Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Who is Andrew Sproule of Grennan?

Written by James F. Reid, September 2021

 James is a Grennan Sproule himself, and he has been researching this family for many years.

We first encounter a particular Andrew Sproule of Grennan in the early 1770s. This is not to be confused with Cornet Andrew Sproule or his son, Andrew Sproule of Grennan, whom we saw in earlier post would have been at least 21 years of age at the time of the 1731 deed. No, this Andrew Sproule from the 1770s was likely of a younger generation, based on the information on his children.

Andrew Sproule of Grennan in the 1770s Deeds

We see him in a series of deeds in the first half of the 1770s, including deeds relating to the lands of Dooish, Coolavanagh (or Cooel) and related holdings, and deeds relating to the marriage of his children: 

  • In December 1771, Oliver Sproule married Elizabeth Elliott and received the lands of Stroancarbadagh from his wife’s grandfather David Wilson, 
  • In December 1773, Margaret Sproule married Thomas Elliott, son of John Elliott of Ferney (County Fermanagh). (Please see appendix for further details on these deeds.)

Now, this tells us that those Dooish and Cooel lands were tied up with Andrew Sproule of Grennan by the mid-1770s. It also tells us that his children were of marriageable age in the early 1770s, and that there was some alliance with the Elliott family. If we assume that son Oliver was at least 21 and daughter Margaret was at least 18, that suggests Andrew Sproule of Grennan was himself having children in the early 1750s or earlier.

 Oliver Sproule of Stroancarbadagh

Actually, we know a fair amount about this son Oliver Sproule who was granted the lands of Stroancarbadagh. He would later be known as Oliver Sproule of Brook Hill, a property in the townland of Stroancarbadagh, and we can follow this family through the 1800s. We know from newspaper entries, mainly death records that mention age at death, that he had sons Wilson, Robert, Andrew and Oliver (in that order), and daughters Ann, Rebecca, Elizabeth (also in that order). He died in 1832, based on an entry in the Londonderry Sentinel aged 85, placing his birth in c.1747. That in turn would suggest his father, Andrew Sproule of Grennan, was born in the mid-1720s or earlier.

Andrew Sproule of Curraghamulkin (died in 1799)

I had found some information from Betham’s Abstracts on an “Andrew Sproule of Curraghamulkin” who left a will dated 26th July 1797 and died in 1799 (will proved 11th July 1799).

The will mentions Andrew’s wife Anne, son George, daughter Anne Armstrong, sons Charles and Andrew, son Joseph and his wife Elizabeth Sproule o’wise Clarke, son Joseph’s children (James, Andrew, Anne, Sarah, Margaret, Elizabeth), son James, son Oliver and his daughters (Anne, Rebecca, Elizabeth), grandchildren Margaret and Hugh Elliott the children of daughter Margaret, and grandchildren Anne and Mary Thompson. Further information on this will was covered by Kate in a previous post The original was at PRONI, a rare example of a surviving will from the period.

Now, what struck me was three things. First, the name of Elliott. This certainly looked like the same daughter Margaret who had married Thomas Elliott of Ferney in 1773, and was probably deceased by 1797. Second, was the names of Oliver’s daughters – they not only matched the names of the daughters of Oliver Sproule of Brook Hill, they were also in the same order by age! (This would be a 1-in-6 chance if entirely coincidental.) And third, based on the additional information provided by Kate’s transcription (not available in the abstract), the reference to the lands of Cooel.

But, the icing on the cake was a little bit further down the line. For in another previous post on the 1835 will of Andrew Sproule of Magheracrigan, we learn that he was the son of “Andrew Sproule late of Grennan” who left a will dated 27 July 1797 (off by one day, close enough?). Furthermore, other information on Andrew Sproule of Magheracrigan clearly establishes him as the son of Andrew Sproule of Curraghamulkin.

Conclusion, but More Questions

So, Andrew Sproule of Grennan from the 1770s has transformed into Andrew Sproule of Curraghamulkin by 1797! In fact, he was “of Curraghamulkin” by July 1792, when we find him as the grantee in a deed from Henry Irwine of Dublin Esq. (472 / 70 / 296579) concerning the lands of Screen that he later gave to his son Joseph.

Why did he move the few hundred yards from Grennan to its neighboring townland Curraghamulkin? Perhaps his wife or mother had a connection and someone had died between the mid-1770s and July 1792. 

