McCoy. It's a family name, but also a dead end. I was also a very bad person when I photographed this tombstone and forgot to annotate whether it was from St. Gabriel's in Hazleton or St. Mary's in Beaver Meadows. Either way it's a family cemetery and I will be retracing my steps the next time I go home and properly annotate the photo.
My McCoy ancestor was Nancy Brown nee McCoy. I don't know much about her apart from being born around 1845 in Ireland and dying in 1926 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Nancy (called "Annie"...obviously not this Anne) was my 2nd great grandmother. I have found no immigration records for her and I don't know who her parents were. I have to narrow down her death date and hopefully a death certificate and/or obituary may provide some healthy leads.
As it is each time I walk past a "McCoy" tombstone in Saint Gabriel's or Saint Mary's cemetery I wonder if they belong to me. Was this my 3rd great uncle on this tombstone? I may not know for a long time. I may never know. You can be sure that I'll be tracking down information on James as well as my Annie the next time I'm home.
The research I was able to do on this James McCoy was that he came to America from Ireland around 1878 and he was born around 1860. My Annie was born 15 years earlier and was already in America in April 1874 when she married her husband, Neil Brown. Does this mean that this James isn't a relation of my Annie's? No, but it's not a strong case. Perhaps a cousin or nephew? Sure, maybe.
It looks like, for now, I'll still be staring fondly after all those "McCoy" tombstones. Perhaps the cemetery will at least be able to give me a month for the burials to help me with obituaries and death certificates. It's certainly worth a try!
(A follow up post from previous Veterans Days with the addition of my cousin the Brigadier General and priest since I finally got a picture of him, and the promotion of my cousin, JoAnn. Congrats on your promotion!)
I want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has served honorably in our Armed Forces. Without our service members past and present our country would not be where it is today. We would not have gained our independence, we would not have unified a divided country, we would not have stopped the atrocities of 2 World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. There are many conflicts not mentioned which do not make light of the sacrifices that servicemen and women made in them. Sometimes the sacrifice was in time away from family and long hours. At times it was witnessing the horrors of those wars or even succumbing valiantly to them.
Not everyone serves their country as a Veteran does and not everyone can or should. You are unique, respected and given a burden that many would not be able to bear. Whether you served many months or many years in our Armed Forces makes no difference. You served. Thank you!
I'd like to now pay tribute to my family members who have served (I hope I didn't miss any!).