Thursday, March 16, 2017

Laura Jane “Jinny” Cooper Dawes (1876-1959)


Laura Jane "Jinny" Cooper 1927. Original from Doris Cooper.
Laura Jane “Aunt Jinny” COOPER was the first and oldest daughter of Alexander Sisson COOPER and Laura Jane BOYD, born in Dublin, Ireland, on 29 Jan 1876. She is my paternal grandfather's (John 
Carrick COOPER) eldest sister. I find a copy of her birth registration from Salt Lake City. The family was living at 18 Leinster Ave. in 1876.

"Ireland Birth and Baptisms, 1620-1881," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FR99M-7JD : accessed 25 May 2005), Laura Jane Cooper, 29 Jan 1876: citing Dublin, Ireland, reference v 2-2  p 580; ; FHL microfilm 255,946.

18 Leinster Ave. 2010











She had 10 siblings with only 5 
surviving. I find her mother in the 1911 Ireland Census stating this fact. 

I find Jinny with her family in the 1901 Dublin Census. She is 24, single, working as a clerk. See census record below. There is a reason Jinny's mother's name is crossed out. I will also cover this in Laura Jane BOYD's future post.


1901 Census of Ireland, County Dublin, unpaginated, household no. 139, Alexander Cooper; digital image, National Archives of Ireland, Census of Ireland 1901/1911 (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie : accessed 29 Sep 2016)

In 1905, her father and youngest brother, Alex, Jr. sail for the United States. Three years later, on the 6 Mar 1908, Laura follows them across the Atlantic on the S.S. Baltic from Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland. According  to the ship's record, Line 1, she was living with her Aunt Bessie PEARSON (father's sister) in Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland, when she left for America. She paid for her own passage, meeting her father in New York City. Jinny is 5 feet tall with a fresh complexion, fair hair and blue eyes. She arrives in New York the 14 Mar 1908.


 Manifest, SS Baltic, 14 March 1908,  backside of stamped page 32, line 1, Laura Jane Cooper, age 32, Image New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Sep 2016).

Manifest, SS Baltic, 14 March 1908,  stamped page 34, line 1, Laura Jane Cooper, age 32, Image New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Sep 2016).

Two days later, 16 Mar 1908, she married Alexander Chalmers “Uncle Barney” DAWES in Manhattan at City Hall according to marriage registration. Her youngest brother, Alex, Jr. is a witness.


"New York Marriages, 1686-1980," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F648-K2K : accessed    16 March 2017), Alexander Dawes and Laura Jean Cooper, 16 Mar 1908; citing reference ; FHL microfilm 1,452,363.


Barney and Jinny. Original from Doris Cooper.
Alexander Chalmers Dawes

Researching, “Alick,” he is born 19 Aug 1883, to Robert Clement DAWES and Martha COLOHOUN  (several spellings) in Dublin. He sails on the S.S. Etruria from Liverpool on 6 Jul 1907 to meet the same Alexander Cooper, his future father-in-law. Alick was known to family as "Barney." Jinny and Barney knew each other in Dublin. Arrangements were made to send Barney to America first to find a job and a prepare a place for his bride to be. She came six months later. This is why she married two days after her arrival. 

I find the couple in the 1910 census living in the Bronx on East 175th St. Alick is in the Pa “papers” process of Naturalization. His occupation is very general as a “Street Laborer.” Their first son, Robert Clement DAWES, is listed. He is 9 months old. Robert was born on 20 Jul 1909, in Lynhurst, New York.

Four years later on 18 June 1913, Edwin Ashley DAWES was born in Brooklyn, New York.

In the New York 1915 Census, I find this family at 415 Sixteenth St., Kings, New York City. Alick is listed as a Boiler Maker. I find my grandfather, John C. COOPER (Jinny’s younger brother) living with them as a book keeper.


Dawes family 1927. Original from Doris Cooper.

The Dawes family around 1919.
Photo in author's possession.













On January 6, 1920, the DAWES family is living in Brooklyn, New York. Alec DAWES is a boil-maker in a shipyard. His brother-in-law,  Alexander Sisson, Jr., "Alex" COOPER is living with them and is also working in a shipyard as a ship fitter.