His residence was probably in the northern part of the townland of Curraghamulkin, near the Tappaghan hill and bordering on Dooish townland, based on a description of the Curraghamulkin land in a deed to his son George (presumably a renewal) in 1806, described in another previous post. George Sproule of Curraghamulkin seems to have been the primary resident of sorts by the time of the Tithe Applotment in the 1820s, as his house was listed as the only one in the townland worth more than £5 annually. Not even the house of the family of John “Jack Roe” was listed! So, the family of Andrew Sproule of Curraghamulkin seems to have pulled ahead of their local brethren, but how exactly is not currently known.

 

Appendix: Andrew Sproule of Grennan in Deeds

  • Firstly, we see him in a deed from December 1771 (384 / 267 / 254900) in which David Wilson of Stroancarbadagh (parish of Drumragh, county of Tyrone) is granting a quarter of the townland of Stroancarbadagh and a half of the lands of Ednafogery to Oliver Sproule of Grennan, son of Andrew Sproule of Grennan, on the occasion of Oliver’s marriage to Elizabeth Elliott, granddaughter of David Wilson. Andrew Sproule of Grennan also grants his son Oliver the lands of Anaghovy.
  • We also see him in a complex trio of deeds from May 1773 (297 / 585 / 196250), November 1773 (298 / 415 / 197889) and April 1774 (300 / 376 / 200249) in which Thomas Verner of Dublin, Esq. and Hugh Carmichael of Dublin, counselor, were separately granting to John Sproule of Strabane Esq. (the apothecary), held in trust for Andrew Sproule of Grennan, the lands of Dooish, Coolavanagh, Lisnaboyaghan, Coolmacormick, Coolmacbryan and Coolemore.
  • We see him in a deed from December 1773 (301/83/199121) in which John Elliott of Ferney (parish of Magheracross, county of Fermanagh) is granting his son Thomas Elliott of Ferney, the lands of Ferney, a house and tenements in Ballinamallard and lands of Salloon on the occasion of Thomas’ marriage to Margaret Sproule, daughter of Andrew Sproule of Grennan, who had granted £200 to Thomas.
  • And finally we see him (“Andrew Sproule of Grannan gent”) as a witness to a deed and memorial from July 1775 (?) (312/74/207399) in which William Orr, son of William Orr Senr of Corr, is marrying Margaret Sproule, daughter of Mr. Charles Sproule of Grennan.
  • There is also an Andrew Sproule of Grennan gent. from a 1759 deed (250 / 207 / 162215) who is referenced as an executor, along with Oliver Sproule of Goland gent., of the will of James Sproule of Grennan, deceased. He may or may not be the same individual as the one in the 1770s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Monday, 13 September 2021

1773 Marriage of Margaret Sproule of Grennan and Thomas Elliott of Ferney, Fermanagh

This deed is a marriage settlement between Margaret Sproule of Grennan and Thomas Elliott of Ferney, County Fermanagh. Margaret is the daughter of Andrew Sproule of Grennan. This is the second marriage in this family where a daughter of Andrew of Grennan has married an Elliot.



301 83 199121 Registry of Deeds, Familysearch.org 23 Dec 1773 transcribed by Kate Tammemagi

A memorial of an indented Deed of Marriage Settlement bearing the date 23 Dec 1773 made between John Elliott of Ferney in the county of Fermanagh Gent of the first part Thomas Elliott only son and heir at law of the said John of the second part Andrew Sproule of Grenan in the County of Tyrone Gent and Margaret Sproule daughter of the said Andrew of the third part. Whereby the said John Elliott for and in consideration of two hundred pounds security to be paid by the said Andrew to the said Thomas as a Marriage portion and on account of the natural love and affection which the said John hath for his son Thomas and on account of advancing his fortune did give grant and make over unto the said Thomas and his heirs lawfully to be begotten on the Body of the said Margaret as therein mentioned the town and lands of Ferney in the Co of Fermanagh and of a house & tenamets in Belnamalard and also of a Park or field in Salloon in said County and the said John did Covenant with said partys that these lands of Ferney, the house and Tenements in Belnamalard & the park or field in Salloon should stand charged of encumbered with two hundrewd pounds for the use of the said Margaret provided the said Thomas & Margaret shall have no lawfull issue living a the time of his death in that case the said Margaret shall not receive said sum of two hundred pounds only the sum of twelve pounds a year as a jointure and of said lands & premises during her natural life with other covenants and clauses in said deed of marriage settlements which said indented deed is witnessed by Andrew Funston near Trillick Gent, Charles Sproule of Grenan Gent both of county Tyrone and David Cowan of Shanmullagh in said Co and this memorial is excuted by the said Charles Sproule and Witnessed by David Cowen and Charles Sproule of Grennan

Thanks to Jamie Reid for finding this one.

