Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - Remembering Rufus Lenoir Patterson III

Rufus Lenoir Patterson III (1922-1944), was killed in action over Germany Sept. 11, 1944. To honor him on Memorial Day, I spent a little time updating his pages at and Find-A-Grave.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - McCormick Family, St. Agnes Cemetery

For some time now, I've been wanting to locate my great-grandparents' graves in Albany. Interestingly enough, it was through my continued search to link Thomas and Margaret McCormick with John Stoddard McCormick, that I found them at the St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.

Some weeks ago, after following a link in a comment on Find-A-Grave, I found the Troy Irish Genealogy Society's index to St. Agnes Cemetery interment records. I knew from Find-A-Grave that Thomas and Margaret McCormick were in St. Agnes Cemetery, so using the TIGS's index, requested Thomas' record. I received a speedy reply and was impressed with the extra details written in on the returned form.

I then re-examined the obituaries I had for John Stoddard McCormick, Irene Gillespie McCormick, and John Stoddard McCormick, Jr. I found that John Stoddard McCormick was buried in St. Agnes Cemetery (according to his obit.). Irene's obituary did not name a place, but I decided to operate on the assumpotion that she'd be buried with her husband. John Jr.'s obituary stated he'd be buried in Albany (he died in Houston). I hoped that if he was moved from Houston to Albany for burial, that he'd also be with his parents (having never married). Since I was heading to Albany anyway to do research at the State Library, I decided to see if I could add an appointment at St. Agnes to my roster.

I sent St. Agnes a list of who I was looking for, including dates when and where they died. I spent about an hour with a staff member looking at copies of their index and she escorted me to their grave site. (Thank goodness because St. Agnes is huge and even with two maps at different levels of detail, I'm not sure I'd have found them on my own.)

And here I am, now with photo documentation and maps detailing where they are. The folks at St. Agnes clearly do a good job tending to the grounds, and promised they do some neatening up around the base of the stone, removing some old buried vases and some minor landscaping.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Margaret McCormick - Dare I hope, a breakthrough?

I've posted about Thomas & Margaret McCormick and my ongoing quest to claim them as my great-great-grandparents. Thus far, a lot of my evidence doesn't prove anything. Thomas & Margaret had a son, John, also the name of my great-grandfather. Newspaper articles such as my great-grandfather's obituary, match names of his siblings with names of children of Thomas & Margaret found in census records. Maddeningly, neither his obituary, nor his marriage announcement (which I found today) reference his parents at all, much less name them.

So I spent the better part of the day at the New York State Library, hoping to fill in some holes and find something to connect these people. I spent a decent amount of times with the Albany City Directories (which I love) and found this entry in the 1915 directory:

The entry for the McCormicks notes 2 key things:
(1) Margaret McCormick, widow of Thomas C., is residing at 281 Madison Ave.
(2) John S. McCormick, her son, a student, is also residing at 281 Madison Ave.

Then tonight, while noodling around Ancestry I pulled up my great-grandfather's WWI Draft Registration card:
I'm certain this is his because of the birth date, birth place (not shown) and occupation. I noticed his address listed was 281 Madison Ave., which I'd seen earlier today connected to this family. The draft card, which has no year, also mentions that he was married at the time he filled it out.

John Stoddard McCormick and Irene Gillespie were married Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1916. Their wedding announcement in the Times Union (below) mentions they'll reside on Madison Ave.

This is the most concrete connection I have so far that links John Stoddard McCormick as the son of Thomas & Margaret McCormick. I have a several vital records requests in the queue with Albany, so am still hopeful of a more definitive source, but for now this is more evidence supporting the connection.