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The Naughton Family History: Continuing The Story

As you know, there is a detailed history of the Naughton family line in Ireland and an account of our particular Naughton family line in northwestern County Roscommon located elsewhere on this webpage.

We ended our Irish family history with the death of great-grandfather John Naughton and the emigration of his eight children--and possibly his widow--to the United States. At the request of some of my nieces and nephews, the following continues that history to our Naughton family in Paterson and Hawthorne, N.J., as well as an account of the other family lines connected to us: the family of grandmother Ellen Walsh and of our mother's parents: Thomas Waters and Frances Sweeney, as well as some of their ancestors.

The Naughtons In Paterson and Hawthorne, N.J.

From the 1900 U.S. Census--with all names now uniformly written as "Naughton"--we learn that Michael, Sabina and Bridget came to the United States in 1880--apparently settling in Paterson, N.J., that same year. They were followed by our grandfather, Bartholomew, in 1883--possibly with his mother, Bridget Naughton--Mary Catherine (Kate) in 1885, John in 1886, and Thomas in 1888. There is no reference to Patrick's arrival.

Of particular interest is the manifest of the S.S. "British Prince" that arrived in Philadelphia on April 30, 1883. There are listed Bartley Naughton, Irish, age 18, occupation "laborer," and, with him, "Bridget Naughton," 40, occupation "wife." If this was in fact our grandfather, who else could Bridget Naughton be but his mother. Even though she gives her age as "40," she may simply have meant that she was somewhere "in her 40s." This would explain why we never found later reference to our great-grandmother in Ireland after her husband died. But unfortunately, we also do not find her in the Naughton family cemetery plot in Totowa, N.J.. She remains a mystery.

The first concrete reference to our family in Paterson was found in the Paterson City Directory of 1885, when "Barclay"--obviously Bartley--Naughton, a dyer, was living at 153 Mill Street (lower center of map--please ignore modern ramps), along with Bridget Naughton, Michael, a "laborer," and Patrick, a "dyer." (Is Bridget grandfather's mother or his sister?) Before long, all of the eight brothers and sisters were living in Paterson, usually in close proximity: Bartley, Michael, Patrick, John, Thomas, Sabina, Mary Kate, and Bridget.

Since the mid-1800s, Paterson had become a leading center for producing spool silk and silk dyeing--known as "The Silk City of the World"--and many in the family worked as reelers, twisters, weavers and dyers. Grandfather Bartholomew, who called himself Bartley, eventually rose to become a foreman in the Auger and Simon Silk Dyeing Company in Paterson.

From 1886 to 1888, Bartley, Patrick and Bridget continued living at 153 Mill Street, while Michael lived there in 1887-1888. All three brothers were identified as "helpers." On October 12, 1888, Bartley was naturalized.

Meanwhile, living at 180 Vine Street was "Etta" (Bridgetta?) Naughton, "the widow of John Naughton," and another John Naughton (her son and Bartley's brother?) continued to live at 180 Vine Street.

Interestingly, we also found a Peter Walsh, who worked first as a driver and later as a teamster, along with a John Walsh, a carpenter, in the Paterson City Directory as living at 153 Mill Street--the same address as Bartley--during the years 1884-1889. If this Peter was Ellen's father--or brother--it suggests that the Naughtons and Walshes were living in the same building during those years. Bartley and Ellen may have married in 1889, when he moved to 99 Marshall Street, while his brothers--John, a weaver, Michael, a helper, and Thomas, a "reeler"--lived at 129 Clay Street. We haven't yet found their marriage record.


Ellen Walsh, our grandmother, came from Lisburn, six miles southwest of Belfast in County Antrim. Since "Walsh" means "Welshman," there were many lines of Walsh families throughout Ireland as Welshmen settled in Ireland following the 12th century Anglo-Norman invasion and, from the 1600s forward, as part of the English attempt to control Irish Catholics. As it turns out, "Walsh" is the fourth most common surname in Ireland. And, not surprisingly, many Walshes became Catholic, married into Irish families and became "more Irish than the Irish," so the plan wasn't foolproof.

Lisburn was a market town partly in County Antrim but mostly in neighboring County Down. The counties were separated by the Lagan River, which runs through the town. Lisburn was described as "one of the handsomest inland towns" in Ulster and was famous for the quality of its linen manufacturing. Agriculture was also highly developed.

Walsh families lived in various parts of Counties Antrim and Down. We found our particular line in Lisburn in the 1860s. Our great-grandfather was Peter Walsh, who had been born about 1825, and his future wife, Frances Ann Collins, had been born in July 1827. (I found only one Collins family in Lisburn in 1862: George Collins' family, which lived at 12 Quay Street, which is located just above the last "t" of Bridge Street on the map. But ten Collins families lived at the time north and west of Lisburn.) Local church records were destroyed in a fire, and we don't know for sure when they married.

Apparently Peter and the family were reasonably well off by the 1860s. According to the 1862 Griffith's Valuation (census) of Lisburn, Peter leased a house with an office, yard, and garden at 4 Bridge Street, also on the Antrim side of the river, where the family lived. (See map to the left.) I've confirmed from two of the children's birth records that the family continued living on Bridge Street.

As of the mid-1860s, Peter Walsh was involved in farming, real estate and a grocery business in Lisburn, which he ran out of his home. He is also shown in Griffith's Valuation to be leasing five houses between 19 and 24 Bridge End Hill, across the river in county Down but not shown on the map. (Since the census shows only one Peter Walsh residing in any of those properties, we're safe in assuming that all references are to the same person.)

