Frank Allsop's mystery "sister," Harriet McLaren


hudsonh

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May 16, 2013
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We have a direct family connection with the Allsop family which originated from Tissington in Derbyshire and have a family history which includes Frank Allsop, one of the Stewards who perished on the Titanic. I don't know how Harriet McLaren came to be regarded as Frank's sister. His parents were Eliza Langham and James Allsop and his mother is to be found on the 1911 Census living with her married daughter, Ellen Emma Hoskins in Poole in Dorset. The 1911 Census records the number of births, live and dead, and Eliza records two living children (sadly for only one more year). Frank and Ellen Emma account for both of her children. I have tried for some time to solve the mystery of Harriet McLaren. I can't find her on the Census Records nor her marriage on Free BMD. Are there any detectives who can solve this mystery? I really don't think she was part of our family. Why would they present themselves as brother and sister if they were not?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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As far as I know the true identity of 'H. McLaren' has never been established, but I'd love to be wrong about that! Whoever came up with the supposed Allsop connection (now no longer accepted) might also have come up with the name Harriet, which is equally dubious. Attempts to find her in the census, BMD etc by looking for all names beginning with 'H' have not been very fruitful.
 

hudsonh

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May 16, 2013
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Thank you. It is frustrating that the 1911 Census, taken on the 2nd April 1911, almost exactly a year prior to the sailing of the Titanic, has neither Frank Richard Allsop living at 73 Obelisk Street, Woolston, Southampton nor H. McLaren living at 9 Shirley Road, Shirley, Southampton. Both are the addresses given for them. Neither are there any identifiable relatives of the same names living at these addresses.
 

Bob Godfrey

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If they'd been at sea or in a foreign port on census night they wouldn't be recorded. And back in the early c19th working class people (almost always living in rented rooms) moved frequently but generally not very far. In the case of Ms McLaren, she might have been living alone in a lodging house. We don't know if she had children or even a husband - some stewardesses (likes cooks in service) preferred to designate themselves 'Mrs' whether or not they were married, and if she was separated from her husband she'd have been unlikely to revert to her maiden name or status.
 

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