  • Ferney is in Magheracross Civil Parish, Barony of Tirkennedy, Co. Fermanagh
  • Salloon is in Magheracross Civil Parish, Barony of Tirkennedy, Co. Fermanagh
  • Bellanamallard is in  Magheracross Civil Parish, Co. Fermanagh
Thomas Elliot of Ferney and Margaret Sproule went on to have 3 children that I know of;
    1. Margaret Elliot
    2. John Elliot b. 1775 died 09 Dec 1852
    3. Hugh Elliot
Their son, John Elliot of Ferney,  married Catherine Beatty of Killymitten, Co Fermanagh on 29 Dec 1796. this is interesting because she is the daughter of William Beatty of Killymitten, who bought a huge area of Altamullan in 1796. There looks like there could be a connection between this William Beatty of Killymitten and the Sproule family.
John Elliot of Ferney and Catherine Beatty went on to have 3 children that I know of, one with a rather amazing name!
    1. William Neilson Trafalgar Elliot born 7 Apr 1806
    2. Catherine Elliot b 24 Nov 1808
    3. Ann Jane Elliot b. 21 Jn 1816

1771 Marriage of Oliver Sproule son of Andrew Sproule of Grennan and Elizabeth Elliot

This is the marriage of Oliver Sproule, who became Oliver of Stroancarbadagh or Brook Hill, and Elizabeth Elliot.

384 267 254900 Registry of DeedsFamilysearch.org, transcribed by Kate Tammemagi and Jamie Reid 

A Memorial of a deed bearing the date 5 Dec 1771 between David Wilson of Shancarbolagh (Stroancarbadagh) in the County of Tyrone of the one part and  Andrew Sprowls and Oliver Sprowl of Grannan in said county of the other part.  Reciting a marriage intended to be had btw sd Oliver Sprowls and Elizabeth Elliott grand daughter of the said David Wilson and in consideration thereof the said  David Wilson in said deed doth give and grant to said Oliver Sprowls as a marriage portion a full quarter of the townland of Shancarbolagh subject to a quarter of the chief rent and the said David Wilson doth also give up the one  full half of the lands of Ednafogery in said County during the grand lease he paying the chief rent and the said David Wilson doth also give up the one full half of all his house houses household furniture and the said Andrew Sprowls doth give and grant to his son Oliver Sprowl all his right and title to the town and lands of Anaghvogy in the Co. aforesaid and the said Oliver doth agree to give and allow said Elliott his intended wife if she survives him the sum of eight pounds a year during her life out of Anaghvogy aforesaid or any part thereof with power to destrain half yearly for the same and the said Oliver Sprowls covenants to settle the sd lands of Shancarbolagh Edenfogary and Anaghvogy on the issue of said marriage with power to charge said lands of Anaghvogy with one hundred pounds at his decease to whom he thinks proper which said deed is witnessed by Charles Sproul of Grannan and by David Hunter of Loughmuck both in said  County farmers and this memorial is witnessed by said David Hunter aforesaid and by Charles Sproul of Newtown Stewart in said County Gentlemen. Oliver Sproul, seal, signed and sealed, sworn by David Hunter.

Edward Jack, Justices of the Peace for said County, Alexander Colhoun and Samuel Galbraith.

  • Edenafogry is in the parish of Donacavey
  • Stroancarbadagh is in the parish of Drumragh
  • Annaghavoggy is a sub townland of Edenagon, Dromore

 

The witness Charles Sproule of Newtonstewart is the son of James Sproule, and he is the grandson of Thomas Sproule of Golan
Oliver Sproule who married here became known as Oliver Sproule of Stroancarbadagh, and he and Elizabeth Elliot had 6 children that I know of:

    1.          Ann Sproule b.1774 died 07 Dec 1844 in Stroancarbadagh
    2.          Wilson Sproule of Brook Hill b. abt 1776, died 8 Jun 1839 in Brook Hill, Stroancarbadagh
    3.           Rebecca Sproule b. 1777 died 21 Feb 1869 in Brook Hill, Stroancarbadagh
    4.          Andrew Sproule b. 1778 died 10 Jun 1846 in Stroancarbadagh
    5.         Elizabeth Sproule 1785 died 13 Mar 1869 in Brook Hill, Stroancarbadagh
    6.         Oliver Sproule MD of Brook Hill, b. 1787, died 22 Feb 1869 in Stroancarbadagh

