North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Andrew Jennings [- 1818] of Newry, County Down


Andrew Jennings [- 1818] married Catherine O’Toole [abt 1747- 1840] of Tassagh, County Armagh.[1]
They had seven children.
  1. Charles [abt 1780 – 1855] who married Sophia Corley of Clones, County Monaghan, in 1811.
  2. Daniel [abt 1789 - 1817] who was ordained a priest at Maynooth in 1809.
  3. Andrew [abt 1793-1869] who married Mary Anne Clarke in Loughinisland in 1825.
  4. Peter [- 1828] of Traymount.
  5. Eliza who married John Caraher of 15 Merchant’s Quay, Newry County Down.
  6. Edward, Secretary to the Catholic Committee of Newry in 1824.
  7. John of whom nothing is known.
The family lived at no. 11 North-Street, Newry where Andrew had an Iron Establishment or iron-mongery. He took out a lease on North-Street from 1st May 1790 from James Carlile at the yearly rent of £40.[2]
Andrew dealt in other commodities besides iron as the following advertisement shows.
Timber for sale.
A large quantity of Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Alder, Beech, Walnut and Fir growing on the lands of Tremount, situate on the Northern Road four miles from Newry - application to be made to Andrew Jennings, Newry, Jan 1st, 1810 .[3]
Traymount was where his son Peter appears to have lived.
Andrew Jennings of Newry, and his brother Daniel Jennings, Publn, also of Newry, both appear in the Convert Rolls in 1793.  They weren’t the only members of the Jennings family in Dublin to sign. Teresa, wife of Theobald Jennings, had been listed on the Convert Rolls, in 1778, along with an earlier entry for Andrew Jennings, Grocer, of Newry, County Down. Family lore suggests that Andrew was disinherited by his family when he converted. His children remained Catholic. One of his sons became a priest. Three of his granddaughters were to become nuns.
Andrew’s will was probated in 1818.
His widow Catherine died in 1840. On the burial record her address is given as Mill Street. This was possibly 2 Mill Street where her nephew Charles Jennings lived.
On the 23rd ult. Catherine, relict of Andrew Jennings Esq., formerly of North-Street, Newry, merchant, aged 93 years.[4]


[1] Crossle, NAI.
[2] Encumbered Estates Rentals : Andrew Jennings Down Offaly (King's) 1790 Jan-May 1877 127 064 North-Street.
[3] Dublin Evening Post, 4 Jan 1810.
[4] Belfast Newsletter, 3rd April, 1940.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Jennings Family, Newry, County Down


I am returning to the Jennings family in Newry, County Down and will be blogging on individual members from now on. They were a Catholic family, and lived mainly on North Street, Mill Street and Monaghan Street. They were active both politically and as members of the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Thoughts on the Origins of the surname Bray with particular emphasis on the Brays of Tipperary.

Edward  MacLysaght said of the surname Bray that it was of dual origin; Bray may be a toponymic, de Bré (in Cornwall; seldom Bray, Co. Wicklow) also modernised Bree; or the Irish Ó Breaghdha (indicating a native of Bregia, a territory in Meath, formerly well known in Muster (i.e, native Irish).[1]
The Reverend Patrick Woulfe wrote: de Bree, de Bre, de Bray, Bree, Bray; i.e.,' of Bree,' in England, or ' of Brie,' in Normandy, or possibly ' of Bray ' in Co. Wicklow (Irish Bri).[2]
The Brays appear to have a played in prominent role in the history of Clonmel, County Tipperary. The name appears in many documents in the 16th century.  Clonmel was a Norman town and it is likely that the name Bray in Clonmel had Norman origins.
14 Jul. 1588
"Pleas held at Clonmel before John Bray, esquire, soveriegn
of Clonmel and seneshcal of the Liberty, and his fellows, on 
Tuesday next after the feast of SS. Peter and Paul in the 30th
year of Elizabeth in the assizes there."[3]
In 1632 they were still using the Norman form of address in Clonmel.
John Bray FitzThomas FitzEdmond, Clonmel Esq. Burgess, bequeath my soul to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost three persons in one Trinity and the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Marie and to all the Holy Company of Heaven and my body to be buried with my ancestors in the Holy Conf of St. Francis his Monastery in Clonmel. I have enfeoffed my nephew John Lee of City of Waterford and Peter Con… of Clonmell merchant of all the    barns, yards, gardens, meadows, pasture lands, tenants etc in Co. Tipperary … to have  … and deed of feoffment bearing date thirteenth day of March in the present year of the prosperous reign of King Charles over England, Scotland, Fraunce  and Ireland the year from the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 1631 … at large may and doth appear.
To my two daughters Christian Bray and Kate Bray one hundred Pounds of … in England…
To Michael Bray FitzPiers FitzThomas of Clonmel (1st to John, then his son Michael, then to Michael his son and then to his own brother James, then to his cozen Piers Bray FitzMichael…
I do will devise bequeath to my said  son John Bray my silver salts, my silver tester (or taster) six silver spoons, two high bed stools with their  … and furniture all my tables, carpets, cushions, stools, forms, chayres, cupboards, chests, my harpe, tables, the great Crucifix or picture I lent Mr Richd Wadding of Waterford deceased and my … etc
To my well beloved wife Beale Bray alias Lee for and during her natural life and the  … brought unto me by her out of Waterford on our intermarriage and also the rest … of the said saults, tester and spoons which my said son  is without household his keeping them. I also will and appoint that my said son John Bray shall have and receive the gould Jewell bequeathed by my father unto me which now my sister Anne Bray has after the decease of my said Sister.
…(?) Executor his son and heir apparent John Bray and appoint my cousins Mr Piers Bray and brother Mr Thomas Bray.
John Bray of this my last will and testament to  …. Executors the fifth day of April in the year from the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 1632.
John Bray. Signed and sealed in presence of James Bray, John Brahynoke (?), Christian Bray, John Bray.[4]
Members of the Bray family in Clonmel were later dispossessed of their property.
John Bray: Burgess of Clonmel, Conf. Kilkenny and M.P. Clonmel in St.(?) James II parliament, lived at Garondillon in 1677: he had forfeited under Cromwell and by deed of 26 Mar 1669 was demised 478 acres in Knockballymallow/Knockballynemollogh for term of 31 years, by Thomas Juxon.
Dates vary for the dispossession. The year 1691 is also mentioned in accounts. According to William P. Burke in his History of Clonmel ‘after the Restoration the Brays made a vain attempt to recover their property in Kilsheelan Street and elsewhere in the town. They subsequently obtained a farm from Captain Mathew at Galberstown, near Thurles. Captain Mathew was George Mathew, half brother of the 1st Duke of Ormond, a local landlord who held many thousands of acres of land in Tipperary. He resided at Thomastown Castle, County Tipperary. The Mathews were originally from Llandaff in Wales.
The Bray name is also found in Fethard, County Tipperary. The history of Fethard is inextricably linked with the Normans, and in particular with William de Braose, nephew of Philip de Braose.  Fethard remained in his possession until 1208.
Archbishop Thomas Bray of Cashel [1749-1820] was born in Fethard, the son of John Bray a wine merchant. John Bray was born in Fethard in about 1710 and was the son of Francis Bray who served as Constable to the Fethard Corporation in the early 1700s. There do not appear to be any earlier records of the Bray name in Fethard. Did they come from Clonmel like the Brays of Thurles, or could Francis have come from Cornwall where the name is common? His grandson James later became a doctor of medicine in Falmouth, Cornwall. Was this simply a coincidence? Or could the Brays of Fethard have a different origin as descendants of the founder of Fethard, the Norman William de Braose?







