Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Volume XI no 4 Nov 1989





O Dream of a tired heart,
Lonely hill where the sun's blessing lies,
Where a breeze stirs the springing grass
And the harebells nod as we pass -
You are quieter than sleep under quiet skies
And yet you are part
Of the music of Life, that is heard in the singing
Of wind in its wildness, or bird that is winging
Its way towards Heaven.
Lonely hill, O quietly-singing one,
You whisper of things long-forgotten, and surely the same wise sun
Looked down with a smile
Then, as now: Surely, too, this whispering grass
Has known other feet, other faces,
And guarded the last resting places
Of those who lived in the sun.
For men pass, Living a little while -
But you, lonely hill,
Breath still
There is no room
For death, where harebells bloom.

Taken from These Things I would Remember by Thelma Cubbon



Cashtal yn Ard

On a dissected plateau to the east of the central range of hills, is Cashtal yn Ard, one of the Island's outstanding ancient monuments, formerly known as Ballachrink Cairn, after the quarterland on which it stands. Two other Neolithic tombs, dating from 2500 to 1600 BC., "King Orry's Grave" at Gretch Veg in Lonan, and Ballafayle Cairn in Maughold, continue the line of similar monuments north and south, and were probably built by the same people, but Cashal yn Ard is the best preserved of the three.

That enthusiastic amateur archaeologist, the Rev. S.N. Harrison, carried out some excavation here in 1885, but a full investigation did not come until that of Professor Fleure and G.H. Neely between 1932 and 1935. The monument, dating from about 2000 BC, was originally a megalithic chambered cairn 130 feet long, with the alignment west and east. Such erections were communal burial-places of Neolithic chieftains and their families, in a style similar to that of the Mediterranean region about this period. At the west end, is a semi-circular paved forecourt now lined by stones. Some of these are in their original positions, and others were erected in positions indicated by socket-holes. The new stones, which were mostly given by local residents, are marked with the dates when they were set up. In a deed of 1795, the monument is named as Cashtal y mucklagh y vagileragh (The Castle of the field pigsty); presumably it was the forecourt which was adapted for the pigs' use.

by Constance Radcliffe



The institution of Friendly Societies were first formed in the early years of the last century in the Isle of Man.

Their constitution was democratic, the members themselves annually electing a President, Secretary, Stewards and Committee for the ensuing twelve months.

They were formed to encourage the working man to save in the days before Social Security and the National Health Service, when to fall ill could be disaster for a man and a wife and several children to support.

The meeting place for the Society was generally the old parochial school and though non sectarian in basis, the Society usually attended divine service in the parish church on its annual festival day.

One of the earliest societies to be established was the Onchan Society which was founded in 1810, the books of which still survive and are in the Manx Museum library.

The Rules of the K. Bride Society for 1857 are still in existence and give an insight into how these societies flourished.

The K. Bride Society was formed in 1833 on the 26th December, their meetings were held on the last Thursday in every month, from September until March from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. in the summer months they would start a little later at 8 o'clock.

On joining the society entrance money of 2s 6d had to be paid, plus a charge of 6d. for a copy of the articles, a hat band and staff. Payment was collected from members on club night - one shilling was paid into the chest' as well as their funeral money.

Benefit would only be paid if a man was off sick and had been a member for two years, payment would be six shillings a week for a period of 20 weeks while they were incapable of work. After 20 weeks the benefit would be reduced to 3 shillings. If a member was in arrears this money would first be deducted before any payment was paid.

When a member died, the rest of the society would attend the funeral and would walk in procession to the Church from the deceased's house, following the coffin, all members would be wearing their hatbands of black silk.

Executors (if members had paid for over a year) were to receive £1 towards the cost of the funeral, for every extra year the deceased had been an extra £1 was paid up to a maximum of £5.

All members would be asked to contribute 1 shilling towards the cost of a fellow members funeral and 6d for their wife's funeral.

Every Ascension Day they paraded to church and afterwards had their annual feast, accounts of which can be found in the local newspapers.

The Onchan books date from 1810 to 1882 and give an interesting insight into the amounts of cash received and payments for sickness and funerals. Examples of members names include John Killip, Slegaby, Daniel Christian Overseer, Thomas Callow and Thomas Quine Sailmakers but many of the entries only consist of names, no occupation and no addresses.

If your ancestors came from Onchan and you would like to know whether they were members, it is always worth looking especially if they had an unusual name; also if you know the date of death then look at the top of the pages, here members deaths are listed and also the name of their wife which can be of great help with the identification of an ancestor.

P.M. Lewthwaite




I recently came across a very interesting article about graves in Onchan graveyard, this was printed in a local newspaper in 1932 and it not only gave details of some of the inscriptions but also mentioned the families and in some cases their ancestors.

When the earliest gravestones were erected in Onchan, the parish of Onchan included most of the area now occupied by the town of Douglas. The article is too long to publish here but I have made a list of most of the families mentioned in it and I am willing to send a copy to anyone interested.


Names and families mentioned

Cannell's of Ballaskilley/Beckwith/Pollock's/Taggart's of Moaney Mollagh Hudson's of Preston/Oates/Woods including Lieut,. George Wood and Peter Cranke Wood/Coloney Ashcourt/Some Methodist preachers John Cowle d.1848, William Cain d.1812 and George Killey the Manx poet/George Heron/Alexander Robertson/ James Clelland/Thomas Braid/Colby Cubbin/Scott family/William Isdale/Hutchinson/Lawson and Maley. ..................................

LONAN Burials Thomas KINLEY one of the Friendly Society of Laxey and the first of the said Society of Laxey who departed this life Feb. 7th 1802.




Noted in a second hand shop in Ramsey, Bibles with the following inscriptions- To DANIEL CRYE from CATHERINE RADCLIFFE.
'For my sake read a portion daily and prayerfully' Ballacowle, BRIDE April 14th 1882.




