Meet John Lawrence Tierney

It is amazing how things can suddenly seem so clear after relaxing your mind and giving yourself some time away from a problem. Such is the case with a photograph I found in the inherited collection of Virginia Tierney Bishop.

The first time I went through Virginia’s photos, I had dismissed the man in the photo below as being a member of her mother’s family from down south. On the back, the inscription reads “A corner in the parlor.” Virginia’s collection has lots of unlabeled photographs that clearly depict a southern family. So this one just got grouped in with the others.

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Last night, when I was scanning some photos for one of Virginia’s newfound cousins, I came across this photo again. This time I took a closer look. Specifically, I looked at the stamp that identifies the photography studio at which the photo was processed.

It read:

Hirsch & Kaiser
7 Kearney St
San Francisco

There was only one Tierney relative that I know of that lived in San Francisco back in the late 1890s – early 1900s. His name was John Lawrence Tierney (b. 20 Apr 1865, d. 21 Dec 1907). John was the brother of James (my great grandfather), Thomas William Tierney, Frank A Tierney (the decorated NYC Police Officer) and Joseph Tierney. He left New York for California sometime around 1890 and married Isabella Ethel Danglada. He was a merchant in the hat business.

John was very close with his nephew Frank Tierney, son of brother James F Tierney. In fact he had wrote dozens of letters to Frank that survive to this day in an archived notebook in my possession. Using those letters, I did a handwriting comparison. I am convinced that the handwriting on the back of the photo is that of John L Tierney. It would make perfect sense that Frank Tierney would have a photo of John since they were so close.

John died in 1907 of stomach cancer. He was 42. He left behind his loving wife Isabelle, but had no children of his own.

One more Tierney photograph identified!


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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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