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Healey Family Connections in Bradford

This is a summary of the results I have had so far in researching my possible 19th century relatives in the Healey Family and the Bradford area. Now, of course, all of this can be done online - but this is how it had to be done then ...

The starting point was some family background from my uncle, Joe Healey, - his parents were Christopher and Ann Healey of Bradford. Later I found from Joe's brother, Jim, that Christopher was born on 25 December about 1885. This was enough to search for possible matches at the Family Records Centre in London.

In the event, the information was very good and the birth certificate that arrived a few weeks later was for the right person. The contents were -

  • Christopher, born 25 Dec 1885 at 12 Gracechurch Street, Bradford; parents Hugh and Mary Healey (formerly Hellaren). Hugh was a Journeyman Painter.

But even better news was that the "long shot" of guessing when Christopher had married, at around 1910, had also been successful. The marriage certificate contents were -

  • Christopher Healey (aged 24, son of Hugh, then deceased) married Annie Delaney (aged 20, daughter of Patrick, also deceased) on 7 January 1911 at St Anne's Roman Catholic Church, Bradford. Their addresses were 21 Conway Street and 27 Caledonia Street. The witnesses were James Haley and Sarah Lawler.


With this extra information it was possible to search the census returns. The first were those for 1891 at the Bradford Reference Library.

1891 Census Returns

Hugh Healey and his family were living at 16 Granby Street, Bowling. The full list of occupants, as recorded on 5 April 1891 is;

Name

Age

Relation

Occupation

Born

Hugh

50

Head

Machine Woolcomber

Ireland

Mary

40

Wife

---

Ireland

Joseph

16

Son

Worsted Spinner

Bradford

Hugh

13

Son

Worsted Spinner

Bradford

Sarah A

8

Dau

Scholar

Bradford

Christopher

5

Son

Scholar

Bradford


But a quick search through the microfiche for the 1881 Census did not find any matching Healeys. It was not until the CD-ROM version of the index arrived that I was able to find -

1881 Census Returns

Hugh HALEY and his family were living at 6A St James Street, Bradford. The full list of occupants, as recorded on 3 April 1881 is;

Name

Age

Relation

Occupation

Born

Hugh

38

Head

Painter (House)

Ireland

Mary

30

Wife

---

Ireland

Joseph

6

Son

Scholar

Bradford

Hugh

4

Son

---

Bradford

George Hy.

2

Son

---

Bradford

Francis

1 wk

Son

---

Bradford

As you can see, two of the children here were not listed in the 1891 Census. They may have simply been with friends, neighbours or relatives on the day of the census but it is also possible that they had not survived.¬ 

The next step is to search for a marriage of Hugh and Mary in Bradford during the early 1870's.

June 2000 Update

Another search at the London Family Records Centre found a reference to a marriage of a Hugh Healey and a Margaret Halleran in Bradford during the March Quarter of 1873. This could only be the parents of Christopher and so a copy was ordered. The marriage certificate contents were -

  • Hugh Healey (aged 28, son of Edward, then deceased) married Mary Halleran (aged 26, daughter of James, also deceased) on 24 February 1873 at the Roman Catholic Chapel, Bradford. Their addresses were Bolling Street, Bowling. The witnesses were John Hyslop and Catherine Duffy.

The next step is to search for any census entries for Hugh and Mary in Bradford in 1871; even though it was a problem making any progress on the last attempt.


Delaney Family

Looking for connections along the Delaney line in the 1891 Census produced two possible "Annies" but one had a father named Luke. The most likely family is, therefore, the one of Patrick Delaney at 27 Broom Street, East Bowling. The full list of occupants is -

Name

Age

Relation

Occupation

Born

Patrick Nolan

39

Head

Cart Driver

Ireland

Margaret Nolan

54

Wife

Stuff Weaver

Ireland

Margaret Maher

25

StepDau

Stuff Weaver

Bradford

Elizabeth Nolan

17

Dau

---

Bradford

William Nolan

15

Son

Bolt / Screw Maker

Bradford

Patrick Delaney

25

Half Bro

Iron Moulder

Ireland

Catherine Delaney

2

Boarder

---

Bradford

Annie Delaney

1

Boarder

---

Bradford

Thomas Mitchel

60

Boarder

Machine Woolcomber

Ireland

This is a little difficult to sort out with any confidence but it seems that Margaret Nolan was previously married to a Maher, there could be 3 or 4 parents for the 2 Patricks and the mother of Catherine & Annie was either away or deceased. Incidentally there was also another Catherine Delaney (aged 3, daughter of William & Mary) at 11 Broom Street at the same time. Also Broom Street and Granby Street, the home of the Healeys, were next to each other.

The next step is to search for a birth of Catherine in 1889 and Annie in 1890 - but in both cases there is at least one other person with the same name born in Bradford about the same time. Since the birth indexes for these years do not include parents names, several birth certificates will be needed to be sure of finding the next link in the chain.

January 2000 Update

Searching the records at the Family Records Centre turned up 3 possible Annie Delaneys born about 1890. I decided to order the most likely birth certificate. But when it arrived a week later it was the one for the daughter of Luke born on 15 Jan 1890 - back to the drawing board!

February 2000 Update

Another trip to London and this time I ordered the second most likely birth certificate. This time the week's wait was worthwhile - it was for Ann, the daughter of Patrick, born on 8 Jan 1890 - just 1 week before the daughter of Luke on the first certificate. Her mother is now known to be Margaret Delaney (nee Maher) and she was born at 44 Bolling Street.

This information enabled a probable link to confirmed in the 1881 Census at 14 Franklin Street, Horton, Bradford -

Name

Age

Relation

Occupation

Born

Patrick Nolan

30

Head

Carter

Queen County, Ireland

Margaret Nolan

40

Wife

Stuff Weaver

Kings County, Ireland

Margaret Nolan

18

Dau

Stuff Weaver

Manningham

Thomas Maher Nolan

15

Son

Stuff Twister

Manningham

Elizabeth Nolan

7

Dau

Scholar

Bradford

William Nolan

6

Son

Scholar

Bradford

James Nolan

8

Son

Scholar

Bradford

This ties-up with the 1891 Census entries in most respects - and indicates that Margaret's first husband seems to have died sometime between the births of Thomas (1866) and James (1873) - but there are a few problems. Margaret, the wife, as lost 4 years and Margaret, the daughter, has gained 3 - but then this may not be the right Margaret Maher-Nolan. Why did the 1891 Census not show her as Margaret Delaney (instead of¬  as Margaret Maher)? If she was not married to Patrick Delaney then how did the birth certificate for Ann get issued has it did in 1890 - over a year before the census? And it is hard to believe that there was another Margaret Maher that was also related to this same family. It looks like I need to find some marriage certificates to get more evidence.

I did try to find out more data by searching the 1861 and 1871 Bradford Census microfilms for this family - since all the children were born in the area between 1863 and 1875 - but gave up after a few hours of fruitless effort. It looks like I will need a full day's work to search out whatever lies in the archives.

March 2003 Update

Returning to the family after a long gap lead to a small breakthrough, with 2 related marriage certificates now being indexed at the FreeBMD web site. The details shown were -

  1. Marriages Sep 1873 Bradford Y. 9b 351 Maher Margaret (married name from first marriage - mother of Margaret below?) and Nolan Patrick
  2. Marriages Dec 1887 Bradford Yk 9b 349 DELANEY Patrick and MAHER Margaret (mother of Catherine and Annie?)

These marriages seem certain to be the ones needed to fill in some the missing details and help solve the problems above. More details once the certificates are available.

 

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