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GUILMARTIN, Patrick Thomas

b.1844-d.1902

The Find a Grave website states that Patrick Thomas Guilmartin was born in Toem, Tipperary, Ireland but this is incorrect. Patrick was the eldest child of Michael and Ellen (née Keiley) Guilmartin, and was born on 24 March 1844 at 13 Mary Street, Poplar, London. Both his parents were from Ireland and had married on 18 February 1844 in Stepney. From the UK General Record Office Birth Index, it would seem the couple had ten children between 1844 and 1857 and all were born in the Poplar registration district.

  • Patrick Thomas b.1844, married Esther Archer in 1884, d.1902
  • John b.1845
  • Mary b.1846-d.1857
  • James b.1848-d.1848
  • Michael James b.1849
  • Eleanor/Ellen b.1851, married Charles R Purser in 1882
  • Joseph b.1852
  • Sarah b.1854
  • Timothy William b.1855, married Sarah Brown in 1884, d.1930
  • Richard b.1857-d.1870 (recorded as GULMARTIN)

It seemed strange then, that I could not find Michael and Ellen with their older children as living in Poplar in the 1851 UK Census. Searching using just Michael and Ellen’s first names brought up a family that had been recorded with the surname Galmarty. Their children had all been born in Poplar and were recorded as Thomas (Patrick?) aged 7, John aged 5, Mary aged 4, James (Michael?) aged 1, and 4-month-old Eliza (Eleanor?). If this was Patrick and his family then they were living at 18 West Indies Dock House in Poplar and his father Michael was working as a dock labourer. Also living there as a house servant was 15-year-old Elizabeth Scully, also from Ireland.

According to the 1902 Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records, when Patrick had reached the age of 16 in 1860, “the said Michael Guilmartin had no settlement in England or Wales which he could derive”. There was a Thomas GILMARTIN, aged 17, born in Poplar, who was working as a ‘loc engine cleaner’ who was lodging in 1861 with the Chandler family at 11 Grove Street, Poplar. Was this Patrick? With the exception of four-year-old Richard, who was in the Poplar Union Workhouse as a pauper, the whereabouts of Patrick’s parents and remaining siblings in 1861 is unknown.

Only Patrick’s mother Ellen and brother [Timothy] William have been found with any certainty in the 1871 Census and were living with other families in 265 Poplar High Street. Ellen was recorded as being aged 51 and a widow, and William as being aged 15. Neither had any occupation noted so it is unknown how they were supporting themselves. Ellen died in Poplar six years later in 1877.

The following year after his mother’s death, Patrick’s illegitimate son, Harry Thomas Guilmartin Archer, was born in Bury Green, Hertfordshire. Harry’s mother Esther Archer lived there with her three older children Frank, Edith Lizzie, and Fred Herbert. When the 1881 Census was taken, Esther, recorded as Emily Archer, was living with her four children at 98 South Kensington Road, Hackney. She was noted as being a widow and having formally been a publican, but was now “dependant on friends” and her son Frank’s wages from his job as a baker’s assistant. Patrick’s whereabouts when the 1881 Census was taken is unknown.

After banns had been read on 27 July, 3 August and 10 August 1884, Patrick married widow Esther Archer on 12 August in St Sepulchre Church in Holborn. Patrick’s father was recorded as Michael Guilmartin, a contractor and Esther’s father as being Charles Warren, a farmer. At the time of his marriage, Patrick stated he was working as an engineer and that he and his bride were living in Smithfield. Their witnesses were J and A Guilmartin. Although Patrick’s name was correctly entered on the banns form, it was mis-recorded on the marriage entry as FREDERICK Thomas Guilmartin – maybe his Irish accent was not understood by the curate?

Having searched for them individually in the 1891 and 1901 Censuses, Patrick, Esther and Harry’s whereabouts are unknown, which makes it unclear as to whether they stayed together following their marriage. No further records have been found for Esther.

On 22 September 1902, Patrick was aged 58 when he was admitted to Horton Asylum in Epsom, Surrey. Information from the National Probate Calendar recorded that “Guilmartin, Patrick Thomas of 48 Clapham Park Road, Surrey”, had died on 15 December 1902 at the London Count Asylum, Horton, Surrey. The Clapham address was that of his brother William, a fishmonger, who was granted probate of Patrick’s effects valued at £87 14sh 3d on 25 March 1903.

Author’s notes

Patrick’s son continued to use his full name of Harry Thomas Guilmartin Archer when he emigrated to Queensland, Australia and in 1903 was a piano tuner living at Eagle Street, Longreach, Maranoa. By 1908 he was a piano teacher living in the Railway Hotel, Cairns, Herbert. He had moved by 1917 and was a pianist living at the Commercial Hotel, Richmond, Kennedy. After moving to Barcaldine, Kennedy, Queensland, he died on 24 April 1948.


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