Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Volume viii no 4 Oct 1986



Peter Collister, Can anyone help me find the birthplace of John Collister, Civil Engineer, who married Mary Kellett at Leyland, Lancs. on 31st January, 1839 and died in Kensington on 9th October, 1868. Circumstantial evidence and family legend support the theory that he was the son of John Collister of Shen Valley who was drowned crossing a marsh on 18th March, 1839 (Advertiser 26th March) 1839). In his sister’s will (Esther Collister of Shen Valley) a bequest was made to John Collister, ‘a surveyor from beyond the sea’ and this could well be the ‘Civil Engineer’ in Lancashire. Unfortunately the 1841 census shows only that he was born outside Lancashire, but not where.

In my recent book ‘Then A Soldier’ which is mainly concerned with my experiences as an infantry soldier and late officer in the retreat from Burma in 1942 and subsequent campaigns. (Published by Churchmans and selling at £6.95 from bookshops or £5.50 from R.H.Q. Gloster. Regr, Custom House, 31 Commercial Road, Gloucester GL1 2HE —profits to the regimental museum), I write of my family’s Manx origin and subsequent history. John Collister’s son, J. C. Collister, went on to become agent (or general manager) of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, his son, my Uncle Jack Collister was Chief Engineer of the Bengal and Negpur Railway, my father Sir Harold Collister was in the Indian Civil Service for 37 years and I was born in India, served there in the army, as well as in Burma and have been there regularly since, whilst working for the Overseas Development Administration until retiring some years ago. My son Robert Collister has led mountaineering expeditions based in India.

I would be interested to hear of any other Manx/India connection on which I am thinking of writing a book once my next one (‘Mission to Bhutan’) has come out at the end of the year.

Barbara Howard, NSW Australia

I am doing some genealogy research and my line on my mother’s side leads back to the Isle of Man.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could circulate the following pedigree amongst your members. If any of them have crossed the line I would very much like to correspond with them.

Catherine      Thomas                        John
CHRISTIAN      RADCLIFFE                     BRIDSON
   |               |                |           |
   +------=--------+                +----=------+
          |                              |
        Anne 1860 Robert                 Anne m John
               |                              |
            Henrietta 1899         John James (illegitimate)
             BANNIN         m       BRIDSON
         b.29.2.1878              b.28 10.1875
        d. 10.10.1959                d.15.2.1957

              Annie Evelyn 1927 William
                BRIDSON     m    GRISEDALE
           b.27.12.1902          b. 11 .11.1906
          d .10.1.1981            d. alive
                        Joan Evelyn 1950 Ronald
                        GRISEDALE    m THRELFALL
                        b.6.9.1929        b.14.9.1924


The STAR OF INDIA, oldest iron—hulled sailing ship afloat, which was built and launched as the EUTERPE at Ramsey, I.O.M. in 1863, and now permanently berthed in San Diego, California, sailed again May 25th, 1986. This is only the third time she has sailed since 1923. The last two sailings were July 4th 1976 and November 11th, 1984. These sailings are made possible through volunteer labor and private organization/citizen financial and material donations.

Dockside ceremonies included both British and American music played by the U.S. Navy Band. The anchor was lifted about 9.00 a.m., and tugboats guided her out of the channel. One could almost sense her "chomping at the bit" as she waited for the tugboats to release her so that she could once again be in her element, with her sails unfurled and the wind at her back.

Thousands watched and cheered as, magestically, she sailed several miles up the coast of California, about five miles offshore. She was accompanied by hundreds of private boats. which were kept at a safe distance by the U.S. Coast Guard. Then she returned to her home, dockside at the Embarcadero, tying up at about 5.30 p.m. There she will wait patiently for the next opportunity to show off her Manx heritage of durability and dependability. She has survived storms, a collision at sea with another ship, and near deterioration, and is testimony to the Manx motto "No matter which way you throw me, I stand".




By the time you receive this journal, many of your thoughts will be turning to the Xmas festivities. Local members can look forward to our Christmas Dinner in Peel on December, 19th. Further details and advance bookings can be made with the Secretary.

To all our overseas members, may I on behalf of the society be the first to offer a festive greeting.


"A merry Christmas on ye, and a very good year, prosperity from God to you".




(Ref. to "Island at War" July 1986 Journal)

1914 Nurses and matron treating British troops and internees.

1915 Five of the nurses are away, Sister Stewart is in Malta, on a hospital ship, another sister is in Egypt, three others are in military hospitals.

There are prisoners and soldiers being treated in the hospital (Nobles). 1916 Sister Stewart who was in charge of a hospital ship at Malta is now in charge of a hospital near the French lines.

1917 Sixteen nurses have joined the Q.A. ‘a and T.N.S. Sister Stewart is in France, Sister Cowin in Salonica, Sister Fayle in France. Joughin and Paterson are in Egypt. Nurse Frszer is at St. Alban’s, Nurse Kermode in Dartford. Nurse Murray is with the Devonshire Red Cross Hospital. Nurse Simpson and H. S. Benson are working in Buxton. Nurse Timby is with the Territorial Forces, 1st Western General Hospital. Nurse N. K. Rothwell is staff nurse at the Samaritan Hospital, London.

