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Family Tree

My Family Tree

None of what you are about to read would be possible without the patience, time, effort and skill of my good friend Tony Hogan. He had only the least sliver of connection to me when we chanced upon each other over the internet, that being that his ancestors were from the same St. Joseph's parish as myself. Since then we stumbled across each other on the same forums and message boards and he took such an interest in helping me that he found that our Scouse roots went back further than that with both being of Irish descent and our late 1800s ancestors were in fact neighbours in Liverpool 3. Furthermore, we are both blues, share a passion for local photography and all things Liverpool and learnt that each others dad's were staunch Labour activists in the past. It is with great heartfelt thanks to Tony that I now know who I am and where I came from in a much broader sense.

Tony has some great sites including researching the Eldon Street 'Our lady of reconcilliation' as well as the St Anthonys  war memorial and his own photographs here.

The Fagan Name

The crest motto of 
'Deo Partriaeque fidelis' translated means 
'Faithful to God and my Country'

The surname Fagan is derived from the Gaelic ''O Faodhagain'' which in turn comes from the Latin word 'Paganus' which refers to 'Villager' or 'peasant'.

Pronunciation rather than spelling of the name guided the early scribes and church officials in recording names. This process of estimation often ptoduced the misleading result of the name being recorded under several different spellings including Fagan, Fagin, Fagen, Fagon, Faggan, Faggin, Feagan, Feighan, Fieghan to name but some.

The name was first found in County Tyrone where they settled in early time. During the late 18th and 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Irish left their native homeland for North American shore becoming instrumental in the development of what would become the great Nations of the United States and Canada.

Immigration and passenger lists have shown many Fagan's to have arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865 for instance including Alexander, Ambrose, Arthur, Catherine, Charles, Daniel, Edward, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick and Thomas Fagans.

Colour coding will help for the earlier submissions:

Everything concerning my dad's side of the family is in blue
Everything concerning my mam's side of the family is in red

So to go back to my true roots, well as far back as I can get or should I say Tony could get barring a trip to across the Irish Sea, we need to know some information about Newry, Armagh so here's some information from Wikipedia. Newry (from the Irish: Iúr Cinn Trá meaning "The Yew Tree at the Head of the Strand", short form An tIúr, "The Yew") is the fourth-largest city in Northern Ireland and eighth on the island of Ireland. The River Clanrye, which runs through the city, forms the historic border between County Armagh and County Down: Newry was included entirely in the latter by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898. It is 34 miles from Belfast and 67 miles from Dublin and had a population of approximately 27,430 at the 2001 Census. It was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian monastery and is one of Northern Ireland's oldest towns.The city of Newry is one of the constituent cities of the Dublin-Belfast corridor

It sits at the entry to the Gap of the North, close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. It grew as a market town and a garrison and became a port in 1742 when it was linked to Lough Neagh by the first summit-level canal in Britain or Ireland. In March 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Newry was granted city status alongside Lisburn. Despite being the fourth largest city in Northern Ireland, however, it is not the fourth largest settlement. Newry was an important centre of trade in early Ireland because of its position between Belfast and Dublin. Newry has a reputation as one of the best provincial shopping-towns in Northern Ireland, with the Buttercrane Centre and The Quays attracting large numbers of shoppers from as far away as Dublin. Notable buildings include the Catholic Cathedral of SS.Patrick and Colman, Newry Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland, Newry. The Cathedral of SS. Patrick and Colman on Hill Street was built in 1829 at a cost of £8,000. The structure, which consists of local granite, was designed and built by Thomas Duff, arguably Newry's greatest architect to date. Incidentally, Thomas Duff also was the architect for the Cathedral in Dundalk, a town just over the border in County Louth, and it is said that he mixed up the plans for both cathedrals and sent Dundalk Cathedral to the builders in Newry, and Newry Cathedral to the builders in Dundalk.

The town hall is notable for being built over the River Clanrye which is the historic boundary between the counties of Down and Armagh. The city also boasts a museum, an arts centre and, in recent years, has seen a number of art galleries being opened. The impressive Craigmore Viaduct lies just north of the city on the Northern Ireland Railways Belfast-Dublin mainline. The bridge was designed by Sir John O’Neill with construction beginning in 1849. The bridge was formally opened in 1852. The viaduct consists of eighteen arches the highest being 126 feet, the highest viaduct in Ireland. It is around a quarter of a mile long and was constructed from local granite. The Enterprise Train link from Belfast to Dublin crosses the bridge. Every week the Newry Reporter newspaper highlights a historic building in Newry and the surrounding area, giving a brief outline of its history.

Marcus Square, Newry The English version of the name of the city comes from the original Irish Iúr Chinn Trá (in older spelling, Iubhar Chinn Trábha), which translates as "the yew at the head of the strand", which relates to an apocryphal story that Saint Patrick planted a yew tree there in the 5th century. In modern Irish, the full name of the town is rarely used; instead it is abbreviated to An tIúr.

The town was established in 1144 with the building of a monastery, although there is strong evidence of continual human habitation in the area from 8th century. The monastery only lasted until 1162, when it was burned to the ground, and later replaced by a cistercian monastery. This monastery itself was later converted to a collegiate church in 1543, before being surrendered to the crown in 1548.

Sir Pedro Winter, marshal of the Army in Ireland, took over the site around 1550, later building a castle there. The remains of the original Cistercian monastery were still standing when Bagenal acquired the land and it may well have been the abbot's house that Bagenal proclaimed as his castle. The site was said to consist of a 'church, steeple, and cemetery, chapter- house, dormitory and hall, two orchards and one garden, containing one acre, within the precincts of the college'. The remains of Bagenal's Castle can be found today on Castle Street, near to the LIDL store, on what was once the site of McCann's Bakery.

A rental roll, dated 1575, provides a unique insight into life in the town at the time. It listed the names of the tenants in 'the High Street', 'tenements within the Fort' and the Irish Street without the Fort'. These three distinct areas also appear in a map of the same time, along with a drawing of the castle.

