Úna Wogan writes about her impressive work on researching her family history:
The first rule of genealogy is to start with the living, gather the knowledge of the family from those that are still here. So this is what we knew; Michael Wogan, who we knew to be a boot maker, was featured as an elderly man in the 1901 photo of the Wingfields and tenants in the Powerscourt Arms. An old photo held in the National Library which showed a shop front showing the Wogan name (the shop was situated in front of the house to the left of Windsor’s or what’s now known as Spar). We knew that Michael had two sons, Bob, also a boot maker and Michael a slater/builder. Bob lived in “Lawn View” on Church Hill and was married to Bridget Mulligan, from Killogue. Bob and Bridget had three children, Nan, Marie and Mully. We knew Nan as children as she lived in Lawn View up until her death in 1985. Bob’s brother Michael lived in Church Hill House, number 6 Church Hill, two doors down from Lawn View.
Michael married Sarah who ran a guest house from the family home. Sarah’s surname was McRoe and she was from Fermanagh and she and Michael had five children; Josephine (Aunty Josie to us. She died in 1981), Greta (Margaret) (Greta we knew from a little copper plaque on one of St Mary’s church pews), Molly (Mary) who married a Tallon and ran Tallon’s grocery shop in the village, Michael Jr (the famous Terry’s father) and my grandfather Patrick or Paddy. We also had a strange little drawing of a girl called Elizabeth who “had died when she was little”. There was also a story about a Scottish “cousin” Willie Halkett who “ran away” with Nan Wogan’s young housekeeper.
So the questions to be answered were; where did the 1901 Michael Wogan come from? (Wogan isn’t exactly a surname common to the village) Who was his wife, the mother to Bob and Michael? Was cousin Willie related to the Wogan side and if so how? Who was Elizabeth in the drawing?
First step was off to the National Archives to check the 1901 and 1902 Census returns (fortunately they are now available free on-line, and searchable) and as the Powerscourt Arms photo was dated 1901 I was hoping the census returns of the same year would have the elder Michael in it and also the households showing his two sons and their families. What I found were two Wogan households in the village.
So I had some answers. Michael was aged 75 in 1901 and hailed from “County Dublin”. So the Wogans were confirmed as blow-ins! His wife’s name was Elizabeth and she was from “Wicklow”. Their son Robert or Bob still lived with them aged 30 years and they also had an Anne Botts, listed as a “General Servant”, living with them. The other Wogan household return confirmed Michael and Elizabeth’s other son Michael living with wife Sarah and their five children, with their youngest son Michael Jr only 21 days old at the time of the census.
The 1911 Census threw out some additional information. By 1911 the elder Michael had died, his wife Elizabeth was now listed as a Widow. But also interestingly the Anne Botts that was listed as a General Servant in the 1901 census, still living with Elizabeth, was now listed as a “Cousin”. Elizabeth’s son Bob now had his own household. He along with wife Bridget were living with their three children and as the 1911 census also recorded “Children born” and “Children still living” columns I could see that Elizabeth’s other son Michael and his wife Sarah had lost a child; their census return showed there were six children born to them but only five now living.
So all the information contained in the Census returns for the village confirmed what we knew of the Enniskerry Wogans. Michael (from the 1901 photo) had two sons, Bob and Michael and their subsequent families. I now had his wife’s name, Elizabeth, and also the fact that we may have cousins to the Wogans or at least to Elizabeth, with the surname Botts. I decided my next visit would be to the National Library to look at St Mary’s church records to see if Michael and Elizabeth married in the village, if so I might have Elizabeth’s surname.
