Saturday, March 31, 2012

Irish Eyes

Since March is ending, I’ll conclude my focus on my Irish family with a selection of photos.

click on image to enlarge

1. Top left - possibly Mae Holland with her second baby Evelyn ("Ebbie")
2. Bottom left - Mac Killeen and Cousin Nell
3. Center - Helen Killeen Parker (about age 17)
4. Top right - Margaret Killeen Sprott
5. Bottom right - Lillie Killeen holding possibly Mae's first baby John

click on image to enlarge

1. Top left - unknown
2. Bottom left - possibly Theresa "Tate" Walsh Murray
3. Center - Julia Walsh Slade
4. Top right - Walsh girls (not sure which ones but possibly Cat and Tate) and probably Mae's baby
5. Bottom right - Catherine Walsh Barany

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Work?? Oh Pooh!

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme is Work. Here is a picture of my dad at work.  Do you see him?

He’s the one balancing a honey pot on his head.  Of course, if you have a head that big, you should be able to balance just about anything with ease.  Here’s another look:

Yes, it’s true.  My dad was Winnie the Pooh.  If you enlarge the picture, you might be able to read the sign inviting everyone to come meet Winnie the Pooh in person. This was a major marketing event for the Sears & Roebuck store in Norfolk, Virginia in 1970.  Sears had recently introduced its new Winnie the Pooh line of infants’ and children’s clothing.

Making the most of Winnie’s growing popularity, Winnie the Pooh appeared on some local television shows.  Mildred Alexander was a local celebrity with a talk show – sort of the Oprah of Hampton Roads.  Ironically, Winnie the Pooh couldn’t talk, so I’m not sure what he did for his guest appearance.  Winnie was a special guest on two early morning children’s shows, “Romper Room” with Miss Connie and “Flibbertigibbet.”  In some little skit Winnie had to chase Flibbertigibbet around a tree.  It’s hard work being Winnie the Pooh. 

He also appeared on the “Bungles” show which came on late in the afternoon and managed to hold onto a strong market share opposite Mike Douglas, believe it or not.  Bungles showed Three Stooges shorts and announced birthdays on Fridays.  Sorry to say, I don’t remember what Winnie did on that show other than dance with Bungles.  Winnie probably tried unsuccessfully to do the Bungles wave (hands up, palms out, wave your pinkie – did Winnie even have a pinkie?).

from Google Images

You are no doubt wondering how one gets to be Winnie.  Like Superman, Daddy had an identity he showed to the world.  Daddy was actually the mild-mannered department manager for Infants Wear at Sears.  I don’t know if he volunteered to be Winnie or if the title was thrust upon him, but for the time he worked at Sears he was a devoted employee.  He rotated through several departments building up the sales force and increasing sales. 

Being Winnie was just one of Daddy’s many roles at Sears. Every year the employees looked forward to the skits Daddy wrote for in-service training because they were usually so funny.  When the topless bathing suit was making the news, his skit was about the topless bathing suit that Sears would be selling in the upcoming season.  He wanted the sales people to get a preview so he planned a fashion show with live models.  Well, you can guess where this is going.  Out came the hairiest men he could round up to parade around in swim trunks.  That was very risqué comedy in the 60s.  He brought the house down with that one. 

To see who else has clocked in to work, head on over to Sepia Saturday. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Helen's Silver

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that focuses on a family heirloom.

My grand-aunt Helen Martha Killeen Parker (whom I’ve written about HERE and HERE and HERE) knew she was dying in 1981, so she labeled her possessions with the names of the recipients.  My dad’s sister was very close to Aunt Helen, so she received quite a few things.

Whether she thought she had inherited too much for one person or simply had no interest in another tea set, my aunt gave the set to me knowing I would appreciate fine silver. 

My aunt also gave me Aunt Helen’s silver punch bowl.  If you’ve never drunk punch from a silver cup, you are missing out on an extraordinary experience.  Silver holds the cold like no other. 

