John and Arthur Oram’s friends

Source of photographs:

The majority of the photographs on the pages accessible from this page came from the carte de visite album of Catherine, wife of Arthur Oram.  The annotations were made by their daughter Gretta 1888-1967 so there is a high probability that the sitters are correctly identified.

John Oram’s contemporaries who Arthur would have known:

 Mr Smithwick

Mr Smithwick was agent for the Bellingham Estate north of Ballycroy.

James (Tom) Hunter

James (Tom) Hunter, farmer and his family lived at Newfield.

Gilbert Clark

Gilbert Clark was a stockman on Captain Wyndham’s estate at Burrishoole between, as recorded in John Oram’s diaries, 25 June 1860 and 22 November 1864.   Gilbert Clark had a daughter Jane Clark and John Oram a son John Samuel Oram.  Both Jane and John Samuel were born about 1847 and would have known each other in Burrishoole.   Later, in March 1867 John Samuel Oram followed the Clark family to Cleveland, Ohio and nine months later, in December 1867 he married Jane Clark.

There are no surviving photographs of Gilbert, but there are of John Samuel Oram and Jane nee Clark.  In the photograph below William Clark, standing on the back row was Gilbert Clark’s son. Gilbert Clark’s daughter Jane is sitting with a dog on her knees.

Lakeside, near Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 1888 or 1889. John Samuel Oram 1847-1913 with the beard is sitting next to Jane, nee Clark who has a dog on her lap. William Clark is standing. Other people are of the Oram and Clark families plus three friends.

John Oram’s contemporaries mentioned in both John and Arthur’s diaries:

George Hope

George Hope, farmer and agent lived at Knockloughra with his family.

Stephen Farr Prince

Stephen Prince was agent for the Clive estate at Claggan, south west of Ballycroy.

Arthur Oram’s contemporaries and friends:

William Rose

William Rose was the estate farm manager living at Burrishoole Farmhouse with his wife and daughter.

Arthur’s Newport friends unidentified in the photograph below taken by TJ Wynne of Castlebar:

“Arthur’s Newport friends”

Mr & Mrs WF Ormsby

Alexandra S Ormsby

For a few years from about 1908 Mr & Mrs Ormsby rented Rossyvera House, on Rockfleet Bay just below Wilford Lodge.   Mrs Ormsby often visited Wilford at a time that Catherine was becoming house bound due to her arthritic condition.   Reading the diaries, we find that Arthur met the Ormsbys at Lagduff, north of Ballycroy.   They may have been related to the Bushby or Little families who had interests in land in that area. The 1911 census return for Rossyvera included Clara Loftus, described as ‘head of household’ William F. Ormsby’s ‘sister-in-law’.

Since writing the above it has been established that Alexandra was Stephen Prince’s daughter whose first marriage had been to Mr Little and had lived at Sharmanaragh near Lagduff. The photograph  of “Miss A Prince” on Stephen Prince’s page is probably also of Alexandra.

A enigmatic connection 

Canon James Owen Hannay “George A Birmingham” 1865-1950

Rev Hannay was rector of the Church of Ireland’s Holy Trinity Church, Westport from 1892 to 1913.

When our, Chris and Carolyn’s mother Daphne wrote about the life Arthur Oram’s wife Catherine Love nee Anderson she included the following:

 With a large young family the social activities seem to have been many – most likely often enlivened by the local parson Canon Hannay (better known as George Birmingham, the author of novels based on local inhabitants and the islands of Clew Bay).

The problem with this is that according to Arthur’s diaries Rev Hannay occasionally took services in Newport, but never visited Wilford.

In 1936 our father, then 16 years old met Rev, or rather Canon Hannay, as he was by then.  In 1936 diarist Arthur’s son James Oram was elected Mayor of Devizes, Wiltshire and Canon Hannay was, by James’ invitation chairman of his inaugural banquet. The Wiltshire Gazette dated 12 November 1936 devoted a page to the banquet, including this excerpt from Canon Hannay’s reply to the toast:

“…he had taught their Mayor his catechism …”

We can only speculate on how many times James Oram had met Canon Hannay in Ireland, but in 1936 our father got the impression at James had often enjoyed listening to Rev Hannay’s tales.  James died in 1964, in the early days of Daphne’s research, so he could not have helped Daphne in 1970.  One explanation may be that they met at Mullaun, close to Newport where James went to school. Mullaun was the home of James’ aunt Isabella Dick nee Anderson and his cousins.

1 Response to John and Arthur Oram’s friends

  1. Valerie Chambers says:

    Though Clara is recorded in the census with the surname ‘Loftus’ it was actually ‘Lofting’. Edgar Lofting’s grave is in the Church of Ireland cemetery in Newport (Burrishoole Church), in the family plot of the Farr Princes, Claggan, Ballycroy).

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