Since my visit to the Family History Library this past February during the 2014 RootsTech conference, I have been focusing more on researching my maternal grandfather’s Flanagan and Kennedy lines. These lines have always been problematic for me due to my grandpa being orphaned as a young toddler and then separated from his older brothers. Until June of this year, I had been unable to find Sarah Kennedy or her children on the 1920 Census.
I did not even know the name of my second great grandmother until March 2012, when I discovered the marriage record for her daughter. My second great grandmother Catherine Darnley appears to have had at least a complicated history of marriages.
If and when my great grandmother Sarah Kennedy divorced her first husband before marrying my great grandfather is not clear. She was already pregnant with my grand uncle when she married my great grandfather. And I have not been able to determine which husband is the father of her third son.
The story Mom says Grandpa always told his kids is that he had to get his priest to sign and vouch (lying) that Grandpa, the orphan, was 18 years old, not 17 years old. Who knows if a priest would be willing to lie and do this — it’s possible, if the priest felt this was Grandpa’s best opportunity to get good job skills and make a career and life for himself. Particularly since he had such a rough life as a foster child.
Mike Flanagan, probably in his late teens while living in upstate New York, surrounded by his foster nieces and nephew. Today would have been my grandfather’s 87th birthday if he were still living. Michael “Mike” John Flanagan died in 1997, a few months shy of his 70th birthday. Mike was born in Buffalo, New York […]
My 12th week in Amy Johnson Crow’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” family history blogging challenge. The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. I’m a few weeks […]
While cleaning out my email inbox this weekend, I came across a photo one of my cousins snapped of my orphaned grandfather Michael John Flanagan’s (1927-1997) baptism record. He shot this quickly a couple years ago with his iPhone. I’ve been holding off posting it until I could get a good scanned copy of the […]