John Teggarty, son of William and Anne Teggarty, whose five sons worked as fishermen, pilots and in the Royal and Merchant navy.

1817 – Present Day

One need look no further than the Teggarty Family to discover how Maritime occupations run in the family, as generation after generation went to sea to serve as fishermen, Merchant Seamen, Royal Navy men and even boat builders.
The Teggarty family in Mourne can be traced back at least as far as 1817 when an Andrew Teggarty (Tagarty) was born, who married Betty Jane, lived at Derryogue and was a fisherman and died in 1893 aged 76. Their son Andrew born in 1843 had a son William who married Anne Hagan (Hogan) in 1873. Although William was a labourer it is from his sons that the seafaring tradition of the Teggarty family really begins in earnest and continues to the present day.

William and Anne had seven children, Margaret, another William born, David, Frank, Samuel John, James Henry and Adelaide born in 1888. The 1911 census shows they all lived on 41 Greencastle Street. Anne was a widow of 80 years as William died in 1889.

Records show that Francis and Samuel John were seamen while James Henry was a “leading seaman” in a submarine. Samuel John and Frank married two sisters, Martha and Mary Jane Cassidy respectively.

John Teggarty (1883-1961) was a notable figure at Kilkeel Harbour. His skiff, the Children’s Hope was the first carvel built vessel from Mackintosh’s boatyard. When John and his five sons were not working in the bay for lobster or mackerel, they worked as pilots bringing incoming coasters safely to port. John sailed as Master of schooners like St. Austell and coasters like the Whiteabbey. John also fished in the Lull, a steam drifter and the Maid of Mourne built in the Isle of Man and owned by Lord Kilmorey. It is said that John fell into a barrel of tar while barking nets and when he jumped out and pulled off his trousers the skin came off as well!

John and Martha lived on the Harbour Road and had six children, five boys and a girl, Bertha who died at birth. The five boys William, Charles, Archibald, Frank, Sammie and Ernest all followed maritime careers.

John died in 1961 aged 78 and his wife died two years later in 1963, both are buried in Christ Church graveyard in Kilkeel.
In the future generations, John’s sons would go on to be Captain of Royal Navy and Merchant vessels during the Second World War, before returning to the Kilkeel fishing fleet. In 2011, the tradition continues with Jim Harry’s son John skipper of the ‘Beniah IV’ which fishes from Kilkeel, and William’s son Lester who fishes in Andrew Orr’s Havilah. It is a family who are very much of the sea.