Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Finn and Flynn families in the 1881 census

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An 1837 map of Galway


Ten years earlier, in the 1881 census, the Finn family are listed at 10 House 9 Court Weaman Street, a street which was very close to St Chad's cathedral.

Thomas was listed as a 36 year old bricklayer's labourer from Galway, whilst Bridget was recorded as a 34 year old press worker, also originating from Galway. The children registered at that time in 1881 were Mary aged 9, Annie aged 6 and Ellen aged 2. However, there is no mention of Margaret who should have been 5 years old.

Also living with the Finn family in Weaman Street was Bridget's mother, Mary Flynn, listed as a 60 year old widow from Galway, who was employed as a housekeeper and Bridget's two unmarried sisters, 26 year old Margaret Flynn, a press worker and 24 year old Maria Flynn, a bedstead maker. The brother, Daniel Flynn (named after his father) who had previously been recorded with the family at Smith Street 10 years earlier, was no longer in the household at Weaman Street, although one interesting additional resident was 40 year old Mary Rattigan, a press worker from Galway, registered as the lodger. It is worth recalling here that Mary Rattigan was also the witness to Thomas and Bridget's marriage in 1870.

The 1881 census also reveals the family of Thomas Finn's older brother James, living just around the corner from Weaman Street, at 22 Lench Street. James, a labourer, was by now 47 years old and his wife Mary was 45. In this census James and Mary Finn have one additional child registered, Mary Ann Finn who was 9 years old, their 3 other children being 18 year old Ann, a dressmaker, 14 year old Thomas, a polisher and 10 year old James, who was at school.

What is interesting about this couple's fourth child, Mary Ann Finn, is that she was almost exactly the same age as my great grandmother, Mary Helen Finn. The two girls were first cousins and would have grown up together around the streets of Newtown - two little Mary Finns. I therefore believe that this person could have been the lady who later became Mary Payne, whose name has so often been mentioned to me as the cousin with whom my great grandmother had such a close relationship throughout her life. But more on Mary Payne later on.

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