Mary Ellen Morris age ten, was admitted to the Thurles Workhouse, 29 Nov 1887 and is recorded on the entry as having 'sore feet'. No other Morris family member is on record as being admitted to this Workhouse or any other Workhouse. (Grandfather Morris was an engineer with the mines in the Slieveardagh hills, at Earlshill. Grandfather Forde was National School teacher, Glengoole)
Mary Ellen's father William Bourke Morris died of TB on 23 May 1887, he was 38 years old. William was formerly a colliery manager with the Irish Mining Co. at Earlshill, Co. Tipperary. Later, when he moved his family from Earlshill to Thurles about 1883, William worked for a time there as an auctioneer until his health worsened till his death.
Mary Ellen's mother, Ellen Forde-Morris, as widow now had six children under her care. Her seventh child, a toddler, had died six months previous to her husband's death. The decision was made with the help I believe of her father-in-law Wm Morris, to emigrate to America where she had two sisters living with their families in Providence, RI. Ellen would take her two eldest children, sons William Joseph and Patrick Timothy with her.
Three daughters, Barbara (8), Anna (6) and Florence (4) would be sent to live with their grandfather Morris and aunt living in Tuam, Co. Galway where they managed a hotel. Ellen's father Timothy Forde had passed away 1865 and her mother Mary Commons/Cummins-Forde in 1886.
This left daughter Mary Ellen (10) who was frail and possibly either couldn't make the journey to America or the grandfather and aunt already had 3 charges in their care. For whatever reason most likely due to Mary Ellen's condition, she was admitted to the Workhouse. I sense Mary Ellen's mother was overwhelmed and she had no choice but to hope the infirmary and school at the Workhouse would take good care of her daughter.
The 25th October, 1893, Mary Ellen Morris died, (age 16, although the report says she was 14)...she was frail and small. She was at school in the Workhouse, had a siezure or heart failure and died, falling to the floor as she was reading her catechism. Due to the nature of her death, an Inquiry was commissioned and a report rendered (see in profile picture above). Mary Ellen's mother Ellen Forde-Morris passed away a year later in Providence, RI. She was (44) and the doctor listed her cause of death as heart failure - she died of a broken heart I'm sure of it.
My only hope for this dear child, is that someone known to her family also lived at the Workhouse. In the Inquiry, it was said an inmate by the name of Mrs. Commons was in charge at the time of Mary Ellen's death as the teacher was outside the room. Mary Ellen's mother's mother (her grandmother) was Mary Commons/Cummins-Forde, school teacher in New Birmingham/Glengoole had passed in 1886, Graine, Co. Kilkenny. I do not know where Mary Commons/Cummins-Forde was born, nor do I know who her parents and siblings were to trace relations forward.
It would give me peace to know there was some family connection at the Workhouse or that Mary Ellen was cared for and not subject to any abuse that may have been associated with the Workhouse in Thurles at that time. I would appreciate any insights you may offer.
+May Mary Ellen Morris and her family - my Irish ancestors rest in peace+
*Sources: Birth - Ballingarry Parish Records and Ireland Civil Birth Record -Earlshill, Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary p. 596
Admittance to Thurles Workhouse Records, 29 Nov 1887 -Through kindess of Mary Guinan,The Source, Archival Thurles Workhouse records
Death- Irish Civil Death Record - Thurles, Co. Tipperary #78
Inquiry of Death Workhouse Report -Nenagh Guardian, 1 Nov 1893. Thurles, Co. Tipperary
|Date of Birth||11th May 1877|
|Date of Death||25th Oct 1893|
|Associated Building (s)||Thurles Workhouse|