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. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wednesday's Website/The Grosse Isle Tragedy

 

  
    Today's link is to a short book entitled The Grosse Isle Tragedy and the Monument to the Irish Fever Victims 1847.  The island of course, was a quarantine station in the St. Lawrence where immigrants fleeing the famine in Ireland first set foot on Canadian soil after disembarking their ships.

     The book was printed to commemorate the 1909 unveiling of the monument on Grosse Isle which was erected by the Ancient Order of Hibernians in memory of the thousands of Irish fever victims who perished there in 1847.  While it's unlikely you'll find any ancestors in the book, there are loads of interesting photos of dignitaries and clergymen and of locations on the island as well as some from the Emerald Isle. 

     In chapter 10 is found a partial list of the ships that docked at the quarantine station in 1847 along with the number of deaths at sea on each ship; it gives some idea of how many unfortunate people died on the coffin ships though it doesn't take into account how many more died on the island or later in places like Quebec and Toronto after being released from quarantine.  To get a look at the old lazaretto, an isolation hospital from 1847, try this link to Google Maps street view.  You can actually enter the hospital and look around. Though it's mostly empty now, imagine it full of terminally ill patients on cots and even floors with overwhelmed nurses and doctors, many of whom also lost their lives, moving about trying to comfort them.

     I live about 500 miles from Grosse Ile and hope one day to visit this tragic island where so many of our ancestors met their ends. Escaping one horror in Ireland, only to find another here, they remain on the island in mass graves still.



Far from their own beloved land
Those Irish exiles sleep
Where dreams nor faith crown'd shamrock,
Nor ivies o're them creep;
But fragrant breath of maple
Sweeps on with freedom's tide
And consecrates this lonely isle
Where Irish exiles died

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday's Website/Irish Genealogy.ie

    I've mentioned this website before, five years ago in fact, but a vast amount of information has been added since then.  This site now has, in addition to a Church Record database and Civil Registration indexes, links to numerous online sources as seen below--


     On the home page is a single, simple to use form that will search all the databases listed above if you prefer that route; if you leave the form blank and just hit "search now", the list of databases will appear and can be searched individually. There are also tabs across the top of the page to search Church and Civil Records and one for research advice. 
          
     You don't need to register or log in to use the site though some databases will ask you to solve a captcha, and the Civil Registration database requires you to give your name, any name actually, and tick a box agreeing not to use the information for nefarious purposes.  I really enjoy using this well designed site, which by the way is completely free.  If you haven't visited lately, I recommend you stop by.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Martin's Address

     I've been studying maps of Manchester, New York today, still trying to figure out the correct address for Patrick Martin who I wrote about in the earlier blog below this one.  I believe I now have the answer!


     Looking at the 1904 map, Merrick Ave. (marked with the red X) ends at the King property.  Today, Merrick is a much longer street, it follows the red dotted line.  Clearly, when Patrick and Anna lived on the property in the left corner (with the green X), you could not get to their hotel/saloon from Merrick Avenue--you had to access the establishment from Main Street.  I'm convinced the dotted line leading to their their little corner was an access road, like the one shown in a horseshoe shape by the saw mill in the lower right corner, and that is why the 1900 census gives their address as Main Street.   
     Today there is also a road that runs west from Main Street along the southern boundary of the Martin property, apparently an extension of the saw mill road.  The horseshoe shape is no longer there, nor is the saw mill. That road now runs straight along the Martin lot before meeting another road leading past the old roundhouse.
     It's surprising how much a village can change over the years, and not that many really.  In 1892, twelve years before the map above was drawn, the Lehigh Valley Railroad had elected to build their freight transfer yard in Manchester.  The LVRR was a major carrier of freight and passengers in the Northeast and the yards were huge.  The little village of Manchester experienced a population explosion as workers flooded in which resulted in the need for more housing. Hence the expansion of Merrick Avenue and other areas.  It's all  gone today--the tracks, the buildings; for the most part only the deserted roundhouse remains, a silent reminder of Manchester's heyday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Martins of Manchester, NY


1904 map of Manchester, the fan shaped object is the railroad roundhouse
2015 map of Manchester, the roundhouse is still visible a red X marks the Martin lot

