Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label HEARTY Francis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HEARTY Francis. Show all posts

Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Elusive HEARTY Clan!

I joined TIARA's annual research trip to Northern Ireland for a week in May searching for the ancestors of Mary Hearty, my great great grandmother.

Owen Hearty was the father of Mary Hearty who traveled as a single woman on one of the “coffin ships” bringing Irish immigrants to New York in 1848. She married Swedish immigrant Eric Adolf Helsten in 1849.  They lived in Haviland Hollow NY until they bought a tannery and moved to Gaylordsville CT.  She received two letters from her father (1849, 1851), signed “your father Owen Hearty” and the return address said he was from Dorsey (letters mailed from the neighboring parish Newtownhamilton).  Her marriage certificate says she was born in Dorsey Townland, Creggan Parish, County Armagh. Dorsey is located in the Barony of Upper Fews and Union of Castleblaney.

Her father’s letters do mention various cousins: Owen Mooney, Peter Garvey, Ellen Mooney and Francis Hearty.  There is also a sister Elizabeth (Betty) mentioned.  But no mother.

The above is what is known from information on "this side of the pond."  What can be found in the Irish records about Mary's family?  Some the following,  I determined before my trip and confirmed when in Belfast.


We have Owen Hearty in the Tithe Applotment list, in 1828 in Dorsey.  Owen is no. 91 and has 4 Acres, 2 Roods, 12 Perches and a half yearly Rectorial Tithe of 3s. 8 1/2 d., he is listed along with Arhur Heatey and Patt Heatey in Dorsey.  

The tithe applotment is a list of farmers.  If he was included in that list, he wouldn’t have been included in the Ordnance Survey taken in 1837 because he didn’t own at least 5 acres [only two properties were listed for Dorsey].  

The Griffith’s Valuation was taken in the Dorsey area in 1864.  There are 5 Hearty families listed in Dorsey:  Bernard Herty Sen, Francis Herty, Mary Herty, Mary Herty and Patrick— but not Owen Hearty.  If he were still living and living WITH someone, he would not have been listed because, only the “leasee” was included.  

The Cancellation Books update the ownership of the lands listed in the Griffiths.  Dorsey Electorial Division, Union of Castleblayney, Parish of Creggan, Barony of Upper Fews, pages 10, 11 includes the handwritten notations of “(Owen)” after the name Patrick Herty.  It also includes, the second “Mary” crossed out and “Patrick” written above and “(Mary)” right after that.  The crossed out names mean that land was next leased to the person whose name was written above it.  The name in ‘(,)” is an unexplained notation.


I went thru the rent leases from the landlord,  Walter MacGeough Bond in the family Estate stored at PRONI — there were two Hearty leases:
(1) Terence Hearty (Acreage: 8.3.10), 1 Nov. 1800
• in the part of Dorsey called Tulinlavin, yearly rent 8.8.2
• length of lease: 3 lives, including himself, his eldest son James, and princess Amelia

(2) John Hearty, Tulllinlavin, 1 Jan 1801,
• written on front: Terence Mackin and Pat Hearty “Mary”
• the map inside includes land bounding the property of Bernard Hearty.
• length of lease: 3 lives including himself, his eldest son Patrick (age 10), and princess Amelia

Most of the extensive MacGeough Bond family files were not for Dorsey or didn’t included any leases related to Owen Hearty [I don’t know his parents, so don’t know if these two leases apply to Owen — a father, cousin, uncle, possibly.]


I went thru the only Catholic Register from that time period in that area that is still in existence:
Creggan Parish Upper, Crossmaglen, Marriage Records and Baptisms 1796-1803, 1812-1829, 1845-1881 [MIC 1D/43/1]  [The current Dorsey townland is 4 miles northeast of Crossmaglen.]

