Maggy’s Story: a Journey from Ireland to Liverpool Around the Time of the Great Famine

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The story of my great-great-great-grandmother Maggy Tighe is a story of Ireland’s Great Famine. A story of Liverpool’s slums. A story shared by millions of her countrymen and women who fled Ireland in desperate starvation. A story of tragedy, loss, and pain. A story of survival.

She was my grandfather’s great-grandmother, a woman he never met and whose name he probably never heard. But her resiliency, strength, and survival instinct were surely in his veins.

Maggy is the first of my Irish ancestors whose birthplace in Ireland I’ve been able to identify with some degree of confidence, though further work is needed to definitively prove the location.

Most of my grandfather’s ancestors were poor Irish Catholics who made their way to Liverpool, England around the time of the Great Famine of the late 1840s. Aside from a few censuses and the usual birth, marriage, and death records, they left few clues about their lives, particularly with respect to their specific Irish origins. All too often, census enumerators simply noted “Ireland” next to their names. And when it comes to Irish genealogy, you need a lot more than just “Ireland.” In Maggy’s case however, a marriage record listing her father’s name, a baptismal record, a lack of conflicting records, and some promising DNA relative matches, so far support her possible birthplace.

Equally important to her story are historical accounts of Ireland and Liverpool around that time, which add rich detail and context and help to fill in the gaps of her life, ultimately giving me a greater appreciation for what she lived through.

Irish Roots

Maggy was probably born around December 1831 in Castlerea, County Roscommon, slightly west of centre Ireland.[i]

Roscommon County in red [ii]

She was born Margaret, the fifth of six known children of Thomas Tighe and Brigid Cahil, all born in the parish of Kilkeevin (Castlerea) between 1816-1838.[iii] Her name alternated between Margaret and Maggy on later records, but I imagine her family called her Maggy, so I’ve adopted the more personal name for her story.

Maggy’s Family Tree

It’s hard to know which of the several dozen townlands within Kilkeevin Maggy may have been born and raised in – the parish, bordering County Mayo, was just over 100km2 in size and filled with about 10,000 inhabitants.[v] As Catholics, the Tighes were likely one of many poverty-stricken families in the area, still suffering from the fallout of Protestant dominance over Ireland in the 17th century.[vi] Most Catholic landowners had been forced to relinquish all or most of their estates to English Protestants, many of whom were absentee landlords.

Irish family in front of typical peasant house with thatched roof [vii]

Little is yet known of Maggy’s early life, but one thing is certain: no matter where she might have been in Ireland, her childhood would have been marked by an historic and catastrophic natural disaster.

On the morning of January 6th, 1839, 7-year-old Maggy awoke to snow outside her home. An unusually heavy snowstorm during the night had blanketed the area and if Maggy was anything like my children, she would’ve delighted in the white playground in front of her. She could not have guessed it was the prelude to one of the worst storms to hit Ireland in over 300 years. As the day wore on, it became strangely warm, reaching up to almost 24°C in some areas, quickly melting the snow. By evening, the winds picked up, leading into what later became known as ‘Oíche na Gaoithe Móire:’ the ‘Night of the Big Wind.’[viii] Soon, Maggy and her family would have been hiding in darkness from hurricane-force winds that reached up to almost 200km/hour.[ix]

Her family may have thought it was the end of the world, bolstered by Irish folklore that foretold Judgement Day would come on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th.[x] Houses were knocked down, the rooves torn off others. A quarter of all houses in Dublin were destroyed and as many as three hundred lives were lost across Ireland. Torrential rain, flooding, and fires devastated the country. The loss of livestock and much of the hay and corn meant to feed them, led to months of impoverishment for some families. Maggy almost certainly never forgot the Night of the Big Wind, but it was far from the worst she would endure in the coming years.

A year after the storm, Maggy may have seen the rise of the new Castlerea Union Workhouse as it was built on a six-acre site half a mile to the south-east of the town.[xi] Meant to accommodate 1,000 inmates, the imposing structure symbolized destitution and a place of absolute last resort. Although they offered food and a place to sleep, workhouses were notorious for separating family members and demanding hard labour of inmates. Life “was meant to be harsh so as not to encourage people to stay.”[xii] But within just a few years, the Great Famine hit the country, and Irish workhouses proved too small to take in the thousands upon thousands of starving and destitute paupers who were desperate for anything, even the Workhouse.

