James Baxter Sweeney is my 2nd great grandfather; and from the limited information I have on him it would seem he was born about 1834 in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. James father was also James Sweeney and his mother was Mary. Unfortunately, I don’t know Mary’s maiden name for sure; however, due to the often used naming patterns… she might be a Baxter. Much more evidence is required to substantiate this belief.
At some point in time, in his mid twenties; James met and married Fanny (Frances) Robinson. Her parents were James Robinson and Margaret, whose maiden name I’m also searching for; from Garrowcarry, Edenacaran, Co. Donegal. James & Fanny were joined in marriage at the Ramelton 1st Presbyterian Church in Aughnish, Milford. David Stevenson and William Ritchie witnessed their wedding.
James and Fanny had a large family; comprised of six sons and four daughters. Their youngest daughter was Lizzie, who is my great grandmother. In 1875, at the time of her birth; the family was living in Church Hill, Co. Donegal.
On July 12, 1898 Lizzie’s marriage record to Thomas Murdock, my great grandfather; shows that the family was living in Garryharry, Letterkenny. The record also reveals that James was a farmer. I’ve since discovered that some of his sons where cattle dealers in the area.
On 16 Mar 1901 James passed away. His Will can be found at PRONI; the Probate Record reads:
“Probate of the Will of James Baxter Sweeney late of Garryharry, Co. Donegal. Farmer who died 16 Mar 1901 granted at Londonderry to William J. Wilson and Samuel Russell, Farmers. Effects – £77.”
Who are William J. Wilson and Samuel Russell: Two more “Twisted Limbs & Crooked Branches” to follow to find a connection!
The 1901 census shows that Fanny, who was widowed; was residing at 11 Garrowcarry, Edenacarnan, Co. Donegal. The census records reveal that her son John, his wife Matilda and seven of their children; along with her sons Henry & James, the cattle dealers; were also living in the same place. Although Fanny was widowed; I can’t imagine that she ever felt alone.
Sadly too, by 1909 my 2nd great grandmother Fanny also had passed away. So much more to find out about this particular “crooked branch”!
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