It is too bad that good silver is so under-appreciated by today’s young brides.  People just don’t want to be bothered polishing it because it is a lot of work.  I’ll admit I don’t love polishing the tray to the tea set because it is too big for my sink, but the rest of the pieces polish easily and I don’t mind putting in the effort.  All that sparkle is reward enough. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Julia

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

My paternal grandmother Julia Mary Walsh Slade was probably 13 years old in this picture which is glued fast to the photo album of her half-sister Helen Killeen Parker.  The few pictures that have dates written on them are from 1918-1920. 

What was the occasion?  Too old for her first Holy Communion. Too young to be a bride.  Was it Easter?

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: More Killeens

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Last Tuesday I posted the tombstones of three of the Killeens, my Granny Slade’s half-sisters.  Today I present her other half-siblings, Mac and Margaret.  Mac is buried in the Walsh family plot in St. Paul's Catholic Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia, while Margaret is buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

photo by Maggie

Matthew George Killeen
8 May 1895 New York, New York -  7 Mar 1969 Portsmouth, Virginia

photo by SWF
Margaret Mary Killeen Sprott
21 Apr 1901 New York, New York – 31 May 1978 Norfolk, Virginia

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mystery Monday: Back to the Drawing Board

Mystery Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks us to share mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in our family history research which is currently unsolved.  With any luck fellow genealogy bloggers will lend their eyes to what has been found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

On a recent Surname Saturday post, I wrote about my great grandfather John Fleming Walsh.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself for the detective work I conducted to discover his parents and siblings.  Using a few clues in photos and numerous census records and my powers of deductive reasoning, I put together what appeared to be a pretty complete family record.  Except for a couple inconsistencies with initials which I easily dismissed as census-taker error, I had concluded John Walsh’s parents were John and Ellen Walsh, and his brothers were Patrick, Thomas, and Edward all of whom were in Portsmouth, Virginia, just streets away from John. 

Then this happened.  In Googling for information about vital records, I found that the local history room of the Portsmouth Public library has an index to marriages.  My great-grandparents are in the index! 

Click on image to enlarge

Now, there are no column headings to tell me for sure what information I found, but if I’m reading this right, John’s parents are named Patrick and Mary, not John and Ellen.  Drat.

Not the end of the world (although it felt like it at the moment).  I searched for Patrick and Mary Walsh, but I could not find such a couple in Virginia.  There are plenty of Patrick and Mary Walshes in Dakota Territory, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Illinois.  In the ONLY census where I can confirm MY John Walsh, he claimed to have been born in Virginia.  Maybe that’s not true either, who knows.  The marriage index on FamilySearch says John was born in Ireland.

I went to thinking maybe there would be a clue to this Patrick and Mary.  Instead I found John J. Walsh Jr. and Ellen Murray Walsh buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth.  Ellen (1869-1894) and John J. Jr. (1894-1895) – looks like mother and son to me.  This also looks like a wife for the John J. Walsh that I had THOUGHT was my John Walsh, the widowed son of Ellen Walsh of the 1900 Portsmouth census.  The dates are right.  And that name Murray is the same maiden name of Thomas Walsh’s wife Delia. They must have been sisters or cousins, but I have not found them together in a census. 

So it’s back to the drawing board. 


©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 13 Local Societies

This is week 13 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.

Local Societies :  Local genealogical and historical societies are the lifeblood of genealogy.  Members and volunteers give of their time and money to preserve local history and promote family history.  Tell us about a local society for which you are thankful.

The Greene County, Virginia Historical Society truly is the lifeblood of genealogy, especially for families that can trace their roots back to the beginning of the county in 1838 – families with names like Jollett, Shiflett, Powell, Snow, Frazier, Gear, Eaton, Lamb, Marsh, Morris, Taylor, Jarrell, etc.

Greene is very much a rural county with small towns, so it surprises me how vibrant the historical society is.  The volunteers are truly dedicated to discovering and collecting artifacts that keep the history of the area alive.  They manage to run a small but interesting museum in the old jail house where they have on display letters, diaries, journals, photographs, portraits, and objects from daily living that help increase our understanding of what our ancestors’ lives were like. 