Hunger was nothing new to the Irish, particularly for the rural poor who relied primarily on the potato, “typically consuming the crop with buttermilk, water, fish or whiskey”.[xiii] Potatoes were cheap, relatively easy to grow, calorie-dense, and high in vitamin C.[xiv]

But relying on the potato as much as they did was risky: if the crop failed there was little else to eat. And fail it did, regularly over the decades. But these failures were usually localized and short-lived. Poor tenant farmers struggled but usually managed to avoid mass starvation by living off food stores from previous years and selling animals or withholding rent.[xv]

The Great Famine, however, was different. Instead of sporadic failures, a blight in 1845 caused almost complete failure across the country and continued to do so relentlessly six years in a row. The poor never had a chance to recover in between harvests.[xvi]

Poor tenant farmers lost not just their source of food, but had little food to sell for income. Mass evictions began when farmers were unable to pay rent, and also when landlords realized their lands would be more profitable hosting sheep rather than people. Evictions were harsh and homes were often destroyed to prevent reoccupation. With nowhere else to go – other than the workhouse – many evicted families sheltered in “scalpeens” built out of branches, turf-sods, and whatever else they could find.

Hut made of turf [xvii]

Many died of disease, exposure, or starvation.[xviii] The Workhouse was their last resort, the conditions of which were described by Joseph Crosfield:

At the Castlerea poor-house a shocking state of things presented itself, the poor inmates lying upon straw and their dormitories being in such a state of dirt that W. F. was unable to venture into them. In this poor-house there are at present 1080 paupers, but the last 434 were admitted in so hurried a manner that there is neither bedding nor clothes for them, the measles being in the house and a few cases of fever already, it is probable that if something be not speedily effected to remedy the evil, there will be a fearful mortality among the inmates. In the children’s room was collected a miserable crowd of wretched objects, the charm of infancy having entirely disappeared, and in its place were to be seen wan and haggard faces, prematurely old from the effects of hunger and cold, rags, dirt and deformity. In the school room they spend some hours every day in hopeless, listless idleness, though there are both a schoolmaster and mistress there are no books nor slates nor any of the apparatus of a school. [xix]

The particular fate of Maggy’s family is unknown. Were they evicted? Did they starve? Did they survive? In 1846 a Thomas Tighe, “in very poor circumstances,” applied for poor relief in Castlerea. Compared to other applicants “of middling circumstances,” this Thomas’s condition was evidently dire.[xx]

Almost certainly, the Tighes suffered and eventually Maggy, with or without her family, and like millions of others, left her homeland forever.[xxi]

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about the Great Famine, but all I really knew was that millions died or left the country to escape starvation and disease. But “millions” is hard to fathom. Knowing that my ancestors were among those millions and uncovering the details of Maggy’s sad fate as a result of the Famine somehow brings it to life and brings a deeper understanding. Her story also emphasizes that the Famine didn’t just starve Maggy and force millions to leave Ireland – it also placed countless survivors on paths of lifelong hardship and heartbreak, sometimes spanning several generations.

Leaving Ireland

Given her dire living conditions once she arrived in Liverpool, England, Maggy probably wasn’t able to afford the ship passage from the western ports closer to her home. Instead, her journey likely began by walking roughly 175km east to Dublin, following in the footsteps of thousands of other starving Irish, the most famous of whom were Strokestown tenants evicted in 1847, just a couple of dozen kilometers from Castlerea. These tenants, made up of 1,490 men, women, and children, were marched under guard from Roscommon to Dublin to Liverpool where they boarded what became known as “coffin ships” to Canada, their fares paid by their former landlord. Disease, malnutrition, and cramped, unsanitary steerage conditions killed over seven hundred before they arrived in Canada. When relations back in Ireland heard of the tragedy, they shot and killed the landlord responsible for their eviction.[xxii]

When Maggy finally walked into Dublin, instead of boarding a more expensive passenger ship to Liverpool, she probably paid 2-3d to board a cattle ship. She would’ve either crammed herself below decks in between starving, sometimes feverish people, and cattle, standing “amidst a floating mass of salt water and animal excrement”[xxiv] or perhaps stayed above on the open deck, where she would have been at the mercy of the elements.[xxv] Sea water often washed over the decks, completely drenching those above. It wasn’t uncommon for open deck passengers, already weak from starvation, to die before landing in Liverpool.

