If my 5th great grandmother’s name is Mary Fagan, then perhaps the newest family author is Oisin Fagan. He writes in his debut novel about the town of Nobber, 1348 during the plaque. Mary Fagan’s son, my 4th great grandfather Nicholas Smith is buried back in his home town of Nobber, County Meath, Ireland in 1840, having died May 11 at the age of 55.
Oisin Fagan says he had no idea his novel about the Black Death that reached Ireland, set in the village of Nobber that lies in the County Meath, would mimic the Covid-19 rampaging through my world today. I still have windows and can leave for essentials, unlike the townsfolk of Nobber who have a total curfew. As conmen descend on the town in County Meath to take over the land they meet some stark raving bonkers characters. Locked inside their homes, they are quarantined within Nobber as their families succumb to the plaque.
My 5th great grandfather, Anthony Smith was baptized on September 4, 1769, at Dublin, Booterstown, Ireland in the Dublin Diocese. His father is listed as Willm Smith, mother Margaret. These 5th great grandparents Anthony Smith and Mary Fagan wed on December 10, 1780. The occasion took place and was noted in the Ireland, Catholic Parish Marriages and Banns, in the Parish of Nobber and Cruisetown, Diocese of Meath in County Louth. The first witness was Jas Smith, the second Barny Fitzsimons. The next year, my 4th great grandfather, Nicholas Smith my 4th great parent was born and baptized November 13, 1781. Parents : Anthony and Mary Fagan; 1st witness and sponsor Brian Fagan and 2nd witness Bridget Blake. Though the Church of Ireland, a Protestant denomination was the established state church from 1536 to 1870, Ireland’s population remained overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.
Anthony Smith put on his new scarlet jacket and tight fitting pants that tucked into knee high boots. He had joined the British army, being in the 1st Battalion of the 87th Regiment, during the Napoleonic Wars. The 1st Battalion remained in the Channel Islands and England until being sent to South America in 1806-07.
The 87th Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1793. The 1st Battalion with Anthony Smith sailed for South America in September 1806 and took part in the disastrous expedition, seeing action at the Battle of Montevideo, at Montevideo, Uruguay, in February 1807. The 87th was recognized by the British house for their brave exertions with their skill and valor. Monte Video was carried by assault and the bravery of the troops left an impression upon the enemy in that quarter of the globe. The 87th Regiment of Foot was awarded the battle honor “Monte Video”. The siege started with heavy artillery and the defenders added hides to the wall to fill the breach. Once inside the walls they met heavy resistance but forced the defenders back. Anthony Smith along with the 87th Foot (later called Royal Irish Fusiliers) were waiting at the city’s second gate. The gate never opened so they scaled the walls and attacked from behind. There was an unconditional surrender. Was it here Anthony Smith was wounded amongst the 600 casualties? Or perhaps it was during the unsuccessful attack on Buenos Aires in July 1807. After several days of street fighting against the militia and Spanish army, half the British forces were killed or wounded, and the British were forced to withdraw. They were captured by Spanish troops during the attack and later released. I found Anthony Smith, at age 40 being discharged Feb 3, 1808, a private, in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, from the UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Admissions and Discharges.
Nicholas Smith followed in his father’s footsteps joining the 97th Foot Soldiers in Munchin, Limerick on November 13, 1803, at the age of 18. The 97th served in Ireland for a year and then was sent to the West Indies. Nicholas Smith married Alicia Jephson on May 29, 1806 and had four children before she died as a young mother, in Limerick, Ireland at the age of 34, 1819. That year 1819, was the year Anna Maria their youngest child was born. I do not know what she died from. My 2nd great grandfather James William Smith was born May 23, 1808 in Ireland, along with sisters: Johanna 1809, Margaret 1814 and Anna Marie, 1819. I find no further record of the girls so presume they died young. This left James William motherless at the age of 11. I found James Smyth at age 17 enlisting in the UK army on Jan 24, 1825 in the 43rd Foot Soldiers. James is 5′ 9 1/2′, with grey eyes and brown hair, born in Limerick, employed as a laborer, period of service, Life! This was one way to get fed and clothed by joining the army, and following in his father’s and grandfather’s army occupations. His regiment served at Gibraltar from 1823 to 1830 and then returned to England. James William Smith immigrated to Canada sometime before 1832 when he wed Mary Wilson on February 11, 1832. James William was 24, an Irish Catholic when he wed the young 14 year old girl, Mary Wilson, whose grandfather was an Irish Palatine with very strict Methodist roots. There has to me more to his story: How did he leave the army and how did he make his way into Canada. So far I found no records of either, which raises my suspicions.