During the Williamite War, the forces of King James II set fire to the town in 1689, while retreating from William. The town was rebuilt shortly afterwards, and its fortunes changed dramatically. A further period of economic prosperity, evidence of which can be seen in the many fine buildings and public places that can still be seen today. In October 1924, Éamon de Valera was arrested at Newry Town Hall for "illegally entering Northern Ireland" and held in solitary confinement for a month in Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast.

Some old pics of Newry here and a landscape of Newry as it is today, below.

In 1803 John Fagan is born in Newry Co. Armagh. It is yet to be established when he wed his wife Roseanna but we know they were still in Ireland up until 1838 as that is when his daughter Roseanna is born and she is registered as Irish. John and Roseanna are my Paternal Gt Gt Grandparents. (these dates are gathered from the 1851 census you will see later)

The Irish potato famine and disasterous failed crops hit Ireland from 1845 lasting up to six years. Read here about what happened next as many fled to England berthing at Liverpool and forming an overcrowded community in unsanitary property around Scotland Road. The rise was so rapid that many Catholic schools and churches were built. Many died en route or upon arrival but it seems that John Fagan and his family were amongst the lucky ones.

Between 1846 and 1848 Peter Fagan is born. The correct date is to be verified as the census records and his marriage certificate differ. We do know though that he was born in Liverpool as this is registered on the census so his dad, John has moved his family here between 1838 and 1848. Peter is my paternal Gt Grandad.

The 1851 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:

Living in Portland Street, Liverpool 5 are:

John Fagan aged 48 - born in Newry, Ireland c1803
Roseanna Fagan aged 42 - born in Newry, Ireland c1809
Catherine (daughter) aged 26 - born in Newry, Ireland c1825
James (son) aged 18 - born in Newry, Ireland c1833
Roseanna (daughter) aged 13 - born in Newry, Ireland c1838 and obviously named after her mother.
Peter (son) aged 5 - born Liverpool (he is to become my Gt Grandad) the birth registers have him born in 1848 so he would be aged 3 during this census, not 5 but genealogists will know of the usual discrepencies with spellings, names, ages and the like.
Maria (daughter) aged 6 months - born in Liverpool. In 1851 according to the births registers Elizabeth Welsh is born to James and Catherine Welsh, though her wedding certificate shows her to be born c1853 so this is yet to be verified conclusively. Elizabeth will later marry Peter. Elizabeth is my paternal Gt Grandmother.

In 1855, John Gilligan is born in Liverpool. He will later marry Alice Latham and one of their children, Mary will be my mam's mam - (my nan). John and Alice are therefore my maternal great grandparents.

The 1861 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:

Living in a court off Hornby Street, Liverpool 5 are:

John Fagan   aged 50 (which is wrong) and it says he's married but no wife (Roseanna?) is listed
Peter Fagan aged 14, it says John is lodging with his son Peter along with some other folk from Newry, again Peter is listed as having been born in Liverpool which we knew already. There is no mention of the other children listed 10 years earlier, nor young Maria who may all be with their mother, or the older ones having left home. In 1864 Joseph Patrick Callaghan is born. He will later wed Elizabeth Burrows who gives birth to Christina, my dad's mam - (my grandma). Joseph and Elizabeth are therefore my other paternal Gt Grandparents.

A FLAVOUR OF THE TIMESThe pictures shown here are of Burlington Street Court No.6 in 1916 (the top two), Court No.11 in 1934, No.16 Court in 1933, Court No.32 and Burlington Street itself in 1920 showing the gaps leading to the courts.

Although these photographs are from a period of more than half a century after John and Peter Fagan lived in the next street to this, these properties are already over 100 years old and would have been in existance during the life and times of John and Peter, the worn stone doorsteps clear evidence of this.

On 23rd May 1870, the death of John Fagan, a labourer aged 67 of 12 Court, Charters Street is registered. Charters street ran off Vauxhall Road between Carruthers and Chisenhale Streets and was very industrial with a refuse destructor positioned halfway down on the canal inlet. The cause of death is from Bronchitis and his age given fits with the age on the 1851 census above meaning the 1861 census which has him at 50 should read 58. Mary Fagan was present at the death, possibly his daughter-in-law?

In the March Qtr of 1870 James Latham weds Mary Bowker in Liverpool. One of their children Alice, will become my Great Grandma as her child Mary gives birth to my mam. James and Mary are therefore my maternal great, great grandparents.

On 4th June 1872 Peter Fagan aged 24 weds Elizabeth Welsh aged 19 at St. Joseph's Chapel, Grosvenor Street, Liverpool 3. Peter is recorded as living at 38 Milton Street, Liverpool 3 and his father John is a labourer. Elizabeth is living at Milton Street, it doesn't say 38 though, her father is listed as James Welsh, also a labourer. It is possible that Elizabeth is pregnant with whom will become her daughter Rose Ann - see the 1881 census below. One of their children, Daniel, will later become my dad's dad - (my grandad). Peter and Elizabeth are my Paternal Great Grandparents.

This would be the first of many Fagan family ceremonies held in St. Joseph's church, some happy, some sad as future generations including my dad, elder brother, myself and my own children would attend the church and attached school, Bishop Goss. The main church was sadly demolished in 1979 and a new one created within the school building.

In 1875, Alice Latham is born. She will later marry John Gilligan and one of their children will be Mary, my mam's mam - (my nan).

In the March Quarter of 1876, Hugh Higgins weds Bridget Moran. Bridget's mum and dad had hailed from Ireland, Martin Moran (born in 1821) and Bridget Moran Snr (born in 1826) One of Hugh and Bridget Jnr's children, William will feature later, marrying my mum's mum.

The 1881 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:

Living at 1 house, 14 court, Milton Street, Liverpool 3.

