Sunday, 28 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 28):

1988: Uncle Raymond Alan Anderson passed away in Bridgewater, Massachusetts from injuries he sustained from an automobile accident, aged 28.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Trying To Knock Off A Few Bricks In A Wall (Update #2): Kate Buckley

Two weeks ago, through newspaper articles regarding the death of my 2x-great-grandfather James R. McRae's son, William (who died in October of 1905), I found out that William's sister and James' daughter, Kate, was still alive when his death occurred. She was alive, married to a man named Buckley, and living at 1470 Broad St, Hartford, Connecticut.

Prior to finding those articles, I had assumed she died some time between June 1, 1880 (date of 1880 US Federal Census) and March 5, 1910 (date of father's death) because she was not mentioned in her father's obituary when he passed. In addition to the new information about Kate, these articles shortened the gap for the time of when she must have died.

Shortly after finding this, I blogged and shared it to several genealogical groups on Facebook, one being the Massachusetts Genealogy Network. There, someone told me that they had been to the Hartford Library in Connecticut and found a marriage index for Connecticut. In it, they found a Catherine McRae who married a Aloysius J. Buckley on March 3, 1903 in Hartford.

Through that, another person was able to find a death certificate for a Catherine Buckley in Pennsylvania as well as a memorial on Find A Grave. Both of these had Kate's death taking place in 1921 (February 25 in Scranton, according to the death certificate).

Death Certificate for Catherine Buckley

If this were indeed true, that would mean Kate was still alive when her father passed away eleven years ago. And if so, that must mean a rift developed between Kate and James because, as mentioned previously, Kate was not mentioned in his obituary.

Looking over the death certificate, there were several noticeable errors. Although death certificates tend not to be the most accurate, these inaccuracies were rather big. First off, Kate's place of birth was listed as Pennsylvania. If this were my Kate, she should have been born in Boston, Massachusetts. The name of the father on the death certificate was James McRea while the name of the mother was unknown. Both of her parents were said to have been born in Ireland. My Kate was the daughter of James R. McRae and Katherine "Kate" Morrison, both of whom were born in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I found an obituary and funeral notice for Katherine but it did provide any significant information besides her being survived by her husband, A. J. Buckley, and daughter Mary.

 The Scranton Republican, 26 Feb 1921, Sat, Page 2
 The Montrose Democrat, 3 Mar 1921, Thu, Page 4

Yesterday, I called the Hartford City and Town Clerk's office and asked them if they could tell me the names given for Catherine's parents on that marriage record. They checked and told me that the names given were James McRae and Mary Keating.

I was disappointed to hear this but have decided not to give up hope quite yet.

The Brockton Daily Enterprise and the Brockton Times, the newspapers for Brockton, Massachusetts, where James R. McRae lived for over three decades, were known for publishing articles and small, insignificant details about the lives of Brockton residents that would never be published in newspapers today.

I intend to check both papers and see if anything was published regarding Kate's marriage in 1903 and death in 1921. If anything was, it will be almost guaranteed proof that both the marriage and death were for my Kate.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Monday, 8 June 2015

Trying To Knock Off A Few Bricks In A Wall (Update #1): Isabella Clowes

Earlier today, I posted about one of my brick walls -- my being unable to find a death record for my 3x-great-grandmother Isabella (Gordon) Clowes.

I shared it to several genealogical groups on Facebook, including New England Family Genealogy and History. Shortly after posting it there, a man named Steve posted a newspaper clipping in the comments. It was a death notice for Isabella that was printed Tuesday July 13, 1875 in the Providence Evening Press.

The death notice was brief but very helpful. It read:
"CLOWES.–In Clyde Works, 10th Instant, Isabella, wife of John M. Clowes, aged 53 years, 6 months and 2 days."
Tuesday, July 13, 1875, Providence Evening Press (Providence, RI)

Steve told me that Clyde Works was in West Warwick. I googled it myself just to be sure and it does appear to have been located in West Warwick.

