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Beginners => Family History Beginners Board => Topic started by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 14:39 BST (UK)

Title: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 14:39 BST (UK)
I'm trying to solve the mystery of my great-grandfather's life and family and would really appreciate it if anyone could help me find more pieces of the puzzle. I have found some information scattered around but he is proving to be an extremely difficult person to research. I have tried to ask members of my family about him but they haven't been able to give me very reliable information.

I can't find his birth certificate or any census records for him up until 1911, I have no information about his family and even though he only died in 1963 I can't find any record of his death certificate.

So the information I do have:
Other information I have been told by the family include he remarried a Kate, that he settled in Mitcham, Surrey after the war and ran a cafe and he also worked in the buffet car of the trains from Liverpool to London. My grandfather, William Charles, grew up in Liverpool with Ellen's family so he didn't really know his dad very well.

I really want to know more about him and his family and it's so frustrating to constantly hit this brick wall! Any tips/hints/help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 25 August 13 14:59 BST (UK)
Hello and welcome  :)

There is a William H Ryan death registered in march quarter 1963 but the age is 70-yrs.
It may be worth checking this for the address to see if it matches the address you have.
Although I can see the military records with the information you give.

regards
heywood
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 15:20 BST (UK)
Thanks Heywood.

I actually ordered that death certificate just in case and it doesn't match any of the details on the probate. The place and date of death is completely different.

So it was back to square one again...
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: ChrissieL on Sunday 25 August 13 15:23 BST (UK)
Welcome to Rootschat
There is a William Chs Ryan born 1880 in Stepney on the 1881 census
RG11/476/105/33
John Thos Ryan.  33  sailmaker
Susannah Ryan.    25
Susannah S Ryan. 6
Jessie Eliza Ryan.  3
William Chs Ryan. 1
John Urlwin Ryan.  4months

All living at 79 Jamaica Street Mile End Old Town
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 15:44 BST (UK)
Thanks ChrissieL.

That's the most likely link I've found to William's family however the entire family disappear from all future censuses. I didn't want to have it as a definite link without further evidence just in case. I can't find any supporting records of birth, marriage, death or census listings for any member of the family.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 25 August 13 15:48 BST (UK)
Thanks Heywood.

I actually ordered that death certificate just in case and it doesn't match any of the details on the probate. The place and date of death is completely different.

So it was back to square one again...

There is a Walter Ryan - maybe a mistranscription - clutching at straws I know!
Also wondered about that 1881 post.
Was he a cook on his marriage certificate?
Do the witness names help at all?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: carol8353 on Sunday 25 August 13 15:56 BST (UK)
There is this death cert (age is correct)

Deaths Mar 1963

RYAN    WALTER  age   85    LIVERPOOL N.    10D    440

I wondered if an error was made when completing the GRO indexes?

Carol

Snap Heywood...........I was typing that as you posted yours!
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: carol8353 on Sunday 25 August 13 15:57 BST (UK)
Maybe he WAS actually born a Walter,which is why you can't find anything on him.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 16:06 BST (UK)
I think the only way I'll know is to order the certificate. Thanks for picking that up.
It's possible he was born Walter but his probate lists his name as William Ryan and I would presume it would have to have his legal name. But I could be wrong.

His wedding certificate lists his occupation as hotel cook. It says he was a bachelor aged 38 (is that considered old in those days to be a first marriage?). His residence was 60 Osnaburgh St (just around the corner from Munster Square). The witnesses are Alfred Carey and Hilda Shephard.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: ChrissieL on Sunday 25 August 13 17:10 BST (UK)
I think we can discount the William Chs Ryan I mentioned earlier on the 1881 census. I found the family on the 1891 census RG12/316/14/25
Their surname is written as RYMER and this follows through the following census returns. That William Chas is a hairdresser! 
Chrissie
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 25 August 13 17:23 BST (UK)
That 1881 census had me completely stumped. Thanks so much Chrissie for at least helping me discount that information.

