The Hayes Family History Site

Including Members Of The Hayes, Tierney, Lewis, Beattie, Sheehan, Yerks, Condos, Smith and Other Families

Archive for the 'Found Documents' Category

When I first started doing my genealogy research, I learned that my great, great grandfather, Henry Lewis, married a woman named “Anna Roche”. In fact, my great aunt, Grace Lewis” gave me the first first insight into a family that I had only heard of by name.

“Anna Roche was born in Brooklyn, but her mother came from Dublin, Ireland, where she was educated to become a doctor at the University there. If it was not that she was your great, great grandmother, we would not be writing this today. Your grandfather (Thomas) was about 4 pounds when he was born and she kept them alive in a little cigar box in the back of one of those old-fashioned coal stove’s. She kept him for one year, until he was a very strong baby.

Your great great grandmother had other children besides Anna Roche. She had Rose, Anna and another daughter and a son. I do know the boy moved to Cleveland Ohio and had seven sons. Rose married a man named Booth and had no children. Rose moved to Port Chester after her husband died and lived with one of her sisters who married a man named Gackstetter. They had David, Walter, John, Harold and Mabel. They were the ones I visited for many years and enjoyed very much. At one time Mabel and I, and one of her brothers came to visit you at your home in Larchmont. That it that is what you remember. No one in the family kept up with them but myself and now I have not heard from them in years. The other sister, Anna, lived up in Port Chester too, and had six girls and one boy. Their name was Hickey, bur all are married with different names. At one time they had a family gathering and there were 15 members of the family. Many more did not come. I do not know anything more about them today.”

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Today I received a copy of Erie  Alderman Edward Hayes Death Certificate.  Edward was born May 2, 1853 in Limerick, Ireland.  One interesting fact about this Death Certificate is that it provides another  spelling for his mother’s name.  This time we see it as “Coughey”.  We have also seen Cowie, Cowhey and Couhy.

Edward Hayes Death Certificate
Click to Enlarge

Colleen’s great, great grandmother Giaele (Jean) Bottomly was born in Rivarolo Mantovano, Italy on December 28, 1870.   Rivarolo Mantovano is a commune (municipality) in the Province of Mantua in the northern Italian region Lombardy, located about 110 km southeast of Milan and about 30 km southwest of Mantua.

The Baroni Route To America

A= Rivarolo Mantovano, Italy     B = Lugano, Switzerland
c= Le Havre, France

Giaele married  Angelo Baroni around 1896 and had three children; Michael A (b. Mar 1897), Marie (b. 14 May 1898) and Jean B. (b. 7 May 1900).  At some point, the Baroni family moved from Italy  to Lugano, Switzerland, which is just over the Italian border, north of Milano, Italy.

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I came across this vintage newspaper article about Wylda Baron, great, great aunt of Jean Yerks (Colleen’s mom). It was published in the Chicago Tribune  on 7 March 1926.

High Speed Kennel By Wylda Baron
(Click to enlarge)

“Windshield, shock absorbers and public attention are parts of this new type of traveling kennel designed by Wylda Baron of Long Island to conform with all state laws concerning the carrying of dogs on automobile running boards.  Fido can see America first because the upper part of the kennel is glass”

Recently received Marraige Certificates reveal some missing information from the Beattie’s who move to the Birkenhead area.

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This letter has been handed down through the generations and wound up in my mother’s possession.  The envelope that the letter was in was addressed to a Mrs William Russell of Miami, Florida.  Across the top of the envelope, it had “Record of Beattie Family from Edith” written on it.  I don’t know who she is yet, but suspect that she is a descendant of one of the Edith Beattie’s born in Birkenhead.  She also wrote her own notes on the original letter.

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The Colwell – Tierney Link

December 20, 2008

When I first took over the family genealogy project from my Uncle Lloyd Lewis, there was one page of his notes that I ignored for some time because the notes he had on the names were scarce.

On the top of one page, he wrote the name Kate Sproul Colwell..  Next to it were the names; Lou Colwell Gent, Mary Lou Gent and John Gent.  Now, the name Spoul was familiar to me.  It happens to be the maiden name of my great, great grandmother, Mary Sproul Tierney (b. abt 1829 in Ireland), who married James Tierney (b. abt 1826 in Ireland).  I have seen several variations of the Spoul name including Sproul, Sproule and Sproull.

So, based on my Uncles notes, I assumed that Kate Sproul Colwell, is the sister of Mary Sproul, wife of James Tierney.  Several weeks ago, I decided to investigate this branch of the family a little more in-depth.  So, my first step was to talk to my Mom.  She remembers a Lou Gent being referred to as “Cousin Lou”.   She was a school teacher in New York City.  So with that small amount of information I was able to find Lou Gent in the 1930 census records.  She was married to a Harold G Gent and had twins; John and Mary Lou.  In this census, her occupation is listed as a “teacher”.  So at least I know I found the right Lou Gent.

Now that I found Lou, the rest of the family was fairly easy to find, working backwards.  Lou was the daughter of Louise and John S. Colwell. So obviously my next step was to pull the death certificate of John S. Colwell.  It was fairly easy to find, but here is where my trouble began.  It lists his parents as Catherine Tierney and Michael Colwell.  WOW.  My first reaction was to assume that this was a mistake and that the informant had taken the married name of Catherine’s sister and used it.  I’ve seen lots of mistakes like this on death certificates before.

So Michael Colwell (b. abt 1832 in Ireland) and Catherine (b. abt 1826 in Ireland) had six other children besides John S. Colwell.  I haven’t bothered researching all of them yet as I am still looking for resolution of Catherine’s maiden name. I soon found Catherine Colwell’s death certificate at the New York City Archives.  Awesome!  Now I can finally put things to rest.  Wait a minute, not so fast.   It lists her father as “Frank Tierney” and her mother as “Unable to state”.  Now I’m really confused.  I know there was a Frank who was the son of my gr, gr grandfather.  Could this also be a mix up?  Could Frank be the fathr of James and Catherine Tierney?

Based on her death certificate I was able to determine that Catherine was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Flushing, Queens, not to far from where Mary Sproul Tierney is buried.  James could be there too, but I have not yet confirmed it with any type of record.

The Colwell Grace At Calvary Cemetery in Queens

So, to try to put this issue to bed, I decided to pull the death certificate of one of Catherine and Michael Coldwell’s other children to see if it can give me a last name of Catherine.  His name was Thomas W. Colwell.  I just received it today.    It lists his mothers name as “CATHERINE TIERNEY”


Pending some further investigation, it does appear that instead of Catherine being the sister of Mary Sproul, she is the sister of James Tierney, my gr, gr, grandfather.  Since James Tierney died almost two centuries before Mary Sproul Tierney, it is conceivable that relatives, who passed information onto Lloyd may have had their facts a little mixed up. They may have thought Catherine was related to Mary because James had not been around for so long.  Who knows?  Whatever the reason, all evidence now is pointing to Catherine Colwell being a Tierney.  So it appears that all the Colwell’s and Gent’s are cousins through the Tierney side of our family.  I know there are members of those families out there.  Now I just have to find them.

Below is the found Marriage License of William B Yerks & Myrtie Gant, brother of James L. Yerks I.  This is the link to our new found relatives in New Jersey.  Click on the image below to see a larger copy.