Ancestors in surprising places

I’ve written extensively about my MP ancestor, Michael Joyce before but I had never identified his parents’ marriage. Richard Joyce and Bridget Tubbs‘ oldest recorded child was born in 1847, so there was a likely marriage date of 1-2 years before that but nothing showed up in the various Limerick city church registers. There was some suggestion from a distant cousin that Bridget might have come from Bruff and it would be usual to marry in the bride’s parish, but those records also yielded nothing.

Like many genealogists, I use Ancestry. They have a first-rate hint system which searches your uploaded family tree, then suggests records and user-inputted material that might match your people. In its early days, it was hit and miss but these days is rarely wrong.

So it was a great surprise when it suggested a hint for Richard and Bridget’s marriage on Thursday night, when I was up doing genealogy late into the night after a disappointing evening on another front.

The marriage it suggested was in Quebec in 1846. Luckily for me, I still remember my school French as the transcription only gives the bride and groom’s names.

I already knew that Richard’s parents were John Joyce and Joan/Joanna McGrath, and given that there were 2 sons called Cornelius and a daughter called Margaret, I felt this record was spot on.

But why they got married in Quebec remains a mystery for now. Richard Joyce got a river pilot’s licence in 1847 but perhaps he, like his sons Michael and James, had a career on the sea. Why Bridget was also in Canada is a puzzle. This is of course the Famine decade and there was much early emigration to Canada. However, Bridget & Richard came back to Ireland almost immediately because their first son was born here, approximately 9 months later.

It’s not every day you get 2 new great-great-great-great (4!) grandparents but I’d like to welcome Cornelius Tubbs and Margaret Fogarty to the family memory once again. Having their names brings that generation to a total of 9/64 – it’s a particularly tough generation to work on, as Catholic records are really only getting going in this period. By comparison, the next generation of 3 x grandparents is much easier and I know names and details for 29/32 of them. These earlier people would have been born around the turn of the 19th century. Going back to the Bruff link, I can see that they had most of their children there but Bridget, my direct ancestor, eluded me. Years ago I had seen a birth in Dublin of someone with that name but I had discounted it because nothing suggested to me that she ever left Limerick. But I saw something in the records in Bruff that made me think again.

Cornelius Tubbs had an illegitimate son called Edmond with a woman, Mary Hartigan in 1823. That sounds like a pretty good reason to skip town, right?

Take a look at this marriage from October 1824 in St Andrew’s church in Dublin. Connor Tubbs & Margaret Fogarty. Con is the usual short form of Cornelius* and Connor is considered a variant.

And further more, here’s the record I had found years ago and discounted.

It seems a pretty good working theory that Cornelius, or Con, hightailed it out of Bruff after getting a local woman pregnant, came to Dublin, where he met and married Margaret Fogarty a mere 13 months later. They had Bridget here, a respectable 10 months after, and they then returned to Bruff, where they went on to have 7 more children.

*Ó’Corráin, Donnchadh & Maguire, Fidelma, Irish Names, Lilliput Press, Dublin 1990