Sunday, May 31, 2009

Class of 1925

This is part of the DePaul University Academy, Class of 1925. I have a class picture of the graduating class hanging on my wall. I will post pictures of groups of graduates over the next few weeks. The class photo is mounted, under glass, and has some stains near the bottom. So the images are not as good as I'd like, but I don't want to try removing the photo from the mounting.
In the section above, from left to right, are W.P. Petersen Vice Pres, J.J. Phelan Pres, and E.F. Brady Sec.

In the section above, from left to right, are H.J.McCormick Sal., R.T. Spencer Val., and L.S. Blanchard Treas.

Congratulations to the graduates of 2009, as I remember my dad, Edwin F. Brady, Class of 1925.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another Pension Affidavit

Here is another deposition in the pension case of Patrick Whelan. This one is given by John P. Dunne, a former coworker and employer of Patrick. The deposition deals with Patrick's reliability and drinking habits.

Deposition C
Case of Patrick Whalin, No. 50355

On this 17th day of November, 18900, at Chicago, county of Cook, State of Illinois, before me, DS McIntyre, a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared John P. Dunne, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says:

I am 44 years of age; my post-office address is No 2162 N Marshfield Ave Chicago Ills. & I am a plummer. I have known this clt here Patrick Whalin ever since I was a helper – well for 30 years I say any how.

He worked with me at times and since I’ve been in business for myself he has worked for me.

Well sir he would take a drink now and then, but he did not use intoxication liquors to excess or abuse himself with their use.

He has been a good reliable man & I could always depend on him.

He never “soaked” it all.

When he would quit work sometimes he would go and take a drink or two, but he would be right on hands for work all right the next morning.

I never knew him to get on a protracted spree-never.

His looks show he has not been a hard drinker.
I am neither related nor interested

Questions understood and answers correctly recorded

John P. Dunne

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Family Fun

This is a picture of my mom, uncle and cousin on a family outing. This picture was taken in the early 1950s, probably in southern Illinois. Seated is my uncle, Al Mensing and my mom, Ann Skrobul. Uncle Al is holding his son, Stanley Mensing. The rolled up pant legs are a different look for my mom. I wonder if they were going to do some fishing that day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"A Candid Old Irishman"

That is how one special examiner described Patrick Whelan after questioning him regarding his pension claim. Here is the examiner's report:

Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois
Novr 17th 1900


I have the honor to return herewith the papers together with my report in claim under Act of June 27th 1890 under Ctf No 50355 Patrick Whalin Co G 90th Regt Ills Vols Infty. whose PO address is now No 1059 Columbus Street Chicago Ills. The papers were referred to this Division as per slip of the Medical Refaree of date Aug 30th 1899 to determine whether clts habits have been intemperate.

The papers came to me by transfer for the initial examination.

Clt was served with the usual notice & his rights were fully explained.
I insisted on his accompanying me & he was present when the witnesses were examined.

He is a remarkably frank, open faced candid old Irishman for whom every one seems to have a good word.
His looks do not indicate an habitual drinker.
His reputation for truth is good as is also his witnesses, all of whom are business men.
One of the men named by clt is dead.
I did not deem it necessary to look up the other, for the rule was already exceeded--Reference to the Chief of the Board of Review is respectfully recommended.

Very respectfully
DS McIntyre
Special Examiner
Hon H Clay Evans

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Examiner's View of the Whelan Pension Claim

Room 549, Rand-McNally Building
No. 160 Adams Street, Chicago, Ill.
May 20, 1903
The [?] of Pensions,
Washington D.C.


I have the honor to return with my report the claim #773265 of Mary J. Whalin, which was referred to me for special examination to determine widowhood, dependence, proper name of minor, and non prior marriage of soldier.

Claimant was duly notified of the examination to be made, and of her rights and priveleges, but she did not wish to be represented by an atty, and has waived notice of any further examination deemed necessary.

This claimant is a worthy good woman of unquestioned good repute, and she is disgracefully poor, dependent beyond question. Her statement as to minors and name of her son Bertrand will, I think, satisfactorily settle that part[?].

From the witnesses whom I have seen, I have learned that soldier
became quite “cranky” during the later years of his life, and seemed to take pleasure in exaggerating his age. His hair became entirely white, and he had the appearance of being older than he really was. Peter Lynch, who is entirely reliable, an Old Lake Captain, told me after signing his deposition, of soldier’s extravagant stories about his age and said that he was younger than his sister-Mrs. Lynch, and that she & Lynch were about the same age. This would have made him about 76 or 77 if he were still living, and this corresponds with [?] estimate; She says he had the appearance of being about 40 at date of marriage.