A romantic legend has grown up around the shooting of a young Manx smuggler, Thomas Stowell of Ramsey in December 1755. He was aboard one of a pair of boats which were intercepted by the King's Boat from Skinburness while off Torduff Point carrying brandy and tobacco. The Manx boats were taken into Bowness, where Stowell died from gunshot wounds he had received during indiscriminate shooting in the chase. He was buried at Bowness Churchyard, where his slate headstone still stands under a yew tree. It records that he was in his twenty second year. The legend concerns this headstone; local tradition insists that it was brought over from Man by his young widow, who carried it on her back from Maryp6rt to Bowness as a penance! A healthy navvy would think very hard before undertaking such a task. Fortunately the truth of the matter is on record - the account of the funeral expenses is preserved in the Probate Records in Douglas. This includes an item "To charges getting the stone from here to Whitehaven and from Do. to Bonus (Bowness) & setting it up £0-4-6". As Stowell and his wife had been married for less than a year and a day, and were childless, his estate passed to his brother under an old Manx law. The widow, Elizabeth was given a yellow Barcelona handkerchief by the Chapter Court "on account of her extraordinary troubles". Such handkerchiefs were prohibited from import into England at that time, so would command a high price when smuggled into this country, but would not have been any real value on the Island.

Under the same yew tree as Stowell's headstone are the unmarked graves of six Manx smugglers who were drowned in the Solway in 1762; their burials are recorded in the Parish Register. Another reminder of smuggling days may be seen in a niche inside the Church,; a well-made oak cask which would contain about 20 gallons (i.e. a quarter anker). This was discovered in the loft of the vicarage, and may well have been used for spirit smuggling.

Extract taken from a study of smuggling in the Solway by Ronald T. Gibbon

Published by The Friends of Whitehaven Museum


From Santon Monumental Inscriptions

Here, friend, is little Daniel's Tomb,
To Joseph's age he did arrive;
Sloth killing thousands on their bloom, while labour kept poor Dan alive.
How strange, but true, full seventy years was his wife happy in her tears.

Daniel Teare died 9th December 1787 aged 110 years ..............

Santan Burial Register gives..... Daniel Teare aged 111 years old buried llth December 1787

God's acre note.... this person was a native of Kirk Andreas, and was latterly a vagrant. Sir Wadsworth Busk erected the stone, and wrote the verses. it is generally thought he was really older than 110.

The Microfiche records show a DANIEL TEARE born at Andreas to Philip Teare 23rd October 1670, and again on 10th February 1672 which makes Daniel 115 at the time of his death.

He is believed to be the oldest recorded MANXMAN. Researched bv John Robinson. Reported here by Iris Lyle .



My husband has a collection of photographs of cottages that have inscriptions - such as names and dates on them. These we have researched and hope to use in a series of articles in the journal. We are hoping they will be of interest to members and that some of you may find an ancestors home amongst our collection.

This month we are featuring a cottage that is just over 200 years old, and well known to Manx residents as it is situated just yards from the beach and overlooks the beautiful bay of Port Erin. Over the front door is the inscription Edmund and Margt Christian 1781.



On the 26th April 1780, Edmund Christian of Rushen purchased a part of the Quarterland of the Rowany from John and Thomas Watterson and Ann alias Crebbin alias Kermod, wife of Thomas Watterson, Edmund paid £3.13.6d for the piece of land which measured 8 yards from the seamark in breadth towards the East and 10 yards in length to the North.

This was the piece of land that Edmund built his cottage on in 1781, it is situated just above the beach on Shore Road in Port Erin, in the parish of Rushen.

Five years later Edmund was able to purchase another small piece of land from Charles Lindsay and his wife Elizabeth of Port Erin, this piece of ground measured 4 yards from Edmund's house on the north and 8 yards in breadth towards the East.

Edmund had married Margaret Kaighin at Malew Church in 1778 and they had seven children. The cottage was passed on down in the family, John his eldest son inherited it when his father died in 1816. John died unmarried in 1863 and the cottage passed to his younger brother William a fisherman.

Edmund had probably been a fisherman, as when he died in his list of goods was a small boat and he also owned an 1/8th part of a boat called the Volunteer.


index next


An extract taken from HUGH STOWELL BROWNS' reminiscences of services at Kirk Braddan Church. Then on every Sunday afternoon, funerals, for the Churchyard had to do duty for almost all the people of Douglas, as well as the other inhabitants of the parish. So the friends came at service time, the coffins were placed in the church, and remained there until the end of the service, perhaps an hour and a half I have seen as many as five at a time; and in hot weather, my father in the pulpit improving the occasion and we in a pew, within three feet of the coffins, were half poisoned by the stench. Many of the mourners were drunk, of course, and some of them in a state of stupor, tumbling over the coffins, sometimes sobbing and howling. Such was Kirk Braddan in 1832 and such or worse were almost all the parish churches in the Island. In Douglas in 1832 Cholera raged and there were often six or seven funerals in a day.



Kirk Braddan

Every Sunday morning, after the Church service, the Sumner of the Parish, a burly old man named Christopher Karran, mounted a tombstone in the churchyard, and announced, first in Manx and then in English the fairs and sales by auction that were to take place during the week. He would also inform us what arrangements were being made for the propagation of cattle and horses; legal information was next given as to Chancery and other courts, the meetings of Tynwald; he also knew what farms were to be let and what cattle had gone astray.



Some very old graves may be seen in the Churchyard, and the antiquarian will find much to interest him here. Many have interesting epitaphs. They include the graves of several of the Rectors. One of these is commemorated by no less than three gravestones, namely the Rev. James Wilks. The first having been broken, a replica was erected. This too, came to misfortune, so a third was erected. Now the damage to the former stones has been repaired, and all three can be seen. A student has discovered that many of the gravestones are deteriorated with trammon leaves. This is an interesting use of a pagan magical symbol in connection with Christian burial.


On May 9th 1877, in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, United States of America, at the residence of her son, John M. Cowley, Ann Quayle, wife of Mathias Cowley of old age. Deceased was born in Kirk Braddan parish Isle of Man, October 26th 1796; was married to Mathias Cowley in Kirk Andreas parish, in October 1817, left her native land for America May 15th 1841; emigrated from the State of Missouri, U.S.A. to Utah Territory in 1854 and has resided in Salt Lake City since that time. She leaves a brother John Quayle, a large number of children, grandchildren, relatives and friends to mourne her loss.

Taken from Mona's Herald May 30th 1877. Moral - always check for a burial notice in the local newspaper, although I doubt many will be as lucky as this!

P.M. Lewthwaite




Below is a typical example of the cost of a funeral in 1732. The funeral was of Daniel Kewley of Douglas who was buried at K. Braddan on August 28th.


7s 0d


4s ld


1s 9d



Pipes and Tobacco




Making the grave

1s 0d

Ringing the passing bell



1s 2d

Parish Clerk

1s 2d

To Clerk for writing the Inventory and ale for the praisers

1ls ld





Total £1.0.4d

A labourer's pay at this time would have been only 2a 6d a week.



