Monica Kelly

Monica Kelly was born at High Holburn, 11 January 1855 and baptized 21 January 1855 at St Anselm & St Cecilia Roman Catholic Church in the parish of Lincoln's Fields (Sardinia Fields). She was the daughter of James Kelly, a tailor, from Cork, Ireland - and Mary Ann Connor (O'Connor). She was married to James John Austin on the 26th of April, 1874, in the Parish Church of Islington. At that time her address was 10 Grove Road (see Marylebone parish maps) and James' address was 14 Half Moon Crescent.

Monica is age 6 in the 1851 Census - living with her family at 46 Warwick Street in the parish of Westminster (London, England). The Census indicates that she was born in Middlesex, UK. Monica had a sister (Mary A. in the 1851 Census) who, according to one family story, may have been Catholic nun.

The Frank King family (see photo below) stayed with Monica and her husband Jame John Austin, at 2 Sperling Road, Tottenham (greater London), England, prior to the family coming to Canada. The photo is likely taken there. The Austins subsequently lived at 8 Bertram Road, Enfield. The picture may indicate some of the sadness, anger, resolve or confusion that is felt by various members of the family. Little Ellen King (to be my Grandma Almas) in the first row seems to have the open-faced eagerness of a child who has not yet sensed the sadness around and is eager for the adventures of life still ahead.


standing - centre: Frank King, Monica Kelly Austin, Lilian Maria Austin King (holding Alfred King), Ellen May King, James John Austin (note cigar), Irene Pretoria King

The children of James John Austin and Monica Kelly were:

1. James Austin - born ca 1875, St. Mary's Parish, Islington (London), England - married Annie (Unknown). Resided in South Africa. (James served in the Boer War and was later a policeman in South Africa.)

2. Charles William Albert Austin - born in 1877 at Westminster (London); christened 22 April, 1877, St. Martin's in the Fields, London - married ca 1899 to Florence Amelia Dartnell, in Strood, Kent. He was an 'engineers' labourer.'

3. Lilian Maria Austin - born 23 May, 1878, 187 High Holborn Street, London; died 17 September, 1956 - Hamilton, ON; - married 11 April 1899 at Edmonton (Greater London) to Francis King (b. Widford, Herts).

4. Monica (Minnie) Austin - born ca 1880 at Battersea, Surrey (Greater London). (1 year old in the 1881 Census - 101 Usk Road, Battersea) In the 1907 Barnardo-related document, she is 26, servant, at Stamford Hill. She was a Lieutenant in the Salvation Army.

5. Alfred Austin - born ca 1881 at Battersea, Surrey. (3 wks old in the 1881 Census - 101 Usk Road, Battersea)

Following the death of her husband James John Austin, in mid-January of 1915, Monica visited her daughter, Lilian, in Burlington, ON around the time of Lilian's daughter - Irene King's birth. Ellen May (King) Almas (my maternal grandmother, and Lilian's daughter) remembers this visit of Monica Kelly. She moved across the lawn "like the Queen" - with regal bearing and self-possession.

The family attended St. Luke's Anglican, in Burlington, at that time and Monica was soon on 'the Indian list' (patronizing towards them in our present perspective), due to her tendency to imbibe and so was precluded from having wine at Communion. She was a heavy smoker as well, which must have made life in the little house a little 'close.' We should remember that she was still mourning the fairly recent loss of her husband and such grief may turn anyone to 'self-medication.' Family members remember her as 'a bit of a flapper.'

She is said to have had a 'falling out' with Lilian, just before Irene's birth - and left one day 'in a huff' and was never heard of again - (though she did return safely to England - see record below). I don't know where she lived from then until her death.

Arrival for Visit in Canada

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Name: Monica Austin
Gender: Male (sic)
Age: 60
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1855
Date of Arrival: 17 Apr 1915
Vessel: Missanabie
Port of Arrival: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
Roll: T-4754

Return to England

UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
Name: Monica Austin
Birth Date: abt 1855
Age: 60
Port of Departure: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Arrival Date: 5 Oct 1915
Port of Arrival: London, England
Ship Name: Corinthian
Shipping Line: Allan Line
Official Number: 11125

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