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Cahill Family

Hello !
Seasoned helpers from other sites might recognise this story.
Sarah Ellen Williams b. Liverpool in 1870 marries James Thomas Cahill in 1887 also in Liverpool. In 1888 a child Ellen is born. The family does not appear in any search I have made in the 1891 census.
My particular reason for seeking them is that in approx. 1895, Sarah Ellen Cahill alledgedly sends her young daughter out to get milk. When the child comes home, Mother has disappeared, never to be seen again. Died ?? A bad marriage ??? No-one knows.
James reappears in the 1901 census in Liverpool with daughter Ellen, now known as Helen. The census says he is married but he doesn't formalise the marriage until 1902 which significantly is 7 years from the time of Sarah Ellen's disappearance.

James was a rigger of ships who may have, and probably was, born in Ireland. The family may have gone back to visit. Many people have spent many hours helping me to no avail.

Does anyone here have a new suggestion to make ? It would me most appreciated.


Hi Alan,

I'm probaly gonna be as much help as a map in the desert.

Looked on the 1891 census nothing. As you say they could have gone over to Ireland (though there is a birth registration for a James Cahill born 1868 Liverpool so that could be him). There are lots of reasons why some people are not on the census, missed off the indexing, census pages missing, name mistranscribed or under a completely different name due to enumerators error.

If Sarah left by her own accord either by herself or with someone else, then she would have probaly changed her name, perphaps used her middle for her first name and her surname of the person she is or was with. So tracing her in 1901 would be quite a task. Did Sarah and James have any other children, thought she may have taken them with her.

Perhaps contact with relatives of Sarahs siblings who may have more info to add or local newspaper if there was any article about Sarahs disappearance or polce records.
Hello Alan,
wow, no wonder people have spent hours on this one! Not sure if this thought has any merit or not, just wondered if in those days, James would have had to fill in any form of tax return and if, in the seven years prior to his re marriage, he still claimed as a married man, or if he reverted to single status. While this information might not move you on directly, it might give you some idea as to his mindset on the situation and, if as Julie suggested, there were other children, it might give you reason to think that they might have been privy to any secret there mght have been.
All supposition of course, and I dont even know if tax returns as we know them were around then or if they were, if they are available for inspection. Perhaps some other more knowledgeable UKFH member can tell us.
Good luck with your quest mate
best wishes
Thanks to Julie & Pat for quick responses.

No other Cahill children other than Ellen that we can find.
Was the father of the 1868 Liverpool James named Thomas ? If not it's not my James.
Sarah has a brother Benjamin whom we can trace in the 1901 census. He was living with aunt and uncle John & Sarah Currie at Walton on the Hill in Liverpool. I cant read the street name but the census page is 32 and the reference is RG 13/3454. Then we lose him.

I have tried emigration for Sarah with some hits but no proof, likewise the workhouse.
I have followed through with the witnesses at Sarah's wedding but the trail eventually fades out.

Still hoping.
There are 2 on the 1861 census James Cahill born abt 1867 Liverpool Richard Cahill born abt 1869, head of household Bridget Cahill age 30 widow born Ireland. The other one has the head of household as James.
Hi Alan,

Found this death for a infant Sarah Ellen Cahill born abt 1894 died 1894 Dec 1/4 district district West Derby county Lancashire. Wondering if she belonged to your Cahills and if so perhaps Sarah was suffering from post natal depression.
Hi Julie!

Actually bought the deah cert for the little Sarah Ellen Cahill that you referred to. No good ! Wrong parents on certificate.
Can you clarify where you sent: "2 on the 1861 census James born abt. 1867." Did you mean 1871 census ?
On James' marriage cert to Sarah Ellen it states: James was 21 when he married on 14 June 1887. His father was Thomas Cahill (deceased). The couple had been living in Epsom & Ascot Sts Liverpool.

It was the 1871 census which has Bridget head of housrhold occ washerwoman.

Address cellar under no 46
Civil parish Everton
Reg district West Derby
Sub reg district Toxeth Park