Mary McGraw, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mary McGraw, 1922

Mary McGraw,

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 fifth young lady from our right in the back row as Mary McGraw. There was a Mary McGraw living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Mary McGraw was born May 6, 1913, in Cleveland, the first child of John McGraw and Mary Kelley. In 1920 the family was living at 8002 Goodman Avenue. In the household beside Mary and her parents were: her three younger siblings, William, Ruth, and Rose Rita McGraw; her mother's children from a previous marriage: Edward, Timothy, and Katherine O'Malley; and her aunt, Katherine Kelley.

John McGraw died in 1926. On the 1930 Census, Mary's mother, the three younger McGraw children, and Katherine O'Malley were at 4962 East 85th. Mary herself was at the Sisters of the Good Shepherd home at 30th and Carnegie.

On February 28, 1933, Mary McGraw married Walter A Royer, very likely at Holy Name Church. They had two children by the time of the 1940 census. Mary died April 15, 1989, and is buried in All Souls Cemetery, Chardon.

The McGraws and the Burns

John McGraw was born March 4, 1876, in Cleveland, the youngest of four children of David McGraw and Mary Burns, both of whom were born in Ireland about 1841 or 1842. David McGraw died in 1878, and his widow Mary, her children, and her mother, Bridget (Sheridan) Burns were at 2575 Bluff.

I didn't find Bridget Sheridan's husband, Patrick Burns, on the records, but their son Matthew was also in Cleveland. He lived at 16 Division from 1874 until at least 1880. In 1880 there was a Michael Burns at 18 Division, but I never proved to myself that Matthew and Michael were brothers.

I thought that with two, possibly three Burns siblings and both parents' full names I might find them in the Irish parish registers, but I didn't. So that was the end of the line for the McGraws and the Burns.

The Kelleys

Mary McGraw's mother, Mary Kelley, was born June 10, 1876, in Cleveland, the fourth known child of Peter Kelley and Bridget Hunt, both born in Ireland. Her first marriage was about October 2, 1897–the date the license was issued–to Timothy O'Malley. Timothy died of smallpox in 1902. Mary's three children were all in orphanages in 1910, and Mary herself was living and working as a cook at the Cleveland city infirmary. After Mary's marriage to John McGraw in 1912, they were evidently reunited, all being in the McGraw household in 1920.

I found nothing more for Bridget Hunt's origins, and only know that Peter Kelley's father was named Patrick.

The O'Malley's

Having gone 0 for 2 on Mary McGraw's lineage, I thought I might as well take a look at Timothy O'Malley's family, even though he wasn't her ancestor. Fortunately there was only one Timothy O'Malley in Cleveland at the time.

Timothy was born "on or about 17 January 1872" in County Mayo, according to his naturalization records. He arrived in the United States aboard the SS Adriatic on May 25, 1888, having boarded in Queenstown. In the 1892 Cleveland City Directory he is listed at 75 Main, along with Patrick O'Malley, a saloon keeper, and Edward O'Malley, a stonecutter. If Patrick is the man who died at 44 East River on June 7, 1903, then he was old enough to be of Timothy's father's generation. But Timothy arrived in the States alone, so the connection to Patrick and Edward is unclear, at least to me for now.

You would think that with an approximate date of birth, I would have been able to find Timothy in the birth records at, but not so. There are three Thadeus Malleys born in Mayo between 1870 and 1874, but none of them in January. (Thadeus is another name for Timothy.) One of them might be Timothy, but I can't say which.

Mayo is a big county but at least we narrowed down Timothy O'Malley's county a little better than the McGraws', Kelleys', etc.


I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't establish a Irish county of origin for at least one of Mary McGraw's lines, but that's the way it goes. I have a difficult time with Irish families that arrive that early in the US, say the 1870's and before. The passenger manifests have very little information, and the naturalization records usually only say "Ireland". Timothy O'Malley's might have been an exception. And the individuals don't usually live long enough for their death records to require their parents' names.

I got a taste of a different Irish settlement in Cleveland, though, besides the one in Newburgh. Most of Mary's ancestors spent their lives in the Flats, and I hope to do some background reading on the area and the time period soon.

