Hannay Family Grave in Clifton Street Cemetery

A hundred years ago today (2nd February) James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in Paris and we have just discovered an interesting  link to the book through a family who are buried in Clifton Street Cemetery!

In Episode 2  entitled Nestor, the headmaster, Mr Deasy, claims descent from Sir John Blackwood “from the Ards of Down”. It is just by chance that we had an email recently concerning the Hannay family who are buried in Clifton Street Cemetery. In their research the family discovered that one of their ancestors, John Hannay, who is buried in the family plot, had a connection to the Blackwood family- the same family it would seem that Mr Deasy claimed decent from in Ulysses!

There was a case at the Down County Assizes concerning a £10,000 loan given by one John Blackwood to his nephew John O’Reilly Blackwood.  O’Reilly Blackwood was convinced by John Hannay of Bangor ‘who was not very opulent’ according the Belfast Newsletter, to become a partner in a cotton manufacturing venture, and to use the loan as capital! However, the venture was not a success and by 1842 John Hannay was in the bankruptcy court!

Although the business venture failed, John O’Reilly Blackwood married Eliza Hannay in 1839. John Hannay was buried in Clifton Street Cemetery in January 1847.

You can see the Hannay plot as part of our In Life & Death tours of Clifton House and Clifton Street Cemetery every Saturday and Sunday at 11am. For more information on our tours click here.


We would like to thank the descendants of the Hannay family for sharing their genealogical research.