• New York
  • Dec7

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    On my two hour round trip commute each day, I often take a few mental minutes to go over my research and think about things I might have missed or alternate ways of obtaining information. I also think about birds. and Fudge Town cookies.

    Whatever happened to those? sigh. *Ahem.*

    Well, on Monday it occurred to me that after receiving my great-grandmother Annie McDonald Tierney’s death certificate from the NYC Municipal archives, I had never looked into the possibility that there may be records left from the undertaker who took care of her.

    That thought led me to yet another research coincidence – although it is more of a “Hmm, that’s odd” than “Wahoo! Found more useful info!”

    Last year I had looked up the undertaker on my great-grandfather’s certificate and it looked like the company was still in business. Unfortunately they did not respond to my message via their web site, so I need to trek over there and talk with a live person. (Because at a funeral home, talking to the other people doesn’t help much.)

    Undertaker crop from GGM Annie Tierney's Death CertificateSo, a quick look at GGM Annie’s certificate told me that the undertaker was one Joseph M. Mulligan of 617 East 138th Street. Read More | Comments

  • Nov11

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    For Veteran’s Day, I thought I’d post a WWII Navy photo of my Dad with a group of fellows (and a few lucky ladies) from his post in the Personnel Accounting Office’s Machine Records Installation located at 90 Church Street, Manhattan.

    Until recently I thought this photo was taken down in Washington, DC, where he was assigned at the beginning of his service. But recently I found a few alternate copies of this group photo, one of which has the NYC information written on the back.

    Thanks to all who have served our country.

    US Navy, Machine Records Installation, Church Street, NYC, Group Photo

    My father, Michael Tierney is in the rear row, right in front of the door.

  • Oct17

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    Not much to describe on these photos – my grandfather John Tierney is the fellow on the left and I would guess this photo is circa 1920 or so. The man in the middle appears in some other photos and I suspect might be the husband of one of my grandfather’s sisters.

    Fire One!

    Fire Two!

  • Sep30

    5 Comments

    While scanning my family’s photo albums I have found there are a fair number of mystery folks to us. But, the process of going through all of our albums has at least given me some clues to groups of people that go together and thus some educated guesses of who they might be.

    However, the best help I’ve had was last year when was able to go through photos with a cousin from Ireland I’d met for the first time. We decided that a few of the photos were probably of my grandmother May Egan’s daughter Elizabeth, whom she had before she left Ireland.

    Elizabeth remained in Ireland when my grandmother emigrated, presumably somewhere near Creggan, Endrim or Ferbane, Ireland.

    We know very little of Elizabeth, but do know she came to New York at some point because we have some later photos of her with her baby son, my grandmother and my toddler father in New York circa 1930. (In fact, I’ve just found a cache of photos that weren’t used in albums and include more photos of Elizabeth – including her in what look like group outings with friends. I will post more about those at a later date.)

    Now, while cleaning up some damaged photos in Photoshop a possibility occurred to me – a girl in a photo at Coney Island (center above) resembles the girl we believe is a young Elizabeth in Ireland. Is it her?

    Photo Comparison Elizabeth Egan

    There is a “Lizzie” Egan immigrating with my grandmother’s sister Bridget around 1924 that I suspect may be Elizabeth, but since I believe this photo is about 1920 (based on the Tierney children’s ages) that would mean she couldn’t be the girl in the middle photo. (Unless she traveled back and forth between Ireland and NY a couple of times, which I think unlikely.)

    With no more info than this it has been fairly impossible to track her down so far. I hope one day to be able to find some record of her – she was my Aunt, after all. Maybe there’s even a cousin or two descended from her that might one day find this while doing their own researching.

    I remain, as always, confused. But curious. and tenacious. Also, a little hungry.

    Update (June 13, 2013): I have a long post to write on the search for my Aunt Elizabeth – quick version here is I believe I have found her emigrating to New York in 1921 under the name of “Lizzie Jennings”. Stay Tuned…

  • Aug30

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    I have been making some inroads into my wife’s side of the family tree and I’m having great fun with the research. This is the outline of my most recent fun find, but if you find the details of this post too long, please scroll to the bottom for my question to genealogy folks. (And follow me on Twitter, where I’m strictly limited in my verbosity.)

    Several months ago, after floundering around with a completely incorrect surname for one of her paternal great-grandmothers, I finally found a record that led me to the right one. The simple change from searching for Josephine “Dreslen” to “Bernemann” opened a floodgate of records and others researching – as well as a 3rd cousin working on the same line who also knew my wife’s grandparents!

    Marriage Index Record, Duffy - Bernemann, Iowa 1914Using that new info, I began to rummage around Familysearch and found the info from the Iowa marriage record of her great grandparents Michael Duffy and Josephine Bernemann.

    Under the watchful eye of the god of documentation, I faithfully ordered the official certificate. (See my previous blog post for a small lesson learned on that topic.) Read More | Comments