William Burns married Jane Locke on 9th May 1867 in Tullyvallen Meeting House, in the Parish of Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh. They were married by Rev. George McMahon according to the ways of the Secessionist Church [See Note 1] in the presence of John Stuart and Janet? Stewart. Both William and Jane are listed as of full age, Jane would have been about 28 at the time of the marriage [See Note 2] we do not currently have an age for William but it would probably be about 30. William’s profession is listed as a weaver as is his father Samuel’s profession, no profession is listed for Jane but her father John’s profession is listed as a farmer. William’s residence is given as Cladymore, in the Parish of Kilclooney, Co Armagh. While Jane’s residence is given as Corkley, Parish of Keady, Co Armagh.
William and Jane had eight children, John, Mary, Samuel, Jane, James, William, Esther and Margaret. As the children were baptized in Tullyvallen Meeting House it is reasonable to assume William moved to the Newtownhamilton area either to land provided by Jane’s family or to land he purchased or leased there. At some point (1886? [See Note 3]) the family moved to 38 Fountain Street, Bessbrook, which remained the family home until Maggie’s death in 1974. The reason for the move would have been to provide employment in the Spinning Mill for the children. In 1886 John the eldest would have been about 18 years old and Maggie the youngest 6.
From the Valuation records it would appear that William died in or before 1896 as John is listed as head of family.
In the 1901 census Jane is listed as the head of the family. Neither John nor James were present on the night of the census, James had married and was living with the Littlewoods at Mullaghglass and presumably John was married as well. All the family present are listed as Presbyterian and they can all read and write.
In 1908 following John’s emigration to the USA in 1906, Jane is listed as the head of family in the Valuation records. Jane Burns died on 4th October 1909, she is reported as being a weaver’s widow aged 71. She died of cardiac failure following four days of double pneumonia.
In the 1911 census, William had married and left home, Mary the eldest remaining child was listed as head of family and the three other sisters were listed as living with her.
In 1917 Mary is listed as head of family in the Valuation records. However following James Burns early death in 1915, a Jane Burns is listed as head of family in 5 Derramore Terrace in succession to James who was listed as head of family in 1915. The house passed on to Henry Kingsbury in 1917.
Their eldest child was John Burns born 28th March 1867 [See Note 3], he married Margaret Webster.
Their second child was Mary Burns, known as Minnie who was born 7th November 1869 [See Note 3]. In the 1901 census she is listed as being aged 28, single and a damask weaver. In the 1911 census she is listed as being aged 38, single and a linen weaver. She did not marry.
Their third child was Samuel Burns who was born 18th April 1871 [See Note 3]. There is currently no further record of him so it is assumed he died in childhood.
Their fourth child was Jane Burns who was born 24th October 1872 [See Note 3]. In the 1901 census she is listed as being aged 25, single and a damask weaver. In the 1911 census she is listed as being aged 36, single and a winder in the linen mill. She emigrated to America in 1913 where she met her husband George Brown. She sailed on the SS Numidian on 20th September from Londonderry arriving in Boston on 30th September. Her age is listed as 37, her occupation as yarn spinner, her health is good with no deformities, her height is 5 foot 4 inches, her complexion is blonde, her hair fair and her eyes blue. Her destination is her brother William’s house in Greenwich NY [See Note 6].
Their fifth child was James Burns known as Jamie who was born 4th July 1874 [See Note 3]. He married Mary Ann Littlewood known as Annie.
Their sixth child was William Burns who was born on 9th May and baptized on 13th August 1876 in Tullyvallen Meeting House [See Note 4]. In the 1901 census he is listed as being aged 23, single and a foreman linen finisher. He married Sarah Jane Walker Jackson.
Their seventh child was Esther Burns known as Essie who was born on 14th May and baptized on 30th June 1878 in Tullyvallen Meeting House [See Note 4]. In the 1901 census she is listed as being aged 21, single and a damask weaver. In the 1911 census she is listed as being aged 29, single and a linen weaver. She did not marry.
Their eigth child was Margaret Burns known as Maggie who was born on 7th February and baptized on 7th June 1880 in Tullyvallen Meeting House [See Note 4]. In the 1901 census she is listed as being aged 19, single with no occupation. In the 1911 census she is listed as being aged 27, single with no occupation. She died in hospital on 13th March 1974 at the age of 94, and was buried in the Presbyterian Burying-ground Bessbrook [See Note 5].
1. Certified copy of an entry in Marriage Registration Records. Registrar’s District of Newry and Mourne.
2. Certified copy of portion of a record in the Public Record Office of Ireland, entitled Register of the Parish of Armaghbreague, Diocese of Armagh. This relates to the Jane’s baptism on 14th October 1838, her parents are listed as John and Mary Locke of Corclea. John Locke’s profession is given as Farmer and the baptism was performed by Rev. Samuel Simpson, who was the Perpetual Curate of Armaghbreague Church (Church of Ireland).
3. Civil Birth Records
4. Fragment of a letter dated 22nd February 1886 signed by William May giving the dates of birth and baptism for William, Esther and Margaret extracted from the Book of Registry of the Presbyterian Secession Church of Tullyvallen. This letter may have been written as an introduction to the Prebyterian Church in Bessbrook to accompany their move from Newtownhamilton to Bessbrook.
5. Birth, Marriage and Death Notices in one of the provincial papers.
6. List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival for the SS Numidian sailing on 20th September from Londonderry arriving in Boston on 30th September: List 1D.