The Leighany, rising in the hills above the Crossags and Meandering across Ramsey Golf Links before flowing under Parliament Square and Ramsey Town Hall to reach the upper harbour, as marked the boundary between Maughold and Lezayre since the Manx Parishes were formed in the 12th Century. The whole of Ramsey, lying east and south of the Leighany and Sulby rivers, grew up in the parish of Maughold, a fact which has presented difficulties in Maughold historical studies. For the purpose of this account it is not proposed to deal with families in Ramsey, but only with those in the rural parts of the parish.
'Christian, Callow and Kerruish
All the rest are mere refuse.'
The oft repeated jungle was probably written by a member of the Big Three in the 18th Century, before they began to go into decline numerically. The principal Christian farm, was Lewaigue, to which the neighbouring quarterland of Dreemskerry was joined until the middle of the 18th Century; early Christians in Ballafayle were succeeded by Kerruishies and Cannells; the Ballakilley Christians living in the appropriately named Church Farm provided seven Parish Clerks in succession; West Ballaterson, Ballure and the Flatt (part of Ramsey) were the homes of other long-established numbers of the clan, which is said to have had its beginning in Milntown, Lezayre. Ballafayle y Callow was the Possession of William Callow, the 17th Century Quaker who after persecution and banishment was buried in a 'Rhullick' (burial ground) on his own land; Claughbane was the holding of another distinguished Callow family who were succeeded by their descendants the Kermodes, one of whom was Philip Moore Callow Kermode, first Curator (and effective founder) of the. Manx Museum; Ballacreggan, Ballagilley, Ballaglass, Ballaskeig Mooar and East Ballaterson branching, into Cardle Beg and the Dhullan, were other Callow farms,. Four principal Kerruish lines can be distinguished Ballallin, Booilvelt, Cardle Vooar and Ballafayle y Kerruish, home of the present Speaker of the House of Keys Sir Charles Kerruish.
The reference to 'all the rest' in the couplet has always seemed to me to do less than justice to the other prolific Maughold names such as Corkill, Kermen and Corteen. For sheer weight of numbers in the 19th century, Corkill and Kermeen present a daunting prospect to genealogists. While Corkill is found all-over the Island especially associated with the trade of blacksmith, Kermeen like Corteen. seems to be connected particularly with Maughold before the 19th century. J. J. Kneen, in his 'Personal Names of the Isle of Man' has equated Corteen with Costain but its earlier form Quartene would appear to disprove this. The name Corteen has belonged to the 'top side' of the parish;' Thalloo Queen, Ballacorteen and Ballasholaige, still owned by a Corteen, have been the principal seats. Kermeens and their predecessors, Quarks, farmed Ballig from the 16th to the 19th centuries and the Corony until the 18th century, after which the dispersal of the Kermeen's to different parts of Maughold (and beyond) took place. Corkill is well represented on. Maughold farms today, historically it was located on the Ards Ballachrink, Ballagorry Mooar and Beg, two parts of Ballajora, Ballasloe, East Folieu and Port Lewaigue.
Of the families paying Lord's Rent in 1511 not one continues to own the same land under the same name, although there are one or two descents in the female line. Cottingham, taken from an English place-name, and originally on part of the Ballaberna: died out in the 19th century, but survives in the house 'Cottiman' at Port-e-Vullen where some of them were living about a century ago; the Joughins and Creers of Rhenabb, Kermodes of Ballajora, Martins of Folieu (long domiciled in Ramsey ), Quarks of Thalloo Mitchell and Ballasaig, and Stoles of Ballastole (now the Tower Farm) may have their descendants but not living on the ancestral lands. The year 1703, halfway through the time of the Manorial Rolls provides a convenient dividing-line between the old families and later comers who established themselves. Such were the Carrans of the Daiyl of Cornaa and Croit Woods, Cashens of Thalloo Mitchell and Ballacorteen, Creetches of Ballachrink, Kennishes of the Corony and Ballagorry Beg, Kneales of Folieu and the Rhowin, Loweys of Ballasloe, Quayles of Ballaskeig Beg (to be followed by other Quayle's, from Lezayre), Quilleashes of the Rhenny.and Dhoon, and Wattleworths, most of whose land lay within the present Ramsey boundaries
During the 18th century, the Maughold people received Cannells and Farghers on Ballafayle, Devises, Hoggs and Skillicorns on the Dhoon, Goldsmiths on the Ards, Hamptons and Morrisons on Ballasaig, Kellys - notably. those on an intack of Ballagorry Mooar which became known as Creg ny Molt, Kinrades on Ballachrink, Kissacks - some of them millers - at Port-e-Vullen and on part of the Rhenabb, Logans on Dreemskerry, Looneys and Murrays on Vrow Greeng and Moores on Ballaberna, successors of earlier Kerruishes
Most of the Maughold farmers today are Manx, or even of Maughold descent which is more, than can be said for the population of the parish in general, because its natural and unexploited beauty has made it extremely attractive to new residents, who now form about three-quarters of the population. Today's Callows, Corkills, Kerneens, Kerruishes, Moores and Quilleashes, together with the Cowins, Laces and Quayles, who came from other parts of the Island, form a vigorous and thriving minority in which the old Manx community spirit is very much alive.
