Thursday, December 31, 2009

Death of Kathryn Murphy Keane, 16 May 1937

From the Tuesday 18 May 1937 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle, via Fulton History:Kathryn Murphy Keane was - I'm fairly certain - the daughter of Mary Ann Toner and Thomas Murphy. Her siblings were Annie Murphy Dowd (at whose house Kathryn died), Thomas Murphy (who appears to have died prior to 1937, since he's not listed as a survivor here), and John Murphy. She married William R. Keane, and they had 1 daughter, Margaret Keane, who, according to Betty and John, became an Ursuline nun and died of cancer in the 1990s.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shameless Plug

Not genealogy, but still family: My cousin, Gina, is an amazing musician. You can sample her band, Gina's Picture Show, at, or, I think, I can embed one of my favorites here through Lala (still figuring out exactly what this "Lala" is):

Don't they rock?!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nicola Lanzillotto's WWI Draft Registration Card

Sometimes, technological errors are a blessing in disguise. kept offering me Grandpa Lanzillotto's WWI Draft Registration Card as a "hint." However, the image wasn't correctly linked, and clicking the hint always brought me to some other guy instead. I'd seen the correct image before, but had failed to save it, and was always too daunted by the search process to go looking for it. But this evening, I started paging through the series to look for it. I found it, and in the process, I happened upon this draft registration card, too:

At first, it struck my interest for a couple reasons: he's an iceman named Lanzillotta! his name is Nicola! (Grandma has a brother Nick . . . )

Then I looked closer. Oh yeah, he also lives in the same house as Grandpa Lanz, who was presumably his brother. When I asked my mom, she said she remembered Grandpa Lanzillotto having a brother named Nicola, but couldn't volunteer the name until I mentioned it. I'm going to have to talk to Grandma to confirm that.

Like his brother Carmine, Nicola's address was 281 E 155th St., in the Bronx. He was born 9 May 1884, and was 34 in 1918, when he registered with the draft. He was white, Italian-born, alien, of medium height and build, and with brown hair and brown eyes. He was an iceman at 890 Morris Ave, which appears to be about a 20-minute walk from his home. He's married to Maria Lanzillotto.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grandpa Lanzillotto WWI Draft Registration Card

Here's the image of Grandpa Lanzillotto's WWI draft registration card. He registered in Precinct 63 of The Bronx on 5 June 1917. His name is given as Carmine Lanzillotta. He was 23, and his birthday was 16 July 1894. You can see that he ended up skipping the first line, and cramming his name and address onto to the second line. His address was 281 E. 155th St. He was not yet a citizen, and had been born in Bitetto, Bari, Italy. He owned his own business (which was in ice, though he doesn't say so here), though I'm having a difficult time reading the address of the business.

He listed his parents as dependents, as he was single at the time. He was Caucasian, of medium build and complexion, with brown eyes, black hair, and no identifying marks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1911 Census of the Mulcahy and O'Brien Families

Michael Mulcahy, my great-great-grandfather, was from Pallas Grean, Limerick, Ireland. He immigrated some time before 1892, by which point he was already married to Mary Ann Madigan and had two children. His parents were James Mulcahy and Margaret Ryan, and they remained in Ireland. His siblings - as far as I know - were brothers Patrick, John, and James, and sisters Catherine, Johanna, and Ellen.

This 1911 Irish Census is of the O'Brien family; that is, Ellen's family. Living with William O'Brien, 40, and his wife Ellen O'Brien, 42, are Ellen's family: Margaret Mulcahy, 84; Johanna Mulcahy, 51; and Thomas Mulcahy, 17. I don't know who Thomas is. Probably a nephew or a cousin?

According to these dates, William O'Brien was born in 1871; Ellen Mulcahy O'Brien was born in 1869; Ellen's mother Margaret Ryan Mulcahy was born in 1827; Johanna Mulcahy was born in 1860; "visitor" Thomas Mulcahy was born in 1894.

This is the Mulcahy family gravestone in Kilduff, Pallas Grean, Limerick. It marks the burial of James Mulcahy in 1896 (funny, I'll have to ask Betty and John about that; I've been told that when Papa and his father Michael went to Ireland, it was right after the death of Michael's father - but that was in 1905, a solid 9 years after James Mulcahy died). Also listed on the headstone are Ellen Mulcahy O'Brien, d. 1923, aged 54; William O'Brien, d. 1946, aged 77; Johanna Mulcahy, d. 1932, aged 72; and Margaret Ryan Mulcahy, whose death date isn't listed. The stone also gives the death dates of Margaret O'Brien McMahon (18 April 1988), Ellen and William's daughter, and her husband Michael McMahon (7 May 1999). In the 1911 Census, Margaret isn't listed, and Ellen hasn't given birth to any children. That means that she couldn't have been older than 77 when she died in 1988.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Genea-Santa, I'm broke

Dear Genea-Santa,

I'm broke. I'd appreciate some cash to use for genealogy. If a small influx of cash from you, earmarked for genealogy purposes, were to find its way to me this Christmas, I suppose I'd have to use it for genealogy. Not do responsible things like buying textbooks, work clothes, utilities, or that neti pot I've wanted. ("Dear Sinus Santa" is a different letter altogether)

I mean, there are lots of less mercenary things I could ask you for, but they're all things I could probably find myself if I had the resources. I'm not far enough along in my research yet to have hit brick walls. If I were, this letter wouldn't sound quite so crass. Even while I content myself with what's available online, I know there's so much more out there! Things I need! I even know exactly where to find some of them! Things like

-Matthew Madigan's death certificate (d. 11 September 1892, but not recorded in the NYC Death Index; I'm afraid to request and pay for the certificate if it might not be there)
-Honor/Mary Nora Gillen and Martin Gillen's death certificates (indexed on FamilySearch, but £10 is like $15!)
-Nana's (Veronica Mulvaney Mulcahy's) birth certificate. Or a baptismal certificate. Something. We have no idea how old she was!
-A birth certificate for Grandma Gatto. (That's less a money issue. I'm not sure whether I should be looking in Italy, or Brazil!)

There's also the small question of genealogy software, which I don't have. Makes me feel like a rank amateur. Plus it would be helpful for, you know, keeping track of genealogical records.

Of course, you could always get me the software, the records, and the money. Maybe I'd buy myself a nice top or something.

Merry Christmas!


(Published as part of the Carnival of Genealogy #86)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Fruitcake

Alright, with all finals in and while firmly committed to NOT looking at my grades 'cause I just don't wanna know, I think I'll (quite belatedly) start contributing to the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar.

