Gray Family

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My G Grandfather was John Gray, born in 1841, who married MaryAnne Memery (See Memery family chapter). Tracing backwards, its seems my G G Grandfather was also John Gray. This seems to be John Gray, a shipwright, born c. 1822, and married to Jane. He died in 1899, at age 77. I cannot find any birth or marriage record and cannot establish Jane’s maiden name. I am assuming this was him below (but cannot verify). Gray is mentioned as a Torbay name but I have not, so far, linked this particular John Gray to the Torbays.

There was also a Josiah Gray, a Revenue Officer, who was married to Margaret in Ringsend. They had several children between 1820 and 1836. It has been suggested that Josiah was John’s (b. 1822) father but I cannot find a birth for a child named John so I am not sure this is a fruitful avenue of inquiry. There were several Gray families in Irishtown and Ringsend at this time. They are probably extended family but so far, I cannot find how they link to our family. 

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I also think it unlikely that John, a Ship’s Carpenter, was son of a Revenue Officer. The trade seems to follow down a line of John’s sons and grandsons. The record below is from the Irish Shipping Records (1892), and it could be our John Gray, who would have been 70 years at the time.

John Gray and Jane Gray had at least seven children (note gap between 1845 and 1854); 

SarahAnne b. 1839 

John Henry b.1841 

Joshua, b.1844 

James, b. 1845 

Henry b. c. 1854 

Jane b. c. 1855

William b. c. 1856

Robert  b. c. 1863

There is a death of a Jane Gray in 1879, aged 56, so born around 1823, wife of a shipwright in Irishtown Road, and MaryAnne Gray present at birth. This is probably John Gray’s wife, our G.G. Grandmother. Wonder what ‘delicacy uncertified’ means? Perhaps a mental illness ?

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There is a marriage of a Sarah Ann Gray in 1858 to a William Bradfield, a bootmaker, in the Irish records, father John Gray, Shipwright. This couple seemed to have 9 children; John 1864, Sarah 1866, MaryAnn 1868, Samuel, 1870, Charlotte 1872, Henry 1874, Thomas, 1876, Richard 1878, and Ellen 1883. They lived in the city in Clanbrassil Street. Sarah died in 1893, aged 48. This appears to be the daughter of John and Jane Gray.

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I cannot find any reliable information on Joshua Gray. In Family Search there is a reference to a Joshua Gray in the Irish Petty Court register who was in court for stealing boots in 1874, and also a Joshua Gray was naturailized in Ohio in 1885. But nothing to link this/these records with our Joshua Gray. 

It is possible that James died at 2 years of age. A death is recorded in Irishtown for a James Grey, died 1 year 2 months in 1847, but no information on parents.  

Jane Gray, father John, shipwright, married Thomas Barr 1875. She has a brother Robert living with her family in the 1911 census, who would have been born around 1863. He is single. Jane and Thomas Barr had 10 children, 8 living; Andrew, 1877, Thomas 1880, Ruth 1882, Joshua 1884, Robert 1886, Johanna, 1891, Mary 1889 and Henry 1894. Jane died, a widow in 1933 daughter Ruth Kenny present. I know we were related in some way to the Barr family so this appears to be the link.

A Henry Gray, son of John Gray Shipwright, married MaryAnn Weldrick (another Torbay name) in St Matthew’s parish in 1874. Jane Gray was a witness. They had a son, Richard in 1875, daughter Mary, in September 1878, daughter Ellen in 1881 and son William in 1885. They do not appear in the 1901 census. A Henry Gray of Dublin, born in 1850 is listed in the shipping records. 

A William Gray, son of John Gray, Ship Carpenter married Margaret Athridge in 1883. Jane Barr and Thomas Barr were witnesses. William and Margaret had at least 5 children, Jane in 1884, Mary in 1887, William John in 1890, John in 1901, Elizabeth in 1901. A William Gray was crew on a trawler, the ‘Victory’ registered to a MaryAnn Weldrick in 1881.