… they were generally crowded around the funnel of the steamer or huddled together in a most disgraceful manner; and as they have not been used to sea passages, they get sick, and perfectly helpless, and covered with the dirt and filth of each other. I have seen the sea washing over the deck of a steamer that I came over in one night, completely drenching the unfortunate people, so much so that several of them got perfectly senseless. There were 250 deck passengers on board and they were in a most dreadful state; it was an extremely stormy night and the vessel heaved about in a very awful manner; the sea washed over her tremendously, and it was only by great exertions that some of these people were not carried overboard… early in the morning, when it became light, I saw 50 or 60 of these people, including 4 or 5 children, perfectly stiff and cold… There was a fine boy, apparently dead, but by a great deal of exertion and rubbing him in hot water and laying him before a fire, he was revived.[xxvi]

But finding her legs and skirts covered in manure would have been one of Maggy’s least concerns. The steamers also carried disease such as typhus and cholera, diseases that would later haunt Maggy’s family.[xxvii]

Liverpool

Most emigrants landing in Liverpool hoped to carry on to the promising lands of North America or Australia. But several hundred thousand were unable to afford the ocean fares and, like Maggy, never left the slums of Liverpool.

…many only had the resources for the first part of their journey [Ireland to Liverpool]. Others exhausted their fares for passage to America while waiting to depart, became too ill to travel, or fell victim to criminals who preyed upon their inexperience and exhaustion… Irish migrants disembarking at Liverpool during the Famine years were observed to have been in a state of extreme distress, destitution and exhaustion… the Liverpool Mercury sympathetically reported in 1847: ‘The fact is; that in the cold and gloom of a severe winter, thousands of hungry and half naked wretches are wandering about, not knowing how to obtain a sufficiency of the commonest food nor shelter from the piercing cold. The numbers of starving Irish men, women and children—daily landed on our quays is appalling; and the Parish of Liverpool has at present, the painful and most costly task to encounter, of keeping them alive, if possible…’ [xxviii]

By March 1851, Maggy worked as a dress maker and lived in court housing in Lace Street with two families: the Manions and the Lambs.[xxix] There was no sign of any of her Tighe family nearby. But there were at least another 300,000 Irish refugees crammed into the city’s cellars and alley way housing.[xxx] Liverpool had become the “capital of Ireland in England” and was known for having the worst of all European slums, notorious for poverty, violence, and unsanitary living conditions.[xxxi]

Court housing, such as Maggy’s home on Lace Street, was a group of adjoined brick buildings centered around a small courtyard, squeezed into an alleyway behind the street houses.[xxxii] Often accessed by a tunnel from the front street, courts were often overshadowed by taller buildings that limited light and fresh air.[xxxiii] Author Pat O’Mara wrote about the Liverpool courts of his childhood:

About twenty-five large families – dock labourers, hawkers, sooty artisans and their children – lived in the average court. Two revoltingly dirty toilets stood in the areaway and were always in demand; a queue usually waited in line, newspapers in hand… The customary domestic procedure of the courters was to drink and fight, sometimes within the family and sometimes shack against shack. [xxxiv]

Model of St. Anne Court Housing, Liverpool. Notice how little light reaches into the alleys. Maggy’s great-grandson, my grandfather, lived in St. Anne’s Court Housing for several years. [xxxv]

Court Housing in the Slums of Liverpool [xxxvi]

Lace Street in particular had the unenviable reputation of being one of the worst streets of the slums, with some of the highest mortality rates in all of Liverpool.[xxxvii] “By the summer of 1849 several hundred people were dying each week, and in Lace Street, one third of the ordinary population of several hundred persons are said to have died in the course of the year.” [xxxviii]

