An Earlier Matt Sloan, Kilfeaghan to Cleveland

May 24, 2016

In a letter dated December 28, 1888, from Ballintur, William Doran told his brother Peter in the United States, that ‘Tom Murphy and Mathew Sloan is home from cleveland a few days agow.’ 1 or a long time I’ve wondered who this Matthew Sloan could be. My mother’s aunt married a Matthew Sloan in Cleveland in 1907, but he was born in 1879, so he would be too young. Now, I think I might have found this earlier Matt Sloan in the Newburgh section of Cleveland.

First let me mention that I think the letter was dated 1883, not 1888, and there might have been an error transcribing the date. The reason I say this is because the letter later says that ‘Joe Write and Cate Fearon has got married about a week after you left.’ There is a record in the Civil Registration Index of Marriages for the fourth quarter of 1883 of a Joseph Wright marrying. On the same page is the name Catherine Fearon. I haven’t seen the record itself, and the Kilbroney Parish Marriage register stops at 1881, but I would guess that this is the couple mentioned in the letter.

Cleveland Rolling Mill
Cleveland Rolling Mill

If the letter was written in 1883, then I think this is the Matt Sloan that William Doran was referring to:

1880 Census Cleveland ED 53, page 318D or 56D,
June 12, 1880
at 2054 Marble, in the John and Jane Graham household
Matt Sloane, 38, boarder, laborer, born in Ireland, parents also, cannot write, out of work 3 months last year
Richard Cunningham, 21, boarder, laborer, born in Ireland, parents also, out of work 1 months last year
Thomas Murphy, 28, boarder, laborer, born in Ireland, parents also, out of work 10 months last year2

[Note: For more on Richard Cunningham see Richard Cunningham, probably Kilkeel to Cleveland.]

The Cleveland City Directories for 1881 to 1884 show Matthew at 2054 Marble in 1881, but then not again until 1884, when he is boarding at 2430 Elmo.

Thomas Murphy is not in the City Directory for 1881. But there is a Timothy Murphy at 2016 Marble. And there is a Thomas Murphy at 2450 Sawyer in 1882 and at 2005 Booth in 1883. Oddly enough, there is a William Sloan at both those addresses on Sawyer and Booth in the same years as Thomas Murphy. I wonder if these are the same two men all the way through, and the first names were not always recorded correctly.

There are no matches for Matt Sloan in the 1885 through 1888 Directory, which is when I stopped looking. The 1884 Cleveland Directory says it is for the year ending July 1884. So Matthew could have returned to Ireland in December of 1883 and still be listed in the Directory for the following year. Which means that he would have just returned when William Doran wrote his letter.

So is this him?

The last time I looked for this Matthew Sloan, I looked on the 1900 Census of Cleveland to no avail. Now if he is also not in the 1885 to 1888 directories, then maybe he went back to Ireland for good. If so, is he:

1901 Census of Ireland
Residents of a house 7 in Kilfeaghan (Killowen, Down)
Sloan, Matthew, 60, head, farmer, can read and write
Sloan, Mary, 61, wife, can read and write
Sloan, Rose Anne, 24, daughter, can read and write, farmer’s daughter
Sloan, Thomas, 22, son, can read and write, farmer’s son
Sloan, Mathew, 86, uncle, cannot read, agricultural laborer

all Roman Catholic. all born in County Down3

farmland, Kilfeaghan Road
Farmland, Kilfeaghan Road

I hardly ever trust ages on censuses, but the head of this household was born about the same time as the Matt Sloan in Newburgh in 1880, who was 38 at the time.

There is a record in the Kilbroney Parish Register of a marriage of Mathew Sloan and Mary Murphy on May 17, 1876. This couple had a daughter Roanne baptized on February 13, 1877, and a son Thomas on December 11, 1878.4 This looks like the couple in Kilfeaghan in 1901.

And there is a record in the Valuation Revision books for Kilfeaghan that says a Matt Sloane took over occupancy of parcels 19 and 20 from Rose Sloane in 1883.5

So, if this is the same Matt Sloan, did he marry, and then spend a few years in Cleveland before returning to Ireland? Did he intend to send for his family? I haven’t really seen that pattern in the Kilbroney to Cleveland emigrants in this time period.

