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.

Edward T. Deedy (1925 - 2009)

He was the second son born to John G. and Grace (McDonough) Deedy. Named for his beloved grandfather, he was a happy addition to the house on Wabash Ave. A bright and studious boy, young Ed attended St. John's High School and graduated in June 1943.

At age 19, he attempted to join the Navy, but his admission was not guaranteed because at the time Ed weighed 110 pounds and the minimum weight for acceptance was 112. While waiting in line for his admission physical, Ed ate bananas and drank water in an attempt to gain weight. Once in front of the Navy physician, the scale revealed Ed's attempt to reach the minimum weight had failed. However, the doctor was convinced by Ed that he would be a valuable addition to the Navy and could continue to eat and drink to reach his minimum. Ultimitely he was accepted by the Navy (click on photo above to see just how skinny Ed was!). He was then transferred to the Marines who obtained all of their corps men (medics) from the Navy. While in the Marine Corps, he was trained as a pharmacist, and was ultimately stationed in the Southwest Pacific. After the war he returned to Worcester and attended Holy Cross College.

In 1949 Ed graduated from Holy Cross and married his childhood sweetheart Rosemary Mulhern. The pair settled in Worcester and were soon joined by their children Edward, Kevin, Rosemary, Diane, and Brian.

He was a warm and outgoing person, a natural for his career as a salesman, a Worcester city councilor, and finally as a real estate agent. Ed and Rosemary ultimately retired to their summer home on Cape Cod. Ed's cherished Rosemary passed away in 2007. The pair had been married for 58 years.

On December 12, 2009 Edward T. Deedy quietly passed away.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 15 from Doane Beal & Ames Funeral Home, 260 Main Street., West Harwich with calling hours from 9-10:30 AM in the funeral home followed immediately by an 11 AM Mass in the Holy Trinity Church, Route 28, West Harwich. Interment will be in the Holy Trinity Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Scholarship Fund, St. John’s High School, 378 Main St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

- Worcester Council Candidate Articles - Edward T. Deedy

- Obituary from Callahan & Fay Brothers Funeral Home site (PDF)
- Worcester Telegram Obituary (PDF)
- Link to Callahan & Fay Edward T Deedy Condolence Book.


Guessing my great-grandfather's age in this old photo

Among the photos found in great-aunt Mae's apartment was this portrait of her father, Edward B. Deedy (or before he changed his name - Edmund B. Deady). Pin-pointing just when this photo was taken is a bit difficult (as always, click on photo to view larger). It does have the stamp of a Worcester photography studio (Park Studio Cor. of Main & Park Sts Worcester Mass). Since it is just Edward in the photo, likely this was taken prior to his marriage to Johanna Donovan on November 8, 1899. According to his October 17, 1899 Naturalization paperwork, he had been a resident of the United States for at least five years.

It is possible that Edward arrived in the US on May 11, 1891, since an Edm'd Deady was passenger #410 on the S.S. Pavonia according to this record. However, Edward shared his name with a cousin who also immigrated from Ireland to Worcester around this same time - so I can't be 100% sure this record belongs to my Edmund Deady.

Looking at the photo, he is clearly a young man, but how young? He played a bit fast and loose when declaring his age on various documents - but he reported that he was born in 1875. So if this photo was taken about 1899 he would have been 24 years old.


Mae's Last Gift

After Great Aunt Mae's funeral yesterday I went with my parents, Uncle Justin, Aunt Barbara, and cousin Justin Jr. to start the process of packing up Mae's condo at Southgate.

Over the past few years, as I became more interested in researching the family history, I would visit Mae and ask the same question - "Are you sure you don't have any family photos?" Every visit would end the same with her gesturing to some framed photographs on her TV or she would point to the small photo albums near her chair. Most of the photos in the albums were from the last few decades and sent to her from the various great nephews and nieces. All very interesting, but not what I was hoping to find. I was looking for the elusive images of Mae's aunts and uncles or perhaps her grandparents. Or even just images of her parents and her siblings when she was younger. She would always say that she used to have more pictures, but now had only what was on display in her living room.

