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Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 4:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
I believe that my grandmother may have been born at the Good Shepherd Hospital for Women (Adelaide Terrace) while my great grandmother was there being treated for alcoholism 1903.

I also believe that the nuns - well meaning at the time - did not record/report this birth to the WA State and raised my grandmother themselves at their St. Joseph School for Girls (orphange) in Subiaco.

We've had no success pressing the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy.org.au, for any info at all on my grandmother. Can't get info without a birth cert... which, of course, never left the convent so NOBODY can get it.

Has anybody else had this sort of experience in Western Australia. Help? Hints? Pointers?

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 11:18PM GMT
Classification: Query
I assume you have searched BMD?Any names?

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 23 Nov 2012 11:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have searched the WA Vital Records Online Db (I am in the USA) to exhaustion. I've read, however, that in many cases of actual orphans, migrant children, and early child protection services when the church stepped in they often changed names, dates of birth and in some cases did not register births at all - only maybe recording christenings and making THOSE records untouchable.

There are no female children - on record - born in the state of Western Australia for the 4 year period I've searched in the past under ANY spelling of the family name or even under first names of known parents with no surname listed. Aaarrrgghhh!

We are now down to this possibility.

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 11:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,
Including names and dates etc with your queries really helps...

Regarding births in institutions such as you describe,,,your information is close but not quite accurate.

What used to happen was single mothers who could not pay for medical care, hospital/birthing and/or to care for their babies and who chose to place them for adoption COULD stay with, receive medical care and have their babies delivered with (various) organisations/agencies..

Most mothers were never given the chance to see or name their babies as it was already agreed the babies would be placed for adoption,,,and USUALLY already had a family waiting to adopt.

The babies would simply be registered by the adopting family.
Sometimes the organisations did keep records of mothers names etc and date she gave birth and if child was male/female etc...
Which family got which child was usually recorded.

Baptism/christening records are available but not online in all areas for the years you are seeking. They would possibley be available in Archives and major libraries here in Australia, or may still be kept with church archives.
Problem is,,she probably wasn't baptised by her birth mother.

Findin the birth is what you need and it should be under the adopted families name...

Kellie

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 11:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
All very helpful suggestions, and I thank you. I am not currently giving out the names involved due to privacy. We are more interested in "practices" right now than location. We know that my great grandmother was treated at Good Shepherd Adelaide Terrace. We know that my grandmother was born, not adopted out, raised by nuns at a convent (one of the things we are trying to discover is... WHICH ONE?)

We know that my grandmother was 'reclaimed' by her mother around age 10. Even though family trees list her as born to these parents, certain age, certain date, my grandmother never really knew what year she was born (government docs in US and AUS emigration/customs show at least 3 different years) There is NO record of a female child being born to our family surname (no matter the spelling) OR to a parent - either or both - of her parents name for a 5 year spread in WA. All other three of four children have government records of their birth.

My cousin in WA is searching every cubby hole for evidence and the only resource that is "stone walling" us are the Sisters of Mercy. Odds are better than even that my grandmother was 'raised' at St. Joseph Orphange for Girls, Subiaco (her brother was 'farmed out' to Clontarf) since her mother was there for treatment and the Christian Brothers had her brother.

Sisters of Mercy won't release ANY information without birth certificate which they most likely have the only copy of... having performed sacrament of baptism only and not registering with the state.

I didn't just forget to provide names and dates. I would have 6 months ago, but this infuriating "dodge" by the Sisters of Mercy is beginning to really tick me off.

Thank you all - am mostly looking for others with info who may have been subjected to the same sort of heavy handed treatment.

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 11:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,
Is it Dorothy Agnes's birth abt 1900 that you are looking for?

A search using her mothers name gives
DENNING DORAS JANE (father)JOHN (mother)REID MAGGIE JANE

I cannot see a marriage for John DENNING and Maggie Jane REID in WA.

My PC needs to reboot so I'll be back shortly.

Kellie

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 26 Nov 2012 12:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
This would have been AMAZING, 'Sad Mushroom', but not to be... This particular Maggie Jane and John Denning were married in Victoria before 'my' Maggie Jane was born. John died in 1902, shortly after Doras was born.

Nice investigating though! That was pretty cool!

Re: Sisters of Mercy / Good Shepherd Perth

Posted: 9 Feb 2013 10:05AM GMT
Classification: Query
The Sisters of Mercy and the sisters of the Home of the Good Shepherd were two separate orders, although children from the HOGS could have been sent to St Joseph's. Both are very reluctant to give out any information...with good reason! Their practices and treatment of women, unmarried mothers and children would be abhorrent to us today. Records of HOGS are currently held at Abbotsford Victoria. Given that the Home of the Good Shepherd moved from Adelaide Terrace to Wembley(variously named as Subiaco or West Leederville) about 1907 it is possible that such early records are genuinely lost. HOGS was a Magdalene laundry.
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