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.

226 Vernon Street - Where are you?

I have been busy researching land records at the Worcester Registry of Deeds this week. While I am experiencing some success, one address is proving elusive.

In the 1900 Census the McDonough family listed 226 Vernon Street as their home, which Thomas McDonough owned and carried a mortgage on. Unfortunately that address now appears to be a parking lot. I could not find a book and page thread to follow to locate the original purchase or mortgage records. At one point I just started looking for any record on Vernon street and came across a 1910 plan. While it is unlikely any of the lots noted on the plan are for 226 Vernon (since the family already owned the property in 1900) some of the sales jargon in the 1910 plan is interesting and gives a peek into how home ownership was achieved by hard working immigrants.
Worcesters beautiful new addition

Situated on and surrounded by broad avenues

Grammont - Baltic
Overland Roads

Picturesque - Healthful

Streets, Sidewalks, and all improvements
10 minutes ride from City Hall
Accessible by four lines of Electrics

Beautiful Building Lots $250 to $300
First Payment $5.00 and only $1.25 to $2.50 per week.
No Mortgage, No Interest, No Taxes


What the 1910 Census reveals about the Deedy family

The Deedy household in Worcester has grown by 1910 to include four children and a couple of surprise family members. Unlike in the 1900 census, by 1910 the family is spelling its last name as Deedy. More on the spelling change coming in a future post.
1910 United State Federal Census

Address: 109 South Harding Street

Deedy, Edward, 38
--- , Johanna, 37
--- , Justin D., 9
--- , John G., 8
--- , Louise, 4
--- , Elizabeth, 2
--- , William B., 26
Fitzgerald, John, 23

William B. Deedy gives his relationship to head of house as "Brother"
John Fitzgerald gives his relationship to head of house as "Nephew"

Edward and Johanna have been married for 10 years
Johanna has given birth to 4 children - all surviving

Edward immigrated in 1894 and is a naturalized citizen
Johanna immigrated in 1892
William B. immigrated in 1902 and is a naturalized citizen
John Fitzgerald immigrated in 1907 is a "Pa" (not sure what that means)

Edward's occupation is "Brewery Worker" in "Brewery"
William B.'s occupation is "Brewery Worker" in "Brewery"
John Fitzgerald's occupation is "Teamster" in "Wholesale House(?)"

The family is living in a rented home
William B. Deedy and John Fitzgerald came as a surprise to me. William B. is obviously the brother of Edward Deedy. But whose nephew is John Fitzgerald - Edward's or Johanna's? At least Edward and nephew John appear to be union men (likely William B. is as well). Edward's union card from his Brewery job can be found discussed here. I will need to do some more research to see if I can uncover what it meant to be a union member in the early 1900's.


What the 1910 Census reveals about the McDonough family

By the 1910 Census, we see the McDonough family prospering. Mary Loftus McDonough has finally finished with child birth and can now count 10 surviving children. In 1910 their ages ranged from 30 years old down to 8 years old. Most of whom are still residing together under the same roof.
1910 United State Federal Census

Address: 1 View Street

McDonough, Thomas, 55
------ , Mary, 52
------ , Catherine J, 27
------ , Margaret F., 24
------ , Sadie W., 24
------ , Anne G., 20
------ , Louise M., 19
------ , Agnes V., 16
------ , Eva V., 14
------ , Grace, 8

Both Thomas & Mary McDonough note: 1st Marriage, Married 31 years

Mary McDonough has given birth to 11 children, 10 who survived

Both Thomas & Mary give the year of immigration as 1876.

Thomas is a naturalized citizen.

Thomas' occupation is "Helper" in "Iron Foundry"
Catherine's occupation is "Teacher" in "Public School"
Margaret's occupation is "Stenographer" in "Office"
Sadie's occupation is "Saleslady" in "Dept. Store"

Thomas is noted as the owner of a mortgaged home - 1 View Street

This is the second time we see Thomas McDonough noted as the owner of a home. I will have to check up on 226 Vernon Street and see who is now living there - given that the McDonough's have moved up to the larger and newer View Street home. The McDonough girls are also seen as growing up and working in different careers. These young ladies are not going off to work in the many Worcester factories or being employed as domestics or servants. Instead they are working in occupations that take some education and skill to obtain. They also appear not to be rushing into marriages. They are career girls first, marriages and children will come later.

Thomas McDonough's occupation intrigues me. His son-in-law Michael O'Leary, who is also living at 1 View Street with his young family, is a manager of an iron foundry. I wonder if Thomas' occupation as "Helper" is in that same iron foundry?


What happened to the 1890 Census Records?

You may notice that my family history research is missing important census records - the 1890 census reports. Why don't I have them? Unfortunately they no longer exist, as explained in this article:
In March of 1896, the special schedules for the 1890 census which included those for mortality, poverty, and handicap status were damaged by a fire and their remains were destroyed by order of the Department of the Interior. By 1921, the original and only copies of the 1890 census population schedules were stored in an unlocked file room in the basement of the Commerce Building, resting on pine wood shelving. A fire of unknown origin broke out in the basement on the evening of January 10th. The Washington D.C. fire department contained the fire to the basement of the building with at least twenty fire hoses pouring water into the basement. In the aftermath of the fire, the Census Director estimated that 25% of the 1890 schedules had been destroyed and 50% were damaged by water, smoke, or fire. Note that this estimate would suggest that 75% of the 1890 schedules survived the fire itself in either damaged or untouched condition.

