Isle of Man Family History Society Journal Vol 12 No 4 Nov 1990



On the last weekend of July 1990, 51 Kermeen descendants and their spouses gathered in Winter Park, Colorado, for a family reunion. Winter Park is located 9,000 feet high in the Rocky Mountains about 70 miles west of Denver. People came from 12 states, from as far as Alaska to Louisiana and Michigan to California.

The Kermeen family members were descended from John Thomas Kermeen and Elizabeth Cowin. John Thomas was a miner from Foxdale. He was b. 27 August 1839,m. 6 November 1867, d. 24 December 1897. His wife, Elizabeth Cowin, was b. 8 January 1844 Lonan, d. 5 February 1893 Foxdale.

Two of their children's families were represented at the reunion: Annie Elizabeth, who married on the IOM in 1907 to Archibald Shimmin, Jr. And Alice Eva, who married Robert James Christian in 1907 in New York City. The Shimmins moved to Michigan and the Christians moved west to Montana.

The first proven Kermeen ancestor is John Kermeen. He married Catherine Cubbon on 19 January 1799 at Patrick. Among their children was William Kermeen, the father of our John Thomas Kermeen. William was b. June 1809 Patrick, m. 20 December 1834 in Patrick to Anne Kneale, d. 16 May 1888 in Peel.

The reunion was organised by Jean Christian Talmage and Shirley Christian Bennette. Highlights included a get acquainted barbecue on Friday night, a major dinner with family speeches and photographs on Saturday night and finally a family potluck on Sunday. Other events included a 3000 foot ride down a mountain slide, a golf hitting contest and a trip through the Rocky Mountain National Park on the world's highest paved road.

Since most of the two branches, Christian and Shimmin, had not met before, a lot of time was spent exchanging family information, including the fact that there are five sets of twins in the two families. The reunion was such a success that it was agreed to meet again in three years.

Submitted by Thomas L. Thompson,



On the 24th September 1712, a baby boy was baptised in Jurby Church. He was the son of the then Vicar of Jurby, the Revd. William Christian and his wife Catherine Cain. Presumably he had been born a few days before in the Vicarage, which is now Lilybank, Jurby West.

Nothing earth shattering about that you might say, because he was one of a large family, certainly we can trace four other brothers and one sister, but Israel Christian as he was named on that day married Elizabeth Stark in Dublin in 1740 and, as often happened in those days, emigrated to Virginia in the United States.

They settled in Staunton, Augusta County, where they opened a general store.
He became a prosperous merchant and was a representative in the House of Burgesses in 1759-1761.

Prior to that, however, a son was born in 1743 and Israel, remembering his father back in the Isle of Man, named him William.

When William grew up he became a famous Colonel, working alongside such people as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom became Presidents of the United States.

On the 20th January 1775, the Freeholders of Fincastle County held a meeting to consider a communication from the Continental Congress. Having agreed to support these resolves they elected a Committee of which William Christian was the Chairman, to ensure that these resolves were carried out. An address was prepared and delivered to Congress ending in these words "These are our real, though unpolished, sentiments of liberty and loyalty, and in them we are resolved to live and die". These resolutions were carried to Williamaburg by Colonel William Christian and were published on the 10th of February 1775. From these sprang the Constitutions of what we now know as the United States of America.

So we in Jurby, can truthfully say that we have a part in that great Country.




Sacred/ to the Memory of/ ALEXANDER LANE, M.D./ Staff surgeon R.N./ who departed this life/ May 5th 1877/ aged 75 years/ also/ GEORGE LANE, M.B./his eldest son/ who fell by a poisoned arrow/ nobly doing his duty in the Indian Meeting/ of 1857/ aged 23 years/ His remains lie beneath a tablet in/ Upper Assam/ also/ ALEXANDER/ their son/ who died from sea sickness on landing/ at Nova Scotia in 1847/ aged 11 years/ and/ EDWARD STANLEY LANE,M.D., L.R.P.S., D.L.M./ died 1st Nov 1896 in his 48 year/ interred at Isaac Harbour Gugboro Poirty, Nova Scotia/ this stone is erected as a small token of affection/ by their fifth son/ EDWARD STANLEY LANE, M.D./ Salap 1877/MONA DORATHEA LANE/ fell asleep/ 1st February 1889/ aged 8 years/ (Darling little MONA).

SOURCE: M.I. 946, Section 1, Block 2, Braddan Cemetery

In Memory/ of/ EDWARD GELLING/ of Douglas/ Merchant/ who departed this life11th Decr. 1856/ aetat 57/ also/ Lieut. GEORGE BROWN GELLING/ C.S.A. of Charleston, Carolina/ America, son of the above/ who was killed at the Seige of Petersburg/ Virginia/ on the 16th of June 1864/ aged 23 years/ In Loving Memory of/ MATHEW HARRISON GELLING/ youngest son of the above/ EDWARD GELLING who died at Urmston/ near Manchester January 29th 1895/ aged 52 years.

SOURCE: M.I. (458) Section 1, Block 1, Braddan Cemetery

Sent in by Roger Christian



The collapse of the western part of the Russian Empire over the last three months and the willingness to integrate with the European Community has given new hope to thousands of British citizens whose ancestors were born in Eastern Europe, and who are desperate to find their roots.

Emperor George of Hanover became King of England at the time of Napoleon's rise to power, Prussia fought as a separate state against Napoleon and many of the other German states also fought on the side of the Allies, but the Hanoverians were part of the British Army and were known as the King's German Legion. As this sovereign was the head of two nations, Great Britain and Hanover, his subjects, although living in different countries separated by the high seas, were regarded as being subjects of the King irrespective of their place of abode. They therefore did not require passports or visas or any other form of documentation to travel, or reside, in either state.

The German Kingdoms and Principalities were often at war with one another and in the late 1700s and early 1800s wars and famines caused vast numbers of German speaking peoples to leave their homelands and head west towards America. This route led via London, because there were no direct shipping links to the United States, and once in England many Immigrants, finding work, stayed and became part of the English community. Then, as now, early settlers wrote home and encouraged their work mates and relations to follow. When they did they would often live in the same areas as their adventurous friends and thereby form the basis of a local, often foreign-speaking community .In many cases local German churches were founded, with the pastors often acting as letter writers or scribes for some of their less educated parishioners.

