Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hardy Har Har

Several months ago, I was encouraging my family to read this blog.
"Can we comment?" Laura asked.
"Of course!" I said. ("Finally, someone's interested!" I thought.)
"Can we make jokes in the comments?" she asked.
"Sure!" I said. ("That'll get other people interested in commenting, too!"
I thought.)
"Good," she said. "Because the only comments I'd leave on your genealogy
blog would be jokes making fun of you for having a genealogy blog."

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I've been poking around a little on some genealogy blogs lately. Here's an important post from GeneaBlogie about the concept of genealogical "proof." It's particularly relevant to questions like whether Julia Toner Mulvaney was named after her deceased older sister Julia Toner.

He says,
"In fact, there is no such thing as “proof” in a universally objective manner. I will go so far as to say that proof is a figment of one’s imagination."

Check out the rest of the post here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Brooklyn Churches! Excitement!

Some time ago, I posted about having come across baptismal records of the three eldest Toner children, Julia, Mary Ann, and Samuel, at St. Paul's Church in Brooklyn. I didn't know why only those three were baptized there, but it appears I've just figured it out!

Combining this Brooklyn Catholic blog I just found, which gives locations and founding dates for churches in Brooklyn with my knowledge of the addresses the Toners lived at and the very cool "My Maps" feature at Google Maps, I've created this map that shows family addresses in blue (will give addresses, family, and time period if you click) and church locations in green (will give parish name, address, and founding date if you click), I've realized that the Toners, it would seem, attended St. Paul's, and baptized their first three children there, until two much closer churches - St. Mary Star of the Sea in 1853 and Visitation in 1854 (1853 is the date given for Samuel's baptism, the latest Toner baptism at St. Paul's). I'll have to look a little closer to double check whether there are any other Catholic churches in or near Red Hook, but for now it looks like my first order of business is contact St. Mary's and Visitation and finding out how far back their parish records go (please let them go all the way back to 1853/4!), and either request a search or make a plan to go do some research myself (that part might not happen until this summer, of course). Finding baptismal records for the middle Toner kids there, and then, especially, for the younger Julia, our Julia, would be crucial. It's torturous to know that the family I've traced back the farthest is the one that hasn't quite necessarily 100% been linked to us, although I'm 98% sure.

My assumption will be that the Toner's attended Visitation (we know the Mulvaneys did), but since we know that the Madigans attended St. Mary's, both are worth the effort.

Anyway, check out the map, as I'll be updating it soon with additional churches and addresses. For my own reference, it will include the O'Haras and Quinns as well as the Mulcahys, Mulvaneys, Madigans, and Toners. I've just recently e-mailed St. Augustine's near Baltic St. to see if they can find any of the sacramental records of the O'Hara family, but if they're not there, I'll have to map and check all of the other local churches.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mulcahy Hennessy Family

I was recently contacted by Barbara Hennessy, who's married to Hugh Hennessy, grandson of Papa's oldest sister Margaret Mulcahy Hennessy. (These are the perks of putting your name and e-mail address all over the internet!) She's just started researching the Mulcahy side of the family, and so we've shared some information.

After I pointed her to the blog, she offered a correction to this post, saying, "Also on the blog I noticed the comment about Karbo Bronze Foundry being involved in the NASA program – this is a mixup. Karbo manufactured ship parts first then did a lot of work for Haywood Pool Filters. My husband Hugh Hennessy worked for Grumman Aerospace on the LEM etc. that’s the real tie in!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog Break

I'll be on Spring Break next week, so posting will be slow to non-existent. Just a heads up!

Let's try that again

I'm uploading the 1874 Death Register again, after having first increased the size of the columns in Excel so that all the information was legible. There are 4 pages now, so be sure to click through to all of them. On the far right, too, is a tool that allows you to toggle to a full-screen view. Use it!

Brooklyn, NY Death Register Aug 1874

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

August 14, 1874

Judith Toner, listed in the Brooklyn death registry for 1874. She's on line 15. I left the rest of the page, too, so that others can find it. I'm experimenting with this "embedding" thing, so here's hope it'll work out. There should be two pages, so be sure to flip to both.

