Archive-Hilbert-English records

Hello I hope you can help me I am an elderly lady not very computer literate and would love to find information of my ancestors.

Trying to find records of Richard Bradshaw my GGGrandfather, all I have been able to find is from the England Census 1871 he was born 1819 Mayo Ireland, and his three children, John Mary and Richard, born on Clare Island.  There was also another son Patrick born Mayo 1850 whose birth I can’t find, he was married twice in Newcastle on Tyne in 1868 and 1879, and he was present at Richard’s death in Newcastle on Tyne in 1879 according to the death certificate.

The 1871 Census records Richard as a widower.  But I can’t find any record of his Marriage and when or where it took place, nor his wife’s death or what her name was.

There is also a Bernard Bradshaw who lived in the same street as Patrick and his family in 1881 Census and others, Bernard was born Ireland 1839, and I am wondering if he was a younger brother of Richard (1819) as his father is also listed as Richard Bradshaw on his England marriage certificate.

I am on a pension and can’t travel to Ireland, but would greatly appreciate any information you may be able to give me.

Thank you for taking the time to read my request I sincerely hope I hear from you.

Yours faithfully

Mrs. M. Hilbert.


Dear Mrs. Hilbert,

I started by verifying the information in the 1871 Census – genealogists always have to be doubting Thomas’s and to take nothing for granted.

I traced the 1871 Census online at the website.

Richard Bradshaw aged 52, widower, born in Ireland, was a labourer in a brickworks.  His age corresponds with an approximate year of birth of 1819 as indicated in your email.  He lived with his three children John aged 16 (born ca. 1855), Mary aged 13 (born ca. 1858) and Richard aged 12 (born ca. 1859).  All three children were born in Ireland.

I found no record in the 1871 Census of an older child Patrick born in 1850 living in the same household or nearby.  However I saw a Patrick aged 22, living at an address at New Road in the same parish of All Saints.  His age at the time of the census would indicate an approximate year of birth of 1849, and he was born in Ireland, as was his bride Bridget aged 20 years (born ca. 1851).  The relative youth of this young married couple suggests that even though the bride and groom were born in Ireland, they weren’t raised to adhere to Irish mores (customs).  My reason for thinking this, is that in the generation after the Famine, young people tended to delay marriage and children.

I searched for a U.K. civil marriage record and found what appears to be the correct marriage (uniquely has a ‘marriage finder’ function, which allows you to narrow the bride or groom’s name down to two possibilities.  It hugely speeds up searching, especially when you’re looking for Irish names).

–          Patrick Bradshaw, married 3rd Quarter of 1868, Newcastle Upon Tyne, vol. 10B, page 203.

–          Bridget Murray, married 3rd Quarter of 1868, Newcastle Upon Tyne, vol. 10B, page 203.

If you haven’t already done so, I would strongly recommend that you order this marriage record from the U.K. General Register Office, to try and confirm if this Patrick is indeed the son of Richard.

IF this Patrick Bradshaw is an older child of Richard Bradshaw (born ca. 1819), then it would suggest that the father married in 1849 or earlier.  It would also tend to suggest that there may have been other children born between ca. 1849 and 1855, the year of birth of the eldest child living at home with his father in 1871.

Using this information, I searched the online Roman Catholic church registers on , but found no marriage record for Richard Bradshaw in Mayo or any of the adjoining counties in the 1840s or 50s.

I then searched for children baptised to a father Richard Bradshaw in County Mayo in the 1840s and 50s, but found only one relevant record.  This was a baptismal record for Mary Bradshaw, born 1stAugust, baptised 10th August 1855 in the RC parish of Clare Island.  The child’s parents were Richard Bradshaw and Mary Joyce of Lecarrew.  Godparents were John Winter and Margaret Bradshaw.

This search result is a good demonstration of the strengths and weaknesses of dealing with any index – the baptismal record of at least two, possibly three or more children don’t appear to have been transcribed.

However, we have sufficient corroborative evidence from the 1871 U.K. Census so that we know that this baptism is relevant to your family.

We now also have Richard Bradshaw’s wife’s maiden name – Mary Joyce.

And we know that the family were resident in the townland of Lecarrew.

Next, I examined Griffith’s Valuation (GV), to see if it was possible to identify Richard Bradshaw as a householder in the townland of Lecarrew.  The only definitive version of Griffith’s Valuation complete with original maps, is available on only one site,  (Although there is a version of the GV books on other sites, and , none of these contain the maps that correspond to the information recorded here.  So if your main reason for searching is to identify your ancestors’ old homestead, you simply must use the Origins website).

I quickly located Richard Bradshaw, in the townland of Lecarrow, civil parish of Kilgeever, Barony of Murrisk, Union of Westport, County Mayo.

He leased Lot 1i, a house and ¼ acre garden.  The house had an annual rateable valuation of 5s, indicating a cottage of not more than two rooms probably with a loft, the walls were made of temporary material probably cob (mud mixed with straw) and a thatched roof.

Richard Bradshaw leased the property from the Hon. Sir E.H. Alderson Bart., James W. Farrer and George Law.  The date on which this book was published was May 1855, so that the information was surveyed only a few months earlier.

Finally, I searched the website, to see if there were any mention of Richard Bradshaw as a sitting tenant on an estate sold under the Landed Estates Court records.  I found no relevant record, however I did find something quite curious, in the Petty Sessions Records online.

To explain this source to you – the Petty Sessions Courts were the ‘lowest’ courts in the country, and were used to try  minor breaches of civil law.  The Petty Sessions records are particularly good at shining a light into rural communities in the second half of the 1800s.  In areas along the north-west coast, particularly in Mayo and parts of Donegal, there are extensive Petty Sessions records that survive earlier than either RC registers or civil records.  They are a unique record, and until they were made available online, they were a real ‘hidden source’ used only by professional genealogists.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, I found a record in the Castlebar Petty Sessions record that appears relevant to your GGGrandfather.  Apparently on 27th April 1864, Richard Bradshaw was the complainant in a case for non-payment of wages in March.  The judge found in his favour, and awarded him 17s 2d. & 5s costs.

Additional corroborative evidence contained in the original record was his address “Laughkerew.”

This is pretty much as far as we can research your GGGrandfather online.  However, there is further information that you can do based on original sources in the Irish archives.

  1. Using the Cancelled Books in the Valuation Office, trace how long Richard Bradshaw remains in the townland of Lecarrow, civil parish of Kilgeever.  Does any other Bradshaw take over the holding after he leaves, indicating that close family may have remained behind in Ireland after Richard emigrated to the U.K.?
  2. The civil parish of Kilgeever corresponds to the RC parishes of Clare Island and Kilgeever, where registers start in 1851 and 1850 respectively.  It won’t be possible to trace a marriage record for Richard Bradshaw and Mary Joyce, or baptismal records for any children born prior to these dates, but you could search for any potential other children born between 1850 and 1855 (i.e. after Patrick and before John).
  3. There is a list of Clare Island tenants, taken in 1845, published in the South Mayo Family History Research Journal, 7, 1994, 46-7.  You could try to find Richard Bradshaw and possibly also other close family living on the island.
  4. The Royal Irish Academy undertook an extensive survey of Clare Island in the early 20thCentury, which included a historic survey.  I would suggest that you read two papers that were subsequently published.
    1. Placenames & family names [on Clare Island], by John McNeill.  Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. XXXI, Sect. 3, part 48, pp. 1-14 (1913).
    2. History and Archaeology, T.J. Westropp. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. XXXI, Sect. 1, Part 2, p. vii, pp. 1-78 (1911).