The Walsh Family

Our grandmother, Ellen Walsh, was apparently born in Belfast on November 27, 1865, although all or most of her siblings were born in Lisburn. (Uncle Frank's daughter, Eleanor Naughton Mis--who enabled me to find the Washes in Lisburn, had once mentioned to me that Peter Walsh worked for a time in Belfast, and that may provide the explanation.) From the 1900 New Jersey Census, as well as birth and burial records, it appears that Ellen had at least five brothers and sisters:

-- Sara Walsh, born in Aught, 1850

-- John Walsh, born in February, 1855

-- Teresa Walsh, born in Lisburn on June 18, 1864

-- Peter J. Walsh--a future priest and pastor--born in Lisburn on April 13, 1867

-- Elizabeth Walsh, birth date unknown

In addition, the local census identified a number of other Walshes, very likely related to our Walsh ancestors:

-- Robert Walsh, obviously a relative of Peter, owned and lived at 20 Bridge End Hill.

-- William Walsh also rented at 45 Bridge Street, a short distance from Peter's home, and apparently subleased two other houses there.

-- Daniel Walsh rented a house, with an office, yard and small garden at 14 Seymour Street.

On the County Down side of town (south of the river):

-- A John Walsh rented a house with offices and ten acres of land at 22 Carneagh.

-- An Ellen Walsh lived in a house with a garden at 14a Aghnatrisk, while Robert Walsh had a similar house and garden virtually next door at 14C.

The Walsh Family Emigrates to the United States

The 1910 and 1920 US censuses give us conflicting dates on when the Walsh family came to the United States: in 1910, they said it was in 1869, but in 1920, it was reported to be 1871. Yet, they do not appear in the 1870 census. The Paterson City Directory does list a Peter Walsh as living at 139 Mill Street from 1872 through 1876, described first as a "teamster" and later as a grocer, with a store in his building. The 1910 Census states that Ellen Walsh arrived in the United States in 1874 at the age of nine, but we assume she traveled with the family.

Peter Walsh was naturalized in Paterson on November 1, 1876, and he served as witness for the naturalization of William Henry Walsh, a minor, on October 25, 1880. By 1881, the family had moved to 153 Mill Street, where Peter, John and a third Walsh--"Luke," a tinsmith--were living. That address seemed to remain their home for years to come. During the years 1886-1889, we find a Peter Walsh--perhaps the son--working as a teamster, along with a John Walsh, probably his older brother, a carpenter, living at the same address. As mentioned before, 153 Mill Street is the same building where Bartley Naughton and his brothers and sisters were living between 1885 and 1889.

As mentioned before, we're not sure when Bartley and Ellen married, but it was probably about 1889 and almost certainly at St. John's Cathedral, which was the Catholic Church closest to where they lived.

Peter Walsh died in his home at 153 Mill Street on May 6, 1896, at the age of 71. His wife died there on December 23, 1901, at the age of 76. They are both buried in the Walsh family plot (Lot Section O, Graves 267-8) in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa. Also buried there are Ellen's three sisters: Sarah, who died on May 14, 1906; Elizabeth, who died on December 25, 1931; and Teresa, who died on April 3, 1941. All were unmarried.

Father Peter Walsh

Ellen's younger brother, Peter J. Walsh, grew up in Paterson, and, in September, 1890, began studies at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he was ordained a priest on June 23, 1894. Seminary records tell us that he was invited to stay on to serve on the faculty of the seminary but he turned it down, saying he wanted an assignment to serve in a mission for a while first. His mission, it turned out, was to serve in Paterson, N.J.

Father Peter Walsh celebrated his first mass at St. John's Cathedral in Paterson, and he was assigned to the Cathedral, where he served as an assistant to a Dr. William Byrne, V.G. (It is partly for this reason that we believe Bartley and Ellen Walsh were married in St. John's.) In January, 1896, he was assigned to St. Joseph's Church, Boston, where he served as a lecturer and later became active in the Prison Reform League. In March, 1899, he became rector at the Cathedral in Boston, until he returned to St. Joseph's in September 1908.

The following year, in November, 1909, he was appointed Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Church, in nearby Waltham, Massachusetts. We have photographs of him--shovel in hand--leading the congregation in the construction of the new church, which was completed in 1909. He appears in the 1920 census as pastor, with two assistant priests and two housekeepers. He served there as pastor until April 23, 1940, when he died.

The Waltham Times headline of April 26 is shown below. What may not be legible is the first paragraph, which states: "Thousands of persons, including Mayor Arthur A. Hansen and members of the Waltham City Council, leaders in the business community and representatives of the bench and bar, attended the funeral services for Rev. Peter J. Walsh, pastor of St. Charles Church, held at the church yesterday morning...."


By 1890, Bartholomew and Ellen were married and living at 196 Mill Street, Paterson. On February 16, 1891, their son, John--our father--was born. We don't identify him as the first born because it was noted on Francis's birth certificate in 1899 that Bartholomew and Ellen had seven children, only three of whom survived.

On April 12, 1894, Bartholomew Jr. (Uncle Bart) was born. At the time, the family was living at 671 Main Street, Paterson, and Bartley worked as a "conductor."

During 1890-92, John, Michael, Patrick and Thomas Naughton were living at 120 Spring Street. The first three worked as "dyers," Thomas as a "reeler." On October 26, 1891, Michael was naturalized in Passaic County, and John and Thomas were naturalized on April 7, 1893--all three with Bartley as witness. By 1894, they had moved to 657 Main Street--not far from grandfather.

In 1893, 25-year-old sister Kate married Patrick O'Rourke. According to the 1900 Census, Patrick had been born in Ireland in November, 1865, and had come to the United States in 1886 and was working as a salesman. He was 27 at the time of their marriage, and over the years they had four daughters: Mary in April 1895, Monica in October 1896, Annie in August 1898, and Margaret in 1903. In 1900, the family was living at 123 Jersey Street in Paterson. (The Naughtons moved frequently from year to year. This may have been a result of the same pattern found in New York City, where leases were limited to one year, with the owner holding out for the highest bidder and the residents having to find some other place to live.)

