One of the biggest brick walls in my genealogical research has been my 2x-great-grandmother Bridget Theresa (Kane) (McCormack) McRae.
Bridget was born circa 1855 in Ireland, daughter of Edward Kane and Catherine "Kate" Downey. According to census records, she immigrated to the United States in the early 1870's. She moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts and married John McCormick on January 10, 1875. They had three children, Thomas, Edward, and Mary. She eventually moved to Brockton, Massachusetts and remarried on February 19, 1887 to James R. McRae. She had three more children, Frederick Edward, Walter Lawrence, and Frederick Everett (later Frederick Joseph). She remained in Brockton until her death on December 9, 1926.
In researching Bridget, I have been unable to find anything about when, where, why, and how she came to America or about the life and family she left behind in Ireland. I don't know if she came to America alone or with somebody.
All I have been able to find out about are her parents' names (which I got from Bridget's marriage records) and the general time frame of when she immigrated to the United States (which I got from census records).
I've checked records for Ellis Island and the Port of Boston as well as ship passenger lists but am unable to determine which, if any, of the Bridgets listed are mine due to 1) the commonality of the name 2) many of the Bridgets listed have details similar to the few details that I already know 3) Bridget also went by her middle name, Theresa, at various points of her life so she may have very well come over to America under the name Theresa Kane. Regardless, I still have no definitive way of figuring out which one is her.
Bridget's marriage records (both church and city), her death certificate, records of birth, marriage, and death for her children, as well as census records all list Bridget's place of birth as simply "Ireland".
I have checked and it appears that Bridget did not leave a will of any kind.
Bridget was Catholic. I was once told by a genealogist from The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) that because she was Catholic, she definitely had siblings.
I've been at a loss as to what other options are available in trying to figure out more about when, where, why, and how Bridget came to America as well as trying to find out more about her life and family back in Ireland. If anyone has any thoughts, comments, or ideas about what avenue I should explore next, I would love to hear from you.
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae