Ireland

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Mark Anthony Toomey was born in Dublin in 1844 to Mark Toomey and Jane Kelly. He married Julia Adelaide Bourne in 1868 at St. Peter’s church in Dublin. She was from a respected legal family. When his daughter was born in 1875 he was a wine merchant.

Mark Anthony was very active in Freemasonry and was initiated in Commercial Lodge No. 245 in 1871 in Dublin. In 1878 he was installed as Worshipful Master of this Lodge. He was also a Life Governor of both the male and female Masonic Orphan Schools in Ireland.

There were six children in the family: Mark born 1869 and died in 1871; Louisa Alice born 1871; Mark born 1873; Jane born 1875; Walter Bourne born 1878 and Richard Fenton born 1880. The children were all born in Dublin.

Mark Anthony Toomey got into what was described as “financial trouble” over a debt he had guaranteed and could not pay. This was an offence you could go to prison for and two of his Bourne brother in laws suggested he went to Australia. According to family lore he left for Sydney in 1883. There is a letter dated 2 March 1880 that suggests it may have been closer to 1880. If this is the case then the reason Julia and family did not go with him at the time could have been because she was carrying their son Richard.

When Mark Anthony arrived in Sydney he hired a Chinese girl to look after the house and then Julia and family joined him.

Julia and the children joined Mark Anthony in 1890. They left London on 5 February 1890 and arrived in Sydney on 27 March 1890. They were on the Coromandel which originated in Greenock Scotland. Julia could not settle in Australia and did not like the Chinese help so she went back to Dublin. She left her son Mark behind. Julia wanted to leave Jane in Australia because Jane wanted to stay but Mark Anthony said no girls.

Walter Bourne Toomey returned to Australia via Canada. He arrived in Montreal in 1907 and arrived in Sydney in 1909. It is believed that Richard returned to Australia in 1911. The female lines were the only ones to remain in Ireland.

On arrival in New South Wales Mark Anthony joined the Freemasons. In 1885 he helped to form Lodge Hiram No. 41 and was elected Secretary. In 1887 he was made Grand Secretary and also held the position of Deputy Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales. He was a member of the Leinster Marine Royal Arch Chapter No. 266.

Mark Anthony Toomey died in Sydney on 29 March 1916. He died at the home of his son Mark Toomey at Rubyville, Church Street, Chatswood. The funeral was at the Church of England Cemetery Gore Hill.

Julia lived in the home of her daughter Jane and her family. She retired to her bed to die when she was 60 and did not die until she was 91. She died in 1932 in Rathmines Co. Dublin.

Julia Adelaide Bourne Toomey is buried in St. Nahi’s Cemetery in Dundrum Co. Dublin. The headstone reads: In Loving Memory of our parents Mark Toomey who died 21st March 1916 aged 72 and his wife Julia Adalaide (daughter of the late Walter Bourne of Taney House in this Parish) who died 9th April 1932 aged 91 “Peace Perfect Peace”with loved ones far away. This must have been put up by their daughter’s as the sons were all in Australia at this time. Mark Anthony Toomey is actually buried in Sydney Australia.

Mark Anthony and Julia Adelaide only lived together for about 14 years. They spent more than double that living apart from each other. If Julia had not returned to Ireland then I might not be here writing their story.

© 2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

In the Irish Times on 4 Jun 2013 there is an article called “Newly discovered images of Edwardian Dublin’s Herbert Park Expo.” Lantern slides were found that include the expo and several other areas around Ireland such as Belfast and Newtown County Mayo. The Expo was a World’s Fair and one of the images is of a building with Canada written on it. I wonder if that was the Canadian exhibit at the Expo. These are lovely images.

The Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library have digitized these images and made them available on their Archive of the Month page for June.

After you have viewed a slide show you can view the images again and find labels attached. Not many can identify the people in the images but they are interesting and focus on a particular time in Ireland.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

This morning I attended Brian Donovan’s lecture entitled “Landlords and Tenants: Irish Land and Estate Records for Irish Family History Research.” As usual Brian did not disappoint. The lecture was great and very informative. He also provided some good background information into the records.

