CATHOLIC GRACEY FAMILY, DOWNPATRICK FROM 1831. Begins with James Gracey born abt 1806 married Mary Hynds @ Saul&Balee RC Chapel on 24th July 1831. They had 9 children: 1. Thomas (b.1832) 2. Mary Anne (b.1836) 3. Catherine or Kate (b.1839) 4. Ellen Teresa(b.1842) 5. Robert Alexander (b.1845) 6. Margaret Jane or Maggie (b.1847) 7. Annie Isabella (b.Dec 1852) 8. James (b. 1856) 9. William John (b.1857). James Gracey was a builder in Downpatrick, he became Clerk of Works for the local Council. He lived in Irish Street, but also had commercial and other residential property in Downpatrick. He died 7th March 1884. His Will can be found at PRONI, it lists all his children. His wife Mary(Hynds) Gracey died 22nd Oct 1891. Obituary for James in the Down Recorder on March 8th 1884 and for Mary October 24th 1891. They are buried in a well appointed grave in Downpatrick cemetery on the Killough Road, most of their children are buried with them. The grave was paid for by their eldest son Thomas, he also is buried there. Their Children:
1. Thomas Gracey (b.1832)was a law clerk and then rose to become the Asst Clerk of the Crown & Peace for Co. Down. He married Esther(no record of marriage found yet), who died 31st Oct 1861 age 26yrs. She is buried in D'patrick Cathedral graveyard. Her obituary is in the D'patrick Recorder on Nov 2nd 1861. In 1863 Thomas had an illegitimate son with Margaret Carr.Margaret was probably his housekeeper. She was RC and we do not know why he did not marry her. Thomas Gracey accepted parentage of his son who was named after him, Thomas Gracey and who was bapt.in St Patrick's, D'patrick on 28th Sept 1863. His parents are named in the baptism records as Thomas Gracey and Margaret Carr. Thomas Gracey then supported Margaret Carr and his son for 5 years. He paid rent on a house for them in Pound Lane, D’patrick (see Griffiths valuation 1864). On 20th Nov 1868 Thomas married Elizabeth (Lizzie) McClester and on 21st Nov 1868, Margaret Carr and her son Thomas Gracey turn up on the roll of the D'patrick Workhouse. They were there 5 days and then leave but no records exist of there they went to.
Family history relates that Margaret Carr went to work at Finnebrogue House. Certainly the children and grandchildren of her son Thomas all recall and verify that Thomas did live and work on the estate as a child and a young man. Margaret Carr never married.I cannot find her on the 1901 or 1911 census returns anywhere in Ireland but she died in Downpatrick on 29th Dec 1911 @ her son’s house in Fountain Street.
The 1901 & 1911 Census returns show Thomas Gracey snr and his wife Lizzie living at Victoria Villas, Downpatrick. They had NO children. Thomas Gracey died 7th Nov 1914 aged 82yrs. His obituary is in the Down Recorder on Nov 14th 1914. His Will is available to view via the PRONI website and the original at the offices. The Will makes it very clear that there was no love between Lizzie and Thomas; he leaves her nothing in his Will and gives her 12mths to leave his house and she has no right to any items within the house. His obituary and his will both make for a very interesting read and give great insight into this man. The last lines state “ What he conceived to be wrongs, abuses or frauds he did not spare. At the same time he was essentially kind hearted and sympathetic with a deep though unobtrusive attachment to serious things.”
Thomas Gracey left 95% of his estate (over £3,000 and 2 houses)to his nephew, Thomas James Gracey,the son of his brother Robert Alexander Gracey.
Information on the other offspring of James Gracey & Mary Hynds is as follows:
2. Mary Anne(b.1836) married Bernard McCaulfield on 27th Oct 1878 @ D'patrick, he was a publican and a widow with one daughter, Hannah. Mary Anne had no children of her own.
3. Catherine(Kate)(b.1839)never married. She was a dressmaker and she and her sister Annie Isabella owned and ran their own milliner /dressmaking business in Market Street. Kate died 15th Feb 1910. See 1901 and 1911 census returns. Also her obituary is in the Down Recorder. She also left a will, a copy of which can be obtained via PRONI website for free.
4. Ellen Teresa( married Edward Lindon on 26th May 1872 @ D'patrick RC Chapel.They lived in Scotch Street and had 3 children (see 1911 census).