The Missing Sons of Cornet Andrew – Follow the Land

I was looking for clues to the missing sons of Cornet Andrew. Could Cornet Andrew have an eldest son who was not one of the 5 brothers mentioned in the 1731 deeds? Is it possible that there was an earlier deed in which this Eldest Son who was also a farmer took over his portion? This often happened in these families at that time. The father effectively retired and handed over the largest part of his estate to the eldest son, the primary heir. If this had happened in Cornet Andrew's family, then this estate of the eldest son would of course be richer, or more extensive, that than the Grennan or Curraghamulkin lands that the other sons took over. If it existed, where could this land be?

Robert of Aughee

The first person in the frame for this was Robert Sproule of Aughee or Aghee. Robert of Aughee was born in abt 1802 and was a couple of generations away from the sons of Cornet Andrew, but there were a couple of reasons why his Aughee line looked promising to me.

Parish of Dromore showing Aghee / Aughee

Firstly, of course, was the name Robert. I had always felt that this was likely to be the name of one of the missing Cornet Andrew’s sons, and the name Robert could have passed down in this Aughee Sproule family.

But the main reason was the land. I had seen an astounding figure in the lists of Freehold land for Robert Sproule of Aughee. Most land in Ireland was leasehold, leased from large, affluent landlord estates. Some folk owned a small bit of freehold, but this was for a very specific reason. At that time, you had to own a piece of freehold land in order to get a vote,  so the bigger farmers purchased outright a small piece of land, sometimes as little as 1 acre, for that purpose. Not many people owned freehold land of any size.

In the Register of Landowners for 1876, Robert Sproule of Aughee had 826 acres of Freehold. He was, by far, the biggest landowner of all the Sproules. He had to be the descendant of a missing Cornet Andrew son! For a couple of years, I was convinced of this. How could he not be with all that freehold land, and probably lots more leasehold land besides?

It’s Not Robert of Aughee!

Of course, there were some odd things from the beginning that really didn’t add up. In the Tithe Applotment, Robert Sproule of Aughee only had 16 acres of leasehold land.

Even in Ireland, this is tiny! Where was all this freehold land that Robert of Aughee owned? There was no trace of it.

Well, the answer came in the recent trawl through the Registry of Deeds on Familysearch.org. In a series of deeds starting in 1840, Robert Sproule of Aughee was buying up land from the Curraghamulkin and Cooel Sproules, and probably from other folk as well. I have no idea where he was getting the money from, that is a mystery for another day, but Robert of Aughee had acquired a great deal of land after 1840. For now anyway, he was out of my list of suspects for being a direct descendant of our missing eldest son.

Other Sproule Possibilities in Tyrone

I followed the land to find the missing eldest son, and he was not there in Tyrone.  I could find no other Sproule family there that would fit my profile for the eldest son of Cornet Andrew. There was no big landowner, or affluent Sproule who would fit the time period - no other possibilities. 

Into Fermanagh

Could there be an eldest son in Fermanagh? When you are actually physically standing there on that land, there in the Grennan / Curraghamulkin part of Dromore, you can actually look down the valley and see the rich green land that is Fermanagh. It is a natural spin over place for our Cornet Andrew’s family – for his sons and for his grandsons. But could there be this large farmer there who would fit the eldest son profile?

Fermanagh is a hive of early Sproules. There are lovely records of Sproules there from the mid 1700s onward. There are definitely grandchildren of Cornet Andrew there and some that have not yet been identified - more in later posts. However, I did not find any evidence of the profile I had created for the eldest son. He wasn't in Fermanagh.

My Conclusion on the Missing Sons

The two missing sons of Cornet Andrew were certainly alive in 1719. In the two deeds we have of 1731, there is no mention of these missing sons.

The theory that there could be an eldest son who was not mentioned because he had already taken over his portion - I found no evidence of this at all. I do not believe that there was an earlier transfer of a big chunk of Cornet Andrew's lands. 

So this would mean that the eldest son had already died by 1731 or that Andrew Sproule of Grennan, mentioned in the 1731 deed, was in fact the eldest son.

If Andrew were the eldest, then the two missing sons are in between the Andrew and the 5th child, Joseph. So they are somewhere in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th position in the family, and both are born before about 1705. 

