Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Don't You Sometimes WANT To Choose Your Relatives?

     OK, I'm not going to be naming names here, I don't want to rattle any cages, we'll just say my relative's name is "Dee Ceitful".  (Get it?)  Dee contacted me a few years ago looking for information on some shared ancestors.  I haven't found very many living connections from this family, so I was pleased to hear from her.  I should have suspected something was amiss when in that very first email, she gloated about having the family bible and photos she hadn't shared with anyone.  In fact I did find her attitude off putting, but naturally she promised she would share these things with me as we exchanged information, so I sent her some of my research on our shared line.  Then ...nothing.  No photos, no copies of bible pages, just a big fat nothing.

     After a few weeks went by I emailed her thinking she had lost my address or perhaps been detained by the authorities.  In her reply she mentioned how her daughter had traveled to the ancestral village I had sent her the name of, but not a word about any family photos. The nerve!  At that point I knew no photos would be forthcoming and vowed to send nothing further to this moocher.

     Like all good moochers though, her requests didn't stop coming for a long time.  Every once in awhile out of the blue, a question about the family would appear in my mailbox.  No reciprocal family data, just requests for more from me. As welcome as an algae bloom in my koi pond, her missives were promptly deleted.  This scenario has actually happened to me several times and it makes me sad.  Working together we could uncover so much, why don't these people know that?  Is it just me with these short sighted ones in their tree?

      Finally it seemed I had shaken this sponge, no new mailings had shown up in my box for almost a year.  And then it happened.  In an odd twist of fate, a favorite cousin of mine happens to bear the exact same first and last names as Dee (her real ones that is).  Last month after returning late from the local Celtic Festival I remembered it was my cousin's birthday.  I hurriedly sent a happy birthday email to her and, you guessed it.. in my haste I mistakenly sent it to Dee.  Along with the same name, they also have the same internet provider, and get this-- they actually have birthdays within three weeks of each other???  The narcissist never suspected the birthday wishes were not intended for her and the floodgates were reopened, sigh.  At least I still have that delete button...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tuesday's Tip/Newest Websites

     This is one of our favorite free web sites here at Ellie's Ancestors headquarters-- Genealogy In Time Magazine
     The site is home to the frequently updated series entitled, "Newest Genealogy Records", a guide listing worldwide resources as they come online which can be searched by date or country.  It also features a library of articles with titles like: More Genealogy Brick Wall Solutions, Hot Tips On How To Use Google For Genealogy Searches, and Simple Ways To Improve Your Genealogy Productivity to name just a few.  

     There is a free weekly newsletter available and a genealogy search engine along with a family tree search engine.  If it's news from the genealogical community you're after, this site offers that also and there is a world time zone map thrown in just because.  This site does a great job of keeping me up to date with what's new online and in the world of genealogy. And occupied with something other than cute animal videos and pictures, like the one below--

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Surname Saturday/Lawler

    I've been taking a closer look at my Lawlor/Lalor ancestors lately. I have them in two branches of my family tree, both on my paternal grandmother's side. One line is on her fathers side, the Rathvilly, County Carlow Lawlers, and the other is on her mother's side, the South Tipperary Lawlers.  Both are peripheral relatives, by marriage, but the children of these unions would be my distant cousins, so I find them worth taking a second look at in view of my someday trip to Ireland.

     Today I searched the Census Return Forms at the Irish National Archives site where I found Anne Lawlor, born at Rathvilly Parish to Thomas Lawlor and Winifred "O'Hara".  I know from years of research that this Winifred is in fact Winifred Hore/O'Hore, not O'Hara, and she is the oldest sister of  my great-great-grandfather James Hore who along with most of his family emigrated to America during the famine.  Winnie however, stayed in Ireland and raised a family there.  For an explanation of what the Census Return Forms are, check this earlier blog written at the time of their online premier. 


     At first glance there doesn't seem to be much of use here other than Anne's parent's names, but there is actually lots of relevant information contained in this form.  Right at the top is "Date of receipt".  Anne must have filed this with the authorities on January 28, 1916.  The address is interesting also, 3 Aston's Quay in Dublin.  So now I know that in 1916 Anne was living in Dublin.  Nineteen sixteen was a momentous year in Dublin, that was the year of the Easter Rising!  And my cousin Anne was there, I find that quite exciting.  She must have heard the British artillery open up near the castle on Easter Tuesday, and certainly the onslaught that commenced three days later at the GPO.  I never knew any of my family were in Dublin in 1916.  The Carlow relatives, which Anne was, were the closest to the city, but their home was still 57 miles away.

     Peter Conway, the name given with the address on the form may have been her employer or contact if Anne was illiterate.  He may even have been her husband.  And she might or might not have actually lived at number 3 Aston; it could have been the address of Mr. Conway and/or his place of business--but she surely was in Dublin.  I ran a few searches for "Peter Conway" and "3 Aston Quay" without much luck.  The 1911 census lists Catherine Cummins, an elderly widowed piano dealer living at number 3 Aston, which the house and building return terms a "dwelling and shop".  Two widows and a child also lived at that address. Perhaps after Mrs. Cummin's demise the property was purchased by Mr. Conway, or he boarded there.

     Also of note, Anne wasn't sure where she might be found in the 1851 census, which was taken about the time of her birth.  On the line for "Residence in 1851" she gave two possible townlands, Ballyoliver and Coppenagh.  A few lines further down is "Return searched by" and here we can see that Anne wasn't found in either place.  It's entirely possible she was born too late in 1851 to be included in the census, or perhaps not until 1852.  So why not just search the 1861, 1871, 1881 or even 1891 censuses you may wonder?  Because they had been destroyed.  Intentionally.  Cringe.  Sad to say, the 1861 and 1871 censuses were destroyed shortly after they were taken and the 1881 and 1891 were pulped during the First World War.  This is the stuff of genealogist's nightmares.