Greene County Historical Society
Dedication of the new museum housed in the old county jail
Stanardsville, Virginia

Right now the society is preserving written history by holding twice-monthly “Clip, Tape, and Copy” workshops to cut out newspaper articles documenting life in Greene County.  The articles will be copied and displayed in notebooks for future researchers. 

The GCHS also is a wonderful source for genealogical research.  They have a database of over 100,000 names plus many family histories.  One of the foremost authorities on the families of Greene is an active volunteer who has published several collections of marriage records and census records.  He is my first contact when I have a question about ANYONE who ever stepped foot in Greene County.  Other members have worked on locating and indexing all cemeteries and burials.  The GCHS website even has an information request form. 

I’m especially excited about a coffee table book the GCHS has in the works.  See – this group is not sitting in the dust.  They are alive and well.  If I didn’t live 3 hours away, I’d be a more active member.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Mary E. and Betsy on the Town

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is people "going out.”  If the stack of souvenir photos from the various night clubs around Norfolk and Virginia Beach is any indication, no one enjoyed going out any more than my mother Mary Eleanor Davis (Slade) and her best friend Betsy Ward when they were teenagers in the 1940s. 

Souvenir photos sold for $1.00 each.
One particular night, the girls were waiting for their dates to arrive.  The boys were running late; the girls were getting bored.  So they stretched out across Betsy’s bed and started playing with her old paper dolls.  When the dates arrived, Betsy’s mother greeted them saying, “Oh, the girls are upstairs playing with their paper dolls.”  Momma said she and Betsy were sooooo embarrassed.  I can’t imagine why.
Whether they were picking up ensigns or sticking with the hometown boys, Momma and Betsy enjoyed going to the dance clubs.   

High school sweethearts at the Palomar:  Tommy Watson and
Betsy Ward, Mary Eleanor Davis and Dickie Blanks
at the Spring Dance, Apr 23, 1945.  Music by Tommy Reynolds

The Palomar

Palomar, which advertised itself as “Home of Name Bands,” was one of the main ballrooms in Norfolk, Virginia in the 40s.  When the sale of liquor and dancing on Sunday were outlawed (gasp!), the Palomar made big news by experimenting with floorshows on Sundays.  Palomar booked various groups that were on tour in the area.  Despite the pleasure ban, crowds averaged around 600 on Sunday nights.  Cover charge varied from $1.60 per couple to $3.00, depending on the attraction.

Palomar -- Everyone signed this photo but not with their last names.
Glenn Somebody, Cookie Spencer, Betsy Ward, Bill Somebody,
Mary Eleanor Davis.  Surely there is a fellow missing.
The Palomar had been built as a temporary wooden structure to house church revivals.  But in 1946, the building was razed to make way for the million-dollar Coca Cola bottling plant.

Mary E. and Betsy with 2 unnamed fellows at the Frolics

Frolics Ballroom

In 1943, Art and Charles Lewis and Jock Greenspoon, who were well-known showmen-concessionaires, purchased Seaside Park in Virginia Beach for $275,000.  They added rides to the already popular Ferris Wheel, Whip, Magic Carpet Ride, Merry-Go-Round, and Laff-n-Dark;  they remodeled the ballroom, modernized the pool and bathhouses, and constructed four restaurants.  Plans also called for a “modern, fireproof hotel and theater.”  A fireproof hotel – what a concept!  Their involvement was welcomed as a harbinger of great prosperity for the city.  Judging by Momma’s hairdo, this picture was from 1946.  She and Betsy and their dates probably danced to the sound of the Johnny Morris Band or Les Elgart, swing jazz bandleader best remembered for his “Bandstand Boogie” that Dick Clark used for his American Bandstand show.
August 17-18, 1946  12:30 a.m. Ocean Club
George Savage, Margaret Wall, Mary Eleanor Davis,
Tuff Brown, Betsy Ward, Ralph Joynes
Ocean Club

Rain put a damper on the vacation season in Virginia Beach (get it? Rain - Damper?  Ha – I kill me!) As a result many clubs closed Labor Day, but the Ocean Club at 16th & Atlantic Avenue continued its big band policy through the end of the month.  After that they hosted small bands for dining and dancing.   Momma and her friends were there in August 1946 when Ray Robbins performed.  His band played music in the sweet style considered perfect for dancing and quiet conversation.
Momma didn't identify these people, but that's Betsy
in the center and Momma on the far right at the Surf Beach Club.

