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.))