Edward Sergesson’s (1803-1859) military career and two of his great granddaughters

Edward was born about 1803 in Stranraer, Wigtonshire, Scotland. He enlisted as a private in the 19rh Regiment of Foot in Leicester, Leicestershire, England on 7 December 1820. Edward was a cordwainer (shoemaker) by trade and aged 17. He was described as five feet five and a half inches tall with a fair complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. Edward had voluntarily enlisted for the bounty of three pounds to serve King George IV. At the time the regiment was commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Hilgrove Turner who is known as the officer who escorted the Rosetta Stone from Egypt to England. (He has an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.) After Edward swore the Oath of Fidelity, he received the sum of two shillings and six pence.

During his military service Edward remained in the 19th Regiment of Foot. Unfortunately, his service record does not provide much detail about where he went with the regiment, although it is likely that he served in the West Indies and Ireland. Edward married his wife Mary Hennessey (1802-1864) in 1837, in Ireland, where his son Arthur was born about 1839. Their next child Mary Ann was born in 1843 in Jersey.

Edward was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 29 November 1836; a rank which he retained until the end of his service on 13 April 1843. He was aged 39 years and 4 months on his discharge and described as being five feet six inches tall with dark brown hair, brown eyes and a swarthy complexion with no marks or scars on his face or body.

After his discharge Edward returned to his trade as a cordwainer and settled in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. With his wife Mary they had three more children: Edward James, John and (Thomas) Francis. Edward died on 3 March 1859 in Glasgow and Mary on 8 June 1864 in the Glasgow Poorhouse.

Edward and Mary’s son, Edward James Sergison (1845-1876), also became a soldier with the 2nd Battalion of 12th Regiment of Foot (later the Suffolk Regiment). He enlisted on 7 June 1859 and became a drummer. During his 13 years-service Edward spent just under two years in the East Indies. Sadly, he was admitted to the Sussex Lunatic Asylum on 3 February 1876 and died there on 19 March 1876.  His son Charles Sargison (1874-1937) enlisted in the Suffolk Regiment on 13 November 1889 aged 14 years and 8 months. He was discharged on 12 July 1892, probably as a result of suffering from ametropia, having served in Egypt and India.

Charles married Jane Elizabeth Deacon (b 1871) on 29 April 1897 in New Ross, Wexford, Ireland. Charles was from Stillorgan, county Dublin and a farmer. They had four children: one son and three daughters. By 1911 Charles was a grocer and farmer and the family were living in Stillorgan where they had a shop and a second-class house with between 2 and 4 rooms and 4 windows in the front.

Stillorgan commercial postcard dated around 1905 (Unknown source, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Two of Charles and Jane’s daughters became nurses. Both Isabella Florence Sargison (1898-1995) and Minnie Frances Sargison (1902-1954) trained in England and then returned to Ireland. Minnie was the first to undertake her training as nurse between 1923 and 1926. She trained at the Brownlow Hill Infirmary in Liverpool which was a large workhouse infirmary which was demolished in 1931.  By 1928 the Nursing Register shows that Minnie had returned to Ireland and was living in Grove View, Stillorgan.  

Brownlow Hill Infirmary, Liverpool (Unknown Author, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Despite probably being a member of the British Red Cross Society Voluntary Aid Detachment in WWI, Isabella did not start her nursing training until 1924.  Her Nursing Register entry reports that her previous occupation was as a typist and that she was a cyclist. She trained at the Walton Institution in Liverpool and was registered as a Queen’s Nurse in 1927.

Both Isabella and Minnie added midwifery training to their qualifications, with Isabella completing her district training at the St Patrick’s home in Dublin between 15 April and 15 October 1829. The home was for mothers and babies and was run on strict lines. Both the Superintendent’s and Inspector’s reports indicated that Isabella was a good nurse but “lacking in enthusiasm and initiative”. However, it was noted that her “patients like her”.

By 1931 the Nursing Register shows that both Isabella and Minnie were living at Gove View, Stillorgan. They remained there until about 1937 when their address is given as 16 Sallymount Gardens, Ranelagh. They moved there with their father Charles as this was the address recorded for him on his 1937 death certificate; his daughter Minnie was the informant. Isabella and Minnie did not marry; Minnie died in 1954 and Isabella in 1995.

What I’ve found most useful in developing this story is the range of military records and the UK and Ireland Nursing Registers which can be found on-line. I am interested though in finding out more about the family. If you have information that you would be willing to share with me do please contact me.  

Bibliography:

Ireland. https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/irl @ accessed November 2020.

London Gazette. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed November 2020.

Military records. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed November 2020.

Military records. https://www.findmypast.co.uk/ : accessed November 2020.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. https://www.oxforddnb.com/ : accessed November 2020. UK and Ireland Nursing Registers. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed November 2020.

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