I just found a note I haven't mentioned before that said John Ryan may have possibly lived in the Notting Hill area. But that isn't based on anything other than family information.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 25 August 13 18:40 BST (UK)
I think we can discount the William Chs Ryan I mentioned earlier on the 1881 census. I found the family on the 1891 census RG12/316/14/25
Their surname is written as RYMER and this follows through the following census returns. That William Chas is a hairdresser! 
Chrissie

Now I thought I had found them as Allen  ;D but now I see the Rymer family!
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 25 August 13 18:59 BST (UK)
Not much help but there is a William here:

1901  371/64/33
Newington
John Conner 82 yrs
Julia Conner 80 yrs
Ellen Conner daur 49 yrs
Sydney G Vincent grandson 24 yrs
William Ryan  visitor 23 yrs  Waiter Hotel Camberwell

There are a couple of Williams born abt 1878 in 1891 - one is in an orphanage  :-\
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: ChrissieL on Sunday 25 August 13 20:26 BST (UK)
You mentioned that William Ryan may have married a Kate. It's a bit of a long shot but there is a marriage  on FreeBMD of a William Ryan and Catherine M Shrubb in the Sep Qtr 1935 Pancras 1b 195.  This is the same registration District of the marriage to Ellen Sankey.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 25 August 13 21:04 BST (UK)
Have you searched 1911 census?

There is a William born Bethnal Green on FS free index here: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XWL3-8F8

Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Monday 26 August 13 13:48 BST (UK)
Heywood, I've marked that entry in the 1911 as a possible match however it lists his occupation as a Hotel porter when he was always a cook in all the other information I have. Could a porter have also acted as a cook?
I've always had a sneaking suspicion he probably attended an orphanage - the lack of information about his parents definitely points in that direction any way.

ChrissieL, that could possibly be his second marriage. To my knowledge, the marriage never produced children and by the time William Ryan moved to Liverpool to live with his son William Charles Ryan, Kate had either passed away or had left him.

Do you think there is any other way to try to find out more information about him? I live in London so it wouldn't be very hard for me to visit places if information they had wasn't available online.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: wilcoxon on Monday 26 August 13 18:33 BST (UK)
I've always had a sneaking suspicion he probably attended an orphanage - the lack of information about his parents definitely points in that direction any way.•Born late 1878 in Bethnal Green

There is a Walter Ryan aged 10, who is listed in the London Poor Law Removal and Settlement Records. Dated about 1889
Bethnal Green poor Law Union. Residence - Shoreditch
 August 12th
Walter Ryan aged 10
Alfred Ryan aged 5
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: wilcoxon on Monday 26 August 13 18:58 BST (UK)
Now there is another Poor Law record  1889, which may be the same boys but the ages are different.
There are  8 children with mother Sarah who seems to have been deserted by her husband.
I think this may be the family in 1891, and now we have a William aged 12

1891 Bethnal Green.
Sarah Ryan 39 M upholster b Bethnal Green
William Ryan 12  all children b Shoreditch
Sidney Ryan 11
Emma Ryan 9
Walter Ryan 7
Ada Ryan 6
Alfred Ryan 2

Now there is a problem that Sarah Mowatt married William Ryan 15th October 1876 Shoredich.
He is an upholsterer and that doesn't seem to match at all  ???
His father is a Patrick Ryan a stoker.

 This isn`t working out too well.
 


 

Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Monday 26 August 13 19:44 BST (UK)
BR,
it is very difficult isn't it.
Is this a summary - can you get any more information re the dates, perhaps?
Ellen dies - 1918.
William leaves army 1919.

William Charles goes to live with grandparents until adulthood.
Does William stay in the South of England all the time?
At what point does he go to live in Liverpool - he has no ties there other than his son, so was it after Kate died?
The death certificate would not be very helpful but it would be worth getting it to see if there is an error - not Walter but William.
Maybe he would be on electoral rolls in Mitcham but that wouldn't help much.
It is frustrating!!!
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 30 August 13 22:06 BST (UK)
I know Ellen died 15 March 1918 in London St Pancras Hospital. I couldn't find any entry in William's army records granting him leave from Dewsbury however he was the informant on the death certificate which means he must have been there.

From there the details get very sketchy. I am going off a document which was put together by the family but I can't find any hard evidence supporting these facts.

Charlie (William Charles, his son) moved in with his granny and granddad at Brasenose Road, Bootle; a three-bedroomed Victorian terrace with small gardens at the front and back. When Charlie was about 8 or 9 (so 1926-1927) he went back down south to stay with his dad, he'd travel on the train where his dad worked in the buffet car. He stayed in Mitcham, Surrey.

It then jumps to 1931 and says Charlie was back in Liverpool at this time.

The next record I can find William Ryan Snr is 1951 which is when he moved up to Liverpool to live with the family. He died in 1963.