In conclusion it must be emphasised that, as this outline is so brief it cannot pretend to have done more than mention most of the principal families. Many others who have lived and died here, and who would have regarded themselves as Maughold folk are to be found in the Parish Registers, the Manorial Rolls the Census Returns, and the Wills and Deeds, and other records of the Island.
For as long as I can remember the name I have associated with Manx
clocks has been Kee The name is still to be found on the face of wall
clocks, mostly in old vestries, and mostly long since " topped. They
are the workmanship of Charles Halsall Kee, who after apprenticeship
in Liverpool and Preston set up business in East-Street, Ramsey in
1888, and remained there till he retired in 1947.
I knew his elder daughter, Kathleen as one of that most devoted long-suffering and self-effacing race of women, the Methodist Minister's Wife. All her qualities of patience and faithfulness can be found also in the workmanship of her father, and those clocks of his deserve to become collector's items. His wife was a daughter of Daniel Joughin the banker, and their elder daughter, who married Mr. Eric Callow, assisted her father in the business.
His family came from Leodest Andreas, and he was the son of John Kee, Blacksmith, of Ramsey. He had several brothers; Daniel William Kee James Edward Kee, and Captain John T. Kee were all also prominent in the commercial life of Ramsey, and his sister married a Joughin.
Our Society has recently welcomed into membership Miss D. Edna Kee of London, Ontario. She is a granddaughter of James Edward Kee (1858-1944), one time grocer of Ramsey who had emigrated to Canada in 1912. His sons James Scott Kee, and Harold Edward Kee (Miss Edna Kee's father) remained beyond the Atlantic, but James Edward and his daughters Connie and Gerturde returned ultimately to Ramsey. Another son, Charles E Kee, perished in 1908 in the wreck of the barque Amazon on the South Wales Coast.
Miss Edna Kee would like to trace the roots of this distinguished Ramsey family further back. Her address is 520, Wellington Street, London, Ontario, Canada.
Like other Manx expatriates she has treasured scraps of Genealogy notes and cuttings about the family in her Canadian home, and thanks to the modern Xerox technique, has sent the Society copies. Among they are some columns from the Ramsey Courier of 1897, referring to G. H. Beets retirement, and giving an interesting account of the Ramsey of 1888 which the young clockmaker came to serve.
They speak of a John Craine who had been storing pianos and organs in the East Street premises that he took over; of James Fitts, Sadler who had a nearby shop, and was a famous Ramsey character of the day. They list the 'gentry' of the times, the Farrants of Ballakilingan Mrs. Christian of Milntown, Miss Gibb at The Grove, General Brereton at Riversdale, Col.Thelusson at Mount Auldyn, High Bailiff LaMothe at Cronkbane. Dr. Tellett, lived in a house and garden where the Central Hotel was to stand, and Dumbell's Bank and its garden stood where the Westminster Bank now is.
They list the other tradesmen of the day, Daniel Sayle, watchmaker; Thomas Teare, draper in Parliament Street; William Shimmin, also a draper; John Criggal, painter; William Corlett, one jeweller in Paul Street, and James Callow, another in Market Hill.
