Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Quarter Results

On December 31, 2008, I posted my New Year's Resolutions. With the first quarter of 2009 ending today, I decided to take another look at my resolutions, and see how I'm doing. Here goes:

1. I will share more photos and documents, both online and with my cousins. I’ve received alot of photos from older relatives, and I want to share the wealth. I've been doing well with the online piece of this. I've posted alot of photos and some documents to my blog.

2. I will catch up with my filing and data entry. I know if I do this it will help me with my research. I’m sure I have some fascinating discoveries in those piles! I have not made alot of progress on this one.

3. I will write more. I will continue to write for my blog and for local genealogical society quarterlies. I will also submit writing to other genealogy publications. I enjoy writing and I will do more of it in 2009. I've done well on this one. I've kept up with my blog, and have submitted articles to other publications.

And here are a few more resolutions, by surname:

4. Bestick. For 2009, I will focus on my collateral lines, including John and Robert Bestick, who were possible siblings of my ancestor Timothy. I will also focus on discovering which Bestick played baseball in Brooklyn in 1872. I haven't done very much work on this resolution. I will be focusing on the Besticks more during the next few months.

5. Whelan. I will concentrate on the Chicago Whelans, both mine and unrelated ones. I will continue to analyze, summarize and publish the data that I have collected. I hope to eventually document the Irish origins of the Whelans who settled in Chicago in the 1800s. I've made great progress on this one! I broke through a brick wall and discovered that besides my ancestor, his brother, 2 sisters, and mother also came from Ireland to Chicago. I still have additional work to do on my Whelans, and more data to post about them and other Chicago Whelans.

6. Skrabulis. I will share more of the bits of information that I've collected on my Skrabulis ancestors and related lines. I hope to make more connections and keep in touch with cousins that I have. I've posted some photos and research, but I need to do more on this one.

So, overall, I've made some progress on my resolutions during the first 3 months of this year. I hope I can make even more progress during the rest of 2009.

Monday, March 30, 2009

NGS Early Registration Deadline March 31

The early registration deadline for the 2009 NGS Conference is TOMORROW! So, don't put it off another minute! Register today!

If you haven't attended a genealogy conference or institute before, I highly recommend them. They are great opportunities to learn, to check out vendors, and to meet people who share your interest in genealogy. I've been to many conferences and institutes in the last few years, and I am glad I attended every one of them. If I won the lottery, I'd attend even more of them!

Why would you want to attend a genealogy conference? Here are Paula Stuart-Warren's reasons for attending them.

I hope to see you at NGS in Raleigh, NC May 13-16.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fannie Lynch Deposition

The following is a transcription of a deposition given by Fannie Lynch for Mary Whelan, the widow of Patrick Whelan.

Deposition F
Case of Mary J. Whalin, No. 773265

On this 16th day of May, 1903, at Chicago, county of Cook, State of Ill, before me, J. H. Stibbs, a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Fannie Lynch, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 45 years of age & reside with my Father Peter Lynch, at 540 Burling St. Chicago Ill.

I have known this claimant since 1867. I was a young girl then, but remember well of her coming to Chicago & coming to live with us, and I remember well of her wedding. I went to the Church & saw her married, and from what I have learned of her & her husband in later years, I feel sure that neither of them had been previously married.

They lived together as man & wife until he died. Never were divorced or legally separated & she has not remarried since his death. I was at her house just after his death & I know they were living together at the time of his death.

I remember my uncle Patrick Whalin, at the time he came from the war. He lived with us. We lived in his house, which he bought before he went to the war. I am sure he was not married before he married claimant.

The affidavit shown me B J [?] was signed by me & the statements werein made are substantively correct.

Claimant has been very poor since her husband died, has no property or income & supports herself working as a scrub woman.

I am not interested in her claim. Above has been read to me & is correct.
Fannie E. Lynch
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 16th day of May 1903, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
J. H. Stibbs
Special Examiner.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Centralia Coal Mine Disaster - Links

The following are links to additional information about the Centralia mine disaster.

