Monthly Archives: January 2014

Flack Surname Study – Ireland

The following tables contain all the references to persons with the surname Flack that I have found who were likely living in Ireland prior to 1850. These records are a composite from a number of different sources (indicated in the table). The first table is sorted on the Estimated date of Birth to facilitate locating persons with known or estimated dates of birth.  The estimated has been calculated using the reported date of the record, minus the stated age of the person listed and could therefore be inaccurate by +or- 2 years.

Following the All Ireland tables, are three additional sets of tables in which the tables have been sorted by County, Parish/Barony and by Townland in the hope that this will reveal family groups in each of Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and Fermanagh.

Flack Surname Study – All Ireland pre 1850

Flack Surname Study Page 1

Flack Surname Study Page 2

Flack Surname Study Page 3

Flack Surname Study – Cavan pre 1850

Flack Surname Study - Cavan Page 1

Flack Surname Study - Cavan Page 2

Flack Surname Study – Monaghan pre 1850

Flack Surname Study - Monaghan Page 1

Flack Surname Study – Armagh pre 1850

Flack Surname Study - Armagh Page 1

Flack Surname Study – Fermanagh pre 1850

Flack Surname Study - Fermanagh Page 1


Is Corporal William Flack of the Wexford Militia my William Flack’s father?

This blog records the results of my research looking for the parents of Captain William “Billy” Flack. (see also my summary on the Ireland Reaching Out website at

A search of the available birth, marriage and death records in FindMyPast databases for a William Flack, a soldier who married an Elizabeth in the period 1770-1795 failed to reveal any obvious candidates.

Among historical records available on-line, two documents which feature a Corporal William Flack are of interest in this search, however there is only circumstantial evidence to support the view that he is the “William Flack, a soldier” I am looking for. Copies of those records are reproduced below.

Cpl William Flack Discharge Dublin Journal 12 July 1808

Corporal William Flack, of the Wexford Militia, born 1772 in Bailieborough is a possible candidate, but little is known of him. We know from his discharge papers that he was discharged unfit for further service in April 1808 and granted a pension from Kilmainham Hospital (the Irish Army equivalent to a Chelsea Pension) due to a serious injury sustained to his left hand in a skirmish whilst he was on duty with the Wexford Militia in Carlow on 12 November 1807.

His military papers indicate that he was recruited into the Wexford Militia in 1794, whilst the Wexford Militia was stationed in County Cavan to quell disturbances caused by the “Defenders”. It is not known exactly on what date William Flack was recruited but it is possibly no coincidence that the Wexford Militia was recruiting since it is known that the Regiment had lost significant numbers of men to desertion, following riots in May 1794 between Defenders and “Scotsman” (probably Presbyterian sections of the community) in which 32 Defenders had been killed.

Two opportunities for further research arise from the association with the Wexford Militia. First, history of the Wexford Militia reveals that the Regiment (unlike most Irish Militia Regiments) was deployed outside of Ireland to serve in the Channel Islands. Is it possible that passenger lists exist which might reveal details of other members of his family?

Research in Jersey Archives and in the National Archives in London revealed that when the Wexford Regiment returned from Jersey on 4 July 1800 they were 655 rank-and-file strong, and had 232 wives, and 236 children with them. Unfortunately records of the redeployment do not contain the names of accompanying family members.  (NA HO/100/91/134).

Second, a search of the Muster Rolls of the Wexford Militia for the period 1800 to 1807 revealed that during 1807-08, many rank-and-file of the Wexford Militia transferred to the regular British Army and in particular to the 63rd Regiment of Foot prior to that Regiment’s deployment to the West Indies in 1808. The Time Line below provides an insight into the movements of the 63rd Regiment in relation to the deployments of the Wexford Militia

Wexford Milia to 63rd Regt

It is not unreasonable to speculate that there were family connections between Cpl William Flack of the Wexford Militia and the William Flack who enlisted in the 63rd Regiment of Foot in 1832.

Who was Lucy Flack nee Turner, “Billy” Flack’s wife?

We know that Colour Sergeant William (“Billy”) Flack married Lucy Moran nee Turner in Bellary, India on 17 January 1844. Their Marriage Registration appears below.

William Flack Marriage Lucy Turner

Who was Lucy Moran, 24 year old widow, daughter of John Turner, and what was she doing in Bellary in 1844?

It will be noted that the marriage was solemnised by Henry Taylor the regimental Chaplain and witnessed by “P.A.Turner”, “I.Stewart” and “S.Stewart”.

The first piece of evidence as to where she was born comes from the 1861 Census for 3 West Gate Road, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire which includes a listing for a Lucy Flack, wife aged 41,  “out P. of Chelsea”, born in Leicestershire. A copy of the listing appears below.

The Census record of the Habergham Eaves Flack family in 1861

The Census record of the Habergham Eaves Flack family in 1861

A search of the Birth records available from FindMyPast database and from FamilySearch revealed large numbers of persons by the name Lucy Turner born c. 1820, in Leicestershire – too many possibilities to be useful without other information to narrow down the search.