     I've spent this week tracing the lives of Anna O'Hora, the sister of my great-grandfather Edward O'Hora, and her husband Patrick Martin.  Anna's birth took place in Auburn, NY and her brother Edward's after the family had moved to the farm in Littleville, NY.  Anna, like all the O'Hora children except one, remained in the area marrying Patrick Martin, in 1880.  The census taken that year shows Anna and Patrick living in Farmington, the next town over, with Patrick engaged in farming. The New York census of 1892 shows the couple and their three children living about ten miles away in Phelps, NY with Patrick still farming.  The really interesting thing about this census is that right below the Martins is listed Andrew Fitzpatrick, laborer. There are in fact, quite a few laborers enumerated below Patrick and Anna, but I doubt they were all working for him.  The 1892 census makes it hard to tell if Andrew is living with the Martins or not, no house or family numbers were recorded in this census nor were relationships given, it was a pretty bare bones tally of New York residents.  Andrew Fitzpatrick is of interest because in 1898, Anna's sister Winifred married a man named Andrew Fitzpatrick who was born in Ontario, NY.  I always wondered how they met, perhaps this was the moment.   

     Various censuses show Patrick Martin following several different trades, from farmer he went to tinsmith in 1900 and finally to hotel keeper in 1915.  The census of 1910 simply says "own income" under occupation.  News articles were more informative.  For example, in 1897 a local paper tells us Patrick was granted a hotel license that year and another license in 1905 (and in the intervening years I assume).  An article from 1907 reads, "Ed Devitt, employed at the ice house, got into a drunken carousal at Patrick Martin's saloon at Manchester on Monday night."  Clearly, at some point Patrick applied for and was granted a liquor license.  An article published in 1893 also clears up the 1892 New York census that showed Patrick in Phelps, surrounded by laborers-- "Patrick Martin will sell at auction at his residence on the Sahler farm, 4 horses, 7 cows ..."  Patrick must have been renting the farm in Phelps from the Sahler's and all those laborers were likely employees of the Sahler family.  It's easy to imagine Anna's sister Winifred visiting her in Phelps and meeting the eligible Andrew Fitzpatrick.

     I next turned to Family Search's New York land records where I found Patrick purchasing property in Manchester village in 1893, right after the farm auction.  The description of the lot in the deed, bordering Lehigh Street, placed it near the Lehigh Valley Railroad yards.  Now I went to Ancestry and it's collection of New York land ownership maps.  There was only one "P. Martin" found, sure enough right next to the yards.  This had to be the spot!  But nothing is ever that easy right?  The map at the top of this page shows Patrick's lot near the roundhouse in the yards, right where I'd expected; so why does every relevant census say he lived on Main Street?  Lehigh Street was right off Main Street, but it wasn't Main Street.  I can't reconcile this discrepancy, try as I might.  There are no purchases of land on Main Street recorded for Patrick.  Since the property was on the corner maybe they just didn't bother to write in another street name?  But on every census?  The newer map shows that today the street is known as Merrick Circle.

     Anna O'Hora Martin died at their home in 1907 from a cerebral hemorrhage and Patrick passed in 1916.  He left his estate to his maiden daughter Mary Honora who soon sold the property.  Patrick's obituary gave more clues as to his business dealings:  

Geneva Daily Times Nov. 13, 1916
Patrick Martin, one of the best known residents of Manchester died at his home in the village Saturday.  Mr. Martin conducted a hotel in the village for several years and retired from business in 1908 when the "drys" carried the day.

     My conclusion from all this is that Patrick tired of farming and purchased the hotel property, financing it by auctioning his farm equipment and livestock.  He supplemented his income while starting the hotel by tinsmithing.   After a time he expanded the business adding a bar until 1908 when Manchester voted to become a dry town.  After that he continued the hotel.  Today a bar called O. Henry's stands on the lot Patrick and Anna owned.  County records online say it was constructed in 1900, seven years after the Martins purchased the property, but perhaps they simply enlarged the building that year, or the original was torn down and a new one built.  Or the transcriber made an error.  I'm still puzzled by the censuses that say the Martins lived on Main Street; I wonder if the dotted lines that lead straight from the middle of the Martin lot towards Main Street on the 1904 map indicate an access road to Main?  Perhaps it was considered an extension of Main Street in 1904?  This will need more work...