• 15 February 1814: Owen Hearratty and Cathe McKenna
wits Felix Hanratty and Patk McVeagh

• 16 March 1823, Mary and Bridt of Edward Herherty
and Mary Herherty of Thomas Rubb
and Anne Callaghan and Mary Herherty

• 23 July 1824, Anne of Jame Heart and Mary Quin
Gs Owen Heaherty and Brid. Owens

• 26 Dec 1824, John of Edwd Keane and Mary Gregory
Gs Owen Heaherty and Bridt McNally

• 6 August 1819, Owen Heaherty and Rose McConnel
Wits Bryan McCauve and Mary Megill

• 29 July 1818, Edmd of Owen Heaherty and Cathe Kelly
Gs Patk Hearherty and Sara Humphy

• 23 Oct 1797, Patk Heaherty and Cathe Nouds
Wits Adam Lamb and Anne Reilly

• 2d July 1797, Peter s. to Owen Heaherty and Cathe Holland
Gs Edmd Heaherty and Bridget Heaherty

• 9 Dec 1796, Patk. s to Ths Murry and Mary
Heaerty Gs Patt McShory and Anne Ronghan

• 23 Oct. 1796, Anne of Michael Hearty and Margt Donoehy 
Gs Thomas Hearty and Margt Callaghan

It is hard to tell if Owen Hearty married 3 times or if this is three different people.
There was no birth record for Mary Hearty in this parish register.
Parts were very hard to read.  Maybe this wasn’t the part of Creggan Parish that she was baptized.


I checked the Workhouse records for County Armagh and did not find Owen Hearty, Mary’s father in them. 

I looked for the school records — none survived for Dorsey when Mary Hearty or her sister Betty Hearty would have attended. The Dorsey description page in the Ordnance Survey said that Dorsey had a National School (1837) which the sisters  could have attended.  


The Hearty family/clan has been in the townland Dorsey for many years. 
According to the Dorsey page on the Creggan Historical Society’s site, Turlagh O’Heartye was in the 1664 Hearth Money Rolls valuation, and James Herety & Owen Herety were in the 1766 Census of Creggan.  So the Hearty family [O’Hearty clan] has been there for hundreds of years.  Mary and her father Owen Hearty were most likely descendants of Turlagh, James and Owen, but I could not find any connection between the generations.

My great great grandmother Mary Hearty Helsten was the daughter of a poor tenant farmer, Owen Hearty.  We do not know who was her mother or grandparents. We do know she had Garvey and Mooney cousins.  Possibly she had Garvey and Mooney grand or great grandparents along with Hearty grandparents.  But that is unknown at this point.  Unfortunately, as a poor tenant farmer, there is a lack of records.  They were not part of of a wealthy family like the MacGeough Bonds who were the land owners of the small plot Owen farmed and lived on.  That family is well-documented with thousands of pages of family and business records archived at the Public Records Office in Belfast (PRONI).  

The few records that do exist for all the folks living and working the land are actually ways to document in order to “tax.”  The Hearth Money Rolls (1664) were to tax folks based on how many hearths they had — taxing for warmth and cooking ability in your cottage!!  The Tithe Applotment Rolls (1828) was valuing the piece of land for collecting tithes for the official church, whether you were a member or not!  I guess as much as my ancestors probably felt unfairly taxed, hundreds of years later, I can be thankful that the officials kept good records!


After a week of searching in the Public Records Office (PRONI) in Belfast, Northern Ireland, my elusive HEARTY and  RICHARDSON ancestors remain elusive.  If you think I don’t know much about the pedigree of my HEARTY family — I know even less about my RICHARDSON pedigree in Ireland!

©2015, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this page is

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Letters from Home during the Great Famine in Ireland

Letter from home, 1849, written on one side, folded up and addressed
on the other side of the  piece of paper -- no envelope needed.

Mary Hearty was born in March 1823 in Parish Creggan, Townland Dorsey, County Armagh, Ireland.  She immigrated to Haviland Hollow New York in 1848 and married a Swedish immigrant, Eric Adolf Helsten in 1849.
After her granddaughter, Marion Evans Dakin died in 1974, two letters from Mary's father, Owen, were found in the family desk.  The two letters along with Mary and Eric's wedding certificate are the only family artifacts we have about Mary's family back home.

