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My grandfather, Sidney Singleton, died in 1995. He was desperate to find out the truth of his ancestry, as it has always been a mystery, he spent many hours writing to different places etc ( before the internet was accessible) from my understanding he believes he located his grand aunt in Australia, however there are no records. 

The story has always been that his father, Richard Singleton( as he knew him) was born illegitimately, his mother, who I believe to be ‘Mary Singleton’ ( baptised 18/09/1869 in kilshannig, Cork) was a maid or worker and had a child with the man of the house? Or someone important? The story goes that she was sent away- as in abroad? The baby, Richard, was sent to England to live with Mary’s family there, a sister or cousin that couldn’t have her own children. This certainly adds up when I look at Richard’s war records. 

I have found out through ancestry that Richard singleton was actually Richard Bolster ( he clearly was known by his mothers name) I can see he was baptised In Kilshannig on the 19th February 1879, his father is named as another Richard Bolster. Here is where the trail goes dead? 

I cannot find any other information on Richard Bolster, I would love to finally work out who he was and the true story? I ultimately want to finish what my grandad started…..

Any further information on Mary Singleton would also be appreciated, I believe her father to be Timothy Singleton 1834-1907 of Kilshannig, who was married to Catherine (Kate) Fitzpatrick 1844-1882. 
From my endless research, I believe Mary was living in Illinois America by the age of 41, working as a maid. If I am right, it is unfortunate that she had no further children and died a spinster, very sad. 

Thank you for your time in reading this, if anyone could help me or point me in the right direction I would be incredibly great full! I'm trying to finish what my grandad started all those years ago. 

Many thanks! Katy 

Katy Bird

Monday 18th Jul 2022, 05:07PM

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  • Richard Singleton's civil birth record lists his mother, but no father:…


    Monday 18th Jul 2022, 09:42PM
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    As you noted above, the Catholic parish register shows his father as Richard Bolster with the sponsors Timothy & Ellen Singleton. There is no indication of him being illegitimate on that record as one might expect to find. The civil record referenced above has Ellen Singleton present at the birth. You have 1869 for Mary's baptism...maybe a typo because that would make her 10 years old when Richard was born. There are two Griffith's Valuation records from 1852 for a Catherine Singleton (maybe an aunt or grandmother?) in Lackendarragh, Killshanig...that is the townland listed on the civil birth record for Richard.

    Finally, I'm not sure you'll be able to determine the parents of Richard Bolster, Sr. because there are too many potential candidates named Richard Bolster from "Kilshannig by Mallow" on Ancestry records


    Monday 18th Jul 2022, 11:54PM
  •   Morning Carolyn, thank you for your help here! That's the baptism I found aswell, so Timothy singleton is Mary Singletons father ( yes that was a typo! She was 19 when she had Richard) Ellen singleton I haven't discovered the link to the family as yet, she could be a cousin I believe? I also think she is the family member who may have took Richard on as a baby, later in his war records he is linked to 'Mary Ellen Singleton' and her husband John Thomas Glen, but this is definitely not Mary his mother, he is listed as a boarder in their house, so I believe it to be a cousin. 
    Also the sponsors are both from Mary's family, usually you find a sponsor from the fathers family too, but perhaps they were unaware of the pregnancy? They were not married which I know would have been frowned upon? 
    Ancestry keeps suggesting a father to be a Richard Bolster that passed away the same year the baby Richard was born, I do think this could be who I'm looking for, it would explain why she couldn't afford the baby etc. unfortunately I cannot find any other information of this Richard Bolster though, apart from his death in 1879? It would be nice to work out who he is, parents names etc....I'd imagine another Richard Bolster! 




    Katy Bird

    Tuesday 19th Jul 2022, 08:12AM
  • As you noted above, the Catholic parish register shows his father as Richard Bolster with the sponsors Timothy & Ellen Singleton. There is no indication of him being illegitimate on that record as one might expect to find.

    It is unusual that the parish register did not call the child illegitimate, as was the custom.  But the fact that the civil register does not name a father for the child is significant.


    Tuesday 19th Jul 2022, 03:08PM
  • Thank you Patricia for this link, I hadn't seen this before. This is very interesting! If not confusing? I wander why the father is listed in the baptism and not the civil register? 
    After some more research I do strongly believe that the Richard Bolster snr I am looking for is a Richard James Bolster of kilshannig, who died a couple of months after the baby was born. It all seems to add up to him. 
    I still feel this baby, my gt gt Grandad was a bit of a scandal at the time, maybe it was kept from the Bolster family? Hence not being on the civil register? It's all a bit of a mystery! 
    My hope is to track down distant relatives of Richard James Bolster, of which I believe I have found one, Desmond, who comments on this site, who may hold more information? 
    I have done a dna test with ancestry, the ideal situation would be that I link to a distant cousin with the same Bolster ancestors in common. Fingers crossed I finally get the answers my Grandad was so desperate for! 




    Katy Bird

    Tuesday 19th Jul 2022, 05:45PM
  • Hello Kathy

    just read your post and it intrigued me as I live in Kilshannig parish which became a protestant parish in 1581 and the catholic version was re established as Glantane parish in 1821.I am familiar with the Bolster name and it surprised me to see in your post referring to catholic parish records as the bolsters were mainly protestant and their records would be in the protestant registers. having said that I would assume the Singleton lady was catholic and the baby would then be probably baptised in the catholic church.  When registering for state records ,i assume the mother did that and must not have declared who the father was, however on baptism she may not want illegitimate attached to the baby so gave the fathers name . that is speculation on my part. She could easily get a relation or a friend unknown to the priest to pretend he was Bolster the father to cover up.. It was such a stigma then that every effort would be made to cover up but baptising the child was a must. to a catholic. The Bolsters were wealthy farmers and business people and would definitely have servants.they owned and ran a number of corn mills in the parish

    I will digest the info in your post and see can I offer any help. In Kilshanng  graveyard attached to the protestant church the most numerous name there is Bolster and I have a list of all the inscriptions on the headstones there as I was involved in a recording of inscriptions .Look up and Kilshannig or newberry graveyard and you can read all of the headstones there. I have other records also that might help.

    There were a couple of Singleton families in the parish and I may be able to have a look at the parish registers. Once I get a chance I will dig a bit more

    Regards. Donie

    Donie Sullivan

    Friday 7th Apr 2023, 11:46PM

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