chapter seven

Thomas Carabine: Timeline

Thomas was born in 1824, presumably in Mayo as there are no Carabines listed in the Belfast street directories prior to 1839. Whatever the reason for his moving to Belfast, at the age of 15 he is recorded as living at 1 Townsend Street in where he lived until around 1850. The fact that he is listed as carter means that he was head of the household. At the age of 18, he married Catherine (born 1821) around 1842/3 – quite late in an age when girls married from the age of 14 and boys from 16.

An interesting story from the Mayo News on 21 May 1852 reports that a “young Carabine lad” was killed in a fight with a Peter Kennedy in Belfast. This could have been our Thomas and his second-born son who died needlessly at the age of only 8-9 years. Imagine the crowd carrying your son's lifeless body home to your wife and having to tell her what happened! Perhaps it is also an sign of the famous Carabine temper! I wonder how long the father stayed in jail!

FATAL RESULT OF A SET FIGHT--On Monday evening, in the neighbourhood of Belfast, a young man named CARABINE died from the effect of injuries which he had received in a fight from another man named Peter KENNEDY; The father of CARABINE acted as his son's second, and stimulated him to fight. He has been arrested. KENNEDY, who is also a young man is very badly beaten, so bad, in fact that it is considered he will scarcely survive. The police, however, were looking for him, but could not make off his whereabouts.


Thomas's Children and their Spouses

The first son born to Catherine and Thomas in 1843 was named after the father. Patrick (he of the “kept his business under his hat and went to America under a cloud” fame) was born two years later in 1845, and a daughter Catherine was born the next year in 1846 (she later married a man named Wright and had a daughter named Margaret, both of whom were at Thomas and Annie's house in Plevna Street when the 1901 census was done). Mary was born around 1848, while son John was born in 1849. John was later to be a coal man like his father. I conjecture that Ellen was the next born around 1850, and finally there may have been Alice, born around 1852 (See the “Thomas Tree” for more details).

In 1852, Thomas was living at 62 Townsend Street and his occupation is listed as “carter”. By the year 1865, we find him living at 9 Galway Street, a series of around 20 small houses located off Durham Street. It was from this house that son Patrick married Rose Whinnery on 21 September 1866 – Rose was born in Co. Down and could read but not write (her father was Hugh Whinnery). In 1867 his daughter Mary married John O'Brien (possibly a Cork man). His son John married Ann (Mc)Sally in 1869. Daughter Catherine married a Mr Wright in 1870, while daughter Ellen married Daniel McKay in 1870, and Alice married Thomas Pritchard in 1873.

Thomas's Grandchildren

1867: Thomas

1868: Mary Ann and Patrick

1870: Rose and Mary

1871: Thomas and Catherine

1874: Catherine and Patrick

1879 Susan Ann and Christina (Sadly, baby Susan Ann died two years after birth).

Thomas's first grandchild was both on 12 April 1867 (to Patrick and Rose) and was, appropriately, named after his grandfather Thomas (our great, great grandfather). Sadly, his own son Thomas had died in 1865 at the young age of 18 – perhaps of TB or maybe in the 1865 fire in the city.