Peter (Head) aged 24 - Docker. Peter doesn't seem to have aged since his wedding 9 years earlier, Peter Pan my mate Tony re-christens him.
Elizabeth (wife) aged 25 - Oooh the liar says Tony.
Rose Ann (daughter) aged 9. She is named after Peter's mother and it's likely Elizabeth was pregnant with her which possibly resulted in the wedding.
Patrick (son) aged 4
John (son) aged 1

The 1881 census for the Latham's reads as follows:

Living at 27 Conway Street, Everton, Liverpool 5.

James Latham            43   Labourer
Mary Ann Latham     37   Fish Hawker
Thomas Latham           9   Scholar
Alice Latham                 4

The significance of this family is that Alice will later marry John Gilligan and one of their children, Mary will give birth to my mam. James and Mary Ann are my great, great grandparents.

On 14th July 1884 Joseph Patrick Callaghan aged 20, a labourer from Tatlock Street, Liverpool 5, whose father is Patrick Callaghan weds Elizabeth Burrows aged 20 of Rose Place, Liverpool 3. Her father is Robert Burrows. The Wedding takes place in St. Nicholas' Church. One of their children, Christina would later give birth to my dad to become my grandma. Their full list of children are James, Elizabeth (Lizzie), Helen (Nel), Katy, Sophie, Rose, Christina (2nd youngest) and Anna (youngest).

In the March Qtr of 1885, probably around January, William Higgins is born. His mother and father mentioned earlier are Hugh and Bridget Higgins, he will marry my mam's mam Mary Gilligan - see later.

The 1891 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:
Living at Gildarts Gardens, Liverpool L3.

Peter (head) aged 40
Elizabeth (wife) aged 36
No kids are listed but Patrick and John who are listed on the previous census are on a later census so they're still living at home with mum and dad Peter and Elizabeth but census takers had a habit of recording only who was in the house at the time. This makes genealogists pull their hair out because if the children were at a friends house, they wouldn't be recorded at their family home but could well be recorded on their friends family home.

However Rose aged about 20 (which fits in with the 1881 census a decade earlier) is registered as a niece living on the Wirral.

Gildarts Gardens. Gildart Street/Gardens were named after Richard Gildart, Mayor and MP (1734-1754) for Liverpool. Gildart was also a merchant in the slave trade.

The 1891 census for the Latham's reads as follows:

Living at 65 Bond Street, Liverpool L3.

James Latham       51   Dock labourer
Mary Ann Latham   47    
Alice Lathom         14
Francis Latham     11

Since the earlier 1881 census, Thomas who would now be 19 is not shown but a new addition of Francis is there.

In 1892, a fourth child is born to Peter and Elizabeth, Daniel who would later become my dad's dad - (my grandad).

In 1896 Mary Agnes Gilligan is born to John and Alice Gilligan. Mary would later become my grandma, giving birth to my mam.

On 19th November 1898 Christina Callaghan is born to Joseph Patrick Callaghan and Elizabeth Callaghan (nee Burrows), she would later wed Daniel Fagan and become my Grandma, giving birth to my dad.

In September 1899 John Gilligan weds Alice Latham in Liverpool. One of their children, Mary, is my mam's mam - (my nan). John and Alice therefore are my Great Grandparents.

The 1901 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:

Living at 5 house, 1 court, Limekiln Lane, Liverpool 3.

Peter (head) aged 44 - dock labourer. He would in fact be around 51
Elizabeth (wife) aged 46 - those lies again
Patrick (son) aged 22 - dock labourer
John (son) aged 20 - dock labourer
Daniel (son) aged 12
Rose Ann, as mentioned in the earlier census is living away.

These pictures of No.2 court on Blenheim Street and No.2 court on Silvester Street (1913) were both off the North end of Limekiln Lane and give a further flavour of the types of slum property so prevalent throughout the area during this time. Dr William Henry Duncan, Britain's first health minister and assigned to the Vauxhall area would produce a paper outlining the infant mortality rate being linked to this type of unsanitary property.

The 1901 census for the Higgins's reads as follows:

Living in Rose Hill, Liverpool 3.

Hugh Higgins       41 (Coach driver)
Bridget Higgins   41
John Higgins       19
William Higgins   17 (he later weds Mary Gilligan)
Mary A. Higgins   11
Martin Higgins     9
Margaret Higgins   3 The 1901 census for the Gilligan's reads as follows:

Living at 72 Arkwright Street, Liverpool 5.

John Gilligan     45 (Marine Stoker)
Alice Gilligan     25
Mary Gilligan       3

The 1911 census 10 years later shows a Sarah Ellen Gilligan aged 18 so she would be 8 here in 1901 but is not shown. Notice the 20 year age difference between John and Alice so it's possible that Sarah is a child from a previous marriage of John's?

In 1910, the death of Peter Fagan aged 60 is registered in September. This age fits in with the 1851 census but not with his birth date which is still two years out. The 1911 census for the Fagan's reads as follows:

Living at 7 Maddox Street, Scotland Road, Liverpool 3.

Elizabeth Fagan     50 (Widowed - recently, her husband died the year before - see above)
John Fagan           24 (A dock labourer)
Patrick Fagan         26 (Also a dock labourer)
These 3 are all 6 years younger than they should be according to the 1901 census
Maria Fagan         22 (not even on the 1901 census) She is shown here as
married, she could be just visiting, no mention of hubby and she is a factory hand at a cotton warehouse.
Daniel Fagan         20 (two years out) - He is a shop assistant in a grocers shop.

A side fact thrown up by this census is it appears that Peter and Elizabeth had 14 children, 9 of which died, only 5 surviving.

