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|Inhabitants of Scattery Island, Shannon Estuary, Co. Clare by Senan Scanlan|
3.5 Inhabitants after 1840: Origins of Surnames
Origins of the other Surnames
that were already on the island c1855
The following soldiers together with a note of their origins were stationed on the island in 1851:
Gunner Henry Baker, an English occupational surname first noted as William Le Bakere in the Pipe Rolls in 1177 in Norfolk. Gunner John Clark, this common English name usually stands for O'Clery in Ireland. Gunner James Domigan, a rare Irish surname in County Meath. Gunner John Dougherty, a numerous Irish surname in Down, Antrim and Derry, a variant of Doherty. Sergeant Alexander Fraser, a Scottish clan surname from de Frisselle, still common in Tweeddale their home and in Lothian. Gunner Henry Ferguson, a Scottish surname an anglicised form of Mac Fergus widely scattered in Scotland, also numerous in Ulster. Gunner David Graham, this Scottish name of Anglo-Norman origin, very numerous in Ulster, is used as an anglicised form of two Irish surnames, Gormely and Grehan. Gunner James Roy, this English name, derived from the French roi king, is not numerous in Ireland where it is usually an abbreviation of MacIlroy. The eight soldiers’ names divide into three English, three Scottish and two Irish.
Five further soldiers with English surnames were married the first two of them to McMahon sisters from the island and had children while based on Scattery as follows. Gunner George Bloomfield surname first noted as William de Blunuill in 1207 in the Curia Regis Rolls in Suffolk. Sergeant Stephen Trowell surname first noted as Richard de Trowell in the 1204 Pipe Rolls in Nottinghamshire. Bombardier William Taylor, an occupational surname first noted as William le Taillier in the 1182 Pipe Rolls in Somerset. Master Gunner Thomas Drought, also Drouet or Druett first noted in 1206 in the Curia Regis Rolls in Suffolk. Gunner William Whiston first noted as Gilbert de Wiscand in the Domesday Book in 1086 in Suffolk. In addition soldiers with English surnames including Day, Lamb, and Williamson and with Scottish names Thompson and Lumsden together with three unusual English names Smeadley, Buckingham and Pennington are recorded in the Church Registers as serving with the Royal Artillery on the island.
To provide details of the inhabitants after 1840 the memorial inscriptions as outlined in section four together with the following four appendices are utilised:
The following outlines the information in this appendix starting with a brief description of the sources used: Kilrush Catholic Parish Register for Births Marriages and Deaths 1881 to 1905 at Parish Priest's house, Toler Street, Kilrush, Co Clare and microfilm copy of the register in the National Library Dublin reference p2487 (1827 to 1880). Church of Ireland Kilrush Parish Register for Births, Marriages and Deaths 1804 to 1841(Ref P25) in the Representative Church Body Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14. & 1842 to 1892 at St Columba's Rectory, Bindon Street, Ennis. The 1901 and 1911 census for Scattery in the National Archives and at www.clarelibrary.ie. More than thirty copies of Births, Marriage and Death certificates obtained from the General Register Office were utilised to provide additional information such as occupations and names of parents. Research on War Office records at The National Archives Kew, London provided some details for the soldiers that lived on the island from 1814 to1891. The Pilot Books of the Limerick Harbour Commissioners at Limerick Archive, O’Connell Street, Limerick provided details of the inhabitants that were pilots. Memorial Inscriptions were also used to determine approximate dates of birth. The Registry of Deeds provided two useful deeds one relating directly to the island. The Valuation Office also provided useful dates and name changes in their post Griffith’s books. Some newspapers, the internet and a large variety of secondary sources were used to provide additional information and these sources are detailed in section seven finally oral family information also played an important role.
