Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Humphrys - Contents

John Humphrys, "Cracked Jack"

Grave of John Humphrys, "Cracked Jack".
Abington, Co.Limerick.
Photo 2009, after cleaning. See larger and full size.
This says: "In memory of John Humphrys aged 115 years"
See wider shot.

John Humphrys, "Cracked Jack",
born est c.1760,
born Doonane, Co.Tipperary.

He mar pre-1788 to --- Humphrys.
She was heiress of Glenstal, Co.Limerick (near Co.Tipperary border).
She was meant to be a cousin of his.
He came to Glenstal by this marriage. He farmed at Glenstal.
There are stories told of his eccentricity: When he got married he was supposed to have put his wife on a horse behind him, and rode horse over threshold into the house. He would take extraordinary long cuts, ride up and down roads, travel for miles, just to get to Murroe. He would head off into the mountains on his horse and wouldn't be seen for days.

Deed of 1809: [Deed, 1809] is a Deed of Lease dated 10th Aug 1809 from John Humphrys Senior, farmer, of Glenstal, Co.Limerick, to John Humphrys Junior of Glenstal, farmer. Cracked Jack's father was William. Think John Humphrys of Glenstal had no son. This must be Cracked Jack and his son John.
In [Deed, 1809] Cracked Jack is giving over to his son some lands in Glenstal currently in the possession of Cornelius Ryan and William Tucker. Ryan and Tucker will continue to live there for now.

Deed of 1817: Cracked Jack's link to old John Humphrys of Glenstal.
John Humphrys, farmer, of Glenstal (this has to be Cracked Jack) is party to [Deed, 1817] about the lands of Glenstal after the death of old John Humphrys of Glenstal. It says that the living John of Glenstal: "claims an interest in that part of the lands of Glenstall in his possession at the yearly rent of £50". It shows that all the Humphrys of Glenstal (including Cracked Jack) hold their land ultimately under the deed of 1782 [Deed, 1782]. This 1782 deed was made by old John Humphrys of Glenstal.
[Deed, 1817] says that the landlord John Hyde "has brought an ejectment for non payment of rent". The deed is about a new, complex arrangement whereby the rents due are discharged and all the Humphrys stay at Glenstal.

Later, the [Tenure Book for Glenstal, 1850] shows that all the Humphrys of Glenstal (including Cracked Jack's son James Humphrys, "The Squire") hold their land in Glenstal under an unknown deed of 1797. This 1797 deed would also be in the time of old John Humphrys of Glenstal.
Barrington acquired Glenstal in 1818.

[Deed, 1819] is a lease of lands at Glenstal from Patrick Humphrys of Glenstal to Henry Rose. The plot is: "that part of Glenstal lately held by James Devane, together with the meadow held by John Humphrys last year from said Patrick Humphrys adjoining the meadow part of said lands so held by said Devane".
Deed of 24 June 1822 [Barrington papers, Glenstal] transfers the Humphrys lands in [Deed, 1782] from Rose to Joseph Barrington (future 1st Baronet).

There are two listings for "John Humphrys" at Glenstal in [Tithe Survey, 1826]. These must be John Humphrys senior and junior, renting 107 acres and 17 acres from Matthew Barrington (future 2nd Baronet).
Cracked Jack was alive in 1831. He erected the gravestone to his sons Michael and Nicholas at Abington.

His wife possibly dies, 1833:
Cracked Jack's wife may be "Mrs. John Humphrys" of "Glenstar", Co.Limerick, whose death is announced in Limerick Chronicle, 9 Feb 1833.
There is a Glenastar in W Co.Limerick, but I do not think it is a typo for that. It must be a typo for Glenstal. The wording of the notice suggests John Humphrys is still alive.
Cracked Jack died Glenstal, Co.Limerick, at advanced age, est c.1850, age est c.90 yrs.
He was bur Abington, Co.Limerick.
His gravestone says "In memory of John Humphrys aged 115 years" (which would be the oldest Irish person ever). The story is that he put it up before he died, for the crack, wanted to be the oldest man in Ireland. It was common to put up a stone before death in order to secure a spot in the graveyard, but not obviously to put an age on it.
[Ó Ceallaigh, 1957] though says that this stone is of the Squire's brother John rather than of the Squire's father.
Cracked Jack arranged farms for each of his sons.
He had issue:

  1. John Humphrys, junior,
    Jack, of Glenstal.
    He must be John Humphrys Junior of Glenstal, in [Deed, 1809].
    He must be one of the two listings for "John Humphrys" at Glenstal in [Tithe Survey, 1826].
    He must be "John Humphrys" who wit his brother James' mar 1841.
    He is probably "John Humphrys" listed in [Griffiths Valuation, 1851] as occupying 88 acres (with a house) and 23 acres (no house, just land) in Glenstal townland, leasing from Sir Matthew Barrington, 2nd Baronet. He also rents out to others 3 small plots.

