Still hunting ‘Brother 2’

In Brother 2, I speculated that the Michael Stanley who died in Dewsbury in 1859 might be the so called ‘Brother 2’. In order to provide more information, I called up the Death Certificate. My speculation was misplaced. However, useful information was still extracted.

Michael died on 20th December 1859, in Daw Green. This location features later on in the family story. I can’t make out the cause of death, but it was certified. He was a year old. He was the son of Thomas Stanley and his wife Maria. The death was reported by Maria. Thomas is shown as being a plasterer’s labourer. This matches the occupation shown on John’s birth certificate from Dewsbury in January 1856. There is no good match for the birth of Michael. The best fit is for a birth in Quarter 2 in 1858 in Liverpool. This raises the question of why the family would be so far from Dewsbury at that time.

Because Michael’s date of death was late in 1859, this sheds more light on the range of possible dates for the death of Thomas. It is cannot be earlier than mid 1857. (Human biology!) Maria and her surviving son John are recorded on the 1861 census, but Thomas is missing. I assume that he has died by this time.

If I restrict the search to Yorkshire, there is one death of a Thomas Stanley in Rotherham in Q1 1858, and another in Doncaster in Q3 in 1859. Even this assumption can be challenged. Perhaps he went further afield in search of work. After all, he had travelled from Roscommon only a few years earlier.

Having excluded Michael from my search for Brother 2, who is left? Matching births to deaths in the Dewsbury area eliminates Henry (age 1) and Edwin (age 5). This leaves me with the following:

  • Godfrey (died 1855)
  • William Henry (1856)
  • James (1859)

There is still a flaw in this logic. If Thomas moved away from Dewsbury, then perhaps Brother 2 did as well. I could order up any number of birth and death certificates. It all feels as if I am clutching at straws.

My reluctant conclusion is that there is insufficient information on which proceed.