Public Sector Safety Professionals: Focused on Activity or Results? By Fred Fanning, CSP, M.Ed., M.A.
A summary of the events leading to the explosion, and an analysis of these events from the perspective of a public safety professional.

Centralia Mine Disaster
A short summary of the disaster by the Illinois Labor History Society.

CHS Class of 68 - Centralia No. 5 Mine Disaster
A summary of the disaster posted by the Centralia High School Class of 1968.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beckemeyer Kids, 1930s

This is a photo of children in Beckemeyer, Illinois. It was taken in the early 1930s. According to my information, the O is above Henry Koch. The X is by my uncle Anthony (aka Putt) Skrobul. The boy at the top right later became Father Feldman. I don't know who the others were, especially the one in the middle in the animal costume.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miners Deaths on FamilySearch

Records of the death and burial of 5 of the miners who died in the Centralia mine disaster were recorded in the register of the Catholic church which they attended. The funerals of John Placek, Joseph Koch Sr., Antanas Skrabulis, and Roy Alvarez were held on March 31, 1947. John Mazeka's funeral was held on April 1, 1947. The church records include the names and ages of the men, their spouses' names and the cemetery in which they were buried.

Images of these records are posted on the FamilySearch pilot site as part of the collection of Illinois, Diocese of Belleville Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956. The records are for the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Beckemeyer, Clinton County, Illinois, image 45 of 61.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Centralia Mine Disaster Memorial

The above photos of the Centralia Mine Disaster Memorial in Beckemeyer, Illinois were taken by me in December, 1997.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Miners Headstones

These are the headstones of some of the miners who died in the Centralia mining disaster on March 25, 1947.

These headstones are located in St. Anthony's Cemetery, Beckemeyer, Illinois. The photos were taken by me in September, 2004.

Monday, March 23, 2009

“Please save our lives...”

This plea was contained in a letter written to Illinois Governor Dwight H. Green by miners working in the Centralia Coal Mine No. 5. The letter was dated March 3,1946. Three of the four men who signed the letter were killed in the Centralia mine disaster on March 25, 1947.

Below is a transcript of the letter, copied from the minutes of the Senate subcommittee which investigated the mine disaster.

Centralia, Ill.,
March 3, 1946.

Hon. Dwight H. Green,
Governor, State of Illinois,
Springfield, Ill.

Dear Governor Green:
We, the officers of Local Union No. 52, U. M. W. of A., have been instructed by the members of local union No. 52 to write a letter to you in protest against the negligence and unfair practices of your department of mines and minerals. But before we go any further, we want you to know that this is not a protest against Mr. Driscoll Scanlan, the State mine inspector in this district. Mr. Scanlan is the best inspector that ever came to our mine, he is honest, of good character, and a good mining man, he writes his reports just as he finds the mines. But your mining board will not let him enforce the law or take the necessary action to protect our lives and health. This protest is against the men above Mr. Scanlan in your department of mines and minerals.

In fact, Governor Green this is a plea to you, to please save our lives, to please make the department of mines and minerals enforce the laws at the No. 5 mine of the Centralia Coal Co. at Centralia, Ill., at which mine we are employed, before we have a dust explosion at this mine like just happened in Kentucky and West Virginia.

For the last couple of years the policy of the department of mines and minerals toward us has been one of ignoring us; when we write complaints to Springfield it will sometimes be several weeks before we hear from them and then sometimes we have to write the second letter to them before they will answer us.

In December 1945 we preferred charges before the mining board against the mine manager and the superintendent of our mine and requested that their certificates be revoked for operating the mine in violation of the State mining laws and for ignoring the recommendations of the State mine inspector.