John married Mary Anne Memery, my great grandmother, in 1865 and they had 12 or 13 children over the next 23 years. 

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Mary Anne died in 1888, soon after the birth of her daughter Mary Ann, our Grandmother. John Gray died some months later. Aunt Agnes always said he died of copper wire poisoning, and also that Gran was the 13th child. I can only find 12 births, but it is possible a miscarraige or maybe a prem still-born was not registered. It looks like she was right about the copper wire poisoning however, as can be seen from the death record. These are the 12 children I can find:

John, b. 1866

William, b. 1868

George b. 1869

Martha, b.1870, d. 1877

Sarah b, 1872

Joshua b. 1874

Robert b. 1876

Henry b 1878

Martha (Mattie) , b 1880 

Herbert, b. 1882

James b. 1885

Mary Ann b. 1888

The children and what I have found out about them are listed below;

John Gray, b. 1866. 

John was born when they lived in Thorncastle street. It seems he lived in Belfast and then had a boatyard in Dun Laoghaire. There is a John Gray age 34 in the 1901 census, living in Kingstown, with his wife Catherine and 5 children (Robert, Sarah, Francis, Eileen and Isabella), and again in the 1911 census with three more children (Martha, Edwin and James). Two of the children were born in Belfast. John died in 1951, aged 85. 

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As seen above, it seems their eldest son, also named John, died in WW1, and mother Catherine died in 1934. Catherine’s own name was Bailey. I cannot find any records of marriages in Dublin for the other siblings, except for Edwin and Francis. Edwin Blackmore Gray married Emily Handy in 1933. (Blackmore in the name may link these Grays to Torbays). James Pollock Gray as witness probably his younger brother. (Is he named after a fish ?)

Edwin was also a boatbuilder and it is seems was known as Skee Gray, noted in a various historical reflections and related to DL Harbour ;

was apprenticed as a boat builder to Eddie Gray who worked in the Coal Harbour ...

…’the legendary “gentleman boatbuilder” Skee Gray’.

( for Derek Paine), the initial skill was picked up when he and his father would visit Edwin ‘Skee’ Gray in Dun Laoghaire. Gray built and repaired Water Wags and Mermaids, along with tenders and whatever it was that Irish Lights needed that month’.

“After the Second World War my father was dealing in bronze, brass and copper and became very friendly with “Skee” a boat builder in Dun Laoghaire. He used to supply him with nails and copper fastenings and bolts.He was a great man with his hands, a great boat builder and a very honest man.

There is a company in Dunlaoire as I write this, Viking Marine, run by a Shane and a Leighton Gray, who are grand-nephews of Skee Gray.

Francis married Elizabeth Bryans in 1931. He is described as a carrier. There is also a death record for a Francis Gray in 1952, aged 57. However a source in Ancestry gives marriages as follows; Sarah Gray to Eric Dormer , Isabella Gray to Albert Fairborough, Eileen Gray to Lesley Dodd, Martha Gray to George Hall, and James to ?, with 2 children David and Ivy Gray. Uncertain about accuracy and I have no way of verifying.

William Gray, b. 1867

There was William Richard Gray born to John (a carpenter) and Maryann, in 1868 when they lived in Thorncastle Street. I cannot find any definitive trace after that. 

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In the 1901 census there is a William Gray, aged 30, in Gerard Street, but born in England and married to Louisa Gray, Catholic. They are also in 1911 census in Clarence Street. Unlikely he is our William Gray, as place of birth in England is in both census. No other William Gray in either census 1901 or 1911 looks like it could be our William.

There is William Gray, a Ringsend Fisherman and owner of a vessel listed as eligible to vote in elections in 1896. There was also a William Gray in the Shipping records, crew on a vessel the “Ibis SS” in 1890. Either/both could be our William but no further information to verify.