1740 William Gawn, William Crebbin and Michael Harrison perished at the herring fishery at Derby-haven September 19th 1740.

1762 Mr. Thomas Leslie (who came to this Island from Antigua and lodged at Ballagawn upwards of two years last past) buried 7th December.

1763 On July the 19th William Waterson of Ballafersin, Robert Christian, tenant of Ballagawn, John Waterson of Saureby, Patrick Crelling and William Kneen, all of this Parish and John Kneal of Ballasalley being all one boat's crew - went to the Herring fishing along with the rest of the fleet but the evening appearing dark and lowring, and heavy rain continuing; the most part of the fleet returned to the harbour before night; the wind being then about S.E. and pretty calm; about ten o'clock at night the wind clapt up suddenly to about North and blew so tempestuously, that the boats that stay'd at sea till then were hard set to save their lives; but the said peersons were never more heard of, being supposed to have perished near the Carrick or Chickens of the Calf, being seen a little before night some distance to the westward of the said Carrick or Chickens.



When I really began working on my paternal family tree in November, 1988, 1 hoped that I would spend a little more time on it than I had done on my first attempt - the sum total being a Saturday morning several years ago! Had my family known the addiction I was to suffer from and the dusty house and thrown-together meals they would experience as I "lived" at the Museum, I think they would have gladly thrown away the car keys or let down the car tyres.

My father (Francis McCormack), had told me his grandmother was a Margaret Skillicorn who married in 1870 James Henry (a Laxey Miner), who had run away from home in Glasgow. (1 have a photograph of James lienry outside his tea room on Laxey Promenade "Plain Teas 6d, Tea with Eggs 8d") and he was one of the rescue party in the Laxey Mine Disaster. My father also said her brother, John, emigrated to Australia - in actual fact, he, too, was a Laxey Miner who left the Island to work and die in Dalton-in-Furness in 1893. How family tales get exaggerated over the generations!

All but two of the details in the Family Bible were too recent and wellknown to me to be of any use but who was Edwin Boyce Craine d.1890 - the first name in the Bible? None of the family knew. lt turned out he was the son of a surgeon, a minor on marriage and a Miner who married Margaret Skillicorn's sister, Ann Jane, in 1869. Who the Ann Skillicorn, d.1891, the second name in the Family Bible is, I have not yet discovered - no death certificate exists on the Island. She could have been Ann Skillicorn (Ann Jane's mother) who, aged 66, was still alive in the 1881 Census - but where did she die? Margaret's father, John, was also a Laxey Miner, and when I looked for John Skillicorn's marriage, I came up against a problem - there were 2 possible candidates. Frantic telephone calls to older relatives and up came the answer. It was common knowledge (to them!) that the Lawsons were cousins. Now I was really putting the jig-saw together! John Skillicorn's marriage in 1843 to Ann Lawson stated that he was the son of a John Skillicorn, Farmer. Finding his father's occupation gave me quite a valuable lead. Searching through the baptismal records gave me the information that John was the illegitimate son of John Skillicorn and Margaret Skillicorn.

Then my aunt Margaret told me that when she was young, on one of her usual Sunday afternoon visits to Lonan Churchyard with her aunt to tend the graves of recently-departed family, she had been told that a certain group of Skillicorn graves were relations too. I hot-footed it to the described corner of the Churchyard - sadly in January, 1989, no snowdrops were blooming on these graves as they did in my aunt's time in the 1920s. Here were Ballaragh and Skinscoe Skillicorns - could they be our ancestors? I took down details and looked up the relevant Wills. Late on Monday afternoon when it was "Just one more Will before the Museum shuts for the night", I found the Will of-Henry Skillicorn and Margaret nee Quayle of 1835 who left Ballaragh Farm to their son John for his life-time and thence to their daughter Jane's son, John Fargher. And to John, illegitimate son of their son, John, £2 British. Eureka!

Since then I have discovered Marriage Settlements which take me back to Skinscoe Farm. To handle the self-same browning documents which my ancestors handled and put their mark to 250 years ago gave me quite a feeling of privilege and reverence for the passage of time. According to Kneen, (Manx Personal Names), "the Skillicorns of Skinscoe were direct descendants" of a Lancashire family called Skillicorn living in 1400. If anyone has done that bit of research I'd be most grateful! Captain Henry Skillicorn who helped develop Cheltenham Spa is also supposed to come from Ballaragh/Skinscoe.

Ballaragh Farm, according to the Asylum Plans, in those days, had its entrance further down the Main Road to Laxey - it is now blocked up and the farm house derelict. Its present owner is going to demolish the house as "its back is broken" and re-build it. Abbeylands is the old name for the farm lived in for generations by the Quilleash's and known by locals now as Ballaragh Farm. This point confused me when looking for the Ballaragh Farm the Skillicorns owned.

A couple of months after taking a breather from Skillicorns and tearing my hair out over the Quaggin tree which, at the moment, stops at 1808-1813 depending on which John Quaggin I choose!, I was idly glancing through my notebook. There the names of the parties to a Skillicorn Will hit me (at the time I had taken down the details but did not know enough to connect them to my family). Illegitimate John's mother, Margaret Skillicorn had eventually married a William Madrel, and here was a John Skillicorn and Mary Kelley leaving their wordly goods to their children, of whom Margaret Madrel was one. But which John Skillicorn was he? I may find out some day when I've exhausted the McCormack, Henry, Lawson, Casement, Arthur, Quaggin, Bridson, Moore, Acton, Armstrong, Calbraith, Petersen lines of my father, mother, and my husband!

But Skillicorn stirs a feeling in me I don't have for other names in the family tree - akin to the special feeling a mother has for her first-born? or, in my case, a first-discovered?

PS After suffering dreadful withdrawal symptoms I haven't been near the Museum for over 2 months!

Edith Quaggin


Christian's of the Ballabeg, Kirk Bride

(A) William Christian: 7th generation owner of Ballabeg Farm, Bride b.1794 d.1873


(B) Daniel Christian:

7th child of 9 to William Christian and Catherine Garrett; Daniel's brother William was my great-great-grandfather, he married 4 times;


Newspaper Cuttings about Daniel Christian's Obituary:

"CHRISTIAN - On April 11th at 30 Chermside Road, Aigburth, suddenly, Daniel Christian, Ballabeg, Bride aged 73 years. Interment at West Derby Cemetery on Saturday, at 4 p.m."

