Monday, April 6, 2009

More death certificates

The other day, I sent away for death certificates for an Elizabeth L Renehan and a Louise Degan. Both are within the approximate age ranges of Julia Toner Mulvaney's sisters Elizabeth Toner Loughlin Renehan and Louise Toner Deegan. I'm not sure what this will tell us, if anything, but every so often I get that uncontrollable urge for more records! Records, records, records! The more, the merrier. And there they were, indexed online, only an online order form and a credit card away from my living room, so I ordered them. I don't know Louise Toner Deegan's husband's name, so I'm hoping to learn that from here, plus other assorted information. Really, though, I'm sure those are not the most important certificates I could have ordered.

I hesitate to order earlier ones, because they have less information, but they also concern the people I want to know more. We already have sketches of the lives of Elizabeth and Louise; I want a death certificate for Richard, to finally put an end to the question of when he died. (Problem: DCs are harder to find and more expensive when you don't know the date of death.) I want a death certificate for the elder Julia and her brother, especially to learn his age and his actual first name. John? James? Joseph? (Problem: DCs are harder to find when you don't actually know the person's name.) I want death certificates for the O'Hara side, for Grandpa JJ's parents, to learn their parents' first names. (Problem: DCs are really hard to find when you don't know the date of death and there are 382 men named John O'Hara in Brooklyn.)

So for now, I'm working with what I can get, just for the sheer joy of having the records, even if they add little to the actual corpus of knowledge.

I also recently ordered a military service record for a Richard Toner who served for NY in the Civil War. I have no idea at all whether this was our Richard, or what information would be contained therein even if it was, but for now I'm jsut excitedly awaiting that record in the mail, fingers crossed.

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