A Family History Mystery

For a number of years I have been interested in Genealogy and in researching my family history.  I have amassed I lot of information regarding my various family threads.

One of the threads that I am particularly interested in is my maternal grandmother’s family but that thread seems to have reached a dead end (at least for now). This branch of my family tree is especially difficult to investigate because both her parents died when she was very young so there is little information known about them.

My grandmother was born in 1903 and her father died of Brights Disease (now known as Nephritis) in 1916 when she was only 13.  Her mother had died a few years earlier in 1908 in unfortunate circumstances at St. Mary’s Hospital Manchester. St. Mary’s was the hospital specialising in diseases of women and children.  My great grandmother’s death certificate states:

“Misadventure whilst under chloroform properly and skillfully administered and undergoing a necessary surgical operation at St Mary’s Hospital on 7th December 1908. Certificate received from Ernest A Gibson Coroner for Manchester. Inquest held 10 December 1908.”

My great grandmother’s mother was thought to be Irish and a Catholic and her father a Protestant.  The difference in religious denominations meant that their families would have nothing to do with them after the marriage, although the marriage certificate shows names of family members. My grandmother had memories of servants and trips out to Sunday tea in a pony and trap. This makes it sound like they were wealthy, but my great grandfather’s occupations (book keeper, clerk, law stationer’s assistant) indicate otherwise. The 1901 census shows that my grandmother’s mother was born in Manchester and her father was born in Dublin, which is the opposite of what was originally thought.

Each document I track down for the family has a different address listed for them, making the threads even more difficult to tie up. When I checked out the birth indices I was unable to locate any of my grandmother’s siblings apart from one who died aged five. As more and more indices come on line, it becomes easier to look things up. Every now and then I find a little gem and the jigsaw slowly builds up.

I need to find time to do a little more digging around and to check the 1911 census and hopefully tease out some more puzzle pieces to unravel some more of the mystery…

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