On the other hand, maybe he only planned to stay a short while, make a few dollars and go back. Or on the third hand, maybe he intended to move his family but his plans changed in 1883 when he took over the farm from Rose Sloan.

Genealogical research means answering one question and finding two more.

As a side point, did you notice that there were two Matthew Sloans in the Kilfeaghan household in 1901? The second was Matthew’s uncle, born about 1815. I’ve corresponded with a Matthew Sloan whose family was from Ballincurry. So “Matthew” has been used as a given name in the Sloan family for at least 200 years.


1. Peter Doran, Ballintur, [Co Down?] to ” Dear Brother”; Document Presented by & Copyright Retained by Sharon DoranTurnbow, at

2. 1880 Census Cleveland ED 53, page 318D or 56D.

3. 1901 Census of Ireland, house 7 in Kilfeaghan (Killowen, Down).

4. Valuation Revision Books at

5. Kilbroney Parish Registers at The National Library of Ireland,


The photo of the Cleveland Rolling Mill comes from View of Cleveland Rolling Mills Co., circa 1890s at the Cleveland State University Dept. of History.

Picture of the farmland at Kilfeaghan Road is © Copyright Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Richard Cunningham, probably Kilkeel to Cleveland

While working on Mary Raimer of Newburgh, Cleveland, I noticed that Mary’s cousin Bertha Raimer married a Cunningham. That got my attention, since my great grandmother’s maiden name was Cunningham, and they lived in the same part of Cleveland as the Raimers. As it turned out, Bertha’s daughter married one of my second cousins. But let’s begin at the beginning.

Richard Cunningham was born May 4, 1858, in Northern Ireland, 1,2 and arrived in the United States on December 16, 1879, aboart the SS Gallia which sailed from Liverpool.3 In 1880 he was rooming at 2054 Marble, in the Newburgh neighborhood of Cleveland. Also rooming at the same address was a Matt Sloane, age 38.4

About now, bells should go off and red flags should go up. We’ve got a guy named Cunningham, from Northern Ireland, living in Newburgh, along with someone named Sloane. Where else could he be from but …? And in 1882, Richard married … Ellen McKeon, daughter of William McKeon and Ellen Herron.5 Are the Killowen and Kilkeel names starting to add up or what?

Oh, I forgot to say that on his naturalization papers, Richard said he was born in Ireland in the village of “Moren”.1 Since there isn’t any place in Ireland named Moren, and since Kilkeel was in the barony of Mourne, and since we have more South Down names in his associates and family than I knew existed, I think we can guess that he came from Kilkeel.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a baptism record for Richard, although the Kilkeel parish records are included in the Catholic Parish Registers at the National Library of Ireland. The closest I came was a Richard Cunningham, baptized October 19, 1857, son of Patrick Cunningham and Rosy McKay of Ballygowen. Assuming that people usually get at least the month of their birth correct, I don’t think this is him. I’m starting to rethink even that assumption though, after the family I’m working on now, but that’s a story for another day.

Getting back to Richard Cunningham, he and Ellen McKeon had seven children, including William A, who married Bertha Raimer. William and Bertha’s daughter Mary Ellen Cunningham married my second cousin Martin Stringer. They were almost a generation older than I am and have died, but they had a large family and—since family history runs in this family—at least one of their children will probably be interested in learning more about the Cunninghams and Raimers.

A brief list of sources is below. The complete information and a lot more on the family can be found in the Ohio Families tree on this site.


1. His naturalization papers.

2. His daughter Mary’s 1930 Census.

3. Manifest of the SS Gallia.

4. 1880 John Graham household.

5. 1900 Richard Cunningham household.

Mildred Gaughan, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mildred Gaughan, 1922
Mildred Gaughan, 1922

The Ohio Photographs section of this website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish, on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland.

