John Mullaney and Ann Duff(e)y
John Mullaney and Ann Duffy were Derek’s maternal Great-Great Grandparents, and they have proved quite difficult to research.
Our search started when we were told that Derek’s maternal Grandmother was born Agnes Mullaney, in Sheffield, on 12 September 1894. A copy of her birth certificate shows her father as Peter Mullaney, and the family were living at 1 Court Allen Street, Sheffield. The birth was registered on 24 October 1894 by Agnes’ mother, Clara Mullaney, formerly Haynes.
We thought the address was a bit unusual, so tried searching the 1901 census online to locate it, and discovered that it was actually 1 Court, Allen Street, Sheffield (note the comma!). We posted a message on the Sheffield Family History Society noticeboard, asking if anyone could tell us which part of Sheffield this had been, to try to narrow down where we needed to search, and explaining who we were researching. We had several very helpful replies with information about the area, the type of property that it would have been, and details of the Sheffield library archives, where we could see photographs of the area, and of similar properties. We also had one reply from someone who had very kindly searched the 1891 census for us and sent details of the entry for Peter and Clara and their family at this address. Interestingly, it showed that Peter had been born in Lancashire, and Clara in Leek, Staffordshire.
From the information we had, we traced Peter and Clara’s marriage, in Wolverhampton on 4 August 1884, and found out their fathers’ names - John Mullaney and Henry Haynes. A search of the 1881 census traced the Mullaney family living at 52 Warwick Street, Wolverhampton, and showing that John Mullaney and his wife Ann were born in Ireland, in Roscommon and Mayo respectively, and that Peter and his sister Mary Ann were born in Stockport, Cheshire.
Our next step was to try to find Peter’s birth, but depending on which census or certificate we looked at, this could have been at any time from around 1856 to 1859, and a search of the General Record Office (GRO) indexes for these years drew a blank, even though we searched under several different spellings of Mullaney. We asked the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society for advice, and again had several very helpful replies, including one with details of a possible birth record for Peter MALLANY in Heaton Norris in 1855 - a spelling we hadn’t thought of! Click here for more about Peter and Clara.