Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some Thanksgiving presents from John Griffin Jr.:
This first picture is Papa as a young man in his police uniform. John says it was taken after World War I, in the 1920s.

This second picture is of Auntie Mae's husband, John Daniels, in a picture taken around 1900. What a great outfit he has on!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

85 Luquer St.

Here are a couple particularly interesting pages from the 1897 Brooklyn City Directory:

The first shows a Maddigan, Marg't wid. Matthew h 404 Will'by av - the same address as a Maddigan, Jos P, lockfitter.
I haven't come across any other Matthew Mad(d)igans in the Brooklyn City Directory, so it's possible, but not certain, that this Margaret, widow of Matthew, is our Margaret Sullivan Madigan, Matthew Madigan's wife. And it seems that she's living with a brother-in-law, who would be one of Matthew Madigan's brothers. We don't know anything about Matthew Madigan's family, or whether he had any siblings, but it seems possible now that he had a brother named Joseph who was a lockfitter. Their only son was named James, not Joseph, so it's also possible that she's living with him and his name was taken down incorrectly. Knowing little to nothing about the family dynamics, I would think it more likely that she would move in with her son than with her husband's brother (or nephew, I suppose), but that doesn't mean she did.
The second shows a Mulcahy, Mich'l, liquors, 227 Hamilton av, h 85 Luquer
This is Michael Mulcahy. His home is 85 Luquer St, and his business - in "liquors" - is at 227 Hamilton Ave. (Which is just around the corner, according to google maps.) From 1888-1890 (as well as in several other years), 227 Hamilton is the only address listed for Michael Mulcahy and Matthew Madigan is still living at 85 Luquer. Michael and Mary Ann married right around then (October 2, 1888 is the date I have), so they either lived at/above/behind Michael's bar in the first few years of their marriage; moved in with Mary Ann's parents immediately upon marrying, but chose not to list their home address; or moved elsewhere upon marrying, but chose not to list their home address.
We now have proof, or near proof, that
a) despite not appearing at the address in 1900, the Mulcahys had, in fact, moved in there by at least 1897
b) Matthew Madigan appears to have died between 1890 and 1897
c) Matthew Madigan may have had a brother named Joseph
d) Margaret Sullivan Madigan outlived her husband and was still alive in 1897
UPDATE: When I wrote this, I forgot what we already think we know - that Matthew Madigan, in fact, outlived his wife, as evidenced by the fact that he remarried and had a child with his second wife. Second wife was supposedly Johanna Roche, and their daughter was Loretta Madigan. I've never tried looking for that part of the family. I think maybe I will.

Monday, November 24, 2008


If any of you pay particularly close attention to this blog, you may have noticed that post labels have changed a little. I decided this morning that the way I was doing things was inconsistent and poor practice. From here on out, all women referred to in the blog will be identified in the labels by their full first, maiden, and last name. I'd been referring to some by their maiden names (e.g. Mary Ann Madigan) and others by their married names (e.g. Julia Mulvaney), but I've changed all the labels so that now the full name is included (e.g. Mary Ann Madigan Mulcahy and Julia Toner Mulvaney).

You can see, however, that among the labels (listed on the sidebar to the right) are both Julia Toner and Julia Toner Mulvaney. This is because one refers to our Nana's mother, Julia Toner Mulvaney, wife of Patrick Mulvaney. The other refers to Julia Toner, who we think may have been her older sister, who died at 16 of cholera along with her little brother James Thomas.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brooklyn City Directories

The majority of the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire and only fragments exist, none of them covering Brooklyn. Thus, has put together an "1890 Census Substitute," part of which consists of the 1888-1890 Brooklyn City Directory. So, since I'm going back in time (at least when I don't get caught up in death certificates and early censuses), and I've already brought the Mulcahys back to 1905, and looked for them in 1900, we're looking for 1890. When I went to find and post the City Directory links I'd found for Matthew Madigan and Michael Mulcahy, though, I discovered that has recently added to the U.S. City Directory records that they have published! They now cover 1879-1900. So, I'm going to be looking to see who else and what else I can find.
This, just off of a quick initial search, is Mathew Madigan, truckman, living at 85 Luquer St. As you can see from the image, there's really no other information included. We can hopefully use this to do things like figure out where the Toners lived in 1880, so we can find their census listing, figure out when the Mulcahys moved into 85 Luqueer St and when Matthew Madigan moved out (which would possibly be when he died), possibly even figure out when Michael Mulcahy immigrated, if he suddenly shows up in the city at some point.

