Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mary Gertrude (McNamara) McIntyre , 117 Walter Street Roslindale MA

This is my maternal Great Grandmother, Mary Gertrude (Mcnamara) McIntyre. She is standing on the original front steps to the porch of her home at 117 Walter Street, Roslindale, MA.

I learned just a couple of years ago that this home built approx 1905 was purchaced by my great grandparents and only occupied by their decendants until it's recent sale a couple of years ago.

  Mary and her husband Daniel were both born in Boston to parents of each who were all born in Ireland. I have not so far found any records of land ownership for thier parents and this new home that Mary and Daniel purchaced may very well have been the first property owned in a new land for both of thier families.

   Maybe I'm just imagining a great sense of pride in Mry's smile in this simple snapshot but somehow I don't really think my imaginings are really all that far off...        

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Calvary Cemetery Walk Hill St, Dorchester/West Roxbury, MA

 A month or so ago I was breezing down Walk Hill Street on my way back home from something or other and passing New Calvary, I remembered that even though my mother and i had gone to the cemetery the day her Aunt Catherine McIntyre was buried, we had arrived a little late and the workers (having seen other family come and go) thought it best that we not get too close to the actual burial site as they were filling it in.
   So, I figured on the day I was breezing through that I should seek out Auntie Kay's final resting place and give my regards as I was already in the neighborhood anyways...

 I had some trouble finding a stone with her name on it, I had an idea of where to look though and found many others that had familiar (and not so familiar) first names to go with the sur names that I was sure I'd see on at least a couple of stones.

    During my generation people tend to travel and spread with some quickness so I would not think it so common to see groups of the same families in modern cemeteries but since Auntie Kay's parents traveled from Ireland  lived thier lives here and most were buried here amongst their own, who am I to say my generation travels more. perhaps we are simply less inclined to care if we are as close to each other in the ever after, who knows...
   What I do know is that this particular cemetery is PACKED with familiar names from my ancestry and even though i could not find a stone with Catherine Cummings McIntyre's name on it, I did find many others that I was happy to give my regards to.  

 Somewhere in left side of the cemetery Auntie Kay is here, as I continue to research my ancestry, I am sure I will be back and find her.    
For now,
She has pleanty of company amongst friends and family.
And about a billion other Irish families whose journeys all ended together at the same place.


It really was a beautiful place smack dab in the middle of a bustling city. Kind of makes me think that although there are plenty of beautiful suburban cemetaries full of wide open spaces and sounds of silence, perhaps I'd like to be buried somewhere like New Calvary.
You can almost hear the chatter of the ghosts over the sounds of the city,

"Didja see that accident over on Columbus?"

"Didja see that hootchie comeing out of the wig shop? Where are her parents?" 

  "Hey! That kid just tossed litter over the fence! In my day that never would have ahppened..."      

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In praise of wild women wherever they may be found.

When I first found these snap shots I was unsure if the woman in the snow was Catherine or Cecelia (Claire/Celia) Cummings-McIntyre. (Cecelia's name shows up on various documents as 3 (so far) different variations) After some converse with my Mother (Kathleen, "Claire's" Daughter) we believe the woman pictured in the snow to be Catherine "Kay" Cummings, Claire's sister. The Child is most likely Thomas (mother Claire Cummings) McIntyre and these were most likely taken (judging by his approx age) sometime between 1947 and 1949. The location is a definate as the houses can still be spotted on Walter Street in Roslindale today. These were taken right across the street from 117 Walter Street where perhaps lighting conditons were better than on Cotton Street (the same corner). Tho why anyone whould have chosen that major thru way as a good photo spot to pose a child in is anyone's guess. As my Mother said, "What the heck is she doing out there in the middle of the road?!?" We have to kind of remind ourselves that photography in the 1940's - 1950's is not what it is now. These were more than likely taken on a camera that took 120 cartridge film, (the predecessor to the 110 cartridge) and after these were shot they probably had to wait a week or two to get the paper pictures back and see what actually came out. My guess is that they chose the spot because it was the "sunny side of the street". The house at 117 Walter Street was built on a corner and the Cotton Street side is tree lined and decidedly darker than where Catherine and little Tommy are standing. I still wonder tho, what kind of fun were the two of them having, he dressed for play and she dressed for dinner out in the snow? I have a very vivid memory of my Uncle Danny dressed as Santa riding a sled (that I still have) own the hill to the side of the same house at 117 in the mid 1970's , I suppose there is a reason that uncle's always seem so much more fun than aunties and this reason must be somewhat clothing related. Tho that can be debated, the woman in the background of this (below) snapshot is for sure my maternal Grandmother (Catherine's sister) "Claire", and she seems to be having a fine old time. But then that is what the summer in New England is all about, tho it's April 1st and actively snowing here (Randolph, MA) right now. I really can't wait for the summer, when even washing cars seems like fun....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Katherine Eileen Cummings

Katherine Eileen (Cummings) McIntyre (second from right with her sisters Mary, Claire and brother, Charles) passed away Monday January 10, 2011.
She was born in 1911 and leaves behind a long legacy of adventures and accomplishments,
not the least of which are thousands of documents, newspaper articles and photographs.
The history of any society is directly tied to the history of the families that reside within it, I am forever grateful that Auntie Kay left behind a very well documented history of her life and the lives of those close to her.
I only wish she had dug the photos out of the cedar chest more often, if she had we may know who the other 2 young ladies pictured with her in this shot from her teenage years are.
Always a stylish woman she would probably not be pleased to have anyone reminded that like most of us, she was not born immpecably polished right from the start, none the less, it's the less than sophisticated saddle shoes she is wearing that make this snap shot one of my favorites...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Michael Comer (Conner?)