     I don't think Anne was any clearer on her age than she was on her residence in 1851, so it's really not surprising her name wasn't found in the census.  The Old Age Pension Act of 1908 provided for individuals of 70 and upwards, Anne was probably five or six years away from her 70th birthday in 1916 but again, if she was illiterate she may not have kept close track of her age. Finding Anne in Dublin makes me wonder how many other relatives wound up there, and if any of them took part in the rising?  That would be beyond awesome!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Friday's Photo/Loraine McGreevy Reum

     This sweet little cherub is Loraine McGreevy, she was two years old when the above photo was taken.  Loraine was born in Chicago in 1894 to Thomas McGreevy, an Irish immigrant who operated a saloon on State Street, and his wife Theresa. Sometime between the 1900 and 1910 censuses Theresa passed away and Thomas remarried, this time to a German immigrant named Mary.  
     Thomas himself died in 1915, the year after Loraine had married Arthur Reum in Chicago.  Thomas never met his grandson Russell who was born in 1916, or his granddaughter Loraine Jr. born in 1920.
     Loraine McGreevy passed away in 1973, four months before her 80th birthday, in Homewood, Cook County, Illinois.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday/Jeremiah & Clarinda Wood Garner

    I've written quite alot about my third great-grandfather Jeremiah Garner lately, so it seemed fitting that since I would be in the neighborhood on my way to the Thousand Islands in northern New York last week, that I visit his grave.  Which is also the grave of my third great-grandmother Clarinda Wood who is buried there with him to my unending amazement.  
    In earlier blogs I've described their relationship and it's demise, along with Grandpa's other wives.  Standing by the grave it occurred to me, Clarinda died nine years before Jeremiah--if you take a look at the inscription on the stone, you will see Jeremiah got top billing along with fancier lettering.  Grandma was consigned to rather nondescript script, labeling her for eternity the wife of the man who deserted her and his family.  It's a pretty good bet that Jeremiah was the one behind this grave marker.  I've often wondered how their children could have possibly come up with such a tombstone, but now I think it's likely Jeremiah himself commissioned it.  
    Perhaps he was in ill health when he finally returned from his long absence and for reasons best known to himself wanted to be buried next to the woman he had wronged so many years earlier.  All evidence points to his return being five years after her death.  I wonder, was he aware she had died?  Was it a shock when he returned and found she was gone?  Was this stone a form of atonement or the final act of arrogance?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Almost Wordless Wednesday/Clifton Springs, NY Sanitarium

Edward James O'Hora 1868-1920
The Sanitarium as it looked at the time my great-great-grandfather Edward O'Hora was a patient, attempting to cure the rheumatism that would eventually lead to his death.  People came from all over the country to avail themselves of the sulpher water that flowed near the sanitarium.  The "San" still stands today though without it's copper domes, and is housing for senior citizens. Below is a photo of the veranda overlooking Main Street, visible in the top photo.  Perhaps Grandfather sat there while he was a patient?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Much Married 3rd Great-Grandpa Garner's Second "Wife"

     Today's blog is a sequel to one I wrote two weeks ago titled, Grandpa The Bigamist  (If you have time, please skim that first piece, this one will make much more sense if you do.)  In that blog I speculated that when Grandpa Jeremiah was married in Canada in 1868, his second bride, Betsey Grandy, was his neighbor from New York.  She being the Betsey Grandy whose child was buried in the same cemetery as the Garner family.  Betsey lived with her husband John Grandy in Sterling, New York right next door to Grandpa's town of Wolcott. 

     To find proof of that, I used cemetery indexes, a single sentence from a website I was unable to access, and Ancestry's public family trees.  Not that I would blindly accept anything I found in a family tree unless I could see the sources.  I also used Cyndi's list to locate Canadian marriage records; websites Ancestry and Family Search have some, but they didn't give the bride's maiden name which was what I needed since along the way I had discovered Betsey in Sterling was a Chase before she was a Grandy.  I did in fact find the record of the Canadian marriage with the bride's name and it was Chase, convincing me that my theory was correct, but still ... I wasn't quite satisfied.

     Now however, after more searching, I'm ready to say I have proved Betsey's identity, even to myself.  This is the icing on the cake, the piece de resistance-- the nail in the coffin?  I'm convinced Grandpa Jeremiah and Betsey Chase Grandy did run away together and ended up in Canada.  Below you will see Betsey's (Elizabeth) death record from Canada:

     Note Elizabeth's birthplace, Sterling, Cayuga, NY!  I've since found Jeremiah in many city directories in Canada, listed as an innkeeper as in the record above, and he was Methodist and lived in Hastings.  Everything fits.  Except the "L" Garner which should be J. Garner, but I have no doubt it's a mistake by clerk J. Ryan.

     It appears Jeremiah returned to New York around 1891.  He died there in 1894, quite likely at the home of his daughter Frances in Red Creek, NY--still in the same neighborhood as Wolcott and Sterling.  Why did he come home to stay after all those long years?  The 1891 census of Canada shows his third "wife" Angeline living with her son, and though she says she is a married woman, Jeremiah is not with her.  Did she toss him out?  Was he becoming reflective and feeling a bit guilty as he grew older and looked back over his life, longing to see his family?  That part I'll probably never know, but at least I'm ready to say about the early years in Canada, "that's how it happened".