Manx Genealogy Archive 2

The Missing Fiancee of Ballaleece

"The Missing Fiancee of Ballaleece"

I am sure most of you will be familiar with the folkstory of "the missing wife of Ballaleece". I have a real missing person to sort out and I think we are getting there but need some help.

Ewan Casement was born in 1720 to Wm Casement and Mary Thomason of Lezayre, and emigrated to Ballinderry, Co Antrim. In 1786, his daughter Ann Casement sold three parcels of land, all part of the Ballaleece estate, and shortly thereafter married John Corlett, and sold another slice of Ballaleece. Ann was one of the youngest children so it is unlikely that she was a wealthy heiress so how did she acquire Ballaleece ?

One idea was that Hugh Casement had married twice, his other wife being a sister or aunt to the last Male Leece of Ballaleece, so the property comes to her via her mum, rather than to her half brothers. A good story, but Eliz Higginson had married Ewan Casement in the early 1740s, and died in 1801, so a Leece wife is not on. J A Brew recounts a story that Jane Casement (no pedigree given) married Capt Thomas Radcliffe of Knockaloe Moar, having previously been engaged to John Leece, the last male Leece, who died young. Again a good story, but Jane married Radcliffe in 1781 and he died in 1789. John Leeced died in 1784, so Jane would need to be engaged to Leece whilst she was married to Radcliffe ! Story is great until you check the dates ! The Casement data shows that she was Ewan Casement's second daughter so was Ann's big sis.

What if it was Jane's little sister, ANN who got engaged. She is a suitable age, and unattached. He dies and she inherits as Leece has no family. Everything now makes sense, but to prove it I need a will from John Leece of Patrick who died in 1784, or a marriage settlement (dubious if the marriage did not take place). SO

(a) does nayone know of any documentation
(b) If I was on the Island, the next time it was a dull day, I would be in the MM, looking for the paper, but our month visit ended ten days ago, and I am not going to be back for a while. If the Casement data had cropped up then, I would have given it priority, but I can't at present. Would anyone be kind enough to see if they can come up with the necessary bit of paper.

If so we can solve the story of the Lost Fiancee of Ballaleece, which it its own way is as good a tale as the Sophia Morrison story of the Lost wife of Ballaleece, better indeed as it promises to be true.