Coletta Kearns, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Coletta Kearns,

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 sixth young woman from our left in the last row as Coletta Kearns. There was a Coletta Kearns living in the area who is most likely her.

Mary Coletta Kearns was born March 1, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest daughter of Joseph P Kearns and Katherine Giblin. In 1920 she was living at 9721 Dickens Avenue on the southeast side of Cleveland with her parents, her brother John Joseph, and her sister Margaret. Her father was working as a fireman for the railroad. By 1930 the family had settled at 8312 Broadway, where Joseph worked as a janitor for a school, I assume Holy Name.

Coletta evidently entered the Catholic Sisters of Charity immediately after high school, since I didn't find her on any records after 1930. She died August 9, 2003, and was buried from the Mother House of the Sisters Of Charity, Mount St. Joseph, Ohio.

The Giblins

I thought Katherine Giblin's family would be easy when I saw "County Roscommon" as her place of birth on the death record of her son Andrew in 1929. I mean, how many Giblins could there be in Roscommon? A lot. How many of them could have come to Cleveland? At least two different families. So I had to take my time and slog through it the right way. I finally sorted out the two families and determined that:

Katherine Giblin was born between 1890 and 1892 in Ballinphuill Townland, County Roscommon, the daughter of John Giblin and Margaret Drury. I never found an exact date of birth for Katherine, but I did find civil registrations of the births of a number of her siblings. Besides Katherine, her sisters Anna Theresa and Mary Ellen and her brother Patrick also came to Cleveland. Her sister Bridget (Beatrice) remained in Ireland and married Michael Carty. Two siblings died young. I failed to track her brother Henry after the 1911 Census of Ballinphuill, when he was in his parents' household.

That 1911 Census shows John Giblin, 56, and his wife Margaret, 47, in house 6 in Ballinphuill. John is a farmer. The children still at home were Patrick, 17, Henry, 15, Mary Ellen, 13, and Bee, 11. All were born in Roscommon.

John Giblin died June 22, 1944, and his wife Margaret a short time later, on May 1, 1945.

The Kearns

I expected to have an easy go of it with Joseph Kearns as well, since he mentioned his date and place of birth, March 17, 1890, County Wicklow, on a number of American records. But that was where it stopped. I didn't find his parents' names on any of his records, and there was no evidence that any of his brothers or sisters came to Cleveland with him.

Part of the problem might be that Joseph was an orphan, but I'm not sure. His first census in the United States was in 1910 at St Anthony's House for Working Boys in Cleveland, where he was working as the janitor, age 18. And his passenger manifest–aboard the SS Haverford arriving at Philadelphia August 19, 1909, from Liverpool–said that his closest relative in Ireland was a guardian, James Doyle, in Dublin. Thirdly, there is a Joseph Kearns, age 7, at St Vincent de Paul's Orphanage, Dublin, in 1901 who might be him, although the record says the boy was born in Dublin. I couldn't get any farther with Joseph's ancestry.


One reason I like working on other families is because of what I learn. This time I found out that the section of County Roscommon that includes Ballinphuill was part of County Mayo until about 1898, if I remember right. In fact the local football [soccer] team plays in a Mayo league, which evidently makes life interesting on match days.

The details and sources for the Kearns and Giblins are in the Ohio Families section of this website. If you would like a copy of the 1922 second grade class picture, feel free to download it.