Another Irish Connection?

Frank Esmond Black was a fourth generation Australian and served an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic with Mr A Donald in Sydney. He was 5 ft 6ins tall dark, with black hair and blue eyes when on 27 September 1913 he married the eighteen-year old Mary Winifred Eileen O'Ryan.

Win Black (nee Ryan) age 18.

Win was an adventurous young woman who had left home at about 15 to work in London. In 1911 she was a kitchenmaid for the clergy at St Ethelreda’s Church in Ely Place, Hatton Gardens: the oldest church in England. It was built in 1290 for the Bishop of Ely. When Win worked there the church had been restored and was ‘a thriving community for poets and playwrights’. As a member of a good Irish family finding employment at St Ethelreda’s was probably not too difficult when one considers her aunt was a nun and her father spent his working life in churches. It seems Win worked there until late in 1912 when she bought a passage to Australia on the ‘Zealandia’. Travelling alone it seems that in Sydney she found work in the house of Clara Black who would later be her mother-in-law.

The marriage took place in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales at St Albans Church, Leura. At her marriage Winifred said she was born in Dublin and her father, Richard Alphonso O'Ryan was an officer in the Customs House. She correctly gave her mother as Florence Maud, nee Maynard. In fact Win was born in Cambridge, England and registered as Mary Winifred Ryan. Why she gave herself an Irish pedigree is a mystery. Richard Ryan was born around 1866 in the South London suburb of Brixton. He was the eldest son of a bricklayer Stephen Ryan who was born in Limerick in 1837. His mother, Mary Ann, was also Irish. There were four, perhaps five, other children – Mary Ursula b. 11/2/1866, Catherine Mary b.1868, Stephen born in 1871 and Vincent b. 1875. Ursula the Roman Catholic order of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur on 14 Nov 1887 when she was 21. As
Britain did not have its own novitiate until the 1920s Ursula was sent to the mother house in Namur, Belgium for her postulancy and noviciate and took her first vows there in April 1890. For just on 60 years she served as a teaching nun specialising in French, German and music. In 1911 she was teaching in the Convent School of Notre Dame in Surrey St Norwich but she spent most of her life was spent in the orders convents in London and Lancashire. She died at the Blackburn convent on 23 July 1946 and was buried in the Blackburn Old Cemetery. Her sister Catherine was also a a school teacher, who in 1911 lived with her brother Stephen,a book publishers clerk, and his wife Kate in Lewisham , London. Vincent was a house painter who in 1911 still lived in Clapham where he was born he had married Ethel in 1903 and had three children.

The 1881 census showed Richard Ryan living at 129 Wirtemberg Rd Clapham. This address is in the borough of Battersea and Clapham, North Ward and in the eccleasiastical parish of Holy Trinity. The street now has another name but is located off Clapham High Street near the north western corner of Clapham Common. A widow, Ann Ward, 41, lived next door. She operated a printery with her son Ernest K Flatman, aged 20. She had another son Robert E Flatman who was 14 in 1881. On the other side was a public house run by Mary Reeves, aged 67, with her son Frederick, then 35.

Florence was the youngest child of Joseph and Cecilia Maynard. In 1881 they lived at 87 Albany Rd. Camberwell, a suburb a mile or so east of Clapham. Joseph was a ganger with the Customs Service and was born in Beaulieu, Hamphshire in 1827. Cecilia was born in Charlton Kent in 1832. They had four children in Tower Hamlets – Cecilia F G, b 1862, Joseph B and Jane A, b 1864, and Florence Maud born in 1866. In 1881 Joseph was working as a cashier and the family had a live in servant, Rosina Dorrington. They seemed to live next door to a school run by Mr & Mrs Craddock.

When the 1891 census was taken Stephen and Mary Ann Ryan were still living at 129 Wirtemberg Rd. Of the children only Stephen Jnr was still at home. He worked as a clerk. They had taken in a widow, Hannah Webb, 76. Vincent should have been fifteen but was not at home


In the 1881 census Richard is listed as an artistic photographer. In Spring of 1886 he married Florence Maud Maynard in Lambeth and their first child, Florence Cecilia was born there in 1887. It seems likely they continued to live in Clapham until about 1889 before moving across the river to Hornsey in North London. Here Ursula Maud, Hubert Joseph and Norah Kathleen were born. The family must have moved to Cambridge around 1890 for at the 1901 census they lived at 12 Stockwell St. and Richard was described as a lead glazier. Patrick Dennis, born 1893, Mary Winifred Ryan born 1895, Stephen Maynard born Feb 1897, Basil Maynard born in the 2nd quarter of 1899, and Mildred Maynard (Girlie), born Dec 1900 Florence was only three months old when the census was taken. Later Richard Maynard was born in the 3rd quarter of 1902, Frances Maynard was born in the 3rd quarter of 1804 and Claude Maynard born in the 2nd quarter of 1906. Making a total of 12 children: however the 1911 census reports thirteen children, eleven of whom were living at that time. Richard Ryan died in Cambridge of lung cancer on 11 July 1948 aged 84. Florence died ion 2 April 1920 of cardiac disease.

The Ryan House at 29 Mawson Rd Cambridge (today)

Florence (Floss) married Alfred H Lingwood in the spring of 1923 at Windsor and had a son Hugh. At the time of her father’s death she lived at 29 Kimberly Rd Cambridge. She died in Cambridge in 1974. Alf died there three years later.

Mildred married Herbert Dawson (photo above) in late 1925 in Cambridge and later moved to Mylor, near Falmouth in Cornwall.(photo of house below). She died there in 1985

Hubert served as a medical officer on HMS Hood he married Lily Hatch in Gosport in 1919 and had one son Peter (photo).Hubert died in Gosport in 1960 and Lily followed 10 years later.

Basil married Daisy Fisher in Ipswich in 1925. She died there in 1972 and basil lived on there until late in 1981.

Stephen enlisted in the Cambridgeshire Regiment during World War I and was killed in action in France in May 1916 aged 19. He was buried in the Guards Cemetery at Windy Corner, Cuinchy.

Frances Ryan married Reginald J White in late 1930. He was a Cambridge academic and author.

Claude followed Winifred to Australia and in 1932 married Charlotte (Jane). Their baby died as an infant. Claude enlisted in the AIF as was captured when his unit was over-run in Timor. He was killed in 1944 when the ship on which he was being taken to Japan was sunk by a American submarine.