Look up Deedy in Websters Dictionary and you will see the following definition - \Deed"y\, a. Industrious; active. [R.] --Cowper. But to me Deedy is simply my last name and not a very common one at that. My Father always said "find yourself in a strange city? Open a phone book, find a Deedy and give them a call - chances are they are a relative." So, for all the Deedy's out there hello and welcome.

The Jane whose name I hold

Growing up I always knew I was named after my Great-Aunt Jane Austin Sullivan. As a young child I spent many happy days with her (she was a frequent baby sitter). She never married or had children of her own, but she was great with me. My fondest memory is from a rainy day when I was about 5 and she was in her late 70's. I must have been unhappy being stuck indoors and when she asked me what I would do if I was outside I said I would play hop scotch. Aunt Jane then proceeded to hike up her skirt, kneel down on her oriental carpet, and with a thick piece of sidewalk chalk outlined a hopscotch grid. I can still pictured us today in my mind, hopping around in her living room screeching with laughter at playing an outdoor game indoors. Breaking the rules was so much fun and her complete willingness to draw on her carpet - knowing chalk can just be vacuumed up - was pure genius.

But it was only when I started researching my family history that I realized who my Great-Aunt Jane was named after - her Grandmother, Jane Brady Sullivan. So it is really that Jane that I have to thank for my name (and who my niece Annika Jane has to thank for her middle name). I wish I knew more about Jane Brady Sullivan, or had a photo of her. Here is what I do know:

Jane Brady was born in June 1830 in County Sligo, Ireland. Her father was Maurice Brady and her Mother was Margaret Caraway, both of the Town of Sligo, County Sligo, Ireland. By 1847 both of Jane's parents were dead and Ireland was in the grip of the Great Potato Famine. By 1850 one million people would have perished in the famine and another million immigrated. Jane was one of the lucky who was able to escape the fate of her parents and immigrate. In June 1847 she sailed in the Brig. General Tailor commanded by Capt. Lilly of South Warren. Family lore has it that Jane was able to work as a nursemaid to Capt. Lilly's children to pay for her passage. This meant she was able to make the crossing in relative comfort, unlike the poor souls who traveled to North America in Coffin Ships.

By 1850 we find Jane Brady living in Thomaston, Maine according to the census record. She is living in the household of William Stetson who is a shipbuilder. Since the family has young children, I am going to assume she is still working as a nanny or as a domestic. On August 18, 1851 Jane Brady married Patrick Sullivan, who was a fellow Irishman (from Waterford Ireland). She was 21 years old and he was 31. Together they had six children:

Ellen Sullivan
1855 - 1943

Jane Sullivan
Jan. 26, 1858 - Jan. 23, 1859

Margaret Sullivan
July 1, 1860 - May 19, 1886

Patrick Henry Sullivan
July 21, 1861 - Jan. 4, 1888

Maurice Sullivan
1862 - 1933

Daniel Sullivan
Sept. 18, 1867 - Feb. 27, 1887

But only two of those children outlived her and her husband. Ellen who never married or had children and Maurice who went on to give Jane nine grandchildren.

Jane Brady Sullivan died at age 83 on Oct. 7, 1913 in Thomaston, Maine with her daughter Ellen by her side.


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