Miss Clarke kept the Mitre, Mr. J. R. Cowell had a grocer opposite the Courthouse. Edward Kelly, 'tonsorial artist' would cut your hair in Market Place. Messrs. Goldsmith and Cowley (the father of the late Sir Percy) had a timberyard, and Mr. John Chrystal was the town's auctioneer and estate agent.
There was no swing-bridge at the end of Past Street, no Mooragh Park development. Brookfield was still just a farm.
Coal came by schooner, nor was there any regular cargo service until the Kee Brothers helped establish the Ramsey Steamship Co., J and the coal business. The were also instrumental in founding Ramsey Amusements Limited and C.H.Kee himself pioneered steamship agencies.
To every genealogist there comes, the moment of truth. Perhaps the triumph of having no more problems to crack; he knows all about his own lineage. More likely the frustration of having gone round in circles and, always returning to the same impasse. He needs new worlds to conquer, and wider ones than his own private ones, His interest in his own family history leads naturally to a curiosity about the behaviour of people in the past in general. Why did they behave as they did? He begins to sift out his discoveries about his own family, and to look for patterns of cause and effect in human relationships. And so unwittingly he becomes a Sociologist. An article in a recent issue of the North Middlesex Family History Society's Journal suggested to me that the easiest field of Sociology the Family Historian can enter is the one whose name is Demography.
This is, of course, the study of Population. Its basis is largely statistical and its method is Aggregate Analysis, which means that if you simply count enough figures from a wide enough and solid enough catchment area of records, you amass accurate and valuable information about life of the past. The fact the genealogist and the family historian know their way about parish records opens up Demography to them as a side-line that may well prove eventually a more satisfying and useful occupation than one's own private research.
The article to which I refer and a 16 pp Occasional Paper by the same author, Mr. Tom Lewis of Edmonton, entitled 'People and Parish Records ' written for and published by the Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, 1979, describe a study undertaken on the local Parish registers; mainly of Edmonton, Enfield and Tottenham. Statistical Studies are proverbially liable to turn into 'damm lies' in the wrong hands, and this one was only undertaken under the careful monitoring of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, who enabled them to comply with the strict and complex norms of significant sampling.
It was regard for these last norms that limited the outcome of the study mainly (though not exclusively) to the period 1558 to 1640, a period which is, of course, almost entirely missing from our Manx registers. Seemingly records must have an unbroken continuity to produce accurate inferences, and the discontinuity caused by the Civil War in England is a major demographical disaster.
But the study reveals details which can only help anyone desirous of building up a social picture of the 17th century. Well over half the population in those days failed to reach the age of 50. Relatively few parents survived to see all their children married. Infant mortality in Middlesex was about 173 per 1,000 births; (though note that in 1913 it was about 105, but by 1968 it had fallen to 15). 4% of all children born died on their first day of life, (one quarter of all infant mortalities, i.e. deaths under 1 year)and 1% in the first month. The maternal mortality rate may have been as high as 9 per 1,000 births. The average family size was 4.53. Remarriage was twice as frequent as continued widowhood, and half the remarriages took place within 10 months of bereavement.
Interest chiefly centred on Marriage and Sexual Mores. The median age at marriage(i.e. the figure above which there were the same number of marriage as below it) was 25½ for men and 24½ for women. The tendency was for daughters of better-class families to marry early (and indeed to live longer when married) It, perhaps, shocks us to learn that 20% of all the brides were pregnant on their wedding day, taking into account the fact that 12% of all pregnancies still terminate in spontaneous abortion or still birth the percentage could be as high as 30. This is confirmation of the tradition that bridal pregnancy in the 17th century rural England was between one third and one half.
As surprising, in contrast, is it to discover how low is the number of children recorded as bastards. In the 17th Century it was between 1% and 2%, in 1971 it was 7%. Mr Lewis reflecting on the paradox draws attention to the practice of 'local custom' marriage, and how it may account for some of the frustrations of our genealogical research.
