Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Census Goal: Discovering Donnellys

Twelve days and counting until the 1940 U.S. Census. Dad spoke of many of his Iowa relatives, and I'll get a chance to find them. I want to see Dad's grandmother, Margaret Donnelly Herrick McCabe. In 1940 great-grandma would be in Chicago, where she operated a rooming house (no, Jana Sloan Broglin, not the kind your Aunt Merle had!). Dad said that when Margaret first came to Chicago, she was a lady barber, and her shop was across the street from the Coliseum at 12th and Michigan. I believe the Coliseum was made from the original Libby Prison, the famous Civil War prison.

I want to find Margaret's sister, Katherine Donnelly Morgan. Just a few months ago, I found that Dad's Aunt Kate had gone back to Ohio and is buried near her son, Grant. Is Kate enumerated in 1940 in Chicago with Louis Henderson? Dad always called him "Uncle Louie,"
but it was years before Dad's mother told him that Kate and Louis were not married. I believe he and Kate are listed as Henderson in 1930. Stories are running together in my mind. Was Aunt Kate the one who ate her dessert first? Or was she the one who drove all the way to Ohio without knowing how to back up?

I want to find out more about Aunt Mary Liz Donnelly Bishop. She apparently was the sister of Katherine and Margaret, but I've never found enough to locate her beyond a doubt. Or at least to differentiate her from other Marys. Dad said she was in Iowa as well.

The Donnelly boys intrigue me also. Dad said his grandmother had at least three brothers: Eddie, Matt and Jim; also possibly a John and a Tom. One of the boys may have been a boxer. One of them supposedly went to California and did either truck farming or acting.

Many years ago, I recall riding in a car with Dad, Uncle Bill and other relatives. I think we were out of town for a family function. When we stopped in Spring Valley, IL, Uncle Bill said that the Donnellys had lived there. I had never heard that from Dad. I wonder if they were miners.

So. The Census Goal is to find Donnellys. Genealogists are told to "start with yourself" and 1940 is as close to starting with myself as I'm likely to get, at least for another 10 years. Finding Margaret's parents will be a kick. Margaret's death certificate lists her parents as Patrick Donnelly and Katherine Kelly, while her marriage license to Robert McCabe lists her parents as Thomas Donley and Margaret Kelly. Sheesh. (Not as hard as tracing Smiths, but definitely harder than Mom's Polish side.