Elizabeth  Olwell/Allwell1877

Elizabeth Olwell/Allwell 1877

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Additional Information
Date of Birth 21st Jun 1877
Date of Death 19th Feb 1963
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Wallace Alexander Heuser
Place & Date of Marriage Westminster Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 22 November 1909
Names of Children Evangeline Gertrude Heuser/Williams/Johnston. 1911-1988 Francis Elizabeth Heuser/Brown. 1913-2003 Gordon Alexander Heuser. 1913-1914 Gordon Wallace Heuser. 1916-2010


  • Hello,

    According to her civil registration birth record, Elizabeth Olwell was born in the Cootehill Union Workhouse, County Cavan, on 21 June 1877. Her mother is Catherine Olwell. Owell is Catherine’s maiden name, not her married name. This indicates that Catherine was not married when Elizabeth was born, and that Elizabeth was born out-of-wedlock. Unfortunately, the birth record does not state where Catherine was living before Elizabeth was born in the Cootehill Union Workhouse.

    The person who reported Elizabeth’s birth to the registrar, was William Gardiner, Chief Medical Officer of the Cootehill Union Workhouse. The registrar, James Sharpe, M.D., recorded Elizabeth’s birth in the Cootehill Registration District on 25 June 1877. You can access a copy of the original birth record from the irishgenealogy.ie website after following the prompts at: https://tinyurl.com/5n922z8t

    Elizabeth’s birth is number 2 in the register.

    Your information shows that Elizabeth was born on 1 June 1877. That could be correct as I’ve found that civil registration birth records can be off by a few days, or even several days.

    The Cootehill Union Workhouse not only had accommodations for the poor and destitute, but also included a hospital, an infirmary, an R.C. Chapel, that is, a Roman Catholic Chapel, and a burial ground.

    For more information about the Cootehill Union Workhouse, as well as a map of the workhouse from the year 1910, go to the workhouses.org.uk link at: https://www.workhouses.org.uk/Cootehill/

    Cootehill, County Cavan was located in the Civil Parish of Drumgoon. The Catholic Parish is also Drumgoon. I’m not sure what religious denomination the Olwells had been, but I looked for Elizabeth’s baptism transcription at the Find My Past website. You can search Roman Catholic baptisms in Ireland for free at FMP. Most of the baptisms are from the 1800s, but some go back to the 1700s and some registers to the 1600s. The R.C. Chapel in the Cootehill Union Workhouse would have belonged to the Drumgoon Catholic Parish. I didn’t find Elizabeth’s baptism at the FMP website. Her mother may had had her baptized in another religious denomination, such as Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, etc.

    I also looked for Elizabeth Olwell/Allwell/Alwell, etc., in the 1901 and 1911 Irish census returns but I could not identify her in either census. She may not have been counted in the 1901 or 1911 census.

    Do you have any further information about Elizabeth? Knowing where she lived after being born in the Drumgoon Union Workhouse in 1877, might lead to further records about her and her mother Catherine. The religious denomination of her family may possibly be a help as well.

    Best Wishes,

    Dave Boylan


    Friday 17th June 2022 10:46AM
  • Greetings Dave,  Thank you for the thorough critique of my post and for providing appropriate references.     I have been having technical problems with Irelandxo and believe my original message, which was truncated from what I submitted, has been deleted so I cannot verify exactly what was posted.  I got the information about Elizabeth's birth from  cavangenealogy@eircom, c. 2008 Cavan Genealogy (All Rights Reserved).  It states that she was born 21/06/1877, her name is Elizabeth Olwell and it names her mother Catherine Reilly.  Could this be a different source or do you think this is an error in transcription?    According to what Elizabeth told her family she was an orphan and raised by relatives who misused her.  Could her mother have died at her birth and might there be a workhouse record of this?  Elizabeth professed she was raised Catholic but felt mistreated by the church.  She emigrated to Canada in 1905 and married her husband in a Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1909.  She was a strong Protestant believer the rest of her life.  We appreciate your interest and assistance in filling in the gaps in our Grandmother's history.  Henry Baxter





    Friday 17th June 2022 04:17PM
  • Dear Dave, one bit of information that was deleted from my original post was that Elizabeth does appear in the 1901 Census/Antrim/Lisburn, Circular Road North, House 5.  She is recorded as Lizzie Allwell, born Co. Cavan, General Servant Domestic. (In her birth record she is Olwell, her immigration papers have her as Attwell and in the 1901 Census and her Marriage Certificate she is Allwell.)  She is working for the Robert and Maggie Garret family.  Although it adds nothing to our search to find information about our grandmother, I found it interesting that the youngest Garrett son, Charlie, in 1916 was living in Vancouver,  Canada.  His Attestation Paper dated 21 February 1916 shows  that Charles Gordon Garrett joined the Canadian Exoeditionary Force and he gives as his next of kin his mother, Mrs. Margaret Garrett, living at Mount Pleasant, Ballinasloe, Ireland.





    Friday 17th June 2022 05:29PM
  • Here's more, Dave.  Through Ancestry DNA we have been matched to a James Olwell who reportedly was born in Cavan and married a Margaret Brady.  They had a daughter, Carherine, born in Cavan in 1861.  In 1883 she married John Argue in Glasgow, Scotland.  This information is given by the DNA match who is a grandaughter.  Neither of us has had much luck in varifying the information relating to Ireland.


    Friday 17th June 2022 05:47PM

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