Thursday 13 August 2009

A bit of research

I thought I'd look up a couple of my Grandmother's relations on the interweb last night and turned up something interesting, (to me at least.)

My Grandmother was born in the West of Ireland and her Maternal Grandmother was the first school mistress in that village when they opened a school in 1880. That much I found confirmed on the 1881 census for that part of the world.

They also had a connection over at least three generations with a religious order. It was this order of nuns who educated my Grandmother and her sisters after their Mother died in 1919. In fact, Grandma was with them from age two to twenty as she went to one of their teacher training colleges in Manchester.

Anyway, back two generations from Grandma on her Father's side was where the connection with that order started and her Great Aunt, went to Canada in 1880s, into what was then mission territory and set up some schools, all before the age of thirty. The place was very anti-Catholic, to the point of the nuns being taunted in the street and sounded pretty tough. Also interesting (because this is a theme in the family,) is the fact that she was very good at languages, speaking French and German, something that was very useful with all the different immigrants from Europe, including French nuns who presumably had been kicked out of France in one of their periodic religious expelling sessions. She rose to be Mother Superior General (which I knew and not something Grandma was fussed about,) which explains why she was mentioned by name in the article I was reading. It set me thinking how bold people were in the past, striking out into foreign lands and with the support of their order and the local hierarchy, doing all sorts of things.

Anyone else got any interesting rellies of a religious sort?

My Mum was taught by one Mother Ethelburga who was related to St John Rigby and I once went to a talk given by a Dutch Priest who was a third cousin of Bl (St?) Titus Brandsma.


Ches said...

I am a descendent - not direct, obviously! - of Blessed Edward Osbaldeston from Blackburn in Lancashire.

I'm told that my greatgrandmother, whom I never knew, used to jab her index finger at her wrist and say, 'There's martyrs blood in them veins.'

leutgeb said...

Impressive, recusant blood.

A blessed with one of those proper surnames.

Clare said...

My great great great grandfather was listed on the 1881 census as being a Missionary for the London City Mission. Not very Catholic though l'm afraid.