Sunday 3 May 2020

On the far side of a brick wall #5 ~ Rosanna and Ellen Slattery

So, if both Thomas and Mary Slattery died in Liverpool in 1847, what happened to their children, Rosanna and Ellen, my would-be half third great-grandaunts? In 1841, they had lived with their parents and their older stepsister Mary Leonard in Liverpool, England, but they were not found in the city in the 1851 census.

There is no trace of them in the marriage, or civil death records for Liverpool either, certainly not in the decade before 1851. And, neither were they found in the burial register for St Anthony’s RC graveyard, where their baby brothers Thomas and Francis Slattery were buried. Presumably, they had left the city.

Rosanna was about eleven years old when she was orphaned, and Ellen only eight. Their half-sister Mary was about twenty-one, so presumably she took care of them. She married John Radcliffe in Liverpool in 1848 (if I've identified the right Mary Leonard) and their daughter Anne Radcliffe was born there in 1849. The Radcliffe family then moved to Rainhill, not far from Liverpool, and my preferred theory has the Ellen Slantey living with them there in 1851 was actually Ellen Slattery. But there was no sign of Rosanna. By then, she would have been fifteen years old and probably working, in service perhaps, someplace else.

The only potential subsequent record of Rosanna was found in Manchester, about thirty-five miles from Liverpool. The England civil marriage index has a Rosa Ann Slattery marrying either James Corcoran or James Kennedy in the second quarter of 1857, in the Chorlton registration district, not far from Manchester city.

It's easy to conclude she married James Corcoran, as the civil birth registers then show James Corcoran born in the fourth quarter of 1857 and Mary Corcoran in the third quarter of 1859. And, the mother's maiden name for both was Slattery. I'll order Rosa Ann's marriage certificate when the COVID 19 restrictions are lifted.

Corcoran family in the 1861 England census, 10 Smith Street, Manchester

In 1861, the Corcoran family lived at 10 Smith Street, Manchester. James was twenty-one years old, and born in Ireland. He worked as a labourer in a sugar works. His wife Rose Ann was also said to have been twenty-one years old, so born about 1840, and not 1836, but she was born in Liverpool, like my 'aunt'. Their children James, aged four, and Mary, aged two, born in Manchester, lived with them.

Another child, Rosanna Corcoran was born in Manchester in 1864, mother's maiden name Slattery. She seemingly died as an infant in Manchester that same year. This is the last potential record of the Corcoran family so far found in Manchester. 

And, no confirmed record of Ellen Slattery has been found since 1851.

Other evidence suggests my third-great-grandmother Mary (theoretically Leonard) Radcliffe died in April 1853, though the register of her death was not found in England. Perhaps she had returned home to Ireland beforehand, as death registrations only commenced there in 1864. We know John Radcliffe emigrated to Australia in 1858, without his daughter Anne, who was left with John's family, in Co. Dublin.

So, what became of the Slattery girls? Another family that seemingly just upped and vanished!

Continued, here.

  1. Slattery household, Ellen Place, Liverpool, Lancashire, Enumerators' Book, 1841 England Census, accessed $
  2. Burial of Thomas Slattery, 16 September 1841 and burial of Francis Slattery, 18 March 1846, St Anthony's 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Burials, 1813-1985', accessed $
  3. Church of England marriage register, Radcliffe-Leonard marriage, 1848, St Nicholas Church, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, accessed $
  4. Baptism register, Ann Radcliffe, 28 October 1849, St Anthony's RC Church, Liverpool, 'Liverpool, England, Catholic Baptisms, 1802-1906', accessed $
  5. Ratcliffe household, Rainhill, Prescot, Lancashire, Enumerators' Book, 1851 England Census, accessed $
  6. Marriage of Rosa Ann Slattery, Apr-May-Jun 1857,  Chrolton, Lancashire, 'England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005', accessed $
  7. Birth of James Corcoran, 1857, D Quarter and birth of Mary Corcoran, 1859, S Quarter, Manchester, GRO Online Index, accessed HM Passport Office.
  8. Corcoran household, Deansgate, Manchester, Lancashire, Enumerators' Book, 1861, England Census, accessed $
  9. Birth of Rosanna Corcoran, 1864, M Quarter, Mother's maiden name Slattery, and death of Rose Ann Corcoran, 1864, S Quarter, Manchester, GRO Online Index, accessed HM Passport Office.
  10. Marriage certificate, John Radcliffle and Bridget Flanagan, no. 486, 1861, purchased at $ Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria (John Radcliffe, a 'widower from April 1853').


  1. I hate when families just vanish! This virus really puts a damper on research, and just about everything else.

  2. Me too Ellie, and I may need to take a break from this one for a while. I Feel like I'm chasing my tail! COVID too will pass, Ellie, I think by June, Don't let it get you down. Stay in the present and be grateful for all the research time you now


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!