Sunday, November 11, 2018

John Harbison, c. 1785-1868

As is so often the case, we know when John Harbison was born from his death certificate.

The only direct link we have between John and the rest of the Ballyneill Harbisons, and William, is the death notice for his son Henry, in the 1885 Belfast Newsletter.

HARBISON—July 6. Henry, third son of the late John Harbison, Ballyneil, uncle to the Very Rev. Henry Harbison C.S.S.R., Dundalk. Funeral will leave for the family burying ground, loop, this day (Wednesday), the 8th, at 121 o'clock. Friends will accept this the only intimation R.I.P.

The link was formed by two Henries; Henry, John's son, died in 1885; Henry the Redemptorist was the son of William Harbison, b. 1780. If John was his uncle, he was William's brother.

There are two records of a John Harbison acting as godfather in Ballinderry in 1828 and 1829. And there is this entry in the 1831 census for Ballyneill More.

It's intriguing, particularly because of the existence of two John Harbinsons, living very close, with families of almost exactly the same size, but one Catholic, and one Established Church. I'm wondering if this was a mistake, or if John was having a little fun. Certainly we have no other record of a Church-of-Ireland-attending John Harbison in Ballyneill More.

In any case, if John's wife was still alive in 1831, there were in addition three boys and five girls. Henry may have been one of the boys; his death certificate suggests a birth in 1831. And if so, he was the third son. I can't find a baptism for him. A second boy was William, 1814-1884. There are several candidates for the third boy, born before 1830, and for the five girls, but no clear links. yet.

If John were born in 1785, and married at age 25 (the median age for first marriage for Irish Catholic men at the time, and if he had a child every two years (about average) by 1831 he should have had 10 kids, so 8 is not unreasonable.

Also noteworthy is Edward Harbinson, Catholic, living in the adjacent house, probably younger, since with a wife present he had two boys and one girl. He was almost certainly a brother, b. c. 1797; I'll write him up separately.

Finally, this is the relevant clipping from Griffith's valuation.

John apparently has two lots, one of which he owns and is renting to William, his son (later property valuations verify this). The other he's still renting from the Salters' Company. And Edward also has a small plot.

I'm going to cover the Ballyneill More landholdings properly later.

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