Thursday, June 30, 2016

John Carrick Cooper (1886-1969) Part 5


The Depression and World War II


29 Oct 1929. The date in U. S. history that affected our country and later the world for over a decade. The Great Depression. 





John C. Cooper or Jack also felt this hardship. He had a Remington typewriter that he worked on constantly. It was his “holy grail.” A cousin tells me a story of playing with it and Pop would get mad at her for touching it; but, then he would just walk away. After his death in 1969, his daughter remembers going through “his office” at home. She found piles of letters that he typed applying for work during this time along with business responses.

He needed to support his growing family with 
3 children: Bud, 10; Stan, 5; Eileen, 2 months. 



He was a bookkeeper or accountant. He belonged with such social groups as the Masons and the Elks whom he offered his service to find customers. 



In the 1930 census, he had a job with the local newspaper, The New York Evening Graphic, as an accountant. This paper was one of the first papers that started tabloid journalism. Ed Sullivan (writer with The Graphic 1930) was Jack’s co-worker. Sullivan and Walter Winchell were the famed feuding columnists during this time. By 1932, Jack was looking for another job when the Graphic closed its business. He pounded harder on his Remington.




I have copies of letter after letter of responses for Jack’s effortless search for work. All copies state “I am filing your letter for future reference and appreciate your offer of assistance.” These include the Preliminary Committee for the 1939 World’s Fair, Council for Moderation Inc. and The New  York Times. 

Jack even contacted his former employer, E. W. Bliss Co. on Dec. 17, 1934. 




By the 1940 census, Jack is an accountant for a local beverage company in New York.

During WWII, with his deafness in left ear, Jack worked at home serving with the Department of Defense. A limousine would daily pick him up to take him to local businesses to convert them to government work.

Both of his sons served: Bud in Germany and Stan in the Pacific. Jack and Honey proudly displayed both sons' Honor Rolls in their windows.


Bud, Jack & Stan 1945

After the war, his son Stan made a lifetime commitment and rejoined the U. S. Navy by attending Annapolis
U. S. Naval Academy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

John Carrick Cooper (1886-1969) Part 4

A Growing Family

The Coopers' new home on Long Island, New York.
9435 221st St.
In the 1920s, Jack continued to prosper in his work and the Cooper family continued to grow. Their second son, Fred "Walter" Cooper was born on 18 Aug 1921 in their new home on 221st St. in Queens Village on Long Island in New York. Eighteen month old Walter became very ill and desperate Jack traversed to Boston to bring in two medical specialists. When they arrived to Long Island on 29 Jan 1923, the child was already dead. Walter died of croup. Jack and Honey were devastated in losing their son.


Baby Walter, Jack and Bud.

I have taken several research trips to Salt Lake City. My first trip was the summer of 2003. Looking through the New York City Index to Deaths, I was led to Fred's Death Certificate that gave me the above information. I recently found his obituary in the Brooklyn Standard Union. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery of Brooklyn/Queens.


The Brooklyn Standard Union. 31 Jan 1923. page 4.Col. 7. Old Fulton New York Postcards: accessed 18 Oct 2015.
New York. Queens County. 1922-1926. Municipal Archives, New York City.  Microfilm #2,169,022. Family History Library, Salt Lake City: accessed 22 Jul 2003.

Third son, Stanley Gibson Cooper was born 12 April 1924.
Honey with baby Stan and Bud

The three Margarets. Aunt Margarite Piña,
Margarite E. Cooper, Nana Margaret Gunther Piña.















Five years later, a daughter is born, Margarite E. Cooper. She was named after her maternal grandmother and aunt. 





Thursday, June 23, 2016

John Carrick Cooper (1886-1969) Part 3


SECOND LETTER


Jack Cooper is in the middle of a 3 month business trip in Europe away from his wife, Honey and son, Buddy, back in Brooklyn, New York. Many letters were written between this young couple. I have only seen these three. Here are letters two and three mailed from Paris.



