Friday, March 20, 2015

New Discoveries & Unexpected Tragedies

My New Year’s resolution for genealogy was to learn more about my maternal
Nathaniel Gardner
grandfather’s family. My grandfather, Nathaniel Gardner, died when my mother was a teenager so I never met him and never had a chance to hear him tell stories about his life. Nathaniel married an Irish Catholic, Helen Coyle, and she told me many tales of her life as a young girl. Even though Nathaniel’s stories are gone I wanted to learn more about this part of my history.

Knowing nothing about Jewish genealogy or how to search the Austria/Hungary area, I hired a professional to research for me. I hired Robert J. Friedman from ‘Steps to the Past’. He has started sending me data about this branch of my family tree.

New Discoveries

First I found out that the Gartners were from Hungary [rather than Austria as my mother had thought] and before that they were from Poland. I have roots in various countries & now that extends in new directions.

Then Robert uncovered a long list of aunts & uncles for my grandfather. Wonderful!
Leopold Gartner
Nathaniel Gardner’s parents were Leopold Gartner [notice the earlier spelling of the surname] & Fannie Edelstein. Robert found Leopold’s parents and siblings in the 1869 Hungary Census. The slim branch with Nathaniel; his father, Leopold; and Leopold’s father Markus has begun to sprout leaves in many directions.

Unexpected Tragedies

I found myself reading about Leib, Hani, Hirsch, Hermina, Izrael, Jakob and Roza and finding a place for them in my heart. As I read the preliminary findings about their marriages, their children and their lives they became more than just names and dates. They became alive. However, just as suddenly, some of them were violently and inhumanely murdered. Hermina Gartner Farkas and her daughter, Rezi, were killed in 1944 in Auschwitz. Roza Gartner Katz and her husband Kalman were murdered in the Holocaust. I’d read about those horrible times; seen documentaries and movies. But these were my people, my family who I was rejoicing at finding, imagining the music and dancing at their weddings and the thrill of their children’s births to be replaced by dark thoughts of fear, cruelty and death. As I went to JewishGen and read the Yizkor Book & Necrology Database & lists of Hungarian Deaths I felt an awful sorrow that I had not expected. I did a Google search for Auschwitz but found I had to immediately close the page. It all seemed changed. My new link to my Gartner family made it personal.

Fortunately, Robert Friedman wrote this to me: “A little advice: Reading these kinds of materials can be sobering and upsetting. It's great that you have a baby to celebrate--the opposite of the destruction you may read about.” He knows we are visiting our new grandson and he is right that the baby brings us something to be happy about, a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. 

The Gartner Family

Monday, March 16, 2015

My Wild Irish Roots

As we research our roots we often trace our origins back to many countries. I have always felt the strongest connection to my maternal grandmother's family, my Irish roots. 

Perhaps this is because my mother, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown, and her mother, Helen F. Coyle Gardner, were the center of our lives as my brothers and I grew up. They both told us stories of our family. Hearing tales about our family in Counties Cavan and Tipperary and, later, in New York City, made me wish I could travel back in time and see the world as my grandmother saw it.

Perhaps it is my St. Patrick's Day birthday and my freckles that give me a strong connection to my Irish roots. For whatever reason, this is a good day to bring out a chart of my wild Irish roots.

My maternal grandmother's family tree.

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Coming Soon: Arbor Day & Family Tree Challenge

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Census Sunday: The Corcorans in Ansonia, CT

Catherine Brady Corcoran b August 1878 England
          Daughter of Owen & Mary McGovern Brady

Daniel J Corcoran b c 1874 CT
          Son of Michael & Ellen Parker Corcoran

When a family stays in one place it makes them easy to track!

