Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memoires: Holiday Travel

For a brief period of time of about five years, my family meaning my husband and children traveled to Montana on Christmas vacation. We left on December 26th for four of those five years.

One fateful year we decided to leave on Christmas morning. I had the day perfectly planned. We had the first flight out of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. I arranged for a three-hour layover time in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our connecting flight would get us to Montana in plenty of time for a lovely Christmas dinner with dear friends. Dinner reservations had been made at Bucks T-4 Ranch in Big Sky, Montana at a table in front of their roaring fireplace. It was a perfect plan.

We arrived at O’Hare Airport early that Christmas morning and waited eagerly for our flight to depart on time. It was the first flight of the day! What could possibly detain it? As things go, the pilot was late, very late. We suspect he was enjoying Christmas morning with his family leaving a planeload of people sitting in the airport for hours and hours. His tardiness resulted in our very late arrival in Salt Lake City.

To rub "salt" in our wounds, so to speak, we missed our connecting flight. Salt Lake City Airport was in chaos. You know you are in trouble when the “Red Coats” appear. I can best describe these gentlemen as crisis managers! Yes, they had a flight for us in first class the next day. We spent Christmas Day in the Salt Lake City airport with children crying and exclaiming that this was their worst Christmas ever!

That cozy dinner with friends in front of roaring fire never occurred. Christmas dinner that year consisted of a soup in a bread bowl and Cinnabons. Those sweet, cinnamon buns didn’t ease my children’s pain.

We pleaded our case and eventually boarded a flight to Montana at about 11:30 that evening. Our weary family eventually arrived at our final destination in the wee hours of December 26th.

It is a Christmas we will always remember.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Holiday Foods

Christmas Cookies and Holiday Hearts,
That’s The Way the Holiday Starts!

My children sang this song in their Holiday programs at school and it has remained stuck in my mind ever since. Christmas cookie baking was an annual event in our home that ultimately led to sugar and flour scattered throughout the kitchen. This Christmas ritual repeats itself through the generations and is the one holiday food constant.

Mom was particularly good with the cookie press. She loved to bake peanut butter Scottie dogs, wreaths, trees and ribbons. My husband’s Aunt Flo had a talent for making butter rounds decorated with sprinkles. They were delicate and baked to perfection.

It takes a talent to bake cookies to perfection. My skills are far from perfect for a variety of reasons; lack of patience being one reason. That cookie press that Mom and Auntie Flo mastered with such skill is a source of frustration for me. Each year my husband must come to the rescue and magically press those cookies on my behalf!

The Dreaded Cookie Press: Will I ever master this beast?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First Day of Advent: Oh, Christmas Tree

My Mother and Father loved Christmas. They had one hard, fast requirement for their adult children and that was our presence on Christmas Eve. They earned the well-deserved nickname of Mr. and Mrs. Christmas.

These children of The Depression loved watching their children and grandchildren open mountains gifts around the Christmas tree.  Mom and Dad had two Christmas trees. The nicest tree could be found at the living room picture window. Mom’s favorite ornaments and carefully arranged garland would grace that tree. It was Mom’s “Good Tree.”

The lesser tree would be placed in the basement. The large space accommodated our family in a comfy way. The basement tree was a hearty and artificial for it needed to withstand dashing children, airborne balls, darts, and other flying projectiles.

It seemed that Christmas Eve celebrations around that basement tree would never end. But end they did as all good things sometimes do.

My Father passed away December 5, 2005 and Mom passed away September 6, 2008. Each Christmas season I place a small Christmas tree at my parent’s grave. Yesterday I made my trip to Town of Maine Cemetery to visit and decorate their grave with their Christmas tree.

As I made my way, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” played on my car radio and there were the words . . .

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow. . .

If the Fates allow . . . I never imagined Christmas without my parents and it is the reason why each Christmas season I place a small Christmas tree at my parent’s grave in memory of all the love that surrounded a lifetime of Christmas trees. 

