Readers of my blog will know about my long-term Ure One Name Study. A sister of my Ure ancestor, Margaret, was married by 1901, and widowed by 1911. She had one son. The husband was not present for the census and up til recently I’d never found any evidence of a marriage or the birth of the son, George Russell. He certainly existed, grew up, married, had his own children, etc but the family seems to have died out now.
So let’s examine the evidence.
Margaret Russell is a married woman on the 1901 census. Her husband is not home on census night. Her son, George, is 7 years old. A name like that should leap out of the birth records for 1893/4, depending on when his birthday fell, but there was nothing. I examined every unknown Russell birth and every George.
By 1911, Margaret was a widow. When George married in 1916, he named his father as George Russell, a deceased manager.
I checked all the George Russell deaths between 1893 and 1916 but nothing came up as a plausible match. It also gave him some middle names so his full name was George Sydney Bryan Russell. I checked births under these new names but again drew a blank.
On my long term list for research was to check the Valuation Office and see who was paying the rates on the census address property and I finally got around to doing that a couple of weeks ago. A Mr Robert Russell was paying the rates. Who is Robert? A brother? So I dug into the indexes looking this time for a Robert Russell. No obvious deaths but because I did a wide ranging search, it showed a birth for a Robert Russell in 1893.
What a turn-up! Here was the birth for “George” Russell in September 1893. I can be confident it’s the right child, even though the name is wrong, for the following reasons.
- Place of birth: 6 Castle Terrace, in Phibsboro, is a known Ure family address.
- The mother Margaret Russell, née Ure.
- The informant is Mary Anne Walters, my great-great grandmother, the sister of Margaret Russell (which is itself confirmed by the 1911 census, when they were living together.
- That same census confirmed (even though she was a widow) that Margaret only had one child, who was still alive.
- The father’s occupation as “traveller” perhaps explains his absence on the 1901 census.
So he’s Robert on his birth cert, George on both censuses with additional middle names on his marriage cert. He went by George his whole life. Here’s a note from the Irish Independent in 1951 regarding his will, which intriguingly mentions property in Northern Ireland.
Perhaps he was called George after his uncle by marriage, George Walters, who died 2 years before he was born.
The search for his father continues…