Surf Beach Club

The Surf Beach Club in Virginia Beach had been leased by the armed services during World War II.  The club reopened in May of 1946 with a full roster of big bands.  The following year Jimmy Dorsey and Carmen Cavallaro (“poet of the piano” who was a major influence on Liberace) were among the opening acts for a season that was already shaping up to be record-setting.   In fact, hotel operators reported that there was so much interest in Virginia Beach they feared they would have to turn vacationers away.  In the 1940s and 1950s, the Surf Club hosted Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra.  Louie Prima, who was a bandleader of a jazz band turned swing band turned big band, met Keely Smith in the crowd at the Surf Club and married her after hearing her sing.

To see who else is going out, go on over to Sepia Saturday.

“Best of Big Bands Vol 2.”  Radio Archives. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

“Lewises Sell Interest in Seaside Park.”  The Billboard (4 Oct 1947): 56. Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

“Seaside Changes Hands; $275,000 Paid for Virginia Beach Spot by Lewis, Greenspoon Combo.” The Billboard. (23 Oct 1943): 42. Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

“Sunday Floorshows Click in Ballroom.”  The Billboard. (6 Nov 1943): 17. Google Books. Web. 20 
Mar. 2012.

“Surf Beach Reopens with Orks After 4 Yrs.” The Billboard. (25 May 1946): 47. Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
“Va Beach Hotel Operators Fear Turnaway Flack." The Billboard (31 May 1947): 47. Google BooksWeb. 20 Mar. 2012.
“Virginia Beach Notes.”  The Billboard (14 Sep 1946): 80. Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
“Virginia Spots Fall Behind 1945; Weather Main Reason.”  The Billboard.  (14 Sep 1946): 80. Google Books. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Lillie's Pictures

Treasure Chest Thursday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that focuses on a family heirloom.

Aunt Lil (Elizabeth Agnes “Lillie” Killeen) worked almost her entire adult life as a nurse in a doctor’s office in Portsmouth, Virginia.  While it seems she had a good job, she lived a meager life.  Upon her death, her things were divided among nieces and nephews since she had no children of her own.  My dad got some old pictures that had hung in Lillie’s apartment and in the home of her mother (Daddy’s grandmother Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen Walsh) before that. 

The pictures had been torn from Gody’s Magazine and Lady’s Book and inserted into cheap frames.  When I got them, I took them to a frame shop to see if they could be rescued.  The paper was quite yellow and brittle.  The shop did a beautiful job:

The one picture has a definite scar from having been folded at one time, but I don’t care.  The fact that these pictures once belonged to my great-grandmother makes them very special to me.  This was the “artwork” that adorned their home -- pictures torn from a magazine.

Gody’s Magazine and Lady’s Book was published in Philadelphia from 1830-1878.  The magazine was famous for the hand-tinted fashion plate included in each issue along with a pattern and directions for sewing a dress.  Usually there was piano music as well for a waltz or maybe a polka.  What I like about these particular prints is the purple.  The pictures are the perfect complement to the purple bedroom where they hang today.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Aunt Lil

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image.

My sweet little great-aunt Elizabeth Agnes “Lillie” Killeen (16 Feb 1894 – 17 Jul 1982) was always embarrassed that she never married.  But judging by some photos in her sister Helen’s photo album, Lillie appeared to have had a special someone.

about 1919 or 1920

about 1919 or 1920

I wonder who he was. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: The Killeen Sisters

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Lillie Killeen, Helen K. Parker, Mae K. Holland, Julia Walsh Slade

Aunt Helen, Aunt Mae, and Aunt Lillie were my paternal grandmother’s half sisters.  The 4 of them were a funny bunch.  My grandfather deserved sainthood for chauffeuring them to the grocery store.  Four women – four carts – and no one could remember where anything was.  When my cousin was a little girl, she often went along as the grocery spotter.  Helen and Mae would reward her with mints or gum, but Aunt Lil always pleaded poverty and wouldn’t give her anything.  Granddaddy considered it a successful trip if the sisters didn’t get into a fight.