A William Gray from Irishtown died in 1933 aged 71, this could be him as age only 7 years out? He is described as a widower. But I cannot find any marriage for a William Gray, son of John (Shipwright), in the Dublin records. It is also possible that William emigrated. 

George Gray b 1869

George was born in Thorncastle St.

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George married Lucy Syms, daughter of James Syms and Susan Bond in 1892. Her cousin, Thomas may be the father of Stephen Symes who lived beside Gran in the Square. They had four children, Edith in 1894, George in 1895, Lucy in 1898, and Isabella in 1899. In the 1901 census, Edith is listed as a granddaughter living with the Syms family in Fitzwilliam Quay, aged 6, and George and Lucy and the other children are recorded living at 108 Thorncastle Street. I think George the father died in the Meath Hospital, age 39 in 1909, according to civil records. 

In the 1911 census Edith is then living as a niece with the Pullins in Pembroke cottages and Lucy, a widow, is living with the other two daughters, Lucy and Isabella in York Terrace, Pembroke.  Lucy, the mother died in 1946. I asked Edmond Symes why he thought Edith didn’t live with her family but he was not sure why this would be. Sometimes children are sent to inlaws to help with cousins. But at 6 years of age she would have been very young for this to be an explanation. Also why did she move to the Pullins ? So this a mystery. 

There is a George Gray in a School in Grand Canal St. aged 14 in 1911. Boarding School? 


This George married Gertrude McKee and had two sons, George and Kenneth, and one daughter Joan. George (the father) is described in a biography of his son as a first world war veteran (wounded in the Balkans after serving with the Leinster Regiment at the Dardanelles and Palestine) Kenneth is the Ken Gray who worked as a journalist in the Irish Times, I heard Dad speak of. George (the son) was also known as Tony and was a writer. The excerpt below is from the Irish Times when Tony died in 1982. 

Tony Gray, who has died in England aged 82, began a writing career on The Irish Times over 60 years ago. He went on to become a prolific author, with 20 books to his credit and about 150 scripts for documentary and training films.

Although he left Ireland to live in Britain in 1959, Irish subjects and themes were a constant inspiration for his literary output. His last book, A Peculiar Man, published in 1996, was a life of the writer, George Moore, which was highly praised in reviews.

The bulk of his impressive output was historical and sociological but he also wrote five novels. Starting From Tomorrow was based on his life in Dublin as a young, hard-drinking journalist in the 1950s. Another called Gone the Time was based on Brendan Behan.

A reviewer in the New Statesman praised it for achieving “a more complete truth in fiction than Behan biographers have managed with fact”.

Gray was born in Dublin on August 23rd, 1922. His father, George, had fought in the first World War and had been wounded at the Dardanelles. He later qualified as a radiographer and worked in the Leopardstown Hospital for ex-servicemen run by the British Ministry of Pensions. Tony’s mother was Gertrude McKee from Warrenpoint, Co Down.

He grew up in Sandymount and was educated at St Matthew’s Church of Ireland School in Ringsend and St Andrew’s College. He went straight from school to work in The Irish Times as a junior leader writer under the legendary editor, R.M. Smyllie. In his book, Mr Smyllie, Sir, Gray gives a humorous account of his interview with Smyllie and what it was like to work in the newspaper during that time.

I have made contact with an Evan Roe through My Heritage site, who is married to Linda, great granddaughter of George (b.1869). Evan says Isabella married Walter Hadden from Tyrone. Edith married Cranston Forster, her first cousin (son of Mary Syms), and Lucy married Don Johnson, according to Edmond Syme’s tree, and confirmed in the civil records.  

