Thursday, February 12, 2009
In breaking news from 140 years ago, this article appeared on September 6, 1877, and it looks like our Richard Toner, Julia's father, who's listed in the 1870 census as a painter. It appears that he had been having some trouble with his son - should be William, Julia's brother, if he was 17 in 1877 - who was refusing to go to school, and after yelling at him, Richard went upstairs and tried to kill himself. Is your kid playing hooky really a good reason to kill yourself? It also says, though, that Richard was "formerly worth considerable money," so potentially, financial ruin was more a motivation than fighting with a teenager. We do now know, though, the latest address we've come across for the family, which will help when I eventually have to resort to paging through 1880 census records to find out whether Julia was ever actually born to this family.