My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the second young woman from our left in the back row as Mildred Gaughan. There was a Mildred Gaughan living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Mildred Gaughan was born January 17, 1916, in Cleveland, the youngest of three children of Edward Gaughan and Sarah Kelly. In 1920 the family was living at 7818 Vineyard Avenue. In the household with Mildred and her parents were her older brother Henry John, and her older sister Geraldine.

In 1930 the family was at 15805 Chatfield Avenue on the far West Side, and in 1940 Sarah and the children were at 11107 Detroit. Henry and Sarah seemed to have separated about 1939. Sarah died in 1948 in Cleveland and Henry in 1950 in Florida.

For her part, Mildred married Leroy Carl Frank sometime about 1964. This might have been her second marriage, since her Social Security record says that she was known as Mildred Anna Boatman in April 1958. She died October 17, 1990, in Lakewood.

The Gaughans

When I saw that Edward had registered for the Draft in World War I as “Edward Heraty Gaughan”, I had a feeling that knowing his middle name would be helpful sooner or later, and I was right. But the key to finding his home in Ireland was his petition for naturalization in August 1913. There he said that he had been born April 13, 1882, at Lurgacloy, Ireland.

On the 1901 census of Lurgacloy, Binghamstown South, County Mayo, there is only one Gaughan household, that of Hugh and Honora Gaughan. Hugh’s mother in law, Bridget Heraghty living with them. Although I didn’t find Edward’s birth or baptism record, I am fairly certain this is his family. In addition, there is a Mary Gaughan who died single in Cleveland in 1926 whose death record said that her parents were Hugh Gaughan and Honora Herity. Mary’s place of birth was listed as Belmullet, the nearest town to Lurgacloy.

The Kellys

Edward Gaughan’s petition for naturalization also informs us of his wife Sarah’s birthplace: Newport, Ireland. And Sarah’s death record said that her parents were Owen Kelly and Julia McLaughlin. Newport is also in County Mayo, and house 4 on the 1901 Census of Roskeen North, Newport West, County Mayo, includes a Sarah Kelly, daughter of Owen and Julia.


Having been successful at finding their county of origin in Ireland, I was a little disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be any living descendants of Edward Gaughan and Sarah Kelly. Mildred married late in life, her sister Geraldine died single, and their brother Henry’s obituary did not mention children. Perhaps a descendant of one of their relatives in Co. Mayo will be helped by this research to find out what became of Edward or Sarah.

Sources and more information for the Edward Gaughan family are in the Ohio Families tree on this site.

George Welling, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

George Welling, 1922
George Welling, 1922

The photographs section of this website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish, on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland.

My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the last young man on the right in the front row as George Welling. There was a George Welling living in the area, described below, who is probably him.

George W Welling was born in Cleveland on April 20,1914, the son of William M Welling and Catherine Farron. The family was living at 13124 Harvard in 1920, in the same home as Catherine’s widowed mother Sarah. Beside George, the family included his sisters Catherine and Sarah and a brother Thomas.1, 2

Catherine (Farron) Welling died November 23, 1920 of tuberculosis, and the family, including the Sarah Farron household, moved to 7512 Claasen. They were at that address in 1922. George’s father William died in 1925, also of tuberculosis, and in 1930 the children were living with their grandmother and her son at 7915 Harvard.3, 4, 5

George Welling married Coletta Gallagher on February 4, 1933, in Cuyahoga County and raised a family of at least four children. Coletta died in 1972 and is buried in All Saints Cemetery, Brookpark. George Welling died June 1, 1996, in Portage County.6, 7, 1

George Welling’s mother Catherine Farron was the daughter of Michael and Sarah Farron. She and her parents were born in Rostrevor, County Down. For more on their family see the article Peter, Michael, and Henry Fearon, Kilbroney to Cleveland.

If you are a relative or descendant of George Welling you are welcome to download the class picture and pass it on. If you would like a larger image, with possibly better resolution, contact me.