The death cft, showing that soldier was “widowed” at date of death was unquestionably an error, as the evidence shows conclusively that the parties were living together at date of death.

Claimant was entirely correct in her statement as to the burning of the Church of Immaculate Conception in the great fire of 1871. I have had occasion to verify this repeatedly heretofore. The church records were all destroyed at that time.

I have secured the best evidence attainable, & believing it will meet the requirements of [?] of reference. I submit papers for consideration of Chief of Bd of Review.
I am very respectfully

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Patrick Whelan in His Own Words

This is one of my favorite documents in Patrick Whelan's pension file: Patrick's own deposition. I have retained all spelling and punctuation (or lack thereof) as it appeared in the document itself. I have deleted page numbers, form numbers and other pre-printed wording not relevant to Patrick's story.

Deposition A
Case of Patrick Whalin cft, No. 50355

On this 12th day of November, 18900, at Chicago, County of Cook State of Illinois, before me, DS McIntyre[?] a special examiner of the Bureau of Pensions, personally appeared Patrick Whalin, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 79 years of age; my post=office address is at residence is No 1059 Columbus Street Chicago Ills. I am not able to work. I have been a drayman & laborer.

I served in Co G 90th Regt Ills Infty Vols from Aug 1862 to 1865. I forget the date.
This was my only service in either the US Army or Navy.

I am now pensioned at $6.00 on account of a GSW[gun shot wound] of left leg.
I am claiming additional pension because my leg is worse. I dont know what ails it, whether it is rheumatism or what it is, but my leg gives down on me. & it pains me so much that at night I cant sleep on account of it.
The leg is no good any more.

Another thing I have pains in my breast & I get dizzy and tremble (fall) down.
I guess its my heart.

Another thing I have a rupture I guess it is. It is on my right side.
I have lost the middle finger of my left hand.
I lost it before the war.
My rupture Ive had for 10 or 12 years and may be longer.

I’ve had this heart trouble for 5 or 6 years or may be more.

I cant tell you how long Ive had rheumatism. Guess Ive had it ever since I came out of the Army I don’t know.
Id have a spell of it & then it would go away & then it would “ketch” me again. It began in my wounded leg and next in my right [?] and shoulder.
Have had it for 12 years or more.
I don’t know what brought on my rheumatism, whether it was my wound or sleeping on wet ground or not.
I am totally disabled for work.

Ques. Where have you lived since the war?
Ans. Up to the time of the big fire in 1871 I owned a house & lived in it on Sickles Street, but the fire burned me out & I lost it.
Then I lived in rented houses all In the North Side up to last March when I moved out where I am now.

Ques. What reliable men can you name who are & have been well acquainted with you?
Ans. Daniel Rock. He keeps a plumming shop on North Clark Street. (118 N Clark Directory Spl Exr) Capt John Dunn--a plummer--on N Lincoln Ave--No [number] forgotten—but I can find him. Judge ___ Kasson. Judge at Chicago Ave & Clark Street Station.
He knows me good.
Judge ___ Hammond corner of Clark & Michigan. Knows me well & he is the man who makes out my papers for me.

Ques. Do you get drunk often?
Ans. No sir. Not often. Not more than once in six months.
My sprees never last a day.
I don’t drink between times.
I haven’t drank anything for months.
My way of drinking has been that ever 6 months or so I would get on a spree and may be tight for 2 or 3 hours and then it I’d let liquor alone for months and never touch it.

Yes sir Judge Kasson sent me up once for 30 days for being drunk.

I can be present when my witnesses are seen.

I am married, have never been married but once and my wife is living. We have never been separated or divorced.
My wife’s maiden name was Mary Martin. We were married the fall of 1866 by the Priest Father Butler right here in Chicago &
There was a license & there should be a church record and a County Record.
My wife was never married before our marriage. We have one child under 16 years old-viz Bert Whalin. I cant remember his exact birthday, but he will be 12 years old this coming December.

I have understood your questions and my answers are correctly recorded.
RB Sesh[?] attest
H. C. [?]
Patrick [his X mark] Whalin Deponent.
Sworn to and submitted before me this 12th day of November 18900, and I certify that the contents were fully made known to deponent before signing.
D S McIntyre

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lacey Tombstone

This is a tombstone of the Lacey family. It is located at Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, Illinois.