By the end of January 1921, the remains of the 1890 schedules were moved out of the basement of the Commerce Building and into temporary storage. The condition of their storage at the Commerce Building had helped to strengthen calls for a permanent National Archives to be built. Between 1921 and 1932, the history of these remnants is difficult to determine. It appears that no salvage or restoration efforts occurred. In December of 1932, the Chief Clerk of the Bureau of the Census sent the Librarian of Congress a list of papers to be destroyed. This was standard Federal record keeping procedure at the time. This list included the original 1890 census schedules! The Librarian was asked by the Bureau to identify any records which should be retained for historical purposes but the Librarian did not note any records on the list worthy of saving. Congress authorized destruction of that list of records on February 21, 1933 and thus the 1890 census remains were destroyed by government order by 1934 or 1935.

The 1890 census, whose enumeration was such a technical triumph of its day, was first damaged by fire and water then finally destroyed through neglect and indifference. The Hollerith system used to tabulate that census set the standard for modern and efficient statistical enumeration for decades to come. The research gap caused by the destruction of the original 1890 census schedules will plague family historians forever.

William Austin describes what 1870 East Boston looked like

In an old and fragile scrapbook my great-grandmother (Susan Austin Sullivan) had created, I found an article which quotes her Father (my great-great-grandfather) William Austin. You can click on the image of the article to see a larger image and read the full story, but here is the bit I found most interesting:
Mr. Austin said to a Post reporter yesterday: "I came to East Boston 40 years ago just after the completion of the present St. Mary's Church. There was at that time only two churches in all of East Boston. St. Mary's Church and the Holy Redeemer. In those days we only had one mass on Sunday.

At that time Bennington street was not cut through and from Saratoga street down to the narrow gauge railroad was a muddy swamp. It is all changed now. Since then the parish has built a fine rectory, school and convent. Now there are four Catholic churches in East Boston, and I have assisted at the breaking of ground of the three erected in my time.

"I came from Montreal and had 11 children, nine of whom are living, all in East Boston."
I will have to trace his children another day, but for now I am more intrigued by his description of East Boston. While the article does not have any source information, it does give me some clues to date it. The church he is helping to dedicate still stands in East Boston and the corner stone has the date 1910 marked on it. So the article likely dates from that year. Meaning William Austin arrived in East Boston in 1870.

I found this map of East Boston from 1879. On it I can find Bennington street and the tracks for that narrow gauge railroad. The close-up on the map is the section where the church now stands that he was dedicating and likely the area where William Austin lived.

As always, you can click on any image to view larger.


What the 1900 Census reveals about the McDonough family

By 1900 Thomas and Mary McDonough are home owners and have progressed from one child in the 1880 census to 9 children by 1900.

1900 United State Federal Census

Address: 226 Vernon Street

McDonough, Thos. (b. Aug 1857) 42
------ , Mary A (b. Aug 1859) 40
------ , Mary E (b. Jul 1878) 21
------ , Patrick T (b. Nov 1880) 19
------ , Catherine J (b. Aug 1882) 17
------ , Margaret (b. Apr 1885) 15
------ , Sarah W (b. Apr 1885) 15
------ , Annie (b. Nov 1888) 12
------ , Louise (b. Mar 1890) 10
------ , Agnes (b. June 1893) 6
------ , Eva (b. Jan 1896) 4
Loftus, Patrick (b. May 1830) 70

Patrick Loftus is noted as "F in law" to Head of House and is marked as a Widower

Thomas McDonough immigrated in 1873, has been in the US for 27 years. He is a naturalized citizen
Mary A. McDonough immigrated in 1874, has been in the US for 26 years.
Patrick Loftus immigrated in 1879, has been in the US for 21 years. He is an alien citizen

Thomas McDonough lists his occupation as "Teamster"
Mary E. McDonough lists her occupation as "Saleswoman"

Patrick Loftus has marked "No" in Can Read and "No" in Can Write and "Yes" in Speaks English

Thomas McDonough owns the home at 226 Vernon Street and holds a mortgage on the home
But the most excited bit of info in this census record is the addition of Patrick Loftus to the McDonough household. Patrick must be Mary A. McDonough's father. His record notes that he immigrated to the US in 1879, just five years after his daughter. Where has Patrick been living all this time? What was he doing? How long did he live with Thomas and Mary McDonough? When did he die? In what city? Where is he buried?

