A Derry Cabinetmaker!

President of the Amalgamated Union of Cabinetmakers…

On 5 June 1875 at the Second Derry (Strand) Presbyterian Church, in the presence of Margaret Wilson and Thomas Cooper, David Norrie and Annie Short (nee Cooper, a widow) were united in Marriage.  David, a “cabinetmaker” is one of six children that I am currently aware of, born to Robert Norry and Mary MacFarland – he is also my 3rd great uncle.  At this point in time I have been unable to locate David’s birth record, so his year of birth remains a mystery.  Judging by his siblings birthdates I would make an educated guess that he was born circa 1845.  Unfortunately, the dates on the documents that I have discovered for my 3rd great uncle are contradictory at best.

On 3 April 1876 at Bridge Street, Derry City their first son and seemingly only child David was born.  Information is rather sparse on David senior until 28 June 1897 – on Monday 28 June 1897 the Derry Journal reported:

first insert

Inquest At The Memorial Hall.

An inquest was held on Friday by Mr. Thomas Lindsay, coroner, in the Memorial Hall, Derry, on the body of Annie Norry, wife of David Norry, the caretaker, who had been found dead in bed the previous evening.  Sergeant Dobson represented the constabulary, and from the evidence it appeared that Mrs. Norry had been in her usual health on Thursday, but complained of fatigue in the afternoon.  At two o’clock she was helped to bed by Mrs. Peoples, who was assisting to clean the Hall after the Jublilee celebration.  From this until six o’clock, when her son, David Henry Norry, returned from his work, she was not seen, and on young Mr. Norry going upstairs to inquire as to the condition of his mother’s health he found her lying in bed apparently dead.  He immediately ran out for his father, and subsequently Dr. Thos. MacLaughlin was sent for, but his services were of no avail, as he found life extinct.  Mrs. Norry had been in weak health for some time past, the result of a severe attack of influenza, and from the appearance the body presented Dr. MacLaughlin formed the opinion that the woman had died from convulsions.  The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.”

On 25 June 1897 T. Lindsay, Esq., Coroner for Londonderry filed Annie’s death record indicating her cause of death was from “Convulsions – Instantaneous”.  Annie a resident of Society Street is interred at the Derry City Cemetery.

2nd insert

It would seem that I was destined to find out much about David’s life by reading the archives of the Derry Journal.  On the 13 September 1897 the Derry Journal reported:  “The Amalgamated Union of Cabinetmakers recently held their annual excursion to Termone. Leaving Derry at seven a.m. in waggonettes supplied by the Imperial Hotel, the long drive passed pleasantly, and on their arrival at Termone the members enjoyed a plunge and then a ramble over the rocks along the shore.  Dinner was served in Mr. James Elkin’s in capital style.  After dinner Mr. David Norrie, president of the branch, gave the toasts of “Success to the branch” and ‘Prosperity to the trade in Derry.”  The toasts were responded to by Mr. George Murray and Mr. Jas. Howatson, representing respective local firms.  A programme of sports, including football match, tug of-war, flat races, &c., was carried out on the warren, at the conclusion of which tea was served, and the home journey commenced.  Under the management of Messrs. D. Norrie, S. Anderson, G. Forman, G. Murray, J. Godfrey, T. Colhoun, J. Craig, and R.  Kerr, the outing went through most successfully.” 

3r insert

A Marriage announcement published in the Derry Journal on 8 December 1897 revealed:  “Norrie & Boarland – December 2, at St. Augustine’s Church, Londonderry, by Rev. William Cowan, David Norrie, Londonderry, to Isabella (Bella), eldest daughter of Daniel Boarland, Ballybegley, Newtowncunningham.”  Further research disclosed – on 2 December 1897 David Norry (Widow) was united in Marriage with Isabella Boreland at St. Augustine’s Church of Ireland.  Thomas Wilson, David’s brother in law and my 2nd great grandfather; along with Mary J. Boreland, the bride’s sister, witness their union at St. Augustine’s Church of Ireland, the Wee Church on the Walls.  David had remarried just six short months after Annie’s death.