With the unification of the German States under Bismark and the outbreak of the first world war, many thousands of people of German origin, although by this time born and bred in England; often for two or three generations;suffered persecution at the hands of the other English who had British-sounding names. The newspapers of the time list endless acts of violence carried out against property and persons, whose only fault lay in the fact that they had German, or east European sounding surnames. Almost anyone with an accent or surname from an east European country suffered. Jews, Latvians,Russians and even Greeks were branded as Huns or Boche.

German bands left the streets, German printers, publishers, bakers and shopkeepers often changed their names after their premises were raided, looted and destroyed. Outbreaks of terrorism and personal attacks were prevalent in workshops and factorise of many of the larger manufacturing cities in the country and school children were bullied. People moved and changed their jobs,and as they did so, often adopted anglicized versions of their original name or changed it completely, sometimes taking the name of their trade,local town or district and even the name of the distaff side of the family into which they had married.

So great was the shame of many English born people with foreign sounding names that often their children grew up in ignorance of their great grandparents',grandparents' and even their parents' backgrounds; and only when making enquiries regarding matters of probate or family history were the original names discovered and the stories revealed. Many people of German origin were interned in both world wars, others had restrictions placed on their movements and places of abode. One man, never having examined his birth certificate was almost thrown in the glasshouse as a spy upon joining up to serve King and Country in World War II. His name was not that with which he had been born and registered. The family had changed their names, from the original German surname by adopting a new English-sounding one, but had not bothered to change the children's names on their birth certificates!

The second World War was cause enough in many families to hide their origins deeper still and in many cases only recently have the early names been discovered as more people begin to examine their roots. The events which led up to this war caused millions of people to leave their homelands and Jewish,Polish, Czechoslovak, Latvian and other nationals as well as Germans maybe able to find a starting point regarding family research with The Anglo German Family History Society.

This society has for several years been encouraging and helping those interested in their German backgrounds by organising meetings for would be investigators,and through the publication of their magazine, written in English. The AGFHS has also published a variety of booklets on German life in England;including studies on the German hospitals and the trades of baking and sugar refining which employed a high proportion of immigrants; another publication deals with internment in the first world war. They are also producing booklets and leaflets explaining the processes of obtaining information in Germany and provide basic letters, written in German, which can be used when asking for information from the local burgomasters, libraries, churches and record offices.

But of course records held in the eastern part of Germany were impossible to review or research. Now, with unification having taken place the way should be opened for the Anglo German Family History Society to provide more background information on the Germans in England.




On February 5th at Rookee N.W. Province, Lieut. John Cannell of the Sappers and Miners formerly of K. Michael aged 50 yrs.

Monas Herald 1879



To the Revs Chas. Crebbin and Wm. Clucas vicars General of the Diocese of Sodor and Mann.

The Humble Petition of Alice Creetch of Castletown -


That your Petr. had a son, a seaman, one John Creetch who was impressed into his Majesties Service on Board his Majesties ship the (sic) Salisbury,Captain John Knight Commander.

That lately your Petr. has received a letter from a friend of hers on Board said ship of War, that her said son was killed in an Action with an enemy to the British Flag in Chesepeake Bay as per said Letter dated 24th December 1781 appears at Large - Thus your Petr. in Order to receive his wages and prize money is constrained to apply to your reverences for an Administration to be granted your Petr. in her said son John Creetch's Effects and Estate

Therefore Most Humbly praying your Reverences will be pleased to grant your Petr. that she may be admitted to an Administration in the goods Chattles and Effects of her said son John Creetch and your Petr. shall for your reverences happiness ever pray & c. -

Jan 13th 1782

At a Consistory Court holden at Douglas the 14th Day of Feb. 1782.

John Creetch formerly of Castletown, Batchelor, belonging to His Majestie's Ship the Shrewsbury, having been lately killed on board the said Ship in an Action with the Enemy as by advice received Intestate. The Court upon intelligince thereof hath Decreed his Mother Alice Creetch (Widow) sole Administratrix of all his Goods, Chattels, Rights, Credits and Effects of what kind or nature soever. Whereupon she is sworn well and truly to Administer the same - and to pay all her Intestate's just Debts so far forth as the said Goods, Chattels and Effects will extend and the Law shall bind her to return a true and perfect Inventory to the Registry when "hereunto required. And to these Ends hath given Pledges in form of Law namely John Cubbon of Malew and Henry Fargher of Douglas.


Decretum est.

Wm. Clucas

Sent in by Roslyn Selwood
Taken from wills GL 721
JOHN CREETCH Castletown 1781

Letter to John Creetch's family who lived in Castletown.

Shrewsbury lying in Barbadoes. December 24th 1781

Master Creetch this come with my best respects to you hoping these few lines will find you in good health as I am at present thanks be to god for it I am sorry to acquaint you of an Engagement we had of Chesapeak bay in america between the English and trench fleet our English fleet but consisting of nineteen ships of battle and they trench fleet consisting of twenty four Ships of battle we engaged each other for the space of two hours till our rigging was all shot away, and sixty four of our men killed and wounded,out of them there was fourteen killed dead, and several of the rest died of their wounds, one of which was your son John Creetch of a wound he received in his brest and his right arm shots off died three days after the Engagement and at that time he had two years pay due to him and some prize money which would be of great service to you in your old days if you could get some good friend to look after it for you this Ships name is the Shrewsbury Mounting 74 Guns at Present Commanded by Captain John Knight but at that time it was Captain Mark Robinson where his leg was shot off and our first lieutenant killed Please to Remember me to your Daughters and to John Gordon an John Kelley living on the bowling Green So no more at Present from Robert Cally who was servant at Mr. Tugmans and sailed with Wm. Lawson in the smack in Mr. Tummans Employ.




In my childhood elderly folk would still talk with nostalgia of the days when the troops were stationed in the Castletown Barracks; the large building on the Market Square which later was to be used as a wine store and then as the Town Hall and has now been converted into offices for an international shipping company.

They would talk of the spectacle and colour of the Church Parades and of how St. Mary's was greatly enlarged to accommodate the troops. The tale was also told, true or not, as to how the pews were made with such uncomfortable backs to ensure that the troops sat bolt upright during service.

When the Barracks was in active operation the space now occupied by the Trustee Savings Bank was occupied by the guard hut and entrance gate giving entrance to the gaol, hospital, stores etc., situate at the rear of the main building. Further to the rear again was the Paddock and stables for the officers and horses.