Isn't this exciting?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Everything I am is because of my ancestors."
-Nicolas Cage in National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More to come

I feel like the past few days have been a whirlwind of information about the Toners and Mulvaneys. I've recently sent away for the death certificates of Willie and Harold Mulvaney, and Michael Mulcahy and Mary Ann Madigan Mulcahy. Posting may be slow for the next few days/weeks, because finals are no more fun in grad school than they were in undergrad. I'm hoping the arrival of those DCs, and the information contained therein, will coincide with my finally handing in some of these papers and getting out from under the weight of having procrastinated on them all semester long. In the meantime, though, as always, let me know if you have any addition information to add or important questions to ask!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1880 Census - Mulvanys at 191 King St.

Finally! For some reason, neither the Mulvanys nor the Toners show up when I search the 1880 census of Brooklyn. It's very frusturating, because I think they simply have to be there. So this morning, I started paging through the 98th district of the Kings County census pages, just scrolling down and looking at every name on every page. I was hoping to come across the Toners, as I have reason to believe they'd be in that district (some Brooklyn Eagle clippings, that I believe are our Toners, that I hope to be able to post soon. But this is more exciting, for the moment). However, there they were, on page 22 (of 59 - I'm still hoping to come across the Toners as I continue) - the Mulvanys!

This census shows the Mulvany family living at 194 King St. James gives his age as 52, and Bridget gives hers as 48, which correlate to birth years of around 1828 and 1832 - consistent with what we've seen. Their only 3 children stil living at home (or still alive, and it's a testament to health conditions of the era that we can't say which) are Thomas, age 23, Patrick, age 20, and Mary A., age 17. They have a boarder named William Anderson, a carpenter like James, who was born in Denmark though his parents were Irish, and who, at 42, is a widower. Bridget "keeps house," Thomas (b. 1857) works in a cotton mill, Patrick, (b. 1860) is a machinist (just like he's listed in all later censuses), and Mary is "at home."
Who's as excited as I am to learn that the family didn't just fall off the face of the Earth for a decade?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Julia Toner death notice

In further searching the NY Newspaper Death Notices, I came across one from 1866 that reads:

Aug 19 John Thomas Toner and his sister Julia on 20th children of Richard of So Bklyn

Then I went to the Brooklyn Eagle itself, and searched through the paper for that date, and found this:

It reads: Toner - On the 19th of August, of cholera, James Thomas Toner, and his sister Julia, on the 20th inst. The funeral will take place from the residence of their father, Richard Toner, corner of Van Brunt and Tremont streets, South Brooklyn, this afternoon at 4 o'clock.

It appears there was a transcription error in the one I first posted, and that Julia's brother was named James, not John.

So it seems that - again, assuming that this Richard Toner family we've been tracking lately is the Richard Toner family of our Julia Toner - that the Julia in that family who was 20 years too old to be our Julia was not, actually, our Julia. It was not too uncommon to name a child after an older sibling who had died, and we can only assume that our Julia, born several years after her oldest sister died, was named after the earlier Julia. This James Thomas Toner, though, wasn't on the 1860 census. If he died in 1866, and hadn't yet been born in 1860, he had to have been 6 or younger. Julia was 9 in 1860, and so she would have died at about age 15. Imagine losing two of your children - the oldest and the youngest, it seems, a 15 year old girl and a 5 year old boy - within a day of each other.

If I could only find the Toners on the 1880 census, we could possibly confirm some of these assumptions. If the Toner family - clearly the same Toner family - were to show up on in 1880 with a daughter Julia, 8-12 years old, we'd know for sure that our Julia was named after her older sister.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New York, Death Newspaper Extracts

In searching this collection on, I have so far come across two death notices that appear to be of interest to us. Both are from the Brooklyn Eagle, though I haven't come across either in searching that site itself.

The first, from September 22, 1870, reads:

Sept. 21 Samuel J. Toner 18y s Richard & Mary Fremont-Van Brunt St.

which I believe translates to Samuel J. Toner, age 18, son of Richard and Mary Toner, died September 21, 1870. I'm not sure of the reference to Fremont-Van Brunt St. Does Van Brunt St. now, or did it ever, intersect with a street called Fremont? or Tremont? (It's a fuzzy image.)

