Los descendientes del Dresden Google+

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Artículo The Southern Cross – Julio 2014

La historia del Dresden

La historia del SS Dresden y sus inmigrantes comienza en Enero de 1889, casi un mes antes de la llegada del barco, anunciada ya por el agente de propaganda argentina en Dublín, Buckley O’Meara.

A partir de ese momento, los medios empiezan a informar que llegaban a Buenos Aires 250 familias ó 1500 inmigrantes desde Irlanda e Inglaterra.

La historia quedó registrada por los medios de la época. La cobertura durante el primer año de los diarios The Southern Cross, The Standard, Buenos Ayres Herald, La Prensa y La Nación, la cuentan con mucho detalle.

Pero el tiempo fue pasando y con su paso la fue tapando.

No pasó mucho al respecto hasta que Thomas Murray en 1919 publicó “The Story of the Irish in Argentina”, un gran trabajo de investigación y recolección de noticias, libros, cartas y relatos de los Irlandeses en Argentina desde la llegada del hombre blanco al territorio actual, hasta finales del siglo XIX. En su libro, Murray menciona el caso del SS Dresden y cuenta la historia con algunos detalles que luego devienen en errores que se van a repetir hasta hoy.

Pasaron los años y otra vez el tiempo fue tapando la historia con otras historias. Pero, una copia del libro de Murray quedó en las oficinas de The Southern Cross y llegó sana y salva y con todas sus hojas a 1999.

En ese año, Mike Geraghty tenía que escribir un artículo para publicar en el Buenos Aires Herald, unos días antes del día de San Patricio. En su investigación dio con el libro de Murray y con la historia del SS Dresden. De la unión nació “Argentina: Land of Broken Promises”, un artículo que sacó el libro del cajón y revivió la historia de los inmigrantes que vinieron en el SS Dresden ciento diez años después.

Luego de haber sido publicado, el artículo fue reeditado por la Society for Irish Latin American Studies (SILAS) y replicado en varios artículos relacionados con la historia de la inmigración irlandesa.

En esta cadena me encontré, al final del eslabón, con el artículo de Mike Geraghty y la lista de los inmigrantes que venían en ese barco (entre estos mi supuesto tatarabuelo James Pearce).

SILAS fue el punto de encuentro de la historia conmigo y fue también el marco donde empecé a trabajar para ahondar la historia.

Así fue que empecé a juntar las noticias de los diarios de la época y me hice de un buen número de ellas para profundizar un poco más los detalles. Encontré así detalles que no coincidían tal como estaban en la nota de Geraghty, pero que sí tenían algún punto de referencia que la validaba.

Acá empieza la etapa que llamo la “de los descendientes”, y la llamo así porque fue gracias a ellos que empezaron a aparecer detalles para nada menores en la historia.

Primero me encontré con Anne Miles. Ella vive en Inglaterra y me contactó en 2007 porque existía la posibilidad de que fuéramos parientes. Menuda noticia. Ella era nieta de Daisy May Pearce, la pequeña de 6 meses que vino en el SS Dresden junto a sus padres, James y Mary Jane. Ella hizo una maravillosa investigación y probó que James había muerto a poco de llegar y Mary Jane y Daisy volvieron a Inglaterra y allí se quedaron por el resto de sus vidas. Con esto probábamos, no solo que no éramos parientes, sino que mi tatarabuelo no era el James Pearce del SS Dresden.

Poco después, gracias a Peter Mulvany, uno de los descendientes y socios fundadores de SILAS, fue que di con otro pequeño detalle gigante. El nombre del barco no era el “City of Dresden”. El nombre correcto era el “SS Dresden”. Y si bien parece un detalle menor, cualquier hijo de vecino que quiera buscar a sus parientes en el barco City of Dresden (el de verdad), los va a encontrar como una pequeña tripulación de marineros en Nueva York, navegando en un pequeño barquito por las costas de Manhattan, que claro está, nada tenía que ver con el gigante de casi cinco mil toneladas.

Y fue así como poco a poco, la historia que me iba haciendo del ahora SS Dresden, iba cobrando otra forma. Una forma con más detalles y sobre todo, más matices.

Y fueron llegando más e-mails de descendientes.

Y me empecé a preguntar, qué hago? Si mi pariente no vino en ese barco, por qué habría de darle, de regalarle, mi tiempo a esta historia?

Quizás porque la abracé y ella me abrazó a mí y dejarla no era grato. Quizás porque no me gusta para nada la idea de que vuelva a quedar olvidada y tapada otros cien años. Quizás porque soy curioso y quiero saber qué pasó. Quizás porque siento un compromiso con los que me contactaron buscando información. Quizás porque vivir el rencuentro de dos primos segundos (compartían el mismo bisabuelo) que no se conocían, tocándome a mí ser el nexo vinculante, fue una experiencia enorme y única. Quizás por todo. Quizás por más.

Creo que todo sumó, todo se alineo de manera tal como para no dejarla dormir en el cajón de los recuerdos, sino más bien, todo lo contrario, dejarla viva y dando vueltas arriba de los escritorios, en los monitores de la computadoras y las tablets o smartphones, y por qué no, en los medios de comunicación.

Pero cómo? Cómo se hace?

Bueno, lo primero que se me ocurrió fue hacer un documental. La excusa era exponerlo en un Congreso de Estudios Migratorios que organizaba SILAS en México en 2009. Y allá fuimos, hicimos un documental con mi mujer y mis primos para exponer esta historia con los nuevos detalles y avances de la investigación a partir del aporte de los descendientes.

La idea de un documental iba a darle un influjo de vida a la historia, por supuesto impulsada por la magia de Internet.

Pero faltaba más. Faltaba darles a los descendientes un lugar protagonista como constructores de la historia. Y ahí empieza a tomar más forma el proyecto “Los descendientes del Dresden” que impulso hoy.

Ese fue el título que elegí porque las palabras juegan de una manera interesante, para que en el mismo barco viajen, no solo los inmigrantes de 1889, sino sus descendientes también, y que todos juntos nuevamente sigan navegando.

El objetivo del proyecto es sumar a los descendientes desde lo organizativo, desde lo editorial, desde donde sea que quieran participar. Y por supuesto cada uno con su historia.

Y llega un punto en esta maraña que las historias se cruzan y las vidas también. Así los Ryan se cruzaron y se encontraron con Roberto, con Ken y con Tiffany, unos aquí en Argentina, otros en Irlanda, en diferentes condados. Con detalles de la historia que los involucran con la participación en la guerra de la Triple Alianza, que vienen y que van de Irlanda a la Argentina, y con familiares que se conocían por otros menesteres pero no por como “parientes”. Y junto con los Ryan están los Gaineys.

También está Anne Miles, mi gran pariente que no fue. Madre y abuela reciente, investigadora por naturaleza y docente por vocación. Ella es y sigue siendo un pie fundamente en esta historia porque así como el Dresden trajo el mayor contingente de irlandeses al país, también trajo en el mismo barco, el mayor contingente de ingleses. Entonces ella es hoy la base del proyecto en Reino Unido.

