Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday's Photo/ John Joseph Gunn Of Rochester, NY

John J. Gunn

      I've been spending a good deal of time on my Gunn ancestors this past week, and came across this grainy photograph in the Rochester, NY Democrat & Chronicle from January of 1918.  John was the oldest son of Francis Gunn, the baby brother of my 2nd great grandmother Mary Gunn Power from County Kerry.  Francis came to the USA in 1885 and was a "motorman" in Rochester.  Once here, he married Elizabeth Bunce from Tarbert which is near Ballygologue, Francis' hometown in Kerry.  Their first child, John J. pictured above was born in 1894.

     John joined the Navy during World War1 and was home on furlough when the above picture appeared in the newspaper.  When the 1920 census was taken, John was residing with his parents and working as the foreman of a bakery.  The 1930 census finds him still at home at age 36 working as a railroad agent.

     I couldn't find John in the 1940 census.  His sister, Sister Cecilia Vincent, of the Sisters of St. Joseph named Mr. and Mrs. John J. Gunn of Williamsport, Pennsylvania on her contact list however.  He must have married rather late in life and left the state.  The contact list is not dated, but her obituary in 1948 doesn't mention John so perhaps he was deceased by 1940?  

     Recalling that the Old Fulton Postcards site has newspapers from PA, I ran a search there and sure enough, there was John's obituary in 1940 along with another photograph.

     I also found his wedding in the newspaper, on October 17, five and a half years before his death he had married Margaret Lynch of Elmira, NY, a librarian twelve years his junior.  How sad their marriage was cut so short, not to mention his life--he was only 46 when he died.  Margaret carried on, and five years after John's death she married Dr. Philip Reilly.  I feel fortunate to have found not only one, but two pictures of John.  He must have been someone fairly well known in his day, at least locally.

No comments:

Post a Comment