Ancestors of Thomas JOYCE
Thomas JOYCE
Matilda SANDS
Thomas JOYCE


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Thomas JOYCE

  • Born: 1855 ?
  • Marriage: Mary-Ann McGIVERN on 28 Nov 1874 in Uphall, Linlithgow

bullet  General Notes:

Notes by Auntie Joyce when she first drew up the rough family tree:

Thomas Joyce was perhaps born at Queensferry (the other side of the Brig according to your Nana). His stepfather ( his own father was killed at the building of the Forth Road Bridge) sent him to be a ship's carpenter. He ran away and fetched up in Kirklison where he married Mary Ann McGivern who had fled with her sister Bridget from the famine inIreland. They eventually settled in Cobbinshaw and he was a miner till he died in his fifties. His heart gave outwhile he was blowing up a football for the children (story below).

Extract from a letter from Auntie Joyce Rankine to me (Wilma Rankine). References to "M" are my grandmother, MatildaJoyce Hunter

3rd March, 1990

Since this is the centenary of the building of the Forth Rail Bridge and the papers are full of articles about it, M.was reminded of part of the family's past, and talked at some length about it.

Apparently M's grandfather's father, Tom Joyce (a name that recurs through various branches) owned a horse and car twhich he used to ply his wares on both sides of the Forth. He sold china & crockery in the villages in Fife and Lothian and like many others with transport of their own, got a job at the building of the bridge. He was one of the 57 people killed during the construction. His wife carried on his china business and re-married a man called Sandys. M's auntie Nell (from Kirkaldy - Mrs. McLean) told your Nana and Papa to visit the graveyard in North Queensferrywhere they find the relevant headstones, but they never got around to it. The family of Tom Joyce included M'sgrandfather - also Tom - his brother who had a shop (ship's chandlers) in Bo'ness, another brother whose story is as follows.

He and his wife were fervent Catholics, determined that their two sons should become priests and daughter a nun. One brother (John) seemed to be kindly, the other was a nasty piece of work. The daughter, after a couple of attempts to run away from the convent, eventually dropped from sight, presumably safe in the arms of Jesus! The nasty FatherJoyce fetched up as priest in Musselburgh where, by strange coincidence he impinged on the Rankine side of thefamily. My grandmother Rankine's sister, Mary Anne had married a widower called Bonar who was a Catholic. They were happy enough and Mar'Anne brought up his family like her own. Neither of them was over-religious and the husband didn't bother much with the chapel. When he died, my father and Uncle John went to the funeral where they were treated to the spectacle of Father Joyce delivering a curse over the grave, damning the poor sod to Purgatory. Where this was before or after his (Father Joyce's) mother had drowned herself in the River Almond I can't quite make out. Perhaps she became aware of the wrong-headedness of putting all her progeny into a situation here they were forbidden to provide any descendents.

Tom Joyce (M's grandfather) also had a sister (first name forgotten), a Mrs. Molloy, who also lived in Musselburgh.She had one son. The story goes that when he (T.J.) was in his late 50's, he had a heart attack and was told not to work again (he worked in the pit at Cobbinshaw.) He said to his wife (M's grandmother) that they would take a walk to the engine-hoose and he would tell her where his savings were in case he should die. That weekend some of his grandchildren who were visiting were playing with a football bladder, trying to blow it up. Their grandfather impatiently took it from them, blew it up, and dropped dead. The grandmother and family searched high and low,enquired at the Post Office if he had a savings account; looked through all his books of fishing flies (he was a renowned fisher, much in demand on the loch by the "nobs" who came out in the train from the North British hotel andwent with him in the boat. There is a drawing somewhere which a visiting artist did of him, called "Tam caught on his ain hook" which I have often heard of but never seen) - but no money was ever found. A last thought was that perhaps he had given it for safe keeping to his sister, Mrs. Malloy who he regularly visited. A deputation was sent to inquire. It must have been a formidable contingent, including as it did the redoubtable Auntie Nell & Auntie Liz.But they had no joy of the visit though their suspicions were fuelled by the fact that mother and son suddenly packed up and went to Australia. Where, it was darkly demanded, did they get the money for that?

The grandmother's name was Mary Ann McGivern. She and her sister (Bridget - auntie Biddy Ross) had come from Ireland to escape the famine. After the grandfather died the granny stayed on in Cobbinshaw with her three as yet unmarried sons, Charlie, Tam and Wull.

Charlie's Story: - Before the First World War he had decided to emigrate to Canada. Your Nana and her sisters andbrothers were allowed to stay up to the "foyer" and to hang out of the window next morning to wave him on his way.The ship left Glasgow and had barely started its journey when Charlie fell ill and required immediate medica lattention. The ship turned back! He had an emergency operation and recovered, saved up his fare again and made it at last to Canada. When the war broke out he joined Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and was sent to France, where a sandbag fell on him from the height of a trench and he was invalided out. Sent home to Cobbinshaw to convalesce, and bemoaning the fact that he would have to get back to the trenches soon, he received a shock one morning. A telegram was delivered to his mother - signed by Princess Patricia and enclosing a large picture of the lady herself, sympathizing with her for the loss of her son in battle. Hardly believing his luck, Charlie stayed put (even although it meant he had to forego this annuity etc.) and worked away quietly on the pit railway till the war ended. He married a Robinson from Addiewell and finally settled in Ormiston.

The full family roll-call of Thomas Joyce and Mary-Anne McGivern is as follows:-
Mary-Ann (Mar'ann)
Matilda (Nana's mother)
Charlotte (died very young)
Nell }
Liz } the terrible twins

Not necessarily the right order


Thomas married Mary-Ann McGIVERN, daughter of Thomas McGIVERN and Ann McCABE, on 28 Nov 1874 in Uphall, Linlithgow. (Mary-Ann McGIVERN was born 1855 ?.)

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