Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Proper Genealogy Post.....Part 2

Last we left off,  The Maurice O'Brien/Mary Roche O'Brien family had arrived to America in late 1879 and are found on the 1880 census, living in the town of Derby in New Haven County, CT as shown on the map......

Household of Maurice O'Brien--
Morris(this is Maurice) 28
Mary(wife)  26
Honora(daughter)  5
Mary(daughter)  3
Maggie(daughter)  9 mo.

Maurice is working as a tender in the mason trade.
A tender is an assistant.  They don't actually lay brick, they do all the grunt and prep work(carry, cut bricks, mix mortar, build scaffolding, etc.).

Due to the loss of the 1890 censuses(almost all the schedules because of a fire in 1921 at the Commerce Building where they were stored at the time)we don't have an information for this family between 1880 and 1900.

In the 1900 census they are living in Ansonia, CT(which is just north of Derby, CT). The address is 497 Main St.
Here is what it looks like today......


It's the building lot on the corner, 1 block from a Catholic church.
Hey!, look what's across the side street.....

It's a RITE-AID! ;-)

But I digress........

Household of Maurice O'Brien 1900 Census for Ansonia, CT--
Morris(this is Maurice)  49  born Ireland
Mary(wife)  45  born Ireland
Anura(this is Honora)  25  born Ireland
Maggie  20  born shipboard
Bedina D.  16   born CT
Katie  15  born CT (This is my great grandmother.)
John  13  born CT
Annie H.  8  born CT
Bernie  4(grandson)  born CT

Only John, Annie and Bernie are in school and Mary the wife is keeping house.
Maurice is working as a stone mason, Honora operating machinery in a factory, Maggie is a wire inspector in a factory, John lists his occupation as "tipping"(or it could be stripping as the writing is sloppy) and Katie is a braider(probably in the same wire operation as her sister or she braids rope perhaps?).

Mary the wife is listed as being married for 25 years and Honora is listed as having been married for 7 years in 1900.
Mary reports that she is the mother of 15, 7 are living in 1900.
Honora reports that she is the mother of 1, 1 is living in 1900.

From this we know that Bernie is most probably the child of Honora.
Honora would have married in 1893 though I don't have a marriage record yet to ascertain who her husband was, if she was married.

We also know that 8 children of Mary and Maurice either died in infancy/were still born or died young before 1900.
If you count the children in the household that are Mary's, there are only 6 listed, not 7 that she states are living.

You will notice that the child Mary born in Ireland and listed as 3 years in 1880 census is gone.  As she would have been 23ish in 1900 she could be either dead or married and/or living elsewhere.

Since we have descendants of Mary who have added information and pictures, we were able to find Mary the child listed in this 1900 census(she is the 7th child listed as living who is not counted with her parents).
She is living with her new husband, Thomas Hines(correct full name is Thomas Patrick Hine)--

They say the are newlyweds(record of marriage is dated Nov. 1899)and they are living at 530 Main St. Ansonia, CT.
This is right across the street and on the same block as Mary's parents, Maurice & Mary.

Here is what this location looks like today.............

An abandoned car lot.
But here is a wide shot showing across the street........

On the right is that corner where her parents and siblings are living in 1900.

Moving onto the 1910 census the Maurice O'Brien household has moved to Bridgeport, CT which is South of Ansonia, CT....

The Maurice O'Brien household is living at 530 Nichols St., Bridgeport, CT.
Here is across the street from that location today...........

The building with the yellow lower wall is a Hispanic market on the corner.
Here is what's across the street....

An overgrown berm.
Here's what's on the other side.......

The Connecticut Turnpike. You can see the tops of the buildings across the street from where the O'Brien household lived.

Anyway, back to the 1910 Census.....

Household of Maurice O'Brien--
Morris  57  mason
Mary(wife)  54
John  22   mason
Anna  19  operator in a shop
Catherine(Katie before)  24 is married, now with the surname Bowman(spelled incorrectly as Bauman by enumerator).

Also living with the family is Katie's husband and child.....
Frank son in-law  25  born in NY  steamfitter
Francis  1 born in CT

Gone from this household in 1910 are Honora(eldest daughter), her son Bernard, 2nd daughter Mary, Maggie(born shipboard), Bedina(born CT).

2nd daughter Mary is still found living with her husband, Thomas Patrick, in 1910 in the Park Hollow section(now the Historic Downtown district of the town)of Ansonia, CT, along with their 4 sons, as well as a niece.  As Thomas only had brothers this niece has to be from Mary's side of the family, the daughter of one of her sisters.  The niece's name on the census is unclear(Marie or Karrie? and Rice or Price?), but we do know her father was born in IL and her mother in CT(which would be correct for the O'Brien daughters born after 1879).  But it's still a mystery to me who's daughter this niece is.

Now look who is living 2 doors down from daughter Mary, Thomas Patrick and their children?

4 lines above the Hine Family it's "Nora" O'Brien with her son, Bernard.  That's Mary O'Brien Hine's sister Honora.

Moving on to 1920, the Maurice O'Brien household has become the Frank Bowman household and is living at 124 Read St. still in Bridgeport, CT.

Here's what it looks like now.  It's the double home with the green striped awning.......

This location is 1.7 miles away from their address in the 1910 census.