These reports were given to the Committee by the matron, Miss Esther Jane Bridson. She was trained at the Royal Southern Hospital, became matron of Nobles Hospital 1905/6 and continued as matron until her retirement — December 31st, 1922. She died on September 18th 1940. Born Aug. 8th 1863, daughter of John Bridson of Ballaquiggin, buried St. Anton in grave of her uncle C.C. Kissack (first grave on left hand side of churchyard). Her brother is also buried there. Thomas Arthur Bridson age 105. Climbed Snaefell each year up to the age of 100. Miss Kneen of 26 Selbourne Drive has a painting of Miss Bridson done by her step uncle

T. A. Bridson.


Ref. Island at War by Margery West

Bell Nellie of Blair Athol, Port St. Mary was the district nurse there missing from annual reports 1914-1918, returned 1919 for one year.

Quirk Dily E. was district nurse Peel from 1919 until 1932 or even longer.










Philis Maud


FARGHER, John Moore


————, Nora Marjorie


Lilian May


KELLY, Caesar Corrin


FARGHER, Elizabeth

3. 9.1911

Elizabeth Mildred


CRETNEY, John Edward


GELLING, Elizabeth

17. 6.1906

William Arthur


LAWSON, William


————, Catherine Helena

27. 9.1905

Margaret Ann


TASKER, Edward


————, Matilda


Amelia Bertha




————, Alice

18. 5.1890





KIBBLE, Isabella


Agnes Birket




OWEN, Amy Sutton

22. 5.1876

Louisa Adelaide


MOLE, Cornelius


————, Maria

8. 6.1870



BELL, Caesar John


BENSON, Margaret






BRIDSON, Elizabeth

22. 1.1843



WILSON, Thomas


COWLL, Catherine

28. 8.1842





KILLEY, Margaret

23. 1.1842



FARGHER, William


GILMOR, Catherine






DAWSON, Margaret

27. 6.1838






11. 4.1838

John James





28. 5.1836



KELLY, William


KIRK, Isabella

22. 5.1836





QUINE, Elizabeth

15. 5.1836



COWIN, Robert





Strays Co—ordinator



This ancient church in the See of Sodor and Mann was, until the year 1835, the Parish Church of Kirk Lonan.

The Parish takes its name from Saint Lonan a nephew and disciple of Saint Patrick, about whom little is known, though there is a tradition in the Manx Church that he was its third Bishop, following first Saint German who was commissioned by Saint Patrick to convert Mann, and secondly Saint Maughold.

There are eight Lonans in the early church records; of these one has his Saint’s Day on August 5th, which almost coincides with Old Lonan Fair Day, August 2nd.

This "Old Church", as it is lovingly called throughout the Parish, is dedicated to Saint Adamnan, who lived from about 624 to 704 A.D. and who was the biographer of Saint Columba, founder and first Abbot of lona in 563 A.D. Saint Adamnan became ninth Abbot of Iona, ruling from 679 A.D. to his death in 704.

In religious thinking he was a man of vision, but was rarely able to carry his own Monks along with him in his advanced ideas for the ministry of the Church.

He was, at one time, expelled by his Church for daring to say the Mass, and have the Scriptures translated to be read in the native tongue. Saint Adamnan, as one of the leaders of the Celtic Catholic Church which followed the teachings of Saint John was sent on a mission to King Alfred and the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church which followed the teachings of Saint Peter. This meeting was to persuade the Celtic Catholic Church to celebrate a unified date for Easter and observe the canonical rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Adamnan decided that this would benefit Christianity and forge a united Church, though the Celts would thereby loge their independence which they had refused to surrender to the tactless Saint Augustine some years previously.

In this movement Adamnan carried with him most of Ireland and Scotland, but not his own Monastry. Iona did not conform until 715 after his death.

Bede says "he was a wise and worthy man, excellently grounded in the Scriptures!’

Adamnan was also the writer of a book on the travels in the Holy Land of Arculf, Bishop of Gaul.

This book he presented to King Alfred at the meeting in Canterbury, and the King caused it to be circulated for many to read.

In the Isle of Man Saint Adamnan was greatly revered by the natives for using their local speech, and especially by the womenfolk for his courage in openly condemning the evil practice of taking women and children as hostages in the tribal raids, and even at times using them as human shields.

His day is celebrated on September, 23rd. His name is to be found in the runes on stone numbered 114 in Kirk Maughold Cross House. These runes, translated, read "Christ, Malachi, and Patrick and Adamnan, but of all the sheep is John the Priest in Cornadale". This Cross—stone was from "Keill Voirrey" or "the little chapel of St. Mary", on the slopes of North Barrule in the treen of Coma More above Cornaa Valley.

This little Church of Saint Adamnan had, long ago, a Manx name "Keeil—ny—Traie" —The little chapel by the shore, not probably the sea—shore, but the edge of the marshy land in the dell below. Two old Keeills shared this name and this Saints dedication, the other one being in the quarterland of Ardonan in the treen of Regaby in the Parish of Kirk Andreas.

Old Kk Lonon
(photo (c) FPC replaces original

It is interesting to note that North of the Isle of Man, across in Wigtownshire, this name also appears in the neighbourhood of Port William as "Killantrae". This area, of course is the scene of Saint Ninian’s work.

The old Manx word "Keill" — "little chapel" is now generally found in place names as "kill".