Sources and more details on the families covered in this article are in the Ohio Families section of this site. If you are descended from Mary McGraw, you are welcome to download the picture of the 1922 second grade class, or contact me for a larger version which might have better resolution.

Arthur Hannigan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Arthur Hannigan of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1943 Letter from Dungarvan, Waterford,
to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 1943, Mr Arthur Hannigan of 3615 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a letter from from Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland. Does the Hannigan family have roots in County Waterford?

The Hannigans of Tipperary, Waterford, and Philadelphia

When I first saw this cover on the Jim Forte Postal History website, I decided not to write an article about it because it was too easy. But I owed myself an easy job after the last postal cover, Mary Belle Lemon, Clermont County, Ohio, so here it is.

The 1940 Census of Philadelphia shows an Arthur Hannigan at 3615 North 11th Street, the address on the envelope. He was a 50 year old carpenter born in Maryland. Also in the household was John Hannigan, 58. Arthur was renting a unit in his house to a Thomas E Quigley.

These three men can be found in the 1910 household of John Hannigan at 3640 Percy Street, Philadelphia. John was a carpenter age 50. He and his wife Anna were born in Ireland. Their family included two children born in Ireland: Mary, age 16, and Joseph 12.

Looking at the Irish Civil Birth Registers we find Mary Agnes Hannigan born August 10, 1893, in Old Pike, Dungarvan Registration District, County Waterford. Joseph was born June 19, 1897, in Garranbane, also Co. Waterford. Their parents were John Hannigan, a carpenter, and Anna Hannigan, formerly Terry. As a bonus we get the name of Anna's sister, Bridget Terry, the informant for both births and identified as the aunt of Joseph.

David Kelley's Family Tree, at informs us that Arthur's father, John Hannigan, was born December 26, 1859, in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and was married on May 5, 1879, in Waterford. John's father Jeremiah died in Dungarvan, Waterford, in August of that year.


Undoubtedly there are other records that would cement this trace-back more solidly, but I think we've found enough to say that Arthur Hannigan's family was from Waterford. The only question left is who sent him the letter? The return address might be on the back of the envelope, but we might never know for sure, because it has been sold since I first saw it. But someone in Dungarvan probably knows.


The image of the envelope to Arthur Hannigan is used by permission of Jim Forte Postal History.

My Paternal Old Ohio Home

(reworked from an older article)

My father told me that when he moved to Cleveland in the 1930's he first lived in a boarding house run by Fred and Dorothy Goodsmith. All the boarders gambled and bet on horses. My father said that when they played gin rummy and Fred was about to go gin he would always give it away by starting to whistle the same tune every time.

One day my father went for an eye examination, but the rest of the boarders thought he went to the track. When he came home he said, "Great news! I had 20-20 vision!" Someone looked up and said, "Oh yeah, so what did he pay?"

painting of a horse race

In 1930 Fred and Dorothy were at 2310 Selzer Ave, but this didn't ring a bell with me. However in the 1939 to 1943 city directories, their address was 1917 E. 75th. This was the area of town that I associated with my father's early years in Cleveland. So it was with some satisfaction that I found that address in the 1940 Census and saw that the whole crew was living there: my father, Fred, Dorothy, and an old racetrack friend of my father named Bill Middaugh.

The Goodsmiths

Fred was born in Newburgh on Oct 9, 1884, the son of F.J. and Catherine (Delfing) Goodsmith. Dorothy Jacobs was born October 25, 1893, in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of August Jacobs and Susan Taylor. Fred had two children by his first marriage to Gertrude Egert. They appear to be separated by 1918 and were divorced in February 1921. Fred and Dorothy were married that June. They had no children.

By 1918 Fred was in the restaurant business, working as a proprietor for an Anthony Cartwright at 12814 St Clair. He apparently remained in this line of work until his death; all records call him an employer, proprietor, etc., and list his places of business as lunch rooms or restaurants. Occasionally on the records, he or Dorothy gave their employment address as their residence.

Fred was still at 1917 East 75th in 1942 when he registered for the World War Two Draft, but died in Georgia on 8 Oct 1944. Dorothy died "suddenly in Florida," her death notice appearing in the Cleveland Press on Dec 17, 1952. She is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Bedford Heights. I couldn't find Fred's burial location.


