genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Who was Hannah Musgrove's father ?

The only person I am missing up to the 2 x great grandparent level, is the father of my great grandmother on my birth mother's side.

She was one of the most remarkable women on my tree’s and it would be good to find out her background as it might explain where she got the strength to bring up a huge family while living in poverty in the slums of London. I don't have any photo's of her when she was young, unfortunately, but this is her on the left.  

The starting point in my search was her marriage to William Musgrove in Notting Hill in 1885.  The certificate shows her as being 18 years of age living at 36 Tiverton Street.  It also says that her father was JOHN WILD (deceased), a brick maker.  Fair enough, at this stage I thought "ok" father is dead, that's not unusual given the poverty in that area of London at that time.

Let's have a look for Hannah and her new husband on the 1891 census.  Luckily for us they are there now living at 27 Southam Street with her widowed mother, KATHERINE WILD, a launderess aged 68.  She was still living with them on the 1901 census, although now CATHERINE rather than KATHERINE, and died in 1905, aged 73.

Fine, information for Hannah complete following her marriage, so then I needed to find her birth and entries on earlier censuses.

1881 :  Hannah
aged 14 living at 37 Talbot Grove, Kensington with her "widowed" mother KATHERINE WILD, laundress.

1871 :  Hannah aged 4 living at Alpha Terrace, Kensington with her "widowed" mother CATHERINE WYLDE, laundress.  Also living with them is Catherine’s sister, 30 year old, ELIZA WYLDE.

1861 : CATHERINE WILD is described as unmarried and is living with her parents and her sister, ELIZA WILD, at 12 Lonsdale Cottages, St Mary Abbotts, Kensington.  The importance of this, logically, is that the unmarried Catherine Wild in 1861 who had a daughter in 1865, is the same "widowed" Catherine Wild on the 1871 census and seems to prove that Hannah was illegitimate. 

Let's find Hannah's birth certificate.  That can't be difficult.  We have a name, it's in England, it's after 1837. Do it ! 

Assuming the age of 4 is correct on the 1871 census which took place on 2nd April 1871, it means HANNAH was born sometime between 3rd April 1866 and 2nd April 1867. 
I then obtained the only birth certificate of a HANNAH WILD born in London or Middlesex between 1866 and 1867. She was born in Kensington on 21st October 1866 and it says she was named HANNAH ELIZABETH WILD and her parents were CATHERINE WILD (nee SMITH) and DAVID WILD.  Their address is shown as 13 Canterbury Road, Kensington. Catherine was the informant.

So now we have a choice of fathers : If we believe Hannah it was a JOHN WILD who died before 1885 and who was a brick maker, or according to her mother, it was a DAVID WILD and she was previously a CATHERINE SMITH. If they exist, they must have been alive in 1865.

The most likely scenario is that CATHERINE thought it would be better for HANNAH and more socially acceptable if she invented a husband (David Wild) and pretend she had previously been a Smith.  Maybe she told Hannah her father had died shortly after her birth and decided John was a better name ?  

Maybe we will never know !

Linked toCatherine Wild; Eliza Wild; Hannah Elizabeth Wild; John Wild

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