I am in the middle of reading "Will the Real Mary Kelly...?" by Christopher Scott. He's done a remarkable job of searching the old census, marriage, birth and death records in his search for MJK and come up with some tantalizing clues, but nothing definite to verify her life story. I understand that by the late Victorian Era the laws required certain things to be registered, and also that some unanswered questions today are due to records being lost or destroyed. However, I can't help but reflect on how half the time when I look in my local telephone directory for the number of someone I know lives here in my town, they're just not in there. So I'm wondering- even with compulsory laws, was it common back then for people to ignore the census, or to give birth at home and never register the baby, or in rural areas to simply bury their own dead without informing authorities? Things like that. If so it would obviously make the searching of old records far from an exact science.
I wonder that myself. I really wish Chris Scott has responded to this post- he would have known better than perhaps anyone. There's probably some information in the various "Lost document" or census threads, but you'll have to go through MASSIVE threads to piece together the information.
I have, Dave, I have Which is why I tend to arrive at the conclusion that she was unlikely to have been a native East Ender. Incidentally, none of the other victims were either, yet there was comparatively little difficulty in finding information, friends or family in their cases, nor - in subsequent years - in filling out their biographies. If Kelly was the one true "local" victim, then I'd have expected us to have found out a lot more about her than any of the others.