According to Ken (Hodgins) “Lucy Gray moved to the N. Ireland and married Dan Johnston (? Spelling).  They went to the Salvation Army in Belfast, and had 3 children, the youngest of whom married Bob Harbourne.  Bob H had 3 children (in birth order) called George (was in the British Army during the ‘troubles’ and then W. Germany), Jean, and Iris (Salvation A Officer).  George then found his way to marrying Jean Darlington  who went to the Salvation A in Rathmines when I was very young.  They have 3 girls who I knew well as children (eldest is same age as Gail).  They used to visit Dublin regularly to see their MGM, and would also come to our house.  The youngest, Andrea, keeps in touch with Gail, and is a SA Officer”.

Martha, born 1870. 

Martha was born in 1870 but died 6 years later (another child born in in 1880 was named Martha). 

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Sarah b. 1872

When Sarah was born, the family seems to have moved to Cambridge Road. Sarah married Henry Martin from Kimmage in 1899 and they lived at 2 Peter’s Place. Martha her sister was witness. They had three children, Lois, Henry (Ned) and John (Jack). They are listed in the 1911 census living in Vavasour Square, Pembroke. Lois married Robert Deegan from Cabra in 1936 and had 4 children; Wesley, Neville, Gordon and June. Wesley and Gordon have been in contact to help with this geneology project.  I recall my Gran talking about Sarah. She was somewhat intimidated by her, I think. One story involved Gran having bought Jimmy and George ‘scoil’ caps in Thomas street and when they arrived in the house wearing the caps, while Sarah was visiting, Sarah was horrified and snatched the caps off their heads and threw them in the fire. Apparently they had the Pope’s cross & keys on them. Marann (which is what she preferred to be called) who had either not noticed or not cared, was not impressed as they cost money and she could ill afford to replace them. There is a sense that Sarah was a matriarch, but understandably, as she may have had to take on a minding role after Mary Anne Memery died.  The picture below is marked ‘Ned and Lois baby’. Probably Wesley or Gordon?

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Joshua Gray b. 1874

Joshua was born in 1874 when they lived in Cambridge road. He would have been 14 when his parents died. A note on Neville Deegan’s My Heritage Family tree states ‘Joshua went to Toronto Canada. He used to send food packages during WW2 to his sister Sarah who lived with us when we were kids’. I have no other information on Joshua. There is a death in the Irish Civil records for a Joshua Gray who died at 70 years of age in 1946, in Dr Steevens Hospital, which would be about right for his birth. But record is almost illegible. 

There is also a UK Royal Navy record (below) of a Joshua Gray, born 1875 on the 5th October in St Matthews in Irishtown. It is tempting to think this is our Joshua, but the birth date is incorrect. There were other Grays in Irishtown.

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Robert Memery Gray b. 1876

Robert would have been about 11 or 12 when his Mother died. So we know very little about him. His birth was in October 1876 and was in Cambridge Rd. A Baptism is recorded for a birth in 1877 in Pembroke cottages and registered as catholic and sponsors are named, which contrasts with the other births. We don’t know if he was fostered or boarded out after his parents died in 1889, so it is possible he was fostered and baptised as RC ? Very little information here. 

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In the 1901 census there is a Robert Gray, Catholic, boarding in Cuffe Street, aged 20 and a Robert Gray in Glencullen, a servant , aged 22. They could be Robert but I cannot verify.

There is a Robert Grey in 1911 census in Pembroke Cottages Ringsend, aged 33, married to Brigid (Doyle), with four children (MaryAnn, James, John and Ellen). He is listed as R Catholic. This is probably our Robert Gray. So perhaps his birth registration was in error,  but it is also likely that changed his religion as was required under Ne Temere decree at the time. The marriage was in a R Catholic church. There is a death of a Robert Gray of Pembroke Cottages, in 1918, aged 40. He is described as a sailor and his brother Henry was present at death. He is listed as crew on the Meath in 1890, when he must have been 17, and on the Eblana in 1907, age 28 where he is listed as having deserted. Also as 3rd mate on Seaking, with James Hodgins Skipper.

