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.

Hunting for McDonough's in the Worcester Directory

Since discovering that Thomas McDonough had siblings living in Worcester prior to his 1913 death, I have been reviewing the Worcester Directory to see if I could find them. Here are the pages I have found of the
Worcester Directory from 1878 - 1913.

In 1878 there are only two McDonough males listed in the directory. Thomas McDonough and a Frank McDonough (who appears to be moving to Fall River). In 1879 we have four McDonough's listed, and it appears Thomas McDonough's brother, Martin McDonough has now joined him in Worcester. In the 1885 - 1886 we see that Thomas McDonough appears in the business directory for operating a boarding house. By 1887 it appears Bartholomew and Annie McDonough have joined siblings Thomas and Martin in Worcester.

Now that I have some dates of arrival to go with names, I will see if I can find passenger records or naturalization records for the siblings.


Gathering Update

The reply cards have been flowing in all week. As you can see on the sidebar of this website, I have a confirmed head count of 47 (based solely on the number reported in reply cards) as of Sunday, July 27. I know from emails that more of you are planning on attending, so I assume this number will continue to rise over the next few weeks. Based on my preliminary count and guessing at some additional numbers based on email reports, I provided an initial headcount of 56 to the DCU center on July 15th (when I sent in the payment for the room rental). They in turn provided me with the above diagram of how the room will be laid out (you can click on image to see larger).

My next deadline for the DCU center is August 18th, when I need to send in my deposit for the buffet. I can continue to add people up until about Sept. 1 when I really have to lock in the room count and send in the final payment for the buffet.

If at some point the headcount rises so much that we have to move to a larger room, that is fine - I would just hope we can get that settled sooner rather than later. So if you are still waiting to return your reply card because you are not yet sure if you can come - you still have time. Just please try to get it back to me before August 15 if possible.

I chose the "Saratoga" brunch package, since I felt it had the best selection to appeal to both kids as well as adults. If anyone feels that it is lacking something let me know, I can add to the selection if needed.
Brunch Menu

Egg & cheese croissant sandwiches
Cured bacon & pork sausage
Cinnamon French toast with pecan streusel and warm syrup
Individual cereals & assorted milks
Seasonal sliced fruit display
Ever changing mix of breakfast quick breads and assorted French pastries
On tables:
Water pitchers & glasses
Coffee carafes
Chilled Juices


Mrs. Waterfield would like her rug returned

I have been checking books out of my local library branch to find additional family stories. After posting His Home Wiped Out; 'We Start Again', the newspaper article featuring an interview of my late Uncle Jack Deedy's tornado experience, I though I might find more references in the book Tornado! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives. While I did not find another mention of Jack's story, I did find the photo of a young JFK touring the street of Jack's home in Shrewsbury (I believe one of the homes behind JFK is the remains of Jack Deedy's destroyed home). I was surprised to find a small reference to my Father in the book, as well as the following story about the Deedy's and Mrs. Waterfield's living room rug.

Tornado! 84 minutes, 94 lives
pgs. 256-257

The collection of sheet music accumulated by Ethel Waterfield during her years of professional piano had been literally scattered to the winds, as had the evening gowns which she wore during her performances. She had carefully sewn name labels in each of these garments; as a result she was contacted by several individuals who lived along the downwind track of the tornado, from as far east as Westboro, that they had found shredded scraps of some of these once-elegant gowns.

Her pride and joy, the upright piano upon which she had practiced was sent to a company specializing in the restoration and rehabilitation of damaged pianos. Upon close inspection, it was determined that the sounding board was irreparably cracked. The instrument ended its life at Steinert's Music Store in Worcester serving as a source of parts needed in the repair of other, less severely damaged instruments.

When the initial trauma caused by the destruction of their home had subsided to the point where the Waterfields could attempt an organized inventory of lost possessions, they discovered that their new living room carpet had vanished without leaving the smallest remnant behind. After the passage of several days, they learned that it had blown into the Deedy home which was on the far side of Talbot's store from their own house.

Since the Deedy's knew nothing of whence the rug had come, accompanied by numerous other objects from demolished homes upwind, and since the carpet was little the worse for its airborne journey, the Deedys gave it to the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. Upon inquiry, the Waterfields were told by the Salvation Army that it had been sold for a nominal price or simply given away to a needy family.

At this point, the Waterfields resigned themselves to the loss of the carpet. A few days later, however, they received a phone call from the Salvation Army telling them the carpet had been returned for some reason by its new owners. Very shortly thereafter, the Waterfields at last reclaimed it, storing it until their home could be rebuilt.