"Liverpool Manxman's Death"- A Well-known Northern Preacher Our obituary column of Thursday last contained the announcement of the sudden death of Mr. Daniel Christian, at his residence in Aigburth, Liverpool, and certainly his many friends in the North and indeed all over the Island would learn of the news with sad regret.

The deceased gentleman, who was in his 73rd year, was born at Ballabeg, Kirk Bride, and in early manhood was a well known and popular local preacher with the Primitive Methodist body. As a temperance lecturer also his services were in great demand, and many were the experiences he had to relate of those early times before the introduction of the railway. Some thirty years ago he removed to Liverpool, and was there connected with the Primitive Methodists in Rathbone Street, going with them to Princess Avenue, and holding many church offices. He was also on the plan, and started a Band of Hope, which is still in a flourishing condition. Latterly he had been mostly connected with mission work, and was well known in this department.

On Sunday night week (the 8th) he held a service in the Workmen's Mission Hall, Upper Mann Street, Liverpool, and was in his usual health. Monday saw him out and about; but on Tuesday morning he complained of tightness in the chest, and went and consulted Dr. Shaw. This gentleman treated him, but on Wednesday afternoon he passed peacefully beyond the reach of all earthly help.

The interment took place on Saturday last in West Derby Cemetery, admidst many manifestations of sorrow. The Rev. James Hall, an old friend of the deceased, took charge of the service, and paid a grand tribute to the work of the deceased, as did also Mr. T. Hughes, of Mann Street Mission. The chief mourners were:- Mr. D.C. Christian, son; Mr. J. Clearer and son, Seacombe; Mr. and Mrs. T. Corlett, Fairfield; Messrs. E. Capstick, H. Nelson, S. Watterson, G. Dolman, T. Hughes, and J. Clingan; whilst among the general mourners were many members of the Mission. Floral tributes were sent by Mr. and Mrs. Cosnahan, Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and Eruily, the members and friends of the Mann Street Mission, and many others."


The Late Mr. Daniel Christian - Mission Memorial Service

There was a crowded and highly attentive audience at the Workmen's Mission Hall, Upper Mann Street, Liverpool, on Sunday evening last, when a memorial service was held, the Rev. James Hall giving a sulogium of the late Mr. Daniel Christian who was born at Ballabeg, Kirk Bride.

The Rev. gentleman, an associate and one-time co-worker with the deceased, was visibly affected as he referred to the splendid qualities of his old friend. He had been, he said, long connected with religious work and was sometime a local preacher among the Primitive Methodists on the Island. The two names 'Daniel' and 'Christian' formed the ground work for extensive thought and remark. He was a Manxman pure and simple and though many years away from the "tight little Island" he never left it in heart or in memory. His name Christian was linked to the history of Ellan Vannin. William Christian was a prominent man when the Count.ess of Derby ruled in the Island, and he is looked upon as a hero and martyr by Manxmen. Hango Hill, near Castletown was almost a synonym of Wm. Christian. It was at that place he was executed for being suspected of rebellious intent, and was evidently the victim of misrepresentation and jealousy by the lordly usurper of the dear little Island. Their departed friend was of fine personal appearance, active, loyal and strong, both mentally and physically, and there was reason to think that the man who was so well known and by them so highly respected in later times and whose death they mourned, and with whose son they so deeply sympathised, was a descendant of the famed Manx Christian of Peel Castle and Hango Hill. He was an earnest Christian worker, an ardent honest believer in the New Testament and a life teetotaller.

At the close the Dead March in Saul was rendered on the organ by Mr. Roberts." The above cuttings were from the Ramsey Courier, May 1906.

(C) Daniel Corlett Christian:

born at Ballabeg, Kirk Bride, Isle of Man Bap. 17 Jan 1878 Kirk I Bride

son, name unknown

Mar. 1 to Ruth Wilson, no date known; issue: a son, name Mar. 2 to Florence Wilks 15 June 1925 in London; issue: died 10 July 1940 bur. 16 July 1940 at Wimbledon Cemetery, London

son, name unknown


Press Cuttings about Daniel Corlett Christian:

"Marriage" CHRISTIAN - WILKS - On June 15th at Wimbledon Primitive Methodist Church, by the Rev. Wm. Roberts, Circuit Minister, Daniel Corlett son of the late Daniel Christian, of Liverpool and Bride, Isle of Man to Florence, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Wilks, of Wimbledon and Worcester Park, Surrey - 209 Queen's Road, Wimbledon, Surrey."

"Prominent London Manxman" (Source: Ramsey Courier, 1925) Quicks Road Primitive Church, Wimbledon, was the centre of great interest on Monday last, the 15th instant, when Mr. Daniel Corlett Christian, a zealous worker for the Church, was married to Miss Florence Wilks, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Wilks of Wimbledon and Worcester Park.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Roberts. The bride looked charming in a dress of creme broche satin, with diamante trimming, wreath and veil and carried a bouquet of roses. The Bridesmaid, Miss Dorothy McMillan of Surbiton, wore a pretty blue crepe de chene dress and black picture hat, and also carried a pretty bouquet. The best man was Mr. W.C. Cleator of Wallasey, Cheshire.

The service began with the singing of the hymn "The voice that breathed o'er Eden" and other appropriate music was sung and played during the service.

The wedding breakfast was held in the hall adjoining followed by a reception which was largely attended.

The guests included the Minister, the Rev. W. Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Wilks, Master Leslie Bowman, Mrs. Heading, Miss McMillan, Councillor A.J. Penman, Mrs. Purdit, Mrs. Revell, Mrs. Chase, Mr. George Robertson, President of London Manx Society, and Mrs. Robertson and Mrs. William Radcliffe.

Mr. Robertson had the honour of proposing the toast of the bride and bridegroom and the Rev. Roberts also spoke in appreciative terms of both.

After the reception the happy pair left for Liverpool en route for Douglas, Isle of Man, where the honeymoon will be spent.

Mr. D.C. Christian has been for many years the Hon. Press Secretary of the London Manx Society - in whose interests he was a great worker. The scouts and members of the ladies choir, etc., when visiting London will have recollections of Mr. Christian's efforts on their behalf. Mr. Christian holds an important position on the editorial of the Liverpool Post, Fleet Street, London and is an active member of several journalistic societies.

The good wishes of many friends in London and on the Island will go with the happy couple."


Death of Mr. D.C. Christian of the "Liverpool Echo" - A Native of Bride

Source: Ramsey Courier 1940

We have regretfully received news Of the sudden death of Mr. Daniel Corlett Christian, Chief Sub-Editor at the London Office of the "Liverpool Echo", which took place on Wednesday. Mr. D.C. Christian collapsed and died while travelling to Fleet Street early in the morning of Wednesday. An inquest was held today (Friday) and the interment will be at Wimbledon Cemetery on Tuesday July 16th.

