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Rose McGowan b. ~1855 near Ballycastle Co. Antrim?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


PuzzledinVirginia Report 24 Nov 2012 05:03

I'm having trouble with my great-grandfather, something of a ne'er-do-well! I have census pages starting in 1881 that show John Ballantyne, a labourer, living in Greenock, Scotland. The 1881, 1891, and 1901 censuses all give an age consistent with a birth date in 1855.
His 9 younger children's birth records all declare that his marriage to his wife Eliza/Elizabeth, m.s. Hopkin/s, occurred in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, but then consistency evaporates. The marriage dates vary by years, not just months.

Then I discovered a marriage certificate: he married a woman named Rose McGowan on June 8, 1876. Their daughter, Mary, had been born the month before.
The marriage record shows that the wedding was Catholic; John's family was staunchly Protestant, and the couple gave their ages as 21 at the wedding. I (perhaps romantically) imagined that they'd run away together from Ballycastle, but I can find almost no documentation for ANYthing in Northern Ireland.

John and Rose were married in "Bridgend, Dunse" (also spelled Duns) in Berwickshire. John identified his parents as Duncan Ballantyne, farmer, and Ellen, m.s. Morgan.
Rose's parents were John McGowan, labourer, and Mary, m.s. Donelly.
Rose's occupation is given as Washerwoman.

I would love to find out more about HER. Unlike her husband, she could sign her own name. But she disappears from view--did she die, and he relocate to Greenock? Was Rose actually from Ireland, or was she born in Scotland? The marriage record doesn't include that information.
Also puzzling--in the 1891 census, his household in Greenock includes a daughter named Mary, but she is two years younger than Rose's child. He has an older daughter the right age, but she's called Jane. (I know that any likely candidate was trusted with providing the information on these early forms, and perhaps just got it backwards, or perhaps the recorder did.)The birthplace of both these older children is Duns, while all younger are born in Greenock.
Any hot tips?? :-D
Reading this over, it's all very confusing--I hope it makes sense.


Quoy Report 24 Nov 2012 05:32

Hello and welcome

there is a tree on Ancestry giving her parents as John Mcgowan and Mary Donnelly


K Report 24 Nov 2012 07:05


In 1881 John was living by himself in Greenock and by 1891 he had a wife Eliza with 3 children born pre 1881. Could the Annie born Greenock have been the child of Eliza pre marriage? I presume you haven't found Jane or Mary in 1881

1891 for reference

Name: John Ballantine
Age: 36
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1855
Relationship: Head
Spouse's name : Eliza I Ballantine
Gender: Male
Where born: Ireland
Registration number: 564/1
Registration district: Greenock East
Civil parish: Greenock West
Town: Greenock
County: Renfrewshire
Address: 8 Nile St
Occupation: Sugarhuse Lab
ED: 17
Household schedule number: 63
Line: 1
Roll: CSSCT1891_179
Household Members:
Name Age
John Ballantine 36
Eliza I Ballantine 35
Jane Ballantine 15
Mary Ballantine 13
Annie Ballantine 11
Nellie Ballantine 9
Maggie Ballantine 7
John Ballantine 5
Bessie Ballantine 4
Isbella Ballantine 2
Samuel I Ballantine Mo 8


Maura Report 24 Nov 2012 13:46

Rose McGowan
Baptised 30/5/1855 in Roman Catholic parish of Armoy, Moyle Co. Antrim
Father John McGowan
Mother Mary Donnolly
Sponsor Susan McGowan

There no baptism coming up for John, there no marriage for Duncan Ballantine to Ellen Morgan, but there is one ofr a Denis Ballantine to a Ellen Morgan that would fit.

Denis Ballantine to Ellen Morgan 23rd March 1854 Ballintoy Church of Ireland, Ballycastle Co Antrim
Denis father's a John
Ellen father's a Henry


Eringobragh1916 Report 24 Nov 2012 15:58

Possible Death...

Name: Dennis Ballentine
Registration district: Ballycastle
DEATHS registration quarter and year: 1877
Estimated birth year: 1803 age (at death): 74
volume number: 16
page number: 65
digital folder number: 4200220

This death may not have been husband of Ellen Morgan as Dennis would be about 51 at marriage...????
Could be a possible 2nd marriage....

EDIT......Marriage shows "Dennis" to be b abt 1809 age at marriage 44 Ellen aged 21yrs

Ellen (Widow) I think is the one showing 1901/1911 Census for Lisgarva she is 68 and living with unmarried sons and daughters...another Ballentine widow plus family living next door.


Eringobragh1916 Report 24 Nov 2012 16:57

Maura...Do you suppose these are the same people...???? Certainly no surname as spelt on Census..???

spouse: Ellen Morgan
child: Henry Bonnatine

name: Henry Bonnatine
gender: Male
birth date: 06 Dec 1872
birthplace: Croagh, Antrim, Ireland
father's name: Duncan"" Bonnatine"""
mother's name: Ellen Morgan
indexing project (batch) number: C70150-5
system origin: Ireland-EASy
source film number: 255861

An Elizabeth Bounatine was born to Dennis and Ellen (Morgan) 29th July 1864...Co Antrim

Didnt imagine so many transcribed variations to surname.

The children found so far (Not all listed) correspond with those still living Liscarva 1901/1911


PuzzledinVirginia Report 24 Nov 2012 20:45

WOW!! Thanks!
All John's other religious affiliations were Presbyterian--would you expect to find a Presbyterian baptismal record?
And thanks for that Ancestry tree link--the poster has another birth record for Mary, Rose's daughter; that one, a Statutory Birth Record, gives Mary's dob as April 29. There, John reports a marriage date of April 22, 1875, in Ballintoy, Co. Antrim.

However, the Scottish Catholic Archives yielded a birth record for Mary (same parents), which identifies her birth ("May,", 1876) as illegitimate, and John and Rose's marriage ("according to the forms of the Roman Catholic Church") was recorded as occurring on 8 June, 1876. So I can't see how the story of the marriage in Ballintoy could be accurate.

And yes, there are options galore for Ballantyne/Ballentine/Ballantine/Bonnatine/Valentine . . . :-( Plainly, our ancestors weren't thinking of us when they set pen to paper. My personal task is not aided by the previously noted illiteracy of my great-grandfather.

K, I thought the three eldest children reported in Greenock might be Eliza's from another union (the names are hardly unique). Subtracting from the ages reported on their marriage records gives us a year of birth for Jane of 1875 (she married at the end of December, 1897). It was Mary, however, who led me to Rose--she named Rose as her mother on her marriage record.

Annie is likewise a mystery--she's an 11-year-old on the 1891 census, but is apparently out of the house in 1901. Jane Ballantyne's marriage was witnessed by an Annie Hopkins, perhaps Jane's sister? But I wasn't able to find other records for her.

Thanks again!!


Eringobragh1916 Report 24 Nov 2012 20:54

I am sending a link by PM with address of someone who appears to be searching ?same least ther may be some connection.Have you seen the info.from 2009 on Rootschat relative to the family...?