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Time To Look at Dr Tumblety from a Wider Angle ?

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  • Time To Look at Dr Tumblety from a Wider Angle ?

    I first came across the name Francis Tumblety when doing research for my family tree, a couple of years back.
    It turned out I’m related to him through his sister Mary.
    Brief story is that my maternal grandfather was Mary’s grandson and was raised by her because of his mother’s death a year after he was born.
    We all knew he spent time as a child in Rochester NY, having been brought over by an uncle who was a doctor. It was assumed that was one of Mary’s sons as two of them lived in Rochester. As I filled in information regarding my great-grandfather and his siblings, I quickly found 5 generations of my mother’s family stretching back to the 1780s – this is rare in Ireland as most civil records were destroyed by fire in 1922.

    Having made contact with a distant Tumuelty relation I was directed to the story about the court case surrounding the settlement of his will. Then came the “Jack the Ripper” connection; which was a fun thing to tell friends. But the more I read; the more some things just didn’t make sense. Please note that I’m not saying that he isn’t Jack but rather that Francis needs to be looked at in the wider picture of the times that he lived through as opposed to some random paper clippings.

    Personality wise, if alive today Francis would probably be an “influencer” with his own Instagram account and youtube channel. You know the type a photograph taken with Conor McGregor, Brad Pitt or one of the Kardashians; blasted all over social media and linked as best friends. He’d probably wangle his way onto a morning TV show as a health expert. It’s acknowledged that he was one of the first to use newspapers as a tool for self-promotion, but he also must have had a terrific business skillset as well, leaving a legacy of close to $4,000,000.00 today when he died in 1903.

    The Tumuelty family came from the Church of Ireland parish of Donaghpatrack, near Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland. This area is rich in history being the site of the Tailteann Games, which were the ancient Irish equivalent to the Olympic Games. Being close to Tara it was also a place of ritual for the High Kings of Ireland in pre-Christian times.
    The land is some of the best in Ireland & pre 1800 had a thriving flax growing and linen weaving industry. This rapidly came to an end in the 1830s when cotton flooded Ireland from the mills in England. As a result, many flax weavers moved to Lancashire to work in the cotton mills. The 1821 census shows James and his family as follows:

    Tumulty James 36 - Farmer
    Tumulty Margret 33 Wife -
    Tumulty Larry 3 Son -
    Tumulty Patt 1 Son -
    Tumulty Allice 13 Daughter -
    Tumulty Bridgt 11 Daughter -
    Tumulty Judieth 9 Daughter -
    Tumulty Betty 7 Daughter -
    Tumulty Mary 5 Daughter -
    Malton Thoms 40 - Labourer
    The Tithe books also show that James and his brother Thomas jointly farmed a lot of 29 acres, which in pre-famine Ireland was quite big.
    Before 1845 95% of tenant farmers survived on lot of between 5 to 7 acres. The Tumueltys’ had 4 times that size.
    As there were some 150 boys and girls enrolled in the Catholic “hedge” schools in the parish, it can be safely assumed that the Tumuelty children attended one of these.
    Hedge schools were independent private schools taught in cottages often by former candidates to the Catholic priesthood.
    As a result, pupils often had a semi classical education as well as reading writing and arithmetic – leading to popular lore about dying tramps able to recite and translate verse from ancient Latin or Greek verse.



    I tend to go with Francis’ birth year as 1833 and his given name being Thomas Francis and that of his brother Lawrence being James Lawrence.
    I also believe that the family moved to Chorlton, Lancashire prior to 1845.
    My reasoning for this is the collapse of the flax trade, which meant they would have turned into subsistence farmers due to high rents and the loss of their “money maker”.

    Also, I think that it’s important to note that they bought a relatively big lot of land on Plymouth Avenue in Rochester, almost immediately upon arrival in 1847. It had a rateable value of $400 in the 1851 census which would be almost impossible if fleeing Famine.
    Rather I think they moved on as a result of the massive influx of starving and sick Irish into the cities of northern England from 1846 onwards. The reason for Rochester was that it was a developing centre for market gardening and hence the big rise in both the German and Irish populations in the 1850s..


    Staying with the Tumuelty family, I’m going to digress here,
    Not wishing to insult anyone’s opinion about the Ripper Case, but, there’s a Youtube about the Tumuelty grave which is total rubbish. It goes along the lines of examining the headstone for clues that show the family somehow had a secret knowledge of Francis’ crimes. For that reason, it states because there’s no “Rest in Peace” under Francis’ name something odd is afoot.
    The odd thing is that there is a Latin Requiem under Lawrence’s name as the normal standard was and is for only one Rest in Peace at the bottom of the headstone.
    It claims that both parents as well as Lawrence and Francis are buried there. Not True, the plot has room for five graves but only contains three burials: Margaret, Lawrence & Francis.
    The reason for this is that James died in 1850 and Patrick died in 1858? But Holy Sepulchre Cemetery didn’t open until 1870.
    I surmise that because there are five graves the intention was to re-inter James and Patrick and some stage.

    Next supposition is at the grave of Patrick’s son who changed his name to Tumility – had to be hiding a secret. The big secret was that Patrick was a watchman for the municipal gas company and on entering politics the decision was made to make the name appear less Irish, to catch more middle-class voters, while at the same time keep it enough Irish sounding. The added bonus was that people looking at back copies if the city directory wouldn’t connect him to Patrick.