I have found her father Owen Hearty, in the 1828 Tithe Applotment in Dorsey as a small tenant farmer with 4 acres, 2 roods and 12 perches (a bit less than 5 acres)-- not exactly a large farm to support a family in good times, let alone the bad ones.  The letters mention a sister, Betty, and some cousins (Peter Garvey in Youngstown OH, Ellen Mooney in Syracuse NY,  Larggh Hearty in Philadelphia PA, and Frances Hearty in USA) but no mother.  I do not have a name for her mother.
Letter from Owen Hearty in Dorsey, to his daughter
Mary Hearty in Haviland Hollow, NY, 11 July 1949.
Haviland Hollow Putnam
County State of New York
Care of Benjamin Cowl
for Mary Hearty”

Mr Owen Hearty
Dorsey and Cragon
Newtown Hamletown
Aragon Parish

        “Dorsey July 11th 1849
My Dear daughter I am glad to Hear
That you are in good health and so are
we all in at present I am going to lot you
Know that Bety sent a leter and send as
much money as will Bringe Barney and Bety
Over to  you and the time is so Bad that I cant
send none and the will give it to you when
the will get it and this Country is going to the
Bad your father is not staut and if you can get
money send it Home No more at present
But remain your Father Owen Hearty
                    of Dorsey

Mary Hearty married Eric Adolf Helsten on 12 August 1849, shortly after the first letter was sent from  Ireland.  She has probably been working as a maid for Benjamin Cowl in Haviland Hollow and Eric has probably been working in Cowl's tannery in Haviland Hollow.  Times as tough back home, the potato crop has failed, please send money to help her sister Betty come to USA.  

Mary received one more letter from her father, Owen, dated 24 January 1851.  This is much longer, has some news from people back home who have come to the USA, still appealing for money.

Mr E. A. Helsten
Heviland Hollow P.Off
State New York America
postmark:  Castleblayney JA23 1851

Dorsey January 24th 1851
Dear Mary
I received your Letter
which gives me to understand that
you are in Good as we enjoy at Present
thank God = I also must inform you 
we felt very uneasy on account of you
not writing Sooner as it is all the Conso-
Lation the devised Children of erin has
a communication by Letter therefore
I consider it a duty incumbent on
you at Least to write 2 a year at ther 
Least I was also very much rejoiced
to hear of  your success and how luck
you and your Husband is doing ---
in that country as for this country it
is totally Gone to the Bad the Potatoes
is altogether failed & Markets are very
Low in Consequences of the Ports being
all opened
therefore on account of the Stater of
the Country thus is condition of Money
at all your sister Betty is inclined
for to go to that County only she is
embarrysed By the State of the time
and cannot find means to go therefore
I Would feel Greatly oblidged to you &
your Husband if you would send money
some assistance that would enable her to
Go & as Soon as she would earn it She would
See you Paid -- & in regard to sending money
there is no danger whatever as there can
Be a Post office order got in every Post
office that there is not the Least danger
in sending such = Do you need not Be the
Least timerous in sending it a she will
Surely Renumerate you for it = in regard
to Ellen Mooney her address is E..Mooney
Syracuse State Newyork =
So Larggh Hearty is in Philadelphia
I do not Know her address
I must also inform you that  your
cousin Francis Hearty is also gone
to that country & is your cousins
Owen Rooney & Peter Garvey is gone to
that country Peter is in college in
Youngstown State of Penna. & owen Rooney
is a clark in Syracuse State new-
york they are all doing well ---
your friends are all in good health
& also your neighbors
be all elevated to Learn you had 
the good fortune to get such a Husband
as I can Judge that he is an industrious
man & also a good tradesman ---
therefore Let  you Put your Confidence
in the almighty as he is our only guide
& Protector & May the Lord Bless You
is the Sincere Prayer of your affectionate
father ---- Owen hearty ---

