Mary Anne Lyster The children
Mary Anne Lyster +
Mary Anne Lyster and Thomas Merrick had eleven children that we know about. The rich American Hatch family in the portrait above is about the right size, if you take into account that the portrait probably includes the grandparents, and maybe a nurse or two. It’s a lot of children and most of them were boys - there were only two girls. These boys all ended up in very respectable careers which must have entailed expensive education at places like Trinity College, Dublin so they must have been pretty wealthy. Whose money was it I wonder? His or hers, or was it combined? Anyway, here is what I know (not very much) about the children.
This page is still under construction
Elizabeth Henrietta Louisa ca.1858-between 1901 and 1911
This is not really my story to tell - Augustus’s grandchildren in Canada have that right. However, here is what I know at this point in time.
Augustus was the oldest son, so no doubt occupied a privileged position within the family. He eventually became a clergyman, so I am guessing that he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin like several of his brothers. At the present moment in time I cannot confirm this. Augustus seems to have been the first of the family to leave Ireland. In 1891 he is found in England, with his brother Horace, boarding in Islington and occupation described as Clerk in Holy Orders, so presumably he has graduated by now - perhaps just a few years before. But England was not enough, for in 1894 (or maybe even previously in 1890) he entered the United States. The reason for the doubt about the exact date is that the 1900 US census has his date of immigration as 1894 and the 1910 census has it as 1890. Considering that he was in London in 1891 I am inclined to go for the 1894 date. There is also a reference to St. John’s Ontario as his port of entry on first entering America, but there is no St. John’s in Ontario so this is a bit of a mystery. However, read on.
On January 15 1900 at the age of 40 he marries a girl almost twenty years younger than he (she is 21). Her name is Catherin Adams and she has been living in the USA from babyhood, her family originally deriving from Scotland (or is it Ireland - again the two American censuses contradict themselves). They are married at St John’s Church in the township of New City just north of New York itself. Maybe Catherin came from here. The rather lovely church, shown top left, is of the Episcopalian persuasion and has been replaced by a rather uglier stone building in the 1960s. The census of 1900 has the young couple boarding in Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, so I am assuming that Augustus was working there.
In 1906 Augustus journeyed back to Ireland, at least one assumes that it was Ireland he was visiting. The departure and arrival points are Liverpool, but both voyages go via Queenstown in Ireland. I do not know what the reason for this trip was. Maybe his father died (I do not know his father’s death date). Whatever the reason he made the trip alone. On his return it is noted that he was returning home to Farmingdale, Long Island where he was the rector at St. Thomas’ church, (shown in the righthand vintage postcard). This is also an Episcopalian church, so we have to assume that at some point he turned from the more traditional Church of Ireland of his father, to the Episcopalians. Maybe this happened in London, and was the reason for his move to America.
Two children were born in this period - Augustus in 1903 and Frederick in 1909. That’s a pretty big gap between the two, so maybe there were tragedies in between. The 1901 census finds the family in Oyster Bay, still on Long Island. The Episcopalian church here is Christ Church, but he is not listed in the Wikipedia list of rectors. So maybe he was an assistant, maybe he was not at this church. The census does not say. Another lovely wooden church though shown above far left).
In March 1911 he is back in immigration in New York, having travelled from Southampton. A trip to visit his brother Ferdinand perhaps? On his return I think, as I understand the manifest, he says that he is here to visit his brother Horace Townsend Newman in Northport, Long Island. And that is the last I know of Augustus, other than the date of his death - December 5 1933. A respectable, if somewhat wandering life.
