Monday, November 12, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - James and Anne McCoy

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!