52 Ancestors: #18 Mary Devine Noble

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

Current photo of the Pottery Yard, Newbottle, Durham, England, where Mary Devine lived in 1861. Courtesy of Google Maps Street View.

Current photo of the Pottery Yard, Newbottle, Durham, England, where Mary Devine lived in 1861. Courtesy of Google Maps Street View.

Writing these weekly vignettes really reveals the gaps in my family research so please understand that this is a work in progress.

I first met Mary in the 1861 UK census for the Pottery Yard, Newbottle, Durham, England with her husband, Edward Noble, and their five children. She is my 2nd great grandmother. The first two children, Thomas, my great-grandfather, and John, were born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. The remaining children were all born in Newbottle. Mary stated she was born in Ireland and that she was 30 years of age at the time of this census, which gives an approximate birth year of 1831.

The marriage of Mary and Edward and the births of all their children were located in the UK BMD index so I obtained copies of the marriage and birth certificates from the General Register Office (GRO). The marriage record listed Mary’s maiden name as Devine and her father as John Devine. The date of their marriage was 2 August 1852 in Houghton Le Spring, Durham, England.

Another clue, an IGI entry list a marriage for an Edward Noble and Mary Devine, date their marriage 2 August 1852 and listed Mary’s parents as John Devine and Rose Taylor. The Irish Family History Foundation provided an image of a baptismal record for a Mary Devine that listed the parents John Devine and Rose Taylor, with a baptismal date of 10 December 1827 in the parish of Longford, Co. Longford, Ireland.

The family was found in Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania in the 1870 US census.  All family members matched, names, ages and birthplaces, to those in the 1861 UK census.  No passenger lists for this family has been found to date.

According to a descendent, an aunt (Elizabeth Woods) wrote a letter in 1911.  In this letter, Elizabeth Wood said her grandfather was John Devine and her grandmother is Rose Taylor Devine.  Their children were Mary, Catherine, Eliza, John, James, Michael, William and Thomas all born in Co. Longford.  They had two uncles as priests, both Father McDermott. This information ties into the information already collected, although none can be viewed as “proof.”

According to family lore, Rose came from a well-to-do family, fell in love with their footman, eloped with him, and was disowned by her family.

Additional research was performed at the Irish Family History Foundation site to see if baptismal records for Mary’s siblings could be found.  After the expenditure of many credits, no records were found at this time for this family in Co. Longford.

Mary died on13 May 1917 in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Her recently obtained death certificate listed her parents as John Devine and Rosana Tailor, both of Ireland. The certificate contained some conflicting information, which must be resolved. It listed the date of birth as 20 December 1841 and listed her age as 75/4/24. But, of course, the age may have been calculated from an incorrect birth date or not.  This information was given by a granddaughter.

In summary, most of the records point to a birth date between 1827 and 1832 for Mary but the death certificate’s 1841, a 9 to 14 year difference could invalidate prior research.  Could both of us be researching the wrong family?
Week 18 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnston Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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