4th insert

David and Isabella had three children together between the years 1899 and 1902 – sadly their second daughter died a few short weeks after her birth.  Tragedy seemed to follow this particular line of my family as on 18 Oct 1904 Isabella Norrie of the “Memorial Hall, Society Street” passed away at the young age of forty two.  She, like David’s first wife Annie, is interred at the Derry City Cemetery.  Her headstone reads: “Erected by her daughters”. 

David a cabinet maker of the Memorial Hall, Society Street, Londonderry died on 23 May 1913 at home from “Bronchitis and Heart Failure, 2 days certified”.  His son David Henry Norrie was present at his death.  Like his wives and daughter my 3rd great uncle David is buried at the Derry City Cemetery.  May They Rest In Peace!

About CJ Murdoch

Looking For "Dead People"! My Journey Back In Time - Tracing my ancestors and researching the counties, cities and towns where they resided. Taking a “Glimpse” into their lives and stories and the times in which they lived; all in an effort to learn about their “Dash”! “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.” I have always been interested in researching my family tree and “hanging out” in cemeteries. Like most of us... I didn't ask enough questions when elderly family were still living. Oh, what I would give for 24 hours and a camera with my ancestors… just to sit and listen! I'm researching many family lines, including: Murdoch, Wilson, Berry, Love, Scott, Beattie/Beatty, Hendren, Sweeney, Robinson and Elvin; just to name a few. My families are predominantly from counties Antrim, Donegal and Londonderry. However, it seems that many of them, both maternal and paternal lines, originally hailed from Co. Donegal. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and now live in Ottawa, Canada, making frequent trips back home to visit with my family. Of course those visits also include treks to the many burial grounds of my ancestors. My most recent trip back home was during the summer of 2019! Looking forward to August of 2020 when I will return. If you are interested in help tracing your ancestors I’d love to hear from you!
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10 Responses to A Derry Cabinetmaker!

  1. heneker52 says:

    Loved this post CJ really interesting….so much information….well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Brown says:

    Heneker52, I have 2 O’Leary brothers that marry 2 cousins from the Buchanan clan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Svetlana H. says:

    Hi, I came across your website today while searching for some old photos (long story short – I was looking for Bridge Street, Derry, then came across some photos of Derry you posted… then a surname you mentioned on an old post caught my eye – McLaughlins, they are one of my brick walls, so I’m on a high alert… which led me to your site 🙂 )

    The reason for this long explanation is – I know who Annie Cooper you are refering to in this post is – she is my husband’s 5xGreat aunt! Annie Cooper was born in Derry, and married James Short in 1862 in 4th Presbyterian Church in Derry. Her husband James was a musician. She was the only daughter of Thomas Cooper, her brother, also Thomas Cooper (1839-1914) is my husband’s ancestor. Annie and James Short had one daughter Rebecca Scott Short (1867-1869). I wasn’t aware that Annie (Cooper) Short was widowed so young and that she had remarried.

    Would love to get in touch:)


    • CJ Murdoch says:

      Hi, thanks so much for getting in touch. It would seem that your husband and I have a family connection! 🙂 I have Annie’s marriage to James Short in my tree! If you would like to email me at twistedlimbsandcrookedbranches@gmail.com we can compare notes. I’m also really interested in your McLaughlin’s – mine don’t seem to want to be found! 😦 Looking forward discovering more! Colleen

      Liked by 1 person

      • Svetlana H. says:

        Yes, will send you an email!

        My McLaughlin’s are the same – I’m convinced they were dropped in Derry by aliens. My husband has quite few DNA matches to McLaughlins in Donegal so it’s possible William McLaughin came from there.
        I’m new to blogging but I’ve documented all I know about them so far: mychildrensancestors.wordpress.com -> McLaughlin

        Liked by 1 person

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