First up, Dec. 14: Fruitcake

What do I know about fruitcake? Not much I'd never even seen a fruitcake, much less tasted one, until I was in college. In college I worked at a student-run, on-campus grocery store (Vital Vittles), and my junior year, I believe, we sold fruitcake. Or, rather, we tried to. Despite the display case right next to the register, they just wouldn't sell. Apparently fruitcakes are not a hot commodity among the 18-22 year old "cramming for finals" set. Any time I noticed that any at all had sold I was surprised, and the hopes we'd once cherished of actually selling them all diminished as Christmas break grew nearer.

My roommate and I bought one, partly as a joke, to serve at our Christmas party. It didn't sell there, either. It seems our friends prefer cheese and crackers with their booze. I tasted a piece, but it seems I prefer cheese and crackers, too.

I have no family connection to fruitcake, but apparently a friend of mine does. Two years later, I came home to find that a different roommate, in a different apartment, had made a fruitcake and was apologizing for having used some of my ingredients or something (I didn't mind). But really, Em, a fruitcake? Why? Her family had a recipe, and their fruitcake was a much-loved holiday tradition. There was something about sitting in beer for a month, or being soaked in beer and then sitting for a month. . . I dunno. She was making it then, at our house, because it had to sit for quite some time before being served, and she'd only be back at her parents' house a few days before Christmas. I tried a piece. It wasn't chocolate, so it's not exactly my preferred holiday (or any time) dessert, but it was quite good. I do think I could be enticed to eat fruitcake if it were that kind of fruitcake, rather than the plastic-wrapped bricks of ickiness that were my first experience therewith.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's going on with the Murphys?

I've started looking into the Murphy family recently. I'd always more or less avoided them, since I had scant information on their names and relationships and, well, because their name was Murphy. I'm don't have those mad skillz yet. But earlier this week (yes, when I still had finals to write - don't judge!), I thought I'd do some searching.

Two Murphy boys - John and Thomas - lived with the Mulvaneys in 1905 and 1910, listed as their nephews. Betty and John told me that they were the children of one of Julia's sisters, but they didn't know which sister.

Some time ago, I found a Brooklyn Eagle notice of the "Verona Coterie," which a Mary Toner and a Thomas Murphy attended together in 1877:


Last evening the Verona Coterie held another
of their select reunions at the residence of
their President, Mr. William Gregg, corner of Van
Brunt and Verona streets. It was in every respect
an enjoyable affair, and, reflected 'great
credit upon the management. Among those present,
were Mr. John Curran, Mr. Thomas Sheridan
Mr. Michael Coffey, Mr. Thomas Converry and Miss
Mary Hayes, Mr. James Bond and .Miss Mary Idston,
Mr. James Ennls and Miss Bella Sweeney, Mr.
John McAuliffe and Miss Elizabeth Curran, Mr.
Thomas Murphy and Miss Mary Toner, Mr. Frank
Woods and Miss Jenny Briordy, Mr. James Downey
and wife. Captain Harris and Wife and Mr. James
Roche and lady. The officers of the Association
are; President, Mr. William Gregg; Vice President,
Mr. John Devoy; Recording Secretary, Mr.. James
Bona.; Treasurer, Mr. Thomas Converry.

Combined with the fact that I already knew the destinies of all of Julia's other sisters (except for the perhaps apocryphal Judith), I became increasingly convinced of the possibility that Thomas and John's mother was Julia's sister Mary Ann and that their father was Thomas Murphy.

Good, uncommon, easy to find names, those. Mary and Thomas Murphy! Argh.

But I thought I'd try. First I looked for a Mary (Ann) and Thomas Murphy in the 1892 NYS Census. I'd looked briefly in 1900 before, with no luck, but I hadn't tried systematically searching. In 1892, the most promising result was the one I posted last week. The family was Thomas and Mary A. Murphy, and their children Kate, Any, and John.

I took that information and looked for the family again in the 1900 Census. Looking for Mary (Ann) and Thomas Murphy had no results, until I started looking for their kids, putting in only one of their parents names at a time. I finally got a hit when looking for Thomas Murphy, with mother Mary. It seemed Thomas Murphy Sr. had died in the previous 8 years.

The family is Mary, a widow, aged 45, born in March of 1855 (Mary Ann Toner was actually born 3 March 1852); Catherine, 19, born in April of 1881; Annie, 13, born in September 1887; John, 11, born in April 1889; and, this time, Thomas, 6, born in March of 1894. Mary has given birth to either 4 or 5 other children who are no longer living; the column "mother of how many children" has either an 8 or a 9 in it. No one in the family appears to be employed. This is incorrect, as we'll soon see. The family lives at 306 Van Brunt St.

Yes, that's right. Just a block from the Mulvaneys at 270 Van Brunt! (I'm having a difficult time embedding a Google map, but if you try
this link, you'll see just how close the two really are.)

After finding the address of the Mulvaneys, I searched through the Brooklyn Eagle at the Fulton History website. I was hoping to find a death notice for Thomas, and maybe one for Mary as well, but I found something else entirely. Well, not quite something else entirely. I still found death notices, but they belonged to other people! Thomas Murphy at 306 Van Brunt Street was an undertaker! (Some of those news items about deaths and funerals were quite interesting. I'd like to feature some of them here, soon, but the specifics of those cases aren't particularly relevant to finding out about the Murphys.)

What I did next was to search the NYTimes archive for "306 Van Brunt" and I found Thomas Murphy, in the 1 June 1898 death notices. His death had been reported 31 May (that's my birthday!) and he'd died 28 May.

Then I Googled for "306 Van Brunt" and "undertaker," hoping I'd find some information about the business or about Thomas Murphy. After all, part of the reason I'd thought it credible that these Murphys were our Murphys was that in the original 1892 NYS Census, Thomas Murphy had been listed as a coachman, and Mary Ann's brother William had been a "stableman" when he died and had, some years earlier, been involved in an accident while driving a coach that was "the property of Mr. Murphy of South Brooklyn." I was hoping to find a reference to the undertaker "who used to be a coachman" or some such, though I knew it was unlikely.

What I found was not at all what I'd expected. The 1899 edition of Trow's Business Directory for Brooklyn lists an undertaker at 306 Van Brunt Street, sure, but it's not Thomas. Thomas has been dead for a year. Mary is the undertaker.

How cool is that? I did a little googling, and found that, while female undertakers weren't common in the 19th century, it was one of few of the professions that didn't actively exclude women.

And wait a sec. . .

Hadn't I already written off the possibility of female undertakers somewhere?

On William Toner's death certificate, my first impulse had been that the undertaker listed as "Mrs. Thomas Murphy," but I had written that off as being improbable. It appears I was wrong.

And when I went back to check, I realized that the "Mrs. Thomas Murphy" who was the undertaker when he died gave an address of 306 Van Brunt Street! In addition, I found reference to the idea that, at least early on, female undertakers were only allowed to handle the bodies of women and children. I don't know whether that was still applicable around the turn of the century, but the fact is that William Toner wasn't a woman or a child. He was a grown man. How could Mrs. Thomas Murphy be in charge of the body . . . unless they were related? I've been assuming all along that they were, but I think this is further evidence.

Sometime between this 1900 US Census and the 1905 NYS Census, the Murphy boys went to live with their Aunt Julia and Uncle Patrick Mulvaney. I don't know whether Mary died - I haven't found any evidence that she did, but I also haven't looked very hard. Mary Murphys are a dime a dozen, and several dozen of them died between 1900 and 1905, and many more dozen of them appeared in the Eagle in that time period. It's possible, of course, that the Murphys went to live with the Mulvaneys for some reason other than the death of their mother.

I still have to find out what happened to Mary Ann, and hopefully what happened to the Murphy children as they grew up. But this is a pretty good start, with my only bone of contention being the pesky change from coachman to undertaker during the mid-1890s.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent Calendar

One of these years, when I don't have finals during Advent, and particularly when I don't have the evil Apple Corporation conspiring to make me fail my classes due to technological problems of a magnitude that never affected me when I was using a PC, no matter what people tell you about which has fewer problems and is more user-friendly. . .one of these days, I'll participate in the Geneabloggers Advent Calendar posting series.

Until then, go check out what other bloggers (presumably those without term papers) have to say about their Christmas memories at Geneabloggers!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Family of Mary Ann and Thomas Murphy in the 1892 NYS Census

In the second column of this 1892 NYS Census, you'll find a Murphy family that I suspect -might- be the family of Mary Ann Toner, sister of Julia Toner Mulvaney and potentially the mother of John and Thomas Murphy, who were partially raised by the Mulvaneys. The head of the family is listed as Thomas Murphy, 37, Irish-born but a US citizen, and a coachman. If you recall, a young Mary Ann Toner attended a party with a Thomas Murphy in 1877. His wife, Mary A(nn), is 34, and US-born. According to this she was born around 1858; Mary Ann Toner was born around 1852. Their children are Kate, age 10; Any, age 5; and John, age 3.

John is exactly the right age for the John Murphy who was raised by the Mulvaneys.

According to Betty and John, the Murphy brothers had two older sisters, one of them named Annie. I'm hoping that Any is Annie and not Amy, or else this is probably the wrong family. Amy, while it sounds to my ear like a very modern name, was actually the 120th most popular name in America in 1887, the year this "Any" would have been born. (The supposed modernity of Amy comes from its extreme popularity in the 1970s, when it was the #2 most popular name for 4 years running.) Annie, of course, was at #12 in 1887, and Ann and Anne were also very popular, at 124 and 121, respectively - the real popularity of the name is disguised by the fact that the two variant spellings were almost equally popular, making the name that sounds like "Ann" twice as popular as the rankings would suggest. Though the ranking of Amy is similar to those of both Ann and Anne, there were 251 babies named Amy in 1887, and 488 named either Ann or Anne, which is more in line with the numbers one would expect of a name ranked in the 70s in that year. Add in Anna at #2 (4,227 births) and Annie at #12 (1,844 births) means Ann- names were much more popular than Amy, and more likely to be encountered when looking at this sort of demographic data.* But "Any" could still be Amy, and, as much as I want this to be the right family, I do think that "Any" is more likely to be a "typo" for Amy than for Annie.

So on the name count, I'm not committed. Is "Any" Murphy our Annie Murphy Dowd? Dunno.

Something I do find particularly interesting, and potentially indicative of this being the right family, is Thomas Murphy's occupation. He's listed as being a coachman. As you'll recall, William Toner's death certificate listed him as a stableman, and in 1889, a news item referred to a William Toner driving a coach that was "the property of Mr. Murphy, of South Brooklyn." More than anything, the occupation - and the right birthdate for John - makes me think that these are our Murphys, that Mary A. is Mary Ann Toner Murphy, and that William Toner was working for his brother-in-law when he was involved in that accident.

*Source for name data: The Social Security Administration:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Elizabeth Toner m. Thomas Loughlin

Some time ago, I met - via Ancestry - my third cousin once-removed, Elaine, who's related through the Toner side of the family. She sent me this marriage certificate of Elizabeth Toner and Thomas Loughlin. (Elizabeth is Julia Toner Mulvaney's older sister.) They were married 23 August, 1874 at St. Stephen's Church, Brooklyn. Their witnesses were James B. McCaulay and Mary Lynam, and the ceremony was performed by the Rev. EJ O'Reilly. This particular certificate was filled out in October, 1892.

Interestingly, the wedding took place not 10 days after the death of Elizabeth's paternal grandmother, Judith/Julia Toner, who died 14 August 1874.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pop

Today marks the birthday of my grandfather, William James O'Hara - the second since he died, or or what would have been his 79th. He was born 2 December 1930, at St. Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn, to John O'Hara and Mary Quinn O'Hara. They lived at 505 6th St. at the time. He was the third of their four sons.

St. Mary's Hospital was in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn until it closed in 2005, after 123 years in operation.

Pop was baptized at St. Saviour's Church in Brooklyn, on 21 December 1930, when he was 19 days old. His sponsors were Joseph O'Hara - his father's youngest brother - and Elizabeth Quinn, who was presumably related to his mother, though I'm unsure of who she was. Molly's sisters were Agnes and Helen, and her brothers married women named Alice and Bobbie.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gillen family, 1911 Census

This is the 1911 Irish Census return of the Gillen family in Tawnykinaffe, Pontoon, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The head of household is Martin Gillen, 83 (b. c. 1828) and his wife, Honor Gillen, 75 (b. c. 1836). I think that Honor Gillen is Mary Nora Grimes, but no evidence on that one, yet. I'll have to look into whether Honor and Nora were related names, but it seems highly likely, don't you think? Both were born in Co. Mayo, and both are bilingual, speaking Irish and English. Martin is a retired farmer. Honor has given birth to 9 children, all still living. They've been married 54 years, meaning they were married around 1857.

Also on the returns are their son, Michael Gillen, 41, a farmer - he's probably tending the family farm from which Martin had retired; his wife, Elisa., 40, who's given birth to 8 children, all still living. They've been married 16 years. They were born, then, in 1870 and 1871, respectively, and were married around 1895. (Elisa is listed as Martin Gillen's granddaughter, but she's almost certainly actually his daughter-in-law.)

Listed as Martin's grandchildren, and so probably Michael and Elisa's children, are Mary Anne, 13 (b. 1898); Martin, 12 (b. 1899); Celia, 9 (b. 1902); Mark, 8 (b. 1903); Honor, 7 (b. 1904); Bridget, 6 (b. 1905); Ellen, 3 (b. 1908); Michael, 1 (b. 1910). Everyone from Honor up to Mary Anne are "scholars," while Bridget, Ellen, and Michael are too young to be at school.