También está la historia de Peter Mulvany (McCarthy) con sus primos segundos, quienes se conocieron por una casualidad gracias a Stella Maris Taddio. Stella es madre de un descendiente argentino de los McCarthy que vinieron en el Dresden. Su hijo, Javier McCarthy, se fue a vivir a Estados Unidos y le pidió a ella que investigue la historia de su familia paterna. Y la mamá se encontró con una historia gigante justo atrás del mascarón de proa de la fragata Libertad. Ella buscando información para una de sus pinturas la historia del mascarón de proa, se encontró con la distinción que la Armada Argentina le hacía a Peter como sobrino nieto del único argentino muerto bajo bandera irlandesa en la segunda guerra mundial luego de que un submarino alemán hundiera su barco. Peter es hoy la base del proyecto en Irlanda.

También Stella Zuccarelli, bisnieta de Mary Anne Stephens, quien sigue atrás de todo lo que vamos publicando desde 2005 porque “quiere saber de dónde vienen sus raíces”. Ese querer saber, tan simple y sencillo, pero que en este caso cuesta tanto, tanto esfuerzo en buscar y encontrar detalles de noticias, en las cartas de descendientes que puedan darnos otra idea u otros detalles, en fotos y por sobre todo, en esas historias de familia que llegan hasta hoy.

También está Jorge Nealon, de Mar del Plata. Uno de los primeros en aparecer y contar su historia. Sus dos bisabuelos John Nealon y Theresa Foley vinieron en el Dresden con 9 y 2 años respectivamente. Lazos que juntó el Dresden y que años después devinieron en hijos, nietos y bisnietos.

Pero también están los Bourke, los Bolster, los Treacy, los Rochford, los Reilly, los Dempsey y muchos otros que me contactaron hasta ahora y que también quieren saber qué pasó y sobre todo si tienen parientes por Argentina dando vueltas.

Es por esto que quien sepa que sus antepasados vinieron en este barco, puede participar no solo contando su historia, sino también poniéndose en contacto con otros descendientes y encontrar otra parte de la historia de la familia que no conocían.

Todas estas historias ayudan a que los interesados/participantes sepan más de la historia y conozcan de la vida de estos inmigrantes, qué fue de ellos y qué fue de sus descendientes.

Actualmente el proyecto cuenta con el apoyo de las siguientes personalidades e instituciones: Tánaiste y Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores y Comercio de Irlanda, Sr. Eamon Gilmore TD; el Sr. Concejal Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Alcalde de Belfast; el ex Ministro de Educación Irlandés Seán Haughey; la Society for Irish and Latin American Studies (SILAS); la Embajada de Irlanda; el Consejo de la Comunidad Argentino Británica (ABCC); la Asociación Canadiense de Estudios Irlandeses (CAIS); Marino Local History Society; The Admiral Brown Society Foxford; The Maritime Institute of Ireland; la Comunidad Irlando-Uruguaya y la Clotarf Historical Society.

Búsqueda de Descendientes

A continuación detallamos las familias que nos contactaron y que están buscando descendientes de las familias en Argentina:

Familia Bourke: Carta de la Sra. Margaret Lyons (Nee Bourke) del condado de Limerick al Sr. Peter Mulvany luego de la publicación en el Limerick Leader de su artículo sobre el SS Dresden y el Proyecto de los Descendientes del Dresden: "En respuesta a su carta en el Limerick Leader la semana pasada en relación con los emigrantes que se embarcaron en el SS Dresden en Cobh hacia Buenos Aires en 1889. Soy la nieta de Louis Bourke, quien fue uno de ellos. Me dijeron que su esposa murió y que se llevó a todos sus hijos con él. Luego, un pariente me dijo que su esposa se fue con él. De esto no estoy muy segura. Un amigo mío buscó en la computadora y encontró los nombres de las personas que fueron. Llegaron el 15/2/1889. Louis Bourke (padre), Ellen, John, Mary, Patrick, Kate, Margaret y James. Louis (el padre) se volvió y trajo con él a su hijo John . Se volvió a casar y mi padre (Tom) fue su hijo. El resto de la familia se quedó en Buenos Aires. No sé nada de ellos. Debe haber unos pocos descendientes aún por allá. Mi padre murió en 1977. A menudo hablaba de su familia en América del Sur. Mi padre nació en 1901, por lo que mi abuelo regresó al menos uno o dos años antes de esa fecha. Mi padre solía decirme que su padre había trabajado en algún rancho cuidando de los caballos y el ganado, cuando estuvo en Argentina."

Familia Treacy: Linda Koenig y Patricia Treacy de Estados Unidos están buscando descendientes de la familia Treacy que vino en el Dresden: los padres John y Kate Treacy y los hijos Thomas, John, Patrick, William, Edmund, Kate y Johanna. En el blog hay es post especial de esta familia con más datos.

Familia Ball: Hace muy poco, María Ball participó de un programa de genealogía emitido en RTÉ. A partir de ahí los primos de María, Thomas y Lynda Ball, junto con María, nos contactaron para buscar familiares de la familia Ball que vino en el Dresden: los padres Thomas y Catherine, y los hijos William, Margaret, Mary, Joseph, John, Vincent, Michael y Charlotte. Michael y Charlotte junto con su madre Catherine volvieron a Irlanda. Ella murió en a poco de llegar (1895) y los chicos siguieron viviendo en su antigua casa. En el Facebook está el video original de The Genealogy Roadshow.

The Southern Cross - Edición Julio 2014 (pág. 7)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Lista de Inmigrantes / Immigrant's List


Pasajeros de tercera clase en la cubierta de un barco de la NDL
Theird class passengers on board a NDL ship.
Foto: Gentileza Norddeutscher Lloyd Archives


A continuación encontrarán el link a la lista de pasajeros con toda la información. Poco a poco vamos actualizando datos. Actualmente estamos trabajando el puerto de origen de cada uno de los pasajeros. De ésta manera podrás ir viendo quiénes llegaron desde Queenstown (actual Cobh, Irlanda) y quiénes llegaron desde Southampton (Inglaterra). En esta planilla podrás utilizar las opciones de filtro para buscar apellidos específicos. Acceda a la lista de inmigrantes haciendo click aquí. Saludos cordiales,

Following you will find the link to the passenger list with all the information. Little by little we are updating the list with new details. Now we are working in the Original port of departure of each passenger. So you will be able to see whom they came from Queenstown (now Cobh, Ireland) and whom came from Southampton (England). In this spreadsheet you will be able to filtre specific names and surnames you are looking. Get the immigrant list by clicking here. Kind regards,


JP

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Reconocimientos: Gracias a SILAS y a Michael Geraghty, quienes generosamente nos brindaron la lista de pasajeros del SS Dresden, trascripta originalmente por el Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA). | Acknowledgements: Thanks SILAS and Michael Geraghty, who generously submitted the passenger list of the SS Dresden, originaly transcribed by Centro de Estudios Migratorios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA).