Mom and Dad's Basement Christmas Tree waiting for the grandchildren to arrive!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

All I Want for Christmas . . .

Thoughts Silas W. Cobb and Sarah Cobb nee Hawks remain in my mind. Following the gift of the beautiful photograph of my fourth great-grandmother’s gravestone, I received yet another surprise

About a year ago, Mary Murphy of Vermont made contact regarding Sarah Cobb nee Hawks. Mary is the Commissioner of Cemeteries in Washington County, Vermont and the discoverer Sarah Cobb’s gravestone. Mary recently came across information about Silas W. Cobb and his family and offered to forward the information.

She tells me that Silas W. Cobb was born 15 October 1776! Silas W. Cobb’s children report both parents’ birthplaces as Massachusetts. Silas was interested in Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. I have a hunch that his father was a Patriot.

The Dooley research is on hold waiting for requested information to arrive. The search is on for the Hawks Family line and I am desperately seeking Sarah.

Can you guess what my Christmas wish is?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Genealogical Thanksgiving

 I have so much to celebrate this Thanksgiving. November 6, 2012, brought my one-year blog anniversary. I let it pass without acknowledgement, however, I was mindful of the milestone. Throughout the first year, I often wondered would I make it a year. To date I have published 136 posts with 37 followers and 8,742 page views with plenty of stories yet to tell.

The best part of genealogy is the connections I make through this hobby of mine. As my anniversary drew near, I received an email from my third cousin, Lynda Henderson. She happens to live near my son in the Pacific Northwest. We planned on meeting this summer, but a flat tire spoiled our plans. We will meet one day.

On November 3rd, Lynda shared a photo of our mutual fourth great grandmother, Sarah Cobb nee Hawks. Sarah passed away in Vermont following the birth of her fifth child, Mary Ann Cobb. Little Mary Ann passed 5 December 1814 and Sarah passed in 3 January 1815. This must have been difficult times for the New England Cobb family.

The Cobb and Hawks families are of interest to me for they are my only familial connection to the American Revolution. I have searched for Silas and Sarah Cobbs parents, but have not yet located them. I will find them one day.

So here are my Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents’ gravestones. Silas W. Cobb rests in the Northfield Oakwood Cemetery located in Northbrook, Illinois. Sarah Cobb’s final resting place is in Cobb Cemetery of Moretown, Vermont.

My Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather born 15 October 1776

My Great, Great, Great, Great Grandmother: Sarah Cobb nee Hawks

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Writer’s Group

My local genealogical society has a very active writer’s group. In fact they have two writer’s groups. I plan on attending the morning group. The members are very nice and quite accomplished in their writing. Each member has a unique vision that they apply to their story telling.

I wish to write a proof summary of my Dooley research. It is a dry type of writing giving factual information to the reader and I am trying to find a way to tell the Dooley Family story in an interesting and organized fashion. It is not an easy task. Tomorrow morning I will read my summary and request their help. 

The following is my first attempt at a proof summary. Please bare with me as I refine my writing skills. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


The Dooley Family of Chicago, Illinois

David Francis Dooley requested help in locating the origin of his Dooley ancestors.
Uncle Dave has made numerous visits to his ancestral homeland in search of his Dooley heritage He wishes to meet blood relations on his trip to Ireland in the summer of 2013 but then again, he states, if their name is Dooley we must be related somehow.

As Uncle Dave and I began this journey, our conversations immediately became confusing for the Dooley family name their sons one of three names: David, Stephen or William. To reduce confusion, each male child needs a description as not to confuse one David, Stephen or William from another. For example: Uncle David Francis Dooley is known in the family as “Red.”

The story of Dooley family of Chicago begins with William, the Irish immigrant, whom I label as the Dooley family patriarch.  William Dooley was most likely born between the years of 1829-1835 with a possible birthplace of Cork, Ireland.

The Great Hunger

Based on William’s possible birthdates, this Dooley Family Patriarch was coming of age during The Great Hunger. William may have been 10 to 16 years old during the devastating famine. How did William’s family fare during this terrible period of Irish history? We have yet to know their fate.

