Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday's Walk: St. Patrick Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts

Yesterday, upon finding my great-great grandmother, Rose Ann Moran nee Kelley's obituary and funeral write up at the Pollard Memorial Library, I decided to go to St. Patrick cemetery to find her grave.

St. Patrick Cemetery is located at 1251 Gorham St., in Lowell. Established in 1832, it is Lowell's first Catholic cemetery.

According to her marriage record, Rose Moran nee Kelley was born abt 1873 in England. A daughter of Patrick and Rose, she was married to Michael Morran [sic] on 11 April, 1895 in Lowell, MA, by a Jms. J. Dacey [Mass Archives - Morran Michael, Lowell, 1895, 452, 212 Marriage]. Rose and Michael had six known children, Arthur, John, Robert, Francis, Rose and Della. After her husband Michael dies in 1906 [Mass Archives - Moran Michael, Lowell, 1906, 56, 278, Death], Rose is listed in the 1907 Lowell Directory as Rose A widow of Michael 32 Cross. Rose remained in the Acre through out her life. Moving around quite a few times, in 1950 she is listed in the directory as living at 14 Dutton. However, her 1951 obituary write up her residence is noted as being at 125 Mt. Vernon Street. I can only surmise that she moved to Mt. Vernon St. to be with her son, Francis Moran, and his family at the time. Perhaps she moved in with him because she was sick, as the obituary then goes on to state that she died at the Delaney Nursing Home.

Published on Thursday, 20 Dec., 1951, page 3, her obituary reads:
Mrs. Rose Ann (Kelly) Moran, widow of Michael Moran and a well known resident of this city, making her home at 125 Mt. Vernon street, died last evening at the Delaney Nursing home after a lingering illness.  She was born in England, the daughter of the late Patrick and the late Rose (Dacey) Kelly, but early in life came to this city. She was an attendant of St. Patrick's church. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Francis J. Boyle and Miss Frances Moran of Chicago, Ill; four sons, Arthur P. Moran of Westford, John Moran of Brooklyn N. Y., Robert M. Moran and Francis A. Moran of this city; many grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
According to cemetery records, Rose A Moran, age 72, was buried on 21, Dec., 1951 in section R, lot 16.  Section R is right behind the chapel on the right, her grave was easy to find. Buried with her daughter, Rose E. Boyle nee Moran, and her daughter's husband, Francis J. 'Phinney' Boyle, as well as with her grandson, Francis J. Jr. There is a flat marker at the grave, but Rose's name does not appear on it..

Moran, Rose, A., 72, 12/21/51 19, 2
Boyle, Rose, E. 77, 02/27/73, 19, 2A
Boyle, Francis, J.,  80, 12/11/73, 19, 1
Boyle Francis, J., 84, 10/12/05 (Francis J. Jr.), 20, 1A

After finding Rose's grave, I decided to go see if I could find her husband, Michael Moran's grave. According to the cemetery records Michael Marin [sic] was buried on 17 Dec., 1906  in yard 3, range 41, lot 38. I could not locate the grave because there's still snow in the section where I believe it to be. Michael is buried with a Mary J. McHugh, Thomas, McHugh, Thomas Carmody, Margaret Carmody, and two other Mary J. McHughs.

McHugh, Mary J., 0, 08/07/96, 18
McHugh, Thomas, 0, 04/05/98, 18
Marin, Michael, 39, 12/17/1906, 19
Carmody, Thomas, 72, 11/04/1915, 19
Carmody, Margaret, 64, 10/16/1916, 19
McHugh, Mary J., 64, 6/25/1930, 19 1A
McHugh, Mary J., 64, 01/27, 1940, 1A

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sentimental Sunday (on Monday): A Walking Tour of the Acre

Continuing in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and Lowell's Irish Cultural Week,  this week, for Sentimental Sunday, I have chosen to share a few photographs I took the other day while on a walk through Lowell's Acre neighborhood. Hosted by David McKean, David is the local Historian/Archivist for St. Patrick's Church, which is located in the Acre.

Our first stop along the way was at "The Worker" sculpture. Located at the corner of Shattuck and Market Streets, this sculpture was created in 1985, by brothers Ivan and Elliot Schwartz. Also known as the Hugh Cummiskey sculpture, Hugh Cummiskey was an Irish immigrant born in county Tyrone. He came to this place, which was to be Lowell, from Charlestown, Massachusetts by invitation from Kirk Boot. In 1822, Hugh, with his gang of 30 Irish laborers, walked all the way here to help widen the canal system.

