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Alexander Saunderson (Sanderson)

gaelwyn

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#1
Can someone help me with information about my GG Grandparents who emigrated to Australia in 1864? I would love to learn more about them.

The information a family historian from 1982, has Alexander and Mary Anne Saunderson arriving on the "Morning Star" on 3rd Sept 1864. His sister, Mary, accompanied them. Their brother, Richard, had emigrated in 1863. He had been a policeman and was a warder at Mudgee Gaol in 1864.

Alexander was born 18th Jan 1830, in Stranorden, County Monaghan. His parents were Alexander Saunderson and Elizabeth Graham of County Monaghan.
Mary Anne Miller was baptised in June 1841, in Parish of Seaton and Beer, Devon. Her parents were Isaac and Mary Anne Miller. Isaac's profession was Coast Guard.

Alexander and Mary Anne were married at Presbyterian Church on 4th April 1864 in Parish of Kilgariffe, County Cork.

The ships papers have Alexander as a farm labourer, but he joined the NSW Police Force on 16th Sept 1864 and the records say that he belonged to the Irish Police Force before emigrating.

Regards
Gail
 

DaveHam9

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#2
Hello Gail,

The shipping record has Stranooden, Monaghan as place of origin for Alexander. And for Mary Ann it has Clonakilty, Cork.

It has Presbyterian for both of them but CE for Mary.

KILGARRIFFE, a parish, partly in the barony of IBANE and BARRYROE, but chiefly in the Eastern Division of the barony of EAST CARBERY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with the post-town of Clonakilty...
I have not yet found the 1830 marriage so I can't say if it is a Presbyterian record or not. If it is then probably your only hope of going back one more generation would rest with the Presbyterian records in N Ireland. Some info HERE.


It would be easier for Alexander to join the Police force if he had been in the R.I.C. However, to get a copy of his service record you first need his service number. I believe the only site on the internet where you could request the look up in a book closed several years ago. Failing that you need someone in a major city in UK such as Dublin to go to the library and look the name up in the book. (If we find someone I have some requests also) :)

It was then possible to get a summary of the service record from the Police Museum in Ireland. I received no reply the last time I tried. To get a copy of the full service record you would need someone to go to the archives in Dublin or Kew.

Regards,

Dave
 
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gaelwyn

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#3
Hey Dave,

Thanks for the info about contacting the Irish Police. I've checked out the links and will investigate.

Yes, Mary seems to have been C of E. possibly because of Monaghans proximity to Northern Ireland.

Alexander Saunderson, 1st son of Alex & Mary Anne, was married in a C of E church in Sydney!

The marriage certificate of Alexander and Mary Anne has their addresses as Mountain Common for Alexander and Dunnycove for Mary Anne. That's about 8kms from the church in Kilgarriffe. The photo copy has faded so I might get another copy.

Regards

Gail
 

DaveHam9

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#4
Hello Gail,

This is the book to be found in a library for someone to look up - HERE.

To use the book you need the first and last name and if it is a common surname then a very good estimate of date the person joined or a rough date for uncommon names.

I believe for a fee the Police Museum of Northern Ireland will provide a copy of the service record but again I think you have to supply the service number.

Regards,

Dave
 

Elwyn

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#5
I have access to Jim Herlihy’s book listing RIC service numbers and will look for Alexander Saunderson’s. RIC staff had to have served 7 years before they were allowed to marry, so that would suggest he joined the force in 1857 or earlier. It was not policy to require them to serve in the county where they were born or where their family lived. So that might account for Alexander from Monaghan marrying in Co. Cork. That’s probably where he had been posted.

The original records for the RIC (and the Dublin Metropolitan Police) are held in the National Archives in Kew. Copies are also held in Dublin (National Archives, I think) and also by the PSNI museum in Belfast. As Dave has already said, there is a search fee, but I have heard that you get a quick response these days. Here’s the link:

http://www.psni.police.uk/index/about-us/police_museum.htm

(But you’ll need the service number first).

