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Long shot, but did anyone know an elderly lady called Mary Broom or Maureen Broom from Sidcup?

(15 Posts)
edam Wed 21-Aug-13 10:03:51

Maureen, known as Mary, Broom died in 1997. We think she may be my mother's birth mother - it's been very hard to trace her as her maiden name (Murphy) is so common, and there was no birth certificate in the UK (presumably she was Irish). My mother only found out she was adopted in her 40s so very hard to trace her origins, plus there was a fire in the county record office that destroy all the court records!

It's a stretch, but we've just discovered the Sidcup location. If anyone did know her, we'd be very very, very, VERY keen to find out anything you can tell us.


MusicalEndorphins Wed 21-Aug-13 10:21:55
Have you seen this?

duchesse Wed 21-Aug-13 10:40:02

Ooh, sorry, can't help, but thank you for drawing my attention to this topic! Hope you find clues. I am stuck on the horns of an ethical dilemma to do with some half-sisters and may need to use this topic at some point.

edam Wed 21-Aug-13 10:59:12

Thanks Musical - that's where my sister found her. SO exciting, we've been looking for more than 20 years and employed an adoption detective who didn't get anywhere... (no chance of inheritance as my Mother was adopted).

Glad to have drawn your attention to it duchesse, hope you get your dilemma sorted.

edam Fri 23-Aug-13 12:19:46

Oh dear, it begins to look as if it might all be very tragic. Found a marriage record, when our Maureen/Mary would have been 40 or 41, but then found death cert that looks as if it's her husband's for just five years later. Poor woman, had an illegitimate child in 1945 and had to give her up, finally got married in 1963, then her husband dies five years later...

I just hope it's not all too depressing for my poor Mother. Who must be upset anyway that her Mother was still around and could have been tracked down years ago...

MusicalEndorphins Sun 25-Aug-13 00:24:27

Maybe you can get her address from her death registration, and go speak with her neighbours about her? Perhaps they can fill in some information for your mum, what she was like, perhaps they even have photo's of her. maybe she left a diary or letters behind.
I would also search her husbands family, and see what information they may be able to share with you. Maybe even ask that inheritance place if a DNA test would be proof enough to claim whatever she left behind?
Good luck!

BrendanJoseph Wed 28-Aug-13 16:45:26

I believe I have located Maureen Cecelia Murphy's birth record.

Please email me


edam Wed 28-Aug-13 22:48:19

Thanks Musical, sorry I didn't see your reply sooner. Yes indeed, have ordered death and marriage certificates and am drumming my fingers impatiently until they arrive...

The heir hunters are a dead end - there's no money in it for them, as my Mother can't claim any inheritance (adoption breaks the legal link to the biological parents, so an adopted child can't inherit from an intestate birth parent). As no-one has come forward to claim the estate, I assume it will go to the treasury. More importantly for us, it suggests Maureen Cecilia did not go on to have other children, or none alive at the time of her own death, which is a hell of a shame. It would have been nice to think of her with a happy family of her own, after having to give up a child. Or to find siblings of my mother.

BrendanJoseph Thu 29-Aug-13 09:21:21

I have her address in England 1984, I have also located her niece on her husbands side. Please contact me privately. E-mail above.

edam Thu 26-Sep-13 12:25:25

This gets weirder and weirder. So many odd coincidences... the Maureen Cecelia the heir hunters found, her death was registered on my sister's birthday. Her birthday is 11 days before my Mother (and same month as my Grandmother). Her address at death is the same street name as my Mother's and (adoptive) grandparents' home (although obv. different town).

Oddly, she's gone from a stenographer at her marriage to a retired midwife at her death. She was already 43 when she got married; how strange to retrain as a nurse and then midwife in her mid to late 40s. (You had to be a nurse first in those days.) And she was a book-keeper in 1945, on my Mother's birth certificate (if it is the right Maureen Cecelia and there doesn't seem to be another one).

AND she must have been Catholic at birth, in Dublin with a name like Maureen Cecelia Murphy, but she got married in a Baptist church.

This is doing my head in!

ivykaty44 Sun 29-Sep-13 20:34:00

I don't think it is odd she retrained as a midwife, she may have made a connection with one of the midwives at her own birth or possibly wanted to care for babies as she could never care for her own sad

edam Sun 29-Sep-13 21:05:43

ivykaty, the odd thing about it is re-training in her mid-40s. She was 25 when she had my mother, she never had any other children.

She went from being a book-keeper on my Mother's birth certificate to a stenographer when she got married in 1963 (aged 43) then re-trains at what was a very late stage in those days.

My sister found her on the nursing register - seems she worked at St Mary's Sidcup through the 1970s and retired in the early 1980s.

More coincidences again, my sister is a nurse and my half-sister training as a midwife!

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:32:27

Retraining would not have benn something she could do without the money and opportunity so that to me would be why she had to wait so long

edam Tue 01-Oct-13 22:11:53

thanks Ivy, that's a good point. Gosh, it's quite moving, thinking that she might have longed to be a midwife her whole life and finally achieved it in her 50s...

edamsavestheday Mon 25-Nov-13 13:13:37

Wow, loads of developments. Turns out looking at electoral registers (thanks to Brendan who posted below) Maureen Cecilia Murphy moved to an address three streets away from where I lived decades later. Freaky.

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