Sunday, August 7, 2011

Solved . . . or at Least Partially Solved

Many thanks to another double cousin for a partial solution to the lady in my last post, "Oh, Those Beautiful Eyes".  Cousin June has temporary custody of the original photo, and so I asked her to look at it for me to see if she could read anything more than I could from my digital copy.  Yippee!  My reasoning was correct . . .  it says, the sister of great Grandma Mac.  Of course it doesn't give her name, but this means that the entire family must not have emigrated from Ireland.   June also saw a very faint date which looked like 1781, but would more likely have been 1881 or 1891 from my research into the photographer.

Many years ago my mother wrote to her cousin on behalf of my brother (the original family historian) and asked about family information.  A couple of years ago we reconnected, and when we went to visit her she generously allowed us to scan every photo and document,  as well as scribbled notes she had saved concerning the family.  One of those notes listed the names of great Grandma Mac's  (Bridget O'Callahan) sisters.  Sadly, she passed away before we could ask who gave her that information, but it had to be from the McDonnell side of the family, and the most likely person claims it wasn't her.  So we have this completely unsourced lead . . .  but leads are always welcome.  I have not yet found another family member who knew this information so that makes it especially precious to me.
Click to enlarge and read more details than those listed below. 

Edited transcription:

Great Grandma Bridget O'Callahan McDonnell had 3 sisters and 3 brothers

1.) Abigail - Pat Kennedy
Mary  m.William Green
Catherine m. Oscar Smedly

2.) Catherine O'Callahan - Pat Curtin
John m. Mary Gary

3.) Mary O'Callahan - Michael Reagan
Mollie m. Thomas McCarty
Albie m. Thomas Ayan
Bridget m. John Donovan

4.) John O'Callahan - Winnie Maloney
Winnie m. Frank McDonnell
Mary m.

5.) Dennis O'Callahan ?

6.)  John Daniel O'Callahan ?

The only issue is that it looks like all of these individuals lived in the U.S. based upon the listing of subsequent generations - except for the two possible brothers at the end.  That, of course, makes me wonder if the sister in the photo passed away since she was still in Ireland in the late 1800's. She obviously kept in touch with Bridget for a long time given the date of the photo and the fact that Bridget immigrated to the U.S around 1854.

From the 1925 Iowa census (a genealogist's dream census), I find that great Grandma Mac (Bridget O'Callahan McDonnell) lists her parents names as Simon O'Callaghan and Mary Galvan.  Now I need to find an Irish record with these names in combination.  The information I have says that Bridget lived in Cobh/Queenstown. So far, I have not found any records of her family or her immigration to the U.S.

Genealogy is an endless series of mysteries and oh, how I love the chase!

Well, if that photo is Bridget McDonnell's sister, could this unidentified tintype/ambrotype (I don't know the difference) photo, found in the same album, be her father, Simon O'Callahan?  His clothing with the wide labels, vest, and turned down collar along with his lack of facial hair and the photograph medium seem to tell me this is mid 19th century.  However, this is completely am impression on my part so if anyone who reads this has some expertise in this matter, please share.

But also . . . he has those eyes!

1 comment:

  1. Such a joy to see progress made from these souvenirs of our families' histories. Well done. And yes, those eyes are unmistakable.