Strange family story, Ulster

Discussion in 'Ulster' started by sue neikirk, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    According to an old story in one of my family branches.....I find it strange. I have not found any Valentines in Ulster "owning a bleaching green". And I would think that if these 2 boys were kidnapped wouldn't there have been something about it there? The following story was told to his children by him I guess.
    "Bamabas Valentine
    Bamabas Valentine was born in Ireland May 11, 1757. His father owned a bleaching green, and he worked until 14 years of age helping to care for the green and weave linen and bleach it. One of the things he had to do was to keep the spools for the flax, and these he got from an island close to home. He would take a small punt and go to the island and get elders for the spools. His home was close to the water and he was used to going alone sometimes and at other times he would get a neighbor boy to go with him.
    One morning he and another boy 12 years old went out to the island, and while they were there working a boat came along , haled them and asked to go out to see their ship. As they had never been near a large vessel they were willing to go as they had enough material for the day already gathered.
    Their new friends were very kind and took them on board and showed them all the sights. Then the boys wanted to go home, and were dismayed to find they were out of sight of land, and were told they were prisoners, and most of the crew were sick and some were dead so they had kidnapped them.
    Barnabas was a healthy and strong boy, and took hold and worked his very best, but the other boy, only twelve years of age, and small and delicate could not stand the hard work, and hard fair, and he grieved for home, and the boatmen were so mean beating him for any little thing, they finally killed him. Before he landed in America, and when the boat came into port (I think Boston) Barnabas Valentine jumped overboard, swam to the shore and hid until the boat left port. Then he looked for a home and found one with a minister with whom he lived until he was 18 years of age.
    Then he joined the army and 9 years later he married and owned a farm near Philadelphia the farm is now the present sight of The Bryn Mawr College.
    Bamabas and his wife Jane were the parents of 10 children."
     
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  2. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    The father may have run the bleaching fields but not owned it? I would think there would be records of this
    Or Barnabas ran away from home, jumped onto a ship headed to the colonies and then jumped off ship when he got here, making up a big story about his kidnapping.
     
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  3. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    Sue the only thing I can think of is pressganging or pressed into the Royal Navy about this time it frequently happened. I do not know if he was near the coast but certainly around the coast you may have been unlucky and fallen foul of the pressgang. Hoever I do not know if this happened in Ireland - but if he was healthy and strong he probably also looked a bit older than he was
     
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  4. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Pressganging was very common all around the sea villages. It wasn't illegal back then, as it was seen you were chosen to fight for king n country etc. The royal navy and pirateers both used this loophole in the law to their advantage. It wasn't till queen victorias reign that in mid 1860s (I think) that the law was changed. But in 1600-1780s it was rife. Parents often warned their children of the dangers of being pressganged, so id assume valentine n his family knew exactly what happened at the time x x
     
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  5. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Forgot to add it was more common here in Ireland n n.ireland, because peeps here were made of hardier stock. We have the Romans to blame for starting this. X
     
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  6. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    Another problem though is....wouldnt there be some record of a Valentine family in the area that he said he was taken. His family "owned" a bleaching field so whouldn't there be records of some kind?
     
  7. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    There should be. Il have a look when I'm at PRONI on tues/wed if you want. See what I can found out for you. Itl b difficult to search online as records don't seem to be available, or have been burnt.
     
  8. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    You don't mention where in ulster. But I'm assuming the island is Rathlin Island.
     
  9. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Barnabas full story appear online at familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/t/a/y/Thad-M-Taylor/GENE1-0001.html. But not much of his history before he was press ganged.
     
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  10. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    I have no idea where it would be. That is the only story I have. I have seen this full story but am not sure how true it may be. I have been trying to trace it back to the place his family may have been. Would Valentine be from Ireland?
    Thank you so much for searching over there. And of course a fire always halts searches so often.
    It is an interesting story though. Two boys pressed. I would still think it would have caused a bit of a noise.
     
  11. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Not really sue, back then it legal. Usually what press gangs did was enter a pub/inn n buy u a pint, placing the kings coin in the bottom of yr pint. If u drank it, u were taken. If u refused it they left u alone hence why glasses are now drunk out of so u can see if a coin is placed in yr glass. Ive since found valentine is a popular surname here. N this valentine was a protestant, so his family would have seen as an honour he was chosen to join the navy. They r from the north channel along the coast in Baltimore. Which is not v far from rathlin island x x
     
  12. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Back then it was Ireland, but now n.ireland in county Antrim x x
     
  13. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    But these were children and not in a tavern. They were 14 and 12.
     
  14. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    I know they children. Was just mentioning how they usually press ganged peeps. At 14 back then he would of been old enough for an Irish pub. That web address I gave in an earlier post here, mentions his niece wrote a letter detailing this story n he was shown around a ship. I had no chance looking up for u today as my look up today was unsuccessful. I'm up there again on Friday. X x
     
  15. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    You are wonderful! One boy was only 12...wow. And they were both working at getting elders on a nearby island when they were snatched. I know about the history written by a niece or granddaughter (can't remember). I have always if the story was true, what if he made stuff up?
     
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  16. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    Sue church records for that area of ballycastle comes under ramoan district. All they have r as follows; buriels 1805-31 n 1879 plus, baptism 1879 plus, marriage 1845 plus. All earlier records destroyed in Dublin. When i put in valentine at proni for ne matches on their catologues, there no hits. Sorry bout that, but Il check out newspapers if ne exist that old when I'm there sometime after half term break x
     
  17. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    You are a wonder. I know I have tried other sources for Valentine. Do you think it could have been Balentine? It could have changed here.
     
  18. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    U know I was thinking same n it can b spelt with a y, like me friend as in ballintyne. Now that surname is even more popular here lol x
     
  19. sue neikirk

    sue neikirk Member

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    So he came here with a thick accent and people just started calling him Valentine and writing it that way? Do you think.....hmmmm. This mystery is getting really interesting.
     
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  20. she04

    she04 Active Member

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    No hits for Barnabas Ballantine/ballantyne/ballintine etc, I played around with surname. I even tried Barnaby lol. Next time I'm up, Il check out wills etc. N do some more digging around. Il b up next in 2weeks as son off for half term x
     

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