In 1896, Bartley had moved to 108 Mill Street and had begun a career in ernest in the weaving industry On July 3, a son, Thomas, was born, but he must have died very young since we didn't find him in the 1900 Census. Bartley's brothers--John, Michael, and Thomas--lived a few doors away, at 100 Mill Street. John either owned or worked in a "saloon," while Michael and Thomas were described as dyer "helpers." Another Michael, a dyer, and Patrick Naughton, a finisher, lived at 35 Taylor Street. (It's not clear who the second Michael was.)

By 1897, grandfather had moved to 147 Oliver Street and was working as a "helper," while Patrick, the finisher, lived at 32 Erie. The following year, Bartley moved to 114 Jersey Street, while John, Michael, and Thomas all lived at 116 Mill Street.

On February 21, 1899, while living at 558 River Street, Bartley and Ellen had a third son, Francis (Uncle Frank).

According to the 1900 Census, the couple was renting a house on Butler Street, along with their three sons, John (9), Bartholomew (6), and Francis (1). Grandfather was identified as working as a "dyer helper." In 1901, Thomas and Michael continued living at 116 Mill Street, but John had moved to 134 Marshall Street in Paterson.

I found no Paterson Directories between 1902 and 1906, perhaps because of the disastrous Paterson fire which started on February 8, 1902 and destroyed the City Hall and almost 500 buildings--the entire business section. The March 2 Passaic River flood also engulfed the lower portions of the city and swept away bridges, houses, and buildings along the river.

Grandfather Bartholomew--the Foreman

By 1907, grandfather Bartholomew had become a foreman at the Auger and Simon Silk Dyeing Company at 19 E. 15th street, and was living at 104 Mill Street, with Ellen and their three sons. Bridget and Sabina also lived there, with Sabina working as a "picker." Thomas, working as a dyer, was living a few doors away at 112 Mill Street, while Patrick, also a dyer, lived at 330 Grand.

In 1909, Bartholomew continued as a foreman but lived at 161 Butler Street, while Bridget and Sabina continued living at 104 Mill Street. Thomas, the dyer, lived at 123 Jersey.

The 1910 Census showed that Bridget and Sabina were living at 123 Jersey Street--where the O'Rourke's had been living--and were raising two of Kate's children, Monica (12) and Mary O'Rourke (5). It appears that Kate had died, and Bridget and Sabina had assumed responsibility for raising the children. (Annie and Margaret appear there with their sisters in the 1920 Census.) Thomas, the dyer, was also living at 123 Jersey and undoubtedly helped in raising his nieces.

John Naughton--the Steno

In 1911, grandfather Bartley, still a foreman, lived at 228 5th Avenue. Also living there was our father, John Leo Naughton, who was identified as working as a "steno."

Bridget and Sabina, both working as "pickers," resided at 125 Jersey. Thomas, the dyer, lived at 55 E. 11th Street.

In 1913 and 1914, grandfather continued working as a foreman and living at 70 Graham Avenue, along with his son, John. Thomas, the dyer, was living nearby at 86 Graham, while Sabina, Bridget and Patrick, now a silk finisher, were living at 125 Jersey.

It was during these years that John Naughton met Elizabeth Waters.


Our mother, Elizabeth Waters--normally called Lizzie or Betty--was the daughter of Thomas Waters and Frances Sweeney. Although both of her parents were born in Scotland, Thomas's mother--Catherine O'Neil--and Frances's parents were all born in Ireland. (So the Naughtons of Paterson and Hawthorne turned out to be 7/8s Irish, 1/8 Scottish.)

Our Waters Family Line

Thomas Waters was born in Govan, now a part of Glasgow, Lanarkshire, on December 17, 1861. His parents were Thomas Waters and Catherine O'Neil.

We have little information about Thomas Waters senior other than the fact that he worked as a crofter--a small or tenant farmer--who had died by 1887. We do know that he was born in Glasgow, the son of William Waters, who was born about 1799 in Partick, a northwest suburb of Glasgow.

The Waters family line is part of the Scottish Buchanan Clan, which traces its origin back to Anselan O Kyan who was a son of the King of Ulster who landed in Argyll in 1016 and controlled the shores of Loch Lomond in Scottish history.

We also have only limited information on Catherine O'Neil. She was born about 1843 in County Mayo, Ireland. Her mother's name was Mary, but we don't know her father's first name. She, her mother and two siblings--Mary, 12, and Andrew, 10, traveled to Dunbarton, Scotland, as "visitors" before 1851. She apparently had two older brothers--John and James--who were living in Scotland in the early 1850s. The father was apparently deceased. The family was living in Govan in 1861, when "Katie" and Thomas Waters had Thomas Waters Jr..

Thomas grew up in Glasgow but, when he was 16, we find him in Dundee--where Frances Sweeney lived--where he joined the Royal Navy on September 10, 1878 as a "Boy 2nd Class." At the time, he was described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, light hair, gray eyes, fair complexion, and with a small scar over his left eyebrow. (He grew two inches by the time he left the Navy in 1892.)

Thomas Waters: Mariner of the Royal Navy

Thomas Waters' naval record gives us detailed information about his 14 years in the Royal Navy. As it turned out, between 1878 and 1892, grandfather Waters was assigned to nine different ships that guarded Scotland and the English Channel, traveled to Denmark, Germany, and Russia with the Duke of Edinburgh, and to North America and the Caribbean, and throughout the Mediterranean, settling down his final year back on board the same Royal Navy Reserve drill ship in Dundee harbor where he started.