Honey sends this photo of John Austin Cooper, their son, in a box addressed to Paris. How cute!
May 26th, 1920



Dearest Mom:



   I am at last in Paris and presume that this will be my headquarters until I sail on the “Imperator,” July 3. 
   The little I have seen of this town makes me feel that it is a very sloppy one. The houses all have the appearance of long age and need a good sprucing up. Of course, I have not had the opportunity to see any of its fine sights yet, no doubt it is wonderful in its way, but nothing on dear old London. 
   The boys gave me a great send-off [from London] which was so enthusiastic that I hated to take my leave. On Sunday I visited a Mr. Herbert’s home in Clapham & was very well received and entertained. On Monday, a holiday, we all went to see the Motor Races at Brooklands in Surrey. This is an immense track 4 miles around and built of concrete.10 of us were in the party and it was a continual round of fun all day long. We wound up at Mr. Guiness’ home in Mortlake, a suburb of London, where I was toasted at supper and had to reply with a speech. We all then returned to the parlor and I was the 
only one of the bunch who could not play the piano: we had singing and of course the ladies all wanted to see the American steps. Well you know this is where I shine and they kept me busy, & it was no wrestling match. 
   When I arrived here [Paris] it was about 9 p.m. last night and we had some difficulty in receiving a taxi to take us to the hotel, for these Frenchmen refuse to take you for their own good reasons and there the matter ends for them. Going through the customs they only allow one oz. of tobacco and one box of matches. Picture me on that ration. I had 10 boxes of matches and one pound of tobacco in my grip. And they never saw it. 
   How is my sweetheart and our little Bud. Gee, I am terribly homesick for you both and at times just wish I could hug and kiss you both. My friends got away with all his pictures, leaving me without anything to remind me.
   Purchased a couple of Irish Crochet Collars for you and a stuffed dolled for our Bud. I know you will be pleased with for I was careful in my selection and paid a good price for them.
   This  hotel is a small one and nothing quite so grand  as the one I left in London. They do not issue any paper to write upon so you will excuse this peachy letter head. 
   We have a pretty big plan here and it bears the scars of the German bombs and shells.
   Will write some more in a day or two.

Dad.

Keep. (Honey’s handwriting)


100 Boulevard Victor Hugo
St. Owen Sue Seine
Paris ( Jack’s handwriting)

THIRD LETTER

Here is Jack’s third letter to Honey dated June 1st 1920, from the Hotel Burgundy, Paris.




Dearest Mom:
   Oh what a relief to get your letter, the first after a long wait. I felt so overjoyed that I stopped work immediately. You may feel lonesome, but I’ll bet you’re not half as lonely as I am.
   So Bud is getting to be a big boy? Well I cannot wait till I get home to see him, for I am pretty hungry for you two by now, and another month will make my appetite so sharp; I will eat you both up.
   I felt real bad about poor uncle and must write to him, you must admit it was not my fault, as I gave him complete instructions. How all your folks think of me. I feel very grateful indeed. 
   Is Piedad well? And Harry? I feel quite ashamed for not writing to them, bad as explained in one of my previous letters I did not know their address. They will understand I am quite anxious as to their welfare and deeply concerned as to Piedad’s quick recovery, even though she is Harry’s wife. So there. Do they act like a married couple like you and I? Would they like to have a Buddy like ours? I guess so.
   The news of Edith and Fred causes me no surprise at all, for I have made the provision for the christening by buying a real Parisian cap for the baby. I hope it will be as healthy and happy as our little Sunbeam and that Edith will get off as lightly as did you. Of that much she is entitled.
   I had a long letter from Popsy and from the tone of it he does not appear very well. I trust nothing happens to him, for after all, he is my father, the only one I ever had. I wrote to him right away, for I know he will be glad to get my letter and I have a new pipe for him. So taking it by and large, we are not such bad children to our folks.
   Everything is so frightfully dear both in Paris and London that I have put off buying very much in the way of presents, except a few Irish Lace collars for you, a doll from London and another one from Paris for our Bud. Before I get back I shall purchase something for Mommer, Tanta, & Annie, for I cannot forget them even over here and wish we could all get together for a Shitzerfest. You know what I mean. Maybe we can when I get home? Say yes Mom, and Bud will be there and Dad will be very happy and have a big lump in his throat, like I have now.
   I am progressing very well with my French. So far my vocabulary consists of one word. “Tut” meaning “Go to hell.” It is quite handy when a taxi driver tried to cheat a poor foreigner. Had to go before the Chief of Police today because I am staying in Paris more than two weeks, but this is only a new formality.
   It would be hard to describe Paris to you, for I have not  had much of a chance to see it properly, but there appears to be a terrible amount of gaiety and loose morality everywhere. The women are mostly very goodlooking and the ones that are not so very pretty are works of art. If you are unfortunate enough to get run over by a taxi you are liable to get arrested for stopping the traffic. 
   It is getting late now so give my fondest love to the Papes and for yourself and Bud, we’ll wait till I get a good hold on the two of you. 

