Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Margaret FLANAGAN 1825-1912

Margarets probable TIMELINE                  

23 December 1825   birth to: John FLANAGAN and Mary BURKE probably Kilfenora, IRE
23 January 1856       married to: Michael MALLEY Kilfenora, County Clare, IRELAND
23 April 1883            emmigration:     from South Hampton, United Kingdom
16 June 1883            immigration:      to Lyttleton, Canterbury, New Zealand
05 April 1905             admission to:     Nazareth House, Christchurch, New Zealand 
11 Sept 1912     death:             fatty degeneration of heart at Nazareth House, Chch,  NZ.
13 Sep 1912       burial:                   Block 13B, plot 11.   Sydenham Cemetery, Chch, NZ

Siblings: Michael FLANAGAN (sponsored and paid for passage to NZ after husbands death)

Children:       John-      baptised 12 Dec 1858      sponsor: Michael Malone
                      Bridget-  baptised 20 April 1861    sponsors: Denis Flanagan, Mary Carroll
                      Michael- baptised 18 Feb 1863     sponsors: Michael Malone, Honora Hogan
                      Michael- baptised 25 Sept 1864    sponsors: Patrick Flanagan, Sarah O'Malley
                      Charles-  baptised 31 May 1866    sponsors: Thomas Carroll, Margaret Kierse
                      Sarah-    baptised 26 May 1869    sponsors: Denis Flanagan, Mary Hogan
                      Patrick (emigration records birth c1858-9)
 Correspondence:      Nazareth House/Sisters of Nazareth
                                   David Atkinson descendant of Margaret’s brother Michael-4
th cousin
                                   Tremauritz descendant of  Margaret’s daughter Bridget- 3rd cousin
                                   Clare Heritage Centre (17 Sept 2002)

 RECORDS:               Marriage (FMP from National Library of Ireland))
                                   Assisted Emigration (NZ Archives Passenger Lists)
                                   Death Certificate (NZ BDM)

                                   Cemetery record  (Christchurch Library Cemetery  Database)

Margaret and Michael married 23 Jan 1856 in the parish of Kilfenora, Barony of Corcomroe, Co Clare.

Witnesses: Michael & Margaret McNamara.

The priest was shown to charged $2 (pounds) to perform the ceremony.

Unfortunately from a research point of veiw Church Marriage Registers did not commense until 1864.

Parents and place of birth were not a requirement for documentation, however it was customary in Ireland at that time for the bride to be married in her native parish.

It is reasonable then to assume Margaret was born in the Kilfenora parish. 

Emmigrated to NZ 1883 aboard 'IONIC' 1883.  It would appear (by oral history given to David Atkinson) that after the death of her husband Michael O'Malley, Margaret was brought out to NZ with at least 4 of her children. Her fare paid by her brother Michael FLANAGAN who was already living in NZ. – noted on record as single woman, death cert as widow.

Records show the arrival of the "Ionic" which sailed from Southampton 23 April 1883, arriving Lyttleton 16 June 1883 witth passengers: O'Malley; Margaret aged 40, general servant, from Clare.
Patrick aged 24, labourer, from Clare.
Mary aged 23, general servant, from Clare.
Mary (Hogan) aged 23, general servant, from Clare.
                                      Bridget aged 22, general servant, from Clare.
Charles aged 21, general servant, from Clare.  
The 'Clare Heritage Centre' states: "it  is our experience from doing research down through the years that information the emmigrants gave with regard to their dates of birth were rarely if ever accurate with discrepancies of up to 4-5 years being commonplace. This was done for a variety of reasons ie. to obtain cheaper passage, better employment oppertunities, marriage propects etc 
Margarets death certificate states her age as 86 at time of death, it also states she had spent 50 years in NZ. 

Margaret is my maternal grandfathers Paternal grandmother, my 2x great grandmother
                                     Margaret --> 
 Patrick-->Thomas -->  Edna -->
Much of my information has been provided by David Atkinson, a 3rd cousin once removed  who was originally contacted through records and paper-trail and later confirmed through DNA testing.
According to information registered with Nazareth House, formally situated (pre 2011 earthquake) at Brougham Street, Christchurch, New Zealand,  Margaret was born to John FLANAGAN and Mary BURKE 23 December 1825 County Clare, IRELAND.
This date conflicts with immigration records held at Canterbury Museum which gives her age as 40 years upon her arrival at Canterbury in 12 June 1885 aboard the Ionic. However ages were often falsified to meet the immigration laws of the era.
                         Nazareth House, Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Based on my genealogical research this piece of flash fiction is written about a key event in the life of Margaret FLANAGAN. Some poetic licence has been taken and some gaps filled in without proof, but it rounds out an ancestor, adds character, personality and interest.

Margaret stood amid her four surviving offspring, they watched the coastline dissolve into the gloomy afternoon. She thought of the darling babbies and beloved man she left behind. They were covered with the same sod she was carrying in an old whiskey bottle tucked carefully away with her mammy’s lace kerchief  and the crumpled and tattered note she had received informing of husband Michaels death eight months ago.  
She shed silent tears that mingled with the salty sea spray. Her life in County Clare had not been easy... that it looked no better for Patrick, Mary, Bridget and Charles, impelled agreement to her brother’s offer of emigration to New Zealand. He had set sail from these same shores ten years hence and forged a new and prosperous life in the land so far away. None believed they would see him again but now he was providing an opportunity for his five kinfolk by paying their fares.
How she wished Michael was with her though.
"Come in Mammy, you’ll catch your death”, even her thickest woollen shawl couldn’t disguise the thin, slumped shoulders of her mother that Bridget gently put her arm around . Margaret smiled but the sadness of leaving hearth and homeland forever, even when coupled with the excitement of prospective changes, produced emotional bittersweetness.
Bíonn súil le muir ach ní bhíonn súil le tír -There is hope from the sea but none from the land,  this brings new meaning to the adage she thought.
She resisted looking back one more time... like the view, nothing was left there for her anymore.                                                                                          



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