He did announce that some new records are going to be put on Findmypast and on the National Archives of Ireland website.

It looks like we can look forward to seeing records relating to church records, original wills, workhouse registers, school pupil rolls and all pre 1901 census survivors and search forms should be available in the next 12 months. The pre 1901 census suvivors and search forms and the will indexes will be available for free on the National Archives of Ireland website.

In the next six months the Field & House books will be availalbe for free from the National Archives of Ireland.

These records will help Irish researchers to find out more about their family history. The land records in particular can be invaluable.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Irish Life & Lore An archive of Irish voices” is a website offering an interesting service. They have captured “…over 3,000 voices …. as they discuss their own lives and histories, along with personal and family experiences of events in Irish national and social history.”

You can purchase a CD or download a MP3 of the recordings. The MP3’s cost around €7.00. You can browse or search the catalogue online. The catalogue can be searched by county name, non-county collection or keyword.

The keywords under browse are Ancient monuments; Funeral undertaking; Gardaí Siochána; 1916; ESB [Electric Supply Board]; World War One; Blacksmithing: Missionaries; Smuggling; World War Two; GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association]; and Gaelic football.

They provide a service to help people “Record and Preserve Your Family Voices.”

Some of their recordings have been turned into books.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have you heard of Ancestral Atlas? It is a mapping website. It is free to register and you can upgrade to a subscription for £20.00. When you subscribe you have access to history map layers for England, Wales and Ireland; historical boundary maps for the USA; all new licenced data added to the site; Life Maps functionality and other benefits.

The map is world wide and you add events related to your family history and where they happened. If my Great Great Grandmother was born at 23 York Street in Dublin then I can go to that place on the map and upload the information of her birth. You can decide to keep the information private or share the information. You must register to add your own information.

There is a link for quick help where a box pops up and it has information to help you add a new person, edit an existing person, viewing the location of the people/events in your people list, adding an event when you know the location, and many other options. You have the choice of printing this help page so that it is close at hand when you are entering your information. There is a page of FAQ’s to help you with any questions you may have.

When you look at the map for the place you are interested in you will see little blue balloons and if you click on them then you will get information that someone uploaded regarding a person linked to that place.

You can filter your search by given name, family name, start year and end year.

Visit the website and see what Ancestral Atlas is all about.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Gone as far as you can with your family history in North America? Want to go further in Ireland? Experienced researchers will love this opportunity to tour the research trail in the Dublin area in the company of Ruth Blair, professional genealogist, author and lecturer who specializes in Ireland. Local genealogical professionals will help you navigate the repositories, with free time to pursue your own research and interests. We’ll help you regroup if you’ve hit that metaphorical brick wall! This is a special opportunity to uncover those hidden and fascinating facets of your own family history abroad.

Highlights:

• We will be in Dublin Ireland from February 26 to March 6, 2013
• Delve into genealogy research at the National Archives, National Library of Ireland, and Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library;
• Search the General Register Office, Land Valuation Office, and Registry of Deeds;
• Research trip coincides with the timing of the “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” family history show in London, ideal for touring before meeting the research group in Ireland. Take advantage of this opportunity in London to also visit the National Archives at Kew or the Society of Genealogists;
• Research plan preparation, onsite research assistance, and daily consultations in Dublin.

 

For more information or to register, please contact Ruth Blair at:

info@familyhistorysearches.com
or 905-808-3963

Or on the web: http://bit.ly/JQXcLp

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

On the Linen Hall website there a section called “Unearthing Hidden Treasures in the Linen Hall Library.” The Linen Hall library is starting to digitize some of their collection and they have put a few items online. These items are not going to help the average Irish genealogist but they are interesting.