It seems that Julia's brother Samuel died at age 18.

Possibly even more exciting is the next one, published August of 1874:

Aug 14 Mrs Judith Toner native Maynorth co Kildare Son Richard of Van Brunt St Bklyn

It seems that no, Julia was not named after her paternal grandmother, and that the older woman named Judith who lived with the Toner family in 1870 was, in fact, named Judith, and that she died in 1874, several years after that census was taken. Most important, however, is the fact that she was a native of Maynorth in Co. Kildare, Ireland! However - a quick google search reveals no such place. There is, though, a Maynooth in County Kildare. I'll have to do some more research to find out whether there ever was a Maynorth, and whether our Judith and Richard Toner came from Maynooth.

Now this looks like progress!

UPDATE: The actual death notices, from the Eagle itself,

Judith's reads:
TONER - August 14, 1874, Mrs. Judith Toner, a native of the town of Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. Her funeral will take place from the residence of her son, Richard Toner, Verona St, near Van Brunt, and 2 1/2 o'clock PM, on Sunday, August 16, 1874.

(Yes, the town in Ireland is Maynooth, not Maynorth, which is good, because Maynorth doesn't appear to exist.)

Samuel's reads:
TONER - Suddenly, Sept. 21st, Samuel J. Toner, in the 18th year of his age, son of Richard and Mary Toner. His friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend his funeral, on Friday, at 2 1/2 o'clocj, without further notice, from his father's residence, cor. of Tremont and Van Brunt sts.

This doesn't say what Samuel died of, only that it was sudden, and so not the result of a long illness. We also learn that the Toners appear to have moved around the corner between 1870 and 1874, and are now living on Verona St., near its intersection with Van Brunt, whereas before they were living at the corner of Van Brunt and Tremont - unless Verona was previously known as Tremont? I only posit that because I couldn't find Tremont on a current google maps.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

St. Paul's Parish, Brooklyn - Baptismal Records

After happening upon this record group while I was looking up the Mulvaneys, I started searching for other names in it. The Mulvaney dates, like I said, seemed a little bit off, but the Toner records are more or less spot on, as long as you allow for misspellings/mistranscriptions. Here's what I've found:

Julia Toner
b. July 19 1850
baptized July 28 1850
parents Richard Toner and Mary Curran
godparents John Burns and Mary Fannon

Mary Ann Toner
b. March 3 1852
baptized March 14 1852
parents Richard Toner and Mary Cullen
godparents Joseph McGrath and Marcella Glascow

Samuel Tonar
b. August 11 1853
baptized August 21 1853
parents Richard Tonar and Mary Cullum
godparents John Reily and Mary McCormick

I have not come across records for Elizabeth, Louisa, William, or Judith. It's possible that they moved between when the eldest three and the rest of the children were born, and so everyone else was baptized elsewhere.

"St. Paul’s church was founded in 1836 in Brooklyn, New York. It was known as the “Irish Parish” because it served as the focal point for Irish immigrants in Brooklyn during the Great Irish Famine of 1845-1851.
This database contains baptismal records from St. Paul’s parish from 1837-1900. The city of Brooklyn did not require the reporting of births until 1866. Baptisms were generally performed within days of children’s births. Because of this, baptismal records can often be used in place of birth records when birth records are either unavailable or non-existent.
Information listed in this database includes:
Name of individual baptized
Baptismal date
Parents’ names
Birth date
Names of godparents
At least one godparent was required for proper baptism
NL’ or ‘Not Listed’ indicates that the name or date is not written in the original record
‘XXX’ indicates that the name or date is completely illegible
CXX’ indicates that only the initial letter of a name is legible in the original record
Middle names were not transcribed except for ‘Mary Ann/Anne’ to distinguish from ‘Mary’
Surnames and given names were transcribed as they appear and were verified in the original registers.")