I found this in an envelope with family birth certificates, death certificates and military records.
I find it interesting as this is an entirely new name.
Comer? (Conner?)
I really have no idea who this guy is or why my family would have kept a record of his grave.
The way the notes are worded makes it sound to me like the guy was still alive when these where written.

"Michael Comer OWNS one grave" not 'owned' or 'presently resides in'.

Why would he need a document to prove this (was he using it as colateral for another purchace?) and if these are a real documents, why do they look more like casual notes than an official proof of purchace?

I looked up North Cambridge Cemetary and with the plot directions so clearly noted, it should be an easy enough grave to find.
I may even head over there today, I really would love to see if there is a stone on that grave and what other info that stone might have carved into it.

Running on the ragged edge of posting a truely tasteless joke,
my first thought on reading these notes was,

"The plot thickens...."

I'll post more as I make inquiries.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this geneology stuff?

: )

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kieran J. Kilday 1886-1976

Digging into the family tree a year or so ago, I happened along a branch with a member whose death certificate listed him as passing away in Randolph, MA. This was very interesting to me as Randolph is where I have lived for the past 10 years. When my husband and I bought our house we were under the impession that neither of us had any friends or family in this area or with any with ties at all to the South Shore community.
But then, at first Kiran Kilday born of Ireland didn't have any either, what brought him here, I wonder? Did he and his wife see a realtor advertisement stating that homes in thier price range were available in a town they never heard of, like us?
Kieran Kilday was my Grandmother's maternal Uncle. I have no idea why neither myself or my Mother (who also now owns a house in Randolph) had ever heard of him before finding his name on a list of birthdates in a notebook buried in the attic of my Grandparent's home but such as it is, it is true. We never heard of him and yet here he is, joined to us by DNA and a commonality in choices of where we made our homes.
Never heard of the guy at all and then suddenly here he is, family and all, in a cemetary right across from the town ice rick where my husband plays hockey once a week.
A cemetary I used to drive by every day on my way to work at the mall.
Go figure...

Even living here, it still took some searching to find Mr. Kilday, there are 20 cemetaries in the immediate Randolph area. I had gone through about 5 of them on foot, sent emails and letters in regards to some of the others and done some more searching on line. All efforts with no luck until on a whim today, I turned into St. Mary's cemetary and as I was about to give up and leave,
there he was:

Having searched for other family members I knew it was entirely possible that he could be buried in the cemetary without a stone or I may have found him buried under a stone that mearly read KILDAY (a common enough name), he also could have been buried in a plot under another name entirely (a plot owned by his wife's family or children perhaps).
The chances that I would just luck across him,
well, as slim as they were,
the odds apparently were in my favor after all.

So, one mystery solved, here lies my Grandmother's Uncle and his family, but then it also begats another mystery or 2.
Who is this metioned behind the main head stone, but clearly in the same plot joining the Kilday's for eternity?

How does Joseph McElroy fit into the family tree puzzle and considering he passed away this year, is there someone still living in Randolph, tending this plot who may be able to add information to my branch?

Then there is also the question of what happened to John R.? It seems that he must have been a child of Kieran and Sabina but to have died so young, in a time of war without military mention on his stone. What was his story?

It may take me years to come to find out more but the fun of discovery in the process of the search makes it all worthwile.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snap shots...

I guess being glossy 8x10's these are actually more than snap shots but the fact is that there are no markings on the back so as obviously eventful as the events pictured are, what we are left with amounts to a couple of quick snap shots of a life. The woman in the pearls and black dress in the fore ground of the top photo is my Great Aunt Catherine "Kay" E. (Cummings) McIntyre and the woman in the bottom photo with the corsage is also her. It just makes me wonder, how many great photos out there of cultural or historic intrest have been lost in time because someone's friend, family member or neighbor didn't label the image? Who is that guy with his arm around Kay in the first picture? Who are the obviously posed couple in front of her in the second one? And for that matter, what's the story behind the short chunky woman and her tall dancing partner, the girl with ther teired ball gown in the top picture, and the lady in the second picture that appears to be signing something. Who were they? They all strike me as interesting and the only reason I even know they ever existed at all is that they had the happenstance to cross paths with my Aunt Kay at some point in time. Maybe out there, someone else has a copy of these pictures that their relative saved and is wondering right along with me, what's up with that lady with the pearls/corsage? I wonder who she could have been.... Update: (4-13-11) The last photo is a publicity event held at Boston Music Company, the celebrities seated are: Robert Merrill, Roberts Peters (also known as Mrs. Robert Merrill) and Rise Stevens. All 3 were Metropolitan Opera Stars and this appearance occured Tuesday April 22, 1952 from 3 to 4pm at The Boston Music Company Boylston Street, Boston. I found out this information when my aunt gave me a folder full of documents and photos from the same event.