7 November 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 43 - Oops

Week 43 (October 22-28) – Oops. An ancestor who made an "oops," or one that you made while researching one of them. (We've all done it, believe me!)

2 weeks ago, during my blog post "Colourful", I mentioned Ethel Cairns. I also briefly mentioned her way back in week 12 in my blog post on "Same".

Ethel was one of those "naughty", colourful women in my family. She is my great grandmother's sister-in-law:
My Mother
Her Mother, Mary Agnes Dobson
Her Mother, Mary Mullen
Mary Mullen's brother, Matthew is Ethel's husband

Ethel was born in February 1884, the daughter of Alexander Cairns and Margaret Dunbar. She married Matthew Mullen about 1904. My Mother's oral family history only has one thing listed about Ethel and Matthew, that is that they had a large family.

(Actually, going back to the "Oops" theme, I originally had Ethel's parents listed as John Cairns and Mary Ann Graham - because their daughter was the only Ethel Cairns of the right age I could find in the 1891 census. It wasn't until I had a few emails back and forth with one of Matthew and Ethel's great granddaughters and also emails from someone related to the Keers' family line that we worked out the correct parents)

In the 1891 census, Ethel is listed as Ethel Keers and is staying with her grandmother and step-grandfather's family (though she is incorrectly listed as their daughter)

This photo, sent to me by a great granddaughter of Ethel's, is apparently Ethel with her Aunt Rachel Keers

In the 1901 census, Ethel is listed with her father - there is no sign of her mother in either the 1891 or 1901 censuses.

By 1911, Ethel had been married to Matthew for 7 years and lists on the census to having 3 children born alive and 3 still living - but only 2 children living with them

Daughter Catherine is listed with her grandparents (Thomas Mullen and Catherine Casey).


This photo, also sent my Matthew and Ethel's great granddaughter, apparently includes Ethel on the far right.
Correction about the above photo - apparently the lady on the far right is Ethel and Matthew's daughter who also was known as Ethel (her full name was Ethelreda and I didn't know she went by Ethel when I wrote this blog) - Nov 22, 2015

Based on census, freebmd and family stories, I had the children of Matthew and Ethel listed as:
Thomas, Catherine, Margaret (Peg), Alexander, Matthew, John Sylvester, Mary, Ethelreda, Agnes and Anne. (10 children)

But then I got another email from Matthew and Ethel's great granddaughter:
Finally, a little skeleton was outed from the closet this week about our Matthew and Ethel. A while ago I wrote to a cousin called XX. She is a granddaughter of Matthew and Ethel. I wrote to her to ask her if she had any info or stories she would mind sharing with me, as well as pictures as I was advised she would have loads! Anyway this was over two years ago and she had never gotten back to me. Well, my Aunty Mary was in town last week and bumped into her. Aunty Mary was quite excited about what she had learned of Thomas Mullen and how he left Ireland and she was telling XX. She also asked her about the letter I had sent. Aunty Mary was advised by XX that she wasn't interested and had no one ever told her that Margaret (Peg) wasn't Matthew's daughter??!!!!  (hence why she wasn't interested and never replied to my letter) It appears that whilst Matthew was working away for a couple of years Ethel had an affair of which Aunty Peg was the result! Apparently she had been brought up by her Maternal Grandmother ( which my Aunt remembers but never questioned why) as Matthew would not have any thing to do with her.

That apparently is Ethel's oops - BUT.....

I did a lookup on FamilySearch.org for Mullen children with a mother of Ethel/Ethel Cairns and I only got one record - the baptism record of Catherine Mullen:
Catherine Mullen's baptism record

This record lists Catherine's parents as Thomas Mullen and Ethel Cairns, not Matthew Mullen and Ethel Cairns.
In 1911, Catherine is living with her paternal grandparents but Margaret (Peg) is with her parents.

Catherine's birth is possibly is another oops of Ethel's or perhaps the baptism record is wrong.

A bit more investigating to do it seems!

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