Sunday, 27 April 2014

Woverton Rd

Nick Geraghty has done some extensive research into his family's history and has kindly shared the parts relevant to being Irish in Leicester…

Thomas Geraghty c1898 

"My grandfather, Thomas Geraghty (24th Feb 1867-1953) left from the townland of Gorteenacammdil (Gurcheen) near the village of Cloonfad on the borders of Mayo/Roscommon & Galway in Ireland (the nearest town is Ballyhaunis Co Mayo). This would have been around 1890 & he was bound for Leicester or a least he ended up here.

He was one of at least 5 children of Patrick & Bridget Geraghty (nee Kirrawn). His siblings were Mary c1854 (nee Hunt), John c1859 (who married Anne Regan), Catherine c1869 and Honor c 1870 (neither of whom we have been able to trace). I know for sure he had cousins in the nearby village of Garrenlahan/Granlahan in the townland of Spring Gardens, who in turn I believe were from Upper Clougher & Lower Clogher. All of these places are within a 3 mile radius of each other.

There is a record on the 1901 census of two Geraghtys, Patrick & Thomas, aged 24 & 26 respectively in accommodation on Baker St. in the Parish of St Margaret's, Leicester. They were together with other members of the Irish community although I am not sure of the relationship but would guess a cousins or possibly nephews. Otherwise all of his other nieces & nephews left Ireland in the 1920’s never to return with the exception of one. Similarly Thomas never ever returned to Ireland. 

By all accounts he was here for labouring work and may have had family connections here but not that I am aware of as such. I was led to believe that he was a navvy and that he worked for some time with a local firm by the  name of H. Wheway.

A member of the family from Spring Garden - John Geraghty, came and stayed with them a while whilst he worked as a roundsman for Kirby & West - (the recent picture on Leicester Memories facebook page could easily be him!)

His wife's family, the Martins, had also migrated into the city & her parents were originally described as agricultural workers from Uppingham in Rutland. They were initially in the All Saints area of the city and subsequently moved to Western Rd & became involved in the worsted textile business - I presume from a home base, having a machine in the house which was still not uncommon in those days. Margaret (1867 -1947) Tom's wife to be, converted to become a Catholic and they married on Boxing Day 1898 at Holy Cross on New Walk. Leicester.

Thomas & Margaret c1898

They initially lived on Andrews St. off Hinckley Rd; and started their family and I believe they would have attended St. Peters Church as I understand some of my elder cousins did also.

 Thomas, Margaret & their first three children (in order of age)
Bernard, Percy Patrick & Cyril Martin c1905.

Subsequently they moved to Woverton Rd,(no.110 or 112) off the Narborough Rd and the rest of the family were born and brought up in this area. Most of their children would have attended the school on the corner of Narborough Rd/Upperton Rd.

 Thomas & Margaret & 5 children ( in order of age) Bernard, Percy, Cyril, Norah or Kathleen at 110 or 112? Wolverton Rd; off Narborough Rd; c1912

Their children (my Uncles, Aunt and Father* were:

Bernard Martin Geraghty      (1899 - c1950’s) Military service
Percy Patrick Geraghty        (1900 - 1972)     Military service & Train driver/ JP
Cyril Martin Geraghty            (1904 - 1983)     Leicester Constabulary
Norah Butlin (nee Geraghty) (1908 - 1984)     House- wife & care worker
Kathleen Selina Patricia Cassidy (nee Geraghty) 1909 - 1989) Millinery merchandiser/ buyer
*John Alfred Geraghty 1910 (1910 - 1985)     Military service/Clerk post war.

Family Group c 1920. Ft row seated  l-r  Bernard, Thomas, Margaret,
Bk Row standing l-r Cyril, Kathleen, John, Norah & Percy.

Margaret became the local "nurse" & I posted a picture of her in her "uniform" in the Leicester Mercury some years ago and was astonished at the number of people who recalled her "bringing them into the world" &/or "laying out their parents" ("hatch batch and dispatch"  I think they referred to it as). Incidentally, her sister, Selina Martin, ran the old post office on Braunstone Lane before the war and before the Braunstone Estate was built"

“Nurse” Margaret

Whilst Thomas never returned to Ireland some of his sons, his daughter and indeed his English wife did make several trips to Spring Gardens (the family from Gorteenacammdil /Gurcheen by now either passed on or in Chicago). One of the nephews of my grandfather Thomas, did subsequently return to Gorteenacammadil and he too was another Thomas and I had the great privilege and pleasure of tracking his son, my 2nd cousin John and his family, down in the early 1980’s. Sadly he too is no longer with us.

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or pop in to: The Emerald Centre, Gipsy Lane, Leicester. LE5 OTB or Duffy's, Pocklington's Walk, Leicester, LE1 6BU

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