Sunday, 28 December 2014

More on the Ulster Covenant

At the time of the Ulster Covenant most of Joseph and Catherine Crozier's children were in America. One son, Alec was living at home in Moorfield. Another, Joseph, had spent some time in America but by 1912 was back in Ireland, married with a young son, Willie, working as a blacksmith and living in the townland of Meenagowan near Dromore. He also signed the Ulster Covenant and the image of the page bearing his signature is below.

My grandfather, Willie Crozier was still in America but would return to Ireland in November 1912 with his new bride, Margaret Caldwell, supposedly on honeymoon. Instead they remained in Ireland, settling in Trillick where Willie established a blacksmith's forge. Other relations of mine who signed were my maternal grandfather, William Johnston, and my great grandfather, James Caldwell, father of Margaret Caldwell Crozier.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Ulster Covenant

In 2014 The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) digitised the documents containing all the signatures of those who signed the Ulster Covenant back in 1912. The Covenant was a mass petition from the Unionist community against a Bill to give a limited measure of autonomy, known as 'Home Rule' to Ireland. You can find out more about the issue on the PRONI website.

I had never searched the digital archive until a few days ago and when I did I found several Croziers and indeed other ancestors not in the Crozier line. In 1912 there were two Joseph Croziers living on two farms in Moorfield. One was my great grandfather, the husband of Catherine. The other was his nephew, the son of his brother, Robert. Both of them signed the Covenant. Alexander (Alec) Crozier, my great grandfather's son and grandfather's brother, who would eventually inherit his father's farm, also signed it. They all signed in Kilskeery, just a few miles from Moorfield. The signatures of the two Joseph Croziers appear on different pages so we can't be absolutely sure which one is which but Alexander's signature appears on the same page as one of them and I would assume that he signed on the same day as his father.
You can see their signatures on the image below:

Women were encouraged to sign a Declaration, which differed somewhat from the Covenant itself, in which they undertook "to associate with the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the Home Rule Bill now before Parliament". Catherine Crozier signed the Declaration. Her address is listed as Kilskeery rather than Moorfield but I am satisfied that this is Joseph's wife as there are no other Catherine Croziers recorded as living in the area in the census of the previous year. The page bearing her signature is shown below.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Even More Children of Moorfield!

I'm so pleased that more Children of Moorfield have joined the group on Facebook and would like to thank David Crozier for posting this photo of his grandfather Charles Crozier. Charles was the son of James John, the eldest of Joseph and Catherine's nine children and the man who wrote the document that appears on this site's A Basic Family History page. He emigrated to the US in 1887 and settled in Central Islip on Long Island. We owe him a lot for all we know about our family's roots.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

What About Moorfield Today?

A query about Alec Crozier, who appears on the Partial Family Tree page, made me realise that many of you may not know that Moorfield is still in the family. Alec Crozier was the son of Joseph and Catherine Crozier who remained on the farm and passed it on to his son Joe. Joe was my father's cousin and a regular caller at our house in Trillick.

Joe's daughter Betty and her family are still living at Moorfield. The house where the 19th Century family grew up was replaced long ago by another dwelling house but it still stands, somewhat altered, in the yard. A new bungalow has also been built on the lane up to the farm and Betty's son and his family live there.

The views from Moorfield are terrific and I've included a few photos of the original house and the surroundings, although the weather wasn't the best the day I took them.

I do think it's pretty special to think that the same family has had unbroken occupation of this farm for at least 200 years and probably a lot longer!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Partial Family Tree

If you look on the right hand side of the screen you'll see I've added a new page entitled Partial Family Tree. The blogging software doesn't allow me to do anything very sophisticated and I've had to use a very small type size to fit all of my grandfather's (William Henry's) siblings on one line but you may find it helpful in visualising where people fit.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Service Resumed...

I can hardly believe it's been 21 months since I last posted on this blog. Marilyn's genealogy answered a lot of questions and I think I ran out of steam as regards continuing to research the questions that remained. The small matter of a cancer diagnosis in September last year also took my attention away from family history. Thankfully, I'm back to full health again.

But just as my own interest in the subject was reviving in recent months it seems Marilyn had got a new spurt of energy too and she has been trying to sort out the several strands of Hendersons that run in our ancestry. That's still a work in progress and may well be the subject of another post. Meanwhile, I've just returned from a visit to the General Register Office in Dublin where the pre-1921 civil records for the six counties of Northern Ireland are held. Although I was focusing more on my mother's side of the family I did get hold of two death certificates from the Crozier side.

Catherine Crozier, my great grandmother, wife of Joseph Crozier (c1837-?1919) died on 1 March 1917 at Moorfield. Her age last birthday is given as 61. In fact she had just turned 72 as she was born on 8 February 1845. Her Rank, Profession or Occupation is recorded as Farmer's wife and the Certified Cause of Death was "Probably Influenza" but no doctor was in attendance. The death was registered on 6 March by her son Joseph Crozier of Moneygowan (known to us a Meenagowan).

Although I didn't get the certificate for her husband's death, the indexes to the registers show the death of a Joseph Crozier of Kilskeery in 1919. I hope to go down to Dublin again fairly soon and I'll get this certificate and will hopefully be able to confirm that it is my great grandfather. I also looked at the index for their marriage, which took place on 23 July 1866 and was registered in Enniskillen. Catherine's maiden name is recorded in that instance as Donnell.

The other certificate I got was for the death of Catherine's mother Jane. Jane's maiden name was Henderson, she came from Cabra, and, according to the Kilskeery Parish Records, she married Hugh O'Donnell, also from Cabra, on 27 October 1821. She died on 20 March 1864. Her age is given as 65 so if this is right, and we can't be certain that it is, she was born in 1799. Kilskeery records don't record the birth of any Jane Henderson in Cabra in that year or even 10 years either side. The death certificate notes that she was the wife of Hugh O'Donnel and Catherine's own name is also spelt with a single 'l'. The death was registered by her son-in-law Andy Armstrong of Laughterush (husband of Hugh and Catherine's daughter Mary) and he was present when she died.

The cause of death brought me up short - Ovarian Disease; and the certificate notes that she had had this for 10 years. It's hard to imagine what it must have been like to have a deadly cancer back in 1864 with no access to surgery, chemotherapy or pain relief. I wonder what she must have suffered.

Having seen this, I now fully appreciate the value of actually getting your hands on the certificate, as it can yield so much more information than what's available from the index. So I'll definitely be back for more at some stage over the coming months.

In the meantime, best wishes to all the Children of Moorfield.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Quick Christmas update

Season's Greetings to all Children of Moorfield!
The big news is Marilyn Karlson (granddaughter of Mary Crozer Bryson) has finished the family genealogy (or rather had reached a stage where she was content to have it printed) and several copies were delivered to our house on an extremely cold night on 21 December. It comes to 258 pages excluding appendices of shipping lists, maps, family trees and photographs. The research that has gone into it and the information Marilyn has brought together is quite staggering. It's now officially a family heirloom in its own right!

I'll be distributing copies to branches of the family here over the coming weeks so maybe I'll get to see some of you. And I'll make sure the Canadian and Swedish Croziers aren't forgotten. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of Christmas and have a good 2011.