The lineage of the South family traced so far begins in Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal, Ireland. William SOUTH was the son of William SOUTH and Margaret ROBERTSON and he was born in Ballyshannon about 1806. We have found no trace of the South family in Ballyshannon although the Church of Ireland records are defective for that period. Ballyshannon at the time was a garrison town for the army and it is possible that William the elder was a soldier. However another South – James SOUTH – is identified on census records as having been born in Ballyshannon in 1800. It is possible that James and William are brothers.
William and James SOUTH both entered the army. William joined the 6th Inniskilling (Enniskillen) dragoons in 1829 and served with them until 1846. During his period in the army, he was stationed in Edinburgh and there he met his future wife, Helen MILLAR, the daughter of Stewart MILLAR (1767-1839). Stewart had also been a soldier in the Black Watch and hence the family connections of both sides of the family to the army were strong. After his discharge from the army, William SOUTH settled in the closes around the Canongate in Edinburgh. The family subsequently moved away from Edinburgh to Glasgow, the South of England and London.
SOUTH of Ballyshannon and Edinburgh
William SOUTH of Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland, married Margaret ROBERTSON ~1800. They had at least two sons:
- James SOUTH (~1800-1868) born Ballyshannon, Ireland. Identity of parents uncertain but possibly brother of William. Married Mary CALVERT ~1820 in Burnley. Joined 31st regiment of Foot in 1822 and served with them for four years until pensioned in 1826, suffering from an ‘old head injury’. At this point he and two other SOUTH families were served with removal orders to the parish of Stondon in Hertfordshire, although these seem not to have been enforced. Strangely army record suggests he was born in Burnley, Lancashire where he subsequently lived. In 1851 census declared he was born in Ballyshannon. Had daughters Mary Ann (1822-?), Margaret (1826-1889) and a son William SOUTH (1829-~1875). Died 1868 at which time he lived in Orgester Lane, Briercliffe, Burnley.
- William SOUTH (~1802-1868) of whom following:
William SOUTH (~1806-1868), Soldier in 6th Inniskilling Dragoons born Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland. Referred to the Vaughan Charitable School, Tubrid, Co Fermanagh by the Rev Hugh TUTHILL 27 Jun 1815 to be apprenticed to Richard HOWARD, taylor in Enniskillen. Enlisted Enniskillen in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons in 1829 and moved with the regiment subsequently. Met wife whilst presumably stationed in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1834, married at South Leith church Helen MILLAR (~1817-1868), daughter of Stewart MILLAR, a stockingmaker who had been in the Black Watch regiment (see MILLAR tree). Children born as he and his wife moved with the regiment. Discharged from the army in 1846 at which time he settled in the closes around the Canongate in Edinburgh. Died in 116, Cowgate, Edinburgh on 11 May 1868. They had children:
- William SOUTH (1835-1857) born in Ipswich, Suffolk 10 May 1835. Died without issue in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary 1 Nov 1857.
- Helen SOUTH (1837-1928) born Bradford, Wiltshire and baptised 5 Nov 1837 at Fordington St George, near Dorchester. Married 31 Dec 1861 Henry NEIL alias O’NEIL the son of Felix NEIL at Fountainbridge Manse, Edinburgh. Had issue at least three daughters and two sons. Died in the Canongate, Edinburgh in 1928.
- Jane SOUTH (1841-1842) Born Mar 1841 (possibly in Dublin where William was stationed). Buried May 1842 in Restalrig Churchyard, Edinburgh.
- Jane SOUTH (1843-1894) of whom following.
- Catherine SOUTH (1846-?) born Edinburgh. Not known after 1871 at which time she was living with her sister Helen in Glasgow.
- Clara SOUTH (1848-1928) born Edinburgh. Married 14 Jul 1871 Ludovic STEWART (1851-1925) at 33, Abottsfield Place, Glasgow. Had issue four daughters and four sons all born Glasgow. Died 27 Morriston Place, Cambuslang 1 Feb 1929.
- Mary SOUTH (1850-1851) born Nov 1850, probably around the Canongate in Edinburgh. Died in Morocco Close, Canongate in 1851 and buried 10 Jun 1851 in Canongate burial ground.
- Elizabeth SOUTH (1853-1885) born in Edinburgh, probably around the Canongate. Married 2 Jun 1876 James BOWDEN at 15 Forth Street, Edinburgh and had children one son and one daughter. James died about 1882 at which time Elizabeth moved to Market Place in Coldstream, Berwickshire. She died there 11 Nov 1885.
- Mary Ann (Marion) SOUTH (1857-1928). Born 31 Mar 1857 in Corells Close, Canongate, Edinburgh. In 1871 was living with sister Helen in Glasgow. On 25 Apr 1884 married Isaac John DIVERTY (~1852-1899) at 76 and a half, Kirk Street, Glasgow, the house in which her sister Helen was living. Had issue at least three daughters and two sons. Died 1928.
Jane SOUTH (1843-1894), born Leeds 23 Apr 1843 (although no birth certificate found) and baptised in Sheffield May 1844. Married 27 Mar 1865 Thomas Plant AMISSON (1840-1880) at New Street Chapel, Edinburgh. They remained in Edinburgh until ~1867 at which time they moved to Camberwell and East Dulwich in South London. They moved back to Edinburgh temporarily to attend William South’s funeral in May 1868 at which time Thomas AMISSON junior was born. Thomas elder was one of the first telegraphic engineers and fell from a building in the Barbican in London while installing the cables. Jane is believed to have played the harp professionally on stage. She married 2ndly Thomas SUMMERS alias SULLIVAN (~1852-?) 8 Apr 1882 at All Saints, Southwark, South London, also a telegraph linesman. She died 1894 and was buried at Brockley Cemetery 14 Dec 1894, at which time her address was given as 37 Edale Road, Deptford. Family tradition is that she fell from a tram and died from her injuries.
Photograph of Jane Amisson nee SOUTH and two of her daughters taken about 1878. Standing to the right is Mary Ellen AMISSON (1870-1948) and on her knee is Elizabeth Ann (Violet) AMISSON (1874-?).
Her children (all by her first marriage) are:
- Jane Plant (1866-1942). Born 1 May 1866 in College Wynd, Canongate, Edinburgh. Married 1889 to Victor YARDLEY (1868-?) and had issue at least four daughters. She married secondly Thomas Charles GEARY (1877-?). Died 10 Aug 1942 at St Leonard’s Hospital, Haggerston, Shoreditch.
- Thomas AMISSON (1868-1870). Born 28 May 1868 in 116 Cowgate, Canongate, Edinburgh. Died 11 Aug 1870 in Drill Street, Crystal Palace Road, Camberwell, South London.
- Mary Ellen (1870-1948). Born 7 Oct 1870 in 7 Palace Road, East Dulwich, South London. Married 22 Dec 1889 William James HONEYMAN-BULL (1858-1926) in St Mary Magdalene, Southwark, South London and has issue (see HONEYMAN-BULL tree). Died 20 Dec 1948 and buried in Grove Park Cemetery, South London.
- Elizabeth Ann alias Violet Ann (Lizzie) (1874-?). Born in Salford, Lancashire. Married 1894 Harry JOLLEY in Farnham Registration District. Said to have left him and lived with William COLGATE in Bethnal Green. Died after ~1925.