The Martin Family

This section provides some background on Charlie’s Martin relatives, many of whom are mentioned in Mary Martin’s diary. It is based on information provided by Sr. Isabelle Smyth and the archives of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM) as well as genealogical research done by Rachel Murphy and Patrizia Rebulla from the diary project team and independent researcher Patrick Waldon.


THE MARTIN FAMILY OF GREENBANK, MONKSTOWN

Greenbank

Greenbank (image courtesy of MMM)

The Martins were a prominent Irish Roman Catholic family who, during the nineteenth century, prospered as merchants and traders, rising to the ranks of the gentry.  They were influential; one family member was the first Catholic to be elected Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ireland and was created a baronet.  They made their money through property, a shipping line and a timber business among others. By 1910, the Martins were focusing on their timber business ‘employing between three hundred and three hundred and fifty men’ from their premises in North Wall, Dublin. 1

At the time Mary Martin was writing the diary to her son, Charlie, missing in action during the First World War, this branch of the family was living at Green Bank in Monkstown. This was a largely Protestant suburb of Dublin. 2  The 1911 census return Form A shows the widowed Mary living with her five youngest sons, along with a governess and five servants, which suggest they were an affluent family. Form B1 reveals that it was a ‘first class’ house, with more than 13 rooms in total, while Form B2  identifies 11 out-houses (a stable, coach-house, harness room, cow house, dairy, piggery, boiling house, barn, potato house, shed and laundry).  On the same plot of land lived two additional employees: the gardener, Richard Hennessy, and his sister (in a two roomed house) and the coachman – John Boylan – in a one-room cottage.

Downside School

Downside School
(Image courtesy of Downside Abbey Library and Archives)

Charlie is not mentioned on the 1911 census for Ireland, but he can be found on the 1911 English census at school at St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic College, Downside, Bath, England. Four other Martin boys from Dublin are mentioned: Richard Martin aged 15 (possibly Charlie’s cousin, the son of Aunt Agnes and Uncle Richard), Thomas, aged 14, Lawrence, aged 11 (Charlie’s brother) and Cyril, aged 11 (probably his cousin, the son of Aunt Maisie and Uncle Frank). 3  Downside was an independent Roman Catholic School, run by the Benedictines – a school for the privileged.

CHARLIE’S BROTHERS AND SISTERS

Mother Mary Family Portrait

Portrait of the Martin Family (image courtesy of MMM) Left to right, standing: Beatrice, Tommy, Violet, Frank Leo (always called Leo) Left to right, seated: Charlie, Ethel, Mary (Mrs Martin), Marie, Jack (Laurence John, officially) Left to right first row: Andrew, Richard, Desmond, Cecil

Charlie was one of twelve children, all of whom are listed below.  Click on their names to read the references Mary makes to them in her diary. 

 1. Thomas Shannon Patrick (Tommy)
Tommy was born on St. Patrick’s Day, 17 March 1891, at Glencar, Glenageary 4.  He served in the First World War and is frequently mentioned in his mother’s diary. His father died in tragic circumstances on Tommy’s sixteenth birthday.

2. Mary Helena
This is Mother Marie Martin, founder of the Medical Missionaries of Mary (MMM).  She was born 25 April 1892 at Glencar, Glenageary. 5 More information about Marie.

3. Ethel Mary
Ethel was born on 14 August 1893 at Glencar, Glenageary. 6

4. Charles Andrew
Charlie, as he was known by the family, was born on 3 June 1895 at Mountown House, Kingstown 7.  He was at school at St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic College, Downside, Bath, England at the time of the 1911 census. 8  Charlie died on 8 December 1915 aged just twenty.  He held the rank of Captain (awarded after he was reported missing) in the 6th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.  He was mentioned in Despatches and received the Order of the White Eagle 5th Class (Serbia).  He is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial in Greece. 9

5. Violet Mary
Violet was born on 29 August 1896 at Mountown House, Kingstown 10.  She later became a Dominican nun. 11

6. Beatrice Margaret Mary
Also known as Bee by her family she was born 25 April 1898 (so shared a birthday with her sister Marie). 12  She was born at Mountown House, Kingstown.

