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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday Night Fun - Genealogy Name Roulette: Mary Sheehan

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has a fun Saturday blog activity and today I decided to play.  What the Name Roulette is:

  1. Find the name of one of your great-grandmothers.
  2. Divide her birth date by 90 and round to the nearest whole number.  Use that number to find the ancestor in your tree with the same Ahnetafel number.
  3. Write 3 facts about that ancestor.

To find the roulette number I took the birthdates of all four of my great-grandmothers and found that by dividing by 90, I came up with the same rounded number of 21.  The ancestor with 21 is my great-great-grandmother, Mary Sheehan.

Mary Sheehan was born probably in Cahirkeem, Co Cork, Ireland.(1)  I do not know her exact birthdate.  The two census entries (1870 & 1880) in the United States have her birth year as 1827 and 1832. Her tombstone listed her age as 70 making her birth in 1832.

She married Jeremiah Sullivan sometime around 1841-1842, as their first child was born in Nov 1843.(2)  I had a researcher look at church records and he said the marriage book for that time period is missing.

Mary and Jeremiah had at least 9 children (4 baptism records he found in Ireland, four of which we know went to the US, and one child born in the US).

Mary Sullivan, wife of Jerry Sullivan
Motley Cemetery
Jeremiah Sullivan probably worked in the mines in Co Cork and nearby Co Kerry before the family emigrated to the United States after the potato famine.  They came sometime between 1860 and 1869 (the dates between births of two of the youngest children).  One son said 1864, another Oct 1865, another said 1866.(3)

They lived in Houghton Co, Michigan; Todd Co, Minnesota; and Morrison Co, Minnesota.  In Todd Co, Jeremiah obtained a homestead and built a log cabin on the property that was
"15 feet by 20 feet, had a board roof, one door, 3 windows, 2 floors, and a cellar.  The property also had a log stable and a well."(4)
She died 24 Feb 1892 according to her obituary "after suffering with a cancer in the stomach for some time."(5)  She is buried in Motley Cemetery.(6)


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1. Research done by Riobard O'Dywer, Co Cork, Ireland.
2. Baptism record for Mary Sullivan, Eyeries Village Church, 5 Nov 1843, transcribed by Riobard O'Dywer.
3. 1900 Todd Co, MN US Federal Census, ED 200, sheet 7, Eugene Sullivan; Davison Co, SD Naturalization for John Sullivan, V. 229, p 209; 1900 Pierce Co, WA US Federal Census, Tacoma, ED 182 Sheet 1, 5th ward, Jerry Sullivan.
4. Homestead papers for Jerrey Sullivan, General Land Entry Files, application 7874, patent 4462, National Archives, Washington, DC. 
5. Obituary of Mrs. Jeremiah Sullivan, Staples World (Staples, MN), 27 Feb 1892, p 8.
6. Photo of tombstone, Mary Sullivan, Motley Cemetery, Motley, Minnesota.

Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

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