Henry b. 1878 

Henry and Mary Gray 1878

There is a Mary Gray, noted in the Church records as born on 12 October 1878 and baptised on 6th Dec 1878. Initially I assumed she was a twin of Henry, although no birth for Mary is recorded in the civil records. But there is no death recorded in the civil records either.  I think it is likely to be a mistake, as John Gray’s brother Henry, also married to a Maryann, gave birth to a baby, Mary in September of that same year and their baptisms are recorded on the same page. I also think if there had been twins, Agnes (my ‘source’) would have mentioned this. She told me Mary Hodgins who married Stephen Syms was a twin. And I have found no other twinning in the family.

Henry was born on 12 October in 1878 in Cambridge Road. He was 10 when his parents died in 1888/89. According to Ruth Wheatley (his grand daughter), Henry was sent to a family in Belfast, called Bowden, and he worked for some time in Harland & Wolff shipbuilders.

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Henry Gray is listed in 1911 census married to Eliza (Pullen) Blackmore with a son Samuel, b 1905, Grace (Violet) b 1910 and John b 1908, living in Pembroke Cottages. They married in 1904, and this Elizabeth Pullen Blackmore was daughter of Maria and Sam Blackmore, living at 44 Thorncastle street. Maria was daughter of Prince and Elizabeth Symes (born Upham) who embroidered a sampler that eventually was in Sam Gray’s house in Greystones, but has since disappeared.  This links us clearly to the Brixham migration, as this Elizabeth Symes was one of the first migrants to Ringsend. Henry and Eliza married in the Mariners Church on the quays in Ringsend. Henry fought in the Boer War. He worked in the Guinness Brewery.

Henry died, aged 50, in 1930, Sam was present at the death. Eliza had to raise 10 children on her own. In the text supplied by Ruth Wheatley, it seems they lived under threat of having to go into an orphanage, and Ruth’s mother did spend time there, between the ages of 12 and 16.

Sam Gray married Bessie Chapman and they lived in Greystones. I remember visiting when we were children. The house looked out over the bay. He also worked in the Guinness brewery. Sam and Bess had 4 children. Ivy and Joyce moved to the UK. Ivy’s daughter, Caroline, subsequently married Brain Hurley, son of Vivienne Hodgins.

John died aged 35, from liver disease, possibly due to alcoholism.

Violet Gray married Jimmy Hogan, a plumber. They had four children, Grace, Ruth, Miriam and Reggie.

Henry Memery Gray, born 1912, married May Finlay from St Annes in Raheny in 1936. I have a photograph of a letter sent by Samuel Blackmore, his grandfather, on the occasion of their marriage, shown to me by Deirdre, his daughter. 

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They lived in Rush Co Dublin. They had a son Robert who died tragically as a child (drowned) in 1953 aged 13. I remember my Dad talking about this. Other siblings were Deirdre and June. Deirdre has provided much of the information in this branch of the family. Deirdre’s daughter Jane, and June’s daughter, Saoirse work with me in NUIG. Latterly, when May was very old, Bill Colvin in Skerries used to take her to Church every Sunday.

Rachel Gray married John Dunne, who worked in the Irish Glass Bottle co. in Ringsend. They had 7 children. They lived in O’Connell Gardens.

Anne married Leslie Vaux, whose son Alan became a psychologist and we met many years later. He works in Illinois.

Ruth Gray married Cecil Wheatley. They had 3 children. Her daughter, Ruth, was at School with me (I think.)

Kathleen went to work in the UK. Little seemed to be known about her, although David Gray unearthed some very interesting information about her. She worked as cook during WW2.

George Gray married Sheila (?) and has one son, David living in Liverpool. This is David Gray who has provided a lot of interesting information on the Grays and Memerys.

Betty married Hans McGowan and they had three children; Arlen, Susan and Hans. Betty died in 2017.

