Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Cecilia Fitzpatrick

when I first saw this photo, my Aunt, Gertrude Cecilia, told me that the child in white is my Father, George O'Donnell. The other child is his cousin, Cecilia Mulligan. Until fall of 1930, all of my Grandfather's siblings lived in their mother's house with their spouses and children. It was quite the household in the 1930 census.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday-Cemetery Visitors

When I was at Holy Cross Cemetery on Saturday I spotted these other visitors. The geese are always there, but this is the first time seeing a deer. This cemetery is very close to the city of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

John P. Welsh, brother of Bridget Welsh McCarry

I found this obituary a few months ago and really did nothing with it but I knew that this was the brother of my great grandmother, Bridget Welsh McCarry. It wasn't until last week when I looked at it again that I noticed that he was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery. I have an 1880 Census that I have been trying to prove they are my Welsh family so I was looking at this again. So Saturday, my daughter, Erin, and I went once again to Holy Cross to do some "digging" around.

When I saw the cemetery record, the plot was owned by Annie Malloy and she along with John Welsh and John Rooney are buried in the plot. I have no idea who Annie Malloy and John Rooney were, and what the connection to John Welsh would have been that Annie would buy a plot to bury John. When I got home I found John Rooney's WWI draft registration card. that showed that Annie Malloy was his mother and they lived at the same address as listed as John Welsh's Late Residence on the cemetery records. they were listed at this address in the 1910 census, but John Welsh was not living with them at that time. So I am ordering his death certificate to see what other info is there to be found, but I don't know if I can find out what this relationship was.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Military Monday-Another VanBilliard Mystery

Yesterday, while I was looking for the VanBilliards on Find A Grave I found someone I have no idea who they are. It is Clare D. Vanbilliard, PFC U.S. Army. Clare died 10 Aug 1944 and is buried in Brittany American Cemetery, St James, France. On Ancestry I found the WWII Casualty Listing for this person and the U.S. Roster of WWII Dead. Then I did find their enlistment record. This gave me a birth year of 1924 and that they were born in Pennsylvania and enlisted in Allentown. There were some of the VanBilliards in that area.

So this gives me a couple of mysteries. First, I do not know who this person belongs to. And second, I do not know if this is a man or woman. Clare could be short for Clarence, but the Army records that I have found all say Clare. The records do say that Clare was in the 134the Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Div. and I do not think women would have been assigned to an Infantry unit in 1944. I could be wrong.

Anyway, I hope I can find out who this person belongs to! Should be fun!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Obituary-George VanBilliard(another one)

George VanBilliard

Born:19 Sep 1864

Died:19 Jun 1935

I was going through Find A Grave this morning. I was looking for my VanBilliard line. And I found this obituary for George VanBilliard. Now this George VanBilliard is a first cousin to my great grandfather, George VanBilliard. I knew about this cousin but I did not have a death date for him. Now thank's to this Find A Grave posting by Richard H on 17 Feb 2006, I have all this information. And something I think is funny about these cousins was that not only did they share the same name but they were born 2 months apart. My George having been born 16 Jul 1864. But he died almost 5 years earlier, 10 Nov 1930. My George grew up in Pennsylvania and his cousin was born and raised in New Jersey so I wonder how well they knew each other.

George VanBilliard, a native of Springtown,Warren County, but for many years a residentof Annandale, Hunterdon County, where he was engaged in the general store business, died at 8 o'clock last evening, aged 71 years Mr. VanBilliard was a son of the late Mr. &Mrs. Oliver VanBilliard, for many years leading residents of Phillipsburg. His father served a term as mayor & for a long time was a Justice of the Peace.Deceased is survived by his wife, Mrs. LauraVanBilliard; 2 daughters, Mrs. Opal Apgar and Mrs.Meta Sutton, both of Annandale; & 2 brothers & asister, James VanBilliard in California; Wellington VanBilliard & Mrs. Irene Miller, both in Phillipsburg.He belonged to the Masonic Fraternity.Funeral services will be conducted at his latehome Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock by the Rev.Chester A. Moore, of the Annandale Reformed Church & interment will be made in the cemetery at Cokesbury. There will also be a Masonic service.
Easton Express
Easton, Pa
NJ News
Saturday, 20th July, 1935
page 8

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun-It's Wordle Time!

Well Randy this was lots of fun.

