The Woman Who Fell From The Skies – Part 2

Beforehand – Partially 1 I launched you to Mary Jane Hyland, my great-great grandmother. She married John Bowers in Warrington, Lancashire in 1894. I might discover no prior file for her which constituted a convincing match and the 1901 census merely mentioned she was born in ‘Eire’. My goal was to discover a start file for her however I used to be stumped. Nonetheless, I made a begin at piecing collectively her story from 1894 onward by creating an in depth timeline itemizing all recorded occasions for her and her direct household till her dying in 1930.

1911 Census

The subsequent step was analyse the timeline I’d created. Fortunately, the 1911 census had turn into out there by this time, so I had a second alternative to verify her hometown. To my shock it didn’t point out Eire, as a substitute, she was now claiming to have been born in Liverpool.

Census returns. England. Warrington, Lancashire. 2 Apr 1911. BOWERS household. RD 459; PN 1353; ED 42; SN 1307.
Assortment: 1911 England & Wales Census Assortment Picture.
Mary Jane’s purported hometown in 1911

I requested myself why she would give her hometown as Eire in 1901 and Liverpool in 1911? I imagined a doable state of affairs through which, topic to discrimination for being Irish, she had chosen to say English heritage. I due to this fact discounted the birthplace of Liverpool in favour of Eire. This appeared cheap on the time however, as I later found, this was an error!

Looking back, the lesson right here is: don’t assume a motive for an ancestor’s actions. Should you do assume a motive, discover a approach to check your assumption and disprove the alternate options. I failed to try this for a very long time, to my price.

Evaluation of the Timeline

Amongst the 21 totally different information within the timeline there was a substantial quantity of knowledge, however nothing else that associated on to her hometown. How was this going to assist me return in time earlier than her marriage in 1894?

First, there have been a number of questions I wished to aim to reply:

  • Was her identify at all times Mary Jane? Was it generally known as simply Mary or simply Jane?
  • Is there settlement between the information as to her yr of start?
  • Did they dwell primarily in a single place or did they transfer usually? Is there any proof of them having lived exterior Warrington?
  • What was her non secular denomination? Was it constant all through her life?

Center Title

As everyone knows, Mary could be a troublesome identify to analysis. Having the center identify Jane would possibly assist us distinguish an individual from the numerous different plain Marys within the file, offered the center identify is persistently used. By extracting the type of the identify utilized in every file within the timeline I hoped I might achieve a helpful perception into this.

Title Recorded Signature File Date Occasion
Mary Jane M J Hyland 20 Might 1894 Marriage cert
Mary Jane 9 Might 1895 Baptism of son
Mary Jane M J Bowers 15 Jan 1897 Beginning cert of daughter
Jane 17 Aug 1900 Baptism of daughters
Mary J 31 Mar 1901 Census
Jane 26 Oct 1901 Baptism of son
Jane 30 Mar 1905 Baptism of daughter
Mary Jane 2 Apr 1911 Census
Mary Jane 14 Might 1930 Loss of life cert
Mary Jane 17 Might 1930 Burial

Mary Jane was evidently literate and possessed a assured hand. She at all times signed her identify as M J, used Mary Jane for formal paperwork, however usually (informally?) glided by the identify of Jane. The identify she used most persistently was Jane.

That is useful. When on the lookout for a doable start file we are able to low cost anybody known as simply Mary Hyland, solely a Mary Jane Hyland will do!

12 months of Beginning

Even between the 1894 marriage, the 1901 and 1911 censuses, Mary Jane’s purported yr of start different. I extracted yr of start from each file within the timeline to see if I might achieve any additional insights.

Reported Age 12 months of Beginning (calculated) File Date Occasion
23 1870 – 1871 20 Might 1894 Marriage cert
28 1872 – 1873 31 Mar 1901 Census
38 1872 – 1873 2 Apr 1911 Census
59 1870 – 1871 14 Might 1930 Loss of life Cert
59 1870 – 1871 17 Might 1930 Burial

The purported yr of start varies from file to file inside a variety of 1870-1873. There’s little consistency from file to file with generally shocking step modifications, e.g. between 1894 and 1901, a interval of seven years, Mary Jane apparently ages by solely 5.