Maddox Street was off the West side Scotland Road and ran alongside the original St. Martin's market. Captured here on 16 April 1935 is No.3 Court Maddox Street. You will see how long suffering residents would white wash the yard walls to reflect a bit of extra light into the dingy passageways which were shrouded in the shadows of tall chimney stacks and the windowless gable ends of adjacent properties. A lone water supply would service all of the houses in the court but at least these ones were afforded a gutter and some drains which were no doubt an improvement made along the way. A single gas lamp lights the court and I can bet it was a creepy errie place during the pea soup fogs and smogs of the day, with coal fires being the norm. An ash bin is located on the yard wall and just below the lamp, the metal sign plate of Court No.3 is seen. The last pic is a close up of the entry which lies up the side of the whitewashed wall on pic 2, it shows how narrow it is and how the walls are braced with wood. A man stands at the end of the passageway and the court nameplate is seen a bit more clearly. The man is possibly a Corporation worker judging by his attire, the reason for this City Engineers photograph was to record the squalor and impending demoliton.

The 1911 census for the Gilligan's reads as follows:

John Gilligan             56   born 1855
Alice Gilligan             36   born 1875
Sarah Ellen Gilligan     18   born 1893 (6 years before John and Alice wed so could be from a previous marriage of John's).
Mary Agnes Gilligan     13   born 1898 (her marriage cert has her as 21 in 1917 so a two year discrepency here)
Francis Gilligan           6     born 1905
Alice Jane Gilligan       2     born 1909

In the Sept Qtr of 1911, it is recorded that Joseph Patrick Callaghan, dad of my nan Christina, died aged just 48. On 22nd January 1916 Daniel Fagan aged 24 weds Christina Callaghan aged 18 at St. Joseph's, Grosvenor Street, Liverpool 3. Daniel must be home on leave from WWI duties. Their first child Elizabeth is born later that year, being Christened in the 3rd Quarter of 1916.

Daniel is living at 23 Everton Brow, Liverpool 3
Christina is living at home with her mum Elizabeth Callaghan at 14 St Annes Terrace, St. Anne Street, L.3

Daniel's dad is Peter - pork butcher (deceased) though we know he was a dock labourer on the 1901 census.
Christina's dad is Joseph Patrick - dock labourer (deceased - 5 years earlier - see above)

Dock labouring seemed to be a prominent feature in my family's history. Men would queue for hours, herded into pens at the dockside and handpicked for daily work or per ship depending upon the length of its berthing. Those unsuccessful would be turned away to try again another day. Some may well have been more permanent and had the luxury of naming the profession during the census.

On 5th July 1917 William Higgins aged 33 of 15 Cazneau Street, Liverpool 3 weds Mary Gilligan aged 21 of 59 Great Richmond Street, Liverpool 3 at Liverpool registry office. William's father was Hugh Higgins and at this point is deceased but had been an undertakers coachman and Mary's father was John Gilligan who is also deceased, who had been a marine fireman. It's possible that William is illiterate as he signs his marriage cert with an 'x' as he does with his army documents. Investigation into William's profession as shown on his marriage certificate is very interesting and later leads us to various conclusions.

Bearing in mind WWI commenced in 1914, William enlists himself into the Australian Expeditionary Forces, basically the Aussie Army at Keswick, Adelaide, Australia as Private 3140 with the 10th Battalion on 17th June 1915. He was born in Liverpool so quite what he was doing in Australia is anyone's guess though we know from medical records he was a miner/labourer - was this out in Oz?. It is also known he had previously served 6 years with the Manchester Militia, the forerunner of todays territorial Army. His father Hugh, at this time is living at No.3 Blackwell Lane off Cazneau Street, Liverpool 3, his sister Mrs. Mary Ann Whitby (nee Higgins of course) who married John Joseph Whitby in the winter of 1909) is living across Scotland Road from her dad at 18 Ennerdale Street, Bevington Hill, Liverpool 3. Hugh is dead by the time William weds just two years later and so changes his next of kin from his dad to his sister and then later, to his wife, Mary.

William is described as 30 years and 6 months old when he joins up, he is 5ft 5 1/2 inches tall, weighs 147 pounds and has a chest measurement of 34 1/2 inches which is 37 when expanded. He has a medium complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. He is listed as a Roman Catholic with a tattoo on his right forearm.

After sailing to Egypt on 14 Sept 1915, he was transferred to the 50th Battalion and served there in 1916 before joining allied forces in France later that same year. He had a few spells in hospital during his army career, first with Gastritis and then with recurring Chronic Bronchitis. He also went absent without leave a couple of times resulting in a forfeit of pay and being confined to barracks.

It is recorded that from 1st January 1916, part of his army pay is being paid to a Mrs. Lilian Adelaide Tape of Swigg Street, Birkenhead, South Australia and it is being reduced from 4/- to 3/- p.d so it is obviously being paid to her before this date. It is from this address that he enlists c/o Mrs. Lilian Adelaide Tape so is she just his landlady and hence the reduction in his board and keep whilst he's away overseas?

After spending the Autumn of 1916 back in the UK, having been evacuated from the field in France and hospitalised, William spent time at Perham Downs Army camp on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire as well as time at Weymouth, Dorset and Wareham in Dorset - all the time on training exercises pending further deployment to elsewhere. This went on into the new year of 1917 culminating in another spell in hospital with his Bronchitis on 21st June. By now he'd been transferred to the 70th Battalion as the 50th are in action abroad and the 70th are here in England where Willaim is, doing training exercises.

William is given leave after coming out of hospital and on 7th July, weds Mary Gilligan in Liverpool. Being from the same district as Mary, it is obvious he has known her before joining up, but just 5 days after the wedding he is back in hospital again at Perham Downs. At the end of this month he changes his next of kin from his sister to his new wife Mary and a month later is transferred to Australia for home service due to his condition and is admitted straight to hospital in Keswick where he had enlisted 2 years earlier.

On 3rd November 1917 William is declared unfit for service by the medical officer and on the 21st of that month is discharged after serving 2 years and 139 days of which 2 years and 37 days were spent overseas. His character is listed as good and he is granted an army pension of £1.10/- fortnightly to be paid to his wife Mary Higgins in Liverpool and £3 fortnightly to be paid to William at Lady Galway Club, Henley Beach, South Australia. This address is a convalescent home for returning soldiers. There are no passenger list records of him ever returning to Liverpool. What follows next is rather sad, as his new wife, Mary Higgins writes to the Australian Army on 25th March 1918 in a very eloquent and elegant manner enquiring about the whereabouts of her husband. The letter is received by them on the 9th May and they respond on 13th inst that he is at The Lady Galway Club, Henley Beach, South Australia.

