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.

Patrick Sullivan's 1858 Naturalization

To date, the oldest record I have uncovered connected to my family history research is Patrick Sullivan's Naturalization Document. Lucky for me, when this document was filed in 1858 the name Patrick Sullivan was unique for Thomaston, Maine.

The document contains some interesting clues about my great-great grandfather. As you can see in the image above, he "signed" his naturalization document with an "X". The clerk then notes around the "X" that this is Patrick Sullivan's mark. At the time he was about 35 (or 38 if you go by the birth year on his grave stone), yet in all that time, he had not had an opportunity nor a need to learn to sign his own name.

Another exciting clue in the September 7, 1858 document is Patrick's statement that he was born in County Cork, Ireland and arrived in Eastport, Maine on May 13, 1849. Unfortunately, I have not found a passenger record, but that is not very surprising since passenger records are pretty scarce for that time.

I may not have any idea what my great-great grandfather looked like, but I can say that he could sign a mean "X" when needed.


Deedy Square in Worcester

While continuing my research at the Worcester Public Library, I came across a clipping file dedicated to John J. Deedy. Included in the file was the following article: 300 at Dedication of Deedy Square. Below are some snippets from the article:
Worcester Telegram
July 15, 1946

300 at Dedication of Deedy Square

More than 300 attended the dedication of Deedy square - Montrose street and Euclid avenue - named yesterday afternoon for First Lt. John J. Deedy of 78 Fairfax road, killed in World War II.

The dedication was sponsored by Admiral Ralph Earle Post United American Veterans, of which Lt. Deedy was an organizer and senior vice-commander before he entered the service in January, 1941.


Awarded Bronze Star

Lt. Deedy was a member of the Common Council and Ward 6 state representative when he entered the service, with the federalized 181st Inf., M.N.G. in January, 1941. He was commissioned a lieutenant in the National Guard after serving as private and sergeant in Co. A.

He later was transferred to the 4th (Ivy Leaf) Division and took part in the invasion of France. In June, 1944, he was wounded in France and returned to an Army base hospital in England where he died on July 28, 1944.

Lt. Deedy was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously for meritorious service in France.
Next time I am in Worcester, I will need to seek out this square and take a look!


The scandal of Lucius Wilson Pond

I have posted before about the L.W. Pond company and how that Worcester business played an important role in M. Thomas O'Leary's life and for the McDonough family.

Recently, Mary Kennedy Dean sent me some photos of large cast iron planters manufactured at the L. W. Pond foundry by Katherine McDonough Kennedy for her daughter, MaryJane Kennedy Gaitings' driveway. This reminded me to look again for information about the L. W. Pond company. What I found was the following interesting tale about the founder of the company - one Lucius Wilson Pond:

Lucius W. Pond was born in April 1826 in Worcester and worked as an apprentice for Samuel Flagg - part of a 10 man shop turning out quality tools. After only three years, L.W. Pond rose from apprentice to foreman and then partner. In 1853 Samuel Flagg retired and sold his share in the business. By 1854 Pond bought out the other remaining partners and built a new works on the Flagg site. The new works, covering at least 7 acres had scarcely been completed before it was destroyed by fire. Despite heavy losses by the failure of insurance companies, L.W. Pond was able to pay all creditors in full and rebuild. This action left the company was a remarkable credit throughout the business world. By 1875 the works employed 1,000 workers in Worcester.

The Pond works gained a reputation for producing as fine a quality of tools as any in the country as well as for innovating ingenious tools. To expand the reputation of his company and attract more business, Mr. Pond opened a large store in New York City "where he placed a good assortment of his iron and wood-working machinery. This was the only wareroom in the city where such machinery could be seen in motion and this fact sold quantities of his work."

