Updating the Family Tree – William McDowell Jamison’s Parents, Date & Place of Birth

Fantastic source of North Antrim genealogy info and all-round great guy Nevin Taggart from the North Antrim Local Interest blog contacted me in July (I know, I’ve got a backlog of blog posts to thrash out!) with some exciting news for this site; he had located a baptism record for my paternal great-grandfather William McDowell Jamison.

Up to this point, William was as far back as I’d managed to trace my Jamison lineage. The earliest mention I’d found of William was on the 1901 census as a 57-year old father of several children, living in the Bushmills locale. He appears again on the 1911 census, as does my grandfather Charles Frederick Jamison, then an 18-month old infant.

I’ve made efforts to locate a birth certificate for William online and by contacting the churches around Bushmills, but to no avail. All I had to go on, based on the 1901/1911 census data was a likely birth date of around 1844.

Nevin had located a baptism record online for William, which answers several questions; William was baptised just after Christmas 1845, so we was probably born just before Christmas, and his birthplace was the parish of Comber, County Down. Comber is situated south of Newtonards, just to the north-west of Strangford Lough; looking at the Northern Ireland coast, County Down is situated to the south-east of Belfast, whereas North Antrim lies to the north-west. So William wasn’t born in Antrim, where he later settled.  Interestingly however, William’s youngest son, my grandfather Charles Frederick, settled in County Down with his wife Eliza and as far as I can ascertain, most if not all of his children, including my father, were born in the Ballynahinch/Annahilt areas, just over twelve miles from Comber.

I’ve updated the family tree file with the following details from William’s baptism record:  I suppose I should rename the family tree now as we’ve worked back to William’s parents!

Name: William McDowell Jameson
Father: David Jameson (note the alternative spelling of Jamison).
Father’s occupation: Labourer
Mother: Matilda
Parish: Comber, Co.Down
Date of baptism: 28/12/1845
Denomination: Church of Ireland

The McDowell Connection?

The fairly distinctive name of my great-grandfather made it very likely that this was a record of his baptism, but then Nevin outdid himself by turning up even more info!

The same David and Matilda Jameson went on to have a total of ten children according to another family’s tree on Ancesty.com;

William, born 1845
David, born 1848
Thomas, born 1849
Adam, born 1851
Matilda, born 1855
Margaret, born 1856
James, born 1860
Catherine, born 1862
Elizabeth, born 1864
Susanna, born 1866

William appears to be the eldest surviving child, but it was from the birth record Nevin located on the Groni website for  William’s youngest sister, Susanna, that the names cinched it; Susanna’s mother’s name is given as Matilda Jamison, nee McDowell. A birth date of 1825 is also provided for Matilda.

Several older members of my family on both sides have their mother’s maiden name as their middle name, and it appears that Matilda and David named their eldest son the same way. So the McDowell connection confirms that these finds by Nevin are indeed records of my great-great grandmother and grandfather, and their ten children.

I’ve reached out to the family who feature Matilda and David on their family trees on Ancesty.com (neither Jamisons or McDowells), and hope to hear from them and make more connections. The birth dates for William and Susanna on this family tree tie up with the records of their birth found elsewhere by Nevin, so I’m certain this is the same family, and I can add McDowell to Matilda’s name. With my boundless thanks to Nevin for turning up this next step back in time; watch this space as I run with this info and try to go back another generation into the 1700s!

William McDowell Jamison’s Family Tree

 

 

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Welcome to long-lost relatives; Richard, David and Aunt Phyllis

Mum1

My father, (Frederick) Ian Jamison, had seven full siblings and two half-sisters from his mother’s first marriage, not an unusual family size for that generation of Irish families. Over the years and the distances between the surviving siblings, their children, and grandchildren, some of us have lost touch.  It’s always wonderful when we reconnect, and even better when it’s through this blog!

A couple of months ago I heard from Richard, one of my first cousins, whose mother, Phyllis, is my father’s last surviving sister (that we know of – unless you can help with the last piece of the puzzle!)

I’d tried to trace Phyllis and her family before – having kept up a correspondence with my Uncle Harold between Northern Ireland and England, after ill health and a move of house, they lost touch. My uncle was very keen to reconnect with his sister, and I hoped that this blog would help as we’ve already successfully connected with family ranging from first cousins to descendants of my great uncle William Jamison, son of William McDowell Jamison.

I was overjoyed therefore to receive an email from one of Phyllis’s sons, who had been conducting some family research of his own and found this site. My aunt Phyllis still lives in Northern Ireland, and one of my cousins lives not too far from me!

It was great to swap stories with Richard and put him in touch with my Uncle Harold, and I’m happy and proud to claim another part of the family – thank you for all your help, Richard!

I put off writing this blog as we had a trip planned to Northern Ireland in July (we’ve just returned) – I managed to visit my aunt last week and it was a very touching time for me, with lots of memories. Richard provided the wonderful picture of his mum above, and she still has a fine head of hair and the distinctive Jamison features.

My Uncle Harold’s daughter Denise also visited our aunt with her family, and I’m hoping that my Uncle can make a visit too.

From a family history perspective it was great to get some more pictures – as well as some great pictures of his mum, Richard also provided some wonderful pictures of my Aunt Hilda Todd, who may still live in Canada – she is the last sibling of my father who we haven’t yet made contact with, and I hope that one day that Hilda or maybe her son Francis Google the Jamison family history and find this site.

