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Ballymacaw Coastguard Station
Original Post (with slight amendments) 10/03/2021:

I am currently combining my interests of Local History and Genealogy (usually my own, but I’m at a brick wall!) by researching the Coastguard personnel who served in Ballymacaw Coastguard Station. My interest is because my family have, over 4 generations and almost a century, spent wonderful holidays there, and 3 of the single-storey cottages are now owned by family. I was interested in where the Coastguards came from, where their descendants ended up, and whether any of them put down roots in the area (other than the few I knew had). I’m finding it fascinating to discover how such a remote little group of houses has been home to people from so many different places, and whose descendants have covered the globe.

I started with the 1901 Census, and below is the information for the 7 Coastguards, for whom I now have family trees. I have also included William Groden, who was at Crosshaven in 1901 but whose widow and family are in Ballymacaw in the 1911 Census. I have since worked through the Valuation Office Cancelled Books for the area (I photographed them during a visit to the Office pre-lockdown) and have supplied further information below for Chief Officer/Boatman in Charge between 1865 and 1896 Still working on ADM 175 records for Ballymacaw, but Chief Officers also included below (1820 to 1865).

Your website is a wonderful resource, I remember visiting it many times some years ago while doing my local history research.

Olivia Murray (Username liv)

From Census Records:

Robert Thomas Davies: born 10 Nov 1866 Smethwick, Staffordshire. Died Apr 1940 Birmingham, Warwickshire. Boatman. ADM 188/175/130267

Maurice Flynn: born 21 Dec 1862 Ringaskiddy, Cork. Died 15 Apr 1912 Cork. Commissioned Boatman. ADM 188/162/123508

William James Goble: born 16 Mar 1866 Hastings, Sussex. Died 24 Apr 1941 Hastings, Sussex. Commissioned Boatman. ADM 188/157/121045

Frank George Goodfellow: born 29 Sep 1871 Coleman Street, London. Died 2 Apr 1911 Royal Hospital Haulbowline, Queenstown. Boatman. ADM 188/191/13826

William Groden: born Mar 1856 Oughaval, Westport, Mayo. Crosshaven 1901, Ballymacaw 1905. Died 21 Dec 1909 Coastguard Station, Ballymacaw. Commissioned Boatman. ADM 188/162/123886

Frederick Hodge: born 12 Oct 1867 Tiverton, Devon. Died 19 Apr 1905 Royal Naval Hospital Haulbowline, Queenstown. Boatman 2nd Class. ADM 188/160/122904

Alfred Samuel Moore: born 1864 Portsea, Hampshire. Died 2 May 1929 Portsmouth, Hampshire. Boatman. ADM 188/158/121756

Alfred Nevett / Nevitt: born 14 Dec 1856 Birmingham, Warwickshire. Died 15 Mar 1920 Tramore. Chief Officer. ADM 188/88/58971
Granted Hon. Rank of Lieutenant on Retirement

Also through contact with a descendant (a multigenerational Coastguard family of Stephen Pilchers):
Chief Boatman 1905-1906: Stephen Pilcher: born 7 Apr 1866 Queenstown, Cork. Died 6 Mar 1918 Haslar Hospital, Alverstoke. ADM 188/134/109546
RNLI Medal for his part in the rescue of the crew of seven men of the schooner Fanny, which was wrecked in Tramore Bay in Jan 1875.

And through Coastguards of Yesteryear burial information:
Boatman 1891-1896: Arthur Alfred Hollands: born 12 Dec 1863 Brighton. Died 1945 Dover.
ADM 188/178/131620
2 children born and died in Ballymacaw, and buried in Dunmore.

Merged on 09/04/2021 12:38:27:

Below are the names of the Chief Officers/Boatmen in Charge at Ballymacaw from 1865 to 1896, as listed in the Valuation Office Cancelled Books (Rate Books). I have genealogy trees for most. They are listed by the dates they were stationed at Ballymacaw, with most recent first. Also included is Michael Sweeney, Boatman, whose descendants lived in Ballymacaw.

Chief Boatman in Charge 1890-1896 William Puttick / Puttock: born 23 Dec 1841 Leith, Edinburgh. Death record not found, but he is in the 1911 Census in Belfast. ADM 188/65/76322

Chief Boatman in Charge 1885-1890 George William White: born 6 Apr 1830 Flamborough, Yorkshire. Died 7 Dec Poleberry, Waterford. ADM 188/68/77862. Royal Navy Long Service Medal and Baltic Medal. George's son John Joseph White subsequently farmed the land around Ballymacaw Coastguard Station, and the family continue to run the well-known Whites pub in Ballymacaw.