It is very likely that Mary wrote to him there but the reply would have been for Mary's eyes only as any communication is now private and out of the hands of the Army. If we look at the records that follow, it would appear that William Higgins never set foot in the UK again. The last two documents concerning 3140 Pte Higgins of the 70th Battalion of the Australian Army concern a mention of him on 25th September 1938 as having died after discharge and being buried in West Terrace Adelaide AIF cemetery, the headstone being funded all those years down the line by Mary, his widow in Liverpool. The other document covers the return of his medals from the 'Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial league of Australia' to the officer in charge of the Army medal section in Canberra, meaning that they were never claimed by anyone in Liverpool or Australia. On 19th May 1918 William Wilson aged 25 weds Mary Catherine Whittingham aged 21. The ceremony takes place at St. Patricks chapel, Toxteth Park. William is Private No. 13851 in the 6th Cycling battalion during WWI and is also previously described as a tailor and journeyman. He is living at 50 Wolfe St, Toxteth, his father Thomas is deceased and was a team owner's carter. Mary is a wirer in a bottling stores and lived at 14 Prince William Street, Toxteth, her father Thomas being a boiler scaler. It would appear that Mary is about to give birth to Joseph, see below. In 1918 Joseph Wilson is born to William and Mary Wilson. William would later father my mam but not to Mary Wilson, but to Mary Gilligan whose husband as we have seen has remained in Australia - see later on.

My dad's side of the family in the 1920s and 1930s. and a little beyond...............

On 8th August 1920, Joseph Patrick Fagan is born to Daniel and Christina. Named after his mother's dad they are living at 14 house, 3 court St. Anne Street. He will become my dad. The full list of children born to Daniel and Christina are;

Elizabeth 1916
Joseph Patrick 8/8/1920
James 25/1/1924
Daniel 29/10/1926 (named after his father whom was ill and about to die a few weeks later - see below)

Above left: My auntie Lil, pictured when aged 18 in 1934 was the first born to Daniel and Christina. Christina, since 1926, a widow held down three jobs to makes ends meet so Lily became like a mother to her younger brothers as well as a sister. My dad called her Lizzie as her name was Elizabeth, she hated that but I think he knew that so would wind her up, I called her Lil. She was a caring person and had worked for years in Mill Road hospital, having an overactive thyroid gland kept her slim and full of seemingly endless energy and she lived to age 85, dying on 3rd March 2002. She was the only one of my dad's siblings to marry, first to Mr Allen,   producing a son Hughie who now lives near Swansea and then later to Mr. Larry King. During the 1960s she lived at 122 Radcliffe Street, then later onto the same landing as her mother, my grandma at Mazzini House. My dad Joseph pictured here in Jeromes photographic studio, London Road (he's on the right) with his younger brother Jimmy in the mid 1920s came next. Jimmy lived to just short of his 84th birthday, dying in December 2007 but spent the last few years of his life in Abbey Lawn care home, paralysed due to strokes. He had previously only ever lived with his mother at Gt Richmond St, Prince Edwin Lane, 86d Downe House and 42 Mazzini House. The youngest was Daniel (right), whom like his namesake dad would die tragically young, in his case in 1966, of Tuberculosis (TB) On 12th December 1926 Daniel Fagan died aged just 32 from the effects of gas poisoning that he suffered during his WWI service. My dad is just 6 years of age. Daniel had been working as a timber carrier since the end of the war, the family were living at 14 house, 3 court, St Anne Street at the time of his death. Daniel is buried in plot RD, grave 88 in Ford Cemetery, paid for by his mother Elizabeth.

In June 1930, Elizabeth Fagan, the wife of the late Peter Fagan and mother of Daniel above, dies aged 72. She too is buried in the same grave as Daniel. She is living at 11 Richmond Row at the time of her death. On 22nd Dec 1929 William Fagan is born to the widowed Christina Fagan. He becomes my dad's half brother. His father's name is Riley. In 1931 Francis Fagan is born to Christina Fagan. He too becomes my dad's half brother and has the same father as William making them full brothers. Francis died in 1999. These pics show my uncle Billy and Uncle Francis pictured in 1984 and 1987 respectively. As luck would have it, Aunty Lil is on them both too.

My mam's side of the family in the 1920s and 1930s. and a little beyond............

On 27th May 1920, Mary Ann Higgins is born to Mary Agnes Higgins (nee Gilligan) who is listed as a charwoman. She is listed as living at 33 Richmond Row which is registered in the name of Alice Gilligan whom is Mary's mother and she is the head of the household. As previously mentioned, there are no passenger list records to show that William Higgins ever returned from Australia to father Mary and it can be established that he later died out there. It would therefore appear that Mary Ann's father is the man who would go on to father Marys Higgins's subsequent children including my mam. This can be concluded due to the lack of a fathers name on the birth certificate, as if it was her husband William Higgins it would surely just say so.

On 5th September 1922, Norah Ann Wilson, my mam, is born. Her mother has changed the way she presents her name, which is now as Mary Wilson, late Higgins, formerly Gilligan. The father is listed as William Wilson, a tin warehouse-man and Mary is listed as living in 15 Suffolk Street, Liverpool L1 (off Park Lane). The polling records for 15 Suffolk Street show that the tenant is indeed William Wilson. This is the first official mention of William Wilson but he looms large and stays in the life of Mary Higgins until his death in 1946.

You will remember that William Wilson was mentioned earlier on this page as he and his wife, the original Mary Wilson had a son called Joseph who was born in 1918. In the meantime, it is believed that Mary Wilson was admitted to Rainhill Hospital where she remained for some time. William Wilson started a liason with Mary Higgins and William's original son Joseph is with them.