My thanks to the maintainer of the garym28 database at rootsweb, for pointing me toward Fred's death date.

The horse racing drawing is courtesy of debspoons at

Mary Belle Lemon, Clermont County, Ohio

1908 postcard, Chilo, Ohio to Rising Sun, Indiana, back

1908 postcard, Chilo, Ohio to Rising Sun, Indiana, back

On July 20, 1908, Mary Belle Lemon of Neville, Ohio, sent a postcard to Miss Effie Turner of Rising Sun, Indiana. It read:

Arrived home safe and sound and found everything fine.
Suppose you got home O.K the other night.
Mary B Lemon.

What can we learn about these two young ladies? And how did they know each other?

What first aroused my curiosity about this postcard was the locations of the sender and receiver, and the picture of the Sinton Hotel in Cincinatti, Ohio, on the front side. Rising Sun, Indiana, is 36 miles from Neville, Ohio, as the crow flies, but 64 miles today via the interstate, a route which takes the traveller through Kentucky. In 1908, the journey would have been considerably longer.

Cincinatti is about half way from one place to the other. So my working theory was that the two ladies met in Cincinatti, possibly at a teachers' conference, and struck up a friendship. A bit of research squashed that idea. Although Lizzie Turner was a teacher, Mary Belle Lemon was only 16 when the card was written. So did they attend a religious meeting of some kind? Had Mary Belle's older sister accompanied her? At the end of the day, both questions were unanswered.

1908 postcard, Chilo, Ohio to Rising Sun, Indiana, front

1908 postcard, Chilo, Ohio to
Rising Sun, Indiana, front

The other two possibilities for the common bond between Mary Belle and Lizzie were 1) that their two families were part of an extensive riverfront community along the Ohio River, or, overlapping with that idea, 2) that the two towns were tied together through family relationships. As it turned out the last option was the most likely scenario, from what I could tell.

Mary Belle Lemon, of Neville, Ohio, and Bellevue, Kentucky

Mary Belle Lemon was born May 16, 1892, in Washington Township, Clermont County, Ohio, the second daughter of Edwin Wallace Lemon and Clara Belle Galbreath. Her sister Clara Edith was born in 1888. By 1910 the family had moved from Neville to New Richmond, then by 1914 Edwin had evidently retired and they were living at 449 Washington Avenue, Bellevue, Kentucky. Mary's parents and sister died in Bellevue, while Mary herself died November 21, 1974, in Cincinatti.

Mary Belle was married briefly to John Henry Laskey, a World War One veteran. He enlisted in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, in August 1917, and was discharged May 5, 1919. During the war, he contracted tuberculosis and was treated for 8 months during 1923 and 1924 in Dayton, Ohio. It looks like he went directly from there to being a patient at Fort Whipple, Arizona, which had been converted into a hospital for respiratory patients. Mary and John were married in Flagstaff, Arizona, on September 6, 1924. John died in the Fort Whipple Veteran's Hospital on February 26, 1927, and Mary never remarried.

Effie Turner, of Rising Sun, Indiana

Effie M Turner was born August 21, 1886, in Sugar Branch, Switzerland County, Indiana, the second of five children of Martin V Turner and Ellen Harris. She and her parents were living in Quercus Grove, Posey Township, Indiana, in 1900 and 1910, the nearest post office in 1908 evidently being in Rising Sun. Effie married Bernard H Galbreath on June 8, 1910, at her parents' home. Bernard died at the age of 44; Effie lived to be 93, dying March 26, 1980. Both are buried in Rising Sun Cemetery.


As postal cover articles on this website go, this one was about a "4". The only proven link I found between Mary (Lemon) Laskey and Effie (Turner) Galbreath is this: Effie's husband, Bernard Galbreath, was Mary's second cousin. The great grandparents of both were Robert Lawful Galbreath and Katharine Harvey. Was this enough of a bond for them to meet in Cincinatti in 1908? I don't know.


None of the information was very hard to find. I had a bit of trouble with Mary's marriage in Arizona, until I realized that both bride and groom said they were from Cincinatti. Everything was available either at or There are family trees for both Mary Lemon and Effie Turner at familysearch.

Vincent Hurley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Vincent Hurley, 1922


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 third row as Vincent Hurley. There was a Vincent Hurley living in the area, described below, who is probably him.

