Family researching can at times be easy, everything falling into place with out to much trouble. At others times it can leave you pulling your hair out, steam oozing from your ears and your computer heading at full speed towards the window.
I have a good few branches of my tree, that leave me feeling incredibly frustrated, still needing to know more and not being able to find the answers.
The branches of this weeks ancestor, Susan, are tricky ones, especially her husbands line and I am sorry to say that I am unable to tell you her full story, I haven’t been able to discover how her story ends, but I’m working on it.
I do want to say, that gut feelings are incredibly important when carrying out research. I had a gut feeling about Susan, I followed it and discovered things I never would have done if I hadn’t had that feeling and dug a little deeper.
So let me tell you what I know so far about my maternal 3rd Great Grandmother, Susan Mary Lagden, also known as Mary.
Susan Mary Lagden, was born on the 13th November 1858 in Whittlesford, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England, to William Henry Lagden and Elizabeth Lagden nee Prime.
At the time of her birth her father William was working as a Bricklayer and they were residing in Whittlesford.
Her mother Elizabeth registered her birth on the 4th January 1859. Elizabeth signed with an X.
On her birth registry, her mother’s surname has been logged as Prince, which was a tad confusing.
If you look closely at her certificate, you can see that it is really Prime.
Susan joined a family of 5, her Father William, Mother Elizabeth, her Sisters, Sarah Elizabeth Prime, Elizabeth Emma Lagden and Brother, James Frederick Lagden.
William and Elizabeth, christened Susan Mary, on the 27th February 1859, at St Mary’s and St Andrews, Whittlesford, Cambridge, England.
The 1861 census was taken on the 7th April, which shows Susan, her Father William, her Mother Elizabeth, her siblings Sarah, Elizabeth and James Frederick and her Grandmother Susan Prime nee Marshall, residing at, Somerset Road, Tottenham Middlesex, England.
James is listed as Frederick.
William was working as a, Journeyman Bricklayer.
Their neighbors are, William Jas Friendship and his wife Elizabeth. Also Henry Stevens, his wife Elizabeth and a lodger, John Frenn.
Between the months of April and June 1863, Elizabeth gave birth to Eliza Ellen Lagden, in the Edmonton, district.
Another sister joined the Lagden Clan between the months of October and December 1867 at Sunbury, Middlesex, England, in the Staines district.
They named her Emily Caroline Lagden.
Eliza, Richard and Emily, were Christened on the 15th march 1877 at Sunbury, Middlesex, England.
Elizabeth once again gave birth to another daughter, Alice Louisa Lagden, born between the months of October and December 1870, at Sunbury Middlesex, England.
Alice Louisa Lagden, was baptised on the 3rd Jan 1871 at Sunbury on Thames, London, England
On the 2 April the census was taken.
The Lagden family are residing at, Railway Place, Sunbury, Middlesex, England.
William was working as a Bricklayer.
Their neighbours were, William and Amelia Barr.
Just a short while after, the family are shook to the core, when Alice Louisa died in the October of 1872, in the Staines district. She was only One year and Eleven months old.
The year of 1880, is the year that Susan became an independent woman and a wife.
She married Alfred Kirby, son of Thomas Kirby and Ellen Kirby nee Tilley, on the 16th May 1880 at St Mary’s, The Parish Church of Islington.
Susan used her middle name Mary and was of full age, as was Alfred.
Alfred was working as a Carman. His father Thomas Kirby, was a Coachman and Susan’s father, William, was a Builder.
Alfred’s residents was, 71 Mayton Street, Islington.
Susan was residing at, 6 Oxford Terrace, Islington.
Their witnesses were, T Jacob and Lizzie Foyley.
On January the 6th 1881, Susan gave birth to my Great, Great-Grandmother, Eleanor Mary Kirby.
She was born at, 89 Devonshire Road, Islington, Middlesex, England.
Alfred was still working as a Carman.
Susan registered her birth on the 15th February 1881.
Susan Mary and Alfred, baptised Eleanor Mary Kirby, on the 6th February 1881, at St Mark’s, Tollington Park, Islington, England.
I have been longing to tell you all about Eleanor. She is by far one of my most captivating ancestors, she pulls on my heart strings more than any one else in my history. Her life is fascinating as is her husbands and their children’s lives.
I don’t know what it is about her, but I feel extremely protective towards her and feel to pull, a bond which is unexplainable. I so wish I knew what she looked like, to be able to put a face to her character, would be amazing. I also wish, I could discover the mystery of her death certificate.
You will have to wait a little longer to hear all about her, I just hope I can do her life justice and she can look down on me and smile, a smile I’m sure is radiant and absolutely beautiful.