1910 US Census, CT, New Haven, Ansonia; ED 321, Sheet 4A;; Daniel J Corcoran at 133 Tremont Street.
Daniel J. Corcoran, 35, b CT; married 5 years; parents b “Ire. English”; fitter electrical building
Catherine B Corcoran, 31; no children
Bernard Dougherty, 37; Lodger

1920 US Census, CT, New Haven, Ansonia; SD 38, ED 239, Sheet 5A;; Daniel Corcoran at 133 Tremont Street.
Daniel Corcoran, 45 b CT; Electrician, Electrical Supply
Catherine, 40 b England
Ida, daughter, 9 b CT

1930 US Census, CT, New Haven, Ansonia; ED 5-106, SD 1, Sheet 3A;; Daniel J Corcoran at 133 Tremont Street.
Daniel J Corcoran, 60 b CT; age at first marriage 27; owned home $5,000; owned radio; parents b Ireland; night watchman, manufacturing co.
Katherine, wife, 49 b England

1940 US Census, CT, New Haven, Ansonia; SD 5, ED 5-6, Sheet 12B;; Daniel Corcoran at 133 Tremont Street.
Daniel Corcoran, 65 b CT, clerk at WPA
Catherine, 61

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Obituary: Sudden Death of Nicholas D. Magrath

N. D. McGrath

Former Resident of This City Dies Suddenly in Brooklyn

Word was received this morning by Mrs. William Larkin of Shelton that her brother-in-law, N. D. MacGrath formerly of this city, died suddenly yesterday in Brooklyn, where he made his home. Mr. MacGrath was very well known in Derby where he lived until he went to Brooklyn. He was called “Dick” by his friends. He had been employed as an auditor by the Equitable Life Insurance company.

Mr. MacGrath is survived by his wife, who was Miss Mary O’Reilly, and a brother who lives in Brooklyn. Mrs. Larkin and Mrs. H. Milo Chaffee, both of this city, are sisters-in-law and they went to Brooklyn today. Mr. MacGrath’s death came as a shock to his relatives here as a letter was received yesterday from him by Mrs. Larkin and he was in his usual good health.

"N. D. McGrath: Former Resident of This City Dies Suddenly in Brooklyn." The Ansonia Sentinel 27 Oct. 1923.

Note: Nicholas' name is spelled  different ways in his obituary: McGrath & MacGrath. I have decided to use the spelling on his tombstone: Magrath.

Interment Made Here

Body of Nicholas D. McGrath of Brooklyn, Brought Here for Burial

The funeral of Nicholas D. McGrath, a life time resident of Brooklyn, N. Y. and husband of Mary E. O’Reilly, formerly of this city, was held from his late home at 548 76th street, Brooklyn, yesterday morning at 8:45 o’clock and at Our Lady of [unreadable] solemn requiem high Mass was celebrated. Internment was made in Mount St. Peter’s cemetery this city at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Undertaker Thomas F. Stapleton had charge of funeral arrangements and the bearers were two brothers-in-law, William F. Larkin, Milo E. Chaffee, of Shelton, Patrick H. O’Brien, Patrick McCabe and William McCormack, of this city, and James Collins of Brooklyn.

"Interment Made Here." The Ansonia Sentinel 31 Oct. 1923: 9. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Funeral Card Friday Margaret Brady Coyle

Margaret Brady Coyle

b c 1855 Cavan, Ireland

d 22 November 1934 CT

This is a scan of a photocopy of the original. Glad to have it in any form.

1 Margaret Brady b: Abt. 1855 in Killykeen, Cavan, Ireland, d: 22 Nov 1934 Waterbury, New Haven, CT
... + Patrick Coyle b: 20 May 1841 in Moate, Cavan County, Ireland, m: 11 Feb 1870 Granard, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 21 Jun 1925 in Milford, New Haven, CT

......2 Michael Coyle b: 24 Nov 1870 in Moate, Ireland, d: Unknown
...... + Mary Josephine Mullane b: 3 Aug 1867 in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ireland, m: 09 Nov 1895 NY d: 17 Dec 1927 Bronx, NY

......2 Bernard Coyle b: 13 Feb 1872 in Granada, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 08 Nov 1946 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT
...... + Maria d: Bef. 1930

......2 Catherine Coyle b: 23 Dec 1873 in Granada, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 15 Oct 1952 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT

......2 Maria Coyle b: 29 Jan 1876 in Cavan, Ireland, d: 21 Dec 1885

......2 Patrick Joseph Coyle b: 28 Dec 1879 in Moate, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 30 Jun 1954 in St Petersburg, Pinellas, FL
...... + Nancy Guilette b: Ohio, USA, m: 1925 in St Petersburg, Pinellas, FL

......2 Margaret Coyle b: 16 Apr 1881 in Moate, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 30 Jul 1972 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT

......2 Thomas Albert Coyle b: 21 Aug 1883 in Moate, Cavan County, Ireland, d: 13 Sep 1962 Los Angeles, CT

......2 James Joseph Coyle b: 16 Apr 1887 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, d: 13 Oct 1955 Waterbury, New Haven, CT
...... + Madeline Herbst b: 10 Nov 1892 in Wolcott, New Haven, CT, m: 7 May 1912
NY d: 22 Sep 1948 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT

......2 Bridget Coyle b: 21 Dec 1888 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, d: 21 Apr 1943
...... + Bernard W Kelly b: 25 Apr 1894 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, m: 27 Apr 1925

......2 Maryanne Coyle b: 7 Mar 1891 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, d: 29 Mar 1977 Waterbury, New Haven, CT
...... + William F. Cass b: 20 Sep 1893 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, m: 27 Nov 1918, d: 19 Mar 1959 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT

......2 William Paul Coyle b: 29 Jun 1894 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, d: 16 Sep 1963 San Francisco, California

...... + Lauretta Niail b: 1891 in Waterbury, New Haven, CT, m: 01 Oct 1912 Waterbury, New Haven, CT, d: 12 May 1960 CA

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Obituary: Anna Brady Larkin, Democratic Committee Woman

Mrs. Larkin Dies; Former City Resident

Mrs. Anna A. Brady Larkin of 123 Chapel Street, New Haven, a native of Derby and a former Shelton resident for 40 years, died Wednesday at her home. Widow of William F. Larkin, she was a former Democratic state central committee woman from the 25th District. Mrs. Larkin was the daughter of the late William and Bridget O’Reilly Brady and had been active in Democratic politics in New Haven for many years. She was also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of St. Raphael’s Hospital.

Surviving are a son, William N. Larkin of Branford; two sisters, Mrs. Bertha Chaffee and Miss Helen C. Brady, both of Brooklyn, New York, and two grandchildren.

The funeral will be held Friday at 8:15 a.m. from the Sisk Brothers Funeral Home, 123 Dwight Street, New Haven, with a solemn high Mass of requiem at 9 a.m. in St. Brendan’s Church, New Haven. Interment will be in Mount St. Peter’s Cemetery, Derby. Friends may call at the funeral home today from 3 to 5 and from 7 to 9 p.m.

"Mrs. Larkin Dies; Former City Resident." The Ansonia Sentinel 15 Oct. 1964: 15.

1 Ann Brady b: 10 Apr 1883 in New Haven, CT
... + William F Larkin b: 14 Oct 1883, d: 22 Jul 1959
......2 William N Larkin b: 09 Feb 1914, d: 15 Apr 1996

...... + Evelyn A Sommers b: 02 Aug 1912, d: 27 Oct 1995

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book: Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland

Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland
Running Press, Philadelphia, 2004

This history “is a series of stories: the stories of the men and women who made Ireland’s history. Each is individual in itself, and makes a wondrous tale alone. But together, as a whole, they tell a story of Ireland."

I wish I’d had the chance to visit my Irish family; the Coyles in their small thatch roofed stone house in rural County Cavan or the Mullanes in their more urban home on the hillside in Clonmel, County Tipperary. I wish I could have sat beside a fire, looked into their freckled faces, and heard the stories of our family and tales of Ireland. Reading the stories in this book is like hearing those stories, night after night, a new tale each evening from the early days of the country and slowly moving to the modern world. A country is no more and no less than the people who live and have lived there. Knowing their triumphs and failures, their dreams and their daily drudgeries is learning the spirit of the land.

If you want to visit Ireland without leaving home, pick up a copy of this book from your library. Malachy McCourt knows how to tell a story. When I read this book I can hear the rhythm of Irish speech in the words and almost smell the wood smoke from my ancestor’s home.


Ireland before Patrick
The Land of Saints & Scholars
The Viking Invasion and the High Kings of Ireland
The Tudor Conquest and the Fall of the Gaelic World
The Seventeenth Century: Destruction, Chaos, and Loss
The Great Patriots
Ireland After the Great Hunger
A Terrible Beauty is Born: Proclaiming the Republic
A Century of Irish Voices
Birth Pangs of a New Nation
Ireland in the Modern World
People of Passion
People of Peace
A Chance for Reconciliation
The Celtic Tiger and the New Ireland
List of Works