Monday afternoon, when I went to Mae's condo, I did not hold out much hope for finding additional family photos. I could not have been more wrong. It did not take long for photos to start emerging from all corners of Mae's home. Images stashed in desk and bureau drawers. More photos hiding among stacks of papers. Then the real find when I explored her storage cage at Southgate. Under the box containing Great Aunt Lou's carefully package wedding dress was a cardboard box filled with Deedy family pictures. Enough material to fill two suitcases. I am calling this collection of material "Mae's Suitcase Archive".

I am now in the process of sorting through the treasure trove of images. I will be scanning, cataloging, and (hopefully) identifying all of the people and associated stories contained in the images. The originals will then be forwarded/dispersed among those in the family who should have them. I will work on putting all of the "Mae's Suitcase Archive" images that I capture digitally on CDs and send everyone who wants one copies - but this will take me some time.

Here is an example of one of the images found and after conferring with my Father, here is what it means from a family history standpoint:

My Uncle Jack married his wife Mary (Noonan) Deedy in Ireland. Both were from Worcester, but Uncle Jack was in Ireland studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Neither Jack nor Mary's family could travel to Ireland to attend, instead Jack's uncle, Patrick J. Deady represented the family. He was Jack's grandfather's younger brother. Baptised in Firies, Ireland in 1884, he never emigrated to America like his brothers and sister - Edward, Alexander, William, Morris, and Nora did. Instead he settled in Cork with his wife Joanna. At the time of this photo Patrick would have been either 69 or 70 years old.

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Rita Mae Deedy 1915 - 2009

Rita “Mae” Deedy

She was born April 30, 1915 in Worcester, Massachusetts and named Rita. The fifth and youngest of parents Edward and Hannah, she was their late in life child, born when both were in their 40’s. Her eldest brother, Daniel was 14 when little Rita joined siblings John, Louise, and Elizabeth at 12 Wabash Avenue. She may have first been introduced to her siblings as Rita, but it was not long before the family started calling her Mae. The story goes that the doctor who missed her delivery placed her in her mother’s arms the next day exclaiming she was absolutely beautiful and should be named after the May day.

Mae spent her career working in insurance in a claims office. General Adjustment Bureau was the company she retired from according to Uncle Justin’s memory. Mae was a worker – certainly not much of a traveler. She was a quiet woman, happy to let her more outgoing sister Bet carry most conversations. She was methodical and orderly – not artistic like her sister Lou. Change was not something she embraced – she spent the first 70 years of her life at 12 Wabash Avenue and all 93 years of life in either Worcester or nearby Shrewsbury.

She was 14 years old when her eldest brother Daniel died in 1929. While that brother left young, her remaining brother John G. Deedy stayed close until 1985 when he passed away. He provided Mae with four nephews. The oldest Jack arrived when Mae was just 8 years old herself. Ed arrived when she was 10. For Jack and Ed, Mae was closer to being a contemporary – certainly she was not viewed the same as their adult aunts and uncle. Nephews Justin and Tom arrived later, when Mae was 16 and 20 years old – for them she always belonged among the adults.

Today Mae quietly left us all and is reuniting with her parents, siblings and nephew Jack.

The Funeral will be held Monday April 13 at 11 AM at St. Mary’s 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury, MA. Calling hours at the funeral home are 9: 30 – 10:30 Monday April 13 at Callahan Fay Funeral Home 61 Myrtle Street, Worcester, MA. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery, Worcester.

Callahan Fay Funeral Home

Worcester Telegram & Gazette Obituary link - April 10, 2009. PDF version of page

Here is the Eulogy Justin Deedy Jr. read during Mae's Funeral on Monday April 13, 2009.