In an "Irish Catholic Genesis of Lowell" by George F. O'Dwyer, it is written that Hugh Cummiskey died in the Acre, at his home on Adams Street on 12 Dec., 1871. It also goes on to say that there was a write up about Hugh's life published in the "Courier" on 14 Dec., 1871. I have searched the Dec., 1871 (4 pages available at edition of the "Courier' and have yet to find it, but it is quoted in an Irish Catholic Genesis of Lowell, so you can read it there..

During the walk we stopped at Cummiskey Alley. Named after Hugh, I am assuming, here's a listing of those who lived at Cummiskey Alley in 1859.
Mrs. Margaret Delmore, widow, house 5 Cummiskey's alley
Mrs. Catharine Flynn,., house 5 Cummiskey's alley
Timothy Holland, laborer, house 3 Cummiskey's alley
Catharine Mahar, house 4 Cummiskey's alley
William Moran, laborer, house 2 Cummiskey's alley
James Reynolds, (Cal.), house 1 Cummiskey's alley
Michael Roach, laborer, house 1 Cummiskey's alley
Francis Rourke, Boott, house 4 Cummiskey's alley

While in the parking lot next to Cummiskey Alley we were standing alongside an old building, which, thanks to Google and Brian, I found out used to house The Cosmopolitian Cafe.  David didn't come right out and tell us what this building once was, all he said is that it was a bar at one time. So when I got home, I asked my "nice Acre boy", Brian. "The Cosmo" (as he called it), used to be a pretty rough place at one time. He compared it to the bar in the movie Star Wars. He said if you wanted to get into a fight, "The Cosmo" was the place to go. Ha ha... Also, I guess... this is the place where Micky Ward got his hands smashed by the cops back in the 80s. Anyway, according Mr. McKean, this building, with it's granite sills and lintels, is representative of the some of the buildings that were present in the "Irish Acre."

On to St. Patrick's Church, this is the church  where my maternal grandmother, Rita Maille nee Moran, was married in 1940. Actually, she was married at the rectory. She also attended St. Patrick's School for Girls. On May 27th, 1940 an article appeared in the Lowell Sun detailing her wedding. It reads:
Lowell-- A pretty marriage was solemnized yesterday afternoon at St. Patrick's parish rectory by Rev. Edwin F. Carney, assistant pastor, when Miss Rita Moran, daughter of Mr and Mrs. Peter Farley [sic], 2 Dutton street, and Mr. Paul Maille, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert Maille, Wheeler road, Dracut, were united in  marriage in the presence of many friends and relatives. Miss Irene Moran, sister of the bride, and Mr. Emile Maille, brother of the bride-groom, were the attendants.
The bride was attired in a gown of white silk taffeta Queen Anne style, with matching accessories. She wore an illusion veil and carried a Bouquet of white bridal roses, sweet peas and lilies of the valley. Her attendant was attired in pink taffeta with blue accessories and carried an old fashioned bouquet.
After the ceremony, a wedding dinner was served at the home of the bride's parents with Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Simoneau, uncle and aunt of the bride, serving as hosts. A reception followed after which Mr. and Mrs. Maille left for a visit to the World's fair. On returning, they will reside in Hudson, N. H., where Mr. Maille holds and important position with the nationally known Jasper Poultry Farms.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Surname Saturday: Moran

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and Lowell's Irish Cultural Week I am featuring my ancestor, Michael Moran, for the GeneaBlogger's blogging prompt Surname Saturday.

Irish Cultural Week started on March 5th here in Lowell and ends on St. Patricks day. For more details you can see the calendar of events on the Irish Cultural Committee's Facebook page.

One of the events I attended as a part of Irish Cultural week was on Thursday night. I attended the the Archeological Dig Presentation held at the O'Leary Library at UMass Lowell's South campus. The presentation was lead by Dr. Colm Donnelly of Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, Dr. Frank Talty of UMass Lowell, and David McKean, Parish Historian and Archivist for St. Patrick's Church here in Lowell.. The presentation detailed the events surrounding a 4 week excavation project that took place on the front lawn of St. Patrick's Church last summer. Producing over 1300 artifacts, among those on display were: a set of iron nails; a small section of rosary beads; a few children's marbles, made of clay; cattle bones; a clay tobacco pipe bowl; some slag/clinker, and some oyster shells.  I didn't take any pictures of these artifacts, but Richard Howe did and he has posted a picture of them at his blog-post entitled "Archeological Dig Presentation."

