From Bohillion, Newtoncunningham to Lewis Street, Londonderry…
Ferris Row was located just off Bishop Street in Londonderry and was the birthplace of my great grand aunt, Mary Wilson. Known as Minnie, she was born on 7 Jan 1865 to Thomas Wilson, a carpenter; and Margaret Norry. Minnie was the eldest of thirteen children and sister to Thomas Wilson, my great grandfather.
On 20 Dec 1870 in the First Derry Presbyterian Church Minnie was married to John Alexander Hunter of Toulette, Burt, Co. Donegal. Thomas Godfrey and Amelia Short witnessed their union. The marriage record revealed that John Alexander’s father was also John, a labourer. With further research I discovered that his mother was Matilda McDonald, she too was from Donegal.
John was born on 7 May 1857 in Bohillion, Newtoncunningham, Co. Donegal, and baptized in the Newtoncunningham Presbyterian Church. He was one of at least six children that I’ve discovered so far. The Newtoncunningham Presbyterian Church Communicants’ Roll book revealed that John Alexander attended the Church. On 21 Oct 1883 it showed that he had left the Church and was a parishioner at the Greenock Presbyterian Church in Greenock, Scotland. I can only assume that he went to Scotland to find work. The Communicants’ Roll Book also revealed that he became a member of Derry First Presbyterian Church in Jun 1887, shortly after his marriage to Minnie.
The newlyweds took up residence in Londonderry, initially living in Marlborough Park; where their first son William was born in 1888. By 1890 and the birth of their second son David the family was living on Lewis Street. Lewis Street is where many of my Wilson, Beattie’s and extended family lived for over a century. With the birth of their third son the family is found living on Creggan Road; another street in Londonderry where many of my ancestors lived.
John and Minnie had several more children; six of which I have been able to find. As there is a “gap” in births between 1890 and 1897, I believe there are more children to be found on this particular Twisted Limb of my family tree.
The 1901 Census showed that the family was still living on Creggan Road and John was working as a “Dock Labourer”. At this point in time their house was full; as his sister in laws, Maggie Wilson and Elizabeth Diver, along with Elizabeth’s two children were living with the family. By 1911 the family was once again living on Lewis Street; where they remained until their deaths.
In 1918 at the age of sixty one with his daughter Mary by his side John, a “Watchman on the Quay”; passed away from “Rheumatic Paraplegia”; three years certified. He, like many of my family; is interred at the Derry City Cemetery on Lone Moor Road, Londonderry.
“In the end, we’ll all become stories” Margaret Attwood.