Tribute to Lily Hay
Elizabeth (Lily) Hay was born in County Fermanagh in 1825. The exact date and place of her birth are not known although we think it was Enniskillen. She was a "foundling", that is her mother abandoned her at birth at the door of an old woman, who took the child to the local clergy man. She was taken into the care of the Parish and raised by a family called Rutledge in the village of Tempo.
At age 18 Lily married a local man called John Johnston and they lived in Enniskillen, where they had a number of children including my great great grandmother Eliza Johnston.
Lily and John in their later years fell on hard times, and they entered the Workhouse in 1885 and 1886 respectively.
The Workhouse records state that both were "thinly clad" and "blackened with hunger". Lily succumbed in 1887 and John according to the records was in and out of the Workhouse many times during the next 5 years.
John Johnston finally died in 1893. Both Lily and John were laid to rest in the workhouse graveyard with no record of their burial place kept and no grave marker.
Their lives were unimaginably hard and their passing went unrecorded and forgotten until now.
It is my intention that there memory will live on.
In our hearts today your memory is kept
No need for words, we will never forget
As thoughts go back as they often do
We treasure the momentos we have of you
Ever remembered by your loving family in Little Rock, New Orleans, Sydney Australia and Toronto Canada