Dad

Got my steam ticket today. board the old Imperator. Leaving Cherbourg July 3. (note written on top of page 3)


I am sure Jack and Honey wrote more letters to each other during this time. I am thankful that these three letters were not thrown out. Jack comes home on July 12, 1920. The family members mentioned in this letter are Bud (John Austin Cooper), his son, whom Jack returns to celebrate Bud’s first birthday on 9 July. I am sure they save the party for when Dad was home.

  • Who is the poor Uncle he mentions? He must be on Honey’s side?
  • Piedad & Harry Pape - Piedad is Honey’s sister.
  • Edith & Fred Piña - Fred is Honey’s brother. They had a son, Wilbert Ashley Piña, born 27 May, the day after Jack wrote his second letter. Honey filled him in with all of the family news which he is replying to and I wish I could read her letter.
  • Popsy is Jack’s father. Alexander S. Cooper, who died seven years later.
  • Mommer is Margaret Gunther Piña, his mother-in-law. 
  • Tante is Sophie L. Gunther Miller, Margaret’s eldest sister.
  • Annie is Annie Gunther Baldwin, Margaret’s youngest sister.
Jack and Honey Cooper


Jack and Honey live at 460 43rd Street in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

John Carrick Cooper (1886-1969) Part 2

London and Paris
Jack arrived in the United States on 8 Aug 1906. He was met by his father, Alexander Sisson Cooper who came to the U.S. the year before. Jack found a job working as a book keeper.

He became involved with a local Baptist church. At this church he met Sophie Ramona Piña, a public school teacher. He asked the pastor her name. She caught his heart. They dated for over a decade. Sophie, also known as Honey, would not marry Jack until he became a U.S. citizen. She was smart, as at that time in U.S. history, women born here in the U.S. would lose their U.S. citizenship if they married an alien (one who was not a U. S. citizen.) Jack worked hard to be sure he had enough money to support her and a family.

Sophie Ramona Piña "Honey"
On 14 Nov 1913, Jack was honored to be a U.S. Citizen. Jack & Honey were married 27 Dec 1916. They eloped to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They honeymooned in Washington D.C. Jack and Honey settled in Brooklyn.



"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KXYJ-R9Z : 12 December 2014), John Carrick Cooper, 1917-1918; citing New York City no 61, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,754,500.


With the starting of WWI, Jack registered dutifully as an U. S. Citizen. He was denied to go to war with his deafness in his left ear. He found other ways to serve including working for the E. W. Bliss Co., as an accountant, in Brooklyn. Bliss obtained defense contracts for the manufacture of torpedoes, used by the US Navy, and munitions during the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II.

Their first child, John Austin Cooper was born on 9 Jul 1919. 

John Austin Cooper with mother, Sophie "Honey" Cooper 1919 Brooklyn, New York
In the spring of 1920, Jack is sent on a business trip to London and Paris with E. W. Bliss Co. for several months. He fills out a form for his U. S. Passport. The information on this form verifies his birth date, location, immigration and U. S. citizenship. 




"United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKDN-S1PJ : 13 October 2015), John Carrick Cooper, 1920; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #6210, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 1132, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,638,094.

On the back page, it is interesting to see as written under “Distinguishing marks”: Dog Bite on Left Calf of Leg. What happened here? I asked family members to find out what they knew about this. No one knows.

The Coopers had three pets. These included Tubby, a German Shepherd; Queenie, a Boston Terrier; and Ginger, a Brown and White Fox Terrier. Did one of these bite Pop? My aunt says no way!

Jack sailed on 24 Apr 1920 leaving New York aboard the Kaiserin Auguste Victoria and arriving in Liverpool, England, on 4 May. Yet, the UK Incoming Passenger Lists, lists Jack as arriving in Queenstown (one of the arrival ports). Queenstown is now known as Cobh, a tourist seaport on the south coast of County Cork.   It lists his mother’s address in Dublin as destination. In the letter below Jack mentions his visit in Dublin. Also see The Letter that Started it All written by his niece, Sheelah Corcoran in 1917, living at this same address.

“UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960.” database with images, Ancestry (https://Ancestry.com: accessed 22 June 2016)
Jack writes letters home to his dear Honey, as four months is such a long time to be away from his dear wife and baby. I am fortunate to possess two of these letters dated May 7 and May 26.   A cousin has another letter dated June 1, 1920, which I made a copy of and transcribed. 

Here is the first letter dated May 7, 1920.

Dear Sweetheart: 
          
  I arrived in London on Thursday morning after a two day stay in Dublin, which I cut short on account of things being in such a poor way there. Poor Bessie [Jack’s aunt] is such a total wreck and is quite useless. She is now confined to her bed. Cannot even  use her hands. My God, it was a pitiful sight for me to witness, for I always pictured her jolly and lively.
  However, I did receive a jolly time by another gentleman I called upon, a Mr. Walsh. He did everything in his power to show how glad he was to see me.
  My arrival in Queenstown was eventful. Our ship was the first boat to call there in six years, causing no small amount of excitement among the natives, who turned out in great numbers and stood around me and stared hard. Of course, when I got through blushing, I started to “kid” them. Took the train to Cork where I put up at the Imperial Hotel. Went to bed at 10 p.m. and got up early and took the train for Dublin. 
  Whilst in Queenstown I met a Dr. Murphy, and He accompanied me to Cork. But I will keep the story for you when I get home. He was most interesting. Had been to the M. D.
  Well Mommy, London I will certainly say, is a beautiful city, although I have not seen a food looking fine since I left home. The number of busses here is stupifying. I am staying at a hotel in a very fashionable neighborhood. It’s brochure I enclose.
  Have a private room and bath. I do not expect to be in London more than 2 weeks, so any mail you send will have to be forwarded on to Paris. I expect to have my work finished by that time, so have to move.
  Have had some very amusing experiences which I will relate to you when I get home. 
  How is my sweetheart and Bud. I do wish you had have come. But then you would have not had any sugar in your coffee. Mrs. Loughry brought some with her but as she is staying at the Waldorf Hotel, we have not been able to share it. 
  Loughry continues to act like a human being, so have no complaints to make in that respect.
  Sent home a bunch of cards from Dublin and am doing the same from here.

Love,
Dad

Keep. (in Honey’s handwriting)

It is interesting that he does not mentioning seeing his mother, Laura Jane Boyd Cooper, who died a year later on 28 Nov 1921. I am sure he did see her along with his sister, Elizabeth Cooper Corcoran, with nieces and nephew. He mentions poor Aunt Bessie, who is one of his father's younger sisters. Aunt Bessie, came to the U. S. nine months later to visit her nieces and nephews to present them with family heirlooms, one in my possession. More to follow in Aunt Bessie's story. 



Saturday, June 18, 2016

John Carrick Cooper (1886-1969) Part 1

Jack Cooper in 1906 in New York City.
John, otherwise known as “Jack” to family & friends was born on 5 Nov 1886, in Dublin, Ireland. He wanted to arrive earlier so his mother, Laura Jane Boyd Cooper was rushed to the local Rotunda Maternity Hospital. As he came sooner than the parents expected, no name was decided at the time of birth.
Rotuna Maternaty Hospital, late 19th century. The National Archives of Ireland.
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/exhibition/dublin/poverty_health/Em13
__Rotunda_c.1900_lro-01.html : accessed 18 June 2016.
He was the sixth of eleven children of Alexander Sisson Cooper and Laura Jane Boyd.
Only 6 survived to adulthood. He was one of these lucky ones. I find a male with matching birth date and parents by ordering a birth record from Roscommon, Ireland. There is no name for the child listed. 

Dublin, Ireland, Birth Registrations; Civil Registration Office, Roscommon, Ireland
His parents lived at 17 Portland St. in Dublin. Jack, my grandfather, tells the story that he was so small that his mother made his crib out of a dresser drawer.  I later find John’s baptism record online.

Irish Church Records. Irish Genealogy.ie St. George Parish, Dublin. 1886. No Volume listed. Page 89. http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/display-pdf.jsp?pdfName=d-298-2-9-085 : accessed 18 June 2016.

I find Jack next in the 1901 Ireland Census records. He is listed with his father, Alexander Cooper; mother, Laura Cooper; sister, Laura Cooper; brother, Edwin Cooper; & brother, Alexander Cooper. See blog entry The Letter That Started it All.