He also served aboard two royal flag ships, including the one assigned to the future King Edward VII. No wonder Thomas Waters found it hard to adjust to civilian life.

This must have been an exciting time for grandfather since the Royal Navy was the envy of all other world navies. At the time, Britain was at the height of its naval power, and its empire stretched throughout the world--it was the time in history when "Britannia ruled the waves" and the Navy was the watchman for the empire. Even a good Scotsman would have gotten caught up in the excitement.

Standards were high for "boy" recruits in the Royal Navy--some years later it was reported that only 5,000 out of 40,000 applicants were accepted. To be selected, a boy had to be of good moral character, be in good physical condition (including good hearing, sight, and sense of color), and be able to read and write. On being accepted, Grandfather Thomas was assigned briefly to the H.M.S. Unicorn, a Royal Navy Reserve drill ship stationed in Dundee Harbor, until he was sent to the Royal Navy's training ship for boys--the H.M.S. St. Vincent--at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, England. (During his last year in the Navy, he was to serve again on the H.M.S. Unicorn.)

The H.M.S. St. Vincent (12 Sep 78-8 Jun 80)

The H.M.S. St. Vincent was a 1st class warship originally launched in 1815 and named in honor of Admiral John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent, who had defeated the Spanish in the battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1797. It became the Royal Navy's training ship for boys at Portsmouth Harbor in 1862.

On the training ship, Thomas received one year of basic education in reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography, along with specific training in seamanship: boat sailing, sail making, masts and yards, knots and splices, flags and signals, and gunnery, as well as swimming, gymnastic exercises, and sports.

On September 24, 1879, he was promoted to "Boy 1st Class," with increased pay, and he continued advanced education in seamanship: signaling, sailmaking, rigging, and sail drill aloft, as well as use of a gun, rifle, and cutlass. (They were expected to take full part in any sea battles.) Once a boy passed those subjects, he normally went on a six-week cruise in one of the training brigantines, giving him his first taste of actual sea duty, and later to a six-month sea-going training ship. During that period, his character was rated "very good."

The H.M.S. Hercules (9 Jun 80-30 Apr 81)

On June 9, Thomas was assigned as a Boy 1st Class to the H.M.S. Hercules, an 8,000-ton 2nd Class ironclad battleship with powerful engines, 9-inch armor, and eight 10-inch and 6 smaller-inch guns. When launched in 1868, she was described as the most powerful warship afloat and was the flagship of Admiral Cooper Kay's squadron.

In those days, we are told, English naval strategy was based on a battle fleet guarding home waters, as well as warships abroad. During 1879 to 1881, the H.M.S. Hercules was assigned to coast guard service as "guardship of the Clyde District"--operating off western Scotland and most likely based at Greenock, close to Glasgow and grandfather's birth place, Govan. On September 17, 1880, with his two years of training completed, Thomas Waters signed up for 10 years of "continuous service engagement" and, on October 2, 1880, was promoted to "Ordinary Seaman."

The H.M.S. Warrior (1 May 81-25 Oct 81)

At the end of April, 1881, while in dock at Portsmouth, the H.M.S. Hercules exchanged crews with the H.M.S. Warrior, with the Warrior to assume responsibility for coastal defense of Scotland's north and west coast, along with the Hebrides and Orkney Islands. The Warrior was a famous Royal Navy battleship, Britain's first "ironclad"--similar to the American U.S.S. Monitor, which had become famous in the ivil War.

The Warrior was described as a beautiful ship, outmatching her contemporaries in size, speed and armament. Her construction marked the end of wooden ships and the beginning of the decline of sailing ships in favor of steam ships. She was constructed of iron, with water-tight compartments, the first double-bottom, and 4 inch armor covering 60 percent of the side. Although independent of wind, she carried a full spread of canvas and could make good speed under sail.

But before assuming her new duties, the Warrior served as part of a royal squadron that took Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Victoria's second son, for an official visit from June 15 to July 29 to the Baltic, traveling to Copenhagen in Denmark, Kiel in Germany, and Kronstadt in Russia. His brother, the Prince of Wales, was married to Princess Alexandra, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, and the Duke's sister was married to the King of Germany and Prussia.

In Copenhagen, the King of Denmark met with the Duke of Edinburgh on the Hercules, which was serving as the royal flag ship. They visited Kiel, then Germany's main naval port, and then continued on to Kronstadt, next to St. Petersburg. The Duke was married to the eldest daughter of Czar Alexander II, who had been assassinated in March of that year, and he probably traveled there on a state visit to express condolence and support for the new Czar, Alexander III. It makes you wonder whether Thomas Waters had time to see any of St. Petersburg or parts of Germany and Denmark.

By the end of July, the Warrior had sailed for Greenock to take up her new station in northern Scotland. En route back to Portsmouth in October, the warrior ran into an unexpected squall off Land's End, damaging the sails and rolling heavily. Yet, when the ship encountered a merchant ship flying distress signals, she went to its rescue and towed it to port, even though the two ships grazed briefly in the rough sea. It was described as "a fine feat of seamanship."

The H.M.S. Royal Adelaide (26 Oct 81-14 Mar 82)

On October 26, 1881, Thomas Waters was transferred to the H.M.S. Royal Adelaide, the royal flag ship used by Albert "Bertie" Edward, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VII when Queen Victoria died in 1901. The Royal Adelaide, named after the wife of King William IV (1792-1849), had home port in Devonport, Dorset, on the southwestern coast of England.

We haven't been able to trace where Thomas Waters and the future King of England cruised during the five months he served aboard the Royal Adelaide.

