But Wait, There’s More!

Census of Ireland 1911
Census of Ireland 1911, Family of Walter Basquil and Bridget Bourke

Family Group Screen
Family of Walter Basquill and Bridget Bourke

Sometimes you look at something so many times that you stop seeing it. Tonight I had two small epiphanies.

1) I had a note scribbled during a conversation with my grandma Jeanne, about her recollection of what her mother had told her about her own family. There wasn’t much there, but the ever elusive Myles made an appearance. Grandma thought he’d been born between Margaret and Nell. He’d either died from an illness or drowned in a pond, at about three years old.

That would mean that Myles had to have been Bridget Bourke’s son, not Mary McHugh’s. It also means that I may never find any actual evidence that he existed. His life was so short that his birth and death may never have been officially registered.

It also means that the gap between Nell’s and Margaret’s births isn’t so large after all. Five years would have been a long time to go between children, for Walter and Bridget.

Which brings me to the next epiphany.

2) I took another look at the 1911 census. For one thing, I’m still trying to find Bridget’s baptismal record. I can find her siblings, but there’s no trace of her. There’s an entry in the death index for a Bridget Basquill who died in 1938, at the age of 76. That would match nicely with what I think is probably Bridget’s birth date. The 1901 census matches that birth date, but the 1911 census is a little off. Not a huge concern. Censuses are can give you a decent range and comparative ages of children, but they’re really not very good sources for actual birth dates.

But look at columns 10, 11, and 12! Column 10 has the number of years Walter and Bridget have been married, and it’s almost right on the money. Columns 11 and 12 are the interesting ones, though, and I have no idea why I missed this information the last thousand times I’ve looked at this. As of 1911, Bridget had had nine children, of which nine were living. That means, even with Myles tucked in there between Margaret and Nell, there are still three Basquills unaccounted for. For now, I’ve just added place holders, to remind me that there should be three more children to look for.

Also, this means that if this information is correct, Walter is winning the procreation race against Louis Charles Couvrette, albeit with two wives instead of Louis Charles’ one.

(The 1/2 in front of some of the children’s names, on Walter’s and Bridget’s family group screen, mean that those are half-siblings. Their mother is Mary McHugh.)

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