Say Happy Birthday to Great Grandfather John Hurley

Posted by waterfordorigins on May 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

 Say happy birthday to my great grandfather John Hurley who was born in 1863, in fact exactly 150 years ago this very day! As a genealogist I'd rather if he had been born 149 years ago in 1864 because on the 1st of January that year civil registration of births, deaths and marriages began in Ireland. I could then have obtained a copy of John's civil birth record.

Happily John's baptismal record (which is obviously a church record rather than a civil record) was there waiting patiently to be found. It shows that he was baptized on 31st May 1863 in Trinity Without RC parish (Ballybricken), the son of Cornelius Hurley and Catherine Veale. It also states that he was born on 28th May of that year in the townland of Killoteran not far from Waterford City. A civil birth record would have given the occupation of John's father Cornelius.


In 1891 John married Elizabeth Pender who was from Gaulsmills near Kilmacow Co. Kilkenny but was living at Oliver's Hill near Mount Congreve at the time of their marriage.

The name Oliver's Hill is not that of a townland and Canon Power makes no mention of it in 'The Placenames of Decies'. I wonder does it refer to the much hated Oliver Cromwell who would have travelled from Waterford along that Old Kimeadan Road in the winter of 1649 on his way to ransack the castle of the Powers of Kilmeaden and hang its owner from the nearest tree as he did. Or maybe the hill is named after a friendly man called Oliver who happened to live nearby...!


By the time of the 1901 census John Hurley and his young family were living in Roanmore Terrace in the city. In the 1911 census his occupation is given as 'weighmaster'. He may have held this job for the previous 10 years as he took over as Waterford corporation weighmaster from his uncle John D Veale who had held the post for some 40 years until his death in 1901 (on the very day of the 1901 census). The post of weighmaster was quite a responsible job and not for the mild mannered or easily swayed. He was responsible for weighing all manner of goods and provisions as they were off loaded from ships or wagons. He was responsible for keeping the official weights and scales accurate. He was also required to be beyond reproach and forthright in his dealings.

Three of John's daughters and his son reared their own families within a few doors of him up and down the High Path. He spent his final years surrounded by his many grandchildren.  John Hurley died on 21st September 1947 aged 84 and is buried at Butlerstown. The photograph here shows him sitting on the window cill at 38 Roanmore Terrace - the High Path.

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Reply Stella
7:00 PM on May 28, 2013 
that's my great great grandfather - now that's cool
Reply tony
12:45 PM on May 29, 2013 
Just checking out blog for myself. it works.