A search of the Overseas Marriage and Death registrations and Army Marriage and Death registrations during the period 1835 to 1844 for a person named Moran who could be Lucy’s deceased husband revealed

A search of the graveyard records for Bellary revealed the following relevant memorials:

“Church of England Cemetery

1844 – 3 September. – Peter Augustus Turner, late Leader of the Band, HM’s 63rd Regt., aged 29 years and 5 months.”

1845 – 23 May. – Francis Henry Moran, aged 2 years and 9 months. Nephew of P.A. Turner, Band, 63rd Regt.

1845 – 19 June. – Elizabeth Catherine Flack, aged 1 month and 12 days. Niece of P.A. Turner

Roman Catholic Cemetery

1845 – 27th May. – Catherine, aged 56 years, wife of John Turner, formerly Drum Major, H.M 63rd Regt., who died at Thomar in Portugal on 23 July 1827, leaving 4 sons and 2 daughters.”

A search of the British Library’s website in relation to india family history revealed a record of the birth of Lucy Catherine Moran, born 31 October 1840 at Dinapore, Bengal, father Francis Henry Moran, Sgt HM 21st Fusiliers, mother Lucy and a baptism on 18th November 1840 containing the same particulars (N/1/56f.a58). A further baptism for Francis Henry Moran, baptised 10 October 1842 at Dinapore, born 27 September 1842 is also confirmed.

A search of the “England Births and Christenings 1538-1975” records available from Family Search revealed  that a Lucy Turner, daughter of John Turner and Katherine Turner was christened on 15 September 1819 at St Margaret’s Church, Leicester, Leicestershire, England. (Batch No. C04321-0, GS Film No. 592557).

From these findings,  it appears that Lucy Flack, formerly Moran nee Turner born c. September 1819 at Leicester, was was a member of the Turner family travelling with the 63rd Regiment after her 1st husband, Francis Henry Moran had died and that she was traveling with her mother, Katherine Turner and with at least one of her four brothers, Peter Turner.

A Draft family tree can therefore be constructed to describe the family relationships as follows:

Lucy Turner's Family Draft

Further searches are under way tofind out more about Lucy Flack, formerly Moran, nee Turner’s first husband and other members of the Turner family.

Other searches revealed the Birth Registration of Elizabeth Catherine Flack (Army Returns – Births – 1796-1880 at Madras 1844-46 Page 343) and the military records of 390 Drummer John Turner of 63rd Regt born c.1811 at Witwick, Leicestershire who served from 24 February 1824 until 25 October 1849 (extracts WO 97/770/118 are reproduced below).


Further enquiries are under way to identify John Turner, formerly Drum Major, H.M 63rd Regt., who died at Thomar in Portugal on 23 July 1827, but it would appear that he is identical with the John Turner, husband of Katherine and father of Lucy, Peter and George, all baptised in St Margaret’s, Leicester between 1815 and 1819.

Who was Elizabeth Flack, born c.1790, died 26 May 1863, “widow of William Flack a soldier”?

WCF Grave enhansed Flack Family Grave in Burnley Cemetery

In the Burnley Cemetery there are two “family graves” in which are buried several members of the family of William (Charles) Flack. The Burnley Cemetery records indicate that Grave No. 9268C was purchased by William Flack, Quarter Master resident of Rose Terrace, Accrington Rd on 25 January 1863.

Burnley Cemetery Report

It states that Elizabeth Flack was interred on 29th May 1865, aged 73. It will be noted that the Death Certificate certifies that the death occurred in 1863.

William (Charles) Flack's mother

William (Charles) Flack’s mother

It appears that the Cemetery record has been incorrectly transcribed.

In the 1861 Census, Elizabeth Flack, is not recorded with the rest of the family living at West Gate Habergham Eaves:

1861 Census William Flack

The Census record of the Habergham Eaves Flack family in 1861

A search of the 1861 Census for Elizabeth Flack failed to reveal a person living in England who could be William Flack’s mother.


The death registration and burial of Elizabeth Flack are the only references to William Flack’s mother in England.

Is it possible that she lived in Ireland and traveled to Burnley only when she was terminally ill?

Where did she live in Ireland? A search of all available publicly available databases of Irish Flacks failed to reveal a person who could reasonably be identical with the Elizabeth Flack we are looking for.

Is it possible that Elizabeth was her second name?

Is it possible she was not Irish by birth? We know that the Wexford Militia served in the Channel Islands in 1800 – perhaps William married a local girl?

Serving with the 63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolks) in Australia

As a 56 year resident of Australia and a recipient of traditional view of Australian history, the findings from my research in the 1980s into the service of Private William Flack of the 63rd Regiment of Foot in Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) in the 1830s provided many surprises.

Australian history, quite naturally, is written from the point of view of the convicts and settlers and there was very little written about the role of the British Army in the first 100 years of our history. What my research did was to remind me that in many ways the Australian colonies were governed by the military. The Governors were military men (and many still are although now in ceremonial roles only) and the public services were often managed by the officers of the Regiment.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography lists the following members of the 63rd Regiment who played important roles in colonial Australia. Many others settled here and did not leave with the Regiment for India in 1834.

I have now completed the Second Edition of “The 63rd Regiment of Foot (West Suffolk) in Australia 1829-1833) which is available to down-load (here).

Your comments and suggestions are welcome