Family Life

Everyone in Maggy’s house was from Ireland. The head of the household, Andrew Manion, was a “dealer in fruit,” as was one of the other lodgers, Thomas Lamb, a 25-year-old living with his mother Mary and sister Bridget, both “hawkers of fruit.” Thomas used two surnames, Lamb and Delaney (or Dunlaney), over the course of his life. It doesn’t appear he was trying to hide from anyone by changing his name: he used both names interchangeably over twenty years while living at the same address on Lace Street.[xxxix] And when he was admitted decades later into the dreaded Workhouse in 1908, his name was listed as “Thomas Lamb or Dunlaney.”[xl]

Whether Maggy knew the Mannions or Delaneys/Lambs prior to arriving in Liverpool is unknown. But not long after the census was taken, on 19 May 1851, Maggy and Thomas Delaney married at St. Nicholas’ Catholic Chapel.[xli] Their first daughter, Mary, was born a year later and two years after that, on 7 August 1854, Maggy gave birth to my great-great-grandmother Margaret.

Living on Lace Street, her husband pushing heavy loads of fruit between the docks and various dealers around Liverpool, would have been a desperately poor experience. But more frightening than a lack of money was disease. It was unavoidable in the slums. When baby Margaret was just two months old and toddler Mary was running about her legs, Maggy’s sister-in-law, 20-year-old Bridget with whom they were living, was struck with the highly contagious cholera. Almost certainly, Maggy would have cared for Bridget while simultaneously nursing, and trying to protect, her two little girls. But Bridget died on 29 October 1854 and Maggy, unable to read or write, signed her death registration with an X.

Maggy and Thomas’s son Edward was born two years later but died at 10 months of age of “diarrhea atrophia,” a rare genetic gastroenterological disease.[xlii] Maggy and Thomas had little time to grieve his death: their eldest daughter, now five years old, was battling “scarlatina” (scarlet fever) and died just six days after her brother on 13 August 1857, my great-great-grandmother Margaret’s third birthday.[xliii] Scarlet fever, easily treatable today with antibiotics, was increasingly killing children in Liverpool, often because of “bad drainage, offensive gullies, or lower apartments flooded with sewage.”[xliv]

The Guardian, London, England, 2 October 1857 [xlv]

Maggy and Thomas went on to have two more daughters and two more sons, all born between 1858 and 1865. Their son Thomas died when he was twelve years old of tuberculosis, another contagious disease easily treated with medication today. Maggy’s four other children, including my great-great-grandmother, most likely also caught some of the diseases that killed their siblings and aunt and neighbours, but remarkably, and with Maggy’s help, they managed to survive to adulthood.

My Connection to Thomas & Maggy [click to enlarge]

Where I live, in 21st century North America, we give birth to our children expecting they’ll live long lives. But in Maggy’s time, in the slums of Liverpool, she could only hope for this and instead, she probably expected some of her children would die. She lost three of her seven children, slightly more than usual at the time.[xlvi] Maggy’s daughters shared a similar fate: Margaret, my great-great-grandmother, lost two of her six children; Bridget lost two of her four; and poor Mary Ann lost six of her nine. Maggy’s granddaughter, my great-grandmother Mary Teresa, would lose seven of her fourteen children in Liverpool’s slums. Most died of malnutrition and starvation, but two of Mary Teresa’s daughters died at different times when she accidentally rolled on top of them while sleeping.[xlvii]

Between 1880, at the age of 49, and her death in 1899, Maggy saw seventeen grandchildren come into the world and must have agonized when six of these (two for each daughter) died before her.

