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Long shot at finding someone in Ireland

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#1
My great grandmother, Fanny Patrick, shows up in the 1871 census as a single woman, age 26, living as a lodger and working as a domestic servant in Ashton Under Lyne, Cheshire. The census fails to mention that she was 8 months pregnant at the time! The census lists her birthplace as Sheffield, but dimly remembered family whispers would suggest that she was actually an Irish immigrant who quite possibly left Ireland because of her pregnancy and therefore the Sheffield birth would be a fabrication. There is not a whisper of her prior to that 1871 entry in any on-line source I can find.

So my question is, if indeed she did immigrate from Ireland sometime around 1870, is there the remotest possibility of somehow tracing her to Ireland knowing nothing but her name (we have to assume that is correct!) and her possible birth year? I realize it has to be a long shot and would involve real-world leg work, but I'm wondering whether there are places that might have information or whether I should simply consider this a dead-end period.

- Valerie
 

p.risboy

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#2
With out an actual County of Ireland for a place of birth, is hard to find any details. And with out an actual town, or townland, it will be impossible. Unless she had a very unusual surname.

Even then, you have to contend with civil registration be started in 1864, so that creates another problem. Also, some births were never registered as a protest against the English government.

No shipping records exist between Ireland & England, as it was deemed to be part of Gt.Britain, at the time.

Indeed, it will be hard to prove anything.:(


Steve.:)
 

ladybird

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#3
Have you found her on later census, as sometimes later on they seem to be more forthcoming with where they were born, for example I have had some that have said Ireland all the way through & then when it gets to 1901 they actually mention the county or sometimes even the village/town.
Have you looked for a birth of a Fanny Patrick in or around Ashton U Lyne. Maybe with a surname like Patrick people just assumed Ireland.
Good Luck
 

horse

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#4
Hi Valerie

You will probably already know this...

Birth reg. Q2 1871 Patrick, James William, Ashton. 8d 417

Fits with your info, his name may have a bearing on his father's name or her immediate family, may be helpful at some later stage.

Geoff
 

horse

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#5
This looks like James' christening, but still no clues :(

England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906
Name: James William Patrick
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 30 Apr 1871
Christening Date: 25 Jun 1871
Christening Place: Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age at Christening: 0
Mother's name: Fanny Patrick

Geoff
 

horse

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#6
This looks interesting or coincidental..

1881 England Census
Name: James W. Patrick
Age: 9
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1872
Relation: Son
Father's Name: James A. Cook
Mother's name: Margaret Cook
Gender: Male
Where born: Ashton U Lyne, Lancashire, England
Civil parish: Dukinfield
County/Island: Cheshire
Country: England
Street Address: 14 Robinson St
Occupation: Scholar
Registration district: Ashton Under Lyne
Sub-registration district: Dukinfield
ED, institution, or vessel: 18
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 4053
Folio: 135
Page Number: 59
Name Age
James A. Cook 51 [Retired butcher]
Margaret Cook 37 [b. abt. 1844 Sheffield]
Edward Cook 4
James W. Patrick 9
Annie C. Patrick 8
 
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#7
Here's everything I have found on Fanny Patrick, none of which leads me to hope there is much chance of tracing her origins.

1811 census: Fanny Patrick, 26, unm, lodger, occupation domestic servant, birth Sheffield.

1871 son James W. Patrick no father listed
1873 dau Annie Patrick no father listed

1874 James Cook, retired butcher age 51, marries Margaret Patrick, widow age 29, father Thomas Obrien deceased
My surmise is Fanny changed her name to Margaret and married an older man by passing herself off as a widow with 2 children. Future census list Margaret's birthplace as Sheffield, and both Patrick children become permanent parts of the Cook household. Since Fanny's birthname is Patrick, it would appear Thomas Obrien is a fabrication for the marriage certificate.
 

p.risboy

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#8
Perhaps the family whispers are false. :confused:

Why would she feel the need to give her place of birth as Sheffield, even if she was 'sent away', or ran away from home.

Father could well have been Thomas O'brien, and mother was a Ms.Patrick.

My Gt. Grandfather and his father, had totally different surnames, suggesting he was illigitimate.:eek::2fun:

Curiouser and curiouser.


Steve.:)
 
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#9
Steve,

What you suggest certainly could be the case. I did spend some time searching the Fanny/Margaret Patrick, Thomas Obrien, Sheffield possibilities in every fashion I could think of (only online) and came up with nothing that looked remotely plausible. I looked for possibilities of those names in Ireland as well. Also nothing to get excited about.

It's pretty clear she engaged in at least a bit of deception on her marriage certificate, as there she is listed as a widow; whereas on the 1911 census, when she was 8 months pregnant, she is listed as unmarried while the person directly above her in the same house is a listed as a widower. So a made-up father is certainly within the realm of possibility as well. Who knows?

She does stick with the Sheffield birth throughout her life, which lends some weight to that being genuine. On the other hand, she might simply not have wanted to admit to being born in Ireland (despite the fact that her accent must surely have shown it if she had been) and chosen Sheffield to be where she came from.

Bottom line: no new light on who Fanny Patrick was or where she came from and no new avenues I can find to research. She will probably remain a family mystery.

- Valerie
 

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