Mary E. Lacey
Born May 1, 1865
Co. Mayo Ireland
Died June 30, 1913
Martin D. Lacey
Born Aug. 26, 1861
Cincinati, Ohio
Died Nov. 8, 1916

Mary Frances
Born June 30, 1884
Died Mar. 23, 1895
Loretta Lacey
Born Jan. 8, 1887
Died Dec. 8, 1890

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Conference Attendance Tips

Here are some tips and reminders for those of you planning to attend the NGS conference in Raleigh next week. I originally compiled this list for the 2006 NGS Conference blog. So here they are, with minor revisions:

1. Dress in layers. Conference centers can be too hot or too cold, and often both at the same time, depending on whom you talk to. So bring a sweater or light jacket. That way your comfort level won’t be dependent on the hotel’s engineering staff.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. You may sit a lot of the time listening to presentations, but you may also walk a bit of a distance to get to sessions, meals, and the exhibit hall.

3. Bring a water bottle or other liquid refreshment. Staying hydrated can help you keep going and stay alert through full days of listening and learning. You might also want to bring candy or a granola bar. Avoid those with noisy wrappers if you plan to sneak it during a session.

4. Arrive early. Give yourself extra time to find a parking space or wait for an elevator. Plan to get to the meeting room a few minutes early for each session, in order to have a better selection of seats - whether you prefer to be up front so you can read the screen or near an exit for a quick escape.

5. Come prepared. Bring paper and pen (or your laptop) in order to take notes, exchange contact information, or share your family tree with other attendees.

6. Look over the syllabus. Use it to make final decisions about how to spend your time. Once you’ve looked at the handouts for a particular session, you may decide that the talk isn’t what you were expecting based on the title. You may see that a talk is at too low or high a level to meet your needs. Perhaps you can gain all of the information that you want from the syllabus material itself, and would rather attend a different lecture. The syllabus material is a great resource to refer to during and after the conference.

7. Network. Talk to people. Nowhere else can you find such a large group of people who share your love of genealogy. You can talk about your ancestors, compare brick walls, and share your latest research success. You may meet people with surnames you are researching or people from the area where your ancestors lived. The person sitting next to you at lunch may volunteer at a research facility that you’ve been meaning to contact. Bring business cards with your name, contact information, and surnames of interest. This makes it easy to exchange information with other researchers. Go ahead and wear that t-shirt with your family tree printed on it. You never know when you might find someone with a common ancestor!

8. Visit the exhibit hall. This is your chance to look at and even try out products before deciding to purchase them. Some vendors offer discounts, hold drawings or raffles, and give free samples. Vendors in the exhibit hall are able to answer questions, provide demonstrations, and even give one-on-one training. Conference vendors have a huge amount of books available for purchase. This allows you to browse through a book before you buy.

9. Volunteer at the conference. It is a great way to give back to the genealogy community and to meet other conference attendees.

10. Most important, have fun! Enjoy yourself, meet new people and return home energized!

I hope to see you in Raleigh!

Friday, May 8, 2009


This is a picture of my mom, Ann Skrobul, and her mom, Antanina Norvaisaite. They look happy to be together.

I believe this photo was taken in the 1930s, since Mom was born in 1914, and she looks to me to be in her 20s in this picture.

Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Deposition of John Martin

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

On this 19th 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 John Martin, who, being by me first duly sworn to answer truly all interrogatories propounded to him during this special examination of aforesaid claim for pension, deposes and says: I am 53 years of age, am a packer in Hardware Store, reside at 22 Locust St Chicago Ill.

I am a brother of this claimant. I came to this country in 1872.

I knew positively that my sister was not married before she left Ireland and, from what I learned of the history of her husband Patrick Whalin, after coming here, I am entirely satisfied that neither of them was married prior to their [?] marriage to each other. I know that after I came here in 1872, they lived together as man & wife until he Died, never were divorced or legally separated, & she has not remarried since his death.

She has been very poor since his death & has had no means or property of any kind & no income except from her own labor. She earns $1.00 a day as a scrub woman. The place where she lives belongs to her crippled son, and she not only cares for him, but has her old mother to support.

I am not [?] interested in this claim. The above has been read to me & is correct.

John Martin
Page 10 Deposition B