The Great Hunger or The Irish Famine had a devastating effect of the poor peasants of Ireland. Blight struck Irish potato crops between 1845-1852 resulting in massive starvation and death. The death counts were so high; victims were buried in mass graves. Yet the poor Irish peasants continued their struggle for survival and many chose to leave Ireland and seek a better life in America.

William Dooley was one of many poor, hungry Irish peasants who sought a better life in America. William embraced his new home by becoming an U.S. citizen filing his naturalization papers in March 1856. William may have made his journey to America alone arriving sometime before 1851. This date is based on a five-year residency requirement for naturalization.

Two possible immigration records have been located for a William Dooley arriving in New York. While both records match name and age range, the ship records lack additional evidence to make a definitive decision.

7 July 1848 SS Margaret Age 19 Laborer
25 October 1851 SS Robert Kelly Age 17 Servant

Regardless of his date and point of entry, William made his arrival in Chicago as early as 1856 when he submitted his naturalization papers in Cook County, Illinois. William was embracing his new country.

How or why William settled in Chicago is unknown. However, Chicago was home to a large Irish-born population. William’s native tongue was English giving him an advantage over other non-English speaking immigrant groups.

The Irish immigrants of Chicago worked as laborers. Many earlier immigrants worked on the Erie Canal and in Chicago the ? canal. Perhaps they sent word home to Ireland about plentiful work.

William Dooley and his fellow Irish Catholics faced discrimination due to their poverty and religious faith. The Irish of Chicago lived near their Catholic parishes as life in Chicago centered around the church. The spirit of community brought the feeling of Ireland to Chicago. The faithful Irish built numerous churches with Old St. Pat’s Church as their mother church.

Each St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish in Chicago gathered at Old St. Pat’s for mass. Following mass, Irish residents enjoyed a St. Patrick’s Day parade ……

At some point William Dooley met and married Ellen Hart who was born November 1842 in Cork, Ireland. Ellen arrived in The United States in 1854 at the age of eleven.  Her point of entry into the U.S. has not been determined as her immigration records have not yet been located. However, she also made her way to Chicago.

Together, William and Ellen raised a family of four sons. These four Dooley sons are the first generation Americans:

Stephen Clement Dooley, b. December 1864
William Dooley, b. October 1866
Michael Dooley, b. 1869 d. before 1870
David Francis Dooley, b. 1872

The Great Chicago Fire

Having survived The Great Hunger of Ireland and the passage to America, William and Ellen Dooley were mostly likely strong, resilient people.  God had prepared them for yet another tragedy.

In 1870 William and Ellen Dooley lived at 29 East Hinsdale in the City of Chicago.
Their home was in the path of the Great Chicago Fire. Chicago residents fled for their lives. William, Ellen, Stephen and little William fled to safety. Perhaps they sought refuge in Lake Michigan. Perhaps they followed the lake north to Lincoln Park. We don’t know how this little family survived but they did. The year 1872 found William and family living on Henry Street.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran’s Day 2013

 I miss my World War II Father and Uncles. My Grandparents had four of their five sons serve during World War II. Today’s photographs are of my grandparent’s home.

It was a blessing that their four boys came home safely when so many young men did not get that opportunity. I hope everyone understands and remembers the courage and sacrifice of The Greatest Generation.

My sons were interested in my father’s war stories; which Dad gladly shared. I remember one night when Dad was telling about how he crossed the English Channel. He spoke of seasickness and of being fired upon. My very young son innocently replied that he would just dive under the water and my father told him bullets go under water too.

In Loving Memory of Bob, Al, George and Marvin Meyer

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let Your Voice Be Heard This Election Day

Today is Election Day. Every U. S. citizen has the right to vote. I have done my duty and hope everyone has a moment to express his or her wishes for our great country’s future leadership. At times I hear stories of apathy and how someone thinks their vote won’t count. When I hear that I think back to my ancestors. As I continue to focus on The Dooley Family Tree, I think of our Irish immigrant, William Dooley.