Martha (Mattie) , b 1880 

Mattie was also born in Cambridge Road. Mattie was only 8 when her parents died. Gordon Deegan thinks she was taken in by a family in Dun Laoghaire, perhaps an older brother (eg John Gray) and later went in service. She is listed in the 1901 census as servant of the McCormack family of Newtown Avenue Blackrock. She married Gilbert Bailey in 1906 and they are listed in the 1911 census with two sons, Thomas and George born  1908 and 1909. They are living in York Tce. Gilbert (as seen on Karen Bailey’s Ancestry site) was sister to Bella Bailey who married John Blackmore, brother of Elizabeth Pullen Blackmore, who married Matties’s brother, Henry. More evidence of Torbay intermarraiges.

Later, Gilbert and Mattie had more sons, Samuel, Robert (Bobby), Gilbert, Cecil and daughters Fanny and Phyllis. Dad’s family lived over the Baileys shop in Dun Laoghaire for some years with Mattie and Gilbert. Aunt Iris was born in Dun Laoghaire. I remember him showing me the shop in Dun Laoghaire and I remember him looking for Gil Bailey in the boatyard on Coal Quay in Dun Laoghaire.

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I don’t know who the woman is in the picture below. Perhaps Mattie? Dad was very friendly with Bobby Bailey who lived in Monkstown when we were children, with his wife Kathleen and sons David and Noel. Phyllis was in the SA with George , Irene , Ken, Alison and Gail. 

Cecil Bailey married Hanna Wright and her granddaughter, Karen Bailey has been in touch with me. She lives in Letterkenny.

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Herbert, b. 1882

Wesley says Herbert was taken into care and was treated badly.  I contacted the Smylie homes, a protestant orphanage and a likely home where Herbert could have been placed and asked if they had records but they said they had nothing. He came back to Ringsend and lived in South Lotts road. He is listed in the 1901 census as living in Thorncastle st with his brother George Gray and wife Lucy Syms, as a lodger. He is not listed in the 1911 census. He married Janie Hodgins who was Grandad (Willie) Hodgins’s sister.  His son William Gray and Uncle Willie Hodgins built their own houses next to each other.  I remember Willie Gray. He had two children, Joyce and Trevor. 

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James b. 1885

According to Wesley, ….’ James (aged 3/4) was sent to Canada under the Barnardos scheme. When he grew up he made contact with his sisters. He used to send us a parcel every Christmas, it contained chocolate, cheese and other items. Chocolate was a rare treat in the 1940s. Gordon remembers that James visited Dublin on a ship captained by his son and he stayed in the Square This must have been in the late 1940s

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 It is not clear why Joshua (14) (possibly) and James (3) were sent to Canada and Herbert (6), Henry (10) Robert (11)  Mattie (8) and MaryAnn (0) were not. MaryAnn, as a baby, was fostered. Mattie may have been taken in by family, more likely as she was a girl, and as suggested by Gordon Deegan. It may be that they were sent to different care homes, and only some care homes used a scheme to send children aboard. Henry was sent to Belfast. Martha, Herbert and Mary Ann are the only ones in 1901 census. 

Mary Ann b. 1888 (Gran Hodgins)
Mary Ann Gray, born Memery, died of pneumonia 9 days after Gran was born. MaryAnn was born 9th November in 8 York Terrace. 

Agnes had told me that Gran’s Father died a few months later in Sir Patrick Duns Hospital later of copper wire poisoning. This appears to be consistent with his death certification; the entry looks like ‘gangrenous’ or sepsis . 

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MaryAnn was taken into the care of the Marshall family, and is recorded in the 1901 census as an orphan. Uncle George was named George Marshall after the Marshalls. 

