I’m sitting here tonight trying to decide who to write about in this week’s 52 ancestors blog post. It’s not that I have nobody to write about. Maybe it is snow on the brain since it is snowing here yet again. I have forgotten what the sun looks like and is grass still green? I’ve been anxiously waiting for the weather to get better so I can visit some cemeteries. If I went now I would never actually see the tombstones under all the snow. So I decided to write a blog post on why visiting the cemetery or requesting a photograph of the tombstone is worthwhile.
I have known about Maggie Doyle for a long time. She didn’t leave many records but it was the memorial on the tombstone that led to answers. You can imagine the groans when I saw the marriage record of her daughter, Mary, and noticed that her name was Maggie Doyle. How common can you get? Well, Bridget Murphy comes to mind and yes I also have that name in my family.
I knew the family plot was at Calvary cemetery in Woodside, Queens, NY but since I lived in N.C. at the time it was impossible to visit. In 2005 my husband and I decided to take a trip to N.Y. for our honeymoon. This should worry me but I love it about him. He actually agreed to wander around cemeteries on his honeymoon. As long as we did some other stuff while we were there. So, it was off to Calvary and a few others before the trip was over. Even knowing where the plot is in Calvary you can still wander around quite a bit looking. We finally found it and I was in heaven.
Now back to Maggie. I ordered a copy of her death record and found she died 23 February 1881. The record didn't give much information. I knew she was 30 years old, born in Ireland, in US for 11 years, 4 years in Brooklyn, and that her parents were both born in Ireland. No names for parents since they didn't ask on NY death records for that time period. I was feeling pretty sorry for Thomas since he buried his daughter Theresa Hanrahan in November 1880, his wife Maggie in February of 1881 and his daughter Margaret in August 1881. Especially given that Margaret had only just been born around November of 1880. She was probably one of the only bright spots he had during that time period.
My next step. Find their marriage. Doing an index search of New York marriages gave me a delayed record number. Meaning the marriage occurred in February of 1874 but was not filed shortly after. Maybe due to the fact that they didn't know they had to? My thoughts are that they just thought since they were married in a Catholic Church they didn't have to do anything else. The information given by the priest wasn't much. Fortunately he obtained the couples names, residence, and their parent's names. Thomas Hanrahan, residing NYC, parents Thomas Hanrahan and Bridget Murphy. Margaret Doyle, residing NYC, parents Lawrence Doyle and Alice Mohan. finally, I had her parents.
So I run to the Griffith's Valuation looking for Lawrence Doyle in county Louth and....none? Could Thomas have gotten her birth location wrong? Nope. Baptism record for Margaret Doyle, 19 February 1849, parents Laurence Doyle and Ally Mohan, living in Rathbrist, County Louth. I was also able to find a baptism record for another daughter, Mary, in 1851 and Lawrence and Alice's marriage record in 1845. I now have a new avenue to investigate.
While it still took me a while to locate Maggie and her family in Ireland even knowing her birth location. It would have taken a lot longer looking for a Margaret Doyle born in the whole country of Ireland between 1849 and 1852.