Now having the location of her death, the question still remains why no death record exists (and if it does, why I can't find it). My plan is to search Ancestry results again and will most likely be contacting (and probably visiting) the Rhode Island State Archive at some point soon to review their records again.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Mystery Monday (Monday's Brick Wall #3): Trying To Find Isabella Clowes' Death Record

One thing in the course of my research that has been a brick wall for me is my 3x-great-grandmother, Isabella (Gordon) Clowes.

Isabella was born in Scotland. She was the wife of John M. Clowes and together, they had several children, including Robert James, William Alfred, Isabella, Sarah Ann, and Annie Scott Gordon. Their places of residence include Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. They arrived in America, in the port of Boston, on July 30, 1868 aboard the G. T. Kemp.

By June 1, 1875, Isabella was living with her husband, John, and children, Isabella, Sarah, and Annie, in Warwick, Rhode Island (Source: 1875 Rhode Island State Census).

On Find A Grave, there is a memorial for an Isabella Clowes, who died on July 10, 1875. I have reviewed this memorial multiple times and am thoroughly convinced that this Isabella is my 3x-great-grandmother. Reasons for this: 1) Part of the inscription on the headstone reads, "Wife of John M. Clowes". 2) Isabella is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Coventry, Rhode Island, the same cemetery where her daughters Sarah, Annie, Robert, and William are buried. 3) Isabella's age on the headstone is given as being "53 yrs. 6 mos. & 22 days," making her date of birth December 18, 1921. Her year of birth is given as 1822 in the 1870 United States Federal Census, 1825 in the 1875 Rhode Island State Census, and she was said to be 42 years old when she came to America in 1868. The date of birth calculated by the given on her grave is close to the birth year approximations provided by the documents listed above. 4) There was no other Isabella Clowes living in Rhode Island besides Isabella's own daughter in 1870 and 1875.

Despite having Isabella's date of death, I still have been unable to find any trace of a death record for her. I have searched both Ancestry and Familysearch multiple times. I have visited Rhode Island State Archives and have found nothing. I find it tough to believe that in 1875, Rhode Island simply didn't file one for her. I'm left to assume that it was either lost in a fire or that she died elsewhere (Connecticut maybe?).

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Sunday, 7 June 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015 (#3): Maud M. (Monroe) McRae

Maud M. (Monroe) McRae 
(July 13, 1902 - November 9, 1988) 

Great-grandmother Maud M. Monroe was born on July 13, 1902 in Riversdale, Nova Scotia to Harvey Dennis Monroe and Olive Feener. She was named after her aunt (her mother's sister), Maud May (Feener) (Silver) Abbe. Maud was the last of three children.

Around 1905, Maud, along with her parents and her older siblings, Lemuel and Elsie, left Nova Scotia for the United States of America. They settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Harvey worked as coal miner. Around 1909, they left Wilkes-Barre and moved to Brockton, Massachusetts. They traveled from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts by train and met Theodore Roosevelt during the trip. Upon arriving in Brockton, the family first made their home on Wheeler Ave, before relocating to Palmer Ave shortly afterwards.

On May 1st, 1920, it was announced that Maud was to marry Frederick Joseph McRae. At the time, Maud was working as a shoe operator. The marriage took place on May 29, 1920 at 71 East Main Street in Brockton. The couple moved to 77 Wheeler Ave in Brockton. On June 21st, 1921, Maud gave birth to her and Frederick's only child, a son named Clayton Joseph McRae (later called Clayton Frederick McRae). The birth was complicated. Maud was in labor but the doctor had not yet arrived. In order to stall the birth, the nurse present crossed Maude's legs in order to delay the birth. This resulted in lifelong complications for Maud. Her mind slowed down mentally, almost to that of a child.

