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Barton/Addison family of Ireland
Posted by: Toni Addison (ID *****9605) Date: January 31, 2008 at 18:51:41
  of 1243

This Barton family descends from Thomas Barton (1) from Norwich in Norfolk (2), a Protestant soldier who came to Ireland with the Earl of Essex’s army in 1599. Ten years later, Thomas (married to Margaret Lloyd) (3) was awarded an estate of 1,000 acres in County Fermanagh for his services to the Crown (1).

Thomas’s son Anthony was one of many thousands of Protestant settlers murdered during an uprising by Ulster Catholics in October 1641. (1)

During the reign of Charles II, Anthony’s son William, who married Jane Hannah Forster (4), recouped the family fortunes and became a substantial landowner in Fermanagh and Donegal. William's estate included all of Boa Island, plus the townland of Curraghmore near Pettigo and the island of Cruninish near Boa Island. William had 2 sons, Edward and William. (1)

When their father died in 1693, Edward inherited Cruninish and Boa Island and William, who married Elizabeth Dickson of Ballyshannon, inherited Curraghmore. William and Elizabeth’s son Thomas was born in 1695 at Curraghmore, and he went to school in Ballyshannon. (5)

Thomas was married in 1722 to Margaret Delap of Ballyshannon, and their only child William was born in Ballyshannon in 1723. Thomas became famous as "French Tom" because he settled in Bordeaux in France in 1725 and founded the famous wine firm of B and G, or Barton and Guestier. Tom’s son William married Grace Massy, a daughter of the Dean of Limerick. (1)

(A direct descendant of William and Grace was Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson (1864-1941), the famous Australian journalist and poet, through his mother Rose Isabella Barton who was born in 1844 in NSW.) (6,7)

William and Grace’s fourth son, Hugh, succeeded to the family’s wine estates on the death of his grandfather French Tom in 1780. In 1794, during the revolution in France, many of the leading Bordeaux merchants were thrown into prison and their offices closed. Hugh Barton was arrested, but with the help of his wife Anne Johnson he escaped and fled to Ireland. Hugh was fortunate that his French property was preserved. Since he was not able as an alien to own property in Bordeaux, he arranged with Daniel Guestier to take over and manage the business there, while Hugh managed it in Great Britain. This was done without any act of partnership. Barton placed great trust in Guestier, who could have seized the business as his own. Eventually, when some degree of normality returned, a partnership was drawn up between the two men in 1802. In 1830 both men brought their eldest sons into the partnership, and their descendants still control the firm of Barton and Guestier today. (1)
In Ireland, the Barton lands were inherited by French Tom’s descendants. In 1754 French Tom had bought 115 acres of land near Coolacha from Sir James Caldwell, and also the Kilmore Estate of 15,500 acres: before this time, the Bartons did not have much land in Ireland. French Tom’s son William moved to the Grove Estate, Fethard, Tipperary, where he married and raised a family of 6 sons and 3 daughters. The sons were Thomas, William, Charles, Hugh, Robert and Dunbar, and the daughters became Lady Palliser, Lady Massey and Lady Fitzgerald. (5)
Robert Barton, son of William Barton and Grace Massy, born 1770, obtained a commission in the 11th light dragoons around 1795, and became Lt Cl 2nd life guards in 1805. He was promoted to general’s rank in 1819, and was knighted in 1837. Robert married twice. He married first Maria Painter and they had 3 children, Maria, Grace and Hugh. He married second Colette McPherson neé Addison and they had a daughter, Alexandrina, who in 1863 married Sir Henry Josias Durrant. Robert Barton died in London on 17 March, St Patrick’s day, 1853, aged 83 years. (8)
Grace Barton, second child of Robert and Maria Barton, born circa 1807, became the second wife of Henry Robert Addison in 1834. (Henry Robert’s widowed older sister Colette later married his wife Grace’s father, see preceding paragraph.) Henry Robert Addison was born circa 1804 near Calcutta, the son of John Addison, a British merchant in India, and his wife Lucy neé Clark. Henry Robert attended school in Brussels, and later joined the British army. He was a soldier in peacetime, and retired from the army aged about 29 with the rank of Lt Colonel. He married first Mary Vokes in Limerick Ireland in 1828. She bore 3 children, and died in 1832. He married second Grace Barton in 1834. The couple lived in Belgium for several years and had many children. Henry Robert was the author of many books and “petite operas”. He died in London in 1876. His wife Grace died in 1897 at her home near Brussels. (9)
The children of Grace and Henry Robert Addison raised families in Australia, the USA, Belgium and England. (9)

1.       Wicklow County Archives,
2.       “The Plantation in Ulster” by George Hill, Belfast, 1877
3.       Burke’s Commoners, 1838, p.90
4.       Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry 1847, p.61
5.       Website of Andrew Barton,
6.       WorldConnect Project, database of Jennie MacFie
7.       NSW BDMs,
8.       Gentlemen’s Magazine, May 1853, p.544
9.       Family archives, website of Angus Addison,

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