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The Goggin Name

The origin and history of the Goggin Surname


Thomas Goggin

Thomas Goggin, born on 1st February 1839 in Southwark, London to Thomas Goggin (b 1912) and Catherine Collins. He worked as a waterman and lighterman on the River Thames at St Katharine Docks. He committed suicide by drowning at St.Katharine's Docks, London. Thomas had a total of eight children.

Birth - 24th February 1839

Thomas Goggin was born on 1st February 1839 in Southwark, London and baptised on 24 Feb 1839 at St George RC church.

Life - early years

In 1841 Thomas was living at 2 Brewers Alley, St Olave. Thomas' mother (Catherine) died when he was aged 5.

Thomas became an apprentice lighterman under master Frederick Dawson at St Dunstans-East from 10th November 1853 (as usual at the age of 14) until 11th December 1860 when he finished his apprenticeship.

Marriage and children

On 18th July 1859, at the age of 20, Thomas married Jane Billingsley at The Parish Church, South Hackney. Witnesses William Henry Billingsley (Jane's brother) and Jane Billingsley (her mother). Thomas and Jane's first son, Thomas Charles, was born in October 1859 (he died in 1861). Throughout this time, they were living at 1 Butlers Buildings, St Boltoph without Aldgate, with Thomas' parents-in-law (Charles and Jane Billingsley.

On 29 November 1862 their daughter Sarah Jane Goggin was born, who died in December 1864. Thomas was now living at 72 Christian Street, St George in the East, London. Thomas and Jane had set up their first home at 25 Scarborough Street, Whitechapel (very close to Tower Bridge), here they had their second son, Charles James, who was born in March 1864.

Another son, again named Thomas, was born on 27th June 1866. The family then moved from 25 Scarborough Street to a house in the neighbouring road, 3 Tenter Street South where Ada was born on 13th April 1868. Richard was born there on 9th February 1870. Daughter Kate Elizabeth was born on 21 December 1871.

From about 1868 to at least 1871 Thomas was living at 3 Tenter Street South, St Mark, Whitechapel.

Death - 22 March 1873

On 22nd March 1873, at the age 34, Thomas committed suicide by throwing himself in the Thames at St Katherines Dock.

Coroner's inquest was held at the Crown Tavern Aldgate where his wife said that he had been in a very despondent state of mind for the three weeks before his death as he owed money for rent and likewise to other people. At three o'clock on the Saturday morning he got up and dressed and left the house without saying a word. He had often threatened to make away with himself as he was out of employment. After he left the house, his wife Jane found a letter lying on the table...

"Dear Wife, Good-bye, love, for ever. The knowledge of my debts I cannot bear. You know that I am your husband and may God forgive me for my rash act, as you know it will be better for you."

John Rowe, the dock gatekeeper, said that about half past three he heard a spash in the lock and found Thomas struggling in the water; he procured the drags but Thomas was dead before he could recover the body. The jury returned a verdict of suicide whilst in a state of unsound mind. Thomas was of unsound mind due to debts according to the Coroner's report.

Shortly after Thomas' death, Rosetta Rebecca was born.

Details of Thomas' son, Charles Goggin, lighterman occupation and certificates can be found at: Goggin family Lightermen.

Thomas Goggin

Born: 1 February 1839 London
Died: 22 March 1873 (aged 34)
Cause of death: suicide drowning
Residence: St Olave, London
Nationality: British
Occupation: Lighterman
Spouse: Jane Billingsley (b 1839)