A special investigation commission was sent to the mines; they were very unfair toward us; on the commission was Robert Wier, a boss for our coal company. The commission did not inspect all of the mine, they did not stay at the machine that our main complaint was on long enough to fairly see the actual conditions at this machine. They let the superintendent of the mine lead them around the mine. They rode out of the mine in a mine car, so could not see the dirty and dusty and unsafe conditions on the main haulage roads. And they ignored the officers of this local union, they did not talk to us or give us a chance to call their attentions to unsafe conditions or listen to our complaints.

If we understand the law right, the mining board should have held a hearing and we should have been allowed to come before the board and press our charges. After the commission went through our mine we waited several weeks and did not hear from them and we wrote the director a letter. He then wrote us that the commission found insufficient evidence to revoke the certificates of the mine manager and mine superintendent. Then a few days later a report of the commission was posted at the mine making eight recommendations. Any one of these recommendations should be sufficient to revoke the certificates of the manager and superintendent and to remove them from the mine.

For your information as to the conditions at this mine, we are sending you copies of the State mine inspector’s report, also a copy of the report of the investigation commission, which you can check against the State inspector’s report and see the unfairness of the commission. Then please check these reports with the last Federal inspection report of July 1945, which you can get from the director of your department or from our district president, Hugh White. After reading these reports, if you doubt our word and the reports of the State and Federal inspectors, we kindly invite you to make a personal inspection of this mine yourself.

We are writing you Governor Green, because we believe you want to give the people an honest administration and that you do not know how unfair your mining department is toward the men in this mine. Several years ago after a disaster at Gillespie we seen your pictures in the papers going down in the mine to make a personal investigation of the accident. We are giving you a chance to correct the conditions at this mine that may cause a much worse disaster than the one at Gillespie or the one in Kentucky. If your mining board does not enforce the laws at this mine and back the State mine inspector, then we are going to go to the State’s attorney, and to the public and newspapers.

We will appreciate an early personal reply from you, stating your position in regard to the above and the enforcement of the State mining laws.

Very respectfully yours,
Jake Schmidt, President
Wm. E. Rowekamp, Recording Secretary
Thos. Bush,
Elmer Moss,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Centralia Coal Mine Disaster

This week marks the 62nd anniversary of the Centralia Coal Mine Disaster, in which 111 miners, including my grandfather Anton Skrobul, were killed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Willie Pax Tavern

This photo is labeled "Willie Pax Tavern" and it originally belonged to my mom, Ann Skrobul. Willie's looks like it would've been a fine place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in years past. Although, since my mom's ancestry was Lithuanian, I doubt she celebrated St. Patrick's Day before she met my dad, Edwin Francis Brady. After they were married, mom did celebrate the Irish saint. My mom was a good cook. In honor of her Irish-ancestry-by-marriage, she made great corned beef and cabbage every St. Patrick's Day when I was a kid.

I don't know where or when this photo was taken. My best guess is that it was taken in Chicago in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Diary Excerpts from Ratoath, Ireland

"6 March 1847 Mary Rooney sailed for America deeply regretted by Pat Anderson."

The above quote was taken from the article by Peter Mulvany titled "Extracts from a Ratoath Diary 1804-1898." It was published in Vol. VI, No. 1 (1975) of Riocht na Midhe, the journal of the Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.

Here are a few more excerpts.

May 1848. The Magranes and Tom Bryant went to America and on 3 August the Lynams.
25 July 1848. Martial law proclaimed in Ratoath.
May 1849. James McCabe, John Bruton, and several others went to America and Pat Magrane on 6 June.
June 1849. Mary left Ramsey a broken heart.
Aug. 1849. Kit Foy died of cholera.

The article mentions many other deaths, emigrations, legal matters and other events. This article shows one of the reasons I love Irish genealogical periodicals: they contain information that is not readily available anywhere else. They also provide insight into the social history of Ireland.

To see if there is a journal published for your Irish locations of interest, follow this link, Archaeological and Historical Journals.

