Thanks, Patrick, that would be helpful. Based partly on your information, I sent the following 'proof' to Ruby who is involved in genealogical research in New Brunswick, Canada:
Genealogy of Robert Joseph Mean
1. Thomas Mean, father, b. 1827: 1841 English Census
2. Eliza Sillito, mother, b. 1819 – 1823: b. 1819, 1861 English Census; b. 1823, 1851 English Census
3. Thomas marries Eliza in 1846: England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915
4. Robert is born to Thomas and Eliza, listed as 2 mo old: 1861 English Census lists him as the youngest of 6 children. Note: In the 1851 English Census, a son, John, transcribed as ‘John Means’, is also listed but he is not found in later census documents with the other 6 children.
5. Eliza dies, late 1864: England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index: 1837-1915 – listed as Eliza Meen
6. Thomas remarries Bridget Mahoney (originally of County Kerry, Ireland) in Dec, 1866: England & Wales, FreeBMC Marriage Index: 1837-1915, Volume 4a, page 246 (listed as Robert Meen)
Note: Patrick of GenForum in an e-mail to Nathan Mean on Dec. 27, 2010 supplied the information for 5 & 6.
7. Thomas and Bridget show as having the following children in the 1871 English Census:
Denis Mahony 15
Mary A Mahony 13
Daniel Mahony 10
Ellen Mahony 7
Robert Mean 10
Joseph Mean 3
Peter Mean 1
8. No similar family structure or information shows up in the 1881 English Census.
9. Family lore of the Mean family of Canada has Robert Joseph Mean emigrating from England in the 1870’s.
10. The following family shows up in the 1881 Canadian Census, District Number 31, District Carleton, Sub-District number G, subdistrict Kent, Division 2:
Thomas Mechan 56
Bridget Mechan 60
Denis Mahony 23
Daniel Mahony 20
Mary Mahony 22
Ellen Mahony 16
Robert Mechan 20
Joseph Mechan 11
Peter Mechan 9
Nathan states: I do not know why Bridget is listed as 60 years of age, she being younger than Thomas. Could it be that the same enumerator hearing ‘Mechan’ for Mean might also have surveyed a woman who looked 60 rather than a woman 10 years younger and made a judgement on her age? This part is attempting to understand why this mistake could have been made for what would otherwise be, on the balance of probabilities, the same family as that listed in the 1871 English Census.
I have, up until now, been unable to find their passage documents. Tina Townsend states in a posting to GenForum, August 19, 2000, that family lore had Robert Joseph, her great-great-grandfather, immigrating to Canada with a Catholic step-mother and step-children via the port of St. John, New Brunswick. My side of the family believed Robert Joseph to have come via the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. If the family did arrive via St. John, shipping records may have been destroyed by fire around this time and may account for the difficulty in finding the passage documents.
11. Robert Joseph (transcribed as Robert J. Meen) marries Mary Jane Shaw on June 10, 1886 (from family records) in the Parish of Wakefield, Carleton County, New Brunswick), filed on October 12, 1886 Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
12. Robert Joseph dies on Nov 29, 1946, death certificate filed December 6, 1946 - Province of New Brunswick – Certificate of Registration of Death No 005256.
Information contained in the Death Certificate:
Racial Origin: English
Date of Birth: February 20, 1861
Father’s Name: Thomas Mean
Name of Informant: Manzer Mean (Robert’s youngest son, with whom he lived out his remaining years)
Mother’s Maiden name: Elizabeth Stone
Nathan states: This may be as Robert remembered his mother’s name, being only 3 years of age at the time of Eliza’s passing. By the time he was 10, his father had married Bridget, who brought to the marriage 4 children from her previous marriage. Thomas and Bridget then had two more children, Joseph and Peter. He was the only child left in a sibling group of 8 that was born to the original marriage of Thomas and Eliza. By the time he arrived in Canada, he may well have felt alienated by a sickly father – the 1871 English Census has him on parochial relief, an invalid and ‘athsmatical’ – a mother not his own and 7 siblings with whom only 2 he shared a father. Shortly thereafter, he left the family, though, to be fair, he was by this time 20 years old. It has been remarked that none of his children or grandchildren ever heard him speak at length on his family, either in a complimentary fashion or poorly. He simply maintained silence on the subject of family lineage.
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