Correlating the Baptismal and Marriage registers of Edmonton between 1558 and 1640, it was noted that although 1200 marriages were registered, there were also evidences of some 400 that could not be traced. The spanner that Cromwell threw into the works of both genealogy and demography was an Act passed in 1653 requiring all marriages to be performed before a Justice of the peace. Until the restoration in 1660, it was actually illegal to be married in church, and although church marriage revived, the legal situation was unchanged. The validity of a marriage did not depend, essentially, on the calling of banns, the issuing of a licence, the presence of a clergyman, any special building or any special hours. Nor was the custom of church-wedding encouraged by a tax of 2/6 per entry in the parish marriage register imposed by Parliament in 1695. It is a wonder that anyone bothered to be married in church, and the phrase 'common law wife' is set in a historical background. It was only in 1754 that Lord Hardwick's Marriage Act established that to be valid a marriage must be contracted in the parish church of one of the participants, Jews and Quakers excepted. The bride and groom had to sign the Parish register before at least two witnesses, as a result the number of weddings recorded in Tottenham immediately increased 2½ times, in Edmonton it was 3-fold, and in Enfield over 5-fold. Lord Hardwick's Act has provided as a by-product a useful literacy test. Examination of subsequent marriage records over the next 90 years showed 'Those who could not write made a mark, usually a cross. In Edmonton 30% of the men and 46% of the women made a mark, in Enfield 43% and 48%, in South Mymms 51% and 60%. In these parishes the figures are fairly constant, but in Tottenham they altered from an average for the first 30 years of 37% and 50% to 20% and 26% in the last 30 years'. Would be demographers among our Society might make a similar study in one or two of our parishes. In this way we could compare literacy in the Isle of Man with an English situation before the Education Acts of the 1870's.
Clearly 'local custom' marriage was widespread in England and explains not just the absence of marriage records, but also the high rate of bridal pregnancy, and conceivably the low bastardy rate. Seemingly, local custom marriage might be reinforced by a church wedding. No one seems to have made any study of the effect in the Isle of Man of Lord Hardwick's act, but clearly it would be a useful one. Members of our Society might take the various parishes. Certainly, the Manx knew what 'from the sheet to the ring' meant. Illegitimacy was removed by a church wedding within a year, or even two, of the offending birth. The Manx had long given a bastard his father's surname if his paternity were established. The Stanlagh Moar regretted this, in general, because it was out of step with English custom, and, in particular, because of the prolific production of bastard sons by the Christian family and the consequent clannishness of their common name, well exploited by its heads.
I have myself found difficulty in tracing 18th century marriages, particularly second marriages, and could well believe that local custom marriage may have been practised in the Island. I would offer the hospitality of the Journal to any information or comment on the subject.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lewis has a useful rule of thumb for any research we might make Demography has established that the ratio of marriages to baptisms in a community lies between 1:3 and 1:5. When it goes outside those limits it is time to question the accuracy of the records. We can use it not just to assess the conscientiousness of the vicars and parish clerks, but to test the existence of local custom marriage in the Island, and whether the Lord Hardwick legislation had any noticeable effect here.
In my studies of the Parish of Lezayre I once made a year by year enumeration of baptisms, marriages and burials, from the beginning of their records in 1696 to 1750. More recently I found that Feltham, in touring the Island about 1798, had clear demographic interests, and had made similar studies.
I can, therefore, append these statistics for Lezayre. Between 1696 and 1715, Feltham records 754 baptisms and 164 marriages, a ratio of 1:4.6. My own count yields, between 1696 and 1720, 1002 baptisms and 219 marriages,a ratio of 4.6, and between 1721 and 1750, 1327 baptisms and 230 marriages, a ratio of 5.7. Over the whole period the ratio is 5. My count does not go beyond 1750, but Feltham records for the period 1755 to 1775, 851 baptisms and 222 marriages, a ratio of 3.8.
My records have enabled me to list a year by year ratio for the half century. These vary from 2:1 (1707, 1718)and 3:1 (1700, 1710, 1712, 1719, 1723, 1726, 1740) on the one extreme to 44:1 (1736), 24:1 (1735), 23:1 (1741),16:1 (1698), 14:1 (1749), 13:1 (1718), 12:1 (1729), 10;1(1699, 1734, 1741). Over the whole period the median is between 5 and 6. In some cases peaks of high and low are adjacent, (1698/99, and 1700, 1718 and 1719, 1741 and 1740), but there must be grave suspicion that some marriages were missed in 1735 and 1736.
