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  • An alternative ID

    I'd love to get some feedback on this research. It's a possible ID of Ada Wilson, taking in to account the pretty convincing ID of Mark Ripper's in Ripperologist, I'd welcome some peer review!

    Ada Wilson was attacked on the 28th March 1888 at Maidman St. Several newspapers repoting on the attack gave Ada's age as 39.
    Ada Wilson was taken to the London Hospital and discharged from there on 27th April 88
    These are the facts.

    From here on is a tentative ID of Ada Wilson for anyone who feels inclined to look over and give an opinion on:
    With this ID there is a picture but I'd like to keep that back at present and hope others will respect this as one of the names is a rare name that brings up obvious results including that picture.

    After the attack-Ada would have been discharged from the London Hospital once her wound was on the mend but it was often the case that people who still were not able to earn a living because of an injury were admitted into Union Infirmaries to recover fully. With this in mind I first came across this interesting record:
    One day after Ada Wilson's discharge from the London Hospital, on April 28th 1888 -a woman also named Ada Wilson, age 39, was admitted to the Mile End Workhouse She is described in the Porters' book as the widow of Geo. [no surname] an engineer. Ada was described as destitute . She was sent on to the Mile workhouse first then admitted to the Mile End Infirmary the same day. She spent eight weeks in the Infirmary before discharge which would be apt for recovery from a serious throat wound.
    Mile End Workhouse/Infirmary would be the place Ada Wilson was sent as her address before the attack was Mile End.
    Mile End Workhouse Porter's Admission and Discharge 1887-1888Admitted 28th April, Ada Wilson, 39, widow of George, engineer, destitute

    Mile End Infirmary creed register Admitted 28th April 1888 and 1889 ? (page damaged) Ada Wilson, 39

    Mile End Infirmary Admissions and Discharges
    Admitted Sat April 28th 1888 Ada Wilson age 39 C of E, no address,
    Discharged Mon 25th June 1888 at own request

    Searching the available records there are no women named Ada Wilson of the right age, married to a man named George in the census records.However, there is a woman who sometimes went by the name of Ada Wilson whose real name was Ada Tradigan and she appears in the female convict licence records. This Ada was around the right age and interestingly, was also married to a man named George:

    Here are some newspaper details of Ada and George's escapades:

    Morning Post 05 March 1879
    George Drew, 40, gunsmith and Ada Tredigan, 28, married, were placed in the dock to be sentenced. The prisoners were found guilty yesterday upon an indictment for having stolen a pair of spectacles from the person of Agnes Henderson while in an omnibus in the Waterloo-road, and had been remanded in order that a list of previous convictions might be formally proved against the female prisoner. Mrs Wiltshire, from the Westminster House of correction, now attended, and said that the woman had been convicted four times for robberies from the person, the last sentence being nine months imprisonment and four years police supervision in July 1877. Since her release detectives had watched her, and had seen her frequently riding in omnibuses starting from the Elephant and castle, and there was little doubt that she was an experienced thief. It was stated that she had been married to the other prisoner some years ago, but up till Christmas last they had not lived together, and that Drew was in respectable employment and possessed a good character until that period.
    The chairman sentenced Drew to six months imprisonment with hard labour, but said that in view of the previous convictions against the female prisoner he must pass in her case the heavy sentence of 10 years penal servitude.

    Here's a bried bio of Ada Tradigan from several sources:
    Born: 1851, in Newington, Surrey. father J H Williams (prison records give parents address as Clara Villa, Harrow Road).
    Married to: George Drew aged 40 and a gunsmith (Morning Post, 5 March 1879) (they had married some years before 1879, but had not lived together until Christmas 1878 and that Drew was in respectable employment and possessed a good character until that period.He is mentioned in the prison records in1885, but may have died sometime between then and 1888 if this is the widow Ada Wilson in the workhouse records). Ada Tradigan had 5 children, 3 living. The prison records also list a Mrs Williams (mother), of Eleanor Villa Harrow Road and Clara Villa Harrow Road, a letter from daughter 'Ada’ and brother George, both at the same address. Also Mr Williams (noted as father) c/o 49 Hatfield St.The same address was used as a contact for husband George Drew [also called George Tradigan sometimes in the records]

    checking further on some of these details and addresses:

    Living at 49 Hatfield St Southwark in 1881 is a John King, bellhanger and gas fitter and his wife Emma. Emma was born 1849 Lambeth. a Mrs E King of 49 Hatfield Rd (given as a c/o address for Ada's parents) is listed in the prison records several times, plus a letter from her is included in the file.

