Remembering our WW1 Ancestors

I found, via Out of my Tree Genealogy, a wonderful site called Lives of the First World War.  This site aims to have stories for all of those who were involved in the war.  From my family, that means great-aunt MARION CALHOUN who was in the VAC and was nursing in England for a time during the war.  Also there is grandfather ALEXANDER CALHOUN, who was in the Siberian Expeditionary Force.  And the reason that both of those relatives joined was the death of their brother, great-uncle DOUGLAS HANLEY CALHOUN.  Doug was an engineer and died in Belgium in 1917.  His siblings were so very devastated by his death that they put their regular lives on hold to join the war effort.

This is a truly wonderful site, please go look at it and help, if you can.

I will end with a few pictures of Marion in her VAC uniform…over there!

Marion Calhoun VAC uniform
Marion Calhoun in her official VAC photo.
Marion in uniform, Englad
Marion, ready to go.
Marion Calhoun VAC
Marion and a friend, in England, as part of the VAC

Irish Constabulary…

When I went to Ireland last month, I was really excited to spend some time at the National Archives in Dublin.  One of the things I wanted to do was find a certain Constable (who had married a great-great-aunt).  I had read that one could find RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) records there, records that would tell where a constable was posted and when, their record of advancement, and when (and if) they were pensioned.

ROBERT HANLEY had married CATHERINE COLHOUN in Gortin, County Tyrone, 30 April 1867. He was listed as Constable on the marriage record…lucky for me because it gave me a place to look.  I wanted to know how long Robert had lived in Gortin, how long he lived there after his marriage, where he might have moved, if he stayed with the RIC…all these things I hoped would help me to find out if they had children.  These children might have had children and I was hoping there might actually be living descendants.

I did find Robert Hanley’s service records and there were some surprises.  First off, Robert was a LOT older than Catherine.  He was originally appointed to the Constabulary on 9 May 1848 when he was 23 years old.  That means he was born in 1825 and was 42 at the time of his marriage.  Catherine would have been 24 at the time of their marriage.

According to the record, Robert’s native county was Meath.

Robert’s first posting in 1848 was in County Clare.  He was there until  20 Feb 1855, when he went into the Reserve Force.  From what I understand, the Reserve Force  was formed to help the Constabulary in any part of the country, fighting rebellion.  That meant that Robert, as a young man, would have traveled a bit around Ireland…sounds like he had a pretty tough job.  By 1 Aug 1857, Robert began doing Revenue Duty.  He was made an A.C.,  Assistant Constable on 1 Aug 1859.  He was moved to County Tyrone on 8 May 1856.  He rose to the rank of Constable on 1 Sept 1860.

When Robert married Catherine, it provoked a relocation.  The Irish Constabulary (which became the Royal Irish Constabulary in that same year, 1867, in recognition of its help in the suppression of the Fenian Rising in that year) had a rule that a man could not serve in his home county, that of his wife, or in any where he or his wife had relatives.  So, on 1 Sept 1867, he was transferred to County Monaghan.  He began receiving extra pay on 1 Oct 1871.

The record shows that after 31 years and 1 month, on 16 June 1879, Robert retired and started receiving his pension of 75 pounds.

That was a lot of information to find. I know a lot more than I did.  I haven’t found any children for Robert and Catherine yet, but I will keep digging.

It’s in the eyes…

I am always interested in seeing traits repeated in families.  In this case, I am referring to physical traits.  I came across these pictures the other day and, BAM!  It smacked me right in the face.  My husband, JOHN CALHOUN, has the same eyes as his great-aunt, KATHLEEN CALHOUN.  John was about 39 years old when this photo was taken, but I am not sure exactly how old Kathleen was.  But those eyes…they are the same.

Family history is so interesting, and I will tell Kathleen’s story in this blog…wait, wait, I will get to it and it is worth the wait.

I am not sure I see those same eyes in any of my kids, but I will look for them in photos from now on.  In the meantime, John was born in 1944 and Kathleen was born in 1886.  Fifty-eight years may separate their births, but those genes are strong.  I am not sure if they came down the Calhoun or Parke side, but again, I will keep looking at the old photos I have to see if I can trace them.

This is a fun new avenue of research for me to go down.   Yippee!John Calhoun, Kathleen Calhoun