While the overall figures that emerge hardly move outside the zone of normality, it does look as if the drop between the average for 1696 to 1750 of 5:1 to 3:1 for 1755-1775 might signify a more stringent registration after 1754.
Mr Tom Lewis has sent us a complimentary copy of his booklet 'People and Parish Registers ', which will be added to our library We thank him for it, and for his willing courtesy in allowing us to quote his writings. He writes in a letter: 'I am not strictly a demographer, but a retired engineer .-.. Be careful about taking up Demography; it becomes an obsession almost a bad habit, but it is great fun finding out.
The January number carried a note to the effect that Mr. A. Brack of Edinburgh would be glad to have news of a Dr. Robert Lewins (1792-1847) who had practised in Edinburgh and Castletown Isle of Man.
One most happy effect of the notice has been-that Mr. Brack has joined our Society even though he has no idea who could have inserted such a notice in our Journal! It was quite true that Dr. Lewins was a character who had intrigued him; and Mr. Brack has, in return, supplied us with some details of Dr. Lewins Here they are; perhaps some other reader can add to them?
'I know quite a bit about Dr Lewins, but not where he was born, nor why in middle-age he left his second wife in Edinburgh where he was a prominent member of medical society and departed to Castletown. He died there on May 16th, 1847 the Manx Sun says of fever, The Scotsman of typhus fever contracted during his attendance on a poor miserable family.
'Lewins had studied in Edinburgh, and is described in the graduation roll as 'anglais'- which seems to rule out the Isle of Man as his birthplace. He married a young widow from Leeds, Mary Westwood, nee Wright, and practised in Haddington, near Edinburgh, until she died in 1828. I :found all this out from the Family Bible of a relative of my wife, which mentioned the death in 1812 in Cadiz of Mary Wright's first husband, her second marriage to Dr. Lewins; and her death in Haddington a place only a few miles from where we live. This sent my wife and me to the churchyard in Haddington, where we found a family grave with a memorial-tablet to Robert, difficult to decipher, but eventually revealing his death in Castletown. My interest in him came from the intriguing problem of how a girl from a humdrum family in Leeds came to be associated with Cadiz during the Peninsular War and finished up in a Scottish grave, and how her husband came to end in the Isle of Man.
Robert Lewins later married Margaret Shireff from a landed family in East Lothian, and practised from Quality Street, Leith, until he suddenly decamped to the Isle of Man. He was an enthusiast, with a large fund of honest indignation which found an outlet in pamphlets and letters-to-the-editor some of which were addressed to the Manx Sun. I have read a couple of these, one warning of the dangers of drinking spirits and a typically pugnacious one about the use of ether as an anaesthetic.
The had two sons who became doctors. Frederick was a G.P. at
Inverberrie, near Aberdeen. Robert junior became Surgeon-Major Lewins
of the Army Medical Department. He seems to have inherited his
father's temperament, and published a good deal of turgid stuff in
similar vein. But he attracted the attention of a young blue-stocking
from Birmingham, Constance Naden, who, according to the Dictionary
of National Biography in which she has several columns, became
his 'disciple'. They taught the doctrine of Hylo-Idealism, which is
described as Monistic-Positivism, Lewins mentions in one of his
effusions that some unkind persons were wont to dub them 'Beauty and
the Beast'. She died young.''.
And no less interesting is the more personal note Mr. Brack adds about this own family:- .
I have a link with the Island apart from Dr. Lewins, in that one of my great-grand fathers, Thomas Looney, was born there about 1800, and that my grandfather,'William Brack,' lived in Douglas for a time towards the end of the last century. His departure from his native Tyneside for the Isle of Man is another mystery I have not solved. He. seemed to have had a promising business as a wherry-owner on the river, and was deeply involved in the Methodist Church. I suspect financial difficulties, but he does not appear in any bankruptcy lists. The only trace I found of him in Douglas was an advertisement on the 1882 Directory for Brack and Richmond, the Isle of Man Trade Protection and General Estate Regency Office, 58 Athol Street. This, if it is my grandfather, is a surprise, because family legend has it that he kept a hotel which was probably a boarding-house.
So there is another mystery which some reader might be able to throw-some light on for Mr. Brack, to whom we are most gratefully indebted for a vignette of 19th Century life, as human as it is colourful.