    Also at the address at Clara Villas Harrow Rd Leyton given in the prison records:
    1881 Census
    Clara Villa Harrow Rd Leyton
    William Williams head , 45 butcher b London
    Harriott Williams, wife 44 b Tolness Devon
    Harry Williams, son, 19 b London
    Walter Williams, 16, son, b London
    Albert Williams 14, son b London
    Elizabeth ??i? visitor widow 50 b Leytonstone
    Beatrice Farrer visitor 13 b Leytonstone
    Ada Farrer visitor 3 b Leytonstone

    criminal record and aliases for Ada Tradigan:

    Oval face, dark complexion, black hair, hazel eyes, 5ft 3.5 in tall, stout (10st 9oz/149ibs). Mole on left breast and on side of neck, scar on left leg. Ears pierced. A tailoress/machinist by occupation (the latter being her occupation before marriage). Health: very bad; rheumatic and typhoid fevers.

    Her convictions-
    1872, 1 June
    As Mary Williams, 6 months, Malboro' St {Police Court)

    1874, 7 December
    As Emma (or Anna) Drew, 4 months, Middlesex Sessions, Larceny from the person & receiving. (London Evening Standard 12 November 1874, Emma Drew, shabbily dressed, 34, robbing a purse from a woman's pocket in an omnibus. Found in possession of other stolen property also taken shortly before from another omnibus. Accomplice who was on the roof and came to court and was recognised and arrested was later named in newspapers as William (or John) Clarke, 15, Union Place, Blackfriars.)

    1875, 8 September
    As Ellen West, 3 months, Marlboro’ St (London Evening Standard 10 September 1875. Ellen West Robbing a purse property of Mrs Shipton on an Atlas Omnibus said to have been a regular of the omnibus and suspected by the conductor of being a thief, along with a companion.)

    1877, 9 July
    As Ada Wilson, 9 months, Middlesex Sessions, Larceny from the person &receiving after a P.C.F (London Evening Standard 03 July 1877. Alleged robbery in an omnibus. Ada Wilson alias Ada Wilton living at the East End of London. Convicted Middlesex session)

    1879, 4 February - sentenced to 10-years imprisonment
    As Ada Tradigan, 10 years at Wandsworth from 4/3/79, Millbank from 15/4/79, Fullham from 13/11/79 [* appears on 81 census at Fullham Prison] Woking from 6/4/82, Licensed 20/4/86 via Fullham 13/4/86. George Drew [husband] was also convicted for same case in 1879 and received 6 months - he stated it as his intention On release will reside at 86 Armer? Rd Old Ford, Bow 23 Sept 1879

    There are also four further infirmary or workhouse entries for a woman named Ada Drew in the Whitechapel Infirmary and SGE workhouse, of a similar age. Ada Drew also claims to be the widow of George. There are no married couples named Ada and George Drew in the UK census etc., nor any Ada Drew of a similar age who is a married woman. Ada Drew is also listed as a 'machinist' which is something 'Ada Tradigan', Ada Wilson and Ada Drew had in common, as well as a husband named George.

    Here are the Whitechapel and SGE entries:
    Note that the 87 WI discharge entry is only a few weeks before the attack on Ada, and if it is the same woman she was admitted for syphilis and was was staying in the Whitechapel area a few weeks before her attack in March 88. The newspaper clipping on Ada Wilson's crimes state she lived in the East End of London.

    Whitechapel infirmary
    Admitted 31 12 87 Ada Drew, 36, admitted from casual ward, widow of Geo. broker? 2 nights settlement (in Whitechapel) , admitted for syphilis, discharged 20 Feb 88

    South Grove Mile End Rd creed register (admissions register for South Grove 88 not available)
    Feb 22 1888 Ada Drew b 1854, admitted from Christchurch, machinist, widow, discharged 27 3 88

    Whitechapel infirmary
    admitted Feb 9th 1889 Ada Drew 35, 30 Dorset St widow of Geo. a dealer ulcer of heel, settlement 3 months .

