Little Lies and Manipulations…

In 19th Century Canada, there were rules for reporting events such as births, marriages, and deaths.  The father of a child was required to register that child’s birth within 30 days.  If the father was unable to, the mother was then required.  Well, that didn’t always happen…as anyone who is doing Canadian genealogy can tell you.

In the case of great-aunt KATHLEEN CALHOUN, her parents registered some of her siblings births, but not all.  And they didn’t register hers at the time.  For whatever reason, Kathleen must have needed a record of her birth and her mother, ELIZA ANN PARKE, filled out the necessary form.  Here it is:

CALHOUN KATHLEEN 1886 Birth
Birth document for Kathleen Calhoun

Well, maybe Eliza wasn’t quite telling the whole truth when she signed this document.  She listed the date of her marriage as 8 February 1871.  That wasn’t quite right.  She was, in fact, married on 8 February 1872.  Was this just a mistake?  Probably not.  Eliza was heavily pregnant with Kathleen’s brother, Charlie, at the time of her marriage.  He was, in fact, born a mere 3 weeks later.

Here’s the record of their marriage in Dublin.

Parke_Colhoun_Wedding_1872
Calhoun Parke marriage document

Poor Eliza was probably still worried what her children would think of her if she told the whole truth about the marriage and the move to Canada.  I find this sad, but very much of the time.  I just found it fascinating that Eliza was willing to lie in a government document, though what would they have done to her…really?

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