North Street, Newry, County Down

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

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Letitia Jennings [1835-1924], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down.


Letitia Jennings [1835-1924] was the youngest daughter of Charles Jennings [abt 1780-1855] , Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Sophia Corley, daughter of Patrick Corley, Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised in Newry on the 20th of June 1835.
20 June 1835 Letitia of Charles Jennings and Sophia Corley sp. Daniel and Cathn Jennings.[1] 
The following brief account of her life as a nun in the Mercy Order comes from the Congregational Archivist.
 Letitia was born in 1835 and entered Newry Convent of Mercy on 1 February 1883. She took the name Sr Mary Margaret and professed her vows as a Sister of Mercy on 8 September 1885. She celebrated her silver jubilee as a Sister of Mercy on 8 September 1910. She died on 19 June 1920 and is buried in the convent cemetery. Warrenpoint was a branch convent of Newry and Sr M Margaret may well have spent some time there.[2]
Her sister Margaret, whose religious name was Sr Mary Alacoque, was a member of the Charleville Community.
Charleville and Newry were autonomous self-governing convents and had no administrative connection. A member of the Charleville community would have spent her religious life in that community or in its branch houses. She would not have lived in another autonomous community such as Newry.
In the 1901 Census Sr Mary Margaret Jennings is recorded as a Sister of Mercy, living at Seaview Street, Warrenpoint. Her age was given as 60 which was incorrect. She would have been 66. She spoke both Irish and English. There were six residents.[3]
In the 1911 Census she is recorded as Letitia Jennings, school teacher, living in Albert Street, Warrenpoint, County Down. There were six Sisters recorded as residents. Her age was given as 70, again incorrect, she would have been 76. She is recorded here as speaking only English.[4]
Letitia is mentioned in the Newry Annals of the Mercy Order.[5]
Convent of Mercy, Newry, County Down
February 1883 Letitia Jennings from Newry entered for the Feast of Purification
Sr M.M Jennings had her silver jubilee on September 8, 1910
She died on the 19th June 1920. Her death appears in the Annals, though no official record of her death can be found in GRONI.
19 June 1920 Dear Sr M. Margaret Jennings after a week’s illness quietly passed away[6]



[1] NLI Pos 5502 Baptismal Records Newry
[2] Marianne Cosgrave Archivist Mercy Congregational Archives
[3] 1901 Census
[4] 1911 Census.
[5] Annals Newry
[6] Annals Newry

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Ellen Mary Jennings [1834-1891], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down


Ellen Mary Jennings was the daughter of Charles Jennings [1780-1855] Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Sophia Corley daughter of Patrick Corley, Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised in Newry on February 19th 1834. Her sponsors were her brother and sister.
Feb 19 1834 Ellen of Charles Jennings and Sophia Corley sp. Andrew John Jennings and Ann Maria Jennings £0.10.0[1]
Ellen died on the 13th of January 1891 at 8 Cabra Parade, Dublin aged 56. She had been living there with her mother, Sophia, her sisters Kate and Sophia, and her brother Andrew John, after the family had moved from Newry to Dublin.
In her death certificate her occupation is given as governess. She died of acute laryngitis [3 day?]. Her sister Kate was present at her death.[2]
In her will she left £124. The primary beneficiary was her sister Kate Sophia Jennings.[3]
She is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin with her mother and sisters, and their brother Andrew John.[4]


















[1] NLI Pos 5502 Baptism Register Newry
[2] www.irishgenealogy.ie
[3] NAI Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1922
[4] Glasnevin Cemetery, VB, 12, SOUTH. Record no. T40739

Monday, 22 June 2020

Mary Jennings [1829-1838], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down

Mary was the daughter of Charles Jennings [1780-1855], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Sophia Corley, daughter of Patrick Corley, Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised in Newry on the 8th of December 1829, which perhaps  accounted for her name – the 8th of December is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – though her maternal grandmother was also called Mary Ann, but Anna Maria, born in 1814, had already been named after her.
Maria Gennings of Charles and Sophia Corly, 1829, sponsors John Caraher and Joanna Corly. [1]
She died on the 12th of January 1838, aged eight.