Mr. D.C. Christian who was 59 years of age, was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. D. Christian of Ballabeg, Bride and he had been for 42 years on the staff of the "Liverpool Echo" both at the Liverpool and London Offices. He was twice married and there is a son to each of the marriages. The deepest sympathy will be extended to Mrs. Christian who resides at 209 Queen's Road, Wimbledon and the deceased's sons.

Mr. "Dannie" Christian frequently contributed to the columns of the "Courier" and he was devoted to the Island whose interests he never lost an opportunity to serve during his journalistic life in London".

1. Can anyone fill in the missing details from 1940 to present day? Please contact:- Roger J. Christian Croit-y-Keeil, Port Grenaugh Santan, Isle of Man


Thomas Karran of the Isle of Man

by Dr. Keith O. Karran

This problem concerns THOMAS KARRAN One was chr. 1 April 1782 at Braddan, son of THOMAS KARRAN who married 21st January 1777 at Onchan to ISABEL KEWLEY.

One was chr. 22 September 1782 at ONCHAN son of WILLIAM KARRAN who married 19th August 1780 at Onchan to MARGARET KINREAD.

One of these, born less than six months apart in 1782, is the ancestor. The 1851 census of Eyrton Farm, MAROWN shows our THOMAS KARRAN age 69. Born at Douglas 1782.

That might be a satisfactory statement, except that all three places are adjoining each other, DOUGLAS, BRADDAN and ONCHAN, and these families frequented all three!

The difficulty over accepting which is the correct lineal connection as follows.-

1. The family grouping for THOMAS KARRAN who married in 1809 at ONCHAN to Catharine CLARK. He is the ancestor, THOMAS KARRAN, age 69, said to be born DOUGLAS (as above). There were four children:-
Chr. at Onchan in 1810 is THOMAS who apprenticed in the IOM and went to Liverpool and later to the U.S.A.
Chr. in German in 1814, ISABELLA who later married John Jones.
Chr. in Braddan in 1817, CATHERINE who later married Richard Easton. Chr. in Santon (St. Ann) JANE who later married Thomas Craine.
The above is correct. The parents died, he in 1856, age 74 (therefore born in 1782); she in 1865. Both left wills in the IOM.

The next two family groupings illustrate the problem: 2. The family groupings for a THOMAS KARREN chr. 1 April 1782, at Braddan, and he was the second child in a family of the seven children of THOMAS KARRAN who married 1777 to Isabel Kewley. This family resided variously:

a) In ONCHAN the parents married 1777 (i.e. Thomas Karran to Isabel Kewley)
b) In BRADDAN six of their children chr. 1780-1791.
c) In ONCHAN the 7th child Christopher chr at Onchan, 1796.
d) In ONCHAN the wife (and mother) died and buried at Onchan 20 February
1807, and in her will she mentions: Her husband: THOMAS KARRAN
e) Her husband THOMAS KARRAN (or similar spelling) married her in 1777 and a search for his burial and also a possible Will has been made, but his death and burial has not been ascertained, i.e. identified. The burials at Onchan show:

Onchan between 1780 ISABELLA CARRON 20 Feb. 1807 with will as shown

and 1871 above. Thos. Karran from Douglas 22 Nove 1821, but as there is no age recorded he is not fully identified.

f) This family may have had Marown connections. In Braddan burials on 2 Jan 1793 is an entry for Ann dau. of Thos. Karran to Marown. This seems to indicate that the child may have been taken from Braddan and buried in Marown.

3. The family grouping for a (different) THOMAS KARRAN chr. 22 Sep. 1782, and he was the second child in a family of six children of WILLIAM KARRAN who married in 1780 at ONCHAN to Margaret Kinread. The family resided:

a) In ONCHAN the parents married 1780 (William Karran to Margaret Kinread).
b) At ONCHAN six children were christened 1781-1789 with Thomas chr
in 1782.
c) At ONCHAN the wife and mother MARGARET buried 25th May 1790.
d) At ONCHAN the husband (and father) William Karran buried 7 Jan 1814, and left a will. He was buried from Douglas but there is no age
in the burial record. His will is dated 29 Dec. 1813 at Douglas, proved 1814. He mentions:
Daughter JANE KARRAN, executrix living at Onchan in 1814
Daughter MARY

(Note: There is no mention of the son THOMAS chr. 1 Braddan and who, if living, would have been age 31 1814).

April 1782 at years in 1813-

4. Tombstone Inscriptions: If there are any tombstone inscriptions from or at ONCHAN, such may help in resolving this problem.

a) (Mrs.) ISABELLA KARRAN or.KEWLEY bur 20 Feb 1807 (no age recorded in register).
b) (Mrs.) MARGARET KARRAN or KINREAD buried 25 May 1790 (no age recorded in register).
c) W1LLIAM KARRAN buried 7 Jan 1814 (no age recorded in register).
d) THOMAS KARRAN buried 20 Dec 1856 age 74 at ONCHAN from Marown.

(He is the ancestor and was born in 1782). His wife Catharine (Clark)
d. Feb 1865 age 78 at Braid and buried 20 Feb 1865 at Marown.
e) A tombstone inscription may exist for the THOMAS KARRAN (chr 23 Sept 1782) son of WILLIAM KARREN. Thomas may have died prior to his father's will which was made in 1813/1814.

Note: The four children (1810-1823) for 'I'HOS KARREN and CATH. CLARK, named THOMAS, ISABELLA, CATHARINE, and JANE when compared with the children of Wm. and MARGT (1781-1796) the comparison of similar (same) Christian names is in favour of children of William Karran and wife Margaret Kinread. However, the Christian names of the total family of Thomas Karran and Isabel (Kewley) shows many similarities.

Readers of the Journal may find this an interesting study. Any solution of this might include a record that clearly identifies which of the two Thomas Karrans who were born in 1782 was the one who was buried in 1856 age 74 at Onchan and who had married in 1809 at Onchan to Catharine Clark. The writer would be delighted to correspond with anyone interested if they will write to him at 4916 Wander Lane, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117 U.S. America. ....................................... I


STRAYS During the last few months many of our English members have taken the trouble to collect records of Manx people, who were living in England.

Unfortunately I do not have the space to list them in full, but have listed country and surname. I am willing to send the full entry to those interested, please send Manx stamps, cash on 3 International reply coupons to cover postage and photocopy.