But they were the best of sisters and always looked after each other. 

Elizabeth Agnes “Lillie” Killeen worked most of her life as a nurse.  She was the oldest and lived the longest.  She used to say, “If I don’t hurry up and die, there will be no one left to come to my funeral.”  She is buried in the Walsh family plot in St. Paul’s Catholic Church Cemetery.

photo by Maggie
16 Feb 1894 New York, New York – 17 Jul 1982 Portsmouth, Virginia

Mary “Mae” Killeen married Clifton Maynard Holland.  They had three children.  Mae is buried with her husband in Olive Branch Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia.

photo by Steve Poole
5 Sep 1898 New York, New York – 8 Dec 1980 Portsmouth, Virginia

Helen Martha Killeen Parker is buried with her husband Herbert Parker in St. Paul’s Catholic Church Cemetery.  It appears to be a Parker family plot as his parents are nearby.

photo by Maggie

7 Jun 1903 New York, New York – 11 Oct 1980 Portsmouth, Virginia

(There are 2 more Killeens that I will cover next Tuesday.)

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's time to come to your census

Take out one sheet of paper and a pencil.  It’s time for a quiz.  Don’t complain.  You heard me!  Write the letter of the correct answer.

1.       The 1940 US Census will be released
a.      in 2040.
b.      on July 4, 2012.
c.      on April 2, 2012.
d.      on Father’s Day, 2012.

2.       To help researchers find a particular person, the first bit of information they will need to know is
a.      the person’s social security number.
b.      the name of the census taker.
c.      the person’s enumeration district.
d.      the family number.

3.        The index to aid in research will be available
a.      on the same date with the release of the 1940 US Census.
b.      only to those who pay for it.
c.       whenever the volunteers finish indexing.
d.      never.

4.       Who is indexing the 1940 US Census?
a.      a special commission appointed by the US Census Bureau
b.      employees of
c.       volunteers
d.      nobody

5.       How can you help?
a.       Volunteer to help index the 1940 US Census
b.      Download the FamilySearch indexing software
c.       Complete a practice batch that will simulate what indexing the 1940 US Census will be like
d.      All of the above

6.       BONUS:  For a chance to win a VISA gift card for either $50 OR $100, join the 1940 US Census Community Project contest.

Ok, that was painless, wasn’t it?  Volunteering to index is painless too.  I’ve been a volunteer with FamilySearch for several months.  Of course, I haven’t seen the 1940 US Census yet, but I’ve gotten lots of practice reading people’s handwriting.  You can index as often as you like, as much as you like.  The contest sponsored by the 1940 US Census Community Project is good motivation to join the project and give indexing a try.  With lots of people like you and me helping, we'll have that index knocked out in no time.

For more information, go to the 1940 US Census Project.

(By the way, the answer for questions 1-4 is C, and question 5 is D.)

DISCLOSURE: As part of ambassador program this blog post enters me into a drawing for an Amazon Kindle Fire.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surname Saturday: Walsh

Surname Saturday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers to focus on a particular name, its origin, its geographic location, and how it fits into one’s research.

It’s embarrassing to admit that I can’t trace my Walsh line past my great-grandfather, John Fleming Walsh.  The truth is I’ve devoted most of my research time to my mother’s side of the family.  I’m sure a simple check and request for a death certificate would put me on the road to discovering more about my father’s maternal grandfather.  But instead I continue to punish myself by sticking to Ancestry and free search sites like Family Search.  Yeah, I do love a challenge.

So far, this is what I have:

John Fleming Walsh married Mary Theresa Sheehan Killeen, widow, sometime after 1905.  They had 3 daughters:  Julia, Catherine, and Theresa.  He worked as an ordinance man for the shipyard.  His tombstone in St. Paul's Catholic Church Cemetery says he was born in 1868 and died in 1918. 