I am unsure what the particular connection is between the Grays and the Marshalls. George and Mary Ann Marshall, who provided a home for Gran, were married in 1866. Her name was Mary Anne Micheaux, and her father was a Butler. The Marshalls had 6 children; a son John in 1867, Rebecca 1868, George 1869, MaryAnn 1871, Henry (Harry) in 1872, and Thomas 1874. MaryAnn Marshall was at school with Sarah, Grans’s sister. Rebecca died aged 1. In the 1911 census only John is living with the parents in Pembroke Cottages. Only 3 children still living. George the father was a shipwright and the names are similar to other Torbay families. There is a Geo Marshall listed in 1847 Thom’s directory for Thorncastle Street – presumably George’s father. John Marshall crewed with other Torbays (Elliot, Pullen etc). MaryAnn Marshall’s name appears on a marriage certificate for Stephen Syms, all of which suggests they were connected to the Torbays.

It is apparent that Gran maintained a close connection with the Marshalls throughout her life. I have the Baptismal and Death Certificates of John Marshall (from my Dad’s papers) seen in the census record as 33 year old son. There is receipt for a grave purchased by George Knott in 1902 and  also the birth Certificate for Henry (Harry) Marshall who is the ‘?’ in the census record, and below is the bill for his funeral.  Harry died in 1953. There is a note in Dad’s papers indicating that 10.00 pounds was paid on his death by the Ship constructors and Shipwrights Association, to a Mrs Georgina Tyrell with an address at 7 the Square. Wesley says he was looked after by Hodgins family late in life.  

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MaryAnn went into service and is recorded, at age 23, in the 1911 census as a Maid with Ellen Dooley in Drummartin, Dundrum. She and Ellen were maids to the Overend family, at Airfield. Gran spoke to Ken about walking up to the house through Dundrum. The lives of Overend sisters are well documented, (see picture below)  due to their philantrophic works, especially with the St John’s Ambulance Brigade and also their love of cars, which were well known around Dublin in the early part of the century. I remember my father pointing out a Rolls Royce being driven through Dun Laoire with one of the elderly sisters behind the wheel. 

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Gran used to tell a tale about a servant (may or not have been at Drummartin), Ginny Grant, who used to ‘take a sup’ every now and then, which may or may not have been Airfield. Gran called this a glass of X, which Ginny had to hide under her skirts when the Reverend called. This was fine until he suggested they kneel to pray. Don’t know what happened after that! I cannot find a ‘Ginny Grant’ in the Irish records.

There is no record of MaryAnn at Airfeild unfortunately. This picture below is of one of few other houses in the grounds, and could have been where she lived. 

We have no pictures of Gran Hodgins as a young woman.

Mary Ann married William Richard Hodgins in 1919, with her brother-in-law John Martin and her brother Harry (Henry) as witnesses.  


They had seven children, six surviving (Agnes, Jimmy, Willie, George, Iris and Vivienne). Susan died, born at 7 months, only surviving 11 days. They lived in Bath Avenue when Agnes was born and then 100 South Lotts road, where Dad was born, during the War of Independence in 1921, apparently when a skirmish of some sort was taking place outside the house. Iris was born when they lived over Baileys shop in DunLaoghaire and Vivienne was born in 7 The Square, which they had purchased and this became the family home. Agnes’s joke was that Viv was the only square baby in the family. 7 the Square was a small three bedroom house with a garden at the front and the back. They had a lodger at one point, in the box room, with the six children in the large bedroom, a curtain between the boys and the girls (see also Hodgins Family).

When all the others had married, Agnes remained there with Gran Hodgins, and when she married Willie Galvin at the age of 50, they stayed there a while longer. Agnes and Willie later moved to Sandymount, and then back to Cambridge Road Ringsend, where many of the Memerys were born. We spent lots of happy times at the Square as children. It was the ‘hub’ of the Hodgins family. 

There are lots of others Grays in the Irish parish records for St Matthews – A John and Sophia, a John and Louisa and a Henry and Mary Anne . Given the name pattern they are probably related but I don’t have enough information to link them. 

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This is the Dunleary Lifeboat, that saved 55 lives between 1919 and 1939 (Dublin Gazette). Some of our extended family crewed this boat (eg Blackmores, Baileys and/or Grays) and probably contributed to this lifesaving record.

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