Could One Big Mystery Be Solved Concerning The Brother of Anna Roach?

We know that Anna Roach (b.abt 1838 in ireland) immigrated to and lived in New York City. She married Henry Lewis of Wales. Her mother lived with her for a while in the 1860’s, carefully caring for Thomas, Anna’s newborn 4 lbs. son and my great grandfather, by “putting him in a little cigar box on one of those old-fashioned shelves.”

I have been deeply curious about the Roach’s because of the mis-spelling of her last name on Anna’s grave. Initially, I though the grave was correct and that the Census record keepers were just sloppy. But as I collected various death records, I became convinced that “Roach” is the proper spelling of her last name.

Back in 1977, my Great Aunt, Grace Lewis, wrote a letter to my Uncle telling him what she knew of Henry Lewis and Anna Roche Roach. She indicated the Anna’s mother, which I later determined to be Margaret, “was educated to become a doctor in Dublin at the University there”.

Now Grace, left out an entire generation of people when describing one of the sisters of Anna, but she did mention one VERY interesting point which appears to have panned out. She stated that Anna Roach had at two sisters and a brother. She said her “brother moved to Cleveland, Ohio and had seven sons”. In Anna’s obituary, there was an editor’s note for “Cleveland, OH papers please copy”. This confirms at least this part of Aunt Grace’s history of the Roach’s.   There was a boy who went to Ohio. But how do we find him?

When I used last year to see if I could quickly figure out who it could be, I was overwhelmed with results. I quickly gave up that battle and decided to save it for another day.

Well… that day has come. With a clear head, I took a fresh attempt at trying to figure out who the boy was that went to Cleveland, Ohio. I started by once again looking at the Cleveland Ohio’s necrology file which had “paid obituaries” from the early 1850’s to the mid 1900’s. I carefully paged through all records starting in 1850 and found nothing in the text that clued me in to a New York connection.

Then I went to again and did a bare bones search using the folloing criteria:

Birth range: 1828 – 1848 (based on the ages of the known children of Margaret)
Lived In: “Cleveland, Ohio, USA” (Using the exact data feature)
Sex: Male
Birthplace: Ireland

Now because has recently changed their search results criteria to filter out results outside the possible lifespan of the date ranges provided, I only got a handful of results. Most of the results came from the 1880 Census in Cleveland. Next I looked for someone who had seven boys… BINGO.

I found a Patrick Roach (b. abt 1835 in Ireland), married to an Elizabeth with one daughter and seven boys. When looking even closer, it turns out that Patrick’s first daughter, Margaret Roach ( the same name as his Anna’s mother), was born in New York circa 1856. Then when looking at Patrick’s first Boy born, I see that his name is Andrew, which is what I believe to be the name of Anna’s father.

So finally, I have something to work off of. Just when you think all trails are going cold, you make a break through. That is why this hobby is so much fun! Now lets see where this takes us.

Patrick lived on Woodland Avenue and was a Superintendent of a Catholic Cemetery.  That should be enough to get me going!

Click to enlarge census image

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About the Author

Philip (Phil) Hayes is the CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC. As CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC, he served as a Technology Solutions Consultant and Web Applications Programmer for fortune 500 companies, large municipalities and hospitals. He is fluent in the SQL, ColdFusion, PHP and Javscript programming languages. He is also a power user of the WordPress Content Management System, commonly used for blogging. Phil's latest product development includes a service called 'Map The Past'. The advanced, yet easy to use functionality offered in this product will enable its members to "Walk in the Footsteps of Their Ancestors". Phil became a Genealogy addict when in 1998, his Uncle, Lloyd W Lewis, sat he and his wife down on the deck of his Uncle's Pennsylvania home and told them the story of his Great, Great Grandfather Henry W. Lewis, the Privateer. The story was so intriguing that Phil found himself yearning for more details. Hence…. Philip Hayes, the Genealogist was born. Leveraging his technology skills, Philip has grown and developed the family tree well beyond what his Uncle could have ever dreamed of. Combining the power of technology and the primary sources from historical documents, Philip developed his own family history web site, based on the Word Press Content Management System ( Upon publishing the site, it has inspired many people to develop interest in the family's history and has connected Philip to several undiscovered relatives and their family stories. Phil is a member of numerous historical and genealogy societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists

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