Beyond being a successful and shrewd businessman, L.W. Pond took an interest in public affairs, serving several years in the Massachusetts Senate. He was also very active in his church and was a well known and well respected man around Worcester and beyond. All of this made the following events in 1875 all the more scandalous:

December 26, 1882
The New York Times
Lucius W. Pond Pardoned
Liberated after serving seven years

The irregularities of Mr. Pond were brought to light by his sudden disappearance. It was announced early in October that he had disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and it was reported that a man, supposed to be he, was last seen in the state-room of the steamer Providence, of the Fall River Line on her trip to New-York, where, on the morning of her arrival, a coat, hat, and pair of shoes were found, which were afterward identified as his. The theory that he had been "foully dealt with" was advanced, and found credence. It was several days after before his forgeries were detected. It was found that the faces of notes had been removed and rewritten with larger amounts than the original, while the endorsements were genuine. The original notes were generally made payable at Mr. Pond's office, so that when they were paid they remained in his possession without any marks of cancellation, or anything to show that they were dead paper. It was then a tolerably easy matter to remove the writing on the face with an acid and write in fresh dates and amounts and add Mr. Pond's own signature, while the endorsements were allowed to remain. The arrest of Pond was made in San Francisco [just before he was boarding a ship set to sail for Australia.]

You can click on the title to read the full article, but it appears Lucius passed about $40,000 in bad checks in a six month period in 1875. Knowing that his forgeries were about to be detected, he faked his own death, fled to the West Coast, and attempted to flee the country. The victims of his forgeries ranged from friends, family, prominent business men, to widows, orphans, and his own church. However, in the end, the very friends he defrauded helped him obtain early pardon and eventually re-established him in business in Worcester.

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Worcester Knitting Co.

In the 1930 Census record for the Deedy family, John G. Deedy (my grandfather) gives his occupation as foreman at Knitting Co. The full name of the company was the Worcester Knitting Co. and my grandfather spent most of his working life there.

There is a story behind how he became employed at the knitting mill. One day John G. Deedy got into a car accident with Abraham S. Persky. It must have been a fairly minor one, or perhaps Mr. Persky was at fault. Whatever the details of that day, the result of that accident was Mr. Persky, who was the owner of the Worcester Knitting Company, became a friend and then John G. Deedy's employer.

I recently visited the Worcester Public Library and searched through their clipping files for information about the Worcester Knitting Company. You can view the articles found here. It appears that one of the main products produced by the Knitting Co. in the 1940's was swim suits. As you look at the clippings you will see many different photos of people at work in the mill and the buildings. Looking through the articles, I have a better feel for what my grandfather's working environment was like.

You can still visit the site of the mill in Worcester today. However, while the building still has the Worcester Knitting Co. sign, it no longer contains the mill. I believe the building is now just a warehouse.


Senator Caraway's Letter

Between the pages of one of the Sullivan scrapbooks, a letter was found addressed to Maurice Sullivan from Senator Caraway of Arkansas. The text of the letter is below. Unfortunately, the letter Maurice Sullivan wrote to Senator Caraway was not in the scrapbook. I wonder if there is a slim possibility that letter still survives among Senator Caraway's papers? Do they keep the correspondence of Senators?

April 23, 1921

Mr. Maurice Sullivan,
#59 St. Andrews Road,
East Boston, Mass.

My dear Mr. Sullivan:-

I am in receipt of your appreciated favor of the 20th inst. with reference to the relations of the Bradys and Caraways.

I know but little about the family. Our immediate ancestors came from West Ireland somewhere in the Valley of Shannon as I recall, early in 1633. It may have been a little time later. The family settled in Halifax County, Virginia, and some of them went to North Carolina. A number of intermarriages with Stones, Custers, Owens and Easleys occurred. My grandfather Caraway came from the North Carolina branch of the family, who settled near Raleigh.

My immediate family removed to West Tennessee in 1826 and returned to Virginia some years later. The first census shows that there were more than one hundred people of the name in this country in 1780.

At least two of our family served in the Revolutionary War; one a Colonel from Virginia and a Captain from North Carolina. My family lived in Tennessee and Mississippi. I myself lived in both States and we were, of course, interested in and sympathizers with the Confederacy, and therefore I know nothing of the family that lived north of the Mason-Dixon line. I wish I could give you more information, but I cannot.