I still don’t really know when Elizabeth was born. I discovered her by browsing through the Mormons’ website looking for Merrick occasions and up popped her marriage in 1892 at St Peter’s in Dublin. She is very definitely the daughter of Thomas and Mary Anne because, not only is her father said to be Thomas, but the witnesses are her sister Agnes and brother Frederick, and they are married by her brother Augustus. Her husband Mathew Henry Read is a widower, some four years younger than she. So then I found a 1901 census record for the couple - now with two children, Alice Mary Lyster (further proof of the right family connection), and Thomas Frederick Henry. From this record I found Elizabeth’s age - 43 at the time and place of birth - Cork, which would mean that she must have been born in about 1858, three years after her parents’ marriage. In some ways it is ironic that the first-born child of Thomas and Mary Anne should be a daughter, seeing as how there was to be only one more daughter out of the eleven children whom we know to survive.
No doubt Elizabeth’s upbringing would have been similar to her mother’s - governesses, servants, genteel occupations such as art and sewing and visiting friends - until marriage - in her case a little late in life perhaps? In 1901 Elizabeth and her small family were living at Clonaghlis (Lyon’s Hill) now an outer suburb of Dublin, in County Kildare (Clonaghlis is shown in the photograph at right). Her husband was a grazier in 1901 and had a reasonable landholding, with at least one tenant. There were two children Alice Mary Lyster, born in 1893 and Thomas Frederick Henry born around 1896. However, sometime between 1901 and 1911 Elizabeth must have died, because in the 1911 census, there is Matthew, in Dublin itself this time and Honourable Secretary to the Irish Beekeepers’ Association, a widower again. Daughter Alice is missing (later found with her aunt Agnes and great-uncle Frederick Lyster). So a shortish life. Maybe childbirth struck yet again. In her mid forties to early fifties, Elizabeth died, most probably before her mother who seems to have died in 1910. It would have been a sad time for the family.
Agnes appears to have been one of those daughters who never married and probably spent their lives looking after others. But then I guess this meant that she did not have to face the perils of childbirth. I did not know what the L in her name stood for, but was guessing Lyster until I found a potential death record. When she was born Thomas and Mary Anne must have thought they were going to have lots of girls, when from hereon there were no more girls. Sad for the girls in a way - it probably meant that they had to do more than their fair share of looking after little boys.
For whatever reason - was she ugly, stupid, unpleasant, boring - or the opposite of all these things, and in fact chose not to marry, Agnes did not marry but was not without a home. There was always some luckless male to look after. In 1901 it was her brother Frederick, and in 1911 her uncle Frederick Lyttleton Lyster, an old man of 81 and her niece Alice - daughter of her sister, in Cork City, home of her ancestors. I think she died in 1920 back in Dublin. If the record I found in the IGI is correct then her middle name was Letitia.
Frederick was another clergyman. And that is just about all I know about him. Well he doesn’t seem to have married - in 1901 he is living with his father, sister Agnes and brother Thomas in Dublin - aged 40 and already a retired clergyman. As I have found a potential death for him in the IGI dated 1902, it may be that he had retired through ill health, and was, in fact, dying at the time the census was taken. I do not even know what the L stands for - Lyster, Lyttleton (he has an uncle Frederick Lyttleton Lyster), or something else entirely?
Augustus Warren 1858-1933
Augustus Warren 1858-1933
Agnes Letitia? 1860-1920
Frederick L. (Lyster?) 1861-1902
Why so niggardly with the christian names I wonder. All of the children had at least two, sometimes three. Maybe it was because he was presumably named after his father, and his father had just the one name. What’s good for the father is good for the son? In 1901 he is still living with his father, unmarried and is a solicitor like his father. Maybe he worked with him. In 1911 he is still unmarried and living in Palmerston Road, Rathmines, looking after the house, whilst his father is elsewhere. Well it is possible, in fact, that his father died in 1901, but in any case, there he is, living quite alone without even a servant. Surely somebody must have at least come in on a daily basis to cook and clean. Or did he spend all of his time in a male club somewhere? He died in 1922 I think, still in the same area of Dublin. One is tempted to say a boring life of quiet desperation.
Charles Frederick Lyster
Ferdinand Richard Holmes Merrick/Meyrick
Horace Townsend Newman 1865-1952
And then we are back to elaborate and lengthy names with family history connotations no doubt. Horace is the first of the medical Merricks.
To be continued