Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Destination Genealogy: The Sexton Family

My great, great grandparents on my mother's paternal side came to America by the Malta ship, which boarded from Liverpool.

However, prior to leaving, they were married on April 9th, 1871 at Southwark Cathedral in London, U.K. I recently found the photo (left) of the cathedral in a HDR effect and I thought it sure was an impressive photo of the cathedral. I could really envision my ancestors getting married here on that early Spring day, with the anticipation of coming to America ahead of them.

The following document is one I received from a recent correspondence with someone at Southwark, who was able to find the marriage record of Michael Sexton and Bridget O'Meara (O'Mara), with names of her sister, as witness. The interesting part is the record is written in Latin. I had to look up some of these words so I could decode them. 

It notes that Michael Sexton lived at 22 Vauxhall Square - which I believe is in today's term actually Vauxhall St., in Lambeth, London, near the Thames river. What is interesting is that by looking at a map, Southwark is very close to Vauxhall, so it was likely not a stretch for them to marry here.

One thing we're trying to still confirm is how Michael Sexton came to England and why? And, how was Bridget introduced to him? How did Bridget also get to London? Michael was was born in or near Limerick, as the Sexton's come originally from that area. 

Here is a map showing the proximity of Vauxhall and Southwark in London. 

They went up to Liverpool shortly after they married and boarded the Malta. This ship was to take them to Boston Harbour and and they arrived on April 28th 1871. 

For about seven years, they lived in Boston, MA. I have found one record that has them living at 83 Cove St., in Revere, MA, which is north of Boston, heading up the Atlantic coastline. 

The Sexton's had their first daughter here, Mary Helen Sexton, on May 17th, 1872, however, Mary passed away only 7 months later of Cholera. The Sextons did recover from this untimely death to have two more daugthers, who were born in San Francisco, CA. Somewhere along the way, the Sextons made the long journey out west to try their luck in the beautiful San Francisco Bay. Their two daughters, Agnes (born 1887) and Bridget Ann (born 1878), would meet their mates and settle as true Irish Californians. Agnes married a man with the last name of Forrest, and Bridget Ann married Frank Connors, Sr. Bridget Ann is my great grandmother.