Saturday, 26 November 2016

Teresa Corless – Death from Misadventure

Last week, I discovered my grandmother’s Aunt Teresa in the 1911 census, in Manchester, England. She lived there with her husband William, a tailor, and their nine-year-old daughter, Mary Teresa. The curious thing is they were all listed under Teresa’s maiden name ‘Donovan’ and not under William’s surname ‘Corless’. 

The reason for their charade has not yet come to light. There’s a chance it never will. But, whatever the reason, it seems to have been a temporary gambit. When Teresa died on 10 February 1944, she was back using the Corless surname.

Teresa Corless spent the remainder of her days in Manchester. In fact, she lived at 8 Craig Street in Miles Platting right up until her admittance to the hospital. The ‘Donovan’ family had lived in this same house in 1911, eliminating any doubt they were my relatives.

Teresa was nearly eighty-two years old when she died, though her death certificate claims she was only seventy-six. Her husband William predeceased her.

A most unfortunate occurrence led to her death. In December 1943, something lodged under the thumbnail of her left hand. It doesn’t say what – presumably a splinter of some sort. Her finger became infected, leading to cellulitis in her left arm, which resulted in renal failure and caused her death.  How tragic is it that a minor wound could instigate the sudden death of an otherwise physically fit woman. The Manchester coroner held an inquest and ruled her death from misadventure.

Source: Copy death register for Teresa Corless, 1944, Manchester, General Register Office.

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Wow! That gave me chills. How grateful I am for today's medicine!

    1. I agree, Dana. Still, it's a warning to be careful of seemingly minor injuries.

  2. Dara, it is amazing that you found the family. I would not have thought to look under her maiden name.

    1. Colleen, when I searched Ancestry for their whereabouts in 1911, this family was probably always listed in the search results, only to be discounted as irrelevant. But then, when I learnt of their daughter, the coincidence became just too great to ignore.


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