Elizabeth Milligan Kenyon

I’m still ploughing through my shaky leaf hints but predictably for me I couldn’t let my 2x Great Grandmother Elizabeth Milligan Kenyon go. So here are some details about her.

Elizabeth was born on the 14th of October 1866 to single mother Christina in the delightfully named Gatehouse of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. The small town is split between two parishes Girthon and Anworth. In 1871 she was recorded as Elizabeth Milligan and was living with her maternal grandparents James and Elizabeth Kenyon in Back Street, Girthon.

In 1873 her mother Christina married labourer James Brown in West Cumberland and in the 1881 census Elizabeth is shown living with them at Schoose Farm Cottage, Workington, Cumberland.

Schoose Farm
Schoose Farm, Workington. Copyright: Tom Routledge


In 1883 she had a son, Angus Milligan Kenyon and on the 31 of May 1886 Elizabeth married John Wilson in Workington. On her marriage certificate she claimed her father was Robert Milligan Kenyon. There may be some truth in this. Perhaps he was Robert Milligan? But I doubt he was a Kenyon.

Elizabeth and John went on to have 12 children between 1887 and 1909. I haven’t obtained all these children’s birth certificates because I am not made of money,

Mary Jane Wilson
Mary Jane Wilson (1889-1956)

but I do have that for the second child Mary Jane b.1889 because she was my Great Grandmother. When she registered the birth of her daughter, it seems Elizabeth got confused by the question “mother’s maiden name” and the registrar wrote that she was formerly Elizabeth Brown. This was of course the surname of her mother Christina following her marriage to James Brown. Mary Jane Wilson Birth CertPerhaps Elizabeth thought her maiden name was Brown, James was her step-father after all or perhaps she didn’t understand the term maiden name. Who knows what went wrong. What I do know is that before I knew who Elizabeth actually was, this little piece of dodgy information sent me off on a wild goose chase for non existent Wilson-Brown marriages. Only some major detective work led me to the real Elizabeth and that was largely down to her having been born in such an interestingly named place.

In 1891 Elizabeth, John and their growing family lived at 24 Turnpike Side, Workington and in 1901 & 1911 at 19 Mountain View, Workington.

19 Mountain View
19 Mountain View, Workington

In 1911 Mary Jane’s future husband the newly widowed Henry Moore is living at number 23 with his six month old baby Lillian, however Mary Jane was not at home on census night.

Elizabeth and John were still living at 19 Mountain View almost 30 years later when the 1939 Register was taken. Elizabeth’s date of birth is confirmed as above and their second youngest child Allan is listed with them as an unemployed labourer.

I have not confirmed Elizabeth’s death yet, but I have identified a likely record in the 3rd quarter of 1940, Cockermouth registration district. The certificate is on its way…




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