I have plenty of ancestors with large families, which I think of as a dozen or more children. (Of course, I'm thinking pre-twentieth century families.)
My third great grandmother, Margaret McIlwaine, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, had twelve children. What I know about her is mostly from census records. Her name is also on the 1937-38 printed Lysle Family Tree of which I have several copies.
I find Margaret in the U.S. Federal census for each of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. She was the wife of George Lysle, whom I wrote about here. I wrote about her husband's 1877 death in a train accident here.
In the 1880 U.S. Census, "Margret Lysle" was a widow:
|1880 U.S. Census. Place: Allegheny, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T9_1087;|
Page: 382.2; E.D.: 14; Line: 15: Household of Margaret Lysle
She lived at 76 Washington Street, Allegheny City, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with three unmarried daughters: Mary Ann, Caroline, and Elizabeth (Eliza). Also living in the household was her youngest son, the namesake of her husband, George, and his family: Mary H. (Marion Helen), and two grandchildren: Margret (Marguerite) and George B. There were also three servants.
George, Jr. is a coal merchant, as was his father (and many others in the family).
The 1880 census is great for the information it provides. Looking closely, you'll see that there is a tick mark before her occupation of "Keeping House" - this is in the column for "widowed (or divorced D)." Further along the row, there is another tick mark. This column is entitled: "Maimed, Crippled, Bedridden, or otherwise disabled." I don't know what Margaret's disability was but it possibly contributed to her cause of death; she died six months after this census was taken.
All the census records indicate that she was born in Pennsylvania, and this 1880 census has the added bonus of reporting that her parents were born in Ireland. I know nothing about her parents or her early life. This needs some "on-the ground" research in Pennsylvania!
An interesting website is the World Names profiler: When I enter McIlwaine in the surname field, I see that this surname is most often found in Northern Ireland and to a lesser extent, in Scotland and England. (The surname is also found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S.)
|From World Names Profiler, showing the prevalence of the surname McIlwaine.|
This suggests that the McIlwaine family was possibly of Scotch Irish descent.
Although I found a couple of death notices for her, they don't tell me very much.
|Pittsburgh Daily Post, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, December 20, 1880, page 1, column 7. Margaret Lysle death notice. http://www.newspapers.com/image/86361648, online images (http://www.newspapers.com).|
She is buried with her husband and many of her children at Uniondale Cemetery in Pittsburgh.DIED.LYSLE - On Sunday, December 19, 1880, at 5 o'clock A.M., Mrs. Margaret Lysle, relict [widow] of the late George Lysle, in the seventy-sixth year of her age.
Funeral services at her late residence, No. 76 Washington street, Allegheny, on Tuesday morning, December 21, at 10 o'clock.
Margaret (McIlwaine) Lysle's twelve children:
Mary Ann Lysle (1825-1889), unmarried
John Wilson Lysle (1826-1879), married twice and had nine children
Sarah Jane Lysle (1827?-????), possibly died young
Origan Augustus Lysle (1829-1880), married twice and had seven children
James M. Lysle (1831-1862), died in the Civil War
Addison Lysle (1834-1908), married three times and had five children
Thompson Lysle (1835-1872), married and had two children
Isabel Lysle (1837-1924), married James Whigham and had no children
Margaret Jane Lysle (1839-1868), unmarried
Caroline Lysle (1841-1914), unmarried
George Lysle, Jr. (1845-1900), married twice and had four children (See a photo of the two eldest.)
Eliza Lysle (1847-1928), unmarried
|Margaret (McIlwaine) Lysle, undated photograph|
I descend from Margaret (McIlwaine) Lysle as follows:
Helen Lysle Hunter