Maud continued to live with Fred after Clayton's birth until 1923. Maud and Fred eventually separated, with Maud moving back in with her parents. Fred and Maud divorced in 1929. Clayton continued to visit Maud now and again until the mid 1940's, when he stopped visiting her altogether. During this time, Clayton married Barbara Rust in February of 1939 and had a son, Clayton William Frederick McRae, born November 17, 1939. Eventually, he left Barbara and married Lois Faxon Chester in November of 1945. He had a second son, Frederick Chester McRae, on October 2, 1946. Unfortunately, Maud never met either of her grandchildren nor did she meet the six children Clayton had with his third wife, Ruth Agnes Cockayne.

Maud's father Harvey passed away suddenly on January 8, 1948 eating a chocolate while listening to Amos n' Andy.

Every now and again, Maud played the piano and sang. She was a talented piano player with a lovely singing voice. Rarely did Maud leave the house, never going beyond the yard of the house. Her mother, Elsie, and her niece Olive would go to the movies on Saturday while Maud stayed home.

On May 2, 1963, Maud's mother passed away at the age of eighty-five. Following her death, Maud moved to the Village Rest Home at 197 West Chestnut St, Brockton. Maud eventually moved into the Woodridge House Nursing Home, where she remained until her death on November 9, 1988. Her funeral took place at eleven o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, November 22, 1988 at South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, with Rev. Stephen Wayles officiating. Maud was buried alongside her parents.

A Saturday Afternoon Visit To Pine Hill Cemetery

After leaving the Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc. meeting yesterday afternoon, my mother and I went to Pine Hill Cemetery, West Bridgewater to visit my grandmother's grave. I did a little cleaning up of her grave and made a note to find some new cemetery decorations because the ones currently at her grave are a bit damaged. Because my mother was with me, I was able to get some pictures of myself at my grandmother's grave as well as a few other ones.  The sun was a bit bright so some of the pictures didn't come out as good as I had hoped. But they're still for the most part decent.

The grave of my grandmother Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson and her son, Raymond (before weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond.

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Henry G. R. & Lucile Rebecca (Garfield) Anderson.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Henry G. R. & Lucile Rebecca (Garfield) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.  

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

On This Day In Family History (June 7):

1913: Great-grandmother Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher was born at 77 Provost Street, Brockton, Massachusetts.

Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher

1932: Benjamin Franklyn McRae, half-brother of great-grandfather Frederick Joseph McRae, passed away from tuberculosis of the lungs in Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 52.

The Brockton Times
Wednesday, June 8, 1932
Page Two
Benjamin F. McCrae, 14 East Union street, 52, died Tuesday, after being in failing health for some time. He leaves his wife, Margaret (Lincoln) McCrae, four children, Thelma, Walter, Susie and Alfred, two half-brothers, Walter and Frederick McCrae, and a step sister, Mary McCormack.Funeral arrangements will be announced. Mr. McCrae may be seen at the C. H. Barden funeral home tonight.
1986: 1st cousin, 3x removed Martha (Larson) Hughes passed away in Columbus, Ohio, aged 91.

The Enterprise
June 13, 1986
Martha Hughes, formerly of Easton
Easton — Martha Hughes, widow of F. Albert Hughes, died June 7 in Columbus, Ohio. She was a resident of Easton for many years and also lived in Florida.
Mrs. Hughes is survived by three sons, Albert Hughes of Newark, Delaware; Richard Hughes of Groveport, Ohio, and John Hughes of Plantation, Florida; two sisters, Anna Erickson and Elsie Erickson, both of North Easton, and a brother, Carl E. Larson of North Easton.
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Saturday, 6 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 6):

1971: 1st cousin, 1x removed Lisa (Meagher) Goode was born in Brockton, Massachusetts.

1972: 2nd cousin, 1x removed Matthew Tisdale Holbrook was born.

2013: Linda (Sheehan) Curran, ex-wife of granduncle Wilfred Francis Meagher, passed away in Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 65.

