North Street, Newry, County Down

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

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Bridget Jennings [1807-1865] and Daniel McCartan, Newry, County Down.

Bridget Jennings [1807-1865] was the daughter of Daniel Jennings [1765-1830], of Mill Street, Newry, and his wife Bridget.

She married Daniel McCartan in Newry in 1841. There is some suggestion that Daniel had spent time in Canada teaching before returning to Newry but this has not been confirmed.

MARRIAGES. On the 17th inst, in Newry, Daniel M'Cartin, Esq., to Miss Bridget

Jennings, both of that town.[1]

They had four children:

1. Daniel [1841-] born Newry, County Down.

2. Bridget [1842-1926] born Newry, County Down. Baptised in Clonallen, sponsors John Cavanagh and Catherine O’Hagan.

3 .John Charles [1850-1926] possibly born in Wisconsin.

4. Mary [1850-1872] possibly born in Wisconsin.

The family emigrated to the United States and settled in Dekorra, Wisconsin. It is probably necessary here to quote quite extensively from the official history of Dekorra in order to do justice to its origins:

Dekorra was first used by Native American Indians who entered the region and began using the rich water and land resources for travel and as a living place. Several major Indian trails arrive at Dekorra. The Prairie du Chien to Four Lakes (now Madison) to Portage to Green Bay Trail and the Port Washington to Wisconsin River Trail intersect near the old village of Dekorra.

The “portage” lies eight miles to the north of Dekorra. With only a mile and a half to walk, one could travel down the Fox River to Green Bay and out the St. Lawrence River. Going down the Wisconsin River, one could travel all the way down the great Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and up the Missouri River to Yellowstone. This area near the “portage” has for years been a strategic meeting and gathering point for much of the mid-America continent.

In 1729, Joseph DeCaris, a French fur trader, came to Wisconsin. That year, he married Glory of the Morning, a sister of a Ho-Chunk (called by whites Winnebago) Chief. (Hopenka, Glory of the Morning, later became Chief herself.) Their descendants were the beginning of the Dekorra family, many of whom became Ho-Chunk chiefs with many village sites. This is the source of the names for Dekorra Village and Town of Dekorra. The first land entered in Columbia County land claims was the Town of Dekorra by trader Wallace Rowan (for whom the Rowan Creek was named).

 In 1837, Lafayette Hill settled in what was named Kentucky City. A “paper plat” was drawn up but never officially accepted. Here, Hill built his first inn which served as the political center of the area until Dekorra Village was platted over the same area and developed in 1843. Dekorra grew as an active pioneering village and included several businesses. The census of 1847 records 201 white residents.

The Dekorra Village plat in 1847 had a 1000-foot wharf for commercial river traffic used as a log raft landing and for exporting farm produce. Loggers of Wisconsin’s Pinery sent their logs by river raft for construction of homesteads…

A ferry that transported people, animals, and crops across the Wisconsin River to Caledonia was located at the east end of the village. The Village of Dekorra had two blacksmith shops, a general store, a post office, a local school, a shoe and tailor store, a wagon making business, three inns for travelers, and several residences. A quarter mile east of the Village, a grist mill operated and Wisconsin settlers traveled up to fifty miles to the mill to grind their grains…

Immigrants came from France, Scotland, England, Germany, and Norway to occupy and work the land which was later named Town of Dekorra, Columbia County in 1848. Other villages were platted: Inch, 1846, Oshaukuta 1848, Hartman 1857, Pauquette 1837 (changed to Poynette in 1851)… The earliest churches were Inch Methodist, founded in 1856, and Dekorra Lutheran founded in 1869. The names of the early settlers and families are recorded on the tombstones in six area cemeteries. Nine one-room schools were located throughout the Town.