The Mary Anne, Celia, Bridget, and Honor are certainly the Gillen girls - Mary, Celia, Bridgie, and Nora - who were being discussed on the Gillen family message board thread I've mentioned, some of whom lived with the Quinns in 1920, and Michael and Bridgie are among the "chief mourners" from Martin Gillen's death notice. That Ellen has never come up as being listed among the sisters of Mary, Celia, Bridgie, and Nora leads me to suspect she may not have lived to adulthood.

At least, that was my original reading of the return. After typing of this post, though, I looked once more at the image, and saw something I hadn't seen before. Take a close look at Line 10, Bridget's line. Is it me, or does her last name, difficult to read though it may be, seem to resemble "Grimes" more closely than "Gillen"? Grimes would have been her grandmother's maiden name, and I'm hard-pressed to figure out how it could also be her last name, if I'm reading the word correctly. Take a look and tell me what you think!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A very grateful post. . .

I'm honored to be the recipient of a Kreativ Blogger award, and grateful to Travis LeMaster of TJLGenes: Preserving Our Family History for nominating me! To earn my prize, I have to reveal 7 things you may not know about me:

1. I'm getting my Master's in Museum Studies, with a concentration in Collections Management. I should be finished this summer.

2. Both of my roommates have the same name. That name is Maggie.

3. As a general rule, I schedule all my posts to post at 6 am. I used to post them as I wrote them, and only scheduled posts when I had a lot to write at one time, and suspected I would have not so much to write at another time. Then I started to worry that people would judge me and/or worry about me when timestamps showed I was blogging at 3 am on a work night, so I figured I needed a system to disguise my irresponsibility.

4. I'm a judoka. That is, I do Judo. I'm not very good, I'm out of shape, and I haven't practiced much this semester, but I go to class when I can.

5. For a long time, I opposed iPods on moral and philosophical grounds (well, more or less). I still do, but now I'm a hypocrite, because I have one.

6. I'm a sucker for a good pun.

7. I can wiggle my ears.

And now for the 7 bloggers upon whom I bestow the Kreativ Blogger award, all either genealogy bloggers or somehow connected to MY genealogy:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Death of Mr. Martin Gillen, Tawnykinaffe, Castlebar"

"With regret we record the death of above esteemed gentleman, which took place at his residence, Tawnykinaffe, on 30th January, at the ripe old age of 104 years. Deceased, notwithstanding his great age, was hale and hearty up to the time of his death, and was the possessor of a wonderful memory. It was a treat to listen to him recite legends which he heard from his father of the Irish rebellion of 1798, at which his father and two or three of his uncles joined the French forces to strike a blow for Irish freedom. He would also thrill you with tales of black ’47 (the year of the famine), when he was then a young man of 22. Hundreds of the people around his native place, and whom he knew well, died from starvation by the roadside, and in several cases were buried where they fell, there not being even a shroud or coffin to cover them. This was a time when disease and starvation were rampant in our country. But, as a lover of his native land, and its ancient language, he would tell of Castlebar a hundred years ago, which it was then a stronghold of the British and their sympathizers, and the change that has been wrought to-day, when there is not a vestige of the foreigner left. He was an ardent Catholic and died fortified by the consolations of our holy religion. His funeral took place to Turlough burial ground on Friday last, and his remains were laid to rest beside that of his late brother Thomas Gillen, Thomas Street, Castlebar, who also attained the great age of 99 years, and beneath the shadows of the ancient round tower. The chief mourners were: Michael Gillen (son); Mrs. O’Donnell (daughter); Mrs. Gillen (daughter-in-law); Michael Gillen, Bridgie Gillen, Terrence O’Donnell (grand-children); Mrs. F. Chambers, Castlebar; Mrs. J. Hopkins, Crimlin; and Mrs. T. Staunton, Tawnykinaffe (nieces). The funeral was large and very representative, Rev. Fr. Neary, P.P., Parke, officiating at the graveside."

The above is the text of a death notice that Uncle Jack sent me last week, which announces the death of Martin Gillen, Mary Gillen Quinn's father. It's not dated, but the date can be determined from the fact that Martin is said to have been 22 during the famine of '47. That means he would have been born in or around 1825, and been 104 around 1929. We can probably assume that even if the birth date is not accurate, the death date is, as the people writing the notice could surely add as well as you and I can. (Probably better, their brains not being atrophied by calculators.)

Now, how much amazing information does this include? Lots! According to the article, at least, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Martin's father, whatever his name might have been, fought against the British during the Irish Rebellion of 1798! (That's Wolfe Tone's rebellion! Encountering these names again, years after my most recent Irish history class, is thrilling!) In all likelihood, he and his brothers fought at the Battle of Castlebar - one of the battles in which the Franco-Irish side was successful!

And a - albeit brief - personal, familial account of the Famine!

And then there are the names! Oh, the names! The usefulness of the names is diminished by the fact that only the "chief mourners" are listed, rather than all of his children and grandchildren, and thus connections to those who had immigrated to America are harder to draw. However, a very quick google brought up immensely helpful message board posts from several other people researching the Gillans (note different spelling) of Tawnykinaffe, Pontoon, Castlebar, and with the addition of this obituary, we were able to determine that we're talking about the same Gillen/Gillan family. I was familiar with Mary and Mark, who had immigrated to the US, and one of these posters was descended from Michael, listed a chief mourner, and could list others among the siblings, as well. "Mrs. O'Donnell," though we have yet to determine her first name, is very likely the mother of the Hugh O'Donnell who lived with the Quinns in 1910 and the Nora O'Donnell Loftus who was living at their address in 1916. Terrence was probably their brother. "Chief Mourner" Bridgie Gillen, according to these message board posters, had sisters Mary, Celia, and Nora - yes, that's right, the Celia and Mary who lived with the Quinns in 1920! Apparently, transatlantic distances did little to diminish the strong family ties of the Gillens!

The list of names I was given for the children of Martin Gillen include:
(all moved to America)

(stayed in Ireland)


My friendly new second cousin twice removed, though, doesn't think Ellen is "Mrs. O'Donnell," so we're still trying to figure out another sister. (I have a suspicion she might be a Bridget, but neither evidence nor hearsay has born that out yet.)

Like I said, I've been up to my eyeballs in Gillens lately! More to come!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1920 Census - Quinn Family and the Gillens

I believe the technical, genealogical term is "on a freakin' roll." I've had Quinns - and Gillens - coming out the ears. Just you wait, honey, just you wait. The obit I'm going to post tomorrow is the one of the coolest things I've ever seen. But for now, let's go with the prosaic - but oh-so-exciting, since I've finally found it - 1920 US census of the Quinn family.

