Some days, you are completely surprised by what you find. In the Case of Hannah Bell, I conjectured that she was widowed sometime between February 1852, when her son Peter was born, and December 1855, when she married Charles Mayholland. I saw that Hannah Maholland died in 1856 and figured she died within the year. So, to confirm my speculation, I ordered a copy of the death registry record.
The death record indicates my speculation was wrong. Hannah Maholland, who died in 1856, died at 14 days old. My first thought was that Maholland and Mayholland must have been different people. I don’t think so. Little Hannah died at High Church Street, the same location that Hannah had lived for many years. The death registry record for Hannah MaHolland reads:
- No. 355
- When: 25 May 1856 – High Church Street, Workington
- Who: Hannah Maholland
- Sex: Female
- Age: 14 days
- Prof.: Daughter of Charles Maholland, a lawyer journeyman
- CoD: Premature Birth Certified
- Inf.: Ann Solkirt
- When: 27 May 1856
- Reg. John Askew, Registrar
Even though there is a minor name difference (Maholland vs. Mayholland), I’m pretty sure that this Charles Maholland is the husband of Hannah (Bell) McAllister. My new theory is that Hannah had a daughter that died at 14 days old and that Hannah (the mother) did not die in the spring of 1856 as I initially supposed.
This research reminded me that relying on indexes can get you into trouble. Always get the original record to confirm the information you have.