Author Topic: Belfast Orphan  (Read 612 times)

KatelynHanna

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Belfast Orphan
« on: August 29, 2019, 06:59:47 PM »
Hi all,

My great grandfather, David Hanna, was 'found wandering' the streets of Belfast in 1908 when he was 3 and committed to Nazareth Lodge orphanage. He grew up there and moved to Donegal in the 1920's. He never knew who his family were but over 100 years later I began digging into his past and after receiving his orphanage records found out his mother was Rose Ann Hannah from Glasgow. I've discovered she was married in Glasgow in 1895 to a man named William Houghton (a soldier) and the couple had three children, Harriet (1896), William (1899) and Catherine (1900). As an army family they moved about - from Glasgow to Hampshire to Aldershot and back to Glasgow.

Sometime after 1901 Rose obviously moved to Belfast and had my great grandfather David in 1905. I'm not sure who his father was or what the circumstances were that led to him being found wandering. I wonder would anyone have any suggestions as to records I could look at in Belfast between 1901-1915 that could shed light on this? Would police or court records have been filed in order to 'commit' David to the orphanage? Perhaps Rose was destitute - are there records for this?

Any help would be much appreciated.


CMcG

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2019, 09:30:53 AM »
What an intriguing find, Bread Basket...  O0

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Bread Basket

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2019, 10:25:35 AM »
No sign as yet of Mr Bellamy.... very few in the whole of Ireland in 1901 & 1911 Census.
Cannot find a death for Rose in the North 🤔🤔🤔 wonder where she went?

CMcG

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 11:28:55 AM »
As far as I can tell, Rose died in Glasgow.  You are absolutely correct, Bellamy (and variants) weren't thick on the ground in Ireland, what few there were in the relevant timeframe seem to have been clustered in Cork, Wexford and Dublin. Whether its census records, BMD records, burial records, Will Calendar entries, street directories, what have you, the name Bellamy simply wasn't endemic to the northern part of Ireland and Belfast in particular. And the specific forename-surname combination of David Bellamy propels matters to a level of even greater rarity. There are several possible meanings of the occupation 'commission agent', for example, one was what we would regard today as a bookie, but another one was a sort of sales representative which often entailed travelling, I wondered if he was just a temporary (several months or years) visitor to Belfast from the likes of England, where the name David Bellamy would have been much more common. 

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CMcG

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 11:47:37 AM »
I can't overemphasise the rarity of that name David Bellamy in the time and place context in question... in that light, note that when I searched Irish newspapers for that name, apart from a few 'hits' for a prominent person in Dublin in the latter 1800s, the only other hit I got back was the following one, which was indeed in Belfast and was only one year after the birth previously posted by Bread Basket, in March 1906:



Is it connected? Does it perhaps hint at the sort of circumstances that could have lead to a child being found wandering in 1908?  I suppose it's dangerous to speculate too much, but this is the only vaguely contemporaneous mention of the name in Belfast I've been able to find so far.

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17124

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 11:59:24 AM »
CMcG I like you haven't found a sniff of him anywhere either.  He may be found on Free bmd's however, without an age range, difficult to search.  Your newspaper article may as you say provide the answer to the circumstances.

Kate,  I had a similar experience whereby x3 sisters were found wandering the streets.  [/font]They were made wards of the industrial school orphanage where they stayed until their 16th birthdays.  Their school admission records described the dire circumstances in which they were found.  They were made wards of court and therefore files recording the judgement would have existed.  I would suggest that you contact PRONI requesting the case under a FOI request.  Of course, if a file still exists it may not contain any information other than that which you have already gleaned from his orphanage records.

Bread Basket

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 12:19:49 PM »
Could this have been a relative in Little Victoria St in 1901 ??? ???

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Little_Victoria_Street/976555/

Or was it Rose (Annie) herself.
NB.... no relationship is given to Head of Household!!


KatelynHanna

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 12:21:06 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks so much for your support. I came across the Bellamy record before but sort of disregarded it, however I think I'll look into it more now (I'm desperate). My great granda always said he was born on 14 March 1905 - that's what the nuns in the orphanage told him. Interesting that this wee David Bellamy's birth was registered on 14 March.

Rose went back to Glasgow at some point before 1918. You see, on David's orphanage records they recorded him as illegitimate and in the space for 'parentage' they left it blank. However, I think Rose must have tried to contact them in 1918 because at the bottom of the record there's a note which says 'Mother's address 3 Oct 1918, Rose Ann Hannah, 104 Richard St. Anderston, Glasgow.' I don't know why she reached out at this time (maybe due to the end of the War? 3 Oct was also her dad's birthday... maybe she was just able to support him then?) The sad thing is that my great granda, whenever his children asked him later in life why he never went looking for his mother he replied 'well she never came looking for me so why should I go looking for her?' I think this is so sad because I think by that note in 1918 Rose must have reached out? Why else would they have that info ten years after David was committed?

Anyway, thanks all again. For a better picture you may want to read the blog I wrote last year about my search for Rose. It won't let me post an external link but you can find it I think if you google 'Rose Hannah orphan.'

17124

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 01:21:22 PM »
Could this have been a relative in Little Victoria St in 1901 ??? ???

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Little_Victoria_Street/976555/

Or was it Rose (Annie) herself.
NB.... no relationship is given to Head of Household!!

Hi BB, My thoughts were going down the same road as I had a wee peek at the directories and found a couple of interesting entries for Victoria Street Little, might they be connected and not a random move to Belfast from Glasgow?? http://www.lennonwylie.co.uk/tuvcomplete1877.htm
 1877 – nbr 38 Mrs Hanna

1880
nbr 1 – Danl Hanna
nbr 38 – Mrs Hanna
 
1890 –  Anne Hanna.
1901 – 1924 – Mrs Hanna
1932 – Miss Annie Hanna
 
 http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Little_Victoria_Street/976555/[/font]

The Annie in the census was born in Belfast
CMcG doesn't say when Rose died, but if Miss Annie Hanna was Rose she's still in Belfast in 1932
The more curious entry if there is a connection is here?  Trying not to go off at a tangent!

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Victoria_Street__Little/190308/


KatelynHanna

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 01:24:34 PM »
Hi all,

Rose remarried in 1923 in Glasgow to a man named John O'Reilly. She died in Glasgow in April 1932. John died in 1935. I have no idea what happened to Rose's first children William and Catherine Houghton as the last record I have of them is living in Glasgow in the 1901 Census. No idea what happened to them after this as I can't find any of them in the 1911 census. Have looked at Irish, Scottish, English and American and nothing. It's such a mystery.

CMcG

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 04:24:42 PM »

... Thanks so much for your support. I came across the Bellamy record before but sort of disregarded it, however I think I'll look into it more now (I'm desperate). My great granda always said he was born on 14 March 1905 - that's what the nuns in the orphanage told him. Interesting that this wee David Bellamy's birth was registered on 14 March.


Goodness, that is such a MASSIVE co-incidence on date, on top of everything posted so far, I think you're right to consider it further.

Parking your David Hannah for just a moment...

The big issue for me is that, taking the David Bellamy born in 1905 in isolation, I just can't explain him - as in, I can't find a marriage for his parents, nor births for any siblings, and I can't find a marriage or death for him (in that forename/surname).  So, if he wasn't your David Hannah, just who was he?  For I can't yet trace him forwards (hoping Bread Basket and 17124 are having more success) ... 

If there are any images posted above that are important to you, take your own copy - I cannot guarantee they will appear indefinitely.

17124

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2019, 06:27:15 PM »
 CMcG
I mentioned earlier about the Free BMD’s site as I was working along the theory that Bellamy is not an Irish name & there was a chance he was English.  Not having a year of birth to work on, I just guessed a year of birth & shoved in a good long time parameter and was surprised to find the following hits:  https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl 

Could Rose have met Bellamy through her husbands army contacts?  or more coicidentally, having read the following extract, during their time living in Aston Birmingham?  Could it be that she'[censored] up with him & this is how she randomly turned up in Belfast?
Extract from Rose Hannah Orphan:  On 14 December 1896, Rose gave birth to their first child – Harriet – at their home in 384 Dobbie’s Loan. In the next year William became a private in the 66th battery of the Royal Artillery and the young family moved to Aston in Birmingham. There, on 15 January 1898, little Harriet died of eclampsia, and her death was recorded by her aunt Annie Johnson.
 
My bet is he’s one of the x9 Aston/Birmingham hits ..  ???   Might it be worth checking the Birmingham newspapers for any mention of him, given his little outburst on the streets of Belfast? 

Katelyn, do you know why they were living in Aston, Birmingham?  Highly unlikely place for the army to be stationed ... I think

17124

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019, 07:34:40 PM »
Well, well, well, looks like we have a hit for David Bellamy in army & stationed in Thorp St. Birmingham (on Aston doorstep)  during WW1.  He can be found on Ancestry UK simply by entering his name on WW1 enlistment records .  Prior to WW1 he was in the Devonshire Regiment.  Married Jane Manders, x3 children, Florence, David & Joe.  Address, Small Heath, again right on target to Aston area ... just saying!


Bread Basket

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Re: Belfast Orphan
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2019, 07:37:27 PM »
Well, well, well, looks like we have a hit for David Bellamy in army & stationed in Thorp St. Birmingham (on Aston doorstep)  during WW1.  He can be found on Ancestry UK simply by entering his name on WW1 enlistment records .  Prior to WW1 he was in the Devonshire Regiment.  Married Jane Manders, x3 children, Florence, David & Joe.  Address, Small Heath, again right on target to Aston area ... just saying!
If it is the Boyo then no doubt he found it difficult keeping it in his breeks  😉👍🏼