And that's all the information I have. I know he is buried in Anfield Cemetery but can't find any more records surrounding that fact.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 25 October 13 20:02 BST (UK)
It's been a while since I posted originally and wanted to give an update as to where I've got to since everyone's help.
I ordered the wedding certificate between a William Ryan and Catherine Maria Shrubb and it turns out it was him! Thanks so much ChrissieL! The signatures match from his army records and first marriage.
So that was a bit of a discovery. But the mystery deepens because he listed his father occupation still as a seaman but the name was Thomas Ryan instead of John Ryan as in his first marriage.
I was able to trace him with his new wife who normally went by the name of Kate to Paddington where they lived before WW2 and found they owned a cafe in Kensington on Powis Terrace via electoral rolls.
I'm still trying to find a trace of him before 1911. I found a William Ryan via electoral rolls living on Clarendon St in the late 1900s and on Little Clarendon St in the early 1900s but the first instance of him is in 1896 where he would have been 18 years old. I know the legal voting age was 21 back then so I'm not sure whether this is him or not... Would people lie about their age on electoral rolls?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: garstonite on Friday 25 October 13 20:25 BST (UK)
Unless I have missed something - you don`t say - 1st wife Ellen , what was her maiden name - where and what year did they marry ?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Friday 25 October 13 20:25 BST (UK)
Hi,
He's not the one in Little Clarendon Street. In 1901, that one is older and a Coal Porter.

Heywood
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Friday 25 October 13 21:27 BST (UK)
Hi

London School Admissions Bell St Ragged School

John Ryan b 30/8/1871 Father John
Henry Ryan b 21/11/1874
WILLIAM RYAN b 11 Oct 1875

Living in Salisbury St

Margp
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 25 October 13 21:55 BST (UK)
Thanks Heywood!
garstonite, my Great-Grandmother was named Ellen Sankey and she married William Ryan in 1917. Sadly, she died a year later giving birth to my Grandfather. My Grandfather went to live in Liverpool with his Mum's side of the family.
MargP, do you know where that school was? The birth year is slightly off but I'd like to see what occupation the father of Henry and William had.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 25 October 13 22:00 BST (UK)
And Ellen Sankey and William got married in St Pancras.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: garstonite on Friday 25 October 13 22:05 BST (UK)
And Ellen Sankey and William got married in St Pancras.

so was Ellen Sankey / and parents , from Liverpool ?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Friday 25 October 13 22:18 BST (UK)
Thanks Heywood!
garstonite, my Great-Grandmother was named Ellen Sankey and she married William Ryan in 1917. Sadly, she died a year later giving birth to my Grandfather. My Grandfather went to live in Liverpool with his Mum's side of the family.
MargP, do you know where that school was? The birth year is slightly off but I'd like to see what occupation the father of Henry and William had.
Sorry Westminster
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 25 October 13 22:21 BST (UK)
garstonite, yes all of Ellen's family were from Liverpool.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: jan57 on Friday 25 October 13 22:24 BST (UK)
 BR

 Bell St   runs  between Lisson Grove  and Edgware Rd   in London ,   Salisbury  St  is off Bell St . All  are  in Marylebone  area 

Quote
MargP, do you know where that school was? The birth year is slightly off but I'd like to see what occupation the father of Henry and William had
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: garstonite on Friday 25 October 13 22:27 BST (UK)
garstonite, yes all of Ellen's family were from Liverpool.
were they C of E or Roman Catholic ?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Friday 25 October 13 22:33 BST (UK)
Very Roman Catholic!
Thanks MargP and jan57.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Friday 25 October 13 23:03 BST (UK)
BR

 Bell St   runs  between Lisson Grove  and Edgware Rd   in London ,   Salisbury  St  is off Bell St . All  are  in Marylebone  area 

Quote
MargP, do you know where that school was? The birth year is slightly off but I'd like to see what occupation the father of Henry and William had
No occupation given, it states the school was in Westmister
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Friday 25 October 13 23:22 BST (UK)
Hi

1881 Census,Westminster Union School

William Ryan b 1875 Westminster

1891 Census, Westminster St Johns Certified Industrial School

William Ryan b 1876 Westminster

I will throw this one in the mix

All christened Jan 7 1874,Father Thomas Ryan, Occupation Mariner, Mother Mary Ann Ryan, living  at, it looks like Summonds Rd, Bermondsey, St James Southwark

Thomas Ryan b 12 March 1866
WILLIAM RYAN b April 7 1872
Henry Ryan b 5 Dec 1873

Margp
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Saturday 26 October 13 09:39 BST (UK)
Hi

1861 Census Royal Navy Vessal the James Watt

Thomas Ryan b 1839, London, Single, occ Private R M

Margp
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Saturday 26 October 13 10:35 BST (UK)
Wow MargP, those 2 sources of baptism and 1861 census look really interesting. Thank you!
I've also found who I think is the same Thomas in
1891 England Census
Thomas Ryan   53
Mary Ann Ryan   52
Thomas Ryan   25
living in St Pancras.

