Monday, March 25, 2013

"He was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland"

Since I discovered a few weeks ago that the Brooklyn Daily Standard Union had been added to the Fulton History website, I've been working my way through searching for all of my Brooklyn families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hands down, the most crucial discovery I've made was in the 14 Jan 1914 obituary of my 2x great-grandfather, Hugh Quinn.

Brooklyn Daily Standard Union, 14 Jan 1914

The Quinn line has been the only line whose Irish origins I haven't been able to locate. A relative had found a birth record for a Hugh Quinn in Co. Antrim, but it set off all sorts of warning bells for me. The Co. Antrim Hugh Quinn is the only one of approximately the right age who shows up when you search Irish birth record indexes, and I've suspected that for that reason, an assumption was made that he was the only Hugh Quinn, and that he had to be our Hugh Quinn. But his parents' names didn't match those on my great-great-grandfather's death certificate, and a birthplace in Northern Ireland just didn't seem right. I couldn't put my finger on why, but it just didn't seem right.

This obituary states that Hugh James Quinn "was born in Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland," and that does make sense. His wife was from outside Castlebar. She maintained extremely close ties to her family, even after immigrating. Two of his daughters would go on to marry the sons of other Castlebar-area natives. It just makes more sense that Hugh, too, would be from County Mayo, and I admit I'm glad that I wasn't crazy for secretly suspecting that he might be, too.

I've started looking for Hugh Quinn in Co. Mayo, and so far, I can't find him. Castlebar is a major city, and I can't assume that he was actually born in Castlebar proper, as opposed to in one of the many small towns outside the city. Still, I have a substantially narrower geographic area to focus on now than I did before I checked the Brooklyn Daily Standard Union.

I'd searched the Brooklyn Daily Eagle extensively, but let this be a lesson to you: checking one newspaper is never enough!

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