The main reason why I was stuck for so long tracing my Irish ancestry was that, as I finally discovered, my great-grandmother Annie Tate’s birth wasn’t recorded correctly. She was born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin in 1879, but it’s clear that her parents left hospital with the baby before they told the officials what her name was to be. So the hospital officials registered her as an unnamed female Tate child. And that had me stumped for a long time, until I tracked down a baptism for this baby, and proved she was called Anne.
I’ve just found that the same thing happened later in this Irish family tree. Annie’s much younger half-sister Ellen Tate (b. ca 1896) married William Dowling in 1925. I was able to trace likely births for their children, using the Irish civil registration indexes which include the mother’s maiden surname at this time. There were six likely children:
- female Dowling, born Dublin North, December quarter 1930
- Rosanna Dowling, born Dublin North, December quarter 1932
- William P. Dowling, born Dublin North, December quarter 1932
- male Dowling, born Dublin North, March quarter 1935
- male Dowling, born Dublin North, June quarter 1936
- male Dowling, born Dublin North, September quarter 1937
I ordered copies of the birth certificates of Rosanna and William to check they had the right parents. They did, and they were twins, William the older one, born at Rotunda Hospital. So I’m guessing their four siblings were born in hospital too, but yet again the family took the baby away before telling anyone what its name was to be – four times!
As a result I have no idea what the names of the other four children in this family were. They would have been the cousins of my granddad, though are closer in age to my Dad, because of the huge age difference between Annie and Ellen Tate. But I post the details here, just in the slim chance that a descendant stumbles across it and can contact me. The children’s father William was a soldier when he married Ellen in 1925, and a labourer when the twins were born in 1932. He was the son of James Dowling, labourer.