[1] Catholic Church Records, Newry, 05502/01. P. 51. www.nli.ie

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Joseph Corley Jennings [1827-1918], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down

 Joseph Corley Jennings was the son of Charles Jennings, Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down and his wife Sophia Corley daughter of Patrick Corley, Clones, County Monaghan. He was baptised in Newry.
Joseph of Charles Jennings and Sophia Corley, 1827, sponsors Arthur O'Hagan and Anne Jennings.[1]
He was apprenticed as an engineer with William Dargan, but subsequently emigrated to USA in 1845.
Joseph appears to have been married and living in Iowa for some time. His wife, whose name is not known, came from Pennsylvania. They had at least four children. Family lore suggests that he had a large family.
1. Sophia [1856-1934] was born in Iowa. She became a school teacher and never married. She is buried with her father in Chicago.
2. Charles P. [1858-] Charles may have married a Mary H. Garrigan in 1883. They had three daughters, Margaret, Rose and Mary; however a notice of the marriage which appeared in the Dubuque Times casts some doubt on this as it cites two uncles of Charles P Jennings who are not members of this family.[2] Possible the information contained in the notice is itself incorrect. There was a Dr Charles B Jennings in Dubuque, but he was not related to Charles P Jennings.
3. Elizabeth Blanche [1863-1949] also became a teacher and never married. She is buried with her father in Chicago.
4. James. [-1927] is buried with his sisters and his father in Chicago.

By 1890 Joseph was in Californa.[3]  His second wife Margaret Bryan was born in Canada in 1846.  The 1900 US Census records that there were no living children from the marriage with Margaret Bryan.
J.C. Jennings, San Francisco City, b. Nov 1827 Ireland. m. 16 years. m. est. 1884. Imm. year 1845.[4]
In 1910 they had been married 27 years. Joseph was 82. Margaret was 67. They lived at 39 Farallone Street, San Francisco Assembly District 33, San Francisco, California. Joseph owned his own house, and appeared to be self employed as a solicitor working in insurance. He was a naturalised American.[5]
He died in California on 6th July 1918 aged 90. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, Cook, Illinois, United States with two of his daughters, Sophia and Elizabeth Blanche and his son James.[6]



[1] Catholic Church Records, Newry, 05502/01 P. 19. www.nli.ie
[2] Dubuque Times 21 Sept 1883
[3] 1890 San Francisco Great Register of Voters.
[4] 1900 US States Census
[5] US Federal Census 1910
[6] Chicago Roman Catholic Cemetery Records, 1864-1989

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Cecilia Jennings [1826-1839], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down.

 Cecilia Jennings was the daughter of Charles Jennings [1780-1855] Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Sophia Corley, daughter of Patrick Corley, Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised on November 30th  1826.
Baptisms. 30th Nov 1826. Cilia, Charles and Sophia Jennings sps Andrew and Mrs Jennings.[1]
She died in Newry in 1839, aged 13 and was buried on the 16th of March.
Cecilia Jennings, Monaghan St., 16th March 1839.[2]
It was noted in the record that the bill had not been not settled.


[1] Catholic Church Records. Newry. 05501/09  nli.ie
[2] Newry Church Records. Funerals. 05502/05  nli.ie

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Margaret Jennings [1824-1901], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down

 Margaret Jennings was the daughter of Charles Jennings [1780-1855], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife, Sophia Corley daughter of Patrick Corley of Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised in Newry in 1824.
Margaret Jennings Dr. (daughter) to Charles. Sponsor  brother(s). £2.2 [1]
Margaret and her younger sister Letitia became Sisters of Mercy.
Margaret had first applied to join the Presentation Order in 1862, where her sister Elizabeth was Reverend Mother Superior.
1796.06/26/1862 Letter from Sister M Magdalen, Presentation, Youghal, to Bishop Keane, requesting permission to admit Revd. Mother's sister, Miss Margaret Jennings, into the convent. Includes an account of her character, 24 April 1862.[2]
Margaret appears to have then become ill but she applied again in 1864.
1796.06/30/1864 Letter from Sister M Magdalen, Presentation Convent, Youghal, to Bishop W Keane. 2 years ago he gave them permission to receive a Miss Jennings. She waited until she was completely free of an ailment and now wishes to join. She asks the Bishop if they may still receive her. 25 April 1864.[3] 
Margaret, for whatever reason, chose instead to become a Sister of Mercy.
Margaret Jennings, the daughter of Charles and Sophia Jennings of Newry Co. Down, was born in 1824, entered the Convent of Mercy in Charleville, County Cork on 31 July 1867, took the name Sr Mary Alacoque and professed her vows as a Sister of Mercy on 18 March 1870. In May 1887, she was elected by the Charleville community as Mistress of Novices and re-elected to that post in May 1880. The Mistress of Novices was in charge of the novices or trainee nuns who joined the community with a view to becoming Sisters of Mercy. In 1879, the Charleville community established a branch convent in New Inn, County Tipperary. Mother Alacoque was the first superior of the community and when her term of office expired in 1884, she returned to Charleville. She died in Charleville on 19 December 1901 and is buried in the convent cemetery.[4]