Maggy’s Death

After all the hardship she lived through, I had hoped to find a peaceful ending for Maggy. But as in life, her death was painful and tragic. In the middle of the summer on the 21st of July 1899, and four months after her sixth grandchild had died, Maggy’s clothing accidentally caught on fire. She died of “shock and exhaustion due to burns over the body.”[xlviii]

Maggy’s Death Certificate

 

Maggy’s husband, my great-great-great-grandfather Thomas, lived for another eight years. A year before his death, he was “found in Gr. [Great] Charlotte Street,” though his condition at the time was not recorded.[xlix] He was taken to and admitted into the Liverpool Workhouse where he died several months later, aged seventy-nine.[l]

Maggy’s name was largely forgotten after her death, her existence quietly absorbed and anonymized into the story shared by “millions” of Irish Famine victims. I hope her name is never forgotten again.

Endnotes

[i] Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Margaret Tighe baptism, 14 December 1831; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. Only one baptism record was located in Irish sources for a Margaret Tighe (with name variants) born around 1831 to a father named Thomas, as listed on her 1851 marriage record. It is possible other Margaret Tighes with the same birth information were born elsewhere but that their records were lost of mistranscribed. A group of DNA matches share a common ancestral couple (the Groarks) who were also from Castlerea around the time of Maggy’s birth. Further research is required to determine a potential shared ancestor between the Groarks and Tighes and to definitively prove the Margaret born in Castlerea was the same Margaret who married Thomas Dunlaney in Liverpool in 1851.

[ii] “Roscommon in Ireland,” Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roscommon_in_Ireland.svg : accessed 16 January 2021).

[iii] For Mary Tighe, see Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Mary Tyge baptism, 30 August 1816; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. This daughter likely died in childhood since a later daughter was baptized Mariam, the latin name for Mary: Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Mariam Tighe baptism, 28 February 1838; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. For Brigid, see Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Brigid Tighe baptism, 3 January 1818; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. For Martin, see Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Martin Tighe baptism, 5 May 1828; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. For Patrick, see Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Patrick Tighe baptism, 14 March 1830; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04. No baptisms between 1818-1828 were located for this family in this research session, but Thomas and Brigid likely had children during that period.

[iv] Kilkeevin (Castlerea) Parish (Roscommon, Ireland), Margaret Tighe baptism, 15 December 1831; digital image, “Diocese of Elphin | County of Roscommon,” National Library of Ireland (https://registers.nli.ie/: accessed 22 November 2020), microfilm 04619/04.

[v] “Civil Parish of Kilkeevin, Co. Roscommon,” Irish Townlands (https://www.townlands.ie/roscommon/kilkeevin : accessed 31 January 2021). Also, Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (London: S. Lewis & Co., 1837), 102; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 31 January 2021).

[vi] “In the first half of the nineteenth century the Castlerea district was densely peopled and home to thousands of poverty-stricken families.” From “Land hunger, unemployment and poverty in pre-Famine Roscommon, Galywa & Mayo,” Divergent Paths (https://divergentpathsstafford.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/land-hunger-unemployment-and-poverty-in-pre-famine-roscommon-galway-mayo/ : accessed 30 January 2021).

[vii] “Irish family in front of peasant house with thatched roof,” Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Irish_family_in_front_of_peasant_house_with_thatched_roof,_Ireland_LCCN2017656338.jpg : accessed 13 February 2021).

[viii] “On this day: The fatal ‘Night of the Big Wind’ took place across Ireland in 1839,” IrishCentral (https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/night-of-the-big-wind-ireland-1839 : accessed 16 January 2021).

[ix] “An Irishwoman’s Diary on the ‘Night of the Big Wind’ – January 6th, 1839,” The Irish Times (https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishwoman-s-diary-on-the-night-of-the-big-wind-january-6th-1839-1.2492876 : accessed 16 January 2021).

[x] “The Night of the Big Wind,” The Connaught Telegraph (https://www.con-telegraph.ie/2018/01/06/the-night-of-the-big-wind/ : accessed 16 January 2021).

[xi] “Castlerea, Co. Roscommon,” The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution… (http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Castlerea : accessed 16 January 2021).

[xii] “The Workhouse Story,” The Irish Workhouse Centre (https://irishworkhousecentre.ie/the-workhouse-story/#:~:text=Life%20in%20the%20workhouse%20was,never%20saw%20each%20other%20again. : accessed 24 January 2021).

[xiii] “The Chemistry of Famine: Nutritional Controversies and the Irish Famine, c.1845–7,” National Center for Biotechnology Information, Inc. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3483744/ : accessed 14 February 2021).