The military road (Prairie du Chien/Portage/Green Bay) was constructed through Dekorra leading to the establishments of stagecoach inns at Inch, Oshaukuta, and on the Rowan Creek. These inns flourished until the railroad arrived in the 1870”s.[2]

Daniel McCartan died in an accident in 1864. His wife Bridget died in 1865. Both are buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Portage, Columbia County, Wisconsin, together with their children, Bridget and John Charles, their daughter-in-law Harriet Hagan and their grandson John C. McCartan and his wife Anna Ryan.[3]

Their great grandson, also John C. McCartan, who fought in the US Army in World War II, is buried here too.

There were to be two more generations bearing the name of John C. McCartan.


[1]Freeman’s Journal 22nd January 1841



Monday, 25 January 2021

Anne Jennings [1807-] and James Verdon [1800-1880], Newry, County Down.

Anne Jennings was the daughter of Daniel Jennings [1765-1830] of Mill Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife Bridget.

She married James Verdon [1800-1880] of Market Street, Newry on the 9th of January 1832. He is believed to be the son of Michael Verdon, apothecary, also of Market Street, Newry.

9 Jan 1832 James Verdon? and Anne Jennings wtns Charles Jennings and Biddy Jennings.[1]

They had six children.

1. Anne (Nancy) [1833-]

2. Elizabeth [1834-]

3. Rose [1839-]

4.Mary [1840 -]

5.Charlotte [1842 - ]

6.Louisa [abt. 1844 - ]

James is found as Dr. James Verdon, Market Street, Newry, in the Valuation Office Books in 1835. However by 1844 the premises on Market Street were no longer occupied by James.


For such Term as may be agreed on.

THAT old established HOUSE in MARKET-STREET,

NEWRY, lately occupied by Dr JAMES

VERDON, with all SHOP FIXTURES necessary for

A Medical Establishment.


12th January 1844.[2]

The family emigrated to the United States as conditions in Newry deteriorated due to the Famine. They do not appear to have travelled through New York as no record of their arrival can be traced at Ellis Island. James and Ann are found in the 1850 US Census records in Warren, Somerset County, New Jersey. By March 28th 1849 James had acquired land, as is evidenced by a notice posted in the Plainfield Gazette, and reposted over several subsequent months, warning people not to trespass on his property:

…we do hereby forbid all persons crossing or hunting on our lands, with dog or gun; or cattle, or in search of nuts, or fruit, without special permission; under the penalty of the law.[3]

Five of their daughters are living with them in Plainfield. Only Mary is missing from the Census record. James is listed as a farmer, and subsequently as a Commissioner of Deeds in 1870.

James died on the 13th of May 1880. In the US Census of 1880, Anne appears as a widow in North Plainfield. Three of her daughters are living with her, Rosa, Louisa and Ann, and a granddaughter Mary Larkin.


[1] Newry Parish Records. Marriages. NLI Pos 5502

[2] Newry Telegraph 13 January 1844

[3] Plainfield Gazette, March 28th 1849

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Joseph Daniel Jennings [1848-1930], Francis Street, Dundalk, County Louth.

Joseph Daniel Jennings was born in Francis Street, Dundalk, County Louth in 1848. He was the youngest son of Patrick Jennings and Anne Coleman. He was baptised on the 31st of May 1848 and given Daniel as his second name after his older brother Daniel who had died the previous year aged 17.His baptismal sponsors were J Coleman and A Jennings. A Jennings may have been his eldest sister Anne.

He married Frances Josephine [Fanny] Murphy [1873 - ] in 1901. She was twenty four years younger than him.  They had six children, and lived at Seatown Place, Dundalk.

Joseph John Jennings [1903-]

Anne M. Jennings [1904-]

Frances Josephine Jennings [1905-]

Patrick Daniel Jennings [1907-]

Peter Charles Jennings [1908-]

Joseph Brian Jennings [1910-]. Also known as Brendan Joseph, he was called to the bar in 1937.

A holograph letter (a holograph is a document written entirely in the handwriting of the person whose signature it bears) dated the 3rd of May 1927, from Charles Hurson, Casa Nova, Jerusalem (Palestine), to (Hagan), asking to renew the medal Pro ecclesia et Pontifice belonging to Joseph D. Jennings, Dundalk, appears in the Papers of John Hagan in the Irish College, Rome.[1]

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (Latin: For Church and Pope) medal is an award of the Roman Catholic Church. It is also known as the "Cross of Honour". The medal was established by Leo XIII on July 17, 1888, to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee and was originally bestowed on those men and women who had aided and promoted the jubilee, and by other means assisted in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful.