Stephens Family

Me contactó Stella Zuccarelli. Ella es descendiente de los Stephens que vinieron en el SS Dresden. Su bisabuela fue Mary Anne Stephens, hija de Robert y Rose. Mary Anne tenía 2 años cuando llegó a Buenos Aires en Febrero de 1889.

Stella me comenta que su padre solía contarle cómo era la vida por parte de su mamá y su familia irlandesa. Nunca le contaron el por qué habían venido para Argentina, pero sí que habían parte de la familia que se había quedado en Irlanda.

Los Stephens que vinieron en el barco fueron Robert (31) y Rose (23), los padres y John (14), Mary Anne (2) y Margaret (3 meses), los hijos. Junto a la familia vino la madrina de la pequeña Mary Anne, Mary Bennett (24) (figura en el Certificado de Bautismo).

Stella se decidió por investigar a su familia una vez que su padre falleció. Ella se encontró con la partida de nacimiento de su bisabuela Mary Anne junto con un puñado de historias que recordaba y fotos viejas de la familia.

Cuenta Stella "respecto a Mary Anne creo que el recuerdo de ella me trajo hasta aquí. Siempre se dedicó a la costura en casonas de Hurlinghan. Los Stephens eran de familia humilde. Solo su madrina Bennett adquirió otro estándar de vida. Siempre contaban de una artista hermana de ella en Irlanda. Esto es toda la información que tengo".

Stella está tratando de encontrar familiares tanto en Buenos Aires como en Irlanda que le puedan contar más qué fue de su familia y además sobre Mary Bennett.

Y finalmente agrega que "No quiero la ciudadanía ni nada por el estilo. Solo quiero saber de donde vienen mis raíces. De Italia solo tengo el apellido y el nombre. Pero las costumbres no se pueden evitar."

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Stella Zuccarelli has contacted me. She is descendant from the Stephens who came on board the SS Dresden. Her great-grandmother was Mary Anne Stephens, daughter of Robert and Rose. Mary Anne was 2 years old when she arrived to Buenos Aires in February 1889.

Stella told me that her father used to tell her how was his mother’s life about and of the rest of the Irish family. Nobody ever told her why the Stephens came to Argentina, but what they did to tell her was that some relatives had remained in Ireland.

The Stephens who came on the ship were Robert (31) and Rose (23), the parents, and John (14), Mary Anne (2) and Margaret (3 months), the children. Along with them, it came the Mary Anne's godmother, Mary Bennett (24) (contained in the Baptism certificate).

Stella decided to investigate his family after his father died. She found the baptismal certificate of her great-grandmother, Mary Anne, along with a handful of stories that she remember and some old family pictures.

Stella says "about Mary Anne I think that her remembrance brought me up to here. She was devoted to sewing in Hurlingham’s mansions. The Stephens were a humble family. Only her Godmother, Mary Bennett, got another standard of living. It was always said that Mary Bennett had an artist sister in Ireland. This is all the information I have."

Stella is trying to find relatives both in Buenos Aires and in Ireland that could tell her more about what was about her family and also about Mary Bennett’s life.

She finally adds that "I do not want the citizenship or anything like that I just want to know about my roots. From Italy I have only my name and surname. But habits ones cannot avoid."

Stella Zuccarelli

Mary Anne's Baptismal Certificate
Parish of St. John the Baptist - Blackrock Co. Dublin

Mary Anne Stephens

Mary Bennett


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Passenger List

ApellidoNombreSexoCiudadaniaFecha de PartidaPuerto de PartidaClasePágina de RegistroEdad
StephensMargaretfEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown319905
StephensRobertmEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown31931
StephensRosefEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown31923
StephensJohnmEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown31914
StephensMaryfEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown3192


Friday, 20 June 2014

Bourke Family

Letter from Mrs Margaret Lyons (Nee Bourke) County Limerick to Mr. Peter Mulvany after the publication in the Limerick Leader of an article about the SS Dresden and the Project:

"Further to your letter on the Limerick Leader last week concerning the emigrants who embarked on the SS Dresden in Cobh for Buenos Aires in 1889. I am the Grandaughter of Louis Bourke who was one of them. I was told his wife died and that he took all his children with him. Then a relative told me that his wife went with him. This I’m not sure of. A friend of mine looked it up on a computer and he got the names of the people that went.They arrived on the 15/2/1889. Louis Bourke (Father), Ellen, John, Mary, Patrick, Kate, Margaret and James. Louis (The Father) came home and brought his son John with him. Louis re-married and my Father (Tom) was his son. The rest of the family stayed in Buenos Aires. I dont know anything about them. There must be a few of their off-spring still there. My father is dead since 1977. He often spoke of his step family in South America. My father was born in 1901, so my Grand Father came back at least a year or two before that. My father used to tell me that his father was working in some ranch looking after horses and cattle while he was in Argentina."

Carta de la Sra. Margaret Lyons (Nee Bourke) del condado de Limerick al Sr. Peter Mulvany luego de la publicación en el Limerick Leader de su artículo sobre el SS Dresden y el Proyecto de los Descendientes del Dresden:
"En respuesta a su carta en el Limerick Leader la semana pasada en relación con los emigrantes que se embarcaron en el SS Dresden en Cobh hacia Buenos Aires en 1889. Soy la nieta de Louis Bourke, quien fue uno de ellos. Me dijeron que su esposa murió y que se llevó a todos sus hijos con él. Luego, un pariente me dijo que su esposa se fue con él. De esto no estoy muy segura. Un amigo mío buscó en la computadora y encontró los nombres de las personas que fueron. Llegaron el 15/2/1889. Louis Bourke (padre), Ellen, John, Mary, Patrick, Kate, Margaret y James. Louis (el padre) se volvió y trajo con él a su hijo John . Se volvió a casar y mi padre (Tom) fue su hijo. El resto de la familia se quedó en Buenos Aires. No sé nada de ellos. Debe haber unos pocos descendientes aún por allá. Mi padre murió en 1977. A menudo hablaba de su familia en América del Sur. Mi padre nació en 1901, por lo que mi abuelo regresó al menos uno o dos años antes de esa fecha. Mi padre solía decirme que su padre había trabajado en algún rancho cuidando de los caballos y el ganado, cuando estuvo en Argentina."


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Passenger List

BourkeEllenfEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown32934Servant
BourkeLouismEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown32933Labourer
BourkeJohnmEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown32911Sin oficio por menor
BourkeJamesmEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown33022Labourer
BourkeMaryfEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown3309Sin oficio por menor
BourkePatrickmEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown3307Sin oficio por menor
BourkeKatefEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown3305Sin oficio por menor
BourkeMargaretfEnglish15/02/1889Queenstown3303Sin oficio por menor

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Letter from Mr. Byrne to The Souther Cross - Feb. 18th 1889

Following, the letter of Mr. Michael Byrne to The Southern Cross, telling some of his impressions his visit to the Hotel de Inmigrantes at the moment when the Irish and English from the SS Dresden where there.

