Thursday, 29 November 2012

Loss unacknowledged

At the 1911 Census, Robert McALLISTER listed his status as married but did not include his wife Eliza Jane on the return. Were they living apart, or was Robert a widower refusing to acknowledge the fact?

In 1901, there had been five people named Eliza Jane McALLISTER.

By 1911, there were just four.

Three of them match precisely to the 1901 data. For some inexplicable reason, a 19 year old serving girl has become a 51 year old publican but neither of them could possibly be the mother of Albert, Robert and William (and according to the census return of Robert Snr, two other children).

It is possible that our Eliza Jane has crossed over the water; but no-one matching her details was recorded in the United Kingdom Census of that year.

The evidence is growing that Eliza Jane McALLISTER (possibly our 2xgreat grandmother) died between 1906 (when William was born) and 1911.

But there is no record of her death in the Belfast area (or anywhere else in Co Antrim or Co Down).

At the 1901 Census, Robert reported that both he and Eliza Jane had been born in Co Tyrone. Perhaps the family had returned to their roots. The 1910 edition of the Belfast and Ulster Directory does show that the house in which they would be living at the following year's census (in Chambers Street) was vacant.

A search of the Civil Registration Index for Omagh District (in Tyrone) showed that Eliza Jane McALLISTER died in the first quarter of 1909. Her estimated birth year was given as 1868 while the 1901 Census data would suggest 1873 for our Eliza Jane, but due allowance must be made for Irish ages.

If this is our 2xgreat grandmother, what should we now make of Robert's reference to 5 live births with 4 children still living? Did Eliza Jane have more children after William? Did she die in child-birth? If so, where is the missing child?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...