Don't you just love finding connections when you are not looking? My latest BIG FIND started over a year ago, but I didn't know it at the time. I found a Petition for Naturalization that my great grandfather, James F. McCarry was a witness on. It was in 1920 and I matched their address on Reed Street in Philadelphia to the 1920 census and the fact that he was a boiler maker. I did not recoginize the name of the petitioner, but seeing that he was a riveter I figured they were friends and co-workers and filed it away. I pulled it out again recently, because I'm working on my Proof Argument about Grandpop McCarry. I have been going back over anything I have found that is connected to him. When I started reading this again I had a big surprise! The petitioner's name was Austin Michael Niland and the other witness was Patrick Niland!
I know, you are asking why is this important? Well it would not have phased me at all except for one thing. Remember back at the beginning of the year I found the death certificate for John Welsh? He was the father of James' wife Bridget. I was so excited because even though it only gave Ireland as where he was born, it did give his parents names. His mother's name was Catherine Niland! So all of the sudden the petition he witnessed was not for a friend or co-worker, Austin Michael Niland was FAMILY! Well this sent me off and running the last couple of days. I know I should be doing other things, like finishing my proof argument, but you all know how that goes. When the family pulls you in another direction you have to go. Besides, they had another mystery to solve for me!
So I started researching Austin Niland. I found so much information on him and Patrick and other Nilands that I had to start a new file on my computer. I found the passenger manifest for the ship he came over on in 1910. It was a good one, not just the list of names like I usually find. Between that and his immigration papers I have actually identified where in Ireland one of my families came from. This is a first for me all of you out there in blogland! I usually have no more than just Ireland for where they came from. He came from Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland on the S.S. Merion sailing from Queenstown, Ireland. Well then I found him in the 1910 census. The year he arrived and his first U.S. census. He was living with his aunt, Annie Malloy.
"Oh sweet mysteries of life I have found you." I have seen this census before. I was looking for information on Annie Malloy last October. When I went to Holy Cross Cemetery to get information on the grave of John Welsh, Jr. I found that his was buried in a plot that Annie had bought when John died and Annie and her son were buried there also. I had no idea who Annie was. I remember wondering at the time, what could the relationship have been that she bought a cemetery plot for him and while he was not living with her in 1910 he was living there when he died. Today I also found that he was living there in 1900 along with more Nilands. Then I also found today, a 1910 death certificate for Bridget Niland, wife of Thomas Niland. The informant was Mrs. Annie Malloy and while Bridget died in Philadelphia General Hospital, her former or usual residence was 1827 Manton Street, Grandmom and Grandpop McCarry's address in the 1910 census.
So I still have a ways to go, don't we always? I have to go back to Holy Cross because it seems not only are the McCarrys there but so are the Nilands. Isn't this fun?????