Could they still be alive, then, in 1731? Yes, they could. The two sons could be alive if:

  1. They were not farmers, they were in a profession. This family is full of doctors and lawyers. Either or both of them could have been professionals. We have a couple of possible names here.
  2. They had gone overseas, to America or Canada
  3. They had, for some reason, received money from Cornet Andrew rather than land.


References:


 

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

The Missing Sons of Cornet Andrew - Robert of the Slab?

 There are two missing sons of Cornet Andrew. My first theory was ‘There has to be an eldest son, and he is probably called Robert’. I then went on a hunt for this missing Robert. I have to hastily say that I haven’t found anything definite about these boys, but the search was really useful in two ways, 1) in finding more possible members of this family and 2) in eliminating some possibilites that looked very likely. Hopefully, some clues will lead others further.

The Eldest Son

Cornet Andrew told us about 5 of his sons in his deeds. In the 1731 deeds, Cornet Andrew’s land is handed over to these 5 sons. The custom often was in those days that the oldest son, the chief heir, is treated separately. For example, the heir often doesn’t appear at all in a will – the heir has already taken over his inheritance several years before the death of the father.

So, could that be the case in Cornet Andrew’s family? Is it possible that one of the missing sons is the eldest, and that he got a large inheritance somewhere else, somewhere other than Grennan and Curraghamulkin? This was my thinking.

Robert Sproule and Jean Deniston's grave, Castlederg
The other factor I took into account was that it is often thought that Cornet Andrew is a son of Robert Sproule of Lisleen – that is, Robert Sproule, husband of Jean Deniston, who is in the Castlederg grave. Again, this is pure speculation on the part of Sproule family historians, and it is definitely not a certainty. However, if Cornet Andrew was a son of Robert of Lisleen, then he could well have called his eldest son Robert.

Is there a likely Robert anywhere? Well, one possibility jumped straight out.

Robert Sproule of the Slab

The early Sproule family historians built their trees round Robert Sproule who’s grave is in Castlederg Church. This grave is famous. What is not widely known is that there are TWO early Sproule gravestones right there in the same spot. Sheena McClure, from Castlederg, sent me a photo of the second stone.

It is a small square slab lying close to Robert and Jean Deniston, and Sheena was able to decipher some of the words:

Robert Sproull(e) died Sbr

y 28 1752 aged 42 years

Here lyes……

This Robert Sproule of the Slab was born in 1710. He lies close to, and is almost certainly related to, Robert Sproule of Lisleen. We know that this Robert of the Slab is definitely not a son of Robert and Jean Deniston, he is born too late. 

We know also that he is definitely not a son  of Thomas Spreull of Golan, for Thomas had a son Robert who we know died in 1734.

Robert of the Slab could still be a grandson of Robert of Lisleen. Could he, then, be the son of Cornet Andrew Spreull?

I realised very quickly that, sadly, no. The dates are wrong.

Robert of the Slab was born in 1710, so if he were the son of Cornet Andrew, he would have to be one of the younger sons. We know that the 5th, 6th and 7th sons were Joseph, Charles and Oliver, and that Joseph and Charles were born before 1710.

Robert of the Slab cannot be the son of Cornet Andrew.

Who is Robert of the Slab?

We know he is not the son of Cornet Andrew, but could he be the son of one of Cornet Andrew's brothers? We have no idea how many sons that Robert Sproule and Jean Deniston had, and if Cornet Andrew were one of these sons, he could have had many brothers.

We know that Cornet Andrew is very closely related to our Carncorran Sproules - we know this through our Sproule DNA Project. Is it possible that Robert of the Slab is actually the father of our Carncorran Sproules, who we know are definitely connected very closely to Cornet Andrew? Possibly.

With Robert of the Slab eliminated from my search for the sons of Cornet Andrew, I went looking for the land. If there was a missing older son who inherited land bigger or richer than Grennan or Curraghamulkin, then it should be easy to find.


Thanks to Sheena McClure for all the information on the Sproules in the Castlederg graves, and for later guiding me round these.

References:


Monday, 6 September 2021

The Sons of Cornet Andrew – their Ages from the Deeds

 What do We Know?