I learned some new skills getting here. I used my blog to make the word cloud. After trying a few different looks I settled on the half and half in the summer colors. I hit print and sent the page to MS OneNote. then I saved the image as a jpeg in Windows Gallery. I was then able to crop the image.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day-May Procession

Catherine Marie McCarry

this looks like a wedding picture doesn't it. It was my Mother when she was May Queen in her 8th grade May Procession.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Story of John McCarry-The 6th Child

A few weeks ago I wrote about The Story of Miss Mary McCarry. In that story I mentioned that Mary was the second child of Irish immigrants Patrick and Margaret(O'Connell) McCarry. I knew from the 1900 census that they had 6 children but only 4 were living at that time. When I wrote about Mary I said that I had only accounted for 5 of the children. Yesterday I found information about John.
The 1880 Census found the family living in Lenox, Madison, New York with 4 children. They had another child, Margaret, still living in NY in 1881. City Directories had them back in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, PA before 1894. This was where their family was. I just did not know when they did return or when or where this 6th child had been born and what his story was. Yesterday I found his death certificate. According to this certificate he was born in 1884. And he was born in Manayunk. So the family had come back to Philadelphia by 1884. But this was a death certificate and I knew that he was not still alive in 1900. So the rest of the information was sad but expected. John died 19 May 1894 at 10 years old. Cause of Death was peritonitis from appendicitis. But something not expected, when he died at 10 years old he had an occupation listed as a mill hand. How different "childhood" was for our ancestors.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday-Wedding Breakfast

Another photo from my parents' wedding album. This was their Wedding Breakfast in my grandparents' livingroom. I guess the wedding cake was transported again to the reception after being the centerpiece here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to The 1950's

First Communion May, 1958

I was just looking at this photo and thinking how June Cleaverish my Mother was looking. Here she is with her apron and pearls and a camera over her shoulder. My sister, Terry and family friend, Joe(he sent me the photo) looking on. Not sure what my Mother is doing, I thought maybe fixing my veil. This was taken on our front patio.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday-Steel Pier

This is one of those pictures that I love but I have no idea who they are. I know it is my mother's family, but that's all. But they are enjoying a day in Atlantic City, NJ(long before the casinos came). And they stopped to have their picture taken on Steel Pier. I really love her hat!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Amanuensis Monday-The George Letter

The letter was written to my Father, George O'Donnell by his maternal Grandfather, George VanBilliard. I never knew about this letter until after my Dad died in 2007 and I found it in his keepsakes. I wish I had the letter that 7 year old George had written to his Grandfather. According to the 1930 Census, George VanBilliard was living as a border in New Hope, PA. He was a Foreman for the Telegraph Co. The Mackay Postal Telegraph-Cable Company was merged later with it's largest competitor, Western Union. I found in the Western Union archives that the company was in New Hope, PA at that time laying new cable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday's Child-Baby James McCarry

When my Grandmother spoke of him she called him Baby James. I guess that was partly because they later had another son they called James. But Baby James was the first child of James and Theresa McCarry. I found out the details that Nana never spoke about when I went to Holy Cross Cemetery looking for Catherine and Emil Gunther, Baby James' maternal grandparents. I found that he is buried with them. James' cemetery card said that he was 10 months old when he died on 1 Aug 1922 and that his cause of death was Stomach Trouble. I ordered his death certificate and it recently arrived. His date of birth was 14 Sep 1921 and the cause of death was Tuberculosis Meningitis. I don't have a photo of a headstone because there is none, but I wanted to write about him.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Madness/Mystery Monday-Emil Gunther Still!

Emil Gunther is one of my Maternal Great Grandfathers. I have written about him before. But he is still on the top of my Madness List so I thought I would talk about him again. I wrote a few weeks ago that I was waiting for Emil's death certificate to come. Well it finally came and it has not given me any clues at all. He and his unknown parents all came from Germany! Well I guess that I am happy that I know more about him then I did this time last year. From the documents I have accumlated I have address where he lived at least from when he was married to Catherine McCarron. So the man is still at the top of my Madness List and he is also a Mystery in so many ways.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Story of Miss Mary McCarry

Mary McCarry was the second child born to Irish Immigrants, Patrick and Margaret (O'Connell) McCarry. She was the first of three? that were born in Connecticut. I have the question because according to the 1900 Census they had 6 children 4 living, and I have only accounted for 5 at this point. The other two born in Connecticut were James Francis (my great grandfather) and Patrick Joseph. I had found that Patrick was born in Thompsonville, CT from his Marriage license and his WWII registration. Then I found that James was born in Waterbury, CT from his Marriage license. So I figured that Mary was born in another town also. I found this clipping while searching on Genealogy Bank. I had known that my Grandfather had an aunt that was in this order, but I had thought it was his mother's sister not his father's. Well after finding this on Sunday, I called the Mission on Monday and spoke to the archivist. She told me that she did not have much on Mary because she was one of the early Sisters, the order was founded by Saint Catherine Drexel in 1891. The records they have did show that Mary's name was Sister Patrick McCarry and that she died 9 Aug 1932 and is buried at the Mission. The records did show that she was born in Naugatuck, CT and was baptized at St Francis Church. Can I say BINGO! They did not have much, but what they had was great! So my next call was to St Francis of Assisi (who happens to be my favorite saint) Church in Naugatuck, CT. After a few missing each other I spoke with the secretary on Tuesday morning. When talking to her I mentioned that James was born in Waterbury and I did not know if he was Baptized there also. She thought he could be since that is the next town over. She told me that she would see what she could find and call me back. Well she called back in about an hour and said she found Mary's record and would send me a copy. She also found James' but I will save that for another time. So on Friday I received this record. To finish this story I still have to get her death and birth records but I am just loving what has happened in just a week beginning with a little newspaper clipping.