CHESHIRE Sayle/Stowell/Bell/Gill/Moore Census returns for 1871 and 81

LIVERPOOL Stowell/Quayle/Corkill/Marriage, Census, Burial BARROW St. Georges Church. Marriages 1867-82 Kinrade/Cottier/Corlett/Morrison/Boyde/Curphey/Christian/Caine/Kermode





I have now to convey to your the particulars of a Fatal Accident which adds another to the death roll of Mona's sons who have found a last resting place in Kinsale. At about 12 noon on Wednesday last, while several of the fishing boats were watched by interested spectator's running up the harbour with their heavy loads of fish, one dismasted craft attracted special notice as she appeared in tow of another boat. The loss of mast and other rigging being matters almost of daily occurrence among such a very large fleet, the matter was treated as one of such common occurrence till the dismasted boat - the Vivid, of Peel arrived at one of the quays, when on inquiring the cause of the casualty, the writer was informed that the skipper, William Ball, of Jurby, was dead on board, having been killed in some unaccountable way by the falling of the mast and rigging. Further inquiry then disclosed the following particulars of the melancholy event:- On Tuesday evening about six o'clock Joseph Corlett was steering the boat S.S.W. for the shooting ground and when about seven miles west of the Old Head they met a cross sea. The boat made two jumps, and down came the mast and rigging with a crash, having broken a few inches above the case, and as it fell on the deck is smashed in four parts, the top having gone overboard. The skipper was in the fishroom mending the net, and as the mast came down it appears he turned round to look when he heard the crash, and must have been struck on the nose and about the left eye, which was quite livid. The mast or any portion of it did not strike him on the head, on which he bore no mark and the presumption is that he was struck by a shroud, or knocked his forehead against a beam where he was at work when stooping from the falling mast. His son was the first to catch hold of him, but the only word he spoke was "Bless me, bless me," which he uttered very faintly. The foregoing were the principal facts given in evidence before the coroner and jury at the inquest, and a verdict of accidental death was recorded.


The Funeral

Today (Sunday) recalled the memorable cortege which in numerical proportions conveyed to its resting place the remains of poor Gorry four years previously. The day was wet and gloomy, but it did not prevent his countrymen (nor indeed a good many of the inhabitants) from paying a last tribute of respect to the deceased, who was cut down in the very act of discharging one of the essential duties of his lawful and laudable calling. The remains were enclosed in a highly finished and expensive coffin and as the mournful procession passed along the streets to the burying ground of Saint Multose, the Manxmen observed their time honoured and fondly cherished custom of singing hymns along the route without let or hindrance. They formed what may be called a choir a short distance in rear of the coffin, which was led in the singing by the Rev. W. Daunt, vicar of Kinsale, and the procession was led by the Rev. E.B. Dennehy curate. After the burial service was read by the two clergymen already named, the Rev. Mr. Baker (Wesleyan Minister) delivered a brief but touching address, in the course of which he said that there was a natural shrinking from death even under the most ordinary circumstances. Their friend now departed left his home and all who were dear to him on earth, and came to a strange land and among a strange people, in pursuit of his honourable calling. The large number that filled the church listened with attention.

Taken from Supplement to "Mona's Herald", Wednesday 25th April, 1877



By Val and Ray Lawrence of Victoria, Australia

In Memory of
John Scarff
In Lenon Isle of Man
Died April 2nd
Aged 48 years
A handcarved slab of wood serves as a headstone on the grave. Who cared enough to carve his story? Who cared enough to mark his grave?



by Val and Ray Lawrence of Victoria, Australia

It was my first visit to the remote Gippsland hamlet of Walhalla,thoughmy husband had fished in the district, chasing the elusive trout. A comfortable two hours drive from Melbourne, we planned to pitch our weekender-tent and spend two days exploring what was left of this, once thriving, gold mining town, with no thought of the impending task that we would set ourselves.

A Saturday afternoon, spent in the tiny museum, sparked a small flame of interest, when the records showed that Philip Fargher had been an engineer in the local gold mines, for a time. Now every Manxman knows of Philip Fargher. He was a champion marksman, who returned to England and won the Queen's Rifle Shoot in 1892. His son lives in Melbourne, and I was born a Fargher, so he and I were one family.

However, it was a visit to the unique cemetery, later that day, that sent my corpuscles bubbling - for here lay, so far from his native Isle, an expatriot Manxman, named John Scarff! What was his story? Why was there one such as he, lying here, so isolated. It mattered not that the headboard, on his simple earth grave, read from "Lenon", Isle of Man. We knew it was meant to be Lonan, and with a multitude of accents, from the British Isles, and their neighbours, it was a simple matter to misunderstand the pronounciation of a home-place.

So, the task began! John Scarff, Manxman, knew Walhalla in 1885 but what did the Manxfolk of 1985 know of Walhalla? A calculated guess would be that they had never heard of it!

The eastern part of Victoria is made up of a strip of coastal plains which lead northwards to the Great Dividing Range. This particular area had stood, grand and rugged, since its beginning. Even the native aborigines had found the ranges far too steep to traverse, and folk legends had been woven about the area. Mighty mountain ash trees towered to heights of 400 feet, smaller trees grew beneath their shelter, and ferns, ericas and small plants and grasses covered the ground, making a fierce barrier for any traveller who dared penetrate the very edges of this kingdom of the gods. Many streams and rivers rattled down the rugged slopes and snow blanketed the high plains and the peaks of Mount Baw Baw (5158 ft) and Mount Erica (5112 ft) for the winter months. Native fauna lived in peace and comfort, emerging to feed and water, at dawn and dusk then returning to this haven to sleep. Summer always brought the threat of bushfires, for even without man's intervention, lightning strikes and electrical storms could start fires which leapt from treetop to treetop and burned for days, until soothing rain quelled their fury.

Then white man set foot on Terra Australia and irreversible change took place. In 1851, the public news that gold was discovered at Buninyong and Clunes, near Ballarat, changed the whole face of the Colony. The Aborigines had no use for this soft yellow metal, which lay on the ground, so they ignored it, but to the white man,-it meant all things - wealth, security, freedom from bondage and the chance to turn dreams into realities. He came, in hundreds of thousands, sometimes bringing a wife and children, but always with the glorious hope that the struggle for a meagre existence was over. The sad assessment is, that so many dreams went unrealised. Big companies bought up the better claims, while small prospectors were often robbed, spent their lucky findings in public houses, or contracted one of the miners' diseases, which proved fatal.

