Facts and Events
||Mary Jane Sweeney
||11 Jul 1882
||Lambeth, Surrey, England114 Mayall Road, Brixton
||5 Apr 1891
||Paddington, Middlesex, England2 Alfred Road
||31 Mar 1901
||Paddington, Middlesex, England6 Howley Place
||2 Apr 1911
||Paddington, Middlesex, England87 Sutherland Avenue
||27 Jul 1922
||Paddington, London, EnglandOur Lady of Loudes & St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
to Michael Reid
||19 Jun 1957
||Willesden, Middlesex, England
Mary Jane Sweeney was born on 11th July 1882 at 114 Mayall Road, Brixton, in the southern suburbs of London, although at that time it was still administratively part of the parish of Lambeth in Surrey. She was the daughter of Margaret Sweeney, formerly Rice, and her husband Stephen Sweeney, a carpenter. Mary's parents had both been born in south-west Scotland and had moved to London relatively recently. When Mary was born, all four of her grandparents were still alive back in Wigtownshire. All four of her grandparents had been born in Ireland but had moved to Scotland by the early 1850s, suggesting they moved around the time of the Potato Famine.
Mary's paternal grandfather died in Scotland in 1883, a couple of weeks before Mary's first birthday. A childhood photograph survives showing Mary wearing a black armband for mourning.
Mary around her first birthday, with black armband signifying mourning for her grandfather.
Some time between 1882 and 1885 Mary and her parents left Brixton and moved to Paddington in the western suburbs of London. From at least 1885 to 1890 they lived in two rooms at 34 Hampden Street. Whilst living there Mary's parents had two more children: Margaret (known as Daisy) in 1887 and Stephen in 1889. Back in Scotland, both Mary's grandmothers died within a year of each other in 1889 and 1890.
By the time of the 1891 census Mary and her parents and siblings had moved again and were living at 2 Alfred Road, where they appear to have been relatively comfortably housed, having five or more rooms. Whilst living at Alfred Road, Mary's youngest sister, Catherine Eliza, was born. Sadly Catherine died when she was only three years old in 1894.
In 1895 Mary's father died, aged only 41, having been suffering with phthisis (tuberculosis) for nine months. Mary's mother was left with three surviving children aged from thirteen down to six years old. Mary's surviving grandfather, James Rice, moved down from Scotland to live with the family. The 1901 census finds Mary's mother, grandfather and sister living at 19 Amberley Road in Paddington. Mary by this time was working as a housemaid for a retired colonel nearby at 6 Howley Place. Her grandfather later returned to Scotland, where he died in 1907.
By 1910 Mary's mother Margaret had moved to 87 Sutherland Avenue, a large town house. Family tradition says that Margaret received assistance from her father's employer, the Marquis of Bute, although this cannot be proven. However, Mary's brother Stephen was sent to the Cathedral School in Oban (he appears there in the 1901 census), which may plausibly have been due to a benefactor's help. Mary's mother ran 87 Sutherland Avenue as a boarding house. The family appears there in the electoral rolls from 1910 to 1915. In the 1911 census there were three boarders in the ten-roomed house, as well as Mary, her mother, both her siblings, and her mother's sister, Mary Phippen. One of the boarders, Dora Higgins, would later marry Mary's brother, Stephen. Some time between 1915 and 1918, during the First World War, the family left 87 Sutherland Avenue and moved to 5 Peploe Road in the Kensal Rise area of Willesden.
On 27th July 1922, a couple of weeks after her fortieth birthday, Mary married a teacher from Ireland named Michael Reid. After their marriage they continued living with Mary's mother at 5 Peploe Road. They had a daughter in 1925 who sadly died when only nine days old, followed by a daughter in 1927 who would be their only child to survive infancy. Mary was 45 by the time her surviving daughter was born.
Mary and Michael shortly after they married, at their allotment in Kilburn.
Between 1928 and 1929 Mary and Michael, their daughter and Mary's mother Margaret Sweeney left 5 Peploe Road and moved out to 73 Cecil Avenue in Wembley. They would be joined there at different times by several of Michael's relatives. Mary's mother died in 1933.
When the Second World War broke out Michael's school was evacuated. By this time he was the headmaster, and so he was evacuated with the school and was allowed to take his wife and daughter with him. They were evacuated initially to Urchfont in Wiltshire, then Paignton in Devon. The house at 73 Cecil Avenue was let out whilst they were gone. Apparently a bomb fell in its back garden but did not explode.