[fpc: in Smith's Commercial Directory, 1883, under Douglas is BRACK WILLIAM, PROPRIETOR OF MARKET HILL COFFEE PALACE, 8 DUKE STREET which better bears out the family history]
Last issue we related Miss McHardy's
interest in the graves round the Methodist Chapel in Atholl Street,
Peel; an interest which had become a concern over the deterioration
of the memorial inscriptions and the record of the personalities
buried there. Having read our article, the Rev. Wilfred Pearce, the
current minister, has found in the archives a Minute Book which goes
some way towards answering Miss McHardy's questions
It looks as if the book was opened in 1845, with the intention of registering all the transactions connected with the graves. The first page is headed Minutes of Trustees' Meeting of October, 17th 1845. and reads:-
At the annual Meeting of the trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Peel, held on December 27th, 1843, it was resolved:
1st. That the ground around the chapel should be appropriated to the purposes of interment.
2nd. That the graves should be each six and a half feet by three feet.
3rd. That the graves should be sold at one pound sterling each.
October 17th, 1845 (taken from the minutes of the meeting). John Connon.'
The concern, therefore, for burial space dated back as far as 1843. The second page reads:
'No. 2 of Lot 2nd to Mr. George Quayle, Mason, Peel. 15th May, 1845.
and the third page:
'No. 4 of Lot 2nd to Mr. John King grocer, Peel. September, 29th 1845. Paid 11.
There are then over a dozen blank pages and then four pages headed 'Interments' which read:
1.May 15th, 1845. Margaret Quayle, daughter of Thomas and -- Holsey, and wife of Geo Quayle, Mason, who died of consumption May 13th, 1845, aged 37. She lies in the second grave from the North Wall in the second lot of ground from the East Wall.
2. On the 11th March 1849, aged 5 months Alfred Teare,son of Thomas Kermode of Peel. In the first grave from the North Wall, and second lot of ground from the East Wall.
3. On the 3rd July, 1849, aged -- Nathanael Pickles,shopkeeper of Peel, From Colne in Lancashire: 'In the -- grave.
4. On the 6th May, 1851, aged 22 years Joseph Walton Stubbs of Peel, Medical student. In the -- grave.
5. On the -- May, 1851, aged 9 months , Joseph Walton, son of the above. In the--- grave.
6. On the 22nd August, 1851, aged 40. Jane Moore, wife of Jno. Moore, dyer of St. Johns, German. In the-- grave.
7. On the 6th March' 1852, aged 56, Mary Norman, wife of Cpt. William Norman, of St. John's, German. In the -- grave.
8. On the 24th-May, 1856, aged 50 years, Joseph Stubbs M.D . of Peel in the grave immediately at the foot of his son's.
9. On Tuesday, September 2nd, 1856, aged 6 years and 2 months, Henry John, son of the Rev. Jno. Livingstone, in the grave to the left-of Mrs. Cpt. Norman's.
10. April 7th, 1857, ---- John King.
11. May 4th, 1857, --- Charles Henry Cheverton. -
12. February 22nd, 1858-- Watterson, Son of Mark Watterson
13. May 25th, 1861, Anne King, aged 68 Years. Wife of John King who is interred in the same grave.
14. 21st April, 1862, aged 10 months and 24 days, Francis Cowley, son of Thomas Kermode of Peel. In the grave with the other sons. John E. Pater.
15. On the 21st October, 1864. Jane Moore daughter of Mrs. John Moore of Ballaslig, Parish of German, aged 20 years. In the grave with her mother Mrs. Moore. Interred by Rev. L. Railton. Entered in this book by Rev. H. Sharp.
16. 8th March, 1865 aged 48 years, George Quayle of Ballacraine, late of Peel. Henry: Sharp.
17. 4th April, 1866, aged l0 months, Robert Henry Kermode son of Thomas and Eliza Kermode, of Peel. Henry Sharp
18. On the 12th November, 1864, Aged 53 years. The Rev. Lancelot Railton, Wesleyan Minister, the first superintendent of Peel Circuit since the division of the Ramsey and Peel Circuit, who died on the 9th November 1864.
19. On the same day, aged 50, Margaret, wife of the above,who died on the 10th November, 1864. The last 2 entries made by me, Geo. Barlow, Wesleyan Minister.