Household consists of---
Frank Bowman  35 working as an electrician in a shop
Catherine(wife)  34  keeping house
Francis(son)  10
Mary(daughter)  8
John(son)  6
Margery(daughter)  4
Morris O'Brien(father in-law, this is Catherine's father Maurice) 54 still working as a stone mason

Morris says he is widowed.  This is the last census year he appears in.

As far as the sisters, Honora and Mary, are concerned they have escaped me so far in the 1920 census schedules.

Moving on.......

There was a WPA project undertaken between 1934 and 1937 in Connecticut to transcribe/record all the cemetery headstones up to that point in CT cemeteries.
From that record we know that Maurice and Mary Roche O'Brien are buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Ansonia, CT.

According to the record Mary, the wife, died in 1913(this is why Maurice shows up as a widower in 1920)and Maurice joined her in the graveyard in 1928.

Also listed in this headstone survey buried with Maurice and Mary is a Josephine O'Brien. Dates are 1892-1906.
Obviously this is one of their children.

At this point, the known children of Maurice and Mary Elizabeth are Honora, Mary, Maggie, Bedina, Katie, John and Annie from census records.

So if we add in Jospehine to the family tree, something isn't quite right with the records.
If Josephine was born in 1892, that birth would have taken place in CT, and  at the time of the 1900 census she would have only been about 8 yrs. old, yet she does NOT appear with the family in the 1900 census.  But there is a Bedina listed as being born Apr 1884 in that census.  And this Bedina is no longer listed with the family in the 1910 census.
Add in that if we add in Josephine as a child of Maurice & Mary, that makes 8 living children when Mary was asked in the 1900 census and she says she only had 7 living children.

Are you still with me? 8-)

1900 Census
Mary(living w/husband nearby)
7 living children accounted for

1910 Census
Honora(living with son nearby)
Mary(living with spouse and kids nearby)
Maggie(whereabouts unknown)
Bedina(whereabouts unknown)
5 children accounted for/2 may be no longer living and where is Josephine since she isn't dead until 1906?

And while I was pondering this mystery someone posted a photo of the actual headstone for Maurice and Mary on Find A Grave that I had requested.

                                    Photo by Alycia K.

A close-up of the last name on the stone..........

"Josephine their Daughter died Nov. 30 1900 Aged 14 Yrs."

The transcription of the headstone in the records was incorrect!  Josephine died in 1900 not 1906.
If she was 14 years old in 1900 that means she was born about 1885-86.

And if she died 30 Nov 1900 she would be in the 1900 census, since it was taken in June 1900 according to the enumerator.
So this most probably means that Bedina, the daughter born Apr 1884 in the 1900 census who is gone by the 1910 census is actually Josephine.
Now things make more sense and all the living children in 1900 are accounted for.

So what happened to the 6 remaining children after 1900 ended?

Honora disappears from the census records after 1910.
Mary married Thomas Patrick Hine and went on to have 7 children, dying in 1941.
Margaret(Maggie) disappears from the census records after 1910.
Catherine(Katie) married Frank Bowman and went on to have 7 children(1 dying in infancy), dying in 1945.
John can't be found in census records yet past 1910 but a descendant posted that he died in the 1960's in CT.  There are 3 John O'Brien's buried in CT cemeteries posted on F.A.G. who died in the 1960's.
Again more research/corroboration of documents would need to be uncovered to pin point our John O'Brien's path.
Annie O'Brien disappears from census records past 1910 as well for the moment.

Of the 3 siblings we don't know what happened to, we do know that Maggie lived well past 1910 because there is a photo of her standing with her sister's daughter's husband.  The photo is undated but the sister's daughter, Catherine, married in 1942, so the photo dates from at least the late 1930's/early 1940's.

                                     photo by b1pilot1

Since Margaret O'Brien doesn't seem to have married it's possible she lived out her life in Ansonia CT.  Most of the family members lived their whole lives in or near Ansonia, CT so it makes sense if she remained single that she stayed close to her parents and her siblings, yet I can't find her in any census after 1900.

There is a Margaret A. O'Brien's who died in 1951 in CT and is buried in New Haven County but she was married and O'Brien was her married name.
There is another Margaret A. O'Brien who died in 1965 in CT and is buried in New Haven County.
This could possibly be our Margaret O'Brien but more facts need to come to light to corroborate this hypothesis.

One mystery solved, Josephine, but so many more still remain.

More on the sister, Catherine O'Brien, in or next installment.




  1. I find it very interesting all this genealogy and your is particularly interesting.

  2. Good job on finding relatives that are hiding.

  3. Did you see this 2nd bit of info that I posted as a comment on your 1st O'Brien post?
    I took another look at the record that I found on the Ancestry English/Irish records and the full information was:- Honora O'Brien born 4th April, 1876. Father Maurice and mother Mary O'Brien Roche. This maiden name of Roche was what made me think I had the correct one. The FHL Film Number is 255956

    I too have had a couple of breakthroughs this week. - 'Im-indoor's" grandparents and also lots of info for a neighbour.

    Good hunting!

    1. I am thinking this might be our Honora O'Brien. The info someone had posted on a tree on Ancestry I have looked over can't possible be correct. I may just have to break down and pay for that international membership on ancestry. sigh

  4. I feel that we are now practically neighbors!


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