His father and youngest brother leave for the United States on the SS Etruria on 21 May 1905. Jack followed on the SS Oceanic arriving in New York City on 8 Aug 1906. Edwin arrives on the SS Carmania on 11 Nov 1906. His sister, Laura or "Jinny" follows on the SS Baltic on 6 Mar 1908. I originally found these ship records when Ellis Island opened their website with scanned documents. Their travel stories will be covered in future blogs.

 Manifest, SS Oceanic, August 1906, stamped page 30, line 27, John Cooper, age 20; image New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Ancestry.com. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 June 2016).
“Cooper, John. Age 20. Male. Single. Clerk. Can read and write. British. Irish. From Dublin, Ireland, final destination New York, self paid final destination ticket, $15, first time in US, meeting father Alexander Cooper, 597 Hudson St. New York.”

By the 1910 U. S. Census, Jack is living in the next building over from his father and brother in Manhattan on West 4th St. He is working as a book keeper. Did his father, also a book keeper, help Jack get this job?

On 14 Nov 1913, Jack is eligible for applying for US Citizenship. I find his Certificate of Arrival and Petition for Naturalization on Ancestry.com after I had already found these documents via the Naturalization Records Indexes through FamilySearch.com.

United States. "Selected U. S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974," Ancestry.com
(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 June 2016).
The New York State Census of 1915 finds Jack living with his eldest sister, Laura Cooper Dawes, on Sixteenth St. in Kings, New York. More detail will be covered in LAURA COOPER DAWES’ future entry.

By this time Jack is mesmerized by the lovely Sophie Ramona Piña or "Honey" of Brooklyn.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Letter That Started It All


The Letter 


page 1


Fifteen years ago, I started asking questions about my family history. My mother was very helpful and organized with the family photos and documents. One document that caught my attention was a letter written to my paternal grandfather in 1918 from Dublin, Ireland, to New York City. 


My grandfather, John “Jack” Carrick Cooper, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1886. He immigrated to New York City in 1906, a few months after his father, Alexander Sisson Cooper.  Of his five siblings, three others also crossed the Atlantic. The greeting was to Uncle Jack, from his niece, Sheelagh. Who is Sheelagh? No one on this side of the Atlantic had any idea who she was! I was determined to find this mysterious cousin! 

Jack and Honey Cooper

 Transcription of Letter:
                                                                                                       12 Annesley Place
                                                                                                        North Strand
                                                                                                        Dublin
                                                                                                        9-2-18 

Dear Uncle Jack

    I hope you are quite well also Aunt “Honey” and in the best of spirits in spite of dark “war” day’s.

    I went over to see Granny last Sunday and found her quite well, and had just received a letter from Uncle Edwin telling of his second marriage. Tell Aunt Honey to write to me and send me a photo. We are in a bad way for foodstuffs over here, we can’t get butter at all and margarine is very scarce. Milk is so scarce that  your milk man will only allow you 1 pt. everyday, and then it is 10-1 that it will go sour.  If you see Uncle Alick, tell him to write me and send me a photo of himself in his army togs. I should like to have it to show to friends.

    I am learning shorthand typing and bookkeeping and find it a terrible bore, and am still minding the shop for Daddy.
   Give my love to all there. I am such a bad hand at writing letters.

                                                                                                   Your loving niece,

                                                                                                   Sheelagh


page 2



Jack met his future wife, Sophie Ramona Piña, aka Honey, a few months later after his arrival. They were married by 1916. He had a brother (Austin) & sister (Elizabeth) who remained in Dublin with their mother, Laura Jane nee Boyd Cooper. 

Sheelagh gave her home address of 12 Annesley Place, North Strand of North Dublin. She stated that “Granny” is doing well. 

I knew of the family members she mentioned who crossed the Atlantic. Sheelagh referred to a letter that Uncle Edwin set to his mother about his second marriage. Edwin Cooper, came over in 1906 & worked in New York City, as a cinematographer in the silent movie theaters. He later moved to California with the introduction of “talkies.” The photo below is taken on the roof of the Egyptian theater of Hollywood where he was involved with the rebuilding for sound in the 1920s. He also traveled throughout the southwest with the updating theater sound systems. 

Edwin Cooper

She also mentioned Uncle Alick. Alexander, Jr., was the youngest son of Alexander & Laura Jane, who came with his father to New York in 1905. I was thrilled to find this picture in my boxes of old photographs. Did Uncle Alick write to her, along with other family, and send them  copies of this photo "in his army togs?"

