In the 1881 census Edward was recorded as a Deal
(timber) Yard Foreman. Deal timber was imported
from Scandanavia and used extensively in the local
coal mining industry. By the 1891 census Edward
was listed as a Contractor and Builder, presumably
running his own business.
According to officials at West Hartlepool Rugby-
Football club, Edward very generously donated
timber to the club to use for fencing and other needed
By the 1901 census Edward was running a China shop
business in Murray Street, which was apparently quite
successful to the point where he was able to provide
financial support to various local institutions including
St. Joseph's Church. He was also a benefactor for the
building of the local St Joseph's school.
Edward had a keen interest in Rugby, as did his second eldest son, Thomas Edward, who played scrum-half for West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club. Edward provided financial support to the Rugby club where he became Honary Secretary. Edward even named one of his daughters after Westoe Rugby Football Club, Susan Westoe Gallagher born 1900 (though she became known as 'Nora').
1) Anthony?Edward's civil marriage certificate records his father as "Anthony Gallagher, labourer". Although no parish records of an Edward born to an Anthony circa 1857 in Co. Mayo have been found in the sparse
'MayoAncestors.com' collection, there is at least one Anthony Gallagher in Kilfian in the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses whose circumstances match the requirements for Edward's father. However, it is not known if Edward's father died before the 1901 census or was even in Ireland and, no obvious Anthony Gallagher candidates have been found in the Co. Durham records. Finally, although the name "Anthony Gallagher" was relatively common in the Ballina area in the 19th and 20th centuries, none of Edward's descendants were named Anthony.
2) Patrick? In contradiction of the civil certificate, the church marriage register records Edward's father as "Patrick Gallagher". No evidence to support or deny this has yet been found in any Co. Mayo archives. Also, the name Patrick does not appear in Edward's descendants.
3) John? Coincidentally, an Edward Gallagher born in 1857 in nearby Brick Garth, Co. Durham, is recorded in the 1861 census with Irish-born parents and older Irish-born siblings. The father's name is John which would be consistent with our Edward's first son also being called John, in line with Irish naming customs (i.e. first born male is named after the father's father). However, this birth in Co. Durham is inconsistent with Edward's claim of Co. Mayo in the census records, though perhaps, an understandable misconception as the parents and some of the older sublings were born in Ireland.
Clearly, much of the above data is either conflicting or circumstantial, and further documented evidence or a Y-DNA comparison will be required to narrow down the identity of Edward's father.
Edward's home and China shop in 1901,
46 Murray Street is now a Charity shop (photo courtesy of Chris McLoughlin)
The census and vital records show the family living at nine
different addresses in West Hartlepool up to the 1901 census.
By the time of the 1911 census they had moved to the west
side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
West Hartlepool (WH):
- George St. WH (1877, Edward at time of marriage)
- Arthur St. WH (1877, Susan at time of marriage)
- 3 West St. WH (1879, Thomas' birth & 1881 census)
- 15 Whitby St, WH (1882, James' W. death)
- 58 Scarbro, St. WH (1885, Edmund's birth)
- 25 Dover St. WH (1886, Edmund's death)
- 22 Mitchell St. WH (1891, census)
- 6 Murray St. WH (first china shop)
- 46 Murray St. WH (1901 census, 2nd china shop)
- Panniers Cottage, West Denton (1911 census)
- 7 South Avenue, Ryton (1919, Edward's death)
Presumably due of the depression in West Hartlepool in the early 1900's, Edward moved to West Denton and took a job as a Mill Wright at Spencer Steel Works in Newburn on Tyne where his son Thomas also worked.
After an evening's drinking in his later years, Edward would come home and fall asleep in the chair beside the fire. His wife Susan would then take the opportunity to check his pockets for loose change and hide it safely away. Over the years she saved a considerable sum which she later used to fund her emmigration to the USA with most of her children.
In 1913 Susan had visited her daughter living in New York, and decided that the new world offered better opportunities than the north east of England which was now in a depression after the war. So after Edward died in January 1919, Susan offered to pay the passage to New York for any of her children who wanted to emmigrate with her. They all set sail from Southampton on 27th November 1919, just 10 months after Edward's death, and they prospered well in Lincoln Park, New Jersey, USA.
Edward's grave can be found in Ryton cemetery,
Northumberland, UK. Susan died in 1947 and is
buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Butler, New
Edward Gallagher(far right) and his son Thomas Edward (front right) with West Hartlepool RFC, 1899 (photo courtesy of Chris McLoughlin, West Hartlepool RFC)
Edward's wife Susan was born on 2nd October 1861 in nearby Seaham Harbour to Irish parents, Patrick Paul and Mary Cassidy. According to the census records (1861, 1871, and 1881) Susan seems to have been the third of four children. On a 1919 ship's manifest when she emigrated to the USA with many of her children, Susan is described as a diminutive 5' 0" with hazel eyes. Susan emigrated to the USA with several of her children after Edward's death in 1919.
