This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 9 months ago by Shonagh Love.

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     Shonagh Love

    Can anyone help with information about the parentage of Margaret Fearns/Fearnes/Ferns, b Dublin c1762, married c1780 John Fossitt of Portarlington, died 1845 near Portarlington; connected to Sarah Fearns of Brides Alley who married Robert Fannin 1770 or 1771. A possibility is Ebenezer Fearns & Mary Homan who married 1760; Ebenezer died in 1763 (Pues Occurrances notice under Freanes) – he and Robert Fannin were both cabinetmakers. I have searched the Registry of Deeds for an MS or other deeds, and other usual sources (FMP, Irish Genealogy, Diocesan marriages, Irish Roots) for her birth & marriage records; have not found any later records for her mother either. The Fannin/Fanning family were RC at this time but the Fossitt/Fawcett/Faucett family were usually COI; I don’t know about the Fearns family. Margaret & John’s children were Mary Ann, Thomas, Rebecca, Margaret Ella, Martha, George, Ebenezer, James, Charlotte, John Robert (my gg grandfather).

     mary casteleyn

    Hello Shonagh
    I have no direct answer to your query but The Index to the Prerogative Wills in Ireland lists James Fearne of the parish of St James, Westminster, Middlesex as a copy Will with the date 1720. There is also a Will listed for Margaret Fearne, parish of St James, Westminster, widow, copy Will 1720. It is interesting that these London Wills are listed in the Prerogative Wills of Ireland and means that they had to be proved or produced in Ireland for some reason. Going to the National Archives in London (www.nationalarchives.gov.uk) I find listed(and available to download online for a very small fee) the Will of James Fearne, corn chandler, proved in St James, Westminster 1696, and Margaret Fearne, widow of St James, Westminster proved in London in 1716. These are obviously the same people. I can’t be absolutely sure without seeing these Wills but suspect they might be the direct family of your Fearnes in Dublin, since both Wills had to be re-proved or presented in Dublin. It would be worth a look to see what these Wills say and what members of the family are listed etc., This does not directly answer your query, and could be a long shot, but might put you on to other clues regarding the possibly parentage of the Margaret and Sarah Fearne that you seek.
    Mary Casteleyn

     mary casteleyn

    You do not mention tombstones or churchyard memorials. Have your searched for these? People like these would have left memorials. Many Dublin graveyards have been transcribed and it would be worth your while trawling through what is available on line and in print. I know you are not looking for Robert Fannin but he gets a mention in several publications. The first is “Irish Furniture and Woodwork Carving in Ireland” by the Knight of Glin (2007) where he is described as a joiner, cabinet maker and auctioneer, of 15 Bride Alley, Dublin. The Irish Georgian Society web site lists relevant Theses to the study of Georgian Ireland. “Dublin Cabinet Makers and their Clientele in the period 1880-1841 (think this is a misprint and should be 1780-1841!) has been produced in 2 (very hefty) volumes which were presented for a PHD at University College Dublin in 2006. Obviously not widely available but Robert Fannin is mentioned in this. I did not find a reference to Fearne. Go to the web site of the Irish Georgian Society first and check this out. Robert Fannin’s work must have been very high class for the Irish Georgian Society to be interested in him.

     Shonagh Love

    Thanks for your thoughtful replies, Mary. I had noticed that Middlesex record & it probably is worth looking at. I do know  the Knight of Glin’s book & the appendix by John Rogers: he pointed out to me the Fannin records for baptisms in St Nicholas RC church & the Pue’s Occurances notice for Ebenezer Fearns/Freanes. I do also have an interest in the Fannin family as 2 of Margaret & John Fossitt’s children married into that family. There were actually three men named Robert Fannin in succession (and probably more before) and the older two were both cabinet makers, though they later both became business men & property owners as the laws changed. Robert (2) was at times in business with Ebenezer Fossitt/Fawcett, his brother-in-law. I know that Robert (1) & (2) were buried in St James churchyard, as were their wives – but I haven’t been up to Dublin for ages so haven’t checked the actual stones.

    Going back to Fearns, I think there could also be a Westmeath connection to Antony Fearns who died in 1716;I have traced that family through deeds & some do end up in Dublin, but have not found an absolute link, though I recently found that John Alexander Fearnes of Clonfenleigh Cottage, co Roscommon was a trustee in the MS of Robert Fannin (3) & Henrietta Molony in 1839. In Dublin, there are newspaper records of Joseph Ferns dying in 1770 in Brides Alley; he was husband of Jane Loyd who married (2) John Mathews who was a carpenter. Joseph & Jane’s daughter Lydia married Blacker Mathers – and there are later Mathers/Fossitt marriages. There are multiple links between the Fossitt family & the Homan and North families which led me to hope for a definitive connection to the Fearns/Homan marriage. And to disentangle the Fearns family! I will look at those Middlesex wills.



     Shonagh Love

    I wanted to make an update on this as I found a definite link for Mary Homan / Fearns to Daniel Homan of Drumcooley, Kings co: the Betham Abstracts which were added to Find My Past on Friday had an abstract of Daniel’s will, with his daughters including Sarah Fausett w/o George, Margaret North, and Mary Ferins, with her children Margaret (my ggg grandmother) and Ebenezer. I was so excited, as I thought I’d never get confirmation of the relationship. I’m lucky to have found other records that have filled in gaps in my records – and opened up plenty more! What fun!


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