Sunday, 3 November 2013

Aunt Annie’s Will

Anne (Annie) Carroll was Kevin Wynne’s maternal aunt. She was the second daughter of Maurice and Anne (Ratcliffe) Carroll. On 6 September 1894, aged only nineteen years, Anne married William Smith Singleton, in Rathmines, Dublin. William was born in Manchester, England, in 1869, the son of John and Betty Singleton. He was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church on the same day as his marriage to Anne.

Then, William and Anne disappeared. No baptism records were located for their children. They were not found in the 1901 census, either in Ireland or Britain. Anne was next located in the 1911 Census of England and Wales, at 3 Ethel Street, Benwell, Newcastle on Tyne, in England’s north east region. She appeared to be living incognito, under the name Annie Smith. She was the head of the household and William’s whereabouts are unknown. The census confirmed that she was aged thirty-five, had been married for seventeen years and had no children. It also stated that she was a grocer by occupation, born in Dublin, Ireland. The only other occupant of the house was her domestic servant, Katie Rooney, a single, eighteen year old girl from Carlisle, England.

Annie Singleton’s will was written in 1925, when she was residing at 21 Upper Rutland Street, Dublin, the home of her elder sister Mary Carroll. At fifty years of age, she was relatively a very wealthy woman, owning the two properties, 1 and 3 Ethel Street, in Newcastle on Tyne. The terms of her will suggest that something was amiss with either her marriage or with her husband; rather than leaving her estate to William, she bequeathed it to him at a rate of two pounds per week for his lifetime.

The bulk of her estate was left to her sister Mary, subject to the payment of William’s salary over his lifetime. Annie also left £200 to her sister, my great grandmother, Teresa Wynne, £200 to her former servant Catherine Rooney and £200 to an unknown friend, Mary Magennis.
Anne (Carroll) Singleton’s will, 1925

Annie died on 7 August 1926. Her will was probated in February 1927. She left an estate valued at over £6,000, a tidy sum in 1926.
Probate of Anne (Carroll) Singleton’s will

The above reads: ‘Be it known, that Annie Singleton of Chestnut Villa, Greenhalgh, Kirkham, in the county of Lancaster and formerly of Benwell, Newcastle on Tyne, in the county of Northumberland and of 21 Upper Rutland Street, Dublin in the Irish Free State (wife of William Smith Singleton) died on 7th day of August 1926 at Chestnut Villa aforesaid.’

The copy of the will and probate document were gratefully received from a descendant of the Singleton family. 

Other sources available on request.


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