Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Can you solve the puzzel?

            So ... we have a mystery. Ann Eliza Birney’s headstone says she was thirty-nine when she died. That gives a birth year of 1821-1823, depending on in what month she was born.
            We’ve been re-examining elements of her life without much result. However, we found a ship’s passenger list from December 9, 1848. This is an index card and not the original record, which I have no located. The card index was made decades later. The passenger was Ann Birney. She arrived on the ship Great Britain entering through the port of Philadelphia. The problem is her age, given on the index card which is not the original record, as twenty. This gives her a birth date about 1828.
            My suspicion is that this is our Ann Birney, and that the original record would show a different age. Handwriting on ship’s lists is notoriously hard to read. My suspicion is that the transcriber guessed. But how do I verify that? I’d need to see the original record. I don’t have time to find it.
            It’s probably in the US National Archives. It may be on I’m too busy being sick and in pain to go further. Some nice blog reader might be able to do this for me.
            Its importance rests in how it narrows the date range for her marriage to J. L. Russell.


jerome said...

I suspect that the Ann Birney who arrived in December 1848 is NOT our Ann Birney -unless of course she went back home on a trip to Ireland and this was her return trip. The Pittsburgh Daily Post published lists of letters waiting for collection in the post office. In the issue for Saturday July 1, 1848 (covering the period June 15 to July 1, 1848) there is one waiting there for A E Birney. The following March (now 1849) there is a letter waiting for Miss A E Birney. With the approximate birth date of her first son, Thomas, this narrows down the time for her marriage to Joseph L Russell to just a couple of months. I will put up an article on this (and Joseph L's second marriage) in a week or so's time.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I secured a copy of the passenger list. It plainly says that this Ann was twenty years old. So, alas, this is not A E Birney.