Hi Jan - Thanks for all the info - so fascinating! Yes, in my husband's family he was only referred to quietly - and as "not a nice man" but who knows what the real story was? Harry his son was born in December 1895 - looks like he hopped it several months earlier. so why did he return? He and Mary married in Ulverston, Lancashire Oct - Dec 1897 so either he had a guilty conscience or she nabbed him when he returned for another reason.
I've just got a memory of him marrying someone else so I'll have to go look at that and get back to you. I'm not sure what you mean about the "Ireland" family though. I don't know about them but I do have other stuff to share. My e-mail is d_lundbech (with the usual sign here)mac.com I was also born in England - in 1954 - but we moved to the States in '64. so we're both immigrants!