- Tornado! 84 Minutes, 94 Lives


Jane Sullivan and the 1918-1919 Boston Influenza Pandemic

Poor Great-Aunt Jane, she obtained her nurse training at Massachusetts General Hospital in the midst of the greatest pandemic to hit Boston. An article found in the old family scrapbook gives some insight into just how tough Jane's nursing training must have been:
Eighty Nurses Graduated in Victory Class at Mass. General Hospital

[Caption under photo: Graduation class of 1919 of the Massachusetts General Hospital]

Eighty young women, constituting the "Victory" class of the Massachusetts General Hospital, after completing the hardest year of continuous hard nursing that has ever been done by pupil nurses in the history of the institution, were graduated last night.

Dr. Henry P. Walcott, chairman of the board of trustees, who presided at the exercises and announced the graduates, declared that each individual member of the class had done as high a service and incurred as grave a danger as any nurse or soldier in service abroad.


The members of the class have in the past year nursed over 800 cases of influenza which came in two great waves. Over half of the class were seriously ill with the disease; and all, because of the severe tax which overwork placed upon them, were made dangerously susceptible. One of their number died. A scarlet fever epidemic placed 36 of the girls on the dangerous list, but all survived.

"There are no words," said Dr. Henry Van Dyke, who made the address of the evening, "that can fittingly commend the part that women, and especially nurses, have played in the winning of the war. The type of service that did not flinch even before an enemy that chose as its favorite target that Red Cross on the roof of a hospital, can never be given its just reward in rhetoric.
It has been estimated that between September 1, 1918 and January 16, 1919, approximately 45,000 people died from influenza in Massachusetts alone. I hope the rest of Great-Aunt Jane's nursing career was relatively peaceful after that introduction to her profession.


Thomas McDonough had siblings!

Thomas McDonough's obituary has finally been found and it contains some very exciting information!
Worcester Evening Gazette
Monday December 8, 1913


Thomas McDonough, aged 54, died last night in his home, 1 View street of heart disease. He was a member of the Holy Name society of the Church of the Ascension, and was formerly a member of the St. Vincent de Paul society of Sacred Heart church.

He leaves his wife, Mary (Loftus) McDonough; nine daughters, Mary E., wife of M. T. O'Leary; Katherine J., wife of Maurice J. Kennedy; Margaret F., wife of John J. Barry, Worcester; Sadie W., wife of Albert J. Ahern, East Windsor Hill, Ct; Anna G., Louise M., Agnes V., Eva B. and Grace R. McDonough, and a son, Patrick T. McDonough; also two sisters, Mrs. Michael Brennan, Worcester, and Mrs Katherine Murphy in Ireland, and two brothers, Martin H. and Bartholomew McDonough, Worcester.

The funeral will be Wednesday morning, with a solemn high mass of requiem in the Church of the Ascension at 9 o'clock. Burial will be in St. John's cemetery.
Now I have some names to try and find - Mrs. Michael Brennan, Martin H. McDonough, and Bartholomew McDonough all of Worcester. Mrs. Katherine Murphy of Ireland will be harder to find, since I still don't know where in Ireland the McDonough's originated. Hopefully, Martin or Bartholomew will be easy to find and track.


Why you should always label your photos!

In the early 1950's my Father, Tom Deedy, joined the Army and was stationed in Germany working as a photographer. On one of his leaves, he traveled to Ireland to look-up some relatives. While visiting he took some photographs.

When my Father told me that he had once traveled to Ireland, met relatives, stayed with them, AND took pictures I was thrilled! Unfortunately, while my Father remembers details like the lack of indoor plumbing in the home he stayed in and the thick accents - he can't recall the name of the village he visited, the name of the relatives (he thinks the last name may have been Foley), or if they were related to his Grandfather or Grandmother (he thinks Grandmother - which means they might be from the Donovan or Daly lines).

Knowing that pictures of his visit existed, a hunt ensued to try to find the 35mm slides. I was confident that my Father must have labeled the slides. Finally we found the boxes of slides from his Army days and I looked through dozens of images taken in museums in Paris, old buildings in London, and goofy photos of my Dad and his friends in cafe's and hotel rooms. But only a few photos of his Ireland trip were in the boxes, and they are unlabeled.

The three images were taken in the early 1950's somewhere in County Kerry Ireland. If anyone seeing the images who is familiar with Ireland can help identify the locations - that would be a great help. An even bigger shot in the dark would be if you recognize the very nice couple in the photos who hosted my Father during his visit.

It is not surprising that almost 55 years after the photos were taken my Father is a bit hazy on the details. So take this as a cautionary tale - label your photos!


