The Dixon Family History Pages


of Limerick, Ireland

The story of the Black family in Thomondgate Limerick appears to have a beginning and an end, although there are still some thread of our research to tie up.

Some of the names of our Black family are listed below but the story goes something like this:-

John Black

This name in our family tree is not certain. However by tracing back the author's great great grandfather William Black there is a birth recorded in November 1834 to a John and Mary Black. We believe these may well be the author's great great great grandparents.

William Black

William Black is the author's Great Great Grandfather.

William Black was born in Martin, near Boston in Lincolnshire, England on or about 10th June 1834. His date of birth is based on his Army records and when they record him as being "of age" - of course there was in those days a habit of lying about ones age to get into the army, so we can't be certain this is an accurate date. However there is a Christening of a Wlliam Black recorded on 9th November 1834 at Stixwould, Lincolnshire in which the birthplace is indicate as "Lf martin".

William Black enlisted with the 56th Foot Regiment at Westminster on 10th June 1851 at the age of 17.  

William arrived at the 56th's Chatham Depot on 13th June 1851 where he is issued the number 3661.   At this time the 56th were en-route to Bermuda having left a detachment behind at Chatham to recruit and train men.   Private William Black remained at Chatham, apart from a short posting attachment at Tilbury Fort in October, until November 1851.   On 17th November a group of 12 men from the 56th, including William, embarked at Deptford.   Musters show that Private Black was paid as a Convict Guard from then until 26th December 1851.   On 27th January 1852 he, with the others in his draft, joined the service companies already in Bermuda.

On 23rd January 1855 William was promoted to Corporal.

On 13th November 1855 he was promoted to Sergeant.  

A soldier named Sergeant Joseph Ryder married a Dublin girl Alicia Elley. At some point Joseph was posted to India and Alicia went with him. But Joseph took ill and died in January 1861 in Colaba, India, leaving his wife a widow and in a foreign country. It is presently not clear whether their marriage produced any children or, if it did, whether any chidlren survived.

About six months later, on 19th June 1861 and still in Colaba, India, Alicia re-married. Again her husband was a soldier, a Sergeant William Black.

William and Alicia had a number of children, the exact number is not known and neither are all their names nor where they were born. However, a number of children have now been identified in the 1871 census at which time the family was living in Stoke Damerel, Devon. The children are Rebecca A, William J and Mary J. The name of a further child is known as Ellen and we believe she was also born in Stoke Damerel in 1872 and name Mary Ellen - which leaves the question of whether Mary J had died in the period 1871/1872.

William completed his service of over 21 years with the British Army and left with a pension, heading for Northampton.

William and Alicia lived at 11 Militia Stores in Northampton which we believe was accommodation  provided by the Northampton Militia.   Our understanding is that when William completed his service in the Army, he probably left and headed for a job with the Militia.

When Alicia was just 2 months from giving birth with her last child, and when the family was based in Northampton, William took ill and died. William is buried in an unmarked grave at Kingsthorpe Church in Northampton.

After burying William in Northampton, a very pregnant Alicia returned home to Dublin where she gave birth to the writer's Great grandfather Thomas James Black.

Of the other children, Ellen Black is known to have travelled to Dublin. William J Black is found, at the age of 14, with the 56th Regiment in England.

Thomas James BLACK

Thomas James Black is the author's Great Grandfather

Thomas James Black was born on 14th June 1877 at 41 New Street, Dublin. (source: Birth Certificate) location map

Thomas' parents were (the above) William Black, who was deceased at the time of Thomas' birth, and Alicia Black (nee Elley) .

Thomas Black married Annie ELLEY on 9th April 1898 in Dublin. Thomas and Annie were full cousins.

Thomas was a Master Printer to trade. He was also known as a great singer with an excellent voice.

In the 1901 Census Thomas and Annie, with baby daughter Lilian Eveline were living in Malpas Place, Dublin. - location map

The 1911 Census records Thomas James Black and family living at 10 High Road, Limerick.- location map

The 1923 Register of Electors has Thomas living at 10 Sexton Street, North, Thomondgate - location map - and it is clear, from the death of his wife Annie Elley, that he remained at that address until at least November 1946

Thomas died on 26th October 1959 at the age of 74 and is buried in the grounds of St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick.

