Archive for the ‘Progress’ Category

A Cousin Found

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

I posted several days ago that it was time to reach out and see if I could find any “cousins” out there who might be willing and able to help.  To do that, I had to try to find someone who I have in my Tree, and who is still alive.  That is the trick.  In order to be in the Tree, the had to be born before 1930.  That makes them at least 79 years old.

Well, in looking back through the “children” in my Tree, I came across Richard E. Walker.  Richard Walker was born in 1927.  He was the son of Rena Lamothe and John Walker.  Rena, of course, was the sister of Napoleon Lamothe who was my great grand father.  This makes Richard a first cousin to my grandfather.

I looked the name “Richard Walker” up online and, to my surprise, I found a “Richard E Walker” living in Worcester, MA — exactly where the family had been in 1930.  Moreover, his age was listed as 65+ !  I wrote a letter to Mr Walker introducing myself and listing a couple of his family members and asking if he was the same Richard Walker as I have in my Tree.  I sent the letter off a few days ago not really expecting too much.  I anticipated having to send 4 or 5 letters to get a response.

Much to my surprise, I received a telephone call from Mr Walker Sunday during halftime of the Patriots game!  It turns out he IS the same Richard Walker and he has been trying to trace his family tree for many years – even going so far as hiring a professional genealogist some years back.

We spoke for 10 or 15 minutes (he wanted to get back to the Pats game after halftime!) and I promised to print up what I had discovered of his Tree on both sides, send it to him, and ask him to fill in what he knew.  It turns out that I went back one generation further than his research (thanks to the Internet) so we both stand to learn something.  He knew most of Rena and her sisters, who I can not track because when they get married their names change.  This could be a huge source for both of us.  Im very excited!

A Milestone is Reached!

Friday, December 4th, 2009

If you had asked me 18 months ago when I first started recording what I know about the Family Tree if I ever would get to the point where I entered the 1,000th person, I would have said, “No way.”  But that is exactly what happened today.  I entered the one thousandth person into the Lamont-Crowley Family Tree on Ancestry.com. Check the Tree out here.

Unbelievable!  If I drank, I would toast myself LOL

There are probably another 100 or 125 people I could enter, but I am waiting until I can definitely prove that Maximillian Grenier was my great-great grandfather and that the records I found for Godfrey Pichette in Canada are the same Godfrey Pichette who was my great-great grandfather in Providence.  I don’t really add people to the Tree unless I have some documentation I believe is accurate.

Anyway, back to work.  Let’s see if I can get to 2,000 quicker than I got to 1,000 LOL

Brady Cousins Found!

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

After the passing of our Mom and Dad, my sister was left with the task of going through their papers.  One of the goals we had was for her to try and track down the results of the work my folks did when they went to Ireland back in the late 1980s.  Mom was trying to gather enough documentation to prove either of her grandparents (Big Tim Crowley and Teresa Brady) had been born in Ireland.  Only by showing that she was no more than 2 generations removed could she meet the legal requirements for someone to own land in Ireland.  That was a goal my folks had.  It took almost their entire trip (I hesitate to call it a vacation) but they found the church where Mom’s grandmother had been baptised.  That enabled them to obtain her birth certificate.

My sister, Mary, found it!

Photobucket

Having this enabled me to show definitively that one Emma O’Gara and her mother, Genevieve Carr, are great nieces of Teresa Brady!  I’ve sent them a copy of the birth certificate and they confirm the names, dates, and places and that “our” Teresa Brady is “their” Teresa Brady!

Emma had a baby boy 3 weeks ago, so it may take a while for her to get enough free time to answer all the questions we have.  In the meantime, I’ve asked the Crowley Cousins for any stories related to them by their parents about Teresa.  Emma and Mrs Carr are as curious about Teresa in the US as we are about her in Ireland.

Im hoping this will be the beginning of a robust correspondence between us.  Perhaps even a couple of the other cousins will take part.  That would be wonderful.

Timothy Crowley and Theresa Brady

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

In going through some of Mom’s things, Mary came across these pictures of Timothy Crowley, my great grandfather.