To understand the place of the "keeifl," in the early history of the Manx Church it will help if some explanation of the conversion of the Manx people to worship God, through Our Saviour Jesus Christ, is given.

In pre—Christian days Mann was known and described by the chroniclers as Inis Falga" that is the "Noble Isle" and the legendary god worshipped by its inhabitants was "Manannan Mac Lir", that is the "Son of the Sea". He was reputed to be a wizard who was able to conceal Mann beneath a mantle of mist when her safety was threatened, and make omman appear to be a hundred to its enemies.

Saint Patrick’s name has always been given reverence by the Manx people for lighting the lamp of Christianity in our Island, and, as a nation, in 1947 we celebrated the fifteen—hundredth anniversary of the landing of his disciples, sent here as missionaries. His name is to be found throughout the Island naming the islet on which stands the ruined Cathedral of Saint German, a parish, two parish churches, nine keills, six wells, and the famous Saint Patrick’s Chair on the Garth Farm, Marown. Several farms are called "Ballakilpherick", the place or home of the Chapel of Saint Patrick. "Pherick" being the Manx spelling of Patrick, who is our Patron Saint.

It cannot be proved that Saint Patrick ever set foot on this Island in person, but it certainly lay in his sphere of influence and it could well be that he visited one of the places associated with his name on his journeys to and from Britain. His personal disciples certainly visited Mann, notably Saint German, who taught from Peel, and Saint Maughold, miraculously cast ashore on the headland named after him.

The Irish Missionaries were in Mann from 447 A.D. onwards, and during the second half of the fifth century numerous keills were built and such was the good repute of the local Christians that the Irish Chroniclers record that its name was changed from Inis Falga" to "Ellan Shiant", that is "The Holy Isle".

The tribal system in Mann in the early days of Christianity was based on the division of the land into "sheadings", the "sheadings" being divided into "treens" and the "treens" in their turn into "quarterlands". The land taxes were paid on the basis of these divisions.

Each "treen" was divided between four families working their quarterland of about 100 acres in common, and maintaining on it a keill or little chapel.

The keills were tiny and simple structures roughly proportioned as to being twice as long as their width, 14 feet by 7 feet would be a typical size having field stone walls about 3 feet high and then mud walls bringing the height to about 5 feet overall, with a thatched roof of straw or ling. Keills of this type—size are much older than the period of Norse domination, and are certainly of Celtic origin. The larger keills, whose breadth is about one—third of their length, are keills probably re—built by the Norwegians on pre—Viking Christian sites.

Thus every treen had at least one keill or chapel, and the total number in Mann must have reached more than 200. Of this number the survey shows that 160 are known in the Island at present, and of these, 57 keills may be presumed to be considerably older than the Viking age.

As Saint Adamnan died about 704 A.D. the old keill on this site must be at least three generations older than the first Viking raid in 798 A.D.

The Irish Missionaries built some of their early keills on the sites of pagan places of ancestor worship, and in close proximity to holy wells which, in pagan times, were also objects of worship.

Twelve keills, in addition to this one, are known to have existed in the Parish of Lonan, but in this treen, which is called Alia Raby, there is only this one which is in the quarterland of Ballakilley (the place or farm of the church). Ballakilley is farmed by Mr. James Christian, and is close east of the church.

The Parish of Lonan consisted of 14 treens divided into 51 quarterlands, and in the Lords Composition Book of Charles the 8th Earl of Derby in 1703 paid a gross rent of £31 5s 2d. The treens of Raby and Alia Raby consisted of 7 quarterlands whose gross rent was £4 19s 2d.

The Celtic system of Christianity was based on a tribal and monastic principal of service, and the keills were visited by a travelling Monk, taking each treen in its turn. There he would say the Mass and perform such offices as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. During this visit the Monk lived with the quarterlands families and helped them to work their farms. Thus no Manse or Parsonage was necessary.

This Parish and its "Old Church" conform to the system, long sustained, of dedicating the holy places to commemorate the faithful band of Celtic Christian teachers who followed Saint Patrick and converted in turn The Isles, South West Scotland, and Mann, when so much of the rest of Britain was still pagan. Their names are found everywhere in Mann. In addition to those already mentioned, every lover of the Island will know the names of Saint Runius, Saint Bridget, Saint Brandon, Saint Caerbrie, and many others.

In 798 A.D. the Vikings landed and plundered Saint Patricks Isle and in suceeding’years burnt, looted and finally conquered Mann, destroying keills and persecuting Christians everywhere.

As the conquerors settled down in their new possessions to become land—owners and farmers, they intermarried with the Celtic Manx and were very soon influenced by their wives to stop the persecutions and to become in time, themselves converted to Jesus Christ. This happier state of affairs led, from the year 900 A.D. onwards, to a rebuilding of the keills and the use once more of their ancient burial grounds.

In 1188, Jocelin, biographer of Saint Patrick, and Abbot of Rushen, persuaded Reginald, King of Mann, to confirm the grant of land called "Escadall" to the Prior of Saint Bees in Cumberland. This settled the earliest recorded lawsuit in Man between the Abbeys of St. Bees and Rushen over the possession of Escadalla".

"Escadalla" can be loosely translated as "the dell at the head of the burning," that is this dell which almost completely surrounds this little church and its glebe fields at the back of Clay Head.