On 11th July 1924, Josephine Wilson is born. Her mother has reverted to describing herself as Mary Agnes Higgins, formerly Gilligan (like she did with her first born, Mary Ann) however, although no father is shown again (as with the first born), the clues are there as Wilson is shown as the surname of Josephine and the new address of the mother, 16a Kent Street, Liverpool L1 (again off Park Lane) is registered in the polling registers to William Wilson. A quick check as to who is living at 33 Richmond Row at this time still shows it to be Mary's mother, Alice Gilligan.

During the subsequent years, Alice died and Mary took over the tenancy of 33 Richmond Row and it now becomes the family home. It is listed in the polling records throughout the 1930s as being occupied by William Wilson and Mary Wilson (Mary now calling herself Wilson) and 4 more children were born: William in 1926, John in 1929 and in the 1930s Robert and Charles. These children are given the surname Higgins.

There is obviously a reason why the surname of Mary keeps fluctuating as does the names given to the children, like there's an air of uncertainty or perhaps there is a monetary reason and a financial gain to be made by putting them in one name rather than the other. We know both parents are still married to different partners and the fact they have found love with each other isn't either of their faults as they were in a situation that couldn't be helped. We do know that Mary is receiving a war pension from Australia and this would stop if she subsequently remarried   so this appears to be the reason her children are given the name Higgins even though he has remained in Australia.

It is recorded in Australia that William Higgins dies on 25th Sept 1938 aged just 53 whilst residing at Glandore, Keswick, Sth Australia - the place where he enlisted into WWI in 1915. He is listed as Married, this would still appear to be to Mary in Liverpool as there are no records of a divorce or him remarrying in Australia.  

In 1941, 33 Richmond Row suffered bomb damage by the Lufthwaffe and the family moved into No.10 Kilin Street which was facing. This wasn't much better, a large diagonal crack ran through the living room wall with cockroaches in it but for the next few years this would be home to William and Mary Wilson and their children, Mary Ann, Norah Ann, Josephine, William, John, Robert and Charles. By now Joseph, William's original child had enlisted into the Army to fight in WWII. He becomes a desert rat, fighting in North Africa with Montgomery's 8th army against Rommell, at El Alemein. He actually bumped into my dad out in Alexandria, Egypt, where his RN ship had called into port.  

No polling records exist for the war years but 1946 throws up something of interest. 10 Kilin Street shows Joseph Wilson as being back from the war and also living there is William H. Wilson and also Mary Ann Higgins (the first born) The other children which are not of voting age will be there too, namely John, Charles and Robert. - no parents are listed. However, a glance up the page provide us with the answer as William and Mary Wilson are listed as living at No. 6. so it seems that No. 10 was getting a little cramped for all of them.

By 1948 there have been a few changes at 10 Kilin Street. The previous year, my mam, Norah Ann wed Joseph Patrick Fagan who was now also back from the war so she moved out, however Josephine had also married and was living at No.10 with her new husband John J. McGreal. Only house numbers 2-10 are listed.

Gerard Close was built in 1952, a new small block of three high flats which completed the Gerard Gardens/Crescent development which had been held up because of the war. Mary Higgins as Mary was now calling herself again moved into here at No.2b and in 1955 those listed as living there are Mary and her sons Robert and William. William is married and his wife Christina Higgins (nee Bogle) is also with them. Josephine and her husband John are living below them in No.2 Gerard Close.

By 1970 Mary is still there and her only companion now is John, known to us all as Johnny. Sadly, my nan started going blind in the early 1970s as she approached her mid 70s. Johnny hasn't lived at home all his life but is back now and he will remain living with his mum until her death in the early 1970s. Still living just below my nan are her daughter Josie with her husband John McGreal and their four children Joseph, John, Robert and Vincent. Another of my nan's sons, my Uncle Charlie is living in the next square at 15d Gerard Gardens with his wife Mary Higgins (nee Warburton) though she is known as Maureen and with them are their children Gerard, Paul and Ann-Marie. My mam is living at the other end of Gerard Crescent at 98d Thurlow House with her husband Joseph Fagan and their children Joe and me.

Around this same time Mary Ann, my nan's first born is living in Ellesmere Port and William Higgins (Billy) is living in Liverpool Road, Huyton with his wife Christina (Chrissy) and their children Marie, Billy, Mary, Charles, Frank and John. Robert (Bobby) is also up in Huyton, married to Teresa with their children Robert and Tony. Joey Wilson settled in Warrington and worked in the wire works there and I do know he has a son called Alex.

Mary Gilligan becomes Higgins then Wilson before reverting back to Higgins. Sadly, her first love, William Higgins never returned from Australia after WWI. This picture was taken in 2b Gerard Close around 1970. My mam used to go for a drink with her sometimes in the 'Pie shop' pub on Byrom Street.

Joey Wilson in his WWII army attire looking very James Cagny-ish. He fought in the deserts of North Africa during the war. He was the original child of William Wilson to Mary, his wife, born in 1918 before William went on to meet Mary Higgins.

My mam and me on the doorstep of 98d Thurlow House in the early 70s.
She was the middle one of three girls born to her mum Mary - then followed four boys.

Josie. Always fun loving with a hearty laugh is how I remember her. During the 1970s she and her family, the McGreal's lived below her mum and her brother Johnny in No.2 Gerard Close. There was a long lobby from the front door to the living room with the bedrooms off on the right hand side with windows that looked out into the square. They spent a lot of time in the 'back kitchen' which was a hive of activity. Josie, married to John McGreal had 4 children: John, Joe, Robert and Vincent.

Billy, Johnny, Bobby and Charlie. I remember that these 4 liked nothing better than their weekend meet ups around the pubs of London Road and Commutation Row during the 60s and 70s. Naturally, there'd be times when my mam and dad were there too - The Tam O' Shanter, The Lord Warden, The Legs of Man, Casson's, Peppers, The Courthouse and the Hare & Hounds to name the regulars.

