To Londonderry via Letterykenny & Glasgow
My maternal 2nd great grandparents were John Chambers and Catherine Johnston. Their marriage was “Solemnized at Londonderry in the Parish of Templemore in Co. Derry” on 13 September 1870 in St. Columb’s Cathedral, indicating the couple were from Londonderry. The Cathedral is near and dear to my heart, I often refer to it as “My Granny’s Church”
In the summer of 2012 during one of my trips “back home” I had the privilege of viewing the Cathedral Marriage Register. I learned that John Barr and Alicia Doherty witnessed the couple’s wedding. For the first time I saw the names of my 3rd great grandfathers; they where Daniel Chambers, a Printer; and John Johnston who was a Farmer. I also discovered that Catherine could not write, not even her own name; she had signed the Marriage Register with an “X”. For some odd reason this saddened me. Once again I experienced “Unexpected Emotion”. The Register also showed that John was a “Car Driver”!
The following year, in December of 1871 their first daughter, and my great grandmother; Isabella was born. Her birth certificate, which is in the care of my “baby aunt”, indicates she was born in Ardnableask! However, at the time of her birth, the small family was living on the Lower Road in Londonderry. In March of 1874 twin daughters, named Catherine and Mary Ann, were born and brought home to the same little house on the Lower Road. Since there was a three and a half year “gap” between Isabella’s birth and the twin’s birth, it might suggest that other deceased siblings remain to be found. Family history indicates that the couple also had an adopted son, which is another twisted limb of many that I need to follow. Is he the son of extended family, as was often the case in the 1800s when children were adopted?
In 1897 Mary Ann married William Walker; the couple remained in Londonderry to raise their family. Catherine, who married Adam Bustard of Cloghan, Co. Donegal moved to Donegal, where they built their family. After living in Milltown, Tawnawully in 1901; the couple was found to be residing in Ardnableask in 1911. So, it would seem there is most certainly a connection to Ardnableask dating back to at least 1871! Who was Catherine living with when she met her future husband in Donegal?
Isabella, the eldest daughter and last to marry; had married Johnston Alexander Love by 1903. In 1901 she was still living with her parents, John and Catherine at 64.1 William Street. Interestingly, George and Andrew Johnston, two boarders; were also living with the family. Both were railway porters, both born in Donegal! I have much information on Catherine Johnston’s family; however, I have yet to discover how George and Andrew are connected.
On 5 October 1903 my 2nd great grandfather John Chambers passed away; he is interred at the City Cemetery in Londonderry. Upon receiving burial information from the Cemetery it confirmed that his father was Daniel Chambers. However, I was in for a little surprise! His burial record indicated he was born in Glasgow, Scotland; not Ireland as both his Marriage Record and the 1901 census claimed. In 1911 and now living at 12 Victoria Street with her daughter Isabella and family; Catherine reported that she was born in Lough Eske, Co. Donegal; again not Londonderry as her Marriage Record and the 1901 Census stated!
After discovering these various pieces of information, well… I was on a mission! I needed to find the Printer… Daniel Chambers my 3rd great grandfather!
To be continued….
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