|Click on images to view a larger version for comparison of the information requested on each census.|
The snapshot of family life which is recorded on the 1911 Irish census was much more developed than that which had been revealed in the 1901 census. In 1911, for the first time, a woman was required by law to indicate the number of years she had been married, as well as the number of children born alive to her, and the number still living in 1911. The inclusion of this extra information in 1911 is valuable because it reveals exactly how many members were born live in a specific family, and the numbers recorded may help us to find 'lost' children.
I began the search for them by comparing the 1901 and 1911 census materials on which their families appeared. In the case of the Fitzpatrick family, who had moved to Liverpool just before the 1901 Irish census, I used the 1901 U.K. census as well. With the census records as a 'jumping off point', I was able to use other documentary evidence, and ultimately found all but one of them.
WHAT DID I DISCOVER? Looking first at the 1911 Census, here is what the numbers tell us about these four families:
BALL: Jane Ball gave birth to 5 children; 3 were alive in 1911.
FITZPATRICK: Mary Fitzpatrick gave birth to 7 children; 5 were alive in 1911.
GERAGHTY: Margaret Geraghty gave birth to 9 children; on the 1911 census 9 are reported alive, but only 7 names are listed.
MAGEE: Mary Magee gave birth to 5 children; 4 were alive in 1911.
For each family listed below, click on the year links, highlighted in blue, to view the census record for that particular family. Click on the blue post links for further details and stories of some of these lost children.
BALL: 1901 Irish Census 1911 Irish Census
In 1901 Francis Ball is 7 years old, the youngest child in his family which at this point includes 3 other siblings. Francis is named after his father. By 1911 both he and his father no longer appear on the census. His mother is described as a widow, so we know his father is dead by 1911, but was he also deceased? Sadly, the answer is yes. In this post I detail my discovery of the life and death of Francis Ball.
Baby Jane Ball appeared on neither the 1901 nor the 1911 census, but she is accounted for in the numbers. In this post, I recount my discovery of little baby Jane.
FITZPATRICK: 1911 Irish Census
In the 1901 U.K. census  Joseph Fitzpatrick is 5 years old, the middle child in a family which at this point includes 2 other siblings, his elder sister Mary Angela and younger brother Thomas. By 1911 his brother and sister are still alive, but he is unaccounted for. What happened to him? Sadly, as I detail in this account, little Joseph Fitzpatrick died in Liverpool in November of 1901. This post gives an account of the sad and unsettling details of his interment.
Another child appears in the numbers on the Fitzpatrick census documents, but is on neither the 1901 UK census nor the 1911 Irish census. In order to find this child, I looked at the dates of birth of his/her siblings and noticed a number of gaps in the years of birth. The gaps offer me a starting point in my search for this child. So far I have not yet found this lost child but my search continues.
GERAGHTY: 1901 Census 1911 Census
In 1901 Mary Geraghty is the second born child, and first born daughter, and is 13 years old. She has one elder brother and six younger siblings all of whom are listed on the 1911 census. Why was Mary missing from the 1911 census? Had she married? Where was she living? Also, I knew my grandfather had a sister named Helen, but where was an account of her on these census records?
It turned out that the answer to this puzzle is very simple, Mary and Helen are in fact one person. As she grew into adulthood Mary no longer used her given forename. Instead, Mary used her middle name Helen, so she was known to some members of the later generations in the family as Helen. Finding her record of civil registration was no help, since her parents had not yet named their daughter, but her record of baptism revealed all. Mary was born Maria 'Mary' Helen Geraghty 28 July 1887, and was baptized with that name at the Church of St. James, Dublin, on 7 August 1887.
Despite the fact that Mary used her middle name Helen, her birth name would have to appear on official documents, such as a passport, so I searched for Mary using her entire first name, and I found her.
By the time of the 1911 census, Mary was still alive, but she was no longer living in Ireland. Mary was the only member of her family of origin to emigrate out of Ireland to the United States. In 1909, at the age of 22, Mary Helen Geraghty emigrated to the United States of America. She sailed from Liverpool on 2 October 1909 onboard the SS Campania. Her final destination was Cleveland Ohio, but there is no indication of why she was going there. The manifest entry indicates she had no profession. The name of her father Patrick Geraghty, and the family home address of 7 Bow Bridge, Dublin, are noted on the far right of the entry.
|Header of the manifest of the S.S. Campania on which Mary sailed. (FindMyPast.co.uk)|
|The centre entry for Mary. Her name is incorrectly noted as Mary Ellen instead of Mary Helen. (FindMyPast.co.uk)|
MAGEE: 1901 Census 1911 Census
In 1901 the Magee family has two children, Anne and Michael. Those two children along with two others, Mary (called Mollie) and Francis (called Frank), were alive and accounted for on the 1911 census; however, there was one child about whom there is no account on either the 1901 or 1911 census, except in the numbers, so who was this fifth child?
Again, I looked for a gap in the birth dates of the siblings in order to find the fifth child born to the Magee family. The pattern of births in the Magee family revealed that on average there was a child born about every 18 months. With Michael born in 1896 and his sister Anne born in 1900, there was a wide gap of 4 years during which to search, and it was within that gap that I found Patrick William.
Patrick William was born 13 July 1898 and died 22 Feb 1900. At the time of his death, Patrick William's mother Mary was in the first trimester of her pregnancy with baby Anne. A sad fact in many Irish families in the period, the burying of one child while carrying another.
1. The Fitzpatrick records in the 1901 UK census can only be accessed through a paid site, so I could not include the link here.
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