I just got a wonderful email from a kind stranger who must have stumbled on this site. He sent me information on two sites I had no idea about.
The first, York1852.org is a digitized version of a map of York from 1852. You can zoom in and see each individual house. For the first time, I’ve seen Plow’s yard – where Duke and MaryAnn lived when they first moved from Ireland – on a map.
And that allowed me to Google streetview the area. The buildings were located behind a church that still stands and, although they are gone, there is a large building in their place, so that the scale and shape of the Yard remains preserved between Dennis Street and St Denys Road between Walmgate and Picadilly.
Finally, we will be able to visit the actual place where they lived. Plus this map will allow us to identify the location of other subsequent addresses for Duke and for James (my gt gt grandad).
The other site (http://www.imagineyork.co.uk/) will take longer to explore, but it contains tons of old photographs of the city, including the first one I’ve ever seen that shows the glassworks on Fishergate where James worked.
That photo is from the 1950s, long after James worked there, but it’s still nice to be able to see the building, which was demolished years ago.
Thank you so much, kind stranger for taking the time to write to me. Your help is much appreciated.