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Beginners help.

Hi I'm Tracy and I'm trying to trace my paternal grandfathers roots.
The family story about my grandfather is a little vague, as he once said that he didn't want to talk about his early life.

He maintained that his mother was an Irish singer who had a fling with an army officer and was so keen to keep the name NOLAN that he named all his three children with it.

JOHN NOLAN was born in Manchester on 14th October 1906, and his birth was never registered (as far as we know), then he was left with Rachel Shore / nee Howarth / nee Holt at 8 Albert Royd Street, Rochdale. He was raised by Rachel until her death,

Surprisingly, in the 1911 census, John NOLAN, wasn't called Nolan at all, he was listed as John HOPKINS, adopted, born in Manchester - another mystery which is yet to be answered.

When Rachel died, John went to live with her son, Samuel, and daughter in law, Gertie, for a short time and they moved out of 8 Albert Royd Street, round the corner to Dover Street. At some stage between Rachel's death and 1918, John Nolan went to live with Rachel's daughter, Sarah Ellen and her husband Arthur Swain at Roch Street. This was the address given on the statuary declaration paper we have, signed by Arthur Swain in 1918.

At around the age of 12 his birth mother came to collect him and took him back to Manchester so he could work and bring money in for her. She had another male child at this stage, so John had a half brother.

John had other ideas and returned to Rochdale to the family who had brought him up, and at this time we know that he was 'adopted' by Sarah Ellen and Arthur Henry Swain.

We assume that his mother, must have known the adoptive family, as she knew where John was living after 12 years, and are convinced there must have been a family link to the Howarths.. why else would John Nolan be taken in, then passed from Rachel, to Samuel and finally to Sarah Ellen.

My quest is to find my grandfather's true roots and his connection to Rachel, and to see how true the story about the singer and army officer really was?

So far I have found the descendants of Rachel and we have also done a Y chromosome DNA test, where we have found a match with the Manchip family, coming from Somerset. Am trying to find a Manchip that was in the army around Jan/Feb 06 either in Ireland or Manchester area. I can safely say that my gt. Grandfather was a MANCHIP, and my gt. Grandmother must be a Nolan.

Edit (September 2021) - after doing a more recent DNA test myself, I have found 2 x cousins both descend from a Thomas Nolan, b1841 Limerick. He served in the army from 1855 to 1877. He had a son called Thomas b. 1875 Hong Kong.
I am now searching for a potential sister to young Thomas, who could possibly be my gt. Grandmother.
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