The first is of him taken on his wedding day, April 24, 1913.
Timothy J Crowley, Sr

This one was taken years later, obviously, and shows him in his police uniform.  I don’t know yet what the numbers on the uniform mean.  I am hoping the Providence Police can help me with that.
Tim Crowley in uniform

This is his wedding photo, with Theresa Brady, and was given to me by Mom’s cousin Ann Marie.
Theresa Brady and Timothy Crowley

A Memorial

Monday, March 30th, 2009

In the newspaper clipping describing Joseph Lamont having been killed, it mentioned that he graduated from St Rafael’s Academy in Pawtucket, RI.  Someone suggested I try to contact St Rafael’s to see if they had any information they could share about him.  That seemed a good idea, so I did.

 I sent an email to their Alumni Director.  A couple of days later, I received a reply.  She told me that Joe Lamont had transferred into St Rafael’s and had been “about a C student” both before and after he transferred.  She said he had left school early to enlist, but had completed enough coursework to be graduated that June.  She said the school was pretty forgiving with young men who left to enlist, so whether he actually did finish enough or they just said he did, he still graduated.  By that time, though, he was in basic training.  He never got to see his diploma.

On the way back from a recent visit to RI, I stopped by the grounds of St Rafael.

There it was.
St Raphael Memorial

A close up.
Close up

It gave me a good feeling to know that even if I hadn’t “rediscovered” him, he would have been remembered somewhere.  Still, Im glad he’ll be remembered by family and not just his school.

Lt Col Richards, A 549th Comrade

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

I just hung up the telephone after a conversation with retired Lt Col Fred Richards.  His name and contact info were given to me by a relative of a former 549th member.  Mr Richards knew Joe Lamont, though not well.  He remembered him from flight school and still cant figure out how my uncle finished Night Fighter Training before he did.  They were separated at that time and Mr Richards followed my uncle to Hawaii, lagging some 2 or 3 months behind.  They were not reunited again until many months later on Iwo Jima.
 
Sadly, the only time Mr Richards remembers my uncle from Iwo was hearing that he had been killed the day before.  He regrets not having found him sooner.
 
Still, the validation of meeting someone who actually KNEW my great uncle is a wonderful feeling.  Mr Richards and I had a great conversation covering most of his career in the military.  He has many, many stories!  I’ll be in touch with him again, I have no doubt.
 
I did learn that night fighter training was purely voluntary.  And that the wash out rate was fairly high.  I asked if he knew Earl Kovara and he said Yes.  I told him I was in contact with Max Tomassini (Earl’s son-in-law), and would pass Mr Richards contact info to him.  Mr Richards said that would be great.  I think he really enjoys talking to people who are connected to one of his old units, the 549th.  That seems to be a common trait among the WW2 veterans I have met.

I’m very glad and very fortunate to have met Mr Richards.

The Crowley Side

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I know it seems that I’ve been ignoring this branch of the Tree.  I’ve made some progress on my maternal grandmother’s side (Saucier and Pichette), but virtually no progress on my maternal grandfather’s side (Crowley and Brady).  This is mainly due to my great-grandparents having come to this country from Ireland in the early 1900s and me having no way to trace them back beyond that point.

All I had to go on were things my mom had told me and a few random things I remembered from when I was very, very young.  Obviously, my mother’s memory would be no use – after all, her affliction with Alzheimer’s is what prompted me to start this project in the first place.  In other words, there wasn’t a lot.

I had hoped that some of the things my parents had found during their trip to Ireland would be useful, but we can’t find anything from that trip.  It may be buried in storage or it may have been packed by my sister, Suzanne, before she left to go back to South Dakota.  In any event, I recalled a few things from their trip, but not a lot, and, of course, any documents they had found are missing.

About all I know for sure is my great-grand parents were Timothy J Crowley and Theresa M Brady.  He was from County Cork and she was from County Roscommon.  I knew from the records on Ancestry that Timothy was born March 18, 1888 and I was guessing that Mary was born around 1886, perhaps 1887 or 89 – there were conflicting dates in the census records.  I also found evidence they came to this country in 1907.  I have what might be a ship’s manifest for each of them, but nothing definitive to tie the people on the manifest to me.  Lastly, I found a record of their marriage on April 23, 1913.  That was it, and that was what I recorded in my Tree on Ancestry.

Then, out of the blue, I received an email from a woman in Ireland named Aoife (pronounced Ee-fuh) who offered to do some on-site research.  Im guessing she got my email from Ancestry.com, but I dont really care.  I took her offer to look into Timothy and Theresa for $20.  I didnt know what to expect, but $20 seemed like a fairly small risk. 