So don't overlook the little mentions you might find in a clipping, you never know what it could lead to!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marriage Certificates-Answers-More Questions?

Two weeks ago I went to the Philly Archives to find copies of the marriage certificates that I had found in the index on Family Search. I had found the license numbers for my mother's parents, James J. McCarry and Theresa V. Gunther. For James' parents, James F. McCarry and Bridget Welsh. For Theresa's parents, Emil Gunther and Catherine McCarron. And James F.'s brother Patrick McCarry and Frances Gallagher. I was able to get all but my grandparents that day because the archives only has microfilm for up to 1915 and they were married in 1920. So last week when I was back in the city again I went to city hall and ordered the copy of their certificate at Orphans Court. It arrived today. Adding to both the answers and more questions.

First big information I was looking for was to confirm where James F. McCarry was born. I had information from different census that said he was born in Connecticut. But his death certificate said he was born in Philadelphia and that his parents were unknown. So I needed to confirm where he was born in Connecticut and where in Connecticut. Also who his parents were so I could confirm that the family I had for him was correct. Well this was all confirmed. He was born in Waterbury , CT, 14 May 1873. His parents were Patrick McCarry and Margaret O'Connell. This was confirmed by his brother Patrick's marriage certificate. And his place of birth was also confirmed on my grandparent's marriage certificate. So I am very happy with this result!

The second big information I was looking for was answers about my grandmother's father, Emil Gunther. This man has been such a mystery! My grandmother talked about her father all the time. I knew he came from Germany. the only place she ever said was that it was the Black Forest. Not a big help! Had an idea when he was born. My cousin had given me a date a few years back. I have not been able to find him in a census and a few years ago I found out that my grandmother's oldest sister was her half sister. So he had been married before my great grandmother. and the mystery grew! then this past October I found Catherine McCarron Gunther's death record. My grandmother had always said her mother died when she was a little girl. Well she died in 1914. So I went to the cemetery to find out about her death and was hoping that Emil would be buried there also. I had a bonus that day. Not only did I find that Emil was there and that he had died in 1924, but also there was my grandparent's first child that had died at 11 months old in 1922. So I ordered their death certificates but they have not come yet. So I will have to follow up on that information. Coming back to the information from the marriage certificates. Well his place of birth on both his marriage certificate and my grandmother's was..... you guessed it......Germany! So I still have no idea where in Germany he was from. So that will be a continued work in progress. But there was another mystery on his marriage certificate. It said that this was his first marriage. that did not match what I had known. So he will continue to be a work in progress.

So on to the questions that came out of these certificates. Emil was not the only one that gave me questions. First, my great grandmother, Bridget Welsh McCarry. the information I had from her death certificate was that her birthdate was 23 Nov 1875. Her son Thomas was the informant, her husband, James F, had died 10 years before. Well when I saw their marriage certificate her birth date was 6 April 1873. I could see if she lied about her age because she would have been under age if she was born in 1875. And there was not a consent with the certificate. But these dates do not match in anyway at all! So I need to try to find a birth record for her. Another work in progress.

The second question that came out of the certificates was my grandmother, Theresa V Gunther McCarry. I grew up hearing how she was 15 when she was married. Well she was married in 1920 and her birth date on her death certificate was 31 May 1905. My mother was the informant. this would make her 15 when she married. Well her certificate said she was born in 1902 and that she was 18 years old at her marriage. So another work in progress.

So I am really excited to get these documents in the last couple of weeks. While I am disapointed that not only did I not get all the answers I was looking for, but more questions were added, I ask the question.....what would we do if we had all the answers about our family?????