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Buenos Aires, February 18th, 1889.

To the Editor of the Southern Cross.

Dear Sir:

In company with a friend, I visited the “Asilo” on Sunday morning and a more appalling sight I never before saw. I hope I shall never again behold such wretchedness. Long before I reached the Home, I was stopped by groups of half-starved creatures, whose blanched faces told the hardships the poor people were forced to endure. My friend proposed to take the women and children to a “café”, where they all got tea, bread and butter, he paying the bill. On leaving that group pretty satisfied with the “God-sent” breakfast, we crossed to the station , where we met group after group of starving people, who all complained of hunger. After saying a few encouraging words to the poor people, we passed into the Home, where after pushing our way through a motley crowd of Italians, we came in contact with the Irish.

The sight I shall never forget. Never, in this world shall that wretched scene of human misery fade from my mind. Numbers of half-starved men, women, and sickly children lay about in all directions, all crying loudly for something to eat, something to satisfy the intense pangs of maddening hunger. 

Owing to the great number of Italian immigrants who were located in the Home, prior to the women and children were lowed the miserable satisfaction of passing the night in the dining-room, the dirt of which would be hard to describe. However, it was better than those who had to remain under the inclemency of the skies, without a single thing to cover them or a dry place to lie upon. 

Quite a number of women remained walking about all night, their husbands refusing to let them go into the dirty dining-room, which, they told me, was infested with vermin of all descriptions.

On approaching one respectable looking old man with a sickly child in his arms he said: “Musha, Sor, could we get a sup of milk anywhere? Shure, it is not for myself I ax it, but for this poor child that is dying in my arms. Katie, the “creature”, God help her, is sick also, and poor Mary”, he added, pointing to his wife, who sat nursing another ragged child, “is lost entirely with two c ilder”. And with a look full of tenderness on the emaciated form of his wife, he went on “sure, if anything happened her, we were all lost complately”.

Such scenes were witnessed by all who visited the Immigrant’s Home, therefore it is useless to describe them. On moving a little farther I met Mr. John Drysdale went to the cookhouse and ordered that the breakfast be given at once. About 10 a.m. on Sunday morning the poor people got bread and meat for the first time that they had anything, since they left the steamship Dresden. A number of Irish and English ladies and gentlemen put in an appearance, and after a while a good number of the immigrants were taken away. Amongst others I noticed the following who did what they could to alleviate the sufferings of the unfortunate people; Mr. John Drysdale, Mr. E. Casey, Mr. Thomas Duggan, Mr. Michael Dinneen, Mr. J. F. Gahan, Mr. T. A. Gahan , Navarro; Mr. T. Gahan, Suipacha; Mr. W. Ham, Mr. and Mrs. John Cunningham, Father Constantine, Father Gaughren, and Father Adrian, Mr. N. C. Fitzgerald, Mr. James Ham, Mrs. Quiroga, Miss McGuire, Mr. J. Finnigan, and many others too numerous to mention.

Before evening many young girls were removed and the women and children began to stir about giving vent to their disappointed hopes, and repeating the false promises held out to them by the immigrant agents in Ireland. Oh! Mr. Editor, could these worthies behold their unfortunate dupes reeking in misery and want, it would prevent them sending another consignment of our countrymen to endure the perils of a wild goose chase to South America.

I don’t for a moment question these distinguished gentlemen’s right to earn good living, but I think, Sir, that they ought to earn it honestly. Fancy immigrants being told that when they arrived here, houses would be ready for them, lands given them, implements, seed, money, etc., etc; that Father Fahy was still living, and had a bank for supplying money to immigrants . Such gross falsehood may do for a time but must finally fall through. It is the duty of this present batch of immigrants to write home a true account of their hardship to their people, and not till them, will they prevent their countrymen from being so easily duped.

I remain, dear Sir, yours respectfully,

Michael J. Byrne







Wednesday, 4 June 2014

British Immigration Committee at Buenos Aires

In December 1888 the news about Messrs. O'Meara and Dillon as Propaganda Agents in Ireland, was already knew. There is an article published in "The Souther Cross" (that also mention a similar one the other newspaper "The Standard") that has a very interesting reflexion. This was the starting kick for the formation in Buenos Aires of a special Committee that could handle the large batch of immigrants coming from the British Isles. There is a second article published a month and a half later that speaks about the formation of the "British Immigrant Committee" and the resume of that first meeting. Hope you like it!


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Viernes 28 de Diciembre de 1888 - The Southern Cross

Immigration

We are glad to learn that our E.C. “The Standard” approves of the idea which we suggested last week that an association should be formed here consisting of persons from the British Isles without any distinction of English-speaking immigrants. We have no doubt that our American cousins would also gladly lend a hand in furthering so useful a work. The need for it is so urgent that it requires no further advocacy on our part. Suffice it to say that able workmen (our countrymen) are seen roaming through the streets daily because know not to whom to apply, and on the other hand we are assured by estancieros and others residing in the camp that the are in want of honest men and would pay them good wages.
With regard to the wicked project of O’Meara and Dillon to send poor families adrift on these shores without any guidance or protection, we shall repeat here the words of our Rosario correspondent who is a true Argentine patriot: “You cannot say too much to discourage the coming here of Irish families on speculation, unless they have capital to enable them to start on an independent flooting. I have heard of several very sad cases lately, of people who have been induced through false representations made by unscrupulous, or ignorant agents to leave comfortable homes in the United States and to come here, or to Cordoba to live on starvation wages, and to deny themselves every comfort they have been accustomed to. One case in particular was very sad; a family went up to Cordoba under circumstances I have mentioned.
They had not been there many weeks when one of the sons, a bright, promising young man, who, had he stayed in the United States, might have risen to any position in life, sickened and died, and now the family is making great sacrifices so as to get back and begin life again wight of their great sorrows and bereavement. There are many families striving to exist here, in one miserable room for which they pay half their earnings. Strong men, the heads of helpless families are paid 1.20 and 1.50 paper, per day, and they have to pay from $12 to $20, per month, for the pooreet kind of a room, and to put up with the unspeakable inconvenience, and run the great danger of living, eating, sleeping, and working in one crowded apartment, with all kinds of lodger in the same house, and every misery the flesh is heir to. It is no friendship to the country to send people out to such hopeless misery, whilst, on the other hand, it is the most heartless cruelty to the victims who, too frequently, lack the means to return whence they came.”
Finally we do not at all object to the suggestion made by the Standard that something should be done to unite the English-speaking people of Buenos Aires for their mutual benefit. We can be of use to one another in many ways while we still adhere to our opinions with respect to the national rights of our respective countries.

