In May 2010 I received an email from Kay Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org) who resides in Sydney, Australia. Her grandmother Emily Anne Fleeton arrived in Australia on her own in 1916 from Ireland. Kay informed me that her great grandfather was Edmondson Fleeton son of a William Fleeton, a farmer, believed to be from the Glenavy area. Emily Fleeton was the daughter of Edmondson Fleeton. She was born in Mary St. Drogheda. She married in 1921.
Edmondson Fleeton in his early years had resided in the townland of Ballynacoy, Glenavy.
In the mid 1850 period the local rector in Glenavy made notes about the family who were residing at Ballynacoy.
William Fleeton at that time owned 22 acres of land and was aged 50 years. The notes states that Mary Clarke, a servant resided with the family, but she was later to become William’s wife. A note states that they had originally been Presbyterians. A son William James aged 1 resided with them and a grandson William Fleeton aged 10 is also mentioned as too are Annie Lindsay aged 30 a cousin of William snr, and her child Annie Lindsay aged 3.
William Fleeton, a son of Robert Fleeton, had been previously married. On 15 08 1856 he married his second wife Mary Clarke, aged 26 years at Glenavy Parish Church. At this time William was aged approximately 45 years of age and was a labourer. The witnesses to the wedding were William Thompson and Ann Robinson.
William James Fleeton, who appears to be their first son, was baptised in Stoneyford Parish on 06 12 1857. Ballynacoy townland was closer to Stoneyford than Glenavy.
There is a burial record in Glenavy Parish Church recording the burial of William Fleeton, Ballynacoy on 07 05 1881 aged 84 years.
In the Griffiths Valuation records (1860’s) William Fleeton is listed as no 43 on the map in the townland of Ballynacoy. This can be viewed online via www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/index.xml.
William Fleeton had just over 23 acres of land. The property is situated at the junction of the Ballypitmave Road and Ballynacoy Road. In the 1880 period William appears to have sold the property to Thomas Thompson and subsequently taken property of just over 15 acres in the Ballypitmave townland, located closeby. After his death in 1881 the property goes to his son William James Fleeton. It is believed this property was a house located on the side of the Lowtown Road, Ballypitmave townland.
In about 1908 John and Nathaniel Fleeton were residing in a house in Ballynacoy townland, believed to be just off the lane heading to Ballynacoy House, coming from the Ballypitmave Road entrance.
The children of William and Mary Fleeton (nee Clarke) are believed to be:
- William James Fleeton born 1857. He died at Ballypitmave on 11 06 1929. His widow was called Martha Jane. She died at Rosemount, Dunmurry on 27 02 1940 and she is buried in Glenavy Parish Church. Her maiden name was Fitzsimmons before their marriage on 28 02 1906. She had a brother called Samuel John Fitzsimmons who resided in Banbridge. He died on 28 02 1940. Orange Lodge L.O.L. 1253 at Stoneyford was locally known as “Fleeton’s Lodge” due to the fact that one of the long-term Worshipful Masters was William Fleeton. It is believed that this person was William James Fleeton.
- Martha born abt 1866. She attended Stoneyford School.
- John born 30 11 1865. He attended Stoneyford school. He died on 22 12 1943 at Lisburn District Hospital and he is buried at Glenavy Churchyard.
- Edmondson born abt 1860.
- Nathaniel 29 05 1867. He died on 5th June 1950, at Islandkelly, Stoneyford. He was also known as Nathan, Nat or Natty. He attended Stoneyford school.
- possibly Robert Lindsay born abt 1861
It is known locally that some of the Fleeton men who resided in the Ballynacoy and Ballypitmave area were policemen. R.I.C. records show that Edmondson, aged 20 and a half years, was appointed about 1879. In 1883 he was serving in Kilkenny and in 1884 in Louth. He was pensioned on 18 01 1905.
In the 1901 census some of the family were residing at Ballypitmave –
Mary, aged 67 widow and mother, William James, son aged 40, John aged 35, Martha daughter aged 33 and Fanny a grandchild aged 7 years. Fanny attended Stoneyford school and is believed to have married to a George Watters.
