Miss Carrie I Martin of Rochester, New York

Postcard, Tamney, Ireland,
to Rochester, NY

In November 1906, Miss Carrie I Martin of Rochester, New York, received a postcard from Miss. J.C.V. Moore, of Tamney, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. "PHILGEN: Philatelic Genealogy". Can this postal cover tell us anything about Carrie Martin's ancestry? What can we learn from the online records?

In 1900 there was a Carrie I Martin at 61 Magne St, Rochester. She was the daughter of William H and Carrie A Martin. Carrie's father William was of German extraction. Her mother was born in Ireland in April 1845, so we can concentrate on her side of the family. In fact, on the 1930 census, Carrie A Martin said she had been born in Northern Ireland, which includes Co. Donegal.

It would help in our search to know Carrie A Martin's maiden name. She was married by 1870, so we could search the 1860 census of Rochester for anyone named Carrie or Caroline born in Ireland at the right time. Our search turns up a Caroline A Livingston, age 14, with her father Alex Livingston, age 45. Also in this household is Catherine M Livingston, 41, Alex C Livingston, 19, and Edmond H Livingston, 17. Could this be the right family?

It seems so, since when Catherine M Livingston died, on January 28, 1873, she was living on Magne Street next door to Caroline and her husband. Carrie Martin's death record (November 5, 1934, in Rochester) should confirm or deny this theory, since it probably asks for her maiden name.

Catherine was not Caroline's mother, however. Alex Livingston and family entered the United States on March 3, 1851, having arrived from Liverpool on the ship America of New York. He was 33 and his wife, whose name was Eliza, was 31. The children were Alexander, 10, Edmond, 7, and Caroline, 3. Eliza also had an infant with her. But by 1855, Alex, Sr., was widowed and living in Clay, Onandaga County, New York. He had just arrived there the month before. So evidently Eliza died soon after arriving in the United States and Alexander remarried.

As mentioned Carrie A Livingston married Henry C. Martin. They had six children: William H (born August 1869), Francis (about November 1871) John F (November 1874), Laura A (March 1880), Jessie A (July 1882), and Carrie I (May 1887). None of these children married.

Carrie's brother Alex Livingston married Harriet A Glen and had three children: Edmund H (born about 1864), Charles B (about 1871), and Alfred (about Jan 1875). Her brother Edmond married a woman named Mary. They had two children: Harriet (Dec 1881) and Edith A (about 1884).

All this is interesting, but what about the postcard from Letterkenny, Donegal?

Well, it might help us a bit, but not as much as we would like. There were no Livingstons in Donegal at the time of Griffith's Valuation in the mid 1860′s, but there were twenty-five men by that name elsewhere in Northern Ireland. The sender of the card, Miss J.C.V. Moore is probably the Jeannie C Moore, in Tawney, Donegal, age 23 in 1911. Her mother's maiden name was Cassidy. It would have been nice if it was Livingston.

So to find the Livingston's Irish origins we might have to look elsewhere. For a start, the death records for Carrie A (Livingston) Martin and her brothers Alex and Edmund might record their mother Eliza's maiden name. An obituary for their father in the Rochester papers might have some helpful information. Their may be birth records for Carrie and her brothers in Ireland. Or there might be a mariage record for their parents.

Or maybe someone out there just knows.


Federal and state censuses of Monroe and Onandaga Counties, New York, at familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Rochester City Directories at ancestry.com.

1911 Census of Ireland at the National Arvchives of Ireland.

Irish Times Surname Search.

"New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/27PK-8SH : accessed 19 Dec 2013), Caroline Livingston, 1851.

Marriages and Mt. Hope Cemetery records at search at: