Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

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pwaldron
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Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:31 pm

My paternal grandparents had several first cousins in the Royal Irish Constabulary who met violent deaths, including Patrick (Paddy) Clancy of Killard. The RIC was disbanded on 31 Aug 1922 and Paddy was shot dead in Cork less than six weeks later.

The Irish Times of 16 Oct 1922 p.6 reported the incident as follows:

EX-CONSTABLE
MURDERED.
Criminals' Motive Supposed to be
Robbery.
At Leitrim street, near the centre of Cork
City, on Friday, a man, since identified as ex-
Constable Clancy, was fired on by three armed
men and fatally wounded. The armed men lay
in wait for their victim at a tramway standard,
and when he passed, they fired with revolvers at
close range. Two bullets entered his back, pass-
ing through the lung, and a third passed
through his arm. The three men ran through
John street and disappeared. Their victim was
taken to the North Infirmary, where he died an
hour later.
At an inquest on Saturday evening the body
was identified as ex-Constable Patrick Clancy,
a native of the County Clare. He served in the
Royal Irish Constabulary for 12 years, being
stationed in Cork, Dunmanway, and Bandon.
For the past three months, he had been living
with his wife at Barrackton, Cork. On the day
he met his death he had drawn £ 30 from a
bank, which was in his possession when at-
tacked, but was missing when his body was
brought to the infirmary.
The evidence went to show that the motive
of the attack was robbery.
The jury returned a verdict of death from
gunshot wounds, fired by persons unknown.

Family tradition is that he was on duty with the newly established Garda Síochána, but he does not appear in the list of ex-members of the RIC who later joined the Garda Síochána which was published in Jim Herlihy's The Royal Irish Constabulary: A Short History and Genealogical Guide (1997, pp.154-231). Neither is their any mention of this in the above Irish Times report of the shooting.

According to a local expert, Paddy Cotter (1912-2004), whom I spoke to on 26 Aug 1997, Paddy Clancy was shot by mistake and brought home and buried in Killard (probably in his grandfather's grave to which no names have been added since 1871). He was a Sinn Féin member and supporters of The Cause were instructed to turn out in force for his funeral.

He is the very last RIC casualty listed at http://www.policememorial.org.uk/Forces ... C_Roll.htm

I have seen a letter from another first cousin saying that Paddy had married a widow, who later married as her third husband his brother John Clancy, also formerly of the R.I.C. My grandmother's 1953 diary has this entry:
`Jack Clancy, Killard, a bank porter in Birmingham, R.I.C. pension, one son, wife dead.'

Seeking to confirm this, I have recently obtained two marriage certificates which pose more questions than they answer:

23 Apr 1922 at St. Joseph's, Cork, Patrick Clancy, bachelor, policeman, residing at Gormanstown, Co. Meath, son of John Clancy, farmer, married Alice Parr nee Dunne, full age, widow, daughter of Patrick Dunne, Labourer.

14 Mar 1924 at St John the Evangelist's, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, John Clancy, bachelor, ex-Police Constable (Pensioned), residing at 69 Oldfield Road, Balsall Heath, son of John Clancy, farmer, married Alice Clancy, widow, same address, witnesses D. A. Dunne and J. P. Dunne.

So far so good, but this certificate names Alice's father as John Noonan (deceased), Private, South Lancashire Regiment.

This has left me flummoxed!

I think I've found the birth of John and Alice's son and the deaths of both John and Alice in English civil registration indexes and will order those certificates in the hope that they provide further clues.

It has also occurred to me (prompted by one of the Who Do You Think You Are programmes) that at one time it was illegal to marry one's deceased spouse's sibling. Does anyone know when this law was repealed? Did it apply to both widows and widowers? Could this explain why Alice gave false details on her third marriage certificate? Have I got the wrong certificate for one or both brothers? Why can't I find a marriage record for Alice Dunne and Mr. Parr or for Alice Noonan and Mr. Parr?

Any other suggestions?

\pw

ftipple
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by ftipple » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:52 pm

You're thinking of the "Deceased Wife's Sister" legislation, which was in force between abt 1835 and 1907.

Oddly enough, I'm not sure that it was ever illegal for a man to marry the widow of his deceased brother.

pwaldron
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:42 pm

Thanks to Fiona for her follow-up e-mail alerting me to the discussion of this subject on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deceased_W ... e_Act_1907. It says, inter alia, "The Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act (Northern Ireland) 1924 was passed to remove doubts as to the application of the Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act, 1921, to Northern Ireland." This might explain why the Clancys went to Birmingham to get married in 1924, but not why Alice might have given false details on the marriage certificate.

pwaldron
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:35 am

Many thanks to my cousin Cindy Wood who has solved the above puzzle for me ... James Noonan was Alice's father and Patrick Dunne was her stepfather! Here's an extract from Cindy's e-mail:
Well, I found Alice Dunn, daughter of Patrick. She is in Cork, on Old Youghal Rd (the same road she was at when she married), in the 1911 census, aged 16. With her father Patrick and his Mary Ann. DED is Cork Number 3 Urban. Patrick is an army pensioner. I'm guessing that one of these 2 folks is not the real parent of Alice, given that Mary Ann says she has been married just 7 years. However, she also says she has had one child and that child is living. Mary Ann was born in England, Alice in Cork city and Patrick in Co. Dublin.

So, there they are in the 1901 census. Mary Noonan, on Old Youghal Rd. with her daughter Allice, age 6, and her son George age 13. And she is a widow. She and her son were born in England, but Allice was born in Cork city.

And that solves your mystery. Jack did marry his brother's widow, and the info on Paddy's marriage cert was slightly wrong but the info on Jack's cert was dead on!

pwaldron
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:34 am

The certificates ordered from England have arrived and the birth certificate for John Clancy jr. confirms that his mother Alice's maiden name was Noonan.

Cindy also found a marriage for Denis Parr and Alice Newman in Cork in 1915 Q3, which appears to be a transcription error rather than a fifth or sixth different surname for Alice Noonan/Dunn/Dunne/Parr/Clancy! Denis Parr also met a violent death - with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in WWI.

Now it would be nice to know whether John jr. married or had a family. When his father died in 1973, he was living at 160 Station Road, Grimes Hill, Wythall, Worcs. His death was registered in Dec 2003 in Bromsgrove registration district in Worcestershire. That's another certificate that I'll have to order ...

pwaldron
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:00 pm

John Clancy (1927-2003) was still living at 160 Station Road, Wythall, Birmingham at the time of his death. The informant was his widow Joan Mary Clancy. The England & Wales birth and marriage indexes suggest that her maiden name was Joan Mary Wall but that they had no children. There does not seem to be any Clancy listing at the Wythall address in the online phone book for the UK at http://www.thephonebook.bt.com/publisha ... d.publisha so my search for long lost third cousins appears to have hit a dead end.

Perhaps as more UK local papers add archived death notices to http://www.thisisannouncements.co.uk/ I may find a newspaper announcement of John's death in 2003 confirming whether John had siblings or children.

Any other suggestions for finding my living Clancy relatives in the Birmingham area?

pwaldron
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Re: Did John Clancy from Clare marry his brother's widow (1924)?

Post by pwaldron » Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:48 am

Almost 11 years on, Jim Herlihy has drawn my attention to this Clancy family again with a post in a Facebook group called "Royal Irish Constabulary1816-1922 -A forgotten Irish Police Force".

John Clancy's daughter-in-law has appeared in an online phone book since I last looked for her.

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