I have inquired about the present location of the original diary that the excerpts are taken from, but I haven't yet located it. I hope to find the diary, or at least a complete transcription of it someday. If you have any information about the diary, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Big Wind

My ancestor, Catherine Markey, told her granddaughter, Rita Brady, that she was one year old in the year of the Big Wind. I have learned that the Big Wind was a hurricane which struck Ireland on the evening of 6 January 1839. Catherine also told her granddaughter that she was from "County Meath near the River Boyne, 5 miles from the sea." According to A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Nicolas Carlisle (originally published in 1810, republished by Heritage books on cd-rom in 2001)this location is St. Mary's Parish in Drogheda.

Here is a description of what the residents of Drogheda experienced on the night of the Big Wind:

"As the hurricane hit Drogheda, many families fled in mortal terror for their lives as the wind thundered through their shaking homes. The nightmare atmosphere was further raised as slates and chimney pots crashed down into the streets in the darkness. Frightened horses bolted wildly about adding to the general terror and confusion. Some families made their way to the safety of the Tholsel and the Watch House. Others quit the town to spend the night huddled together in the freezing rain, under the hedgerows of the open fields.

As daylight broke on Monday morning the streets of the town were seen to be blocked with debris of every type and description. Very few houses had escaped the night undamaged. But the greatest loss and suffering was felt amongst the poor of the town. A large number of their cabins were demolished, two or three were burned to the ground, and the remainder were stripped of their thatch roofing.

Remarkably in all this destruction, not one single life was lost, nor were any serious injuries reported in the vicinity of Drogheda." -quoted from the Journal of the Old Drogheda Society, 1990 no. 7.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Tour of Ireland

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here is a short tour of some of my favorite places in Ireland.

St. Laurence Gate, Drogheda

Ha'Penny Bridge, Dublin

Galrus Oratory, Dingle Peninsula

The Cliffs of Moher

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

Long before they started dyeing the Chicago River green, the Irish in Chicago were celebrating the patron saint of their homeland. Below is a transcript of an article published in the Chicago Democrat on March 31, 1843.

Friday last was celebrated in a very becoming manner by the friends of Ireland as the anniversary of the birth of its patron saint, the great and good St. Patrick. The Montgomery Guards, under Capt. Kelly, with the Chicago Band, came out in full uniform, making a splendid appearance. The Catholic Temperance Society also came out with its banner and badges. As also did the Repeal association. These joined in one procession under the very appropriate direction of John Davlin, Esq. paraded through our streets from the Saloon to the Catholic Church, where a very able and interesting sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. St. Pallais in explanation of the history and virtues of St. Patrick. Mass was then celebrated in the most solemn and affecting manner and with the best sacred music we have ever heard in our city. In speaking of the music of the Catholic Church heretofore, we wrongfully attributed it to the Chicago Band, when it should have been to the Catholic Choir alone, under the direction of Rev. Mr. Fisher with Mrs. Strangman upon the organ. After the services were closed, the procession again formed and proceeded to the Saloon, where a very learned and eloquent address was delivered by Dr. W. B. Egan the President of the Chicago Repeal Association and founder of that institution, upon Ireland and her wrongs, eliciting loud, frequent and protracted applause from an overflowing house. The company then dispersed and the remainder of the day passed off in quiet, as if there had been no display and no gathering of the people. The whole celebration, from beginning to end, was admirably conducted, and the most fastidious could find no fault with the order preserved throughout the day; and, whilst it reflected honor upon all concerned in it, and upon all Irishmen as a class, it had a tendency to awaken a spirit of enquiry into the history of Ireland in the minds of hundreds and in very many the deepest sympathies for her home population now peacibly struggling for freedom from oppression the most cruel.

