Sunday 19 April 2020

On the far side of a brick Wall #3 ~ but is it the right Mary Leonard?

Mary Leonard, potentially my third great-grandmother, was found living with the Slattery family, in Liverpool, England, in 1841, probably with her mother, Mary (Riley) Slattery. So, Mary (Riley) Slattery was potentially my fourth great-grandmother.

This week, I set out to further investigate the Slattery family, hoping to link this Mary Leonard to the Mary Leonard that married John Radcliffe in 1848.

And, some progress was made in this regard, perhaps : -

Thomas Slattery, son of Thomas and Mary Slattery, was born on 13 September 1841 and baptised the following day in St Peter's Priory, Liverpool. This poor little mite only lived a few days and died at home in Sawney Pope Street, on 16 September 1841. He was buried in St Anthony's graveyard in Liverpool that same day. While his birth was seemingly not registered with the authorities, his name does appear in the death index during the third quarter of 1841.

Francis Slattery, son of Francis (not Thomas) Slattery and Mary Reily, was baptised in St Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, Liverpool, on 25 September 1842, with his date of birth given as 14 September 1842. Chances are his father's name was actually Thomas, but recorded incorrectly. His birth was registered in the third quarter of 1842 with the surname Slatry, and mother's maiden name Riley. The original copy birth register would confirm his father's name. Little Francis died at home in Liverpool in March 1846, aged three years and six months. His home address was listed as Addison Street. He was buried in the graveyard for St Anthony's parish on 18 March 1846.

Francis Slattery's burial register is the last record so far found for this family.

So, what if anything ties this family to the Mary Leonard that married John Radcliffe?

Marriage of John Radcliffe & Mary Leonard, 1848, St Nicholas Church

  • When Mary Leonard and John Radcliffe married in 1848, they lived in Sawney Pope Street, and when their baby Anne was born in 1849, they lived in Addison Street. These are the same streets, in the same tiny corner of Liverpool city (shown on a historical map of Liverpool,here), where the Slattery family had lived with babies Thomas and probably Francis.
  • A witness to John Radcliffe and Mary Leonard's marriage in 1848, as seen above, was Charles Riley, i.e. Mary Slattery's maiden name. He signed the marriage register, with his mark.
  • If the rest of the Slattery family had died, and no longer lived in Liverpool city in 1851, explaining why they did not appear in the English census that year, it might also explain why the child Ellen Slanety (an invalid surname, which may in fact have been Slattery) was living with the Radcliffes, at that time. i.e. with her half-sister Mary (Leonard) Radcliffe.

    How many coincidences does it take before they become 'evidence'? I'm now nearly sure the Mary Leonard living with the Slattery family in 1841 was the same girl that married John Radcliffe in 1848. Definitely worth pursuing further!

    What happened to the Slatterys after 1846? Did they emigrate? Did they perish? Or, have I just not located them yet?  Tune in next week and hopefully we'll find out.

    Continued, here.

    1. Slattery household, Ellen Place, Liverpool, Lancashire, Enumerators' Book, 1841 England Census, accessed $
    2. Baptism of Thomas Slattery, St Peter's Priory, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1741-1916', accessed $
    3. Death of Thomas Slattry, 1841 S Quarter, Liverpool, GRO Online Index, accessed HM Passport Office.
    4. Burial of Thomas Slattery, 16 September 1841, St Anthony's 1840-46, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Burials, 1813-1985', accessed
    5. Birth of Francis Slatry, 1842 S Quarter, Liverpool, GRO Online Index, accessed HM Passport Office.
    6. Baptism of Francis Slattery, St Anthony's, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1741-1916', accessed $
    7. Death of Francis Slattery, 1846, M Quarter, Liverpool, GRO Online Index, accessed HM Passport Office. 
    8. Burial of Francis Slattery, 18 March 1846, St Anthony's 1840-46, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Burials, 1813-1985', accessed
    9. Church of England marriage register, Radcliffe-Leonard marriage, 1848, St Nicholas Church, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, accessed $
    10. Baptism register, Ann Radcliffe, 28 October 1849, St Anthony's RC Church, Liverpool, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1802-1906', accessed $
    11. Ratcliffe household, Rainhill, Prescot, Lancashire, Enumerators' Book, 1851 England Census, accessed $


    1. It's looking good, Dara. I really like fact that the street names matched for the period. Keep chipping away at it and the proof argument will be a breeze (not that I've ever written one).

      1. I've never exactly written one either, Cathy. If I can take it from possible to probable, I'll be quite happy. :-)

    2. It seems like you're on the right path to me, Dara. Your question, "How many coincidences does it take before it becomes 'evidence'?" is a reoccurring mantra in my own research! :)

      1. Thanks Sleuther, that's a recurring mantra in my research too. Still searching for that key piece of this puzzle though.

    3. Looking promising Dara. That brick wall is coming down!

      1. We can only live in hope, thanks Ellie!

    4. Dara, I thought of you again today, from your Sunday 7 June 2020 - posting. Are you connected or know of the website - where you can build your known family members from the 1881 UK Census - and connect with others - if they also list with the family members you made. Can be free or a fee to connect with cousins listed there?

      1. I have heard but I have not checked it out yet. Thank you for the tip, I'll certainly investigate it now.


    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!