Monday, November 16, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Caroline Lee

A very special thank you to Richard Boyer for permission
to post his photo
I haven't posted on my Lees since August. I haven't really had time since school started up again. When I got a notification from FindAGrave that a photo request had been filled and the kind man gave me permission to post his photo I had to take time out of school to get this post up.

I don't know much about Caroline "Carrie" Lee. She never married and I've posted clippings before of her visiting my Quirk/Lee family in eastern Pennsylvania. Carrie is part of the Pittsburgh Lees that I still haven't been able to fully figure out where they belong in my tree. The best I can make out is that Carrie and her siblings were cousins to the Quirks (grandchildren of Edward Lee). Carrie's father was Thomas Lee, but I have yet to figure out how he relates to my Edward.

Caroline was born on September 11, 1856 in Pennsylvania. She died on October 12, 1922 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Her tombstone looks very similar to those of her parents. I'm guessing that they are buried nearby, but I don't know for certain. Carrie died of pneumonia.

Still, I know that they're related somehow. I just haven't unearthed that special bit of information that will solidify the connection. They visited. My family saved an obituary clipping of one of Carrie's siblings. Perhaps a Pittsburgh Lee will find this blog and be able to fill in the blanks. Maybe something else will turn up. Maybe. Maybe. It's best to cling to hope when you're still hitting that brick wall. If you keep hitting it eventually you'll win.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Working on my Brown Ancestors

The Plain Speaker,
21MAY1937, pg18
After a recent breakthrough in my Barrett line I decided to work on my Brown line. They are connected. Mary Barrett married Thomas Brown Sr. in 1901 and they had 6 children: Marian Veronica, Thomas Joseph Jr, Edward John Sr, Walter, Alice, and Hubert.

One of the reasons I'm working on my Brown line is that, well, it needs work, but also because my cousin, Nancy O'Donoghue, once told me that we were related to coach Hubie Brown. I've looked at articles on Hubie Brown and I have no doubt that she was right, but I need to start collecting the proof as to where he belongs. As I was doing that I came across more article on Rev. John A. Brown who I blogged about previously.**

So what does the priest, John Brown, have to do with Hubie Brown? John was Hubie's uncle and my first cousin twice removed. I also realized that while I had posted on Reverend Brown before I never updated my family tree. So continuing on with this post is making me rectify that situation.

"Rev. John A. Brown

Tomorrow morning at St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton, John A. Brown, of Hazleton, will be ordained to the holy priesthood with an impressive service in which a large number of monsignor and clergymen will participate. Rev. Brown is a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brown of this city, and is a nephew of Patrick Brown, of West Hazleton and Thomas and Neil Brown of this city, and comes from one of the oldest Hazleton families.

After graduating from St. Gabriel's high school. Mr. Brown entered St. Mary's College in Maryland and later followed his theological studies at St. Charles' College, Columbus, Ohio, and completed his preparation at Mt. St. Mary's College in Emmittsburg, Maryland.

After tomorrow's ordination, Father Brown will come here to celebrate his first mass at St. Gabriel's church on Sunday morning, May 23 at 10:30 and among the officers of the high mass will be his first cousin, Rev.. Father Charles A. McElwee, of Scranton, also a former Hazleton resident."

The Thomas mentioned in this article is my great grandfather, a child of Neil and Nancy Brown nee McCoy. John's father, Charles Sr., is my 2nd great uncle.

The Standard Speaker
21JUL1969, pg22
"Msgr. John A. Brown, a former city resident, who was elevated to his present position in the Roman Catholic Church on July 9 by Pope Paul VI during ceremonies conducted by the Bishop of Raleigh, N.C., is the brother of Mrs. Gertrude McLaughlin, of Alexandria, Va., who attended the ceremony; Mrs. Helen Cassidy and Mrs. Esther Cassidy, both of Elizabeth, N.J.; Leo Brown, of Cumberland, Md., and Charles Brown, of Elizabeth, N.J.

Msgr. Brown also has two sisters living locally, Mrs. Genevive (sic) Hooper, 585 Arthur St., and Mrs. Lawrence Gallagher, of Harwood. He is a son of the late Charles and Anna (LeGrande) Brown.

Msgr. Brown is pastor of St. Eugene's R.C. Church, Asheville, N.C. and Chaplain to the Catholic Daughters of Asheville."

This second article helps me fill in some of the details of my Brown ancestors even more than the first. My great grandfather isn't mentioned in it. This was because Thomas Sr died in 1955, but the article doesn't mention his other aunts and uncles so even if Thomas had still been alive he most likely wouldn't have been mentioned. Since John never married, being a priest and all, the sisters listed are easy to place in my tree. I placed husbands with the sisters mentioned in the article except for Mrs. Lawrence Gallagher. John had six sisters in my family tree and only five are mentioned here. The wife of Lawrence Gallagher would be either Ann (born 1900) or Mariam (born abt 1912).

A quick look in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates online shows me that Ann Brown died on February 19th 1919. She never married so unless there's another sister hiding out there, Mariann is Mrs. Lawrence Gallagher. I did find it a bit odd the she is listed by her husband's given name and not her own. Her other sisters are noted by their own given names. Could Mariam's husband be the only one still living? Possible, but not the subject of this post.

It's wonderful that the post lists all of those localities because apparently the children of Charles and Anna Brown nee LeGrande escaped Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Knowing where they might be can help me find other information. So now that I've entered all of those tidbits into my tree I can rummage around looking for marriage dates, obituaries, children, etc.

How does it pertain to Hubie? Well, Hubie was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania and moved when he was about three years Elizabeth, New Jersey. Oh...and his father's name was Charles. Yes. These two clippings are a great start to working on my Brown side and seeing where Hubie will fit in.

