The Dead and The Restless

This is a follow-on to the post about all of the new Flynn info. It is hard for me to come to terms with the fact that while all of that was going and all of the following was getting started, that I was studying for and taking final exams! Also, I think what touched all of this off was that my brother’s son had a son of his own. Welcome, little Torrin Michael! I figure that the ancestors wanted to be remembered by this latest generation, too.

This tale starts back in late February of this year. I can track down records with the best of them, provided the records are online. When it comes to the offline records, well, I need boots on the ground. And if that ground happens to be in Dublin, it probably isn’t going to be me. I keep an ace up my sleeve for things like this. Her name is Elaine Hannon and she is a professional genealogist. I have used her services once before. It was a couple of years ago and I was at the end of my rope with not being able to find anything more about my great grandparents, Michael Hannon and Catherine Healy. I hate to say it in public, but poor Elaine came up with little more than I had at the time. A few more “maybe” hints. No “sure thing” leads or facts. At any rate, it validated my own genealogical skills.

While looking at my father’s father’s brothers and sisters, of which there was a dozen or so of them total, I noticed that I was missing the death date for young William J. Hannon. I had his birth. I had him on the 1901 Irish census. I had him on the 1911 census, then 19 years old. Now, a 19 year old in Dublin 1911 could be anywhere in this world, or the next, by 1923. The only place I knew he wasn’t was CC-8-South in Glasnevin Cemetery. He was the only one missing, save for my father’s father, who was in St. John’s Cemetery, Queens, NY. If I was going to find out what happened to William, I knew I was going to have to call in the heavy-hitter, so I sent Elaine an email detailing what I already knew.

She agreed to take the case. An unusual thing happened in the eight weeks that transpired between her taking the case and finally delivering the report. The Dublin Electoral Lists for years 1938 to 1964 were placed online. The dutiful little amateaur genealogist that I am, I set to searching. I was able to locate William! He was listed in the ’37-’38. He was listed in the ’38-’39. And then he vanished on me again. But now I knew he didn’t wind up in Flander’s Field. I knew now that he hadn’t died during the Irish struggle for freedom, or in the immediate and terrible Civil War. And I knew that, at least until about 1939, he hadn’t moved to New Zealand. But where did he go? I would have to wait to read Elaine’s report.

When it arrived, I poured over it, following her steps. She traced him on the census records to 1911. She then searched for him in the marriage lists, but he wasn’t there. She searched for him in the military records of both the British and the Irish, but he wasn’t there. She even searched for him on the New York Passenger Lists, but he wasn’t there. Then she searched for him on the Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1922 to 1982. She found him.

I knew at a glance that this was his record, as I knew the address from various other records that I had on the family members…mostly death records. Cheerful hobby, this. But Elaine did not know this. She suspected it was him, but she needed to prove it. Her first stop was the Electoral Lists, which confirmed her suspicion. She then found his Death Record, which is something I was never able to find. In doing the search again, this is because there were three William Hannons, any of whom could have been my man. His record showed that he died, in Meath Hospital, of heart failure during a bout of pneumonia. 42 years old.

Armed with his date of death, I turned to the Glasnevin Cemetery web site to see if he was buried there. Glasnevin is the main cemetery in Dublin and has over a million people buried there, including all of William’s siblings and parents. It did not take but a minute to locate him. I noticed that his plot was very close to the main Hannan family plot, but he was listed as being buried with someone named Annie Moore, who died in 1905. Who was this?

My next stop was the Find-A-Grave web site, which is aptly named. One of the features that they offer there is to request to have a local go out and snap a picture of the headstone and post it online for you. I’ve used it for US headstones, but not for Irish ones. But, with over a million graves, I was not shocked to see Glasnevin listed. I figured I would be weeks or maybe months waiting, but I had a reply within days!





No word of a lie, I did the Happy Dance around the dining room and kitchen when I read that beautiful phrase. “HIS GRAND NEPHEW” Genealogic GOLD!!! Jenny thought I had finally snapped. Calin joined in with me because it looked like I was having fun. Good lad.

But, alas, poor reader, I am growing tired tonight and this story is only just getting under way. The Elaine report came in on May 10. The photo of the headstone came in on May 17. Sunday to Sunday. The next week was simply insane, and I will tell you all about it in the next installment of “The Dead and The Restless”.

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One Response to The Dead and The Restless

  1. Pingback: A visit to Glasnevin Cemetery | Matt's Blarg

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