Lastly a special thank you to Bill Deedy who was kind enough to obtain a number of copies of the Worcester Telegram on the day Mae's obituary was published and handed those out to Mae's nephews Justin, Tom, and Ed Deedy.


Deedy Square Still There

A bit ago my cousin Shaun was kind enough to send along some photos he took in 2001 of Deedy Square in Worcester. I posted about the dedicated of the square here: Deedy Square in Worcester. The square is still there, be sure to visit if in Worcester, MA.
Montrose & Euclid Streets
in Memory of LT John J. Deedy
Born: September 22, 1914
Wounded in battle – St. Lo, France
Died in England July 28, 1944
Another marker to remember John J. Deedy can be found in the nearby St. John's Cemetery. Photos of that memorial can be found in the 2008 Cemetery Tour.


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!


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.


D. Justin Deedy

Growing up, I had heard stories that my Grandfather, John G. Deedy, had an older brother. But his brother had died young and was much missed by his siblings. It bothered me that dying young was all I did know about my great-uncle Justin. I recently found the following obituary and it provided me with a bit more information about his life. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a photo.
Worcester Evening Gazette
July 11, 1929

D.J. Deedy Dies After Brief Illness

D. Justin Deedy, for over 10 years employed in the composing room of The Worcester Telegram and The Evening Gazette, died this morning in his home, 12 Wabash avenue, after a brief illness. He was born in this city, the son of Edward B. and Hannah (Donovan) Deedy. He was a graduate of St. John's High school. He leaves, besides his parents, one brother, John G., and three sisters, Louise B., Elizabeth G. and Rita M. Deedy, all of Worcester. He was a member of Worcester Union, International Typographical Union.

The funeral will be held privately at the home Saturday morning. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the home tonight from 7 to 10 and tomorrow from 2 to 5 and 7 to 10. There will be a solemn high mass of requiem in the Church of the Ascension Saturday at 9 o'clock. Burial will be in St. John's cemetery.
One sad story my Father recently told me was that when D. Justin died, the doctor indicated to his Father, Edward B. Deedy, that his smoking habit may have contributed to his son's death by weakening his lungs over the years. On hearing that, John G. Deedy (D. Justin's brother) took his half-full pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and tossed them into the top drawer of his dresser. Some thirty years later, that half smoked pack of cigarettes was still there as a daily reminder. John G. never smoked again after his brother died.


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


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!


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.


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.


His Home Wiped Out; 'We Start Again'

Worcester Telegram
June 10, 1953

His Home Wiped Out; 'We Start Again' Today
By Agnes M. Drummond

"It defies description...fantastic. ... I arrived home to find my home in what was apparently a bombed-out area... my wife was gone, the baby, too. People were talking hysterically going around dazed."

This is the way John G. Deedy Jr., of 16 Hapgood way described the disaster, as he saw it upon returning to his Shrewsbury home from his Catholic Free Press editor's office at The Chancery.

"I saw my house, one wall standing. Neighbors said my wife was at the first aid station. I finally found her at the top of the street... a strange man was carrying the baby. Both were cut, had black eyes, but thank God they are safe.

Wife Ran To Save Baby

"My wife ran to get the baby and threw her on the floor and lay on top of her, when the storm struck. That's all she remembers. She was hit by a window casing, and blacked out. When she came to, she walked right through the rubble to the lawn, through what was once a wall. She's aged ten years in twenty minutes.

"People kept walking around looking for members of their families," when I arrived, Mr. Deedy explained. He had run from the foot of Shewsbury hill to his home, when traffic was jammed.

All Homes on 'Flats' Gone

"I was on my way home when it struck. All the homes on the 'flats' - from Jack Barry's house to the Shrewsbury Post Office are levelled... gone. Barry's is partially gone. On the left side of the road there was a wooded area on and beyond the Brewer estate. Now it is flat, nothing shows but a few sticks...wires are down..."

