Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wordless Wednesday/Irish Cottage

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Church Record Sunday/ Rev. Denis Kane PP Baltinglass

     The Rev. Dr. Denis Kane was born in 1822 in County Carlow to Edward Kane and Catherine Hoy.  He was ordained in 1848 and joined the staff of Carlow College that same year, where he remained for nine years.  He was PP [Parish Priest] at Baltinglass Parish in County Wicklow from 1871 until his death in 1883.   The letters VG after his name are an abbreviation of Vicar General, an important position meaning he was "deputized" by the Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin to act on his behalf.

     Being the PP at Baltinglass during those years means he was my great-great-great-grandfather Daniel McGarr's priest.  At least until 1875 when Grandfather died.  He might even have said Grandfather's funeral Mass, but it could just as likely have been one of his curates. What really captures my imagination here is the fact that Grandfather McGarr knew this man, this very man I am sitting at my desk looking at was gazed upon by my third great-grandfather.  It's a sort of connection to Grandfather, I'm not exactly sure how to put into words -- the emotions that excites.  You either get it or you don't, and I'm quite sure if you're reading a genealogy blog, you do.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Doctor McGarr I Presume?


Bridget McGarr

     A few years ago I wrote a blog about my great-great-grandmother Maria McGarr's family from County Kildare who were purported to be folk doctors or healers back in Ireland.  This story has been handed down through the generations-- that the family possessed a skin cancer cure and Bridget, sister of Maria and the youngest daughter to immigrate, had the formula in America.

     As is so often the case these days, new information has come online since that first blog was posted, this time in the form of newspapers added to the site Old Fulton Postcards.  I've found two news items from different newspapers, published years apart, which tend to confirm that there is some truth to the folk doctor story.

     The first is an advertisement from 1889, apparently placed by Bridget McGarr Kinsella herself in her local newspaper, The Shortsville NY Enterprise, stating she was able to cure cancers and tumors, the treatment being free if the patient was unable to pay.  That's quite a bold statement!  My eyes widened a bit when I read that. The second piece was Bridget's obituary in the Clifton Springs NY Press, written fourteen years after the ad appeared in the Enterprise.  This brief obituary ends with the phrase, "she was quite well known as a cancer doctor."

     The story has also come down that area doctors were not thrilled with Bridget's medical activities and threatened her with legal action if she didn't desist, which she did.  It just goes to show that some of these old stories do have at least a grain of truth in them, and that it pays to -- every once in awhile -- recheck older websites.  Content may have been added since your last visit that could be useful to your research.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Grandpa Was A Snappy Dresser

     This is the earliest photograph I have of my Grandfather Lawrence Warner.  He looks to be about 16 or so I would guess.  And he is wearing a tie though his companion is not.

     Next is a picture of him at work in the early 1930's, again he is wearing a tie though the man with him, his Uncle Philip Power is sans tie.

     Below, at the lake, (yes, the lake), Grandpa is on the far left-- the one in the tie.

     As a matter of fact, I don't recall ever seeing Grandfather without a tie until he retired -- unless he was painting his front porch for the umpteenth time, Grandpa hated to just sit around.  

     He did a complete about face after his retirement when he could usually be found decked out in a Hawaiian shirt and straw fedora.  To be sure, the tie occasionally made a return for important events like weekly Mass, but  mostly they remained hanging in his closet.  Grandpa passed on in 1994, he wore his tie for the last time to his final resting place.  Aloha Grandpa.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Church Record Sunday/Darby Hogan's Parish

     It started with this email-- "I think I've found Dennis Hogan's baptism, parents Darby Hogan and Maria Curley!"  Cousin John and I have been trying for a very long time to find Darby Hogan and his family in Ireland and connect him to our Ryan family, several members of whom are buried in Darby's cemetery plot.  We had his children's names, their approximate birth dates from US censuses, and a county too, Tipperary, but no matter how hard we looked we just couldn't find the right parish.  Now here was a very good possibility, in the diocese of Killaloe, parish of Birr & Loughkeen, North Riding.  One of the largest obstacles has been the maiden name of Darby's wife Maria, we've seen it spelled Coonan, Callihan, Calnan, Cooney etc. and now Curley.  Cousin John joked that if it started with the letter C we needed to consider it, and he was right.

   That same night I received John's email, I went to Ancestry to check their index of baptisms in Ireland.  For search terms I used just father's name-- Darby Hogan and Killaloe Diocese.  I left the other fields blank.  And there was Michael in 1851!  Father Darby, mother Maria Callanan, also a partial entry for what appears to be Mary Hogan's baptism.  It's at the very top of the page, and the corner is torn off so only the last two letters "ry" for the child's first name are visible as you can see below.  They look identical to the "ry" in the mother's name.

     This time the parents were Jeremiah Hogan and Mary Callen.  As you may know, Jeremiah is a variant of Darby and you're no doubt beginning to see what John meant with the comment, "I'm open to any Mary or Maria whose surname begins with a C." 

     A day later brought another email from John, "I think I've found Ann Hogan".  Her baptism in 1844, also in Birr & Loughkeen had the father's name listed as "Dairy" Hogan, mother's name Mary Conlon.  One constant tying all these baptisms together was the name of the townland-- Killeen.

     We feel quite confident we've finally found the correct townland for Darby and his five children born in Ireland, the others being born in New York.  The only one missing is the eldest, Ellen Hogan probably born around 1842.  There is a puzzling baptism in 1840 for what looks like "Hann" Hogan, the daughter of Darby Hogan and Dora Hogan of Killeen.  Could this be Ellen's baptism?  It doesn't seem likely, I've never heard of Hann or Hannah being a variant of Ellen.  And the mother's name of Dora is not what I would expect to find, although when Ellen's first daughter was born she named her Dora.  Perhaps Darby had a wife before Maria, and Ellen was a product of that marriage?  Ellen's marriage in Palmyra, New York lists her mother's name as Maria Calnan.  But maybe Ellen would have given Maria's name if she raised her, even if Maria wasn't her biological mother?  To make things even more interesting, (confusing), one of the witnesses to Ellen's marriage was a Dora Hogan.  Rechecking the Ancestry index for "mother's name Dora Hogan", I found in 1835 a Darby Hogan Jr. child of Darby & Dora Hogan in the parish of Lorrha & Dorrha about seven and a half miles north of Killeen.

     Darby was quite a bit older than Maria and I've often speculated she could have been a second wife, especially when his 1861 obituary mentions a son still in Ireland.  While that could have been true of Darby, Maria just wasn't old enough to have a son living on his own in Ireland, though I suppose he could have been living with relatives? Someday, John and I WILL figure all this out!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Friday's Photo/ Davis Sisters of Kiowa County

     Meet, from left to right, Bertha Davis aged 20, Iva Davis aged 13 and Cora Davis aged 17 in 1913.   Being only 13 years old, Iva got away with wearing short skirts. 
     The girls were born in Kiowa County Kansas to Elmer and Etta May Cox Davis.  There were younger children not pictured-- Elmer, Elvin, Chester and Silver.  Note the windmill over Bertha's shoulder-- the Davis's were rural folks, Elmer supported his large family by farming.
     On the front of this photo is written, "Three sisters 1913"  and on the back--"Bertha and Cora wore these black taffeta skirts to our father's funeral.  Mine was black too."  I think Iva probably wrote this though I'm not sure why there are two different dates on the picture.  Apparently it was taken three years after the funeral.  The girl's father did die in 1910, and the ages as written are correct for that year according to the 1910 census of Lincoln Township.