Brooklyn, NY Death Register 8/1874

Friday, March 6, 2009

January 20, 1917

State of New York
Department of Health of the City of New York
Bureau of Records
Certificate of Death
Registered No 2650
1. Place of Death
Borough of: Manhattan
Name of Institution: French Hospital
2. Full Name: Michael Mulcahy
3. Sex: Male
4. Color or Race: white
5. Married
6. Date of Birth: [blank]
7. Age: 54yrs
8. Occupation
a. Trade, profession, or particular kind of work: Watchman
b. General nature of industry, business, or establishment: United Fruit Co.
9. Birthplace: Ireland
a. How long in US: 35 years
b. How long resident in City of New York: 35 y
10. Name of Father: James Mulcahy
11. Birthplace of Father: Ireland
12. Maiden Name of Mother: Margaret Ryan
13. Birthplace of Mother: Ireland
14. Former or Usual Residence: 85 Luquer St Bklyn
15. Date of Death: January 20 1917
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 January 12 1917, that I last saw him alive on the 20 day of January 1917, and that he died on the 20 day of January 1917, about 2:30 o’clock AM; the diagnosis during his last illness was:
Cerebral hemorrhage (probably artta)
[illegible] (no cause)

duration 8 dys. Contributory causes were Ordnance of lungs, duration [blank]
Witness my hand this 20 day of Jan 1917
Signature WE Anderson
House physician
18. Place of Burial: Holy Cross Cem
Date of Burial: Jan 23rd 1917
19. Undertaker: M Clavir
Address 529 Court St.

This is Michael Mulcahy's death certificate, from 1917. If the formatting I used in Word shows up in this post, the bold is what is filled in on the death certificate, while the regular type is what was part of the form. According to this, Michael immigrated around 1882 (he's said to have been in the US for 35 years). I'm not sure why he was at the French Hospital in Manhattan instead of somewhere in Brooklyn, but I'm assuming that either better care was offered there or that he was in Manhattan when he had the cerebral hemorrhage and was taken to the nearest hospital. He was working as a Watchman at a Fruit Company, which presumably is what he began doing after he lost the bar because of changing the beer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toners, 1880 Census

Well, folks, looks like we're out of luck on finding the Toners on the 1880 census. In 1870, according to the Brooklyn Eagle blurb about Richard's attempted suicide, they're living at 91 Verona St. The 1879-1880 Brooklyn City Directory lists the Toners at 267 Van Brunt St. The 1881 Brooklyn City Directory lists them at 84 Tremont St. It appears they were moving a lot at the time. Remember, Richard had formerly been worth a lot of money. (Related? Who knows.)

They don't show up in the name index search for the 1880 Census, and in looking at the addresses in question, they're not listed at either 267 Van Brunt St. or at 84 Tremont St. My conclusion is that they were moving right around census time, so the census missed them - they enumerated Tremont St. before the Toners had arrived there, but Van Brunt St. after they left. Of course, it's possible that they were missed for some other reason, or that they were living at yet a third address between 1880 and 1881, and for some reason (name spelled wrong?) aren't showing up in searches of the index. Beginning in 1882, Richard Toner no longer shows up in the Brooklyn City Directories I've seen. I'm thinking that that is potentially around when he died, but I can't know for sure.

Our next recourse are the NYS census records - state censuses (as opposed to federal censuses) were taken in 1875 and 1892 (relevant to this search) as well as in 1855, 1865, 1905, 1915, and 1925. I'd like to see them all, but especially the 1875 and 1892. They're not online, but are available on microfilm at the NYC Municipal Archives, as well as, potentially, on microfilm at Family History Centers across the country. If the latter, I've been meaning to try to get to one of those near DC. If only the former, I'll try to get to it this summer, or the next time I'm in NY and have some time to kill on a weekday.

(Also, the Toners seem to stop showing up in the Brooklyn Eagle around the end of the 1870s, which makes me think that it was one individual - probably Richard - who submitted their news items, and when that person died, so did the Brooklyn Eagle submissions. Again, just a theory.)