Alex "Alick" Cooper

Sheelagh discusses the hardship of wartime of WWI and ends with mentioning “that she is still minding the shop for Daddy.” What was the family business?

The Hunt


I started with the Ireland marriage index looking for both Austin Sisson Cooper born 1879 in Dublin, Ireland, along with Elizabeth Cooper also born in Dublin in 1881. This was before the indexes were put online on FamilySearch.org. Starting with 1898, I finally found the right couple, after going through several microfilms. Elizabeth Cooper, daughter of Alexander S. Cooper married George Corcoran in 1900. Salt Lake City does not hold all of the Irish Birth/Marriage/Death records on microfilm. Some have to be ordered from the Civil Registration Office in Roscommon, Ireland. Now knowing the marriage name of Elizabeth, I start looking for Sheila Corcorans born around 1901in the birth index. I find the right Sheila. I order both records from Roscommon and wait. I received my package about two weeks later with these two copies.

Dublin, Ireland, Marriage Registrations; Civil Registration Office, Roscommon, Ireland.


On 30 Nov 1900, George Corcoran, a full adult, bachelor, Merchant, living at 49 Up[per] Dorset St, Dublin, John Corcoran, father, a hatter; married

Elizabeth Cooper, 19 years, spinster, 34 Carlingford Road, Drumcondra, Alexander Cooper, father, a bookeeper.

Dublin, Ireland, Birth Registrations; Civil Registration Office, Roscommon, Ireland.

On the day of  31 March 1901; Elizabeth Corcoran was giving birth to her daughter, “Sheila” Corcoran at the National Maternity Ward on Holles Street of North Dublin. Home address is listed as 34 Carlingford Terrace.


Interesting, this was the same day of the 1901 Ireland census. Elizabeth’s mother, “Granny” Laura Jane Cooper, was crossed out in her Cooper family page on Ranelagh Road of Rathmines; and found with her widowed mother, Jane Carrick Boyd at 34 Carlingford Road. 


1901 Census of Ireland, Dublin, Rathmines and Rathgar, Ranelagh Road, N. 139, Alexander Cooper; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Rathmines___Rathgar_East/Ranelagh_Road/1293515/: accessed 9 June 2016).

1901 Census of Ireland, Dublin, Drumcondra, Carlinford Road, N. 34, Laura Jane Cooper; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Drumcondra/Carlingford_Road/1272124/: accessed 9 June 2016).

This is the same address on Sheila’s birth registration listing her parents’ residence. George and Elizabeth Corcoran were living with Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother. Sheila’s great-grandmother, Jane C. Boyd, died 3 months later.

I now know how Sheelagh (Sheila) is related to me & through which line. She is my first cousin 1x removed. This special letter “opened the door” for my fascination with genealogy & family history.

The Place


I was able to take a trip to Ireland in 2010. I hired a taxi driver to find ten addresses of my ancestors from historical documents. One included 12 Annesley Place, North Strand, Dublin, from Sheelagh’s letter.

12 Annesley Place 2010

Regarding, George Corcoran’s business? He was a hairdresser according to Ireland Census of 1901* and 1911. Was he doing the same by 1917?

Thank you, Pop Jack Cooper, for keeping this letter, so I was able to discover it decades later.

After the 1911 Ireland Census was released online, I found the growing Corcoran family at 12 Poplar Row. “Sheila” was the oldest of two sisters & one brother. I later found another sister born in 1915. I am on the hunt looking for living descendants of this family.

1911 Census of Ireland, Dublin, Mount Joy, Poplar Row, No. 12, George Corcoran; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland (http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Dublin/Mountjoy/Poplar_Row/17344/: accessed 9 Jun 2016).

Pop’s letter was originally found in his TRUNK in which his oldest grandson inherited. One evening, as my family was visiting New York City, back in 1979, my cousin pulled out the treasure chest. We all pulled out items to browse. He told us to pick items that interested us. My mother chose this letter and later filed it away. (I was not interested in family history at the time as I just finished college and was ready to start my teaching career.) Thank you, cousin, for saving these special documents and photos.

I will continue with detailed stories of each of the people mentioned in this letter as I learn more about them. 

 *On the night of his daughter’s birth, in the 1901 Irish Census, George Corcoran is found visiting his brother, Thomas Corcoran, at 49 Upper Dorset St., the same address on his marriage registration. George is listed as Married. I am sure George is filling in his family that wife and daughter are doing just fine.