Chief Boatman in Charge 1880-1884 James Thomas: born 1 Mar 1829 St Davids, Pembrokeshire. Death record not found, but he is in the 1891 Census in St Davids. ADM 188/58/72374

Chief Officer 1877-1880 William FitzGerald: born 24 Apr 1826 Midleton, Cork. Death record not found, but his wife Bridget is a widow in Portsmouth in the 1901 Census. ADM 139/172/17156

Chief Officer 1876-1877 James William Bridle: born 27 Jan 1835 Launceston, Cornwall. Died 22 Feb 1912 Ranelagh, Dublin. ADM 188/131/108059

Chief Officer 1872-1876 William Charles Rose: born 16 Nov 1829 London. Died 16 Jun 1884 Tramore. ADM 188/131/108058

Chief Officer 1865-1872 Bartholomew McDonald: born abt 1827. Died 14 Nov 1893 Waterford. ADM 29/82/87

Boatman 1866-1871 Michael Sweeney: born 7 Apr 1832 Glanmire, Cork. Died 28 Feb 1877 Crookhaven, Cork. ADM 188/68/78047. He married Mary Cullinane while stationed in Ballymacaw, and after his death she returned to Ballymacaw with their children, whose descendants are still in the area.

Merged on 06/05/2021 12:47:31:
Further Update:

In reverse order, Chief Officers between 1840 and 1865 (from ADM 175 Ballymacaw Station records). Trees for most:

Chief Officer 2nd Class 1864-1865: Mr Edwin Brockman, RN: born 9 Jan 1820 Deal, Kent. Died 30 Jan 1883 Dublin. ADM 29/76/548.
(a multigenerational Coastguard family)

Note: no Chief Officer in Station Records from 1854 to 1864. During that time the Chief Boatman were:

1860-1864: John Donovan born 12 Dec 1816 Castletownshend. Died 20 Jun 1894 Laytown. ADM 188/65/76564, ADM 29/091
RNLI Medal for his part in saving the 23 crew of 'Queen of Commerce' wrecked at Ballymacaw in Jan 1862


1849-1860 Robert Aitchison born Mar 1810 Eyemouth, Berwickshire. Died 19 Sep 1868 Ballinacourty (Drowned). No Service Record found, Ballinacourty Station ADM 175/53 Page 37.

Chief Officer 1853-1854: Captain Wm King Shoveller, RN: born 1809 Gosport, Hampshire. Died 9 Apr 1887 Dalkey, Dublin. ADM 196/58/215
Father William Shoveller was a Surgeon in the Royal Navy.

Lieutenant of Station 1852-1853: Lieutenant John Richard Harward, RN: born 18 Apr 1824 Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Died 4 Mar 1856 London. ADM 196/36/1425
Interesting remarks in Naval record

Chief Officer 1850-1852: Mr James Hill Ashton, Master RN: born possibly Jan 1811 Devonport, Devon. Died 1 May 1857 Newtownards, County Down. ADM 196/74/110

Chief Officer 1850: Mr William Richard Harvey: Can’t trace. Transferred to Bonmahon, where he was superannuated in 1858.
Bonmahon Station ADM 175/19 1845-1862 Page 43

Chief Officer 1848-1850: Mr Henry Harper, Master RN: born circa 1814. Died 1870 Castletown, Cork (Staff Commander). ADM 196/21/62
Wife Marianne died in Ballymacaw, buried in Dunmore. Second wife Julia Young (father Matthew Young RN Commander, living in Dunmore, son of Matthew Young Bishop of Clonfert).

Lieutenant of Station 1842-1847: Lieutenant Lawrence Dennehy, RN: born possibly 1781 Cork. Death record not found. No Service Record found, but he is in the British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849 (Ancestry). Medal ADM 171/8 Page 196
Volunteered during Napoleonic Wars, action in Java 1811. On Famine Relief Committee of East Gaultier while in Ballymacaw. Appointed Emigration Agent in Tralee in 1847.

Chief Officer 1841: Mr Jeremiah Coghlan, RN: born Crookhaven, Cork. Died 16 Jan 1848 Ballycotton, Cork. No Service Record found, Ballycotton Station ADM 175/18 Page 43
He was from a well-known Mizen Peninsula family, father Daniel was a magistrate, Lloyds Agent, supposed smuggler. Uncle, also Jeremiah, a famous Navy Captain.

Chief Officer 1839-1841: Mr Charles French: born 1778 Kent. Died 20 Sep 1848 Faversham. No Service Record found
Beresford Station (Faversham) ADM 175/7 England 1845-1863 Page 32
Awarded RNLI Silver Medal for Gallantry for his leadership during the rescue of the crew of ‘Glencoe’ 7 Dec 1840 near Ballymacaw

Merged on 14/07/2021 12:47:31:
Final batch of Chief Officers (1820-1839):

Chief Officer 1838-1839: Mr David Bowen: born possibly 1787 Carmarthen. Died 23 Sep 1839 Porth Cawl, Wales. Station records cholera as cause of death. Stationed in Ireland 1820-1839.
No Service Record found. No family found.
Porth Cawl Station ADM 175/6 England 1833-1844 Page 336