He petitions for U.S. Citizenship on 6 April 1920. This document  gives me my first clue for his birthday listed above. He lists his wife’s and two sons’ birth dates and birth locations. His affidavits include Alexander Sisson COOPER his father-in-law and Austin Cooper EDMONDS, his wife’s cousin.


United States. "Selected U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974," Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 Sept 2016).
In the 1930 Census, the Dawes family is living on 859 Oakwood Ave. in Schenectady, New York. Barney is now a guard for an electric works company. 

By 1940, Jinny is the source for the census taker. Her husband is a “police man” or security guard for an electrical management program. My aunt remembers that Uncle Barney loved being in "uniform." Their sons are now off on their own. 

Original from aunt.
Alexander "Barney" Dawes died in 1944. Jack Cooper comforts his sister at Barney's funeral in above photo.

Find A Grave, database and images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 Sep 2016). memorial page for Laura Jane Dawes (1876-1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16914191, citing Parkview Cemetery, Schenectady, Schenectady County, New York; the accompanying photograph by Dawn Sherman is materially informative,
"Jinny" Cooper Dawes died on 31 Aug 1959. They are both buried in Park View Cemetery in Schenectady, New York.

I wish I knew more about their two sons, Robert “Bob” Clement DAWES and Edwin “Ashley” DAWES

Aunt Jinny Cooper Dawes. Original from aunt.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pop Gabuzda’s Radio and Family Bands


My parents’ generation grew up listening to the radio. This radio was the one my mother listened to along with her siblings.

My father lovingly replaced the fabric screen over the speaker for his father-in-law. I remember watching him take on this task.


My father loved Fiber McGee & Molly so much that he nick named his parents with these names. He also called himself “Mike McGee” as signed on photos and letters. My father also loved “Make Believe Ballroom” listening to his favorite bands of the time. 




He delivered papers to earn enough money to purchase his own trombone. 
He realized his dream at age 10.


He later was in the Queens Band (of Queens Village, New York) with his father. Pop played the baritone, piccolo and flute. They were honored to play in the 1939 New York World’s Fair (as pictured above).

During the War (WW2), my father would write home asking his father to send him his "horn" as he wanted to start a band where ever he was stationed with his colleagues. After the war, when my father was a student at the U.S. Naval Academy, he also participated in the school's band.


My dad’s sister remembers listening to “Inner Sanctum” with my dad. They also loved “Gang Buster” and “Green Hornet”.  But it was “Little Orphan Annie” and her Decoder Ring, with its daily secret messages, that mesmerized her attention . She would also drink her Ovaltine, the show’s sponsor. 


This reminds me of the popular scene from the movie, A Christmas Story, where Ralphie decodes his first message, “BE SURE TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE.” 

The family would also go into New York City, to quietly watch as part of the audience to “Let’s Pretend” (radio show of fairy tales) as it was recorded live with actors reading their scripts with sound effects and music. 

Pop Cooper loved to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir every Sunday. He also loved the Live Marching Band radio show every Monday night at 10PM. His neighbors would get use to the loud show every week as to his poor hearing. Nana Cooper loved “Queen for a Day.” She would be in tears of joy every week. 

My mom also remembers listening to “Little Orphan Annie.” I talked to my mom’s sister and her memories of the family radio include one Sunday afternoon, dancing to music with her girlfriends Gloria, Lucille, and Rudy when the program was interrupted with an announcement from President Roosevelt of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II. 

My mom’s brothers, Edward and Stephen, were also ones talented with music. Eddie founded a local band playing the piano. They were known as “Eddie Downing and his Orchestra.” Eddie is second on the left in photo below. His brother, Stevie, played the saxophone. For some reason, Stevie is not in the photo. They played in the local park pavilion. Marion remembers Eddie all over the bench and keys playing such songs as Rhapsody in Blue, Kitten on the Keys and Dizzy Fingers. She remembers her brothers’ practice sessions every Sunday afternoon.




I found this later photo of Stevie blowing away on his horn.

What great memories for my mom and my aunts as I discussed this time period with them.