The soldiers assisted generally in the life of the town. The Fire Brigade was provided by the troops. In summer time the O/c would arrange for a water cart to drench the Market Square to keep down the dust from the unmacadmised surface of the Square and at such times as the 'big snow' the assistance of the soldiers was invaluable.

The fire engine used by the soldiers was still in existence when I was a young man. It consisted of a horse drawn machine fitted with leather hoses and leather buckets and an extremely heavy ladder which must have required considerable strength and effort to elevate. Water was pumped manually by the combined work of six men operating the pumping handles. The wheels of the machine were made of cast iron and apparently it was not unknown for one or more of the wheels to fly off when the engine was being raced to the scene of a fire. On one occasion a fire broke out in a bakehouse in Malew Street and the soldiers raced to deal with it. The Sergeant in charge came to the conclusion that the only way to pour water on to the seat of the fire was from an upstairs window of premises occupied by a Watchmaker and Jeweller. The fire had broken out in the middle of the night and needless to say the next morning found the fire duly extinguished but the Jeweller's stock of watches and jewellery sadly depleted.

Soldiers in those days tended to be very rough diamonds; the main requirements were good health, physical strength and the ability to take orders. They worked hard, played hard, and drank hard. The football ground in those days was on land at The Flat, now occupied by houses, and as football was one of the primary sources of entertainment a match attracted considerably greater numbers of people than it would today. At one such match two of the soldiers who had been drinking heavily started an argument with a local policeman, a Constable Alex Comaish, which ended in the Constable having to defend himself from an assault by the two soldiers.

A crowd had gathered around but no one was attempting to help the constable who was taking a battering. Fortunately, when things were looking really bad for Comaish, Mr. Oates from Ballasalla loomed up out of the crowd. Mr. Oates was a blacksmith, father of several blacksmith sons who were to carry on the family trade both in Ballasalla and at Ballabeg.

Mr. Oates called out 'what's wrong Alec' to which Alex managed to gasp out can't you see what's wrong, they're knocking 'h' out of me'. Oates was an extremely powerful man - he moved in, picked up the two soldiers just as though they were rag dolls, knocked their heads together and they collapsed unconscious on the ground to be carried back to the Barracks to face charges which were probably more severely implemented by their C/O than would have been by the civil authorities.

Several of the married soldiers lived outside of Barracks and a tale was told of how in the early days of the Barracks at a time before mains water had been brought to the town and the women had to draw water from various wells, the wives of two soldiers who had quarrelled over one of the husbands used the same well in Paradise Lane and when one of them went to draw water from the well the other lay in hiding and springing out murdered the first woman by pushing her into the well and holding her upside down in the water. The murderess had subsequently been hanged and her ghost was said to haunt the Lane seeking expiation for her crime.

Parade Stores was at the time I am writing about ran by the Thompson family and one of the family 'George' once told me a tale of what one might call psychological manslaughter. Apparently there was a Sergeant in the Barracks who had made a name for himself as a bully and who was heartily disliked. Soldiers at that time, as I have remarked before, tended to be rough diamonds but were drawn from all classes and amongst the troop was one who had been well educated and was interested in the new ideas as to mental health at that time being investigated. He suggested that they might try an experiment on the Sergeant and the others took the idea up with enthusiasm. Each time any of them met the Sergeant alone they remarked with sympathy that he was not looking too well and as the days and weeks went by gradually increased the psychological warfare. Unfortunately, according to George, the experiment proved only too successful. The Sergeant went into a decline, was invalided out of the Army and within a comparatively short time was dead.

In general the troops must have had a comparatively easy time when stationed on the Island but even in a quiet place danger can sometimes appear unexpected In the early days of the Barracks a ship carrying munitions came ashore on the coast at Dalby and soldiers from Castletown were sent to guard the vessel. It would appear that the Dalby people at that time were an extremely rough bunch and were firmly of the opinion that anything which came ashore was theirs. They attempted to storm the ship, stoning the soldiers, and when this was not effective opened fire with shot guns. The soldiers were obliged to open return fire not only to protect themselves but in case astray round of shot might spark off an explosion in the munition ship. The people were eventually driven off and the episode made headlines in the London Times.

Teddy Blackburn of Castletown


April 2nd. 1874

Lost at sea the steamship "Blende", off the coast of the Island. Captain John Clague,lst. Engineer Robert Quayle,2nd. Engineer Charles Haydon belonged to Bristol, John Moore, John George Clague, John O'Neill and John Shimmin all belonging to Douglas and George Howard who was shipped at Parr. More details about this shipwreck in later newspapers the 2nd. and 9th April 1874.


To Marquis of Crontry? Cranley


Carlisle Sep ye 10th 1766

Altho' I have not yet got any Orders from the Board of Ordnance, I thought it my Duty to go over to the Isle of Man to visit the Barracks.

I set out from hence and went on board the Packett ye 26th of August last,and by way of Jaunt of Pleasure took my wife along with me - had a very bad passage and in the utmost Danger of being lost we fell in with the land at 12 o'clock at Night without being able to see it and a squall of wind took away our Masts Bowspritt, Sails and Rigging and close by the Deck -but luckily we found ourselves within Ramsey Bay. Anchored all night and went ashore in the morning.

The Town of Ramsey a very poor place except abt 7 houses belonging to ye once Eminent Merchts - who have and the rest are leaving the Island. There are no Barracks, one Company is quartered here. We went the next day to Peel another See Port a very poor town here are the remains of a very large castle built by the Danes - The History of it I could not by any means get at - another company are quartered here. No Barracks - The Country between Ramsey and this place is the Garden of the Island and really is good land as I would wish to see, at present prettily well cultivated and capable by proper industry to turn out to good Acct - from here we cross'd the Island to Douglas Town - formerly the Seat of Trade.

But at present Dull and unprofitable as the Revolution (as they call it)has put a stop to all Trade wt ever.

The Town is well situated but very ill built. There are a few good houses placed here and there and as it was by accident. The Neighbouring ones being very bad.