[1] The Surnames of Ireland, Edward MacLysaght. Dublin, IUP, 1973.
[2] Irish names and Surnames, Rev. Patrick Wolfe. Dublin, Gill, 1923.
[3] The State Papers of Ireland
[4] Bray wills, Four Courts Dublin, copied by me I.R.B.Jennings 17 Nov 1890.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Mary Bray [abt. 1769 - ], Thurles, County Tipperary


Mary Bray was the daughter of Luke Bray of Galberstown, County Tipperary and his wife Mary Phillips. She was the granddaughter of Samuel Phillips of Foyle, County Kilkenny, and Sarah Max of Gaile, County Tipperary.
Mary was a minor when her father died in 1774. She is mentioned in his will:
Luke Bray, bequeathed his interest in Galbertstown Co Tipperary to his Executrix his wife Mary  Phillips in trust for his son John Bray - and to herself £40 p. a. - until her son (John) is 21 yrs of age - and thence to Samuel Edmond Luke and Robert., to each of whom he leaves £200. To his daughters, Eleanor and Mary Bray £300 each at 21 yrs age marrying with their mothers consent.
Nothing more is known of Mary Bray.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Eleanor Bray [about 1767 - ], Thurles, County Tipperary.

Eleanor Bray was the daughter of Luke Bray of Galberstown, County Tipperary, and his wife Mary Phillips.
Nothing further is known of Eleanor Bray.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Edmond Bray [1761- ]

Edmond Bray was the third son of Luke Bray of Galberstown, County Tipperary and his wife Mary Phillips.
Part of the Will of 1777. Will of Thos Max of Killough -made 14 Mar 1777. Codicil.:
…Edm Bray & his heirs, son of Mrs Mary Bray, to have profits of Carrow subject to £21p.a willed to Mrs Mary Bray, by my brother James Max.
Edmond’s grandmother was Sarah Max of Gaile.
He married Mary Keating in 1781.[1]


[1] Ireland Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds indexes 1623-1866

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Mary Bray and Biddy Bray [1795 - ], Ellen Bray [1797 - ], John Bray [1800 - ], Thurles, County Tipperary

 Mary and Biddy Bray were born and baptised  in Thurles, County Tipperary in 1795, twin daughters of Luke Bray and Anstice Cormack. Sponsors at their baptism were  Alice Bowe, Thomas Cormac and Biddy Cormac.[1]  Their sister Ellen Bray was born in 1797. Ellen’s sponsors at her baptism were John Bray and Bridget Gleeson.[2]  Their brother John was born in 1800. John’s sponsors were John and Bridget Cormac.[3]
Their parents died in 1801, Luke Bray in June. Anstice three months later in September. They are buried at Holy Cross Abbey.
Mary and Biddy would have been only six years old at the time. Their siblings Ellen and John  were even younger.
What became of them after they were orphaned?
A Mary Bray married John St. John in 1824 in the presence of John Bray and Mrs Bray. Could this be Mary, one of Luke Bray’s daughters??
An Ellen Bray married John Meghan in 1828. Was this Ellen, daughter of Luke Bray?


[1] Catholic Church Records. Thurles. Baptisms. 02489/04. P. 3. 1796. [www.nli.ie ]
[2] Catholic Church Records, Thurles. Baptism 26 December1797. Mf 02489/04. Page 10. [www.nli.ie]
[3] Catholic Church Records, Thurles. Mf. 02489/04. Baptism 2 September 1800. [www.nli.ie].