On November 22, 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, my wife's great aunt, Abigail Ellen "Abbie" (Page) Heise married John Aloysius Hankard. John's parents were recorded as John Hankard and Hannah Keegan.1
I recognized Keegan as an Irish name, assumed Hankard was also, and decided to see if I could trace either family back to at least the county of origin in Ireland. We'll start with the Hankards.
Abbie's husband, John A. Hankard, was born at 4 Endicott Street, Boston, on July 11, 1881. His parents had been married in Boston on March 30, 1880. On the marriage record, John's parents were listed as John and Anastasia.2,3
This couple appears on the 1860 and 1865 censuses of Ward 2, (East) Boston, with children John, Thomas, Caroline, James, and William. In 1870 they were living in North Providence, Rhode Island, with two more children added: Michael J, and Dora L. Both parents were born in Ireland.4
In the 1876 Taunton City Directory, John Hankard and son Thomas are living on Broadway at the corner of Randall. It is in Taunton that John's wife Anastasia dies on May 8, 1876. Her death record tells us that her maiden name was Lawton, and her father's name was given as William. Her mother's name was unknown.5,6
This maiden name helps us to identify the marriage record of "John Hankin" and "Anstis Lawton" in Boston on October 5, 1852, as being for this couple. John was 25 at the time and Anastasia was 21. John's father's name was Thomas, and Anastasia's father was named John. I would favor the marriage record for the correct name of Anastasia's father, since Anastasia herself would be providing the information, not one of her survivors.7
1. Mass Register of Vital Records, Marriages, 1902, Vol. 527, Page 236, and "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N4QT-5H3 : accessed 24 Dec 2013), John Hankard and Abbie E. Page Heise, 1902.
2. Partially transcribed at: "Massachusetts, Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F4YB-LB5 : accessed 25 Dec 2013), John Hankard, 11 Jul 1881.
3. "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N43X-WPJ : accessed 25 Dec 2013), John A. Hankard and Hannah Keegan, 1880.
4. 1860 Census of Ward 2, Boston, MA, Series M653, Roll 520, Page 677, East Boston Post Office.
1865 Mass State Census, Ward 2, Boston, taken May 1, 1865, "Massachusetts, State Census, 1865," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MQH7-2XR : accessed 25 Dec 2013), John Hankard, 1865.
1870 Census, North Providence, Rhode Island, Centerdale Post Office, "United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MFFW-H2S : accessed 25 Dec 2013), John Hankerd, Rhode Island, United States; citing p. , family 13, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000552975.
5. Taunton City Directories, at ancestry.com
6. Deaths registered in the city of Taunton:
Anastasia Hankard (Lawton)
Died May 8, 1876, in Taunton, Mass
female, married, age 43, residing in Taunton, born in Ireland
father: William, born in Ireland
mother: unknown, born in Ireland
"Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NWHT-WX3 : accessed 25 Dec 2013), Anastasia Lawton Hankard, 1876.
7. Transcription only at "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FHGK-T92 : accessed 25 Dec 2013), John Hankin and Anstis Lawton, 05 Oct 1852.