The Charleville Annals noted her passing:
On 19th Dec 1901 Sr. M. Alacoque Jennings died, sweetly and peacefully as she had lived. She was distinguished in the community by her refined and elegant manners, her charming frankness and simplicity and by her spirit of prayer.
Her death was also reported in a Newry paper:
Death of a Sister of Mercy. Recently there died at the Convent, Charleville, a venerable member of the Community, Sister Mary Alacoque Jennings. The deceased lady belonged to a very old Newry family, being the daughter of the late Mr. Charles Jennings, an extensive and highly respected merchant, who carried on business on Merchants’ Quay his residence being the house now occupied by Mr. McCrink at the corner of Monaghan Street. Other lady members of the same family embraced the religious life, two of whom are still living – one in the Convent, Warrenpoint, and the other in the Convent, Youghal, of which she is the Reverend Mother Superioress.[5]



[1] Parochial records of Newry, 1818-1827.
[2]  NAI Formno:  1764 Repository:  Cloyne Diocesan Archive
 Access:  Restricted Collection:  Bishop W Keane Main reference:  Box U Century:  19th.
[3] NAI .Form no:  12224
 Repository:  Cloyne Diocesan Archive Access:  Restricted Collection:  Bishop W Keane Main reference:  Box BBCentury: 19th)
[4] Archivist Mercy Congregational Archives
[5] Newry Reporter 24 Dec 1901

Monday, 8 June 2020

Elizabeth Jennings [1822-1909] Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down

 Elizabeth Jennings was born in Newry in 1822, the fourth daughter of Charles Jennings of Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Sophia Corley daughter of Patrick Corley of Clones, County Monaghan.
She was baptised in Newry.
Elizabeth Jennings daughter to Charles ---? sps John and Mrs O Hagan.[1]
In 1849 she entered the Presentation Order and she was professed in 1852.[2] She took the name Mary Catherine.
In 1859 she became the Superior of the Presentation Convent in Youghal.
1796.06/22/1859, Sister M Magdalen, Presentation Convent, Youghal, to Bishop Keane, with the result of the elections. The new Superior is Sister M Catherine Jennings.[3]

The Presentation Convent at Youghal started a needlepoint lace manufacture soon after the potato famine of 1846.[4]
A piece of lace of Italian origin came into ownership of Mother Mary Ann Smith of the Presentation Convent, Youghal Co Cork. This piece of lace was unraveled by the nun, who carefully examined how the piece had been executed, and then mastered the stitches. Children in the convent who had shown an aptitude for the needlework were then taught by Mother Smith what she herself had learned. This lace is made entirely by the needle, and the thread used is of very fine cotton. In 1852 the Convent Lace School was opened. The school flourished achieving many noticeable highpoints. In 1863 a shawl of Youghal lace was presented to the Princess of Wales, (later Queen Alexander) on the occasion of her marriage to the future King Edward VII. This was the first of many presentations to the Royal Family of England. Several medals were awarded to Youghal Lace in international exhibitions over the years including the Vatican Exhibition in 1888, the Chicago World’s Fair 1893, RDS, and Exhibition of British Lace in London 1906.[5]

…lace imitative of 17th century raised Venetian lace was made at the Presentation Convent from 1852.[6]

The convent buildings were completed in 1871 under Mother Mary Catherine Jennings of Newry.[7]

Mother Mary Catherine Jennings celebrated her Golden Jubilee as a nun in 1902.
Mother Catherine of the Presentation Convent, Youghal, who had once been Elizabeth Jennings of Newry, reached her Golden Jubilee as a nun in January, 1902. Mother Emmanuel sent her this letter of congratulation.
My dearest Mother M. Catherine,
... Do you remember the last visit... that you took me with you in your car with your dear Kate and Margaret RIP. You told me of your going to the convent then...[8]

She died on the 10th of October 1909 and is believed to be buried in the North Abbey Cemetery in Youghal.



[1] Catholic Church Records Newry Baptisms p. 22 1822 05501/08

[2] Crossle, NAI.

[3] NAI Form no:  12216 Repository:  Cloyne Diocesan Archive Access:  Restricted Collection:  Bishop W Keane Main reference:  Box M Century:  19th.

[4] A Dictionary of Lace by Pat Earnshaw, Dover, 2003. P.93

[5] http://www.irishlaceguild.com accessed 08/06/2020

[6] The Grove Encylopedia of Decorative Arts, 2 vols, edited by Gordon Campbell. OUP, 2006

[7] Youghal Convent and Youghal Lace [by] James Coleman [in]The Irish Monthly
Vol. 24, No. 281 (Nov., 1896), pp. 587-593


[8] Mother Emmanuel Russell, sister of Mercy, Newry, b. 50 Queen Street, Newry, 8th March 1831, Sarah Frances Russell, parents Arthur and Margaret Russell. From 'The Three Sisters of Lord Russell of Killowen and their convent life, by the Rev. Matthew Russell, S.J. London, Longmans, Green, 1912p. 252-3.