There are three companys quartered here. No Barracks. The Roads exceptionally bad and mountanous and a very plain country resembling the worst parts of the Islands of Scotland. I .... can from Peel to Douglas. The Breadth of the Island abt 14 miles - from hence I went to Castle Town the Residence of the Governour and where all Courts of Law etc. are kept - but the poorest, ill built Disagreeable Town in the Island a bad Harbour and Dangerous Bay- The Castle (call'd Rushen) is very large and surrounded with a very high wall in the form of a Hexagon wth a parapet. The Castle quite centre. Within these walls are Barracks (lately built) for four company's but so contrived as not to admits the sun the whole year thou' and so coverd by the Walls and the Castle in the Centre that they are in perpetual smoke and very damp - in the Posse are built stabling for Two Troop of Horse. There's likewise an apology for a Glacis but formerly it has been a Castle of Great Strength and consequence it stood a pretty long sedge in the Countess of Derbys Time, by Fairfax - at last given up by the Treachery of her Governour who she hanged soon after - the officers Barracks are the Rooms the Countess lived in - there's a good Turnpike Road from Douglas to Castle Town. The country very good and well improved - the length of the Island is abt 30 miles - The poorer sort of the inhabitants are really in a Deplorable state and were it not for the Herrings which they get in great quantity's they would absolutely starve - all kind of liquors are cheap I bought very good claret at 1s pr bottle French white wine at 8d pr bottle - there are three Brewerys at Douglas but only one now in business - I am afraid Sir I'm tireing you, shall therefore conclude with observing to you that for want of Barracks in Douglas, Peal and Ramsey that the Government is at the Annual Expence of near £600 in providing lodging for the Troops as they pay to every Cal,Capt. 5s-6d per week. Subalterns 3s 6d - Sergt Corps 1s and private 6d for lodging should the Government think necessary to continue a Regiment in the Island in my Humble Opinion - it would be cheaper to purchase Houses of the Merchts in the aforenamed Towns (and who are all leaving the Island consequently would be glad to sell them at a very low price) than build them from the ground.

We got safe home yesterday. I beg you'll be kind enough to present my respectful complimts to Lord Granby whom I wish all Joy on his late Prefermt I beg likewise you'll acquaint his Lordships that I have been in the Island. I hope Mrs. Thoroton and your Family are well - at present nothing is settled in respect to me. Mr. Griffith the Contractor has the sole care of the Barracks and has appointed a Deputy - I am Sir Your Obliged and Obedt Hon. Servt. Capt. Middlemoor


Original in possession of Miss F. Lewthwaite

Victorian Volunteers taken early 1900s



This month instead of featuring a cottage with a date stone, we are showing a photograph my husband took in the summer of 1989. This door, which once belonged to the Strand Inn was found still in use on an old building in Andreas.

John Woodruff was the tenant in possession of a dwelling house and premises situated in Strand Street called the old Strand Inn in 1873. He had it on a lease for 7 years at a rent of £50 per annum and he laid out £200 in improving the premises, the door probably dates from this time.

The print was featured in the 1884 Browns Directory.

Thomas Woodruff Farmer of Cheshire      Daniel Cleator, Publican
| |
+-------+-----------------------+ +--+--
| | |
James Neesham = Eleanor Parkes John = Catherine Jane Cleator
in 1871 living| b.1852 Kk Mich b.1848 b.1850 Lonan
at Old Strand | barmaid in 1871 Cheshire
Inn b. 1851 | d.1888 left £50 in will to John James Kaye
+------------++---------------+ who worked at Inn
| | |
Fanny Helena = William John Parkes
b 1873 b.1877 Edward b. ?




Knockaloe Moar (Great Knockaloe) is mentioned in the Manorial Roll of 1515. The first part -Knock is an early Manx form for hill. According to J.J.Kneen, the second part of the name is from Allowe's (Olaf or Olane). Two quarterlands distinguished by "moar and beg" (big and little).

Mac-Allowe (son of Allowe) became Caley in Kirk Patrick and Callow in Kirk Maughold. Jenken McCaley was the holder of the treen of Raby in 1515. In the oldest of the three grave-yards at Kirk Patrick (1709) are the ruins of St. Patrick's Church, consecrated on St. Peter's day in 1711.

Historian John Feltham writing about the Church says "it was erected by the exertions of Bishop Wilson, when Captain Silvester Radcliffe and his son Charles Radcliffe, with the consent of their respective wives, gave part of their estate of Knock-aly-Moar, to build the church, churchyard, vicarage-house and garden.

On the outbreak of war with Germany in 1914, Knockaloe entered a new phase in its long history. Having been used for years as a holiday camping site for Territorial Soldiers, the Liverpool Brigade of the Lancashire Field Ambulance and others; it became a Prisoner of War Internment Camp.

The 346 acre farm was divided into 23 compounds, each one capable of holding 1,000 prisoners. A special railway line was laid down from Peel to transport the huge amount of stores and fuel needed by the camp.

At its peak, Knockaloe held 23,000 German and Turkish prisoners, plus 3,000 others, guards, doctors, priests, engineers, store-keepers, clerks, dentists etc., cooks, bakers, butchers were mostly recruited from the prisoners.

The health of the inmates was safeguarded by the building of five camp hospitals plus an isolation hospital for T.B. and other infectious diseases; which was located on the hillside. For the more seriously ill patients a special ward was in use at Noble's Hospital.

The inmates could pass their time in the sports stadium, or putting on musical and other shows in their own theatre. Others worked in joinery and craft workshops, producing bone vases, napkin rings, pinholders, match stands,paper knives and baskets. Wooden items included model ships in bottles,small items of furniture, book safes with secret compartments, sewing and glove boxes and toys.

Other items produced were water colours, postcards, and steel engravings; the proceeds from the sale of these prints were given to the "sick and burial club" to insure a caring response to sick and dying prisoners and to ensure(when needed) a proper burial.

Turkish prisoners with a detailed knowledge of wild life in their native land, produced a great variety of beaded snakes; the open mouth of the snakes were used as pin cushions and the body of the reptile was slung over the shoulder so enabling the sewer to work freely with both hands. So realistic were these snakes in execution and colouring that I have seen people back away from them as if they were alive.

An amusing incident happened near the Knockaloe entrance, guards arrested two men who were chatting together rather loudly as they walked along. The soldiers, no doubt new arrivals from England; marched the two men at gun-point to the main guard-room, there to their dismay they found out that the conversation they had overheard was Manx, not German as they had thought.

Another incident happened when a farmer's cart wheels sank into a tunnel on the Knockaloe Beg Lane, which ran along the North perimeter of the camp. The prisoners used to crawl through it of an evening and go to a public house in Peel; returning again to the camp after closing time.

