Catherine Hayes Devonshire Origin I’ve an email from a gentleman who said I was doing a rehash of the Catherine Hayes story. I quite agree with him that what has been written by others up to now was a hash i.e. mess up of her true life history. However, I’m not rehashing their efforts. If that was all I had to offer readers, I’d have packed it in years ago. People should know that I started to study Catherine Hayes because there was talk in our family about a great singer from Limerick who was part of our ancestry. So far, I’ve been able to trace my great grandfather to Tipperary which is the next county to Limerick. His father or grandfather might well have moved over the county line. I haven’t yet found the missing links but I sure found out plenty about the life of Catherine Hayes and those who were close to her.
Looking for the Truth
Anyone who undertakes a serious study of the life of Catherine Hayes will be forced to conclude that a lot of rubbish has been written about her. One author admitted to me that his researcher failed to find the records. I’d asked because his book didn’t agree with what I’d seen and copied from the archives . Not that all official or Church records are true. Wealthy and influential people paid to have records lost, altered or replaced when it suited their purpose.The preservation of family honour or obtaining a legacy were very compelling reasons to hide or destroy the truth.
One of the many mysteries surrounding Catherine Hayes is her birth date and parentage. Her mother Mary claims to have been born in Devonshire on the English 1861 and 1871 census returns shown here: (To be replaced soon)
The above is from the 1861 return and below is 1871 when Mary and Henrietta are living together with no servants.
It would appear that Mary Hayes was really born in Devonshire since there can be no transcription error. I have since found her baptism as Mary Carroll in Devon. She was always imaginative about ages as you can see by comparing the two returns which are 10 years apart. It’s not clear whether it’s 76 or 70 on the form but a lot nearer the truth than the 50 declared in 1861. It would appear now that Catherine Hayes was both Anglo-Irish and Church of Ireland.