Worcester's Vernon Hill neighborhood and the Irish

While continuing to look into what life must have been like for my Great-Grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts, I came across this reference to the Vernon Hill neighborhood both sides of the family lived:

Inventing Irish America
Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880 – 1928
By Timothy J. Meagher
Pgs. 126 - 127

Vernon and Union Hills lay east of Main South, flanking the island to the east, as Main South flanked that district to the west. Though located deep inside the east side, the Vernon and Union Hills were not slums. The steep slopes of the hills had deflected the tide of factories, tenements, and warehouses that had overrun the Island, East Worcester, and most other east side neighborhoods, leaving the hilltops almost exclusively residential in 1900. Indeed, some of the houses built on Vernon Hill in the late nineteenth century, such as George Crompton’s “Mariemont,” rivaled the mansions of Worcester’s west side. Most of the homes on the slopes and summits of Vernon and Union Hills, however, were simple if neat cottages, substantial two-family homes, or sturdy, ample, and almost elegant three-deckers. If the eastern hills were not an exclusively wealthy area, they were, nonetheless, one of the most comfortable places in Worcester to live and certainly one of the most attractive on the east side.

The eastern hills thus attracted different types of Irishmen than the Island below or even Main South further west. As in Main South, second-generation Irish men or women headed a large proportion (40.1 percent) of the Hilltops’ Irish families in 1900. Yet while Main South had a largely skilled blue-collar Irish population, the Hilltops seemed to be especially attractive to Worcester’s slowly expanding Irish white-collar class. Over two-fifths of the Irish foreign-stock families on the hills were headed by white-collar workers. Furthermore, an even larger proportion of the Irish on the hills than in Main South lived in one- or two-family homes.

As the number of white-collar Irishmen in Worcester increased, the number of Irish families creeping to the top of the eastern hills also rose. In 1900, the Irish made up only 11 percent of the people living on the eastern hills, but the Celtic population there was growing quickly. Between 1880 and 1900 the Irish population on the Hilltops had risen by 332 percent, and in the first few years of the twentieth century some streets and blocks on Vernon and Union Hills became thoroughly Irish. Worcester’s 1904 House Directory, for example, listed an almost unbroken row of Grogans, McHughs, Cahills, and McKennys on Union Avenue from Vernon Street up the slopes of Vernon Hill to Arlington Street. Parts of Mott Street, South Street, and Penn Avenue had also become almost exclusively Irish by that year.

- Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880-1928


Maurice Sullivan's Most Thrilling Experience

At least that is what the newspaper article reports in this interview of my Great-Grandfather, Srgt. Maurice Sullivan of the Boston PD. I am so lucky that this interview was published - it shows just how dangerous his job could be. While the article found does not have a date on it, the incident most likely occurred in the late 1800's and the interview done in the early 1900's.

“My Most Thrilling Experience”
Exciting Moments in the Lives of Boston Policemen
As Related to Harry McCormick, Traveler Police Reporter

No. 127 – Patrolman Maurice Sullivan.

In Patrolman Maurice Sullivan of the Hanover street station one will find an interesting person. In 26 years of service in that section he has seen many changes. As a young man he patrolled many of the worst “beats” in the dear old North end. In those days of few policemen a man had his work cut out for him. Being arrested for intoxication was treated as a more serious offence than it is now. A man then would put up a fight before he would submit to arrest, for arrest meant a heavy fine or imprisonment.

Office Sullivan’s most thrilling experience came when he had been a member of the department a few months. It was a fight with a drink maddened man near the old gas house on Prince street.

“I was standing on Lafayette avenue, near Prince street, about 1 o’clock in the morning, 26 years ago, when this chap, who was known as a fighter, rushed over to me and started a fight. His attack was so sudden that he got a good hold on me.

“He started to pummel me, and, of course, I fought back, for a I knew that I could expect no mercy from a man like him. In those days there was a pretty tough crowd at the gas house, and scores of men came to where we were fighting and encouraged the man.

“They would have liked to have seen me ‘done up.’ Lafayette avenue has an incline and the street was then paved with round cobbles. Many times my head went banging against these stones and so did the other fellow’s, for that matter. We had been battling for almost half an hour when by a strong push the man bowled me over. He came with me, however, and I managed to get on top when we landed on the street. We rolled down the incline to Endicott street, while the hooting, jeering crowd followed, often waiting for me to get mine. While locked together in the street the man sunk his teeth into my ear and started to rip it off. I felt the teeth sink in and believe me the thrill I received then, thinking my ear was gone, was awful.

