24 August 2010

The Curious Case of the Kerrs

More about their respective childhoods and family.

Mary Feiertag: Born in Belfast 1879. Her mother was called Marie, and she was born in Germany. She had Mary fourteen years after her marriage.
Mary had an older sister called Caroline (seven years older) an older brother called George (four years older), and a younger brother called John (two years younger). They lived in Upper Frank Street. They were the only family in their house, which was made of either brick, stone, or concrete and had a slate, tile, or iron roof. The family of four occupied seven rooms, and there were four windows in the front of the house.
In 1901, her father was already dead. Caroline worked as dress-maker, George as a watch-maker, and John was an apprentice engine fitter. Mary worked as a clerk in the local mercantile. They all identified as Roman Catholics.
In 1911, Caroline and her mother were living at home still.  George was still a watch-maker, but now John was an engine fitter, no longer an apprentice.
By this time, the census forms had changed and one could see a new column, entitled "particulars of marriage." Marie Feiertag gave birth to five live children. Only four were alive in 1911. I am guessing the one that died was between Caroline and George.

John Kerr: He was born in Co. Down, in...1883. He was younger than his wife, and so I believe he lied on later forms saying he was the same age. His father was John Kerr, a teacher. His mother was Mary Kerr, she was an Englishwoman.  Strangely, his father was two years younger than his mother. So why did James later lie about being younger than his wife?
She had him when she was 27. He had two older sisters, Mary Josephine (four years older), and Sarah Therese (two years older), a younger brother Charles Edward (three years younger), a younger sister Agnes Genevere (six years younger), and the youngest in the family was Alphonsus Patrick (eight years younger).
They lived on Cyprus Avenue, only a mile away from Upper Frank Street. On top of that, Beechfield Street, very near to Upper Frank, had some Kerrs on it, perhaps relatives they would have visited. Their house was made of stone, brick or concrete, had a tile, iron, or slate roof. The family of eight  occupied twelve rooms (but there were more rooms in the hose, so they must have had servants), and there were eight windows in the front of the house. They also had a stable, a fowl house, and a workshop.
I believe that as he and his elder siblings were born in "Co. Down," and the younger ones were born in "Belfast," that the family had moved into the city for some reason a year or two after he was born.
In 1901, Mary Josephine worked as a National school teacher (like her father), Sarah was a housekeeper, Charles Edward was a monitor (not sure what this is), and the youngest were still in school.
By that time (he was eighteen), James Kerr was a pharmaceutical apprentice. He was also the only member of his family who could speak both English and Irish.
The whole family identified as Roman Catholics.
In 1911, the family was in a different house, but still on Cyprus Avenue. Their house was made of stone, brick or concrete, had a tile, iron, or slate roof. The family of five occupied thirteen rooms, and there were thirteen windows in the front of the house. They also had a stable.
Charles Edward and his father were the only ones employed (as National teachers). Mary Josephine was (I believe), married to William John Campbell, a local. They were married in 1902, and had four children (still living, of six). Alphonsus Patrick was a boarder with a Protestant family in Cork. He was working as a pharmaceutical apprentice (like his older brother), and could speak Irish and English.The rest still lived at home (save James, he was in Clones).  Now James's older sister Sarah, and younger siblings Charles and Agnes could also speak Irish and English.
By this time, the census forms had changed and one could see a new column, entitled "particulars of marriage." Mary Kerr gave birth to eleven live children in total. As of 1911, only seven were living.

In 1911, James Kerr and his wife Mary Feiertag Kerr lived in Clones. They had a six month old baby girl, their first.

Just a note: I am putting this on my blog as a place to have all the information together and to share the excitement (I think it is exciting), but don't feel pressure to read or comment :)

4 comments:

Madison said...

Darling, darling.
I just wanted to thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog. You are so lovely and after a gander at your writing, your writing is just as lovely! Keep in touch, honey.

M.

Kramer said...

Kerr, did they help found Kerr County (Central Texas, what I was thinking of)?

maryt/theteach said...

What a wonderful idea... I'm going to contact my cousin in Limerick and ask her to write everything down for me about my mother's family! :)

Aoife.Troxel said...

Trying to find one Kerr in Ireland is hard enough, it is (was?) a very popular name...It is possible some relation of theirs founded Kerr County; when I was searching, I found a few in Texas...