  2. Michael Humphrys, born 1788.
    He might be "Mickey of Murroe" who mar 8 Jan 1816 [Murroe RC par records] to Mary Degan [of Murroe]. See image. The marriage was wit by "John Humphrys" (who could be brother or father).
    Michael died 18 Jan 1818, age 30 yrs [grave, Abington].

  3. Anne Humphrys,
    think born 1794,
    listed at death as dau of "the late John Humphreys, Esq., Glenstall",
    mar William Burke [of think "Killnragh", think this is Kilnarath parish, NE side of Newport],
    they fell on hard times,
    her brother James "The Squire" gave them land,
    he died pre-1878,
    she died Glenstal, 1 Sept 1878, think age 84 yrs,
    see death notice in Cork Examiner, 12 Sept 1878, (todo) see better quality copy.

  4. Margaret Humphrys.
    She mar --- Ryan.
    [Claire Humphreys] said she married Ryan "Buide", of Killoscully, Co.Tipperary, "whose mother was a Hourigan".
    But this could be confusion with James' wife Margaret Ryan, who was Ryan "Tim", and whose mother was a Hourigan.

  5. James Humphrys, "The Squire", of Glenstal,
    born 1805, Glenstal, Co.Limerick.
    Inherited Glenstal.
    Timmy Humphreys said he was "known locally as the Squire".

  6. Nicholas Humphrys, born 1806,
    died 8th Apr 1831, age 25 yrs [grave, Abington].

Cracked Jack is also probably father of:

  1. William Humphrys, of Brittas, born 1794.
    Would be after grandfather.
    [Deed, 1810] shows that Humphrys had Brittas in 1810.

  2. Debora Humphreys,
    born 1809,
    of Clare St, Limerick.
    Sister of William.
    Never married.
    She died at 12 Clare St, Limerick, 12 Feb 1895, age 86 yrs. See death cert from here.
    Death registered by William Humphreys, nephew, of Cornwallis St.
    Will proved at Limerick by her nephew Michael Humphreys, farmer, Dromloughan, Co.Limerick, sole executor, on 1 Mar 1895, value £424 [NAI].


    William of Brittas is a close relation of James the Squire

    William of Brittas (born 1794) is very closely related to James the Squire (born 1805). Probably his brother.

    William's sons William and Michael and Fr. David are listed as "cousins" at Dr.David's funeral 1903.

    The funeral list of William's son Fr.David Humphrys in 1930 shows he is very closely related to the family of James the Squire.
    Apart from his niece and nephew, Fr.David's funeral list shows his closest living relations ("cousins") as the James the Squire family:

    And other "cousins":

    • Dr. Humphrys, Boher (unidentified).
    • Dr.Andrew Foley of Cashel. This is curious. While Foley is a cousin of the James the Squire family, I cannot see how he could be a cousin of Fr.David.

Cracked Jack is also probably father of:

  1. Anthony Humphrys, of Rath.
    It is unclear if we should put "DNA proven" here.
    A descendant of Anthony Humphrys, Caitriona Pearl, is a DNA match to descendants of James "the Squire", namely Niall Humphreys and me.
    However Caitriona herself descends from James "the Squire" through Mary Humphrys. That could explain her DNA match with my line, independent of Anthony Humphrys.
    It is likely that she is a double relation.

Grave of John Humphrys, "Cracked Jack".
Photo 2009, after cleaning. See larger and full size.

[Deed of 1809] from John Humphrys Senior, of Glenstal, to John Humphrys Junior, of Glenstal.

John Humphrys Senior, of Glenstal, listed on memorial of [Deed of 1809].

Signature of John Humphrys Junior, of Glenstal.
On memorial of [Deed of 1809].

What must be John Humphrys senior and junior listed in [Tithe Survey, 1826] as renting 107 acres and 17 acres at Glenstal.

The death of "Mrs. John Humphrys" of "Glenstar", Co.Limerick.
Limerick Chronicle, 9 Feb 1833.
This may be Cracked Jack's wife.

The sons of William of Brittas, Fr. David and Michael and William, are listed as "cousins" at Dr.David's funeral 1903.
See full size top and bottom.


Proven DNA relation

The following branch has descendants who are proven close DNA relations of me and of Niall Humphreys.

So Mary Humphrys must be a close relation (sister or close cousin) of James "The Squire". At the very least, since this is not a daughter of James "The Squire", it means the link through James "The Squire" is DNA proven.



Marriage of Mary Humphrys in 1822.
From here.
See other scan from here.


Furlong branch

Debora Humphrys who married Furlong was thought to be a sister of Cracked Jack (or maybe a sister of his wife) since Tobias English and Emily Humphrys were thought to be fairly close cousins.


Miscellaneous Humphrys of Glenstal

Other things

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