12 August 2014

52 Ancestors: #11 Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin

I am up to #11 in my "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" challenge.  I'm pacing myself .... yeah, that's it!!

This edition features my paternal great grandmother, Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin (1883-1973).  She used Bridget or Agnes interchangeably it seems throughout the years but it is Agnes on her tombstone.  Agnes was the daughter of John Williams (1849-1928) and Mary Dewan (1854-1916).  She had 4 siblings that I have found. Born December 20, 1883 at Palmer Hill, Jay, Essex County, New York and raised in Black Brook, Clinton County, New York. Agnes married Daniel Joseph Coughlin (1877-1953) on August 22, 1905 in Lake Placid, Essex County, New York.  They had 6 children:  Bernard (1907-1980), David (1909-1984), Ann (1913-2000), Daniel (1915-1977), Mary Elizabeth aka "Betty" (1917-1998) and Thomas (1921-1945).

From the Census Summary Sheets, I was able to find Agnes in all but the 1900 Federal and 1905 New York State censuses.  As you can see she was listed as Bridget or Agnes.  She is also the reason I have started to search those hard to find relatives by their middle names (when known).  You just never know!!

Bridget Agnes Williams Coughlin
Census Summary Sheet (1880-1940)

It's the Coughlin side of the family where I lack lots of photos.  I do have this picture of Agnes and Daniel from about 1940 at the farm in Palmer Hill, Jay, Essex County, New York.

Daniel & Agnes Coughlin

07 July 2014

It's Grama T's Birthday!

Today is the birthday of my (step) paternal great grandmother and a wonderful woman, Elizabeth Ann "Bess" Madden Torrance (1888-1985).  I am behind in my research but I do know her parents were Thomas and Margaret Hurley Madden. She was born in Jay, Essex County, New York.  She had 4 children, 3 of whom made it to adulthood including my grandmother, Helen Marguerite Torrance Coughlin (1910-1995).

Here is a cute picture from 1971 with "Grama T" and a friend of my father, Thomas Raymond Coughlin (1944-1998), along with Grandma Helen's note!


I just love this picture! It shows that poor Grama T had to put up with so much from my father and yet still had a smile on her face!!

Happy Birthday Grama T!! We love and miss you!!

15 May 2014

Helen Torrance Coughlin - Birthday Girl!

Today is the birthday of my paternal (step) grandmother, Helen Torrance Coughlin.  She was born on May 15, 1910 to Elizabeth Madden and Walter Torrance in Upper Jay, Essex County, New York.

I recently found this birthday of "Grandma C" at her 75th birthday gathering in 1985.  I can only imagine she was on the phone with one of her children!

Happy Birthday Grandma C!!!

14 May 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 Daniel Joseph Coughlin

And the roll call of ancestors continues! This entry in the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge" is my paternal great grandfather, Daniel Joseph Coughlin (1877-1953).

Dan was the 5th son and 7th child of Daniel Coughlin (1837-1911) and Anna/Annie McDonough (1845-1893) born in the Palmer Hill area of Black Brook, Clinton County, New York. In 1905 he married Bridget Agnes Williams (1883-1973) in Lake Placid, Essex County, New York.  They had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. He died from fracturing his neck in a farming accident on June 12, 1953 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I do have a picture of him working the farm at Palmer Hill, Black Brook, Clinton County, New York in the 1930's.

I have been tinkering with a census tracking form. So I used Grandpa Dan as my "test subject".  The only census I have been unable to locate him in is the 1900 Federal Census. He would have been 23 years old in 1900 and I am not sure where he may have been as he did various jobs before he took over the family farm after the death of his father in 1911. It was interested as I reviewed the censuses I have from him and saw the many variations of "Coughlin". Most I have seen on my personal correspondence but a few I had not seen so they have been added to my Names Variations chart!

05 May 2014

Why Blog? - Motivation Monday

Why blog?

Image Courtesy of LEOL30
I get this question all the time from non-genie friends and family members (and a few genie friends as well). Why did you start? If you haven't received a lot of feedback or my favorite, if you haven't found all your relatives, why continue to blog?

So why do I blog? Well it comes back to podcasts, websites and blogs! I listen to a LOT of podcasts on my daily commute.  There are also a lot of websites and bloggers I follow on a regular basis.  There was a period where ALL mediums were talking about creating your own blog to share information and if you are lucky you will have people share with you. I always kept in the back of my mind but always had "something" else to do.  Finally, I just DID it. I went online and a few clicks later....blog created!!