There's also a wedding bann for a Thomas Peter Ryan and a MaryAnn Foreman from 1861 in Hackney but he lists his occupation as a packer.

I'm trying to work out if it is indeed William's father as William put on army and census records that he was born in Bethnal Green - trying to work out where that came from!
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Saturday 26 October 13 10:52 BST (UK)
Hi BR

You may find this link interesting

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/search_results.aspx?Page=1&QueryText=mariners+wills&SelectedDatabases=BOOKSHOP%7cRESEARCHGUIDES%7cWEBSITE

Margp
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Saturday 26 October 13 11:17 BST (UK)
Hi BR

I would not put much credence on the birth place, he may have been born in and around the London area, and moved to Bethnal Green when he was a child, and thought that was where he was born

Margp
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Saturday 26 October 13 11:50 BST (UK)
Wow MargP, those 2 sources of baptism and 1861 census look really interesting. Thank you!
I've also found who I think is the same Thomas in
1891 England Census
Thomas Ryan   53
Mary Ann Ryan   52
Thomas Ryan   25
living in St Pancras.

There's also a wedding bann for a Thomas Peter Ryan and a MaryAnn Foreman from 1861 in Hackney but he lists his occupation as a packer.

I'm trying to work out if it is indeed William's father as William put on army and census records that he was born in Bethnal Green - trying to work out where that came from!

Hi,

I think the second family are here in 1871 https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VRJ8-MZS. Thomas is a packer.
However, the one you found is a pensioner which looks better.
Heywood
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Saturday 26 October 13 12:00 BST (UK)
I wonder if this is the one from 1891 - the pensioner

1881 229/90/30

Thos. Ryan 44 yrs civil service b Bloomsbury
Mary Ann 43 yrs
Thos. 17 yrs
Edward 14 yrs
Wm. 13 yrs
John 11  yrs

This William would be too old.  :(
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Saturday 26 October 13 14:01 BST (UK)
This doesn't help me on the parents front but I found a 1901 census with

William Ryan born abt 1878 Camberwell, London, England
Visitor

staying in Southwark with

John Conner   82
Julia Conner   80
Ellen Conner   49
Sydney G Vincent   24

The reason I suspect it might be my G-Grandfather is because this William is a hotel waiter (or at least I think that's what his occupation spells out). I know William spent all his life working in hotels and pubs as a cook.

Really appreciate all the help everyone - it's great to get some fresh perspective.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Saturday 26 October 13 17:40 BST (UK)
This doesn't help me on the parents front but I found a 1901 census with

William Ryan born abt 1878 Camberwell, London, England
Visitor

staying in Southwark with

John Conner   82
Julia Conner   80
Ellen Conner   49
Sydney G Vincent   24

The reason I suspect it might be my G-Grandfather is because this William is a hotel waiter (or at least I think that's what his occupation spells out). I know William spent all his life working in hotels and pubs as a cook.

Really appreciate all the help everyone - it's great to get some fresh perspective.

I thought he was a possibility in reply #12  ;D
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Saturday 26 October 13 17:49 BST (UK)
Have you searched 1911 census?

There is a William born Bethnal Green on FS free index here: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XWL3-8F8

Hi BR,

Another which doesn't help with parents but did you look at this one?
Heywood
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 27 October 13 10:22 GMT (UK)
Whoops, forgot you gave me that lead heywood. Serves me right for not rereading what we've covered already!
I was trying to match the 1911 census mentioned before with Electoral Rolls but wasn't coming up with anything concrete. All the William Ryans in Pancras at the time are close by but at different addresses and there's no evidence it's definitely a particular one.
MargP, think all your leads with the schools and baptisms were good but think those Williams are just too old to be the one I need.

So frustrating to not have anything concrete. I suppose I could just save up and then order all the birth certificates of William Ryans born in 1878 in London!
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: MargP on Sunday 27 October 13 10:50 GMT (UK)
Hi

1881 Census,Westminster Union School

William Ryan b 1875 Westminster

1891 Census, Westminster St Johns Certified Industrial School

William Ryan b 1876 Westminster

I will throw this one in the mix

All christened Jan 7 1874,Father Thomas Ryan, Occupation Mariner, Mother Mary Ann Ryan, living  at, it looks like Summonds Rd, Bermondsey, St James Southwark

Thomas Ryan b 12 March 1866
WILLIAM RYAN b April 7 1872
Henry Ryan b 5 Dec 1873

Margp
Hi, I wonder if there are any Admission records for either on these Institutions
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Sunday 27 October 13 11:51 GMT (UK)
Quick google search came back with:
· London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. Holds most of the Poor Law Union records for Westminster.
· The City of Westminster Archives Centre holds many pre-1868 records for Westminster parishes.