“But that act of his put new strength into me and I fought on in a more desperate manner. I think if another officer had not arrived I would have killed the man. Fortunately the fellow did not get his teeth in deep enough and Dr. Eliot patched it up for me. You can still see the scar there now, and I never look at it in the mirror without thinking of that fight.”


The mysterious Robert Murphy

While gathering documents to help me identify various family members, I noticed something a bit strange in the McDonough plot record at St. John's Cemetery in Worcester. The record lists a Robert Murphy buried in the McDonough family grave on August 18, 1906. As only the second occupant of the plot, he must have had a connection to Thomas McDonough or Mary Loftus McDonough, but what that connection might be was unclear. The last name did not ring any bells with my Father. As far as he knew, we are not related to any Murphy's.

To solve the mystery, I combed the Massachusetts Vital Records database and found Robert Murphy"s death certificate. The few pieces of information contained in the record sheds some light on the Murphy-McDonough connection. Robert Murphy was an infant, and his last address was listed at 226 Vernon Street. We know that home was owned by Thomas McDonough. Robert Murphy's mother is listed as Winifred S. Loftus (married to a Martin J. Murphy). Was Winifred S. Loftus a sister of Mary Loftus McDonough? If not a sister, then a cousin or a niece? Obviously there must have been a close family connection for her to be living at 226 Vernon and having her son buried in Mary's plot. It will take more digging to uncover the full nature of the connection, unless someone else can provide me with the answer?

Labels: ,

Alexander Deady's Immigration Information

My Great-Grandfather, Edward Deedy (aka Edmund Deady & Edward Deady) appears to have sponsored some of his younger brothers to join him in immigrating from Ireland to Worcester, Massachusetts. His brother, Alexander Deady's 1896 passenger information has been found. The documentation provides the following information:
Ship: S.S. Pavonia
Departed: Queenstown, Ireland on April 24, 1896
Arrived: Boston, Massachusetts on May 3, 1896
Name in Full: Alex. Deady
Age: 23
Sex: Male
Married or Single: Single
Calling or Occupation: Laborer
Able to Read: yes
Able to Write: yes
Nationality: Irish
Last Residence: Firies
Seaport for landing in the United States: Boston
Final destination in the United States: Worcester
Whether having a ticket to such final destination: yes
By whom was passage paid: Brother
Whether in possession of money, if so, whether more than $30 and how much if $30 or less: $1
Whether ever before in the United States, and if so, when and where: No
Whether going to join a relative, and if so, what relative, their name and address: Brother Edmund Deady, 32 Elsworth St. Worcester
Ever in Prison or Almshouse or supported by charity: No
Whether a Polygamist: No
Whether under contract, express or implied in the United States: No
Condition of Health, Mental and Physical: Good
Deformed or Crippled: No
Not only did older brother Edmund pay for younger brother Alex's ship passage, it also appears he sponsored him for Naturalization. Likely my Great-Grandfather also helped his brother find lodging and a job when he arrived in the U.S.


How incorrect stories can lead your research astray

You can't always believe everything you read in the newspaper - at least that is the conclusion I am forced to recognize. When searching for old articles about various family members, I ran across this July 1912 Boston Globe article:
William Austin Dead

East Boston Man Overcome by Heat While on Way to Visit Daughter, at Somerville.

William Austin, aged 93, of 416 Bennington st, East Boston, was overcome by the heat at 8:35 yesterday morning at the corner of Somerville av and Medford st, Somerville, while riding in an outward-bound Clarendon Hill car.

He was on his way to visit his daughter, Mrs. Mark B. Best of 27 Victoria st. West Somerville. He died at 10:45 last night at the Somerville Hospital.
The incorrect piece of information in the article which has taken me far too much time to discover is the name Mrs. Mark B. Best. William Austin's daughter is Mrs. Mark B. Prest. Once I figured that out, I could find the Prest family and identify my great-grandmother's (Suzanne Austin Sullivan) older sister - Sarah Austin Prest. In the 1912 Somerville City Directory 27 Victoria St. is listed under someone elses name. But in the 1914 Somerville City Directory (could not located the 1913 volume) I see that Mark B. Prest does indeed reside at 27 Victoria St (I also see that he is employed as a steamfitter on this page of the directory). Since he is not listed in the 1912 version of the directory, I can only assume that William Austin was traveling on that hot July day to see his daughter's new home. The recent move could explain why the address was still listed under the previous occupant.


