Thanks to breaking through the Irish brickwall in my family tree this summer I know that my Irish great-great granny was Mary Fegan who married John Tate in 1877. Thanks to the Dublin prison registers at findmypast.ie I also know she was in prison a lot, often recorded under both her married and maiden names, which helped spot references to her.
I thought I’d found all the references to her prison spells when I searched a few weeks ago. I was wrong. There are more I’ve just found tonight. Quite a few have both her maiden and married names recorded in the prison register, others look as though her maiden name was misheard or miscopied, and a few more have her just as Mary Tate (or Tait, or Taite depending on the record). I’m sure they all refer to the same lady though, because the physical description (height in feet and inches, eye colour and hair colour) matches every time, as does her age, street where born in Dublin, and her current address looks good.
I’ve lost count now of how many times she was in prison. I found another six tonight, and that was in addition to a fair number found previously. Generally she was in prison for being drunk and disorderly or using profane language. And tonight I seem to have found a reference to her begging. 1886 was a particularly prison-intensive year for her, with her imprisoned three times between July and September 1886.