Vincent was born June 9, 1912, in Ohio, the second of two sons born to Michael J and Anna (Donovan) Hurley. His older brother, Francis Joseph, had been born March 22, 1911. Vincent's childhood must have been a bit of a struggle–his mother died when he was eight, and I didn't find Vincent on any records until the 1940 census, when he was living with his mother's sister, Mary (Donovan) Toohig's family, at 4139 East 119th. Vincent enlisted in the US Army on May 8, 1942, for the duration of the war. He was living in East Cleveland when he died June 7, 1970, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery. He never married.

And that's all I know about Vincent. As for his family . . .

The Hurleys

With a lot more effort than usually required, I managed to find out something about Michael J Hurley and his family. Michael was born May 15, 1872, in Cleveland, the oldest son of Timothy Hurley and Ellen Gibbons. He was married twice, outliving both wives. His first family was with Ellen Lee, whom he married October 30, 1895, most likely at Holy Name Church. They lost a son 3 days old in 1896, then had a daughter Coletta and a son Emmett before Ellen died October 25, 1900. Coletta's records were about as scarce as Vincent's. She, Francis, and Vincent may have been in foster homes for a while. Only Emmett consistently showed up in the records.

Michael waited more than nine years before remarrying. He and Anna Donovan were wed on January 11, 1910, again probably at Holy Name. They had two children as mentioned, Francis and Vincent. Anna died April 18, 1920, of "insanity at menopause." Contributing to her death were "anemia and exhaustion." She and Michael were not living at the same address when she died, so it doesn't look like her dying was easy on anyone.

There were two Hurley families in Newburgh in the 1880s and early 1900s, but they might not have been related as I first suspected. The death record of Michael Hurley's sister Mary (Hurley) Broderick said that both their parents had been born in County Cork. For the other family, who said they were from Mayo, see Bernice Hurley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland.

The Donovans

The Donovans were a family you dream about researching. The earliest American record for Anna Donovan, the 1880 census of her parents's household, said she was born about 1870 in Wales. I clung to that birthplace, despite later records saying things like "Mannershire, England" and "Ireland." And sure enough, she was born in the first quarter of 1871, in Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, Wales, the first child of Garrett Donovan and Bridget Rice.

Ballymacoda, East Cork

Ballymacoda, East Cork

Bridget's death record (Cleveland, Ohio, July 9, 1925), said she was born in Cork, Ireland, the daughter of Percy Rice and Mary Murphy. That was close enough to the truth to find her baptism record in Ballymacoda and Lady's Bridge parish, Diocese of Cloyne, County Cork, on January 6, 1851. Her parents were not Percy and Mary, but Pierce Rice and Johanna Murphy. Pierce and Johanna were married February 25, 1843, in the same church.

When you find a few lone parish records like that, though, you always have a lingering doubt that there might have been two couples with the same names that had daughters named Bridget—and you found the other one. I have learned the hard way that no matter how unusual the name, there are usually two people living in the same place at the same time with the same name.

But not this time. I found the Rices and Donovans in the same household on the 1871 Census of Ebbw Vale, Wales: Pierce, Johanna, four children including Bridget, Garrett Donovan, and daughter Johanna. Pierce's surname on most of the records in Wales was spelled "Rees." I wonder if that was Welsh for "Rice." At any rate, there they were. The 1861 Census even identified the Rices' birthplace as Balymacody, Co. Cork.


Although Vincent Hurley had no descendants, I know that he had Toohig cousins who did. And I'm not sure about his brother Francis or his aunt Cecelia (Donovan) Mahon. At any rate, I'm sure there is someone out there who would appreciate learning their Rice-Donovan home parish in Ireland.

For sources and more details on the Hurley, Donovan, and Rice families, see the Ohio Families section of this website.


The picture of Ballymacoda was taken by John Finn, of Ballymacoda. It can be found on flickr at Ballymacoda, and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 License.

Most of the information here is about my family or my wife’s, or about families with ties to Cleveland, Ohio, or the area near Rostrevor and Kilkeel in County Down, Ireland. There are also some unrelated families included that I came across. Whatever the case, I hope the material is helpful in your own efforts.
-- Ed Hamilton