The narrow road below the church, coming up from Groudle beach, is part of the old main bridle track up the East Coast of the Island. This probably influenced the Monks of St. Bees to rebuilding this church and make it the centre of their worship in their "Abbeylands" allowing the other keills in the parish to fall into disuse. For not only was St. Adamnan’s Church adjacent to the main North and South highway and therefore readily accessible to travellers by land and sea, but it is reasonable to assume that one or more of the local quarterland families were powerful and wealthy enough to influence its choice and support the Monks on their visits. As a parish church it could not be said to be centrally situated as it lies in the extreme South East of the Parish, which stretches from Groudle in the South to the Dhoon in the North.

The Isle of Man passed by conquest from Norway to Scotland in 1265, and soon to England, and the Norse domination was over for ever. These events led to pressure from the Roman organised Church in England to bring the Celtic Manx Church to conform to their system of parish organisation. This system of one church to one parish was the end of most of the treen keills, though their burial grounds in some cases continued to be used.

Another important factor in the selection of St. Adamnan’s as the first parish church of Lonan would probably be the ancient holy well called in Manx "Chibber—Onan", or in English "St. Lonan’s Well". This well is in the little stream in the glebe field on the South side of the church, and could be reached by the stile close by the Lonan Cross. The well was formed by three large blocks of stone, set on edge, one being curiously carved.

A blue slate stone which was discovered here by the Rev. John Quine, the Vicar of Lonan, in 1906, has a cross carved on each side. This cross-stone would probably have been stood up by the well. It is numbered 9 in Kermode’s "Manx Crosses", and is now fixed, with others, on the North wall of the West end.

This well was probably used for the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in the days of the early Church, when baptism in the "living water" was the tradition.

In 1733 the parishioners of Lonan petitioned the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann, then Dr. Thomas Wilson, to ask for a new parish church to be built in a more central and convenient position. After consideration and delay, a new church was built on a piece of land called "Booliley Veen", in a more central geographical position, but almost as difficult of access, causing a critic to remark that "if the old church was nook—shotten the new church is skied; if the one is stranded like a whale, the other is stranded like Noah’s Ark". This new church did not last for long, and was replaced by the present church built by Bishop William Ward and dedicated to All Saints and who consecrated it on May 4th, 1835.

The Act of Tynwald allowing All Saints, Kirk Lonan, to be built, included a clause ordering the destruction of Saint Adamnan’s Church. Fortunately its remoteness and the reluctance of the Manx people to disturb a holy place, saved it, and this clause was ignored, but the church soon became ruinous from neglect.

Sixty years later, just in time, a wonderful thing for the life of the "Old Church" happened: The Rev. John Quine, M.A. (Oxon) a noted scholar, antiquarian and a great Manx churchman, was appointed by the Queen to be Vicar of Lonan.

Early in his incumbency he found domestic fowls roosting in the old building and with loving hands set out to rescue and repair this holy place.

The Rev. John Quine served this Parish faithfully and well from 1895 to 1940 and became a Canon of the Diocese. He made many interesting finds in this vicinity and in the Parish. A tablet to his memory can be seen in the Parish Church.

The Eastern end of the building was restored by Canon Quine. It is built mainly of quarry stones, largely the old material, some four or five feet long, laid on their edges. Underneath the wails of this end were found lintel graves suggesting this was part of the burial ground when the Western end was the earliest keill.

The Western end of the church has not been restored, and is almost certainly of much greater age than the Eastern end. The walls here are of field and shore stones irregularly laid for the most part, but in one section are regularly cut and laid in an alternate narrow and broad arrangement. The sandstone lintels of the doorways in the North and South walls must have been brought from the West coast of the Island. This West end seems to date from the 12th Century, but about four feet below its foundations were found the foundations of a much older building, probably dating back to the 7th or 8th Century. The doorway on the North side, now blocked up, suggests it may have been the entrance then, when the internal floor was at a lower level.

The Eastern and Western ends show no bond between their walls until about four feet above ground level.

As originally planned, the old Manx churches were very dark, little light coming through the East window. In order to improve the lighting Canon Quine had re-opened the North window at the restoration. This window is worthy of examination as a beautiful example of the builder’s art. There is no keystone in the arch, which is wholly composed of small stones on edge. The glass in this lovely window was designed by the Canon and portrays the emblems of:— Uppermost — The See of Sodor and Mann (The Virgin Mary and Saint Columba);

In the middle — The Kingdom of Mann and the Isles (The Viking Ship);

Lowermost — The Abbot of Rushen Abbey (St. Mary de Rushen).

At this time, too, a new stained glass window for the Chancel was given by Thomas and Anne Clague, of Ballavarane (the farm close South of the Church) whose family have for centuries lived and worked their land there. In the bottom of this window is depicted the flowers of the cow—parsley for which the Manx name is "farrain" suggesting the origin of the name of the farm.

The former window on the South side is still built—up, though its outline is visible from outside.

On the South side of the unrestored Western end close to the dividing wall with the present church can be seen the "leper—slant" from where, when the lepers and beggars crouched outside they could see the consecration of the bread and the wine at the Mass, and have their portion, and such alms as the parish granted them, pushed through. At the time of its use the Holy Table must have stood somewhere in the vicinity of the present entrance door to the restored church.

