Sunday, 29 March 2020

Signature Silhouette #5 ~ Anne (Radcliffe) Carroll

For many of my ancestors, we have no photographs, no treasured heirlooms, not even a funeral card to remember them by. But of those who could read and write, a few left their signatures behind. They often signed historical census returns, etc, copies of which still survive. Their signature may be all that remains of them today. So, it's my intention to feature a Signature Silhouette, for each ancestor, where ever possible, until all are preserved.

Here's one for my maternal great-great-grandmother, Anne (Radcliffe) Carroll:-

Anne (Radcliffe) Carroll (1849-1918)

Anne's parents were named as John and Mary Ratcliffe when she married Maurice Carroll in Co. Dublin, in 1869. I know quite a lot about John Radcliffe, where he came from and where he ended up, but practically nothing is known about Mary. John and Mary may have married in Liverpool, England and Anne may have been born there, even though the Irish census records of 1901 and 1911 give no indication she was born outside of Ireland. Still...

During this pandemic 'lock-down', I intend to follow up on my theory that the family spent time in Liverpool, and see what else I can find out about them there. Maybe I'll unearth something else confirming them, beyond all doubt, as MY ancestors.  It may be a short experiment.😄

Signature Silhouette sources:
Idea courtesy of Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

Source of signature: 1911 Census of Ireland, Carroll household, Gloucester Place North, Mountjoy, Dublin, The National Archives of Ireland.

Other sources:
Marriage register for Swords Parish, Maurice Carroll and Anne Radcliffe, 22 August 1869, accessed Catholic Parish Registers, accessed National Library of Ireland.

Church of England marriage register, John Radcliffe & Mary Leonard marriage, 1848, St Nicholas Church, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, accessed $

Baptism register, Ann Radcliffe, 28 October 1849, St Anthony's RC Church, Liverpool, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1802-1906', accessed $


  1. Feeling very isolated here in New York. I'm hot on the trail of my James O'Hora's signature. (He married Maria McGarr from Ballyraggan.) The local Catholic church of which he was a trustee has his 1883 signature on the proposal for a cemetery. They promise to send once they are out of lockdown! Stay well

    1. I can only pray they'll find a vaccine soon, so we can get out meeting people again, and you can get your ancestor's signature! At least we have genealogy to keep us somewhat occupied in lockdown. My house has never been as clean LOL! Stay well

  2. Great idea to use the signatures when no photo exists. Even in those cases where an ancestor was illiterate, their X or other mark is a telling piece of them. Good luck with your experiment!

    1. Thank you Michael. My aunt made me promise not to publish a silhouette for anyone who could only 'make their mark', though I agree, it tells us just as much about their lives, as their signature.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!