Edward Gallagher's headstone in Ryton Cemetery, UK
The grave of Susan, her youngest son Frederick
and his wife Margaret in Butler, NJ, USA
An ornament from Edward's China shop,
now owned by his grandaughter, Agnes
According to family lore, Edward Gallagher claimed to have been born in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland and the 1911 UK census records put his birth date at c1857 in County Mayo. However, the first time Edward appears in any written records is at his marriage to Susan Paul in 1877, at St. Joseph's Church, West Hartlepool, County Durham, England.
Ballina is divided north-south by the River Moy and the eastern part was in County Sligo until the boundary changes of 1899 brought it into Mayo. So, if Edward was born in "Ballina, Mayo" before the boundary change, it suggests that he would have come from the western side of the River Moy. Edward presumably emigrated from Ireland to England prior to his marriage, but his early life remains something of an enigma with conflicting records on the name of his father.
Edward's death notice
South Durham & Cleveland Mercury
27 August 1892
DEATH FROM BURNS
A painful accident, which has been attended with a painful result, was reported to the West Hartlepool police on Sunday. Susan Gallagher, 3 years of age, residing at 22 Mitchell Street, West Hartlepool, was the victim, and according to the information the police have received it appears that about eight o'clock on Saturday morning the mother of the deceased heard screams proceeding from the kitchen, and on going downstairs found the deceased's clothing in flames, her nightgown having caught fire. The mother wrapped her skirt about the child to extinguish the flames, and medical aid was immediately sought. Doctor Gourley attended the child, and found her suffering from severe burns to the legs and body. The child died at noon on Sunday. The child, it appears, had been playing with matches, which had caught fire and ignited her clothing.
(transcript, courtesy of Grenville Davies)
North-Eastern Daily Gazette, 22 Aug 1892
Susan's death (click image to enlarge)
Edward fathered 16 children though only 13 of them survived to adulthood. According to family lore, two of Edward's children died in a fire accident at home, and in the absence of any first-hand or documentary evidence, it had aways been assumed that the two died together in the same incident. The recent discovery (2012) of some old newspaper records, now reveals that two of their children died in two separate fire-related incidents. A third infant died of Bronchitis.
1882: 14 month old James William, Edward's third child, died after one of his infant brothers put a piece of burning firewood in his cradle. The transcript of newspaper report on the inquest explains the circumstances (below). James' death certificate
Mr Coroner Settle held an inquest at West Hartlepool on Tuesday afternoon, on the body of a child 14 months old, named James William Gallagher, whose parents live at 13 Whitby Street, and who died on Monday night from the effects of severe burns sustained the same morning. The first witness called was Susan Gallagher, the mother of the deceased child, who said she was the wife of Edward Gallagher, labourer in the timber yard.
The deceased child was 14 months old. On Monday morning at 10 o'clock she left home to take the train from West Hartlepool for Hartlepool, at which place she had to pay some money and had to go. She left in the house the deceased child and two others; one a boy three years old, next month, and another also a boy, aged four years, last month. Witness did not lock them in, but left the front door on the sneck. Witness left the other side at 11:20 to come back and returned straight home, but a man met her at West Hartlepool station, and told her that the deceased child was burnt. Witness left the child in the cradle awake when she first went out. The other two children where in the kitchen playing and moving about. There was very little fire on, and witness expected it would be out by the time she came back. There was no fire-guard in front of the fire, but only a fender. The cradle was not placed near the fire but close up to the back door. Her husband had promised to come up before 10 o'clock in order to take care of the children in her absence. She waited for him to come as long as she could, and then had to go in his absence. He had been unable to leave his work. Witness had never left the three children previously for any length of time.
When she got home she found that the deceased child had been burnt around the body; the child's clothes were burnt in front alone, and none of the cradle clothes had been touched. A neighbour held the child on her knee when witness entered. wadding and oil had already been applied to the injured parts. Witness saw a pile of wood which had been half burnt on the fireside, inside the fender; it was not there when witness left home. The child lingered until 9 o'clock on Monday night when it died. Witness questioned the eldest boy, who said that the second boy, "Tom", had taken a piece of stick from the cupboard and had lit it at the fire and placed it on the baby in the cradle.
Michael Murphy, a Rivetter, said he was passing along Whitby Street on the morning in question and had occasion to go to the Gallagher's house to see if the father was at work. Witness opened the front door, went in and saw the eldest child seated on a chair near the fire, and the second child, Tom, in the yard evidently afraid. He took the child out of the cradle and extinguished the flames. Mrs Marron afterwards came in and took care of the child. Witness then went to look for the mother and saw her running home from the station, someone having already informed her of the accident.
The coroner, in summing up, said the child Tom was not, however, amenable to the law, because at his age he was not supposed by the law to have any discretion between right and wrong. The jury then returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased child died from the effects of burning caused by an infant brother having taken a piece of cord and placed it in the cradle.
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