With best wishes, and assuring you that I was glad to get your letter, I am,

Sincerely yours,

T. H. Caraway

After reading the letter, I can see that my great-grandfather, Maurice Sullivan shared my interest in learning more about our family history. Nice to see that my inquisitiveness might be genetic based - I am not just a snoop!


Martin McDonough Jr's Death

While researching Thomas McDonough's siblings, I noticed on Martin McDonough's grave stone a notation about a Martin F. McDonough being just 16 years old when he died (see photo from grave yard tour). Sadly, as I research various family members, I have become accustomed to stumbling across death records for very young children. But the death of a sixteen year old? There must be some sort of a story to uncover here.

First I looked up the death notice published in the Worcester Evening Post on November 7, 1898. That notice contained the bare facts of the event. The next find (1898 Worcester Evening Post long obit)provided many more clues to young Martin's short life.
Worcester Evening Post
November 8, 1898

High Requiem Mass

The Funeral of Martin McDonough This Morning.

The funeral of Martin McDonough, son of Mr. and Mrs. McDonough, of No. 3 Esther street, took place from the parents' residence this morning. A requiem high mass was held at Sacred Heart church. Rev. Wm. Foley offered up the mass. The floral tributes included a pillow and 16 pinks from the Maxwell Football club, a cross marked "Our Son", pillow marked "At Rest" and a bunch of pinks tied with lavender ribbon from his comrades, star marked "Cousin" from Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Sweeney, sixteen pinks tied with white ribbon from Mary and John McDonough, bunch of chrysanthemums tied with white ribbon from Earle W. Ide and Chas. A. Church, pinks tied with white ribbon from Margaret Mullaney, sixteen white roses tied with ribbon from Susan Conlin and bouquets from P.T. and Catharine J. McDonough. The pallbearers were: John J. Brennan, Patrick J. Mullaney, John Sweeney, Martin Murphy, Patrick T. McDonough and Jas. F. Thompson. Services at the grave were read by Rev. Bernard Conaty. The burial mass was at St. John's cemetery.
We now know Martin Jr. lived at 3 Esther Street, was a member of the Maxwell Football Club, and he received many floral tributes from friends and family. It appears his cousins, Patrick and Katherine McDonough attended the service, with Patrick serving as a pall bearer. Patrick would have been about 18 years old while Katherine was 16.

To find out what caused Martin's death, I searched for his death record and found it here. It reveals that young Martin died of pneumonia. It also reveals that Martin was employed as a wireworker. I would have expected him to still be a student.


Bridget Deady's brush with Royalty

I have been digging around in my various piles of family history notes when I stumbled across this email. It was sent to me from Clare Tozeski who received it from Kevin Sullivan. Kevin's grandmother, Bridget Deady Sullivan was my great-grandfather, Edward B. Deedy's first cousin. So this is a Sullivan on my paternal side (not to be confused with the Sullivan's I periodically post about who are from my maternal side). Now that I have (hopefully) cleared all that up, here is Kevin's interesting family story:


Attached is a picture of Bridget and Michael John Sullivan. I thought you might be interested. I assume it is their wedding photo. I just noticed a pin on Bridget's collar. Under magnification I recognize it. My mother had it and gave it to my sister Maureen who gave it to her daughter Shelia prior to her death. The family history is that Bridgett was taken from a convent to work for the Queen of England (Mary) as a nanny for Prince Edward. I recall the pin was in a small leather covered box and in it was a note on a small piece of paper thanking Bridget for her service. I recall it was signed "The Duchess of York." Queen Mary -- before being Queen, was also the Duchess of York.


The photo at the top of the post is Bridget and Michael's wedding photo. The other two photos are of the British royal family. You can see why Queen Mary would be looking for lots of help caring for all those children! Too bad Bridget's charge, Prince Edward ended up giving up the throne to marry the divorcee Wallace...

Keep those family stories coming!





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