Feb18

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Tierney grave at Second Calvary Cemetery
After unearthing my great-grandfather’s death certificate recently, I was finally able to track down* his grave at Calvary Cemetery in Queens.

Good news for me was that I found four folks for the price of one! Both of my great-grandparents, Michael & Anna Tierney were there, as well as my grandfather’s brother Thomas.

The nice surprise was finding Winifred Tierney as well, who passed when only 3 years old during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. Winifred was one of four children of my grandfather and his first wife Sabina Gilroy who, quite sadly passed away only a few months later from the same illness.

(Update in 2012: After researching in the death certificates at the NYC Municipal Archives, I found that little Winifred actually died from Diptheria. Primary sources are your friend.)

For those keeping track, little Winifred would be my half-Aunt, if there is such a thing as “halfness” in this situation.

Winifred Tierney Death NoticeWe first saw mention of Winifred in a tree online that was compiled from an interview with her sister Sabina many years later. I found a listing for Winifred in a NYC death index and also a short notice for her in the NY Times obituaries. But, when I found the grave of my grandfather John Tierney and Sabina, I was surprised that Winifred was missing. It seemed odd since she died so near her mother.

But, now we know she has been safely set with her grandparents all this time.

*Please note the restraint I exhibited by not using the phrase “dig up”

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