Towards the end of the war the family returned to London. Unable to regain possession of 73 Cecil Avenue from their tenants at first, they had to live with Michael's cousin James Doyle, who ran a sweet shop at 160 Tollington Park Road in the Finsbury Park area and had a flat above the shop. They later returned to 73 Cecil Avenue.
Mary's daughter married in 1953, and shortly afterwards left London altogether moving out to Luton, where all Mary's four grandchildren were born. However, Mary only lived to see first two grandchildren: she died in 1957, aged 74. Michael survived her by sixteen years.
- ↑ Birth certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.
Registration District: Lambeth
When and where born: 114 Mayall Road
Name: Mary Jane
Father: Stephen Sweeney, carpenter
Mother: Margaret Sweeney formerly Rice
Informant: M. Sweeney, mother, 114 Mayall Road
- ↑ General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 12 General Register Office: 1891 Census Schedules, Class RG12; Piece 1; Folio 48; Page 20, 5 Apr 1891, Primary quality.
Address: 2 Alfred Road, Paddington, London
5 or more rooms occupied
Stephen Sweeney, head, married, male, 36 [1854/5], Joiner, employed, b. Scotland
Margaret Sweeney, wife, married, female, 38 [1852/3], b. Scotland
Mary J. Sweeney, daughter, female, 8 [1882/3], b. Brixton, London
Margaret Sweeney, daughter, female, 3 [1887/8], b. Paddington, London
Stephen Sweeney, son, male, 1 [1889/90], b. Paddington, London
- ↑ General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 13 General Register Office: 1901 Census Schedules, Class RG13; Piece 2; Folio 51; Page 18, 31 Mar 1901, Primary quality.
Address: 6 Howley Place, Paddington, London
5 or more rooms occupied
Robert John Watson, head, married, male, 61 [1839/40], Colonel Late Worc. Regt., b. Scotland
Rebecca Elizabeth Watson, wife, married, female, 50 [1850/1], b. Jersey (Channel Islands)
Helen Roberta Watson, daughter, single, male, 32 [1868/9], b. Canada
Phyllis Joan Watson, daughter, single, female, 13 [1887/8], b. Pembroke Dock, Wales
Vesey Clayhills Watson, son, male, 11 [1889/90], b. Marylebone, London
Thomas Hovendon Watson, son, male, 8 [1892/3], b. Marylebone, London
Jane Rought, servant, single, female, 27 [1873/4], Cook (Domestic), b. Aylsham, Norfolk
Mary Sweeney, servant, single, female, 18 [1882/3], Housemaid (Domestic), b. Brixton, London
Alice Bardon, servant, single, female, 21 [1879/80], Nurse (Domestic), b. France (French Subject)
- ↑ General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 14 General Register Office: 1911 Census Schedules, Class RG14; Piece 36; Schedule 87, 2 Apr 1911, Primary quality.
Class RG14; Piece 36; Schedule 87
Address: 87 Sutherland Avenue, Paddington, London
Ten rooms occupied
Margaret Sweeney, head, female, 58 [1852/3], widow, Boarding house keeper, employer, b. Whithorn, Wigtownshire
Mary Sweeney, daughter, female, 28 [1882/3], single, Assistant to above, b. Brixton, London
Margaret Sweeney, daughter, female, 23 [1887/8], single, Assistant to above, b. Paddington, London
Stephen Sweeney, son, male, 21 [1889/90], single, Railway clerk, worker, b. Paddington, London
Bride Connolly, boarder, female, 30 [1880/1], single, Elementary school teacher - L.C.C., worker, b. Moher, Roscommon
Dora Higgins, boarder, female, 22 [1888/9], single, Elementary school teacher - L.C.C., worker, b. Walthamstow, London
Bryan G. O'Donnell, boarder, male, 21 [1889/90], single, Insurance clerk, worker, b. Kilmallock, Limerick
Mary Phippen, visitor, female, 50 [1860/1], widow, Housekeeper (domestic), b. Whithorn, Wigtownshire
- ↑ Deaths index, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.
d. Mary REID, June Quarter 1957, Willesden Registration District, Vol. 5f, page 276, aged 72 [1884/5]
Exact date of death from family recollection.
- ↑ When Mary's brother Stephen married on 17 Sep 1918 he gave 5 Peploe Road as his address.