The Woman Who Fell From The Skies

This has occurred to each household historical past researcher at one time or one other. Whereas researching a department of the household in a census, one consults the Place of Delivery column to see the unhelpfully imprecise, but definitive assertion: “Eire.”

My first thought was, “Terrific, I’ve some Irish heritage!” My second thought was, “Is that it?” Shortly adopted by, “No place identify? No county or province? No different particulars? The place do I’m going from right here?”

The analysis goal was considered one of my great-great-grandmothers. I might discover no different file regarding her origins, virtually as if earlier than marrying my great-great-grandfather she had fallen from the skies.

When this primary occurred to me I used to be a novice genealogist and was defeated by the problem. All of the relations I had traced as much as that time had been primarily based in England and Wales. I had solely used free web sites to compile my tree, not feeling courageous sufficient to speculate the numerous sums demanded by the enormous subscription websites. I knew little of Eire, past just a few visits for work functions, and knew nothing of its household historical past information. How ought to I method the issue? I didn’t know the place to start out, so I selected the only, most reasonable path: I ignored it and moved on to different extra promising areas of analysis.

As I grew in confidence and expertise as a genealogist, I returned to the positioning of my earliest genealogical give up. No extra retreats, I believed, no extra shameful surrenders. This downside might and would yield. I used to be decided. So started the case of Mary Jane Hyland, she of the inconsistent age and indeterminate place of origin. Mary Jane led me a merry dance, however I caught up along with her in the long run!

The Beginning Proof

I first encountered Mary Jane when she married my 2x nice grandfather John Bowers in 1894:

Marriages (CR). England. Warrington, Lancashire. 20 Could 1894. BOWERS, John and HYLAND, Mary Jane.
Registration district Warrington; quantity 8c; web page 280.

I adopted their household to the 1901 census:

Census returns. England. Holy Trinity, Warrington. 31 Mar 1901. BOWERS household. RG13; piece 3578; folio 73; web page 23.

This gave me solely two items of proof about Mary Jane earlier than she was married: her father’s identify, William Hyland, and a place of origin, Eire.

Earlier than the 1911 census was launched, I used to be unable to observe her additional ahead in time. I struggled to discover a convincing entry for Mary Jane within the 1891 census that matched with both the place of origin or her age. I attempted tracing her father, William Hyland, once more with little luck. I believed at this level that the reply would lie in discovering sufficient about Irish information with a purpose to assault the issue. I made a examine of Irish sources and made a number of on-line forays to try to discover her delivery in Eire, all of which did not lead to a convincing match. I used to be caught.

Tunnel Imaginative and prescient

By scrutinising simply these two items of proof, I developed tunnel imaginative and prescient about Mary Jane. I regarded solely at Eire within the early 1870s for ladies referred to as Mary or Mary Jane the place the daddy was referred to as William Hyland. Once I failed to search out any acceptable matches, I assumed that both my expertise at researching Irish information have been at fault or the information weren’t but digitised. I failed to contemplate that folks, and households, may be extra advanced than that.

Widening the Scope of Analysis

My first constructive step was to cease obsessing a couple of delivery or baptism file for Mary Jane and as a substitute to chart the remainder of her life in as a lot element as potential. For this I compiled a timeline, a chronological log of all of the proof I might discover regarding Mary Jane’s life, her husband and her kids. By this time the 1911 census had develop into out there, so I used to be ready so as to add this into the combo.

Date Occasion Supply
20 Could 1894 Marriage to John Bowers at St Paul, Warrington, Lancashire Marriage Certificates
Q2 1895 Delivery of son Frank in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
9 Could 1895 Baptism of son Frank at St Paul, Warrington. Parish Register Transcript
Q1 1896 Loss of life of son Frank in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
15 Jan 1897 Delivery of daughter Florence [my great-grandmother] at 22 Glasshouse Row, Warrington, Lancashire Delivery Certificates
Q1 1899 Delivery of daughter Ethel in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
17 Aug 1900 Baptism of daughters Florence and Ethel at St Barnabas, Warrington Parish Register Transcript
31 Mar 1901 1901 Census displaying household of 4 dwelling at 81 Plumpton Road, Warrington Census Picture
This autumn 1901 Delivery of son George in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
26 Oct 1901 Baptism of son George at St Barnabas, Warrington Parish Register Transcript
Q2 1905 Delivery of daughter Eva in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
30 Mar 1905 Baptism of daughter Eva at St Barnabas, Warrington Parish Register Transcript
Q3 1905 Loss of life of daughter Eva in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
2 Apr 1911 1911 Census displaying household of 5 dwelling at 3 Prince Road, Warrington Census Picture
1 Dec 1917 Marriage of daughter Florence to William Stringer [my great-grandparents] at St Barnabas, Warrington Marriage Certificates
Q2 1924 Marriage of son George to Catherine Smith at Warrington Register Workplace Civil Registration Index
This autumn 1926 Loss of life of husband John in Warrington registration district Civil Registration Index
23 Dec 1926 Burial of husband John at St Paul, Warrington Parish Register Transcript
30 Jun 1928 Marriage of daughter Ethel to William Taylor at St Paul, Warrington Marriage Certificates
13 Could 1930 Loss of life of Mary Jane at Warrington Infirmary Loss of life Certificates
17 Could 1930 Burial of Mary Jane at St Paul, Warrington Parish Register Transcript

Right here have been 21 information factors immediately involving Mary Jane. By scrutinising the broader dataset I hoped I might discover some further clues to her origins.

Subsequent Time: I dig into the total timeline of Mary Jane Hyland and begin to uncover some intriguing clues. The case has many twists and turns forward, so please be a part of me in my pursuit of the lacking proof.