They're living at 482 Tompkins Ave. More on that soon. The name is spelled "Quin," and - compounding my difficulty searching for it - was transcribed as something along the lines of "Ovia," which doesn't even begin to resemble "Quinn" in sound. Terrence, who I usually search for, as his name is less common than the rest, was transcribed as "Terrena." But to leave that aside - Mary is the head of household. (Hugh died about 6 years ago.) Her age could say either 50 or 60, but she should be about 52, so I'm going to assume the former was intended. She says she immigrated in 1888 and and was naturalized in 1894. All of her children are still living at home:
Agnes (not Nora!) is listed as 34 years old, when she should only be 24. She's a clerk in an office.
Mary (Grandma Molly) is 22, and appears to be a "Telephone Operator" for an industry that, best I can, is "Teleflodo." That's probably incorrect. Just a guess.
Helen is 20 years old, and her occupation is really hard to make out, but my best guess is "Stenographer Typist" at an office.
Martin is 18, and his occupation appears to read not much more than "Jewelry" in a "Jewel Store."
Terrence, at 15, has no job.

And then . . .

the last member of the household is Mary Gillen, listed as Mary (Gillen) Quinn's niece. She's 22, so she's about Grandma Molly's age, and was probably born around 1898. Her immigration date is listed as "Un," presumably for "Unknown," though, as her parents didn't immigrate with her, she must have come over as a (relative) adult, and should really remember the date, give or take. She's an "Alien," not a naturalized citizen. She and her parents are Irish-born and English-speaking, and she's a clerk in an office.

Want to see something else cool?

Here's the immigration record of 1 Celia Gillen, dated 17 July 1920.

Celia is 18, so she was born around 1902. She's a "Domestic" - that is, a servant. She's Irish, and her last permanent residence was in Castlebar. Her nearest relative in Ireland is her father, Michael Gillen, of Tawnykinaffe, Castlebar. (That's in County Mayo.) She's headed for Brooklyn, NY. Now check out the next page. What relative is she going to join? Her sister, Miss Mary A. Gillen, of. . .482 Tompkins Av., Brooklyn! In other words, she's going to join her sister Mary Gillen, and her aunt, Mary Gillen Quinn, and all her cousins, the Quinns!

She plans on staying 8 years. She has a fair complexion and hair, and blue eyes, and was born in Castlebar.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This isn't about genealogy

New template. What do you think? I always get bugged by how much space the sidebars waste on so many blog templates. But it'd be nice if there was a historically-themed template, and I'm sure they exist; I just don't know how to use anything that isn't one of Blogger's default options.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Well, it's about time! Quinns in the 1930 Census

I have long struggled with finding census records for the Quinn family for any years after 1910. I know they're still in Brooklyn - I have photographs, death records, and Uncle Jack and Uncle Ted to tell me that. But I could simply never find their census records on Yesterday, after reading a post at Genea-Musings, I decided to try a "new" way of searching (i.e. to use Ancestry's old, rather than their new, search function). I'm frustrated with myself that I never bothered to do this before, because up popped the Quinn family's 1930 census return after almost no work at all on my part.

Their names are misspelled and mistranscribed, but they're there! (All except Molly, who, we know, is already married to Grandpa JJ and has 2 kids.)

The family is almost all the way at the bottom of the page, living at 64 Herkimer St. Mary (Gillen) Quinn is the head of household, and she gives her age as 62, which would give her a birth date of around 1868, fairly consistent with what she's always said. She's widowed, was first married at 25, is Irish-born, and is a naturalized citizen who immigrated in 1887. Agnes, shockingly, is called Agnes, not Nora, the way she usually was in the past. (See here and here.) She's 35, and a clerk, in "leather." Helen is listed under her married name (which was Kunze, though you'd be hard-pressed to get that from the handwriting here), as she and her husband Harry are both living with the family. She's 29 and was first married at 23. Harry Kunze is the same age - and, consequently, was married at the same age. Harry is American-born, as were his parents, and he's a shoe salesman. Martin Quinn (listed here as "Morton") is 28 and single. He's a jeweler. Terrence is 25 and single. His job involves something with telephones, but I can't quite make it out. It looks like it could say "wirerer." (Click to enlarge the census image and tell me what you think yourself.)

None of the men are veterans. They rent their house for $60.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grandpa Lanzillotto Immigrates (for the first time) in 1909

These images show Grandpa Lanzillotto - Charles Lanzillotto - when he first immigrated to NY. (We've already seen his later trip from Italy to America, when he, in 1920, returned to his hometown to get married, and then brought his wife Anna to the US.) This manifest is from 23 February 1909. (The trip had begun 9 February 1909.)

On his 1919 passport application, Grandpa Lanz had given his immigration date as 20 February 1908. I might not have even really noticed the difference of a year, had the earlier immigration shown up when I searched the indexes for them. However, for whatever reason, it did not show up in the indexes, and, of course, neither did it show up when I tried to search the ships that came in on the 20th of February, 1908.

On the first page, you see Grandpa Lanzillotto listed between the two crossed out lines. (This makes it easy to follow which line refers to him!) His name looks like it's given as Carmine Lanzillotta. His age I can't decipher at all, but he should be in the neighborhood of 15. (His birthday is 16 July 1894.) He's single, a laborer, literate, and is of the race "Southern Italian." His last permanent residence was Bitetto, Bari. His closest relative in Italy is his father, Giuseppe, from Bitetto. He's heading to NY, NY [the town so nice they named it twice.]

As you follow the record across to the next page, you see that our guidelines have disappeared, but Carmine Lanzillotta is still on line 4. He has a ticket to his final destination which he paid for himself. He has only $5 to his name, and has never been to America before. I had no idea who he was listing as his closest relative in the US until Grandma helped me figure it out. He appears to have listed his mother, "Bellone Sarano," as his US contact. As far as we know, his mother (Apollonia Serrano) was never in America, and the address here is pretty illegible. Whether he misunderstood the question or whether he lied about who was meeting him, I don't know. He's not a polygamist, nor an anarchist, nor a cripple, and he's in good mental and physical health. His height is difficult to read, but it seems like he's only 4' tall. I don't think Grandpa Lanz was tall, but I was not under the impression that he was that short. His hair is black, and his eyes are some color that begins with a "b."He has no unique identifying marks, and was born in Bitetto, Bari.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Nan's Engagement Ring

My grandparents, Marilyn Mulcahy and Bill O'Hara, were married 7 July 1956 at the church of St. Vincent Ferrer. Their witnesses were my grandfather's brother Ted and my grandmother's childhood best friend, Nancy Budd.

Several months before the wedding, Mrs. J. O'Hara - that's my great-grandmother, Mary Quinn O'Hara - had a diamond ring appraised for insurance purposes. It's described as follows:

ladies diamond solitaire ring, platinum
1 diamond weighing approx. .65 carat
modern cut, white, imperfect
2 tapered baguette diamonds weighing approx. .20 carat

It was worth $400.00.