Citizenship is not required. Naturalization, a voluntary act, is a two-step process that took a minimum of five years. During William’s lifetime, First Papers (Declaration of Intent) could be submitted after living in the U.S. for a period of two years. After an additional three years, a person could petition of naturalization. Once granted, a certificate of citizenship was issued.

 William submitted his naturalization papers in March of 1856.  I doubt his certificate of citizenship arrived for the 1856 Presidential Elections.  If it had, William would have been able to vote in a three-way election between James Buchanan, John Fremont and Millard Fillmore.

I do believe that William Dooley was able to vote in the 1860 Presidential Election.
William would have voted for one of the four following candidates: Abraham Lincoln, John Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen Douglas. I wonder which candidate received the vote of a poor, Irish Catholic citizen.

Ellen Dooley would not have voted, as women had not yet received the right to vote.
Women’s right to vote would not happen in Ellen’s lifetime. Women would have to wait for the 19th Amendment; which was ratified on 18 August 1920.

It is interesting to note that once William Dooley became a citizen Ellen also became a citizen. At that time, women’s citizenship mirrored their husband’s citizenship. So, should an American-born woman fall in love and marry an immigrant, non-citizen, she would loose her citizenship and become an alien. Interesting, isn’t it?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Irish Immigrant Becomes A U.S. Citizen

With just one week until Election Day, I wondered about William Dooley. Could our immigrant ancestor have been a registered voter? Were his sons registered voters? provided the answers to my questions.

The 1870 U.S. Census reports that William Dooley was a male CITIZEN of 21 years of age and upwards. William could vote!

1888 Voter Registration For William and Stephen Dooley

The City of Chicago’s 1888 Voter Registration Record showed William Dooley and his son Stephen Dooley as registered voters. The record provides valuable proof of the date and location of William Dooley’s naturalization. It shows William filed his naturalization papers in The Recorders Court of Cook County during March 1856!

1892 Voter Registration for William Dooley

The 1890 and 1892 City of Chicago Voter Registration confirms the Date of Papers as 1856 and the Court as The Circuit Court of Cook County.

This is all very good news. I am just a train ride away from The Cook County Circuit Court Archives and William Dooley’s naturalizations records, right? Not so fast for catastrophe struck Chicago.

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871, destroyed much of the city.  Wooden buildings, wood plank sidewalks and tree-lined streets fueled the flames that devastated Chicago. Along with the loss of life and devastation of property, records valuable to today’s genealogist were destroyed. William Dooley’s 1856 naturalization record located in Chicago’s Circuit Court was burned.

Fortunately, in 1980 an amateur genealogist stumbled upon twenty voter registration ledgers in a county building. The1888, 1890 and 1892 ledgers are available through and The Illinois State Archives.


“Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, 1888,” Cook County, Illinois, voter registration, William and Stephen Dooley; digital image 114 of 604, ( : accessed 30 October 2012); citing Illinois State Archives microfilm.

“Chicago, Illinois, Voter Registration, 1892,” Cook County, Illinois, voter registration, William Dooley; digital image 213 of 397, ( : accessed 30 October 2012); citing Illinois State Archives microfilm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mystery Solved!

My blog posts have been few and far between lately, but that does not mean my genealogy has been put aside. As of late, I have devoted my time to thinking and reading.

I was forced to pause when I discovered a family tree on that claimed the same 1870 and 1880 census records for William and Ellen Dooley family. This discovery rattled me, as I was confident in my decision-making, however, it forced me to pause and rethink the William and Ellen Dooley evidence.

Here were two Dooley families headed by a William and Ellen. Their children’s names and ages were similar with one exception. 

My William and Ellen Dooley’s youngest son was David Francis Dooley who eventually married Elizabeth Lawless. David and Elizabeth were childless. This was a blessing, as they later became guardians for their orphan niece and nephews.