[xiv] “Great Famine,” Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Famine-Irish-history : accessed 24 January 2021).

[xv] “The Great Irish Famine 1845-1851 – A Brief Overview,” The Irish Story (https://www.theirishstory.com/2016/10/18/the-great-irish-famine-1845-1851-a-brief-overview/#.YA3-Y-hKhPY : accessed 25 January 2021).

[xvi] “The Potato Famine – What was the Irish Potato Famine?” Hillwalk Tours (https://www.hillwalktours.com/walking-hiking-blog/the-potato-famine/ : accessed 31 January 2021).

[xvii] “Labourer’s hut, Gweedore,” Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/23485522776/in/photostream : accessed 28 February 2021), “National Library of Ireland on The Commons”.

[xviii] “Famine Clearances,” Encyclopedia.com (https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/famine-clearances : accessed 7 February 2021).

[xix] Joseph Crosfield, A Letter from Joseph Crosfield, Containing a Narrative of the First Week of William Forster’s Visit to Some of the Distressed Districts in Ireland (Liverpool, 1846); digital transcription, The History Collection (https://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/History/History-idx?type=HTML&rgn=div1&byte=426954372&pview=hide : accessed 7 February 2021).

[xx] “Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans 1821-1874,” FindMyPast (http://findmypast.co.uk : accessed 15 January 2021), Castterea [Castlerea], Roscommon, Number 7; citing “Irish Reproductive Loan Fund,” The National Archives, reference T 91/189.

[xxi] Between January and April 1847, almost 130,000 Irish people arrived in Liverpool: Elizabeth J. Stewart, “Who lived in the courts?” Courts and Alleys: a History of Liverpool Courtyard Housing (Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 2019), 35. By 1871, the city had seen a 300% increase in population since 1831: Stewart, “The growth of Liverpool,” 4. Also, John Belchem, “Introduction: ‘A Piece Cut Off from the Old Sod Itself,” Irish, Catholic and Scouse: the History of the Liverpool-Irish, 1800-1939 (Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 2007), 1. Maggy’s family was not found in the 1841 England census, suggesting she arrived in Liverpool between 1841-1851, when she was recorded as living in Liverpool.

[xxii] “A new trail in Ireland traces the footsteps of emigrants bound for North America during the Great Famine,” Lonely Planet (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/national-famine-way-ireland : accessed 14 February 2021).

[xxiv] Frank Neal, “Liverpool, the Irish steamship companies and the famine Irish,” Immigrants & Minorities (https://www.academia.edu/204855/_Liverpool_The_Irish_Steamship_Companies_and_the_Famine_Irish_in_Immigrants_and_Minorities_Vol_5_March_1986_pp_87_111 : accessed 1 January 2021), p. 46.

[xxv] Patrick Fitzgerald and Brian Lambkin, Migration in Irish History 1607-2007 (London, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 180; digital images, Google Books (http://books.Google.com : accessed 29 December 2020).

[xxvi] Frank Neal, “Liverpool, the Irish steamship companies and the famine Irish,” Immigrants & Minorities (https://www.academia.edu/204855/_Liverpool_The_Irish_Steamship_Companies_and_the_Famine_Irish_in_Immigrants_and_Minorities_Vol_5_March_1986_pp_87_111 : accessed 1 January 2021), p. 41.

[xxvii] Frank Neal, “Liverpool, the Irish steamship companies and the famine Irish,” Immigrants & Minorities (https://www.academia.edu/204855/_Liverpool_The_Irish_Steamship_Companies_and_the_Famine_Irish_in_Immigrants_and_Minorities_Vol_5_March_1986_pp_87_111 : accessed 1 January 2021), p. 32.

[xxviii] “Irish Migration to Liverpool and Lancashire in the Nineteenth Century,” University of Warwick (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/chm/outreach/migration/backgroundreading/migration : accessed 22 January 2021).

[xxix] “1851 England Census,” database, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 29 May 2018), entry for Thomas Lamb (age 25), Liverpool, Lancashire; citing The National Archives, Class HO107, piece 2179, folio 181, p. 40; Liverpool civil parish, Dale Street sub-registration district, ED 1e, schedule no. 85.

