Alexander Richey and Mary O’Donnell

blue flax flower – symbol of Northern Ireland


Alexander Richey was most likely born around 1750 in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland into a protestant family.

He worked as a merchant in Newry, probably in the linen trade like his sons that were all involved in either the linen and woollen trades.

Betham Genealogical Abstracts, Ireland

He appears in the Betham Genealogical Abstracts for Ireland, created by Irish herald Sir William Betham, whose notebooks are a substitute for some of the records lost in the 1922 Public Record Office fire in Dublin.

Andrew’s record states he is of Newry, Down, Northern Ireland, and in his will of 1799 his beneficiaries were his wife Mary O’Donnell, a “wife of Connell” and a sister.

Alexander and Mary had five sons –

  1. Alexander b 1770 Down, Northern Ireland d 1852 Dublin. Alexander placed a notice in the Dublin Evening Post in 1805 advising he had in the past transacted business for his brother Andrew in 22 Dame Street, but is now commencing business (furniture, calicos, quilts, table linen, sheeting, drapery) on his own account at a large warehouse at 11 Dame Street.

Dublin Evening Post 19 Nov 1805

In 1810 he takes on a partner, but by 1817 he is back in business at 26 Lower Sackville St, linen draper. In 1827 he appears in the Landed Court Rentals (146 yer lease) for 40 Pemroke Road (previously Lower Baggot St). Alexander was also involved in supporting the building of an episcopal chapel in 1832 connection with the Asylum for Penitent Females, Upper Baggot St (where his nephew Rev R J C Richey would be chaplain).

Alexander married firstly Ann Nancy Warren in 1804 by license (no children), and he remarried Matilda Dorcas Browne in 1827. They had three children – Alexander (1830-1883), Louisa (1833-1858) and Elizabeth (1834-1921).

He was acting as an agent for the Earl of Charlemont (Sir Francis Caulfield – an Irish Representative peer and politician), residing at Donnycarney Rd, Mt Temple, Dublin in the Dublin Almanac of 1841.

Alexander died at his residence at Mount Temple, near Clontarf, Dublin on 1 August 1852. His wife Matilda died in 1851 at Mount Temple.

2. William b 1771 Ireland, d 1848 Dublin. William was a silk merchant and tabinet mercer, operating out of 4 Hanover Street, and 11 Marks Alley, Dublin between 1812 and 1846. William first married Ann and had nine children, but they lost four as babies. Ann died in childbirth with the ninth in 18o7.

William then married Mary Ann Phillips in 1807 at St Nicholas Without, Dublin. In 1829 William spoke at a public meeting in Dublin, reported in the newspapers under “Distress in the Liberty of Dublin” regarding the present state of distress in the manufacturing districts of the city, in particular silks and other produce of the loom due to the free admission of foreign silks.

Admission into Freeman of Dublin City 1822

In Midsummer 1822 William, of Hanover Street, was admitted into the Freeman of Dublin City by grace.

William was a churchwarden and claimed an exemption from parish fees in 1841 because of his office. He was also appointed to a Special Jury Panel for 1844. His wife Mary died in 1845 and William died in 1848. They are both buried at St Lukes, Dublin.

3. Robert b 1779 Down, Northern Ireland d 1827 Dublin. Robert worked as a wholesale linen draper and woollen merchant at his premises at 91 Grafton Street and appears in the trade directories for quite a few years from 1801-1826. He also struggles with insolvency in 1824 and again in 1826.

Saunders Newsletter 20 Oct 1827

Robert firstly marries Catherine Smith (1781-1803) in 1803, and has three children with her – Alexander (1803), Mary Ann (1804-1805) and Mary Jane (1807-). He then married Anne Robinson (1781-1855) and had two more children – William (1814) and Charlotte (1815-1902).

After Robert’s death his wife Anne, is advertising in the Dublin newspapers, goods for sale in October 1827 at his premises in Grafton St.

4. Andrew b 1780 Down, Northern Ireland d 1825 Dublin. Andrew was a Linen Draper and merchant operating at 22 Dame Street, Dublin from 1797 until his death in 1825.

Saunders Newsletter 17 Dec 1825

He married Sarah Ridgely (1783-1853) and had eight children. He died aged 45 years in Dublin. Click name link to see more.

5. Rev James b 1799 Down, Northern Ireland d 1880 Dawlish, Devon, England. James attended Trinity College, Dublin from the age of 15 in 1814. He married Elizabeth Bellett, and had seven children – Mary (1826-1909), Elisa (1828-1838), Matilda (1830-1832), Anne (1833-1919), James (1833-1902), Alice (1840-1861), Matilda (1842-1872).

Memorial plaque St George Nympton, Devon

James was appointed curate at George Nympton, Devon in 1827 and Slapton, Devon in 1837. He resided in Devon for most of his life, and ministered there for 58 years.

He died in Dawlish, Devon in 1880 aged 81 years. A large brass plaque speaking of his ministry most appraisingly appears in the St George Nympton, Devon church.

Alexander and Mary probably had daughters as well as the five sons listed above.

There is a Mary Richey, of St Michael, marrying a Robert Boyde of High St, carpenter on 18 May 1804 in Dublin (by license) at St Michael the Archangel, which is very possibly a sister of the boys listed above.

Hill Street, Newry

Alexander died in 1799 in Newry, Down, Northern Ireland. His name appears in the Irish Will Index for Newry for 1799.

Unfortunately the wills were destroyed in the Great Fire in 1922 at the Public Record Office.

It is unknown when his wife Mary died.