In recent years further gifts have been made to Saint Adamnan’s Church.

Group Captain S. L. Quine R.A.F. (ret’d) a Warden of the Parish and a son of the late Canon Quine, has presented a reading Bible for the prayer desk.

The children of the late James and Esther Corkill, formerly of Ballamenagh (close North of this church) have given a new Communion Table in memory of their parents and the Altar Cross in memory of their Stepmother Christian Corkill.

It is interesting to note that on Ballamenagh, amongst the farm buildings exists the beggars’ lodging, where the poor homeless vagrants were housed and fed overnight on their search for casual work.

The present bell from The Mediator Mini war vessel given by Group Captain Sylvester Quine.

Other gifts of chairs and furnishings have been made to God’s Glory and Service by those who have worshipped here, and loving hands continually care for its preserva tion and decoration.

Two new seats have been provided out of the church monies for visitors to rest in this beautiful and peaceful place.

It has been suggested that the Font was brought from Old St. Matthew’s Church in Douglas, which was.demolished about the time of the restoration of Saint Adamnan’s Church.

The Norse influence is missing from this Parish and no Norse Manx Crosses have been found in Lonan.

Of the seven crosses listed by Mr. P. C. H. Kermode in his book all are identified as being "uninscribed pre-Scandinavian".

The Lonan Cross, listed NO. 57, stands probably in its original postition just South of the church. It is a large wheel-cross, 99 inches high, the head 38 inches across, the stone 4 inches thick. Only one face is carved with an equal—limbed Celtic Cross, the arms connected by two circles, both cross and circles and the space between are carved with plait-work badly executed. Mr. Kermode records that this cross gave him the most trouble of all those he investigated in tracing the plait-work. It is believed to date from the 5th century and has very much weathered.

Two portions of the Glenroy Cross numbered 49, and in addition cross-slabs, 8, 40, 41 and 42, are all placed against the North wall of the West end.


Acknowledgements to: —The late Archdeacon of Mann, the Venerable E. H. Stenning, M.B.E., M.A;

Ramsey B. Moore, Esq., O.B.E., formerly His Majesty’s Attorney General; and the Manx Museum.



Philip and Elizabeth Callister (nee Creer) are my husbands grandparents. I was unsure at first where to start my search of the family history, Bill Callister my husband had no knowledge of his ancestors perhaps due to the fact his own father (also named Philip) died three months after he was born, his mother died over twenty years ago so I hadn’t much to go on. Bill was the youngest of nine children, his elder sister Eva said his grandfather was in the police force in Chorley, Lancs. so this was my first lead. I wrote off to the police records department and received a document of his police record and also the year he came over from the Isle of Man (1871) and his address there. With this information I wrote to Priscilla Lewthwaite, after joining the Manx Family History Society. Priscilla also helped me to trace back to Philip and Elizabeths parents, this was a tremendous help. I still wanted to learn more about their children, thirteen in all, two died before they left the Island, the others were all born over here in St. Helens and Chorley. Incidently they changed their name from Collister to Callister when they came over. Eva also gave me the address of a cousin in Australia and was very helpful providing me with some old photographs. She told me his mother (Philips daughter) and father emigrated to Australia in 1920. I also wrote to a cousin in Bracknell, Berks’— she is the daughter—in—law to Florence (another of Philips daughters). Sadly Ruby wrote’to say Florence had destroyed all the old photographs before she died, but she found Philip and Elizabeths marriage certificate which she photocopied and sent me, with an address of a lady in Bury Lane’s, whose grandfather and Philip were in fact brothers who both came over here together to join the police force. Doris was a mind of information, she benows a lot about the families still living in the Isle of Man and corresponds regularly. Also she sent me the address of another cousin, this time in Canada.

b. 1846 Marown at Ballawilley Killey son of ROBERT CALLISTER and ANN CRELLIN

[Photo] ELIZABETH (Betsy) CALLISTER nee Creer b. in Union Mills daughter of JOHN CREER and ELIZA O’LEARY

This was a double bonus because not only did she write to me but her sister sent me a letter as well. They have both promised to look up their old photographs and anything they can find that would help. Again I was provided with another address this time nearer home, Chorley in fact, another cousin Dora and husband Rydar~ They were a marvellous find, she had a wonderful collection of old photographs and was able to tell me where Philip and Elizabeth were buried and a rough date as to when they died.

Their two sons George and Albert both emigrated to South Africa and as yet I havn’t made any contact with their families. Also a daughter Maud and her husband Thomas Redden, emigrated to America. They had a son Philip Redden but again I havn’t had any luck yet.

I have enclosed a family tree to show the progress I have made and would be very grateful of any help to trace further back.

