Abt 1795 - 6/12/1875
Robert was Calum's, Jamie's and Pippa's six times great grandfather
Very little is known about Robert Strain as yet, although is known
to have worked as a shoemaker in the parish of Raphoe. The marriage records of his son Robert in 1842 notes
him as 'Robert Strain junior', whilst the birth record of another son, Charles, noted in 1826 that Robert
senior was based in Figart townland, within the parish of Raphoe in Donegal.
DNA connections to descendants of his daughter Eliza Jane,
born in about 1823, and who emigrated to New Zealand, have revealed that Robert's wife was called Ann
The RootsIreland platform notes Robert to have died on 6 DEC 1875 at Bogagh, Raphoe, with his denomination noted as Church of Ireland. No source is given, but it is presumed to
be from the burial register from the Anglican parish church. No corresponding civil death record for that date has been located.
CHILDREN of ROBERT STRAIN and ANN STAFFORD:
Eliza Jane Strain - DNA match
1821 - 20/10/1901
Eliza was born in about 1823. According to her death record in New Zealand, she died on 20 OCT 1901
aged 78, at Geraldine, after suffering from abdominal sarcoma for 6 months. Her parents were Robert Strain,
a shoemaker, and Ann Stafford, whilst she was noted as having been born in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Her
occupation was noted as domestic duties, and her husband as William Shannon, to whom she had married when
she was aged 18 in Raphoe, Co. Donegal, placing the year of their wedding at about 1840/41.
The record also confirmed that Eliza had been resident in New Zealand for 26 years, and that she had
two sons, aged 40 and 38, and three daughters, aged 51, 48 and 43. The informant to the registrar was her daughter
Eliza had emigrated to Canterbury, New Zealand, by assisted passage on board the Blairgowrie on 29
MAY 1875. In the emigration record Eliza Shannon was noted as aged 43, and a servant, and was accompanied by her dairymaid
daughter Rebecca, aged 17, and her sons Robert, aged 14, and Charles, aged 12. Also on the boat was 22 year old Matilda Shannon
from Donegal, 21 year old Catherine Shannon and 20 year old Eliza J. Shannon, all servants.
Three AncestryDNA connections through Eliza's children Matilda, Charles
and William to Calum's, Jamie's and Pippa's great uncle William have confirmed our connection,
and importantly the maiden surname of Ann Strain nee Stafford, Eliza's mother. (One
of these three, Bernard Timings, also connects to Calum's and Jamie's father at 14cM, 1 segment).
18?? - 18??
b: abt 10/9/1826 d: Jan-Mar 1916
Charles was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 10 SEP 1826, with his residence noted as Figart in
the parish of Raphoe. His father was Robert Strain and his mother noted as Anne. No witnesses
were recorded (Source: RootsIreland).
In the 1901 census for Ireland Charles was noted as a 70 year old unmarried agricultural labourer,
boarding in the house of a Roman Catholic couple called Owen and Susan Nealis, at 3 Mageestown, Raphoe. He was Church of Ireland
by way of religion and could not read or write. He was also noted as having been born in Donegal.
Charles was later listed in the 1911 census as residing at 23 Guest End Street, Raphoe, with
his niece Rebecca. He was 80 years old and a retired labourer from Donegal who was single and unable to read
or write. and a member of the Irish Church, or Church of Ireland (Source: National Archives of Ireland).
Charles appears to have passed away in the first quarter of 1916, aged '80', with his death registered
in Strabane (1916 Q1, vol.2 p.263).
b: abt 24/3/1829
Rebecca was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 24 MAR 1829, with her residence noted as Figart
in the parish of Raphoe. Her father was Robert Strain and her mother noted as Anne Strain. No witnesses were recorded (Source:
b: abt 5/8/1832
John was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 5 AUG 1832, with his residence noted as Upper Figart
in the parish of Raphoe. His father was Robert Strain, a shoemaker, and his mother noted as Anne. No witnesses were recorded
b: abt 28/12/1834
William was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 28 DEC 1834, with his residence noted as Upper Figart
in the parish of Raphoe. His father was Robert Strain, a shoemaker, and his mother noted as Anne. The witnesses/informants
were Hugh Scullion and Robert Strain (Source: RootsIreland).