In 1911 Nathaniel and John Fleeton, brothers were residing at Ballynacoy townland.
Nathaniel had also been in the R.I.C. Records show he joined at the age of 18 and 1 month and that he was appointed on 30 12 1885. He served in Westmeath in 1886 and Tyrone in 1891 where he met his wife and married on 04 10 1893. He also served in County Down in 1893 and Dublin in 1895. He was dismissed in 1901. There are some local newspaper entries relating to a Nathaniel Fleeton taking people to court in Holywood in the 1894 and 1895 period. This may in fact be him. The name Private N. Fleeton, Royal Irish Rifles, appears on Glenavy War Memorial in the village. There is a record of a Private Nathaniel Fleeton in the Royal Irish Rifles number G/760.
Nathaniel Fleeton married Margaret Mellon on 04 10 1893 at Strabane.
John Fleeton had also been in the R.I.C. and joined on 30 12 1885 at the age of 20 years and 1 month. He served in West Meath but was dismissed on 17 03 1886. He married Eliza McGinley on 28 08 1891 the daughter of an ex-sergeant in the R.I.C. They were married in the presence of William James Fleeton and Mary Clarke.
It is said locally that they had a family but separated and Eliza moved to the Republic of Ireland. It is believed that some of the descendants of this family owned a shop in Ireland and many years ago came to Glenavy to trace John Fleeton. Unfortunately those people who met member of this family have lost touch. I would be grateful for any of the family to contact me.
There is also a record of a Robert L. Fleeton having served in the R.I.C. having joined in October 1882 at the age of 21. He served in Donegal and was dismissed in 1889. There was a Robert Lindsay Fleeton born approximately 1861 who attended Stoneyford school.
Edmondson Fleeton had been a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary.He had attended Stoneyford school. He was married to Mary Ann (nee Mahon) in St. Peter’s Church, Drogheda on 6th August 1885. At the time of their marriage their residence was Termonfeckin, Drogheda. The witnesses to this event are recorded as John Mahon (father of bride) and S (?or G) Halliday. Mary Ann went to Australia in 1926. She died on the 11th May 1954.
Their children, who were all born in County Louth, Ireland, included:
- Mary Alice born 1889 believed to have died in 1914. There is a burial record at Glenavy Parish Church of a Mary Alice Fleeton from Belfast on 27 01 1914 age 25 years.
- William G born 1890 believed to have died in 1912. There is a burial record at Glenavy Parish Church of a William John Fleeton from Belfast 14 07 1912 age 22 years.
- Emily Anne born 1892. Went to Australia in 1916 on her own. Known as Daisy.
- Eleanor Victoria born 1895 believed to have died in 1912.
- Robert Edmondson born 1898.
- Martha Jane born 1900 believed to have died in 1914.
- Nathanial L born 1902 believed to have died in 1920. A newspaper cutting in the family’s possession states that he died on 7th Feb 1920 at Hamlock House, Terryhoogan, Scarva and he was buried at Scarva churchgreen.
- James Clark born 1904. Went to Australia in 1926.
Edmondson in 1901 was a police constable living with his wife and family in Louth. In 1911 the family were residing with Mary Ann’s father, John Mahon, at Listowel Street, Belfast.
He died on 31st January 1910 at his residence 5 Canada Street, Belfast and was buried in Glenavy Parish Church on 02 02 1910 aged 51 years. It is believed that his final resting place is in the grave marked as 178 in the headstone transcription records. Records show that his death was witnessed by his brother–in–law James Matchet.
Thanks to Kay Newman for providing a copy of this photograph of Edmondson Fleeton wearing what is believed to be an orange sash. David Jamison in Belfast has assisted in identifying the lodge number on this sash and has provided some background information about this lodge. The “T” indicated Edmondson was a treasurer in the lodge. The number L.O.L. 1209 appears on the sash. This lodge was founded as South Derry True Blues in the 1880’s, mainly by mill workers from that area who had come to work in the linen industry. In the late 1920’s or early 1930’s the lodge changed the name to Monaghan Temperance L.O.L. 1209.