View of Chatham, Kent in 1832, where John Burke and Mary McDonnell lived from 1825–1839.

Mary McDonnell in, “The lot of the soldier’s wife” (revisited)

Image credit: — Picturesque views in England and Wales: Chatham, Kent in 1832. (See details, below.) Since writing the first installment of "The lot of the soldier's wife" in 2015, the recent discovery of a (third) marriage record lifts Mary McDonnell out of the inscrutable murk of family history mystery. Nevertheless, Mary has led us…

A Huggins thorn in George Washington’s revolutionary side

Like so many other Irishmen from the province of Ulster, young Thomas Huggins ventured out to the American colonies in the early 1770s, to seek his fortune. It seems unlikely that a Revolutionary War was a part of the 18th century American Dream that Thomas sought—but that, indeed, is what he got. Equally, it is…

The lot of the soldier’s wife was unenviable

So little was etched into the written record about our great-great-great grandmother, Mary McDonnell (1794–1869), the earliest known of our ancestors in this line from the county of Mayo. Of course, the system of record keeping favoured male heads of household, tradesmen, and soldiers. Women tended to fall off the archival radar. While we are…

Unsung Hero: John Burke of Claremorris, regimental tailor

Composed by John D'Alton (1792–1867), born at Bessville in county Westmeath; lawyer, historian, biographer, & genealogist. Footnotes prepared by the editor, S. Lover: * One evil consequence of the penal laws was, that the Irish being denied the exercise of the honourable profession of arms at home, (as alluded to in the introduction to this…

Great War Remembrance Project :: “We shall remember them”

MacKenzie, James Hamilton. Design for a roll of honour for the First World War (1917). Image credit. Over the course of the next four-and-a-half years, I hope to undertake a Great War remembrance project. The intent of this project is to provide complete biographical sketches for each of our extended family's casualties of the Great…