H.M.S. Urgent (15 Mar 82-4 Jul 82)

On March 15, 1882, Thomas was assigned to the supply depot and troop ship H.M.S. Urgent for four months. We have no information yet where the Urgent was stationed during that time, although this was the beginning of a major buildup of British naval and army forces in the Mediterranean for an invasion of Egypt.

H.M.S. Fantome (5 Jul 82-23 Dec 86)

Thomas Waters' four-and-a-half-year tour on the heavily armored sailing sloop of war H.M.S. Fantome assigned to the North America and West Indies region must also have been one of the highlights of his naval career. In 1839, when she was launched, the Fantome was a warship equivalent to a modern cruiser, until the introduction of steam power. She became famous in 1841 for chasing an illegal slave ship some 257 miles and seizing it when larger ships had failed. But by the 1880s, she had become a less important warship and was valued mainly for cruising in deep water and for police duties--a perfect ship for cruising the Caribbean.

Responsible for both North America and the British West Indies, the Fantome must have cruised between Canada, the various British possessions in the Caribbean (Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, British Honduras, British Guiana, the British Virgin Islands, and the various dependencies in the Lesser Antilles from Antigua to Trinidad) and possibly as far south as the Falklands in the South Atlantic. The fleet was headquartered at Bermuda, and the Fantome was overhauled and recommissioned there on April 25, 1883. Faced with having to wait out the ship's overhaul in Bermuda, Thomas Waters probably got bored with the local golf and beach life. He most likely couldn't wait to get back on board ship. How much of the Bermuda life could a good Scottish sailor take?

Thomas's love of his work must have been obvious since he was repeatedly rated "very good" in character and was given a "good conduct" badge. Grandfather was promoted to Able Bodied Seaman on July 1, 1883. We know from his naval record that he was involved in one gunnery engagement on February 23, 1885, but we haven't found out what battle it was. In traveling between Canada and the Caribbean, Thomas Waters may well have stopped off in New York harbor en route.

H.M.S. Excellent (1 Mar 86-19 Feb 88)

It must have been somewhat of a letdown to return to Portsmouth to join the H.M.S. Excellent, a 1st Class ship which had been converted into a gunnery training school and testing ship responsible for all tests, trials, and reports on new guns, mountings, and armor. It was permanently stationed in Portsmouth Harbor.

It's not clear whether he was assigned there for the training or as part of the ship's crew. The training given by the school was widely recognized, and "Excellent men" were described as standing out from others for their marksmanship.

Thomas Waters Marries Frances Sweeney

It was during his tour on the Excellent--on December 26, 1887, to be precise--that Thomas Waters married Frances Sweeney at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Chapel in Dundee. We're not sure when they met--whether during his youth in Dundee before he enlisted or during one of his stop-offs at Dundee while on the Warrior en route to or from Northern Scotland.

As we'll see, during those years, the Sweeney family lived fairly close to the port in Dundee. But obviously they met and eventually married. They were both 26 at the time--although Frances had an enviable ability to grew older at a slower pace, at least according to later censuses.

Just a little more than two months after their marriage, Thomas Waters was assigned for two years and seven months to the newly launched H.M.S. Fearless, a 220-ft torpedo cruiser which was home-stationed at Portsmouth Harbor. Frances remained at 1 Alexander Street in Dundee. (Her parents had already died, but she had other relatives, including her married sister, Elizabeth, and family livinh in Dundee--until the Shearers moved to Paterson, New Jersey, in 1890.)

H.M.S. Fearless (1Mar 88-7 Oct 90)

Although we haven't found out yet the details of what the H.M.S. Fearless did during this time, the tour must have been another of his most memorable assignments: The Fearless had tour duty in the Mediterranean, operating out of Malta. The Royal Navy had various operations underway in Egypt, the Sudan, and further on in South Asia.

Thomas Waters was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class on October 8, 1888, apparently as a coxswain in charge of the ship's boat. He continued to receive "good" performance ratings during that period and he received additional "good conduct" badges, as well.

The coxswain position may have been a temporary duty or rotational assignment, since on June 15, 1889, he reverted to "Able-Bodied Seaman." He continued to receive "very good" ratings until the end of his tour on the Fearless on October 7, 1890.

Shore Duty

Between October 7, 1890, and August 9, 1891, Thomas Waters was apparently granted shore duty. This fits in with stories that Frances Waters, living alone in Dundee, didn't approved of Thomas's naval career and may have influenced his efforts to obtain shore duty. We find Thomas and Frances in the Dundee census in 1891, and his naval record shows that he was officially reassigned on August 9, 1891, to the very first ship on which he started his career--the Royal Navy Reserve drill ship H.M.S. Unicorn. That must have pleased Frances Waters no end.

H.M.S. Unicorn (9 Aug 91-2 Sep 92)

Thomas Waters completed his last tour in the Royal Navy on the H.M.S. Unicorn, presumably helping in the training and drilling of Royal Navy Reserve personnel from the Dundee area. The 46-gun frigate, launched in 1824, had served the Royal Navy for 144 years as a frigate and training ship. (It is now preserved as a museum in Dundee Harbor.) Thomas Waters apparently requested an extension of shore duty--which his assignment on the Unicorn may have been considered--but it was denied as "unsuitable."

He left the Royal Navy on September 2, 1892--just one week short of 14 years of service.


Although Frances Sweeney was born in Dundee, we discovered that her parents were married in the Catholic Church in Gilford, a town southwest of Lisburn (and northwest of Banbridge) in the Tullylish Catholic Parish in western County Down, in what is now Northern Ireland. Tullylish Catholic Parish includes the civil parishes of Tullylish, Magherally, Donaghcloney, and parts of Seapatrick, and borders County Armagh.

