Saturday 23 September 2017

Ancestors shunned by Quakers for failing in business

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

IVAN Yates discovered recently how two of his ancestors were disowned by the Quakers for becoming insolvent in business.

He uncovered this fact while he was researching his family tree for a television documentary.

Mr Yates traced his roots and discovered that his great-grandfather John Francis Yates was the first entrepreneur in his family.

John Francis imported goods along the Slaney river -- a business that thrived until Ivan's father's time. His grandfather, also called Ivan, inherited this family business.

On his mother's side, the Davis family ran a profitable flour-milling business in Enniscorthy for many years.

His great-grandparents were Francis Davis and Anna Davis -- first cousins who later married.

Their fathers, Samuel Davis and Abraham Grubb Davis were brothers who founded the milling company 'S & AG Davis'.

Samuel was a Quaker and married in the Quaker Meeting House but Abraham was married in the Church of Ireland. Abraham was subsequently "disowned" by the Quakers. Ivan Yates made these discoveries about his family tree as part of an RTE documentary for the 'Who Do You Think You Are?' series.

During his research for this programme, Ivan learned that his great-great grandfather Abraham was not "disowned" by the Quakers for marrying outside of the religion, but for becoming insolvent in business.

Coincidentally, Abraham's father, Francis had been disowned for the same reason.

The Church of Ireland woman Abraham married was Helen Jameson -- the daughter of a "gentleman" named Andrew Jameson.

Andrew was an Enniscorthy distiller whose business was threatened by the rise of a total abstinence society in the 1840s.

This Andrew Jameson was the son of a much more famous distiller -- John Jameson -- known globally today for Jameson whiskey.

Irish Independent

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