7. Laurence John
Known as Jack he was born 28 May 1899, Mountown House, Kingstown13. He was at school at St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic College, Downside, Bath, England at the time of the 1911 census. 14

8. Francis Leo
Mary Martin refers to him as Leo in her diary, but he was also known as Frank.

9. Richard Louis
Known as Richie he was born on 14 October 1902, Green Bank, Monkstown. 15

10. Cecil Bernard
Born 9 April 1904, Green Bank, Monkstown. 16

11. Desmond Levins Joseph
Born 16 July 1906, Green Bank, Monkstown. 17

12. Andrew Clement
Born 19 November 1907, Green Bank, Monkstown. 18

CHARLIE MARTIN’S PARENTS, THOMAS MARTIN AND MARY MOORE
Thomas Patrick Martin, Charlie’s father, was the son of Thomas Sherlock Shannon Martin (a timber merchant) and Mary Cogan.

Pro-Cathedral

Pro-Cathedral
Source: National Library of Ireland

He was born on 3 July 1865 19 and baptised (see record 627) in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral the following day in a private service conducted by Fr. Walter Murphy.  His sponsors were a John Martin and Helen Skinnor.

The family was living at 13 Rutland Square East (now Parnell Square) at the time. 20 This was a well-to-do area; a contemporary street directory shows that their neighbours were surgeons, lawyers and MPs as well as other successful businessmen. 21

Thomas married Mary Aloysius Moore on 16 April 1890 at St. Andrew’s Dublin, which is on Westland Row.  The witnesses were Frank V. Martin and Kathleen Levins Moore.  Both Thomas and his father are described as ‘merchants’ on the marriage certificate, and Thomas was residing at Carysfort at the time of his marriage. 22  Carysfort Avenue is in Blackrock, Co. Dublin so it might refer to this area.

More about Mary Moore’s family.

St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew’s Church, Dublin
Source: National Library of Ireland

Take a look at Thomas and Mary’s wedding invitation below.

Wedding Invitation

Invitation to the wedding of Mary Moore to Thomas Martin
Source: MMM Archive

Thomas Martin (the father) died on 17 March 1907 23 – Tommy’s sixteenth birthday. His death certificate includes the note: ‘Thomas P. Martin killed himself by shooting himself with a revolver at his residence Green Bank Monkstown on the 17th March…am of opinion that he did not intend to shoot himself, that the discharge of the revolver was accidental.’ 24

CHARLIE’S GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS AND UNCLES
Thomas Sherlock Shannon Martin (died ca 1887) married Mary Cogan, a native of Dublin city 25, in 1864.  When Mary Martin wrote the diary, her mother-in-law Mary Martin (nee Cogan) was living at Clyde Road with her sister Kate Cogan and daughter Kathleen Martin.  She states in the 1911 census that she had 8 children, 7 of whom were still living.  (At this time Charlie’s father had already died).  View them in the 1911 census.

However, according to Mary Purcell and a family tree in the possession of the Medical Missionaries of Mary archive, the couple had ten children 26:

1.  Thomas Patrick
Charlie’s father, he was born on 3 July 1865 at Rutland Square 27, and died 17th March 1907 28.

2.  Helena
Helena was born in 1866 and died in 1937. 29

3.  Richard John Martin
Born in 1867. 30 He was a captain from 1885-1891 31. He married Agnes Ross(e) Todd (it is not sure when).  It was a mixed marriage; she was Church of Ireland (interestingly in the 1911 census they both refuse to provide information on their religious persuasions).  They lived at 9 Herbert Street and baptised their son Thomas Fitzgerald Martin at St. Andrews RC, Dublin in 1897.  The witnesses were Thomas Fitzgerald and Cathleen Martin. 32  Their other children were Richard Ross, Gerald, Owen and Peggy.  You can see his family in the 1901 and 1911 census returns.