I don't know anything about this ring, nor do I know where it is now, though I'd imagine one of my aunts does. I wonder why it appears to have been not my grandfather but his mother who had the ring appraised. Is that something mothers did for their soon-to-be-engaged sons? Maybe she was just the person in the family who already had an account at the jeweler? Or - since it's not a receipt for the purchase of ring - could it have been a ring that was already in the family, and she was having it appraised before giving it to Pop to give to Nan?

Looks like I'll have to start asking around about this family treasure!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

(Not even close to) Wordless Wednesdays: Molly and Agnes

I love love love this picture of my great-grandmother, Mary (Molly) Quinn O'Hara, and her sister, Agnes Quinn Maines. My copies are 3rd or 4th generation - my grandfather's cousin made copies of her pictures and gave them to him; I photocopied his copies several years ago; I scanned my copies last week. The quality of the images here might reflect that, but I love them anyway. Molly's on the left (from the viewer's perspective), and Agnes is on the right. Agnes was the oldest sister, born c. 1895, and Molly was next oldest, born 22 March 1897.

I love this picture for so many reasons. Molly and Agnes remind me of Laura and I. I can't date this picture exactly, but they're not very old at all; possibly younger than we are now. I love that they're on the roof, where all their important pictures were taken. I love their hats. I love their shoes. I love that they appear to be dressed for two completely different climates. Are they even in the same time zone? And most of all, I love how happy they look, and how they clasp arms like (to use an anachronism) BFFs.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

My grandmother, Marilyn Mulcahy O'Hara, with me (in the red jacket and covered up Big Bird costume) and my sister Laura (in yellow jacket and covered up Winnie the Pooh costume), on Halloween, c. 1989. Maybe 1988. I can't tell if Laura looks 1 or 2 years old. I think I actually remember this day, but it's one of those memories that's hazy and may or may not be me remembering the picture rather than the day. But I'm pretty sure I remember parts of it, at least.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mary E. King O'Hara Death Notice, 1949

From the November 7, 1949 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle, via Fulton History:

O'HARA - MARY E. (nee King), of 505 6th Street, on November 5, 1949, beloved wife of the late John J.; dear mother of John, Eugene, Patrick and Joseph. Reposing McCaddin Funeral Home, 24 7th Avenue, until Wednesday 9:30 a.m. Solemn Requiem Mass, St. Saviour's Church, 10 o'clock. Internment Holy Cross Cemetery.

This one will be a new experience for me. Grandma Mary King O'Hara died so recently that her death certificate will have to be ordered from the NYC Department of Health, not the Municipal Archives, like I usually do. (1949 is the dividing line for where death certificates are held.) I haven't let myself spend money for a vital record in months. I'm getting so excited!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

John J. O'Hara Death Notice, December 1946

From the December 4, 1946 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle, via Fulton History:

O'HARA - JOHN J., of 505 6th Street, December 3, 1946, beloved husband of Mary E. (nee King); devoted father of John J., Eugene W., Patrick F., and Joseph A. O'Hara. Reposing Henry McCaddin & Son Home, 24 7th Avenue, until Friday, 9:30 am. Solemn Requiem Mass, St. Saviour's Church, 10:00. internment Holy Cross Cemetery.

And as a treat to myself for finishing a paper I had due yesterday, I'm going to let myself order the death certificate! Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You might be a Genealogist if. . .

. . . you've ever thought of the birth of a new cousin as "making the next generation's genealogy."

Welcome to the family, baby Dylan!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who Wants to Help?

I'm surprised-but-thrilled by the positive response I've gotten from the Gatto/Lanzillotto side of the family since I started posting Gatto and Lanzillotto records in the past few weeks. Maybe if I'd used Facebook as a promotional tool from the beginning, genealogy would have looked cool to the O'Haras and Mulcahys, too. Instead most-but-not-all of my relatives on the Irish side of the family likely wrote me off as a nerd and a nutjob rolled into one. (Like, ahem, your very own cousin-daughter-niece, my sister Laura.)

And since you all seem so interested, and since I'm completely overwhelmed with work right now and don't have time to do much genealogy myself this week, I thought I'd see if anyone would be interested in my passing a task along to you, dear family.

Does anyone have any old pictures* of the Gatto or Lanzillotto families? If you've got any already scanned and in your computer, especially, there's hopefully nothing stopping you from sending them my way right as soon as you finish reading this post! (kathleen.scarlett.ohara [at] If not, but you've got them laying around the house, tucked away in photo albums, or in frames in the kitchen, let me know about them anyway! If you feel like spending some time scanning them to send to me, I certainly won't say no, but maybe we can make arrangements for me to make some copies or scan them myself next time I'm in NY.

*"Old," of course, is a concept of degrees, and if you know me at all, you know that I think the older, the better!

Pictures of my mom and aunts and Uncle Dom growing up? Cool. (Wait, did I say old pictures? They're not old! These pictures would be more like "new pictures," of course!)
Pictures of Grandma and Grandpa growing up? Even cooler.
Pictures of my great-grandparents? Awesome.
Pictures of my great-grandparents as kids? Super-awesome!
Pictures of Dominick D'Ingeo or any of my other great-great-grandparents? Utterly amazing!

But I want 'em all. I'll take anything you've got.

(One place where Mulcahy-Mulvaney genealogical interest does shine is in pictures, and luckily the few relatives who don't think I'm out of my mind or as boring as gravel - namely John and Maureen - have done a wonderful job of supplying me with a number of photographs of various ancestors, which are available, for your viewing pleasure, right here.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

January 21, 1933 - Dominick D'Ingeo's Death Certificate

This is the death certificate of Dominick/Domenico D'Ingeo, my great-great-grandfather, Grandpa's maternal grandfather, and the father of Grandma Gatto, Maria D'Ingeo Gatto. He's listed as 70 years old, widowed, and a gardener. [Grandpa's always told me his grandfather was a gardener.] He was born in Italy and says he's been in the United States for 15 years - which gives him an arrival date of around 1918; his actual immigration was in 1917. [I love when they get the numbers right like that. It's such a relief to have relatives who can add!]

His Italian-born father was named Vincent, but his mother's name is unknown.

He died Jan. 21, 1933 of shock, fractured ribs, and a hemothorax. According to the next page of the death certificate, he was hit by a car at 81 St. and 14 Ave the day prior to his death.

The undertaker was employed by the deceased's son "James" D'Ingeo. James's full name, I believe, was Vincenzo, after his grandfather. [See this message board thread for a discussion of - but no conclusion on - why so many Italian immigrants named Vincenzo were called Jimmy or James.]

Grandpa tells me he remembers his grandfather, and remembers when he died, but couldn't go to the funeral because he had the mumps at the time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You Might be a Genealogist if. . .