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What the 1900 Census reveals about the Deedy family

The first time the Deedy family appears in the Worcester Census is in 1900 - while Edward and Hannah are still newlyweds. The street name is a bit difficult to make out - but I believe it reads 3 Ellsworth Street. This is the only time I have found Deedy spelled as Deady when associated with Edward & Hannah.
1900 United State Federal Census

Address: 3 Ellsworth Street

Deady, Edward B. - 28 yrs old
--- , Hannah - 27 yrs old

Edward lists his birthday as Jan. 1872
Hannah lists her birthday as Nov. 1872

Both say they have been married for half a year - 6/12

Both list Ireland as places of birth as well as Mother/Father's birth country

Edward lists his year of immigration as 1893 and # of years in US as 7
Hannah lists her year of immigration as 1892 and # of years in US as 8

Edward notes that he is a Naturalized citizen

Edward lists his occupation as Day Laborer

Both can read, write, and speak English

They rent in a house
It is unclear if the spelling of the last name is a clerical error, or if this is the spelling Edward and Hannah gave at the time. I am hoping to find a marriage certificate for the pair which may help clear this little mystery up.


What the 1910 Census reveals about the O'Leary family

Thomas & Mary McDonough's eldest daughter, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, who was just an infant in the 1880 census, is now a married lady and young mother in the 1910 census. She can be seen as an infant here and as a young matron here. By the time the second photo was taken she was already Mary Elizabeth McDonough O'Leary, and while grown up and a mother herself, she was still close to her own mother and siblings - at least physically from what the census record reveals:
1910 United State Federal Census

Five people are noted together as a household:
O'Leary, Michael T - age 34
O'Leary, Mary E - age 30
O'Leary, Thomas B - age 4
O'Leary, Marion E - age 2/12
Rhinehold, Steena - age 19

They all live at 1 View Street, Worcester, MA (along with Thomas & Mary McDonough and the many McDonough children)

Michael T. O'Leary lists his occupation as "Manager" of "Iron Foundry"
Steena Rhinehold gives her relationship to head of house as "Servant"
Steena Rhinehold lists her occupation as "Servant" of "Private Family"
What a difference 30 years can make. As a young mother Mary O'Leary had a live-in servant - a luxury her mother likely never dreamed of having when she was living in "corporate houses" and raising her young daughter along with boarders.


Edward Deedy and the Bureau of Investigation

While combing various databases for information about my relatives, I recently stumbled across the following three documents about an Edward Deedy of Worcester who was erroneously placed on a bureau of investigation (precursor to the FBI) watch list in 1917.

The first two documents contain a letter notifying the bureau of investigation that an Edward Deedy was recently fired from his job as night watchman due to his political views. The second letter is a memo from the chief of the Boston bureau of investigation who basically dispatches an agent to go look into the matter.

You can click on any of these images to view larger.

The last document is the most fascinating. It is the agents report of his investigation and the result.

At first I thought these documents were about my Great-Grandfather Edward B. Deedy of Worcester. However, I have been able to rule him out. I found another Edward (also goes by the name Edmund) Deedy living in Worcester at the same time as my Great-Grandfather and living in the address listed in the documents. So this is an example of an Unknown-Deedy and an interesting little peek into the life of an innocent man caught up in a government investigation.


What was happening in Worcester in 1880?

What did the Worcester, MA of 1880 look like for Thomas & Mary McDonough? Why did they choose to settle in this city? I may never be able to fully answer those questions, but the following books provide some clues.

Worcester, 1880-1920 provides numerous photos of the Worcester Thomas and Mary were growing their family in. According to the book, Worcester had a population of 58,291 in 1880. By 1900 the city had swelled with a population of 118,421.

Worcester (Postcard History) states: At the beginning of the 20th century, Worcester was one of the largest inland industrial cities in the world. The city boasted a diverse manufacturing base that drew immigrants from all over the globe.

So this inland city with its numerous jobs likely first attracted young Mary and Thomas. The explosive growth of the city during their prime working years provided opportunities for them to get ahead. It may also have encouraged them to invite other family members to join them in the growing city with plentiful jobs.


What the 1880 Census reveals about the McDonough family

I have been following Thomas and Mary McDonough in the available US Census reports. They first appear in the 1880 Census. Below are some interesting little insights about this young family gleaned from the few short pieces of information noted:

1880 United State Federal Census

They were living on a street titled "No Name to Street - Corporate Houses".

Five people are noted together as a household:
McDonough, Tho's - age 28
McDonough, Mary - age 25
McDonough, Mary E - age 1
Mattamoore, Michael - age 28
Mattamoore, Barrey - age 24

The two Mattamoore men give their relationship to head of house as "Boarder"

Thomas McDonough and the two Mattamoore men list their occupations as "Works in Rolling Mill"

Mary McDonough has tick marks in the columns "Cannot read" and "Cannot write"

Mary McDonough lists her place of birth as "England" everyone else lists "Ireland" except Mary E. who lists "Massachusetts"
So from these few pieces of information I am already starting to get a picture of how ambitious Thomas and Mary were. Even living in "corporate houses" they were entrepreneurial enough to rent an extra room to a pair of brothers. Likely Mary did the housework for all three men while caring for her young daughter. Interesting to note that this photo of the young family was taken the same year as the above census facts were recorded. A small peek into their lives in 1880 in Worcester, MA.





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