Thursday, November 13, 2008

1870 Census - Mulvany Family

This is an image of the 1870 census of the Mulvan(e)y family. James gives his age as 42 - he's only aged 8 years in the past 10, but with this age, his birthdate would be around 1828. Bridget has aged 10 years in the past 10 years, from 28 to 38, so her birthdate would remain the same, around 1832. James is listed as a Carpenter, still, and his oldest son Thomas is an "Ap. Carpenter" - he's apprenticed, I'd assume, to learn his father's trade. Thomas, John, and Patrick, at ages 15, 13, and 11, have each aged a neat 10 years in the past 10 years, so their birthdates remain around 1855, 1857, and 1859, respectively. They're joined by younger siblings Mary, 9, (b. 1861?) and James, 6, (b. 1864?). Patrick and Mary are at school. Thomas, as we said, is learning to be a carpenter, John has a question mark next to "occupation" (would 13 be too old for school and too young to work in 1870? I didn't think there was such a thing!), and James Jr. seems not to have started yet. Bridget is listed as a dressmaker in this census. Interestingly, James Sr. has an affirmative mark under "Male citizen of U.S. of 21 years of age and upward." We know James was not born a citizen, but he has become one since arriving in the U.S. Either he went through the entire naturalization process, but Bridget did not, or he could have petitioned for naturalization after service in the Army. According to Wikipedia, "An 1862 law allowed honorably discharged Army veterans of any war to petition for naturalization, without having filed a declaration of intent, after only one year of residence in the United States." It doesn't strike me as particularly likely that he served much time, if any, in the Army during the Civil War, however, due to the timing of the births of his youngest children. If he were away at war from 1861-1865, it is highly unlikely that he could have fathered children born in 1861 and 1864. It's not impossibly, however, to imagine that he may have been away for 2-3 years in between their births.
Betty and John have told me that these names seem to match up with the names they know of of Patrick's siblings, and that they're pretty sure that Patrick's brother John was a Brooklyn alderman.
It seems that the family has moved since the last census was taken. They no longer live in the same apartment building as the John Mulvany family, and are now in a single-family house. There is no record of the value of their estate this year, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were doing better than they had been in 1860, simply because the move from an apartment to single-family house tends to be a move up.
Another record of the family that I MAY have found is in the Baptismal Record of St. Paul's Church in Brooklyn. Mary Ann Mulvaney (spelled with the "e" now) was born April 7, 1852, and baptized at the church April 25, 1852. Parents are listed as James Mulvaney and Bridget Rothwell, and godparents are John Mulvaney and Brid Kavanah. This Mary Ann Mulvaney would be about 10 years older than the Mary Mulvaney listed on the census, and would be about 3 years older than Thomas, who appeared to be the oldest child. The parents' names are correct, as, it would seem that the godfather, is as well, although it's cutting it close for John Mulvaney to be in the US in April of 1852, when it would seem that his son Michael was born in Ireland in 1853 - late 1852, I'd think, at the earliest. Possibly, of course, Michael's age is a year or two off. It seems likely, but not definite, that this is another, older child, a girl who possibly died young, born to James and Bridget Mulvaney before their oldest son Thomas. Is anyone familiar with St. Paul's Church and whether the family were parishioners?

1860 Census - Mulvany Families

No, that's not a typo. The Mulvaneys were listed as Mulvanys in both the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

This 1860 census lists, numbered family 224, James Mulvany, his wife Bridget, and their 3 sons, Thomas, John, and Patrick. Patrick is listed as 1 year old, which gives him a birthdate somewhere in the vicinity of 1859-1860 - still pretty much in the range we have based on his ages given over the years and the age he was said to be when he died. James gives his age as 35, which means he was born around 1825, and Bridget says she is 28, meaning she was born around 1832. Both parents were born in Ireland, but all three boys were born in NY. James is a Carpenter by trade, and the value of his personal estate is $40. None of the boys - Thomas is, at 5, the oldest - have been to school yet.

What's possibly more interesting is that the family two above them, numbered 222, is the family of John and Ann Mulvany. More Mulvanys, at the same address? I can only imagine that John and James Mulvany were brothers. Possibly they were not - they were cousins, or it was pure coincidence. But brothers is not an unlikely possibility. John Mulvany was 30, and so, being 5 years younger than his probably-brother James, was born around 1830. He's a carpenter, too - might they have worked together? - with his personal estate valued at $50. His wife Ann is 26, and so was probably born around 1834. Both of them, and their oldest son, Michael, 7, were born in Ireland. Their next child, oldest girl Ann, 5, was born in NY, which means that this Mulvany family, at least, immigrated sometime between 1853 and 1855. I can't say whether the same is true for the family of Bridget and James, but given that their 5-year-old, too, was born in NY, I wouldn't be too surprised if the brothers had immigrated together, with their families (although, of course, we don't even know whether James and Bridget were married yet, or whether they married in the US or Ireland). They have another Patrick, this one 4 years old, as well as a two-year-old named Mary. Of all of these cousins, only Michael, 7, has attended school within the past year. I don't doubt, though, that his sister Mary and cousin Thomas would be joining him soon.

