Monday, March 12, 2007

Nothing to do with census returns!!!!

This lady is a distant Aunt of mine called Catherine Delaney.

From the census returns, I knew that a great great grandmother of mine was born in Gibraltar. She stuck out like a sore thumb in the returns for Birmingham. I viewed the parish registers for the main (and only?) RC church in Gibraltar for a likely period - and there she was. Shout of joy that caused the customers of the Mormons in Helston to gather round. Some kind lady in Cheltenham translated the abbreviated priestly Latin for me and I discovered that her father was a corporal in the 94th Regt of Foot. I also found she had a brother.

I found a lot of information on the IGI - but it was placed there by a member of the Church and there didn't seem to be any way of contacting him or her.

My next step was to pay a researcher to look for Cornelius Delaney in the army records at Kew. Two lots of £25 bought me a great deal of information about him. A search of the Army records also turned up another 4 children, all born to another wife.

Catherine Delaney was born about 1835 on a ship off Malta. Her father's regiment had moved from Gibraltar to Malta and was now on its way to India. He didn't spend much time there and was back in Ireland by 1836. He managed to fit t being busted from Sgt to Private for being drunk on bathing parade!

I posted my Delaney details on the Delaney message board and much to my surprise got responses from two ladies in Australia. It seemed I had lots of relatives out there! The whole family had gone to Tasmania on a convict ship, the SS Rodney. Cornelius was an Enrolled Pensioner Guard. Catherine married a convict (or ex-convict) in 1851 and soon after that, the whole lot of them moved to Victoria. She died in 1913 and this photograph is said to have been taken shortly before her death.

One of the Australian respondents on the Delaney message board put me in touch with the Mormon source. She was an 82-year old lady living in Sidney. She had a computer but didn't use the internet. We exchanged information and we both ended up with much better family trees. She had been studying Cornelius and his family for 60 years! By the way, this made me look at the IGI in a different light.

What a life Catherine had! Three long sea voyages when they were very unhealthy. I don't suppose that Tasmania was very safe in 185o either. Yet she lasted 78 years! They made them differently in those days!

I sometimes look at her picture and wonder what she would think of me.......

A final note is that Cornelius is another of my Irish brick walls. Although I know where he was born and when, he isn't on the parish register. Lots of Delaneys, but not mine.

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