"The storm cut a path about 250 yards wide right down through the town. Autos were 100 yards from the neighbors home, either upside down, on their sides or crushed...there's not a tree, nor a chimney standing," he added.

Sticks Driven Into Wall

"I went in to the house after I had done what I could for my family. There were sticks driven six inches deep into the one wall standing...if they had stuck anyone they would have been fatal. Every window casing in the house was ripped out. I had more than 2000 books. The pages were completely ripped out...the covers remained...some on the shelves. It was unbelievable.

Painting Undamaged

"A choice oil painting by the 17th Century Italian artist, Correggio's Holy Family, was ripped from its frame over the fireplace...and lay face down on the floor...undamaged. The frame was in a thousand splinters. I saw the tomato patch in the back yard...there was nothing looked as though it had been smoothed out with a fine tooth comb...cleaned out, it was smooth as skin."

"We went to the Warren Smith's on Oak avenue. Their house wasn't touched. The Army is down there now, trying to help people. The baby cries for her doll, but there will be no dolls for her tonight."

"Men coming home to supper were frantic looking for their families, thankful when they found them. They looked at the ruins of homes and cried. What else could you do? Or say?"

"I saw Steve Donohue (city editor of The Evening Gazette) who is a neighbor. He had not worked and was away for the day. He and his family drove up to see what was left of their home...less than two feet from the ground...there was nothing...nothing."

'We Start Again In Morning'

"We are completely wiped out, I can't realize it yet. But we are together. We start again in the morning to rebuild the efforts of years...wiped out in a few minutes," Mr. Deedy declared.

The Deedy's are staying with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John G. Deedy of 12 Wabash avenue.

= Original newspaper article can be downloaded here.


First Volunteer Presenter!

I am very excited to announce that I have my first volunteer presenter for the Worcester gathering! Clare T. has done some amazing research into the Deedy (or more properly Deady) branch of the family. My Great-Grandfather and her Grandmother were first cousins and we share the common direct line ancestors Edmund Deady and Bridget Thompson.

I am still looking for volunteers - you can pick any person or topic you think would be of interest to the group (and it can be short). My Father and I will speak as well, but we are waiting to pick our topics until all of the reply cards are back.

On another note, I am still looking for more information about the Loftus and McDonough families - preferably something that can help me trace them back to specific cities or towns in England and Ireland. I am also looking for the location of Patrick Loftus (Mary Loftus McDonough's Father) grave site or headstone. I know he was in Worcester in 1900 living with Mary, but I have not been able to track him after that - so any additional information or clues would be helpful.

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8mm Home Movie from 1966 Part II

Click HERE to view the movie


8mm Home Movie from 1966

Click HERE to view the movie


Edward Deedy and Hannah Donovan Marriage

Recently I received the marriage certificate for Edward Deedy and Hannah Donovan from the City of Worcester. Below are the details:

Place of Marriage: Boston
Date of Marriage: November 8, 1899

Name of Groom: Edward Deady
Surname after Marriage: Deady
Residence: Worcester, MA
Age: 28
Marriage Number: First
Occupation: Laborer
Birth Place: (Unknown) Ireland
Name of Father: Daniel Deady
Maiden Name of Mother: Hanorah Brick

Name of Bride: Hannah Donovan
Surname after Marriage: Deady
Residence: Boston
Age: 27
Marriage Number: First
Occupation: Domestic
Birth Place: (Unknown) Ireland
Name of Father: John Donovan
Maiden Name of Mother: Elizabeth Daly

Once again I have Edward spelling his last name as Deady. Both Edward and Hannah seem to do quite a bit of name shifting over time. After much research, it looks like Edward Deedy was born Edmund Deady and at some point started to call himself Edward Deady and then eventually Edward Deedy. Hannah was born Johanna Donovan, but seems to prefer shortening her first name to Hannah (sometimes spelled Hanna).

The ages the two use on this marriage certificate are likely incorrect. I believe Edward was born in 1868 making him about 31 when he was married. Hannah was likely born in 1869, so she was 30.