20. On the 6th March, 1884 aged 85 years, John Moore of Ballaslig, German. J. Fielden.
After recording the last entry, the Rev. J. Fielden seemingly made the book the Minutes of the Chapel: Trustees, and so it continued till full in 1953.
With the single exception of Nos. 18 and 19 all are recorded in Chronological Order.- Yet it is hard to avoid the impression that the interments there were rarely written up at the time but were entered as afterthoughts. The graves hardly bulked large in the Trustee's concerns. They seem to have held no-special meetings after 1845, and there is internal evidence of perfunctory record-keeping. Entry No. 1 bears the signature of a minister as do those from 14 onwards. Entries 2 to 6 have been made by the same hand, but are unsigned. While the recorder seems to have wanted to locate the graves from No. 3 onwards, spaces would be left for numbers that were never decided on. No. 7 is in a new hands Nos. 8 and 9 again locate graves. Entries l0 to 12 are mere dates and names. 13, 14 and 15 again give location, but 16 to 20 do not.
It is easy to sympathise with the perplexity of how to describe individual graves. Nos. 1 and 2 must involve graves behind the present Gild Room Porch, where one stone clearly identifies with No. 2, while the other is now quite smooth. The stones Miss McHardy enumerates 1 and 2 can be related to interments 6 and 20 in one case and 18 and 19 in the other, obelisks marking them in the same area; but in the angle of the North and East boundary wall of the site there may be up to three graves unmarked but traceable faintly in the grass. These may relate to interments 11 and 12
The other side is between the other end of the Gild Room and the garden wall of the Manse. Here are six well-marked graves, five of whom (numbered l to 5 in Miss McHardy's report) can be identified with interments numbered 7, 4/5, 8, l0/13 and 3 respectively. But her grave No. 6 turns out to contain not two people called Ollason, but the 6 year old son of the Rev. John Livingstone, buried September, 1856, and Peter Ollason, Wesleyan Day School teacher (not Sunday School), who died March 6th, 1871, aged 21 years. There is no record in the Interments of his burial.
There are other points at which Miss McHardy's deciphering can be filled out or amended. Her No. 5 grave is that of Nathanael Pickels, Ironmonger of Peel, from Colne in Lancashire. The date is July 3rd, 1849,and his age 68 years.
Another correction concerns Miss McHardy's graves on this site that she numbers 2 and 3. They reveal a sadpiece-of-family history in the medical family if Stubbs. Miss McHardy found three generations of them living in Peel in the 1851 census, the grandfather Joseph Stubbs, with his wife Sarah at 117 Douglas Street, and his son Joseph Walton at l10 Douglas Street, with his wife Rachel and their 6 months old child, also called Joseph Elton Stubbs. Yet in the first week of May in the same year, the 22 year old Rachel saw both her husband and her 9 month old son buried in the same grave. Five years later the doctor, only 50 years old was buried in the adjacent grave, whose stone also commemorated his wife Sarah, who lived until 1876.
The Interment Register also implies two more graves which are 'not identified by any stones; one in the name of Charles Henry Cheverton, under the date My 4th, 1857, the other in the name of Watterson, February 22nd, 1858. These graves must be located in the group between the obelisks and the north-east angle of the church site, where one of the remaining gravestones belongs to Interments 2, 14 and 17, and the undecipherable stone probably relates to interment No. 1
We do not know how many lie there, is Sarah Stubbs indeed buried with her husband or merely commemorated on his monument?-- It seems as if there are 21 without her. They share 12 family names, of which only four are Manx. is it then a resting place for expatriates in some special way? The average age of those that were buried there and whose ages are recorded, was about 35, for six of them were children.
From the Internment Register, we can confidently answer Miss Hardy's question about who were the 19 buried there before 1869. These are all recorded. But we are left with questions concerning the years after 1869. Why is there no registration of Thomas Ollason's burial? And were there any other interments equally overlooked?
There is still work to be done. The Isle of Man Methodist Historical Society recently visited the graves under Miss McHardy's guidance, and with the Interment Register's information in hand. Certainly, the work of deciphering the stones in the light of up to date information is needed. Probably, Peel members who are themselves Methodists might be responsible for a survey of these unusual Manx monumental inscriptions?