The first Wogan entry I found was for a Michael Wogan and wife Ann Bayle/Boyle for the christening of their daughter Anne Wogan in 1854 ( Michael Seery later kindly discovered and shared with me records from the Powerscourt Estate Board of Guardians showing Michael Wogan first applying for the lease of a house in Enniskerry in 1853). I’ve never been able to find further information or further mention of Ann or daughter Anne. My theory is that both wife and child died in the next six years as the next mention of Michael Wogan in the church records are of his marriage to an Elizabeth Kelly in 1860. The records that followed on from the date of marriage provided the biggest surprise of all! Looking through the baptismal records for Michael and Elizabeth’s children after their marriage in 1860 produced the following;
- Joanne baptised 26 May 1861 (sponsors Joanne Darcy and Rosanna Black)
- Marianne baptised 14 Sept 1862 (sponsors Joanne Kelly and Maria Troy)
- Michael baptised 27 Mar 1864 (sponsors Dionysio Troy and Sarah Murray)
- Patrick Joseph baptised 24 Mar 1867 (sponsors William Black and Mary Anne Kelly)
- Bridget baptised 07 Feb 1869 (sponsors William Kelly and Bridget Gaskin)
- Robert baptised 21 Jun 1871 (sponsors Sigmund Marhner and Joanne Cullen)
- William baptised 28 Sept 1873 (sponsors Albert Miley and Helen Miley)
- Thomas baptised 26 Sept 1875 (sponsors Richard Coogan and Maria Doyle)
- Mary Elizabeth baptised 21 May 1878 (sponsors Joseph Wogan and Bridget Kelly)
- Teresa Maria baptised 16 May 1880 (sponsor Anna Wiley)
- Richard Francis baptised 9 Feb 1882
I went from knowing the two sons of Michael and Elizabeth to finding they actually had eleven children born and baptised in the village. So the next obvious question was where did they all go? Further visits to the church records in the National Library gave me the answers for two more of Michael and Elizabeth’s children;
- Marianne Wogan married a Daniel O’Brien (a grocer) of Clonmel, Co Tipperary on 14th January 1890 at 28th years of age. Witnesses to the wedding were Bridget Wogan and Pat Keating.
- Bridget Wogan married William Hackett of Clydebank, Scotland in Enniskerry on 29th September 1903 aged 33 years. Witnesses to the wedding were Robert and Annie B Hackett.
I was subsequently able to find Marianne (her name became Marian) in the 1901 and 1911 census living in Irishtown, Clonmel. By 1901 she was widowed and had five daughters living with her.
Mary Josephine aged 10 Bessie aged 8 Annie aged 7 Gertrude aged 4 Angela aged 2
An additional bonus was that in 1901 her brother Thomas Wogan was in the household at the time of the census. Marion was running a Drapery shop and Thomas was listed as a Drapery Clerk. Perhaps he was sent to help her with the business as Marian’s husband Daniel had passed away in 1900. Tragically Daniel died from his own hand, his cause of death as written on his death cert quite gruesomely reads “Wound to the throat, self inflicted while insane”. In an old newspaper clipping I found one of Marion’s children, Gertrude, died aged 14, at home in Clonmel. I’m still working on identifying her other children and hopefully some descendants.
Bridget’s marriage to William Hackett of Scotland gave a clue as to who “Cousin Willie” was. I wondered how Bridget met Scottish William and where she was during the 1901 Irish census. The www.scottishpeople.org provided some answers. I found Bridget Wogan in the returns for the 1901 Scottish census living at St Elizabeth’s Private Nursing Home, Glasgow. Her profession was given as “trainee nurse”. On the same web site I found that Bridget and William (their surname had by now changed from Hackett to Halkett) had given birth to two children, Bridget Mary Winifred born 3rd March 1906 and William Patrick born 12th August 1909. Below is an extract from the 1911 Scottish census showing Bridget and family. Also in the house is her niece Mary Josephine O’Brien aged 20, her sister Marian’s child on a visit from Clonmel.
Could William junior be Cousin Willie that ran off to England with the young housekeeper? Searching British birth records on-line I identified possible matches for a Mr. and Mrs. William Halkett, Mrs. Halkett’s maiden name matched that of the young housekeeper. Two or three years ago using one of the British online phone books I found a Mrs Halkett’s address. With no idea if this one Mrs Halkett was anything to do with the Halkett family I was tracing I sent her a letter explaining who I was looking for. To my delight I hit the jackpot. This indeed was the wife of Cousin Willie, son of Bridget Wogan Halkett. Willie’s widow was very generous in the information she gave me all about Willie’s family and his mother Bridget. She very kindly made copies of photos she had of Willie’s parents including this one of Bridget.
Bridget lived to the ripe old age of 91. She died in 1960 and one of her grandchildren is now in possession of her wedding ring inscribed with her wedding date 29/09/1903 from her marriage in St Mary’s church Enniskerry.
Another great discovery on the Scottish web site was the younger Wogan sibling Mary Elizabeth who was a novice nun with St Mary’s Covent of Mercy, Glasgow in the 1901 Census. Contact with the convent confirmed that Sister Marie Anthony, who went on to become a teacher in the convent school, was indeed Elizabeth Wogan born 1878, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Wogan of Enniskerry. Poor Elizabeth’s life ended suddenly in 1939 at the age of 61. Her death record (also found on the Scottish web site) shows she died of “concussion” fourteen days after she took a fall on a visit to Wemyss Bay in Scotland.