** Tombstone Tuesday - Who Is Rt. Rev. John Brown
** Sunday's Obituary - A Genealogical Angel Sent This to Me

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Veterans Day!

(This is a repost from previous years to thank those that have served in the military and to remember those veterans in my family as well. I feel like I'm forgetting someone in my family below. I'm sure it will pop into my mind some time after posting!)

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!).

SGT James E Trunzo - USA


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mystery Monday - Mystery Solved

It all started with a short clipping of a death notice in the Hazleton, Pennsylvania newspaper. It alerted me to my 2nd great grandfather's niece who I didn't know existed and to a sister I didn't know existed.

The Plain Speaker, 22AUG1903, pg 1

Now I can finally put Mrs John Dever (Nellie/Ellen Dever nee Reilly), her mother Margaret Reilly nee Barrett, and Mrs. John Mulhearn (Ellen Mulhearn nee Barrett) in my family tree.

Excerpt from Patrick Barrett's death certificate

I knew from Patrick's death certificate that his father's name was Edward Barrett and his mother was Mary Merrick. I head never heard of the surname Merrick before, but I was hesitant to add the names to my tree because the information was second-hand and given when someone was grieving. I needed more before including it.

While Nellie Dever's mom was only referred to as Mrs. Charles Reilly in her obituary I found her death certificate online, but it wasn't as clear cut as I would have liked.

Excerpt from Margaret Reilly nee Barrett's death certificate

Her daughter (also named Margaret) gave the information for her death certificate and it seems the elder Margaret's husband's name found it's way into the place of "father" on the certificate. I'd have dismissed this certificate entirely if it wasn't for seeing her mother listed as "Mary Merrick." Seeing that is what led me to believe that the father's name was most certainly wrong.

So there I was trying to see if Patrick Barrett and Margaret Reilly nee Barrett were siblings. The assumption is that they are, but you need more than assumptions. I went through all of the news clippings I could find on the Reillys and Devers and didn't find anything else I could use to solidify the connection. I went to sleep knowing that I was missing something. Something that was obvious. I couldn't sleep. I spent too much time thinking through this problem. When I woke up the next morning I knew what I needed to check.

In the initial clipping that led me to the niece of Patrick Barrett I had completely overlooked the other sister...Mrs. John Mulhearn. I didn't know her first name, but if my deductions were right she'd be another sibling to Patrick and Margaret. I found her death certificate. Her name was Ellen. Just like her niece Nellie/Ellen Devers nee Reilly.

Excerpt of Ellen Mulheron nee Barrett's death certificate

Their similar names was great and all, but I was interested in the information on her parents to finally make or dispel this theory. I found what I was looking for.

Her parents were indeed Edward and Mary Barrett nee Merrick. The information was given by what appears to be a nursing home. They were obviously given all of her information by her family. I also have a county in Ireland now. County Mayo. Who knows if it's right, but it's a new lead to take. Hopefully I'll finally be able to jump the pond!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Medical Monday - Breast Cancer in the Family

Bridget Barrett nee Farley's cause of death
I don't know of anyone in my family that has had breast cancer. At least I didn't. I found the death certificate for my 2nd great grandmother, Bridget Barrett nee Farley, and on it was her cause of death..."exhaustion from cancer of breast."

According to this she was diagnosed in January 1905 and she didn't die for a year and a half. I don't know how they attempted to treat cancer in the early 20th century. I'm not sure that I really want to research that. It's pretty horrific even today when we have chemotherapy and radiation treatment and surgery. 

During that time that she had cancer she actually went to Philadelphia for eye surgery. I wish I knew what was wrong with her eye(s). Not because it's really important, but I wonder if it was really severe...whatever it was. Was it so severe that it needed to be done? Would she have been blinded without it? Or was it minor and had it done believing that she was going to beat the cancer? Was the cancer so advanced that it caused this problem with her eyes? That's why I would like to know. 

The Plain Speaker, 28APR1905, pg5
Of course I sit here comfortably in 2015 and look back at medicine in the early 1900s and cringe, but I'm sure at the time they probably felt about their medicine the same way we feel about ours. What will my descendants think of our medicine in another century? Will they look at our cancer treatments and think they're barbaric and primitive? I hope so, because if they think that at least they'll have something better.

The Plain Speaker, 09MAY1905, pg5
Walter Barrett went to visit his mother in Philadelphia after the surgery. Those things aren't really reported in newspapers today. As a researcher I'm glad that they were reported. If they hadn't been I wouldn't have known about her having this surgery. This courage that I can at least hope some of which has passed on to me and mine.

These sorts of articles make family history more personal. More than just dates and names. They give us stories.

Walter was also the informant on Bridget's death certificate. Patrick, her husband, died two years after her. I don't know why he wasn't the informant. Perhaps he was too grieved. I imagine they all were.

Excerpt from Bridget Barrett's death certificate
I've seen far too many death certificates for my ancestors that have no parental information on them. It can be frustrating...very frustrating. On Bridget's I've got her parents listed as Hugh and Alice Farley nee Fagan. While I have to take it with a grain of salt (this is second-hand information after all), I do see a pattern in the names. 

Bridget and Patrick had six children: Edward, Mary (my ancestor), William, Hugh, Walter, and Alice. According to Patrick's death certificate his parents were Edward and Mary. Bridget's parent were Hugh and Alice. Their children were named after their parents it would seem.

These were all the revelations I got from Bridget's death certificate and those two small clippings. I have no obituary for her yet. hasn't added the Hazleton papers for 1906. I'm hoping that 1906 isn't one of the years permanently lost. I found out where in Saint Gabriel's cemetery she and Patrick are buried this summer and I was finally able to create FindAGrave memorials for them. I just seems like an obituary would help to close out the story.

I take this time to remember someone that must have been a strong and brave woman and I'm proud to be your granddaughter.