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Martes 12 de Febrero de 1889 - The Standard

Notice | A meeting will be held this day at 3 o’clock pm at the office of Messrs S. B. Hale and Co., No 50 Calle Reconquista, (new number) to consider the best measures to adopt for providing for the 1000 Irish emigrants expected to arrive today in Montevideo in S.S. Dresden. All who sympathize with the object of the meeting are respectfully invited to attend. Buenos Ayres, Feb. 11th 1889.
(signed) John Drysdale, Eduardo Casey, Tomas Duggan, C. H. Sanford & Edward Thomas Mulhall



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Miércoles 13 de Febrero de 1889 - The Standard 

The Irish Immigrants

A meeting was held yesterday at the office of Mesrs Samuel B. Hale & Co. with the object of considering the best course to pursue to afford every possible accommodation to the Irish Immigrants about to arrive by the SS Dresden. Mr. Casey was unanimously voted President and Mr. John Drysdale Vice President, who owing to Mr. Casey’s absence took the chair, Mr. F. H. Mulhall was named Secretary. We notice amongst those presents the following gentelmen: Michael Dinneen, Guillermo Walton, Williams, J W Reade, Thomas Duggan, Douglas Darkin, Eduardo Kenny, Miguel J. Byrne, Maurice Fleming, S. Lyndon Owen, Rev. F. Constantine, N.T. Rider Hancock, Rev. Eugene Ryan C.P., Samuel G. O’Farrell, C.H. Sanford, David Methven, Samuel Johnston, J. Mohr Bell, Michael Hearne, Edward J. Byrne, Pedro A. Connor, Hugh Nelson, John O’Connor, David A. Gartland, Ing Jes Smith, J.M. Conelly, John Nelson, John F. Pearson, F. H. Mulally, R.M. Runciman, R.A. Norton, J. M. Mulhall, Eduardo T. Mulhall, John Drysdale, Chas. Clarke, Francis A. Bowen . The chairman, in opening the proceedings said that he was glad to see such a large attendance of the principal merchants and bankers of this city and estancieros of the province. 

The immigrants would be here in a few days, and the object of the meeting was to see how they could be best cared for -they should be well received and, if possible, provided with situationism and he was sure that those present would do everything in their power to encourage the English speaking immigrant- everybody would be willing to assist in this good work and privude employment for the new comers. Father Gaughren stated that Mr. Gartland had offered to take over five hundred familis and settle them on his lands near Bahia Blanca, giving each family forty squares of land, and means of subsistence to the amount of 1000 m/n per family, charging interest at the rate of 9% per annum. This would include the cost of management of the colony, and he would allow the colonists from ten to 12 years for reimbursement. He would open a store on the colony, provided with all necessaries for the settlers. He was willing to withdraw his proposal should a more favourable one be offered. He was merely prompted by a wish to benefit the emigrants. Mr. M. Dinneen, Editor of the Southern Cross, said that this proposal should be receive full consideration. He, therefore, proposed that a sub-committee be appointed and that some gentleman should be nominated to see whether the land was suitable for farming.  

Mr. Jonstone, the well-known shipbroker , stated that the Irish Immigrants of the Dresden were in charge of the Head of the Immigration Department, Mr. Samuel Navarro. He added that this was the largest consignment of immigrants from the north ever sent to this country. Minister Quirno Costa, he knew, was anxious to do all in his power to help the new arrivals, but it was expedient that some gentleman should superintend their treatment at the Emigrant’s home, and provide for their separation from Italian arrivals.

At this juncture the following letter from the indefatigable British Consul, Mr. Ronald Brigett, was read:-

British Consulate. Buenos Aires, 12th February, 1889

Dear Mulhall, I see your name attached to a notice calling a meeting to concert measures to find employment for a large number of expected British Immigrants. I should like to have attended, but the shortness of the notice and the necessity of sitting on a Commission to take evidence in a lawsuit pending in England prevents my doing so. Last week I interviewed Mr. Sundblad , the Comisario General de Inmigracion and he did not appear to apprehend difficulty in treating the new arrivals. I mentioned the formation of a British Immigration Aid Society had been mooted, and he expressed his opinion that the need did not exist, as the Argentine Government lauded, housed, fed and sent to destination, all free of charge, any new arrivals. Doubtless, however, he will be glad to cooperate with any Committee which may be formed. He showed me the Asilo, and as I was there at dinner-time, I had the opportunity of seeing the food, which was excellent and plentiful. The sleeping accommodation appeared good, due regard being paid to the separation of the sexes. Married people had rooms apart. While you were at Committee I wrote a notice for The Standard calling upon all those who had land to offer or who wished to give sheep on shares to make known their requirements to Mr. Sundblad at the Immigration Department. There is an Infirmary at the Asilo, but as many of the arrivals may prefer treatment at the British Hospital. I have already written to the Hon. Secretary enquiring how many beds are vacant.
Yours sincerely,
Ronald Bridgett

Mr. Dinneen then asked that an interpreter be appointed to give the immigrants information about the country and state their requirements.
Mr. E.T. Mulhall, Editor of the Standard, proposed the formation of the following sub-committe: Lord Mayor Cranwell , Father Constantine, Mr. John Drysdale, Mr. M. Dinneen, Father Gaughan, Mr. F. Mulhall, Mr. David Methven.
Mr. Thomas Duggan suggested that all proposals for accommodation of the immigrants be submitted to the above sub-committee as well as look after them on their arrival.
Mr. Christie stated that he would be happy to give employment to a few families.
At this juncture, it was stated that Minister Quirno was ready to give employment to 20 or 30 adults, start them at 20 dollars per month, all found, on his estancia.
A letter from Mr. Smart (1) was read, offering employment to all tailors among the arrivals.
Mr. Bowen, the well-known capitalist, thought that Mr. Gartland’s proposal deserved serious consideration, as it involved, so to say, the creation of a bank with a capital of $400.000, the care-taking of thousands people, and the foundation of a distrinctive Irish colony. The people, he said, were not dropped in a wilderness, and authorities were near to redress any grievances. In the vicinity of a market, so to say, independent of a railway, they could cart their own produce. A committee should be appointed to get the very best terms for the people and by all means to found an Irish Colony. Mr Sewell, be stated, had offered to proceed to Mr. Gartland’s estate and report thereon. Mr. Sundlad had offered to suplly 250 tents until the immigrants put up wooden houses, and Father Gaughan voluntared to accompany them as chaplain.
Mr. Runciman thought that if this proposal were accepted the immigrants would be in very good hands, and Mr. E. T. Mulhall suggested that in case of sickness the patients should be sent to the British Hospital.
Mr. Francis Mulhall, Mr. Dinneen, and Father Gaughan stated they would have much pleasure in going to Montevideo to meet the immigrants.
Mr. C. H. Sanford, of the firm Samuel B. Hale & Co., said that he was very much pleased at the proposal to these gentlemen to go to Montevideo, as it would afford an excellent opportunity (…) the feelings and expectations of the emigrants.
Mr. Dinneen suggested that some sort of a permanent association be formed to assist English-speaking emigrants coming to this country and this was a splendid opportunity of starting it with success. Seconded by Mr. Sanford it was carried unanimously, the following gentlemen giving their names and voluntearing to assist in the good work:-(some names above)
The proceedings then terminated, Mr. Runciman proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Gartland, which was likewise unanimously carried. Votes of thanks then followed to the Chairman and Messrs S. B. Hale and Co. for placing their offices at the disposal of the association.
The proceedings of the meeting were taken down by Mr. Robert Keogh, to whose services we are indebted for the above minute report.