Linda (Sheehan) Curran

Conley Funeral & Cremation Service
Linda C. Curran
June 06, 2013
Linda C. (Sheehan) Curran, age 65, of Brockton, died unexpectedly, June 6, 2013 at Good Samaritan Medical Center. She was the loving wife of Robert J. Curran. Born in Dedham, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary (Richmond) Sheehan. Linda was raised in Dedham and attended Dedham schools. For many years she was employed as a machine operator at the former Crofoot Gear Company in So. Easton. Linda was a member of the Protectors Club of Brockton and enjoyed a very quiet life.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters Linda "Chicky" Hickney of New Bedford, Laura Meagher of Taunton and Lisa Goode of Brockton, 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She was the sister of Jack Sheehan of Taunton and Diane Arnone of Brockton.
Visiting Hours will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street, (Rte 123) Brockton, Tuesday 4-7pm with a Funeral Service beginning at 6:15 pm. Cremation will follow.
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Friday, 5 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 5):

1943: Peter Joseph Martin, husband of 1st cousin, 3x removed Eva M. Curran, passed away in Fall River, Massachusetts, aged 65.

1967: My mother, Cheryl Lynne Anderson, was born in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Brockton Daily Enterprise, June of 1967

                         ANDERSON —At Brockton Hospital, 
                             June 5, a daughter to Mr. and 
                             Mrs. David W. Anderson, 215
                             Copeland St. 

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Friday's Faces From The Past: Harvey Dennis Monroe

Harvey Dennis Monroe

2x-great-grandfather Harvey Dennis Monroe was born on March 10, 1873 in Annapolis, Nova Scotia to William Monroe and Mary.

On December 13, 1897, he married Olive Feener in Clementsport, Annapolis, Nova Scotia. The went on to have three children, Lemuel, Maud, and Elsie Jean.

In the mid 1900's, Harvey and his family left Nova Scotia for America. They first settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Harvey worked as a coal miner. Around 1909, they left Wilkes-Barre for Brockton, Massachusetts. They travelled from Wilkes-Barre to Brockton via train, where they met Theodore Roosevelt. Upon arriving in Brockton, they first settled on Wheeler Ave before moving to Plamer Street shortly afterwards. They eventually left Palmer Street in the early 1920's, moving to Myrtle Street. Harvey moved for a final time at the end of the 1920's, moving to 39 Lincoln Road, where he remained until his death.

Over the years, Harvey had a variety of occupations, including coal miner, chef, clerk, salesman, restaurant proprietor, and owner of Brockton Ice & Coal.

Harvey passed away suddenly on January 8, 1948 at his home, eating a chocolate while listening to Amos n' Andy. His funeral was conducted on January 11 from the funeral home located at 81 Green St, Brockton. Interment was in South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Thursday, 4 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 4):

1922: 3x-great-grandfather James F. McGinn passed away in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James F. McGinn
(Photo taken Feb. 25, 1897.)

East Boston Free Press
Sat. June 10, 1922
Page 4
James F. McGinn, a resident of East Boston for a great many years and highly respected by all who knew him, died last Sunday morning after a long illness. He had been a resident of the First Section almost his entire life. He was a home man, a devoted husband and a kind father. He had been ill for over two years, but his suffering with wonderful patience. Mr. McGinn leaves a wife, a daughter and four sons. The funeral was held from the residence of his son, Charles E. McGinn of Orient Heights, on Wednesday morning with services at St. Joseph's church. Many relatives and friends attended. There were many floral tributes. The burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. 
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Wednesday's Child: James Howard McRae

James Howard McRae was born December 24, 1873 at 116 W. Seventh St, Boston, Massachusetts to my 2x-great-grandfather James R. McRae and his first wife, Katherine "Kate" Morrison. He passed away less than a year later on November 30, 1874 in Boston, succumbing to rubeola (measles). He was interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, the same cemetery that would also become the place of rest for James and Katherine's prematurely born twins less than a year later.

Record of Birth for James Howard McRae.

Record of Birth for James Howard McRae.