[Photo] PHILIP AUGUSTUS CALLISTER with 3 of his 9 children, Florence, Eva and Patrick


(still to be corrected fpc)

COLLISTER |   KARIAM - Possible parents of Robert 
(Not sure)|
          |     PHILLIP  =  MARGARET
          |     CRELLIN  |  KENNISH
          |  31-8-1839   +-------------------------------------------   
                  |                                               Bp1821
                  |                              D 1817
Married at
German                       DANNIEL = CATHERINE
3019-1832 ELIZA
JOHN = OLEARY 24-11-1863
CRE ER ~~~~~~~1~~~~
Bp1833 Bp1838 8pl840 QUAYLE Bp1845 Bpl845
went to live Kept Post Office Went Liverpool Went to Birkenhead
anchester 19—9—1869 Baldwin, I.0.M. to live
to ____________________________________________________
Bp1841 Bp1842 Bp1846 CREER
Di920 b1847 Marown Bpl844 ADIESON
Married 01934
Kirk Braddan
Parish Churth I
17—5—1891 McNALLY FAMILY
Moor, Emigrated to Emigrated to
Emigrated Both Emigrated Canada Australia
EDGAR RUBY America to South Afric
1904 1906 1909 1908 1914 1910
b187O b187O CALLISTER McCORMICK Bpl882 Bp187O REDDEN 2nd Bp1884 YATES Bpl886 181E-ERlo~ 1888 HILTON Bp1890 ROGERS B1891
Married Chorley
Married Married Married Married 01891
Cleator Moor Methodist
01870 IOM D1871 IOM D193O b31-12-1891 Married Trinity Methodist Methodist Methodist Methodist
Chorley Chorley Chorley Chorley
Cumbria Chorley
____ __

Seated in front — ELLEN CALLISTER nee McCormick, his wife
Right Hand Lady - FLORENCE RODGERS nee CALLISTER, Philips sister
Left Hand Side - EDGAR RODGERS (Florence’s Husband)

(This story was used as the basis for the Manx Wedding Ceremony at Braddan Church, part of the Union Mills heritage celebrations 1986).




the following inscriptions were read by Sheila and Alan Tarr in Lezayre Churchyard

In Loving Memory of Marion OSBORNE, daughter of William Edward and Mary TONKIN, who died at Ramsey. October 21st, 1928. aged 16 years. Thy Will be done". Also William Edward TONKIN who died April 26th, 1950 aged 71 years. Also Lizzie Mona, his wife, who died September 30th, 1955 in her 75th year. ‘At Pest’.

The same inscription appears on two seperate headstones, one on No. 43, Row A and one on No. 56 in Row E.



February 28th, 1915. Today is my birthday — seventy four years. I was born in the year 1841, in the parish of Ballaugh. I was baptized and catechized for confirmation by our beloved Rector, Thomas Howard, and was confirmed by Bishop Powys on September 23rd, 1855. In those days we went three months to be catechized; we went to Church every Sunday afternoon after service, and one night in the week to the Parson’s house, so we were well drilled.

I must tell you what a good man our Rector was, and all in the parish loved him. He was a teetotaller, and a Manx preacher. In my young days, when Manx was so much spoken, he preached in Manx every other Sunday. We had service at eleven in the morning and three in the afternoon. There was no service at night, so we went to the Methodist Chapel at six o’clock. A service was also held in the Methodist Chapel at two o’clock in the afternoon, and, if we had a short service, we all went to another service at Church; we were all friendly.

Mr. Howard came on his rounds to see all who could not come to Church, and at times of sacrament, he came to their houses to administer it. He never let a child pass him on the road but he spoke to it, and had something nice to say, and gave a tract; he always had his pocket full of tracts. They were not so plentiful in those days and we prized them. I myself often met him and always had a nice little cooish. He always said, ‘In the time of youth is the time to begin serving the Lord. I am speaking from my own experience’. He was an old man when I got married, but I wished to be married by him. When my father told him of the wedding, and that I wished to be married by him and not by the curate, he said, ‘The poor child, and she wants to be married by me’. He did marry me, and he gave us his blessing and prayed over us, and gave us all a tract each.

Now T am going to tell you of my younger days. My father was a small farmer, he had four fields of his own, but that was not enough to keep a pair of horses, and raise a family, so he rented some fields; but he had such a love for the sea, he went in spells to sea. He and some of our neighbours had a little smack, they called her the Edgar Veg. For a short time they traded in her out of Ramsey to Whitehaven, taking corn and potatoes there, and brought coals back. I believe they made a fair trade. I had a very good mother, a good manager; she had to get a man to manage the horses when father was away. Our horses were so good and quiet, they let us children get on their backs going to the field or getting them home when they came from the plough. When their days work was over they came to the door for their piece of bread, and, if any of us were not there, Jess would scrape on the flag at the door until we came with it, and then she and young Jess, her daughter, went to

their stables quietly. Horses are so sensitive it grieves me to see them abused.

We did all our harvest, shearing the corn with sickles; and we small farmers found it hard to get workers. The big farmers sent their carts in good time in the morning and got the good shearers to go with them, and took them home at night. Sometimes the cartmen would quarrel over the shearers. Shearing corn was hard work, I would be too tired at night to sleep. I didn’t go to strangers, we had enough to do at home. We had three big fields on rent from Craine, the Glaick; it was good land and we had plenty of work. There were no reaping machines nor steam mills to thresh the corn.

Well the big farmers began to use scythes, and it was a great improvement. It was much easier to lift the sheaf of corn than to shear. The first reaping machine that came to the Island, came to a gentleman that lived at Druidale. He was a very rich man. That was the first reaping machine that was heard of in the Isle of Man. I remember the talk of the wonder, and the farmers going past our house to see it. His land was very late, and he sent to Ireland and got •a batch of Irishmen over to do his harvest. Brook was a wonderful man, never short of money. I suppose there are not many that remember him now, but he is quite fresh in my memory, as I often saw him pass riding on his pony, Galloway, to and from home.

