In our search to discover what became of the Flannery family of Paris—the small village in Ontario, Canada, not the famous city—we’ve found a clue in a news article about the unfortunate Patrick Flannery, as I mentioned yesterday. If you remember, the small report, running in the Essex Free Press on April 5, 1895, was dated April 1.
The actual date of death, however, occurred some time earlier—but that is hard to glean from the news:
Drowned in a Mill Race. – Paris, Ont., April 1. – Patrick Flannery, an old and respected resident of Paris, who has been missing since Friday night, was found yesterday afternoon…
Okay, let me get this again: the news was printed April 5, but the report was dated April 1, and the body was found March 31. But when did he actually die? What date should be used to search for documentation for that?
As it turns out, not only am I confused about what date to use, but between the province’s office of vital statistics and the church parish’s cemetery records, there appears to be some confusion, too. Either way, once I had the approximate date in hand, it was not hard to locate these records. Combining the name of the small town with the approximate day of death provided enough qualifying data to overcome the handicap of such a common Irish given name coupled with a not-too-unusual Irish surname like Flannery.
Being a Catholic by birth—surely—Patrick was likely to have been buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery. That was the cemetery connected to the first Catholic Church in Paris, Ontario. Finding a partial list of burials via Interment.net, I did indeed locate such a name. Noting the date of death for this Patrick, according to Sacred Heart, it checked out as 29 March, 1895.
With a confirmed date, I took a look online to see if there were any actual death records for Patrick. An index of Ontario deaths found at FamilySearch.org—admittedly not the certificate itself, so open to transcription problems—gave the official date of death as 30 March, 1895.
Perhaps the circumstances surrounding Patrick Flannery’s passing made it difficult to pronounce the actual date of death. Who knows what was behind the one-day discrepancy.
One thing I know, though: between both those online resources, I was able to glean two additional bits of helpful information to further identify this specific Patrick: the name of his wife, and the place of his birth.
Bit by bit, this Patrick Flannery is taking shape again before our researching eyes.