mark sadly died in the Royal Victoria Hospital
in Belfast after suffering pneumonia and a severe epileptic fit, at the age of thirteen in 1976.
The following notices recorded Mark's death in
the Carrickfergus Advertiser and the Belfast Telegraph:
Carrickfergus Advertiser and East Antrim
February 19th 1976
GRAHAM - Mark, darling son of Martha, died February 14 1976. Very deeply regretted
by Mollie, Des, Rosaleen Best and family Philemina and Jim. His little feet are wondering now in streets of shining gold,
a glittering crown on his fair young brow, a lamb in the shepherd's fold.
Monday, February 16th 1976
GRAHAM - February 14, 1976
(suddenly) at hospital, Mark, dearly loved son of Martha Graham, 10 Chichester Square, Carrickfergus. Funeral from his home
tomorrow (Tuesday), at 2.30pm to Victoria Cemetery - Very deeply regretted by his sorrowing mother, brother Michael, sister
Nicholl and family circle. Put your arms around him Lord, give him tender care, make up for all he's missed in life and all
that seemed unfair.
GRAHAM - February 14th 1976 (suddenly) at hospital, Mark, beloved son of Martha. Deeply regretted
by his sorrowing sister Cherie, brother-in-law Colin and nephews and nieces, Plymouth. God's garden must be beautiful, he
only takes the best.
GRAHAM - Mark, died February 14 1976 - The neighbours of Chichester Square deeply regret the
death of Mark, much loved son of Martha, and extend their deepest sympathy to the family circle. Sleeping in Heavenly Peace.
There were similar notices placed by Billy
and Beth in Australia; Edna, Paul and Warren in Carrick;
Annie and William Smyth in Belfast; Margaret and Tommy
in Carrick; and from friends Lily Hamilton and family, and Nell Holden and family.
Connecting to Calum and Jamie
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