[xxx] “The Asiatic Cholera Outbreak of 1849,” Liverpool Picturebook (https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/
2014/04/TheAsiaticCholeraOutbreak.html : accessed 17 January 2021).

[xxxi] John Belchem, “’The Lowest Depth’: The Spatial Dimensions of Irish Liverpool,” Irish, Catholic and Scouse: the History of the Liverpool-Irish, 1800-1939 (Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 2007), 58.

[xxxii] “OS County Series: Lancashire and Furness, 1851, 1:10,560,” old-maps.co.uk (https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/333972/392366/13/101757 : accessed 8 January 2020).

[xxxiii] “Court Housing in Liverpool,” Liverpool Picturebook (https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/2012/09/CourtHousing.html : accessed 20 November 2019).

[xxxiv] Pat O’Mara, Liverpool Slummy (Liverpool, England: The Bluecoat Press, 2009), 32.

[xxxv] “Court housing model,” Museum of Liverpool (https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/collections/social-history/item-267835.aspx : accessed 27 January 2020).

[xxxvi] “Roscommon in Ireland,” Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Photo_titled_%27In_a_Liverpool_Slum%27_(Town_Planner%27s_photograph)(GN01601).jpg : accessed 16 January 2021).

[xxxvii] “The Asiatic Cholera Outbreak of 1849,” Liverpool Picturebook (https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/
2014/04/TheAsiaticCholeraOutbreak.html : accessed 17 January 2021). Also, Stewart, “Sanitation and health in court housing,” 56.

[xxxviii] “The Asiatic Cholera Outbreak of 1849,” Liverpool Picturebook (https://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/
2014/04/TheAsiaticCholeraOutbreak.html : accessed 17 January 2021).

[xxxix] “1861 England Census,” database, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 29 May 2018), entry for Thomas Delony (age 35), Liverpool, Lancashire; citing The National Archives, RG 9, piece 2666, folio 19, p. 36; Liverpool civil parish, Dale Street sub-registration district, ED 03b, schedule no. 119. See also, “1871 England Census,” database, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2018), entry for Thos Delancey (age 42), Lace Street, Liverpool; citing The National Archives, RG 10, piece 3770, folio 100, p. 8; Liverpool civil parish, Dale Street sub-registration district, household 51.

[xl] “Liverpool Workhouse Registers,” FindMyPast (http://findmypast.co.uk : accessed 18 November 2020), entry for Thomas Lamb or Dunlaney (age 80); citing Liverpool Record Office, archive reference 353 SEL/19/71.

[xli] “Liverpool, England, Catholic Marriages, 1754-1933,” database with images, Ancestry (http://ancestry.ca : accessed 30 May 2018), entry for Thomas Deenlaney [Delaney] and Maggy Fighe [Tighe], 19 May 1851, St. Nicholas; citing “Liverpool Catholic Church Registers,” Liverpool Record Office, England.

[xlii] England, death certificate (certified copy) for Edward Delany, died 7 August 1857; registered 7 August 1857, Dale Street District 8b/117, Dale Street Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, Southport. Also, “Chronic diarrhea with villous atrophy syndrome,” National Center for Biotechnology Information, Inc. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/medgen/1385565 : accessed 14 February 2021).

[xliii] England, death certificate (certified copy) for Mary Delaney, died 13 August 1857; registered 13 August 1857, Dale Street District 8b/119, Dale Street Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, Southport.

[xliv] “Health of London During the Week,” The Morning Post, London, England, 5 November 1857, p. 8, col. 2; image copy, Newspapers.com (http://newspapers.com : accessed 13 February 2021).

[xlv] “Scarlatina in Liverpool,” The Guardian, London, England, 2 October 1857, p. 1, col. 5; image copy, Newspapers.com (http://newspapers.com : accessed 13 February 2021).

[xlvi] “Urbanization and mortality in Britain, c. 1800-50,” Wiley Online Library (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ehr.12964 : accessed 22 January 2021).