Welcome, Phyllis, Richard and Sam, and David, and thank you for solving another piece of the Jamison puzzle.

Margaret

Family Research Visit to Belfast June 2016

I’ve written this up quite a while after we actually visited, as family things got in the way, but it was a very useful visit and might be of help if you’re considering researching your own Belfast family history.

We took the car and went by ferry, straight into Belfast harbour. We splashed out, staying two nights at the famous Europa Hotel in town, recommended!

Apart from catching up and taking trips out to Portrush and other spots along the coast, I had some specific research in mind that took me to the Belfast Central Library Newspaper archive.

This research was for two reasons; firstly to fill in some gaps around family events in Belfast during the Troubles, and also as primary research for the novel I’m (still) writing, And The Buntings Flew. The novel is based in 1970s Belfast and those of you who have read my blog posts will know that it’s at least partly autobiographical.

My research at the newspaper archive bore some fruit, and was a blast from the past, as the records are nearly all stored on microfiche, which I haven’t used since the early 1990s.  There’s a modest fee to print out pages (10p a sheet I think) and it was incredibly useful, and the staff very helpful.

This success was tinged with sadness and uncertainty; the Troubles left very few families untouched, and I now have to contemplate and investigate the new information I uncovered.

Despite any unease I felt while reading through the microfiches from 1975 and 76, they did offer, for a writer, a wonderful window on the past. I was particularly interested in the world news, and closer to home, the adverts; in 1975 the Northern Ireland government had members warning that if the UK voted to join the EEC (Common Market, and we did), that it would grow from a trade agreement to a federation of European states with a  loss of UK sovereignty, which was a very topical read!

I’ll be posting some more about some of the information I found in the archive library, but for now, I just wanted to post some pictures from our trip of the wonderful places to visit in Belfast and the rest of County Antrim.

I’m also pleased to relate that I brought back lots of Thompsons Tea and vegetable roll, both Northern Irish treasures that I wrote about in my article lauding the Foods of Ulster!

 

Welcome to Jennifer!

“Only connect!” (E.M. Forster)

Detail from Giant's Causeway copyright M. McGoverne

This is a follow-up post to last week’s Filling In Some Gaps post; it’s just to say thank you to Jennifer, who is my great uncle William’s great-granddaughter; it’s beyond me to work out the actual relationship, but I think it’s second cousin removed once or twice!

But more importantly than degrees of relationship, it’s been great to meet a fellow descendant of Old William and Annie, and one who’s also interested in our family history; it’s times like this that make the work of tracing your family history and blogging about it so worthwhile!

Not only have both of our family trees been expanded by the meeting, we’ve made a new connection from an old one, and I am so happy that we have, as I know my cousin Barbs is – it’s an exciting chasing down of historical info, but its wonderful to meet great people and find out you’re related!

Margaret

Jamisons of the Giant’s Causeway – Nevin’s Blog

One of the first really good leads I had on my journey to trace back the Jamisons, when faced with a dearth of real information, was a fabulous post by Nevin Taggart in his blog NALIL (North Antrim Local Interest List), a local history, culture and genealogy site with a wealth of fantastic info. The post is here: Jamisons of the Giant’s Causeway

NALIL is a great place to start your own search for all things North Antrim, or just for a great read!

Many thanks to Nevin

Jamison Family Garage, Shore Road, Belfast

shoreroadgarageMany thanks to the Belfast forum, where this wonderful picture was posted; it shows most of the family home and garage, which were situated on Shore Road, North Belfast, alas demolished in the 1980’s. Fred and Eliza Jamison moved their young family here from Lisburn in the 1950s’ and Fred set up business as Loughside garage, living in the adjacent house. Apart from the trams, this is how I remember the house and garage when I lived there during the early 1970’s.

This is a wonderful picture and really helped me re-establish details which had become a bit hazy. If you own the copyright to this picture of if you have any more of it, please do let me know!

Margaret

Oswald Hewer Jamison – born in England?

I’m following up a possible lead from Nevin from NALIL, who has found an entry for an Oswald Hewer (as a surname rather than a middle name), born 1895, in Wigton, Cumbria. The birth date fits with my grandfather’s brother’s estimated birth.

Barbara and I are chasing up this lead – Oswald’s mother was English we believe, and it may be that the reason we haven’t located William and Annie’s marriage certificate is because they wen’t married in Ulster? Oswald hewer isn’t a common name, and it may be that he was given Annie’s surname as a middle name, or maybe there’s some other story?

Watch this space…..

Margaret

http://www.jamisonsonline.co.uk/

North Antrim Local interest List – Link to Jamison History

http://nalil.blogspot.com/search?q=jamisons

This is a great blog and this post in particular was intstrumental in Barbara and I starting our Jamison/Purcell/Huer family quest!

Many thanks to Nevin for the post and for his invaluable assistance since in putting us in touch with various people who have helped us piece the past together.

Margaret x

http://www.jamisonsonline.co.uk

Visit to Antrim June 2009

From: 6th July 2009

Our visit to Antrim a few weeks ago was fantastic, and we managed to get to quite a few places associated with the Jamisons, including Bushmills, Giant’s Causeway (including the school there) and Belfast.

I hope to be sent a picture from the Causeway school from the period when our grandfather and his siblings attended; as soon as I get anything I’ll share it here!

Margaret

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