My brother is currently in possession of this family heirloom, our radio. He tells me it is a 1938 Philco.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mary Elizabeth Cooper Edmonds (1853-188?) Part 1

Mary is one of the 14 children of Austin COOPER and Elizabeth GIBSON. See blogpost about Old Cooper Bible. http://familyfilmfabricfood.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-old-cooper-bible.html 
She was born on 20 Aug 1853 in Marlinstown, Westmeath, Ireland. She has an older brother, Henry Cooper, 16 months her senior. She also has a half-brother, Austin Irwin Cooper, who is age 4. Her mother has her hands full with 3 young ones. Her father, Austin, is a station master at the local railroad station in neighboring Mullingar. 

As Mary grew into a young woman, I am sure she was given the many responsibilities of helping with her younger siblings, as being the eldest daughter. She was 18 by the time her youngest sister, Marion Frances COOPER, came along.   

By 1880, her father was working at the railroad station in the town of Cavan, near the Northern Ireland border.

When Mary was 28 (an old-maid during this time period), she met a widower with three young sons: Edgar, 7, Landon, 5, and Henry, 4. John Edgar Edmonds, 5 years her senior, had lost his first wife, Jane Catherine Lennon, in 1880, 24 hours after a miscarriage in Swellan, Cavan Town. Mary and John were married 25 Oct 1881, in Killeshandra, Cavan, Ireland. On the marriage registration, it states that John Edgar Edmonds was also a station master. Austin, her father, is listed as a Gentleman, but he was also a station master. Did she meet John via her father’s co-worker? Listed as the two witnesses are her sister, Jane M. Cooper & father, Austin Cooper. 

Irish Civil Records. Marriage Registration of John E. Edmonds & Mary E. Cooper, 25 October 1881, Drumkeerin Presbyterian Church, Parish of Killeshanndra, County Cavan. Married by John H. Murphy. 1881, Quarter 4,  Vol. 3, page 69, No. 70. Roscommon, Ireland. Accessed November 2008.



Mary gives birth to a daughter, Frances McConnell EDMONDS, 14 Sept 1882, at the railway station. This also states that the dwelling place of the father is the railway station, which means housing was provided by his employee as station master. I also had to order this record from Roscommon, Ireland. This document is presently found online. See below.

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, "Civil Records," database with images, IrishGenealogy.ie (https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/ : accessed 5 Mar 2017), image, birth registration of Francis McConnell Edmonds, (14 September 1882, County Cavan) citing Group Registration ID 11521644; registration filed 12 January 1883 by John Fraser, Assistant register, folio 81, “First page,” stamped no. 02013105, entry 94.
I cannot find Mary after this point in time.


I locate John Edgar Edmunds on a ship to New York with his three sons on the SS Cephalonia from Liverpool arriving on 12 Dec 1883. On Line 1, I find John E. Edmonds, age 30, a Laborer from Ireland, heading to Texas. He is staying in “Fore Steerage” with three pieces of baggage in “Intending Protracted Sojourn.” He had an intention for a long visit to the United States. One Lines 6,7, & 8, I find his three sons - Edgar, Landon and Henry as sons of John with same destination staying in Fore Steerage. Where are Mary and Frances?


"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Mar 2017), Image 712 of 1021, Line 1, John E. Edmonds entry; citing List Number 1568 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 472; Ship Cephalonia out of Liverpool, Henry Walker master, arrived New York on 12 December 1883.
Looking over the pages one by one, on Line 113, I find an Annie Edmonds, a 30 year old matron from Ireland, heading also to Texas, but in “Aft Cabin” with 5 pieces of baggage in “Intending Protracted Sojourn.” But, the Francis, listed below her, is a 10 month old male child? Is this the mother and child I am seeking? Possibly, mis-heard as the ship’s captain or staff entered their names? Did Mary die in Ireland and John remarry a third time before he comes to US? I could not find any reference to a death of a Mary E. Edmonds in Ireland between 1882-1883.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Mar 2017), Image 714 of 1021, Line 113, Annie Edmonds entry; citing List Number 1568 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 472; Ship Cephalonia out of Liverpool, Henry Walker master, arrived New York on 12 December 1883.



I connect with someone after posting a public Edmonds Tree on Ancestry.com. She is a descendant of middle son, Landon W. L. Edmonds. She shared with me a transcribed diary of John Edgar Edmonds. It was a fantastic eye-opener for me connecting all the dots to solve this mystery of the “disappearance” of Mary Elizabeth Cooper Edmonds.

To be continued….