Very interesting stuff, Chris - it may be a possibility after all!
One of the difficulties is that both Davies and Kelly are such extremely common names, and we know so precious little about MJK (and most of what we do comes from Joe Barnett, which may not be exactly the most reliable source....especially if Mary was a bit of a story teller like Liz Stride...) that it's difficult to sort the fact from the fiction. Although it's amazing that if it was true, more people didn't know about it or make mention of it - neighbours, etc.
One of the members of my family who does genealogy research discovered not so long ago that we have ancestors with the surname Kelly who came from Limerick, Ireland....that was a little disturbing, to say the least, although most likely it's not a connection. I actually hope that it's not.
Mary was the most common girl's name and Kelly the second most common last-name after Murphy at the time in Ireland!
There are interesting possibilities here. However, my presumption is, that if Kelly has any descendants, they only know, that the founding-father of the family originates from an Irish/Welsh/London orphanage!
All the best
"When I know all about everything, I am old. And it's a very, very long way to go!"
Thanks to Graham for: Allan E Jones writing in Ripperana, date unknown, mentioned an oral tradition in Cardiff that Mary Kelly had a daughter called Agnes Mary, born 1881, who lived in Cardiff until 1908 and then moved to Bristol where she lived until 1942. Who Allan Jones is/was I have no idea, nor do I have a clue as to where he obtained his information.
There is a record of a girl of this name being born in Carmarthen in the first quarter of 1881.
However what could be the same girl is listed as married to a man named William Downs in 1901, and here her mother's name is given:
7 Rosser Court, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Head: William Downs aged 21 born Beaufort, Monmouth - Coal miner below ground
Wife: Agnes Mary Downs aged 20 born Merthyr
Mother in Law: Elizabeth Davies (Widow) aged 69 born Builth Wells - Dressmaker
Now, the relationship "mother in law" is always expressed on census returns in relation to the head of household. Elizabeth could only be William's mother in law by being his wife's mother. But at 69 Elizabeth is far too old to be the 20 year old Agnes Mary's biological mother.
The maiden name is confirmed by the record of the marriage which took place in the second quarter of 1900 in Merthyr Tydfil:
Agnes Mary Davies married William James Downs
What if this Elizabeth Davies were not Agnes Mary's mother, but grandmother? If Agnes Mary were the daughter of Elizabeth's son, and IF that son was the mysterious miner killed in or about the year of Agnes's birth (1881), then perhaps Elizabeth brought up Agnes Mary as her own child until Agnes married in 1900...
There is an Agnes M. Davies, aged 3 months, born at Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, daughter of Thomas Davies and his wife Elizabeth, in the 1881 census of the parish of St Ishmael (RG 11/5394, f. 129; pp. 15, 16). I'm not quite sure whether this is the same woman you've found in 1901, but it does seem likely to be the Agnes Mary whose birth was registered at Carmarthen in the first quarter of 1881.
Many thanks Chris
Does the age of the Elizabeth Davies you mention tie in with the "mother in law" listed in Merthyr in 1901?
I've just had a look and no - they don't match
This Agnes M Davies is listed in 1881 at the time of the census (April) as 3 months old which would fit perfectly with the birth record I mention earlier in this thread. But this Elizabeth Davies, her mother, is listed in 1881 as 37 and so would have been 57 in 1901, not 69.
But I shall keep on looking...
Last edited by Chris Scott : 04-23-2010 at 07:29 PM.
It looks to me as though your Agnes Mary of 1901 is the Agnes Mary Davies whose birth was registered at Merthyr Tydfil in the second quarter of 1878. She appears as Agnes M. Davies aged 3 in the 1881 census at 46 Tramroad Side, Merthyr Tydfil. Her father is John Davies and his wife is Eliza, aged 48, born at Breconshire Builth (RG 11/5313, f. 116; pp. 35, 36). Obviously there are some discrepancies, but this information matches up reasonably well with what you have from 1901.
Apparently there is a parish named Merthyr in Carmarthenshire, but the 1901 Agnes was born at Merthyr Tydfil in Glamorgan.
Some very interesting info here.....just going to throw a suggestion out there, and it's probably a ridiculous one, but.....
What if Mary really did have a child but the record of its birth was concealed, or the birth mother was given a different name/age, in order to hide the fact of a teen pregnancy?
Unlikely, I know, given that the age of consent from 1875 - 1885 was 13, and so technically MJK would have been legal anyway, but she was still very young and there could possibly be something to that....
I've no idea whether little Agnes Mary was related to MJK or not. But I'm here to tell you that women in their very late 40s and very early 50s can and have given birth and it's not a rare occurrence. So it's very possible that Elizabeth could have been the mother-in-law. She would only have been 47 when Agnes was born. My own grandmother had her second-last child at 46 and her last child at 49 and I don't recall anyone talking about this as if it were strange...
And by the way, said grandmother was born in the 1880s in Eastern Europe and was bedridden for years with asthma and emphysema of which she died in her early 50s. So it wasn't like she was unusually robust of young for her age.