(1) - Mr. Smart was James Smart, the English Tailor (click for related link)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Treacy Family

I'am a Dresden descendant, via my grandfather, John Treacy, whose parents met in Argentina after taking the journey with THEIR parents. Now, I have something special to share. I'm attaching a photo of my Great-uncle, Gerald Treacy, taken sometime in the 1980s. Gerald was born in 1918 and he will be 94 in May 2009. He is my grandfather's brother, the last of 22 cousins born to Patrick & his wife, Kate & Johanna Treacy & her husband, Jose Peña (from Spain or the Canary Islands). Gerald is in a senior residence in Washington state, but he still looks the same, only older. As far as he knows, his paternal grandfather never left Argentina and died there. Patrick came to the USA in 1903, 6 weeks after my grandfather was born in Ireland. (His older sister was born in Argentina). Johanna & Jose came to the USA in March, 1912...almost 100 yrs. ago!

Patrick Treacy's Wedding record: Feb. 8, 1901. His profession is listed as "mecanico" (maquinista). Married by Father Jules, Passionist, at Holy Cross Church, Buenos Aires. It also says," Domiciliado en la calle Balcane 1214 or 7" -I can't make out which it is, 4 or 7.
Actual view of Balcarce 1217
Buenos Aires

His bride's address is the same. However, according to family legend, they were married 3 times---once in a Spanish civil ceremony, once in Church & once in English. His wife's name is given as Kate Walshe/Walsh Broughlett. The sponsors were M. Carmody & Elisa Cleary.

Patrick married Kate, another Dresden passenger. On the passenger list, her family are numbered 1221, 1222, 1223 & 1224. The family name is Walsh: Patrick, Catherine(nee Mills), son Patrick, & daughter Catherine/Kate. The Walshes were from Tullamore, in County Offaly. The Traceys/Treacys were from Pallasgrean in Co. Limerick.

Their first child, Kathleen, was born in Dec. 1901, in Buenos Aires. At some point, they decided to come to the US. Since it was easier to get here from Ireland, they went back there & my grandfather was born there in Sept., 1903. They came to the US six weeks later & the rest of their 12 children were born here, the last in 1924, when my great-grandmother was 48(!).

Their daughter, Kathleen, was born Dec. 4, 1901 at Calle Alavarez Nuñez esq. Presidente, Buenos Aires.
They left Argentina on May 16, 1903, for Ireland. My grandfather was born there on Sept. 12, 1903 & they arrived at Ellis Island/NYC on Oct. 22, 1903.

My great-uncle Gerald, their son, b.1918, recorded that his father's brother, Thomas Treacy, died in Argentina in the 1930s. Patrick died in 1940 in Roselle Park, NJ & Gerald remembers how upset his father was when the letter came.

His sister, Johanna, her husband, Jose Peña & their children Rosa, Juan, Maria & Patricio came from Buenos Aires on the Voltaire on March 7, 1912. Johanna is listed as Juana de Treacy Pena. She & Jose are listed as being 31 & 32, respectively, but again the ages are fuzzy. Their children were 3, 11, 9 & 7, respectively. Patrick Treacy records that he & his family moved to Camden Street in Roselle Park from Elizabeth on March 27, 1912, so the arrival of the Peñas may have had something to do w/ the move.
Kate Treacy, b. 1871(I think--haven't found this record yet) married Edward/Edmund Murphy in Argentina.

This Ed Murphy worked on a ranch in Argentina. They had 2 daughters. Nora Murphy was born in Buenos Aires & later married a Charlie Perkins & had a son Billy Perkins. They ended up back in Ireland. They also had a daughter Margaret, who married a man named Leahy. Their son, Eamonn Leahy, who corresponded w/ my uncle Gerald, says that Ed. & Kate went back to Ireland & lived first in a tenement in Limerick city, then moved to a small house on Roseboro Rd. in Tipperary town on the Limerick road. They were very poor.  According to Eamonn, most of them died young (30s-50s), so he knew little about them.

I hope this is helpful in pinning down the Treacy connection for you! We are also some kind of cousin to Sean Treacy, of the 3rd Tipperary Brigade of the Irish Republican Army. Sean is discussed in a book called "Limerick's Fighting Story." He was killed in a shoot-out w/ the British in Dublin in 1921 or 1922. He was only about 23-24. The Irish list him as a brave patriot, but the British police website calls him a "terrorist". There is a statue of him in Tipperary. A football club is named after him.

Linda Koenig, New Jersey, USA


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Juan Pablo, I am writing this email on behalf of my Grandfather, Gerald Treacy. He no longer has an email account, but thought that we could communicate through mine. He has expressed interest in seeing any photos of your Dresden project. I do not speak Spanish but he is going to spell something out for me that he wishes to convey: "Hastas luego, mi corazon!" He also would like to say "Hello" to you and the family. Thank you
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Gerald Treacy and Granddaughter Patricia, New Jersey, USA.
24 de Junio de 2012: Hola, otra vez! I am so happy to hear from you! Yes, print the picture, by all means. I have been trying to let you know that my dear great-uncle, Gerald, se murio el 28 de marzo 2012. He was the last of the 22 children produced by Patrick & Kate Walsh treacy (12) & Jose & Johanna Treacy Peña.

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SS Dresden Records
TRACEY, JOHN (40) Married, LABOURER
TRACEY, KATE, (40), Married, SERVANT
TRACEY, THOMAS, (20), Single, LABOURER
TRACEY, JOHN J, (19), Single, LABOURER
TRACEY, PATRICK, (18), LABOURER
TRACEY, WILLIAM, 17, Single, LABOURER
TRACEY, EDMUND, 16, Single, LABOURER
TRACEY, KATE, 15, Single, SERVANT
TRACEY, JOHANNA, 9, Sinlge

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Records from the 1895 Argentine Census
www.familysearch.org

In the Census I found four members of this family. John (father), Patrick and Thomas living in the same place with Miguel Ahern (16 y/0). Mr. John figures as widow with 53 y/o and working as "labourer" (peón). Patrick figure as single and working as "boilermaker" (calderero) and Thomas working as "sailor" (marinero).
Miguel Ahern (I have to check) but it may be related with other immigrant family from the SS Dresden (Michael 9 y/o, son of Michael and Catherine Ahern)



Linda Koenig's insert: "I just reviewed the census list you sent me & I'd be willing to bet the Eduardo Murphy listed at line 11 & the Catalina Murphy listed at line 12 are the Edward/Edmund Murphy & the Kate Tracey/Treacy Murphy of whom I've just written...the parents of Nora Murphy Perkins & Margaret Murphy Leahy, Eamonn Leahy's mother...Linda Koenig"


Then, there is another record in the Census where figures Johanna Treacy. She is 13 y/o and was living in the house of Mr. Carlos Reynolds and his family. She figure as "servant" (mucama), catholic and motherless. This last detail it is coincident with the marital status of John in the above record, so Mrs Kate Treacy died between 1889 and 1895.

