Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Finn family in the 1891 Census

Ten years later, the 1891 census records the Finn family living, this time, at 6 back of 107 Hospital Street in the St Stephen's ward of Birmingham, still in Newtown. As mentioned earlier, 44 year old Thomas Finn was now a widower, Bridget having died 2 years previously. Thomas was working as a bricklayer's labourer and, interestingly, stated that his place of birth was Birmingham, which we know of course to be false.

The 1891 census was taken one year before Mary Helen Finn married William Clayton in Duddeston in 1892 and she is still living in her family home, registered as a 19 year old press machinist. Next in line came Annie (16 years old) and Maggie (14 years old) who were also both press machinists, then came Ellen (12 years old), Julia (5 years old) and little Thomas who was 2.

Apart from Bridget, during the ten years that had passed since the previous census, three others had departed the family home of the Finns in Newtown: Bridget's mother, Mary Flynn, who would have been aged 70 in 1891, was no longer there and neither was Bridget's sister Margaret who would have been 36. Also gone was Bridget’s older sister, Mary Rattigan. The only additional person remaining with the Finns at 107 Hospital Street was Bridget's youngest sister Maria Flynn aged 33, a domestic housekeeper (formerly her mother's occupation).

In 1999, my father's sister Kathleen Robinson threw light on the character of Maria Flynn, or Aunt Maria as she was remembered through the years:

"Granny's Aunt Maria was said to have had a mental condition called religious mania. They say that she was continually saying "Hail Mary, Hail Mary" to herself. She could have been the one that they say was kicked in the head by a cow in Ireland".

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