Record of Birth for James Howard McRae.

Record of Death for James Howard McRae.

Record of Death for James Howard McRae.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Knocking Off A Few Bricks In A Wall: New Information on Bridget

Yesterday, I posted about my 2x-great-grandmother Bridget Theresa (Kane) McRae and the lack of information I have about her and her life prior to coming to America. I shared that post to several genealogical Facebook groups, including Irish Roots Hunters. It was there that another member of that group, Lynn, commented on my post with the transcription of a baptismal record for a Bridget Kane. 
Name: Bridget Kane
Date of Baptism: 11-Jan-1853
Parish/District: UPR CREGGAN
County: ARMAGH
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Father: Edwd Kane
Mother: Cath Downey
Sponsor 1 / Informant 1: John Brennan
Sponsor 2 / Informant 2: Bridget Maginnis
Screenshot courtesy of Lynn\.

As mentioned before, I don't have much information on Bridget's life prior to Ireland. All I know is that she was the daughter of Edward Kane and Catherine "Kate" Downey, was born circa 1855, and came to America in the early 1870's. I wanted to be extra careful in confirming this before doing anything else.

The names of Bridget's parents match. The date of the baptism is close to the approximate year of birth I have for Bridget, which I got from the marriage record for her marriage to John McCormack (when Bridget and John married on January 10, 1875, Bridget's given age was 20).'s database is the "largest database of family records in Ireland". It covers all but two counties in Ireland (Kerry and Cork [South]) and Dublin City. Lynn told me that when she searched the database, this was literally the only result that came up. She even sent me a screencap showing me how she did the search. 

Screenshot courtesy of Lynn\.

During Bridget's life, her name on records would sometimes be given as Theresa/Teresa, which was her maiden name. I asked Lynn if she could do a search using the same information but instead, use the first name Theresa/Teresa. She did and nothing came up. She again sent me the screencaps so that I was able to see this for myself.

Screenshot courtesy of Lynn.

Screenshot courtesy of Lynn.

After reviewing everything -- the parents' names in the baptismal record being correct, the year of the baptism being close to the approximate year of birth I already had, and the fact that no other record came up in the searches -- I came to the conclusion that the record Lynn found was indeed by 2x-great-grandmother, Bridget Theresa Kane.

With this, I now know that Bridget came from Creggan, a small village located in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Lynn helped me even further. She found the marriage record for Edward and Catherine, although there wasn't much information provided besides the date and location of it. 
Date of Marriage: 20-Feb-1849
Parish / District: UPR CREGGAN County: ARMAGH
Husband Name: Edwd Kane
Wife Name: Cath Downey
Denomination: Roman Catholic Roman Catholic
Status: Not Married Not Married
Husband's Father Name: Kane
Wife's Father Name: Downey
Witness 1 Name: Waters Thos
Witness 2 Name: McShane Nicholas
Screenshot courtesy of Lynn.

Lynn also told me that through her searches, she could not find any other children born to Edward Kane and Catherine Downey. She told me that she found several children born in the same area as Bridget around the same time period to an Edward Kane, but that that Edward's wife's name Catherine McNulty/McEnully. That Edward and Catherine were married on May 6, 1851 in Ballymacnab, County Armagh.

Because no other births turned up with Edward Kane and Catherine Downey as the parents, Lynn suggested they might have emigrated. There is also the chance that they died shortly after Bridget's birth.

But only time and continued research will tell.

Special thanks to Lynn for the help! Not having a account, this would not have been possible without you!

 Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

On This Day In Family History (June 2):

1966: 4th cousin Peter Laurence Potts was born in Burlington, Vermont.

1999: 4th cousin, 1x removed Nikolas Arenburg was born.

2001: 2nd cousin, 2x removed Eldridge Oscar Arenburg passed away in Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 84.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Monday, 1 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 1):

1950: William Hall, husband of great-grandaunt Edith J. Wild, passed away in Providence, Rhode Island, aged 86.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae