Friday, July 14, 2023

All in the Family Plot


One of the customs of bygone days which has since helped family history researchers is the use of family burial plots. Whereas now, you might find a husband and wife buried together, when I researched my father-in-law's Chicago ancestors, I've found family plots which might include up to eight burials.

This is what had initiated my search for Edward Flanigan as a possible relative for Johanna Lee earlier this month. Edward—whoever he was—had been buried in the family plot of William Flanagan, Johanna's uncle. Years ago, when I had inquired about all the burials in the family plot at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery in Chicago, not only did I learn that about William's family plot, but I learned that there were two others such family plots. We'll discuss who was buried in one of those plots today, then look at the other family plot on Monday.

Johanna's cousin Catherine, whose mother was a Flanagan, had herself married an Irish immigrant by the name of John Tully. He and his family had arrived in Chicago by way of Ontario, Canada, and this second family plot apparently was purchased by John's brother Patrick. In fact, the four members of Patrick's household who can be found in the 1900 census all were eventually buried in Patrick's family plot.

Patrick was himself buried there in April of 1909, and his name topped the list sent to me so many years ago by the helpful employee of the cemetery office. Hist listing was followed by his son George Tully, who died just over a year later, in May of 1910. Another son, listed by the cemetery as Bert J. Tully, was actually named Hurlbert—at least, best I can decipher from some pretty miserable handwriting on the various documents which included that full name. His burial followed much later, in 1914.

However, it took delving into Patrick's family history—and emigration path—to confirm the identity of the others on that list from the cemetery office. 

There were two burials for members of a Hogan family. John Hogan, who died in 1894, was actually the first to be buried in this Tully family plot. A woman whose name was listed as Bridget Hogan died during the next year, and was also buried in this Tully plot.

At first glance, one might assume these were husband and wife, but that does not turn out to be correct. The Hogan family had been neighbors of the Tully family back in Ontario, where they all showed up in the 1861 census for Canada West. By that time, Bridget was the widowed mother of John, whose sister Mary later married Patrick Tully. Bridget, dying in 1895 in Chicago, was buried alongside her son John, who had been the first family member buried in this plot, having died the previous year. Bridget's daughter Mary joined them much later, in 1914, the same year as her son Bert.

It was this Bert Tully who provided the key to the other two family members buried in this Tully plot. One was a burial labeled with the name, Mary R. Tully. Being the second person in that family plot with the given name of Mary, this might have seemed confusing. Whoever this person was, she was buried there on August 12, 1912. Taking a close look at her death record revealed that the information was recorded incorrectly for both the child and her mother, with both given names listed as "Centa." 

The child, dying at just over one month of age, turned out to have a younger sister. This sister, Ruth, lived for ninety three years and outlived two husbands. It was Ruth's first husband, and father of her children, who was the key to figuring out just who claimed that final name in the cemetery listing. Joseph A. Franzen was buried at Mount Olivet on March 4, 1959, making his the last of eight burials in the Patrick Tully family plot. 

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