. . . you got a little jealous when your boyfriend wanted to hang out with a former flame, but you got INCREDIBLY jealous when your boyfriend received a copy of his great-grandfather's diary in the mail.

[It's got names and dates and places of birth, death, and marriage and religious conversion and military service for three generations. . . I'm drooling over this diary!]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The DiGaetanos in 1930

Now who exactly are the DiGaetanos? I think that this is the family of Maria D'Ingeo Gatto's sister Giovanna/Giovanine/Jennie. The main reason I think this, of course, is Dominick DiGaetano's father-in-law, "Dominick Dingao."

The family is father Dominick, 27; mother Jennie, 25; children Frank, 6; Dominick, 5; Mary, 3; Adolf, 2; and father-in-law Dominick, 69. All the kids were born in NY, as was their father. Jennie says she was born in Brazil; Dominick-the-father-in-law was born in Italy. It does appear that the D'Ingeo sisters, in 1930, were telling people they were born in South America, as Maria did. Dominick DiGaetano is an operator in a factory. He married his wife when she was 18 and he was 20. Jennie and Dominick "Dingao" give 1917 as the year they immigrated, which, of course, exactly matches their actual immigration date.

The DiGaetanos lived at 400 4th Ave., just around the corner from their cousins the Gattos at 398 5th Ave:

View Larger Map

Monday, October 12, 2009

D'Ingeo Family Immigration

These are the immigration papers of Maria D'Ingeo (Grandma Gatto) and her family. The information was recorded across the two pages of an open book, so you have to follow the line numbers on one page and then the next. The family is listed near the bottom of the page, as Domenico D'Ingeo, 55; his wife Maria Lupo, 58; and his daughters Angelica, 17; Maria, 14; and Giovanna, 11.

Grandpa tells me he doesn't know who Maria Lupo is. According to the story we've been told of Grandma Gatto's life, by the time they imigrated, Domenico D'Ingeo's first wife had died and his second wife had been thrown out for the sake of his children. Either that is in some way mistaken, or there was, perhaps, a third wife? I don't know yet.

Both Domenico D'Ingeo and Maria Lupo, interestingly, are listed as housewives, and neither could read. The three daughters, however, are literate, and the elder two are servants. All are Southern Italians, and all are listed as having last lived in the town of Toritto. Their nearest relative in Italy is a "sister, Maria" in Toritto. It doesn't say whose sister, but it's probably safe to assume that Maria was the sister of the head of the family, Domenico.

On the next page, we see that they're heading to Brooklyn with $129. They're heading to meet Domenico and Maria's daughter, and Angelica, Maria, and Giovanna's sister, Rosa D'Ingeo, who appears to be living at 1628 Batte Ave. in Brooklyn. (Google Maps can't find this address.)

There's something written across the lines for Domenico and Maria in the next columns, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it says. Take a look at the records yourself (just click to enlarge the image) and see if you can make it out! Let me know what you think it says!

I assume that whatever it says has something to do with this next image, the record of the D'Ingeos being detained upon arrival.

They appear to spend about 3 days (the last column tells you how many meals they ate, because the ship's company had to pay those costs, and the 5 of them ate 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 15 dinners) detained on Ellis Island because of concern that Domenico and Maria Lupo were "LPC" or "Likely Public Charges." The reason for this concern, given as "Cert," is, I think (don't take my word for this) that there was a suspected medical condition. I imagine that the notes on the passenger manifest might shed light on this, if legible. Maria the younger, Maria D'Ingeo, has "HOLD" noted next to her name. I haven't a clue what this means.

Returning for a moment to the original manifest, there are a handful more pieces of interesting information. Everyone's height is given: Domenico is 5'6", Maria is 5'4", Angelica is 5'1", Maria is 5', and Giovanna has no height listed, perhaps because she's so young. They all supposedly have a "regular" complexion with brown hair and brown eyes. So does everyone else on the page, though, so they may not have been making nuanced distinctions here. They also list a place of birth for everyone, and, for everyone, it's given as "Italy." The town doesn't look like it says Toritto, though it could. I'm more inclined to think it's two words, the first of which is "Cento." This would be evidence against my growing suspicion that the D'Ingeo children might have been born in Brazil. (See: 1930 Census). I'm still working on trying to figure that one out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Middle-Distance Genealogy Plan

When I ran track - in the very short period of time during which I ran track - I often ran what was referred to at the Middle- and High- School levels as "middle distance." These were distances that would have been considered sprints in college or professional races, 400 m or so, but they were middle distance to us. And that's the kind of plan I want to create. Not a sprint, which in track translates to "Get this over with as soon as possible!" and in genealogy translates to "How fast can I find this so I can go on to find something new?" Not long-distance, which in genealogy, as in track, is simply too big, too unending to comprehend. (Granted, the space between here and that far-off, unattainable end looks a lot more fun in genealogy than it does on the track!)

I want to organize my thoughts and set some goals, but not either for tomorrow or for the next decade. I just want some plans for what I'd like to see, kinda sorta soonish. Records I want to find, records I've located but not seen, mysteries I'd like to solve, and the places - on the internet, but mostly in person - where I can achieve these things. Here goes.

1. Kings County Courthouse, Brooklyn, NY
I've been here once, but need to go back:

Surrogate's Court
a. I want to browse the indexes for additional family names.
b. I want to see - and it may take a while, given the surname I'm working with - whether there are guardianship records for John and Thomas Murphy, who came to live with the Mulvaneys after their parents died. These could crystallize for me who their parents actually were, as well as, I hope, reveal their sisters' names and what happened to them.
c. I've already filled out a request form for guardianship papers for Margaret Madigan, who was still a minor when her father died, and who I believe simply continued living with her step-mother, Johanna Roche Madigan.

Supreme Court
a. There are announcements in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from the early 1900s that give me reason to believe that Patrick and Julia Mulvaney were involved in a court case (and lost) for failure to pay their mortgage to Mary McKee.
b. If they have indexes there, too, I'd love to browse those and see what other trouble our relatives have caused - or had thrust upon them.

2. NYC Municipal Archives, Manhattan NY
For a while, whenever I needed a record from the NYC Municipal Archives, I ordered it. Then I exhausted the supply of really crucial records (mainly my great-great-grandparents, to learn their parents' names), and recently, their prices have gone up and my income has gone down. So now, instead, I make a list. And one day, I'll visit the Archives. I believe that you can't actually, make copies while you're there unless you pay up for a certified copy. So I'll take notes, maybe take pictures, make transcriptions, and, if I come across anything particularly crucial, maybe I'll pay for a copy.