Fortunately, the parish records are available, and we find that Stewart Sweeney (last name here written "Sweeny") married Dina Robinson on May 11, 1840 in the Gilford Catholic Church, Tullylish Parish. Here is the record:

Dina is identified as "Acatholica"--non-Catholic--which may help us find her parents. In various records, we also find Dina's name spelled Diana--and in Scotland's censuses, as Dinah. Her last name was also occasionally written "Robison" and "Robertson." Unfortunately, early Irish records are fairly scarce. Other than church records, the only other principal records are Griffith's Valuation of the 1863-4 and the Tithe Applotment survey of 1827.

Stewart Sweeney's Ancestors

The Sweeney family line--originally MacSweeney--is found in both Ireland and Scotland. It is the Anglicised version of the Gaelic surname MacSuibhne, meaning "son of Suibhne". Suibhne, pronounced SIV-na, means "pleasant" or "well going" in Gaelic.

Suibne Menn or Sweeney the Renowned was the High King of Ireland in A.D. 616-28. It is suggested that the family descended from him. Following a family dispute over the succession of the kingship, one of the descendants, Anrathan, sailed to Scotland, where he acquired extensive lands in Argyll and married a daughter of the King of Scotland. The head of the Sweeney Clan, a great-grandson of Anrathan, built Castle Sween in Knapdale, reputedly the oldest stone Castle in Scotland.

The Clan Chief lost his lands in Argyll to Robert the Bruce in 1314. So the Sweeneys of Castle Sween returned to their native Ireland, where they set up headquarters in Donegal, not far from their original homelands in Tyrconnel on the north coast of Ireland. Over time, the clan split into three distinct groups or septs and was eventually defeated by the English in the seventeenth century.

The Sweeneys were most famous for having fought as "gallowglasses" or armed mercenaries in the struggles of Ulster, mainly on behalf of the O'Donnells, and it was through this "tool of the trade" that the family became known as "the Clan of the Battle-Axe." Over time, the Sweeneys spread throughout northern and western Ireland. How Stewart Sweeney fit into that family line will most likely never be known since early records in Ireland are so scarce.

Stewart's death certificate indicates that he was born about 1817 and that his parents were James Sweeney and Sarah McCusker. No Sweeney families were identified in the immediate area in the 1827 Tithe Applotment survey, although we do find two Sweeney families--a James Sweeney and Hugh Sweeney--living farther to the southeast.

We also find two Sweeney families in the Griffith's Valuation survey taken in 1856 living in the adjacent Seapatrick Parish--James in Ballykelly, just northeast of Gilford, and Edward in Banbridge, about five miles south. James Sweeney of Ballykelly could well be Stewart's father--or a brother named after their father.

There were many McCusker (also written McCosker) families in Tullylish Parish in the 19th century. The 1827 Tithe Applotment identified 14 families, while Griffith's Valuation of the 1860s listed 16 McCusker/McCosker families. Local church records do not go back far enough to find the marriage of James Sweeney and Sarah McCusker or to learn more about the family.

Banbridge was the center of the Irish linen industry, and Gilford had a number of flax and linen mills. It seems likely that Stewart worked in the linen industry, mainly because he later worked in that industry in Scotland.

Dina Robinson's Ancestors

Dina's Scottish census records indicate that she was born about 1821, and her death certificate identifies her parents as John Robinson and Dina Magee. Unfortunately, there were 16 Robinson and 12 Magee families at the time in Tullylish Parish But since the Sweeneys stated in a daughter's birth record that they were married in Gilford, Dina may well have lived in or very close to that town in 1840. If her father was still alive at the time, he could be one of two John Robinsons in Tullylish Parish. There was also a John Magee living in Gilford. Tracing Dina's ancestors farther back will not be easy.

The Sweeney-Robinson Family

Stewart and Dina had at least three children born in Tullylish Parish:

--"Stuart" Sweeney was born to "Stuart" Sweeney and "Diana" Robinson on July 8, 1842, with James McCosker and Mary Devlin godparents--normally a role taken on by a relative;

--Mary Sweeney was born on July 29, 1845, with David McCusker and Elenor (Illegible) godparents; and

-- John Sweeney, born on August 14, 1852, with Mary McConville godmother.

The Sweeney Family Moves to Dundee

Some time in the 1850s, the family moved to Dundee, Scotland, where Steward worked as a weaver in the linen industry.

In 1861, we find the family living at 125 Hilltown St., close to the center of Dundee. Stewart was 42 and working as an "Inte Weaver." With him was Dina "Robison," 40 , son John, age 9, and daughter Elizabeth, age 3. (We don't know what happened to young Stuart or Mary.) On 13 May, 1861, they had a daughter, Frances--who in 1887 was to marry Thomas Waters.

Ten years later, we find the family still living at the same address, and Stewart, then 53, still working as a weaver. With them were Elizabeth, 12, and Frances, 10. Stewart died on April 28, 1877. He was 60 years old at the time.

In early 1881, Elizabeth married Thomas Shearer and, between 1882 and 1888, they had a daughter, Frances, and three sons: Thomas, John and Joseph. In 1890, the Shearer family moved to the United States, settling in Paterson, New Jersey.

By 1887, when Frances was 26, she and her mother had moved to nearby 1 Alexander Street, and she was now working as a powerloom weaver. Her mother died on June 30--just about six months before Frances's marriage to Thomas Waters. She was listed as 62 at the time--although census records would indicate she was 65.

The loss of her mother, combined with Thomas's naval service, which kept him at sea for years at a time, gave Frances good reason for not favoring the career he had chosen. Eventually--after 14 years--Thomas agreed and left the Royal Navy on September 2,1892.

The Waters Travel to New York City, Return to Scotland, and Return to Paterson, N.J.