    Raine St workhouse a&d 1890
    Feb 13th 1890 Ada Drew 1854 destitute
    widow, machinist 40 cannon St Rd discharged 21st Feb 90

    Interesting that the South Grove workhouse entry discharge is one day before the attack on Ada Wilson and South Grove workhouse, according to my reckoning, is pretty close to Maidman Street? Can anyone confirm this?


    All of these women were the same age, none of their infirmary stays overlap or contradict each other, all the women were machinists as Ada Wilson was and all the women were the widows of men named George, as the Mile End 88 Porter's book mentionns, if it is to be believed that is.
    I'd welcome any thoughts, questions or feedback on this. I realise it's pretty complicated as an ID !
    Thanks
    Debs x

  • #2
    More great work, Debs ! Thanks for sharing this.

    Mark Ripper's article appeared in Ripperologist Magazine, Issue 125, for those interested in the Ada Wilson story.

    Looking forward to reading more, Debs.
    XXXX
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact Howard@jtrforums.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Excellent work, Debra!

      For what it's worth Barnett said MJK went sometimes to visit a friend in the Elephant & Castle district. Sounds like Ada had a real system concerning buses and went into this district. I don't have an opinion but thought it might be of interest.

      Isn't the name Tradigan, Welsh?
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
        Interesting that the South Grove workhouse entry discharge is one day before the attack on Ada Wilson and South Grove workhouse, according to my reckoning, is pretty close to Maidman Street? Can anyone confirm this?
        maidman2a.jpg

        Yes Debs, where Mile End Road crosses Regents Canal is Maidmans Street. A few blocks from the workhouse on South Grove.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
          Excellent work, Debra!

          For what it's worth Barnett said MJK went sometimes to visit a friend in the Elephant & Castle district. Sounds like Ada had a real system concerning buses and went into this district. I don't have an opinion but thought it might be of interest.

          Isn't the name Tradigan, Welsh?
          Thanks, Anna and How.
          I haven't found a definite 'something' that gives this away as 'the' Ada Wilson as yet but in summary; the new find of the 29th April 1888 Mile End Porter's book and infirmary entry record for an Ada Wilson, machinist age 39, coming the day after we know Ada Wilson was released from the London Hospital after having her throat wounds treated, seems very likely to be the Ada Wilson, given the age and location. The new information provided by this entry is that she claimed she was the widow of a man named George (no surname given)
          There are no couple named George and Ada Wilson in the records at all. There are no married Ada Wilsons age 39 in the records as both Chris Scott and Mark Ripper confirm in their research. There are very few Ada Wilsons of any age who are married but curiously we have Ada Tradigan of the right age and a machinist (known to use the alias Ada Wilson) and her husband George Drew. We also have an Ada Drew in the records, in the right area the day before the attack, right age and also a machinist, widow of George.
          None of these couples are traceable as couples in the records and all the information seems to fit neatly with the idea that each is the same woman using aliases. All their workhouse entries seem to neatly slot in to the story too with no overlaps , or in the case of Ada Drew, no existence in Whitechapel or South Grove in previous times that I can find but I am putting it here for the test and hopefully to get feedback and maybe further information.

          My very speculative scenario for Ada's story based on the workhouse/infirmary dates, would be that the Ada Wilson was working as a prostitute while living at Maidman street in March 1888, she entered the Whitechapel infirmary for treatment for syphilis as Ada Drew (whose recorded settlement for Whitechapel was just a couple of days)and was away from her rented room for a time while being treated, hence her being under notice to quit as reported in the papers. She returned briefly to her accomodation for a couple of days before entering South Grove workhouse (Whitechapel workhouse) , close by Maidman Street and where she was released from the day before the attack on her in her home. Following the attack Ada Wilson was admitted to the London hospital for treatment (documented in Mark Ripper's article) for her throat wound, being discharged on 27th April 1888 and then entering the Mile End Infirmary the day after that discharge to convalesce.
          All the time giving different versions of her recorded aliases, giving an age of around 39 and the information that she was a machinist and the widow of a man named George.