I can say for sure he appeared in the 1910 Portsmouth, Virginia Federal Census.  But there are several contradictions, either deliberate lies or errors in recording.  First, John Walsh’s wife is listed as Margaret S but it should be Mary Theresa.  Second, they claim to have been married 17 years, but clearly that is not so because Mary Theresa is in the 1900 census with her first husband John Killeen.  Third, the Killeen children appear to be listed as Walsh as evidenced by the use of the dash in place of a surname.  

So where was he before 1910?

I wrote HERE about my theory that John might be brother to a Thomas Walsh who lived nearby according to the 1910 Portsmouth, Virginia census.  In brief, a photo in my grand aunt’s album of a Down’s Syndrome child in 1919 (a condition that historically spelled a short lifespan) plus a tombstone of a child who died that same year led me to the 1910 and 1920 Portsmouth, Virginia census.  There I found Thomas and Deliah Walsh.  Their son John J. is there in 1910 but not in 1920, which fits the name and death date on the child’s tombstone. 

There’s something else that argues for a connection between John and Thomas:  Thomas had a daughter Nellie.  In the same photo album are several photos of a young woman known as “Cousin Nell.” 

So I went in search of Thomas.  In 1930, Thomas's widowed brother Patrick is living with him at 329 Henry Street.  Ah-ha – another possible clue.

So I went in search of Patrick.  In 1910, Patrick is living with his mother Ellen Walsh at 329 Henry Street.

Chaching!  A possible mother.  What about a father?  And  John is still a bit of a problem, too.  I needed to find all of them together.  So I worked backwards from there.

In 1900, Ellen was on Henry Street with her sons, Patrick F., John J. (widower), and Edward M.  John J?  I thought his name was John Fleming.  Hmm.

A search for Ellen Walsh in 1880 turned up PAGES of possibilities.  Instead I tried looking for Patrick with a mother named Ellen.  There was a Patrick WELCH with his parents Ellen and John WELCH in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Not Walsh.  WELCH. 

And very quickly the census records for 1860 and 1870 brought the Welch/Walsh family closer to life.  Here is a recap:

1860 – Richmond, Virginia
John Welch age 26 ;  laborer ; from Ireland
Ellen Welch age 21 ; domestic ; from Ireland
Patrick age 2 months ; born in Virginia

1870 – Portsmouth, Virginia
John Welch age 35, from Ireland ; laborer
Ellen Welch age 30, from Ireland
Patrick  age 10 ; Virginia
John  age 8 ; Virginia
Thomas  age 4; Virginia

1880 – Portsmouth, Virginia living on HENRY ST
John Welch – age 50 ; laborer
Ellen Welch – age 40
Patrick – age 20 ; apprentice blacksmith
John – age 18 ;  laborer
Thomas – age 14 ;  at school
Edward – age 6 ; born in Virginia

1900 Portsmouth, Virginia living at 329 Henry Street
Ellen Walsh – age 60, born 1840 Ireland; widowed ; came to US 1855
Patrick F – age 41, born 1859 VA;  single ; blacksmith helper
John J – age 38, born 1861 VA; WIDOWED; Expressman
Edward M – age 25, born 1876 VA; single ;  draughtsman

1910 Portsmouth, Virginia
Ellen is widowed living at 329 Henry St.
Patrick is living with his mother at 329 Henry St ; blacksmith
John is married to Mary Theresa and they are living at 214 Randolph St. ; ordinance man
Thomas is married and living at 319 Henry St.
Edward is married and living at 1006 Court St; draughtsman

1920 Portsmouth, Virginia
Thomas and family are living at 329 Henry St.
Mary Theresa is widowed living on Charleston Avenue.
Edward is still married and living at 1006 Court St.
I can’t find Patrick.
Ellen has probably died.

1930 Portsmouth, Virginia
Thomas and family are living at 329 Henry St.
Patrick is widowed and living with his brother at 329 Henry St.
Mary Theresa is still on Charleston Avenue.
Edward is still at 1006 Court St.

While all this evidence seems conclusive, there are a couple problems with dates and my great-grandfather’s name.  The birth date of the census records and date on the tombstone do not match, nor does his middle name.   I recognize that family members didn’t always know specific dates like date of birth.  To be absolutely sure that this is my ancestor, I need to get on the stick and order some records.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.