Good news, Euro 2012 is over! Back to blog posts once a week. I swear blogging so regularly was exhausting, I have no idea how people manage to blog once a day every day, it really does get to you after a while. I also suspect that people were getting fed up with me constantly Tweeting the links. Hopefully you can all have a rest, I have come down off my football high before the proper season starts (in fact I'm quite bored without having football to watch every evening), and in 2 years time the World Cup will roll around and all of us will have forgotten how mental this experience was so I can do similar posts featuring World Cup countries instead XD
Back in June last year I wrote my "Oh dear I'm Irish" post detailing my recently discovered Irish ancestry. That whole side of the family posed more questions than I had originally answered, questions which I have spent a year filling in the details for, and it's got to the point where I now have a better idea of the family!
As I said in the first post, my Mum asked me to explore the family of Catherine "Kate" Smith nee Wilkinson, my maternal grandfather's mother (and my great-grandmother). With the help of the lovely people on the British Genealogy forum I managed to fill in the gaps from the 1901 and 1911 census.
Catherine was indeed adopted by the Anderson family. Adoption in those days was a far less formal process, from what most people say it sounds as if families simply went "Yes we can look after a child", one was given to them, and that was that. I wish I knew what had prompted the Anderson family to adopt my great-grandmother. They lived in the same village as Catherine's grandmother and aunt, Bridget and Jane, so it may have simply been a favour for a friend (a bloody big favour!) or sense of Christian charity. Either way, in 1901 she is living with the widowed Mary Anderson and her two sons, and in 1911 she's still living with Mary Anderson along with one of Mary's sons and a daughter (and a lodger).
What I find most intriguing is that Catherine's half siblings lived just up the road. In 1901 Grandmother Bridget was living with her daughter Jane and her granddaughters Ada (daughter of a deceased daughter also called Bridget), another Catherine (Jane's daughter), and Hilda and Mary Gertrude (my Catherine's half sisters). By 1911 Grandmother Bridget had passed away, so aunt Jane was looking after the household on her own. Ada and First Catherine aren't there, I assume they were either married or followed the family tradition and left to work in service at a house in one of the nearby towns. But they have been replaced by John and Robert Wanless Wilkinson, my Catherine's half brothers, and Hilda and Mary Gertrude are still there!
When I read that I had to wonder if Catherine knew she was growing up with her family nearby. She knew she was adopted by the Anderson family as she alternates her maiden name between "Wilkinson" and "Anderson" on her marriage certificate and my Grandfather's birth certificate. But was she raised to believe that the other Wilkinsons down the road were her cousins, or her siblings?
As for Catherine's mother Mary Wilkinson (Mary Harraughty), unfortunately I'm still not sure what happened to her. There's several Mary Wilkinsons in Northumberland and Durham on the 1901 and 1911 censuses and I just can't work out which one is my great great Grandmother. I also can't tell which of several death certificates in later years is hers since the indexes give the barest amount of information.
I apologise for the lack of pictures in this post, I assumed you're all fed up with being bombarded with Etsy shops, so I'm taking a break from it for today! :)
Have a great week everyone!