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Monday, December 21, 2015

Learning more about Catherine Lucy Darcy–part 2

Catherine Lucy Darcy’s death certificate* gave her father’s name as Edward Flower Darcy. With no other information to go on I had entered the name into my database, but it had lead me no-where.

James Bennett and Catherine’s marriage certificate gave me the correct name for her father, also his occupation, and a name for her mother.

Her parents were:
Richard Darcy, chemist and Lucy Flower.
Having the rights names makes all the difference! I started looking into readily accessible sources for Dublin, Catherine’s place of birth. I found:
  • A marriage licence index entry for Richard Darcy and Lucy Flower in 1822 (the marriage licences themselves no longer exist).
  • A few directory entries for Richard Darcy, chemist or druggist, at 103 Thomas Street in the early 1820s.
  • A baptism transcript for Catherine Lucy Darcy, daughter of Richard and Lucy of Thomas street, in 1823.
  • A baptism transcript for Catherine’s sister, Elisabeth, in 1824.
  • Newspaper articles mentioning Richard Darcy’s insolvency, and sale of his premises at 103 Thomas street in 1826.
The easily accessible sources having dried up, I then started wondering about Catherine. The mention of Liverpool on her daughter’s birth certificate had me wondering. Her husband, James Bennett, was the informant. Surely he would know whether his wife was English or Irish? It occurred to me that perhaps she had been born in Dublin, but spent substantial time in Liverpool before eventually emigrating to Australia.

I searched the 1841 UK census and found an entry for Richard Darcy, chemist, living in Liverpool. In the same household was a new name, Bridget Darcy, and Elizabeth Darcy. No Catherine, but the ages for Richard and Elizabeth matched my expectations. Bridget was too old to be Richard’s daughter and too young to be Elizabeth’s mother. Was she a new wife?

It wasn’t too hard to find a marriage record for Richard Darcy and Bridget Connor in 1833. Richard was a widower. Although I haven’t yet found her in any records, it appears that Catherine had probably moved to England before the age to 10.

I couldn’t find Richard in the 1851 census. I did find a Bridget Darcy of the right age listed as a visitor in Liverpool, with a Catherine Connor also visiting the same household.

My current theory is that Richard died some time between 1841 and 1851. I have ordered the most promising death certificate for a Richard Darcy who died during that period and now I’m waiting for the mail, hoping that the informant will be a name I recognise.

* Details of sources mentioned in this post are available on request.


  1. Great work Shelley. I wonder if yoyrs are related to my Irish D'arcys?

  2. Shelley,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!