Chief Officer 1835-1838: Lieutenant Thomas Stuart, RN: born circa 1798 Limerick. Died 29 Jan 1885 Glounthaune, Cork. ADM 196/1/212 & ADM 196/37/1069. Awarded RNLI Silver Medal twice – for rescue on 7 Nov 1834 of the crew of the sloop ‘James’ in Cushenden Bay, and for rescue on 19 Dec 1837 of the crew of the Cork sloop ‘Edward’ at Ballymacaw.
Action in Mediterranean 1840 Syrian Campaign, for which he was awarded 2 medals and promotion to Commander. On Queenstown Famine Relief Committee 1846/7
Very well-connected family! Peers, M.P.s, Bishops, Navy & Army

Chief Office 1834-1835: Mr. Samuel N Barker: born 9 Oct 1792 Deptford, Kent. Died 1853 Hampshire. No Service Record found. Stationed in Ireland 1822-1838.
Ballymacaw Station ADM 175/16 page 30. Disturbing Criminal Record.

Chief Officer 1831-1834: Lieutenant Robert Lee Stephens, RN: born 1796 Plymouth. Died 7 Mar 1854 Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire. ADM 196/37/1081. In the British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849 (Ancestry). Gave extensive evidence to the Committee of 1852 on MANNING the NAVY. Promoted to Commander in 1854 for service in Coast Guard.

Chief Officer 1829-1831: Mr John Hoare: born circa 1790 Middlesex. Death record not found, but in 1851 Census with family at Brownsea Island, Dorset, and 1861 Census in Stepney, Middlesex.

Chief Officer 1826-1828: Lieutenant Charles Shaw, RN: born circa 1789 Lemybrien, Waterford. Died 25 Apr 1850 Bunmahon, Waterford. Bonmahon Station ADM 175/19 page 43. In the British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849 (Ancestry). Served in Mediterranean, coast of Africa, Channel and West Indies.

Chief Officer 1822-1825: Lieutenant Robert Butcher, RN: born circa 1792 Yarmouth. Died 22 Aug 1851 Lymington, Hampshire. In the British Naval Biographical Dictionary, 1849 (Ancestry). Served in the Baltic and the Mediterranean before entering Coast Guard Service. Brother Jonathon Butcher also a Royal Navy Lieutenant.

Chief Officer 1821-1822: Mr Thomas Share: born 1781 Penryn, Cornwall. Died 23 Jun 1855 Tynemouth, where he had been the Chief Officer for 22 years. Tynemouth Station ADM 175/7 Page 289. Son Henry reputed to have perished in Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition to find the Northwest Passage. Son James a Royal Navy Staff Commander.

Chief Officer 1820-1821: Mr Adam Collard: Can’t trace.
Ballymacaw Station ADM 175/1 Page 260 and ADM 175/14 Page 24.
Transferred to Robert's Cove in 1821, dismissed 16 Feb 1823 by Order of the Lords of the Treasury. Robert’s Cove Station ADM 175/15 Page 21.
Edited by liv on 27/05/2022 16:45
hi my great grandfather was a coastguard there from 1903to 1906 ish, he was a coastguard in many places, he started at knockadoon, cork, then ballycotton, then ballinacourty, waterford, then ballymacaw, by 1908 he was in valentia island, my great uncle was born there, then they moved up to galway, then to kilrush, clare, another uncle born there, then back down to yougal, by then he was chief head coast guard, he died at 56 on route to haslar naval hospital and is buried there in 1918, his wife catherine then had to find a home, her 2 eldest daughters were sent over to england to train as nurses and her 2 surviving sons were sent to greenwich naval college, i think the navy had a hand in all this, a bit later about 1920 my nan was sent over to train as a nurse, catherine trained as a midwife in cork then followed them over to england and we ended up in liverpool, i ve been to ballymacaw on holiday and seen the lovely coastguard collages up on the cliff, i do have photo of the family and the cottages, there were 2 stephen pilchers who were coastguards, my great great grandfather also stephen pilcher was a coastguard at tramore, helvichead and dungarvan were he id buried Smile
cathie allen
Hi Cathie,
I would love to see the photograph you mentioned. The main house is now completely walled from the 3 houses of the Upper Station where we are, but in my mother's youth it was all open.
Over the years we've had many visitors coming to see where an ancestor lived, they've always been made welcome.
hi liv, sorry i may have made it sound like i had an old photo of cottages, i ment from when i was on a visit, the family photo is old though lol, there is a photo of stephen pilcher already on here btw, cathie Smile
cathie allen
Thanks Cathie, lots of information there I see!

Do you have a tree on Ancestry? I've been creating private mini-trees on Ancestry for the Ballymacaw Personnel I'm researching, is it ok if I do one for Stephen Pilcher?

hi yes thats fine with me i have a tree on ancestry its called allen-hooligan and my user names cathie allen i have photos and cutting on him on ancestry just look up stephen pilcher born 1862 and that will take you to him and his son ernest pilcher was born there, theres a record saying ballymacaw on ernests profile, you can use what you like, i ve got a lot of downloaded documents too , cant see how to post images on here ?? , cathie Smile
cathie allen
Cathie I found your tree on Ancestry and posted you a message there

Edited by liv on 06/05/2021 12:48
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