Helen Finnerty, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Helen Finnerty,

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 lady from our left in the back row as Helen Finnerty. There was a Helen Finnerty living in the area, described below, who is probably her.

Helen Finnerty was born about 1914 in Ohio, the fifth of eight known children of Michael Finnerty and Helen "Nellie" Kennedy. The family lived at 9423 Meech Avenue from at least 1904 until at least the time of Nellie's death in October 1948. Helen's siblings were: Mary, born 1903, Michael J (1904-1910), John P, born 1906, Dorothy, born 1909, Marguerite, born 1915, Patrick, born 1918, and Thomas E (1921-1921).

About 1932, Helen Finnerty married Travis Hunter, who was born in New Jersey May 10, 1913. They remained in Cleveland for a few years, being found in the City Directories for 1936 and 1939, but by April 1940 the Hunters were living in Oberlin Township, Lorain County, Ohio. The census shows them with four children: Richard, born 1932, Patrick Lloyd, born 1938, and two others who are still living. A fifth child would be born soon after the census was taken.

They returned to Cleveland but were soon separated. In 1942 they are listed both together and separately:

1942 Cleveland City Directory
page 534, image 272
Hunter Travers (Helen) laborer house 2206 East 73rd
Hunter Travis laborer 2297 E 89th

and then only separately from 1943 onward.

Travis Hunter married again, to Sarah E Tolar. They settled on East Blvd and may have still been there when Travis died in September 1985. Helen (Finnerty) Hunter remained divorced and died January 1, 1963, at home, apparently at 10109 Ostend Ave. She is buried in Highland Park Cemetery.

Helen Finnerty's parents

I struck out almost completely trying to find the ancestry of Helen's mother Nellie Kennedy. Her death record said her parents were John Kennedy and Alice Kerry, and she had a brother Edward living with them in 1920. Both Nellie and Edward were born in Pennsylvania. When Nellie's son Thomas died in 1921, the information said that she was born in German, Pennsylvania. There is a German Township in Fayette County, but I didn't find them there. Michael Finnerty had family in Scranton, but I didn't find Nellie's family there either. Nor in Cleveland.

The Finnerty side of the family were well covered in the records, and I was even able to find Michael's baptism record in Kilglass Parish, County Sligo, Ireland, along with the records of most of his brothers and sisters. Their parents were John Finnerty and Sabina "Sibby"/Cecelia "Celia" Gallagher. Celia was living with the Michael Finnertys in Cleveland in 1930.

The details on the Finnerty ancestry are in the Ohio Families tree on this website.