Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A very confusing Quinn Family in 1900

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten the Quinns!

These two images are of the census records of the family and Hugh Quinn and Mary Gillen, Grandma Molly's parents. The family begins at the very bottom of the first page, where are listed Hugh Quinn, 33, who was born in April 1867; Mary Quinn, 33, also born in April 1867; and Nora Quinn, 5, born in December 1894. Nora Quinn, as best anyone can tell, is Aunt Agnes, Molly's older sister. She appears as Nora in all the census records I've seen, and I simply can't figure out why.

The family continues on the next page, where, inexplicably, the next child listed is not Molly, who should be about 3, but a 13-year-old daughter named Anna, who Uncle Jack and Uncle Ted have never heard of. Born in March of 1887, she predates this marriage considerably. (Mary and Hugh say they've been married 7 years.) I wonder whether this was a half-sister? Could Hugh have been married before? It's an avenue I'd like to explore, though I'm not sure where to begin.

Molly doesn't appear on this census record, and, again, I don't know where she could be. We skip right to Helen, who finally offers us no surprises. She's supposed to exist, she's supposed to be named Helen, she's supposed to be about about a year old, and she's supposed to be here. Thank you, Aunt Helen, for being everything you're supposed to be! Helen was born in July, 1899.

Next, in case all the confusion led to believe that maybe these weren't our Quinns, and in case the lovely Helen wasn't enough to convince you otherwise, is a boarder named Mark Gillin. Jack and Ted have referred to both an "Uncle Mark" and to his having a son named Mark, and combined with the fact that he shares a last name with Mary Gillen (Gillin?) Quinn, I'm assuming that this is her brother, Grandma Molly's uncle. He was born in May of 1871, and gives his age as 29.

Mary has given birth to 3 children. (Presumably, these are Nora/Agnes, Mary (Molly), and Helen, not Nora/Agnes, mysterious Anna, and Helen, but I don't really know.) All are living. Hugh says he immigrated in 1886, and Mary in 1887. He is naturalized. Uncle Mark says he immigrated in 1890 and is also a naturalized citizen. Hugh was an Engineer who rented his home, and Uncle Mark was a Porter.

So this census sheds very little light and brings to the fore lots of interesting but confusing questions:
  1. Who was Anna?
  2. Was Hugh married twice?
  3. Where is Molly?
  4. Why is Agnes always called Nora?
Anyone have any answers, or suggestions of where to find them?

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