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Adams, John Bodkin

Adams, John Bodkin (1899–1983), doctor, was born 20 January 1899 in Randalstown, Co. Antrim, elder son of Samuel Adams, watchmaker, and Ellen Adams (née Bodkin) from Desertmartin, Co. Londonderry, and grew up in Ballinderry, Co. Antrim. His brother died in 1916. His father retired…

Beshoff, Ivan

Beshoff, Ivan (1882?–1987), Russian immigrant and purveyor of fish and chips, was said in obituaries in the Irish Times and elsewhere to have been born in 1882 (or perhaps 1884) at Dacha Rurey, near Odessa in the Ukraine, son of a magistrate, and, after briefly studying…

Blomfield, Sara Louisa

Blomfield, Sara Louisa , Lady (1859–1939), Bahá'í pioneer and humanitarian, was born in Knockanevin, Borrisoleigh, near Thurles, Co. Tipperary, the daughter of Matthew (Matthias) John Ryan and his wife Emily (née Crowe). Religious tension between her catholic father and anglo-…

Cousins, James Henry Sproull

Cousins, James Henry Sproull (1873–1956), writer, teacher, and theosophist, was born 22 July 1873 in Cavour Street, Belfast, the eldest child of James Cousins, a deep-sea mariner of Glastry, Co. Down, and Susan Cousins (née Davey), of Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. Educated at a…

Devlin, Joseph Francis (‘Frank’)

Devlin, Joseph Francis (‘Frank’) (1900–88), badminton player, was born 19 January 1900 at 11 Wellington Place, Dublin, to Joseph Edmund Devlin, government official, and Edith Devlin (née Jeneken). He was the only child in a mixed-denomination marriage and as a result there were…

Dunlop, Daniel Nicol

Dunlop, Daniel Nicol (1868–1935), businessman and esotericist, was born 28 December 1868 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, only child of Alexander Dunlop, described variously as an architect or builder, and Catherine Dunlop (née Nicol) (1847–73). His father, a stern authoritarian,…

Jemison, Mary ('Deh-he-wä-mis')

Jemison, Mary ('Deh-he-wä-mis') (1743?–1833), American frontierswoman, was born aboard the ship William and Mary, when her parents, Thomas Jemison and his wife Jane (née Erwin), (both of protestant Scotch-Irish heritage) were emigrating to colonial Pennsylvania, departing from…

Orpen, Adela Elizabeth (née Richards)

Orpen, Adela Elizabeth (née Richards) (1855–1927), writer, was born on a slave plantation in Virginia, USA, on 3 February 1855, the only surviving child of Edward Moore Richards and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth (née Tisdale). Following the death of her mother on 19 February 1860, her…

Robertson, Olivia Melian

Robertson, Olivia Melian (1917–2013), writer, artist and co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis, was born on 13 April 1917 at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, to Manning Durdin Robertson (qv), urban planner and architect,…

Táherzadeh-Málmírí, Adib

Táherzadeh-Málmírí, Adib (1921–2000), historian of the Bahá’í Faith, was born 29 April 1921 in Yazd, Iran, youngest of two surviving sons of the four sons and four daughters (three of whom had been killed during a massacre of Bahá’ís) of Hájí Muhammad-Táhir-i-Málmírí (c.

Townshend, George

Townshend, George (1876–1957), clergyman, Bahá'i convert, scholar, and writer, was born 14 June 1876 at Hatley, 10 Burlington Rd, Dublin, eldest of two sons and five daughters of Charles Uniacke Townshend (1828–1907), JP and land agent, of 15…

Whitehead, O. Z. (Oothout Zabriskie; 'Zebby')

Whitehead, O. Z. (Oothout Zabriskie; 'Zebby') (1911–98), actor and Bahá'í pioneer, was born 18 March 1911 in New York city, USA, the son of O. Z. Whitehead, a wealthy banker living in Manhattan's Upper East Side, and his wife Maria. Enjoying a comfortable childhood, he attended the…