He has news, but also is appealing 2 letters/year from her and for funds for Betty to come.  He clearly has gotten a letter from Mary telling her father of her marriage to Eric.  Clearly, Owen has hope that his daughter will be able to send funds, but life in the USA was not all "milk and honey" as imagined and she didn't have the money to send home at that time, according to the draft of the next letter.
We have no further letters from Owen Hearty to his daughter Mary Hearty Helsten.   The last piece of tangible information about Owen Hearty is that letter in 1851 to his daughter.  He is not listed as living in Dorsey in the Griffith's Valuation of 1864.  There is an Owen Hearty in the next town over -- whether it is the same person is to be determined.  In the Griffith's Valuation in Dorsey there is a Patrick Hearty and in the Cancelation Books in PRONI written in "()" is the word "Owen" --
Patrick Hearty (Owen).  
Not sure what that actually means.  Maybe Patrick was the tenant and Owen lived with him (just a guess).

We do have the notes for a draft of a letter, probably to Betty, Mary's sister, written by Eric some time after they have bought the tannery in Gaylordsville in July 1852.  Eric is no longer an employee, but now an indebted employer.  

   Dear Sister Elizabeth!   We have received
your letter which gives us the satisfaction that you
are in good health and have a good place where
you be also gave us to understand thatt you are
fully determined to go to America but have not the
strength on own expense to do so.  We think that if you
only was here you could do well butt how come i do nott know.
My situation is greatill different these year to whatt is was
last year.  Last year i did hire out and earnd money every day
and had money out on interest, but last spring
I took it all up and hired a tanyeard, about seven
milles from where i lived thern, and began on own hand
to work, laid out all the money had in hides skins and bark for so
stach my yeard and there is did not have enough i had to
borrow more money all i could get for i found out i had to lay out money
every day.  Tanning is a very slow buiseyness and it take
a great while before the money comes balk again.  I feel
sorrow to say thatt i could not give you any money for
your assistance but i ask you to not blame us for my situation
are so that i could not and my bussiness require money 
allwhile and i have nothing more then what i have
worked very hard for since i com to America and it seems
to me as i could make more money when i  worked as
Journeyman than i can now and beside that i have to now more
risk of loses among those Yankys now than before.  I ask you now
to be of a contented mind and save all you can if may perhaps be som oppening
for you in the future. If you could come we  would be very
glade to see you here and do what we can for you
then.  You know that your sister had to work for all that
brought her here before she started and so did i too.  i had
to work for years befor i could get enough together to bring me
YoJ received Fathers letter great while ago and also yours but you
must excuse me for we had not wrought Sooner my time has been
taken up very much all while and my wife could not write
it because she never leand it

This letter was not signed and not sent since it was with Eric and Mary's papers in the desk -- maybe copied and mailed to Mary's sister Betty.
Eric does offer to help her if she can get herself to Connecticut.  He cannot afford to pay her passage.    Over the years Eric and Mary did help various nieces of his from Sweden when they came, many lived with them and got jobs in the neighborhood until out on their own. Eric also hired new Swedish immigrants in the family  business -- as apprentices when it was a tannery, and as assistants as the business evolved over the years.

In my effort to find any more information on the Hearty family of Dorsey, part of Creggan Parish, I corresponded with Kiernan McConville at the Creggan Historical Society.   I shared the above letters with him.  He was thrilled to see some letters from the Famine Years written by ordinary people from South Armagh, which he commented were very rare.  He asked to include them in an upcoming journal of their local historical society.

Well, that upcoming journal has arrived:

Kieran McConville, "Hearty (of Dorsey) Great Famine Letters 1849-1851," Creggan, journal of The Creggan Local History Society, 2013/2014, no. 16, pages 80-84.

In the article, Kieran starts by putting the letters into context.  He describes the famine conditions, the cause and spread, and the ineffective efforts to relieve the famine.  He goes on to describe the migrations and death rate that devastated the Irish population.  He gives what background we know about the Hearty family and on Mary's family.  He mentions the hopes of sending a child abroad brought but in many times remained unfulfilled.  He ends with the transcription of the three letters.

I can only hope that maybe the descendants of Mary's family back in Ireland, survived and will see this article and/or blog and contact me.  If not, if the letters & article provide information for others whose ancestors came from Creggan Parish, then that is good also.

2014©Erica Dakin Voolich