If there are any native Americans in our city, whose minds are prejudiced against old country men, let them reflect that the only uniformed company in our city is solely composed of Irishmen; and, furthermore, that this same St. Patrick, worshipped as the patron Saint of Ireland, was not himself an Irishman but a Frenchman carried to Ireland as a slave. We hope the custom of celebrating this day will be kept up hereafter and that much good will result therefrom in wakening American sympathies for the suffering countrymen of Emmet, O’Connell and Mathew.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ellen McSorley

In honor of Women’s History Month, I am posting a mini-biography about my 2nd-great-grandmother, Ellen McSorley.

Ellen was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in about 1815. Nothing is known of her childhood years. She immigrated to the United States, and settled in Newark, New Jersey. Ellen was 18 years old at the time of her marriage to Timothy Bestick, an Irish immigrant from County Longford. They married at St. John’s Catholic Church in Newark on 7 January 1833.

The names of Ellen’s parents are unknown, but it is certain that Ellen did not leave all her family behind in Ireland. Several McSorleys are found in Newark records associated with Ellen. In particular, Susan McSorley was enumerated immediately after Timothy Bestick in the 1840 census. Susan was the head of a household of 6 persons. Other McSorleys are found in the records of St. John’s Church, including Rosanna McSorley who was the baptismal sponsor to Ellen’s son James.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Ellen cared for her three children and the boarders who lived with the Bestick family. She was also a business woman. Ellen is listed in several Newark city directories as a milliner. It appears that her career as a milliner enabled her to purchase real estate. On 14 June 1864, Ellen purchased property on Academy Street in Newark from Thomas Paulin and his wife for $2,100.00. The deed mentions that Ellen is the wife of Timothy Bestick, but he was not a party to the agreement.

Ellen was 59 years old at the time of her death due to old age on 4 September 1872. Her funeral was held at St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral, Newark. Ellen was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Orange, in a plot owned by James Cox, who is believed to be her nephew. It is noteworthy that Ellen was buried in the same cemetery, but not in the same plot as her husband and children. The reason for this remains a mystery.

In keeping with the month of March being National Women's History Month, the topic for the 68th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will once again be: A Tribute to Women. To find tributes to other women, look for this carnival on Jasia's Creative Gene blog.

Patrick Whelan Cemetery Record

Patrick Whelan, the brother of my ancestor Timothy, was buried in Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, IL, along with several members of his family. In fact, I count 26 names listed as buried in this 3 grave plot. Many of them were children and infants. I have seen other plot cards from Calvary with 10 or more people in a 3 grave plot. But I guess 26 was the limit. The staff typed "NO ROOM FOR FUTURE INTERMENTS" on the card in 2 places.

This plot was used by the family for over 100 years. The first burial was Mary Whelan on 11/30/1861. The last burial was Mary Whalen on 11/21/1964.

Other points of interest:
1. The surname Whelan is spelled 3 ways on this card: Whalan, Whalen, and Whelan.

2. Other surnames on the card are Martin, Landy, Reardon, and Maloney. The first 3 surnames include known in-laws of Patrick Whelan.

3. There are 6 Mary Whelans buried in this plot.

I'm looking forward to finding obituaries and/or death certificates for some of those buried here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Favorite Thing about Irish Genealogy

This is my entry to the 12th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. This edition is open to anything and everything about Irish heritage, genealogy and culture. To learn more about the carnival and find links to other posts, visit the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture.

There are many things I love about doing Irish genealogy. My favorite thing about Irish research is being able to go to Ireland to do it. I’ve only been to Ireland twice, and I enjoyed it both times. I’d go back every year if I could!

My last trip was in 2006. We called it the “Library Tour of Ireland” although it was the “Playground Tour of Ireland” for my kids. I only visited 3 libraries, for less than 8 hours each, but it was great!

In Dublin, I visited the National Library of Ireland. I had a consultation with a member of the Genealogy Service staff. I also looked at church records on microfilm.

In Longford, I visited the county library. I looked at periodicals and a local history collection that is not available elsewhere. I found an interesting clue about the Bestick family of Longford: a mother’s name on a headstone transcription, which was no longer visible on the headstone itself.