Death Certificates
1. Matthew Madigan, d. 11 September 1892
2. Matthew Madigan Jr., d. 1892-3
3. Josephine Madigan, d. 1892-3
4. Julia Toner, d. 20 August 1866
5. James Thomas Toner, d. 19 August 1866
6. a Mary Toner, 63, d. 26 Aug. 1899 (#14797)
7. a Mary Toner, 59, d. 13 Aug. 1897 (#13267)
8. Gertrude Mulvaney, 1, d. c. 28 May 1890
9. Raymond Mulvaney, d. 24 Feb. 1906 (#4073)
10. Charlotte Reade, d. 17 July 1918 (#15177)
11. Joanna Madigan, d. 15 Sept 1926 (#18996)
12. Maria Lupo, the woman who was listed as Domenico D'Ingeo's wife when he immigrated in 1917. There are 5 or 6 Maria Lupos who died after that date, and I'd like to see all of their DCs.
13. and to look to maybe find any number of other certificates, like that of Richard Toner

Birth Certificates
1. Martin F. Quinn, b. 29 Mar 1902 (#6395)
2. Terrance B. Quinn, b. 3 Jul 1904 (#14495)
3. and I'll certainly want to look through any indexes they have available to see what other relatives may have filed birth certificates.

Tax Photos
which will cost $35 to order copies of, but which hopefully can be looked at anyway.

Property Tax Assessments

Civil List
for, I hope, more information about Papa's police career.

3. Brooklyn City Register, 210 Joralemon St., Brooklyn
To find documents (deeds, mortgage records) relating to the history of 85 Luquer St.

4. Calvary Cemetary
To find Matthew Madigan's grave, and maybe that of his first wife, Margaret Sullivan, and young children, Matthew Jr. and Josephine. I've also recently come across an 1870 census record for a Matt Maddigan living in Brooklyn in 1870. I'm pretty sure that the Mat Madigan I've seen living in Manhattan in 1870 is actually him - he's got the correct occupation, after all - but if, perchance, the 1870 Brooklynite Madigans are our Madigans, they had a couple older children who would have had to also die young, and seeing whether they're buried at Calvary with Matthew would make that a (closer to) definite yes or no.

5. Holy Cross Cemetary
For any number of graves.

6. The Internet
A brief listing of records that should be online but that I haven't been able to find (yet):
1. 1880 US Census of the Toner family
2. 1892 NYS Census of Julia Toner (I've already found her mother, but she's not there)
3. 1900 US Census of the Mulcahys (For whatever reason, they're not at 85 Luqueer)
4. 1910 US Census of Charles Lanzillotto
5. 1920 US Census of Domenic Gatto
6. 1920 US Census of the D'Ingeo Family
(I don't know to what extent, if at all, the above two records might be only one. Dominic Gatto married Maria D'Ingeo around 1920, I believe, and her father lived with them at times in the next 13 years, before he died.)
7. 1920 US Census of the Quinn Family
8. 1930 US Census of the Quinn Family

Given that I'm only ever in NY on weekends and holidays, I don't see that any of this, other than the internet and maybe the cemetaries, will come to fruition anytime soon. But there's always Christmas break!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You might be a Genealogist if. . .

. . .if you'd known before buying your new computer that you couldn't use the Enhanced Image Viewer on a Mac, you might have stuck with a PC.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gattos on the 1930 Census

This census record shows the Gatto family at their home at 398 Fifth Ave in Brooklyn. The parents are listed as Dominick, 38, and his wife Mary, 27. Their kids are Pasqualina, age 10; Michael, age 8; Anna, age 7; Jennie, age 6; Dominick, age 5; and Frank, age 3. They rent their house for $30.

Here's where it gets interesting. Dominick says he as well as his parents were born in Italy and speak Italian as their native tongue. Mary, on the other hand, says that she as well as her parents were born in South America, though their native language is Italian. Huh?

Grandpa has always told me his mother's life story, briefly summarized thus:
Maria D'Ingeo's mother died in childbirth with her youngest. Her father's second wife was abusive and neglectful of the kids, and when their father realized it, he threw her out and decided to move the family to America. Mid-way through their Atlantic voyage, though, the quota for Southern European immigrants coming into the country was filled, and so the ship's captain rerouted, taking them to Brazil instead. They lived there for several years, during which one of the youngest children was killed in a tragic accident. I believe he was run over by a wagon. After that, the family was able to again make the trip to America, and succeeded this time.

Their immigration records, though, which I'll post soon, don't offer evidence of this. Instead, they're shown traveling directly from Italy to America. I haven't yet quite pieced together exactly what route their migration took. But in 1930, Maria D'Ingeo Gatto, or someone in her immediate family, told a census taker that she'd been born in South America.

Mary and Dominick give their years of immigration as 1917 and 1912, respectively, and both are naturalized. Grandpa Gatto works as an Iceman (industry: "Ice") and he's working on his "own account." Mr. Rotundo who lives with his family at the same address, is also an Iceman.

Dominick and Mary were married when they were 25 and 16, respectively.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Help me! Technology Emergency!

My hard drive appears to have disappeared off of my old computer. When I turn it on, I get a screen that says

Primary hard disk drive 0 not found.
No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility.

What's going on? I hadn't backed up my data in a while because I knew I was getting a new computer, and I figured it would all get backed up as I transferred it, anyway. I got the new computer, hadn't touched the old one for about a week, and when I went to turn it on tonight, all I got was that screen. What could have happened to it during a week of disuse? And is there any way to fix it and especially to recover my data? I don't care much about the computer, obviously, as I have a new one now, but I certainly want my stuff my back if there's any way to get it back.

Any techno-philes out there who can lead me in the right direction?

William and Willie

Well, that should have been obvious. Willie Mulvaney was named after his mother Julia's brother William Toner. Or something like that. Probably. Maybe. Could have been. William was a common name, after all. Is a common name, after all.

I don't know why, but yesterday the dates hit me.

William Toner died January 31, 1899.

Willie Mulvaney's birth is various given as 1899, 1900, 1902, 1900, etc. The first recorded birthdate for him, though, on the 1900 census, is 08/1899. Given that it was recorded mere months after the supposed birthdate, I'm inclined to trust it as more reliable than the rest.

If it is accurate, Willie was born a mere 7 months after William died. Julia was already pregnant with her son when her brother died.

Any doubt I may have had about the provenance of Willie's name is pretty much gone now. I'd love to be able to conduct similar analysis of other ancestral names.

(Some of them are obvious. The eldest Mulvaney son was James, likely named for his paternal grandfather, Patrick's father James Mulvaney. Auntie Mae - Mary - was probably after her maternal grandmother, Mary Cullen Toner. Or the Blessed Virgin. Or both. Thomas for his paternal uncle, Patrick's brother Thomas. But Veronica? Raymond? and what does the J. in J. Harold Mulvaney stand for? (you haven't seen that yet. I got a scanner, so it's coming, I promise.))