Friday, May 2, 2014

Another genealogical puzzle

Just on a lark last week, I plugged my 2nd great grandmother's name into a search engine and up the name popped on a passenger list from the UK to the good old US of A.
Thinking it couldn't possibly be my ancestor, but knowing that one should never pass up a lead, I opened the document to examine it.
And there she was!
Bridget Tolan, a 60 year old widow from Batley, arrived in Boston on February 26, 1904, to visit her son William, who had paid her passage. William lived on Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
So that led me on a search for William Tolan, my great grand uncle, who was born in 1866 at Batley, Yorkshire, England.  I knew that I had lost track of him on the UK Census returns.  I guess this would explain why.
The 1891 US Census returns are not available for Massachusetts but in 1891, William and his wife had a son who sadly was stillborn.  They lived at 201 Park Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, at the time.
In 1892 when their daughter Catherine was born they were living at 213 Park Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Their son William E. was born in 1894 and by then the family had moved to 85 Spruce Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
On May 6, 1895 William welcomed his brother Anthony who visited from Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, his hometown.  William had paid Anthony's passage.  He lived on Spruce Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts at the time of his brother's visit.
On October 29, 1896, William Tolan became a US citizen.  By this time, he was living at 105 Arlington Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
The family still lived at 105 Arlington Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, when son Thomas was born in 1897.
The 1900 US Census return reported the family living at 495 Hampshire Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts and gave William's birth date as Feb 1866, he worked at a Dye House, was born in England and his parents were born in Ireland; his wife Margaret was born in Sept 1868, she too was born in England and her parents were born in Ireland.  They had been married for ten years, had five children, four of whom were still living.  The children were:  Catherine, b Dec 1892; William b Oct 1894; Thomas b May 1897, and Edward b Mar 1899.  All the children were born in Massachusetts.
They were still living at 495 Hampshire Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts, when their son James was born in December of 1900 and in March of 1901 when their son Edward died.
By the time daughter Genevieve was added to the family in 1903 they had moved to 84 Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, which is where they were living in 1904 when Grandma Bridget visited the growing family.  (Bridget obviously returned to England as she died at Batley, Yorkshire, in August of 1905.)
The family still lived at 84 Willow Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1907 when daughter Mary was born, and in 1908 when daughter Margaret was added to the family.
The 1920 US Census found the family living at 10 Raymond Place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA: William H Tolan, age 60, immigrated in 1885; wife Margaret A, age 59, immigrated in 1889; both were born in England; all parents were born in Ireland.  Children William E, 25; James E, 20; Genevieve M, 17; Mary C, 13; and Margaret, 11.  All born in Massachusetts.  Also in the household were "boarders" Thomas A Tolan, 22, born in Massachusetts, his wife Alice, 20 (born in Canada, immigrated in 1916); their son Thomas, 1 yr, 11 mos, born in Massachusetts.  (Note:  Thomas A. Tolan was actually William's son, Alice would have been his daughter-in-law, and the baby would have been his grandson.)
By 1930, the US Census has William Tolan as a married cloth dyer living at 943 State Street in Springfield Massachusetts.  His wife, Margaret a Tolan, is a married head of household living at 158 Boyston Street in Watertown, Massachusetts with children William E, 25, Genevieve, 27, and Margaret, 21.  (I'm not sure why they both declared themselves to be married when they were clearly living apart, perhaps the mores of the time.)
The 1940 US Census reports Margaret Tolan living at 10 Porter Street, Watertown, Massachusetts.  She was 66 years old, married and born in England.  Living with her were daughters Jean (Genevieve), 35, and Margaret, 26, both of whom were born in Massachusetts.  There's no sign of dad William so I am now searching for his death record.  I did find the married children on the 1940 US Census:
  • Daughter Katherine is married to Thomas Foley and has two daughters.  (I had previously found Katherine on the 1930 Census with her husband, Thomas Foley, by way of locating her brother James Tolan who just happened to be living with the couple.)  The Foleys are living at 24 William Street in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Son Thomas is a fireman and is still married to his Canadian wife Alice.  They now have eight children, four sons and four daughters, and they are living at 220 Cherry Street in Newton, Massachusetts.
  • Son James is a truck driver, married to Margaret and they have six children, three sons and three daughters.  They are living at 17 Mavin Lane in Waltham, Massachusetts.

So there are  a couple of male Tolans who could still be alive and could provide me with information about this (these) families.
I love finding new cousins!  The search is on.

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