Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on her No Story Too Small blog in 2014. This year she continued the challenge, but also added a weekly theme. This week’s theme was “Independent: This is the week for Independence Day! Which one fought for (or against) America’s independence? Or which of your ancestors was independent?”
As far as I know, none of my ancestors fought for or against America’s independence. I have therefore chosen a relative who I think of as being independent. This person was Sarah Ann Doyle. Sarah (or Annie, as she was known) was the sister of my 2x great grandmother Maria Louisa Doyle.
Sarah Ann Doyle was born in the Apr-May-June quarter in 1851 in the Aston registration district (inferred county Warwickshire volume 16 page 184). She was the daughter of Thomas Doyle and Catherine Mills.
The 1861 census shows her with her family living at 113 Brierley St, Birmingham, Warwickshire.
The following year, the family migrated to Australia, arriving in Melbourne in August 1862. They sailed on the ship “Great Britain”.
The next information I have for Annie was when she was the informant at her father’s death in 1886. At this time she was working as a teacher in Blackwood, Victoria.
In 1910, Annie, is mentioned on her brother, John’s death notice:
The interesting thing about this notice is it doesn’t mention two brothers who would have been still alive at the time – Frank, who lived in New South Wales, and William, who went to Western Australia and appears to have died in Queensland.
There is an entry on the 1911 England Census that appears to be for Annie. Sarah Ann Doyle was born in 1851 in Birmingham, Warwckshire, and was a retired school teacher from Victoria, Australia. She was single, and was 59 years old. Although the surname Doyle is quite common, the age, birthplace, occupation, and previous residence all match our Sarah. Sarah was listed as a boarder, and she was listed on a separate page as a single occupier.
There is a record for a Miss. S. A. Doyle on the UK, Outward Passengers Lists, 1890-1960. She was age 61, a teacher, sailing from London, England, to Hobart, Tasmania. Her previous residence was in England. She sailed on the “Mantua”. It is not yet certain that this was for Annie.
This is the last record I have been able to find for Annie, but these documents indicate that she was an independent woman. She never married, and earned her own way in life by working as a teacher.