Mary Ann Gleeson is our big family mystery. My great-great grandmother, Mary emigrated to New Zealand aboard the Brodick Castle in 1876 to live with her aunt and uncle, Mary Ann Gleeson (born 1836) and William Sloane. She went on to marry James Goodwin in 1880, and she passed away in 1939.
Sounds pretty put together, yeah? No. She's been a mystery for many years, both for myself and for another genealogist cousin of mine, because we have no idea who in the heck her parents are.
We believe that she was born in Leeds in approximately 1858. Given that her uncle was a Lester, it's likely that her mother's maiden name is Lester. We also know that, prior to being shipped out to New Zealand, she was in service for a family in Dublin and it was possibly something that happened in Dublin which caused her to be sent out here by her parents. We can't find any record of her parents—we've found three records of a Mary Ann Gleeson in Leeds around that time, but none of them fit the Mary Ann we're looking for.
In my original wording of this question, some of the information was incorrect. Initially, I mentioned that the uncle she came to live with was Philip Lester, which is incorrect. She lived with her aunt, Mary Gleeson Sr., and her husband William Sloane. Mary Gleeson Sr. was a sister of Philip Gleeson, born in Tipperary, Ireland. Discovered records of Mary and Phillip show their parents as James Gleeson and Julia Carroll. If anyone could find further children of Julia and James, it could lead us to identifying Mary's parents!
This has been a brick wall in our family for decades. Is there anyone with any further information on her?