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Old 18-02-16, 17:44
Castanea1985 Castanea1985 is offline
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Default John Nolan Swain (Hopkins)

The family story about my grandfather is a little vague, as he once said that he didn't want to talk about his early life.

He maintained that his mother was an Irish singer who had a fling with an army officer and was so keen to keep the name NOLAN that he named all his three children with it.

JOHN NOLAN was born in Manchester on 14th October 1906, and his birth was never registered (as far as we know), then he was left with Rachel Shore / nee Howarth / nee Holt at 8 Albert Royd Street, Rochdale. He was raised by Rachel until her death,

Surprisingly, in the 1911 census, John NOLAN, wasn't called Nolan at all, he was listed as John HOPKINS, adopted, born in Manchester - another mystery which is yet to be answered.

When Rachel died, John went to live with her son, Samuel, and daughter in law, Gertie, for a short time and they moved out of 8 Albert Royd Street, round the corner to Dover Street. At some stage between Rachel's death and 1918, John Nolan went to live with Rachel's daughter, Sarah Ellen and her husband Arthur Swain at Roch Street. This was the address given on the statuary declaration paper we have, signed by Arthur Swain in 1918.

At around the age of 12 his birth mother came to collect him and took him back to Manchester so he could work and bring money in for her. She had another male child at this stage, so John had a half brother.

John had other ideas and returned to Rochdale to the family who had brought him up, and at this time we know that he was 'adopted' by Sarah Ellen and Arthur Henry Swain.

We assume that his mother, must have known the adoptive family, as she knew where John was living after 12 years, and are convinced there must have been a family link to the Howarths.. why else would John Nolan be taken in, then passed from Rachel, to Samuel and finally to Sarah Ellen.

My quest is to find my grandfather's true roots and his connection to Rachel, and to see how true the story about the singer and army officer really was?

So far I have found the descendants of Rachel and we have also done a Y chromosome DNA test, where we have found a match with the Manchip family, coming from Somerset. Am trying to find a Manchip that was in the army around Jan/Feb 06 either in Ireland or Manchester area.

One theory is, that there might be a 'Howarth' lady that had a child (daughter) out of wedlock and possibly the father was a NOLAN. Then this daughter may have had a 'fling' with a Manchip who was in the forces? This theory would fit all the pieces together? ie Irish roots (Nolan), father in the army? etc.. but has to be proved??

If anyone has any ideas of where I can look next, I'd be ever so grateful!
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  #2  
Old 18-02-16, 17:55
ElizabethHerts ElizabethHerts is online now
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1911 Census:

http://search.findmypast.co.uk/recor...668%2f0705%2f2
8 Albert Royds St Rochdale, Rochdale, Lancashire, England
Thomas Shore
Rachel Shore
Samuel Richard Howarth
Gertrude Howarth
Nellie Howarth
George Harry Howarth
Alexander Robinson
John Hopkins Adopted 4 Born Manchester Lanes
John James Pollard
Clara Pollard
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  #3  
Old 18-02-16, 18:03
Castanea1985 Castanea1985 is offline
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Thanks Elizabeth, I got a copy for this when it first came out.
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Old 18-02-16, 18:06
Castanea1985 Castanea1985 is offline
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I have searched through all the Howarths, Shores, etc to see if I could find a Nolan but to no avail, and I've no idea where Hopkins comes in?
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Old 18-02-16, 18:21
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kiterunner kiterunner is offline
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Have you already ruled out the John Hopkins whose birth was registered Oct-Dec 1906 Prestwich district?
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Old 18-02-16, 18:49
Castanea1985 Castanea1985 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiterunner View Post
Have you already ruled out the John Hopkins whose birth was registered Oct-Dec 1906 Prestwich district?
Yes, I got that certificate and it wasn't the right one.
We know that his mother was unmarried and in fact still unmarried in 1918 when she took him back.

We have a 'statutory declaration' filled out by his foster father in 1918, signed by Rochdale's justice of the piece to say that he was born on 14th Oct 1906

So I'm assuming that his birth was never registered.
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Old 18-02-16, 19:19
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There is a Dora Nolan, 21, unmarried daughter of widow Mary Hopkins, 50, on the 1901 Irish census:
http://www.census.nationalarchives.i.../nai003690409/
Address is Wellington Street, Inns Quay, Dublin, Ireland

We could try ruling her out.

Her name looks more like Dore than Dora on the image.
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Old 18-02-16, 19:28
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Mary from Italy Mary from Italy is offline
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Hi Castanea,

I thought this story sounded familiar, and I found your original thread on FTF. I'm linking to it to avoid duplication of searches that have already been done; hope that's OK with you.

http://www.familytreeforum.com/showt...236-Any-ideas?
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Old 18-02-16, 22:37
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There are a couple of Dora Nolan marriages in Dublin in 1902 one of which may or may not be the Dora I found on the 1901 census.
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Old 19-02-16, 17:15
Castanea1985 Castanea1985 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary from Italy View Post
Hi Castanea,

I thought this story sounded familiar, and I found your original thread on FTF. I'm linking to it to avoid duplication of searches that have already been done; hope that's OK with you.

http://www.familytreeforum.com/showt...236-Any-ideas?
Absolutely Mary! I must admit that thread lead to me meeting the decedents of Rachel, I found the home he lived in and tbh would never of found him in the 1911 census without knowing the address... as he was listed as HOPKINS!! We did DNA tests to see if there was a match between my granddad and the Howarths.. but alas that also threw up more questions.. we were linked to the MANCHIPs! But I'm still trying to find the elusive NOLAN link.. especially as I was christened with it too!

Last edited by Castanea1985; 19-02-16 at 17:29.
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