Author Topic: 'Who' was my Grandmother?  (Read 1214 times)

Offline Bigfeet

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'Who' was my Grandmother?
« on: Monday 28 December 15 13:26 GMT (UK) »
Looking for my four year old Grandmother, Nella McDonald in the 1911 census. She's not where she should be but there is a 'Constance Butler' listed in the household of otherwise familiar names as a 'niece' and has the same birth date as my Grandmother. The niece's name 'Constance Butler' is not known to our family, and she appears to have been born to a Helen Butler in the Saint Marylebone workhouse infirmary-no Father named. If (quite possibly) she is an illegitimate product of a family member, is it likely her name would have/could have been totally changed? There are other stepdaughters in the family record that changed their name to 'McDonald' over time.

Offline Radcliff

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 28 December 15 13:37 GMT (UK) »
Her baptism appears in the workhouse , birth records doesn't it, mother Helen
October 4th 1906 so her birth will have been registered , and records will give perhaps her mothers occupation
Gunning County Down,Kneale Isle of Man,Riddle Tynemouth,Bibby Kendal/Bradford,Colenso Penzance/Barrow-in-Furness,Steele Corney Fell,Chapman Ely,Dawes Alfreton,Blamire Westmoreland and Ulverston
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Offline groom

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 28 December 15 13:40 GMT (UK) »
Have you got the birth certificate of Nella McDonald to prove that she is a different person to Constance Butler?

You can call yourself whatever you like as long as the intention isn't to defraud, so the chances are, if she was brought up in the McDonald household, she just became known by their name. Maybe Nella was a nickname that in time became the name she used.
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Offline Bigfeet

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 28 December 15 14:26 GMT (UK) »
We can find no record of her birth anywhere under the name 'McDonald'. However, she was married under this name (Nella McDonald) in 1926. Her still living daughter, now aged 89, seems to think that 'Nella' wasn't her real name, and can't say with any certainty where she came from originally. We have retrieved the birth certificate for Constance Butler, and her Mother is cited as 'waitress'. We are suspicious that she may be the product of another member of the family who appears to have had something of an 'interesting' record with his female relationships. 'Nella' was always very vague about her background, and only ever spoke about the man she knew as her ''Father', but it seems he wasn't!  As said, with the exception of Constance, and a ten year old 'visitor' named Baden Pryke-another name unknown to us, but not cited as a relation-all other names on the 1911 census are know to us, including Nella's 'brother'  that we knew as 'Uncle Charlie', and was born only two months before her according to his BC!


Offline [Ray]

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 28 December 15 14:38 GMT (UK) »


Charles McDonald was at one time a "waiter".

Felt sorry for a waitress who worked with him?


Daisy Stratford/McDonald (b1891) was born before Charles McD married Emily Stratford 1892

Where was Charles in 1901, Charles is not with Emily, Daisy, Flora ?
"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

Offline Bigfeet

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 28 December 15 15:04 GMT (UK) »
Charles McDonald was by all accounts a very formal and straight-laced man. His wife, Emily, was formerly married to a Henry Stratford, who died in 1892 following a stretch in Pentonville for 'bigamy and numerous other felonies'. 'Daisy' was the youngest of the Stratford daughters, and adopted the name McDonald, as did one of the other stepdaughters, Alice Henrietta Stratford. Our suspicions are possibly with Charles' younger brother 'Thomas Stuart', who lived with them on occasions. He appears to have something of a track record: a shotgun marriage in 1895, and then marries again as a 'widower' in 1909, although I can find no death record for his first wife, Sarah Jane Few. On the 1901 census, Charles' Wife Emily at Crampton Street, Penge, with Flora (legitimate daughter by Charles) and Daisy (stepdaughter), but as you observe no Charles-possibly working elsewhere on the census night, but as you infer, he can't be wholly discounted as Nella's Father?

Offline Radcliff

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 28 December 15 15:10 GMT (UK) »
If Constance was born in the workhouse her Mothers medical  , records will be an enormous help to you,
will have her home  address etc and when she left the work house
usually quite detailed records I have seen my Grandfathers , and I was overwhelmed by what info they did contain
Gunning County Down,Kneale Isle of Man,Riddle Tynemouth,Bibby Kendal/Bradford,Colenso Penzance/Barrow-in-Furness,Steele Corney Fell,Chapman Ely,Dawes Alfreton,Blamire Westmoreland and Ulverston
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Offline Bigfeet

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #7 on: Monday 28 December 15 15:24 GMT (UK) »
Yes, I think we will have to do some leg work and go down to the LMA, We have Helen Butler's address from Constance's BC. However, if CB (niece) is NM, we can understand the adoption of the surname as this conforms with the practice of the stepdaughters, but changing the whole name is a bit puzzling, unless CB had a second given name? regardless , thanks for your input.

Offline ec

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Re: 'Who' was my Grandmother?
« Reply #8 on: Monday 28 December 15 15:43 GMT (UK) »
Well if Helen was her mother then that may explain Nella/Nellie as this was a shortened form of Helen along with Nell

ec