Isabella Jackson A life
I do not know exactly when or where Isabella was born - but extrapolating from the 1901 census record she must have been born some time around 1822 in County Dublin - most likely in Dùn Laoughaire but I really do not know this for sure. In fact Isabella is the missing link in my Jackson story, for without the evidence of a birth or marriage certificate I really do not know for sure that her father is who I think he is and who links us into the Jackson family tree. I confess I am hanging a lot on her granddaughter Kate Nason's assertion that her mother (Isabella's daughter), Sarah Frances Bateman, married her cousin, Edwin Sandys Jackson and that Edwin's father Thomas is Isabella's brother. From the information and evidence that I do have, it all makes sense, but I actually do not have the proof. As yet.
Assuming her parents are who I think they are - James Jackson and his wife Sarah McCreight, she grew up in a family of at least four girls and three boys. There may have been others. Her father was a merchant and later a director of the Bank of Ireland in Dublin. He appears to have been elected to this position in 1828 and held it for many years. So a wealthy and influential man. His sons also did well in the professions or the church and at least one other daughter married well. The remaining two daughters - Elizabeth and Maria did not marry. As to her position in the family, I think she must have been one of the younger children, though not the youngest. Her sister Susan had that honour - she was described as the youngest daughter at the time of her marriage. But Isabella's parents married in 1809, so Isabella was obviously not one of the older children. This most likely meant that not only did she have servants to fuss over her but she most likely had older brothers and sisters who protected her too. A privileged upbringing.
At some point the family acquired the Fairyland property in Dùn Laoghaire, or Kingstown as it was known then - a large house that is now the home of the Christian Brothers. There would have been servants and large grounds in which to play. Parties and social gatherings would have been plentiful. I doubt that she would have gone to school but is most likely to have had governesses. She would certainly have been educated. Alas I can no longer find the source for the lovely daguerrotype below right - but this is how I would imagine her as a young woman.
At the age of around 20 she married Charles Lum Bateman, Esq. A marriage licence was issued in 1842, but I do not have any marriage documentation. And I know even less about Charles than I do about Isabella, but suffice to say he does not seem to have had a profession other than being a wealthy landowner, with lands in King's County (or County Offaly) due west of Dublin. How she met him I have no idea. In the small town of Ballyleakin in that county, on May 29 1845 Isabella - the lady of Charles Lum Bateman gave birth to a son and heir - name unknown - at Tivoli House in Ballyleakin. Whether this child survived or not I cannot tell, but Sarah Frances - the Dearman ancestor was not born until 1849, so it is likely that she had an older brother or sister or two. The son and heir born in 1845 may well have had older sisters too. As an aside I can find neither pictures nor information on Ballyleakin - so it can't have been large. Tivoli House sounds reasonably grand though.
As I mentioned, Sarah Frances Bateman was born around 1849, which is tragic, because it seems that in the same year, her father Charles died of smallpox. Which makes Sarah an orphan from birth - a similar fate to her own two daughters who lost their father at a very early age. Charles died at the Jackson home of Fairyland in Dùn Laoghaire which is a little curious. Maybe Isabella was there with her mother awaiting the birth or recovering from the birth of Sarah.
Thus began her life as a widow. For she did not remarry. Unlike many other young women in our family tree, she did not need to remarry for financial reasons. Mind you there may well have been offers, for she was wealthy in her own right. Presumably her husband left her money too, although he does not seem to have been listed in the probate index - maybe he died intestate, seeing as how it was a short illness and he was young.
So what did she do? Well I think she moved to Dùn Laoghaire - most likely to be near her family. Perhaps she initially lived in the family home - although by 1868 she is found nearby in Martello Terrace, where apparently james Joyce lived at about the same time - well I have not really checked this, but that's what one website said. Maybe she knew him! The house at left is definitely on Martello Terrace though - so fairly grand and with a view of the sea I believe. Once the chidlren were grown though, and her parents dead I believe she moved back to Fairyland to live with her spinster sisters Elizabeth and Maria.
But she did not cut herself off from her children - or child. Sarah Frances married in 1871 but tragically her husband died young too leaving her with two small girls. I suspect that she too may have moved back to Fairyland for a time. But she was more of a romantic, or made of sterner stuff, for in 1880 she married her cousin Edwin Sandys Jackson - Isabella's nephew - who was a vicar in Lancashire. She moved there and in the 1881 census we see that Isabella is there too. Interestingly she is described on the census as Edwin's aunt, not his mother-in-law - but then she was both. Was Isabella just visiting because perhaps Sarah was expecting a child? Oa was she living permanently with her daughter. Whatever the case her visit did not end well, for Sarah too died, in December 1882. Did she die in childbirth? I do not know. Her husband seems to have been heartbroken, but he remained in Lancashire.
Eventually these two girls also left home and Isabella was finally left alone to live out her last years with her sisters. Maria was the first to die in 1895, Elizabeth followed in 1903. Isabella herself lived on until 1908. All three sisters left tidy sums of money to their heirs - various great nephews and nieces I guess, and Edwin, Sarah's cousin/husband, seems to have been the executor for all of them.
Edwin's co-executor was Cecil Orpin (Edith's husband) and she left £3,934 3s 4d. In today's terms thats £309,105.51 (AUD 567,314) A very tidy sum though not an absolute fortune.
Isabella, on the other hand gathered up her two granddaughters and took them home to Fairyland where they spent their childhood with their grandmother and her sisters. When her granddaughter Kate speaks of 'the family' it is no doubt to this trio to whom she is referring. Kate was a free spirit, so we must assume that her grandmother had a part in this. It would have been her grandmother who brought her up after all. It must have been hard for Isabella, in spite of having an army of servants to assist. I doubt that Kate would have been an easy child, although her sister Ethel may have helped out.
Isabella was 86 when she died - a long life. Privileged it may have been, in the sense that she would never have had to worry about where the next meal was coming from like others amongst our ancestors. But it was a life filled with sadness. Her marriage lasted a mere seven years. The rest of her life was spent alone - tending to the needs of her children and her grandchildren