4.  James Ignatius Martin
He was born in Dublin on 17 February1869. 33

5.  Charles Owen Martin
Born 24 October 1871 34 Charles was known as Uncle Charlie 35 and he took Marie Martin with him on a cruise to the West Indies after his wife died (in August 1911). 36

6.  Francis Vincent (Frank) Martin
Born 16 July 1870. 37 He was a partner in T&C Martin at time of Thomas’s death. 38  He married Mary Murphy, known as Aunt Maisie, ca. 1897. 39  They had five children: F. Cyril, Dorothy, Marjorie, Edith and Hilda.  The family was living at Temple Road, Blackrock at the time of the 1911 census.  Find out more about Frank and Mary Martin.

7.  Kathleen Martin
Kathleen was also known as Sissy or Sissi. She was born circa 1874. 40

8.  Laurence Peter Philip Waldron Martin
Charlie Martin’s Uncle.  He was born in Dublin on 1 May 1875 41.  Died 1940. 42  Laurence is living with his mother, Mary Martin, in the 1901 census. He married Marie Johnson. 43

9. Patrick Owen Martin
Patrick was born on 14 December 1876 and died in 1877. 44

10.  Bernard Algernon Cyril Martin
He was born on 15 August 187945  and married Mary Egan. 46  He was a captain from 1894-1899. 47

THE COGANS AND THE WALDRONS 48
Mary Cogan, Charlie’s paternal grandmother, was born ca. 1839 and baptised that year in St. Andrew’s Church, Westland Row, Dublin.  Her parents were Helena Waldron and Patrick Owen Cogan, a barrister of North Great Georges Street, Dublin.  (Helena Waldron, her mother, was one of eight children born to Patrick Waldron and Mary Shinnor).

Mary Cogan had one sister, Catharine (also known as Kate and who is mentioned in the diary) and a brother, Owen.  Mary married Thomas Sherlock Shannon Martin, son of James Martin, on 22 August 1864 in Irishtown, Dublin.  Thomas was born ca. 1826/7.

  1. Mary Purcell, To Africa with Love (1987) p.2
  2. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/exhibition/dublin/religion.html
  3. English census 1911, return for Downside.
  4. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  5. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  6. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  7. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  8. English census 1911, return for Downside.
  9. http://www.cwgc.org/search-for-war-dead/casualty/1650961/MARTIN,%20CHARLES%20ANDREW
  10. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  11. Purcell, To Africa With Love p. 16
  12. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  13. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  14. English census 1911, return for Downside.
  15. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  16. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  17. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  18. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  19. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  20. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  21. Thom’s Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862
  22. Birth certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  23. Purcell, To Africa With Love, p.8 
  24. Death certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  25. See census return
  26. Purcell, To Africa With Love
  27. Birth Certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland.
  28. Death certificate, The General Register Office, Ireland
  29. Dates taken from family tree in possession of the Medical Missionaries of Mary Archive (MMM archive)
  30. Based on MMM archive family tree and 1901 census.
  31. Purcell, To Africa With Love
  32. http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/1c1c440276623
  33. MMM archive family tree and Patrick Waldron
  34. MMM archive family tree and Patrick Waldron
  35. Purcell, To Africa With Love, p 9
  36. Purcell, To Africa With Love, p 12
  37. Research by Patrick Waldon
  38. Purcell, To Africa With Love, p 9
  39. Calculated from information in 1911 census of Ireland.
  40. MMM family tree suggests 1873, census dates suggest 1875.
  41. Patrick Waldon’s research
  42. Family tree of MMM archive
  43. family tree of MMM archive
  44. Patrick Waldron and MMM archive family tree
  45. Patrick Waldron and MMM archive family tree
  46. MMM Archive family tree
  47. Purcell, To Africa With Love
  48. All information in this section is based on the research of Patrick Waldron

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