Other Irish gaps at the GGG/32 level

There are two more gaps at the ’32’ level on my Irish side – that is, two further missing great great great grandparents.

  • I know that Joseph Hill married Jane McBride in 1853 in Frankford Second Presbyterian Church near Castleblayney in Muckno Parish, Co. Monaghan, but all I know about her father was that he was called James McBride and the family residence was at the townland of Tullycollive, Monaghan (Joseph Hill was from the townland of Tullycaghny). I haven’t found a baptism for Jane, so all I know about her is that she was born around 1829 in Monaghan. She has a brother called Samuel who married Margaret Sinclair on 7th Dec 1852
  • I know that John Dawson Dunlop, my GG Grandfather, was the son of Robert Dunlop, but I know nothing of his mother or of Robert’s family. Confusingly, he married Margaret Elizabeth Dawson, and it would appear there was a bit of cousin inter-marriage going on.  You’d think this would help pin down the precise relationships, but in the absence of census records, it’s tough! Robert’s profession is given as Labourer and residence as Belfast on the marriage certificate in 1866.  This makes him harder to track than my farming ancestors who could at least be tracked to specific townlands

Agnes Broadfoot, of Scotland, b. abt 1840, d. Belfast 1904

I’d love to crack this one as it’s my only known Scottish connection.

2021 update: I cracked it! But the photos below are not Agnes and James, but rather Agnes’s elder sister Elizabeth and her husband James Burns. Full blog post to come!


Agnes Broadfoot married James Mathews in Hollymount, County Mayo, on 31st May 1866. James was a Colporteur (travelling bible salesman) and Agnes was a servant at nearby Turin Castle (it looks amazing, although their website says it was abandoned for 250 years up to 1997. Apparently not!)

In spite of the detailed information on the wedding certificate, I haven’t had much luck working backwards. What follows is what I know:

  • James’s father was Hugh Mathews, a farmer. The witnesses at the wedding were John Ward and Maggie C. McCorkey.
  • James was born in county Down; there’s no evidence of any deep Mayo roots
  • The family settled in county Antrim, first Cushendall, and then Ballymena
  • James and Agnes had 5 children, 4 of whom died between the ages of 14 and 21 of TB.
  • There are two middle name clues: my GG Grandfather was James BROWN Mathews, while his sister was Martha WILSON Mathews. Shame these aren’t more unusual names!
  • Agnes and James travelled to upstate New York some time around the mid 1890s, and they were photographed in a studio in Canandaigua, New York (that’s where the photos on this page are from). I wonder if they might have been visiting some relatives (I have no proper information about either James or Agnes’s siblings, for example) (see note at top)
  • Agnes appears in the 1901 census with a place of birth of ‘Scotland’
  • Agnes’s father was John Broadfoot, a farmer.

Amazingly, that’s all I’ve been able to pin down.  Her death certificate says she was 64 in 1904.  But she is listed as 65 in the 1901 census.  I know she died at the Belfast Asylum and the 64 might have been made up. I did find an Agnes Mathews born in 1936 (based on her census age) in Whithorn, Wigtownshire. I tried pretty hard to prove some connection but found nothing. There are a few other possible candidates in Scotland’s 1841 census, but with nothing to go on, I’m stuck there really!  (Sadly I couldn’t find a family with any names she used for her children (Amelia, Eva, Martha, William and James).



Joseph Marshall of Mullaghmore East, Dyan nr Caledon, Tyrone, d. 1850

It was only through some extreme determination that I managed to discover any more about Joseph Marshall than that he was a farmer, and the father of my GG Grandfather Matthew Marshall.

Scouring newspapers, I finally found a report of his death in the Armagh Guardian of June 24, 1850:

Joseph Marshall 1850 Death

There seem to have been generations of Tyrone Marshalls, all giving their sons the same names, so with neither censuses or parish records, I’m waiting for an old family history to surface somehow! Joseph’s birth circa 1774 makes him the oldest known ancestor I have at that GGG level. He would have been 46 or so when his son Matthew was born, and Matthew in turn was 46 when his daughter Rebecca Rea Marshall, my GG grandmother, was born.

Israel Benjamin of Kurnik and Kieferstaedtel, d. 1874 Breslau

I’m going to write a few posts for the record on the various points in my family tree where the trail runs dry.

The first level with gaps is the level of 32 – that is, my great great great (3G) grandparents.

On my father’s side, there’s amazingly just one gap at this level:

Israel Benjamin (b. abt 1816, prob in Kurnik/Kórnik, Posen) married someone, apparently called Rebekka, some time in the late 1840s or early 1850s. They settled in Kieferstädtel, Germany (now Sosnicowice, Poland) where they had sons Joseph and Isaac (my 2G grandfather). I don’t have Rebekka’s last name.

The legend says that Israel’s father was Benjamin Dolziger, shot dead in a forest in Posen, after which time his family took his first name as their family name. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t ever been able to find evidence of this.

My grandfather’s brother Wolfgang Perl wrote a history of our family in which he describes the Jakubowski family as cousins of Israel’s son Isaac Benjamin.  I was able to consult the rather wonderful census of the province of Posen and pick up quite a few details.  They all seem to have moved from Kurnik to Breslau.  Ewald was a chemist. He had a brother called Gustav (whose funeral Wolfgang remembers), and sisters called (if my understanding of the German handwriting is correct) Bertha, Marie and Flora.  Flora married Jakob Schottlaender, and her parents are given on her wedding certificate as Louis Jakubowski and Amelie Goeczlig.

The rather amazing Poznan project has a record that seems to add credence to this – Bertha’s marriage record reveals her parents as Ludwig (rather than Louis) Jakubowski, and her mother as Amalie Benjamin.

The strong implication is that Amelie Goeczlig is therefore Israel’s sister.  From the birth years of her children, she’s likely to have been born around 1825.  If anyone out there knows any more, don’t hesitate to get in touch, as I obviously need more evidence. But it appears that ‘Goeczlig’ had simply evolved in stories told down the line into ‘Dolziger’.

To complicate matters more, when Israel died on 21st September 1874 (it was Yom Kippur, as Wolfgang had recorded), the hebrew documentation seemed to denote his father as being called August (or possibly Abraham/Aron).  But it’s hard to interpret! (I’m not a Hebrew reader myself – apparently the person who wrote the note used Yiddish spelling).  My next step is to try and get any record of Israel’s father’s name via a death record. Was it Auguste or Abraham or Benjamin? I might also be able to get this via an LDS film if sister Amalie died in Kornik.

As an aside, it’s wonderful to find some ephemera online from your actual family. This is the letterhead of my GG grandmother (Isaac Benjamin’s wife Josefine, nee Wischnitz).

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