This is what was known as the 'Little Italy' area where my mam and dad and their brothers and sisters and their parents all grew up during their childhood. The rear of Circus Street is seen here in 1933. No.9 Court Great Richmond Street viewed in 1926. Kyffin Square with its ornamental wrought iron name spanning the narrow terrace leads to No.8 Court between Myrtle View and Pontack Lane on Christian Street. Delapidated property on Baptist Street is captured from the back bedroom window of No.7 Gerard Street in 1933.

On 14th May 1947 Joseph Patrick Fagan, aged 26, having returned from his WWII Royal Navy service and having been demobbed, weds his childhood sweetheart Norah Ann Wilson, aged 24.
Joseph is living at 16 Great Richmond Street, Liverpool 3 - profession: Trainee bricklayer - father, Daniel (timber carrier) - deceased.
Norah is living at 10 Kilin Street, Liverpool 3 - profession: Tin box machinist - father, William - deceased.

The picture, Right, is of my dad taking some time out to read the paper whilst serving in Alexandria, Egypt. He'd tell me about sailing around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa's southernmost tip then up the Suez canal, spending time in Aden (South Yemen), Port Said and Alexandria (Egypt) and Tobruk (Libya). My dad's mate Muff had enrolled for the Navy before him, advising him to go for the D.E.M.S (Defensively equipped merchant ships) as that paid 10 shillings and 6 pence per week due to an extra 6 pence danger money - the extra shilling was because my dad was under 21 so couldn't drink) My mam's contribution to the wartime effort was as a shell maker in the munitions factory.
In March 1951 Joseph Patrick Fagan Jnr is born to Joseph Patrick and Norah Fagan at Mill Road maternity hospital. The family are renting a room in the cellar of 94 Seel Street, Liverpool 1 (seen far right) and have been ever since the autumn of 1948, a year after their marriage but a year after the birth of Joseph they move to 150 Field Street, Liverpool 3 in 1952.

Here is the cover and first pages of the very rent book for 94 Seel Street that was filled in for each weeks rent paid of £1 from 4th July 1949 through to 1951. You will see that the landlord was a J.H. Aspinall Esq of 310 Townsend Avenue, Liverpool 11.

On 24th June 1958, Susan McAleavy is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Hughie and Ellen (Nellie) McAleavy. The family are living at No.3 Shadwell Street, Liverpool 5. She will marry my brother Joe in 26 years time.

In August 1962 Gerard Francis Fagan is born to Joseph Patrick and Norah Fagan at Mill Road maternity hospital. The family are living at 39 Holly Street, Liverpool 3, were they have been since 1959.

Me as a baby being held upright by my brother Joey. Many years later, i'd be holding him upright when he was drunk. There are two versions of this photo here in both black and white and colourised. The large photo, bottom left, features Holly Street in 1966, it would only last another few years before the entire street was demolished. Other pics show me with my mam and Joey and on the step of No.39. Incidentally, I have now lived in another 39 for over a decade.

The lamp post that Joey is leaning on here can be seen in the main picture, left, about half way up the street on the left. This was right outside our flat.

In June 1966 Ann Marie Taylor is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Thomas Taylor and Ann Taylor (nee O'Rourke). Ann Marie is taken to her dad's mums at 35 Netherby Street, Liverpool 8 then soon afterwards to her mum's mums at 178 Commercial Road, Liverpool 5. In some 22 years time, Ann Marie will become my wife. What a lucky girl being born in the year England win the World cup, Everton the F.A. Cup AND she later gets to marry me.

Commercial Road in the 1960s as Ann remembers it. The houses beyond the 'Reading' public house (1st photo, middle right of the street) at the bottom of Swindon Street are where they lived, facing onto Tillotsons where her mum had worked. Her dad never had to far to walk to work either, having worked in the B.A.T. just this side of Lambeth Road. The second photo shows prefabs to the other side of Lambeth Road near the bottom of Great Mersey Street where she had a friend.

My uncle Jimmy never married and lived with his mum until her death. In 1960 Christina is recorded as living with Jimmy, Daniel and Francis at 16 Gt. Richmond Street. It is the only house in the street above the shop which is part of McDougall's funeral parlour which she cleaned and they've been here at least since 1948. In 1966 my nan and Jimmy lived here at Prince Edwin Lane and then in 42 Mazzini Heights off Netherfield Road (both Liverpool 5) during my childhood and it would be occassionally to here where my dad would bring me to visit them.

In 1968 we had to move out of Holly Street due to its imminent demolition. We moved into 98d Thurlow House L3 3DD, top landing, first house as we came to know it. Before long we were on the housing list again as this was only a two bedroom flat and our Joey's snoring after coming in from the ale house was keeping me awake and I had school :o) By the time were were offered 8d Gerard Gardens L3 3EX in mid 1977, he'd moved out anyway but we enjoyed the extra space. Thurlow House is the block furthermost to the right on the first pic, 8d on the second pic is the top flat right above the arch, the front door being on the landing to its immediate right

My mam and dad in the mid 1970s as captured by me on one of our many jaunts over the water. The Pier Head skyline is a bit different now isn't it.

The reason we left the square was because my dad was offered a job wherein a spacious city centre flat came with it. 4 Trueman Street L3 2BA became our home for beyond the next decade, my dad had to be carried out of it in the end, dying there in January 1988.

In 1977, my brother Joey started courting a Beverley McCormack and so another story unfolds. Bev, as we knew her, fell pregnant and being a good catholic boy who obviously would never comtemplate using birth control, (though he did obviously agree with sex before marriage), decided to do the right thing and marry her. Well two out of three ain't bad as Meatloaf once sang. The wedding took place at Brougham Terrace registry office on 17th June 1978. The wedding photos were taken in Grant Gardens facing the registry office which was the site of the old Necropolis burial ground, he should have known, as some skeletons were about to come out of the cupboard.

