In search of Patrick Heenan’s marriage

Discovering where and when my great great grandfather Patrick Heenan married is proving a mystery.

His first son Patrick was born in March, 1868 according to the baptism records of St John’s Roman Catholic Church in Rhymney, Monmouthshire. So I know he was living in Rhymney at the time though for how long is unclear (all I can establish with any confidence is that he wasn’t there are the time of the 1861 census since there are no families with the surname Heenan in Rhymney on that date).

Using his son’s baptism as a reference point, it’s possible therefore that he married either earlier in 1868 or before.  In the 1911 census – the first to record number of years a couple had been married – indicates he and Ellen had been married 45 years. That would put their marriage in approx 1866 (though if the information they provided to numerators for other census years is any test, I wouldn’t want to bet any money this was an accurate piece of information). But was this in Ireland or in mainland UK?

Limerick Regional Archives did a search of both the county and the city of Limerick for a marriage in the 1860s between Patrick and Ellen O’Brien on the basis that both partners stated their area of birth was Limerick. But failed to find anything. They also searched for me a marriage of a Patrick Heenan to any bride with the first name of Helen or Ellen irrespective of the maiden name. But again drew a blank. Their conclusion was that any marriage was more likely to have taken place in England or Wales.

But my search of the marriage records for England and Wales doesn’t show any relevant marriages  between a Patrick Heenan and a bride with the name of Ellen/Helen O’Brian/O’Brien or any variation of that. There are numerous Heenans in the Liverpool area but none with a match to a bride of that name. Maybe they never got married? It’s a distinct possibility……….

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