b: abt 22/1/1837
Thomas was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 22 JUL 1837, with his residence noted as Figart
in the parish of Raphoe. His father was Robert Strain, a shoemaker, and his mother noted as Anne. No witnesses were recorded
Mary Jane Strain
b: abt 2/5/1841
Mary Jane was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 2 MAY 1841, with her residence noted as Figart
in the parish of Raphoe. Her father was Robert Strain, a shoemaker, and her mother noted as Anne. No witnesses were recorded
Bet 1824-1829 - 15/6/1872
Robert was Calum's and Jamie's five times great grandfather.
Robert Strain was initially based based in Figart, in the parish of Raphoe,
County Donegal, Ireland, before settling elsewhere in the parish at various times in Bogagh, Mageestown and Tullyvinny.
Several records refer to him as Robert junior, indicating that his father was also called Robert. He married
Mary Anne at some stage prior to 1842, although the record has as yet to be found.
Robert and Mary Anne had at least six children.
Robert died at Sandymills, Castlefin, on 15 JUN 1872, aged 43, the cause being a general debility,
suffered for 2 years. The informant on 12 JUL 1872 was Mary Strain of Sandymills, almost certainly his wife
(GROI D 1872 Q3 Vol.12 p.205 Strabane). A following burial record located on RootsIreland states that he was buried in Raphoe
on 27 JUN 1872. His address is noted as Sandymills once more, although his age was now transcribed as 50. The original burial
records have still to be consulted.
Mary Anne eventually passed away on 9 MAY 1898 at Maghrahaan, Raphoe, at the age of 76, the certified
cause being chronic bronchitis and asthenia, as suffered for years. She was noted as a widow to a labourer, and the informant
to the registrar on 17 MAY was her daughter Matilda Strain, resident at Maghrahaan (Source: GROI D 1898 Group
Reg ID 3659879 SRD Strabane RD Raphoe).
CHILDREN of ROBERT STRAIN and MARY ANNE:
b: abt 24/4/1842
Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandmother - see
b: abt 14/2/1847 d: 26/7/1908
Matilda was baptised by the Church of Ireland on February 14th 1847. At the time her parents were
resident in High Figart, parish of Raphoe, Donegal. No witnesses were recorded.
It is unclear as to whether our Matilda married. A Matilda Strain, daughter of Robert Strain, did
marry a labourer called William Kilpatrick, son of Thomas Kilpatrick, on 26 May 1864 at Raphoe, in a ceremony carried
out by the Church of Ireland. At the time Matilda was resident at Cottown. What confuses the issue is that after this wedding,
all subsequent records refer to her as Matilda Strain, and not Matilda Kilpatrick. (Source: RootsIreland and IGI)
Matilda certainly had at least four children. The 1901 census for house number 2 in Magherahaan
in Raphoe lists her as the head of the household, aged 50 and a seamstress who was Church of Ireland by religion and
able to read and write. Also present was her son, 26 year old Thomas, 24 year old nephew Charles
Strain, both general labourers born in Donegal, and a daughter, Martha, aged 21 and a seamstress,
again born in Donegal. Her sister Rebecca was also living in the house, and like Matilda was a seamstress,
listed as unmarried, aged 42 and also able to read and write.
Matilda died on 26 JUL 1908 in Raphoe (her address is simply given as 'Raphoe'). Her age was
noted as 62 and the informant as her son, Charles, also listed as residing in Raphoe. No cause of death is given and no indication
as to where she was buried (Source: RootsIreland).
CHILDREN of MATILDA STRAIN:
b: abt 1874
Thomas was born in Raphoe in approximately 1874. He was present with his
mother in Magherahaan in the 1901 censuses, where he was listed as a general labourer.
b: abt 1876
Charles was born in Raphoe in approximately 1876. He was present with
his mother in Magherahaan in the 1901 censuses, where he was listed as a general labourer.
