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Survivors tracing records for Irish Citizenship - Poss triggering for Survivors

(8 Posts)
buzzpopprince Mon 02-Apr-18 17:32:01

Hello, hoping someone can help...or signpost where we can get help..long as hoping that details will help...

My Mother's Mother came to London from Southern Ireland to have her baby in secret in 1958. Though she kept her a short while, my Mother was taken into Catholic Care as a baby and for a brief time was in a home in Feltham run by Sisters of Charity. As a toddler she was moved to St Joseph's Children's Home, Holtswhite's Hill in Enfield run by Sisters of Charity/St Vincent de Paul/Crusade of Rescue. Ladbroke Grove in London held all the Crusade of Rescue records. There were social workers that visited and people that took her for fostering interviews. At one point she was legally adopted by a couple who changed her name, but then sent her back to the home, where she took back her original name.
She stayed there until she was 12 and was eventually fostered by a Catholic family.
Mum requested her 'File' details in her thirties and was visited by a Social Worker/Nun from the Crusade of Rescue who came from London to a nearby Convent... there was a thick file there with letters from her Mother to her, she was told that she couldn't have these. Her Mother was contacted but did not wish to have contact.
In 2017, I tried to trace these records with Mum, and was directed the Catholic Children's Society as the previous orgs no longer exist. ( I think after abuse scandals went public) They responded and said that they could only find an index card with basic information.
We have traced her Mother, who is now elderly and does not want contact nor her family to know.
My Mother wishes to apply for Irish Passport. Does she need to apply on register of foreign births? We do not know her Mothers DOB or marriage date, nor can we trace her Father.
She only has a short birth certificate
Any help really appreciated for tracing records and applying

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
MarDhea Mon 02-Apr-18 21:46:11

thanks what a difficult story, for all concerned.

Normally, your mum would automatically be an Irish citizen by virtue of the fact her mother was born in Ireland. Children born abroad to an Irish-born Irish citizen parent are automatically Irish citizens. To apply for a passport on that basis, your mum would need the long-form copy of her birth certificate AND the long-form copy of her mother's birth certificate (which sounds like it may be tricky).

The complication that I can see is the fact your mother was legally adopted as a child, even if the adoption was later revoked(?) I have no idea if that would affect the above entitlement.

Have you asked the passport office at the Irish Embassy in London? They were pretty helpful when I lived in the UK and had a complicated query

Girlundercover Tue 03-Apr-18 19:30:01

Birth Certs can be ordered on line here , sorry can’t do clickies.

There is a fee, but if she has her mothers dob it should be possible. The adoption could complicate matters though unless formally overturned. Perhaps there is an Irish Immigrant Centre in London that could assist.

All the best to your mum, it’s a sad story flowers

evilharpy Tue 03-Apr-18 22:51:43

It might be worth giving the Register of Inter Country Adoptions people a call. I had a weird passport issue and the passport office were incredibly unhelpful but these guys were great and helped me sort it all out. As a bonus they actually answer their phone. There is also stuff on this website about tracing etc.

I can't work out how to send you a PM but please send me one if you can.

mathanxiety Thu 12-Apr-18 06:51:43

I bet there are a lot of people in this position thanks to the number of Irish women who went to the UK to give birth. What a tragic story. I agree the Irish Embassy might help as it's likely there have been similar inquiries since the Brexit referendum.

The county where your mother was born might have county records (counties as they existed in 1958) to match those of the Home? Or the General Register Office (for births in England and Wales)?

If worst comes to worst and no documents are available, I wonder would a DNA test help to establish the likely origins of the grandmother who left Ireland, with potential close relatives identified via DNA?

If your mother knows her mother's name, maybe a professional genealogist plus DNA might help? Though in the end you will need that actual birth certificate. You might be able to come to the finish line by a circuitous route however.

mathanxiety Thu 12-Apr-18 07:05:54

You might like to have the thread moved to Chat for more traffic.

Try the Family History board too:

There may be people there who do genealogy.

mathanxiety Thu 12-Apr-18 07:37:44

I don't know if this is the right children's home in Feltham.
St Anthony's Feltham closed in 1962(?) and the children there were transferred to the Crusade of Rescue Home in North Kensington.
It may well be worth trying to look at RC diocesan archives or county records (counties sometimes changed boundaries or amalgamated, etc - you can check this fairly easily afaik).

There may also be baptism records for your mother that would indicate her mother's name. If you have any idea where your mother may have been born (what hospital or mother and baby home) or where her mother lived after giving birth, you could research RC churches in surrounding areas, talk to the parish priest and explain your predicament, and possibly look up baptism records. Some parish churches may have closed, parishes amalgamated, etc. The diocesan records might be a better bet for that - less footwork.
Help with identifying adoption agency that might have handled your mother's adoption and subsequent return to care.
Some links on this page might be useful. Intermediary services (adoption /tracing relatives).

eloisesparkle Sat 14-Apr-18 11:37:54

How sad that your mother's mother doesn't want contact.
Life is short. sad
I hope your DM gets her Irish passport.
Write to the Irish embassy.

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