98 men were tried by Military Courts in the Isle of Man for trying to escape,but none succeeded in getting away from the Island.

One night two prisoners tried to steal and sail a fishing boat which was anchored in Peel Harbour. A fisherman saw the boat move and called out,not receiving a reply, he raised the alarm. An armed guard on duty, held them at gun point, until other help arrived.

It was a major and expensive task which began in 1923 to clear the building and break up the concrete floors, many of these broken blocks were used to build the walls of the present roadway walls which run for about half a mile from the main road to Knockaloe Farmhouse and yard. Some of the wooden buildings were sold on the Island, but most were shipped to Belgium which had suffered a severe loss of housing in the war.

War Graves

The few Turkish nationals who died at Knockaloe Camp were buried together in a long grave in the 1709 graveyard at Patrick. In 1972 new headstones were placed on the grave by the Turkish Embassy and the War Graves Commission, these replaced the broken original stones.

At the burials during the Great War, the Turkish internees wanted their fellow countrymen buried according to their religious practice, that was,with the coffins standing vertically. But the Church Authorities would not allow this. A compromise was reached that the head of each coffin be raised on bricks. After the grave was opened, the whole area had to be cleansed with water. This was done because the gravedigger was of the Christian faith and therefore in their eyes an infidel.

About 1971 new headstones were placed on the graves of British Servicemen who died whilst on duty at Knockaloe.

In July 1962 a faculty was granted to the German War Graves Commission after a public meeting for the disinterrment of the German war dead. All those disinterred were male civilian German and Austrian internees of Knockaloe Internment Camp. The faculty permitted the removal of the remains of the dead to a central German War Cemetery at Cannock Chase in England, where relatives from Germany and Austria could more easily visit the graves. The work was commenced on 5th August 1962, and completed one month later. Sixty nine graves with up to five persons in each were opened, the coffins were burnt and the top facing of graves broken up and thrown into the open graves before they were refilled.

Many of the artifacts made in the camp can be seen in local homes. The Manx Museum has a collection, also a smaller number can be seen at the Leece Museum in Peel. Today visitors to Patrick Village can look across the former camp site and see the largest three legs symbol in the world. This deep green grass giant is set in the centre of a hillside field of a paler green. The contrasting green colouring is achieved by putting large applications of fertiliser on the three legs of Man part.

by Frank C. Quayle of Peel


This official Price List approved by Captain Arthur Boyd is believed to have been in use at Knockaloe Camp.


Official List of Prices for Prisoner of War Camps

Feb. 23rd to March 29th 1918


s d

Banjo Strings


0 6

Bay Rum

per bot.


Black lead...

per tin


Boot Polish, Blacking

from per tin


Brilliantine ..

per bot


Brushes, Boot


- Nail

- Shaving    
Hair Brushes ..    
Buttons Calico    
.Cigarette Papers, A.G.    
" " Zig Zag .    
Wills' "Evening Star"    
Player's No. 2 Virginia ..    
Player's No. 3 Virginia    
Horse Meat, Sausage, Smoked per lb    
" " " Fresh per lb    
" " Fresh, with Bone " "    
" without Bone per lb    
" " Smoked    
Laces, Leather    
Looking Glasses    
Moustache Binders    
Soap, Brooke's Monkey    
Carbolic, Lifebuoy    
" Nubolic    
Matchless Cleanser    
Pears Unscented, 6d cake    
Shaving, per stick    
Soups, packets    



1) INKERMANN/ Erected by Public Subscription/ In Memory of Brigadier-General Thomas Leigh Goldie,/ of the Nunnery,/ Lieutenant Colonel of H.M. 57th/
Regiment./ He commanded a Brigade of the British Army in the Crimea;/
and Fell in the Battle of/ Inkermann, Nov. 5th. MDCCCLIV,/ in the 47th
year of his age./ Post Funera Virtus.

[note this obelisk was destroyed by a tree fall in the 1970s and never repaired]


The Great War/ 1914-1918/ "Greet them again with tender/ words and grave,/ for, saving thee, themselves/ they could not save."/ Gerald Goldie-Taubman/ Arthur Cheeseman/ George W. Biggs/ Thomas Parry/ Thomas Highfield/ Frederick W. Shield/ Sidney Banter/ Harold Carter/ "Requiscant in Pace".

Holy Father, in thy mercy/ Hear our anxious prayer/ Keep our loved ones now far absent/ Death thy care./ Our Roll of Honour/

William Fry General Commanding 30th Div.
Julian Buccus Leicestershire Regiment
W. John Lawrence Fry East Lancashire Regiment
J. William Andrews Army Service Corps
Charles H. Clarke Grenedier Guards
Walter Faragher Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick Johnson Royal Navy
Henry Wordley Royal Navy
Frank Kamester Royal Garrison Artillery
Charles Hanson Royal Garrison Artillery
Miles Wrigley Leach Royal Navy
Richard J. Renolds Worcestershire Regiment
John Alex Ellison Kings Liverpool Regiment
Alfred E. Bridson Kings Liverpool Regiment
A.S. Rowley London Scottish


15.9.1915 Gerald Goldie Taubman Royal Garrison Artillery
31.7.1917 Arthur Cheeseman Grenadier Guards
24.9.1916 George W. Biggs Grenadier Guards
5.9.1915 Thomas Parry 3rd Hussars
5.8.1915 Thomas Highfield Royal Irish Rifles
5.7.1916 Frederick D. Shield N.Hants. Yeom. Res.Regt.
9.2.1917 Sidney Santer Kings O. Royal Lanc.Regt.
13.8.1917 Harold Carter Kings O. Royal Lanc.Regt.


3) To the memory of/ Charles Francis Goldie Taubman/ Captain the King's Own Regiment/ who died whilst on active service/ at Guloo, West Africa/ on June 23rd 1898/ in the thirty fourth Year of his age./ Erected by his brother Officers.

4) In proud memory of/ Maj-Gen Sir William Fry K.C.V.O., C.B./ Col. 14thWest Yorkshire Regt. 1914-1934/ (Prince of Wales Own)/ Lieut-Governor the Isle of Man 1919-1926/ who passed to rest on March 20 1934/ His life of faithful service won the/ esteem of his King and his country, the / affection of his comrades and the devoted/ love of his beloved wife and children.