Think I need to visit them when I have some spare time.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: heywood on Sunday 27 October 13 16:20 GMT (UK)
Whoops, forgot you gave me that lead heywood. Serves me right for not rereading what we've covered already!
I was trying to match the 1911 census mentioned before with Electoral Rolls but wasn't coming up with anything concrete. All the William Ryans in Pancras at the time are close by but at different addresses and there's no evidence it's definitely a particular one.
MargP, think all your leads with the schools and baptisms were good but think those Williams are just too old to be the one I need.

So frustrating to not have anything concrete. I suppose I could just save up and then order all the birth certificates of William Ryans born in 1878 in London!

He is mentioned as I linked but very difficult to find on a subscription site. That link shows where  he is living and his birth - not St Pancras though.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Monday 17 March 14 19:17 GMT (UK)
Just another update on my progress - after hitting a brick wall I decided to go back to the original wedding certificate and look at the witnesses to see if they could give me any clues.

The two witnesses were Alfred Carey and Hilda Shephard. I've managed to find an interesting link from Alfred Carey that could help find a bit more about William Ryan.

I've found an Alfred Charles Carey who was born in 1881 in Rotherhithe to Elizabeth and George. He is listed in the 1881 census as well but in 1891, Alfred disappears from the family. I was able to find an Alfred Bartholomew Carey who lists his birth as 1879 and is at St Mary's Orphanage in North Hyde, Heston, Middlesex. Coincidentally, there is also a William Ryan who is listed at the same orphanage in the same census who is the right age my g-grandfather would have been.

In the 1901 census the only Alfred Carey in London has married a Rose Carey and is working as a wine porter. He can also be found in the 1911 census living in Lambeth with Rose and a daughter.

It's a bit of a long shot but is there a possibility that the Alfred Carey on the marriage certificate is connected to William through this orphanage? And if so, any tips on how to find some records to prove/disprove this theory?
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Monday 17 March 14 19:30 GMT (UK)
One more small strand of information which I have always discounted as a embellished story but could possibly hold some small truth - apparently my g-grandfather was childhood friends with Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin would have been about 10 years younger than my g-grandfather but he grew up in South London so it could possibly been that William knew the family as opposed to Charlie Chaplin himself. Don't think it's likely but worth throwing into the mix just in case.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Saturday 18 October 14 15:35 BST (UK)
Another update on what has turned out to be a really interesting investigation.
I worked with an excellent researcher and between us we were able to discover important facts about William.

William was the child of 21 year old Mary Ann Ryan, a charwoman working at 42 Goulston Road, Whitechapel (we were on the right track with Bethnal Green!). On the 4th Jan 1879 she was admitted to the Whitechapel Infirmary in labour. Poor law records and William's birth certificate both confirm this. Unfortunately, Mary Ann either didn't want to name or didn't know William's father so he is listed as Unknown.

The next record of William is found in the 1888 Register of Children where he is listed as deserted. He went to North Hyde Orphanage until he was 15 years old. Then he was moved to the St Patricks Working Boys Home in Soho.

There are still a few gaps in his story. I don't know what happened to Mary Ann - whether she died or remarried. And I don't know what happened to William between 1893 and 1911.

I'd love to try to find out more about Mary Ann. A search across the census and marriages and deaths isn't proving very helpful - Mary Ann Ryan is a very popular name! Does anyone have any tips for investigating the residents of Whitechapel/East End?

Thanks
BR
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: jorose on Tuesday 18 November 14 11:53 GMT (UK)
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk
 - there is a Dec 1888 reference here to a Mary Ann Ryan, something about her and two kids going into the Kensington workhouse (and her being pregnant again) - and her "husband" being hauled up before the courts for not supporting them (said his name was not Ryan, and they were not married).  I can't get the full details but if this lines up with what you know about the details of where William was in 1888 it would be worth a look.
Title: Re: Mystery of William Ryan, born 1878
Post by: BR on Tuesday 18 November 14 12:34 GMT (UK)
Thanks jorose!
I'll follow this up and let you know if it leads to anything.