Interesting finds in the 1907 Worcester Directory

After writing the post about Mrs O'Leary's Crazy Car Ride I became interested in seeing if I could learn any more about the O'Leary automotive business. I found the company L.W. Pond listed in the 1907 Worcester Directory along with the following small pieces of information:
Worcester Directory 1907

McDonough, Catherine, teacher, bds. 1 View
McDonough, Margaret F., stenographer, Assonet c. Gold, bds. 1 View
McDonough, Patrick T., bookkeeper, Assonet corner
McDonough, Thomas, clerk, h. 1 View
O'Leary, M. Thomas, pres. and treas. L.W. Pond Machine & Foundry Co., Gold cor. Assonet, h. 1 View
While Catherine is employed as a teacher, the rest of the eldest McDonough children seem to be employed at the L.W. Pond company. Thomas McDonough does not list his employer, but it is possible he is also working at his son-in-law's company. Another interesting tidbit - it appears, after reading the ad pictured above (click on image to see larger), that at least some of the cars sold at L.W. Pond are electric (when automobiles first appeared on the market they were not all of the gasoline powered variety). After re-reading the crazy car post, I believe that vehicle was also an electric car.

Labels: ,

Patrolman William B. Deedy

This is my vacation week and I could not let it pass without spending at least one day furthering my family research. Today I was able to draft my Father into joining my quest and together we traveled to Worcester to visit the library. My Uncle Justin had recently sent me a memorial card found among Edward B. Deedy's effects (Grandfather to my Father and Uncle Justin) which listed his brother, William B. Deedy's, death date. A visit to Great-Aunt Mae revealed that her uncle, William B. Deedy, was a Worcester policeman and she recalled that he had died in an accident while on duty. With these clues, my Father and I were able to track down the following newspaper article which tells the whole sad tale.

Worcester Evening Gazette
Tuesday October 5, 1920

Patrolman Deedy Struck by Truck in Shrewsbury St.

Patrolman William B. Deedy, Station 1, was instantly killed at the corner of Shrewsbury and Lyons streets at 12:30 a.m. today, when he was struck by an automobile truck driven by Samuel Malta, 13 Minot street, Boston and thrown across the street against the curbing, sustaining a fracture of the skull.

Samuel Minden, 192 Blue Hill avenue, Roxbury, who was driving another motor truck, directly in front of the Malta truck, heard a cry, stopped his machine and looked around in time to see the body of the patrolman fall against the curbing. The unconscious form was picked up and taken to City Hospital in the Minden machine under orders from Sergt. Frederick Hays.

Upon arrival at the hospital it was discovered the officer was dead and his body was taken to the morgue.

Malta was sent to station 1 to report the accident and in his report he stated he was driving towards Boston at the rate of about 10 miles an hour, when he noticed a touring car parked against the center curbing on the south side of Shrewsbury street. Just as he was passing this touring car, which was on the wrong side of the highway, Officer Deedy stepped from behind the machine directly in the path of the truck. According to Malta's story, he stopped the machine within 20 feet from where he struck the officer.

The police were unable to locate the owner of the touring car which Patrolman Deedy was evidently examining at the time he met his death, as the machine was on the wrong side of the street, in violation of the traffic rules, and an investigation is being made today.

Patrolman Deedy was appointed to the police department on Sept. 9, 1918, and during the short time he was on the force, he made an enviable reputation as a brave and efficient police officer.

Patrolman Deedy was idolized by the Italian-speaking citizens in the East Worcester district, and his fearlessness in going after gunmen and burglars made him respected by whoever he came in contact with. Patrolman Deedy especially distinguished himself on Muskeego street last winter when he disarmed a man who was holding a crowd at bay with a revolver when the officer arrived. Several months ago Officer Deedy discovered two burglars in a store on Shrewsbury street shortly after midnight and he captured the men in a dark cellar after chasing them through several backyards.

The dead officer also performed efficient police work during the recent railroad wreck near the Hamilton street bridge when he assisted Dr. Robert I. Northridge in caring for the injured.

A police escort consisting of one sergeant and 12 patrolmen, will be picked today by Capt. James T. Johnson for the funeral.

Officer Deedy is survived by his wife, Catherine M. (Collins) Deedy; three sons, Daniel F., John J. and William B. Deedy, Jr.; also his mother in Ireland and three brothers in this city, Edward B., Alexander J. and Morris E. Deedy; two brothers, Daniel C. and Patrick J. Deedy in Ireland, and one sister, Miss Nora J. Deedy of Ireland. He was a member of the Police Relief Association, the Holy Name society of the Church of the Sacred Heart and Worcester Aerie, F.O.E. The body was transferred to the family home, 77 Sterling street, where the funeral will be Thursday morning at 9 o'clock. A high mass of requiem will be offered in the Church of the Sacred Heart at 10 o'clock. Burial will be in St. John's cemetery.





Powered by Blogger

free webpage hit counter

© 2008 Blog |
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.