Sent in by Roger Christian





The William Brew on this table was probably William Brew, tailor of Douglas, who died in 1824 aged 42. He was from the Ballameanagh-beg in Lonan. This presumed grandfather William Brew of Ballamenagh-beg (died 1778 aged 58) bought the Mullenvaatage ( a water corn-mill) from the Farghers in 1770 (later sold to the Kneales of Rhaa). He had a younger son Thomas who was in Ballacorrin-Grawe and a daughter Mary who married about 1770 John Kewley of Ballacoar. William the tailor was thus related to Thomas Brew of Douglas (also from Lonan) who in 1831 was tried for murder and condemned to death on evidence of his sister-in-law Mrs. Nancy Craine, who said he had strangled his wife (nee Elizabeth Curphey). In the appeal court Nancy contradicted her former evidence ("a most brutal woman" commented Brew's advocate) and Brew was acquitted. The truth was that Brew, his wife and Nancy were all completely drunk and only two of them woke up next day. Thomas Brew's family were bee-keepers at Ballacorrin-Grawe. He was a coal factor partner of Daniel Kneale (from Lonan) who was formerly a partner (till 1825) of James Hogg, who married 1822 Mrs Milburne (nee Kewley of Gretch Veg). Kneale and Brew were both related to the Kewleys of Lonan, making intricate family relationships.


1. The Kings of Ashanti and Fanti had a common origin in ancient history but they became deadly rivals. The Kingship descended from the King to his brothers, or sister's sons, never to his own sons. The Ashanti Kings had to maintain the fetish number of 3,333 wives. Human sacrifices were usual at their funerals, and continued till later in the 19th century.

The slave trade reached its height around 1750. At that time, 10,000 slaves were exported annually. It was abolished in 1807 but continued illegally for a while after that.

2. Richard Brew was probably related to William Brew, a slave ship captain,who sailed in 1725 from Boston to Bilbao, Jamaica, St. John's, and Leghorn on the slave run. Richard (1725-1776) was the son of Richard Brew of Ennis, Co. Clave, brewer and vintner, who married a papist, Eleanor O'Brien. The family continued to be Protestants, so they were evidently not native Irish. It may be assumed they were of Manx descent. All the Manx became Protestants in 1560, and the Manx name of Brew first emerged before 1600. The few Brews who existed in Ireland before 1600 were Catholics descended from De Berewth as (De Burghs) in Leith and Kilkenny. Their name usually developed into Burroughes. Cathal Brughan (1874-1922) the Republican hero, was of this family. The Brews of Co. Clave had interesting descendants, including: Charlotte Brew the rider; the proprietors of Brew's garages in London, including Richard Brew, Chairman of the GLC in 1975; the first (divorced) wife of the 7th Lord Lisle;and an incumbent (Rev. Chartres Brew) of T.S. Eliot's church at Little Gidding, as well as numerous (protestant) clergymen and several physicians and army officers. Two Brews were key witnesses in the mysterious Kirwan murder trial of 1852. Their (unregistered) arms are described in Thomas Robson's "The British Herald" (3 Vols, 1830): Azure, three pheons or,Grest: a park gate yules". Vivian Mulholland-Brew registered quite different arms in 1898.

I notice as (possible) forebears: Richard Brew, son of John Brew of the Guilcaugh, Andreas (died 1635); and Richard Brew (died 1745) brother of James Brew of the Guilcaugh (1677-1735). These Brews of the Guilcaugh were credited with a descent from the Stanley Kings and Lords of Man by the Rev. G.P. Clarke (MS338C and Wm. Cubbon's MS3910 in the Manx Museum archives) Margaret Cowle of the Kellaveg (1720-1781) married 1741 John Brew of the Guilcaugh (1713-1769) her mother was Leonora Cowlenee Ascough, who was accused of witchcraft in 1738. Leonora was said by Mr. Clarke to be the daughter of Robert Hesketh of Rufford and thus a granddaughter of Sir George Stanley of Crosshall, Captain of the Isle of Man in 1535 and a nephew of the 2nd Earl of Derby. But Robert Hesketh died in 1651 and the dates are quite impossible.

3. Agustus Casely-Hayford has two artistically gifted brothers, one a dress designer whose work was illustrated in the Observer Supplement in ?
and the other a director of Panorama (BBC).

See Family Trees on the following pages 134 - 137.


March 20th 1838

On Friday last in George St., Whitehaven, Mr. William KEWLEY aged 65 years, police officer, which situation he had filled for about 14 years with satisfaction to the town and was very generally respected. he had formerly been adjutant of the Manx Fencibles and enjoyed a pension of 2/6 a day.



(Taken from a Military History of the Isle of Man)

After a long period of quiescence, interest in the Volunteer Movement was revived in the middle of the reign of Queen Victoria, and companies of volunteers were raised in all parts of Britain. Later, administrative battalions were formed, the system leaving companies independent from the standpoint of finance, but requiring them to assemble together periodically for the purpose of battalion drill and manoevres.

In the Isle of Man a detachment of British regular troops had been doing duty at Castletown for many years. In 1851, for instance, a detachment of the 92nd Highlanders was stationed in the Barracks at Castletown consisting of one captain, two ensigns and forty four non-commissioned officers and privates. The main function of these regular army detachments was to furnish a guard for Castle Rushen, the seat of Government, where also was the prison for the Island.

Major Francis Pigott was the first officer commanding the Administrative battalion of Volunteers raised in the Isle of Man in 1860.

The companies of Rifle Volunteers were the First Castletown, which existed until 1867, the Second Douglas which was attached to the 15th Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1873, then to the 64th Lancashire in 1877 and after several more changes became the Kings Own Liverpool Regiment in April 1882 a small contingent of which served in the South African War.

The Volunteers continued to serve until the end of the 1st World War.

The uniform at first was dark grey with red facings, later scarlet with blue facings. A few of the uniforms are on display at the Manx Museum, the men must have looked extremely smart when on parade with their scarlet jackets, black trousers and helmets.

Several muster rolls of the Douglas volunteers have survived, plus also several lists for Ramsey and Castletown members dating from 1860.

On page 139 is a small extract from the Douglas Muster Roll.


Wednesday January 22nd killed in the disastrous engagement with the Zulus Lieutenant FRANCIS HARTWELL MACDOWEL Esq. M.D. Merrion Sq. Dublin and grandson of the late Rev. F.B. Hartwell formerly Vicar General of This Island, age 26 years.

