Friday, January 27, 2012

Back To The Future

I think it is important to consider that what we do today may be of interest for those yet to come. Thoughtful recordings of events and milestones may warm the hearts of future generations.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grandmotherly Love

Yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday post was a family photograph. I chuckle when I see this photograph because it speaks volumes about my grandmothers.

The subject of the photograph is my maternal grandmother, Henrietta Evelina Danker Dollen Haskins. As you can see, my grandmother loved to have a good time! She was a flapper. She was engaged twice prior to marrying at the age of seventeen.

So, there she is, my mischievous, maternal grandmother with streamers around her neck and party poppers inserted in her nostrils and ears! It must be New Year’s Eve as she is raising a glass in a toasting gesture. Grandma Haskins is thoroughly enjoying her moment. She is the life of the party!

Let your eyes wander to the back of the photograph and you will see my paternal grandmother, Olga Bertha Louise Schumann Meyer. This grandmother is cradling my brother, Jeff, in her arms.  Jeff is about six months of age. Grandma Meyer is completely in love with the little boy in her arms and thoroughly enjoying her moment.

Those grandmothers of mine are radically different people! They are both beautiful, loving women who lived life in the own unique style.  Watching each of my grandmothers in action makes me treasure this photograph.

The boy with the patch on his eye is my brother, Dick. He had lazy eye and needed to wear the patch to correct his vision. His left arm did not get into the picture. If it did, you would have seen his arm in a cast.
That is me on the left. I am that half a girl watching my silly grandmother!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Sigh of Relief

Did you hear my huge sigh of relief? 

My life has been spiraling out of control in the sea of paperwork atop my desk! My son’s quick relocation to Seattle took a toll. He arrived safely and is settling in to his apartment minus his furniture that will arrive within the next two weeks. Freedom from my motherly worries has given me the opportunity to reorganize my life.

My desk is now clean. Paperwork now rests in its proper folder. One more day of household organization and I will be back on track!

Your happy blogger,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Snow Warning

I have to chuckle about winter this year. Our spring-like January yielded to Old Man Winter last week appearing just as my son was setting off for a cross-country road trip to Seattle, Washington. Driving across South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington set off a series of conversations regarding snow tires, studded tires, tire chains and tire cables. Needless to say, my son and his friends drove off with none of the above causing this mother great angst.

The weather and road conditions were good and the boys/men made great time until they reached the great state of Washington. As things would go, they arrived in Seattle the day of the Big Storm! The hilly streets present challenges for cars and buses in snowstorms. My anxiety levels decreased once I knew they had arrived safely without sliding down any hills.

Today in Chicagoland we are under a Winter Snow Warning with a forecast of four to eight inches of snow. It is snowing as I type. The light fluffy snow is turning my neighborhood into a beautiful winter wonderland.

All of this reminds me of a story my maternal grandmother told me of her childhood.  My grandmother was born in 1907 in a rural community outside of Chicago. She grew up on a truck farm and remembered the winters of her childhood. The family’s mode of transportation was horse and wagon. Their horses were very valuable and were treated with the utmost care. So, when the weather turned cold and snowy, the horses would remain in the warm barn and the family would brave the elements on foot.

Transportation has made great strides in the past one hundred years. We have gone from horse and wagon to specialized tires on cars. Drive carefully, please!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back in Time

Do you ever wish you could go back in time? I do. I would not mind traveling back in time for the opportunity of meeting this happy couple. Stephen and Elizabeth Dooley are dressed in their finest and appear to be celebrating an important event.

The corsage and boutonnière suggest some honor such as a wedding anniversary. I showed this photograph to my husband and he felt it was taken at Stephen’s retirement party. Perhaps that is the reason for his big smile!

My husband believes the photograph was taken sometime between 1955 - 1960. I would have to agree with the time frame based on Elizabeth’s hat with netting. I believe it was a popular look of the time.

I hope you have enjoyed the previous posts about Stephen Clement Dooley’s life. He lived his life well and was loved by all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Steven Clement Dooley is Awarded a Purple Heart!

Steven Clement Dooley’s World War I draft registration may not be found, but I believe we are in possession of ample evidence of his military service. I am speaking of his Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is awarded to the brave members of the United States Armed Services who are wounded in war at the hands of the enemy. The Purple Heart is a combat decoration.


This poster acknowledges Steven Clement Dooley’s service during the First World War confirming that he was in the 131st Infantry and the wagon supply company.

Steven C. Dooley’s service record included the following battles:

July 4, 1918                 Battle of Hamel and Vaire Woods
                                    The 131 and 132 Infantry regiments brigaded with Australian troops.

