Friday, October 25, 2013

Sepia Saturday - Oct 26

Sepia Saturday
Before the curtain comes up on Sepia Saturday 199, let me add a few words about our very special Sepia Saturday 200. As I mentioned last week, our prompt for Sepia Saturday 200 looks back on some of the 199 Sepia Saturdays that have gone before. And to make it a special occasion we are inviting you to pick your favourite Sepia Saturday contribution - that is one of your posts and not one of someone else - and repost it for Sepia Saturday 200.

I first posted to Sepia Saturday in January 2013 and this is my 37th post. It has been a lot of fun and some challenges when trying to match the weekly themes. I love doing this weekly and it has given me the momentum to do some serious investigation into our family

The exercise this week is to re-post your favourite post. For me that would be the one where I did a lot of homework investigating the Irish census of 1901 and 1911 to discover fascinating information about my maternal side of the family.

UPDATE: I have since added some additional information that I have uncovered using the  1908 and 1949-40 Dublin electoral lists.

191 : A man and his sisters, his two wives, or is it one of each? Groups of three come to mind or how about gloves, shawls, bonnets or penetrating gazes!

I'm going with gloves, bonnets and penetrating gazes this week.

This is Mary O'Reilly Halpin, my great-great grandmother. In the 1901 Dublin census she was 39 years old and her daughter Catherine would become my great-grandmother. In 1901 Catherine was 18 years old and a general domestic servant, I wonder who she worked for???

Mom's handwriting confirming the names above. William is not on the census so he must have left home by 1901.

It also appears that my great-great-great grandmother, Hanora O'Reilly lived with them. And I now know that she came from County Kildare and was born in 1829.

In 1908 Alexander Halpin is registered on the electoral list still living at Belview. However, there is no record of his wife, Mary on the electoral rolls (the Mary listed above him is at a different address).

My great grandparents must have married around 1904-5 as my grandmother was born in 1906 (confirmed on her grave stone).
On the electoral rolls in 1908 there is a William Brennan living at 191 Phibsborough Rd.
but I could only find a Kate (Catherine??) at 91 Phibsborough Rd. 
Kate was a common nickname in our family.
Could this be an error in the address?

However, in 1911 William is on the census and Catherine isn't as she had married William Brennan by then and my grand-mother and grand-uncle had been born. Mary V is my grand-mother but she always went by the name Veronica or Vonnie.

Monica in 1911 was listed as Mary in 1901, I think this is a mistake as I am not aware of any Monicas in our family.
Emily and Susan had jobs as a cigarette maker and a printer. I remember visiting these two great-aunts in 1970. I'm not sure if they ever married.

The address changes in spelling between 1901 and 1911 Bellevue and Belview. My great grandfather's memorial card states Belview.

Using the 1939-40 electoral lists  I found my grandparents Vonnie and Tommy married and living at 22 Brown St. in the Coombes. I remember my mother talking about being born in the Coombes and going to a Brown St. school but not the actual name.
In 1939-40 my mother would have been 10 years old.

22 Brown St. doesn't appear to exist anymore.


  1. Whew! That's a lot of research, but the results appear to be well worth the time spent. Lovely picture of your great great grandmamma.

  2. I remembered this one Jackie. Excellent research. I like your sepia photo of Mary Halpin.

  3. I Really Am Fascinated by the memorial card Is this an Irish Cultural idea? (I was brought up a Catholic in England/with Polish roots) & I'm sure neither English or Polish Catholics have such a tradition.

  4. Like you, I enjoy the research that I've done to flesh out the story behind a photo I've selected to answer the prompt. It's even more fun when later on you can update the story. Good for you!

  5. Your great-great-grandmother was very lovely. I keep looking at her photo trying to see just the hint of a smile somewhere, but she looks very serious. She's very well attired - beautiful gloves and bonnet, and the little pin at her neck is lovely.

    I have a photo in my collection of a woman of about the same time period with a large hat similar to your gggrandmother's. It's interesting to note how wide the hat is compared to the actual head size of the ladies who wore them. I guess they had to accommodate the hair stacked high and wide.

  6. How could I forget that penetrating gaze?

    You certainly did a lot of research. It's so easy to lose oneself in those census records isn't it? I've visited the Irish Census website countless times myself.

  7. I wouldn't worry about the discrepancy in the street numbers as these did change from time to time, as did street names - and people using different names! Good work.

  8. Having looked at census data as far back as 1841 for members of my father's family the thing I can appreciate is the amount of time you must have spent in your research. Errors in names seem to be frequent and not helped by people i remember using nicknames.

  9. A wonderful photo and a beautiful hat!

  10. Those old bonnets were great weren't they? Nice post for Sepia Saturday 200!

  11. Old family photos are a kind of invitation to research the person, to find out more. Today with the internet we can learn so much more than in pre-computer times. There is nothing like that special thrill when you recognize a name in the virtual records.

  12. I'm a fan of hats! I also recall seeing this post as well. A great choice, packed with such wonderful research too.

  13. Very enjoyable. It starts with a great photo and continues with some interesting research.

  14. That is so wonderful to have such good information. The record keeping was extensive and I bet you are glad that it was. A good post it is.

  15. Incredible research! Thanks for sharing it.

  16. It seems that Catherine's mother is very affluent by the looks of her attire. I wonder why Catherine had to be a domestic servant. That's puzzling, isn't it?
    Ladies of the Grove

  17. You've certainly made good use [and sense] of those census.
    Good for you!!


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.