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.

William Austin's Naturalization Record

It is amazing what can be learned from one document! My Great-Great Grandfather's 1876 Naturalization record has been uncovered. This record provides the answer to a long asked question. Just where in England was he from? The answer: County Kent, England. The record also provides his birth date - December 2, 1819. Those two clues may help me trace back one more generation to my Great-Great-Great Grandparents. If I can find a record of William's birth in 1819, that record should list his parents...

Another interesting find in the document came about when I took a closer look at William's witnesses. Generally the people who vouched for you in Naturalization documents are close friends or family. One of the men listed is Richard Fraser. A search of the Massachusetts vital records reveals that in 1875 (a year before this document was executed) one Richard Fraser married Margaret Austin. Margaret was William's daughter, so one of his witnesses was his son-in-law.


William Austin

William Austin was born in December of 1819 somewhere in England. At some point he emigrated from England to Canada. According to the 1900 Census, he immigrated in 1868 from Canada to the U.S. and became a naturalized citizen. I will need to search for his naturalization documentation at some future point. It may pinpoint just where in England he was born.

William lists his occupation as either laborer or "porter in store" in various census reports. I assume his occupations paid modestly. Yet, by the 1900 census he indicates that he owns his home free of a mortgage (81 Saratoga Street, East Boston, MA).


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.


Baptism Record of Suzanne Austin

My niece Priscilla has been very helpful in translating the recently discovered baptismal record for my great-grandmother, Suzanne (Susie) Austin Sullivan. Here is her transcription of the original french and the translation:
French rewritten so you can actually read it:

Le vingt deux prêtre souligné ai baptisé Suzanne, née le dix neuf (en courant ( ?) ) le légitime mariage de William Margaret Françoise ( ?) ...Parrain Patrick Maloney, qui n'a pas signé, Marraine Margaret Hoare (?)...avec le père.

Which roughly translates to:

The 22 September...(probably something to do with where the parish is, judging by contemporary baptismal entries, which you should know by where you got it from...) ...I, the undersigned priest, baptized Suzanna, born the 19th (as a result of (?) something like that) the legitimate/legal marriage of William Austin...(probably his occupation)......and Margaret Françoise (not sure about this name)...(probably something to do with being a witness?)...the Godfather Patrick Maloney, who didn't sign, Godmother Margaret Hoare (?) (signed (?) ) with the father.

Then comes the godmother and the father's signatures...the last signature is probably the priest's...

As you can see in the image (click on image to see larger) of the baptism record, it is very difficult to read. But Suzanne's parents are William Austin and Margaret Corrigan (not Francoise). I wish we could make out William's occupation. If anyone else knows french and can make it out, I would appreciate further help with the translation!


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.





Powered by Blogger

free webpage hit counter

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