 So far, it has paid off better than I had hoped.

Aoife was able to find a record of the 1901 Census of County Roscommon that listed a Theresa Brady as the son of Martin Brady.  This matches the info on the ship’s register.  The census also listed Theresa’s aunt, brothers and sisters, and Martin’s father Patrick.  Amazingly, this matches a record of Patrick Brady Aoife found in the “Griffith’s Valuation” circa 1852.  No demographic details there, just a list of renters.

Quite a bit of progress, but still a long way to go.

In the meantime, I am still trying to get some info from my uncles on who their uncles’ wives were.  As I said, a long way to go.

The Missing Greniers Found!

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Ancestry.com came through again!

I had been spending a lot of time on only a few people in my Tree lately, so I thought it would be good to go back, take a look at the outstanding threads, and see if there was anything I could add.  Im so glad I did.

Ancestry.com has a number of message boards where people can post their queries for others to read and, with a little luck, respond.  This has worked for me quite a few times in the past (see Orcutts, Curriers) so I thought I would try it again.  I posted a request for information on Mary Anna “Annie” Grenier (b1875 d1923) who married Napoleon Lamothe on 6/30/1896 in Providence, Rhode Island.  About all I know, I said in the post, is that Annie’s mother lived with the couple in Worcester, MA in 1900, was also named Mary, and was born in 1836.  Not a lot to go on, I know.

Not a lot, but apparently enough!

Roland Grenier responded to my query the same day I posted it with marriage details including Annie’s parents names: Maximilian Grenier and Zenaide Despres.  It is still a mystery to me how “Zenaide” got translated as “Mary” by the census taker in 1900, but neither Maximilian nor Zenaide spoke English, and while Maximilian could read and write, he could only do so in French.  I suspect another incident of “language barrier” struck.

The reason I seem to be taking this at face value is because I had earlier found a tentative result in the census of 1880 in Southbridge, MA detailing one Maximillian Grenier, age 47, and his family –> wife, Xener, age 44, and children Joseph, John, Henry, Samuel, Rose E, Albert, Mary A, and Marie (with her husband Joseph).  Note the listing of Mary A.  In 1880 her age is given as 5.  That matches exactly with what I already know of her.  Note too, the name Xener.  If pronounced with a French-Canadian accent, that would probably sound like “Ze-nay”.  Very, very much like “Zenaide” might sound to an 1880 American census taker’s ear!  Again, note that Zenaide could neither speak, read, nor write English.

In the 1900 census, Zenaide is listed as having given birth to 18 children, only 9 of whom were surviving.  Here are 8 of those children.

I now have entire new lines of searches to run!  I will keep you posted on the results.

More on Joseph Lamont, 549th NFS

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

An impromptu visit to Aunty yesterday yielded another priceless nugget!

Aunty had been going through her things looking for a letter mentioning Moses Orcutt she received many years ago.  She found that letter (the topic of another post) but also found a photograph of Joseph T Lamont!

Joseph T Lamont

The photo wasnt really a photo, rather it was the picture included in the news item published in the local paper when he was killed.  So, what I have here is a photo of a photo that was printed in the newspaper.  Hence the image quality is not exactly great.  Looking at the photo, though, it appears to be his “graduation” photo taken upon completion of Army basic training.  It is difficult to see, but there is definitely something on his lapel.  And his tie appears to be military style.  It could also be his high school photo, but he left high school early in order to enlist, so Im not sure if he had a graduation photo.

On that topic, the clipping referenced Joseph leaving St Rafael’s Academy in April 1943, 2 months before he was to graduate, to enlist in the Army.  He had completed enough of his senior year to graduate and he was awarded his diploma in abstensia.  Given that he was 20 when he died in 1945, he would have turned 18 in 1943.  My guess is he turned 18 that April and enlisted as soon as he could – not even waiting to finish his last year of high school.

I need to get a picture of the newspaper clipping itself.  Perhaps there are more clues buried there that a thorough reading will reveal.  In the meantime, I have sent the picture off to some of the surviving members of the 549th NFS to see if any of them might remember his face.

More coming on this topic as soon as possible.

Test Pictures

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Let’s see if I can get pictures to post properly

Francis Colby Orcutt and Alice Harris Orcutt

No captions yet, but I think I may go back and insert a few pictures into previous posts.  Just for a little color LOL