“The Other Dooley Family Tree” had a William and Ellen Dooley whose youngest son was David Joseph Dooley who married a Martha Schultz. David Joseph and Martha raised a large family of eight children.


How do I discern which tree has correctly claimed these two census records? I checked and double-checked the evidence of both trees and I eventually found the flaw! William and Ellen Dooley’s firstborn son, Stephen C, held the clue.

My Stephen C. Dooley married Sarah “Sadie” Hayes and together they had one daughter, Sadie. Eventually, Stephen and Sadie parted ways. Stephen remained in Chicago while the “Two Sadies” moved to Detroit.  This information is confirmed in Stephen C. Dooley’s obituary and through a living Dooley relative. I know this is true.

“The Other Dooley Family Tree” also claimed Stephen C. Dooley and his “Two Sadies.” They cannot possibly belong in “The Other Dooley Family Tree” along with David Joseph and Martha Schultz as they are firmly planted in my Dooley Family Tree.

It took quite a bit of time to compare both trees, but I am glad I did. I can say with complete confidence that I have correctly claimed the 1870 and 1880 U.S. census records for William and Ellen Dooley.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Chicago Ancestors is an informative website run by the Newberry Library that is packed full of information about Chicago. I had discovered it years ago and finally decided to take a peak at what it offered. Street Guides and City Directories are available for search online and are organized by year. I decided to experiment and see what I could find.

William Dooley: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records report a Chicago residence.

Page 228 of the 1870 Chicago City Directory shows:

“Dooley, William, expressman, r. 23 E. Hinsdale”

Then he is on page 354 of the 1880 Chicago City Directory:

“Dooley, William, express, house 31 Henry”

The earliest Chicago City directory available on the website is 1866.  This directory reports two William Dooley’s living in Chicago. Could one of these men be my William? While I cannot say yes with any degree of certainty, I would guess that William, the sailor, may be my guy as both the1866 and 1870 William Dooley live on E. Hinsdale.  I just need to remember that by 1866, William had two sons both who report an Illinois birth.

“Dooley, William, porter, J.H. Reed & Co.”
“Dooley, William, sailor, 19 E. Hinsdale”

William Dooley, The Expressman

William was employed as a driver of express wagons. Could I possibly find the names of Chicago Express Businesses? If so, perhaps one of these businesses employed my William.

1870 Express Businesses in Chicago
Adams Express Co.
American Merchants’ Union Express
United States Express

1880 Express Businesses in Chicago
Adams Express Co.,
American Express Co.
Baltimore & Ohio Express Co. United States Express Co.
United States Express Co.
Western Express Co.

Well, this has been a fun Friday night exploring and learning a little more about Chicago resources and William.


Monday, October 8, 2012

So Sorry

I am so sorry not to be currently blogging. I have been diligently working on my Genealogy Society’s 2013 program. It is coming along and I hope to finish up soon.
I have scheduled excellent speakers and very interesting topics.

Jennifer Holik will be speaking on “Finishing the Story: Tracing the Life of a Deceased Soldier.” Jennifer is a great speaker and has authored several books on teaching children to love genealogy.

Jeanne Larzalere Bloom will be speaking on cemetery research. Jeanne appeared in the Jason Sudekis episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

All in all, I have been quite busy with my genealogy. In addition to working for my local genealogy society, I have been attempting to write a Dooley Family research report. I find it difficult to put my thoughts into words in a logical well-ordered manner. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Genealogical Proof Standard

I have been trying to write a research report explaining what I have learned about the Dooley Family. Each time I begin, I see holes in my research and am not satisfied.

This caused me to pause and review the Genealogical Proof Standard. When your work meets the GPS, your evidence will meet the following criteria.

·      “The research was systematic and exhaustive.”
·      “The evidence is reliable and correctly interpreted.”
·      “Any contradictory evidence is soundly rebutted.”
·      “Each statement of fact is scrupulously documented.”
·      “Every deduction is clearly reasoned and persuasively explained.”[1]

Not only do I need to convince myself of my findings, but also need to convince my reader meaning Uncle Dave Dooley. I appreciate thoroughness and I know that he would too.