August 9, 1918            Battle at Chippilly Ridge and the Gressaire Woods
                                    Fought with the 58th British Division in difficult terrain.

September 1918 -
October 21, 1918        The 131 Infantry took part in the opening of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. During this period of time, Steven C. Dooley was constantly subjected to heavy artillery and machine gun fire. This is where he earned his Purple Heart. Sadly the German military bombarded the U.S. troops with mustard gas.

October 26, 1918        The 131 Infantry drove the enemy from St. Hilaire and Marcheville and occupied Butgneville and Riaville.

November 11, 1918    The World War ends!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Family research has ebbs and flows. I research a family line “to death” and extract as much information as possible and then my luck runs out. When reaching that point, I find it best to let the tree sit. Sometimes my trees sit for quite awhile. This is what happened with my Cox Family Tree.

Yesterday I received a message on ancestry inquiring about the Cox Family. I have just hit the Cox Family Jackpot!

After a brief telephone conversation, I have learned that I do indeed have a Revolutionary War connection in the Cox Family Tree. My caller is in possession of one the original Daughters of the American Revolution silver spoons. Seven hundred fifty seven spoons were given to the real daughters of the revolution.  She reports that the historic D.A.R. is in possession of only ten original spoons.

Now it is time for me to pick up my Cox Family research and gather evidence to prove the Revolutionary War connections in this family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?

Mark your calendars! Friday, February 3, Who Do You Think You Are? returns for a third season. The NBC series focuses on the family history of celebrities. This season’s celebrities are: Martin Sheen, Marisa Tomei, Blair Underwood, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Rita Wilson, Edie Falco, Rashida Jones, Jerome Bettis, Jason Sudeikis and Paul Deen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let’s Look A Little Closer at The Dooley Family

Stephen Dooley was a teamster during the World War. He cared for the horses and drove a wagon such that is pictured below. His youngest son recollects his father’s knowledge of horses. The family had been on vacation when they stopped along the way for a horse show. Father Stephen shared his knowledge of horses with his family. His children recall amazement at his knowledge of horses.

A photo from the Stephen Clement Dooley collection.

All genealogical research begins with a research question. We know our orphan, Stephen Clement Dooley, was born and raised in the Near West Side of Chicago.  How did this city boy get the job of teamster during the World War?

Let’s look at his siblings. In 1910 David F and Elizabeth Dooley cared for the orphaned children: John F., Stephen C., Margaret and David. Remember that David F. was brother to their deceased father, William Dooley.

The 1910 census reports that John F. Dooley, Stephen’s older brother, was employed as a teamster. Perhaps John F. Dooley’s experience as a teamster gave our Stephen the knowledge and interest in horses. [1]

[1] “1910 United States Federal Census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet 163(stamped), dwelling 1057, family 115, David F. Dooley; digital image, ( : accessed 9 January 2012), citing National Archives microfilm publication T624, Roll 251.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Doughboys

I wonder what these Doughboys thought when they realized there was to be a Second World War and that they were required to register for the draft!

Stephen Dooley is pictured in the lower right.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The World Beckons

The Dooley brothers Joseph, William, and David were drafted into military service when the United States entered The World War. A search of the World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 on produced draft registration cards for Joseph, William and David Dooley. Stephen’s World War I draft registration card was not located though I did see his World War II draft registration.

Whenever this occurs I begin searching records using spelling variations of the first and surname. I searched for Stephen, Steven,  Steve and Ste*n paired with surname variations of Dooley,  Duley, D*ly, and D*ley.  Eventually I resorted to reversing the name order. I searched Dooley as the first name and Stephen the surname. Despite all my strategies, I had no luck in locating Stephen Dooley’s World War I draft registration card.

He may have enlisted! Or maybe his records were simply lost! Whatever the case, I have enough documentation sitting on my desk proving his military service during The World War.

Stephen Clement Dooley served in The Thirty-Third Division also known as the Prairie Division. The Prairie Division was made up of men from the Illinois State National Guard. Hmmm . . . maybe Stephen’s records are located with the Illinois National Guard! I have a new place to search!

I was initially skeptical of his being in this division. The division’s insignia was a circle with a yellow plus sign in the center. Insignias were usually worn on the sleeve. Stephen’s sleeve lacked that insignia. I shared this with my husband and he immediately produced it. It was never sewn onto the sleeve!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trouble Averted

The suggestion that Stephen Clement Dooley, Orphan and World War I veteran, associated with members of the Touhy gang came from a mother/son conversation held many years ago. The source of the story is Stephen Dooley’s son who just happens to be named Stephen! Names do have a tendency to be repeated in this Dooley clan!

