Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lydia or Bridget -- different names for the same incredible woman

The above woman is Lydia Bridget McPartland, or in other records, Bridget Lydia McPartland. Her sister-in-law was also Bridget McPartland, so in her later life she used Lydia informally. However, legal documents flip-flop between names, so neither Kay Wright or I can definitively say which name was first: Lydia or Bridget. Only one thing was for sure -- she hated both them!

That priceless nugget of information is one of many that I got from Kay when I was visiting her. Lydia was a small woman, much beloved, and known to her family in later years as "Little Grandma".

Lydia's husband, Patrick, died in 1884 when he was only 49. At the time, she still had 6 children under the age of 18, the youngest only 3. Despite this hardship, she was a shrewd businesswoman and ran a successful farm. While we have no evidence that she received any formal schooling, she put at least three of her children and one grandchild through Normal School (what would be considered today as a Teachers College). She smoked a corn cob pipe and lived to be 92 years old.

If you think she was a tough lady, you'd be right. There are stories of her in her old age, encountering rattlesnakes on her property, and without breaking stride, picking them up by the tail and whacking them against the foundation of the nearest farm building to dispatch them.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Updating the McPartland Family

In a previous blog, I detailed what I knew about the family of Patrick and Bridget Lydia McPartland. I've learned quite a bit more about them since my post, and I'd like to update that entry:

Patrick (1835-1884) and Bridget Lydia (1839-1932) both immigrated to the New York area from Ireland. They were married on 28 Nov 1856 in St. Joseph's Church, Batavia, NY. He was 21 and she was 17. They had 12 children:

Thomas (1857-1948) m. Mary Ann O'Keefe Mary Ann (1859-1908)

Mary Ann (1859-1946)

Charles (1861-1863)

James (1863-1946)

Joseph (1866-1946)

John (1866-1956)

= John and Joseph were twins.

Jane Ellen (1868-1913) also called Jennie

Catherine (1870-1971) m. James Cassidy

Elizabeth (1873-1938) m. Francis O'Keefe

Edward Miles (1876 - 1931)

Frances (1878-1908) also called Fannie; m. William Gratrick

Alice Rose (1881-1892)

Enlarging Pictures on the Blog

Ok, time out from genealogy for a little housekeeping. I've stated before that I have been working on getting the pictures on the blog to show up bigger and easier to read. Unfortunately, nothing I've tried has worked, so this has been really frustrating for me.

Imagine my surprise when my hubby was reading my latest post and had a HUGE image of the census on his screen! When I asked how he got that, he looked mildly confused and said "I just clicked on the image." D'oh! Ok, I hadn't tried that.

So for all those of you (if any) who, like me, hadn't figured this out: Click on the image to get a larger view of it. It makes things like the census much easier to read. To get back to the blog, just hit your browsers "Back" button.

And thank you to my hubby for the tip (and not pointing out that I was being a ditz).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spending time in Alabama (Alabama, NY that is!)

I spent some research time in New York recently, and got tons of things to post... it's going to take me weeks to sort everything out! Thanks especially to those who hosted me: Uncle Jim and Aunt Agnes O'Keefe, Kathy O'Keefe, Kay Cassidy Wright and Joe Cassidy. Kay and Joe are pictured above. (Sorry for the shadows, my camera doesn't fix pilot error!).

Kay and Joe are cousins through the Cassidy line. Their grandmother was Catherine McPartland, who married James Cassidy in 1904. Catherine was the daughter of Patrick and Lydia McPartland, and the sister of Elizabeth McPartland O'Keefe, wife of Francis O'Keefe.

Joe emailed me a few months back saying he was happy to read about his Aunt Lizzie on my blog. Of course, I immediately emailed him back! He put me in touch with Kay, who is also a genealogist and a very generous person. She not only shared all her knowledge of our common family members, she let me take pictures of her ample supply of photos, clippings, etc. AND took me to many family places and introduce me to people. This explains how I ended up in Alabama, NY actually getting to meet Joe and seeing various places in McPartland history. You'll be seeing a lot of Kate's stuff in the future.

Since my last blog was about the McPartlands, I thought I would first start with all the info about where they lived: in the town of Alabama, Genesee County, NY. This is about 20 miles from Medina, Orleans County, NY where the O'Keefes lived. I'll then move on to Medina, and from there Niagara.