It looks like James named his second son after his brother, and the fact that both Mulvany boys named a son Patrick suggests to me that it may have been an important name in the family - or possibly they both had a devotion to St. Patrick, being Irishmen leaving home. But again, we've entered the realm of pure speculation. Does anyone know anything about Patrick's brothers and sisters, or where he grew up? There are no addresses listed in censuses from this early.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November 8, 1919

On this day in 1919, Julia Mulvaney and her children were mourning, having just buried Patrick the day before, after his death on November 8, 1919. Here's the long-ago promised transcription of his death certificate.

Department of Health of The City of New York
Bureau of Records
Register No. 21480
1. Place of Death: Borough of Brooklyn
Name of Institution: St. Peter's Hospital
2. Full Name: Patrick Mulvaney
3. Sex: Male
4. Color or Race: White
5. (Marital Status): Married
6. Date of Birth: [blank]
7. Age: 58 years
8. Occupation:
a. Trade, profession, or particular kind of work: Retired
b. General nature of industry, business or establishment in which employed: [blank]
9. Birthplace: U.S.
a. How long in U.S.: life
b. How long resident in City of New York: life
10. Name of Father: James Mulvaney
11. Birthplace of Father: Ireland
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Bridget Rothwell
13. Birthplace of Mother: Ireland
14. Special INFORMATION required in deaths in hospitals and institutions and in deaths of non-residents and recent residents:
Former or Usual Residence: 270 Van Brunt St.
Where was disease contracted, if not at place of death: [blank]
15. Date of Death: November 8, 1919
16. I hereby certify that the foregoing particulars (Nos. 1 to 15 inclusive) are correct as near as the same can be ascertained, and I further certify that deceased was admitted to this institution on October 31, 1919, that I last saw him alive on the 7 day of November, 1919, that he died on the 8 day of November 1919, about 3:45 o'clock AM, and that I am unable to state decisively the cause of death; the diagnosis during his last illness was Gangrene of foot due to obliterating End-arteritis (operated) Pulmonary Edema.
Duration: [blank]
Contributory: chronic Myocarditis
Duration: [blank]
Witness my hand this 8 day of Nov. 1919
Signature: Heictor Meudelsohn, MD
House: Surgeon
17. [No autopsy]
18. Place of Burial: Holy Cross Cemetery
Date of Burial: November 11th, 1919
19. Undertaker: Henry J. Flood
Address: 297 Van Brunt St.

(Next Page)
I hereby certify that I have been employed as undertaker by Julia Mulvaney the wife of deceased. This statement is made to obtain a permit for the burial or cremation of the remains of deceased Patrick Mulvaney.
Signature: Henry J. Flood

If Patrick was 58 when he died in 1919, he would have been born around 1861, which is approximately in line with the birthdate he's given in the past of 1863. His parents were Bridget Rothwell and James Mulvaney. (I bet you never knew we were Rothwells!) I believe I've come across their family on 1860 and 1870 census records, which I'll hopefully be able to post tomorrow. I had heard from Betty and John that Patrick had died of complications from diabetes, which could seem to be related to the gangrene of the foot that is listed as his cause of death. I had difficulty reading the doctor's handwriting, but I believe that what I transcribed above is pretty accurate, although his chronic disease seems to be heart-related more so than diabetic. If anyone has any idea what any of those medical terms mean, please do let me know.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dances Follow Games At the Eight Annual Picnic of the Brewers' Association

I found this in the July 30, 1893 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle. Assumptions are dangerous, but I think it's a strong possibility that the article refers to our Michael Mulcahy, Papa's father. We know he owned a bar or two, and so I think it likely that he'd be attending a picnic given by the Brewers' Association. It appears, too, that Michael Mulcahy was something of an athlete - he came in second in both the 100-yard dash and the running high jump. He was beaten, both times, by Michael O'Halloran, who also won just about everything else. At least Michael Mulcahy was keeping up! The only other person who came in first in anything was Edward O'Halloran; I bet he and his brother trained together. "Mike" Mulcahy was on the games committee, as well.