An interesting thing to note on the marriage certificate is Hannah's residence and occupation. I had not realized that she was living in Boston and working as a domestic before marrying Edward and moving to Worcester.


Edward Deedy's Naturalization Record

A recent trip to the Northeast National Archive revealed my Great-Grandfather's naturalization record. A common form for naturalization did not exist until September of 1906. Prior forms were created by the courthouse - so required information varies greatly depending on where you became naturalized. Also, women generally obtained their naturalization status from a Father or Husband - so looking for female ancestors in the naturalization roles in the late 1800's and early 1900's was a fruitless endeavor. The first page of the record was blurry on the microfilm, the second page was clearer. Below is the transcript of the full record:
{Final Declaration Alien}
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Worcester, SS

To the Honorable the Justice of the CENTRAL DISTRICT COURT of Worcester, holden at Worcester, within the County of Worcester, Respectfully presents Edward Deedy, that he is Thirty years of age and by occupation a Laborer that he resides at number Twenty Two on Ellsworth street in Worcester in the County of Worcester and within the district of said court, an alien, that it is his bona fide intention to become a Citizen of the United States of America, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State, and Sovereignty, and particularity to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, whose subject he has heretofore been. All which together with his declaration thereof on oath, before Central District Court of Worcester appears in the Records of said Court to wit: at the October eighteenth Term thereof A.D. 1895. And said petitioner further represents that he has resided within the jurisdiction of said United States for more than five years now last past.

And said petitioner further represents that he has resided in the said State of Massachusetts one year at least, that he has never borne any hereditary title, or been of any of the orders of Nobility; that he is ready to renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty and particularly to the said Victoria Queen of Ireland as aforesaid, whose subject he has heretofore been: that he is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same.

And said petitioner further represents that it is his intention to summons as witnesses at his final hearing: Patrick H. Shea who resides at number Twenty Two on Ellsworth Street in Worcester in the County of Worcester, and Joshua Melican who resides at number Nine on Endicott street in Worcester in the County of Worcester. Wherefore said petitioner prays that he may be admitted to become a citizen of the said United States of America according to the forms of the Statutes in such case made and provided.
Signed - Edward Deedy

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
We, the witnesses for the within named applicant, severally depose and say that we are respectively citizens of the United States, and that we at the time of filing of the preceding petition resided as set forth in the said petition, and that we have known the foregoing petitioner for five years last past, during which time he has resided in Worcester and has conducted himself and behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same.

signed: John Melican
signed: Patrick H. Shea
Worcester, SS.
Sworn in said Court October 17, 1899

I do solemnly swear, that I do absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State, or Sovereignty, particularly to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland whose subject I have heretofore been; and that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America. So help me God.

signed: Edward Deedy
Worcester, SS. Central District Court of Worcester October 17, 1899, Sworn and admitted a citizen
What I found particularly interesting in this document is how Edward signs his name - he is clearly spelling his name Deedy, not Deady. He is also swearing on October 17, 1899 that he is thirty years old. On his marriage certificate (which I have now received from the City of Worcester) he spells his last name as Deady and says he is 28 years old - and the marriage certificate was issued November 16, 1899 (the actual wedding took place on November 8, 1899) - so basically one month later Edward has lost two years and put back the letter a in his last name!

The other very interesting thing found is this document is the name Patrick H. Shea. As you can see, both Edward Deedy and Patrick Shea gave the same address - could this mean they are related in some way, or just roommates?

Another small thing to note, when Edward and Hannah married on November 8, 1899, she not only got a husband, she also got citizenship. I wonder if the timing of those two events was a coincidence or if Edward getting his citizenship was something they both needed before feeling comfortable getting married.


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 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.