I visited the Meath County Library in Navan. I looked at newspapers on the microfilm reader. (I could read old newspapers for hours!) I also looked at books and periodicals in the local history section.

(I have to admit, I also used the computers at the county libraries to check my email. I wonder if they will have wifi by the time I make my next visit.)

I’ve already been making plans for my next trip to Ireland, although I don’t yet know when it will be. 1) I plan to visit PRONI (the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) to search for my McSorleys from County Tyrone. I also want to look at estate papers in their collection that might relate to ancestors from other parts of Ireland. 2) I’d like to visit the Louth County Library and the Louth County Archives. I have ancestors who were from the parish of St. Mary’s-Drogheda, and many records and local history sources for Drogheda are at the County Louth facilities. 3) I can’t go to Ireland without a visit to Dublin. There are several facilities in Dublin that I’d like to visit. I will decide where to do my research depending on how much time I’ll have for research and where I am with my research at that point. But the National Archives of Ireland is calling to me, so I have a feeling I’ll be stopping there. I can’t resist a good manuscript collection.

As David Rencher and David Ouimette tell the students in their Irish Research courses: It isn’t that you have to go to Ireland to do research, it’s that you get to go to Ireland to do research.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Favorite Photo of Dad

This is my favorite photo of my dad, Edwin F. Brady. It isn't really a very good picture of him--you can't even see his face. But it shows him enjoying himself. He was on vacation in Colorado, feeding a chipmunk. My dad liked to travel in his younger days, and he always loved animals and nature. So this photo represents him very well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My 100th Post

I began my blog on October 6th, 2008. Here I am, just over 5 months later, writing my 100th post. So, here's a look back, and then a look ahead at what's to come.

Blogging has been a great experience! Some of the good points of blogging: It has gotten me to write about some of my ancestors that I had never written about before. Blogging has helped me start to organize my genealogy research and the family photos I've received from my mom and my Aunt Rita. I've discovered that I had duplicates of some of the old photos, sometimes in assorted sizes. And sometimes with different information written on the back of the different copies.

Blogging helped me begin to solve one of my brickwall problems that I've had since I started researching my family history over 30 years ago.

I've met some neat people who are fellow genealogy bloggers. Some I've only met online, and others I've met in person.

I've connected to other researchers who are interested in the same surnames I'm researching. I've gotten help from people who have read my blog, and I've been able to help some of my readers too.

Blogging is great fun. I wish I had more time to spend on it. There are topics I've planned to blog about that I haven't gotten around to yet. And I have many more photos to post--I haven't even started on the ones we got from my husband's Grandma Betty.

Looking ahead, this month is my Mainly Irish Month. I'll be posting photos and other items related to my Irish ancestors, Irish research and other things Irish. I'll also be devoting a week to my Lithuanian ancestors who worked in coal mines in Illinois and elsewhere.

For the remainder of the year, I will be posting more Civil War documents related to my ancestors. I will post information from some probate and land records of my Chicago Whelans. I have documents and photos to post about my Lithuanian ancestors. I'll continue to participate in various Blog Carnivals, and post new discoveries.

The blog is hungry! I must keep feeding the blog!

Mom and Her Siblings

My mom, Ann Skrobul, was one of 8 children. And from what I saw of them, they all got along well. I know my mom loved them all, and felt loved by them. The photo above shows my mom goofing around with her 2 brothers, Stan and Putt (aka Tony).

I have alot of photos of my mom with 1 or more of her siblings. In the photo below are Stella and my mom standing, with their oldest sister Josephine seated. The photo was taken in April, 1957. My mom is standing behind Aunt Jo because she was a little bit pregnant at the time.

The next picture shows Veronica, Ann and Jule Skrobul standing in front of the family home in Beckemeyer, Illinois.

Here is one more photo of my mom and some of her siblings. From left to right, Stella, Veronica and Ann are shown spending a quiet evening together knitting.