[xlvii] General Register Office, “England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com: accessed 29 May 2018), entry for Ethelreda Page, 1908, image 8 of 8; citing “England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes,” London, England. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for Ethelreda Page, died 7 June 1908; registered 10 June 1908, West Derby District 8b/311, Everton South Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, General Register Office, “England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915,” database, Ancestry (http://ancestry.com: accessed 29 May 2018), entry for Alfred Page, 1909, image 1 of 36; citing “England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes,” London, England. Also, England, birth certificate (certified copy) for John Gerard Page, born 28 September 1910; registered 18 October 1910, Liverpool District 8b/9, Scotland Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for John Gerard Page, died 19 October 1910; registered 20 October 1910, Liverpool District 8b/6, Scotland Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, birth certificate (certified copy) for Mary Teresa Page, born 21 September 1911; registered 6 November 1911, Liverpool District 8b/36, Scotland Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for Mary Teresa Page, died 24 September 1912; registered 25 September 1912, West Derby District 8b/619, South Everton Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, birth certificate (certified copy) for Arthur Page, born 5 November 1912; registered 2 December 1912, Liverpool District 8b/1022, Scotland Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for Arthur Page, died 11 January 1913; registered 13 January 1913, Liverpool District 8b/106, Abercromby Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, birth certificate (certified copy) for Walter Page, born 6 October 1913; registered 17 November 1913, Liverpool District 8b/48, Scotland Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for Walter Page, died 1 March 1914; registered 2 March 1914, Liverpool District 8b/151, Abercromby Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, birth certificate (certified copy) for Margaret Page, born 15 December 1914; registered 12 January 1915, Liverpool District 8b/103, Exchange Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London. Also, England, death certificate (certified copy) for Margaret Page, died 14 February 1915; registered 16 February 1915, Liverpool District 8b/67, Exchange Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, London.

[xlviii] England, death certificate (certified copy) for Margaret Delaney, died 21 July 1899; registered 25 July 1899, Mount Pleasant District 8b/124, Mount Pleasant Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, Southport.

[xlix] “Liverpool Workhouse Registers,” FindMyPast (http://findmypast.co.uk : accessed 29 December 2020), entry for Thomas Lamb or Dunlaney (age 80), admitted 1907; citing Liverpool Record Office, archive reference 353 SEL/19/71.

[l] England, death certificate (certified copy) for Thomas Dunlaney, died 27 August 1908; registered 28 August 1908, West Derby District 8b/205, Walton Sub-district, Liverpool; General Registry Office, Southport.


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4 thoughts on “Maggy’s Story: a Journey from Ireland to Liverpool Around the Time of the Great Famine

  1. Fascinating story and of great interest, having been compiling my family history for over 30 years & mostly pre- internet!
    It has its virtues, as it took me over to Ireland on a number of occasions which transpired to be extremely fortunate as I was able to meet up with remaining cousins and access their knowledge. My journey of discovery started literally from a handful of photo’s that I’d inherited when all my my father generation had passed away. Long story short – I committed this to print and “The Celtic Fringe” was published in 2019 and sold more than anticipated given that its of limited interest to those of the same name. I gave copies to me immediate family as it would be be pointless having found out so much not to. Otherwise it sold reasonably well on Amazon to UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc. It transpires that we have more extended family in Chicago than anywhere else! & *I do host a private FB page for those who have a copy of the book.

    • Marie says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, Nick! What an incredibly journey you’ve been on. And congratulations on publishing your book – I will look for it on Amazon this weekend. I’m currently in the multi-year process of writing my grandfather’s story and how I uncovered his hidden past. It’s an exercise in patience!

  2. Tony Price says:

    Wonderful detail thank you so much. My great grandfather left Roscommon, French Park around this time and after Liverpool settled in Widnes not far away to work in the chemical industry. His nick name was Ginch and from my now dead aunties he was great fun and always made everyone laugh. They where tough humble people we can all be so proud of.

    • Marie says:

      Thank you, Tony! Ginch sounds wonderful! I wonder where that nickname came from… I like to think that despite the extraordinary challenges our ancestors faced, they managed to have a few good laughs…

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