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Grundy Gt Grandmother Puzzle


New member

I’m looking for some guidance or suggestions.

I’ve been trying for several years to sort out my GGrandmother (Mary Ann Devine nee Grundy) and I’m very aware how “flexible” our ancesters were with their ages!!!! Born in Pendleton Salford UK
Our known records for which I can find documents relating to our Mary Ann are;

Marriage Cert in 1884, age 41 gives a DOB as 1843. Married Patrick Devine

After this in 1901 and 1911 ages go to flexible!
1891Census age 46 (DOB 1845),
1901Census age 63 (DOB 1838),
1911 Census age 74 (DOB 1837).
1913 Died Age 73
Her Husbands Patrick also suddenly changed similarly.in 1901

Question No1 Can anybody think why they should both deliberately add around 7 years to their ages?
In 1901 WW1 wasn’t on the horizon nor was the change to pensions – and I suspect my ancesters weren’t too sharp at planning ahead several years.

I have a suspect lady (MaryAnn) who was born in 8th August 1849. To a Hannah Grundy (nee Cox) and Richard Grundy (Joiner)
Great match as her 1884 wedding cert gives her father as Richard Grundy, Joiner

I have a possible sighting in 1861 aged 12 as a servant (DOB 1849 so good ish)
Another possible sighting in 1871 as a lodger aged 24 (DOB 1847 so close enough) Spelt Grunday

A sighting in 1881 age 30 (DOB 1851 again close) Pregnant and living with Richard Grundy (father)! Joiner. Child and Richard die the same year. I have the GRO Certs
Comment: Richard had three wives so possible they didn’t want a child from a previous marriage living with them?
All of this ties together quite well, better than I could expect with fathers name and profession as Joiner, single mother but child dies (matches ref remark in 1911 Census) , --- but

Question 2
There doesn’t seem any way to tie our known Mary Ann to the 1861 Servant, and 1871 Lodger nor to the 1881 record. All the 1861, 1871, and 1881 locations were within the local area where our Mary Ann was married.
I can’t find any school records for the Pendleton area.
Tracing witnesses revealed no links. that I could find.
Trying wills and probate – no luck
She was listed as a launderess but does not appear in Slater’s guides

Most of this could be wrong but is based on the balance of probability rather than documents
Y.O.B. is usually rounded up, or even down in the Census returns, plus, it also depends who gives the relevant info. And sometimes they may lie about their age on the marriage cert. I've come across this loads of times, while doing my own research in the past 20 years. Death cert is usually more accurate, but again, it depends who gives the info.

Age 12 as a servant is nothing new. They will go to work and earn a few pennies to add the household pot. It has been known to be even younger, and away from home. Schooling was limited depending on the household needs. Some would even take them out of school to gather in the harvest, and the like. School records, if you're lucky, many were never kept for posterity.

Too be honest, if you have the birth and or baptism, marriage and death, they are the minimum required for proof of existence. I wouldn't worry too much, regarding lack of census returns, but it can be very annoying.

We all like our family tree to be perfect, but, sometimes it never is.

Thanks Steve.
I'm fairly comfortable with what I've got (probably over 20+ years) and as you say it will never be perfect. I think that I have covered everything I can. I'm still hoping someone can suggest another source of info that I haven't thought about. Unfortunately, Mary Ann was illiterate, so I have no signatures through the years. For her father, Richard Grundy, I took his various signatures and overlaid them, to confirm they were the same person. They were a very good match. From where I live, access to the National Archives is fairly easy, but without an aim of a document to look for there is no point. The damage to the Pendleton 1851 census records doesn't help either.

All good fun --- I think!
I'm not even going to try with her Husband , Patrick Devine, who's father was John a Labourer. I suspect Irish roots.
Thanks Again