I only have one photo of my mom with her siblings when they were children. It is a picture of the 5 sisters that I have posted here. I have no picures of the sixth sister, Maria, who died as an infant.

My mom was very lucky to have grown up with so many great brothers and sisters, and to have stayed close to them as adults.

To see more photos and comments about brothers and sisters, look at the 11th edition of Smile For the Camera, posted by the footnoteMaven.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dad and Friends

Here is another photo of my dad and some friends from his young adult years. From left to right are Wayne Swonk, Ed Brady and Jim Collins. This picture is mounted to a cardboard frame, taped to it with very yellowed cellophane tape. It was then wrapped in tissue paper, which is also looking a bit yellowed. The names of the 3 men in the photo are written on the top layer of tissue paper in the handwriting of my aunt Rita Brady (Ed's sister.) The photo is a bit blurry, but it is the only one I have found so far of Wayne. I do not know where or when it was taken. Since dad was born in 1907, I think the photo was probably taken after 1927.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ed Brady and Richard Spencer

Here they are: my dad, Ed Brady, and his friend, Richard Spencer. I do not know when or where this photo was taken. The guys appear to be in their 20s to me. Since Dad was born in 1907, the picture was probably taken between 1927 and 1937, probably towards the earlier end of that range.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Catherine Whelan's Deposition

This deposition was given by my great-grandmother, Catherine (Markey) Whelan. It was given in support of the claim for a widow's pension by Catherine's sister-in-law, Mary J. Whelan.

For the sake of consistency, I use the spelling "Whelan" when writing about this family. This was the spelling I have found most often in Irish records. However, Patrick's family used the spelling "Whalin" consistently in these pension documents, although not in other documents I have found. The transcription below reflects the spelling of words as given in the original documents.

Deposition D
Case of Mary J. Whalin, No. 773265

On this 18 day of May, 1903, at Chicago, county of Cook, State of Illinois, before me, J. H. Stibbs[?], a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Catherine Whalin, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to her during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 65 years of age, am the widow of Timothy Whalin and reside at 166 Chestnut in Chicago Ill.

I first knew this claimant ever since after she was married. About 5 months before she was married. She was then a young unmarried girl. I was not present at the church when they were married, but I was at the house that evening where the wedding festivities were held. My husband stood up with her when she was married. She was married in December, 35 or 36 years ago. The first I knew her husband, Patrick Whalin, was when he came from the war. He was then a single man, & had never been married, & I am sure his first marriage was to claimant. They lived together as man & wife until he died, & she has not remarried since. I know they were living together on Columbia St. at the time of his death.

She has been very poor since her husband died, has had no property & no income aside from her own labor.

I am not interested in her claim, above has been read to me & is correct.

Attest her X mark
Fannie Reardon Catherine Whalin
[?] Kenny

Monday, March 2, 2009

Deming Place Then and Now

The photo above is dated December 1944. On the back, it is labeled "We lived here Ann, Estelle & Stella" in the handwriting of my mom, Ann Skrobul.

This photo is labeled "1981, 632 Deming Pl. previous residence of Ann Skrobul Brady" in my handwriting. It looks like I found the correct building when I went looking for it in 1981. I just loved the look of these old stone houses.

Recently, I looked for this address on the Cook County Assessor's website, and I found this image labeled 2006:

This didn't look like a good development for the old house. I hoped it was just a major remodeling and not a tear down. I decided to look on Google Earth and see if it showed a more recent image. Google Earth showed this image:

The house appears to be still standing and seems to be looking better again. But now I want to satisfy my curiosity. I'll just have to drive by and see the house in person on my next trip to the north side of Chicago. And I'll probably take a few pictures of the building while I'm there, to add to my collection.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The McGoldricks and The Bradys

This is a picture of my parents and another couple. On the left are John and Dorothy McGoldrick. On the right, my parents, Ann (Skrobul) and Edwin F. Brady. The photo was most likely taken in Chicago in the early 1950s.