While I clearly didn't inherit Michael Mulcahy's track-and-field genes, I think I've got a couple sisters who did!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1900 Census - Mulvaneys at 270 Van Brunt St.

This census shows Julia and Patrick Mulvaney and their family living at 270 Van Brunt St. in 1900. Patrick says he was born in April of 1863, and is 36; Julia says she was born in May 1869 and is 31 (note that this is in keeping with the age she generally states throughout her life, but not with the age she would be if she were the Julia Toner from the 1860 census we've looked at). This time, they appear to have been married to each other for the same number of years, which is 7, giving them an approximate marriage date of around 1893. Julia has given birth to 4 children, all still living at this point. Both were born in New York, and all of their parents were from Ireland. Their home is rented, not owned, and both can read, write, and speak English. Patrick's occupation is "Machinist." Their four children are John, 6 (b. 01/1894), Grace, 4 (b. 08/1896), James, 3 (b. 08/1897), and William, 1 (b. 08/1899). John shows up on the census only this once; he presumably died young, before the 1910 census, in which he would have been 16. He has been attending school for 10 months, the only one of his siblings to do so so far. Grace's birthdate here is fairly consistent with what is later recorded. Interestingly, though, she continues to be listed as the second oldest on later censuses. Most ages that we see given for James make him 2-4 years older than he is said to be here, giving him a birthdate closer to John's and making him appear to be Grace's older brother, not her younger brother. Willie's birthdate is later listed as being as late as 1902, making him a solid 3 years younger than he should be here.

They have two boarders, who are not the nephews living with them in 1910. These, apparently two brothers, are James and John McGuirre (McGuine?), ages 34 and 31. Both are American-born, and James, too, is listed as a machinist. One wonders if he met Patrick at work, and was offered a place to live, or perhaps was an unemployed boarder for whom Patrick found a job? John is a chair-maker.

UPDATE: While my wonderings above about the McGuirre brothers still apply, they may have been something more than just boarders. I came home this weekend for my mom's birthday, and was looking through the family papers I have at home. Betty and John had sent me photocopies of Julia and Patrick's marriage certificate (9 April 1893 at the Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and of the certification of Auntie Mae's baptism, also at Visitation Church. Auntie Mae, it says, was born 18 January 1897, and baptized 4 February 1897. (Why she doesn't show up on this census is a mystery, but the birthdate matches what it would be if her reported age in 1910 was accurate.) Her sponsors (godparents) are listed as John V. (or D.?) Murphy and Rose McGuirre (McGuine? - different person, different handwriting, and still I can't tell whether that's a rr or an n). I'm wondering just who these godparents may be - possibly John Murphy is Julia's brother-in-law, father of the Murphy nephews who would later (1910) live with them? Or not. Murphy is an extremely common name, after all. And Rose McGuirre makes me wonder whether the McGuirre men listed as boarded in 1900 were really just boarders. Could they have been relatives or friends who ended up boarding with the family? Did the Mulvaneys just become close enough with the families of their boarders to ask one to be godmother to Auntie Mae? Does anyone know who John Murphy and Rose McGuirre were?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

1900 Census - Mulcahy Family at 85 Luqueer St.

This post will deviate from the format I've used in the past. Why? Because the 1900 census doesn't show the Mulcahy family at 85 Luqueer St. It doesn't show them anywhere, according to name searches at, and when I specifically looked through the 1900 census of Brooklyn (Ward 12, District 172) to find 85 Luqueer St. (Image 50 on Ancestry), I found that there were neither Mulcahys nor Madigans living there. I have no idea why. Could the census take just have missed them? It's entirely possible. Could this have something to do with the trip to Ireland we spoke about in the last post? If so, that was a much more significant trip (5 years, at least!) than I would have imagined, and I can't believe we wouldn't have known more about Papa's 5 years in Ireland. A possibility is that Matthew Madigan had just died, or moved out, and the Mulcahys had not yet moved into the house he used to live in - in that case, though, the Mulcahys should show up in whatever household they're living in at the time, unless it just so happened that 85 Luqueer St. was visited by the census taker the day before they moved in, and their old home visited the day after they left. Unlikely, but possible. Does anyone know whether Papa was born at 85 Luqueer St. or in a different house? That would help determine when they began living there, so we would know whether they'd disappeared, or just hadn't moved in yet.

Friday, November 7, 2008

1905 - Michael, Matthew, and Joseph returning from Ireland

This is the passenger list of the SS Celtic, which sailed from Queenstown, Ireland, on June 14, 1905, and arrived in New York on June 25, 1905. Near the bottom of the list are Michael, Matthew, and Joseph Mulcahy. They are listed as ages 33, 10, and 8, though Michael clearly could not have been 33 in 1905 if he was 47 in 1910. He appears to have lied about his age at least once. He also gives his occupation as "Grocer." Nonetheless, we can be sure that these are our Mulcahys as their address is listed as 85 Luqueer St., Brooklyn, NY. "Last residence," however, is given as "Pallasgreen," so it appears that they were in Ireland for a somewhat substantial length of time. They are in possession of $500, and Michael's passage was paid for by "self," while the boys' was paid for by their "father." None are crippled, have been institutionalized, are polygamists or anarchists, or have been bribed to work in the US, and all are in a good condition of health. All are listed as U.S. Citizens.

Betty and John told me that Papa said he went to Ireland as a child, and that it was just after his grandfather, Michael's father, died. I don't know when they went to Ireland, how long they were there, or why it appears that only Michael and the youngest 2 of his 4 oldest children went. It's possible, of course, that the whole family went, but returned at different times, but I haven't come across any evidence of the rest of the Mulcahys on passenger lists. Does anyone have any other information as to why or for how long or with whom Papa was in Ireland when he was 8?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1910 Census - Mulcahy Family at 85 Luqueer St.

This census shows the Mulcahy family living at 85 Luqueer St. The Mulcahys, living at 85 Luqueer St., are the last family on the first page, and Gerard and Vincent are the first two names on the next page. Michael is listed as 47, and Mary as 40, giving approximate birthdates of 1863 and 1870, respectively. They've been married 21 years, meaning they were married around 1889. Mary has given birth to 9 children, all of them still living. (I'd guess that a 0% mortality rate for your children was remarkable at the time.) Michael was born in Ireland and is said to have immigrated in 1885, and has been naturalized. His Occupation is "Liquor Saloon" in the industry "Liquors" where he is an "Employer." Mary, on the other hand, was born in New York, with both of her parents born in Ireland. Their home is owned, not rented, and owned free, not mortgaged. Their children are Margaret, 20 (b. 1890), James, 18 (b. 1892), Matthew, 17 (b. 1893), Joseph, 13 (b. 1897), Michael, 11 (b. 1899), Mary, 9 (b. 1901), John, 6 (b. 1904), Gerard, 3 (b. 1897), and Vincent, 1 2/12, (meaning he was 14 months old and born around February, 1909, I think). Of these, only James and Matthew are employed, James as a "bartender," industry "liquors" (it'd be reasonable to assume he was tending bar at Micahel's bar), and Matthew as an "Office boy," in an industry that I think reads "Architect." Papa, the next oldest, is still in school, though even Matthew is listed as having attended school within the last year.

As with all the other images, if you click on the census image, you should be able to see it larger.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Answering some questions, and raising some more

Given that William Mulvaney is missing from the 1910 census at Van Brunt St., I went looking for him. I found a William Mulvaney, about our William's age, living with Thomas Renehan, his wife Elizabeth, and his step-children (Elizabeth's children?) John and Catherine Loughlin. This William Mulvaney is 10 years old, he was born in NY, and so were his parents, his language is listed as "none," his job as "none," he cannot read or write, has not attended school within the last year, and in the last column, "whether deaf or dumb" there's something written - I think it says "dumb," but I'm not sure. There's no proof that this is our William Mulvaney, but I went to and discovered that William is living with the Renehan family just around the corner, on Conover St., from the Mulvaneys at 270 Van Brunt St. Given that William's inability to read and write at 18 in the 1920 census indicates that something isn't quite right, you have to ask - how many (mentally or physically) disabled William Mulvaneys could possibly live in a given 4 block area?

I asked Betty and John about the possibility, and they said "No one ever spoke about William, or Willie, as they called him, so he may very well have been 'slow.'" Further, it seems that the Loughlin family may have been Julia's sister's family.