From Mona's Herald March 12th 1879


Date of Oath Surname Christian Height Chest Age Occupation

1864 SPITTALL JAMES 5'6" 36 Advocate
1868 STEPHEN ROBERT 5'6" 34? "
1868 BRIDSON JAMES 5'8" 21 Joiner
1869 CAIN JAMES 5'6" 18 Tobacco Spinner
1871 ACHESON SAMUEL 5'6" 17 Weaver
1872 KELLY WILLIAM 5'7" 18
1875 SANSBURY JOHN 5'9½" 30 Painter
1878 KARRAN FREDERICK 5'6½" 18 7/12 Mason
1878 CHAPMAN JOHN 5'5 8" 17 "
1878 PROCTOR WILLIAM 5'6" 25\ Shoemaker
1878 WADE EDWARD 5'10" 21 Mason
1879 ROTHWELL ALFRED 5'7" 18\ Clerk
1879 COWELL FREDERICK 5'9 8" 23 Tailor
1879 KERMODE JOHN 5'7½" 17
1879 BURROWS WILLIAM 5'9" 27 Gilder
1879 WALLACE JOHN 5'8½" 39
1881 MORGAN WILLIAM 5'4" 19 Tailor
1881 QUAYLE ROBERT 5'7½" 19 Plasterer
1881 BRIDSON JOHN 5'8½" 24 Upholsterer
1881 MORGAN LOUS 5'6½" 17 Tailor
1881 CLAGUE GEORGE 5'8" 22 Mason
1883 HALEY ROBERT 5'6½" 21 Plasterer
1883 KNEEN THOMAS 5'8" 19 "
1883 WADE EDWARD 5'7½" 19 Mason
1887 KANEEN ALFRED 5'8" 36" 19 Compositer
1887 MOORE ROBERT 5'10" 39" 27 Labourer
1887 CANNELL JAMES 5'8½" 40" 20 "
1887 SKILLICORN SAMUEL 5'7" 33" 18
1887 CORRIN PAUL 5'58" 34 33 6/12 Printer
1887 ACHESON THOMAS 5'5" 34\ 27 Flax Dresser
1887 CHRISTIAN EDWARD 5'58" 33\ 34 Tailor
1887 DEARDEN JOHN A 5'8½" 37~" 37 3/12 Surgeon
1888 POLAND JAMES 5'10" 37" 19 Painter
1888 SMITH WM. JOS 5'10" 38 18 Mason



Prior to the Isle of Man's Revestment in the Crown in 1765, any soldier serving there would be in the Lord's garrison manning the two Castles and the forts in Douglas and Ramsey. Not all were recruited locally, and the names of Pickard and Flexney originated as soldiers from "across".

These troops were commanded by the four Captains of the Towns, and they carried out what would now be police, prison and customs duties. However, when the Earl of Derby returned to England in 1651 to make his last stand against Cromwell's soldiers, he took with him some 300 men, including garrison soldiers.

A century later, it was not unknown for Town Captains to have a sideline in the "running trade", and Bridson of Douglas and Christian of Ramsey crossed swords with King George's revenue men when they entered Manx harbours in pursuit of smugglers. With the Revestment, the Lord's garrison was disbanded,and it is possible that some of them continued in the service of the Dukes of Athol elsewhere. The Town Captains continued their vestigial civic duties, but in 1777 these were assimilated into the new magisterial posts of High Bailiff.

By ancient law, the male population was liable to be called out by as Militia in time of danger. This began as "Watch and Ward" against plundering ships,and there was a Warden of the Day, who manned a hilltop, and a Warden of the Night, who was responsible for a creek, for each parish except the landlocked Marown. In the 16th century these Wardens seem to have become the Captains of the Parish and their best-known call to arms was when Cromwell's invasion fleet was on the way. Instead of defending the Island, most of the Parish Captains followed Illiam Dhone and overthrew the Derby regime.

Watch and Ward continued until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, but the nearest the Militia got to being mustered was in 1803 when the Governor ordered the High Bailiffs and Parish Captain to enrol volunteers who were willing to bear a pike in case of invasion. If any lists of this great great grandad's army have survived in the Athol or Quayle Bridge House papers in the Museum they would be of value to family historians.

Today the duties of the Captain of the Parish are little more than attendance at Tynwald Day, but no longer are they expected or required to protect that August assembly. If you find an affluent ancestor described as a horseman, there is just a chance that he might be one of the "Four Horseman of the Parish", who escorted the governor to Tynwald Hill until 1822, and seem to have been assistant officers to the Captains of the Parish.

From 1779, on and off until 1811, there were various units of Manks Fencibles,raised in the Isle of Man but as part of the British Army. They were full-time soldiers, recruited in time of war while the regulars were overseas,and then disbanded. They were commanded by the insular gentry, such as the Taubmans of the Nunnery, the Quayles of Bridge House, and Lord Henry Murray, son of the Duke of Athol, but from time to time it was necessary to send recruiting parties as far afield as Glasgow, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Birmingham and Dumfries.

The Manx Fencibles were stationed in Scarborough and Whitby in 1796 and then saw active service in the North of Ireland until 1802. These events could be clues to family trees, particularly as it is said that some Irish refugees followed the Fencibles back to the Island, having learnt of its lack of Penal Laws.

The Description Book (Manx Museum MD 240/19) and the Court Martial Book(Manx Museum MD 240/1 have a wealth of information about "other ranks" in the Manx Fencibles, while B.E. Sergeant's "The Royal Manx Fencibles" book gives details of the commissioning and promotions of its officers. His "Military History of the Isle of Man" Sergeant also gives details oft he officers of the Volunteer Infantry and the Yeomanry Cavalry, part-time local defence units on the British pattern raised locally from 1793.

In all these units the Manx legal profession seems to have played a leading part as officers. On one occasion Deemster Gawne was actually overpowered in Peel courthouse and the prisoners released. He returned at the head of his squadron of Yeomanry but was driven into the sea on his horse. Soon after, in 1823, his unit was the last to be disbanded.

After that there were no Manx troops until 1860, when Rifle Volunteers were being raised again nationally. Again lawyers became prominent as officers. One of them, J.S. Stephen M.H.K., was also Mayor of Douglas, so that in the Keys he would have been entitled to be addressed as the honourable, gallant, learned and worshipful Member. I also recall that when I was a foolish boy in the Home Guard in the Isle of Man, both my corporal and my colonel were lawyers. Perhaps Manx advocates are suited to the military life because they know how to charge.

