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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Learning more about Catherine Lucy Darcy – part 1

After a piece of luck finding James Bennett’s death record (a long missing puzzle piece!) I was inspired to look more closely at his wife, Catherine Lucy Darcy.

This is the information I had about Catherine’s origins:
  • According to Catherine’s death certificate, her father was a man by the name of Edward Flower Darcy.
  • Catherine’s date of birth varied between documents from the late 1820s to the early 1830s.
  • Her place of birth was usually given as Dublin, Ireland but appeared on (at least) one of her children’s birth certificates as Liverpool in England.
  • Catherine seemed to have married James Bennett in 1853. Their place of marriage was either Collingwood, Victoria, or Uxbridge in England. However, no marriage certificate for this couple had been found by myself or any of the researchers I have communicated with.
  • A woman born in Ireland named Catherine Lucy Darcy arrived in Australia on board the Kent in April of 1853, with a number of other young female emigrants who were mostly from England. 
Some of the information above is not correct.

I decided to have another try at finding the marriage certificate. The historical indexes on the Victorian Births Deaths and marriages website have recently become free to search. They have an excellent search interface. Lots of fields available, searches on first name variants, no restriction on how they can be combined, and wildcard options. Wonderful.

After trying various searches, this entry had me interested:
Groom: James Bennett Yes!
Bride: Catherine Davey Davey could be a mistranscription of Darcy
– Maybe?
Year: 1884 Expected c1853. Far too late, surely?

The year was far too late and I didn’t want to waste $24 if it wasn’t the right couple. Before jumping in, I tried to eliminate “James Bennett and Catherine Davey” as being the same people as my ancestors. If they had children, or if there was a death index entry for Catherine Bennett (nee Davey) then they were probably different people and I would save my money. I found no evidence that “James Bennett and Catherine Davey” existed.

I bought the certificate. It was the right couple!

So what did I learn? I’ll get to that next…

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