Another festive season has come and gone with decorations packed up in boxes again leaving rooms looking so bare. A New Year, a new decade even, is now upon us which begs the questions as to what the months ahead could hold, what discoveries could be made in this New Year.
I want to start off 2020 by introducing you to the Nesbitt branch of my tree. As mentioned in a previous blog post (Little Things) my 3x great-grandmother was Mary Jane Nesbitt (1841-1899), daughter of Allen Nesbitt. The first indications of a potential sibling came in the form of an Isabella Quaite (1846-1928) who stated she was the sister-in-law of Robert Henry Brown, my 3xgreat-grandfather and husband of Mary Jane Nesbitt. Searches of the marriage records revealed a Samuel Quaite marrying an Isabella Foreman, who was the daughter of Allen Nesbitt, on 21st August 1895. Another search of the marriage records showed that Isabella’s first husband was William Foreman who she’d married 8th March 1870. As their first child Mary Foreman was born three months later it can be safe to assume that they had to get married rather quickly. There were five children in all:
1. Mary Foreman b. 17th June 1870, m. William Magill 12th December1891. They had 11 children, five of whom survived infancy. Mary lost two daughters and a son within the space of three weeks, two of those children died within three days of each other. Whooping Cough was the cause of death for those three children.
2. Annie Foreman b. 1st March 1872
3. William Foreman b. 27th May 1874 – d. 27th February 1893 of heart disease and pulmonary congestion
4. Alexander Foreman b. 2nd March 1876, m. Mary Ann Whiteside 12th July 1893 and d. 20th November 1946. They had 12 children in all, including a set of twins. One twin, Christina, was born at 11:45 PM 23rd February 1915 and the other, Thomas, arrived 30 minutes later at 12:15 AM 24th February 1915.
5. Christina Foreman b. 17th December 1878, m. Joseph Hamilton 24th December 1896. They had nine children in all and like her elder siblings; it also included a set of twins. Sadly both twin boys died two months after their birth and within 9 days of each other.
Again via the census records, I found another sibling called Charles Nesbitt (Coachman) who was living with his nephew Charles Brown(son of Mary Jane Nesbitt) in Eccles Street, Belfast. Charles Nesbitt had died 20th September 1908 aged 73 making his year of birth c. 1835. Marriage records revealed he had married a Jane Quin 16th September 1865 and there were four children from the marriage:
1. Isabella Nesbitt b. 3rd May 1866, m. William John Leeburn 19thAugust 1887. They had five children:
2. Mary Eliza Nesbitt b. 18th December 1868
3. Charles Nesbitt b. 22nd July 1870
4. Allan Nesbitt b. 31st July 1875 – d. 13th July 1876. He is buried in Belfast City Cemetery alongside his father, mother and grandmother (maternal)
A third sibling for Mary Jane was found through the census records after discovering Isabella was living with a brother Allen Nesbitt (Railway watchman) in 1911. Allen had married a Mary Dyer Mercer 27th October 1892 and there appears to have been no children from this marriage. It was listed on Allen’s marriage certificate that his father Allen Snr was deceased. In the process of trying to locate a death certificate for Allen Snr, I found a record dated 20th January 1887 for a Mary Nesbitt who’d died aged 77. It stated that she was the widow of an Allen Nesbitt and the informant was her son-in-law Robert Henry Brown. Mary Nesbitt is buried in Belfast City Cemetery alongside six grandchildren who did not survive infancy.
Searches of baptism records for the Belfast area revealed an Allan Nesbitt and Mary Campbell. They had a daughter Mary Jane (1841)and a son Charles (1834). There was also a George (1826), William John (1839),Margaret (1839), another Charles (1832) and a James Nesbitt (1837). Alas the baptism records did not reveal an Isabella or Allan Nesbitt born to the same parents in 1846 or 1852. This could be the right family but I always need more than just speculation!
There are those who set themselves resolutions, aims and goals to be achieved in the coming year. I’ve been inclined to make resolutions but there are some goals that one day I hope can be achieved whether it is this year or next year. Maybe this year, if you haven’t already, you might want to answer the following question:
Who are you?