1. Ohio Death Index,, for George Welling, 1996. Cleveland Public Library’s Cleveland Necrology File for Catherine (Farron) Welling, 1920, and William Welling, 1925

2. 1920 Census

3. Ohio deaths, images, at, for William Welling, 1925.

4. 1922 Cleveland City Directory, at

5. 1930 Census, at

6. Cuyahoga County Marriage Records, at

7. Cleveland Public Library’s Cleveland Necrology File for Colletta (Gallagher) Welling, 1972.

The Wallace Sisters, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1872

On Friday August 30, 1872, the Wallace Sisters–Jennie, Minnie, and Maud–appeared in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, most likely at Johnstown’s theater, the Union Hall, at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets.

The photograph accompanying this article probably has been in my family  ever since that date, because my great grandfather Joseph Hamilton (at the far right) and his father, James D Hamilton (at the far left), were bill posters and evidently hung the signs advertising the event. James was also caretaker/janitor at the Union Hall.

 James D and Joseph Hamilton at billboard
James D and Joseph Hamilton at billboard

Dating the photograph

I was able to date the photograph as follows: the posters state that the event is to occur on Friday August 30. Joseph Hamilton was born in 1846 and James D passed away in January 1881. During the 25 years that their lives overlapped, August 30 fell on a Friday only in 1861, 1867, 1872, and 1878. Joseph is older than 15 in the picture, so we can eliminate 1861. For a long while I could only narrow it down to the three remaining years.

Enter the Wallace Sisters: They can be found on the 1870 Census of New York City with their mother Matilda. Jennie is 18, Minnie is 9, and Maud is 7. I think we can agree that Minnie is older than 6 in the picture and Maud is older than 4, so that would eliminate 1867. Besides, a brief biography of Jennie Wallace said that although she made her New York debut in 1867 and her younger sisters started on stage the following year, the family did not go on tour until 1869.1, 2

To pare the time frame down from the other end, we can look at the 1880 census of Matawan, New Jersey. There we find Jennie (Wallace) and her husband Benjamin Dobson, with a son Benjamin born in May 1877. Although it’s not impossible that she was still touring, I think it unlikely. In addition, Minnie and Maud are considerably younger than 17 and 15 in the poster.3

As a footnote to the Johnstown connection: along the way I found that Lucie K Villa, the daughter of a fourth Wallace sister, Agnes, was born in Johnstown on April 10, 1872. Agnes had married Samuel B Villa in 1866. He was an entertainer also, and Agnes–either by then or not much later–had a theater company of her own.

Rather than go into the entire saga of the Wallaces, I suggest that the inquiring reader search various combinations of first and last names of the sisters, along with “Dobson” and “Villa”. There were six sisters, all actresses along with their mother Matilda. The next generation in most of their lines were in show business also, and the third and fourth generation as well, where I could find them. But at this point we are into the realm of the living, and the story must come to an end. A genealogy of the Wallaces with sources is included in the Pennsylvania Families Tree, since our end of the  story started in Johnstown.


1. 1870 Census New York City, Matilda Wallace household, Ward 15 District 2, Roll: M593_993; Page: 439B, census page 54, dwelling 180, family 507.

2. “Jennie Wallace”, at

3. Benj F Dobson, 1880 Census Matawan, Monmouth, New Jersey, ED 113, sheet 211C

Dorothy Vincent, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Dorothy Vincent, 1922
Dorothy Vincent, 1922

The photographs section of this website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish, on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland.

My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the first young woman on our left in the second row as Dorothy Vincent. There was a Dorothy Vincent living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Dorothy Louise Vincent was born December 9, 1913, in Maple Heights Village, Ohio, the daughter of William J Vincent and Frances D O’Connor. In 1920 the family was living on Broadway in Maple Heights. Beside Dorothy and her parents there were Dorothy’s older sister Beatrice, her younger brothers Thomas and Paul, and a cousin, Marie Crone. Two other children would be born later: Paul and Rita.

Sadly, Dorothy Louise Vincent died March 2, 1926, at St. Alexis Hospital in Cleveland from acute appendicitis and the resulting infection. She was twelve years old. Her occupation was “student, Holy Name School.” She was buried March 5, 1926, in Calvary Cemetery.

