Connections Made, Not Made and Bungled

I found the following affecting story in the South London Press of 23 June 1883 while looking for Mary Ann O’Brien née HEMINGTON.

Attempted Suicide at London Bridge

Mary Ann O’Brien, a respectable-looking young woman, described as a domestic servant, was placed at the bar before Mr. Bridge for final examination, charged with attempting to commit suicide by throwing herself into the river Thames at London Bridge.

Francis Daly, a dock labourer, said that on the evening of the 14th he was about to cross London Bridge to the City, when he saw prisoner run down the steps screaming. When she got half way down, she pulled off her bonnet, and rushed into the river, which at that time was very high water. He ran after her, and succeeded in getting hold of her clothing, and with the assistance of 94M, pulled her out, and she was taken to the workhouse.

Police-constable 94M said that when they got her out of the water she was very ill. When before his worship last week she said she had been in service in Brixton, and was removed to the Lambeth Infirmary owing to illness, and on her recovery, and returning to her situation, she found that her master’s goods had been seized and sold, among which were all her clothes, and as she was not able to enter the convalescent home without clothing, she in a fit of desperation threw herself into the river. Since the last examination he made inquiries, and believed her statement to be true.

Mr. Bridge observed that he had received a letter from the chaplain of the House of Detention, stating that the prisoner had expressed great sorrow for the crime she had committed. He asked her if she had a home to go to if he discharged her.

She replied that they would receive her in the Convent, Camberwell New-road, provided she had a cotton dress, two caps and some under-linen.

Mr. Bridge directed the office-keeper to supply her with what was necessary, and discharged her with a caution.

Prisoner thanked his worship, and said as soon as she recovered her health she would be able to procure a situation.

I hoped to trace the narrative arc this Mary Ann subsequently followed but failed miserably. I couldn’t find the chivalrous Francis DALY either. Had he been given a name rather than a number, PC 94M would, I suspect, have been a fair cop.

I have added a few people to the Hemington line so that the family now connects to George Toyn COLLEY, Charlotte WARLEY and others who have featured in recent posts. If you follow this link you should find Rosina Hemington in a pivotal position. She was a niece of “our” Mary Ann.

Extend the WARLEY line (if necessary) to reveal Charlotte’s grandfather George DOVE, a man of several FamilySearch IDs and a lot of forebears. He made the mistake of being born within a few miles of a namesake at about the same time. Both men married a Rachael/Rachel and, perhaps not surprisingly, have swapped wives on the Shared Tree. I will attempt to reunite them with their true loves over the next few days.

Mary Ann Still a Mystery

A couple of weeks ago, in A Passage to India?, I expressed doubt that “Mary”, daughter of Edward HEMINGTON and Mary Ann EAST,  had married Daniel McCarthy and borne a child in Poona.

HEMINGTONmarya_FSTscreenshot

I messaged a contributor who I thought might help, and on Tuesday received a welcome reply. Mary, though still without a family name, has been unlinked from the Hemingtons. (You can see her current status here.)

This departure left a space in the Hemington household to be filled by Mary Ann.

HEMINGTONmarya_FSTscreenshot2

Placing Mary Ann with her birth family has been straightforward. I found she had two IDs that I had previously missed. I also discovered that her youngest sister Emily, missing from the list above, was also represented on the Shared Tree.

Mary Ann’s marriage to Frederick George O’Brien on 23 March 1863 in Lambeth looks solid. (Edward Hemington is named as her father.)

The bride was either very heavily pregnant at her wedding or had already given birth to Emily Bertha. This child’s birth was also registered in the March Quarter of 1863 – and her death aged 2 in 1865, around the time that second child Sophia Mary Ann was born. Sophia fared better, living long enough to marry and have three children, but dying in 1902 aged 36. Frederick and Mary Ann’s third daughter, Martha Margaret, didn’t quite make it to her second birthday.

Uncertainty surrounds Mary Ann’s death. The 1881 census enumerator found only Frederick George and his 15-year-old daughter Sophia at home in Sumner Street, Southwark, and the Find My Past transcription describes him as a widower. From the birth of her last child to the spring of 1881, I couldn’t find a death registration that was a close time and space fit for Mary Ann. In the final quarter of 1883, a Mary Ann O’Brien died in Lambeth aged 45, giving a calculated birth year of 1838. I couldn’t find any newspaper reports of this Mary’s passing and forking out for a speculative death certificate isn’t an option. Before giving up, I had a look at the 1881 CEB page image. For Frederick’s status, the enumerator had written “Mar Widower”.  It is possible that the couple had separated, with Sophia choosing to stay with her father. Frederick may have taken up with another woman – and he married her as soon as he was free to do so. His marriage to Jessie McKAY was registered in the same quarter as best-fit Mary Ann’s death.

Perhaps a close reading of local newspapers not yet available online would solve the mystery. Find Mary Ann on the Shared Tree but more work has to be done to connect her to the Skipsea/Filey Colleys.

A Passage to India?

Alan, great-grandson of George Toyn COLLEY and generous supplier of family information and photographs to LaFREDUX, has a second great-grandaunt on his mother’s side called Mary Ann HEMINGTON. She is a mixed-up lady, through no fault of her own. She married Frederick George O’BRIEN in Lambeth on 23 March 1863, almost three years after she supposedly gave birth to a daughter in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. That child, Mary Ann Conway McCarthy, married John Henry SUBRITZKY, bore him eleven children and died in New Zealand in 1932.

HEMINGTONmarya_FSTscreenshot

Mary on the Shared Tree doesn’t have a family name, though you would reasonably expect her to be a Hemington. Perhaps she was born a CONWAY? She has seven duplicate IDs. One HENNESSEY, one WELTON, three RYANs, one RAGAN and one QUESTIONMARK.

In the first quarter of 1859, Mary Ryan married a Daniel McCarthy in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Just Mary has three sources attached to her record on FamilySearch. One is the 1861 England & Wales Census, placing her in London, aged 22 and single, with her parents and six siblings. It doesn’t make sense to have shipped her out to India.

Sources neatly fit marriage to Frederick George in Lambeth, the birth of a daughter, Sophia Mary Ann in 1865, and death aged 45 towards the end of 1883.

A very different life to the one currently portrayed on the Shared Tree.