52 Ancestors: #1 Edward Noble

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

Edward Noble b. 1827 d. 1872, photo courtesy of RoadRunner at findagrave.com

Edward Noble b. 1827 d. 1872, photo courtesy of RoadRunner at findagrave.com

In her blog, No Story Too Small, Amy Johnson Crow challenges bloggers to create a post about a specific ancestor each week for 52 weeks This post may be a story, biography, photograph, an outline of a research problem or anything that focuses on one ancestor. For my fist week’s post, I decided to write about Edward Noble and my quandary in finding his hometown in Ireland.

The photo is of the tombstone of my great-great-grandfather, Edward Noble. Edward and his family, including my great-grandfather Thomas, were found in the 1870 US Federal census. Edward and his wife Mary were born in Ireland; and all the children, prior to that last two, were born in England. I did a post called “Finding Edward” (https://www.oldbonesgenealogy.com/finding-edward) that documents how I found this family in this census. Since Edward died prior to 1880, this is his only appearance in the census records.

The World War II Draft Registration of my grandfather, William J. Noble, stated that his father, Thomas Noble, was born in Durham County, England. With this clue, I was able to find Thomas with his parents in the 1861 UK census.

Edward was born about 1826/7 in Ireland. He immigrated to England, possibly during the famine. He and Mary Devine had a son, Thomas (my great-grandfather) in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in Nov 1851. He married Mary Devine in 1852 in Newbottle, Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England.

They then had another son in Liverpool; relocated to Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England; had three additional children; then migrated to the US around 1865. The entire family appears in the 1861 UK census in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England and the entire family, except for James who died in 1862 in England, appears in the 1870 US census in Locust Gap, Northumberland Co., Pennsylvania. Mary appears as a widow in the 1880 US census so I knew Edward died between 1870 and 1880.

Since then, I have been trying to find Edward in Ireland. I found this tombstone on FindaGrave last July. What is really exciting about this tombstone is that is states where Edward was from in Ireland. This is my latest transcription of this tombstone:



the memory of


a native of [Dun?????] Parish of

[Achill?] County Mayo Ireland

Departed this life May 10, 1872

in the 45th year of his age

May his soul rest in peace Amen

Erected by his wife Mary Noble


born May 2, 1867 [1869], died June 4, 1871

 As you can see, I was able to transcribe every bit of the tombstone except the exact location of his home town/townland and parish. I even contacted another volunteer to try to obtain a better photo but this photo turned out to be the best. My husband suggested that we take a trip up there in 2014 to see it in person. It is a very long drive but I have some other research to do once we get there so it will be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, any help with this transcription is welcome. Although County Mayo is more than I had before, I am really anxious to find the actual location within County Mayo.


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4 Responses to 52 Ancestors: #1 Edward Noble

  1. Jeannie Wood says:

    Regarding your tombstone transcription for Edward Noble, I Googled County Mayo and found this info regarding Edward’s birthplace. Here is a link that shows the old name for Doohoma as Dumhaigh which is near Achill Island. Looks promising to me. http://www.doohoma.com/ and also http://www.mayotowns.com/

    • Eileen A. Souza says:

      Thank you for this great clue. You may be correct but it gets us into a conflict with the parish name since Doohooma is in the Kilcommon (Erris) civil parish and the Belmullet RC parish. Edward was Roman Catholic. I think it is worth pursuing anyway. Thanks, again.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Eileen, the General Alphabetical Index TO THE TOWNLANDS AND TOWNS,PARISHES AND BARONIES OF IRELAND (1851)has a townland of Dooniver in the Civil Parish of Achill. The Catholic parish is currently called Achill Parish as well but may not have been in your timeframe. Usually the Civil Parish is what is referred to when describing the home place. If Mary could not read or write the stone cutter may have heard something like Dunifer for Dooniver.

    • Eileen A. Souza says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth. I had used that index for my search but had rejected Dooniver not realizing it could sound like Dunifer. Dunifer or some variant could be the word on the stone. Mary could not read or write.

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