I found Thursday night's presentation to be very interesting, as I am not all that knowledgeable when it comes to Lowell's Irish history. I learned about Hugh Cummiskey and his gang of Irish laborers who walked from Charlestown to Lowell to work on the canals. The Sisters of Notre Dame, who came to Lowell in 1852 from Cincinnati to teach at St. Patrick's School for Girls. The Know-Nothing Movement, a political group which was anti-immigration and anti-Catholic, and about the Smelling Committees, a group of men formed to sniff out, if you will, the alleged abuse that was going on in within the Catholic schools and convents. All in all, the presentation gave me a better understanding in regard to lives of the Irish immigrants that settled in Lowell during the early part of the 19th century, I really enjoyed it.

In my family tree I only have one ancestor, a maternal great-great-grandfather, whose parents came from Ireland or perhaps he was born there himself. I have yet to prove anything either way.  This ancestor, Michael Moran,  is first located (in my genealogical research anyway) in Lowell on 11 April, 1895, when he married a Rose Ann Kelley. Documented as being the son of John and Bridget he was born abt. 1867 in England.

The reason that I firmly believe this Michael Moran to be my great-great-grandfather is the Vermont marriage record I found for Michael's son, my great-grandfather, John. John Moran, son of Michael and Rose Kelley, married Yvonne Ferron 3 March, 1918 in the town of Rockingham Vermont. My Ferron line has already been researched and proven so I believe, short of a birth record, this record confirms John's parentage.

 The next bit of information I have finds who I believe is my Michael Moran in the town of Newmarket, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Enumerated on the 9th day of June 1900, he is the head of his family. A white male, who is 33 years old. He is documented as being born in March 1867 in Ireland, as are both his parents. He has been married for 7 years. What is most interesting to me here, is the fact that this census documents him as immigrating to the United States in 1888 and that he is naturalized.I've looked for an index card for petition but haven't found one that matches up with the birth information that is given.

Anyway, also in this 1900 enumeration of Newmarket, NH is Michael's wife, 'Rosa'. His daughter Rosa, and sons John and Robert. What throws me off here is that daughter Rose is documented as being born in Nov., 1894 (they were married in 1895?). However, if I do a search at I find reference to a Rose Moran that was born on 16, Nov., 1895 to a Michael and Rose Kelly, but this information doesn't state at which place the birth supposedly occurred. Also there is a John Moran, who died in Lowell on 3 July 1894 at the age of 3 months old, a son of Michael and Rose Kelley. So all of this isn't coming together as smoothly as I had hoped... I have more thoughts to share in regard to this 1900 census and the records that confirm and contradict the information contained within, but I think I'll skip to the next record that have for who I believe is my g-g-grandfather, Michael Moran.

My newest piece of information in regard to my research of Michael Moran is a Return of Death from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Lowell. This record is for a Michael Moran who died on 15 Dec., 1906 at 32 Cross street, in the rear. I believe this address to be his home address. He was 39 years old, born in England, his father is unknown but his mother is documented as being Bridget Higgins (note the name of his mother from the 1895 marriage info) also born in England. It is documented that he is single, but yet if we look at who the informant was it states, "Wife." Buried at St. Patrick's Cemetery on 17 Dec., 1906.

I have yet to go out to the cemetery to see what information they hold for me there. The reason I believe this is my Michael is a 1910 census from Lowell which documents a Rose Moran living on Cross street...  Enumerated along with the widowed Rose are her children, Arthur, Rose, John, Robert, Francis and Della. It all seems a little weak right now, I know.. There is lots more to the story that I haven't covered here and more research to be had, but you get the jist of it. The purpose of posting all of this is the hope that maybe one of Michael's descendants will see this and contact me. It's cousin bait, if you will. So until next time.

Right now I am going to go get ready to go on a walking tour of the Acre neighborhood in Lowell. Hosted by David McKean, it should be a good, as I found him to be a most enjoyable speaker on Thursday night.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Greater Lowell Genealogy Club Meeting: 19 March, 2011

Time: Saturday, March 19 · 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: Chelmsford Public Library
24 Boston Rd.
Chelmsford, MA

Let's talk genealogy! Curious on how to get started researching your family history, we can help. Seasoned veterans, please come share your knowledge! All are welcome.

This meeting is all about helping others.
Many of our members will bring their laptops or net-books and do on-line searches for others that don't have the access or knowledge. It does not have to be a brick wall, it can just be a simple question that you have not been able to find an answer to. Our Seasoned veterans have an array of experience and access to many of the subscription genealogy websites, come and share your genealogy experiences.

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