It was not till 1860, that the prospectors' attention was focused on the Gippsland ranges, where, it was suspected untold wealth was still waiting for the lucky man. It had been a party of four men, making their way over the mountains from Jamieson; one being a ticket-of-leave convict named Edward Stringer; who had found alluvial gold in a creek bed, later called Stringers Creek, that started the rush to Walhalla. However, the nature of the terrain being as it was, mining by prospectors, was almost impossible. Expensive machinery was needed to penetrate the basalt rocks and pump out the menacing seepage of water. The operation was concentrated on a rich seam called "Cohen's Reef". Gold fever was such that it was not difficult to raise sufficient shares to form a company, and this isolated valley soon fell to the plundering of man. There were no roads, and access was difficult, with swiftly flowing rivers to be crossed. Bullock teams and pack horses were the only transport. But gold mines meant work for the miners, who, in turn, needed homes, food, clothes and entertainment.

In this way 19th century villages were born. The giant gums, which had stood so proudly for centuries, were felled, to provide structural supports in the mines, fuel for the mine furnaces or timber for homes, so that, soon, the steep mountain-sides were denuded. The-population rose to 4,500. People came and stayed. Their life was not easy and the cemetery tells the tale of countless children, smitten by typhoid, miners died of phthisis and women died in childbirth. Injury and death from domestic fires was common in all areas, for homes were made of split logs, with bark or wooden shingles for roofing material and cooking was done on an open fire. The new immigrants were ignorant of the volatile eucalypt gases which flared and sparked so rapidly.

Of course, winter and spring brought seasonal problems too.. Heavy rain, causing strong and rapid run-off down the steep hillsides, meant that property was swept down, towards Stringer's Creek. Floods followed, sometimes sweeping unsuspecting workers to their death, and snow, usually falling in August or early September, created more hazards and living difficulties for the local folk. This Gippsland goldfield presented more difficulties and hardships of nature than had the areas of Ballarat, Bendigo and Beechworth.

John Scarff, a 25 years old miner from the Laxey district, set sail from Liverpool on the "Marco Polo", one of the famous sailing packets, on the llth November, 1859 bound for Melbourne. He knew the pain of parting from all that was dear and familiar to him, although the shipping list suggests that other Manxmen were on board, and, hopefully, they supported each other. "Marco Polo" was a tried and true sailing ship. She held the record for the fastest voyage to the Colonies, in the mighty southern oceans, yet that voyage was fraught with hazards and some chords of fear must have vibrated in his heart. Yet, on January 31st, 1860, 81 days later, he arrived at Melbourne Port, and walked the streets of this new and thriving town. Growth had beenrapid since the first gold was found, bringing work and wealth to the capital of the Colony of Victoria. No doubt he heard the news that the latest, and best, prospecting was in Gippsland. Perhaps he could afford a coach trip to Moe (pronounced Mo-ee) or perhaps he had to walk, but he certainly appears soon after, working in the mines of Walhalla.

Mining has always been hard work. For John Scarff, his working week was 48 hours and his wages, about £2.10. By January 1885, he was able to buy a selection of land at Numbrok, some 61'-@ acres (25.11 ha), costing £62.

This was Crown Land, in a remote area, and would have required many hours of hard work, to clear and fence it, before any stock could graze, or crops be sown. As he seems to have been living, already, in this area, perhaps the availability of purchase depended on when the Government survey was done. He may have squatted there when he first came to the district. This seems to indicate that he was a solitary figure, living quietly and away from the busy township. As he has given his occupation as 'miner' all his life, it is possible that he worked his shifts in the mines, then worked on this land in his other waking hours. In this way, he would have a regular income, for his knowledge of farming requirements in this foreign land, would have been scant, to start a farming career, in spite of the ready demand for local produce; and, his health was declining, for he had developed the miners' dreaded lung disease - phthisis - and died on Thursday, April 2nd 1885 aged 48 years, just 49 days after buying his land. No doubt that was a dream fulfilled.

The Walhalla 'Chronicle' of Friday April 3rd, 1885, carried a small obituary - "Mr John Scarff, one of the oldest residents of this district, died at his selection, Moondarra, yesterday morning. The deceased, who had been ill for a long time was much respected".

"Oldest" in this sense, would refer to his length of residence in the district, not his age, for, at 48, he was not an old man. He died intestate, but his estate was administered by Albert Harris, merchant and William John Gray, miner, both of Walhalla. The estate amounted to a total value of £304.10 in real and personal estate, which was left to his housekeeper, during her lifetime, and, at her death, to go to his brother and sister. Unfortunately the names of these people are not given, nor an address for the brother or sister. Were they too residing in Australia?

Perhaps the story of John Scarff should end here, but, as with all research, there is always another enigma, a hint of more riches to the story, and so it was that we were introduced to "Mrs. Scarffe" by a member of the Walhalla Preservation Society. The best we can do, is to offer her story, as she has told it. She was not John Searff's wife, but would seem to be the houskeeper, beneficiary of his estate. She certainly didn't come to Australia with him, nor does the shipping list of the "Great Britain" offer any obvious clues. What mysterious past she had, or hid, remains obscure, but her story, as she told it, is certainly enjoyable. If anyone, on the Isle of Man can offer any solution, we, in Australia, would like to know it. Who was the 'niece' on the Isle, with whom she corresponded? Mrs Scarffe's Story Newspaper report by "Cygnus" 1932


Mrs. Scarffe, of Traralgon - probably the oldest woman in Australia - will celebrate her 108th birthday anniversary next Christmas Day. Like most other people of advanced years, this grand old lady has had a romantic career. A native of Norfolk, England, Mrs. Scarffe lived with her grandmother at Old Hornsby Castle until she was eleven years old. Her father was a captain in the 18th Royal Guards. She ran away from home, and took a position at Yarmouth for ninepence a week and keep. Later, she was employed as nurse girl for five years by the wife of a captain of a schooner. it may have been this position that influenced her future movements, for at the age of 33 she married, and came to Melbourne in the "Great Britain" (the worlds first ocean-going screw steamer). which brought thousands of settlers to these shores. In the days when paddle steamers were "liners' ' ' Mrs. Scarffe, as a stewardess, tried during the Crimean war to enlist as a nurse under her friend Florence Nightingale. Much to her regret, however, stie was too late to join the Red Cross contingent which left London.