The younger Stephen recalls his mother sharing the story that elder Stephen used to hang out in the streets and associated with the Touhy gang. The elder Stephen was well known for street fighting in his younger days. She explained that “The Touhy Gang went one way and his father went another.” After reading about the Touhy gang, I can state with complete certainty that Stephen Clement Dooley made a very smart decision!

Birth, census, court and death records give genealogists a structure in researching a person’s life. Some stories are just not found in these traditional resources such as this one.
And now for the Touhy gang!

The Touhy family lived in the near west side of Chicago. James and Mary Touhy had six sons and two daughters. Mr. Touhy provided for his family by working as a police officer.
Tragedy struck when the children were young. Mother Mary died in a home fire. James had difficulty raising this large family. The boys took to the street and eventually five sons organized and became The Touhy Gang.

Son Roger Touhy became an Irish-American mob boss in Chicago. Prohibition provided the perfect opportunity for this bootlegger. He distributed alcohol to the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He also ran gambling establishments and was a loan shark.  The successful gang caught the eye of Al Capone and trouble brewed. Small skirmishes grew into an all out gang war between Al Capone and the Touhy gang.

I used the following three websites to learn about the Touhy gang.There is much to read!

1.     Wikipedia:
3.     The Roger Touhy, Gangster blog at

I believe that trouble was averted for our young Stephen. At that time the Near West Side neighborhood was tough and his association with the Touhys may have related to friendship or survival. While no formal records have been found linking the two, Stephen’s future life is proof that he did indeed choose a different path.

Stephen Clement Dooley was universally known as a gentle, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The War Horse and a Real Life Veteran

My husband and I recently saw the movie, War Horse. Beautiful scenery and music enhance the story of a boy and a horse whose journeys take them through England and Europe during World War I. As the war rages, our main characters somehow manage to survive battles, find each other and ultimately return home. War Horse stimulated my genealogical curiosity about World War I. Immediately I began searching for World War I veterans in my family tree. 

Stephen Clement Dooley was a veteran of World War I. His purple heart hangs in my husband’s office. My husband has just produced several documents relating to his grandfather’s service. I hope to chronicle this man’s life in my next few posts. So I begin….

Stephen Dooley was born to Irish parents, William and Mary Dooley. Census records report that William arrived in the United States about 1886 and became a naturalized citizen. I have not yet located his father's immigration and naturalization records but will continue the search. Census records also report that Mary was born in the United States to Irish immigrants.

Stephen was the middle child in this Irish Catholic family. He had three older brothers and two younger brothers plus a younger sister. My records indicate Stephen was baptized at the Holy Family Church, 1080 W. Roosevelt, Chicago.  Unfortunately, I gathered this piece of evidence during my early genealogical years and failed to create a citation. I now need to relocate my source!

This family would be broken apart by the deaths of both parents. William passed away first. It is said Mary died of a broken heart approximately a year later. Their deaths occurred sometime between 1900-1910. No death records have been found to date to confirm this oral family story and the location of their graves remains unknown as well. In the 1910 census their children John, Stephen, Margaret and David are found to be living with their Uncle David Dooley. Brothers Joseph and William appear to have been living on their own.

Life was difficult for these orphans. Steven took to the streets and began to run with the infamous Touhy gang of Chicago. Until tomorrow . . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

Wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year! The idea of a new year fills me with hope. The year is completely open and full of possibilities. With that in mind, I have committed myself to filling 2012 with love and happiness. I cannot control what happens in our crazy world, but I can attempt to make my little corner a gentle, loving place which I plan to share abundantly.  My inspiration comes from this video, Happy New Year – Auld Lang Syne by Sissel posted on You Tube. Life is a beautiful gift. Let’s make 2012 beautiful too!

Saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the New Year reminds me of singing Auld Lang Syne with my family on New Year's Eve. My aunts, uncles and cousins would come to our home to celebrate the new year together. My mother would serve food for all. The memory of what we ate has vanished with one exception. My mother always served herring in sour cream!

Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne as a Scottish poem in 1788.  It was put to the music of a traditional Scottish folk song and was sung in English speaking countries. It is said that Robert Burns put an old man’s words to manuscript creating the poem. The Auld Lang Syne manuscript can be found in the permanent collection British literature in the Lilly Library at the Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. If you are interested in learning more about this old song, please refer to the wikipedia article at

Happy New Year,