Johanna (Hanna) Donovan Deedy

As part of my ongoing family history research, I have been seeking additional photos and information from various family members. This past Monday, while visiting great-aunt Mae Deedy I was thrilled with her response - when asked if she had any photos of her parents, she pointed to a small framed portrait sitting ontop her TV. The portrait is of her Mother, Johanna (Hanna) Donovan Deedy, while undated, it was likely taken in the 1890s.

Unfortunately this appears to be the only family photo of her parents (my Dad gave her some copies of black and white photos he had of Edward and Johanna from the 1940s, which were included in the Archive I & II CDs) that Mae has kept over the years. She did recall other framed family photos which once hung on the walls of 12 Wabash Ave - one in particular she recalled with a large and ornate gilt frame, but after her parents passed away and she and sister Bet took over the apartment, she recalls Bet removing the gilt framed portrait and expressing her dislike of such an "ugly thing". The apartment was then redecorated to the sister's more modern tastes and Mae has no idea what could have happened to the old framed images.

Luckily I had brought along my digital camera when visiting Mae. She was kind enough to allow me to remove the small image from its frame and take a picture of the portrait. I then replaced the portrait in its frame and it is back ontop her TV. While the quality is not as good as a scanned image, it is the best I could do given the circumstances. Since it is the only image she has of her Mother, I did not feel comfortable asking to borrow it to scan.


Gathering in Worcester

I would like to plan a gathering later this spring or summer in Worcester, MA to hopefully have a chance to meet some of the many cousins and other relatives who have contacted me after finding this blog. After much thought, Worcester seemed the best central meeting point and here is my proposed draft agenda:

Morning: Visit to graveyard to lay flowers at the many family graves

Noon: Lunch

Afternoon: Gather to show off any family photos, swap stories, or just generally get to know each other.

So there you have it, a pretty simple plan. I can already guarantee that I will be there with my parents (Tom and Sue Deedy). If no one else is interested, this will be a fairly easy day to plan! However, if you are a descendant of the McDonough’s or the Deedy’s and would like to attend please send me an email at or leave a comment below with your contact info. Once I have an idea of how many are interested I can start working on a more concrete plan.

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I just realized the Jack Barry Holy Cross book and the short story about Babe Ruth and Jack Barry did not make it onto the CDs I sent out. I will see about uploading them to the website for you to download or if more old family photos come in I will look into creating a Vol III CD and including the books/stories then.

Updated: Below are the two scanned stories I forgot to include in the CDs. Both are PDF files. If you have trouble downloading or viewing them please let me know.

How I got Babe Ruths Autograph by Jack Deedy

The Quiet Crusader

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More from the Photo Albums

Mary Kennedy Dean has been very helpful in looking over her old family photo albums to find Deedy photos. This one shows Grace Deedy, John G. Deedy, and Jack Deedy (Baby in John G. Deedy's arms - young couple on the right).

To recipricate, I combed through the photo albums I have and found the following page (as always click on images to see larger). This page has a group shot of the Kennedy family (I believe!).


Wabash Ave and View Street - today

The Deedy family lived on Wabash Ave in Worcester. Here is the house as it looks today. You can click on the images to view larger.

The McDonough family lived on View street. Here are some views of the house as it appears today. Again, you can click on the images to view larger.

Neither home is currently owned or occupied by the McDonough or Deedy families. Both homes are good examples of Triple Decker architecture - common mostly in New England. These homes were built to house large extended families - with an apartment on each level.

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Lefty Grove visits Wabash Ave

Photo of Lefty Grove and Uncle Jack and Ed and others found in Grammy's old photo album. Below quote from Uncle Jack's essay found in The Best of Baseball Digest

Thus when Lefty Grove stopped by the house one day after pitching for East Douglas in a Blackstone Valley League game, neither I nor any of my pals asked him for an autograph. My brother, Ed, was even disdainful. “Just because he can throw a ball better than me…” he said.