Research questions are key to solving my problems and help me conduct systematic and exhaustive research that will hold up to critique.

·      When and where did William Dooley and Ellen Hart enter the country?
·      Is Ellen’s maiden name really Hart?
·      Where were William and Ellen Dooley married?
·      What Catholic parish were William and Ellen Dooley buried through?
·      Are there any guardianship records for the orphans of William and Mary Dooley?

I am always open to advice!


[1] Mills, Elizabeth Shown, “Evidence Analysis,” Professional Genealogy, Elizabeth Shown Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001), 329-330.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A New Resource: Sexton Records

An Irish accent is a beautiful thing. Seeing the beautiful landscapes in Ireland’s 2013 Gathering commercials makes me realize that Ireland is a grand place and their tourism campaign makes me yearn to see the Emerald Isle.

Before any such trip, I need to complete my Dooley research. My newest discovery is a resource unknown to me previously. This new resource is Sexton Records.

A sexton is a person/persons in charge of a cemetery. This caretaker keeps records of those buried in the cemetery.  Among other duties, the sexton mows, weeds and trims shrubs. The sexton digs the graves, opens and closes the cemetery gates. The sexton’s “To Do” list is a long one.

Keeping records is what catches my eye.  The Sexton Records of Calvary Cemetery might yield some unknown Dooley information. I have requested such information through the Chicago Archdiocese Archives. It should take about four to six weeks for the results. Now I play the waiting game.

While I am waiting, I just may request Sexton Records for other ancestors on other trees in other cemeteries. I am curious to see what the records may hold.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Search Continues

Brick by brick, piece by piece I continue to build my Dooley evidence always on the hunt for William and Ellen Dooley’s origin. Their son, David F. Dooley’s death certificate reports William Dooley and Ellen Hart’s origin as Cork, Ireland. This death certificate is my one and only lead to Ireland and the search continues.

I have searched immigration records for William Dooley. There are several possibilities for William, but the immigration records provide little evidence to distinguish one William from another. Records offer an age, year of immigration, country of origin and destination. Arrivals reported “Ireland” as their country of origin and “United States” as their destination. I fear looking for William Dooley’s immigration records is like looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack.

Ellen Hart is equally puzzling. One immigration record matches her age and reported date of immigration. Unfortunately, the Ellen Hart of that record arrived in Tasmania not the U.S.A. She’s not my Ellen!

The Good News is that kink from my last post is not a kink at all. The Dooleys located in Lot S26, Block 45, Section S of Calvary Cemetery are my Dooleys; every single one of them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Something Is Amiss

Oh, No! I just discovered a kink in my Dooley research. Wouldn’t you know it, just when I went out on the limb and declared William and Ellen Dooley to be The Irish Immigrants?

Examine the census records and you will see a 3-4 year age difference between William and Ellen. After reviewing the death records, I find a 14-year age difference. Something is definitely amiss. Could it be possible that there are two William and Ellen Dooleys with sons of the same name buried in the same cemetery? I need to think.

Bye the way, did I mention this blog is a work in progress?

Lot S26, Block 45, Section S

The above location marks the final resting place of William and Ellen Dooley. This couple is the patriarch and matriarch of the large Dooley Clan of Chicago, Illinois and beyond.

Having studied this couple’s three census records (1870, 1880 and 1900) and their death certificates for months, I wondered could William and Ellen be “THE IRISH IMMIGRANTS?” Dare I go out on the limb and declare them so?

Today’s research took me to Calvary Cemetery situated along the shore of Lake Michigan. Established in 1859, Calvary Cemetery is the final resting place for many Dooley ancestors. You may visit William Dooley, Ellen Dooley, Elizabeth Dooley, David Dooley and Stephen C. Dooley at Lot S26, Block 45, Section S.The gravestone reports the death dates of William, Ellen, Elizabeth and David that match their respective death certificates. Stephen C. Dooley was interred in the same location but without a headstone. I neglected to look for Stephen’s wife, Anna; which means another trip on another day.

