Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cesira Polenghi and the Taaffe family: 19th century connections between Italian and Irish families

Sir George Thomas Lambert, C.B., K.B., lived at No. 3 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London in the 1871 census.

He was a bachelor who died with a great deal of accumulated wealth.

Two of his six sisters, Juliana Margaret and Frances (Fanny) were granted probate.

Frances was at that time (1918) a spinster, and Juliana Margaret was the widow of Edward Gerald More O'Ferrall.

The More O'Ferrall family provides several interesting side trips from the Charles Street primary narrative.

John More O'Ferrall (1872 - )

The son and (I assume) heir of Edward and Juliana Margaret, John married Cesira Polenghi, who was born in Italy but appears to have lived in Kensington for some time.

1901: Cesira and John's marriage in Q3 (3rd quarter of the year)

In the 1901 census, before the marriage, Cesira lived at 16 Gordon Place, Kensington. The household:

John Taaffe, 82 years old, widower. "Major, late Louth Rifles". The census says born in Italy, Italian subject. I expect the born in Italy part is correct, but that Major Louth was a British subject.

Cesira Polinghi [sic], 28 years old, niece, single. No occupation. Born in Italy, Italian subject. This is probably correct.

Margaret Philips, 55 years old, widow. Housekeeper. Born in Ireland.

  • Class:  RG12; Piece:  20; Folio  84; Page  40; GSU roll:  6095130.

Gordon Place is about halfway between Holland Park and Kensington Palace.

It's the end house, a bright white one with the red door in this picture from Google Street View, as far as I can tell.

View Larger Map

Link to 16 Gordon Place on Google Street View (in case picture doesn't display above)

In 1891, the family was at the same place and consisted of:

John Taaffe, married, age 71. Late Major, Louth Rifles. Born in Italy, British subject.

Barbara Taaffe, his wife, married, age 45. Born in Ireland.

Cesira Polenghi, his niece, singe, age 19. Born in Milan, Italy.

There was one servant, Bridget d'Alton, single, age 45. Cook. Born in Ireland.

Class:  RG12; Piece:  20; Folio  84; Page  40; GSU roll:  6095130.

 To unravel this, I started with Major John Taaffe.

Irish Genealogical Sources: Louth Rifles, 1877-1908 No. 21

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