The Vincents

Dorothy’s father, William J Vincent, was born August 31, 1882, in Bedford, Ohio, and died April 12, 1971, in Garfield Heights. He was the son of James Vincent and Marie Scarpetti/Scarpitti. The Joslyn/Scarpete Tree at has a lot of information, especially on the Scarpitti side of the family. Rather than just copy the information here, I would rather refer you to that tree.

The O’Connors

The O’Connors were nowhere near as easy to find. Frances D O’Connor was born February 17, 1882, in Cleveland, and died February 11, 1958. She was the daughter of Edward C O’Connor and Mary Louisa Hahn.

All I know about Edward C O’Connor is that he was born about 1845 in Pennsylvania and died February 2, 1896, in Cleveland. He first shows up in the Cleveland City Directories in 1883 even though, when he died, his wife said he had been in Cleveland about 20 years. His wife Mary Hahn had two children by a man named Elias Rillington, but the one that survived, the daughter Mary, was always known later as an O’Connor.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Elias Rillington and Edward O’Connor are the same person. I didn’t find either of them on the 1880 census, I can’t find a death record for Mr Rillington, and I never found the both of them in the same place at the same time. But I can’t prove it.

The Hahns

For her part, Mary Louisa Hahn was born March 10, 1846, in Canton, Ohio, and died October 13, 1917, in Maple Heights. She was the daughter of George and Mary (Schrank/Schrenk?) Hahn. George died by 1870 when Mary Louisa, a brother John J, and their widowed mother are found on the census of Canton. Mary Louisa was in Cleveland by 1876 when the first “Rillington” child was born. Her mother, Mary Schrank, lived with her until at least 1900, but I couldn’t find a death record for her. The son, John Joseph, apparently stayed in Canton.


There are more details and sources about this family in the Cleveland Families section of this website. If you are a relative of Dorothy Vincent you are welcome to download the class picture and pass it on. If you would like a larger image, with possibly better resolution, contact me.

Obituary of Emma (Kiel) Spielman

Pittsburgh Press, Jan 12, 1938

Emma (Kiel) Spielman

Emma (Kiel) Spielman
Emma (Kiel) Spielman

Mrs. Emma Kiel Spielman, mother of the late Rev.Frederick Spielman, died yesterday in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Harry Furniss of 1717 Chislett St. Mrs Spielman was 89 years old last August.

Born in Greensburg, Mrs. Spielman was the daughter of Sarah Kern and Henry Kiel and was the youngest and last surviving member of a famiy of ten children. She was a resident in Cambria County for 30 years. In 1875 Mrs. Spielman was married to Martin L. Spielman of Altoona and in 1879 they came to Pittsburgh to live.

Besides Mrs. Furniss, she is survived by another daughter, Mrs. Charles Putman [sic] of Pitcairn; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p. m., Friday, in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Harry Furniss.

Note: Emma’s daughter married a Mr. Putnam, not Putman.


Transcribed from an image of the newspaper at:;=19380112&id;=fVIbAAAAIBAJ&sjid;=6ksEAAAAIBAJ&pg;=2299,3850873

Patrick J Slowey of Syracuse, New York, and Holyoke, Massachusetts

Postal Cover, County Cavan, Ire. to Holyoke, MA
Postal Cover, Co Cavan, Ire. to Holyoke, MA

I came across P.J. Slowey while looking through some postal covers at the Jim Forte Postal History site. In 1939 he received a letter from Ballyjamesduff, Ireland.1 As a genealogist I wondered if that was his place of birth.

I’ve done a few of these postal cover articles and they are usually a challenge, but Patrick Slowey was one of the easiest persons I have researched. I’m not going to bother listing most of the sources. If you type his name into the boxes at you will find almost everything you need. To find his trips through Ellis Island, start at A few bits of information were only at

Patrick was indeed born in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland, March 2, 1885, the son of Alexander and Catherine (Kelly) Slowey. He is on the 1901 Census of Ballyjamesduff in his brother Thomas’ household, along with his widowed mother and his brothers Alexander and James.2 His father’s name comes from Patrick’s passport application in 1919, which was on His mother’s maiden name can be found at Familysearch in some of the records of her children’s births.

