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Mrs Rees 1888

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  • The Barbara Louisa Hopkins that became Barbara Louisa Trick is clearly not our gal, but it is mildly interesting that her sister Mary J[ones] Hopkins, who got married and became Mary Trollope, is listed as a 'midwife' in the 1911 census.

    But none of it adds up. She and her sister, Mrs. Trick, seem to have lived entirely normal, stable lives.

    The strange thing about this saga is that all the bit players can be readily traced with little or no difficulty, but when it comes to Barbara Louisa and Mary J, they remain, like Mary Kelly herself, entirely elusive.

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    • Between 1858 and 1863 John Morgan Hopkins had a house at Picton Terrace, Carmarthen, with a housekeeper called Caroline Davies. The 1861 census shows Caroline at the address with a three year daughter, Barbara L said to have been born in Swansea.

      Possibly she is the Barbara Louisa Hopkins who turns up twenty years later as Morgan Hopkin's daughter.

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      • Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
        Between 1858 and 1863 John Morgan Hopkins had a house at Picton Terrace, Carmarthen, with a housekeeper called Caroline Davies. The 1861 census shows Caroline at the address with a three year daughter, Barbara L said to have been born in Swansea.

        Possibly she is the Barbara Louisa Hopkins who turns up twenty years later as Morgan Hopkin's daughter.
        Brilliant. Well played, Mr. Williams.

        If this is her, which seems more than probable, I wonder if she ever reverted back to 'Barbara Davies.'

        Clever work!

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        • I wonder if there is any relevance to the fact that the birthplace of Caroline C. Davis/Davies is listed as 'St. George, London' (Ancestry tries to suggest she was christened in Bethnal Green, but this would need confirmation) and the odd fact that years later Barbara L's surfaces in the East End. Assuming this is the same person.

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          • Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
            Between 1858 and 1863 John Morgan Hopkins had a house at Picton Terrace, Carmarthen
            Picton Terrace was built in the 1820s, and is still there. Quite attractive, too - I note from various websites that a number of the houses are Grade II listed buildings.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen"
            (F. Nietzsche)

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            • Yes, it's on the posh side, and yet Dr. Hopkins is said to have only stayed there one day per week. His supposed full-time 'housekeeper' is listed as an 'annuitant' in the census. The whole set up is rather odd. I also couldn't help but notice that Dr. Hopkins once again has an unmarried female visitor in the house at the time of the census, one Mary Richards of Dowlais. Somewhat foreshadows 1881. What is the connection between Davis from London and Richards from Dowlais?

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              • In March 1863 Hopkins ended his tenancy and gave possession of the Picton Terrace House to Davies, also selling her some furniture. The deal was that she paid the rent and he used the premises for one day a week, paying 15 shillings.
                Later the bailiffs tried to claim the furniture, believing it belonged to Hopkins.

                We know of one child in the 1840s who he had to pay for. Interestingly the mother, like Caroline Davies, said they were once patients of his.

                I am putting together a more detailed piece on Hopkins, expanding on the Ripperologist article and hope to have this completed in the next few weeks.

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                • I have written an article on The Carmarthen Mystery for a new true-crime anthology, The Best New True Crime Stories: Small Towns edited by Mitzi Sereto which is due for publication in July.

                  Recently, as mentioned in Rippercast, I identifed Mary Rees as the ex convict who spoke to the press about Florence Maybrick in 1895.

                  I am still trying to find a definite link between the Hopkins, Rees ,and Kelly families prior to 1885.

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                  • I may have tracked down the marriage certificate of Denis Kelly and Julia Foley in Swansea in January 1858. Julia was previously married to a man called Roach. Her father's name was given as Michael Foley (deceased), a labourer.

                    Denis was described as a labourer and widowed. His father was also Denis and a labourer. This creates a slight doubt over the identification because Dennis, the father of Abigail Kelly, was described as a rag-gather in October 1858 before becoming a marine store dealer in the early 1860s. Otherwise the details, including the ages, fit. Both were in their early thirties, raising the possibility of children from their previous marriages.

                    In 1896 when Julia was destitute the Llanelly Board of Guardians suggested that her two daughters in Swansea might be able to help. I assumed this meant that her daughers by Denis, Margaret and Julia, were both in Swansea. We know that Abigail was in America. However it could refer to a daughter by Roach.

                    The next step is to trace Denis's first marriage. If he already had a daughter then possibly there is another candidate for John Rees's identification.

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