When she arrived here, she went to Eagle Point, near Bairnsdale. The gold rush was then in full swing, and visits followed to Little River, Omeo, Jungle Creek, Crooked River, Hinnomunjie and Walhalla. Even in the bad bushranging days she carried on horseback, thousands of pounds worth of gold, unsuspected by bandits, who would probably not have hesitated to murder her to secure the booty, had they known. In later years, the old lady settled in Traralgon, where friends have brought comfort to her in her old age.

Mrs. Scarffe is a capable hand at crochet work and has won several prizes in the agricultural society's show. Only two years ago, she won first prize in a well filled section for a shawl. For months she stuck to her task, and did all the intricate work without the aid of glasses, which in itself is probably an Australian record. Indeed, it was only last year, that, having "managed very well" (to use her own words) without spectacles, that she decided to seek the aid of a visiting optician, who, after a thorougli test, supplied her with a pair. She said they were splendid, and spent all the following day reading the newspapers.

A few years ago, Mrs. Scarffe was forced to enter hospital for treatment for leg trouble, but made a rapid recovery. Until the time of entering hospital, she daily walked over the paddocks near lier Home, and carried in bark for lighting the fire. At a public niectitig held recently in the district, a splendid tribute to lier was inade by the Shire President (Cr. C.E. Clarke). Mr. Clarke said - " No matter how rough the night or bad the bush-track, Mrs. Scarffe was the first to saddle up and ride to where a sick call came from, in the early days of Moondarra and Walhalla". Only two months ago, she visited the mothers' league fair at the local school, and was received with cheers and presented with a silver serviette ring and a posy of flowers by the youngest pupil. On this occasion she wore a black crochet bonet made by herself. But a big event in her life happened only last month, when Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, who was conducting flights over Traralgon, took her up in'his plane. (This recalls, by the way, the flight over Melbourne eight years ago, of Mr. Henry Moore, at the age of 108). Mrs. Scarffe was later photographed with the famous airman.

The grand old lady enjoys good health, but laments the fact that she has no cow to milk, for she used to milk Buttercup, daily, at the home of Mrs. R. Marks, where she resided. A keen student of politics, she attributes her great age to the fact that she is "too busy to grow old". "I see the sun rise every morning," she recently said, "and I don't go to bed with the fowls either". Truly, the spirit of the pioneers is not yet dead.

to be continued in February Journal



Malew Register 1684 "Robt. Cultree died at Castletowne December the 17th at night, and carried to Douglas the 18th to be lodged at home".

One feels curious to know in what manner, or by what means, he was carried to his last lodgings, as there were no hearses, coaches, not even carts, such as we understand them, in those days. To convey the corpse so far must have been a very troublesome undertaking.

Malew Register 1667 Burial of a suicide without the Churchyard. "Ellin Vaughen alis cald Cooke drowned herself in a little well above Crossag (Ballasalla) and was buried without the Church style betwixt the Cross and Wm. Shimmins Croft Hedge March 11th".

Common object in Manx churchyards,

The Cross is here mentioned, which was such a common object in Manx churchyard each of them containing one. Round these the corpse was usually carried two or three times before burial.

1685 "Jane Corlett, was the first person who died in the Island of smallpox. It was brought into the Island by Wm. Killey from abroad, and was called in Manks "Brack Willy Killy" (brack-speckled) from thence; on the information of the oldest inhabitants.

From Celtic Customs A curious characteristic of many Manx graves, in former times was, that the sod was covered by a long stone of clayey slate, many of which land those the oldest had a hole bored through at one end. I have been puzzled to account for the intention of this perforation, until it was explained to me by a local stone-cutter I met with in Arbory churchyard. He explained that such holes were made in order to pass a rope through, in order to drag it along from its native quarry in the mountains after the tail of a horse, to the churchyard. This was in the days before carts were in use, or modern roads to put them on, in the Isle of Man. These stones are now rarely to be seen, because it is customary with the stonecutters when they set up a modern stone over a grave, to bury the old slab under the soil of it.

Description given by Waldron of a funeral in 1731. The internment usually takes place on the third day after the decease. Formerly no invitations were given to the funeral, but everybody that had any acquaintance with the deceased came either on foot or on horseback. I have seen sometimes at a Manks funeral upwards of one hundred horsemen, and twicethe number on foot; all these are entertained at long tables, spread with all sorts of cold provision, rum and brandy flies about at a lavish rate. The solemn nature of the occasion did not interfere with the appetites of the assembled guests, nor prevent them from doing ample justice to the funeral feast.


We now have more birth, marriage and death certificates available all giving more information than I can include here.

Births/Baptisms * CORLETT Frederick William 27 Feb 1881 Lancashire * CUNNINGHAM Walter 15 July 1883 Liverpool * COLLINS Blanche 16 June 1896 Kirk Michael * CHAPMAN John Alfred 27 April 1896 Douglas DOUGLAS Ethel Gertrude 23 March 1890 Onchan PICKETT Margaret Elizabeth 13 April 1879 Douglas SHIPPAM Irene 27 July 1898 Douglas * WATTERSON Thomas 5 October 1856 Cregneish

Marriages William Edward SUMNER to Helena WOODRUFF at . St. Thomas Church on 14th August 1906. Sidney Thomas SHIPPAM to Lucy Lavina WRIGHT at Kirk Braddan on October 6th 1897.

Deaths Frederick FARGHER died 16th June 1904 at Queensland aged 50 years (b. Derbyhaven I.O.M.). Thomas Stephen CORLETT died 23rd September 1921 aged 59 years at Douglas.

* More certificates belonging to these families - please contact the Editor

Longevity in the Isle of Man

On Tuesday last, the lst September inst. while on a visit to the Chasms in Kirk Christ Rushen, accompanied by some friends, we met an old woman dressed in rather primitive style with a reaping-hook under her arm. We entered into conversation with her, and found she could not converse freely in English; fortunately one of our party had a good knowledge of the Manx language, and acted as interpreter. She informed us that she was a widow, 84 years of age, had never been off the island, and had resided in the village from her childhood; that she was the mother of 15 children, 7 boys and 8 girls, all of whom were alive; that she was the great grandmother of children 14 and 16 years old; that she had no recollection of even being one day laid up with sickness, except durng her confinements; that she had not tasted intoxicating drink for 35 years; that she had then cut, sheared, and stooked with her own hands no less than 35 stooks. Her name is Margaret Watterson; she resides at the second cottage on entering the Village of Cregneish; and deserves a call from every lover of antiquity as a relic of the olden time.

Sept. 9th 1863 Monas Herald

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