Back to it.
Just a short while after, on the 3rd April 1881, the census was taken, which shows Alfred, Mary aka Susan and Eleanor, residing at 89 Devonshire Road, Upper Holloway, Islington, England.
Alfred was working as a Fishmonger Carman.
Their neighbors were, Jessy Howard and his daughter Florence S Howard and Fred J Smit, his wife Mary Ann, their son Herbert and a servant called Alma Malina.
July 1886, Susan Mary gave birth to her second daughter, Alice Maud Olive Kirby. She was born in the Islington district.
I have ordered her birth certificate, but unfortunately it hasn’t arrived yet.
She was baptised on the 13th July 1886 at Emmanuel Holloway, 145 Hornsey Road, London, England.
4 months later and tragedy shook the Kirby family while they were residing at 2 Bovey Street, Holloway, Islington, Middlesex, England.
Four month old Alice Maud Olive Kirby died in November 1886.
Her death certificate is on order and I will write an update post as soon as I have received it.
Susan, Alfred and Eleanor, laid Alice Maud Olive Kirby, to rest on the 12th November 1886, at Finchley Burial Ground, Islington Cemetery, Islington, Middlesex, England.
Plot reference – S/3/11956.
She was buried with 16 other people.😢
How incredibly hard it must of been, how small her coffin would have been. The heart break, tears and devastation must have been unbearable.
A little joy followed as Susan Mary, gave birth to a baby boy, her first Son, Richard Arthur Kirby, between the months of October and December 1887, in the Islington district. I’m awaiting his certificate.💔
Richard Arthur was baptised on the 7th February 1888 at Emmanuel Holloway, 145 Hornsey Road, London, England.
I assumed he was named after Susan’s brother, Richard Arthur Lagden.
Heartbreak once again followed, while Susan and her family were still residing at 2 Bovey Street, Islington.
Richard Arthur Kirby died in the month of November 1888.
I am awaiting his certificate.
He was laid to rest at Finchley burial ground, Islington cemetery, Islington, Middlesex, England, on the 22nd November 1888.
Susan Mary’s, life becomes a total mystery from this point onwards.
There is no trace of her in the census’s, nor her husband Alfred, also there is no trace of Eleanor in the 1991 census. Where are they? Are Susan and Alfred still alive?
I have looked at deaths and only one seems to fit. It’s for the June Quarter of 1890, in Greenwich, London.
I ordered the certificate but I’m not convinced, it just doesn’t feel right. I maybe wrong though.
Her name is given as Susan Mary ANN Kirby. Where did the Ann come from?
And her husband is named as William Thomas Kirby, Greengrocer Master. Which isn’t right. He was Alfred, a Fishmonger/Carman.
The age given is about right. She would have been about 31/32.
I’m pretty convinced it’s not her? I know it’s not.
I then looked for Alfred’s death and ordered a certificate which I think could be the right one but I’m still only 99% convinced.
His name is correct and age seems to fit as does the location of Islington.
His occupation is listed as a, Coffee Stall Keeper, which could be a possibility, considering he was a Fishmonger Carman. It’s not a totally different occupation. We all change careers from time to time, don’t we. Unfortunately the certificate doesn’t give any more information away, as to family members.
Is it him?
If I remember rightly, I think my Nan told me that her Grandmother Eleanor Mary Kirby, married just after her father died as he was against the marriage. I could be getting confused with someone else though. HMMMMM, then again I think that may have been Alice Maria Money (who I have yet to tell you about). Nan?
Alfred had definitely deceased by the time Eleanor Mary, got married.
Sadly this is where I have to end, Susan Mary’s Kirby nee Lagden’s story, hopefully though I will finally get a break-through and find out what happened to her. Watch this space.
Going back to what I said about “Following your gut feelings.”
Up until I was sat writing this blog post, I only knew that Susan and Alfred, had one child, Eleanor. For some unknown reason I thought it rather strange that only one child was born, especially as most families had about five children and upwards.
I decided to do some digging and discovered Alice and Richard. Even though it’s always hard to find children that haven’t even made it to their teens, I wouldn’t want them to be unknown or forgotten. They should be remembered, they were loved, cherished and mourned. They are part of the family and have their very own short story to tell.
I for one will not forget these little angels who are now forever embedded in my heart and soul. May they rest in peace, in their mother and fathers arms.
As for their Mother Susan Mary, I will try my up most to discover the rest of her story, and remember the strong women who gave not only Eleanor life but also baby Alice and Richard.
Rest In Pearce
Susan Mary Kirby nee Lagden
Gone but never forgotten
1858 – ?