It would seem that Thomas and Frances traveled almost immediately to New York City. We find Thomas listed in the New York City telephone directory between 1892 and 1894 living at 744 10th Avenue, New York City. It was nearby--762 10th Avenue--where their first and only child, Elizabeth Waters, was born on September 6, 1893. The family may have moved briefly to Paterson, New Jersey, since we find a Thomas Waters, "rigger," in the Paterson Directory in 1894.

But fairly soon, they moved back to Scotland. Royal Naval records indicate that Thomas Waters did not return to service. And in the 1901 census, we find "Fanny" and "Lizzie" living at 48 Cotton Road, Dundee, with Fanny listed as "Head of Household." Thomas is not listed, perhaps because whatever work he had--perhaps involving ships--required him to be away.

They remained in Dundee until 1903, when we find Thomas and 10-year-old Lizzie returning from Dundee to New York City on October 26 aboard the S.S. Astoria. On the ship's manifest, he indicated that their destination was 137 Spruce Street, Paterson, New Jersey, to the home of his brother-in-law, Thomas Shearer. Frances returned on April 16th the following year, perheps because of commitments to other members of her family. There's no further record until 1909, when Thomas Waters, Frances and Elizabeth were listed in the Paterson City Directory as living at 101 Front Street, Paterson.

The 1910 census shows the family still living on Front Street and Elizabeth, age 16, working in a silk mill.

It must have been within a very few years that she met John Naughton.

On January 2, 1915, Elizabeth Waters and John Naughton were married in Paterson and moved in with his parents at 278 Hamilton Avenue.

Meanwhile, Grandfather Bartley continued as foreman, while John worked as a "steno." Bridget, Patrick, the silk finisher, and Sabina, the picker, were listed as living at 116 Jersey, while brother Thomas, the dyer, lived at 68 Mercer Street.

Marie is Born

By the next year, grandfather and our parents had moved to 51 Mercer Street. Father was still working as a steno. Their first child, Marie, was born on September 9, 1916.

The following year, Grandfather Naughton, moved to 120 Warren, while our parents and Marie lived at 155 Keene (between Graham and York Avenues).

Grandfather Waters Dies

Thomas and Frances Waters had been living with John and Elizabeth on Keene Street. On April 21, 1915, Thomas Waters died from an accidental fall on an icy staircase, when broken ribs punctured his heart. He was 53. He was buried in Section 5 (Number 304, Grave 2), at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Totowa.

Frank is Born

In 1918 and 1919, John Naughton and his family continued living at 155 Keene, but, by then, he had become an insurance agent. Grandmother Waters lived with them. On August 27, 1919, John and Elizabeth had their second child, Francis (Frank).

Grandfather Naughton, meanwhile, was living at 148 Putnam, while Thomas, Sabina, Bridget and Patrick continued at 115 Jersey.

In the 1920 Census, John Naughton was identified as living on Keene Street, with Elizabeth, age 26, daughter Marie, 3 years, 3 months old, and baby son, Frank Naughton, 4 months old. Frances Waters was living with them, her age given as 57 and her occupation as a "juteworker."

The 1920 Census showed Grandfather Bartley living on Putnam St., with Ellen, age 54, and son Frank, age 20. It also showed the O'Rourke daughters (Monica, 22 , Annie, 19, Margaret, 17, and Mary E., 15--although those ages do not agree with the 1910 Census) continuing to live with Sabina at 115 Jersey Street. There was no reference in the census to Bridget, Thomas or Patrick.

The census also showed a Thomas Naughton, 57, born in Ireland, living at 55 Mills, Morristown, along with his wife, Mary, 56, also born in Ireland, and their five children, all of whom were born in New Jersey: Patrick, William, Catherine, Aliza, and Elizabeth. (I vaguely remember hearing about a relative living in Morristown, but I have no details.)

John Jr. is Born

On June 8, 1921, John Junior was born--usually known as "Slim." (Slim hated the term "Junior" and made sure his own son, John, was never called that.) The following year, the family, including Grandmother Waters, was living at 110 Warren St., and father continued working as an insurance agent at 175 Market Street.

Grandfather Naughton was living at 158 E. Main, along with his son, Frank--his first appearance in the Paterson Directory. Bridget and Sabina were still at 115 Jersey St..

Joseph is Born

In 1923, John Naughton, identified as a "salesman" at 185 Main Street, still lived at 110 Warren St., with his growing family and mother-in-law Waters. On January 25, 1923, Joseph was born.

Grandfather Bartley lived at 158 E. Main Street, with his son, Frank. Bridget and Sabina continued to live at 115 Jersey, along with Patrick and Mary Naughton, a "winder." Thomas J. Naughton (presumably Bartley's brother) appears as an employee of the Erie Railroad and living at 37 Delaware Avenue. In 1924 , John, Elizabeth, their four children, and Grandmother Waters continued to live at 110 Warren Street, but he was now employed as a bookkeeper at 105 Washington Street.

Grandmother Waters Dies

On July 2, 1924, Grandmother Frances Waters died. Her age was given as 56, although she was actually 63. She was buried with her husband in Section 5 (Number 304, Grave 2), at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa.

Another Bartholomew Naughton, most likely Grandfather Barthley's son, Bartley Jr. Uncle Bart), is listed as a clerk, living at 158 E. Main Street, along with Uncle Frank, the dyer. Bridget, Sabina and Patrick were liviing at 115 Jersey Street.

Bart is Born

On December 22, 1924, John and Elizabeth had their fifth child, Bartholomew (Bart).

In 1925, John Naughton continued as a bookkeeper, with the family living at 110 Warren Street. Both Bartleys were living at the same 158 E. Main home address, and Uncle Frank was living at 258 E. Main, with Bridget living next door, at 160 E. Main.

