Sunday 19 May 2019

What happened to Margaret Mary Carroll?

My current genealogy challenge is finding out what happened to the children of my great-great-grandfather, Maurice Carroll. He had five children with his first wife, Mary Anne Frazer, and ten with my great-great-grandmother, Anne Radcliffe. Some of his children seemingly vanished after migrating from Dublin to North East England and my goal is to find out what happened to them.

Margaret Carroll was the youngest of the ten children born to my great-great-grandparents. She survived childhood, followed some of her elder siblings to North East England, and married, supposedly twice. I lost track of her after her first marriage. 

But, here’s what I 'know':- 

The early years
Margaret Mary Carroll was born at Buckingham Buildings, Dublin city, on 23 September 1893 and baptised, two days later, in the Pro-Cathedral, in Marlborough Street. In 1901, aged seven years, she was living with her parents and four of her older siblings, at 20 North Gloucester Place, Dublin city. She attended school. Her father was employed as a coachman. The family shared their one-roomed home with a boarder, presumably to earn a few extra shillings to help make ends meet.

Margaret’s father died of lung cancer on 6 January 1906, when Margaret was only twelve. In 1911, Maggie, as she was then called, was living with her mother, her eldest sister Mary, her sister Teresa Wynne, and two infant nephews Maurice and Brendan Wynne. Then seventeen years of age, she worked as a shop girl. 

A note added to her baptism register indicates Margaret married Christopher Penrose at St Joseph’s Church in Gateshead on Tyne, England, on 9 May 1923.


And, the marriage of Margaret M. Carroll and Christopher Penrose, in Gateshead, during the second quarter of 1923, was vouched against the civil registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. 

Christopher’s death, indicated by the letters ‘R.I.P.’ beside his name in the baptism register, was also corroborated by the deaths index. He died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at the age of fifty-five years, during the first quarter of 1934, leaving Margaret a widow, aged forty. There is no obvious record the couple had any children. 

And, that’s where I lost all documented trace of Margaret (Carroll) Penrose, despite a second marriage being recorded in the baptism register. According to this note, Margaret remarried in Hornsea, Yorkshire on 15 November 1949. But her new husband’s name was not provided and no record of the marriage has been found. 


The marriages index for England and Wales (at shows only one lady named Margaret Penrose marrying in the final quarter of 1949, and she was Margaret A. Penrose, not Margaret M. Penrose, and she lived in Cornwall, 350 miles from Yorkshire. 

I also tried to catch up with my great-grandaunt in the 1939 National Register of England and Wales. But there was only one Margaret Penrose born within two years of 1893, in all England. She was also a widow, working as the manageress in an off-licence, and was born on 24 Sep 1893, just one day after our Margaret. Could this have been my great-grandaunt?

Source: Findmypast

This lady was found in Hornchurch, Essex, not in Hornsea, Yorkshire and she seemingly lived with someone born after 1918, though that record is currently closed. She married Martin Parsons in Romford, near Hornchurch, during the second quarter of 1943, not during the final quarter of 1949. 

So, what really happened to Margaret Mary (Carroll) Penrose after Christopher died? 

If you have any idea, or know anything else about her, please let me know. Blackraven.genealogy[at]gmail[dot]com

Sunday 5 May 2019

Family size matters!

My parents had five children, which might have been considered more than most, even when we were younger. But they only have two grandchildren. Previous generations were larger still, and increasingly so the further back into the nineteenth century you go. Colleen, at the Leaves and Branches blog, says what constitutes a large family ‘depends on the year, the generation,’  which is probably the general perception. 

So, how large were my family in preceding generations?

My grandparents

James Byrne and Lena O’Neill
2 children
Kevin Wynne and Annie Byrne
9 children

My great-grandparents

Michael Byrne and Elizabeth Mahon  
4 children *
Charles O’Neill and Mary Agnes Donovan
9 children
Patrick Wynne and Teresa Carroll     
8 children
James Byrne and Christina Devine    
8 children
Elizabeth died aged only 34 years.  
My great-great-grandparents

John Byrne and Alicia Leahy    
2 children *
James Mahon and Margaret McDonnell
1 child
John and Margaret O’Neill       
John Donovan and Maryanne Coyle  
7 children
John Wynne and Bridget Hynes
10 children
Maurice Carroll and Anne Ratcliffe   
10 children **
Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane
14 children
John Devine and Maryanne Keogh    
7 children
* Alicia died aged about 29 years. John also had 5 children with his first wife. 
** Maurice also had 5 children with his first wife. 

My great-great-grandfather, Maurice Carroll, claims the prize for having fathered the most children – 15 in total – 10 with my great-great-grandmother, Anne Ratcliffe, and 5 with his first wife, Mary Anne Frazer. 

Maurice's children with Mary Anne were David Carroll (born 1857), Robert Carroll (1860-1942), Catherine Carroll (born 1862), Thomas Carroll (born 1863) and James Carroll (1865-1943)

His children with Anne were Mary Carroll (1871-1941), Thomas Carroll (born 1873), Anne Carroll (1875-1926), Maurice Carroll (1877-1877), John Carroll (born 1878), Maurice Carroll (born 1882), Peter Carroll (1884-1888), Teresa Carroll (1888-1958), Joseph Carroll (1891-1896) and Margaret Carroll (born 1895). 

I've written about my great-grandmother Teresa before, and about her half-brother, James, and her sister Anne (see links to these articles above). But, although some of Maurice’s children died in childhood, I've lost track of others who I know survived. 

Maybe, it’s time to revisit their stories…

19 May 2019: What happened to Margaret Mary Carroll? here.
16 Jun 2019: Great-granduncle John Carroll ~ a Black Sheep? here.
30 Jun 2019: Robert O'Carroll (1860-1942), here.
14 Jul 2019: Annie Carroll - a tale of betrayal, here.
28 Jul 2019: What happened to Maurice Carroll, here