It is currently given for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy. It is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Pope.[2]

I have not been able to confirm if Joseph received the medal in question, or why it might have been bestowed upon him.

Joseph Daniel Jennings died in 1930.




[1] Papers of John Hagan, Irish College Rome(1904-1930)

[2] Wikipedia


Sunday, 3 January 2021

Patrick Coleman Jennings [1845-1921], Francis Street, Dundalk, County Louth.

Patrick Coleman Jennings was born in Francis Street, Dundalk, County Louth. He was the fourth son of Patrick Jennings and Anne Coleman. He was baptised on the 11th of May 1845, called Patrick after his father. His baptismal sponsors were Daniel Jennings and Mary Coleman. Mary Coleman may have been his aunt. His second name, Coleman, was his mother’s maiden name. This was possibly the first time  a maternal surname is recorded being used as a proper name in the Jennings family, though it became more common later  - Ignatius Ronayne Bray Jennings[b. 1850], for example, Charles Blake Jennings, and so on.

On the 15th of July 1871 a dramatic news item appeared in the Dundalk Herald. It opened as follows:

About five o’clock on Monday evening it became known in town that a man died quite suddenly in Messrs. Jennings timber yard, Francis-street; but when in a short time it became rumoured that the man had met with foul play – in fact had been set upon by Messrs. Jennings’ employes, and beaten in such a manner as to cause death – so ran the tongue of rumour considerable excitement was the result, and numbers hastened to Messrs. Jennings’ establishment, to learn the truth.

There then followed a long and detailed account of the incident. An open verdict was returned:

We find that James Carroll, died suddenly in a yard in Francis Street, Dundalk, on the evening of Monday 10th July 1871, from congestion of the blood vessels of the head and brain, causing compression of the latter, but there is not sufficiency of evidence before us to show how caused.

George Garstin was however re-arrested and released on bail.

Patrick and his brother Joseph carried on the family business in Dundalk after their father’s death in 1873, as P. Jennings and Co.[1], and Patrick continued to live in 5 Francis Street, possibly with his unmarried sister Julia. He held licenses for a variety of dogs over many years, including a white fox terrier, a red water spaniel, a brindle bull terrier and a black collie.[2]

Patrick’s name appears four times in the Petty Sessions Courts between 1873 and 1875. Three times he was a defendant charged with being in possession of light or unjust weights. On the fourth occasion, in May 1875, he was again the defendant in a more serious case brought by the Town Commissioners of Dundalk and was charged that ‘no proper Privy or Ash pit is provided for the use of the persons in occupation of or using said house, Quay and premises whereby said premises and said existing nuisance have become and are injurious to Public Health and that the said nuisance is caused by the Act or Default of you the said Owner and Occupier of said premises.’ The premises in question was situated in Quay Street.[3]

In 1888 Patrick Jennings was vice chairman in the Harbour Commissioners Office, Quay Street, Dundalk.[4] At that time Patrick Jennings and Co, Francis Street, Dundalk, were Ironmongers and Hardware-men, Timber and Slate Merchants and had iron and steam sawmills.[5]

In 1909 he was on the council of the Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.[6]

Patrick Coleman Jennings died on the 5th January 1921 at 5 Francis Street, Dundalk. He was a bachelor, 75 years old, and described as a Timber Merchant in the death register.  His brother Joseph Daniel of Seatown Place, Haggardstown, was present at his death as he had been present at their sister Julia’s death three years earlier. Patrick died of senile decay and syncope.


























[1] Crossle, NAI

[2] Ireland Dog Licence Registers

[3]  Ireland, Petty Sessions Court Registers

[4] Slater’s Directory 1888

[5]  ibid

[6] Tempest’s Jubilee Annual 1909