Grandmother Naughton Dies

On August 5, 1925, Grandmother Ellen Naughton died. She was 60. She was buried in Section MI (Number 95, Grave 3), in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa.

In 1926, Bartholomew, Bartley Jr. and Frank--now a weaver--are all shown living at 158 E. Main Street. Patrick, Bridget and Sabina are still next door. (Great-Uncle) Thomas J., who worked for the Erie Railroad, continued to live at 37 Delaware Ave. A new name appears--Minnie Naughton, employed at 190 Main and living at 845 E 28th. (She turns out to be the widow of a Henry W. Naughton and the mother of Helen D. Naughton. We aren't sure what relationnship, if any, they had with our family.)

Thomas is Born

The most important event that occurred in 1927 was that our parents had their fifth son, Thomas, on February 28. (We're still checking the history books for any other event of comparable importance.)

Father--The State Building and Loan Examiner

In 1928, the family lived at 66 4th Avenue and father was working as a State Building and Loan examiner at 309 Park Avenue, Paterson.

Great-Uncle Thomas J., the Erie Railroad employee, continued to live at 37 Delaware, with his wife, Winifred (Morrisroe), a silkmaker, and John F., who was a student.

Theresa is Born

In 1929, there was no change in the employment and residence of the Naughton-Waters family, but there was a new addition to the family: Theresa was born on December 29.


In 1930, our family moved to 399 Central Avenue, Hawthorne. Uncle Bart continued working as a salesman at the Guardian Printing and Publishing Company. He was living at 169 E. Main, while Bridget lived at 168 E. Main.

Bridget Naughton Dies

On October 13, 1931, Bridget died at the age of 64. Sabina gave the information that Bridget was born on August 11, 1867, and had lived the previous 51 years in Paterson. Bridget was living with Sabina at 160 E. Main Street, Paterson, at the time of her death.

William (Bill) is Born

In 1932, John Naughton continued as the State Building and Loan Examiner and the family continued living at 399 Central Avenue, Hawthorne. On September 10, William--Bill--was born.

Bartley and son Frank continued living at 158 E. Main. Thomas, working for the Erie Railroad, lived at 360 Trenton, with his wife, Winifred; also living there were John J., now also an ERR employee, Mary C., a telephone operator, and Sabina C., a salesman.

In 1934, our family moved to 126 May Street, Hawthorne. Joining us there were Grandfather Bartley and Uncle Bart. The Paterson directory indicated that Sabina had also moved to Hawthorne.

Thomas J. and Winifred continued living at 360 Trenton Ave., Paterson, along with Thomas J. and Mary C., the telephone operator. Sabina C., who had lived there, married Joseph Walter and moved to Little Falls, N.J.

Father Dies

On January 13, 1937, John Leo Naughton died at 126 May Street, Hawthorne. He was buried in the Naughton-Waters family plot (Section 90, Number 5, Grave 2), Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa.

Sabina Naughton Dies

On October 5 of the same year, Sabina died at the age of 72. She was living at the time at 57 Hugo Avenue, West Paterson. Uncle Bart, who was living at 266 Pacific Street, Paterson, provided the information that she had been born on May 12, 1865 and was a retired silkworker.

Uncle Bart Naughton Dies

The following year, Uncle Bart, who had never married, died on September 15. He was living at 60 Buffalo Avenue, Paterson, at the time. He was buried in the Naughton family plot in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Uncle Frank, who was living at 159 Mill Street, provided the information that Uncle Bart was born on April 12, 1894.

Granduncle Thomas J. Naughton Dies

On December 14, 1938, grandfather's brother, Thomas J. Naughton, died at the age of 68.

Grandfather Bartley Naughton Dies

On April 28, 1943, Bartley Naughton died at the age of 77. Uncle Frank, who provided the information, said that his father had been born on February 27, 1866. He was buried with Grandmother Ellen Walsh Naughton in the family plot (Section M1, Number 95, Grave 4), in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Uncle Frank Naughton Dies

Grandfather Bartley's third son, Frank Naughton, died in 1968 and is buried with his wife, Bess, in the Naughton family plot in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Following are some pictures of various grandparents, parents and children of the Naughton family:

The picture on the left is of Grandfather Bartley with two Naughton children, possibly Theresa and Bill.

The picture on the right is of Grandfather Bartley on the right, Uncle Bart on the left, and probably Joe, Theresa and Bill in the center.

The picture on the left is of Grandfather Bartley, John ("Slim"), mother and Bill.

The picture on the right is of our father and Frances Waters.

The picture on the left is of our mother with her mother, along with two children, possibly Marie on the right, with a doll, and an unidentified child on the left.

The picture on the right is of Thomas and Frances Waters, obviously happy.

The picture on the left is of our mother with six of her children: Back row, left to right: Frank, John and Joe. Front row: Bart, mother, probably Theresa and Tom.

The picture on the right is of mother and father, possibly celebrating Frank's graduation.

The picture on the left shows, back row: Joe and Bart; second row: Tom, our stepfather Frank Baines, Marie and Frank; first row: Bill, our mother and Theresa. John ("Slim") was in the Navy at the time.

The picture on the right shows: Left to right: Bart, Joe, Marie, Theresa, Frank, Bill, our mother, John ("Slim") and Tom.

This is as far as I've developed the family history, leaving it to the next generation to fill in the details of the marriages and children of the Naughton children--of which there were many, as well as information on other family relatives. Within our family, Theresa Marquart, nee Naughton, died in June, 1970; mother died in October, 1974; Joe died in June, 1975; Bart died in January, 1985; Frank died in February, 1993; Marie--whose actual name she discovered just a few years before she died turned out to be Elizabeth--Maas, nee Naughton, died in March, 2004; and John ("Slim") died in January, 2006--leaving just Tom and Bill remaining of that generation.

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