Patrick came through Ellis Island at least three times: February 19, 1906, as an immigrant; July 11, 1911, with his brother James; and March 23, 1920, as a citizen. Patrick worked most of his life for the Holyoke Belting Company: first as a salesman in upstate New York, then as a company official and later President in Holyoke itself. He died January 15, 1965, in Holyoke and is buried in St. Jerome Cemetery.3

Patrick’s mother seems to have died about 1919 or 1920. When Patrick applied for his passport in June of 1919, he said his reason for travel was to visit his mother before she died. In December he seems to have sent the passport in for renewal, saying he was unable to make the trip as planned.4 Then in March 1920 he returns through Ellis Island. The Civil Registrations in Ireland should have his mother’s death.

Elizabeth J Nolan

Since Patrick was so easy, I thought I’d try to find out something about his wife Elizabeth. Ireland was partitioned in 1922, so the 1930 U.S. Census was the first to distinguish between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland as a place of birth. Elizabeth’s information said she was born in the North. The 1940 Census says she was born in the Irish Free State, but the census indicates that her husband provided that information.

Maiden name

I had the hardest time finding Elizabeth’s maiden name, until I Googled “Patrick J Slowey Syracuse” and found an article in the August 9, 1938, Ogdenburg Journal, page 3, which said:

Chippewa Bay
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Slowey and family arrived here by motor on Wednesday from Holyoke, Mass., to spend a month at their summer cottage on Marjorita Island.

Lieutenant Wiliam E. Nolan of New York arrived here by motor on Thursday evening to spend part of his annual vacation with his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Slowey.5

Marriage record

I had already looked at the Italian Genealogical Group website for a marriage record, searching for Slowey, but to no avail. This site has indexed many vital records for the New York City area for the late 19th and early 20th century, not just for Italian couples but for all marriages.

I went back and searched for “Elizabeth Nolan” and found the following:

Nolan Elizabeth Apr 5 1915 7569 Manhattan

Clicking on the groom lookup button got me this:

Siowey Patrick J Apr 5 1915 Certificate Number:7569 Manhattan6

No wonder I didn’t find him. They indexed his name as “Siowey” instead of “Slowey.” But anyway, they were married in Manhattan on April 5, 1915. And they are together on the (June) 1915 NY State Census of Manhattan at 4509 Sixth Ave, Patrick already a salesman.


Elizabeth may have died in Holyoke about 1963 or 1964. In the 1964 Holyoke City Directory she and Patrick are listed at different addresses on Linden Street. In the street cross reference section both of these addresses are for the Buckley Manor Nursing Home. And Patrick’s obituary does not mention Elizabeth as a survivor.

The state of Massachusetts is not as restrictive about sending death records as many states. They also will search a ten year period for a person if you request it. And the record has spaces for the deceased’s place of birth and her parents’ names and places of birth. Elizabeth’s death record, if completely and accurately filled out, would be worth the money to a family researcher.

County of Origin

Unfortunately, I didn’t find enough information for Elizabeth Nolan to determine her birthplace. My best guess is that she was from County Fermanagh, but it is only a guess. The surname Nolan was infrequent on Griffith’s Valuation of what is now Northern Ireland except in Fermanagh.7 Fermanagh borders Patrick’s home County of Cavan, and people tend to flock together upon arriving in America. And there is a William Nolan arriving at Ellis Island in 1898 from Fermanagh who could be Elizabeth’s brother. His destination is a sister M. Nolan, in Manhattan.

I didn’t find Elizabeth’s immigration record which would have helped a lot. If her death record provides her mother’s maiden name that will narrow down the search, as the IrishTimes site mentioned in the footnotes allows you to enter two surnames to see where they overlap.


1. The cover was once on this page at the Jim Forte Postal History site, but may have been sold by the time you read this. I am not connected with this site.

