Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The O'Malley Connection

Almost as an afterthought, when Heather and I were exchanging emails on the Reid and Hawkes families, she added one little detail. I'm not sure why she thought to mention it, as she was mainly helping me understand how the various people in the two families related to each other, but I'm glad she did.

She had sent a volley of small commentaries during the preceding hours—including a hand-drawn family tree for the Reid side of the family, that critical component I had been missing. And, of course, she had sent more photos. Those wonderful family pictures.

Late into the evening—for her, at least—Heather sent one last brief message:
Almost forgot! Harry's half sister, Elizabeth, married a William B. O'Malley.

O'Malley! That was one of the surnames I hadn't been able to place in the family constellation. It was such an inconsequential part of the overall scheme of family relationships in that 1936 photo album I had found that I presumed I'd never figure it out. I had just assumed the man was a friendly neighbor stopping in to join in family festivities who had been captured forever in the family's photographic record.

But if you remember Alice Hawkes Reid's page labeled, "Off on a Spree," besides Harry Reid, his wife and the other Alice—the one whose identity we now know, thanks to Heather—there was a fourth person. Mrs. Reid had labeled that fourth person, simply, W. O'Malley.

And here we have a William B. O'Malley suddenly inserted into the family tree. Could "W" stand for William?

Harry Reid actually had several siblings. We've already learned that Alice Reid was his younger sister. Harry's father was actually married twice, and Harry and his sister Alice were among the children of the second wife. Thus, Harry had several older siblings, including, evidently, a half sister named Elizabeth.

Just to check, I turned to, where among the digitized civil records I was able to locate a candidate for this Reid family marriage. Yes, there was a William Barnard O'Malley, son of "Alleyn Bernard" O'Malley, who had married a daughter of Henry Reid named Elizabeth.

The groom, at the time of the wedding, was an accountant who lived at 27 Old Blackrock Road in the city of Cork—a street name still in existence today. The bride-to-be, on her part, provided a reassuringly familiar residence name: Grange Cottage, the same location the Reids had mentioned in labeling some of the photographs in that 1936 album.

The wedding took place on August third, 1905, in the Reid family's church in the parish of Athnowen in what is now known as Ovens, County Cork, Ireland. Henry Reid—though it's not clear whether this was Elizabeth's father or brother—signed as one of the witnesses to the ceremony.

If it turns out that the man standing to the left of Harry's sister Alice Reid in the photograph from that 1936 album was one and the same as the husband of Harry's older sister Elizabeth, we now know just a little more about what Harry's brother-in-law looked like.


  1. Soon there will be no stone unturned with all the name sin the album! :)

    1. It's been quite enjoyable, with Heather's help, to piece together names with faces from this old photograph album.

  2. Hello there! I am related to the reid family through the 1st marriage. Through the rice family. I received an email from someone researching the o'malley family. I am willing to collaborate with you guys if thats ok.

    1. John, thank you for getting in touch. I'm delighted to hear from you. Of course, by now, the photo album (including this picture) has been returned to a direct descendant of the Reid family, so I no longer have it. However, if you and your O'Malley family contact could confirm whether this is the right W. O'Malley in the photograph, that would be a big help.

      You are always welcome to email me directly at afamilytapestry (at) gmail (dot) com.


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