          Tradigan is a curious name, Anna. It seems to be a regular victim of mistranscription, including Ada's own 1881 census entry in prison. I seem to remember Cornwall figuring as the possible origin of a version of the name Tradgeon.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Roy Corduroy View Post
            [ATTACH]17003[/ATTACH]

            Yes Debs, where Mile End Road crosses Regents Canal is Maidmans Street. A few blocks from the workhouse on South Grove.
            That's excellent! Thanks, Roy. This places Ada Drew a couple of streets away from Maidman Street the day before the attack on Ada Wilson and being discharged from South Grove the day before the attack at that address.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
              That's excellent! Thanks, Roy. This places Ada Drew a couple of streets away from Maidman Street the day before the attack on Ada Wilson and being discharged from South Grove the day before the attack at that address.
              An interesting find, Debs. That name - Tradigen/Tradigan is very strange.

              She looks a bit like Miranda Hart in the photo.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ada Tradigan in 1879

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                  An interesting find, Debs. That name - Tredigan/Tradigan is very strange.

                  She looks a bit like Miranda Hart in the photo.
                  Thanks, Gary. It's a difficult name to search that's for sure. There seems to be a more common version of Trudigan or the version I think may be a variant that I mentioned before Trudgian/Tredgian/Tradgian. I did see a male with a similar surname in the workhouse records but have lost the notes I made on him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                    Thanks, Gary. It's a difficult name to search that's for sure. There seems to be a more common version of Trudigan or the version I think may be a variant that I mentioned before Trudgian/Tredgian/Tradgian. I did see a male with a similar surname in the workhouse records but have lost the notes I made on him.
                    I found a reference to a Tredigan Farm, somewhere in Wales.

                    If it's Tre, then it may well be Cornish as you say. (What's the old saying, ' By Tre, Pol and Pen, you shall know the Cornishmen'?)

                    I love it when these bit-part players come to life.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A couple of my characteristically random thoughts on the subject of Ada's aliases.

                      There was a well-known dancer of the 1880s named Ada Wilson.

                      Tredegar Square was near Maidman Street. I've always thought it looked rather upmarket (Jack London obviously missed it. ;-))

                      Perhaps she assumed the names because she thought they sounded posh.

                      image.jpeg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                        A couple of my characteristically random thoughts on the subject of Ada's aliases.

                        There was a well-known dancer of the 1880s named Ada Wilson.

                        Tredegar Square was near Maidman Street. I've always thought it looked rather upmarket (Jack London obviously missed it. ;-))

                        Perhaps she assumed the names because she thought they sounded posh.

                        [ATTACH]17004[/ATTACH]
                        I love random thoughts, Gary. Paul Kearney was always good at that and always managed to inspire me to look at things in a way I wouldn't nomally.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Providing I can attach a clip....Jane Jones means nothing to us, but look where she was born! I was fairly sure Tradigan was Welsh. Wonder if Ada Tradigan knew Mary Kelly?

                          Radigan is considered an Irish name. It can also originate in the south of France and there is a complex description of how it becomes Radigan. Would we consider d' Radigan? Probably not. There don't seem to be huge amounts of them. Notably found in the U.S. & Australia. I ran these names and variations through the Old Bailey records just in case there was a male with these or similar names who Ada could have partnered with. Absolute zero

                          Last edited by Anna Morris; October 8, 2016, 02:06 PM. Reason: add
                          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm working on the assumption that this woman's birth name was probably Mary Williams.

                            There were two Mary Jane Williams's born in Newington registration district in 1852.

                            Presumably the William and Harriott Williams living in Clara Villas weren't Mary's parents. Too young for one thing, and as Debra says, Mary's father's initials are shown as JH in her prison record.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                              I'm working on the assumption that this woman's birth name was probably Mary Williams.

                              There were two Mary Jane Williams's born in Newington registration district in 1852.

                              Presumably the William and Harriott Williams living in Clara Villas weren't Mary's parents. Too young for one thing, and as Debra says, Mary's father's initials are shown as JH in her prison record.
                              I'm observing here, Gary as this is what I need and we are on the same page so far. I think the two youngsters in 1881 may be Ada's children and I think they take on a different but similar surname further down the line?

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