2. National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ballyjamesduff.

3. Larry Murray & Carole King Murray Family rootsweb database for Patrick Slowey.

4. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, at

5. August 9, 1938, Ogdenburg Journal, page 3. This is a .pdf file. The article is in the upper left corner of the page.

6. Italian Genealogical Society, bride’s search

7. Irish Times surname search.

Mary Raimer, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mary Raimer, 1922
Mary Raimer, 1922

The photographs section of this website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish, on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland.

My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the second young woman from our left in the second row as Mary Raimer. There was a Mary Raimer described below, who is probably her.

I’m not as sure of this identification as I am of the others in this series because of the distance from her home to the school. But I don’t know if there were any Catholic schools closer to her at the time. I think there was a parish, but not a school.

Mary Raimer was born October 26, 1913, the daughter of Philip and Rose (Alten) Raimer. In 1920 the family was living on Libby Road in Maple Heights. The address is not on the census, but later records show that it was 17325 Libby. Beside Mary and her parents, there were her brothers and sisters: Raymond, Philip, Joseph, Loretta, Clement, Coletta, Gerald, and Bernard. Two older sisters, Gertrude and Isabelle, had already left home. Mary, her mother, and her brother Bernard were still at that address in 1940.

About 1948 or 1949 Mary E Raimer married Edward J Toeppe. At first they lived at the Libby Road home, then by 1954 they moved to Bedford. Mary and Edward Toeppe were living in Bedford when Edward died in March of 1977. Mary (Raimer) Toeppe died in 1997. I didn’t find any children connected to them on the records.

The Raimers

Philip Raimer was born November 24, 1863, in Independence, the second known son of John B Raimer and Johanna Gertrude Te Kniepe. John seems to be on the 1860 census of Newburgh Township in the household of John and Catherine Raimer. I’m assuming that John B Raimer is the son of at least John, though whether by Catherine or an earlier wife, I’m not sure.

There is also a Philip Raimer in Bedford Township about the same time. When Philip’s widow Katherine administered his will, a John B Raimer provided surety. In 1880, Philip had a 12 year old niece named Genevieve Rose in his home. John B’s son Philip’s first wife was named Genevieve Rose. His second wife was Rose I Alten whose mother’s maiden name was Rose. I’ve tentatively linked the older Philip and John B Raimer as brothers.

Johanna Te Kniepe was baptized June 26, 1843, at St. George Catholic Church, Bocholt, Westphalia, Germany, the daughter of Gerhard Heinrich Te Kniepe and Hendrina Dewitt. Six of her siblings are on the baptismal records at familysearch as well. I don’t know what happened to Gerhard Heinrich Te Kniepe. Hendrina–now as Henrietta–and the children are on the 1860 Census of Ward 5 in Cleveland. Most of the neighboring families had at least one member born in Holland.

As for the Te Kniepe surname, I’m pretty sure that it is Dutch, but I’m not positive. It was spelled every which way, the indexers had trouble with it, and the family was difficult to find on the US records.

The Altens

As mentioned, Philip Raimer’s second wife, the mother of Mary, was Rose I Alten. They were married October 22, 1895, in Cuyahoga County and had nine children. The Alten family history is thoroughly researched in the Rivers Family Tree at Rather than rehash it here I refer you to that site.


Sources and more information for the Raimers are in the Ohio Families tree on this site. If you are a relative or descendant of Mary Raimer you are welcome to download the class picture and pass it on. If you would like a larger image, with possibly better resolution, contact me.

Daniel Orschak, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Daniel Orschak, 1922
Daniel Orschak, 1922

The photographs section of this website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish, on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland.

My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the fourth young man from our left in the front row as Daniel Orschak. There was a Daniel Orschak living in the area, described below, who is probably him.

Daniel Orschak was born May 31, 1912, the third child and first son of Fred W Orschak and Margaret Isabel Kearney. His two older sisters were named Henrietta and Angela; his younger sister was Beatrice.

