Finding the birth date and place for Alice Halliday took some detective work. Based on information on census forms and marriage documents, Alice was born in England.
I ordered and reviewed all civil birth records of any Alice Halliday’s born in England 1861 and 1862. Of those, only two had a father named George and only one also had a mother named Mary. The matching document was for Garstang, Lancashire.
However, the mother was listed as Mary Ann Hodson whereas on Alice’s marriage certificate and death certificate the mother’s name is indicated as “Hutchison”. As well, on George’s death certificate his first wife is listed as Mary Hutchison. Hutchison and Hodson are similar names, so it remained a strong possibility.
So further research was needed to see if this was indeed the correct Alice.
A baptism record was found in Garstang under the name Alice Holliday living in Catteral at the time, parents were listed as George Holliday and Mary Ann Hodson. Searching further into Lancashire, George Holliday and Mary Ann Hodson were married in August 1860. The marriage certificate indicates that the father’s name for George (James) agrees with other documents indicating George’s father’s name. The occupation of George also agrees with his occupations that were noted on future censuses. On the baptism record he was listed as a jobber in the cotton mill, which is a person who buys and sells, a middleman. The occupation is the same on the 1861 census. In later censuses he was variously a wine merchant and a general dealer.
The 1861 census shows George Holliday, Miriam (sounds like Mary Ann) and Alice (10 weeks) living in Catteral, Garstang, Lancashire; the birthplace for George is listed as Belfast, Ireland, which is the same country as other documents for George (other documents do not list a location in Ireland).
I then checked census forms to be sure that this particular family did not continue in England as in 1871 George and Alice (with no Mary Ann) were living in Scotland. It is presumed Mary Ann died before 1871. Searching the 1871 censuses for England, there were no other George and Mary Holliday/Halliday living in England with an Alice as a daughter.
I also looked for other family trees that might show a continuation of the George, Mary and Alice from Garstang. While one family tree indicates a George Holliday and Mary Ann Saddler attaching Alice as the daughter, this cannot be correct as (1) the mother’s name on the baptism is listed as Hodson, (2) the couple lived in Norfolk not Lancashire, and (3) that George and Mary Ann did not marry until 1864 (therefore any daughter born in 1861 would not have been named Holliday, but Saddler).
All of these documents, and negative evidence, taken together indicate that this is the correct Alice Halliday/Holliday.
It is not surprising that the Halliday and Holliday are interchangeable at that time as George and Mary Ann were both illiterate, both used only their marks on the wedding certificate, and George continued using his mark when he married Jessie Cochrane later in life. Hodson/Hutchison are a little bit less similar; however, as indicated above, the documentation supports that this is the correct Alice Halliday.
The icing on the cake is a DNA match to a descendant of Thomas Hodson, who had a daughter Mary Ann Hodson, born in Urswick, which is where the “Miriam” Hodson noted on the 1861 census was born. The mother of the family is Alice, which would also agree with the naming convention of Alice being named after her maternal grandmother.
So Alice has been found!