I do not blog on a regular basis.  I usually have great ideas and then when I finally get to "pen and paper" so to speak, I draw a blank.  But I am trying to get better and one day I will finally get into the routine.  We all have something we should strive for daily!! (I also hope to redesign and/or add more to the blog.  It's on my list :) )

And to answer my friends about what I get from the blog.  Some of my family members read this blog and have made comments about not knowing something or thanking me for sharing information.  So that is good. Currently I have been contacted by a few previously unknown distant cousins, some more helpful than others.  One helpful distant cousin in particular is trying to break through our common Coughlin brick wall.....where in Ireland did brothers Daniel and Thomas Coughlin really come from???? We have emailed and spoken on the telephone (so 20th century I know but it works too!!) and I am confident that one day, ONE DAY, we will be successful!!

I also get the satisfaction of sharing what I may or may not know about my relatives.  I have TONS of photos that I am continually in the process of scanning and labeling with the hopes of putting them online so I can share what I have with family and friends.  I hope they are enjoying them as much as I am.

I also want to give credit and much thanks to the following folks, podcasts, websites who inspired me (aka gave me that nudge) to finally create a blog.  In no particular order they are:
I say if you have ever thought about starting a blog, genealogy related or not, JUST DO IT! Check out the folks I mentioned and I know you will come away with some inspiration. 

The one piece of advise I would give is do what feels right for you.  Some blog daily and others, like me, when the spirit hits you! You can always tweak your blog as you get more comfortable with it.  The blog is how YOU want it to be not how anyone else wants it...just you.

04 April 2014

52 Ancestors: #9 Ella Johnson Hall

I had planned on just doing the obituary of my paternal 2nd great grandmother, Ella Johnson Hall (1858-1925) but then I thought this would be a great time to do my next entry in the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge" (especially since I have no photos of her!!)

Here is the LONG obituary (please note the 3rd, 4th and 5th paragraphs):

The Record-Post
Thursday, April 9, 1925

Ella (Johnson) Hall

Mrs. Ella (Johnson) Hall, whose serious illness was reported in the last issue of The Record-Post, passed peacefully away at her home just south of the village last Saturday forenoon at 11:30 o'clock, in the 68th year of her age. Deceased was born in Clintonville March 20, 1858. While still a young lady she married Ira Hall and had, previous to coming here, resided at Tarrytown, in Moriah and at Plattsburg.

Mr. and Mrs. Hall and four children came to Elizabethtown to reside in the spring of 1897, just about 28 years ago, since when {then} they have lived continuously a short distance south of this village, excepting the summer of 1899 when they were located in "the old house" on Durand Farm.

To those of us who knew her well Mrs. Hall's life was so pure and humble, kind and true, through pleasant and through cloudy weather, that we may say that today, though her mortal form shares the stillness of the tomb, her spirit, in triumph, goes marching on. Life to this kindly woman was like an ever swinging pendulum between a smile and a tear.  So faithful and so patient, however, so true to real Christian teachings was this good woman that those near and dear to her fell that the memory of this worth-while character will remain to encourage, indeed that her commendable example will continue to cast shadows ahead, witnessing the sunrises and sunsets of coming years.

Mrs. Hall was of the Methodist persuasion and those of that faith who worked with her here and elsewhere admired and respected her for her quiet, abiding faith and wholesomeness.  She will be missed in the church circles where she was so highly esteemed.  However, it is in the family circle where this true hearted and ever faithful wife and mother will be most missed. To the members of the sorrow stricken family bereft of the companionship and advise of this rare woman the sincere sympathy of this community is extended.

It may well be said of Mrs. Hall: She has fought a good fight; she has kept the faith; She has earned the right to rest from earthly labors. What more can be said of mortal?

Deceased is survived by her husband, three sons, Earl of Keene Valley, Jesse and Loren of Elizabethtown and one daughter, Miss Beatrice Hall, also of this place. One brother, George Johnson of Ticonderoga and a sister, Mrs. Olive Kee, widow of Alexander Kee, of Los Angeles, Cal., also survive. A daughter, Miss Blanche Hall, born in Elizabethtown in 1897, died in the Champlain Valley Hospital, Plattsburg, in September, 1917.

Funeral services for Mrs. Hall were held at her late home Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. D.C. Abbott officiating.  Interment in Riverside cemetery.

I remember reading this before for the biographical information and had forgotten about what I call an eulogy in the middle of the obituary! Gotta love the verbous writing of yesteryear!  But now I have a few more places to check!

She sounds like she was quite a lady!!

03 April 2014

Happy Birthday Uncle Tom Willis!

Today is the birthday of my maternal great uncle by marriage, Thomas Willis (1893-1976).  Uncle Tom was married to my great aunt, Mamie Duprey Willis (1895-1978).

I found this photo during my January non-stop scanning session.  Aunt Mamie wrote on the back "Poor Tom fell asleep"!

Thomas Willis-1950s
So Happy 121st Birthday Uncle Tom!!