In a follow up to this post and this post, I finally received the first of the grave records from Calvary Cemetery in Queens. This took just over two months, which seems a bit long, especially for the amount of “research” that went into this and the cost.
Anyway, let’s look at the meat of the matter.
As you may recall, there were two unknown people in this grave. These people are Catherine Draddy-Donohue, who I am very happy to have finally found, and her 15 year old son, James. I am unsure how he died, but I am sure it was painfully tragic for all involved.
Let’s run through the history of this grave. It was originally purchased by Mary ___-Flynn, mother of John Flynn and Mary Flynn-Draddy, for John. John was married at the time of his death, but I have not been able to find any records for who his bride was. Mother Mary would soon join him, after dying a not so peaceful death (let’s just leave it that she caught one of the various tenement diseases).
The grave seems to have been left untouched for 35 years, when Catherine Draddy-Donohue, daughter of John Draddy and Mary Flynn-Draddy, needed a place to bury her husband, William P. Donohue. William was a bridge-tender and died of pneumonia.
Six years later, William and Catherine’s 21 year old son, Thomas, who had been enrolled in seminary school, died. I do not have his death record yet, but the lore is that he died of some type of flu. 1921 was too late, I think, for Spanish Flu, but most forms of flu were not as treatable as they are now.
I think it would have been at this point that Catherine put up the headstone on what had been previously, I suspect, an unmarked grave. Notice there is no mention of James, who would die in 1923.
Then the grave was left alone for about 17 years before Catherine herself was buried there. She died of “Peritonitis post appendectomy, ileostomy”. I think that means her appendix burst.
It has now been 77 years since this grave was last disturbed. Now I am listed as the “Responsible Party”…who owes $1801 in back maintenance fees. Good luck collecting that, Calvary!
But, seriously, did I just inherit a grave in Queens?!?!?