Friday, August 7, 2009

Elizabeth E M Moore

And finally as regards the Alexandra College book plate I've been dealing with - What about the recipient of the book award, Elizabeth E M Moore? I didn't hold out much hope of finding out anything about her but on a quick search in the 1911 census I found what could be the same lady.

I did a search for Elizabeth Moore in Dublin. You can specify an age range plus or minus 5 so I guessed she should be around 36 by 1911. I only considered Church of Ireland persons.

In 145 Leinster Road, Rathmines & Rathgar West, Dublin we find Kathleen M Moore, single, aged 50 and her niece Elizabeth E. M. Moore, single, 34. Under Rank or Profession they first written None then added Income from dividends. Both were Church of Ireland and they had a servant named Teresa Behan who was a Catholic. All three had been born in Dublin.

Elizabeth's initials have been incorrectly rendered as T M in the transcription of the form.

So this may be our Elizabeth, living with her aunt, unmarried and unlikely to marry. What was her story? Where were her parents? What happened afterwards? When did she die? You can picture her growing old on her own taking down her Tennyson and reading in the fading Dublin light passages from Idylls of the King, In Memoriam or Maud :

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone ;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the rose is blown.

I bought the Tennyson second hand in 1967 or 68. She would have been 90 by then. It is tempting to think of her surviving until then, with no close relations and her library being sold to book dealers. The book is well worn, the front cover is detached, though there are no signatures or notes anywhere in it.

When the 1901 census is online it will be possible to check her whereabouts then. One could also check Alexandra College records, if they still exist, for her background and progress.

The great thing about this little exercise in investigation is how easy it is now that so much is available on the internet. I spent many hours in archives tediously searching newspapers, census records, official documents most of which can now be accessed from your computer.

The census transcription for 145 Leinster Road is here and the image of the completed census form here.

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