Charles acted as informant following his mother's death in Raphoe in July 1908, and is listed in the death record as
also still resident in Raphoe.
This child was noted on the IGI as having been born at the end of 1877 - the orignal record has as yet to be checked.
b: abt 1880
Martha was born in approximatly 1880 in Raphoe, and was listed as residing with her mother in Magherahaan
in the 1901 census.
b: abt 10/11/1850
Matilda was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 10 NOV 1850. At the time her parents were resident
in Bogagh, parish of Raphoe, Donegal. The witnesses were Matilda Strain and William Quin.
b: abt 5/6/1853
Robert was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 5 JUN 1853. At the time his parents were resident
in Mageestown, parish of Raphoe, Donegal. The witnesses were Mary Strain and John Strain.
Mary Anne Strain
b: abt 10/6/1855
Mary Anne was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 10 JUN 1855. At the time her parents were resident
in Bogagh, parish of Raphoe, Donegal. The witnesses were Mary Jane Strain and Charles Strain.
b: abt 15/12/1858 d: 22/4/1920
Rebecca was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 15 DEC 1858. At the time her parents were resident
in Tullyvinny, parish of Raphoe, Donegal. No witnesses were recorded (Source: RootsIreland).
Rebecca was noted as residing with her sister Matilda in the 1901 census for the townland of Magherahaan
in Raphoe. She was listed as being 42 and as a seamstress who could read and write, and who was Church of Ireland by way of
religion (Source: National Archives of Ireland).
In the 1911 census Rebecca was listed as the head of the household at 23 Guest End Street in Raphoe. She was now stated
as being unable to read, she was a member of the irish Church, aged 60 and unmarried. With her in the house were her nephew
Charles Strain aged 30, a general labourer, her 80 year old uncle Charles Strain, a
single retired labourer from Donegal who was also unable to read or write, and her grand niece Mary Anne Lapsley,
who was aged just 4 and could not read or write (Source: National Archives of Ireland). The landlord for the house was William
Lapsley, who appears to have resided two doors away at number 21. William was clearly married to one of Rebecca's
nieces, Margaret, though how she connects has as yet to be worked out.
Rebecca eventually passed away on 22 APR 1920 at Lifford Infirmary, in the Donegal parish of Castlefin. She was noted
as a 60 year old housekeeper and unmarried. The informant was Anna B. Heslin at Lifford Infirmary (Source: RootsIreland).
The death was registered in Strabane (1920 Q2, Vol. 2 p.224).
abt 24/4/1842 - 15/9/1886
Sarah was Calum's and Jamie's four times great grandmother.
Sarah's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
profile has been established following analysis of her great great great grandson Christopher's mtDNA 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 Sarah and her
maternal line descendants, it will be extremely likely that they shared a common maternal ancestor somewhere in the last 500
years. Sarah's mtDNA profile was shared by all of her children, and any siblings she may have had.
Sarah was baptised by the Church of Ireland on 24 APR 1842 in the parish
of Raphoe, with her residence noted as High Figart. Her father Robert was noted as a labourer.
Sarah married John Holmes on January 10th 1861, in Raphoe, County Donegal. In the record John 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. The wedding was performed in the Presbyterian Church in the town, with
the witnesses noted as Samuel Brown and Andrew Allen.
The couple subsequently had at least six children.
Sarah eventually passed away on 15 SEP 1886 at Raphoe. In her death record she was noted as having
been aged 45 and as being a shoemaker's wife. The cause of death was congestion of her liver, as suffered for eight months,
and jaundice, suffered for two weeks. Her sister Matilda Strain of Magherahan was the informant to the registrar
on 25 SEP 1886 (GROI D 1886 Q3 Vol 2 p.202 Strabane).
CHILDREN of SARAH STRAIN and JOHN HOLMES:
Sarah Ann Baird Holmes
For more on the Holmes family visit the following link: Holmes
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