    Rather than bore you with anymore “useless” information I’ll stop here and if you want to know what I found and think about Francis’ education “medical training” please leave a comment,

    Starts
    March 18, 2022
    Ends
    March 18, 2022

  • #2
    I agree that James Tumuelty is not buried in the family plot; in fact, it has never been definitely shown to my satisfaction that he was ever in Rochester, NY. He's missing from the 1850 census, and he's not on the ship passenger list. Was he ever even in the US?

    Chorlton is interesting. Why did you settle on that particular location? Do you have any reason to associate the family with the John Tumblety who died in Manchester in 3Q 1851?

    Comment


    • #3
      James has entries in the Rochester City Directories in both 1848 & 1849 with same address as Lawrence. I think he was buried in a Saint Mary's graveyard but can't find any evidence of it's existence except in listings for old cemeteries
      Chorlton is an educated guess as part of history course in High School used to be about the Act of Union in 1800 and the effects it had on "Irish Industry" A large group of weavers from around Dublin were recruited for Chorlton mills. Also my mother mentioned at times that her father had distant cousins in the Chorlton area when driving through the UK

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      • #4
        Mike Launders' census photo :

        To Join JTR Forums :
        Contact [email protected]

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        • #5
          If you’re referring to my YouTube video that you’re calling total rubbish, it it idiotic to think I was using anything at the family gravesite to connect him with the murders. When the gravestone has both of Tumblety’s parent on it stating, “May THEY Rest In Peace,” the inference would be THEY are resting there in peace. Also, all of your census info in the 1821 Irish census had already been discovered, so you’re bringing nothing new.

          I see more mistakes, so I’ll respond later.

          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mike Launders View Post
            James has entries in the Rochester City Directories in both 1848 & 1849 with same address as Lawrence. I think he was buried in a Saint Mary's graveyard but can't find any evidence of it's existence except in listings for old cemeteries
            Yes, but which James?

            Riordan suggested that Patrick was James (either James Patrick or Patrick James) which is reasonable, and a James, only 26 (meaning he wasn't the father) crossed over with the family in 1847. So the man in the City Directories in 1848/49 could be this younger James.

            Further, there is a James Tumilty (Tumelty, etc) in the City Directories after 1851, which is problematic, because the father is listed on the headstone as having died in May 1851.

            Further still, James the father is absent from the 1850 census, and I have personally failed to locate him anywhere in New York State (and I even checked the asylums and jails for initials, etc) so his whereabouts remain a mystery.

            The strongest evidence that he was ever in Rochester is the headstone, and I can certainly understand why Mike and others find this conclusive, but I'm not entirely convinced he is buried there. When visiting Rochester many years ago, I looked in every available newspaper in Monro County and failed to find any mention of his death in May 1851. It's a puzzler, but it doesn't mean an explanation won't eventually be found.
            Last edited by R. J. Palmer; March 18, 2022, 06:52 PM. Reason: Typo

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            • #7
              This proves nothing, obviously, but I thought it was interesting. If the headstone didn't give a full explanation, what would people think?

              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                So, you say you’re related to Mary. That would be Mary Kavanagh who married Michael Kavanagh, a blacksmith, prior to 1839. They moved to Rochester by 1830 just after the rural flax linen industry collapsed. Michael and Mary’s first son John was born in 1839 in New York. It seems Mary was the first of the Tumbletys to move to Rochester.

                Mike


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                • #9
                  A quick point about Tumblety being connected to social media. Problem: he had no friends. From the 900 pages of sworn testimony/depositions of Francis (I also believe his given name was Thomas) in the last 29 years of his life confirms his antisocial personality disorder.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    Hi All,

                    On the subject of Tumblety, ignore Mike Hawley at your peril.

                    Regards,

                    Simon

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                    • #11
                      Ha! That’s right, Simon. Quite the surprised that Dr T was a hermaphrodite!

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                      • #12
                        It's not my intention to challenge anyone's findings re Francis & the Ripper. I'm not qualified to. I simply fell into it through my grandfather's connection with Rochester and some family stories.
                        Mary Kavanagh as far as I'm aware was never in the USA. Her husband was a Patrick Kavanagh from the Dalkey area of south county Dublin. She's the mother of James & Josepth Kavanagh who were part of the appeal case over Francis' will, Their brother Thomas also mentioned in the proceedings is my great-grandfather and the children who got his portion of the estate are:
                        Patrick (my grandfather) and his half siblings Frank, Peter & Kathleen. The Kavanagh family are deep rooted in the Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) -Ballybrack area and luckily the church baptism records are very good for the most part going back as far as the 1770s. Patrick and hid brother Edward a successful market gardening business which exhibited in the Great Dublin Exhibition and brothers cousins etc were shop keepers, property developers etc.

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                        • #13
                          So then you have to ask yourself why they're in the Rochester City directories. Also, how could their oldest children state that they were born in New York if mom was in Ireland?

                          By the way, under sworn testimony, Francis’ nephew, Michael Fitzsimmons, recalled when he was in County Meath at 5 years old and Francis was ten. Francis took him and his brother to a rural school. The sisters were not allowed to go. In just a few years, they left for New York. Because of this, they likely emigrated straight from County Meath.

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Simon Wood View Post
                            Hi All,

                            On the subject of Tumblety, ignore Mike Hawley at your peril.

                            Regards,

                            Simon
                            100% to this!

                            Btw. Simon, haven't been here for about a year, heard through the grapevine that you were interested in quoting some of my research in Paris for the 3d edition of your book, feel totally free to do so.
                            With best regards from currently the hills in Avoriaz,
                            Maria
                            Best regards,
                            Maria

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                            • #15
                              Thank you, Maria.

                              You're very generous.

                              Regards,

                              Simon

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