In the 1914-18 War, the Isle of Man Volunteers which, uniquely in the British army had not been re-organised into Territorials, raised the Manx Service Company of the Cheshire Regiment, and this saw active service. Replicas of its badge are seen on the graves of ex-members, but for a full list of Manx people decorated or killed in that war, some with Dominion forces, Margery West's "Island at War" should be consulted. The wartime Manx newspapers are full of reports, often with family details, of servicemen" of Manx descent,forces, and this could be a further source for family history by Martin Faragher


Extracted from those killed at the massacre of General Custer and his 261 men.

Published in the Tribune, July 6th 1876.

Private CASHAN "L" Company, 7th Cavalry
Private P. KILLEY "F" Company, 7th Cavalry


Drummers Name Date of Joining Age Parish Height

John CAIN 25th July 1803 18 yrs Braddan Cecil
Robert GAIL 25th July 1803 18 yrs Marown
Richard VAIL 25th July 1803 19 yrs Malew
Thomas TEARE 27th July 1803 15 yrs St. Johns
James WALLACE 29th July 1803 23 yrs Malew 5'9"
James CARR 6th August 1803 14 yrs Co. Down 5'5½"
Thomas COLLISTER 25th May 1804 20 yrs Braddan 5'7"
Thomas CAIN 5th April 1804 16 yrs Rushen 5'2"
Joseph CARRON 11th April 1804 14 yrs Malew 5'
Wm. PARKINSON 12th April 1804 15 yrs Braddan 5'2"
Martin KENYON 14th April 1804 14 yrs Maughold 4'9"
John KEGG 24th April 1804 15 yrs Braddan 5'1"

* JAMES CARR 5'5½" age 14 yrs
Swarthy, dark hair, round face, grey eyes from Co. Down Labourer. Joined Capt. Tobins Co.

THOMAS HUDGEON 5'5" age 22 yrs
Dark complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair. 30th Oct 1807. Shoemaker from Rushen joined 30th Oct 1807 Capt. Wilson's Co.

HENRY HUDGEON 5'3¾ age 28 yes
Dark complexion, grey eyes, dark hair. Labourer from Rushen former service 3 yrs. Enrolled by Capt. Murray 2nd July 1803.

THOMAS HUDGEON 5'4¾" age 24 yrs
Blue eyes, dark brown hair. 30th Oct 1807. Shoemaker from Rushen joined Col. Stuart's Co.

THOMAS LEECE 5'8" age 21 yrs
Fresh complexion, grey eyes, dark hair, from Arbory. Labourer. Enrolled Col. Stuart's Co. 16th Jan 1809.

Details of the above taken from the Description Book of the Manx Fencibles.



Mona's Herald June 18th 1879

DESERTIONS FROM THE ARMY - A number of men hailing from the Island have of late earned for it an unenviable notoriety, from a soldierly point of view, for during the past year no fewer than four deserters from the army were arrested here, all of them claiming at least to be Manxmen by birth. Yesterday morning, a young man named Daniel Collins, who had been a fortnight under arrest in Castle Rushen, at the instance of the War Office, left by steamer under escort of two soldiers to proceed to Devonport to take his trial by court martial on the charge of desertion. Robert Quaye, belonging to Douglas, and who has been "wanted" since May, 1877, on a charge of desertion,was apprehended in Castletown on Tuesday, and is now incarcerated in Castle Rushen pending communication with the War Office.

January 31st 1834


On Monday last at K. Malew Mr. William Morrison of Santon aged 75 to Mrs. Bridson, Widow, Silverbourne, Malew aged 64. Old Cupid appears to have been playing his pranks this year!

Taken from local newspaper.

Original Reel of 1841 Census R.C. 7 Southampton, Braddan

John Cringle 40 yr. Labourer b. IOM
Ann " 40 yrs b. IoM
Mary Ann " 5 yrs b. IoM
Jane " 1 yr
Ann " 4 mths Left at the door of the house. Parents not known, supposed to be born in the Island.

Deaths Local Newspaper 1833

On Thursday in this town Wm. Christian, Mariner better known by the name of Billy Mahomet.

Vicars Court, Douglas February 27th 1873

The Maintenance Question

It transpired during the hearing of several cases with regard to illegitimacy that the Vicar General has, in consequence of the enhanced prices of the necessaries of life, increased the sum to be paid by the fathers of illegitimate children to 2s a week.



In 1988 Frank Quayle of Peel, came into possession of an old notebook which contained "A sketch of the life of W.C. Buchanan", Frank Quayle very kindly gave me permission to copy out the story, although the original copy remains with him.

The account tells the story of the early part of the life of William Clucas Buchanan, who was the son of Daniel Buchanan and his wife Mary Clucas. He was born in Looe on. the 19th May 1824.

Many details of the career of Daniel are given who joined the Revenue Service, shortly after his marriage to Mary in 1805, which took place in the Isle of Man.

William C. Buchanan married Eleanor Sayle in June 1853 at Kirk German Church in Peel and had several children.

If you are descended from this family or from Daniel and would like a copy, please write to me. I have also collected many more details of the family from church records, census returns and the local newspapers.

Manx Photographs

I can now also offer to date any photographs of the last century, please send a photocopy of the back and front of the photo; the list of photographers and their studio's would take up too many pages I feel to allow space in the Journal.
If you have several photographs you would like to identify, please send SAE plus postage to cover small booklet.

[FPC - a full list of all known Manx Photographers up to c.1905 can be found on my site - see Photographers]



1806 married at K.Michael
                    Daniel Buchanan = Mary Sayle b.1791 England
               b. 1785 Scotland     |
               Revenue Officer      |
   |        |           |         |                    |
 Jane    Margaret   *Daniel   *Jane             William Clucas  = Eleanor Sayle
 b.1809   b.1811    b.1812   1826              b. 1824 Looe     |   b 1832 K Michael
      Living at      Mariner          Cornwall Ships carpenter  |
    Peel in 1841       =Elizabeth Cain                          |
* William  *William   *Robert *John    *Edward   *Eleanor  George
  Daniel    Daniel     b.1857   b1860   Charles   Anne      b1874
 b1854      b1857                        b1865     b1869

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