I am not a very good scholar, as in those days schools were not easy to get to. My brothers went two miles to the low end of the parish to Mr. Cregeen. He was a very good teacher. I got the little I have from an English lady who kept a private school in Ballaugh village. She came to the Island, away from her relations. She was cheated of her money by her guardians. She was a very good teacher. We children did not go to school regularly, there were times when field—work had to be done, and we each had our share. We went to school in whiles when we could be spared. I had to go to herd the young cattle when they were in fields where the hedges were not good; bullocks are such thieves. Sometimes when I did get to school, when I came home in the evening, off with my school clothes, go and get the stable ready, clean it, and get hay and straw for their nights rest, poor horses tired ploughing. Sometimes I think that I would like to go through it all again and still when father gave up the rented land, and my sister and myself went to live in Ramsey, I was not sorry, only we were sorry to leave mother.

Father was so fond of the sea, he went to the herrings three months in summer. Mother said ‘As long as any one gave him a boat, he wouldn’t stay at home’. He went skipper over one of the boats owned by Corris Brothers. They owned boats and a tanyard. When the season of herrings was over, and winter coming, father brought two sides of leather from the tanyard, one for uppers and one for soles of shoes, and we had a shoemaker come in the house and made our winter stock of shoes. His wages was one shilling a day, and board and lodging, and he was a good shoemaker.

When they were worn a bit he came to mend them. There was no shoes nor boots from away, everything was made at home. The shoemakers and weavers were plentiful in those days. Our blankets, flannels, cloth for the men’s suits, plaids for us women’s frocks or dresses, all made at home, spun by mother with a woman to help. We sent the wool to the carding mill to get the rolls made, and spun them at home. My eldest brother served his time as a joiner, and when he went to Liverpool to work, dressed in Manx clothes, he was looked on as a sailor. Mother had to get him an English suit, as his cousins didn’t like his coarse dress on Sundays. He worked at his trade some years, and got restless — liked the sea like father, and went as carpenter on a big ship with three hundred soldiers to the Crimean War, the ship was the Goiconda. He went three voyages in the same ship, his last voyage was to Australia, and he left the ship and settled there. I suppose he had enough of sea.

Now I am going to tell you how we bleached the linen that was grown and cleaned, and spun at home and woven. I often helped with a neighbour who did that work, such nice linen for tablecloths — with a kind of wavy pattern woven in it, a nice diaper for bedroom towels, and such big webs for sheets. I think there must be some of those linen sheets in the Wattieworth family yet, such big webs came from Ballawattieworth. When we had a good many ready to begin work, Aunty, as I called the woman I was helping said to me ‘The next web that will come will be thine, big or little’. That was to be my wages for my summer work, the price of the web for bleaching. The first was a very good big web from Frank Matthews, Ballahowin.

Bleaching linen wasn’t easy work. I was fourteen years of age at the time I was helping Aunty. I was pretty strong. Aunty’s mother was a bleacher before her. There were two houses in the field near the river, one to keep the linens in, the other had a big boiler or as aunty called it the furnace, that was where we boiled the linen. First we stayed the river, put a lot of stones across to make a big pool, then put as many linens as the furnace would hold in the river pooi, and stamped them until they were quite wet; then we put them in the furnace in cold water with a quantity of fearn ashes. We got cart—loads of small bushy gorse from the mountain. People didn’t pay for gorse or ling in those days as they do now. Then I sat to put gorse under the furnace until the linens were well boiled. When boiled enough they were lifted into a wheelbarrow and put in the pool in the river, and we stamped them well again. Then we lifted them onto a big fine granite stone, set for the purpose, and beat them with wooden sladdans, then turned them in the river again, and washed them well, and spread them on the grass along the river side to dry, and when they were dry, I went with the watering can, several times — as soon as they were dry, wet them again. They would be a day and a night on one side, and the next day turned the other side and treated in the same way, and so on, until all was finished.

Some days I went to the side of the mountain to cut and burn fearn to make ashes to bleach the linens.

I never came in tack with the fairies. A woman told me that when she was a girl she had been a day burning fearn, and went the next day to take it home. When she had it ready she couldn’t find her way home, everything was strange. She walked around to find her way and couldn’t find it. She got frightened and tired, so she sat down and blessed herself and all came right; she saw the way clear. The fairies had her. We had fairies round our house. I never saw one, but I have heard them talk and laugh and blow a bugle. I wonder where they are all gone, we were not afraid of them.

Aunty was a thorough Manx woman. She never spoke English to me, so I got a good training in Manx.

When people came with linen to be bleached and when they came to get it, and she tried to talk English to them, it was painful to her to talk English, but she was a good soul. She loved me and I her. When I stayed at home all day, I had to sleep with her at night, and she would say, ‘Nell, voght, vel oo cheet, bare—ihiam fakin oo na yn kiannoort, yn aspick, ny yn yen rein. (Nell, dear, have thou come, I would rather see thee than the governor, bishop or queen).

Well I think I have said enough this time.

Shee Yee dy row menu ooilley. (The Peace of God be with you all).


Taken from MANNIN published May 1915




The Right Reverend Father in God Doctor Thomas Wilson, Lord Bishop of Sodor and Mann. buried in the churchyard near the east gable of the church, March 11th. His Lordships grave (by directions left previous to his death) was made nine feet deep, and walled round with brick. This great judge and eminent pattern of primitive Chrisitianity was born Dec. 20th, 1663 at Sunton near Chester, in which city he had his school education and from thence was sent to the University of Dublin where he took the Degree of Bachelor of Arts; and in 1626 was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Kildare. He continued in Ireland to serve the church, till the disturbance in King Jane’s reign drove him into England, where he became curate to his uncle the Rev. Dr. Sherlock, Rector of Winwick. After some years he was made tutor to Lord Strange, son of the Earl of Derby, and afterwards was promoted by the said Earl to the Bishoprick of Sodor and Mann.

He was consecrated by Dr. Sharp, Archbishop of York, assisted by the Bishop of Chester and Northwich in the Saray Church, London on the 16th January, 1697 and on the 3rd March following was created Doctor of Divinity in a full congregation at Oxford. He immediately passed over into the Isle of Man, where he resided ever since in great reputation and honour, for his piety, exemplary life, hospitatily and extensive charity.

He sat in this see upwards of half a century and died universally lamented in the fifth year of his consecration and 92 of his age.



17-9-1831 Robert Quayle, aged 30

"This person was knocked overboard by the boom in Derby Haven bay, together with another man Wm. Moore who was also lost on Saturday evening the 3rd instant and the body of the former was found yesterday".

25-10-1831 Richard Sansbury, aged 54.

"This person fell overboard his boat in Port le morrey (Port St. Mary) bay two weeks ago and the body was found yesterday".

25-9-1834 Thomas Karran, aged 36

"This person perished at sea on Friday the 12th instant, off Langness Point, having fallen overboard while in the act of shaking nets, when coming to the harbour with a considerable quantity of herrings. The body was found on the day previous to its interment".

December 1834 Wm. Reed, of the sloop ‘Friends’, aged 16

"This person perished in the Sound near the Calf being one of the crew of a Sloop lost there".

22-11-1835 James Gorree, aged 41.

"This person was found drowned in the Harbour of Port St. Mary having fallen over the Quay in the night".

22-8-1836 A person found drowned in Fleshwick

"Supposed to be John Fitzsimmons or Ardlas, Ireland who with 4 others was drowned off Bradda Head on Thursday 28th July in a storm which came suddenly.

24-8-1836 Another person found off Port Iron.

"Supposed to be Charles Murphy one of the above alluded to".


"N.B. James Lowey, Edward Kinley and John Corkish were on their return from Whitehaven on Friday 28th October, 1836, with a cargo of coals but a storm coming on their boat was driven on shore near St. Bees Head and all hands perished".


"Two men found on part of a ship on the Calf of Man were buried on the 18-2-837. One man had a Bible in his pocket with the name John Salters in it from the Lower Tolls (or Tills) near Belfast, Ireland".

12-3-1849 Wm Karran, Cregneish, aged 39.

"This person was killed at Spanish Head whilst he was at work with four other men quarrying lintels, part of the top of the precipice fell upon this person and caused his death. The other men escaped without much injury".




(further details following snippet in April’s journal)

There is no memorial to this ship at Malew, save where it is mentioned on the following gravestones in the old ground.

124 IMO/
Mr. THOS. WM BONE of London/
aged 24 years/
Midshipman of H.M. Her Majesty’s Sloop RACEHORSE wrecked on the/
scarangs an the night of the 14th/
December, 1822, who unfortunately/
perished with five of the crew/
and three Manxmen who fell victims/
to their humane persevering/
and undaunted conduct in endeavouring/
to save the crew of the ship/
he was a gallant and promising/
young officer whose death will! be felt with deep regret/
by officers and crew.


1064 Here repose the remains! of NORRIS BRIDSON of Castletown/
who was drowned! in the humane act of saving/
the officers and crew of H.M./
Sloop RACEHORSE when wreck’d/
on the scarangs/
near the said town/
the 14th December 1822/
he lived 27 years and having/
borne an unsullied character/
his fate is much lamented.


1017 (Almost illegible) The date 1822 and parts of words suggest that this stone is in memory of one of the three Manxmen who died rescuing officers and crew of H.M. Brig Racehorse, wrecked off Langness in 1822 i.e. THOMAS S. HALL

(‘HALL’ and not ‘WALL’, see 1019 His Widow’s Headstone?)

1019 Sacred/
Widow of the late THOMAS HALL/
who died! the 25th March 1851/
in the 56th year/ of her age.


517 This May be the third Manxman i.e. ROBERT QUAYLE
here lieth the body of/
THOMAS CRETNEY who departed/
this life the 6th of July 1806/ aged 72 years/
and also his wife JANE CRETNEY/
who departed this life the/
23rd of July 1802 aged 60 years/

MEN LOST FROM RACEHORSE (Taken from Captain Suckling’s letter reporting wreck, wnitten 18.12.1822).

W. BONE Masters Mate (? not midshipman as in epitaph!)
Jn. GRUNDY Seamen

(Burial register had a shot at these names!) [see Mona Miscellany #2 manx Soc XXI pp134/6]



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