Genealogical records for Clare are scarce especially prior to registration in 1864 and this has caused some difficulties. Although the Kilrush Catholic Register starts in 1827 there are no records from 9/12/1831 to 13/01/1833 and townland and street names are omitted from Births until August 1836 and again between October 1848 and October 1854. Records for the relevant parishes in West Clare do not start until February 1853. In addition despite extensive research in The National Archives in London it was not possible to get comprehensive details for the soldiers as the records included all the other Batteries on the Shannon Estuary but no specific locations were listed for individual soldiers. Lack of records has left some outstanding questions such that it was not possible in some cases to determine if a relationship existed between two families with the same name that lived on the island at the same time. Accordingly this database should be taken to represent available information to date and it has concentrated on the years 1840 to 1900 and the details for the main inhabitants are presented in Appendix I in four sections as follows:
The information is laid out under the following headings:
Name, first name, in
alphabetical order for children, followed by surname.
All information for each family starts with the earliest available references and where these cannot be verified more fully such information is given in italics together with a ?. An example is the first reference to a pilot named Scanlan is for a John Scanlan as a licensed pilot in 1825 comes from the book A Rising Tide and this name also comes from manuscript OPW 8/65 however no further supporting references can be found so this detail is given in italics together with a ?. The information for the main and other miscellaneous inhabitants is in alphabetical order while the soldiers and fishermen are in date order beginning at the earliest date. Below is a summary of the four sections of the database that details the inhabitants that occupied the island for a significant number of years from 1840 onwards. The Brennans had two families come to the island and are recorded on leases while both Faul families were on the island and are also recorded on leases. Both Moran families were on the island before 1840 but are not recorded on any early leases. The reason why a second Scanlan and McMahon family came to the island is not clear. Both second families were married c 1855 and had children born there before leaving again after a period of approximately ten years. They may have come to the island to escape the ravages of the famine in West Clare as they were probably related to the families already established on the island. Where there are two families recorded on the island the main family has been designated “first” and the other family designated “second” to distinguish both families in the database. Individuals may not have always been known by their Christian names, which have been taken from the registers, given the popularity of nicknames on the island. Accordingly in a minority of cases some nicknames have been included in the database to help identification.
Gunner George Bloomfield married Bridget McMahon, a native of the island on the 17th July 1850 and Sergeant Stephen Trowell married Catherine McMahon a sister of Bridget's c 1858 both of these families moved to England. James Nolan married Ellen Scanlan on 09/08/1853 and Gunner Thomas McGowan married Bridget McCarthy c 1880 both girls were natives of the island. Mary Hehir another native married William Pennington and had a daughter Honora born on 10/03/1890. Details of these and other married soldiers and their children are given even where a small number of the children are noted as not born on Scattery. A number of other soldiers would appear to have married local girls as their spouses names include Connolly, Crotty, Kelly, Mahony, McInerney, McNamara, Quinlivan, Sullivan and Walsh all primarily either Clare or Munster names.
Details available for the soldiers from War Office records usually only contain name rank and number and year when they served on Scattery. The following is a summary list from the War Office records which were consulted at the archives in Kew, London. More complete records including relevant extracts from the Kilrush Catholic Parish Registers and Kilrush Church of Ireland Registers are detailed under the soldiers section in Appendix I.
Table 8: Soldiers stationed on Scattery Island, 1814-1881
Lighthouse Keepers and Fishermen
Fishermen listed in the 1901 census include Robert McAllen, salmon fisher, and his wife Margaret who operated the weirs at the west of the island and lived in a purpose built house which included a specially built ice house nearby for storing the fish. The McAllens were natives of Tarbert in Northern Scotland. In addition Simon Mahony is also described as a salmon fisher, Martin Enright as a mackerel fisher and Michael Hennessy as a herring fisher. The 1911 census list Margaret McAllen and her brother John Simpson are listed as fishermen, Robert McAllen died on the 4th June 1911 and is buried on Scattery in grave number 43.
It is likely that some of these families
are related especially the Crottys, Mahonys and the Corrys/ (Coree) but
due to the lack of early records it is not possible to positively identify
any relationship between them.
Plan of Scattery
Graveyard (Chapter 4)
Details of pilots and land division
for Scattery Island (Appendix II)
Pedigrees of the Main Families
of Scattery c 1840 to 1940 (Appendix I)