Extracting addresses from every occasion within the timeline provides the next, all in Warrington:

Tackle File Date Occasion
Pierpoint Road 20 Might 1894 Marriage cert
37 Golbourne Road 9 Might 1895 Baptism of son
21 Glasshouse Row 15 Jan 1897 Beginning of daughter
21 Glasshouse Row 17 Aug 1900 Baptisms of daughters
81 Plumpton Road 31 Mar 1901 Census
21 Plumpton Road 26 Oct 1901 Baptism of son
6 Manley Road 30 Mar 1905 Baptism of daughter
3 Prince Road 2 Apr 1911 Census
14 Dallam Lane 23 Dec 1926 Burial of husband
14 Dallam Lane 13 Might 1930 Loss of life cert
14 Dallam Lane 17 Might 1930 Burial

These addresses all fall throughout the similar space of Warrington, the northwest quadrant of the city because it was at the moment, situated inside straightforward strolling distance of the iron works the place John, was an founder.

Spiritual Denomination

Extracting church and denomination from every non secular occasion within the timeline provides the next, all in Warrington:

Church Denomination File Date Occasion
St Paul C of E 20 Might 1894 Marriage cert
St Paul C of E 9 Might 1895 Baptism of son
St Barnabas C of E 17 Aug 1900 Baptism of daughters
St Barnabas C of E 26 Oct 1901 Baptism of son
St Barnabas C of E 30 Mar 1905 Baptism of daughter
St Barnabas C of E 1 Dec 1917 Marriage of daughter
St Paul C of E 23 Dec 1926 Burial of husband
St Paul C of E 30 Jun 1928 Marriage of daughter
St Paul C of E 13 Might 1930 Burial

As a household their selection of church was constant for lengthy intervals. They had been solidly Church of England. They used St Paul within the early years of their marriage, switching to St Barnabas for round twenty years earlier than reverting to St Paul.

St Paul, demolished in 1980, was situated on Bewsey Street, Warrington. St Barnabas was simply half a mile away on Beautiful Lane. The swap between church buildings could merely have been by which was closest to their dwelling at anybody time.

Is the truth that Mary Jane was persistently Church of England all through her life from marriage to burial vital? I feel so, sure. Provided that greater than 80% of all Irish immigrants to England had been Catholic, it maybe strengthens the case that Mary Jane could have been born in Liverpool slightly than Eire.

Any Extra Proof?

I did an in depth trawl of all pre-1894 information within the Warrington space for any particular person named Mary Jane Hyland. To my shock I discovered two information, each in 1891.

Census returns. England. Warrington, Lancashire. 5 Apr 1891. HYLAND, Mary Jane. RG12; piece 3074; folio 14; p.22.
Assortment: 1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census Picture.
Mary Jane’s entry within the 1891 census

I had seen this census file a number of instances earlier than, however at all times discarded it as neither the yr of start nor the hometown appeared good matches given my tunnel imaginative and prescient primarily based on the 1901 census (see half 1). Put within the context of the timeline evaluation above, there appeared no purpose to exclude this file. I might now see that Mary Jane had been residing in Warrington for no less than 3 years previous to her marriage to John Bowers.

An extra, and shocking, file arose whereas viewing banns books for St Elphin, Warrington, the principal church of Warrington parish:

Banns (PR). England. Warrington, Lancashire. 20 Dec 1891. ARNOLD, John and HYLAND, Mary Jane. Web page 85.
Assortment: Cheshire Diocese of Chester parish marriages 1538-1910.

That is unequivocally our Mary Jane as she provides her father’s identify as “William Hyland (deceased)” precisely as at her marriage to John Bowers in 1894. Curiously, she is now not in service at 15 Legh Road. Residing in Cockhedge Lane she was almost definitely employed as a hand on the enormous Cockhedge cotton mill which dominated that a part of Warrington. Once more, her age has mysteriously modified by two years in eight months, now suggesting a yr of start of 1867-68.

Though the banns had been known as for her proposed marriage to John Arnold, the wedding by no means occurred. Not solely does the wedding register of the church show this, however the banns e-book itself notes the date of marriage for each different couple on the web page apart from Mary Jane:

Subsequent Steps

Having collated the timeline, completely analysed its contents and trawled for extra information, it turned clear that Mary Jane was extra prone to have been born in Liverpool slightly than Eire. Given the inconsistencies in her estimated yr of start, I’d plan to go looking a variety of years.

Subsequent time – Be a part of me as I search Liverpool’s information to search out Mary Jane. Will I discover her ultimately? Or are there extra twists and turns in her story? I might want to make use of extra analytical methods to precisely sift the proof with the intention to uncover the reality.