Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

New Military Records

New military records

Was your ancestor a war hero?

View thousands of brand new military records, including Chelsea Pensioner records, Military Nurses, Prisoners of war and much more.

View military records today


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Was Selina really silly?

Page 0 + 1 of 2

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. »
ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Abigail Report 20 Apr 2005 23:33

We have a story in our family of a girl who was sent into an asylum. Her name was Selina Alice McLean and her mother's maiden name was Emma Maria Janes. Her father's name was James McLean She was born in 1881 in Brixham, Devon. I cannot find her after the 1891 census. Would anyone have any suggestions as to which direction to search in as my searches so far on 1901 census have not produced anything. Many thanks Abigail


Unknown Report 21 Apr 2005 00:08

Hi Abigail!! Found a Selina Mclean in Lunatic Asylum, Exminster, Devon. 1901 census, but she was aged 73! There are very few people of that name in Devon (only one that I found), so the transcriber may have got her age wrong!! You need to see the original census record!! Also, Selina Alice Mcleans birth was registered in Totnes!!!


Peterkinz Report 21 Apr 2005 00:29

The 73 y.o Selina is a married Sailor's wife, so that isn't her maiden name. (Can't be the right one) and Selina Alice aged 74 died in Devon March Q 1902 Looks like you need to search 1837 for a death or marriage Peter


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 07:51

You lot are absolutely brilliant! Now why could I not bring them up? I do have them in 1891 and I was sure that the other children were theirs but I could not find any confirmation other than a very strong link with unsual christian names. Thank you so much Abigail


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 08:12

Lyla, Did you notice where they were living? I have been back to the 1901 census and even tried the 'Intelligent Person Search' and I STILL can't find them! I don't know what I do wrong with that site! Thanks Abigail

Christine in Herts

Christine in Herts Report 21 Apr 2005 09:35

Abigail - in your opener it reads as though your Selina was born in Brixham 1881, but I gather you mean that, in the 1881 census it says she was born in Brixham? You can get her as a 'hit' on Ancestry in the 1901 census if you put in her name, her Residence as Devon, but NO birthplace info. Christine


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 09:42

dear Christine I have the ref for her and the district is Totnes as for all the other children I know of. Her parents married in the Lower Brixham Parish church and they are in Prospect Place in both censuses. I just wish I could find them in 1901! Abigail


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 11:40

I haven't got Ancestry. I have been searching the national archives, 1901 census site and I have used the new 'Intelligent' person search. I don't know about intelligent - I have never been able to find even definite things I know on that site, even when I have been testing it with full information. I just don't understand why I can't find them when other people can! Abigail


George Report 21 Apr 2005 16:10

If you search on ancestry 1891, key in S in first name, M in last name, and birth county Devon, it comes up with 2 possible matches Asylums had a tendency in the 1891 and 1901 to just list patients under their initials: Could it be either of these: M , S location, Devon Or Devonshire info location Devon M, S 23 location, Devon Or Devonshire info location Wiltshire Both were patients George


Helen Report 21 Apr 2005 16:34

Just a thought, the older Selina in the asylum in 1901, she wasn't young Selina's Grandmother was she, these thing might run in families!


Helen Report 21 Apr 2005 16:59

Have you considered this - look at your family in 1901 Emma Mclean 39 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England Wife Brixham Devon Mary Mclean 17 Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Lily Mclean 15 Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Carrie Mclean 9 Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Kate Mclean 8 Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Robert Mclean 6 Brixham, Devon, England Son Brixham Devon Emma Mclean 5 Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Ella Mclean 6 months Brixham, Devon, England Daughter Brixham Devon Deliberately left the gap before Ella. What if she wasn't a daughter but really a grandaughter? Selina may have been an unmarried mother and 'put away' as many were, but her family took on the child. It just caught my eye because there was quite a gap to the last child.


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 17:14

Dear Helen It's possible but there was another gap between children earlier on. James and Emma had James Selina Alice Mary and Jane (twins) Lily William John (1886) and then Caroline Lavinia (1891) (Carrie) Kate Robert Emma and then the gap till Ella, so I am not sure. I would just like to find out where Selina was and maybe what else happened to her. Until a year ago William John was my brick wall! Thanks Abigail


Abigail Report 21 Apr 2005 19:02

Dear Sheleen Selina Alice was reg. in the December quarter of 1881, ref 5b/179 in Totnes. She was the second child of James and Emma. I can't find any marriage to Gifford for her or any other record including death. I just can't understand why I cannnot find any of the others on the 1901 census site either! There are enough of them to be conspicuous! Abigail


Andrew Report 21 May 2013 00:12

Anyone still here interested in this thread...?


SylviaInCanada Report 21 May 2013 01:29


I doubt it!!!

There's been no postings in 8 years

Why did you raise it?

Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 21 May 2013 08:55

Firstly have you got any more info since 2005 if so can you add it to this thread to save people looking for stuff you already have.

I think whoever said that the Selina in the asylum could be her grandmother is right. Your Selina's father James was born in 1859 and is the son of James and Selina Alice McLean and she is the same one as in the asylum aged 73.

On the 1891 census your Selina is down as Alice.

The rest of the family in 1901 minus father James and Selina

Name: Emma McLean
Age: 39
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1862
Relation: Wife
Gender: Female
Where born: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Civil Parish: Brixham
Ecclesiastical parish: Lower Brixham All Saints
County/Island: Devon
Country: England
Street Address:


Condition as to marriage:


Employment status:

View Image
Registration District: Totnes
Sub-registration District: Brixham
ED, institution, or vessel: 7
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Schedule Number: 121
Piece: 2066
Folio: 144
Page Number: 19
Household Members:
Name Age
Emma McLean 39
Mary McLean 17
Lily McLean 15
Carrie McLean 9
Kate McLean 8
Robert McLean 6
Emma McLean 5
Ella McLean 6 Months

Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 21 May 2013 13:56

I wonder if her death was recorded as Alice S.

Name: Alice S McLean
Birth Date: abt 1883
Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1930
Age at Death: 47
Registration District: Devonport
Inferred County: Devon
Volume: 5b
Page: 416

Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 21 May 2013 17:55

1911 on the Welsh census 9 children born, 8 living and 1 died.

Name: William Mc Lean
[William McLean]
Age in 1911: 24
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1887
Relation to Head: Son
Gender: Male
Birth Place: Brixham, Devon, England
Civil Parish: Milford
County/Island: Pembrokeshire
Country: Wales
Street Address: 22 Brooke Avenue Milford Haven
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Steam Trawling Mate
Registration District: Haverfordwest
Registration District Number: 602
Sub-registration District: Milford
ED, institution, or vessel: 01
Household Schedule Number: 275
Piece: 33175
Household Members:
Name Age
James Mc Lean 50
Emma Mc Lean 48
Robert Mc Lean 16
Carrie Mc Lean 19
Kate Mc Lean 18
Emma Mc Lean 15
Ella Mc Lean 10
William Mc Lean 24


Andrew Report 21 May 2013 18:36

I've only recently started researching family history and found this thread as a consequence. Selina b.1881 WAS the grand daughter of the elder Selina. Family legend has it that the younger Selina and her sister Jane both went to America but I've found nothing to support that. In fact, I've found nothing at all other than birth dates for the two girls...


Tenerife Sun

Tenerife Sun Report 21 May 2013 19:22

Do you want the probate of Selinas father James or have you already got it. He died at sea 30th November 1884.

Not sure now because of the 1911 above but the probate was given to his son James McLean of Brixham, fisherman. He left £229.6.6

I think that the death was for James's father James born c1825