While I have yet to locate the immigration records for William and Ellen, I believe I can say with a degree of certainty that William and Ellen Dooley were this family’s “Irish Immigrants.” William and Ellen do indeed belong to this Dooley Clan of Chicago and beyond. They rest in eternity along side two of their sons, David and Stephen, whose lives are chronicled even today by living descendants.

Please review the census. I cannot post death records as Family Search licenses them, but census and death records combined with the family plot in Calvary Cemetery make the familial connection.

William’s death certificate reports his birthplace as Ireland. He passed away 12 May 1900 at the age of 71. The certificate also reports the number of years lived in Illinois to be 30, however, that number is difficult to read and is my best guess.

Ellen Dooley’s death certificate reports her birthplace as Ireland as well. She passed away 29 Oct 1905 at the age of 62, Her death certificate clearly states that she lived in Illinois 54 years; which means she immigrated at the young age of eight years.

Now to find the immigration records. I am getting close to “jumping the pond” and searching for William and Ellen’s Irish origins.

As you will see in 1870, William and Ellen had a son, Mike. Sadly, little Mike did not make it to the 1880 census. In reviewing Dooley interments of Calvary Cemetery, I was not able to locate a Michael Dooley whose dates fit for this little boy.

You may click on the images for a large view.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To Labor

By definition: labor is the human activity that provides the goods for wages.  This Labor Day I have compiled a list of “jobs” that our Adams, Cox, Dollen, Dooley and Meyer ancestors performed for wages.

Rag Sorter
Koethner “Cottager” or small farmer
Telephone Operator
Manufacturing: Research and Development
Painter/Auto Shop
Telephone Company Lineman

Elizabeth “Betsey” Strong, my third great grandmother, labored as a rag sorter in St. Decuman Parish, Somerset, England. Betsey, age 34, was a widow and supported three daughters: Sarah Caroline (age 11), Emma (age 9) and Fanny (age 7). Her husband, Henry Strong, passed away in 1840. She most likely labored as a rag sorter for eight more years until their 1849 passage to America aboard the ship, Shannon.

Rag Sorting reminds me that nothing stays the same. I doubt that there are rag sorters in today’s work force but wonder what jobs of today will stay and which will disappear as rag sorting did.

Happy Labor Day to those who labor. I extend my sincerest prayers for those who wish to labor but cannot find a job. Here’s to a better, brighter future.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yippee!!!! announced that it is offering free access to all U.S. Census records dating from 1790-1940! The free access starts now and ends at midnight September 3rd. This is a great opportunity for you to take a peak for free!

In addition to browsing your family’s census records, you can try out their Time Machine. Make a few selections and discover what life was like in 1940.

Start your search and join the fun at:

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Brilliant Idea

The Dooley Family research is moving along at a nice pace. Internet research has yielded some baptismal records for the children of William Dooley and Mary Egan. Family Search has digitized the records; which are quite easy to view and eliminate much legwork . The Dooley children were baptized at Holy Family Church located at 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago.  I don’t read Latin, but I believe the church records were written in Latin. This deduction comes, of course, from my wild guess.

Here is Stephen Arthur Clement Dooley’s baptismal record found in Holy Family Church’s record book. I do not know where the original record book is located, but it is fun to see a copy of the actual record itself.

Please click on the record for a larger view and use out your magnifying glass to read the record that is located towards the bottom of the page. You will see that Steven was baptized Arthur. The church made an added note about his marriage to Elizabeth Marino at St. Viator’s Church.

“Illinois, Chicago, Catholic Church Records, 1833-1928,” Holy Family (Chicago) images, Family Search ( : accessed 21 Aug 2012), Dooley, Stephen baptism and marriage.

Today, as I was walking my dog, I came up with a brilliant idea of having the Dooley Family attend Mass at Holy Family Church. It would be a memorable way for the descendants to go back to their familial and religious roots.