One of the items is “Poems in the Scottish Dialect” by Robert Burns printed in 1787. You can also find a “Contemporary account of the Battle of the Boyne” from the London Gazette published in July 1690.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have you heard of the Archives & Records Association UK & Ireland? They have a website called Learn About Archives. Across the top of the page there are eight tabs.

The first tab is Home but the next tab is Archives Services and here you will find a directory of over 80 archive services. They say that shortly you will be able to download a PDF file and you can find a Google map to show you where the archives are located. Each week they highlight a particular archive.

In the directory you will find a map, contact information such as address, phone number, contact person and email and website addresses. You will find directions and hours of operation. There is usually a description of the records that are held at the archives.

You will find information on archives in all of the 32 counties of Ireland.

The next tab is Learn and here you have the choice of What are Archives?, Beginning Your Research, Visiting an Archives Service, Sources, Guidelines and Conservation. Click on any of these links to learn more.

Documents are next and here you will find topics such as: Guinness, Famine, Census, Photographs, Women, Politics, Letters & Diaries, Maps & Plans and Military. Click on any of these links and you will find digital examples of these resources.

News provides links to the news of the archives in Ireland, the Events tab promotes the exhibitions of various archives around the country and about us is self explanatory. The last tab is Links and here you can find links to all sorts of resources.

One of the links is to the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Archive Collections.

There are four resource areas at the bottom of the page: Descriptive Guidelines, Documents, IAR (Irish Archives Resource) and Exhibitions. In previous posts I have written about the Irish Archives Resource so I won’t be looking at IAR in this post.

The Guidelines link takes you to a page which provides the Irish Guidelines for Archival Description and you can read the Archives and Records Association of Ireland’s newsletter.

The Documents link takes you to the same page as the Documents tab at the top of the home page.

The Exhibitions link takes you to Flickr and an assortment of photographs and digital images.

This website is a place to learn about some of the lesser known archives to be found in Ireland. It is also a place to keep up to date with new developments regarding Irish archives. If you are looking for a record that you can’t find in the usual places see if there is an archive that might hold that elusive item.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

When you do a search in the online catalogue for the National Library of Ireland one of the filters on the right hand side is for online availability. There are links to digital images which include ephemera, maps and a few books.

There are links to three websites that provide more information: Europeana, Sources and the General Election 2011 web archive.

There are maps from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The majority of maps are for Ireland and its counties but you can find them for Scotland, Italy and a few other places. On the right hand side are links to Europeana to view further maps.

A search of Irish History resulted in a list of images, photos and one manuscript.

Most of the search returns are digital images and not searchable items like books.

On the right hand side of the search page you can narrow down the search by the following criteria: Format, Year of Publication, Online Availability, Subject, Author, Language, Genre, Era and Region.

The links to digital images provide a new experience to searching the National Library of Ireland catalogue.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

April 25th is ANZAC Day in Australia. As a tribute to my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey, who fought with the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli, I am reposting this article from Remembrance Day 2011.

Remembrance Day is a very important day here in Canada. Last year I remembered my Great Grand Uncle Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell who lost his life in the First World War fighting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. This year I will look at the accomplishments of my Great Grand Uncle Richard Fenton Toomey who was an ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps).

Richard Fenton Toomey is on the maternal side of my family. He was born in Dublin in April of 1880 to Mark Anthony Toomey and Julia Adelaide Bourne. He was the last of six children, four boys and two girls. My Great Grandmother Jane Toomey was his sister. The other siblings were Mark (who died in infancy), Louisa Alice, Mark Anthony and Walter Bourne.

How the Toomey family got to Australia is a long story and I will elaborate on that in another post. Needless to say Richard Fenton Toomey was in New South Wales to sign up for the First World War on 1 March 1915.

There are no attestation papers in his military file. The first record is an Application for a Commission in the 12th Light Horse Regiment. This states that Richard was 35 years of age, a British subject, an accountant and that he is single. Richard was six feet tall and 11 stone (154 lbs/70 kg). His next of kin is his brother Mark Toomey and their postal address was Elbana Annandale St. Annandale NSW.