During this time they were living at 30 Great Richmond Street, on the ground floor in the 1920s tenement flats which were effectionately known to the kids in the local area as ghost town. Just before the Christmas of 78, Joe decided to go with Bev to live near her parents near Bangor in North Wales. It was here during the following week that he found that Bev was actually adopted by Jack and Eileen Pritchard, a nice couple who had originated from Manchester having run a pub there but had now moved near Bangor. Furthermore, Bev was called Angela Pritchard and had a little daughter called Stephanie whom she called Nessie.

This was a lot to take in for poor Joe who'd managed to get a job stacking shelves in the local Kwik Save. It transpired that Angela had wanted to get her child back out of care and being married helped her case. Just into the new year of 1979, Darren, their son was born. Joe felt a bit duped, naive too but how was he to know, everything was happening all a bit fast, he was suddenly the father of two and living in a different country - ok, i'm stretching it a bit now.

Joe went back to Wales to find Angela had uprooted somewhere, it was Angela's (also adopted) step sister who told Joe that it had been a ploy by Angela to get Joe out of the way as she was having an affair with her ex, the father of Stephanie, who was now out of prison, his in-laws were in sympathy with him. Joe came home to Liverpool that Christmas 79, his head battered after trying to find her, the Social Services were involved and information eventually came through that he was now the father of Lisa as well, born only 10 months or so after the birth of Darren. It appeared that the Social Services had tried to get in touch with Joe earlier but unsuccessfully as even her parents had moved and in the meantime Angela had put the children in care and now Joey's two were placed with a family for adoption, the details were kept from him as the rules were he couldn't know where they were but they could one day look for him if they wanted to or indeed if they actually knew they were adopted in the first place. The last time Joe went back there was to try and sort getting them back and to divorce Angela.

As streetwise kids in the square, we'd sometimes call girls 'mysteries' - does anyone remember that? Well this one, Angela Pritchard certainly was a mystery. Sadly, her somewhat troubled past that my brother knew nothing about seems to have caught up with her as she was seen recently back in Liverpool and had turned to drink.

Great Richmond Street flats, Joe and 'Bev' lived in the ground floor flat by the lamp post in 1978. These have seen been renovated to St. Anne's apartments.

On 15th November 1983, just four days short of her 85th birthday, Christina Fagan died at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, then living at 42 Mazzini House high rise as pictured above. She is buried at Everton cemetery, Long Lane. The photo top right was taken during a caravan holiday. Christina is seated 2nd from the right, Rose, one of her older sisters is extreme left and my auntie Lil is behind the child seated at the front. My Auntie Lil was living just along the landing from my grandma at the time of her death.

On 12th May 1984 my brother Joseph Fagan, aged 33 weds Susan McAleavy, aged 25 at Brougham Terrace registry office. They were living at 17d Vauxhall Gardens, Liverpool 3.

On 16th January 1988, My dad, Joseph Patrick Fagan died aged 67. He, my mam and I were then residing at No.4 Trueman Street, Liverpool 3. He'd become ill during the autumn of 1987 and was diagnosed with cancer of the liver which spread. He knew of his fate and wrote his own obitury thanking everyone for their care and requested that his ashes be spread near to the court where he'd grown up so joyfully on St. Anne Street so the wind could blow him along Great Homer Street. He was buried from St. Joseph's church, Grosvenor Street which was by now a chapel created inside the old school.

In January 1988, Melanie Jane Fagan is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Gerard Fagan and Ann Marie Taylor who have been courting since January 1982. Melanie weighs in at 6lb 12oz. Breweries and off licences the length of the county have been so grateful ever since. My dad just missed out on seeing her by a few days, one in and one out as they say. It was a crazy week for me going from maternity hospital to funeral parlour.

On 12th September 1988, Gerard Fagan, aged 26 weds Ann Marie Taylor, aged 22 at St. John's Church, Fountains Road, Liverpool L5.
Gerard is living at 4 Trueman Street, Ann is living at 58 Harebell Street, Liverpool 5. Looking at the photo, has there ever been a gathering of such good looking people - well those who are seated anyway. Gerard and Ann had been courting since January 1982.

In November 1989, Melissa Louise Fagan is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Gerard and Ann Fagan. The family are still living at 4 Trueman Street with Gerard's mother Norah. Melissa weighs in at 6lb 14oz.

In March 1992, Katy Ann Fagan is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Gerard and Ann Fagan. The family are living at 16 Grosvenor Street, Liverpool 3 having had to move out of Trueman Street soon after the death of my dad as it went with his work/retirement. my mam moved to James Clarke Street, Liverpool 5 during this period.

16 Grosvenor Street was the ground floor flat in a 1950s block, pictured here. I had previously attended the infants and junior school next door so knew the area and neighbours well.

In September 1992 Daniel Joseph Fagan is born at Mill Road maternity hospital to Joseph and Susan Fagan. The family are living at 8a Juvenal Street, Liverpool 3. They had moved from 17d Vauxhall Gardens in April 1988 to No.40 Green Street and then into this residence in 1991.

On 3rd January 1993, my mam, Norah Ann Fagan died at home aged 70. She was living at 24 Grosvenor Street during this time, just 50 yards from both sons. Joe was living at 8a Juvenal Street and I at 16 Grosvenor St. Unlike my dad, this was very sudden, we'd only visited her the day before which was the Sunday and although she always complained of breathlessness, it was a shock when I got a call from our Joey saying he couldn't gain access to her room, so I raced there from work in Dale Street. She died from hardening of the arteries and she too had requested cremation and for her ashes to follow in the windgusts of my dads. She was also buried from St. Joseph's church, Grosvenor St.

In February 1993 we took the plunge and bought our first house. It was the last one finished by Wimpey on the South side of Burlington Street where the old tenements once stood, the address being No.7 of the newly created O'Connell Road. L3 3JP.

This is a pic of the five of us in O'Connell Road in 1997. Sadly, Bishop Goss school had now closed and the kids were now going to Our Lady's, Eldon Street.