Census 1895 - Reynolds Family with Johanna (13 y/o) as servant

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Original Pictures from the family


TranscriptionDear Son Pat I am sending you mine and
Jose photo when you receive aum rite
by return.
Answering this please.
Send us yours photos
hoping we shall meete again
Love to all your father and Jose.
//
Dear brother Iam sending ye ours photos
hoping you will get them all right you tan su our
faces once more not in reality but in picture but I am
sure and trust in god we shall meete much other again
answer when you get this and send us yours photos
Love to ye all
Your sister Johanna and Jose
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John and Johana Treacy with José Peña (circa 1900)

John Treacy - Born 1831 in Nicker, Ireland. Father of Johanna and Patrick (1865 - 1949)

José Peña, Johanna Peña and kids

If you want to contact the descendants please e-mail here

Friday, 30 May 2014

McCarthy Family

John McCarthy nació en 1887 en Irlanda y murió en Argentina. Su hermano, Timoteo, nació en Argentina, vivió en Irlanda y murió a bordo de un barco de la marina mercante británica, cerca de las costas mediterráneas de Egipto. Sus nietos respectivamente, Jorge Makarte y Peter Mulvany, luego de más de 100 años, hoy se conocen por primera vez y se enfrentan a una barrera cultural que no pueden franquear: el idioma. Jorge nunca habló inglés y Peter jamás el español.
Peter vino de visita antes de entrar al quirófano, se dijo a si mismo y a su familia, que era ahora o nunca. No sabe cómo va salir de la operación. Lo que si sabe es que este gran paso que él está dando quede para las generaciones que vienen y que puedan encontrar en Argentina, la tierra de sus ancestros.
Este es uno de los casos curiosos que este documental está poniendo en mi camino.
La historia de esta familia es increible. Está relacionada incluso con la causa revolucionaria nacionalista y el nombre de John McCarthy figura entre la lista de sospechosos de integrar los inicios de Sinn Féin. También con héroes de la II Guerra Mundial.
Esta foto muestra el momento del encuentro: Peter Mulvany (de barba a la izquierda de la foto) con Jorge Makarte (a la derecha). Son primos de segundo grado que se encuentran por primera vez. Este encuentro marca el primero en las familias de cada uno después de que sus abuelos se separaran en 1905.


_____

John McCarthy was born in 1887 in Ireland and died in Argentina around 1953. His brother, Timothy, was born in Argentina, and at a very young age went to live to Ireland. He died on board a ship in the British merchant marine, near the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. His grandchildren respectively, Jorge Makarte (grandson of John) and Peter Mulvany (grandson of Timothy), they finaly known each other for the first time. They face a cultural barrier that they cannot cross: the language. Jorge Peter never spoke English and Peter never spoke Spanish.
Peter was facing a surgery so he said to himself and to his family that was now or never. This was a very big step that they both are giving for them and also for the next generations to come. Now both families know the existence of each other.
This is one of the curious cases this documentary is getting in my way. The story of this family is incredible. It is related even with the nationalist revolutionary cause and the name of John McCarthy is among the list of suspects to integrate early Sinn Féin. Also with heroes of the Second World War (Patricio, other brother of Timothy and John, was the first Argentine killed in action in during World War II).

This photo shows the moment of encounter: Peter Mulvany (beard to the left of the photo) with Jorge Makarte (right). They are cousins ​​in second grade that are knowing each other for the first time. This was the first meeting that both families have since their grandparents were separated in 1905.


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RECORDS

1. McCarthy's Family - SS Dresden Records

MC CARTHY, MARY - (30 y/o), Married, Housekeeper
MC CARTHY, JOHN - (29 y/o), Married, Labourer
MC CARTHY, JEREMIAH - (8 y/o), Single
MC CARTHY, MARY - (6 y/o), Single
MC CARTHY, CORNELIUS - (4 y/o), Single
MC CARTHY, ANNIE - (2 y/o), Single
MC CARTHY, JOHN - (1 y/o), Single

2. McCarthy at Balcarce (Buenos Aires Province) - Argentina Census 1895

The family has been recorded as Makart (line nº12)

Argentine Census 1895 - Balcarce Prov. Buenos Aires
www.familysearch.org

Argentine Census 1895 - Balcarce, Prov. Buenos Aires
www.familysearch.org



Thursday, 29 May 2014

Pearce Family

Anne me contactó hace un par de años atrás para contarme una historia y saber si teníamos algo en común.
La historia que me contó es la que sigue a continuación. Es la historia de su abuel Daisy May Pearce, la chiquita que cuando vino en el Dresden con sus padres, tenía tan solo 6 meses.
Esta es la historia:

Daisy May Asher (nee Pearce) 1888-1962 - by Anne Miles

Daisy May Pearce was born in Southampton, England on 5th August 1888. Her birth was registered by her mother Mary Jane Pearce (nee Beck) in Southampton on 7th September 1888; her father’s name was James Pearce and his profession is recorded as a bricklayer (journeyman) i.e. a bricklayer who travels from job to job. So far I have been unable to trace their marriage and as a result I know nothing about James at all.
Previous to Daisy’s birth there is a record of a passport number 15360 being issued to a J Pierce on 23rd July 1888. Mary Jane did not obtain her passport until 10th August, 5 days after Daisy was born. Unfortunately these passports have never been found.
The next occasion that records their movements is the passenger list from the SS Dresden as they arrived in Argentina on 15th February 1889. The family are recorded departing from Queenstown (now known as Cork), Southern Ireland and are logged as English. James’ profession is registered as a bricklayer and his age is 44. Mary Jane is recorded as a dairy maid and is 30; Daisy was by now 6 months old. Mary Jane Beck was actually born on 31st August 1861 in Arnewood, Hordle, Hampshire so her true age would have been 26, but maybe they were very aware of their age difference, or, their ages were just recorded incorrectly.
The story that was passed down the family was that James went to Argentina alone and Mary Jane and Daisy followed out later. The passenger list disproves this but it is possible that James travelled alone to Queenstown to arrange their trip or visited relatives prior to the others arriving later; this would account for his obtaining his passport earlier in the year.
What happened to them in Argentina is a mystery.

