Episode 1. In search of Capt William “Billy” Flack’s family in Cavan, Ireland

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For more than 15 years I have been searching for the rest of Billy Flack’s family in Ireland at the time he signed on in the British Army, aged 21, in April 1831.

1. The documentary evidence for the date and place of birth of my Great Great Grandfather, William (Charles) Flack, is restricted to his British Army records which show that upon enlistment on market day in the town of Bailieborough in 1831, he was recorded by the recruiting Sergeant from the 63rd Regiment of Foot (The 63rd Regiment of Foot (manuscript)) as having been born 1 April 1810 in the Parish of Killan, Bailieborough, Cavan. (It should be noted that William Flack, “Labourer” signed on with “X” (his mark) and therefore there must be some doubt about accuracy of his birth details and whether the details recorded were simply an estimate based on his stated age and birth day, combined with the place of his enlistment).
2. The Death Certificate of William Flack, b.1810, shows that on the date of his death, 5 February 1892, he was recorded as 82 years of age, suggesting that his date of birth may have been 1809.

WCF Death Cert
3. Since civil registration of births, deaths and marriages did not commence in Ireland until 1845, there is no single source where confirmation of his date of birth or the names of his parents and possible siblings can be located.
4. Upon the death of William Flack’s (b.1810) mother, Elizabeth Flack, died 26 May 1863 Habergham Eaves, Lancashire, England aged 73 years, she was recorded as the widow of a William Flack, Soldier on her death certificate (William Flack b. 1810, her son, was the informant.)
5. I also have a copy of the William Flack b.1810 son’s, Baptismal certificate (William Henry Douglas Flack b.26 January 1852 at Limerick) in the Presbyterian Church Limerick.
6. In a letter from Lucy Flack b.1885 (granddaughter of William Flack b.1810) to the author dated 26 January 1980 she stated “there are no Catholics in the family”)
7. In the absence of corroborating evidence for the birth of William Flack b.1810, there are three possible lines of enquiry

(LOE) for further investigation as follows:

LOE1 Locate a military record of William Flack, the father of William Flack b. 1810 and the husband of Elizabeth Flack, William Flack’s mother;

LOE2 Locate evidence of a (Presbyterian?) Flack family(s) living in Killan, Bailieborough, Cavan between 1770 and 1832 to which William Flack b.1810 may have belonged, then using any leads generated, search contemporary records to identify family connections;

LOE3 Locate (Presbyterian?) Flack families in neighboring communities from which William Flack may have traveled to enlist in 1832, then using any leads generated, search contemporary records to identify family connections;

8. In the following pages, a summary of the results obtained from each of these lines of enquiry are reported.

Questions to be answered
Who were William Flack, the soldier, and Elizabeth Flack, Presbyterian (?) parents of William Flack, probably born 1 April 1810 or 1809 at Killan, Balieborough, Cavan, Ireland and their family?

1 thought on “Episode 1. In search of Capt William “Billy” Flack’s family in Cavan, Ireland

  1. Pingback: The Family History of our Flack, Cockshutt, Hayward and Chambers Families. | Where do you think you come from?

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