5. Robert Alexander married Annie Teresa Lennon of Monaghan @ St Malachy's RC church, Belfast on 23rd Feb 1879. Robert was a law / solicitor's clerk and Annie was a telegraph clerk. They had 7 children. 5.1. James Henry (b.9th March 1880) he worked as a clerk for Dublin Corporation. See 1911 Census. 5.2. Robert Francis (bapt.2nd May 1881) he worked as a clerk for Dublin Corporation. See 1911 Census. Robert Francis died on 30th April 1946 @ his home, 57 Rathfarnham Road,Terenure, Dublin. His Will states that he left £5,953. He is buried in the family grave in Glasnevin. 5.3. Thomas James (bapt. 27 Feb 1883) - he was the main inheritor of his uncle Thomas Gracey of D'patrick's estate. He was a law clerk.He died on 11th Nov 1959 and is buried in Glasnevin in the family grave. 5.4. Mary (bapt. 27 Feb 1885). She married in Mar Q 1916 in Dublin. 5.5. Kathleen Maria [aka Catherine] (bapt.3rd Dec 1886). Married Mar Q 1920 in Dublin. 5.6. Margaret Teresa (b.1891). Didn’t marry. Died 13th December 1957 and is buried in the family grave @ Glasnevin. 5.7. Anna Aloysius (bapt. 30 Nov 1894). Didn’t marry.She lived in the Gracey family house 57, Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, Dublin until her death on 5th June 1966.She is also buried in the family grave in Glasnevin.Her obituary in The Irish Times states: "Deeply regretted by her sister, nephews and nieces and relatives." Robert Alexander moved to Dublin between 1901 and 1911 – I cannot find him on the 1911 census. He lived & worked in Dublin and died on 17th June 1915 @ Rathdrum. He is buried with his wife and most of his children in a well appointed family grave at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
6. Margaret Jane (Maggie)(b.1847)married James Boyce on 18th July 1883 in Belfast. James was policeman in the RIC Royal Irish Constabulary, he was born in Co. Wicklow).
7. Annie Isabella(b. Dec 1852) never married. She went into business with her sister Kate (as stated above). She died on 20th June 1911.A copy of her Will is at PRONI.
8. James (b. 1856) was a capenter / joiner by trade. He married twice, first in 1877 from this marriage he had 2 daughters. His first wife died and he remarried on 15th Dec 1892 to Ellen Kennedy in Belfast. No other details found.
9. William John (b.1857) Married Mary Theresa Gilmore on 18th Dec 1878 @ D'patrick. He was a Clerk by profession and he had one daughter: Florence M Aloysia b.1879. He appears to have left his wife as he does not appear on either 1901 or 1911 census returns, though his wife does. I cannot find any further trace of him or his family after 1911.
THE MAJORITY OF THE CATHOLIC GRACEY FAMILY IN DOWNPATRICK SINCE 1900 ARE ALL DESCENDANTS OF THOMAS GRACEY, THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF THOMAS GRACEY, ASST CLERK OF THE CROWN & PEACE FOR CO.DOWN AND MARGARET CARR.
Thomas Gracey(illegitimate son of Thomas Gracey & Margaret Carr) married Teresa Conolloy of Killough on 5th Nov 1890 @ St Patrick's RC Church, D'patrick. They had 9 children.
1. Annie Veronica (Annie)b.1st Oct 1891 Married: Edward(Ned) McAllister 22nd March 1928 had one daughter Margaret Mary b. April 1928,
2. William John(Willie-John)b.April 1894 Married: Margaret Blaney (Magsbie / Maggie)22nd Sept 1922, they lived in D'patrick. They had 14 children. 3. Margaret Mary (Maggie)b. April 1896. Married William Carson, lived at Saul and had 2 children.
4. George b.Sept 1900. Never married.
5. Thomas b.5th Aug 1902. Married Mina McDermot on 19th Sept 1926. They lived in Downpatrick and had 10 children.
6. Teresa (Teasie) b.Oct 1904. Married Patrick Fitzsimons on 4th Oct 1933. Lived in D'patrick. They had 2 children and fostered a niece.
7. Leo b.March 1907 - died 1923.
8. Malachy b.21st Nov 1901 Married Elizabeth Rogan on 16th Dec 1934. They lived in D'patrick & Belfast. They had 5 children. Malachy was a fireman and during WW2 went to work in London and never came back to his family.He deserted them and started another family in family.
9. James Joseph b.1st Feb 1914. Married Lena Esther Watson @ Folkstone in 1937. James was a Sergeant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He had 5 children, three are still alive and all live in the south of England.
I have a comprehensive file of information on all these Gracey descendants as well as Conolly descendants which I am happy to share and exchange for further information, photos etc. especially on the second generation of Gracey's listed above i.e. the children and grandchildren of James Gracey and Mary Hynds.
The Wills of Annie Isabella, Kate and Thomas Gracey all leave personal effects and family PHOTOS to their nephew Thomas James Gracey. I am VERY keen to find relatives of Thomas James and find out of these photos are still in existence and if I can please have copies of them.
I am still looking at more Downpatrick Gracey Catholic links and hope to be able to one day get further back than 1800, but records are either non-existent or are just very well hidden. Any help and sharing from others on this would be most welcome.
I will add more info on this Gracey family line as I find it.