I looked at Griffiths Valuation to see if there were any Saunderson households in Stranoodan (spelling used in Griffiths) in 1860. Stranoodan consisted of 208 acres and had 28 households. None contained a Saunderson. However close by there was an Alexander Saunderson in the townland of Blackraw. In 1860 he was renting a farm, offices (outbuildings) and 8 acres (plot 14 in Griffiths). He’s the only Alexander Saunderson in Co Monaghan at that time, so possibly he might be the father of Alexander b 1830. The farm today is on a minor road just to the west of the R188 road, at a place called Corcaghan (a few miles south of Monaghan town). It would be easy enough to find should you ever wish to do so.

http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml

The Saunderson family in Ireland were undoubtedly Presbyterian (indicating they originated in Scotland. Their ancestors probably came to Monaghan as a part of the Plantation of Ulster from 1610 onwards). I am not sure which would be the nearest Presbyterian church to Stranoodan or Blackraw, but you can see what church records for Co Monaghan survive on the PRONI website. You might need to contact Monaghan town Library for advice on which is the nearest Presbyterian church. (Incidentally Presbyterians in Ireland didn’t use the parish system and which church you attended was a matter of personal preference, so if there are several Presbyterian churches in the area – and there were very many Presbyterians living in Co Monaghan – then you might need to check more than one). I don’t think any of the Co Monaghan Presbyterian records are on-line but I might be wrong about that.

http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/resea...es_and_leaflets/online_guides_and_indexes.htm
 

gaelwyn

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#6
Thanks Dave and Elwyn for your input and advice.

The First Presbyterian Church in Monaghan was the Saunderson's church that is mentioned in the family research book.

Also thanks for finding the Saunderson farm in Monaghan for me, Elwyn. They probably moved there from Stranooden after Alex was baptised. I would love to go to Ireland to find my roots....maybe I'll win the lottery!!!!:D

Cheers

Gail
 

DaveHam9

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#8
Hello Gail,

The RIC records do not contain info such as place of birth or names of parents or even name of spouse. There is nothing below level of County.

The registers normally give the following information:
full name
age (but not full date of birth nor information about parents)
height
religious affiliation
native county
trade or calling
marital status
native county of wife (but not her name)
date of appointment
counties in which the man served
length of service
date of retirement and/or death
reference numbers quoted refer to papers which have not survived

One thing not mentioned there is the name of the sponsor - sometimes a family friend who is a serving officer or the minister of the local church.

I can confirm what Elwyn said about places where they served. My ggg grandfather joined in Co Down but after one year he was posted to Co Cork. He was also Presbyterian and he married in Scots Church Cobh, Cork. Exactly one year after the marriage he was transferred to Co Waterford because his spouse was from Cork.
 

Elwyn

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#9
Gail,

There’s only 1 Alex Saunderson listed as having served in the RIC. His service number was 23851. That number was issued between 12.5.1858 and 12.11.1859, which means that if he married in 1864 the 7 years minimum service rule appears to have been waived or ignored. Also the maximum age for joining was 27 and so if he was born in 1830, then he would seem to have been over-age and so again perhaps an exception was made.

Elwyn
 

gaelwyn

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#11
Hey Lee,

Beats me!!!! That's why I'm researching them to find out about life in Ireland in the 1860s and why Alex and his brother Richard left.

I presume that as Mary Annes father, Isaac Miller, was a Coast Guard, then he may have been posted to Cork. If Alex had been sent, as a policeman, down there, well the rest is history?!? :2fun:

Where is Devon, compared to County Cork? Must look on google maps I suppose.

Cheers

Gail:)
 

leefer

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#13
Hey Lee,

Beats me!!!! That's why I'm researching them to find out about life in Ireland in the 1860s and why Alex and his brother Richard left.

I presume that as Mary Annes father, Isaac Miller, was a Coast Guard, then he may have been posted to Cork. If Alex had been sent, as a policeman, down there, well the rest is history?!? :2fun:

Where is Devon, compared to County Cork? Must look on google maps I suppose.

