Finding my past in Ireland free: Julia Harrington

I’m spending today using the free access to Irish records offered by FindMyPast Ireland this weekend (until 1200 on Monday 25 January, in case you haven’t seen the special offer – UK records are free, too, but I’ve already got a sub).

It’s an attempt to break down one of my many brick walls. This one is Julia Harrington, who played a part in the Celestina Christmas story.

Julia’s tricky because although I know her married surname, Harrington, and the surname of her first husband, Russell, her maiden name is hard to pin down.

It could be Cammell, or Cannell, or Gammell, or Gamin, according to the records I’ve found so far.

And the 1851 and 1871 censuses just have her as coming from Ireland. Helpful.

Julia Harrington in the 1851 census

Julia Harrington in the 1851 census, at Gwynn’s Place, Hackney

But there’s one clue that I’ve grabbed like a swimmer grabs a lifebelt. Of course, it could be sweeping me further out to sea, but there’s no point in not looking deep into it.

The Wesleyan Methodist baptism of her daughter Hannah (or Annah) on 9 August, 1835, states that she was the daughter of James and Mary Cammell. Or possibly Gammell. What do you think?

Hannah Harrington's baptism, 1835

Hannah Harrington’s baptism, 1835

The trouble with this baptism entry is that the minister who made it, WL Thornton, only made one entry in the record book. And there’s only one C in the record to compare Julia’s name with, and no G. So I’m going for both Cammell and Gammell.

Cammell bcuAnd taking into consideration variations of spelling and pronunciation, I’m also looking for Cannel/l, Connel/l, Cannon, Gannon, Gammon, Gaiman, and even Carroll, Connor and Campbell.

I’m focusing on James, her (probable) father, since I haven’t found any Julias with the right sort of surname, daughter of James and/or Mary, born about 1808, somewhere in Ireland (do I hear hollow laughter?), who was married to the elusive Mr Russel/l by 1828. Who knows? I might find a clue.

Wish me luck!

I may be some time.

(PS: There are also offers at Ancestry Australia/NZ until the end of Australia Day (of course!), the 26th – see Judy Webster’s excellent page; Lost Cousins is free, also until midnight on the 26th; and Chris Paton flags up a great Ancestry UK offer at his British GENES blog, which closes tonight at 2359 – so hurry!)

Some names from the Carnew registers at the National Library of Ireland, just to illustrate the problem:

Carroll, probably

Carroll, probably

Four examples of Carroll

Four examples of Carroll

Connors, probably

Connors, probably

About rebelhand

A Rebel Hand is: about Nicholas Delaney, Irish rebel of 1798, transported as a convict to New South Wales, roadbuilder, innkeeper and farmer. My great-great-great grandfather. Other ancestors transported to Australia, like Sarah Marshall, John Simpson and James Thomas Richards, pop up as well. This blog's also about the historical background to their lives, in England, Ireland, and Australia. My respectable Welsh ancestors sometimes get a look in.
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2 Responses to Finding my past in Ireland free: Julia Harrington

  1. cassmob says:

    Good luck indeed!! My inclination is to say Cammell though with the other instance of C, County, he leads straight into the o. I think you’re wise to look for spelling variants given the effects of accents. Do you have any clue whether she would have been born Catholic or Protestant…that might help. Perhaps Harrington was the Methodist, or….or…


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