Ed was 8, maybe 9. The rest of us, a little older and naturally a lot wiser, were awed by Grove – his size (when you’re 10 or 11, 6-feet-3 is mountainous), his huge hands, his rural Maryland accent. We had never heard anything like that in our land of the broad a’s. We posed for a snapshot with him by the copper beech tree in the back yard, and it was like standing alongside the biblical Moses. To have solicited an autograph would have been unseemly. Besides, he was a guest.

Labels: Archive Photos

I have been working on scanning some of my Father's photo albums. With Dad having been the youngest of 4 boys he does not seem to have many photos from his childhood (at least not when compared to my Mother who was the oldest of three). Being a youngest child myself, I realized that as we grow older and start having children of our own the family stories and memories tend to get lost or dispursed.

On my Mother's side of the family I was lucky that she was a horder and has kept many scrapbooks and photo albums some dating to the 1800's. But for Dad's side of the family I am working with just two black and white photo albums. While my sources might be relatively scarce, the images these two albums contain may be of interest to other Deedy's.

If you would like to see more of the photos I scanned, have some Deedy photos you would like to share or would like more information leave a comment or give my Dad (Thomas R. Deedy) a call.

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Found in the Catholic Book of Days by John Deedy

The Catholic Book of Days
By John Deedy
Copyright 1989 The Thomas Moore Press Chicago, IL

In acknowledgements
“Reproductions of 1897 – 98 1919 union records of Edward Deedy used with permission of Mrs. Louise Buckley and Elizabeth and Mae Deedy.” (Photo of union card on May 16 page in book)

From foreword of book:

“It’s also been something of a sentimental journey --- to the old practices of the faith into which I was born, the old prayers, the old traditions, the old influences. On a more personal level, it was particularly moving in dealing with the great social encyclicals of the popes to be able to invoke pictorially by way of union-membership documents, the shade of my paternal grandfather, a favorite forebear. My grandfather came out of a thatched cottage with earthen floor in Firies, County Kerry. He was a highly intelligent man, and devout in the manner of the old Irish, and when Leo XIII blessed labor unionism, he by the circumstances of emigration would be among the very first to draw, as it were, on the blessing. That was a proud thing, for him and now his descendants.”


Visit to Deer Island

Mom, Dad, and I visited the walking trails around Deer Island today. They could talk of nothing else but the upcoming trip to Disney World where they will be able to see grandsons Trevor, Michael, Matthew, and granddaughter Quinn. Oh, and they are looking forward to seeing Conal, Kara, Tom, and Tara as well (but really, at this point it is all about the grandkids!)

While enjoying the views of Boston and Winthrop, they reminisced about the early years living on Point Shirley. That is when they spotted the perfect "fixer-upper" that is sure to lure Conal & Kara (or perhaps Tom & Tara?) back to Massachusetts. Sure the house needs a bit of work - but the VIEW!


John G. Deedy Jr.

John G. Deedy Jr.
Of Rockport, 82, on Mar. 28. Journalist and author specializing in Catholic topics and former managing editor of Commonwealth Magazine. Husband of the late Mary (Noonan) Deedy. Survived by children, Mary Joan Zebrowski of Wyomissing, PA., John J. of Rockport, Justine A. McLean of Weston, FL, Paul V. of Old Field, NY; nine grandchildren; brothers Edward T. of Dennisport, Justin F. of Atlanta, GA, Thomas R. of Woodstock, VT; aunt Rita Marie Deedy of Worcester. Funeral mass on Friday at 10:30 AM in St. Joachim's Church, Rockport. Visiting hours before mass on Friday from 8 to 10 AM in Burgess & Mackey Funeral Home, 201 Main Street, ROCKPORT. Burial in Locust Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Joachim's Church, c/o Holy Family Parish, 60 Prospect St., Gloucester, MA 01930 or the Friends of Rockport Library, 17 School St., Rockport, MA 01966.

Published in the Boston Globe on 3/29/2006.


Some Deedy Books

Some books & movies authored by Deedy's...

More Deedy Items can be found on Enjoy!


Can you guess who this Deedy is?





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