Cheers

Gail:)
County Cork is in Ireland.....Devon is on the southernmost coast of England.
Maybe her father who was a coastguard got relocated to Ireland as Elwyn says.
 

gaelwyn

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#14
Hi Elwyn,

I missed your post about an Alex Saunderson being a policeman in 1858 :(

I boo-booed again :mad: and wrote the birth year wrong....should be 1838.

Will that make a difference :confused: ?????

Or do you think he forged his papers, as the ships records said he was a farm labourer???

Gail
 
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DaveHam9

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Hello Gail,

If he was born in 1838 all the better. That birth year fits better with the date he joined the RIC. Age 20 or 21 was a common age for joining. You'll only get the actual date from the service record. The book of service numbers has them in blocks by date range.

His service number was 23851. That number was issued between 12.5.1858 and 12.11.1859...
 

Elwyn

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#16
I agree with Dave that the corrected age helps, as it overcomes the previous problem of him having apparently been over-age when he joined. With regard to him describing himself as a farm labourer, I can offer a possible explanation and a bit of background.

“Recruits to the Irish Constabulary were practically all farmers’ sons recruited from all around the country. It must be remembered that the rural population produced large families and it was often usual for one son to remain on the farm, a few to emigrate to America, one perhaps to enter the priesthood and one or more sons to join the Constabulary as it was considered to be “a job for life.”

(Source: Ch 4, A Short History & genealogical Guide – RIC Jim Herlihy 1997). (The RIC only acquired the “Royal” prefix in the 1860s. Prior to that it was called the Irish Constabulary.)

Because of the farming background RIC men often used to describe themselves as “farmer’s sons” when asked for their occupation outside of their working environment. For example if you look at the 1901 census you’ll see that all the police officers in the country, on duty on census night, were recorded as “farmer’s sons” so this seems to have been a euphemism they routinely used, based on the fact that most of them were from farming backgrounds. They also used just their initials to make it harder to identify them. (Being a policeman had its risks in Ireland in the 1800s). Here’s the census entry for my local police station in Toomebridge, Co. Antrim in 1901. You’ll notice that none of the men were born in Co Antrim. You always served in a different county to that of your or your wife’s birth, for personal safety reasons. (That’s where the service record can be useful for genealogists because it usually contains details of where the policeman and his wife had family, to ensure he was not posted there by mistake).

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Toome_Upper/Toome/942216/

So I think that when your Alexander described himself as a farm labourer, he did so because he didn’t want to be identified as a former police officer, at least en route to Australia anyway. And he probably used farm labourer instead because that was his background before he joined the police, and so could easily pass himself off as being one.

As far as the Miller family are concerned, with occupations like customs officers, lighthouse keepers and coastguards, though some were local others were posted all over the British Isles. I feel pretty sure that Isaac Miller was simply posted to Cork as a part of his career. That would have been pretty common. I searched the 1901 census for Co. Cork for “Coastguard” and found 245 people listed. You’ll see that approximately half were born outside Ireland (mainly in England):

http://www.census.nationalarchives....=&childrenBorn=&childrenLiving=&search=Search
 
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gaelwyn

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#17
That's great, Elwyn :)

You've confirmed what I had surmised about Alex and Mary's background.

It's a sad thought that policemen were forced to move away from family because of unrest in the country.

I wasn't sure if my suggestion that Isaac Miller could have been stationed in Cork would seem plausible, but you suggest it as well, so I'll run with it!

The amendments to the old family history are growing :)

Gail
 

DaveHam9

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#18
It's not so much unrest but so as to avoid any potential conflict of interest in dealing with issues in their own area or that of their spouse. My gg grandfather joined in Co Down and was posted to Cork where he married then one year later was posted to Co Waterford. I can't find the births of his first two children but after following his movements from a copy of his service record I was able to find the births of the other children including that of my great grandfather.
 

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