Listed under military qualifications and past military service are: 5th Lancers, Assam Valley Light Horse, Chittagong [unreadable word] Rifles, Lieut. [unreadable two words] and Lieut. Army Service Corps.

The Assam Valley Light Horse was part of the Cavalry Reserve in the British Indian Army and was formed in 1891. Chittagong was in Pakistan but is now in Bangladesh. To date no British military records have been found for Richard Fenton Toomey.

Richard was made a Honourary Lieutenant and Quarter Master on 29 June 1915. On 9 August 1915 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Division, 3rd Light Horse Brigade. On 3 January 1916 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps. He was made Quarter Master and Honourary Captain on 30 April 1916 and on 1 August 1918 he was made Quarter Master and Honourary Major.

He set sail on 12 June 1915 on board the “Suevic”. On 5 September 1915 Richard was sent to Gallipoli this was the battle that defined the ANZACS and a nation.

Richard was frequently in the hospital during his time at the front. On 3 September 1916 he was sent to hospital in Port Said Egypt with Pyorhea which is an infection of the gums. He was sent on to the hospital in Serapium and then Cairo. He was sent back to his unit on 20 September 1916.

Richard was back in hospital on 20 July 1917 with septic sores. He was sent to the hospital in Alexandria. He returned to the 4th Light Horse Regiment on 27 September 1917. He was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment in November of 1917. He was sent back to hospital with dysentery in August of 1918 and invalided in September of 1918. He left Egypt on the Morvada on 29 September 1919.

According to Richard’s military file his appointment was terminated with the A.I.F. in Sydney on 31 October 1919.

There are letters found in his military file addressed to Base Records Canberra. One is dated 20 February 1939 and Richard is requesting: “For the purpose of receiving employment in N.S.W. a discharge or Certificate of Service is required. I shall be obliged if you will kindly let me have either as soon as possible.” A copy of the form he was requested to fill out is in the file. It is stamped dated 27 February 1939. Richard’s address is Lisarow NSW.

Richard writes requesting a duplicate Returned Soldiers Badge of the one he had received “around 29 August 1919 on his return to Australia.” It appears the one he was given was lost in “think bush country” and it has not been returned or found. This letter is dated 19 February 1943 and he is a public servant and the address given is 110 Phillip Street in Sydney.

In 1919 Richard Fenton Toomey married Ellie Maud Stewart in Sydney Australia. They had no children.

I have a friend who lives in the same area as Richard Fenton Toomey. There was a family story that said he had surveyed and built a road to one of the highest points between Sydney and Brisbane and that there was a park named after him. She helped me discover that there was a place called Toomey’s Walk which we believe was named after Richard Toomey. The government body responsible for this area does not know how the name came about.

There is also Toomeys Road and these are both located in the Mount Elliot area. He might have lost his Returned Soldiers Badge while surveying this area.

She contacted the local history librarian at Gosford City Library and he sent some pictures of Richard Fenton Toomey and his wife having tea in the garden.

They also forwarded a newspaper article which talks about Richard nearly loosing his life because he had taken poison instead of medicine. Thankfully his wife was a nurse and she knew what to do.

Some Australian newspapers are online and searchable at Trove. Advertisements were found relating to a chicken farm owned by Richard and Ellie Toomey. In 1929 Ellie was selling White Longhorn chicks and the farm was called Phoenix Poultry Farm. In 1933 she was selling Khaki Campbell’s ducklings.

In 1927 Phoenix Farm was dealing with floods.

Bush fires are a common happening in Australia. It seems that in 1928 a fire wiped out the poultry farm, residence, stock and plant owned by Richard Toomey. The name of the farm seems appropriate since it rose from the ashes to start again.

Richard Fenton Toomey died in 1968 in Gosford, New South Wales and is buried in Macquarie Park Cemetery.

Lest We Forget

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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