Happy Hunting!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thriller Thursday-Child Run Down and Badly Hurt

Child Run Down and Badly Hurt
Charles Rochell, 2 years old, of 1323 North Howard Street, is in a dying condition in St. Mary's Hospital as a result of having been run down by a wagon near his home yesterday. He sustained serious internal injuries. John McCarron, of 1928 Hancock street, the driver of the wagon, was held by the police of the Tenth and Master streets station.
Philadelphia Inquirer
16 Aug 1904

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Obituary-Captain John VanBilliard

Captain John VanBilliard
7 April 1803-12 Sep 1875

I am posting about two of the obituaries published about one of my Paternal 3rd Great Grandfathers. The first, from Bethlehem's Daily Times, was published the afternoon after he died. It is only the first paragraph of what went on to be his entire life story. I just think the language is so noteworthy. The second one I just found on Genealogy Bank. It was published 14 Sep 1875 in the New York Commercial Advertiser. They seemed to publish the obituaries of "Prominent Men" from everywhere in "The Death Roll"

Capt. John Van Billiard.

It becomes our painful duty to day to announce to our readers the death of Capt. John Van Billiard, one among the oldest and highly esteemed burghers of the borough of Freemansburg. The event, which will be unlooked for, and the sad intelligence will be received by hosts of acqnantances with mingled feelings of sorrow and regret, took place at the old homestead, the well known hostelry, The Eagle Hotel, Freemansburg, At 7:15 last (Sunday) evening.
Captain John Van Billiard, a prominent citizen of Freemasburg, died at his residence at a quarter past seven o'clock P.M. Sunday. The deceased was injured six years ago by a spirited horse and never thoroughly recovered.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday-Susan Haas VanBilliard

Susan Haas VanBilliard

31 May 1866 - 10 Jan 1920

On Saturday I wrote about my Great Grandmother, this is her headstone

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Surname Saturday-Susan Haas

Susan Haas is one of my paternal greatgrandmothers. She was born 31 May 1866 in Altoona, PA to Henry Haas and Sarah Nuspickle(how is that for a name?). She was the 8th of 9 children and the only girl. I don't know how long the family stayed in Altoona but the 1870 census has them in Bethlehem, PA. In the 1880 census she is 16 and "at home". I am sure she is very busy because this says that her mother and younger brother, Milton, have scarlet fever.

In 1885 Susan marries George VanBilliard. The notice in the paper was very simple:

"Bethlehem Daily Times: Name[Van Billiard, George Name[Haas, Susan Beckel_Index[George Van Billiard of South Bethlehem MARRIED Miss Susan Haas of Bethlehem, September 19, 1885 in Bethlehem by Reverend Isaac K. Loos"

The 1900 census has George and Susan living in Easton, PA, a neighboring town to Bethlehem. Living with them is Susan's widowed Mother, Sarah. Susan's father, Henry, had died 11 Feb 1888.They have 7 children at the time of the census, with Irwin being the youngest. My grandmother, Elizabeth, was born 1 Nov 1900 so they had 8 by the end of the year 1900. Irwin died 24 Jun 1902. In 1903 Margaret was born.

In 1910 they are back in Bethlehem, South Bethlehem to be exact. They have have 5 of the children still at home.

The 1920 census was enumerated on the 6/7 of January. They were still in South Bethlehem with 4 of their children at home. They also had a 4 year old grandson living with them. But this was a sad time. Susan was sick with Lukemia and she died 10 Jan 1920.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-out in the snow

I thought this picture would do today with the snow falling outside. My Grandfather, James J. McCarry, Sr, out in the snow in Saranac Lake, NY

Saturday, January 1, 2011

SNGF-Your Very Best 2010 Research

It's Saturday Night again(I know, you just celebrated New Years Eve - are you home for the night?-- Time for some Genealogy Fun (what else is there?)!!

Your mission, should you decide to except it, is to:

1) Decide which of your (many?) genealogy research adventures was your "very best" (your definition).

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Status report or comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

It has to be one of the two "brick walls" the I have broken down in the last part of the year.
My great grandfather, Emil Gunther, has been like the invisible man to find anything about. Along with his wife. I started checking around in Family Search and the records they recently microfilmed from Philadelphia, PA. My grandmother had always said that her mother died when she was little, so I thought it might have been before 1915. The death records they had are up to 1915. So I started looking and I found her death certificate. She died in 1914. This gave me her parent's names and her death information. I found that she is buried in the same cemetery as her daughter. So I went to the cemetery with the hope that in the records I would find that her husband, Emil would be there also. My grandparents were married in 1920, so I figured that he died after that. Well I lucked out big time! Not only did I find that Emil died in 1924, but also buried with them is my grandparents' first child that had died in 1922 at 10 months old. I had known about him but had no information until now. I have ordered and am still waiting for death certificates from PA for both Emil and "Baby James". So I would say this was a great research adventure for 2010!