Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bridal Party

Here is a picture of my parents and their attendants on their wedding day, April 24, 1954. It was a small wedding! From left to right: Clarence and Margaret Sharp; and my parents, Edwin F. Brady and Ann Skrobul.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bill Waxner

This is a picture of Bill Waxner, a cousin of my mom, Ann Skrobul. Bill's picture was contained in an old photo album of my mom's that I am scanning. There are several photos of Bill and his siblings in the album.

Bill was born in Beckemeyer, Illinois on 8 May 1913. His parents were Walter Wajksner and Antanina Skrobulyte. The family later moved to Lake County, Indiana.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


This is a photo of Marie. I bet you're wondering, "Marie who?" Well, so am I. The picture is from an old photo album that belonged to my mom, Ann Skrobul. I do not know of any relative that this could be a picture of, although the name Marie was found on my Grandpa Skrobul's side of the family. Marie's hairstyle reminds me of photos I've seen of people from the 1920s.

If you recognize this photo of Marie, please contact me to exchange information.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

This is a picture of my mom and dad, Ann Skrobul and Edwin F. Brady, and the priest, on their wedding day, April 24, 1954.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Murphy Tombstone

This is the headstone of Patrick Murphy who is buried at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Chicago. Patrick is not a relative of mine. I came across the tombstone while doing some research at the cemetery. I decided to post the photo, since it gave specific information about Patrick's place of origin in Ireland.

Here is a close-up view of the inscription.

The inscription reads:

DIED AUG. 4, 1901

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stella Skrobul

It's time to post another photo. This one is of my Aunt Stella looking stylish. Stella was born in 1917, so I estimate the photo was taken in the 1940s.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fannie Reardon Deposition

This is a transcription of an affidavit from the widow's pension case file of Mary J. Whalin, the widow of Patrick Whalin.

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

On this 18th 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 Fannie Rearden, 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 32 years of age, am the wife of James Rearden & reside with him at 121 East Huron St Chicago Ill.

I am a daughter of this claimant. From my earliest recollections, my Father & mother lived together as man & wife, until he died, never were divorced or legally separated and she has not remarried since his death.

I was present when my Father died. He died at their home, 1059 Columbia St. I know they were living together at that time.

My Father served in the 90th Ill . Vols. This was the only service he ever endured in the army or Navy, that I knew or heard of.

Since Father’s death, Mother has had no property of any kind, & no income from any source aside from her own labor.

The house where she lives belongs to my crippled brother. This place was paid for with the $2000 which he got from the R.R. Co. I brought the suit for him as his next nearest friend. Mother has not been able to pay the taxes, & I fear they will loose the place. The water has been shut off for two years.

From what I have known of the family history, I feel sure that neither my Father or Mother were married prior to their marriage to each other.

I have understood questions & the above which has been read to me is correct.
Fannie Reardon
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th day of May 1903, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
J. H. Stibbs
Special Examiner.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Edwin F. Brady, 1907-1977

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the birth of my dad, Edwin F. Brady. Dad once told me that he got his first job when he was 7 years old--riding on a milk wagon and helping to deliver the milk. This picture appears to have been taken around that time period.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Another Mystery Photo

This picture is from an old photo album that belonged to my mother, Ann Skrobul. The people in the photo are unidentified. It was on a page with photos that included Bill Waxner, a cousin of my mom. In fact, the man in this photo could be Bill or a close relative of his. I am not aware of any relatives who were members of a religious order at this time, so the identity of the nun in this picture is a particular mystery.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jule Skrobul

This is a picture of my aunt, Jule Skrobul, looking quite stylish. I believe that the photo was taken in the 1930s, since Jule was born in 1913.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Where was Patrick Whelan from?

Patrick was the brother of my great-grandfather, Timothy Whelan. They both arrived in Chicago in about 1850. I have never found a document that stated where Timothy was from, although my aunt told me he was from Kilkenny. When I began to discover information about Patrick, I hoped to find proof that they were from Kilkenny. (It’s always nice to prove the family stories are true.) Unfortunately, Patrick was not a very reliable source of information. I have 2 documents that state which county in Ireland he was from. Both are based on statements by Patrick himself, and the documents name 2 different counties—Kilkenny and Kings.

The first source which gave a location for Patrick was a database on the Illinois State Archives website. A search of the Illinois Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database produced an Illinois Civil War Detail Report for Patrick which indicated he was born in Kilkenny, Ireland.

I requested and received a copy of the document that the information in the database came from. It was a Muster and Descriptive Roll, which clearly indicates that Patrick was from Kilkenny—no error in data entry, handwriting interpretation, etc.

I used the information from the Illinois website and from to request copies from the Civil War pension file of Patrick, and from his widow’s pension file.

I have already posted some material from the widow’s pension file. I have found interesting information in Patrick’s pension file, which I will begin posting as well.

The pension file for Patrick included a deposition made by him on July 1, 1899 which stated,” I am the claimant above cited and I hereby declare that I was born on or about April 14 1821 in Kings County Ireland. We had no family Bible in our House therefore no record of my birth in a Bible. I can neither read or write hence I was unable to make or keep a record of my birth, but I am over 78 years of age and totally disabled for labor of any kind.”

The pension files and the muster roll copies are definitely referring to the same Patrick Whelan. His unit, rank, and occupation are identified in the muster roll and the pension files.

I would like to find additional evidence regarding where Patrick was born. Some sources I’ve tried:
death certificate—Birthplace not stated.
cemetery record—Birthplace not stated.
headstone—None exists.
church marriage record—Birthplace not stated.
civil marriage record—None exists. Destroyed in Chicago Fire of 1871.

There are additional records which I am still looking for that may contain Patrick’s birthplace. These include obituaries, probate files, deeds, and naturalization record. Suggestions of other sources to try are most welcome. Just leave me a comment.

I’ve found clues regarding siblings of Patrick in his widow’s pension file. I hope these clues will lead to additional documentation regarding the place of origin of Patrick Whelan.

I’ve also done a brief survey of Irish sources online. At I searched on the surname Whelan in Griffith’s valuation. I found 227 Whelans in Kilkenny and 53 in Offaly (Kings) County. At the Irish Central Signposting Index website, a look at their coverage indicated that it doesn’t include Kilkenny or Kings counties. The Irish Family History Foundation had records of 8 Patrick Whelans born in Kilkenny in 1817-25. I haven’t taken the next step yet of paying to view the records. Kings County is not included in the online index.

So, where were Patrick, Timothy and their siblings from? Well, at this point I’m leaning towards Kilkenny, but the evidence is sparse and conflicting. So, for now I will continue my exhaustive (but enjoyable) research.

Source citations and additional information available upon request.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ann Skrobul

Here is a photo of my mom, Ann Skrobul. The photo was probably taken in the mid-1930s.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!

In honor of April Fools Day, I'm posting a silly photo of my mom and a friend. From left to right are my mom, Ann Skrobul, and her friend Mary. After comparing this photo to another one, I believe that Mary's last name was Hayslett. I don't know where or when this picture was taken. My best guess would be in the Chicago area in the mid to late 1930s. Mom was born in 1914 and came to Chicago as a young woman. Old photos of her often show her having alot of fun with friends.

Have a fun day!