Apparently Julia had at least two sisters, and possibly more:
  • Louise Toner Deegan, whose husband made buttons and who had no living children
  • Another sister who possibly married a Loughlin (According to this census, if we're talking about the same family, her name was Elizabeth.)
  • Another sister, who married a man named Murphy. They had 4 children:
  1. John Murphy
  2. Thomas Murphy
  3. Annie Murphy Dowd, who was married to Jack Dowd, a NYPD detective chief
  4. Another sister, who married a man named Keene and had a daughter Margaret who became an Urusline nun.
If this is accurate information, it seems to back up the idea that the family of Richard Toner, who we found in Brooklyn on the 1960 and 1970 censuses was, in fact, the family of our Julia Toner Mulvaney. Their daughters were Julia, Mary A., Elizabeth, Louisa, and Judith. Those, it would seem, were our Julia Toner Mulvaney, Elizabeth Toner Loughlin Renehan, and Louise Toner Deegan. Does anyone know what happened to Mary or Judith? The family also had two boys, Samuel and William. Elizabeth Loughlin Renehan was 55 in 1910, meaning she was born in 1855 - her age matches exactly with that of the Elizabeth Toner on the 1860 and 1870 censuses.
What then, of Julia? If she is the same Julia Toner listed in 1860, she was a full 19 years older than the ages she fairly consistently gave on later censuses, and that Thomas Mulvaney had recorded on her death certificate. She would have been in her late 50s when Nana was born, and in her 80s in the pictures posted below. And while it's possible for women to give birth late in life, the thought that a woman who didn't start having kids until she was over 40 could give birth to at least 9 kids (John, James, Auntie Mae, Grace, Thomas, Willie, Harold, Raymond, Nana) in about 15 years stretches the imagination. There were no fertility drugs at the turn of the century! Also unlikely, though, are most of the machinations that could explain how that Toner family ended up with a second daughter named Julia, 20 years younger than the first.
In other words, right now I'm hoping Julia's mother kept a detailed diary throughout her entire life, and that someone stumbles upon it in an attic, and soon!
However, we do see that by 1910, Julia appears to have sent one of her kids to live with one of her sisters, while having two of her other sister's kids living with her. I think it's important to do genealogy horizontally as well as vertically. While it'll be amazing to someday know Julia Mulvaney's great-great-grandmother's name, imagine the significance of her sisters - and brothers, of course, but I don't know anything about brothers - to her daily life, as they lived around the corner from each other, helped raise each others children, went to church together, sent their kids to school together, probably did their shopping and chores and had dinners together.

1910 Census - Mulvaneys at 270 Van Brunt St.

This is the 1910 census, showing the Mulvaneys living at 270 Van Brunt St. Julia and Patrick give their ages as 48 and 40, which means they have approximate birthdates of 1862 and 1870. Interestingly, in the column "number of years in present marriage" they give two different answers. How could Patrick have been married to Julia for 17 years, if Julia's only been married to Patrick for 16? That's one of my favorite things I've come across in my genealogical searching, because it seems to defy explanation. Whether they married 16 or 17 years before the 1910 census, though, it gives an approximate wedding date of 1893-4. Their kids are listed as James, Grace, Mary, Thos., Harold, and Vera. (Vera is presumably Veronica, don't you think?) William is, for some reason, not on this census, though he should be about 8 or 10 years old in 1910. Patrick's occupation is "Foreman" for a "machinist." James is a "clerk" in a "Railroad Office."

John Murphy, 21, and Thos. Murphy, 16, are listed as nephews. John Griffin told me that they were Julia's sister's sons who moved in with the Mulvaneys when their parents died. "There were also two older Murphy sisters. Annie married Jack Dowd, who was a NYC Policemen - we think he was possibly Chief of Detectives; they never had children. Annie's other sister was married to a man named KEENE, and they had a daughter, Margaret Keene, who moved in with Annie & her husband, when her parent's died while she was a young girl. Later she became an Ursuline Nun, teaching for years at Marymount. Later she was moved up to the Bronx. She died after 1990 from cancer and was in a convent in the Bronx." John Murphy is listed as a machinist at a "dry dock" or "day dock"? I'm having trouble reading the field. His brother Thomas is an office boy at a "[unintelligible] office."

Julia has given birth to 8 children, of whom 7 are still living. The 1900 census (soon to be posted) shows a boy named John, b. 1894. (However, that census also lists James as having been b. 1897, whereas later ages given put him closer to an 1894 birthdate.) John appears to have been a son who died young; he lived to at least 6, but appears not to have made it to 16. Betty and John also told me, though, of a son named Raymond who died as a toddler, but I have no information on him. One of those must be the 8th child who was born but no longer living in 1910.