In 1920 Daniel and his father were living with his father’s brother Herman at 2538 East 23rd Street. Henrietta was living with her uncle Charles Clark (formerly Orzechowski/Orschak) and his other two sisters were boarding with the Hugh Donahue family on Force Avenue. I didn’t find Daniel’s mother on that census.

In the 1922 City Directory, Daniel’s father Fred was listed at 9324 Richmond Avenue, and in 1930 the whole family was at 9120 Bessemer Avenue except for Henrietta, who had married Roy Borgman in 1928.

Daniel was living at home in 1940 at 3939 East 93rd, and working at road construction for the government. He was employed as a kitchen worker in 1942 when he enlisted in the Army. I’m not sure if he returned to Cleveland after the war; he wasn’t in the 1954 City Directory. Daniel died on March 12, 1967 in Erie County, Ohio. He had never married. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Warren, Ohio, the same cemetery as his sister Angela, and near to his mother’s grave in Saint Mary’s Cemetery.

The Orschaks

This was my second try at tracing the Orschaks’ ancestry—I didn’t get very far the first time. It turned out that Daniel’s father’s generation changed the name from Orzechowski to Orschak about 1897, or at least by the time the 1898 Cleveland City Directory was issued. I don’t think the name was ever spelled the same way twice, so please overlook any variations in this article. If you research the family, beware of the possible differences in spelling.

In the 1895 Cleveland City Directory Daniel’s father, Fred Orzechowski, was listed at 33 Nursery Street with his brothers Charles and Herman. In 1898 all three were at the same address with the surname Orschak. This was their parents’ home until they died—Henrietta (Wizotzki) Orschakovski on November 29, 1892, and William Orschakovski on June 26, 1893.

From what I can tell, William, Henrietta and family arrived in the United States about 1873, although I didn’t find William in the City Directory until 1878, when he was living at 34 Berg Street. Their daughter Henrietta, or “Minnie”, was born in January 1872 in Germany and their son Fred William was born in October 1873. Unfortunately the Bremen passenger lists for this era have been destroyed  if I remember right, but I didn’t find them on the New York arrivals either.

William and Henrietta may have been from Strasburg, West Prussia, now a part of Poland. The 1880 census said they were born in Prussia, a birth record for their son Edward said Poland, and the rest of their records said Germany. If they were from Strasburg, then all of these statements are true. There is a record of a baptism of an Auguste Orzechowski on 12 Aug 1866 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Strasburg whose parents were Wilhelm Orzechowski and Henrietta Wysocki. This could be them, but it would be nice either to find Auguste with them in America, or to find a baptismal record for their son Herman or daughter Minnie in Germany.

That is the best I could do for the “ancestral home” of the Orzechowskis with just the records online. William’s petition for naturalization might have more information, and the baptismal records might be more complete for that church, but just not online yet.

There is more information on the Orschaks in the Cleveland Families tree on this site.

The Kearneys and McGowans

Daniel’s mother Margaret Kearney was the daughter of Daniel Kearney and Bridget McGowan of Youngstown, Ohio. That Daniel died, apparently in Youngstown before 1891, and Bridget remained there until at least 1900.

Bridget came from a large family. One source said that her parents Charles McGowan and Mary Logue had twelve children, all born in Ireland and that they all emigrated to Youngstown. The ones that I found definite proof of were Mary McGowan, born April 1836, who married a Mr. Patterson; James, born in 1845, who died single in Alabama in 1912; Susan, born in 1840, who marrried a Mr. Dailey, and a brother William.

There is a Mary McGowan who died at the age of 84 in Youngstown in 1891. She had been born in Donegal, Ireland. If this is the mother of the family, then that is where they probably were from in Ireland. A number of trees at say they were from there, and a posting on Facebook says that the son William was born in Ballyshannon, Donegal.

If you are a relative or descendant of Daniel Orschak you are welcome to download the class picture and pass it on. If you would like a larger image, with possibly better resolution, contact me.


Cleveland and Youngstown City Directories and censuses, at,, and
Ohio Deaths, Ohio Marriages, Ohio Births, at, Donegal General Message Board, “MCGOWAN, LOGUE of Donegal,” posted 17 July 1998,