Out of Michael and Elizabeth’s eleven children I now had information and relevant records about Marianne, Bridget, Elizabeth and Thomas in addition to Michael and Bob who seemed to be the only two of the eleven that stayed in the village. From the time I discovered there were eleven original Wogan children born in the village I had been checking various genealogy message boards on-line. I was delighted when I came across a message which read:
“Grandfather Thomas Wogan was born in Enniskerry in 1875. Looking for any information about further family members or descendants” Joanne
On making contact with Joanne I learned all about Thomas and his life after leaving the village. Thomas had married in England and he and his wife (Annie McGarigle) had traveled to the United States in 1908. Thomas had one son also named Thomas (Joanne’s father) born in 1909 and today there’s a whole extended family descended from the Enniskerry Wogans in the US.
On the off-chance that another of the Wogans may have traveled to the US I began searching various US records and discovered that Patrick Joseph also emigrated. Initially traveling to the US in 1892 Patrick, also a boot maker, settled in New York City. A marriage record for the city showed that in 1904 he married a Catherine McArdle. Although he was now in the US Patrick (now using the name Joseph) didn’t travel far from home when choosing a wife. Catherine was also from Enniskerry. Her parents were listed on the certificate as Lawrence McArdle and Rebecca Murphy. St Mary’s church records contain Laurence and Rebecca’s marriage in 1843 and baptismal dates for at least six children. The New York census of 1905 and 1910 show Patrick and Catherine living in Manhattan.
Curiously the household is also home to a “nephew” William O’Brien born in the US and aged 13 in 1905. I have no idea who William belongs to! I have since found a death certificate for Catherine, only ten years after their marriage, dated 1914. Despite many hours searching I have yet to find any records relating to Patrick after the death of his wife.
Several years ago I had come across and obituary for Michael and Sarah Wogan’s daughter Greta who died in 1920. Mentioned as one of the chief mourners was an “Uncle Bill” so I had a good clue indicating that William also lived until adulthood. Once the Irish Census became available on-line I found him in 1901 living in Dublin City working as a “coach maker” and in the 1911 he and wife Elizabeth were living in Maynooth and he was working as a Coach Builder. A record from www.rootsireland.ie showed he married an Elizabeth Dempsey in Bray, Co Wicklow on 23rd September 1905. Neither Census recorded any children of Bill and Elizabeth Wogan. I found Elizabeth’s death notice from 1955 saying she was removed to Kilmaconogue graveyard. As of yet haven’t found William’s death record.
I have never found any other record of Michael and Elizabeth’s first born Joanne. Unfortunately their youngest daughter Teresa Maria born in 1880 died at five years of age and the youngest Richard born 1882 died soon after he was born.
So my original questions; where did Michael Wogan of the 1901 photograph come from? According to the census he was born in 1827 in “County Dublin”, so far I’ve found one birth record for a Michael Wogan from Dublin City born to a Michael Wogan and Ann Holmes that matches his year of birth. Who was Elizabeth, his wife? Well here’s where my Enniskerry pedigree comes from. Elizabeth Kelly was born in Enniskerry in 1839 to Mary Ann and John Kelly. The Kelly’s had at least eight other children, Robert, Catherine, Mary Ann, Margaret, Martha, James, Thomas and William. So please anyone out there with an Enniskerry Kelly background let me know! Mrs Mary Ann Kelly was born Mary Ann Botts in Enniskerry in 1808 (hence Elizabeth Wogan’s “cousin” living with her in the 1911 census). Mary Ann Botts was born to John and Elizabeth Botts who had at least four other children, Thomas, Eleanor, Eliza and John. The father, Mr John Botts, was born in Enniskerry in 1775 to Thomas and Margaret Botts who had at least three other children, Jane, Elinor, and Ann. Thomas was born in Rathdrum in 1739 to John and Eleanor Botts. So any Botts descendants out there?
I of course found “Cousin Willie” and the odd little drawing of Elizabeth turned out to be the first born of my great grandparents Michael and Sarah Wogan. Elizabeth was born on 27th August 1992. The 1911 census showed “six born, five living”, little Elizabeth died aged three in 1895.
Are all my questions answered? The original ones yes. But where did all the Kelly’s, McArdles, and Botts go? I’m still searching.
Submissions are invited for articles to the 2013 Journal of Enniskerry and Powerscourt Local History. The theme this year is “Gathering our Genealogies“. See here fore more details.