Children of Thomas James Black and Anne Elley

  • Lillian Evelyn Black
    • Lillian was born on 21st April 1899 in Dublin.
    • Lillian Evelyn Black married George Thomas Dixon on 17th February 1920 in Limerick.
    • Lillian died on 21st September 1976 in Limerick and is buried in the grounds of St Mary's Cathedral
    • Recorded as Lily in the 1923 Register of Electors for Limerick
    • Lillian Evelyn Black is the author's grandmother
  • John Black (known as Jack)
  • Eileen Black
  • Dermot Black
  • Harry William Black
  • Thomas Alexander Black (known as Tommy)

St Mary's Cathedral

There are two plots in St Mary's Cathedral which are relevant to the Black family.

Black Family Plot, St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick

Name Date of Burial Age Address at time of death
Elizabeth Emily Black 3rd January 1880 3 months Roden Street, Limerick
Anne Black 13th July 1886 84 Middleton, Co. Cork
Harry Black 30th September 1921 19 10 Foley's Cottages,
Thomondgate, Limerick
Annie Black
(maiden name Elley)
27th November 1946 71 10 Sexton Street,
North Thomondgate, Limeriekc
Thomas James Black 28th October 1951 74 "Hall's Buildings",
Nicholas Street, Limerick
Eileen Black 11th November 1963 54 Cathedral House,
Nicholas Street, Limerick

Dixon Family Plot, St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick

Name Date of Death Age Address at time of death
George Thomas Dixon 6th April 1972 72 Limerick
Lillian Evelyn Dixon
{maiden name Black)
29th September 1976 77 Limerick
John Alexander (Alex) Dixon 17th January 1995 65 Limerick

Anne Black

  • Anne Black is buried in our Black family plot at St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, but we do not know yet how Anne Black fits into our Family History.
  • Our research into the Black family appears to indicate that they originated from Lincolnshire in England. But could there have been an Irish link going back much further? Or is Anne the wife of another Black?
  • Assuming Black was her married name, what would her maiden name have been? Where would she have been born? What was her husband's name?
  • Anne's death in "Middletown" is recorded in the death records for the third quarter of 1886 and shows her age to be 85 (Volume 4 page 412). This would give her a birth year of 1801.
  • We also note that Anne Black's place of death was Middleton, Co. Cork, and her date of burial was 13th July 1886 and relate this information to the death notice recorded for Jane Black below.

Jane Black

  • Death notice recorded in the Limerick Chronicle 15th July 1886
    • Black - July 10th, at the Rock, Middleton, Mrs Jane, relict of the late James Black, esq, formerly of Limerick, aged 85 years.
  • Jane died 15 July 1886 at age of 85, therefore born around 1801.
  • Where was Jane born?
  • No details of her husband James Black are held (although there is a younger James Black recorded in the 1923 Register of Electors) - so who was he, where did he come from and is there any link to the "James" in Thomas James Black?
  • What might out family link be with Middleton (or is it Midleton ? or Middletown ?)
  • Janes date of death and her age appear to the same as Anne Black buried in St Mary's Cathedral. So are Anne and Jane the same person? And, if so, why was Anne/Jane not buried with her husband James?

James Black

  • James Black appears in the 1923 Register of Electors for Limerick as living at 7 Catherine Street, Limerick.
  • What is his connection to our family (if any) ?

Elizabeth Emily Black

  • Elizabeth Emily Black is buried in the Black family plot at St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick.
  • Elizabeth was born on 9th October 1879 at 2 Roden Street, Limerick.
  • Elizabeth's parents were Hugh and Elizabeth Black.
  • Elizabeth had a very short life of just 3 months.

Hugh Black

  • Hugh Black was the father of the above Elizabeth Emily Black.
  • Hugh's name has been sourced from his daughter's birth certificate.
  • On Emily's birth certificate Hugh is listed as "deceased"
  • Hugh's death is recorded in Limerick in the 3rd Quarter of 1879 at the age of 42 (Vol 5 page 260)
  • Hugh was a Military Prison Warder (see Limerick City Trades Register 1979)
    Roden Street and Military Prison
  • Hugh was married to Elizabeth Tapper.

Black Links

Return to Names Index

William Black's Crimea Medal William Black Crimea medal - showing part of inscription

William Black's Crimea medal

William Black's Crimea medal showing part of inscription