Thursday, August 16, 2012

What I Do Know About This Mary

This Mary: that would be Mary Hogan Tully, wife of Patrick. Chasing around the internet to scare up any further hints on this Mary, inspired by yesterday’s post, I do have to admit I know quite a bit more about her than I seemed to let on.

But not as much as I’d like to know.

Here’s what I have so far—in the hopes that some very distant cousin will pop up and get in touch, thanks to what I’m writing here.

First, this Mary was Agnes Tully Stevens’ aunt, which explains why I have the memento I wrote about yesterday. Mary was married to Agnes’ father’s brother. Though Patrick was born in Ireland in 1838, he and his family emigrated first to Canada before reaching the United States. As I mentioned yesterday, his family—father Denis, brothers John and William, and sisters Johanna and Margaret—show up in various Canadian census records for the town of Paris in Brant County, Ontario.

As has often happened, Patrick and Mary met thanks to that handy but old fashioned proclivity of young men and women to get together with those living near them: neighbors, church members, classmates. Mary lived very close to the Tully family, and had the additional commonality of coming from Ireland.

Mary’s maiden name was Hogan—though there was confusion over that name, thanks to some documents reporting it as “Horan.” Her mother was the former Bridget O’Reilly. Her father—thanks again to the vagaries of some official documents and the official handwriting scrawl that went along with that designation—appears to have the first name of Murton (though I can’t say I’ve found that name in any other than Mary’s own death certificate).

Back in Canada, in the household of her widowed mother for the 1861 census, one of Mary’s brothers seems to have an equally-mangled first name: something beginning with an M and followed by…who knows what. Mary’s other brother was named, mercifully simply, John.

Sometime around 1862, Patrick and Mary were wed, most likely at the parish church in town, Sacred Heart Church. (For those who are interested, there is a beautiful picture of the church in a blog post describing two Canadians’ visit there in the fall of 2010—scroll down to see the photograph and brief review of the church’s history.)

While Patrick and Mary ultimately had seven children, I only have record of five. Of those, Margaret and John were born in Canada. Next youngest daughter Mary’s birth in Illinois in 1871 marks the family’s immigration to Chicago, where Bert and George later joined the family. It may be possible that Mary’s mother joined them in their journey to the United States, for there is a Bridget Hogan buried in the same cemetery in Chicago as the Tully family plot.

Of Patrick and Mary’s children, I still have a long way to go before closing the book on research. The oldest child I have on record—Margaret, born in 1866—is the one for whom I have the most information. The next two are enigmas to me. Thankfully, I have been able to glean some records on the two youngest of the siblings, though their lives are short and sad.

Margaret Tully, daughter of Patrick and Mary, married an American-born orphan of Irish immigrants named Michael Dempsey. Though he was from Saint Louis, the couple met and married in Chicago, though they moved to several locations around the country, as tracked by all the census records since their 1888 wedding. It was at their residence near Cincinnati that Margaret’s mother, Mary Hogan Tully, came to live in her final days.

Margaret and Michael had one daughter, also named Margaret; as the extended Tully family had a plethora of Margarets, they thankfully nicknamed their daughter Rita. (She and her mother can be seen in some of the photos from the Edna Tully McCaughey family posted here last summer.)

Though Margaret and Michael Dempsey only had one daughter, a bittersweet twist involving one of Michael’s siblings resulted in the Dempseys raising another girl as their own. Michael’s sister, Anna, married a young Scottish man soon after her brother had married Margaret. Unfortunately, not long after the young Mrs. James A. Davidson gave birth to her first child, she passed away. The couple was living in Cincinnati at the time. A brief notice in the Cincinnati Daily Commercial on October 13, 1893, announced her passing, but failed to identify the location of her burial. Soon after, Michael and Margaret were raising baby Adeline, and I was not able to find any trace of the child’s father.

A similarly sad story befell Margaret’s two youngest brothers. Still living in Chicago, Patrick and Mary’s youngest, George, was born in 1882 but only lived a brief twenty eight years. It was not a war that claimed his life, but the public health bane of the city: tuberculosis. Less than four years later, it was his brother Bert who suffered the same demise.

What made the loss of Bert doubly sad was that he had just married, shortly after his brother’s death, and subsequently had a child who died as an infant. Sometime during the year of his death, his wife gave birth to another daughter—though I don’t know whether he was still alive at the time of her birth.

This last act in the series of bittersweet stories from the family of Patrick and Mary Hogan Tully may be the hardest to document, though, as the official handwriting plague struck the paper trail here at every turn. Bert’s wife has been listed as Centa (also the name of the first baby) and also as Celina. Her maiden name has shown up on various documents as either Le Marbe or Le Marle. Another variation changes the prefix from Le to La.

And the story is not all told, for that second daughter’s trail cannot be completely traced. Born in 1914 in Chicago, her name was evidently Ruth, as can be gleaned from the 1930 census where she lived in a boarding house with her mother. She married late in life, to a Joseph Franzen, who died within the decade of their wedding. Whatever became of Ruth remains an untold tale.

Perhaps someone from this family is the distant cousin I’m hoping to meet.


  1. Jacqui, sometimes one just has to write what it is you know ---- and in doing that the game is set in motion. Hope you have a winner and are called, written to, emailed by cuzinz galore.

    1. Joan, since you wrote this morning, it turns out that Iggy has found a possible link to a cousin descended from this line. It looks like I won't even have to wait until someone comes to me. Thank you for your good wishes that hopefully are the forerunners to some encouraging results!

  2. Celina Tully remarried man much older than herself, a John Kearns (b. abt 1863!) according to the 1930 and 1940 US censuses. Ruth M. Tully married Joseph A. Franzen on 24 Jun 1950.

    I found this in a web search...

    WERNER, Ruth M (TULLY)[FRANZEN]; 93; Chicago IL>AZ; AZ Republic; 2007-3-29; dback

    1. Thanks for pointing me in this direction, Iggy. Some of these details look so promising!


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