What do we know for certain about the sons of Cornet Andrew Spruell? What are the actual facts that we learn in the 1719 deed and the two deeds in Nov 1731? (See below for Deeds)

From the 1719 Deed, we learnt:

1.       Cornet Andrew Spruell has 7 sons.

2.       These sons are all alive in 1719. Can we be certain that they are all alive? Yes, fairly certain. If we think of a conversation, Cornet Andrew may refer to his 5th, 6th and 7th sons even if one of the seven has previously died. But this is a legal document. If one of the sons were dead at the time, then at a later stage a usurper could come and claim to be a missing son based on this deed. Legally, Cornet Andrew would have left himself exposed. The sons must all have been alive. But they don’t all have to have been in Ireland, of course.

3.       We learn the names of the 3 youngest sons and the 1719 deed gives us their order. Joseph is the 5th son. Charles is the 6th son and Oliver is the youngest, he is the 7th son.

 

From the 1731 Deeds we learnt quite a lot about the ages of these sons:

Andrew, James, Joseph and Charles Sproule were all born before 1710. The two 1731 deeds are in the names of 4 of the sons, that is 4 of the sons are named as parties to one or other of the deeds. These are Andrew, James, Joseph and Charles. It is these four sons who legally now take over these lands in these leases. That tells us that in 1731 these four sons have all reached the age of majority, they are all over 21 years old.

Oliver, the youngest son, is only named as a ‘life’ on one lease, he is not a party to these leases. This suggests that in 1731, Oliver Sproule may not have reached his majority. Oliver is named as a life with Joseph Sproule who took over the Curraghamulkin Lands, which might mean that it was intended that Oliver would take over some of the Curraghamulkin lands when he is older – this bit is speculation.

We know that this is the order of the boys, Andrew, James, Joseph, Charles and Oliver. Andrew is the oldest boy named in these deeds.

The Missing Sons are also born before 1710 We know from the 1719 deed that the 2 missing sons are older than Joseph. (Joseph was named as the 5th son).

So we know for sure that the 2 missing sons were also born before 1710. Cornet Andrew had 6 sons before 1710. This would suggest that the older boy / boys could well have been born before  1700.

We do not know where the missing boys fit in the first 4 sons, whether they are first, second etc.

We do know that the likelihood is that they were all alive in 1719, but the missing sons are not referred to in any way in the 1731 deeds. We don’t know where they are, or whether they are alive or not.

They could be somewhere else in Ireland, they may have died or they may be overseas.

There are possibilities – but nothing definite - to follow on this.

 

References:


The Sons of Cornet Andrew Spruell

 Although there have been a lot of us working on the sons of Cornet Andrew Spruell over many generations, there is a lot we still don’t know. Some progress is being made with more information that is emerging. However, as this happens, the picture becomes naturally becomes more and complicated.Although there have been a lot of us working on the sons of Cornet Andrew Spruell over many generations, there is a lot we still don’t know. Some progress is being made with more information that is emerging. However, as this happens, the picture becomes naturally becomes more and complicated.

Have we all the Pieces? 

We thought, for example, that we had some of the pieces of the jigsaw of Cornet Andrew’s family, and that these pieces had been identified by the great Sproule researchers of the past and by ourselves, and the task now was to continue the work of fitting them together. Then we get lovely transcriptions of old records, for example the super records from Fermanagh,  and we find that we only had a fraction of the jigsaw pieces – there were stacks more! We need to get any relevant new pieces onto the table so that we can consider them as we continue to work on this.

Are the Assumptions Correct?
Another thing that has been happening lately in our research of the sons of Cornet Andrew is that we look at some of the basic facts, those assumptions that have gone unchallenged for a very long time, and we say – that cannot be right! The more we do of this, this challenging of assumptions, the better chance we have at making progress.

Just recently a fellow Sproule researcher, Jamie Reid, ripped to shreds one of my own beautifully developed pieces of research about this family, and left it in tatters on the cutting room floor. He did it with a masterful piecing together of many different clues – a super job that, even through my tears, it really blew me away admiration! I’ll go into that at a later stage – or hopefully Jamie himself will.

Now we want to keep that going so that we can make some more progress.

So to endeavour to begin this I am going to do two things over the next few posts before we move forward:

1.       Firstly, I want to pin down and identify clearly what we actually do know about the sons of Cornet Andrew. What are the actual facts? Let us summarise exactly what we know from those documents where the 5 sons of Cornet Andrew are identified and named. What have we learnt about them from 1719 deed and the 1731 deeds?

2.       What do we know, if anything, about the two unnamed sons of Cornet Andrew? The deeds named 5 boys, but we know that there were 7 sons.

3.       Before we move forward, are there any other pieces of this jigsaw that should be looked at and put on our table? I will name a few that have to be taken into consideration, and they are not in the picture at all up to now.