Twenty months later on 23rd November 1890 my grandmother, Daisy May Pearce, was baptised by her grandparents at their local parish church in Hordle, Hampshire. Her mother Mary Jane had arrived back in England, reputedly having been widowed whilst in Argentina although I still have been unable to find any record of James’ death. She is believed to have earned enough money to pay for their passage back home to England. To date I cannot find any evidence of their return voyage so do not know when they left Argentina and arrived back in England. A few months after Daisy was baptised Mary Jane had a son, Harry on 10th March 1891; James Pearce (deceased) is recorded as his father on the birth certificate. Harry would have been conceived around June 1890 so if he was James’ son, James would have died sometime between June 1890 and November 1890 when Daisy was baptised and Mary Jane and Daisy would have returned from Argentina sometime between these dates also. However the family believed that Harry was illegitimate and was the son of a member of the house that Mary Jane worked at as a domestic servant after her return. This theory could be proved or disproved if we could find out when she returned to England.
The fact that is certain is that on her return Daisy May was left with her maternal grandparents, Stephen and Jane Beck (nee Warne), for them to bring up; they lived in the small village of Hordle that borders on the New Forest in Hampshire.
Mary Jane moved to Pennington, Hampshire in with her sister, Geraldine Gates, her husband, 5 children and her maternal grandmother, Ann Warne. This was where she gave birth to Harry and worked nearby as a domestic servant. In May 1893 she married a Mark James in Bournemouth where she lived for the rest of her life. She had another child in 1901 with Mark, this time a girl. To the best of my knowledge she never saw Daisy May again until Mary Jane was very ill in 1930s when Daisy visited her in Bournemouth with her own daughter, my mother, Joyce.
What became of Daisy? She had a good life. Her grandparents were kind and gentle, although not rich. Stephen was a garden labourer and a sexton of Hordle Parish Church; he was known to enjoy a glass of beer, fortunately the horse knew its own way home from the pub! Jane had to be very careful that Stephen did not set fire to the thatched roof of the cottage when he got home as he was inclined to put his pipe, still alight, up on a high ledge in the porch! Jane was a very caring woman; she would turn out, no matter what time of day or night, to help either deliver a baby or lay out the dead. She used the horse and trap to get around and Daisy would recount how one night when going to help deliver a baby my great, great grandmother was forced into a ditch by a horse drawn carriage which disappeared as it went past! Jane was not the sort of woman who believed in ghosts!
I always called Daisy, my grandmother, ‘gran’ however she would tell me how her grandmother would tell her off if she called her ‘gran’; she would say to her “Daisy May Pearce, the Lord made the day long enough for you to say grandmother.”
When Daisy arrived to live with her grandparents, of their seven children, only one 20 year old son, one of Daisy’s uncles, was still living at home with them. Ten years later when she was 12, her uncle was no longer there but Daisy’s maternal great grandmother, Ann Warne, now aged 92 was living with her daughter Jane. They also had a boarder staying.
Daisy was very good at needlework and won a prize for it at school. This helped her to get a position at a girl’s private boarding school in New Milton when she was 14; she was employed to do the repairs to the pupil’s clothes. It was here that she met a nice young man called Frank Asher who delivered the milk to the school. The school’s cook did her best to stop them from seeing each other but love finds it own way!
Jane, Daisy’s grandmother became ill in 1910 and desperately wanted to see Daisy married and settled before she died. Daisy, now 22 and Frank, 30, would have preferred to wait a little longer but in the end got married on 12th November 1910 at Hordle Parish Church. Jane was buried on 20th December 1910 aged 78, happy to have seen her much loved granddaughter happily married. Stephen, Daisy’s grandfather died the next year at 79 and was buried on 1st April 1911.
Daisy and Frank started their married life in a small cottage in Hordle. By the time their first son, Percy Frank Asher known as Perce was born in 1913 they were living in a farm cottage in Barnham in Sussex. Frank was a dairyman, he knew all his cows by name and part of his job was delivering the milk too. Five years later their second son was born who they called James Stephen, known as Jim, followed by daughters, Hilda and Eva. Ethel Joyce, known as Joyce, was born at a small village in Sussex called Henfield as Frank had moved to yet another farm, again as a dairyman.
It was here that one day Perce arrived home from school at 9 years old with a badly bruised knee from playing football. These were days when there was no National Health Service and seeing a doctor was expensive so Daisy dressed the bruise with bread poultice. A day later it was worse so Daisy took him to the doctor who told her to continue with the treatment and it would be fine. When Perce started to limp, the doctor still said it would be alright. Eventually Daisy took Perce to the children’s hospital at Brighton, even though a referral letter from a doctor was needed and her doctor refused to write one, still insisting it would be fine in time. Fortunately, as they reached reception, a nursing sister came along and saw his knee and she immediately arranged for a consultant to see him. The consultant wanted to know why he had not been earlier! The doctor at Henfield retired shortly afterwards. The outcome might have been far worse if Daisy had not been such a determined woman.
Perce was kept in hospital where they tried to disperse the bruise. He underwent six operations but eventually they had to amputate the leg, leaving just a small stump. Perce was fitted with an artificial leg at Roehampton Hospital in London at a cost of £50; a fortune in those days. As Perce was only nine he kept growing to over 6 foot so he regularly had to have new artificial legs at great expense but somehow Daisy and Frank always managed to afford it.
It was a year after Perce had had this accident that my mother, Joyce was born; now Daisy had three girls under 3 and Perce had temporary paralysis in the arms due to using his crutches and as a result, he was unable to feed himself. Life must have been very hard for a while.
Perce grew up and became a successful business man, running his own cobblers shop (shoe repairing) in Sussex, he married Rose and they had two sons, David and Gordon.
Jim became a market gardener in Hampshire and, after having married Dora, had two children Michael and Elizabeth.
Hilda and Eva were in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war where they met and married their husbands, Jim and Hughie. Hilda went on to have four children, Susan, Philip, Sheila and John, and they lived in Sheffield until they moved back to Sussex; likewise Eva had two sons, Frank and Hughie and they lived in the home country of her husband, Scotland.
Joyce, my mother became a nurse during the war and met my father, Les True as the war ended. They married and had three daughters, myself, Anne, and my sisters, Linda and Sylvia. We moved quite a bit due to my father’s job; we moved from Salisbury, Wiltshire to Bedford then onto Cyprus and back to Buckinghamshire. I often wondered if James’ and Mary Jane’s nomadic genes had been passed to my mother!
Frank died 1944 after an appendicitis operation due to a blood clot, leaving Daisy May to find a job as a housekeeper to two bachelors in Horsham. They were very kind to her and treated her like one of the family; she stayed with them for the rest of her life.
Whilst we were in Cyprus, Daisy May became very ill with cancer. She had several operations but eventually died on 28th May 1962, aged 73. I was 13 and last saw her when I was aged 11. I remember her as being a very gentle, kind lady; very tall and upright with the most beautiful thick, long grey hair which she would tie up in a bun during the day then take down at night to brush. I have learnt so much about her start in life that now I marvel at the fact that she, a small, helpless, 6 month old baby, survived the ‘Dresden Affair’.